The Little Things Count--8 Things to Remember When Designing a Direct Sales Piece

Written by Keller Flynn

When it comes to designing a direct sales piece, whether it be a brochure or a sales letter,repparttar little things really do count. Focus as much on presentation as you do onrepparttar 127262 message.

Keep these 10 essential tips in mind when designing your direct sales piece, and your results will go throughrepparttar 127263 roof:

1. Bullet Points - The human eye is drawn to text that is preceded by a bullet point. Bullet points shout torepparttar 127264 reader, "Pay special attention to me! I am important!"

Write up a laundry list of benefits. Make them easy to read so prospects can skim through them quickly and getrepparttar 127265 gist of what you can do for them. And always keep your laundry list of benefits bulleted sorepparttar 127266 reader can't miss it.

2. Cliff-hangers - Continuerepparttar 127267 last sentence of your paragraph onrepparttar 127268 next page of your direct sales piece. Try to ask a question or give a solution. This technique is called a cliff- hanger. If your reader wants to find out what will happen, he/she will have to turnrepparttar 127269 page. Because so many people fail to make it torepparttar 127270 second page of a direct sales piece, it is essential to use cliff-hangers to hook your readers.

3. Simple Layout - Don't confuse your reader with tricky layout. Keep your indents, underlining, centering and subheadings consistent. And don't justify your right margins.

4. Mini-headlines - You can use paragraph headings like mini- headlines to help your message stand out and keeprepparttar 127271 reader's eye flowing downrepparttar 127272 page. Keep these headingsrepparttar 127273 same color as your letterhead to give them that extra oomph.

Teaching Your Organization to Learn

Written by Dave Kahle

Teaching Your Organization to Learn

Copyright 2002 by Dave Kahle

Are things changing rapidly in your business?

Silly question, isn't it? Of course they are changing. Rapid change isrepparttar distinguishing characteristic ofrepparttar 127261 new millennium.

Take that rapid change and add to it growing competition, increasing complexity, consolidations at every level, and increasing demands from customers and you haverepparttar 127262 recipe for a business climate that will turn anyone’s hair gray.

This rapid change whirling around every company puts great pressure on organizations to change themselves. Not only mustrepparttar 127263 organization as a whole change, butrepparttar 127264 individuals within each organization must themselves change, learn and grow more rapidly than at any time inrepparttar 127265 past.

This ability for an organization and its people to change in response torepparttar 127266 changing world around them may berepparttar 127267 ultimate success skill forrepparttar 127268 Information Age.

A few years ago, it was good enough to allow learning and change to happen in a hit or miss fashion. Not so today. If your organization and your employees are going to change as rapidly asrepparttar 127269 environment, they are going to have to get serious, dedicated and systematic about those changes.

That means you must organize and manage an effort to stimulate and support positive personal change. In other words, organizations, including yours, need to develop a new capability -repparttar 127270 capability to change rapidly.

Every organization has a unique set of capabilities. While some of these capabilities are necessary for any successful business, others are unique to that individual concern. For example, every business must be capable of accounting for its money; every business must be capable of generating sales; and every business must be capable of providingrepparttar 127271 goods or services its customers want. Those are universal and basic capabilities. If your organization cannot do these, you won't be in business very long.

However,repparttar 127272 real strength ofrepparttar 127273 business comes from those capabilities that are unique to it, that differentiate that business from its competitors.

Some businesses have created great research and development capabilities, others are outstanding at customer service, while others emphasize quality throughout. Some are outstanding in sales, other marketing, still others in management.

One way to prepare your organization forrepparttar 127274 rapidly changing 21st Century is to develop a unique and new capability. That capability is what I call "active learning."

So what is active learning? And why is it important? Let's start with a definition: Active learning isrepparttar 127275 process of acquiring new information and/or gaining new insights, and then changing behavior as a result. You've experienced it. It's what happens when you go to a seminar or a conference, gain several new ideas, and then come back and implement them in your organization.

Active learning takes place at a number of different levels within an organization. But they are all dependent on an individual employee changing how he/she behaves. The employee who is adept at active learning regularly absorbs new information and acts in different ways as result. It'srepparttar 127276 same process you engage in when you attend a seminar, except that it's required of every one of your employees, not just you.

Here’s an every day example. Let's say you upgraded your software torepparttar 127277 next round of upgrades. Now, every employee who works with that software must take in new information, (the changes inrepparttar 127278 software) and then change his/her behavior to correspond withrepparttar 127279 new information (they must userepparttar 127280 software). This learning process requires that they do something differently then they did before.

There is a fundamental and powerful concept underneathrepparttar 127281 surface of this simple example: Learning to use this software upgrade is not a one-time event. There will be other upgrades soon. And your employees will have to learn (take in new information and change their behavior) again and again and again.

Whilerepparttar 127282 computer upgrade is an easily-identified culprit,repparttar 127283 reality is thatrepparttar 127284 kind of regular change epitomized byrepparttar 127285 software will likely occur in every aspect ofrepparttar 127286 employee's job. Software will change, customers will change, products will change, bosses will change, co-workers will change, strategy will change, policies will change, procedures will change. If it doesn't, your organization is in danger of becoming a dinosaur, wonderfully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

One of my clients summarizes it accurately when he tells every new hire: "The only thing I can guarantee you is that you won't be doingrepparttar 127287 job you're hired to do a year from now. Eitherrepparttar 127288 job will have changed in such a way as to be significantly different, or you will have grown to take on new responsibilities."

In this kind of environment, it's easy to see thatrepparttar 127289 companies who will berepparttar 127290 most successful are those who have filled their offices and cubicles with individuals who are willing, able, and skilled in learning.

Now that's a good thing to keep in mind whenever your are hiring. Hire well, and eventually you'll evolve into a learning organization. Inrepparttar 127291 mean time, you must work withrepparttar 127292 employees you have.

Unfortunately, not all of them are "change-friendly." Many were educated in slower times, and view change as a threat to their positions and status. Many resent every attempt to get them to do something differently.

Clearly, some organizations, some groups, and some individuals are better at active learning than are others. While it's true that everyone can learn, it is just as true that not everyone can learn equally quickly and effectively. This ability to learn quickly, effectively, and continuously will be one ofrepparttar 127293 most powerful capabilities ofrepparttar 127294 organizations that hope to succeed inrepparttar 127295 information age.

So why is this such an important new competency forrepparttar 127296 information age? For several reasons. First, we have seenrepparttar 127297 economic environment change dramatically inrepparttar 127298 last few years. Every futurist I read or listen to has predicted thatrepparttar 127299 rate of change will continue to accelerate inrepparttar 127300 near future. That means that if you have witnessed a great deal of change in your business environment, you probably have seen nothing yet. The ability to change your organization and allrepparttar 127301 individuals within it will become ever more important. Those organizations, groups, and individuals who excel at learning will have a strategic advantage over those slower to change.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use