Questions & Answers
1. How soon can I get paid?
Commissions are paid monthly and their size grows as you grow your business, so this is not a quick fix for the short term. You'll need to sustain yourself for a while.
Further, we pay you when "your" customers pay us, and that too could take a while. If you sign one up on the 15th of Month A, he'll get his first delivery at the beginning of Month C and be due to pay by the end of Month C - a wait of 2½ months. True, it would be possible to pay commission weekly, but for two reasons that would make little difference: (i) clients pay towards the end of the month, their deadline, and (ii) the bonus doesn't kick in until a lot of the month's payments have been received anyway. Those two effects combine to skew almost all of the available commission to the last week of the month.
However, one way to bring some commission forward is to encourage a choice of the "$400 Special" option. There, the customer pays us $400 with his order, to prepay his first 1,000 names. You'd take commission on that in the same month ("A") so it's a really good deal for all concerned.
There's also an offset to the slow start: if you ever choose to leave us, residual payments of commission would continue long after you do so. I hope you won't - but that is the bright side of the coin.
2. Don't I get commission on the $150 Deposit?No. That's not a payment but a deposit, returned to the client if and when he cancels our service. Its purpose is to provide a security against nonpayment. If someone were to default, however, that would be applied to the account and then yes, you'd be paid.
3. How should I go about selling?Whatever method works for you is fine here, but you might start off by visiting establishments in your local area, so as to get used to the way business owners react.
For greatest potential though you'll want to use the phone, and you can use the free on-line Yellow Page facilities to work any type of business in any part of the country with an unlimited-calling telephone plan (MagicJack, for example, costs $40 one-time plus $20 a year, then all US calls are free!) That's really cost-effective!
You won't win every time but a fair target is to average one order per day. Win two, you'll make six figures!
It's a useful idea that before approaching a prospect you pause to imagine yourself in his position, running his business. Ask yourself what would be your concerns, what difference it would make to stimulate more customers (or members, if it's a church.) This will help you empathize with him when you get talking.
4. What's the competition like?There are two sorts: the big direct-mail houses and in a few States, the local utility company; and a handful of small operators similar to C-AM - some of whom even use the same source of names and offer comparable prices.
The latter are almost certain never to bother you - they are too thinly spread. The bigger mail houses sell millions of names & addresses at low prices and have added a "movers' list" to their catalog, again priced well below our 35 to 45 cent range. However they don't deal with small orders (typically they demand 5,000 as a minimum) and may update their list only once a quarter (so the names aren't as fresh) and they don't market directly as we do - so typically their clientele are large companies marketing nationwide, rather than local neighborhood merchants.
One other kind of competitor is the "Welcome Wagon" and similar services. A local rep offers to visit the homes of new residents on behalf of several local merchants, often leaving a basket of goodies as a welcoming gift. This is okay (I even have some as customers - we are a useful source of names) but it has two disadvantages: (1) it's more expensive at typically $1.75 a pop and (2) it's less direct, for no visiting rep can give adequate emphasis to all the dozen or two dozen establishments she is representing. Additionally and unlike most of theirs, our list includes renters as well as owners of the home, so we give clients a wider scope.
Our way, the client says exactly what he wants to say, directly to the new resident. Better control, less cost.
Very seldom, therefore, will you encounter a Main Street prospect who says "we can do better elsewhere." And if that should arise, there's an entry on my FAQ page on the main part of this web site to deal with it!
5. Does the "Zero-Cost Option" affect my commission?No, not at all. This is described on our main web site and if one of "your" clients takes advantage of it, he still has to pay his bills to C-AM in the normal way and we pay your commission accordingly. We then send him payment as a reward for recommending other clients. It's all keyed by the "Referred By" entry on each original Free Custom Proposal form. Beware though of a possible anomaly: we'll pay commission only once! That means for example that if your Client A mentions to you his friend B as a good prospect, B will enter either your name or A's as "Referred By" - but not both. So it's best to be clear with A up-front, which of you is going to do what.
6. Why does that Option pay clients only 15%?To earn your 30% and 40%, you'll be doing much more work than clients do when they refer their friends. To you it's a business, to them it's a friendly courtesy, incidental to their main business, and it's not appropriate for them to follow-up much or press for a decision.
7. Can I work this part-time?Of course! You would be your own boss. Just make certain that, if you sell other products as well as C-AM's, that they do not compete for the prospect's advertising dollars. Discuss it with me first, if in doubt.
8. Can I fill out the Free Custom Proposal request for the prospect?Bad idea. If you can't motivate him to pay his own visit to our public web site and focus his mind on the service offered and fill out his own on-line request for a free proposal, move on to the next prospect! That kind won't get sufficiently involved to make a success of the project.
However, it's not at all a bad idea to sit beside him while he does it - either physically or on the phone. You may be able to help him with questions about the form, and suggest zip codes he might not otherwise have considered. And you do want to make sure he spells your name right when he keys in to the "Referred By" field
9. What if the prospect isn't "wired"?Again, move on to the next! This is - and if a business owner isn't on the Internet by now, he's way behind the curve and most unlikely to be able to take advantage of this innovative marketing technique.
Minimal computer-literacy requirements are to be able to explore a web site and complete an on-line Form, and then to receive emails and access attached files (his monthly names & addresses, and our invoice.) He will also need to use the name file to print either mailing labels or a personalized letter, for his outgoing advertisement.
Those are very simple tasks and plenty of software exists to perform them under his control; but if he's not up to even that, again - move on.
10. Couldn't I tell him his likely volumes when I call?You might, for I can show you how to find out what they are. But generally, it's a better idea to persuade the prospect to get his hands on and explore our web site and make his own request for a proposal and then read it and make an informed decision. To tell him the numbers up-front might short-circuit that important exploration.
"About how many can I expect?" is a fair question nonetheless, and I suggest replying by saying that generally, one resident in 60 moves every month. So if he's done his marketing homework and knows the household population in his service area, he'll get a broad idea of the numbers that way. And if he doesn't, that tells you something about how sharp he is - or rather, isn't!
The 1:60 ratio is only a rule of thumb, though, and does vary a lot. So, he needs a Free Custom Proposal.
11. Tell me more about "attrition"Your earnings from a customer you introduce will continue as long as he remains one, so this is an important factor for you as it is for me. Despite all we say sometimes a client does a poor job of mailer design, or fails to understand why even a small response is still an excellent value, or even fails to mail out his promotional piece (!) and so gets a poor response and so quits.
Unfortunately the question of how long an average customer lasts is not easy to answer. Our current clients have been so for ten and a half years, on average - but that overstates it, for others have been and gone in that time.
A valuable factor in encouraging longevity is the "Zero Cost Option." You'll find that described via C-AM.net, and I remind clients about it frequently. It's significant because it drastically reduces the net cost of this productive promotional project; the customer does some one-time work to refer to C-AM other prospective clients he may know, and then pays less - even nothing at all, net! - for our ongoing service. So even if at some point he gets to wonder whether results justify the cost, the answer to that has to be "YES!" when he pays nothing for them!
So in short, I don't really know; but the expectation of good earnings for you (shown on the Commission Plan page) is, in the light of this, conservative.
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