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Sales 101: How to close a deal

2014 July 6
by Arman Eker
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The purpose of a deal is quite simple. I give you “A”, you give me in return “B”. It is called a “Transaction”. The purpose of a business is to make create profitable transaction.

sales-101

To create a successful transaction it is important to gain the trust of your customer. Without trust no transaction will take place. To gain trust it is important to have good reputations.

To complete a transaction, both parties need something which is valuable for both sides. The value has to be balanced; otherwise one of the parties will not be willing trade.

While trying to complete the transaction both parties try to negotiate. To negotiate successfully you have to be prepared. There are three important steps which you should know before trying to negotiate.

  1. Setup: Be prepared. Before you try to make a deal, prepare yourself. Know who you will negotiate with. What is the other side expecting? What are they willing to pay/offer? Analyze before negotiating.
  2. Structure: Prepare a draft proposal with alternatives. Don’t leave anything open and don’t be unprepared during a negotiation. You might end up with a deal which is not in your favor.
  3. Discussion: Present your offer and start verbal negotiation. During the negotiation explain why your offer is worth the asking price. Provide social proof that your offer s capable to deliver promised value. Show examples of other parties who are benefiting from your offer. Help the other party understand how it will help their specific situation and how they can apply it.

Never forget, in every negotiation, the power lies with the party that is able and willing to walk away from a bad deal.

Marketing – The cardinal marketing sin is being boring

2014 June 30
by Arman Eker

In “The Personal MBA”, Chapter 3 – Marketing, it is discussed that gaining your potential customer’s attention without spamming them is the main goal of effective marketing.

Marketing

One topic which caught my attention was “Visualization”. If you are able to let your customer visualize what their life will look like after purchasing, then you will increase the probability to sell your product or service.

Also giving away “Free” valuable services to get your potential customers attention is a strong weapon to win a customer.

Hook” another term which also has been used by Gary Vaynerchuk is very powerful. Best example for this method is Apple’s Hook to sell the iPod. Apple didn’t focused on the technical features of the iPod while marketing. Hook was simply focusing on something everyone would easily understand: “1,000 songs in your pocket”. Better than 8 GB of storage which doesn’t mean a lot for non-technical people.

Call-to-Action” which is used everywhere is also a powerful method to let your potential customers take action on a product or service which caught their attention. For example putting a “Buy Now” button at the end of your product landing web page is a very simple example. Once the customer finished reading the features they can immediately buy it without getting distracted.

And lastly “Reputation”. I quote: “Building your Reputation takes time and effort, but it’s the most effective kind of marketing there is.”

Value Creation

2014 June 28
by Arman Eker

I just started reading “The Personal MBA” and want to share with you some great parts from the books “Value Creation” chapter.

The Personal MBA

The Chapter starts with a great definition of what a business is. I quote:

“Roughly defined, a business is a repeatable process that:

  1. Creates and delivers something of value…
  2. That other people want or need…
  3. At a price they are willing to pay…
  4. In a way that satisfies the customer’s needs and expectations…
  5. So that the business brings in enough profit to make it worth-while for the owners to continue operation.”

This is really all there is you need to know about “what’s a business”.

The Chapter continues with explanations of different business definitions which are very valuable when you think about starting a business.

One important one is “Core Human Drives” which explains what kind of human needs there exist. If you want to build a successful business you should understand how to satisfy you customers. Adlai Stevenson, Politician and former Governor of Illinois ones said: “Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.”

In “The Hidden Benefit of Competition” it is described that you don’t have to be the first in market with a certain product to be successful. There are benefits to enter a market which already has a product that you want to build.

In Chapters “Modularity” and “Bundling and Unbundling” there are some great examples of how companies use different ways to sell services, products and other things by bundling or unbundling them. For example if you like a song from an album you might not want to buy the album for just one song. But if you could buy just the song you liked (unbundling) the probability of you buying it would be much higher.

Other interesting topics are “Prototyping”, how to prototype your product. “The Iteration Cycle”, the process of iteration and one other important topic is “Feedback”.

In the end of the chapter it covers some topics about different ways to test your product or service. In the end you can read about how to create your “Minimum Economically Viable Offer (MEVO)”.

If you are interested in the details don’t hesitate and buy now.

 

I will continue to write summaries about other chapters and also other books. Don’t forget to subscribe ;)

Believe that you’re capable of creating

2014 May 12
by Arman Eker

Believe that you’re capable of creating.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs

JavaScript for: database, back-end and front-end layer

2013 November 9

-The-Matrix-the-matrix-23939770-1360-768

We live in a era where ideas have no value. It is now all about execution. To really create any value you have to execute your ideas. It doesn’t much matter how good or bad an idea is if you can’t execute it.

From time to time this is what we do. We collect all our ideas, select the ones which are executable and pick one lucky idea and execute it. A few weeks ago we executed a new idea we had and here we are, with our MVP. Let me give more detail about our awesome idea :)

As you know, everyday new databases and new programming languages are developed and the process of deciding on which to use is getting more difficult.

For example, when we start a new ‘web project’ we have to decide which database, programming language, hosting, web server etc. we are going to use and in the end we are never really sure if the decision we made were the correct one. But unfortunately it doesn’t end here.

In almost every web project I have been in, front-end programmer and back-end programmer had to have different programming skills because of the many different components we had to use. But of course this brings a lot of problems with it. Technical and non-technical.

We asked ourselves: “Why not create a database-less design were we don’t have to think about all the components and can just focus on our project? Why not open our IDE and start developing our web project. Why not use a single programming language for all parts of the project.” Just imagine, wouldn’t that be great?

I admit, imagination alone doesn’t create your web project. So, to help you develop your project we created a prototype in where you are able to just write your code and run your web site.

It is called: ‘Project GOVU ’.

We decided to approach execution of our idea step by step. In project GOVU we first of all removed the need of the database installation and configuration and all the other stuff you need to do regarding DB. The only thing you need to know is JavaScript. Using JavaScript you will develop your whole web project.

Some key features:

  • Code just with JavaScript
  • No need for a database installation or configuration
  • MVC pattern
  • Super fast, no overhead (almost…)
  • and many more features are coming

Are you curious and want more? You can test our prototype NOW. Here you go https://github.com/easylibs/govu .

We would LOVE to hear your feedback for our prototype.

This is our first step of executing our idea.

Is currency trading for suckers?

2013 November 5

twitter_logo

James Altucher is doing every week QA sessions which are awesome. I really advice all of you to join them. (@jaltucher) Below you will find a great collection of the best QA’s so far. Suggest everyone to read through and join the next QA session on Twitter.

Have a nice read.

Question: How should I choose between 3 job offers?
James Altucher: Take the job with the nicest people.

Q: What are 3 key things that Treach taught you and can teach others?
JA: Everything’s gonna be alright.

Q: What would you tell your 25-year-old daughter to do with her life?
JA: If my daughter was 25 i would tell her to explore as many options as possible. my career has changed 5x since i was 25…degrees have zero percent correlation to future success. None at all.

Q: I’m agnostic, looking for evidences to believe in some god, or force. Why do you believe?
JA: There’s no reason to believe in anything. just every now and then hold up your hands and say “thanks”. that’s it…there’s no reason to care about evidence or experience. be compassionate, say thanks. and thats all you need… it doesnt matter if you believe or not.

Q: I have 3 children’s books on Amazon. What other ways to make money from them in addition to direct sales?
JA: Get distributors who market to schools. write more books

Q: How do I get over my fear of reaching out to acquaintances out of the blue (ie “networking”)?
JA: Come up with ideas for them that can improve their businesses and/or lives. tell them thank you and why

Q: My wife’s a talented writer but she doesn’t believe in herself, how do i convince her?
JA: You cant convince anyone of anything. nobody will ever listen. let her find her own way and she will, whatever way that is

Q: Have you ever used a strategy where you followed demand where money was flowing & then found a way to get in the middle of it?
JA: That’s the only strategy to follow.

Q: How important are status symbols in your life? (The kind of clothes you wear, the car you drive). Do they matter less as you age?
JA: All status symbols are tiny things. LIFE is a big thing. I stay focused on the big things. The big thing in life is to focus on providing more value to people than they expect. the rest comes then

Q: Is currency trading for suckers?
JA: All currency traders seem to forget that their opponents are Vladmir Putin and Ben Bernanke.

Q: How much do you write on an average day?
JA: 1000-10000 words a day. If you want to write that and reading for 2-3 hours a day is what you have to do.

Q: How do you get yourself out of a situation/mindset where you feel ‘stuck’ & not making progress?
JA: Only one way to get out of being stuck, which is the Daily Practice I describe [in my book]. I can’t say this works for everyone but I know it worked for me and has worked for many of my readers from the emails I get. I also know that when I have NOT done what I call the Daily Practice, that I slipped right down to being “stuck” again.

Q: Can one have/build the ability to know a good idea from a bad one with minimal or no testing of the idea?
JA: No, you cant know if an idea is good in advance. thats why the key is to do many ideas cheaply. Every single successful company in the world has changed strategies and products repeatedly. Nobody can predict the future or read the minds of future customers.

Q: I started my own blog recently. Tell me one thing you wished you had known before you started your own blog.
JA: The importance of launching an email list alongside of the blog.

Q: Will Facebook be around in 5 years? What about email?
JA: facebook, email, twitter will all be around in 5 years but all of them will rely more on SMS

Q: I keep missing obvious moves in chess and don’t look more than a move ahead. Any book you’d recommend to improve me?
JA: Read thru all 5000 problems in “CHESS” by Polgar

Q: What are you afraid of?
JA: i’m irrationally afraid I’ll run out of reinventions for myself.

Q: What’s one way to turn around a really sh*tty day?
JA: to find ten things to be grateful for about today. to write three emails thanking people. to say “WOW!” and “HELP!” It’s very hard to say “HELP” when you need it.

Q: How do I start associating myself with people that share the same hunger for success (besides meetups and such)?
JA: Stop associating with the wrong people. the right people will then magically start to show up

Q: How do I figure out what kind of identity I want for myself?
JA: Get rid of wanting an identity. then your real self can come out and play. The world is here to entertain you, not the other way around.

Q: How many of us tie our identity to something? Deep.
JA: We all tie our identity to restrictions we think we’ve overcome (money, power, etc). But those restrictions are false and taught to us by parents, schools, institutions, etc.

Q: What is your IQ according to tests?
JA: II don’t believe in IQ tests. Much better is to measure how grateful you are per day.

Q: Doing the daily practice but I’m itching to start something. Should I just start a bunch of ideas for fun?
JA: Yeah, thats the ONLY way to do it. start a dozen ideas for fun and see which ones take fire

Q: Why go with an s-corp for start up?
JA: Go with a C corp if u want to take on investors and be able to issue options to employees.

Q: Sites I should guest post on besides elephant journal and though catalog?
JA: use quora and medium. post on huffpo.

Q: If a writer is good, don’t you think they should be paid. Isn’t payment of “exposure” way overrated?
JA: The good thing abt any exposure is it gets your name out there. this way the good writing can be found…good writing has nothing to do with getting paid. writing is a business and has to be treated like that, else no pay. Creators are business people and this has always been true throughout history.

Q: Do you still play chess everyday? How is it helping you? Do you play sports? Could that be part of Daily Practice?
JA: I play chess every day and try to do either tennis or yoga every day. both are part of my daily practice

Q: I’m doing @Shopify’s build a business competition but I don’t know what to sell? Seems to ALWAYS get me stuck. Where do I start?
JA: sell quantified-self bracelets

Q: Where can I find more software development contracts for small & medium sized businesses?
JA: Your best new clients are your old clients. ask them, “What else can you do for me?” and see what they say.

Q: Best way to overcome that sickening feeling in your gut aka Fear, when thinking about taking on a new challenge?
JA: Don’t think about the future. nothing is in the future. Action is RIGHT NOW. only focus on the action you can take today. Dorothy had no idea what the Wizard of Oz would do, but she knew she had to take each step on the yellow brick road.

Q: What’s the most important thing to remember always?
JA: To say “thank you” for no reason at all, to nobody, and expect nothing. And occasionally say “WOW!”

Q: I end up feeling bad for a lot of people I talk to, meet, and interact with. How can I feel compassion for them instead of pity?
JA: Pity is wishing (“I wish these people were better off”, e.g.) Wish for nothing. care for everything. You will find happiness is in the middle.

Q: Best way to promote a (self-published?) book, assuming no blog following, twitter fanbase, or advertising budget, etc?
JA: Best way to promote a self-published book if you have no following – write more books. thats the only way

Q: How to find what I’m good at? And…what if it isn’t nothing special? What if “i know i’m good at something”but I don”t know what?
JA: Don’t look for what u r good at. try many many things. see which things work. then do more of it.

Q: Thoughts on h1b visas. Help or hurt US worker? Should # increase or decrease in current economy?
JA: The US needs to remove all barriers to immigration. why not be the US that created this country instead of the US that destroys it

Q: What program do you recommend to manage an email list?
JA: I use @MailChimp to manage my email list. They are very good and I’ve never had a problem

Q: Have any ideas for turning a love of coffee into a way to create wealth & freedom?
JA: Make a book: 100 Ways Coffee Will Make You Wealthier, Healthier, and Beautiful”. Then make a blog and videos, etc about the ideas in the book.

Q: Have you ever bought any courses from bloggers or do you mainly stick to books?
JA: I stick to books. i like to read things that have withstood the test of time. so good books vs yesterday’s NY T

Q: Reading as much as you do, how do you absorb it properly? Do you take notes or something like that?
JA: I dont know if i absorb anything i read. i just keep reading because it’s fun and i hopefully i take in a little

Q: Will our economy pick back up? Can we be a superpower again?
JA: What other superpower is there that controls all the water in the world and all the innovation in the world? Another way to look at it is: let’s say we weren’t a superpower. Who cares?

Q: How much should I promote my Kindle free days? I want to make $ from book, but also market my expertise and drive traffic to blog
JA: I dont think you should use the kindle free days. i think those days dont help so much. people value what they pay for.

Q: What’s your net worth?
JA: This is not the answer your looking for but i honestly feel on top of the universe

Q: Are your tales of comeback overly dramatized because you had access to decisionmakers? Most unknowns knock Doors w/no response
JA: I never had access to decision makers until i started getting healthy and generating tons and TONS of ideas

Q: Blog content: how many days a week?
JA: Write every day. but you dont have to post every day. only post when you feel something is TIGHT.

Q: Is there a difference between “positive thinking”, “fantasising”, “daydreaming”?
JA: Replace positive thinking with just gratitude and “WOW!” There’s no way to really know what you “need”. stop asking for what you don’t need, so you leave room to get the things you need

More important than positive thinking is being around people who love you. More important than positive thinking is sleeping 8 or more hours. More important than positive thinking is having lots of ideas and being grateful.

Q: How do you deal with the stress and depression that comes with starting a business?
JA: A business is only one part of you. there are friends, family, your inner health, etc. every day focus on the balance. less stress

Q: How many hours a day do you write?
JA: I read for 3 or 4 hours a day and prob write for 4 or 5 hrs a day. Most things i write are very bad and i hide.

Q: How do I over come the emotional fear and social conditioning to venture something I never thought of
JA: The way you do that is thru healthy sleep, eating, be around good ppl, be grateful. every day all day.

Q: If you are starting out, how would you approach well known brands to partner with you?
JA: You always have to show the well known brands how they can make money with you. that is all they care about. Never forget that nobody cares about you. You have to overdeliver for them and then overdeliver more.

Q: How did you get so good at raising funds for deals?
JA: When you add EXTRA value to ppl (value they did not expect) it compounds in your life. you build trust. they follow u into deals.

Q: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever written?
JA: Everything i publish is scary to me. i don’t publish something unless it scares me. how else will it stand out.

Q: In your blog you mention prioritizing ~7 hours sleep. How did you manage that in the start-up world?
JA: Find out all those moments that you waste during the day on junk: news, gossip, waste, etc.and eliminate them. They add up. a CEO shld slp at least 8 hrs a day

Q: How do you restore a broken trust? Is it even a good choice to start with?
JA: You cant restore a broken trust. a cut in the skin needs to heal only with rest and gentle care. don’t force it or you infect it.

Q: Starting out, is it a bad idea to write for someone else’s blog routinely more than your own?
JA: Your NAME is the destination. not your BLOG…Starting out, ONLY write for someone else’s blog. That’s how you build an audience. later you can start your own blog.

How Facebook is screwing our awesome product

2013 October 31
by Arman Eker

facebook_logo

Since a couple of month, me and my team are working on an awesome (according to user feedback :)) product. We are building a game for the Facebook platform.

For me this project has an important meaning. I believe that this time we are building a product that actually will get profitable. In our projects before we always had the ‘hope’ that it will stick, but this time we also have data (at least some of it).

What are the differences about this product and the products before?

  • Before: we hadn’t quite a success in our advertisement campaigns
  • Now: we have a success (meaning we get the users we want for our budget we set aside)
  • Before: our retention rates and some other rates where not even near our estimations
  • Now: our retention rates and some other rates meet our estimations
  • Before: while working on our product we were also working on our business model (trying to figure out how it could work)
  • Now: we have a business model (and a product)

Isn’t this awesome!

What is missing? The ‘BUT‘ is missing. Let’s add it.

BUT Facebook is screwing as badly. We developed our product, put it out there, people are using it BUT they can’t pay us while using it. Even if they would want to.

Do you know why? Because since 2 month we are waiting for Facebook to verify our Company (unfortunately our company is in Turkey and needs to be verified by Facebook before we can accept payments). I tried to contact Facebook multiple times BUT as I see they really don’t care.

Who would knew? Facebook, billion dollar company really doesn’t care about entrepreneurs trying to create valuable products for Facebook.

We are still waiting and trying to somehow solve this problem. Otherwise…

Who knows, maybe we will develop a product for Google+ :)

Takeaways: If your business and bank account is not in one of these countries, then before developing anything apply for the verification process.

3 awesome ways to find new business ideas

2013 October 28
by Arman Eker

I read these 3 awesome ways in a book and had to share it on my blog. Hopefully they are going to help you.

idea_bulb

1. Search Twitter

You can search the twitter stream for the following phrases:

  • “I wish I had”
  • “I just paid someone for”
  • “is a horrible product”
  • “is the worst company”
  • “hate this website”
  • “love this website”

2. Deal Sites

You can check companies who are promoting their products or services on deal sites. Most of them have troubles in selling. You could come up with a way to support and sell them a service or product.

3. Focusing

Try to focus on a specific idea for exact half an hour. Take paper and pen, close your laptop, silence your phone and start thinking intensely about the idea. This usually brings up ideas you have never thought of. (it works for me)

Good luck :)

Rekabetin size getirdiği gizli kazançlar

2012 January 12
by Arman Eker

Birçok girişimci ilk girişimlerine başladıklarında, sahip oldukları fikrin aslında düşündükleri kadar eşsiz olmadığını anlarlar. Başka firmaların benzer fikirler üzerinde ürünler veya servisler sunduklarını öğrenirler. Bu maalesef girişimcinin kendine ve fikrine güvenini sarsıp, bir girişimci için en tehlikeli soruyu akıllara getirir: “Birileri bu işe başlamışken, ben bu işe neden başlayayım?”.

‘Rekabet etmek’ başta korkutucu gibi görünse de, aslında bizlere sunduğu gizli kazançları vardır. Bu kazançlardan birtanesi ‘pazar araştırma’ konusudur. Başka firmaların var olduğu bir pazara girmeyi düşündüğünüzde detaylı bir pazar araştırması yapmanıza veya yaptırmanıza gerek kalmaz. Mevcut firmalar varlığını sürdürebildiklerine göre bu pazarda arz/talep dengesi mevcuttur ve pazarda başarılı bir iş kurma olasılığı vardır. Bu noktadan yola çıkarak pazardaki rakiplerinizden daha değerli bir ürün veya servis sunduğunuz takdirde, kazanç elde edeceğiniz yüksek olasılıklıdır.

Pazar mevcut olduğundan dolayı,  siz artık  zamanınızın ve kaynaklarınızın büyük kısmını fikrinizin rakiplerinizden daha değerli bir ürün veya servisini oluşturmak için ayırabilirsiniz.

Bir başka kazanç ise ‘rakiplerinizden öğrenme’ olanağıdır. Bir bilge derki: “Dostlarımı kendime yakın tutarım, düşmanlarımı ise daha yakın”. Bu rekabet ortamında da geçerlidir. Rakibinizden birçok şey öğrenebilirsiniz. Bunlardan en önemlisi, rakibinizin müşterilerinin neden onu tercih ettikleridir. Bunu daha iyi anlamak için bazı yöntemler mevcuttur. Bunlardan bir tanesini örnek verirsek; Siz, müşteri gibi rakibinizin yarattığı değeri rahatlıkla tüm detaylarıyla inceleyebilirsiniz. Bu ise size gireceğiniz pazar hakkında birçok fikir verecektir. Bu fikirlerden bazılar;  değerlerin nasıl ve ne kadara sunulduğu, pazarda insanların dikkatini nasıl çektiklerini, müşterilerini nasıl memnun ettiklerini, oluşan sorunlarla nasıl başa çıktıklarını ve eksik yönlerinin ne olduğudur. Bu şekilde daha pazara girmeden ve stratejinizi belirlemeden önce birçok alanda fikir sahibi olmuş ve rakibinizden daha başarılı bir strateji belirleme şansını elde etmiş olacaksınız.

Verdiğim örnekler rekabetin size getirdiği en önemli avantajlardan. Bunların dışında eminim başka önemli avantajlarda mevcuttur. Fakat sonunda kazanan taraf, fikri en iyi biçimde hayata geçiren taraf olacaktır. Çünkü fikrin kendisi maalesef hiç birşey kazandırmıyor. Kazanmak için, fikri ve tüm bu söylediklerimi uygulamak gerekir.

Rekabetten korkmayın. Dezavantajları avantajlarınıza dönüştürmeyi bildiğiniz sürece karşınıza çıkan tüm engelleri aşabilirsiniz.

“Kriz = Fırsat”

İşinizin zirveye tırmanması için uygulamanız gereken 5 adım

2012 January 3
by Arman Eker

İşletmelerin en önemli görevlerinden biri, alanlarında değer yaratmaktır. Günümüzde bir çok alanda değer yaratma imkanı mevcuttur.  İyi bir değer yaratabiliyorsa, bu işletme başarılı kabul edilir. Günümüzün iş adamları ise bu alanları keşfedip buralarda yeni işletmeler oluşturuyorlar. İşin asıl önemli kısmı bundan sonra başlıyor; bir değer nasıl yaratılır.

Maalesef değer yaratamayan işletmeler günün sonunda varlıklarını sürdüremezler ve yok olurlar.

Başarılı işletmelere baktığımızda bu işletmelerin önemli değerler oluşturduklarını görürüz. Örneğin Google. Tüm elektronik postalarımızı ve fotoraflarımızı saklıyor, dünyanın en gelişmiş arama motorunu ve en iyi akıllı telefon işletim sistemlerinden birini bize sunuyor. Bunlar sadece birkaçı. Başka bir örnek ise Amazon. Dünyanın en büyük kütüphanesi olarak bize hizmet veriyor. Veya Apple. İlk yenilikçi akıllı telefonunu ve müzik çalarını bizlere sundu. Bazı işletmeler çok insana az değer; bazıları ise az insana çok değer sunuyor. Hangisini yaparsanız yapın, bir değer sunduğunuz sürece insanlar işletmenizin başarılı olabilmesi için herzaman yanınızda duracaktır.

Sadece 5 adım

Bir işletme, değer yaratmak için aşağıda yer alan 5 tekrarlanabilir adımı sırasıyla uygular:

  1. Ürün yaratma: Hedef kitlenizin ne istediğini ve/veya neye ihtiyaç duyduklarını keşfedin ve onu karşılayacak ürünü oluşturun
  2. Pazarlamak: Oluşturduğunuz ürün üzerine dikkat çekin ve talep oluşturun
  3. Satış: Ürününüz ile ilgilinen insanları müşterilerinize dönüştürün
  4. Ürünü sunmak: Müşterinize söz verdiğiniz ürünü memnun kalacağı şekilde sunun
  5. Finans: Yeterli kazanç elde ederek işletmenizin devamlılığını sağlayın
devamını okumalısınız…