Monthly Archives: January 2017

Aviation Industry of India

The Industry of Aviation in India is amongst the fastest growing globally. It has shown a growth rate of 18% per annum. The open policies of the government have led many foreign players to take interest in this sector. In fact, the private participation constitutes about 75% of this sector. India is thus fast becoming a major player in the global aviation market.

A few factors that have propelled the growth of this sector are: increased purchasing power, lower airfares due to the advent of low-cost carriers, emergence of India as a tourist country, more outbound travel, and the economic progress.

Growth Potential

The entry of low-cost carriers pioneered by Air Deccan helped greatly reduce the costs involved in flying. This helped attract consumers for whom air travel was only a dream. Now a number of low-cost airlines are operating in India, namely Go Airways, Spice Jet, and Kingfisher Air, and they have a major share of the Indian aviation industry.

Thus, domestic participation in this industry in India is projected to grow by 25-30% and internationally by 15%, increasing the potential customers by about 100 million in 2010. Also, by 2020 the cargo section is projected to rise to approximately three million tonnes.

Besides these factors, the initiatives by the government are a further boost to this industry. Its plans to modernize the infrastructure and develop more international airstrips are also proving to be an impetus to this industry. New airports are to be built to handle more traffic and ease the pressure on the existing airfields. Modernization of airstrips in metropolises is also being planned. All these initiatives are through public-private partnerships.

Aviation Policy in India

The policies of the Indian government encourage foreign participation.

Government allows 100% FDI via the automatic route for the green field airports. Also, foreign investment up to 74% is permissible through direct approvals while special permissions are required for 100% investment.

Private investors are allowed to establish general airports and captive airstrips while keeping a distance of 150 km from the existing ones. Complete tax exemption is also granted for 10 years.

About 49% FDI is allowed for investment in domestic airlines via the automatic route. However, this option is not available for foreign airline corporations. Complete equity ownership is granted to NRIs (Non Resident Indians). Foreign direct investment up to 74% is allowed for non-scheduled and cargo airlines.

Thus, all these policies promote foreign investment in this industry.

Future Scope

The Indian aviation industry is forecasted to grow phenomenally in the coming years. The Vision 2020 announced by the Civil Aviation Ministry conceives of building infrastructure to support 280 million customers.

Investments to the extent of US $ 110 billion are envisaged by 2020. About US $ 30 billion for development and sprucing up of existing airports and US $ 80 billion for building new fleets is being estimated. The aerospace giant Boeing projects that the Indian aviation industry will require about 1,000 commercial jets in the coming 20 years.

Related areas like repairs, maintenance, and training also provide good investment potential.

Thus, overall it is a very promising sector and a potent investment area.

Marketing Strategies and Tactics I

– Marketing dominance strategies

In this category of strategies, you see the world and the market in terms of market share; you know your market share, classify yourself as a leader, challenger, follower or nicher. Then you plan your marketing strategy accordingly.

– Leader: you have market dominance, you need to stress that you are the dominant business in your market because you are the best.

– Challenger: you are the next big thing, you should point out that the industry leader has gotten too big to care about customers, that you will change how things are going in the industry. You should project an image of being the next edgy thing to hit the market.

– Follower: you should consolidate your position never directly challenging the leaders while making alliances in the market. You wait for your opportunity to be a challenger or a leader.

– Nicher: you concentrate on your niche , taking care not to venture out unless you are confident of your odds outside of your niche.

– Innovation strategies

Here it is all about who is on the cutting edge, who churns out the new products and technologies before anyone else. You are a pioneer, close follower or late follower.

– Pioneer: You concentrate on being the one with the newest, hottest products around. You promise your customers will get the new technology before anyone else does.

– Close follower: You wait for other to pioneer in different direction, and when they are on to something, you quickly adopt it, improve it and make it your own.

– Late follower: You adopt only the most stable of technology, you stress to your customers that your products will be stable, tried and tested, with no bugs or last minute recalls.

– Growth strategies

When operating under growth strategies, your focus should be on how to make your business grow. You use:

– Horizontal integration: You try to expand by acquiring or starting new business in the same field as your main business, this way you control a bigger market share, and sideline the competition.

– Vertical integration: You try to acquire or start businesses that supply your current business or sell its products. This way you can have a stable production and delivery structure.

– Diversification: You try to conquer new markets with new products, expending in unexpected direction where you predict that there are great profits there.

– Intensification: You add new features to your existing products. You release new versions of your products. Trying to consolidate then expand your market position.

Taking Refugees

In the summer of 2015, Europe experienced the highest influx of refugees since the World War II. Post why?

The main reason is that Syria has become the world’s top source of refugees. Syria is located in the middle-east, a fertile land home to diverse ethnic and religious groups. Since 1960s, it has been led by the Assad family which has ruled it as dictators until the Arab Spring happened in 2011. A revolutionary wave of protests and conflicts arose in the Arab World against the authoritarian regime. But the Assads refused to step down and started a brutal civil war. Different ethnicities and religious groups fought with each other in changing coalitions. ISIS, a jihadist militant group used the opportunity and entered the chaos with a goal to build a totalitarian Islamic caliphate. Very quickly, it became one of the most violent and successful extremist organizations on earth, all times committing harbor war crimes using chemical weapons, mass executions, torture on large scale and repeated deadly attacks on civilians. The civilian population was trapped between the regime, rebel groups and religious extremists.

“There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy and there is nothing good in war, except its ending,” quoted Abraham Lincoln, but unfortunately this war has no end.

A third of the Syrian people have been displaced within Syria while over 4 million have fled the country. The vast majority of them reside now in camps in the neighboring countries, who are taking care of 95% of the refugees. The Arab states of the Persian Gulf together have accepted zero Syrian refugees which has been called especially “shameful” by the Amnesty International.

The UN in the World Food Programme was not prepared for refugee crisis on this scale. As a result, many refugee camps are crowded and undersupplied, subjecting people to cold, hunger and disease. The Syrians lost hope of their situation will be getting better anytime soon. So many decided to seek asylum in Europe. Between 2007 and 2014, the EU had invested about 2 billion Euros in defenses, high tech security technology and port patrols. But not a lot in preparation of influx of refugees, so it was badly prepared for the storm of the asylum seekers. In EU, the country where an asylum seeker first enters the union is responsible for registering the asylum application and taking the fingerprints, hence decreasing pressure on the states that were already in trouble. Greece, in the midst of economic crisis, on the scare of great depression was not able to take care of so many people at once, leading to terrible scenes of desperate hungry people on islands usually reserved for tourists. The world needed to come together and act as a united front but instead it has become more divided. Many states downright refused to take in any refugees leaving the neighboring states alone in their struggle. In 2014, the UK carried out a search and rescue operation called Mare Nostrum that was designed to stop the asylum seekers from drowning in the Mediterranean. The idea seems to have been the higher test hold on the sea would mean fewer asylum seekers trying to make the journey. The perception of the crisis around the world suddenly changed when the photos circulated of a dead boy from Syria found lying face down on a beach in Turkey.

Germany announced it will without exception accept all Syrian refugees and is now preparing to take in 8,00,000 people in 2015, more than the entire EU took in 2014, only to impose temporary border controls a few days later and a demand in EU wide solutions . All over the west more and more people are beginning to take actions. All those support for asylum seekers has mostly come from citizens and not from the politicians. But there are phases in the western world: Islam, high birth rates, crime and the collapse of the social systems. Let’s acknowledge this and look at the facts.

Even if the EU agrees to accept all the 4 million Syrian refugees and 100% of the Muslims, the percentage of Muslims in the EU would only rise to about 4% to about 5%. This is not a drastic change and will certainly not make it a Muslim continent. A Muslim minority is neither new nor reason to be afraid. Birth rates in many parts of the western world are low, so somewhere asylum seekers might overtake the native population in a few decades. Studies have shown that even though birth rates are higher among the Muslims in Europe, they drop just as the standard of living and level of education rises. Most Syrian refugees already are educated. The birth rates in Syria before civil war were not very high and the population was actually shrinking; now growing. The fear that refugees lead to high crime rate also turns out to be wrong. Refugees who become inhabitants are less likely to commit crimes than the native population. When allowed to work, they tend to start businesses and integrate themselves into the workforce as fast as possible, paying more into the social systems. Syrians coming to the west are potential professional workers desperately needed to sustain Europe’s ageing population.

Also refugees travelling with smart phones have led to the misconception that they are not really in need of help. Social media and the internet have become a vital part of being a refugee. GPS is used to navigate the long routes to Europe. Facebook groups give tips and information about obstacles in real time. This only proves that these people are like us. If you had to make a dangerous journey, would you leave your phone behind ??

The EU is the wealthiest bunch of economies in the world. Well organized states with functioning social systems, infrastructure, democracy and huge industries. It can handle the challenge of refugee crisis if it wants to. The same can be said for the whole western world. While tiny Jordan has taken in 6,00,000 Syrian refugees, the UK which has 78 times the GDP of Jordan has only said that it would allow only 20,000 Syrians across its borders over the next five years. The US has agreed to accept 10,000 and Australia 12,000 people. Overall things are slowly getting better but not fast enough. We are writing history right now. How do we want to be remembered ?? As enough rich cowards hiding behind fences !! We have to realize that these people suffering from death and destruction are no different from us. By accepting them into our countries and integrating them into our societies, we have much to gain. There is only something to be lost if we ignore this crisis. More dead children will be found on water shore if we do not act with humanity and reason. Let’s do this right and try to be the best we possibly can be.

In words of Dalai Lama, “Whether you are a native or a migrant, the most important thing is to be a compassionate human being.”

The Advantages of Email List Building

Marketing is essential for today's small business owners to survive. Email list building is now considered one of the most important tools used for Internet marketing. Nothing is more cost effective and instant like sending an email. Building data lists can be defined as the process of creating a database that consists of potential individuals who are interested in the same niche of your website.

Therefore it can also be considered as gathering contacts as much as possible, "that are interested in your product or service". Email list building is recognized as a process which consumes a lot of time and money. However, there are some methods to engage in list building without large amounts of money for services.

A list can be used as your core foundation to your small business's marketing plan. If you have a good lists, it will be easy for you to conduct a powerful sales letter, offer new products, connect to your core group. Most importantly, you will get the opportunity to sell your products or services to potential consumers directly. List building allows you to interact on a more personal level, quickly understanding what your customers want and expect from your business or offer.

List building gives you the opportunity to send repeated invitations or information to the people, asking them to go and see your website, and also provides the opportunity for them to opt out if they so choose when you send your message compliant and follow the rules of responsible email marketing.

Make sure your email provides answers to common product or service questions and has a powerful subject header. Providing valuable information, special offer is always a good idea to attract visitors to your website. This increased traffic will increase your chances of obtaining sales. Therefore email list building can also be considered as a good asset for the development of your website. The visitors who come to your website will tell their friends and family members about your services and it will also generate sales through word of mouth. Therefore the basic idea behind list building is the process of gathering email addresses which you can use to promote your product in the future. One of the main problems today is many services that provide email marketing sending softwares will block your account if it gets any spam complaints.

The main objective of building contact lists is to create online relationships. According to the research, it has been identified that creating online contacts are much effective than creating physical contacts as the message can be sent much quicker and more efficiently.

Purchasing a list for email marketing list building marketing, can create a trusted go to database for release whenever you have exciting news. People who live in the present world are very impatient and small businesses must get in front of the consumer for less cost to succeed in today's digital marketplace.

6 ‘Risk Free’ Steps To Starting An Online Home Business

When starting an online home business you need something to sell. That could be a product or a service. But there are some challenges you will face. You have to produce something that people will want to buy. You'll have to arrange payment systems distribution to get your products to the customer. You'll also need some sort of returns policy and customer support for any product queries.

Obviously this is all possible as many online businesses operate in this way. But when you're starting an online home business these issues can often be a barrier to actually getting started.

But there is another simple way to generate an online income. It's a risk free way of learning the ropes and gauging the market before creating your own product.

Starting An Online Home Business The Easy Way

The easiest way of starting an online home business is to sell other people's products and services and get paid a commission when a sale is made. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. The product owner takes care of the payment systems, delivery and customer queries. This business model is called affiliate marketing. Here are the 6 steps to getting started.

1. Start With Products You Like

There are products in just about every market and niche that you can sell as an affiliate. Start with products that genuinely interest you. If you have an interest in what you're marketing, you'll have more in common with your target audience and be more prepared to put in the work to make your business successful.

2. Know Your Target Audience

Whether you're selling your own product or selling products as an affiliate you need to have a clearly defined target audience. Aim for a small, niche market, rather than trying to attempt to break into a huge one.

3. Choose The Right Affiliate Programs

The right affiliate program can really set on the right track and help you to establish your online home business. But the wrong affiliate program will waste both your time, your money and your online reputation.

4. Build A Website

If you're serious about starting an online home based, you'll want to have your own website. A website of your own will help to establish you as an authority in your chosen niche. There are plenty of online platforms that can get your website online quickly and easily.

5. Drive Traffic To Your Website

Traffic is the life-blood of any online business. You need to get people to visit your website so that they can buy your products and services.There is website traffic that you can buy and website traffic that is free. A good strategy is to have a combination of both paid and free traffic strategies.

6. Develop A List Prospective Customers

One of the key elements for a successful online home based businesses is a having list of prospective customers. This list is the names and email addresses of people who have voluntarily given you their permission to send them emails about your products and services. You can capture emails with an email opt-in form on your website.

Small Business Social Media Talk is Cheap

Recently there seems to be a number of articles and adverts discussing social media for small business, particularly helping to integrate and provide social media services. Is it that small businesses are somehow different to their larger counterparts and need to be provided for in a different way?

The answer to this question is not a straight yes or no.

Most companies big or small adhere to rules of best business practice but because of the different size of the companies their internal structures differ greatly.

Larger businesses often develop into flat organizational structures with each separate department being responsible for decision making who then report to a senior manager whilst smaller companies have a taller, narrower structure with one or two decision makers responsible for the majority of company decisions, so much more multi-tasking involved.

In a report conducted over the last few months by King Fish Media in association with Junta 42 and Hubspot, 72% of businesses claimed that they have a social media policy in place and of the other companies, 80% of them claimed that they will be implementing one within the next year.

It's almost hard to believe then that only 9% of these companies have a full time position within the company to handle all of the social media requirements. However these figures need to be put into context. Of all the businesses in this report, 77% of them were companies with 50 staff or fewer but only 3% had 500 – 1,000 employees.

We can begin to see the difference here between small and big business. The bigger businesses have taken the opportunity to benefit from this new and effective form of customer communication and marketing, a lot of them have sought professional advice from exterior professional companies and as a result have taken steps to set up specific departments or included their efforts into the existing marketing or PR departments. Smaller business can be seen to claim a strategy but as we can make out from these figures the majority have not committed enough resources or made the required effort to adopt a successful policy.

Examples of the success that social networking, communication and marketing can bring can clearly be seen by Starbucks, Ford and Dell who all have realistic budgets and professionals working on their campaigns.

Now I know that for many smaller companies the logistics of actually hiring a full time professional may be somewhat daunting, especially if you do not know what qualities you should be looking for or what kind of parameters to set your new employee.

Outsourcing the requirements of smaller companies makes far more business sense in most cases. Companies can consult or seek professional advice from social media companies and engage them on more favorable terms than hiring a full time employee.

In answer the original question then, it does appear that small and large companies should be treated differently when looking at their social media requirements and logistics. When it comes to their social media needs, small businesses are largely missing out on the benefits that a well executed campaign can bring them.

The place to start for a smaller business is to gather as much information as you can before jumping in.

PJD Social Media are for a limited time offering a 30 minute free consultation to help small businesses benefit from this great business channel. Arrange a call as all it will cost you is 30 minutes of your time but you can learn so much. Ask all the questions that you are unsure of, how to get started, how to maximize your time and effort and where you should be spending your time as well as the best ways to outsource part of your social media tasks.

Corporate Governance and Small Businesses

Let's start with some review of what types of companies primarily drive the US economy. We know that there are about 16,000 publicly traded companies represented on the NASDAQ, NYSE and the AMEX. The key economic driver in the US is the 27 million small businesses. The Small Business Administration 2008 Presidential Report on The Small Business Economy clearly communicated "the economy generated 1.1 million net new jobs in 2007. In the first quarter of 2007, 74 percent of the net new jobs were in small firms with fewer than 500 employees and 22 percent were in firms with fewer than 20 employees. " Yet, the gross amount of attention in the media and the federal bureaucracy is around what is happening in the Markets. This is understandable with the volumes of dollars transitioning in this public environment. The economic recovery program is not addressing the core of the economy, small businesses. More than ever the public market environment is being questioned about corporate governance. The new legislation being considered for public companies has sections that may very well trickle down and require the small businesses to adhere to similar if not exact rules on Corporate Governance.

A simple definition of Corporate Governance for the small business:

Corporate governance simply refers to the set of internal policies, rules, and procedures that a company follows on a regular basis to ensure that it operates in a fair, equitable, and appropriate manner for the benefit of the company, its management and its shareholders. A corporation usually has a board of directors and a senior "C" level management team. Most small businesses do not have these organizational entities clearly defined and functional. For private companies that are registered as a corporation and have investors, the various states require these entities to have a governing board. Yet many small businesses incorporate for tax issues and do not necessarily pay attention to the concepts of corporate governance.

How does Corporate Governance apply to small businesses ?

All businesses should look at their organizational structure and continually assess what will allow the company to perform in an optimal way. The simplest way to implement this is to have an advisory board. The advisory board is non-paid individuals that have business or industry specific backgrounds that can contribute ideas or mentor management. In more formal and traditional cases a small corporation has a board of directors comprised of the founders, a spouse, an employee and maybe – just maybe an outside director. The focal point of corporate governance within small businesses is that all businesses need to set company strategic goals, provide the leadership to put them into effect, supervise the management of the business, and if the company has stockholders, report to the stockholders on their stewardship . For those small businesses that do not have the hierarchical structure in place to implement formal corporate governance plans, it is recommended that regular self assessment of the company will be the starting place for accountability, to enhance performance, grow the company and be a greater contributing force in the economy. At the end of the day, if you follow some set of policies and procedures and are reporting your stewardship of the company to someone even if it is your dog, then you have accountability that is key to corporate governance practices.

Will the government impose its will and definition of Corporate Governance from the public markets into the small business environment?

This imposition of government from the public market companies to privately held companies is making its way through the halls of congress. One idea being tagged onto present legislation is to extend Sarbanes-Oxley down to privately held companies. Anyone that knows anything about SOX is aware of the high cost to implement the documentation processes and the reporting. Pushing this down to the small business environment would be cost prohibitive and stunt economic growth. The general politics of mandated corporate governance is to wait and see how new legislation will affect the small businesses driving the US economy.

As a final note, every company, no matter what size it is, will see the positive effects of implementing the principles of corporate governance. The facts remain that there are 27 million plus small businesses in the US who are the job creators and the drivers of the economy. The greatness of US business is that it performs the best when individuals come together in a free market environment to meet the needs of the economy and society. In the end, best practices of corporate governance can be freely implemented to benefit the company or corporate governance can be instituted by the government, which can cost more in resources, planning and profit. Take the time to assess how your small business views corporate governance and how this will enhance your growth in the market place.

Pray Rain Journaling – Manifestation Technique

Keeping a pray rain journal is one of my favorite manifestation techniques, mainly because it works. I've manifested several wonderful things in my life with this method, including the condo I currently live in, various jobs I've held, even my successful website! People using this technique have literally seen results within hours, and you'll be hooked once you try it because it's so effective (not to mention fun!).

Pray rain journaling is a technique whereby you write in a journal on a daily basis as if whatever you want to create in your life has already come to pass. You do not write from the standpoint of wanting something to happen, you write as if it has already come to pass and is already present or a part of your life. This speeds up the manifestation process because the law of attraction ensures that whatever we regularly focus on is what will show up in our lives.

To start, take a blank journal (or sheet of paper) and write a page in your journal every day as if your dream has already come true. Whatever you would like to create (soulmate relationship, weight loss, career success, financial freedom, etc.), write in your journal as if that thing has already come true for you.

For example, if your desire is to get married, write a page a day as if you are already married to your amazing spouse and living the life of your dreams. Be sure to describe your spouse and relationship in detail. Do you have children together? What kind of home do you live in? If your ambition is to own your own company someday, write a page a day as if you are already the owner of your successful company and describe it in detail. What are your annual profits? Do you have an actual office space you operate from, or do you work from home? You get the idea. Be sure to include as many details as possible!

Here comes the magic: by the time you're finished with your journal, your dream will either have already manifested or will be well on its way to doing so!

The term 'pray rain' comes from a story about a community that was in a serious drought and in desperate need of rain. A visitor to the community learned of this situation and offered to perform a rain dance in order to summon the much-needed rain. However, when he went out and did his rain dance, everyone was puzzled because it looked like he was just standing there not moving, rather than dancing around and chanting for rain as they had expected. When they asked him what he was doing, he answered, "I was praying rain" … as opposed to praying for rain. Can you see the difference?

Instead of dancing around and doing a traditional rain dance, the man stood there and felt what it would feel like if this community was already receiving all the rain it needed. He used his imagination and focused on what it would feel like if raindrops were falling on his forehead and arms, he felt his clothes drenched with water, he imagined what it would be like if all the crops were well-nourished and abundant, and he visualized the community as a whole having plenty of water to drink. Instead of praying for rain and coming from a place of lack, he prayed rain as if the rain the community needed was already a reality!

This is exactly what we should all do in order to make things happen in our lives: feel the feelings now of already having that which you desire to create in your life. The powerful law of attraction ensures that if we feel now how we would feel once the particular thing or situation arrives in our life, then that thing or situation has no choice but to show up! Remember, like attracts like, period.

Marketing Strategies That Work: Setting The Buying Criteria

What if I told you there was a simple marketing strategy you could use to …

  • Stop prospects from price shopping
  • Convert more prospects to customers
  • Pre-empt your competition

You'd want to know about it right?

It gets even better. Because you do not have to be a great writer … or even a great marketer … to put this strategy to work in your business.

Just so you know how powerful this particular strategy is, let me tell you a story …

Before I became a freelance copywriter, I was the sole copywriter and online marketer for a well-known home schooling company.

I'd been mulling over how to use this strategy in the business. One morning, it clicked.

I spent 4 hours writing 8 brief emails. I plugged them into our email system, posted the opt-in form on the web site, and waited to see what would happen.

The results?

Nearly 20,000 subscribers the first year and $ 115,168.09 in revenue.

The email series continued to produce revenue the second year, the third year, and on and on. All from less than a day's work. Pretty amazing, huh?

The strategy I used is called:

"Setting the Buying Criteria"

A clearer way to say it is: setting the criteria by which your prospects make a buying decision.

In a nutshell, here is how it works. In your marketing material (emails, brochures, web sites, sales letters, etc.), you want to define what makes a good buying decision. And in your defining, you want to make sure that your company, product, or service is the only one that fits the definition.

This is setting the buying criteria.

When you set the criteria, you always want to do it in such a way that it excludes your competitors. They should not be able to qualify based on the criteria you've set.

This is why the criteria you use should always be exclusive to a greater or lesser degree.

Let me give you a quick example …

Assume for a moment you're a car manufacturer who specializes in sports cars. One of your criteria might read like this:

"Whatever sports car you choose, make sure it has at least 250 horsepower. Any less and you'll be sacrificing speed, acceleration, and performance, all of which are critical to the pleasure you'll get from your new sports car."

You'll notice I set the criterion (250 horsepower) high enough that it eliminated some cars, but not so high that it eliminated all cars. No matter. The important thing is, I've narrowed the field.

As we move on, we layer additional buying criteria:

"Once you've found a sports car that has at least 250 horsepower, you'll also want to make sure it has a 6-speed manual transmission. At least half the pleasure of a sports car is being in total control. An automatic transmission just will not cut it.

"Rear-wheel drive is a must for a true sports car. It gives you the best cornering power possible, without feeling like you're going to run off the road (as you might feel with a front-wheel drive vehicle).

"Also look for fully independent suspension, so you get the best road feel. Each wheel will move on its own, independent from the other wheels, giving you maximum traction and performance.

"Lastly, be picky about the kind of engine your sports car is equipped with. The best sports car engine is a boxer engine. It's perfectly balanced and produces no vibration. You can set a quarter directly on the engine while it is running and it will not fall off. Plus, boxer engines sit low to the ground and provide a lower center of gravity. Boxer engines can be found in flat-4, flat-6, and flat-12 configurations. "

By shrewdly selecting these and possibly one or two additional criteria, I can make my sports car the only logical choice in a crowded market.

It's the same with your product. If you shrewdly define the criteria for buying, you'll create a scenario where your product is the only one that can possibly qualify. All competitive products will fall short.

Why Setting the Buying Criteria Works

Setting the buying criteria works for 3 powerful reasons:

1. You're seen as someone who can be trusted.

By telling your prospects what they should look for when they make a purchase – or conversely, telling them what to watch out for – you become a trusted advisor.

Your prospects believe you have their best interests at heart (and you do), so they are more likely to buy your product instead of the competition's.

2. You're letting your prospects come to their own conclusions.

When you set the buying criteria, you're not saying, "Buy my product because it's got X, Y, and Z."

Instead, you're indirectly guiding your prospects to the conclusion you want them to reach. You're saying, "When you make a purchase of this kind, make sure you get one with these things …"

Your prospects run down the checklist you've created and decide– on their own –that your product is the best choice.

3. You're doing something different.

If you examine your competition, you will be lucky if you find even one business taking advantage of this strategy. That makes it easy for you to stand out.

When your prospects see that you're looking out for them … and none of your competitors are … then it becomes exceptionally easy for you to turn them into customers. Prospects will be drawn to you, and will gladly give you their business.

More Examples To Illustrate Buying Criteria

I do not know what your product is, so I'm going to use a few more examples to illustrate this process. So let's assume you're selling a high-end ski jacket.

Your criteria might look like this: zippered pockets, hood, removable liner, snow skirt, goggle pouch, season pass window, and a new proprietary waterproof / breathable fabric.

As you look at your competition, you find that nearly every single ski jacket on the market has "zippered pockets," and yet this is a feature that many skiers are looking for. "Zippered pockets" alone will not set you apart, so you go further.

Now you add the "hood" to your buying criteria. There are fewer ski jackets with both zippered pockets and a hood, but there are still many.

As you layer each additional feature of your high-end ski jacket, you notice there are fewer and fewer jackets that meet all the criteria you've defined.
By the time you add your proprietary waterproof / breathable fabric to the mix, there is only one ski jacket still in the running. It just so happens that it's the one you sell.

Is this starting to make sense?

If you run an accounting practice, your criteria may be: monthly statements (including P & L, trial balance, assets & liabilities, itemized expense reports, etc.), quarterly tax filing, daily backups to prevent lost data, and free tax planning twice a year.

If you sell a cleaning product, your criteria may be: kills bacteria in under 30 seconds, uses all-natural environmentally friendly ingredients, makes everything smell fresh, is packaged in an easy-to-use ergonomic container, and comes with a 90- day full money-back guarantee.

You may need more criteria; you may need less. Only you will know for your particular niche.

How to Define Your Buying Criteria

To begin defining your buying criteria, list all of the features of your product or service. Do it quickly without thinking too much. Simply write down all the different features that come to mind.

After you've captured all the features you can think of, review your list. Circle some of the core features that are always expected with a product or service like yours. Also circle the features that are the most unique.

Now you have the raw material you need to create a marketing piece that sets the buying criteria. The next step is in how you position these features – how you present them to your market.

This is a very important step. Position your criteria the wrong way and people will ignore you. Position your criteria the right way and new customers will flock to you.

How to Position Your Criteria

When you set the buying criteria, there are a number of ways to position them. How you position them is important, and one may work better than another for your business.

The email series I wrote for the home schooling company was positioned like this: "The 7 Essentials That Will Inspire Your Children to Learn."

Many people (nearly 20,000 of them in the first year) subscribed purely out of curiosity. They wanted to know what the "7 Essentials" were.

With another client, I used a similar approach and wound up with "The 7 Essentials of Any Ecommerce System." If you're in the market for an ecommerce system, you'll want to find out what the "7 Essentials" are. After you're done reading, my client's system will be your only choice.

With my copywriting services, I position the criteria inside the sales letter. As you scroll down the site, you 'll see a subhead that says, "The One Thing Your Copywriter Must Have."

In this case, the one thing is so rare, I do not feel the need to have a laundry list of criteria. Just the one is sufficient.

Another way to position your criteria is as a warning: "Do not Even Think About Buying _______ Until You Read This …" or "How to Buy a ______ Without Losing Your Shirt."

A warning is a more direct approach because it often acknowledges the prospects' desire to purchase a particular item, but the approach can still work very well.

Joe Polish is famous in part for his method of setting the buying criteria in Consumer Awareness Guides. These little guides educate consumers about what they should look out for when they hire a carpet cleaner and other service professionals.

The possibilities for positioning your criteria are virtually limitless. Once you fully understand this strategy, you will begin to think of many ways to position your criteria.

But remember this: the most effective way to position your criteria will always be from an angle that educates and protects the consumer. You can not say, "5 Reasons To Buy My Product."


Your prospect does not care about you or your product. At least not yet.

That's why you need to speak to your prospects with care and concern, as a trusted advisor to a dear friend. This is how you reach them. So make sure that you position your criteria with this in mind.

Make Sure You Give a Reason Why

Before I turn you loose, I believe it's important for you to understand one more thing … that is, the importance of giving your prospects a reason why.

When you list out your criteria and position them in way that appeals to your prospects, you still need to make sure – with each and every criterion – that you are giving your prospects a believable reason why it's so important.

In my sports car illustration, I listed a reason why each criterion was important for the consumer to consider when choosing a sports car. I explained how the fully independent suspension was necessary for "maximum traction and performance." I mentioned that a 6-speed manual transmission was important because it gives you "total control."

If I had not given any reasons why these criteria are important for the consumer to consider, my case would have been very weak. The same holds true in real life. You must give your prospects a strong reason why.

Review your criteria. If you list a criterion for which there is no good reason why you've mentioned it, then it should not be included. Get rid of it or find another criterion to replace it with.

Evaluate Your Marketing

As you evaluate your marketing, ask yourself this question: Am I setting the criteria by which my prospects make a buying decision?

If you are not, it is time for you to seriously consider how you might use this strategy in your business. It takes very little time to do and it is highly effective.

Once you implement it, you will stop prospects from price shopping, convert more prospects to customers, and – best of all – pre-empt your competition so you become the one and only logical choice, even if you're competing in a crowded market.