By Marc Charles

Clayton Makepeace has it. Bob Bly has it. Michael Masterson has it. The late, great “infomercial king” Billy Mays had it. I’m talking about a simple skill that, if you learn and apply it, will ensure that you NEVER go hungry.

This skill has enabled me to successfully negotiate multimillion-dollar deals. Plus, it has given me a quiet assurance, a pit bull type of confidence in myself.

The skill I’m talking about is knowing how to close a sale. Basically, all it takes is asking your prospect a simple question.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or whether you’re doing it in person, on radio/TV, in an e-mail newsletter, or via direct mail. When it’s time to close the sale, you ask your prospect…

“What can I do to make this work for you?”

I know… it sounds like a used-car pitch. But let me explain the logic behind it.

The best salespeople understand that, in order to make a sale, they have to first understand what the prospect wants or needs. When you really understand what it’s going to take to “make it work” for your prospect, you’ll be able to craft an irresistible offer.

How do you find out what it will take to make a deal work for your prospects? Ask them! Most of the time… they’ll tell you. And, most of the time, it will be doable on your end.

What happens if they ask for something outlandish? In that case, you’re probably not working with a serious buyer. Don’t waste your time. Just say, “Sorry. The best I can do is…” and let ’em walk. There are plenty of other prospects out there.

Once you understand how to apply the “What can I do to make this work for you?” technique, new opportunities will open for you – whether you use it to sell your own products or someone else’s.

But selling someone else’s products is the opportunity I want to tell you about today.

Getting Started as a Freelancer

Fact is, no matter what happens with the economy, independent sales reps, and especially closers, will always be needed.

And getting started as a freelancer is a lot easier than you might think. Real estate, information and network technology, building contractors, direct-mail services, medical equipment and supplies, pharmaceuticals, vacation rentals – these are just a few of the industries that desperately need independent salespeople.

Identify the markets that interest you, and start digging for independent sales opportunities.

Very few companies will turn you down if you tell them you can bring them business.

Years ago, I met an entrepreneur who was struggling to keep his business going. He manufactured modular and mobile homes – and his sales were going the wrong way. Down.

I proposed selling for him on a freelance basis, as an independent contractor. I knew the market for modular and mobile homes was huge. I also believed that if he would be willing to offer low-interest financing to his customers, he could blow his competition out of the water.

The entrepreneur agreed, and I was right. I increased his sales five-fold. Then, before moving on, I trained his sales staff in the “art” of closing sales – in particular, I introduced them to the “What can I do to make this work for you?” technique.

What’s in It for You?

To survive, just about every business needs people who can make sales. And most business owners are receptive to freelancers, because it means less “out of pocket” for them. They don’t have to provide freelancers with such things as health insurance, a pension plan, and paid vacation and sick time.

The downside for freelancers is that they have to forgo the benefits that usually go along with a salaried position. The upside is that their commissions usually far exceed what they could make with a “regular” sales job.

On top of that, they have the freedom to work on their own terms.

One of the main benefits I’ve enjoyed as an independent contractor is being able to work at my own pace, without management breathing down my neck or poking their heads into my office whenever they felt like it.

I began selling advertising for publishers as an independent contractor in 1996. Since then, I have sold tens of millions of dollars’ worth of advertising.

When I started, I had several other business ventures going at the same time, so I did it only part-time, one or two days a week. But my first commission check was all the proof I needed to know that freelance selling was for me.

It could be a perfect fit for you too.

[Ed. Note: You don’t need a fancy investment portfolio to build a substantial retirement nest egg. With help from “King of Business Opportunities” Marc Charles and the rest of the “Off Wall Street” experts at the Liberty Street League, you can discover unusual and off-the-beaten path methods of creating wealth. We’re talking little-known or overlooked investments as well as hot business opportunities. You can get special alerts about profitable moneymaking ideas by joining the League today.]

* Highly Recommended *

The Easy Way to Internet Profits for Lazy Entrepreneurs

If you can push a button, you can make money online.  Yes, there’s more to it than that, but not too much. Just 3 simple steps. This new online business opportunity is for truly lazy entrepreneurs who still want to make a very nice online income.

I’m still shaking my head at how shockingly simple and easy this is.  And this business has been purposely kept “low-key” to keep others from discovering and using it.  Not anymore, because one of the Internet’s elite has just spilled the beans…

Click here to get all the inside details…


How Being an ETR Reader Helps You Protect Your Privacy

By Judith Strauss

Whenever you do an Internet search, you’re dropping clues about yourself that you might prefer to keep private. After all, it’s nobody’s business if you want to find out what it would cost to buy a particular make/model of car… check treatment options for a health condition… or get information on just about anything that concerns you.

But as you probably know (or suspect), all the major search engines have the ability to compile, store, and cross-link that kind of data. And though they don’t make the data public, there’s no assurance it will never be accessed.

Case in point: In 2006, the U.S. Justice Department subpoenaed the search data of Google, AOL, MSN, and Yahoo to help defend a pornography law. Google managed to resist, but the others buckled under pressure and turned over their records.

When the story hit the news, it raised public awareness of what Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has called “a ticking privacy time bomb.” And it triggered a surge of interest in ways to protect anonymity online.

One of the most popular solutions has been TrackMeNot, a privacy shield that’s been downloaded more than half a million times since that infamous Justice Department case. It works by generating a stream of random queries, making it impossible to “profile” searchers based on their search history. Your “actual Web searches, lost in a cloud of false leads, are essentially hidden in plain view.”

Interesting, right?

And guess what? As a subscriber to ETR, you’ve got your own built-in TrackMeNot.

Let me explain…

As ETR’s senior editor, I do a lot of fact checking – which means I do lots of Internet searches as part of my job. But beyond that, in every issue of ETR, I find references to all kinds of things that that I want to know more about. And I bet you do too.

I’m not talking about the main ideas covered by the articles. You get everything you need to know about them right there in the issue. I’m talking about intriguing little mentions of people… places… books… historic events. That kind of thing.

Just in the last few weeks, for instance, something you read in ETR might have inspired you to look up such offbeat subjects as Sammy Davis Jr.’s book Why Me?… the difference between right brain and left brain thinking… “dark matter”… old bodybuilding ads… discount ad networks… what people with head injuries have in common with Alzheimer’s patients… the history of toothbrushes… and Nicaraguan cigars.

Can’t get more diverse than that.

Anyone looking to profile us based on our search history hasn’t got a chance.

By the way, I’m curious. What kinds of things has ETR inspired you to learn more about? Let me – and your fellow ETR readers – know right here.


Are You Afraid of Change?

By Bob Cox

I love my new pilot flight gear bag. It’s functional, easy to use, and the perfect size for my cockpit. But I resisted buying it for months.

My previous bag was leather, with custom embroidered initials. It held all my gear and looked cool. But it was a bit bulky. Worse, it kept knocking around my backup NavCom, causing it to stop working. (Not a good thing when you’re 10,000 feet up in the air, as you can imagine.)

My resistance to buying a new flight bag – even when I knew it was the right thing to do – got me to thinking about the nature of change… and the anxiety that often comes with it.

Do you resist change even when you know it will make a positive difference in your life? If so, do what I did: Put it in writing.

Think about a change that could make your life a little easier or better – a small change that you’ve been avoiding because you figure the status quo is “good enough.” It could, for example, have something to do with your behavior, with time-tasking, or with learning a new skill.

Take a sheet of paper and list all the reasons you can think of for making the change. Then list all the reasons you can think of for not making it. Once you see it in black and white, the benefits of taking action will be obvious.

My new flight gear bag may not seem like a big deal, but making that simple change has made every flying experience more enjoyable.

Making a seemingly small change today will produce an equally good result for you tomorrow.

[Ed. Note: Once you’ve listed your reasons for making a change that will make your life better, healthier, or happier, you’ll know what you have to do to make it happen. But if you still feel stuck, success mentor Bob Cox can help. He’s helped four Ordinary Joes climb the ranks to become billionaires… and he’s willing to share the same secrets of their success with you. Get all the details here.]

Power Up Your Workout With 8 Pre-Workout Snacks

By Kelley Herring

You can boost your performance, improve your stamina, and keep your energy high during your workouts just by having a well-balanced “munch” before you head to the gym.

Last week, I gave you some guidelines for putting together snacks that will make you feel fueled instead of full. But if you aren’t quite sure how to apply those guidelines, here are some of my favorites. (The amounts are up to you.)

  • Organic, steel-cut oatmeal with walnuts and cinnamon

The Benefit: With its slow-burning carbs, this stick-to-your ribs combo is great to fuel a long workout. But because it’s a little heavy, you may need to allow more time for digestion before you hit the gym.

  • Organic Greek yogurt with organic blueberries

The Benefit: Greek yogurt is much higher in protein (and lower in carbs) than other yogurts, and blueberries are a low-glycemic fruit that won’t make you “crash and burn.”

  • Eggs and toast with grass-fed butter

The Benefit: The protein in egg whites (albumin) is absorbed very slowly, so it will keep feeding your muscles long after your last rep.

  • Organic peanut butter and whole-grain Wasa crackers or Ezekiel toast

The Benefit: The B vitamins in peanut butter help to prevent muscle spasms and cramps. They also help your body absorb protein and fat.

  • Raw organic trail mix

The Benefit: Trail mix is a good source of phosphorous, a mineral that promotes muscle growth – as well as zinc, which speeds up muscle healing.

  • Whey smoothie with fruit (made with milk or water)

The Benefit: Whey protein is the most bioavailable source of protein known – which means it is digested very rapidly. This is an ideal pre-workout choice for those who tend to have digestive discomfort when working out after eating solid snacks.

  • Beans and sardines

The Benefit: The protein in both fatty fish and beans helps to get those carbohydrates into your muscles. This boosts the body’s anabolic response, and reduces the breakdown of tissue from exercise. Plus, you get some iron from these foods – and iron is a major component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the working muscles.

  • Organic sliced turkey breast and apple slices

The Benefit: This combination supplies your muscles with major amino acids, thanks to the turkey. And because apples are low-glycemic, they contribute a source of blood-sugar-stabilizing carbs.

You can learn about 5 low-glycemic, super-sweet fruits that you can enjoy to power up your workout and blast more fat on page 22 of Your Guide to Living a Low-Glycemic Lifestyle. This is part of my Your Plate, Your Fate nutrition series. Learn more about it here.


It’s Good to Know: The Five-Second Rule

You know the five-second rule, yes? If you drop some food on the ground, it’s okay to eat it… as long as you pick it up within five seconds. According to a study by Clemson University, turns out that thousands of bacteria could attach themselves to that errant bit of muffin in just five seconds – and 10 times more than that in a minute. So while it will be less dangerous the quicker you pick it up and put it in your mouth, it could still make you sick.

(Source: The New York Times)


* Highly Recommended *

Don’t Get Mad at Wall Streeters… Get Rich Off Them

Are you a disillusioned stock market investor?

Or maybe even just a “regular” Joe or Jane alarmed by the economic woes reported daily on every TV channel, radio station, the Internet, newspapers, and magazines?

If so I’d like to invite you to join my “anti-Wall Street” club.

We don’t sit around bad-mouthing fat cats or lamenting our lost dollars.
In the Liberty Street League, we’re getting even by making money hand over fist “off Wall Street.”

Find out if you qualify to join the League today.


Word to the Wise: Plangent

“Plangent” (PLAN-junt) – from the Latin – means resounding loudly, especially with a plaintive sound.

Example (as used by Susann Cokal in a New York Times review of Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold): “… Gaynor Arnold has taken inspiration from [Charles] Dickens’s failed marriage, as seen through the eyes of his droopy, plangent, but remarkably good-hearted wife.”

[Ed. Note: Become a more persuasive writer and speaker… build your self-confidence and intellect… increase your attractiveness to others… just by spending 10 VERY enjoyable minutes a day with ETR’s Words to the Wise CD Library.]

Marc Charles is often referred to as “The King of Business Opportunities”, and he has launched more than 40 successful businesses over past 22 years (and advised on many more). One business (ad rep agency) produced more than $6 million in sales in 36 months with a start-up budget of less than $2000.
Marc began his Internet adventure in 1993 by reviewing websites for Yahoo! Unplugged, which became a best selling book, online resource and interactive CD. His website reviews (more than 7500) were featured in Wired, Bloomberg Personal, Internet World, Internet Edge, Web Digest and Business 2.0. In 1999 he developed the first email newsletter advertorial. Email advertorials continue to be one of the most powerful marketing tools on the Internet. Marc’s passion is identifying great digital and Internet business opportunities for start-up entrepreneurs. He has written dozens of top selling ebooks and money making courses including China Wholesale Secrets.