Backyard Baseball Batting Cages: Tips for Buying the Right One

Backyard baseball batting cages allow you the opportunity to practice at home whenever you want. Selecting the right type of cage is essential to improving playing skills and getting value for your money.

Here are some important points to consider before making a purchase.

  1. Size: Measure the available space in your backyard to determine the right size for you. Standard sizes range from 20′ in length up to 70′ or 80′ lengths. Players looking to simulate a professional pitching environment will want one that is 70 feet long. If standard dimensions do not work for you, consider a custom product.
  2. Frame: Materials and craftsmanship of the frame impact the quality, safety and durability of the product. With the frame being the support system of the cage, look for a study material that will not warp or bend when hit by a ball or because of weather exposure. Metal is the most popular choice with galvanized steel pipes offering the most durability and support. Also test the flexibility of the frame. A ball that hits a frame with little or no give can ricochet and potentially harm players.
  3. L-Screen: To protect the pitcher (or pitching machine) during batting practice, you need an L-screen. This allows the pitcher to throw a ball while the screen protects his/her body. Some kits may include this screen which is usually made of the same materials as the frame and net.
  4. Netting: Typically made from polyethylene (poly) or nylon, twine size indicates net thickness. A #21 poly net is fine for moderate use in a batting cage, though hard hitters and frequent users may want to look for a #36 poly net or higher. Most commercial batting cages use at least #36. Nylon is stronger and therefore, more expensive, but a wise investment nevertheless. Most manufacturers offer netting with UV protection which is ideal for cages that are left outside in the backyard for prolonged periods of time.
  5. Stake-Down Kit: Not always included in the package, this helps secure the cage against high winds. The stake down kit typically includes stakes, wires and carabiners, which are metal latching mechanisms.

The most trouble-free approach is buying a complete batting cage package which contains a frame and matching net. Many packages for backyard baseball batting cages also come with the L-screen protection. All you need to do is follow the step-by-step installation guide to set it up. What is the best place to buy them? Look for them at an established sports equipment distributor that provides quality products and consistent service. Improve batting skills and practice quality with high quality backyard baseball batting cages.

How to Close the Sale – Tips and Techniques

The questions that many sales professionals ask are, “When to close a sale? How to close? How not to be pushy?” I still remember my first customers – a sweet young couple on a honeymoon in San Francisco. I was so enthusiastic and spent a lot of time presenting the beautiful photo they liked, telling an inspirational story about when and how it was taken and about the famous photographer Peter Lik. They loved it. They asked a lot of questions. They talked to each other about this picture. Did they buy it at the end? No, they did not. Why? Because I didn’t close the sale. I presented the product and stopped. I didn’t lead them to buy it and didn’t finish the sale. I just dropped them in the middle of the sale.

What would I do now in this situation? I would ask the simple question “Would you like to have a beautiful and very special memory about the most romantic time of your life?” I could also add, “Imagine that after 10 or 20 years you will be still looking at this picture remembering your wonderful honeymoon in San Francisco. You will show this picture of the Golden Gate Bridge to your friends, relatives and maybe your future children. The memory is priceless.”

Does it sound like closing and pushing to buy? No way. I see myself more as a friend who gives helpful recommendation or good advise. I really care about my customers and show it to them. Yes, I am using one of my closing strategies, but they would never know it.

Closing techniques:

1. Close from the beginning.

No, it doesn’t mean you should ask, “Would you like to buy it?” from the first moment you meet the person. It means that you have to earn customer’s trust, build relationship, find out their needs, ask questions, listen to him (her).

2. Learn to recognize when a customer is ready to buy. A customer might indicate they’re ready by asking questions about the product, your service or about the buying process, or they may show their willingness to buy non-verbally.

3. Do not push or rush your customer.

Nobody likes to be pushed or hurried, especially in a situation when they are spending their own money.

4. Respect their decision not to buy.

Not every customer buys and it is OK. Do not show that you are upset or angry. “I spent so much time with you, why don’t you want to buy it?” I know one sales professional who was not only calculating her commission in her mind but also what she is going to buy with it while she was selling! Every time she didn’t make a sale she was so unhappy because she felt like she lost real money.

5. Offer free trials, specific terms, discount, and freebees.

People like to feel that they get a special treat and everyone loves free stuff. Find out from your manager what you can offer with each item/product to your customer. It is amazing, but I sold many $500-1000 pictures only because I offered an autographed book by the artist as a present.

6. Ask the manger

This popular closing technique works very well in cases of discussing discounts or special offers. You could say, “I would like to give you this discount, but I need to ask my manager about it (get a special permission).” Then go and talk to your manager. Some sales professionals pretend they have this conversation. They go to the back room and come back in couple minutes with good news. If you are natural in playing it and it is working, use it. In a case of very big purchases I would recommend to bring a manger and ask him (her) about the discount in the front of a client.

How does this technique work? You show your customer that you really want him (her) to have the desired item, you are making an extra effort, you are helping and supporting them, you are “fighting” with the system to get a better deal. You will see that they respect you for it.

7. Give a customer time and space to think and talk about purchasing the product,

especially if you are dealing with a couple. They do need private time to discuss financial aspects of the purchase, where to put/hang a carpet/picture, about colour, size, model, etc. For example, we had a demo room in San Francisco Gallery where our clients could spend some time alone looking at the picture they want to buy and talk about it. It worked so well that we built another room!

8. Give them an opportunity to come back

This technique will work only if you already know the customer and built a good relationship with them. For example, you may see and feel that after spending considerable amount of time the customer is still not convinced to buy. In this case you can say, “I understand that this is important decision for you to make and you need some time to think about it. When would you like to come back to discuss it further?”

Offer them specific date and time, “Would like to come Tuesday or Friday? What time is the best for you?” You can also add, “The reason I am asking it because I am off on Thursday and Saturday, but I really want to help you.” Again you are offering service here and it is totally normal to discuss all possible options. If you have their phone number and have their permission to call – call and talk more on the phone. But please do not call every day. It is very irritating.

9. Let them know that now is the best time to buy

“We have this incredible 50 % off discount because of an extra stock”

“We have this deal only one time a year”

“It is a great buy because of a Christmas sale”

“The sale will only last for 1 week”

“It is the best time to buy because the prices are going up”

“Summer is coming. Would you like to get a fan (or patio furniture) now because it could be out of stock during the peak of the season”

10. Summarize the product description in just three words:

“It is better, cheaper, cleaner than… old model/competition offers/what you have”

“Faster, more modern, more reliable”

“Better build, more convenient, improved”

“Healthier, enhanced, organic”

This could be a good exercise for you. Write down 3 main words describing the product you are selling. They should be really meaningful and great words about this specific product. Does it remind you of the situation when an HR person asks you about your three main characteristics during a job interview? Well, it is the same process but instead of product you are “selling yourself”.

With high-end customers you can use words like “sophisticated, stylish, fancy, urban, chic, classy, refined, polished, elegant” to describe the product you are trying to sell.

Don’t forget about green words like “environmentally friendly, ecological, well-being, organic, natural, whole, macrobiotic, health.” Many people are into it, support the idea, and love to know more. If they are not into this yet, it will be a great chance for you to provide your customer with information and educate them.

11. Act like your customer already bought the product you are selling

This technique is based on the principle of ownership. If people start thinking that they already have it, it is harder not to buy. Most of us like to be owners. It also opens an opportunity for future discussion.

“Where will you put the table?” you can ask. “I was thinking of putting it in the dinning room,” your customer may answer. He (she) is drawing a picture in their mind thinking how it will fit to the room.

“Who will use the computer – you or your children?”

There are dozens of other closing sales techniques. How and when to use them? Every situation and each customer are different. Most importantly, practice, practice, practice. Use different approaches, experiment. The more you apply techniques the more skilled sales professional you will become, the more natural the process of closing will be.

5 Tips to Follow While Buying Your First Road Bike

When you are in the process of buying your first road bike, there are a few important tips that you must take into consideration. These include the materials, the type of bikes in your range and component options. The whole process can at times be overwhelming. A few important tips have been explained as below.

1. Decide your budget

The cost of the road bikes can range a lot. Hence, you need to decide how much you are actually prepared to spend. There are decent road bikes that start from a meagre amount and up to thousands of pounds or dollars. You need to remember that the more amount of money you spend, the lighter and better your bike is going to be.

2. Do a proper research

By keeping the budget in mind, you should also do some research. For a fact, you can also walk down to the nearest store and get yourself a road bike and there is nothing wrong with that. But a bicycle is a great investment and it is worth to spend some time doing a full-fledged research.

3. The frame materials

The frame of your road bike is its heart. This is where the majority of your budget goes. These are made from a range of materials, the most common being aluminum, steel, titanium and carbon fibre. The frames that are made from any particular material will have various common characteristics, although what a designer does with a material is as important as the material itself.

Choose the right size

This is extremely critical as it can make or break your investment. You also need to take advice from the bike shop. Also don’t go for a bike that is too small or too large for you simply because it is available at a cheaper cost. A bike that is of the correct size with appropriate dimensions and height will make you get the most out of it.

4. Bike fits services

Make good use of this service. Almost all the shops these days provide this service. They will give you expert advice and also enable you to get yourself fit on the bike. This will help you to leave as a happy customer. There are also various parts of the bike that one can change to help find an appropriate fit. A good and well- renowned bike shop will be invaluable here.

5. The components of your bike

The manufacturers of your bike components assemble their parts into various group sets. This includes a collection of gear parts and brakes that are matched for function and quality and both designed to work together. Make sure the components are of good quality.

Tips to Buying Hair Extensions Online

Most people will buy their hair extensions online because they are more convenient, they are affordable and they don’t have to go from shop to shop to find the right colour and style they need based on their natural hair. Buying online can save you time and money in the long run, giving you access to a complete selection, ensuring you find exactly what you need based on your unique hair needs and budget.

The first step is to start searching online, you want to choose a number of blonde hair extensions suppliers that are going to offer you extensions you believe you can rely on moving forward. Don’t jump at the first supplier you find, rather shop around to find the ones you feel have the best deals and reputations in the industry, while shipping to your door within the shortest space of time.

Before you make any purchases you are going to want to match the colour of the hair extensions to your natural colour to ensure that they blend seamlessly together to provide you with a natural and perfect finished look. You can choose extensions slightly darker or lighter, having a tone lighter or darker can provide you with a highlighted effect, though you have to be very careful with your selection to ensure that it always looks natural and doesn’t look like false hair that you have had place or clipped in for the day.

The biggest decision you are going to have to make is whether to choose natural or synthetic hair extensions. Natural are made from human hair. This hair can be coloured, straightened and styles. Synthetic is false hair, often used in making dolls hair and wigs, it looks natural, but it cannot be styled or coloured, so the colour you see is what you get. The good news is that synthetic extensions are cheaper than the natural hair extensions.

Your next decision is to identify the best choice for you on whether you are looking for a temporary extensions you can use now and again to create a different look or whether you are looking for a more permanent hair extension solution that will provide you with volume and length on a daily basis.

Clip in extensions are the ideal choice if you are looking for an easy to use and temporary solution that you know will not cause unwelcome damage to your hair. Micro rings on the other hand, are placed into the hair and left in for long periods of time, this is a semi permanent solution which can be adjusted over time. There are reports where the micro ring hair extensions have caused damage to natural hair, which is why it’s advisable to have them put in by a professional to reduce the risk of this happening to you.

Price should never be a deciding factor, in fact you should use price to help you identify the best deals without compromising on quality. Companies that charge too much or too little compared to the others for blonde hair extensions, for example, should be crossed off your list.

Focus on companies that provide a no hassle money back guarantee. This enables you to buy with complete confidence knowing that in the event the extensions that arrive at your door are poor quality, they can be returned without any fuss.

Finally, always check that the hair extensions specialist company will offer you the fastest dispatch and delivery times. You want to get your new hair as soon as possible so you can start playing around and getting used to putting them in, taking them out and wearing them on a daily basis.