customers

Who is your ideal client?

Niche IDI ask my clients this question quite often and the answer is often ‘everybody’ or ‘small business owners’ or something similar. When I ask them to describe the detail of this ideal client – they can’t; nobody can it’s much too general.

If you’re saying ‘I knew that’ then you should be able to describe your ideal client:

Sell More Successfully

In this economic climate, a lot of SME businesses are struggling to get their customer base increased and are lacking in sales. Yet, their competitors are not always in the same position. So what is it that Makes A Difference, and one business ticks along and the other gets increased sales?

Well, after many months of talking with small to medium sized businesses, I have developed and I am ready to launch in May, a new series of workshops which I believe will help accelerate your Sales. The suite of workshops comes under the banner of “Sell More Successfully!”

In this Blog, I am going to share with you the 4Cs of successful sales. These are expanded on more fully in the workshop series, but below is a brief overview of each:

1. Communicate

What do you sell?

This is a question which I ask every client at the beginning of any project and invariably I get we sell so & so widgets or service, which is the reply I expect.

BUT, and it is a ‘big but’, that is what your product IS and not what your customer is purchasing from you.

Invariably I get a get a look from puzzled to ‘this guy is nuts’!

 

So do you know what you sell?

 

Networking; the good, the bad and the ugly.

In 2008 I rebranded and re-launched my company, Light Films. I devised a strategy that would enable our business to grow over an initial 5-year period.

One of the early physical marketing activities was networking. I made my way around most of the clubs in the local area. I audited the busineses, formats and the people that were involved in the events. I chose the clubs and events that I felt would benefit me most, and have always completed regular ‘return on investment’ audits to ensure the clubs continue to be lucrative for my business.

What does your email address say about you and you business?

I was contacted this week by a (self proclaimed) eminent authority on social media. He contacted me by email inviting me to attend one of his “world renowned” training courses. Nothing wrong so far, except it was sent with an email address along the lines of joebloggs@anispyouwouldhaveused10yearsago.com

The information about the course was all on an eventbrite page. Again nothing wrong with that, but I would expect a link to the home page of the training provider, which was conspicuously absent.

Can video actually make money?

I was recently asked what video could add to a marketing campaign. As anyone who knows me knows, I like to cut to the chase; and so I told them how I’d provided a recent client an increase of almost 3.5 times their pre-engagement monthly income.

So what I could’ve said, before jumping to the all-important ‘return on investment’ that I’ve generated for my clients, is that video can do the following (amongst other things):

  • Build awareness
  • Increase traffic to website
  • Increase engagement through social media
  • Improve Google rankings
  • Increase visibility
  • Provides PR opportunities
  • Provides positive image opportunities
  • Creates lasting impressions of you/your business
  • Provides another way of communicating with prospects, edging closer to the sale

With the help of a well-constructed and produced video, all of the above is possible.

A friend in need could be a friend indeed.

hat3

A friend of mine has written a book ‘How to do Everything and Be Happy’ and like every self respecting author he just had to have a book launch.

I wrote the date in my diary and offered to help any way I could. I thought I would be  on drink duty but Peter suddenly asked ‘Would you make some balloon hats on the day?’

Not what I expected.

Time To Get Personal

I am not one of those bloggers who tend to rant and rave all the time. I don’t set out to offend anyone or be controversial.

However, enough is enough!

I am fed up of people using technology to create numbers not names and to completely ignore the personal touch – and I am sure I am not alone.

Columbo

I love watching Columbo. Infact I’ll be curling up on the sofa this afternoon with a cuppa to watch it. I don’t care which episode it is. I don’t care if I have seen it 15 times already. I’ll still be glued to the TV

Even if you have only ever seen one episode you’ll probably know that Columbo often looks like he is going to leave his suspect in peace but at the last second comes back to ask ‘just one more thing.’

It’s a great technique and always gives him a vital piece of information.

As techniques go it is one that could prove invaluable to you too. Give it a go when you are next talking to a customer or prospect. If you ask one extra question you could end up getting the vital piece of information that will get you the contract, a larger order or establish a loyalty to you as a supplier that didn’t already exist.

Fancy a Date?

I was talking to someone who had recently started internet dating the other day and was gobsmacked by the number of preferences that you could set when filtering potential matches. 

What surprised me even more though was the range of boxes you could tick to restrict who could contact you. I certainly hadn’t expected that. 

Is the customer always right?

Over the past month I have heard the phrase “the client is always right’ too many times to count. Is this away to do business?

Can you run a business where you have no limits on the service you provide?

Would you expect to go into a shop to buy a new fridge and expect to pay a fraction of the sticker price and get free support and service for how ever many years you want, all the extras you want for nothing!

Five quick communication tips

Here are five quick communication tips for new businesses that, from recent experience of talking to very unhappy customers, more established service providers seem to have forgotten.

  1. Do invest in an answerphone. It may seem an incredibly obvious thing to say and do but I’m still amazed at the number of business owners/managers that think it’s fine to let customer hang on the end of a phone until they lose the will to live. Customers do not want your product or service only between 10am and 4.30pm. Make sure you have some way they can leave you a message so you can get back to them – or risk losing them to a competitor.

With Banks not lending what alternative sources of funding are there?

This is the question that many SME’s are asking in ever increasing numbers. If the Banks will not lend to them who will? The answer is that there are many alternative sources of funding that many people are totally unaware of. There are even some products from main stream lenders that seem to be forgotten. Here are just a few examples, but remember these are ‘alternative’ sources and as such are more expensive than High Street lenders.

What price customer service?

 

 

I am currently looking for a new road bike, as I’m planning to do a tri-athlon within the next year. I have been to three shops to look at bikes, get information etc and have widely differing experiences of engagement and customer service during this time. Let me share with you a brief summary of it.

 

The first shop I went to is a long established, small independent retailer. When I walked into the shop I was greeted and quickly asked what I was looking for. I gave a brief introduction and I was put in the hands of another member of the staff. He proceeded to tell me a little about some bikes that were in my price bracket, not getting too technical and then we spoke about some gear such as pedals and shoes. I felt that I had been well looked after and was happy with the level of service I got.

 

I next went to a large, national chain. I walked into their cycle department and despite my obvious interest in the road bikes none of the several staff in the shop approached me. I found a bike that looked about right for my needs, it was a new model, and there was clearly a price on it. I approached one of the staff, explained my requirements. When I pointed out the bike, the ‘lad’ said that the bike was a new range and hadn’t been priced yet – first fail. I then asked for a quote, was handed a leaflet and told to ring national call centre – second fail. With which I left the shop, I could not believe the lack of interest when it was clear I was in the market for a purchase.

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

I’m Not Sure, What Do You Think?

 

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

 

Over the years, I have met thousands of people- it’s one of the joys of working in retail. One thing I’ve learned to pick up on is how people process information. Mainly because, if they don’t process in the same way you do, it can be quite frustrating- for both parties.

 

Here’s an example that happened to me the other day; stood in our local wine merchants comparing bottles- country of origin, grape, price, what I’m eating that evening. Choice made. End of. Paid for. Home.

 

At the side of me, a couple were debating the same thing- they were mid-conversation when I arrived, weighing up their choices (same as mine). She asked what I thought: I gave my opinion, they asked the lad restocking the shelves:  he gave his (far more informed) opinion. When I got to the till, the cashier asked what I had recommended- apparently my choice was the same as hers, whom they had also asked.

 

They may still be there now, debating the choice available, accosting random strangers for their opinion.

 

The fact is we all process information in different ways, and we all make decisions in different ways based on our different processes. There are no right or wrong ways- just different.

 

In business, the trick is not to communicate in the way that works for you… but in the way that works for your customer. We’ve all met the “Pushy Salesperson”, but sometimes, they are not pushy; they are just overwhelming people with information, using jargon, telling the customer stuff that they are not interested in.