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To change or not to change

Have you ever thought about switching to winter tyres? Do you know the benefits of them? Do we need them in the UK? This blog aims to answer some of these questions. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in a price

When you talk about a used car price, which value do you mean? The price you hope you will get from a private sale? An online quote? Here we explain the differences Read the rest of this entry »

Results of most iconic British built vehicle poll

We asked you to vote for your favourite British built vehicle. Well the results are in. Did you pick the winner? Read the rest of this entry »

I have a (cunning) plan!

 

That was the favourite phrase of Baldrick (Tony Robinson) in a favourite of mine Blackadder.

 Baldrick

I read a recent new article,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25909728, regarding how in India, Chander Prakesh Gurnani, was appointed to turn around an IT company which was on the point of collapse.

 

He had to undertake a reduction in staff but his plan to turnaround the company was to break it up into 11 streams to make it more manageable.

To sell or not to sell -That is the question!

I want to stir things up!

Selling and Networking do not go together!

Networking 

But that is the reason to network, some people will say.

No it is not.

You are there to meet get to know people and build relationships.

From building a relationship business will follow.

It may start with someone asking your advice.

Give it freely.

You can’t win them all

It is a fact of life you will not win every order that you bid/quote for, but it is not a total loss.

Order

Try and gain some information on why you did not succeed this time. I may be purely on price, especially if you were offering an identical product to your competition.

However this is often not the case for the lost order and here are some possible reasons.

Documents represent your business as well

Have you opened the post to find a letter from a company and thought how terrible it looked? Maybe it looked like the letterhead was photocopied or the paper was cheap and like tissue paper. Or it could have been monotone (black print on the paper no colour). The print looked like the ink or toner was low.

Whatever it was you may have tossed the paper without reading or just gave a cursory glance. Any business has many faces, the people, the website, if there is a shop how the shop looks. People spend a lot of money on those things, but what about the paper that is send out or the presentations that are created?

What does your documents and presentations say about your business? Think about:

  • Letterhead
  • Reports
  • Quotations
  • Invoices
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Proposals

Marketing in one hour a week without leaving the office

3 and a half steps imageMost people know that marketing online is a) powerful and b) mostly free – but don’t know where to start, or have tried a bit and found it gobbles up hours of their precious time. There is a simple system that can make it easy, the secret is in investing a little time setting up and the discipline to schedule in an hour a week to run it.

What do you need to make it work?

Customer Service R.I.P. !!

I recently read an article on Forbes – ‘The Winning Approach to Customer Service Just Common Sense’, and it is amazing that with a lot of businesses in sales, this goes out of the window to make a sale at any cost.

Well they may have taken that one order and in probability that is all it will be one order. They obviously do not want that customer to come back in the future with further business.

Doing Nothing About Bad Behaviour… Poor Choice for Branding

I recently blogged about how employee behaviour over the internet can damage a business’ brand, and why setting expectations around such behaviour is so important. Today’s blog also touches on damage to branding, this time with a “green” tinge.

For those of you who know me, I am fairly passionate about the environment, our planet and all of the citizens of our planet (not just the human ones) and how we really should be looking after all of these things better.

I recorded this blog while driving south along the M3 from Newcastle (thank you to my awesome transcriber Janna). I’d been following two traffic control vehicles driven by employees who had obviously finished their shift for a Friday afternoon and were heading back to the workshop in Sydney.  The passenger in the vehicle that I was immediately behind threw a plastic Coke bottle out of the window onto the side of the road.

I have to say I was quite shocked…. You just don’t see that sort of thing happening anymore because people nowadays are so much more aware of the environment and of what’s ‘cool’ and what’s not ‘cool’. And let’s face it: throwing rubbish out of the window of a car on a freeway is NOT cool at all!

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?

 

Video: to use or not to use?

Video – to use or not to use?

When marketing your business any expert worth their salt will tell you to explore every medium available in your planning. However you prefer to do it, it’s important to work out what works best for you and your business. You need to take into account your vision, your business, your offering, your target market and the message you want to portray. It’s even more important to calculate how it will benefit your business.

 

Video is always highly recommended by marketing experts; it’s visual, easy to use, easy to engage target audience… After all, all the big companies use them so why shouldn’t the small companies?

 

But content is key. There is no use entering into any marketing campaign half heartedly, and video is no exception.

A personal trainer producing a promotional video for her DVD.

A very focused personal trainer producing a promo video for her DVD, that she sold online as part of a marketing campaign for her services.


Bad video is worse than no video at all…

New season

I am a motor racing F1 fan and the past 10 days has seen the various teams launching their new cars for the 2013 season prior to the beginning of 3 test events in Spain.

Helmet

Well what has that got to do with business and sales – quite a lot actually!

Obviously the various press launches of the manufacturers are planned to give as much press coverage and hence advertising of their product, but what else.

New Year, New focus, or not…

As most people I am writing about the New Year.  As with New Year resolutions we should evaluate our business and see if there are things that we should be doing or need to change about how we do business or get business.  Re evaluate what you are doing, how much time things take and what they are doing for the business.

Advertising

Do you know how much business that ads and other types of advertising is bringing you? If you advertise in print as well as online media it is always good to find out which one is bringing you more business.  There are a lot of stats that I have heard over the years and most of us know that you can’t place one ad and expect that your door to be inundated with new customers. But on the other hand if you have been advertising for years and have only had one or two clients from it, does the cost outway the profit?