Stevemills

Marketing tips

Do you need business coaching?

We all know that top sports people have a coach and some have several coaches.  But what about business coaching

The reason being that they are all looking for the edge.  The difference for them between winning and losing is often very small and having a coach, someone to guide them, push them and to measure their results is essential for their game.

In the game called business it is also essential to have a coach.  There are many different skills required to run a successful business, but the one that is often missing is the skills called sales and one called marketing.  In business the most important skill you need is the ability to sell and market your products and services and yet I see so many business owners who have never done any form of sales training and who don’t understand marketing in this digital world.

The truth of the matter is this – If you want to grow your business then you need to become better at sales and marketing.  You need to be better at creating and converting leads into sales.

Need a coach?  Book a free 30min coaching session.  Click here

Business Advice for SME’s – What are the two biggest reasons why businesses are not successful?

Business Advice for SME’s

There are many reasons that businesses do not succeed.

  • Lack of goals
  • Poor cashflow
  • Poor business advice
  • Lack of financial awareness
  • Lack of profit
  • Over spending on luxury items

To name just a few.  However, there is one solution to all this.  Increasing sales.  So why don’t businesses increase sales to the level they need?

Watch this video to find out the two biggest reasons why business do not succeed to the level they could.

Want to do something about it?  Take the first step and book a meeting with me.

Time and distance travelled compound the error!

What do I mean?  Do you play Table Tennis?  

I used to play at International Level and on my day I could beat many of the world’s best players.  

These days I sometimes hit the ball not quite perfectly.  When the ball has travelled a few feet from my bat it is only just off target. But after it has travelled to the other side of the net it has missed the table sometimes only by millimeters. 

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make slight adjustments to the ball as it travels through the air in order to nudge it back on track?

So how does this affect your sales and marketing?

Well knowing what is working and what is not enables you to nudge your ‘sales and marketing ball’ back on track. 

For example, let’s say you receive 100 enquiries. You convert 50% into meetings, of those meetings you send out 40 proposals.  Of those proposals, you win 50%. This equates to 20 sales at £2,000 per sale = £40,000.  

What would happen if you had someone to nudge you back on track?  Let’s say you tested the headlines you used in your marketing and you managed to increase your leads from 100 to 110.  

Then through some sales training and developing a better sales system, instead of converting 50% into meetings you converted 55% = 60.5 meetings.

Also because of the training you receive, instead of sending out 40 proposals you manage to increase this to 50.  Then, instead of converting 50% of your proposals into business, you become better at handling price objections and you start converting 60%.

This would create 30 sales instead of 20 and £60,000, instead of £40,000.  Now let’s compound this throughout your business.

How would an increase in sales of 50% in your turnover sound to you right now?  All without risking a penny on an untested marketing idea.

Mmmm!  Something to think about!

The question to ask to help you to grow your business is a very simple one.  How can we make our business better….?  Want to get some ideas or answers to improve your sales and marketing?  Take the first step and book a strategy meeting with me Steve Mills by clicking this link.

Many thanks,

Steve Mills

 

Referral marketing – Offering incentives

Should you offer benefits, or incentives for referrals?  This is an important question, without a yes, or no answer.  The truth is it depends!  The real question is – if you offered a benefit for a referral would it increase the number of referrals you get?

There are two ways of offering a benefit for a referral.  The first is what I call ‘front end referrals’ and the second is what I call ‘back-end referrals’.

First, let’s discuss front end strategies.  A front end referral strategy is where a business offers an incentive for anyone who refers business to it.

In other words the company puts out a variety of marketing campaigns which states something like “if you recommend a friend and they become a client then you will receive X”.  

For example – many health clubs use ‘refer a friend and you will receive three months free membership’.

If you are considering this type of scheme then you need to decide if you are willing to pay for leads, or sales, or both.

The question is what form should X take?  In other words, What are you going to offer as an inducement?  This could be a whole variety of products, or services, it could be for example:

  • A discount off your services
  • A free product, or service provided by you
  • A discount from another company, preferably one you have a strategic relationship with
  • A contribution to a charity
  • A free social event, like a meal, or a weekend away in a hotel
  • A cash incentive

But the key is that it needs to be something that is going to make your target take action.  Giving something small as a front end strategy is virtually worthless and will not motivate people to refer you at all.  

One example of what not to do would be a national health club chain we did some work for. They offered a free water bottle for every referral their members provided.  What would you do if you were offered a free water bottle? Not a great deal I suspect! You may however still refer a friend to them as they provide a great service and good value for money.

An example of a great front-end strategy would be my friend and colleague Jim Ewan.  Jim is a professional speaker and Jim charges £2,500 per talk.  He wins most of his business by offering people £1,000 in cash for every referral they give that leads to business.  

Do you think this works better than the water bottle?  Absolutely it does and so Jim has an infinite marketing budget, as he pays for sales and not for marketing.

Let’s now take a look at what I mean by ‘backend referral systems’.  A backend system is simply a referral benefit which is not marketing, nor is it stated up front; But it is a benefit which is given as a ‘thank you’ after the event.

This can be very powerful and the need to offer a ‘large’ benefit is less evident and can at times even be detrimental to the success of the strategy.  

In essence what you are doing is ‘saying thank you’ for the fact that someone has done something for you.  You are doing it firstly to thank them and secondly in the hope that they might do it again.

This type of strategy is very popular within the professional services industry and the rewards can include:

  • Just a simply thank you card
  • A bottle of wine, champagne, whisky, etc
  • A bunch of flowers
  • Health treatment
  • A contribution to charity
  • Etc. 

What really matters is finding out what the recipient might appreciate and ensuring that you position your gift as a ‘thank you’ and not a ‘bribe’. 

You are simply not good enough…

Businesses who are truly outstanding at anything share one thing in common:

They are always trying to get better at what they do.

Low-performing businesses share one thing in common:

They ALWAYS believe they are good enough and they put no effort into becoming better.  The last time that they did any training was in school or University where they learned nothing about running a business.

So if you are going to grow your business to be truly outstanding so that it provides you with the lifestyle that you want, then you need to become better at:

  1. Selling and marketing your business.  So you can increase sales
  2. Managing the financial side of your business.  So you don’t run out of cash and you can take your profits first
  3. Managing your people.  So you get the best out of those people
  4. Managing your customer relationships.  So you keep customers and get lots of referrals

Want to know more?  Why not book a no-obligation STRATEGY REVIEW MEETING with Steve?  To do so click here.

Business growth advice for small business owners

If your business depends on you, then you don’t own a business.  You simply have a job.

Most businesses fail because the owner of the business is working in their business doing the work, rather than working on their business.

What does working in your business look like?

  1. Customer support
  2. Making your products, or providing your services
  3. Answering phone calls
  4. Creating content
  5. Social media
  6. Client communications
  7. Client work
  8. Invoicing and bookkeeping
  9. Accounting
  10. Paperwork
  11. etc.

What does ON look like?

Taking the time to just sit and think about the future of your company and the strategies to make it happen, hiring smart people to advise and help you, making decisions, reading books to learn more, marketing and selling.

If you spend all your time working in your business doing the low paid work of your business then there’s one thing I can tell you:

You’re going to get beaten up by a competitor who works on their business.

Ready to build your business?

Book a free 1to1 meeting by clicking here

Business Advice for Small Businesses

Making your business OUTSTANDING

Let’s face it, times are still tough and there is a lot of uncertainty around.  Are we going to stay in Europe, or are we going to pull out? What will the implications be for small businesses like yours and mine?

As far as small businesses are concerned this uncertainty is obviously not good news and many are already starting to suffer.  

However, the key questions for small business is not are we, or are we not.

The question is how can small businesses hold on to their market share and even improve in order to maintain their current turnover and profitability?

Often the ‘knee jerk’ answer for many business owners is to ‘cut back’ and so they cut back and cut back until there is nothing left.  Cutting back for most businesses spells disaster! Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that a business should continue to waste money, far from it.  

Conducting a cost analysis exercise on a monthly basis is a very useful exercise.

At The Prudent Marketer we have a different approach and we are helping our clients do the same!  We call it becoming ‘Outstanding’. We don’t mean that we have the best, most expensive brochure, advertising or offices.  

We turn the word ‘outstanding’ round and work out how we can ‘stand out’.  We have been asking ourselves a very simple question.

What can we do in ________________ that no one else does?  In other words, what can we do in:

        • our customer service
        • the way we recruit people
        • the way we train our team
        • the way we market our business
        • the sales training we provide
        • the way our offices look
        • the way we network
        • the financial information we have available
        • the way we plan our business and the service we provide to our client.

As the Managing Director of a small business myself I believe that businesses should take a look at themselves and work out what they can do to become different, better, faster, more caring, better at selling and marketing and more than anything else ‘better at keeping and looking after their own customer base.

For further information regarding our services and how we can help you – book a no obligation meeting on 02392 985 954

 

How to use LinkedIn to grow your business

How to use LinkedIn to grow your business – If you are on LinkedIn then there is every chance that you do not ever win any business on it and if you do, then it is probably very little.  Why is that?

It’s because:

  1. You don’t know what to do
  2. You don’t know what you don’t know about LinkedIn marketing
  3. You say you don’t have the time
  4. You don’t do anything
  5. You don’t pick up the phone and talk to people.

Watch this video and I guarantee that you will learn something that you did not know about LinkedIn and the pot of gold it contains for your business.

To find out more click here.

Online LinkedIn Training

As you know I am a big advocate of LinkedIn and I use it myself to win approximately £100,000 worth of business every year. When I tell small business owners that, I often get asked – How do I do that and my answer is always the same.

It starts with understanding the software (LinkedIn). Click here.

The truth is that if you are like 99% of the small business owners and sales people I know then you don’t understand how to use LinkedIn and you are probably only using 20% of what LinkedIn does. If that is you – click here.

The purpose of this email is to change all that and to get you on the right track to LinkedIn success. Understanding LinkedIn will create an abundance of leads for you for no, or low cost. You’ve just got to know how and then apply your new skills.

Want to know more about creating leads, sales and profit from LinkedIn? Simply click here.

Warm regards,

Steve