Weekly Edge

Marketing lessons from the man in red

Heather Frame - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Today we bring you some marketing lessons we’ve learned from Santa Claus

  1. 1. Deliver on time – Would we still believe in Santa if he missed a year, or came late?

  1. 2. Everyone loves a giver – Don’t be a taker.  Move the free line, and win your prospects over with your generosity.

  1. 3. Hire a team of hardworking admin people to make you look good – Santa gets the glory, but the elves work hard to make it all look easy.

  1. 4. Plan ahead – Santa makes a list, and checks it twice, most business owners don’t even have a list.

  1. 5. Teach your clients how to treat you – Every kid knows to leave out milk and cookies, an leave carrots for the reindeer.  Do your clients know how to help you?

  1. 6. Qualify hard – Do you grade your prospects and clients?  Santa even grades kids either naughty or nice!  Which of your clients have been nice? Which prospect has been naughty? You know what to do

  1. 7. Leverage – Santa has a team of ‘body doubles’ who have been working the crowds at every shopping centre on the planet for the last 4 weeks (while the real Santa sips margaritas by the pool at his condo).

  1. 8. Limit access – Santa’s got things set up, so you can’t get him on the mobile, or just see him whenever you want.  You’ve got to send your request to an obscure PO Box in the North Pole.  Are you too easy to get?

  1. 9. Run special events – He’s the original product launch formula guy.  He builds massive anticipation, and even gets your kids counting down the sleeps til the big day.
  1. 10.  Costume and self-promotion – If he just wore regular clothes, he’d be no big deal.  Do you have a uniform that makes you recognisable?
  2. 11.  Get others to talk you up – His PR elves get everyone talking about Santa, so he never has to talk himself up.
  3. 12.  Build a business that gives you free time – With all the body doubles and the team of elves, Santa really only works a couple of days a year.  So he and the missus get 363 days off.
  4. There are business lessons everywhere if you look for them.  Feel free to send these lessons on to your clients and prospects if you think it will help them.
  1. Have an amazing Christmas

Here’s how to determine average dollar sale in your business

Heather Frame - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The average dollar sale is a very powerful number is every business.  So you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a good handle on this for your business.

Some customers might spend $500 while others $23.50.  The average dollar sale is just that: the average dollar spent from everyone who does business with you.  All you need to do is divide what’s in the till (or what you’ve billed for) with the number of transactions you’ve made. 

Just like McDonald’s employees always ask ‘Would you like fries with that?’ you need to look for ways of increasing your average dollar sale.  Even though most people say no to fries, think of the millions of extra dollars they make a day from those that say yes.  Now think of how a similar strategy could unlock a gold mine for you.

The key is remembering that it only takes slight improvements to make a drastic difference in your profitability.  These customers are already doing business with you, and any little extra you can add on is all icing on the cake.

7 networking tips

Heather Frame - Monday, December 09, 2013

Successful networking requires genuine effort and a plan of action.  We know this to be a fact, as great coaches have one thing in common: They all attend networking events in an effort to expand their database of prospective clients and referral sources.

So, if your business is not where you want it to be and you are not attending multiple networking events invest some time in getting out there in your community.  

Tip 1. Network Genuinely: When attempting to build trust, credibility and business relationships, you need to present yourself in a genuine light.  You should only attend networking events if you genuinely wish to help others.  If you attend networking events or situations with the intention to sell, you will come off as self-serving and fail to connect with other attendees, wasting your time and theirs in the process.
 
Tip 2. Define Your Goals: Do not arbitrarily select a networking event.  Before you go anywhere, take a moment to figure out what you are hoping to accomplish through networking.  Different networking events have different focuses, like education or database growth.  Knowing what aligns with your goals is the key to getting the most out of networking.

Tip 3. Visit Multiple Groups: Like when buying a car, settling on the first networking group you stumble across is usually unwise.. Make sure you subscribe to your Chamber Of Commerce’s newsletter list as they have regular events.  Once you find a networking group that works for you, give it your full attention.
 
Tip 4. Ask Open-Ended Questions:
Successful networking hinges upon your ability to ask the people you interact with a series of open-ended questions, as opposed to simple yes/no questions.  If you rely solely on yes/no questions, your networking efforts will fail to encourage any sort of meaningful dialogue. .

Tip 5 – Make sure you exchange cards. Make sure you have plenty of business cards with you and you exchange cards with people you connect with so you can follow up with them after the event

Tip 6. Understand Your Business: In order to maximize your networking efforts, you must have a clear understanding of what makes your business unique.

Tip 7. Follow-up With People: After successfully connecting with someone make sure you follow up with them after the event.

 

Where do your customers come from?..... And why you MUST know

Heather Frame - Monday, December 09, 2013

In every single business it is vital you know the origin of everyone who comes in contact with your business.  We are constantly amazed at the number of business owners we talk to who have no idea where their customers come from….. And the sad thing is that many are paying good money to market their business but have no idea if there marketing spend is actually bringing in more business than it costs.

In short, the more you know, the easier it is to make decisions about what is working and what is not in your business.

Few businesses know how many leads they get each week. Even fewer know where those leads came from. So this week we suggest, that if you haven’t done so already, develop a database that the team can use to record where your leads are coming from.

If you get the same number of leads, whether you run a marketing campaign or not, you need to rethink your campaign. However, you will never know what to fix if you are not continuously measuring the number and origin of the leads you get.

Don’t underestimate this one as it could have a big impact on your business…….. because if you find you are spending money on marketing that isn’t working you might just save yourself a whole lot of money.

Working with your team

Heather Frame - Monday, December 09, 2013

Below is the famous 4 FISH principles.  Are you doing this at your workplace ?

Play ~ Work made fun gets done!  Play is not about games or toys; it is about your state of mind.  Be creative in your problem solving.  Encourage people to dare to dream.  How can everyday tasks be made fun and challenging?  Play energises you and the people around you.

Make Their Day ~ When thinking about this principle, remember to keep it simple.  Turn an everyday encounter into a pleasant experience for someone.  Your kindness, patience and thoughtfulness will be returned.  A GREAT customer service policy!

Be Present ~ This principle means you are focused, listening and even empathising with someone - or paying full attention to the task at hand, not reading emails or thinking about what you’ll do on the weekend.

Choose Your Attitude ~ If you look for negativity you will be sure to find it.  Empower yourself to respond to challenges and problems in a constructive and positive way.  Celebrate success.  There are dozens of small things you can celebrate every day.

Lessons from a fly

Heather Frame - Monday, December 09, 2013

Have you ever tried to catch a fly?

They can be pesky little things to grab.

But you know how to get them…. Simply clap your hands together a few inches above the fly and – SPLAT!

One squashed fly.

And yeah, it’s messy but it does illustrate our point.  You see, flies always fly straight up when disturbed.  It’s a reflex action.  It’s conditioned.

And that got us wondering.

We humans are conditioned from an early age as well.  Conditioned to believe in getting a good job.

Told we can’t do it; to stop dreaming.

Fed lies from the beginning.

That’s why we have to continually monitor our thoughts.  Not in some crazed, constantly questioning manner, nah, nothing like that.  That would send us bonkers.

All we do is try to be aware of any negative defeating thoughts getting in our heads.  If we catch this happening, we analyze it, see if it’s empowering or disempowering – and then we move on, taking the action required.

If there is one thing we can give you today, that will have a BIG impact on you and your business, it’s this:

Constantly challenge your assumptions.

That’s where the opportunities are.

3 steps to keeping your customers longer

Heather Frame - Monday, December 09, 2013

Did you know that research indicates it costs six times more to gain a new customer than it does to sell again to someone who has bought from you before?

Therefore it’s vital you keep your customers coming back again and again so you get repeat business - over and over again.

Here are 3 steps to help you keep your customers longer:


1. Welcome your customers

People are more inclined to engage with a company that makes them feel important and appreciated. Customers can tell whether you're happy to see them through subtle gestures and signals - your tone of voice, your expressions, your posture, the way you are dressed - all these things send potent, often powerful messages to them.

2. Reward loyalty

The number one reason customers leave is they no longer feel valued. This happens because they do not feel that the business values their loyalty, as much as the profit made on each sale.

As it costs six times more to get a new customer, all businesses should value customer loyalty like dollars in the bank (after all this is where the dollars come from). Show your customers they matter. Instead of spending more money finding new customers, spend a little of the saving in rewarding loyalty with the occasional gift or value added offer only available to loyal customers.

If you never lost a customer, and continually added new ones, what would you business look like? It doesn’t cost much, or take much effort, to let someone know you appreciate their patronage – reward your customers and thank them for coming back to you.

So the question is, “Are you keeping your current customers engaged, involved and interested in returning to you for your products and services?" 

Are you keeping your customers for life?

3. Reduce the risk factor for them by providing superior service

Each time a customer decides to seek to do business with someone they do not know, they are taking a risk. They do not know if they will have a good buying experience, or if what they want will be stocked, or if the price will be competitive, or if the service will be as good. Most people believe in “better the devil you know” and put up with poor service, however there will always be a time when they start to look around to see what your competitors offer.

If you can provide every customer with a good experience, and leave them satisfied and feeling valued they will keep coming back. But most importantly they will not be willing to risk the possibility of not getting what they want, higher prices and poorer service by looking elsewhere.

Keep an open ear and learn to look for any signs that your customers aren't happy with the product or service you are providing – customer satisfaction surveys can play an important role here.

In the long run, keeping focused on the needs and wants of your current customers, will be far more cost-effective than spending all that time, energy and money in looking for new customers.

Ideal client needs ideal service…….Will your business stack up?

Heather Frame - Monday, December 09, 2013

Have you ever thought about the traits of a great client for your business?

This is something we do with our clients and in our own business, and we’re suggesting you do the same.  Because in order to attract more of the types of customers you want, you must understand the traits of an ideal customer for your business.

So, the first step is to list the top 11 traits of a great client for your business.

Don't go any further until you've jotted them all down.

Now it time to list the top 11 things that type of client would not just want but DEMAND from an ideal ______________ business.

Don’t stop here, this is where the power is.  You must know what it is your ideal client wants to be able to attract them by catering to their needs.

Once your listed the top 11 things your ideal client demands from your type of business, it's then a simple question, how do I rate out of 10 in each of the 11 things you’ve listed (And… be tough on yourself) ....

Why is this so important?...... Well think about someone you know who is single and looking to find their perfect partner in life.  If they don’t know what traits they are looking for in a partner how can they attract the right person for them? 

Then, if they do know what traits they are seeking often they themselves don’t live up to that type of person being attracted to them in return.  And find they either need to change their expectations or change themselves.

This exact same thing happens in business.  You are out their seeking your ideal customers, and if you don’t know what they demand from dealing with your type of business you are running the risk of driving them away without even knowing it!

So, the final step in this weeks tip is to go back over your rated list of ideal customer demands and ask yourself 'What do I have to do to get to a 10/10?' ..

How to Use Scripts to Ensure Consistency in Customer Service

Heather Frame - Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Is your first reaction like that of many people we meet - scripting doesn’t work, scripting is too artificial, scripting doesn’t take into account different personalities?

Well, we’ve heard just about every excuse as to why scripts won’t work.  But, as we wean our clients onto the idea and they see their bottom line increasing, converts are made. Here’s how to get started.

The four main areas to consider when writing a script are:

  • Target Market – be very clear who you’re trying to reach.
  • Process – some of the more expensive products and services may require several steps before a sale is made.
  • Urgency – you must give people a reason to act now.
  • ‘You’ Focus – your script needs to be focused towards the customer.

 

Within the script itself you then need to look at:

  • 1. Greeting – Get this right as it will set the tone for what follows.
  • 2. Outline the reason for your call/visit and get permission to continue – e.g. “Would it be OK if I outlined the reason for my call today?” This step applies when you’re the one making the first contact.
  • 3. Ask open-ended questions – you must ask questions that can’t be answered by yes or no.
  • 4. Get agreement - you need to get feedback from the customer.
  • 5. Deal with objections – this is part of the process! Get the customer to elaborate, acknowledge that what they’re saying is true for them at the time and then come up with your standard replies to known objections.
  • Close and take the next step – Would you like to pay by check or credit card?”
  • Use transition phrases/temperature checking phrases like, “How does this fit with what you had in mind?,” “So from what I understand, you want A, B and C. Is there anything else?”

You will end up with a script that is really effective as a sales tool. More importantly, your entire team will have a framework to follow, which means your customers will be treated in a like-minded fashion regardless of who speaks to them. This, in turn, enhances the perception of excellent customer service. 

An added bonus, is that any new team member will be productive much more quickly when they are trained to use your scripts.

How to BOOST Your Cash Flow

Heather Frame - Thursday, October 17, 2013

Let’s face it, business is getting tougher.  To survive and thrive in the new economy, you need to be smarter than the rest.

You need to be able to market your business effectively.

So here’s a little secret.

The best way to make money in business is by making sure you stop losing any of the customers you’ve got.

If you’re in business, you’re probably losing customers right now, right this very minute. For whatever reason, customers are lost and you never see them again.

This is what we call “holes in your bucket.” The BIGGEST profit breakthrough for you is to plug those holes.

Here are 3 critical areas to focus on to plug those holes.

1: Reinforce (Stick)

When you get a new customer, make sure the sale sticks and give them good reasons to shop with you again. We’ve got clients who send out BIG welcome packs.  However, even a simple “Thank You” card is a lot better than nothing.  When was the last time someone sent you a thank you card for shopping with them?  Our guess is never or very rarely.

2: Retain (Keep)

Retaining your customers comes down to staying in contact with them.  Direct Mail your customers with new promotions, products etc.

The best strategy here is to provide a free, monthly newsletter mailed to your customers door.  Nothing beats it.

3: Re-activate (Rescue)

This has to be the quickest and easiest way to bring cash into your business.  (It’s so simple, you may dismiss it. It may seem too good to be true.  But that’s NOT the case.)

The BIGGEST bang for your buck is number 3, re-activating old customers. And it’s so easy to do.

Let us explain.

If you’re in an established business, chances are you’ve got customers that have bought from you a few times but have moved on.  This strategy involves contacting these past customers with an irresistible offer to come back.

You simply write a letter to your customers and make them an offer to get them to purchase again. (Direct Mail is best. Email is cheaper, faster, but less effective.)

The success of Re-activation Campaigns depends largely on the kind of relationship you have with you customers.  If you have never mailed, don’t keep in contact, then you’re job is tougher than a business that keeps in contact with their customers.  When it comes down to it, business is all about how your customers feel about you.

Anyway, we like to keep Re-activation Letters simple.

We don’t confuse the reader. We state our case, make an offer, and then we’re out of there.

There are five important elements we like to cover. They are:

1: We include a headline that gets their attention.

2: We tell them we appreciate their past business.

3: We explain why we are writing.

4: We update the customer on any changes of products or services since their last purchase that they may be unaware of.

5: We make an offer to come back. (Put a limit on the offer)

There are other elements you may wish to include, but as we’ve said, we like to keep it short, sharp and simple.

Time to start re-activating your old customers….