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Success

Is your marketing working for you

Is your marketing working for you?

By Marketing strategy, Success No Comments

Imagine telephoning someone that you don’t know.

“Hello,” you say to them, “I was wondering whether you would like any (insert your product / service here)?”

What sort of reception do you think that you would receive?

In the markets that I have studied, only about 5% of the people in that market are looking for a new supplier or to change brand. That equates to 1 person in 20.

The challenge is that if you call them or knock on their door, they probably won’t reveal that they are in the market for the products or services that you are selling, as most people are somewhat coy (and they don’t like cold callers).

This is where marketing comes in. Effective marketing creates brand awareness, which is worth its weight in gold. Brand awareness goes a long way to explaining the groceries in your kitchen, the clothes that you are wearing and the products that you use in your personal and professional life.

Marketing can bring customers to you who are interested in what you do. It usually takes several messages / visits to your website until they feel comfortable with your name. If you are lucky, they may give you a go. If they enjoy the experience, they may buy again. Sometimes, they love you so much that they become customers for life.

This is why big companies tend to invest so much in marketing. They want to keep their name out there, bind current customers to their chest with hoops of steel and find new customers.

In order to do this, they need a marketing strategy, promotional campaigns and effective selling processes.

The questions to ask yourself are:
*  Is our marketing working?
*  Do sufficient people know about us?
*  Can customers easily find us?
*  Are we attracting sufficient sales enquiries / first time buyers?

If you are not happy with your answers, email me via nigel@nigeltemple.com or call me on: 01628 773128

Marketing is like a river

Marketing is like a river

By Marketing strategy, Success No Comments

Marketing is a journey, not a destination. You may have ticked many boxes, including segmenting your customers, positioning your brand, creating visual brand identity, implementing a CRM system, updating your website, publishing regular blogs, sending out newsletters, talking to journalists, attending / organising events and so on.

The challenge is that things keep changing. In addition, marketing is more like a flowing river, than a building on the river bank. It is important to keep learning, adapting and moving as technology, the economy and customers change.

If you think of marketing as fixed, you will be left behind. Not that long ago, for example, marketing communications was largely print-based. This included brochures, leaflets, flyers and printed press releases. Print has not gone away, however websites have, for many enterprises, taken the place of brochures. It could be said that print has morphed into pixels.

Many business owners and sales professionals used to rely on the phone. Today, buyers hide behind voicemail and caller recognition systems. If they don’t know you, you probably won’t get through.  And that is before we take GDPR into account.

Online search has made it easy to find goods and services and compare availability and pricing.

A rigid approach to marketing means lack of agility. Feedback and continuous improvement are a smart strategy.

Decisons, decisons

Do you like making decisions?

By Business, Creative thinking, Learning, Psychology, Success No Comments

Are you good at making decisions? Do you tend to make the right decisions, in your personal and professional lives? Do you like making choices?

I have been thinking about this subject, following a series of conversations with The Marketing Compass member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak.

We all have to make decisions, every day of our lives. Most decisions are minor in nature (which shirt shall I wear?) whilst some decisions are of crucial importance (shall I propose?)

When I am selling, I sometimes wonder why it can take so long for people to get back to me. I have come to the conclusion that many people like to reflect on a decision, before they take it (or avoid doing so). Or perhaps they are inundated with more pressing matters?

When it comes to marketing, there a host of decisions that need to be made. For example, are we product or customer centric? How much time and money should be devoted to marketing? Will everything be done in-house or will some of it be outsourced? How important is digital marketing? Will we use a push or a pull marketing strategy?

Personally, I tend to make decisions quickly. For example, when I am buying something, I know what I want. When I find it, why not cut to the chase and buy?

I make a lot of decisions and I always talk through the big ones (and many of the smaller ones as well) with my wife, Joanna. We often do this when we go out for a walk, which helps me to think clearly.

As far as I am aware, decision making is not taught as a separate subject in schools. Bearing in mind how important it is, perhaps it should be?

8 stars The Marketing Compass V1

The eight stars of marketing

By Marketing strategy, Success No Comments

The eight stars of marketing are:

YOU

As self-understanding leads to better understanding of the customer

STRATEGY

In the midst of confusion, have a clear strategy

PLANNING

Plan your work and work your plan

CUSTOMER

The centre of your marketing activities

COMMUNICATION

Getting your message across in a noisy marketplace

PROMOTION

Choose from 300 promotional techniques

INTERNET

The art and science of digital communication

SELLING

Converting enquiries into sales

Interestingly, the stars can work in pairs.

The Eight Stars of Marketing © Nigel Temple

Should creativity be measured?

By Creative thinking, Success No Comments

In our metrics obsessed culture, should creativity be measured? After all, virtually everything else is, isn’t it?

What would happen if we measured the number of creative ideas that were produced each month?

What would change if we measured the number of failures and celebrated high number of these? After all, it is well established that success and failure go hand in hand. If you are not failing, you are not doing enough.

During a creative thinking speech entitled ‘Are you Wired for Creativity?’ yesterday for Community Housing Cymru in Swansea, I was talking about the need to allow space and permission for creativity within marketing departments.

New ideas are important as they feed innovation. Standard marketing metrics are all well and good. However, success in a fast-changing environment requires new ideas on a continual basis.

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

By Learning, Marketing strategy, Software, Success No Comments

As everything continues to become digital, think of your enterprise as a competing data processing system. This idea is contained within Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Homo Deus.

As a marketer, I think a great deal about the customer, brand and promotion. However, when I want an answer to a question, or I am looking for a product or service, I reach for my 2nd brain (my smartphone).

The enterprise with the best data processing system is:
A) Going to be on page 1 of Google
B) Their website will engage my attention
C) If I want to find out more, their data processing system will engage with me and learn about my needs. It will communicate, follow-up and be there for me.

On this basis, don’t think ‘website’, ‘Search’, ‘CRM’, ‘Email’ etc. Instead, see  it as a holistic integrated whole that delivers a better service than anyone else.

In order to achieve this, you need to learn continually as software never stays still. As systems, apps and services move into the cloud, there has been an explosion of options and alternative ways of serving the customer.

You can throw money at IT if you wish, but it is better to understand it first. Talk to people and ask questions about what they use, how they use it and where they bought it.

This article first appeared within my marketing ideas newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

Too many browser windows open?

By Internet marketing, Learning, Software, Success, Technology, Writing One Comment

Do you find that that, as your working day progresses, you end up with dozens of browser windows?  I used to have so many that I would have several different web browsers on the go.

Station can be downloaded for use on your computer. It is free to use and it enables you to work with several hundred apps such as email, accounting, online storage, MailChimp, social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter), Skype and many others (about 300 in total).

The result is that your website browser is much less cluttered. In addition, you can search across multiple apps within Station and move from one app to another in a variety of ways.

Station groups all your pages by app, automatically.  You can turn notifications off, when you need to concentrate.

No more getting lost in 50 open tabs. Decision making speaker and NavigatorPlus member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak kindly brought this to my attention.

Visit Station’s website here to find out more and download the app.

This story first appeared in my marketing tips and ideas newsletter. You can subscribe here.  “Your newsletter is the most useful I have ever subscribed to!” Steve Munden https://ibizify.net

Using the phone for business sales calls

By Customers, Selling, Success, Telemarketing No Comments

The Marketing Compass member Walter Blackburn is an experienced business person and expert in presentation skills training. He enjoys using thephone to talk to his extensive network of contacts and clients. Here are his thoughts on using the phone to sell.

Earliest time to start calling: 8am if you’re calling someone in their office on their landline. If you’re calling their mobile I would leave it to 8.30 or even 9 because you don’t know if they’re working from home and most people don’t want to be disturbed there if they’re getting the children off to school or whatever else they might be doing to get ready for the day.

I would be careful calling mobiles if you don’t know them. Most of us are quite protective of our mobile numbers, but I believe it’s ‘fair game’ if I call you on an office landline number. If you already know the person you’ll know when it’s OK to call and whether to use their mobile or landline. For example, one of my clients has back to back meetings every Monday and most Tuesdays so I wait to call him later in the week. He’s a high Mover (see www.empathystyles.com) so he loves to speak on his mobile rather than dealing with email.) If you know the person you will know what their situation is (i.e. do they work from home and what the best time to call is).

The point of calling early is to either get past any protective secretary or PA, or to catch your prospect before they get involved in meetings. If you’re calling someone ‘cold’, i.e. for the first time and you don’t know them, I would start calling them at some time during the day rather than early in the morning or early in the evening (say, after 5.30). It’s only when I’m being rebuffed by a secretary or a PA that I would call them early, say, before 9am, or early evening to get past the protective PA who may not be at his or her desk at that time. Turn it into a ‘warm’ call by doing some research first and make the call appropriate and relevant for them.

You will need to know how to contact the decision-makers in your target organisations – is it by email, by landline, by mobile or through social media? Many people are happy to ‘hide behind’ email and voicemail. Whether you use the phone to communicate with them will be guided by the organisation and the sector. Businesses probably fall into one of 3 categories re the phone:

1. There will be those companies which use email extensively, almost exclusively, and it would therefore be pointless looking for phone numbers.
2. There will be those companies which only use mobiles – literally there will be no landline numbers.
3. And there will still be many businesses which have a main reception with a switchboard to direct calls to the appropriate person.

A lot of business is still done on the phone. So unless you’re just selling from your website you need to be confident and competent on the phone. What that means is that you have to be able to establish rapport, qualify your prospect, find a need, present your offering in a way that meets the need and close on an action step, as well as countering any objections along the way. In other words you need to be skilful in the sales process, either face to face or on the phone, or indeed in email. I’m not saying that you should give your sales presentation over the phone – you need to be doing that ideally face to face – but there will be times when it’s appropriate to do some of it over the phone or in email.

So that means two things: first you need to know the sales process for your product/service and the sector(s) into which you are selling and second you need to get some practice and experience in using it.

Do scripts still work? Yes, but they need to become a guide for you, not to be followed slavishly. The best scripts will form the basis of what to say or what to ask and are used in that way. As soon as you give prospects a scripted conversation most of them will recognise it as such and switch off. One of the reasons for that is that salespeople don’t adapt them to their personality or experience. It’s up to you to understand what you’re doing and how to personalise it for each prospect. Most of us will need some help with creating the basis for a script – we are too close to our own products / services and will tend to present our features and benefits too early rather than asking questions. Having a script means that someone has put some thought into how the call might go, which has to be a plus.

(Since Walter originally wrote this article, GDPR has come into force and this brings a whole new set of implications, including the need to generate more in-bound sales enquiries).

Click here to continue reading about business phone calls

5 sales messages a day

By Selling, Success No Comments

If you need to get more business, here is a process that works:  get in touch with five prospective clients a day. You can do this by:

*  Email: either a brief introductory email or a follow-up nudge email
*  LinkedIn messages (or InMails, if you have a Premium account)
*  Telephone calls. If you can’t get through after a few attempts leave a message using the mackeral fishing* approach

Contact dormant clients as well as members of your target markets. Keep in touch with advocates (people who have recommended you in the past). In addition, take the time to remind current clients of the different things that you do.

You may feel that ‘only 5’ sales contacts a day is not very many. However, each message has to be tailored to the recipient and it may well require time and research before the message is sent. If you are starting out (or re-starting), 5 messages each and every day will create momentum for you quickly. This is partly because your subconscious mind will be coming up with new ideas and people to contact.

As a marketing and sales consultant, trainer and coach I am often asked about how to get started and how to keep the momentum going. Let’s face it, selling is a tough job and sometimes it can feeling like you are shouting into the void, can’t it? The 5 a day method has worked for me and it has worked for my clients as well.

With regards to sales leads, I am lucky in that I receive one a day on average for my marketing and sales training, speaking and consultancy services. I do my best to speak to them all on the phone. Having spoken to a prospective client I follow-up with a tailored proposal. Quite often, they come back to me quickly, which I appreciate. Sometimes I don’t hear anything. After a week or so, I include them in my 5 a day routine.

I recommend that you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to keep track of contact details and your sales pipeline. There are hundreds of products to choose from. I use Capsule CRM and I provide training for this software.

If you need a little help and / or motivation, by all means get in touch with me.

* If you contact me, I will tell you about the mackeral fishing sales approach.

If you are looking for a LinkedIn trainer – click here.

Act like a startup

By Business, Psychology, Startups, Success No Comments

If you have been running your business for a while, from time to time you may get fed up with it. You may find yourself disengaging and even wishing that you were doing something else. Perhaps the answer is to act like a startup.

Do you remember when you first started your business? Scary, wasn’t it? Sheer adrenaline propelled you forward. You put in long hours and kept hammering away until you had a successful enterprise on your hands.

Business and indeed human nature does not work in straight lines. Success comes and goes. Sometimes everything is ‘up’ and sometimes everything is ‘down’.  If you find yourself in the doldrums, what would happen if you worked like a startup does, for the month ahead?

For a start, you have to find your passion for your enterprise once again. You would put in longer working hours. You may find yourself wanting to talk to everyone about your business. You would generate new ideas and ways of looking at challenges.

The trouble with having a successful business is that you can stop taking risks. The business owner can find themselves buried in bureaucracy and paperwork. The fun of it all can drain away. Perhaps this is why so many entrepreneurs sell their businesses once they have reached a certain size, only to start all over again.

One idea is to schedule a creative thinking session for your team or hire a business creative thinking speaker in order to help you and your colleagues to think outside of the box.

We welcome startups and small business owners here: www.marketingcompass.co.uk

7 reasons to launch a startup