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Posts Tagged ‘Clients’

My Final P in business is…..Patience

February 15, 2011 4 comments

 

 

Patience, this sounds easy but in practice it can be very, very hard, especially when your business isn’t growing as fast as you’d hoped.

 

For example, how do you stick with the business plan that you spent days, weeks or months preparing? The plan that when you started was broken down to what seemed a few simple steps, ie implement the marketing plan, get customer in, retain them, profit with them, keep repeating and hey presto a viable business inside a relatively short space of time.

 

In principle you know your plan will work. But on the frontline day to day trying to implementing your plan gets hard. Especially growing a young business, trying to bring in new clients, one of the hardest, most expensive and time consuming processes a business carries out.

 

This is where you must have patience! Patience to stick with what you know is right. If you’ve planed thoroughly, got buy in from stakeholders (ie, you’ve checked your plan out with qualified others for feed back and they’re convinced of its merits), implementing correctly then all you may need, in general, is time and patience to make it work.

 

I found this out in my first “proper” business. I planed out where I was going, did the business plan and got the outline of the marketing plan, which in those youthful heady days just consisted of cold calling and word of mouth referrals, the internet was still in the womb at that time and I had no money for anything else.

 

My plan and business was sound, so onto bringing clients. Simple idea cold call relevant businesses that maybe interested in my services and then leverage of any clients on word of mouth and shazam!, lots of clients and an ever expanding healthy business.

 

However I had to learn patience.

 

I made well over a hundred cold calls a week, in person and on the phone. It was frustrating, demoralizing, sometimes humiliating, basically not always a great experience. But I slowly learned that occasionally I would find a customer and leverage of that one and so on and so on.

 

Finally momentum and break through followed. It all started to fall into place with patient implementation of a solid plan. But that plan would have been nothing without Patience.

 

So, look at your plan, if your convinced its sound and you know that the patience implementation of it leads to where you want to be then, Stick with it. Be Patient and believe in your own abilities.

 

Thanks for reading, Tim

 

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Got the Passion for what you do?

September 14, 2010 2 comments

As Anita Roderick, founder of the Body Shop, coined “Passion Persuades”. Very handy if you’re in a sales role or own your own business.

All the books you’ve read, all the training you’ve had, all the seminars you’ve been to count for nothing, nothing at all if you can’t convey the passion for what you do.

You can kid some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

Ever looked at who the standout exceptional people are? The ones who are top of their game in their profession or field. What’s the difference, why are they there, why them?

What’s the extra ingredient?

I’m going to suggest that the extra magic ingredient is ….Passion.

Sure they may have a little natural talent, have a lot of experience, or attended a lot of seminars and so on. But the difference is the true deep belief in what they are doing that shines through and gives them that edge, makes them standout.

How to find the Passion in what you do

Here’s the tuff one. How do I find passion in what I do, especially if it’s something that’s hard to get passionate about?

Let’s take something like….car insurance. Can’t get too worked up about that can you, or maybe you can??

Well instead of think about the product, although you can always find benefits to selling most products, try thinking about yourself and the interaction with the customer.

Take this opportunity to just focus on the customer. How can I do my best and produce a great result for my customer and at the sametime gain personal satisfaction in helping someone get what they want or need.

That’s just one way, another is to get passionate about the product or service. Look at it from another angle.

Take the car insurance one again. You aren’t selling insurance for customer’s cars; you’re selling peace of mind and security. Peace of mind that if anything where to happen to you or your car, you are fully covered for any losses.

So a slight shift in the perception of what you do maybe all that’s required to ignite your passion for what you do.

I hope this has been food for thought and will help you find your Passion.

Thanks for reading, Tim.

Don’t miss your target customer……

August 31, 2010 2 comments

Don’t miss your target customer……

Who’s your customer? Do you know? Do you really know?

It’s a question that begs an answer.

It’s so easy to be in business or to start a business and be blissfully unaware who your ideal customer really is.

So how do we establish who our ideal customer really is?

Lets find out

Well firstly we need to start with ourselves and our own business. What do we have to offer? What’s our product or service? Try and understand exactly what you are really offering.

Next we want to look at groups who maybe interested in what we have to offer.

Refine

Then try and refine these groups down. Do you want all these groups as your customers?

For example. A company that produces a high quality deli counter product may have supermarkets as one of its target customers, but do they want to be involved with them? Will it lead to lower margins, longer payment terms and less control of their product?

Really spend some time in defining who your ideal customer is. The more clarity you have over this the easier it will be to market to them.

Clarity

The clarity you have about your ideal customer will allow you to build a marketing plan focused around them rather than a non targeted, scatter gun approach. This will in turn make the marketing you do more cost effective and efficient. Ultimately it will deliver to you your ideal customer making you more fulfilled in your work and more profitable.

I hope this blog gets you thinking a little. It’s never to late to redefine your ideal customer and change the way you market to them.

Thanks for your time, Tim

What’s YOUR Most Precious Resource?

What’s Your most precious resource?

Okay before I get into this, it’s a slight track away from Marketing and the world of business and work. But it’s very relevant as to how you use your resources both personally and in your business or work. Have a look and challenge yourself.

Have a think, what is your most precious resource? mmm….is it money…is it your experience….is it your education?? Well all great resources in their own rights but all can be borrowed, brought, copied and so on, given enough….Time.

I came to the conclusion a while back, hopefully not too late in the day, that it’s Time that is our most precious resource. Once its used its gone and its not coming back.

You see time can fix all sorts of woes, problems, issues and general lack ofs, and time can be used effectively and efficiently, and be used to achieve wondrous, outstanding, profitable results.

How can we use time to our advantage?

Firstly we don’t need to waste it. We all need to look at what’s a good and what’s a bad use of our time. Only you can decide this, but here’s a few bad uses of your (well mine in the past) time:

● TV – I’m sure someone’s going to lynch me for this and I am guilty on occasion of doing this. I don’t mean all TV is bad and don’t ever watch it again. What I’m getting at is try and be more selective. Cut out some of the stuff that demands your attention but gives you little in return and instead replace it with something that is more constructive and will give you a return, be it educationally, a book for example, or physically, a walk or the gym??

● Over analysis – you’ve heard it before, but it’s so true – “analysis paralysis”. Don’t get caught up in this, it consumes huge amounts of time with no real outcome. Make a decision sooner rather than later. If you are struggling to make a decision then ask for help, ask someone neutral for there input.

● Duplication – are you doing tasks twice or duplicating information where it isn’t necessary? Unfortunately I used to do this a lot, but I’m getting better. An example of this is that I would sometimes visit the corner shop five times a week instead of once a week, costing me extra, in impulse buying of snacks, and wasting time, over an hour a week, not a lot but in an hour I can have written an article or two that may positively impact on people and provide personal satisfaction. Yep, much better and more satisfying than choosing which chips to buy for the fifth time.

I think you know what uses of your time are the good ones, you know the tasks that have a positive or constructive outcome, things that move you closer to your goals.

So have a look at some of the tasks you do in a day or week and put them into the good or bad box and how long these tasks take. This can be either in your personal life or your working day or week, or both.

Now, how about changing or getting rid of some of those bad uses of you’re time. How much does this give you back in your day or week and what positive outcomes does it or could it deliver to you? I know doing this exercise helped me to use my time more efficiently and effectively. It also helped me become more focused on my goals and the direction that I was going in, helped me gain a bit more clarity because I had become more effective with the time available.

This process can be expanded and refined and could eventually be used as a bases for your diary for the week, where by you are using more of your time efficiently and effectively, enabling you to produce better outcomes, week in week out.

It’d be great to hear some of your experiences on this, the good and the bad.

Thanks for Your Time in reading this and I hope it was helpful.

Thanks again, Tim.

Marketing for life

August 19, 2010 3 comments

Marketing for life, what’s your customer worth to You?

No I don’t mean in terms of Marketing for life is like a puppy, it’s not just for Christmas it’s for life. I mean in terms of Customer Life Time Value.

Life time value of customers is an area that’s often over looked.

This isn’t just relevant in the business world but in the real world of work, particularly in people in sales roles.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing each customer on a transaction to transaction basis. What I mean by this is that each customer is judged on individual transactions, with the bigger picture never being looked at.

Most businesses and people in sales roles generally want to see repeat business. But treat there customers based on single transactions instead of viewing them as a customer for life, one who may buy again and again and have the potential to buy in greater quantities.

Let me give you an example, Real Estate.

A few years ago I started buying property and had found an area that I was happy to invest and develop property in. I called up a few real estates in the area to try and arrange some viewings and some more back ground information on the area.

One real estate guy stood out. He offered me a full day of viewings and to drive me around the area and give me more local information. He also arranged to show me examples of properties that had been redeveloped for some ideas as well as examples of properties that his office had rented out under their management.

For a real estate, sorry real estate people, he stood out a mile as someone who viewed me in terms of the bigger picture and not just a one off sale.

So how has that benefited him doing it this way?

Well I brought three properties from him after that one visit, rented them all out with his company. I also went onto buy after two properties and now only deal with him on all my purchases, sales, developments and rentals of my properties in the area.

All because he could see the bigger picture, The Life Time Value of the customer. Clever? or just putting a little more thought into this process?

I think taking a leaf out this guys book is something we should all consider if we want happy, profitable long term relationships with the customers we have now and our customers of tomorrow.

Can it be that easy? Let me know your thoughts and experiences. Thanks, Tim.

Marketing, a rewarding investment

August 16, 2010 1 comment

Marketing is an investment not an expense:

Surely not! Marketing is an expense! …. Well yes …but NO. I will explain.

Let’s have a look at an expense. Paper clips, yes let’s buy paper clips as an example. Great invention, keeps everything tidy but beyond this does it give your business a return? Does it create sales on its own? Well, no it doesn’t.

Ok let’s try something bigger, more essential, a whole department, say accounts or operations. Yep both essential to the business, you can’t get paid if you don’t raise and invoice and collect in the money, or if you don’t deliver the goods on time.

But, all of the above are expenses. They’re costs of doing business.

I hear you cry…”placing an add is a cost”, “running a direct mailing campaign is a cost”. Yes true, but totally different.

A different mind set needs to be formed about these “expenses”. The Marketing “expense” creates new customers, without which we have no turnover for our accounts to bill for, or any products for our operations to deliver.

Therefore we are left with no other conclusion, Marketing is an investment. One that has a measurable return.

Don’t agree or have more to add?

Thanks again for your valuable time, Tim

Five tips to keep you competitive in a competitive market, whether it’s in your area of work or in your business……..

Five Easy Tips, with lots of benefits, for YOU……

1. Understand your market:

By understanding your market you can better target your marketing resources. Define your market. If you sell, for example, cosmetics then you could say that all women are your market. But by understanding where your product falls into the market, ie high or low priced, etc, you can then target your efforts.

2.  Don’t use a scatter gun approach to find your next client:

For example spend $750 on a postal flyer or $750 on expenses meeting new customers at Network functions? Find and target your next customer in a timely cost effective manner. Resources are precious both in time and money terms.

3. Think outside the box:

Don’t just rely on traditional forms of attracting customers. Just putting a sticker on your car door isn’t going to cut it. Try teaming up with other companies that compliment your product and services. Pool resources and market together.

4. Your brand must run through your company:

Consistency is the key. Ensuring your band runs through your company will show your customer that you are in control and offer a consistent, quality product or service. Just take a look at McDonalds, for example.

5. Staff are on Board:

Empower your staff, they represent you and most importantly the company. Are they presenting both in a good light? They need you to guide them in presenting the company in the right way. Training, training, training.

It’s not a huge jump for you to translate this to your current job if you’re not currently in business. Have a look…

  1. Understand who your customer is. Find out what makes them tick to give you a better understanding of them. You’ll also be able to communicate with them better.
  2. Use your time wisely. Target, target, target. Think before you act, is this a good use of my time?
  3. Look outside of what you do to speak with your customers. In a sales role try something different, say outside of normal work hours get together in something that you both may enjoy.
  4. Get with the program. Let the company’s brand run through you to. Your customers will thank you for being part of a consistent performing, quality organization.
  5. Are you representing your company well? If you are you’ll feel the benefits both from the company and clients. You’ll be appreciated and if you’re not, tell your employer or find one that will appreciate you.

You are your own business and if you choose to excel in everything you do, even at the moment if it’s for someone else’s company, ultimately you will benefit. In terms of being noticed, financial rewards and personally knowing that you made a difference to someone.

I hope that this doesn’t sound like a campaign to get everyone obediently to obey their employees, its not, you need to be appreciated as an employee who cares. I just want to show that most of the business and marketing education, conversations, literature, etc out there is relevant to you being in work.

Being at the peak of your game at work will ultimately benefit ….You. People will notice You.

Thanks again for reading, your time is appreciated and all your comments are gratefully received. Thanks, Tim