We had a great day at ‘The Basingstoke Business Exhibition’ yesterday. We got 86 leads and a big thank you to the organisers for a well ran and very well attended event.
Would you like a 30 page report on what is wrong with your website? The cost is only £50+ VAT and it covers:
I hope you are like me and you think signing up to this is a NO BRAINER!! By the way, I am assuming that you are one of the 98% of businesses who have a website that does not create leads.
To sign up give us a call on 01256 345 556.
Having a nice looking website means nothing if it does not get traffic! Yet every day business owners say to me “Our website does not win us any business and so we are getting it re-designed”. How stupid!
These people end up with a better looking website, that still wins no business! You have got to Search Engine Optimise (SEO) your website, so that it gets found on Google.
If you pay to get your website optimised and it appears to get your business found on Google, then that is great, but what happens when Google decides to change the criteria it uses to rank websites (like it did on 14th April 2015)? Now your website is no longer on the first page on Google, along with you losing the £100,000 per month you were making from your website. Why? Because no one can find your business on it any more.
It is better therefore to have multiple streams of income, or in this case multiple ways of driving traffic to your website, including:
How effective are you at driving traffic to your business?
If you do not use Google Analytics, then how do you know what is working and what is not? The truth is that most people say to me – “I think it is installed on our website, but I am not sure”. Others tell me – “Yes we look at it once per month to see how many people look at our website, but we don’t use it to grow our business”.
So many of the websites that I see are too cluttered. They often have ten calls to action and fifty things people can click on, and that is just on their home page. As yourself – What is the primary purpose of this page? What do you want people to do as a result of visiting this page?
People occasionally tell me that they get 20,000 people to their website in an hour, day, week, month, or year. When I ask them how many leads that creates, they either have no clue, or they look very sheepish and say something like, three per month. What ever your conversion rate is right now, it is not good enough and you should be working at improving it.
What is the CTA (call to action) on each page of your website? Do you have enquiry forms, sign up forms, special offers, or incentives. Are you offering something for free in order to get contact names, company name, tel number and email address? Are you following these people up?
I have left this until last as it is probably the least important. It is also the area that most people focus upon if their website is not working, and this is totally the wrong thing to do. I have seen really poorly designed websites that pull in lots of business and I have seen lovely designed ones that create no leads. The worst example of this was a lady who attended one of my workshops. Her company had spent £50,000+ on a new website and six months later the site had produced zero leads. When I asked her how much she had spent on Marketing the site, her reply was nothing at all.
If you’re a conference-going expert, you probably have your own list of tried and tested tactics for making the most of a conference. (If so, we’d love to hear in the comments.) But if not, here are our thoughts…
The quickest way to throw away hundreds of dollars (besides actually throwing them away) is to go to a conference without sitting down and formulating a plan first.
It’s not exactly military statecraft, but it’s essential. I guarantee there will be no time to stop and pause once you arrive at the event, so take some time to complete the following items before you board that plane/train/bus.
This one’s a no-brainer. Set a goal for what you’d like to learn at the conference, and use the agenda to devise a plan specifically tailored to that goal. Make sure to attend conference-wide events like keynote addresses. Most conferences won’t hold breakout sessions during these presentations, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on anything else.
When it comes to smaller sessions, consider both the speaker and the subject matter. Highly tactical sessions are generally useful to attend regardless of who leads them. However, sessions less directly related to your profession can be valuable as well if they’re led by an industry figure you’re angling to meet.
Familiarize yourself with the conference space so you don’t get lost. You don’t want to miss important information, or for a roomful of people to form a negative first impression of you by showing up late.
If you’re attending a smaller conference, it should be enough to take a half hour or so the night before or early in the morning on day one to walk around the space. For larger conferences, this might not be feasible, especially if the show will be held across multiple venues. Grab a map from the host, and keep a copy on your phone or print one out to reference between sessions.
The people you’ll attend sessions with are as important as the sessions themselves. There’s no better time to network with your peers, connect with new prospects, or touch base with customers than at a conference.
Most conferences will have a Facebook event page and/or a Twitter hashtag set up. The conference hosts will start promoting these pages in advance of the event, and they’re a great way to keep track of acquaintances and people you’d like to meet.
Don’t count on simply running into prospects at the conference. Instead, reach out to them ahead of time to let them know you’ll both be in attendance. This way, you can book time on their calendars and have their full, undivided attention instead of trying to cram a 15-minute conversation into a stop-and-chat.
Let’s be honest: You’ll probably be checking your work email during the conference. But even if you are, you definitely won’t be able to respond at the same clip as you do in the office. Make sure prospects and customers know why they might not hear from you for a few days by setting up an out-of-office reply.
(For inspiration, check out these hilarious examples of out-of-office replies.)
Conferences are multi-day affairs where you’ll be booking long hours each day. To remove as much stress as possible from your experience, make sure you’ve taken care of these things before you board the plane:
Keep your phone and laptop chargers with you. You’re going to spend a huge part of your day on your devices — don’t get caught with dead batteries.
Pack enough business cards. Make sure you have some on hand and a stash in your luggage. You never know how many people you’re going to meet.
Bring the materials you need for demos. By no means should you spend the conference pitching to people who don’t want to be pitched. However, if one of those pre-set prospect meetings turns into a real sales opportunity, it’ll be more efficient — and impressive — if you can provide a walkthrough on the spot.
Once You’re There
You’re here … Now what? The next few days will be a whirlwind of activity, but don’t be overwhelmed. You’re armed with a goal and a plan — there are only a few additional things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your time.
You don’t want to be stuck at the registration desk while everyone else is off to the races. Register as early as possible so you can minimize your time standing in lines and maximize your time learning and meeting people.
If you’re attending with coworkers, try and see as much as possible. If each of you attends the same sessions and events, your company might as well have only sent one of you. Splitting up for sessions will maximize how much you’re able to learn and ensure that each of you has unique insights to take back to your company. Plan to get lunch or dinner each day to regroup on key takeaways.
Flying solo also means you’ll each be able to meet more people. Huge conferences can foster pack mentality, but the more attendees you can meet and speak with, the more of an asset you’ll be to your sales team. Discovering how your business fits into the larger industry and how other companies run their sales divisions are invaluable insights. A conference is an unparalleled opportunity to pick the brains of your competition and your market. Don’t waste it.
Sure, you might have exchanged emails with your customers in the last few months, but nothing beats a face-to-face interaction. If things aren’t going so well, this is a great opportunity to address any issues before you get a cancellation call. But don’t feel as though you have to solve every problem today; talk through any high-level concerns your customer may have and then set a follow up time for after the conference.
And if things are going well, checking in will not only reinforce your relationship — it’ll also be fun! Enjoy spending time with a happy customer, and listen for upsell opportunities.
You’ve set up meetings with prospects. Now, put that time to use. Listen to their anxieties and concerns, and demonstrate how your product can help address those issues and bring their business to the next level.
Don’t go into these meetings expecting to close deals on the spot. Like you, your prospects are attending this conference to learn and gain expertise. Use these conversations to set yourself up for future targeted conversations addressing specific pain points or questions. Close each conversation with a list of takeaways, and let prospects know you’ll be following up with relevant materials.
Most conferences will have a dedicated hashtag. During the event, make sure you’re tagging your tweets and Instagrams properly. You can also monitor the hashtag throughout the conference to see what people are talking about. Striking up a conversation online is a great way to reach out to someone you’re interested in meeting but haven’t come across in person yet.
(And if you’re not active on social media, here’s a primer on why you should be.)
Conferences are information avalanches. Between breakout sessions, workshops, one-on-one conversations, and happy hours, you’ll come away with more notes, names, and numbers than you can possibly remember. This wealth of information will serve you well going forward, but if you come home with a mess of business cards and a set of notes without labels or tags, you’ll spend double the time organizing everything and trying to recall what you discussed with “Jennifer Chicago CEO.”
Thankfully, it’s not hard to keep yourself on track, so long as you strike when the iron’s hot. Write on the back of people’s business cards to remind yourself of the salient points of your conversation, or digitally capture the cards and take notes in an app such as CamCard. Include details about what session or happy hour you met them at — anything that will jog your memory a day or a week after the fact.
If you take notes by hand, you should at the very least include headings and start a new page at the beginning of every session, lest your notes become one long run-on list of bullet points. If you’re more inclined to keep everything digital, Evernote is one of the apps all salespeople should have. You can create a dedicated notebook for your conference notes, and tag each note with multiple labels to organize any way you want — by topic, speaker, or even which day the session took place.
Postgame: Once You’re Home
Take some time to decompress after you arrive home. … But not too much, because your work’s not finished. The days and weeks after a conference are when you’ll be able to put everything you’ve learned to use and turn your short meet-and-greets into fruitful business partnerships.
All that information you gathered from customers and prospects? It’s time to transfer it into your CRM. Jot down everything you can remember from your conversations so that when you follow up, you’re able to view new insights in the context of the larger relationship.
Connecting with people you met during the conference is best done in the days immediately following your return. Send follow-up notes and LinkedIn requests while the conference is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Include a personalized message to accompany your request on LinkedIn. Remember, everyone’s inbox will be flooded, so make yourself memorable by reminding your new connection what you discussed. Check out this guide to writing the perfect LinkedIn invitation for more advice.
Now is also the time to make use of the insights you gained from your prospects. Whether it’s sending them content or scheduling a demo, make use of what you learned from your one-on-ones to get them closer to signing on with your company. Make sure your follow-ups are appropriately tailored to what you discussed — another reason you’ll want to organize your notes.
The insights you gained at the conference are likely to be useful for your team, so make sure to set aside time to pass on what you learned. Whether it’s leading an in-person session or writing an email or post to document the most valuable information, proactively sharing information will help your colleagues do better work while establishing you as a leader on your team.
There’s no better place than a conference to take stock of the state of your industry and your profession. Make the most of your time, and have fun!
What other conference tips do you have? Share with us in the comments below.
Dunn & Bradstreet recently conducted a survey into business success and failure of thousands of businesses. They were looking at the reasons businesses succeed and the reasons that they fail. They found that – Businesses succeed because of high sales. Businesses fail because of low sales.
Basically, if your sales, revenues and cash flow are high enough, you can get through almost any business problem. If your sales are too low it is almost impossible to survive.
I have a question for you. What is the most important work that you do?
The answer is ‘THINKING’. Your ability to spend time thinking will determine the entire quality of your business and your life and since thinking is the process of asking and answering questions, then it is clear as a business owner that you need to ask more and better quality questions.
Sometimes asking and answering just one question can set your business off in an entirely new direction.
For further advice and tips on business and how to create more Sales go toMarketing and Sales Advice.
You get an amount of people to your website. What is your conversion rate? Let’s say you get 1,000 people to your website per month and that equals 20 enquiries. The question is – how can you increase your conversion rate from 20 to 30, or to put it anyother way. how can you get a 50% increase in your number of enquiries.
In this video Steve Mills AKA The Prudent Marketer will tell you what is wrong with most websites.
“What other people say about you is far more important than what you say about yourself”. Brian Tracey
This being the case, having a case-study, or better still several case-studies should be a important part of your Marketing.
In 2015, these case-studies might be in the form of a:
Or, all of the above! Whatever the medium you use, the key is always taking action and getting the work done. 95% of the businesses that we meet do not have case studies.
So make a start, and in this blog there is a great lay out for each and every case study. Not got the time? Call us on 01256 345 556 and get our professional copy writer, to write a case study for you.
When it comes time to take all of the information you’ve collected and actually turn it into something, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Where should you start? What should you include? What’s the best way to structure it?
To help you get a handle on the layout, we recommend focusing on building out the following six sections:
Section 1 – Title: Keep it short. Focus on highlighting the most compelling accomplishment.
Section 2 – Executive Summary: This should be a 2-4 sentence summary of the entire story. You’ll want to follow it with 2-3 bullet points that display metrics showcasing success.
Section 3 – About: This serves as an introduction to the person or company and can be pulled from their LinkedIn profile or website.
Section 4 – Challenges: This section should include 2-3 paragraphs describing the customer’s challenges prior to using your product or service, as well as the goals that they set out to achieve.
Section 5 – How You Helped: This section should include 2-3 paragraphs that focus on describing how your product or service provided a solution to their problem.
Section 5 – Their Results: This section should include 2-3 paragraphs that prove how your product or service specifically impacted the person or company and helped them achieve their goals. Include numbers to quantify your contributions.
Section 6 – Supporting Visuals or Quotes: Pick one or two powerful quotes that you would feature at the bottom of sections above, as well as a visual that supports the story you are telling.
Take action and get your own case studies out there creating leads for you. Need help, then call us on 01256 345 556.
We are pleased to confirm that Steve Mills (The Prudent Marketer) and founder of The Prudent Marketing Company, has just been invited back on to Business Connections Live, at 12noon on 3rd August 2015. Business Connections Live is an Internet based TV channel for business people and a weekly programme goes out live every week at 12noon, on Monday’s.
This is Steve’s forth time on Business Connections Live. Steve said “It is great to be invited back and I think Business Connections Live is a fantastic recourse for business owners”.
The last time Steve was on the programme he spoke about the potential power of Prudent Marketing. Watch Steve the last time he was on the programme – Click here