Business Advice – Let me ask you a question…
Is your current level of skill good enough to get you to where you want your business to go?
I am assuming that you want your business to grow and that you run a business!
Let’s consider that you currently run a business that turns over £1,000,000 and you want to get to £10,000,000 (the numbers don’t really matter, but you want significant growth).
What is your current level of:
- Sales expertise
- Marketing expertise
- Financial expertise
- People management
- Customer care
Is your level of skills and knowledge really good enough?
From a marketing perspective are you good enough at:
- Website marketing
- Social media
- PPC Advertising on Google, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn (not to mention re-marketing)
- Referral marketing
- Email marketing
If you are really committed to doing what is required to grow your business, then surely it makes obvious sense to improve your knowledge and skills in the very things that are going to help you to do so.
Step 1 – Book a CEO Strategy session – click here
10 ways to improve your sales conversion rates
If you convert five out of ten leads. Does a 50% success rate mean you are wasting half of your marketing budget? Of course not, but maybe some sales training could boost your rate to 60% – and that would up your turnover by 20%!
Meantime here are a few ideas that may prove useful
- Get yourself into the proper frame of mind. You can’t expect to do a good job if you are still fuming about the idiot who cut you up on your way to the appointment. Let go of the day’s frustrations and concentrate on the customer.
- Find some common ground. Sometimes this means talking about (or letting the customer talk about) last night’s football or the awful state of the country before getting down to business. Just don’t let it get out of hand!
- Clearly, identify the customer’s need. It’s a cliché but don’t try to sell the drill bit – sell the hole!
- Use their words, not yours. Sometimes we get carried away with our own clever jargon. If the customer wants ‘plenty of loft space’, don’t turn it into ’30 square metres of unobtrusive storage solution’.
- Paint attractive word pictures. Ask the customer to ‘imagine yourself driving through the countryside in your new convertible on a sunny day’.
- Use positive reinforcement. When the customer himself talks about the benefits of ownership, don’t be tempted to add lots more features – (s)he knows what (s)he wants. So just agree and ask for the order.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Try to see things from the customer’s viewpoint; ask yourself, ‘Would I buy it from me?’ If you can’t convince yourself …
- When they suggest a feature they want, ask questions. ‘Why is that important to you?’ The more you ask, the more you will understand what they are looking for and the better you will be able to match your product to their requirements.
- Always be credible. Don’t make outrageous claims. Most customers can spot them and the ones that don’t come back looking for refunds when they discover the truth.
- Be prepared to say no if you believe they are making a mistake. It’s awfully hard to turn down a sale but they will thank you and probably become your most loyal customer in the future.
If you consider what Apple did to the computer market you must admit it was quite incredible. Last week I was in London and I went into Starbucks and out of the fifty people in there about twenty were using Apple Macs, another six were on iPads and there was not a ‘normal’ laptop in sight!
Last week I was in London and I went into Starbucks and out of the fifty people in there about twenty were using Apple Macs, another six were on iPads and there was not a ‘normal’ laptop in sight!
So what has this got to do with small businesses? If you think about what Steve Jobs and his team did at Apple:-
- They took a well-known product and made it different
- They improve it and made it more reliable (no more crashing)
- They developed a great brand and logo
- They developed new complimentary products that were in an associated industry
- They got people talking about their products
- They charged twice as much as anyone else in the market
In truth, they did nothing that any small business could not do. So why is this? The truth is, the problem often lies with the owner of the business. Most business owners don’t even think like Steve Jobs, or Walt Disney, or Richard Branson, let alone take action. They are too busy working, to build a business that works and this is one of the biggest problems with most small businesses.
So what do you do if you own a business? The first thing to do is to change the way you think. Then you need to think about your business as though you were an external person and you would need to ask yourself a very powerful question. How can we do this better than our competitors? Do what better? Everything!
As we all know “numbers are the currency of business” and that is also true of ‘marketing numbers’. As the old saying goes “you cannot manage what you do not measure”.
However, just knowing your numbers is not good enough.
Step 2 is called ‘IMPROVING THE NUMBERS’ and this is essential.
So what did May’s numbers look like?
- How many leads did you create?
- How many leads did you turn into sales?
- How many sales calls did you make?
- How many times did you ask for a referral or testimonial and how many did you get?
- How many people went to your website?
- What did you learn?
- How organised were you?
What about next month?
- What are you going to delegate?
- What are your three top goals for June?
- What areas of your business are you going to focus on improving in June?
- What new systems do you need to develop?
- What are you going to do to improve your numbers?
I hope these questions give you food for thought. If you want to discuss improving your numbers then call me on 01256 242 272, or use our website to book a meeting online.
one of the top business owners in the world (for example, James Caan of Dragon Den) took over your business and ran it for the next year and they only had the same amount of money, contacts and time as you had and they could not utilise their name. Would he/she be more successful than you?
If you answered yes, then the questions for you to consider are:
- What would they do differently?
- Would they have better skills than you?
- What would they change in your business or the way you sell and market your services?
Development of Business Skills…
I had a great day yesterday in the offices of Dan Bradbury.
It was great to spend the day away from the office working on the business and getting the opinion of someone outside of the business. I think everyone should do this from time to time.
During the day we discussed the development of ‘business skills’. The truth is that 99% of business owners have weaknesses in their business skills (including myself) and we need to identify and improve these skills.
These skills could include:
- Financial clarity
- Marketing (or as we call it – lead generation)
- Sales (or as we call it – lead conversion)
- Strategic planning
- People management
- Health and safety
Or any number of other skills that you need to own and to manage a successful business.
The key is that as business owners we need to develop those skills, and if we don’t the lack of skill in any one of those areas can ‘bite us in the bum’ just at the wrong time and end our business.
Steve Mills Internet Marketing Masterclass Dubai
Sales and Marketing Training from the Prudent Marketing Company
Just a short note to update you on our forthcoming cutting edge Sales and Marketing Training.
Our forthcoming programme includes:
- How to use LinkedIn to grow your business (Learn how to create new leads for your business)
- Sales Training – How to turn more leads into sales.
To find out more click here
Welcome to the first weekly check-in. Weekly check-ins are basically a list of weekly thought provoking questions. Some questions you will get each week, whilst others will be new each week.
So here goes:
- How many leads did you create this week?
- How many leads did you turn into sales this week?
- How many sales calls did you make this week?
- How many times did you ask for a referral or testimonial and how many did you get?
- How many people went to your website this week?
- What did you learn this week?
- How organised were you this week?
What about next week?
- What are you going to delegate next week?
- What are your three top goals for next week?
- What areas of your business are you going to focus on improving this week?
- What new systems do you need to develop next week?
I hope these questions give you food for thought. If you want to share your answers with me then that would be very useful.
The three steps to success
There are many versions of ‘the secret to success’. However, it makes common sense for me to know…
- Do I know my ONE most important thing for the year/month/ quarter?
- Do I know my number ONE biggest action today?
- Have I planned my ONE biggest thing for first thing in the morning?
EVERYONE is busy, the real question is “busy doing what?”
Everyone has the same number of hours in the day. So it’s not a question of having the time, it’s a question of managing your priorities and putting the most important things first.
Most people have a thousand excuses as to why the can’t follow the 3 steps above.
Most people don’t have what they want and will never achieve the success they desire.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence, do you?
So my question for you is quite simple. What’s your one thing today?
Have a productive day!
Steve Mills – The Prudent Marketer
The book that inspired this blog post and one which is well worth reading is ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller.
Business advice for small businesses
The first quarter of 2017 is just a few days away from ending and I have a few questions for you.
- What did you do in your marketing that worked?
- What did you do that didn’t work?
- What were your wins (big and small)?
- Did you get closer to achieving your goals or mission?
I am about to discuss this with my team and we are going to use those questions and using the answers to make sure we achieve our goals for 2017.
We are doing really well right now, but the one question that keeps me focussed is:
“Did you get closer to achieving your ultimate goal or mission? Did you get all your balls in line?”