You can only initially sell a meeting

No matter what sort of sales and marketing strategy you implement, it is highly unlikely that any of the activities will result in a direct sell. In fact, making a sale shouldn’t actually be your objective. In my experiences, it just doesn’t work like that in professional services.

The aim of your marketing activity i.e having an optimised website, running a targeted advertising campaign, implementing direct marketing, holding a conference, making “cold calls” etc etc should be to get you infront of your prospect.

Bath Marketing Consultancy sees the marketing initiatives as a means to an end not the end in themselves. You should be employing them solely for the purpose of getting you to that all-important first meeting. Yes, advertising can be sexy, design can be pretty, PR fabulous but keep the purpose in the forefront of your mind: “I want to meet that person!”

Your aim should be to meet this person (or people) before your competition does and it will undoubtedly help if a meeting takes place against a background where the marketing messages you want to convey have already entered their brain! Your marketing, therefore, is preparatory. It is implemented to soften up your suspects, to turn them into prospects and ultimately clients!

Makes sense? If you need any help with your marketing, email me direct and I will come back to you or fill out our contact form………..


2011 – 20 pointers to look at to ensure success

What can be better for a small business than looking at a full diary; a diary that has lots of potential new clients booked in?!

Marketing Check List for 2011

In my opinion, getting a meeting with someone new is a great achievement and essential to business growth as, without these sorts of meetings, your business is likely to really struggle. Yes, it is great to “network,” to get referals and to interact on Twitter etc, but it is getting new business that is the core to business development.

So……always be thinking of that little bit extra. Perseverance and tenacity will always be rewarded, especially if accompanied by flair. Don’t expect results overnight, but do expect results from your sales and marketing.

Below are 20 golden rules to try and stick to –

Create a fire; you cannot just flick a switch
Invest time AND money
Treat your business as a brand – research it and define your USP
Remember marketing is not just new business/sales
Construct a clear vision of where you want to be
Aim high – but have a safety net
Do a few things brilliantly rather than loads averagely
Remember the competitive framework
Look after your database
TEST new ideas and initiatives
Use all the tools you can
Invest in training if need be
Consider contra deals
Work on “selling” a meeting in the first instance
Try and get to know local editors
Make sure you have a good team & suppliers
Keep in touch with clients and prospects
People give business to people who really want their business

With 2011 pretty much upon us, why not give Bath Marketing Consultancy a shout or come in for a coffee and a chat to discuss your marketing?

My tips on how to make the dreaded cold call

Like many areas of business, to be successful a great deal is to do with planning. Have you done your homework? Do you know the prospects’ name, job title, role within the organisation, areas of responsibility, business sector, email address and correct phone number – direct line is a bonus? In that case, you are pretty much ready to pick up the phone and dial…

This is not the best way to prepare!

However, before doing so, there are some very beneficial little habits I have included in my routine that I feel give me a better chance of getting that all important meeting. These are confident building steps and little personal elements that I am going to share with you. I know cold calling is a nasty initiative, but I never see cold calling as a numbers game. The people I contact are relevant and I truly believe I can add value to their business. This makes me feel positive before I start! I appreciate that cold calling makes people nervous and rejection rates are high so don’t laugh at the next paragraph!

1) I always make my calls in an empty office or room. This may sound obvious, but you never want to be overheard or have the possibility of being interrupted. If you work from home and have a family, wait for them to go out!
2) I always stand up. This actually makes me more alert and able to move about. Sitting down might seem relaxing, but it is far easier to be aggressive or defensive if you are in one place.
3) Smile. This is pretty much industry standard, but a smile projects the correct mood in your voice and, believe it or not, a good, positive smile can be heard down a telephone!

4) I have been known to play a song from i tunes in the background and sing to it as I dial. This actually makes me happy and feel like the call is going to be a positive one.

My next post will be about the call itself such as, DON’T start with “how are you?” Always say who you are and your role clearly. So many cold calls that I receive just go straight into the sales pitch following a “how are you” opener. The person on the other end of the phone will most likely receive loads of these calls so concentrate on what you can do for them and why.

I hope this little snippet from Bath Marketing Consultancy helps.

SME Marketing Tips

Below is a list of 7 simple tips to help the SME when considering marketing activity. They are simple, low-cost ways for any small business to find customers and generate sales quickly.

1. Don’t Advertise Like a Big Business. Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can’t afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales …now. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising – and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.

2. Offer a Cheaper Version. Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price. 
3. Offer a Premium Version. Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price. 
4. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods. Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost. 
5. Trim Your Ads. Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads for the same cost. You may even be surprised to find that some of your short ads generate a better response than their longer versions. 

6. Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses. Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost. 
7. Take Advantage of Your Customers. Your customers already know and trust you. It’s easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some special deals just for your existing customers …and announce new products and services to them before you announce them to the general market. 

Also, convert your customers into publicity agents for your business. Develop an incentive for them to tell associates and friends about the value of your products or services. An endorsement from them is more effective than any amount of advertising – and it is much cheaper!!

Are you an SME looking for help with your marketing? Why not put Bath Marketing Consultancy to the test?