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Yearly Archives

2011

Visitor Movement

By Customer Understanding, Marketing Performance

How are viewers moving around your website?

When you build your website, you think you have a logical path through the site. You want visitors to arrive, find what they want and then move to “Contact Us” so they can get in touch with you. Sometimes this isn’t the case and so you need to understand what paths are being taken so you can make changes to get your website visitors through your site.  This is where Google Analytics comes in.  The new version provides a tool called Visitor Flow.  this tool provides a graphic image of the routes through, and out, of your website that your visitors take.

If you’ve got a Google Analytics account, make sure you’re using the New Version. If you’re still on the Old Version, click on New Version just below the top right hand corner. Once you’ve clicked you will see a graphic representation of how your website visitors move through your website.  Starting from their country of origin. The image below shows that the majority of visitors come from the UK but go to a number of different pages.  The visitors from the USA, India, France and others all go to the Home Page.

image of Google Analytics visitor flow, supporting a small business marketing article for SME Needs Ltd

Let’s work our way across the image and explain what it is telling you and how this can help you to improve the performance of your website.

Starting Pages

Below Starting Pages it shows the number of visitors in the measured period (default is the last 30 days).  Next to that is the number of people who left without looking at another page (Bounced as it’s known). The thickness of each line represents the volume of visitors to each page so you can see 120 landed on the Home Page etc.

First Interaction

From each initial landing page you can then see lines moving to the right and joining up with another page name.  In our example 15 people went straight to Contact Details, 11 to the blog etc.  Of the 75 visitors who had that first interaction, 29 then left the website, leaving the rest to make a 2nd interaction.

Further Interactions

On your Google Analytics page you will be able to follow the image right for 12 interactions, giving you a detailed understanding of how visitors are using your website.

What does this all mean?

What does this all mean?  Simple; for your Marketing Director, or senior management, they can see where visitors go and, more importantly, don’t go. Are they following the path you want them to? If not where are they going? Are they clicking on the internal links you have on individual pages? If not, perhaps you need to make them more obvious or you need to improve the content

There is a great deal to be learnt from Google Analytics about the performance of your website and Visitor Flow is just one of the new features that I particularly like.  I hope you will find it useful too

How to qualify your prospects as a small business

By A Helping Hand, Marketing Performance

Are your properly qualifying your prospects?

As a small business, of course you want to generate as much business as possible. Your marketing is aimed at generating as many prospects as possible. However, not every prospect is going to bring their business your way, and so it is vital that you identify which are worth your time and effort and which are not. Being a small business, you don’t have the time to entertain every single prospect; you have other tasks that need attending to. So how should you go about qualifying your prospects?

Can you provide a solution?

The prospect needs to be clear as to the exact nature of your products or services. Similarly, you need to grasp precisely what it is the prospect requires or how you may be able to provide a solution to a particular problem. There is no point in proceeding any further if the prospect is looking for something you simply do not provide, so it’s best to just walk away at the first possible opportunity. Ensure your website and any marketing material is clear and updated regularly so anyone who comes across it can easily understand what it is you offer.

Do you have the time?

This is something that is often overlooked with qualifying prospects. Yes, it may be very nice to receive an enquiry, but if you don’t have the time to fulfil it, then you need to say so from the outset. If you take on the work but know that you already have more than enough to fill your time, then some or all of it is going to suffer, and you could ultimately lose out on future business. Check with the prospect first what sort of timelines they have and then consider whether your schedule will permit the work. It is believed that most businesses have 15% pipeline close rate efficiency, meaning that time and resources go into something that 85% of the time doesn’t drive revenue – don’t let that 85% include time wasted on prospects.

Does the prospect have the funds?

The last thing you want is to press ahead with the deal only to find that they cannot pay you for the goods or services. One way of ensuring that a prospect is likely to pay is by running a credit check or gaining access to company credit reports. This can be an incredibly useful way of highlighting whether a prospect has a healthy credit history and could save you a considerable amount of time and money in the long run. Company credit reports can let you view important information such as credit rating and limit, 5 year accounts, CCJ information and full director information, as well as links through to debt scores to find which of your outstanding debts are most likely to be paid, and access to any media stories about that particular company.

Are you speaking to the decision maker?

A sure-fire way to waste time and effort is to do your dealing through someone who isn’t the main decision maker in a company. If you only speak to an assistant or someone who is not the decision maker, then you will likely have to wait for them to feed the information back to the relevant people, which takes time and could be misinterpreted. Always ask to speak to someone in authority, such as a Sales Director, and question the sincerity of a request from someone who is not willing to talk to you themselves.

These are just a few points you should consider when qualifying your prospects, and each prospect will have to be handled slightly differently, but they should give you a good basis from which to start.

 

Five great sources of market information

By A Helping Hand, Small Business Marketing

When looking to expand your business, it’s vital that you research the market and the opportunity.  If you don’t there is a chance that your business expansion plans don’t deliver the business growth you are looking for.  The question is: where do you go to understand the size of the opportunity?

Here are five really good sources of quantitative information:

1. The Office Of National Statistics

Want to know about the businesses in your county, borough or town; look no further. ONS will provide information by industry, by size, by age and a whole lot more.

2. LinkedIn Search

How many, for example, solicitors are there within 10 miles of your office? Don’t know – used LinkedIn to find out.  With over 7 million people in the UK on LinkedIn and 141,842 UK companies  it is a great source.  Want to know if they are in private practice or within a commercial organisation – simple use another filter.

Just in case you wanted to know, there are 5,404 solicitors within 10 miles of my postcode.

3. CreditSafe

Is your prospective client creditworthy? How much money did they make/lose last year? You can find out here.  There are plenty of other similar sites out there but this is one of the best.  It’s a paid for service but it will tell you what you want to know about your clients and prospects.

4. Companies House

Don’t want to subscribe to an annual service – go PAYG instead at Companies House. Annual Reports direct from Companies House are just £1 each.

5. Facebook Ads

You don’t need to spend any money to get numbers from Facebook.  With 35 million UK adults regularly using Facebook where’s better to get information about the consumer market?

Set up a Facebook Ads account (no charge) and use the plethora of filters to understand how big your target market is. If you think of all the information you put into Facebook, that’s the number of filters you can apply to really target your search.

 

The 6 things Potential Buyers are looking for before they will consider buying from you

By A Helping Hand, Focus

There are 100’s, if not 1,000’s, of potential buyers of your products/services out there right now and you want them to buy from you.  This is what they are looking for BEFORE they talk to Sales.

  1. Visibility – fairly obvious but if you’re not visible to them, they cannot buy from you.  They will often look to see if they can find you in other ways.  If they find you on Google, are you on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook etc.?
  2. Cleanliness – I don’t mean proof that you use a lot of soap.  What I mean is a clean website; one that is easy to read, to understand and to navigate to find the information they are looking for.
  3. Headlines – Newspapers tell millions of copies based on the headline that day, with some of them employing dedicated headline writers.  When you’re found through an internet search your landing page(s) have seconds to grab their attention or they simply bounce.
  4. Pain Relief – Buyers rarely go shopping if they are happy with what they’ve got.  Does your marketing material make them believe your solution will make their life easier or better?
  5. Evidence – You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? Evidence, in the form of case studies, testimonials, published articles etc. develop confidence in the mind of the buyer and draw them towards you.
  6. Experience – Even new companies have experience of delivering the product or service they sell and they’re usually more passionate about it too.  After all, how many people do you know who started up a company to do something they hate?  Buyers want to know that you know what you’re doing so talk about your previous experiences to increase their confidence in you.

70% of the buying process is complete before anyone talks to Sales.  Are you helping people to make the right decision and buy from you?

 

 

How to find a credible LinkedIn© (and other social media) trainer

By Networking Partners, Social Media

If you wanted to find a LinkedIn© expert to develop your expertise how would you do it? Ask your friends? Do a quick Google search (and find over 25 million LinkedIn© trainers)? Or search LinkedIn?

Ok, you have lots of options but how do you find a good one? With LinkedIn© it is easy …

  • Review their profile; does it look good, better than the others?
  • Does their personal profile have recommendations from people and how many?
  • Do they have a company profile or company page?
  • Do they have a full company page with video, banners and recommendations on LinkedIn?
  • Do their recommendations read well? From people like you?
  • Does their web page look and feel good to you?
  • Do they know their subject? Does it have the right numbers on it for total users and accurate statistics?
  • Do they only do the platform you want to learn about?
  • Do they offer to do LinkedIn© for you? How? How can they know the people you know?
  • Does their course content cover what you need? Does it sound sensible to you? For example if many say half a day and someone says an hour ask why.
  • Do they want to look good or make you look good?

Then talk to them, yes old fashioned I know, but talk to them, are they human, do they come across well and could you work with them?

It’s amazing how many “social media experts” follow each other to see what they do on LinkedIn© and Twitter, if they are an expert why follow each other? Is it to get material they can use or simply to keep an eye on the competition?

If you want an expert on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter I will happily introduce you to some really good people.

I know 50% of my marketing works, just not which 50%…

By Marketing Performance

Which 50% of my marketing works?

The best person to ask which part of your marketing worked is………… your customer.

when was the last time you asked a prospective client how they found you and then recorded it somewhere?

As a small business your time and your money are both valuable commodities.  Your money you may get back but your time is lost forever.  If you could have some of both, by knowing which marketing activities are working for you, how much better do you think your productivity would be and how much healthier your bottom line you be?

By asking your customer how they found you, you gain from a series of learnings:

  • You can see which routes to market are generating  the most suspects, prospects and sales.
  • You can match your marketing campaign expenditure to income and generate campaign return on investment (ROI) statistics
  • You will have an insight into the quality of your pipeline management and sales techniques (from the rate of drop-off through the sales pipeline)

The information generated and the insights achieved allow you to then make quality decisions around your marketing activities and budgets.  Even if you simply stop and pocket the money usually spent on a poor performing marketing campaign, your profits will improve.

For further information or assistance in improving your marketing performance, give me a call on 07770 970 557 or click here and I will call you.

I hope this is useful to you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Smile to sell more

By Customer Understanding

Why you need to smile more

That’s silly – I can hear you now thinking what is he on about.  I believe this for one simple reason: people BUY people.

In the, usually, less structured world of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) there are four aspects to the buying process:

  1. does this meet the needs of my business?
  2. Does the price meet with my budget?
  3. How will this purchase make me look to my peers and my boss?
  4. Do I like the person sitting in front of me?

I don’t have any research that says what percentage of the process can be attributed to each of these (more homework for me) but what I can say is that I have never bought a business product or service off someone I didn’t like and I don’t think anyone bought off me whilst thinking I was a pratt!

Part of the process of making someone like you is your first impression.  There are lots of clichés around this:

  • You never get a chance to make a second impression
  • First impressions count
  • Etc.

Your first impression is made up of a number of aspects:

  • Did you arrive on time?
  • Are you dressed appropriately (jeans and stockbrokers rarely mix for example)?
  • What sort of handshake do you have (limp rarely equals a positive impression unless you’re royalty and shaking 100’s of hands a day)?
  • Do you look like you’re enjoying yourself?

The last is the ultimate.  If you come across as if you’re not enjoying yourself, the chances are that you don’t believe in either the product or the company.  If you don’t believe, how are you ever going to get the buyer to? A smile that starts BEFORE you enter the meeting and ends AFTER you leave will generate, in you and the buyer, a positive mental attitude.  If you don’t believe me, watch The Apprentice and see how the Irish guy, Jim Eastwood,  to see what I mean.  Whatever you think of the show and what it does to the future job prospects of these people, it is great for watching how people interact; both with their colleagues and with their customers.

So to summarise:

  • If you smile, you will look like you’re enjoying yourself
  • If you look like you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll make a good fist impression
  • If you make a good first impression, the buyer will like you
  • If they like you, you have a much better chance of making the sale

As I said at the beginning, smiling helps you sell more.

 

The importance of two little words

By A Helping Hand

Consultants produce a great deal of information for your business.  Indeed, that is what you pay them to do.  The role of a marketing consultant is to assess the performance of your marketing strategy.  It is to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats (SWOT) that affect your business and to help you understand your customers.

This information is great and can be really useful but there are two little words that must come into play every time.  If they don’t what is the point?

The two little words are:  SO WHAT?

It is the power of so what that identifies what may be done with the information and help you take the business forward.