Make Them Believe!

Image of the Monkees who sang I'm a Believer

It doesn’t matter whether the decision maker is the CEO/owner, a director or manager, they all have one over-arching need from you. Few will readily admit it, but it is the priority for any purchase…

To make them look good.

Most people have a boss. Whatever they do is aimed at making them look good to that boss. That is what ensures they keep their job and, maybe, even get promoted in the future. People want to be seen as good at their job. They want to feel valued and to be proud of the work they do. Much of that pride and value comes from comments made by their stakeholders – their peers, their bosses, and their reports.

Even if the decision maker is the top boss, he/she wants you to make them look good. Their investors/shareholders expect performance. Their staff expect the boss to make the best decisions. Bosses who make poor decisions either don’t last long in the job or their company doesn’t last long.

The role of marketing is to make the decision maker believe that buying from you will make them look good to the people they report to.

Your marketing is, of course, just one part of the equation:

  1. Marketing makes them believe
  2. Sales get them to sign on the dotted line
  3. Operations delivers on the promises made by Marketing & Sales

5 ways to make the buyer look good

There are, broadly speaking, five ways your business can make the buyer look good:

1. Save them money

Delivering a product or service more cheaply than their current provider is a great way to make the decision maker look good. But only if you are delivering on at least one more of these.

Saving money must always come another of these ways to make them look good. The old adage “buy cheap, buy twice” should never be mentioned when a client is talking about you.

2. Improve Performance

Whether you are marketing, and selling, a product or a service, performance improvement is another excellent way to make a buyer look good.

  • Ensuring their IT simply works
  • Increasing the traffic to, and the leads from, their website
  • Servicing the company car fleet, so they never break down
  • Training staff to increase their skills and improve their individual, or team, performance

are just a few examples.

3. Make them look good

Rather than the perception improvement, by this we mean you make them, or where they work, look good.

  • Providing great looking staff uniforms to improve customer perception
  • Supplying and installing new furniture to improve the look, and comfort, of their office.

for example.

4. Repair what is broken

Going back to the adage “buy cheap, buy twice” is often used; just make sure, if you are in this equation, you are the second purchase! Repairing something vital to their business, ideally quickly, will definitely make them look good.

5. Make them safe

Whether it is physical security issue (access control systems etc.) or cyber security (anti-malware applications), we all live in a world where security concerns are increasing. Making the business secure, particularly in this time of remote working, is a very good thing.

So how does your marketing do this?

Three Ways to Make your Target Audience Believe

1. Demonstrate you understand the issues they face

As referred to in a recent blog, all your marketing content should be about them – not about you. Make sure your website, e-brochures, whitepapers etc. all address issues they have that you can resolve for them.

Today’s decision makers don’t have time to work out whether what you sell will help them, so you need to make it abundantly clear from the moment they engage with your marketing.

2. Prove you can deliver a solution

Talk about what success looks like. The difference between what they are experiencing now and what they could be getting shows that you have experience of helping others with very similar issues. This is a key part of getting a prospect to engage with your marketing and enter your sales pipeline.

3. Back it up with evidence

Saying you can do something is one thing. Proving you can be integral in helping your prospect to become a client. Case studies and testimonials, as well as reviews on sites such as Google Local and Feefo, are highly effective. Ensure you have enough evidence to use both to get them into your sales pipeline and then to help them over the line.

If you have a new business, there is nothing wrong with a little creative license. I’m not advocating making up the evidence, but you can use your previous experience to great effect. Most people set up a new business doing what they have vast amounts of experience doing. Use that experience to demonstrate, and prove, you can deliver – at least until you can build a new set of evidence under your new brand name.

 

When your marketing makes people believe you can help them, and make them look good, they will engage and enter your sales pipeline. It’s then up to the rest of the business to deliver.

 

Need a hand? Give us a call: 020 8102 8241

Just in case you’re wondering about the choice of image, click here.

Are you focusing on the right people?

image to support article: focus your marketing

As we all emerge from lockdown, you need to focus

If money is tight, you cannot afford to scattergun your marketing activity. If you do, it will be ineffective. Even if you have got some money spare, why waste it?  To get the best return on investment from the time and money you have available, it has to be focused.

Who should you focus on?

If I were a psychologist, I’d say: who do you want to focus on?  But I’m not, so I won’t. The best people to focus your marketing on are:

  1. People who are similar to your current clients.
  2. People in a similar geographic area to you

Easiest to impress

As we all emerge from lockdown and money is tight, we want to get the best we can for our money. Your target audience will be acting in a very similar way, so they will be looking for suppliers they believe can deliver on their promises. If you can show them you’ve delivered for a number of clients who are very similar to them, they will be much more inclined to believe you can do the same for them. Of course, you will need the evidence to back up your claims – more on that later.

Easiest to get to

If you are selling a service, chances are you will have to go to the prospect at some point very soon. Either as part of the sales process (maintaining social distance rules, of course) or to deliver part, or all, of the service. People who are close to you take less time and less money to get to. Far better to travel 10-20 miles than 2-300!

Of course, you can still do much of the sales process remotely. Phone, email and your preferred flavour of video conferencing will enable you to make sales, but lockdown won’t last forever (we hope), so those closest to you will be easier to account manage going forward too.

Once you start making sales, you can either add additional target audiences or increase geographical coverage, because you will have the budgets to do so.

Of course, you can always leave that boring stuff to us. Call us on 020 8634 5911 for any enquiries.

4 Changes to maximise growth in the New Year

4 changes to maximise growth

Don’t stop talking

When businesses start to worry, they start saving. They stop spending time and money on things they believe they can save on. Talking (or marketing) is one of them. But, when you stop talking, people are quickly forgetting what you want them to remember. We all see too many messages for everything to stick. Only the really memorable, or often repeated, will remain.

As your competitors stop talking to your target audience, you have the opportunity to make more of an impact. With, fewer voices out there, you have a better chance to being the one being listened to and being sought out for assistance.

NEED HELP KEEPING YOUR MARKETING CONSISTENT? CLICK HERE

Talk about your clients – not yourself

There are still too many businesses out there talking about themselves. They talk about how they are “the leading provider of…”, or they talk about the features (and usually complexity – because that means they are clever) of the product or service they provide. The problem here is that they are expecting the target audience to translate that into how it helps them to resolve their problems. Something they simply don’t have time to do.

Take a look at your service/product from the client’s perspective. What is it they are looking for? If you talk about things from their point of view, about how you can help them, they will “get it” faster. They will look at you positively because you’re thinking about them and they are far more likely to get in touch and talk in more detail about how you can help.

Finally, talk in the language of your clients. Using the language of jargon of your industry means you can understand what you’re saying, but you are the person who needs to understand your marketing messages. If your target audience cannot understand your messages, they won’t engage and they won’t talk to you.

Talk to the right people

With reduced investment in marketing comes reduced focus. After all, it takes less time to send, for example, an email campaign to everyone in your mailing list, than it does to segment your audience and ensure the right messages get in front of the right people. Here’s just a few thoughts…

  • Define your Ideal Client(s). The more precise you are, the better you can make the marketing messages you use. You can also use this to ensure your network knows exactly who you want to talk to.
  • Segment your emailing lists, using segment or tags. You may need to add to the data you have in order to do this.
  • Go to topic or industry-specific networking events, rather than the bigger events where you will meet anybody.
  • Consider direct mail campaigns. The higher costs of postage and printing will make you think twice about just how many people you include in the campaign. This gives you the opportunity to make your DM campaigns highly targeted. The more relevant to the reader, the more likely it is to work.

If you really want to maximise growth in the new year, the more focused you are, the better.

Show off your successes

You have delivered some great work for your clients this year. Stop for a moment and think about the projects you’ve delivered and the successes.  Your target audience want the same results, but they won’t know you can deliver those results unless you tell them.  Case studies and testimonials are great evidence that you can deliver on your promises. Add them to your website and use them in your marketing, so you’re spreading the word about just how good you are.

If you have decided to make this the year you really kick start your small business, these four points are where you need to start. Of course, if you would like a hand, get in touch and we will help you maximise growth in inthe new year.

Don’t be a Jacob Rees-Mogg!


image of jacob rees-mogg

To give him his full title, The Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, is well known, perhaps infamous, for his use of language within the House of Commons. His, presumably, intimate knowledge of the processes and procedures within parliament give him an incredibly wide vocabulary to call upon when he talks to the house.

But just because he has this vocabulary doesn’t mean he has to use all of it. Whilst, I hope, most of his fellow MPs know what he is talking about, many people outside of parliament will listen for a short time before either:

a)       Scratching their head, wondering what he is going on about, before switching channels, or

b)      Think that he is being deliberately over-complicated to try to appear intellectual.

In a very truncated version of his words, “I put it to you that he is making a mistake”.

The question is: Are you doing a Jacob Rees-Mogg?  Are you using terminology and language within your marketing activity that your target audience and prospects don’t want to hear?  If you are, you run the risk of them doing the same thing – stopping listening!

The Jargon

Every industry has its own language. Its own terminology that people use internally so that they all know precisely what they mean. Acronyms can be found alongside this language so it is shortened, whilst complicating it further for anyone outside of the industry. Some people even write a book to help others to understand what everything means.

Drop the Jargon

The problem with jargon is that only one small group of people actually knows that it all means.  For others, it is hard work, confusing and unnecessary. If you are using the jargon from your industry within your marketing, you are not giving your target audience what they really want to hear. They want to know that you understand and can talk about three things:

1.       Their needs, issues and problems.

2.       What success looks like.

3.       Evidence you can deliver success.

 

Their Needs

Long gone are the days when your marketing could talk about the features of your service or product. You can no longer expect your target audience to then work out how those features will help them.

If you are not talking about their needs and problems, your competition will be and that’s where your target audience will go. As a client of mine describes it, every story has a dragon. This dragon need to be identified before a solution can be discussed.

Does your marketing make it clear to your target audience that you understand their needs, their dragon, or are you concentrating on talking about your business and what you do?

We carried out a short survey, across four different industry sectors, to see what their website content focused on.  The website content of 60% of IT support companies, 55% of accountants and 85% of lawyers started with them, rather than their target audience. When we looked at marketing consultants in London, 60% of their websites focused on their business rather than the needs of their target audience.  If you are in one of those sectors and you concentrate on your audience, you’ve probably got a good head start!

 

Success

A solution to their problem delivers success. Whether that is better analysing complex data to deliver workable information, fixing a laptop so users can work flexibly and remotely, or increasing web traffic to drive more leads, you have to talk about what your target audience wants.  They want success.  They will buy success from you, if they believe that you can deliver that success.

Your marketing needs to talk about how you help your target audience to achieve the success they are after.  Some of this will be a description of what you do or sell, but very little. Concentrate on talking about what your audience wants to buy – success.

 

Your Evidence

Some people are great at talking the talk.  It is the evidence you can put in front of your target audience that proves you are able to walk the walk too!

Evidence, in the form of testimonials, case studies, videos or imagery, is key to helping your prospects believe that you are the right company to deliver a successful resolution of their problems/needs.

 

Perceived Risk

The aim of your marketing is to generate leads that turn into new clients for your business. By talking about the client, about their needs and proving you can deliver a successful solution, you are reducing the perceived risk in the minds of your prospects. Buying from a new supplier is always a risk. Your marketing needs to reduce that perceived risk to the point they are happy to talk to you. Your sales activity, supported by your marketing, then aims to reduce the perceived risk even further so that they believe you can deliver on your promises and will sign that contract.

 

So don’t be a Jacob Rees-Mogg.  Use the language of your target audience so you help them truly understand that you can help them.

Get in touch if you need a hand.

Four ways to maximise the Brexit Opportunity

image: making the most of the brexit opportunity


It doesn’t matter where you hide, Brexit will find you. Whether you’re in business owner or consumer mode, it will impact your life going forward – whatever happens. The media coverage is split between the doomsayers and those pitching a brave new world, with much of the coverage saying businesses are sitting on their hands and aren’t prepared. Prepared for what is the question many will ask. Many businesses, including no doubt, some of your competitors, are keeping their cash close to their chest. They are not investing in their businesses and that means Brexit offers a big opportunity for you, if you are prepared to invest. Let’s look at how you can take advantage of the Brexit opportunity.

Don’t stop talking

When you stop talking, people are quickly forgetting what you want them to remember. We all see too many messages for everything to stick. Only the really memorable, or often repeated, will remain.

As your competitors stop talking to your target audience, you have the opportunity to make more of an impact. With, at least, one less competitive voice out there, you have a better chance to being the one being listened to and being sought out for assistance.

NEED HELP KEEPING YOUR MARKETING CONSISTENT? CLICK HERE

Change the Topic

There are still too many businesses out there talking about themselves. They talk about how they are “the leading provider of…”, or they talk about the features (and usually complexity – because that means they are clever) of the product or service they provide. The problem here is that they are expecting the target audience to translate that into how it helps them to resolve their problems. Something they simply don’t have time to do.

Take a look at your service/product from the client’s perspective. What is it they are looking for? If you talk about things from their point of view, about how you can help them, they will “get it” faster. They will look at you positively because you’re thinking about them and they are far more likely to get in touch and talk in more detail about how you can help.

Whilst this is something you should be doing anyway, if you are looking to take advantage of the Brexit Opportunity, have a look at the marketing messages you are putting out as part of that process,

Talk to the right people

With reduced investment in marketing comes reduced focus. After all, it takes less time to send, for example, an email campaign to everyone in your mailing list, than it does to segment your audience and ensure the right messages get in front of the right people. Here’s just a few thoughts…

  • Define your Ideal Client(s). The more precise you are, the better you can make the marketing messages you use. You can also use this to ensure your network knows exactly who you want to talk to.
  • Segment your emailing lists, using segment or tags. You may need to add to the data you have in order to do this.
  • Go to topic or industry-specific networking events, rather than the bigger events where you will meet anybody.
  • Consider direct mail campaigns. The higher costs of postage and printing will make you think twice about just how many people you include in the campaign. This gives you the opportunity to make your DM campaigns highly targeted. The more relevant to the reader, the more likely it is to work.

Prepare your Business

Nobody knows what is going to happen at the moment. The government is increasing preparation for no trade deals with the EU post-Brexit, but you never know. Whatever way the country goes, the best way you can prepare is to ensure you are maximising your pipeline. More sales opportunities usually mean more sales. More sales means more money coming into the business and that is definitely what you want to happen. Sitting on your hands (or wallet) is not a good idea. Let’s hope your competitors are doing just that and leaving the Brexit opportunity to you.

NEED A HAND GETTING YOUR MARKETING READY FOR BREXIT? CLICK HERE

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

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?

 

 

Telling the right stories

Are you telling the right stories?

Everyone likes a story.  My little girl is obsessed with Goldilocks & the three bears at the moment and I love a Tom Clancy when I can find the time.

Buyers like to hear a good story when it benefits them, but what do you tell them?  What do they want to hear?

They want to hear stories about something that will benefit them, something that will help their company and, if possible, something that will make them look good to their boss.

Too many companies tell a story that contains these chapters:

  • Chapter One: our company has been around for a squillion years – so you can trust us
  • Chapter Two: our company makes all these widgets – aren’t they pretty
  • Chapter Three: our widgets come in red, green, blue and pink – which one do you like?
  • Chapter Four: our widgets are really cheap – how many do you want?
  • The End

Thrilling or what!

If the story went something like this:

  • Chapter One: our company’s widgets have helped 10 companies just like yours
  • Chapter Two: the little blue widget saved a company lots of money
  • Chapter Three: the little red widget helped a company improve its profitability
  • Chapter Four:  the little pink widget found them loads more customers

I reckon that Chapter Five would be about which widget the buyer wanted, when he wanted it and how much he wanted to pay for it.

The morale here- if you’re telling the right stories so that you help the buyer see what your widget can do for them. Include them in your small business marketing and you will see more leads and greater marketing performance.