The best way to sell
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The Best Way To Sell

What is the best way to sell?

Once you’ve learnt the best way to sell, business becomes so much easier.

The sad truth is that most people are rubbish at sales.

Why?

Because they’re selling.

While most people love to buy they hate being overtly sold to.

Traditionally selling is all about overcoming objections, pushing people into corners and then closing the deal.

Instead of wooing them it’s more like beating them up.

This kind of selling is a tough job which is why most people are rubbish at it.

Now you may very well have excellent products which will do a great job for me but because I feel I’m being manipulated, that the salesman isn’t thinking about me and my needs, but thinking about his month end figures, I react negatively and become very unlikely to buy.

Just like people react in a relationship when their wants are ignored.

The top sales people don’t sell – they woo their customers by building relationships and satisfying their every need.

Does it satisfy my desires?

Now if you’re going to buy something, you’re going to want to know how the product satisfies your desires.

  • What does it do?
  • What benefits does it deliver to you?
  • What problems in your life does it solve?
  • What guarantees does it come with?
  • Can you trial it in advance?
  • How can I get hold of it?
  • Do other users recommend it – what social proof is there?

You need to market your products to your prospective buyers so that it satisfies their every need.

You need to use the basic principles of marketing:

  • Identify your ideal customer
  • Craft sweet nothings for each of your target groups so that your messages are totally relevant to them?
  • Know where your potential dates hang out? Only when you know where these people spend their time can you decide which methods of communication to use.

I go through this process with my clients to ensure that their marketing hits the spot.

The upshot will be that you no longer have to hard sell your prospects as you will have created the environment in which they become putty in your hands.

So to discover the best way to sell and become a sales Casanova, get in touch by emailing me on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk , by calling me on 01483 200387.

 

 

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Traditional And Digital Marketing

It’s great in my job when traditional and digital marketing work together.

I went to see the most niche business you can imagine the other day.

They’re a start-up hiring out gowns for student graduation ceremonies.

Certain elements of their marketing are very straight forward.

Their target audience couldn’t be any more clearly defined –  students graduating in about a month’s time.

The message is also simple – they’re about 30% cheaper than the only significant player in the market, who historically have had a virtual monopoly.

So far so easy.

It’s when you come to communication channels that things become more interesting.

The 200 year old market leader is deep in bed with all the universities who endorse them as their approved supplier and tell all the students to get their gowns from them.

So the marketing for the guys I was talking to has two very specific objectives.

  1. Generate awareness that they exist and that their gowns are massively cheaper than the existing supplier and so drive the students to their website.
  2. The website needs to convert visitors into customers.

So what channels should they be using to drive them to the website?

Well obviously 20 year olds spend all their lives on line especially on social media.

So that seems a no brainer.

But which platforms?

We know Facebook’s has reduced the reach for organic posts through the algorithm changes earlier this year.

Additionally for 20 year olds Facebook  is no longer as cool as it once was.

But Facebook posting, especially in groups should still be part of the mix as should Facebook advertising.

But Instagram is the cool platform of choice for kids this age.

What about Google – both the organic listings and Google Ads.?

Will kids search gown suppliers when the university tells them where to get their gown from?

The Keyword tool will give us an idea of search volumes.

But this will be an area where we’re likely to try it and see.

At this stage you can’t know what the result will be.

So what else should they do?

Although we’re talking to such a digital audience, interestingly we’ll need to revert to traditional channels.

We’ll need to make traditional and digital marketing channels work together.

Bill boards and posters around the campuses will be perfectly targeted and have space to communicate the key messages.

Likewise handing out flyers – hardly cutting edge but absolutely appropriate.

Whether we can get a bit clever and find audiences of exclusively final year students I don’t know yet.

And student ambassadors – individuals who are incentivised to generate word of mouth referrals and bring people into the brand one at a time.

In a world fixated on digital marketing it’s kind of refreshing to make old style traditional and digital marketing channels work together for such a digitally orientated audience.

So if you’ve got a marketing challenge that you need resolving give me a shout on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk , call me on 01483 200387.

The Importance of Marketing Regularly

The importance of marketing regularly cannot be overstressed.

Why?

Because a major problem that small businesses suffer from is that nobody knows they exist.

If every company in your target audience within a thirty mile radius knew about your business and how you could help them, do you think you would do more business?

Of course – loads more but becoming known is not an easy job.

You can’t just communicate once or twice and leave it at that.

To become well known you need to market regularly to your audience over an extended period of time.

It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Your prospects have to get to know you over time.

They have to go through the “know, like, trust” process.

Think about it.

Would you do business with an organisation you don’t know anything about?

Is what they’re offering something you’re interested in?

Are their values the same as yours?

Do you like them, do you think you could work with them?

And crucially, do you trust them?

Have you got confidence in what they’re saying?

Unless you can say yes to all these points, you’re probably not going to work with them.

Of course none of this happens overnight.

You have to be in it for the long haul and commit to marketing regularly to them.

It’s estimated that you have to have upwards of 11 contacts before the average person will make a decision.

I also suggest that you mix up the marketing channels you use.

Different people will respond differently to different approaches.

So instead of only using one approach, consider:

  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Video
  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google My Business
  • Remarketing
  • Social media

But if you stick at it and market regularly to your audience you will get the results you’re looking for.

I communicate with my audience every Wednesday and I have been for the last 5 years.

That’s a hell of a lot of contact points.

So if you’re still at the starting line of your own personal marathon but are determined that your business is going to win the race with your competitors and your committed to marketing regularly, get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk  or call me on 01483 200387.

 

 

 

 

 

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Re-Building Your Brand

How do you go about re-building your brand, if for some reason it’s become tired or tarnished?

The example I’m going to use is the England football team and what happened at the World Cup last summer.

The England football brand has suffered badly over the years due to poor performances and badly behaved players and supporters.

The public fell out of love with brand England.

While the Premiership has thrived, England have struggled.

This resulted in much less media coverage and a lack of companies wanting to sponsor the brand.

But what happened in the summer turned that around.

Why was it different this time?

Because the team under promised and over delivered.

Scarred by previous experiences, this time we had no expectations.

The result was that they exceeded our expectations so making the whole experience so much more positive.

If building or re-building your brand you should follow this approach with your business.

If you promise the world you will probably win plenty of customers.

But if you then under deliver and  disappoint your customers you can be sure that the relationship will be very short.

Even worse than that will be your word of mouth publicity.

These disappointed customers will tell their friends how your business failed to deliver on your overinflated promise.

How much better to make a realistic promise and then delight your customers by exceeding their expectations.

The result will be loyal customers who love your business and glowing referrals to friends and associates.

The England team also scored off the field as well as on it.

They managed to rebuild the connection with the fans and with the country.

The manager, Gareth Southgate and the captain, Harry Kane achieved this by the way they presented themselves.

They’re both polite, well mannered and clean cut.

A million miles away from the image some of our other footballing “heroes” have presented us with.

This resonated with middle England, who were able to identify more comfortably with them and  rebuilt brand “Engerland”.

Another lesson for business.

Businesses need to ensure that all aspects of their brand are aligned with the values and tastes of their customers and target audience.

In this way they can forge intellectual and emotional bonds with their customers thereby tying them in long term.

If you need help re-building your brand and ensuring your business builds these bonds with your customers, get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk, call me on 01483 200387.

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A Marketing Masterclass

I received a marketing masterclass  the other day.

A flyer came through the door that ticked so many marketing boxes that I wanted to share it.

It was from a company called The Eve Mattress and guess what – they sell mattresses.

So what made it a marketing masterclass?

  1. Clear design

The design and text of the flyer were pretty minimal which ensured that the key messages had real prominence.

Powerful offer

The primary message was £120 off – with prices starting from £349.

Everyone likes a deal and a promotional offer always significantly increases response rates.

Time limited

They put a time limit on the offer which again increases response rates. If an offer is open ended then people feel no pressure to take action.

Free trial

The key thing with a mattress is that it should be comfortable.

While you can bounce around on it in a showroom, you never really know if your back is going to like it until you’ve slept on it for 8 hours.

So these people are offering a 100 night free trial.

For those people who are undecided, because they’ve got a dodgy back, this would give them the confidence to give it a go.

If they don’t like it they can always send it back.

Free delivery and free returns

They even make it really easy and free to send it back.

Super simple sales process

They understand that we want everything to be super simple.

It’s a 3 step process:

  1. Visit us online and select the foam mattress
  2. Choose a size and add to cart
  3. Apply the code overleaf for £120 off

And that’s it – it really couldn’t be any simpler but in case you still want to get in touch the phone number (0800 of course) and email address are prominently featured.

Carefully crafted text

The text has been skilfully honed – there are no extraneous padding words.

They talk about next generation memory foam …… the perfect amount of bounce and support…….. resulting in a cool and tranquil night’s sleep.

And when you go to the website, the messages, creative style and tone of voice are all consistent and aligned.

It really is a marketing masterclass.

The other point is they’re being brave. I always encourage clients to introduce a free trial or guarantee and regularly hear that it’s too risky.

These guys have done their sums. If they were to find that it’s uneconomic, they can always stop offering the free trial.

If I was in the market for a new mattress I would definitely be persuaded.

If you need someone who can put together great marketing like this in order to make the buying process so easy, get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk  or call me on 014183 200387

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Your Customer Proposition

Your customer proposition is one of the key determinants of your business success.

Last Friday I was working with a Client who has a couple of businesses.

I have already done the website for one of his businesses and am now starting on the second.

The first part of the process is to develop the customer proposition.

Unless what your business actually offers customers – the proposition, is attractive enough, you’re not going to win new customers.

The Areas To Consider

There are about 10 different areas in your customer proposition to consider.

One of the most important is what are the stereotypical issues that people hate about your industry.

If you identify these and make sure you don’t make these mistakes, then in effect you overcome people’s objections before they’ve even raised them.

In this way you can differentiate your business from your competitors and make yourself the obvious choice.

When explaining the process to clients, I always use builders as the example.

Having had a bad experience several years ago with a builder, I speak from personal experience.

My client last Friday was a builder so I thought it would be easy.

My contention is that people hate it:

  • When the building work runs significantly overtime
  • When the builders don’t turn up when they should
  • When the costs exceed the estimate
  • When the site is left in a mess
  • When the blokes are scruffy and rude
  • When the neighbours are disturbed by the work

These were all issues that we were faced with and hated.

However my client didn’t agree with any of the points and didn’t believe they were important.

I tried to persuade him that householders really do care about these issues and that they would be more likely to choose a builder who had re-assured them on these points.

To be honest it all became a little bit awkward and we had to agree to disagree.

His website will lack some key selling messages because of this.

Why Us?

It also means that we probably won’t have a “Why Us” page.

The “Why Us” page is one of the most important on the site.

This is where you highlight all the ways in which you offer more than your competitors.

Without it his website will be less effective and less likely to turn visitors into enquirers.

I strongly suggest you analyse your sector and identify the equivalent of the issues above.

Then  ensure that you’re not doing the same.

Get your customer proposition right and you will differentiate yourselves and go a long way to making you the obvious choice.

If you want to create a killer customer proposition get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk , call me on 01483 200387

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Write Headlines That Demand Attention

The ability to write headlines that demand attention and make readers take action, is a key marketing skill.

I came back from holiday recently.

You know what it’s like when you’ve been away – your email inbox is full of absolute crap.

I had best part of 1000 emails and it took me most of the day to get through them.

The fact is that I just deleted the vast majority of them.

I opened a few and I mean a few because they were either from clients or suppliers or because they stuck out somehow.

As the majority were marketing emails, they failed at the first key job of marketing – getting their target’s attention.

How do we do that?

If it’s an email it has to be the subject line but if it’s a website, an advert or a flyer it would be the headline.

So the next question is how do you write headlines or subject lines that demand attention and action.

Basically there are  three main ways:By offering your audience a rosier, better future.By talking about a problem they suffer from and offering a solution

  1. By offering your audience a rosier, better future
  2. By talking about a problem they suffer from and offering a solution
  3. By evoking their curiosity

When crafting your headline you have to consider who you’re trying to attract.

A great way to target them is via a pre head.

So if I said: “Attention All Cake Bakers”, the chances are that that very particular demographic’s attention will have been well and truly grabbed.

I could then follow that up with any one of the three different headline approaches:

“How to quickly and easily make your cakes lighter and more delicious”

Or

“Are your cake bases too dense and heavy? Here’s a simple trick to make them more delicious and keep your family coming back for more”

Or even

“The secret all home bakers need to know”.

Now if any of the recipients of the communication weren’t cake bakers then they probably wouldn’t be interested.

That’s fine because they wouldn’t be in my target audience and what I’m selling wouldn’t be of interest to them.

But assuming they are bakers there’s a good chance I’ll have got their attention and that they would read my content.

If more of the people who emailed me while I was away had known how to write headlines, I would have been more motivated to read what they sent me and they might have made more sales.

So give it a go.

If you need help with writing headlines that will get your marketing read or any other marketing issues, give me a shout on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk  or call me on 01483 200387.

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The Secrets Of An Effective Marketing Funnel

 

The benefit of having an effective marketing funnel is when you get new prospect and you don’t have to do any selling.

 

You speak to your prospect and they’ve decided in advance that they want to do business with you.

 

They’ve pre-sold themselves.

 

I had one the other week.

 

The lady had obviously decided before we met that she wanted to work with me. At the end of the meeting she asked if I was happy and prepared to work with her.

 

Oh happy day.

 

So how had this come about?

 

She had been to my website, she’d watched my video, she’d downloaded my free ebook, she’d received my auto responder sequence and then she phoned me and we made the appointment.

 

This was an example of an effective marketing funnel working to the max and is a great way to win new business.

 

How does a marketing funnel work?

 

When deciding whether to do business with someone new, most people have to go through the “know, like, trust” process.

 

They have to get to know you, they have to decide that they like you and that they trust you both as a person and also to deliver what you sell.

 

Achieving this through digital marketing is a real challenge.

 

How can you build the “know, like, trust” relationship online?

 

The key piece will be your website, which will need to persuade people to take the next step to engage with you further.

 

Within your website, video is the element which will make this happen.

 

A warm and engaging video will introduce you to your prospects.

 

It enables them to get an initial opinion of you – do they like the way you present yourself and does what you’re saying resonate with them?

 

The video will give you the opportunity to encourage them into the first stage of the funnel.

 

Here they can download your free ebook or report which will deliver value and start to demonstrate your expertise.

 

Now you have their (GDPR compliant) contact details, you then send them an auto responder sequence.

 

This will continue to introduce your personality and demonstrate your expertise while selling your services.

 

By the end of the series of emails, you should have either gained them as a customer or have arranged to meet.

 

If neither of these has happened, they’ll go into your email marketing system, giving you the opportunity to communicate regularly and so continue the process.

 

So that was how I got my fabulous meeting.

 

If you want an effective marketing funnel to do the same for you, get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk or call me on 01483 200387.

 

 

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Generate Regular Repeat Income

If you can find a way to tie customers to your business and generate regular repeat income, you will create a wonderfully secure basis for your business.

I had to buy a new printer recently.

Printers are a classic market where the hardware is cheap as chips but then the companies make their money on the consumables.

A complete set of new cartridges costs more than the machine itself.

Or at least it used to.

When I was buying the printer I discovered that the world of ink has changed.

The printer I bought is one of those all in one jobs from HP who now have a product called Instant Ink.

Now you may know about this system.

But I’d had my printer for years and was unaware how the market had changed.

Instant Ink is a service where they automatically send you new cartridges.

Because printers are now connected to the internet, they can monitor my usage.

When the ink’s running low, lo and behold a new cartridge appears as if by magic.

When you get over the slightly scary big brother aspect of this, you realise the scheme is genius.

I no longer have to faff around looking for the best priced cartridges.

Instead I pay a small monthly payment and the job’s done

A classic win/win.

I win because it’s just so easy.

HP win because they have guaranteed regular repeat income and I won’t be slipping off and buying the cheap generic inks.

Another company with similar objectives is Healthspan.

Healthspan is a vitamin and supplement company who I’ve been buying from for years.

They offer a repeat order service.

They know precisely what I buy and with their recommended daily intake, they know exactly when I should need more stock.

So they send it automatically.

I haven’t actually signed up to this as I don’t take the recommended daily intake.

They offer a small discount if you’re on the repeat order system which is a smart thing to do.

I would guess plenty of people will sign up for the service, just to get the discount.

A small reduction in margin will be more than compensated for by the regular repeat income, the increased regularity of purchasing and the certainty of cash flow.

For the right people it just makes life that little bit easier.

If you can find some way to tie your customers in to a regular service like this, you’ll keep your claws into your customers long term and generate a consistent and predictable flow of cash into your business.

Worth thinking about surely?

If you need help with this or any other marketing issue, give me a shout on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk  or call me on 01483 200387.

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Make It Clear What Your Brand Stands For

 

Within the crowded markets we all operate in, it’s vital that you make it clear what your brand stands for.

Wimbledon’s just recently finished but raised an issue that I want to look at today.

Because the World Cup and Wimbledon overlapped there was a debate about whether Wimbledon were going to show the football on the big screen.

Predictably Wimbledon said no.

There was a feeling that this was a typically narrow minded decision by a bunch of self important old duffers.

How pompous and arrogant were they to defy public opinion and deny the punters this oh so rare opportunity.

But hold on – let’s consider the situation for a moment from a marketing point of view and see what learnings there are here for all our businesses.

Wimbledon is one of the world’s strongest brands – synonymous with just one thing.

What would the implications for their brand be if they now started screening football?

Football this year, maybe WWF or darts next year.

OK unlikely but the point is that focusing on anything but tennis can only dilute the brand.

While that might please some, it would probably enrage a large section of their upper middle class clientele.

So whether you’re a butcher, baker or maker of fine candles, you want to become famous for that thing you do and you make it very clear what your brand stands for.

You don’t want to start diluting your brand by introducing something which conflicts with your key offering.

Brand Extensions

Brand extensions are fine if there’s an obvious link to your core products and can be marketed under your primary brand.

But something with no logical connection will only confuse your customers about what it is your brand stands for.

How would you react if the aforementioned butcher or baker started selling car batteries next to the rump steak or crusty rolls.

So to build the strength of your brand and become famous for what you do, make sure your product range stays focussed around your core offering.

If you need help with ensuring it’s clear what your brand stands for, give me a shout on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk  or call me on 01483 200387.