Passionate People

Posted by Steve Robinson on May 3, 2017

Don’t you just love passionate people?

Yesterday was the first meeting with a lovely lady supported by her husband on their start-up business.

From the moment we started talking, the passion she felt for the product she wants to sell was very evident and extremely infectious.

The couple described the origins and the inspiration for their new product. They shared details about their joint African background and how their roots are what made their product special.

And they talked about the reason they had decided to turn this passion into a product – to raise  money for their local charity.

And the product?

Well, it would be inappropriate at this stage to go into details, but it was absolutely delicious and is sure to be a hit.

Who knows, this budding entrepreneur could become the next Levi Roots.

She has a fantastic product, a great story and a passion to make it work – but not the slightest idea how to make it happen!

So, we’ve agreed 4 steps to build her very own Breakthrough Process;

  1. Get the message right – we’re not selling a product, we are telling the story and telling it in a way that prospects see the passion, understand the value and are excited into wanting to engage.
  2. Plan the marketing – this is a start-up so there is not much money to play with, so once the message is sorted, we will agree what strategies would be best, then build a tactical plan around those strategies to includes all the usual elements (website, social media, product branding and packaging, sampling, referrals, joint ventures and the many other tools available).
  3. Implement the plan – we’ll do this quickly and professionally. However, the biggest concern is that this lovely couple will get over-whelmed so we will implement in a simple step-by-step way.
  4. Review progress – at every step of the way I will teach them to constantly re-evaluate what they are doing. If something doesn’t work and shows no sign of working, we’ll stop and do something that will work. They are on too tight a budget to waste money and time on things that don’t produce clear and measurable results.

Time will tell how they will get on, but one thing is absolutely clear;

Passion is the first step on the road to success!

I would much rather work with a person who has limited knowledge but boundless enthusiasm, wouldn’t you?

So, if you get stuck building your business, try our FREE test drive and let us help you build your own Breakthrough Process.

Shhh… I Have a Secret

Posted by Steve Robinson on April 26, 2017

A close friend mentioned that he was in a restaurant recently and was astonished at how poor the customer service had been – this was particularly disappointing as it was a good quality restaurant and still relatively new.

This comment coincided with another made to me by a friend who commented that she only ever seems to go to a restaurant 3 times – first to try it out and be pleased, the second time to take others as she has recommended it and after the third she would swear never to go to that restaurant again due mostly to variable food and poor customer service.

You may have a great product, but if the service is poor, consumers will not bother and this can make or break your business. None of us much patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting for a menu or that first drink you are gasping for. We get fed up trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier.

Whatever business you run, if you provide your customers with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, they might tell others how good your business is!

There are a number of secrets to good customer service, the first one is knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business and that must include customer service. There are 3 main goals you need to consider:

  1. It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with help guides, advertised discounts, easy-to-follow prompts, your website and other technology based programmes to help them shop.
  2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff must be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Regular training is an essential part of investing in your staff’s knowledge. Most importantly, your customers need to feel like they are getting a good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their entire shopping experience.
  3. You must change your mind set and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy customers.

With these thoughts in mind, regardless of how big or small your business, you also need to take a few things into consideration when deciding on the actual programmes and standards you’ll put into place.

  • Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff – make sure they’re on board.
  • Connect your staff incentive programmes and bonuses directly to customer service.
  • Monitor the level of customer service your staff is putting out by regularly surveying your customers.
  • Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
  • Continuously focus on your business goals.

Now, that you know what you want, you can starting thinking about how to meet those wants and create a positive customer service experience.

Remember, if your customers have a good experience of your business, they might tell others how good it was – if they have a bad experience, they absolutely will tell everyone they know about that too!!

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools, resources and coaches in our FREE test drive can help you define the wants and needs of your company in relation to customer service.
 

 

Have you got green fingers?

Posted by Steve Robinson on April 19, 2017

Here in the UK, it’s a great time to get gardening. But I must confess, I’m not very good at it – but there are few things more enjoyable than seeing a plant you’ve put in the ground grow and flourish.

It’s difficult not to draw significant parallels between gardening and running a business.

Think of building your business like planting a tree.

At first, it’s so small and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. But, you keep watering, fertilising and nurturing it.

Your values and ideas will grow the trunk and each of the different strategies and tactics you employ will extend out as the branches of your increasingly strong tree.

Finding the perfect partners, support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers, joint ventures and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.

It’s no surprise then that you often here about people in business talking about the ‘seeding of an idea’ or that ‘Seed capital’ is the initial capital used when starting a business.

If yours isn’t flourishing, then perhaps you need to rethink whether you have got the right ideas, strategies, tactics, tools and partners?

At the Imora Marketing Academy, we can’t help you with your gardening, but we can help your business to grow. Try our FREE test drive to give yours the best chance of flourishing!!

An adventurous spirit and an irrepressible ingenuity

Posted by Steve Robinson on April 7, 2017

After presenting at a recent seminar, in the Q&A session, one person asked a great question; “How can I make sure that I can run a successful and reusable marketing campaign?”

These are the 5 elements that I shared that I consider essential for any campaign to stand a chance of success.

In my opinion, the 5 essential elements are:

  1. Define your Market Dominating Position (MDP)
  2. Create an effective sales offer
  3. Avoid the marketing pitfalls
  4. Use a world-class marketing perspective
  5. Get results!

Simple! We’ll go through each one of these, so you can see exactly how to use them and how they all affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign. Once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again.

1. Define your Market Dominating Proposition (MDP)

Most marketing I see is about what you do, what you sell, how you operate!

Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the perspective of the customers/clients. What would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that need to be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Then take a look at what, if any, MDP your competitors are using to help you develop your own MDP. Your MDP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. This is what’s going to set you apart from your competition – you will most certainly need to specialise and you may also need to innovate!

2. Put an effective sales offer to work

To develop an effective sales plan, you need to follow a number of steps:

  • Put together a headline that interrupts your prospect and gets immediate attention.
  • Share benefits of your products/services but from the customers’ perspective.
  • Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
  • Make it easy to do business with you by offering no-risk guarantees.
  • Share your specific sales proposition.
  • Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act.
  • Motivate with a clear, striking and no-risk call to action.

What this all means is, you need to put together what makes your products/services special and compel customers to buy them. But, remember, if they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy. You also need to plan for the fact that they may need to buy but not yet. You may, therefore, need to answer a question, solve a problem or even feed an obsession.

You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen.

3. Avoid the marketing pitfalls

There are a number of major marketing pitfalls that many businesses fall into and you should avoid:

  • Ignore market testing and push on with a poorly researched and inaccurate plan.
  • Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout the marketing plan.
  • Failure to understand the true needs of prospective customers/clients.
  • Failing to diversify the marketing options.

This list is not exhaustive, but these are all areas to avoid. If you’ve been working through these blog articles, avoiding these pitfalls should be easy and natural.

4. Use a world-class marketing perspective

Having a world-class marketing perspective is important, especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this a number of different techniques and activities:

  1. Benchmark against the best-in-class marketing companies. As an example, I have always viewed Guinness as one of the best examples of powerful and compelling marketing that has kept a 258 year old brand fresh and exciting!
  2. Linked to this, watch for high quality marketing everywhere you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.Always keep an Ideas Journal and scribble down any innovative ideas that occur to you or that you see that you might be able to replicate.
  3. Encourage your marketing department, marketing partner or yourself, to measure everything and then to try new things and dump the things that aren’t working.
  4. Continuously test market your marketing activity. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
  5. Try finding your own marketing as if you were a prospect and then order from your own company under a different name and analyse the process of ordering, shipping, online store, customer service and the product itself. This may show you areas for improvement in the customer experience.
  6. When out in public, watch how consumers or business customers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases. Look for how this might apply to your own business.
  7. Take the opportunity to step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
  8. Continuously acknowledge hard work from your staff and vendors – not just the successful results. Everyone works better when they feel appreciated.
  9. Seek out and always listen to feedback from employees and customers. Remember, all feedback is a gift!
  10. Offer more relevant and engaging information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
  11. A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
  12. Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
  13. Focus on what you say and how you say it, don’t worry so much about where you say it. The best marketing ideas, if implemented effectively, turn into the best marketing naturally.
  14. Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials as if you were wanting to include everything you’ve done into a portfolio of your work. Never produce a piece of marketing that you are not proud of!

By using these techniques you can put your name out there to the world and become one of the top brands in your chosen industry.

5. Get results!

The last area to talk about is the best-satisfied customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you’ve wasted all your marketing resources and all chance of positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:

  • Providing quality products/services
  • Providing high quality customer service
  • Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
  • Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee

As an additional benefit, here’s a couple of simple techniques that work every time to generate more business and create more customer engagement:

  • Build your database with a contest.
  • Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
  • Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.

Guinness will tell you that “It takes adventurous spirit and irrepressible ingenuity to do things the Guinness® way” – perhaps if you approach your marketing with an adventurous spirit and an irrepressible ingenuity, then your brand will be standing proud in 258 years time!

Cheers

Steve

The Imora Marketing Academy

It is so simple! So, why aren’t you starting today? We can help you put together a great marketing plan that will get you results. Try our FREE test drive and find the tools and resources you need built by some of the biggest names in the marketing world.

Make It Personal

Posted by Steve Robinson on March 27, 2017

I’ve seen 2 social media posts recently where people have been reaching out for support (both with a very generic ‘Looking for a business consultant’ message which, in both cases, has turned out to be not quite what they were looking for).

Anyway, in both cases, they had a string of responses/offers on the social media platform, in one case over 100 separate offers. These were things like “I can recommend Joe Smith”, or “I can help you” or the one I really loved “Hey PM me”.

In both cases, I hunted on the internet, found a phone number and rang the individual. Now, I don’t know whether they will become clients or not – depends on whether there is a fit – but in both cases, I was told that I was the ONLY person to have made a telephone contact!!

Why are we all hiding behind social media?

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great tool for connecting, but you have to know when to drop off the social media and make it personal.

Think about it from your own perspective, when have you ever bought ANYTHING just from a social media connection?

So, come on gang, if you see an opportunity and it feels like there’s a good fit – stop broadcasting, pick up the phone and make it personal!!

If my experience is anything to go by, you will absolutely be in the minority!!