Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How are you coping with the recession?

How are you coping with the recession?

Are you taking the media line that it's a dire situation and that sales have all but stopped?

Or, like me, have you looked around the shopping malls and supermarkets? They are still very busy with shoppers returning to their cars with armfuls of shopping bags.

Now don't get me wrong. There are some sectors, like the estate agents, who are having a really rough time. Most other industries are seeing some effects but is it the complete meltdown the press seemed to revel in?

I am in no position to pass expert judgment on the situation. All I see is that business doesn't just stop completely, even in the worst of times. People don't stop buying nor are we, yet, ditching our monetary system in favour of bartering or accepting only gold pieces.

If we accept that then there is still business to be had. It might be harder to find and even harder to win, but it's still there.

To survive we need to work smarter and harder. We need to be a bit more creative in the way in which we market ourselves and we mustn't fall into the trap of switching off all our advertising and marketing budgets as that would certainly fulfil the prophesy of failing because of the downturn.

I seem to remember reading that, during the Second World War, Cadburys chocolate continued its advertising even though most of its production had been taken over to support the war effort. The payoff came later when chocolate production returned to normal and the Cadburys brand was still so well known.

Times are tough, no doubt. Look for ways to market your business more cost effectively and through a medium that allows you to test, measure and track results.

Used correctly, the Internet gives any business an excellent advertising platform to work with. Could that be the route for you to prove the media wrong and buck the recession?

If you need help with your Sales and Marketing Strategy, SEO, SEM or PPC I would be pleased to help.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's Your Business - Really?

Chating to a potential customer today reminded me of something I read in Michael Gerbers' excellect book The eMyth Revisited.

This book outlines the principles of running your business as a business rather than being a technician IN your business. The difference between baking cakes and making profit from a business that happens to bake cakes.

Michael quotes Ray Crock, the founder of McDonalds, as describing his profit generating business as Real Estate. That would be a surprise to most people who would have thought his answer would be 'selling hamburgers'.

He may have done that at the very beginning but he soon realised that the real profit was in buying and leasing restaurant sites to franchisees. It is the franchises that sell hamburgers.

I'm as guilty as the next man in this. I love getting involved, learning how to do stuff, finding out how it works. The trick is then to pass the real job onto someone else so that you can grow the business and make money for you, your fellow directors and your trusted employees.

So ask your self - What is your business?

If it doesn't fit with Ray Crocks answer then read Michael Gerbers book to work out how to change.

Need some sales or web marketing help? Sales and Marketing Strategy Programs.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Selling is all about the numbers

Selling is all about the numbers

"Make a better mousetrap" they said, "And people will beat a path to your door"

Hmmm... Well, woe betide anyone in business who thinks that philosophy alone will make them their first million.

The business world is littered with fantastic ideas and products that would knock the socks off the competition - but have died a painful death through financial ruin. Yet, conversly, there are any number of second rate offerings that continue to thrive.

What's the difference?

The second created sales opportunities for themselves, the first just sat back and waited for the sales to come to them.

And how do you think those successful businesses 'created' sales opportunities?

They went out and got their sales message across to as many people as possible. The more they speak to, the more they sold.

I suspect, at this point, there are some folk out there wagging a finger at me saying 'Work Smarter, Not Harder'.

I absolutely agree. Working smarter means making sure that all of those people you speak to are of the right calibre to be your customers, so that you are not wasting time on people who are never going to, or able to, buy.

But make sure you talk to as many people of the right calibre as you can! That's smart, but it's also damn hard too.

Getting to speak to the right people or attracting them to your website in significant numbers is vital to your business success.

If you need help, talk to me about my Sales Accelerator Program to Increase your Sales and Profit.

Are you Main Dealer or Garage around the Corner?

When your car is a year or two old and comes to the end of it's warranty period you have a choice as to where you have your servicing and repairs done.

You can still go to the (expensive) main dealer with it's comforting customer service facilities and friendly smiling service folk, or you can go around the corner to a nearby trading estate to a non-franchise garage.

The garage around the corner probably hasn't got the smart reception area with coffee, sky news and comfy chairs. Instead you are possibly confronted by a chap in greasy overalls who's decidedly lacking in customer service skills.

But they are a lot cheaper and, potentially, know a great deal more about your car, its know problems and how to fix then quickly and cheaply than a spotty apprentice in the main dealer who just plugs it into a computer and changes what it suggests.

Faced with this dilemma we, more often than not, opt for the safe option of the main dealer and pay the price.

What's this got to do with business and sales?

When someone visits your website, or sees your advertising material, they will make exactly the same judgement, and possibly come to the same decision too.

Do you give the impression of being Main Dealer, or Garage Around the Corner?

Compare your sales collateral and website with your competitors.

If you appear Garage Around the Corner in comparison, change it and see what difference it makes to your sales conversions.

If you need help with Sales and Marketing Strategy, on and off line, contact me at Alloy CRM

Sunday, October 19, 2008

As a member, and current Chapter Director, of a local BNI group I had my 10 minute presentation a couple of weeks ago.

Wishing to create an impact I did something a little out of the ordinary.

Rather than stand up and talk at my fellow members I created a 9 minute video that shows the type of work I do through my Sales and Marketing Strategy business, Alloy CRM, and my business web video work through Alloy Video

Welcome to my new sales and marketing strategy blog.

My plan is to give my readers useful and informative tips on sales and marketing strategy to help them increase sales and profit.

More information is available on my sales, marketing and CRM site.