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Want More Sales? Don’t Lose Your Customers!

Occasionally we like to share information on other topics from top local experts.

Today’s great tip is no exception thanks to Lee Evans, Owner, CEO & Customer Experience Management Expert at SurveyMe, a fantastic digital platform to Create mobile surveys, Capture real-time feedback & Reward your customers.

Originally published as a blog post on their website, this excellent essay on the topic of customer retention was titled - “4 Reasons Why You Lose Customers”:

4 Reasons Why You Lose Customers

How many customers has your business lost in the past year? Are you certain of that number? How many just simply stopped buying from you, but you don’t know why or even realise they have stopped buying from you? Remember; even in a recession, people don’t stop buying, they may just stop buying from you!

The important question is why do we lose customers? There are many reasons, some of which are below. But how many of us know why they lose customers but just chose not to do anything about it? Is that the way to run a business in any climate?

Here at SurveyMe we want to supply you with the tools every business needs to maintain loyalty with customers, gain new customers and help you create a process that exceeds your customers and staff’s expectations. We offer a free trial meaning you can trial the system so visit www.survey-me.com to register free.

More often than not, your customers will walk away from you without telling you. Research tells us that for every customer who complains, there are 26 who remain silent. So unless they have built up a really good relationship with you, in which case they might tell you, you may never know what you’ve done to make them go elsewhere. Some of the principal reason why your customers will tend to go to your competitors:

1. You don’t show them any love – well not quiet but you don’t show them any personal attention making them feel unloved. If you don’t show you care, e,g. by actively listening to them, they will go somewhere that shows they care. Your customers want to feel valued and listened to and you get extra brownie point if you can then demonstrate what you have heard and what you have acted on as a result.

2. Misplaced staff training. If you don’t know what your customers value most about buying your service, how can you train your team to serve their needs and exceed their expectations? Knowing what is important to your customers, by asking them, is the first step in improving your customer experience management. Apart from saving you money on training in the first place, it will make for a happier team serving happier customers, and increased profits. Everybody wins!

3. The wrong people in the wrong jobs. I’m constantly amazed by how many unfriendly people there are in service industries who are forced to interact with customers. Customer engagement skills are inherited personality traits – they are not something that can be taught! When your team interact with customers remember they are the first, and often lasting, customer’s impression for your company so let someone do it who has manners and skills to do it right!

4. Your staff blame anyone or anything for not being able to help your customers. The old saying goes there is no “I” in team, if you’ve not read it have a look at ‘What happens in the “I”… “They” culture’, this is a clear indication that your company has communication issues which need to be resolved. This mindset will eventually manifest itself in customers leaving you. Engaging with your customer facing employees for their feedback helps identify potential communication issues before it’s too late and leaving you wondering where your customers went! If you can’t be bothered to invest in listening to your employees, customers will not put up with delays and problems that are not dealt with correctly and professionally they will somewhere that puts customers first not last!

How many times have you heard or even said yourself that the reason for losing profits is no customers. The bottom line is that customers will go where they feel they are cared for, listened to, appreciated and that what they say is heard and acted on. Happy employees + Happy customers = Increased profits and healthy business.”

Using mobile survey apps like SurveyMe can help you engage with your customers and your employees in one simple system. Like us CLICK HERE – Sign up to a FREE trial and see for yourself what a great tool this is for your business.

Read about the product HERE or watch their promo video on YouTube HERE.

If you know of any great Staffordshire or West Midlands experts we can share with the world – let me know via Linked-in

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

 

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Want More Sales? Give Out Some Thank Yous!

An often forgotten but very effective referral marketing tool – is the thank you card or thank you letter.  I was reminded when sent one by our old friend Simon Chaplin from GreenStones’s, a great firm of Accountants in Peterborough, and Socks-Up-Simon that helps business owners be the best they want to be.

I got this card in the post from Simon for introducing him to a local accountant here in Staffordshire.

Such a simple gesture really made us appreciate our relationship with Simon, and guess what we will be looking for more referrals for him in the future!

So if you want more leads, do take the time to thank your customers, friends, partners or suppliers when they do something to help your business.  This will always lead to more opportunities flowing from the relationship and thus more business.

Get yourself some cards today and start thanking your top referrers and referral partners!

 

We will be inviting Simon soon to speak to us here in Staffordshire, but if in the meantime you want to know more about GreenStones or Socks-Up-Simon then please get in touch with him via Linked-in.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

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Want More Control Over Linked-in? Take Control Of Your Account Settings!

Occasionally we like to share information on other topics from top local experts.

Today’s great tip is no exception thanks to Philip Oakley, Director of Outserve, a top local social media & on-line marketing consultancy.

Originally published as a post by him on Linked-in, this excellent note of easy reading on this topic is entitled – “Turn off LinkedIn Broadcasts when you change your profile and other automatic updates!”:

“As well as the updates you post yourself on LinkedIn there are many other updates that can show on your connections timeline that LinkedIn post automatically for you. These include when you make changes to your profile (e.g. add a new position etc), make recommendations and even follow companies.

If you have a look at your LInkedin home page you should see some of the these updates for your connections just as they would see the equivalent for you if you are using the LinkedIn default settings (which many people are).

Like many social networks LinkedIn wants you to share as much information as possible to your network to encourage engagement and activity. Many people like to check their updates to see who has changed jobs or positions and of course where there is change there is often opportunity. Read on…”

CLICK HERE TO READ HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LINKED-IN ACCOUNT SETTINGS!

If you want to talk to Phil on more top social media or CRM tips to help your business then please contact him via Linked-in or call him on 07515 358621.

Watch out for more top tips on all sorts of subjects from local experts.

If you know of any great Staffordshire or West Midlands experts we can share with the world – let me know via Linked-in

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

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Want More Sales? Get Some More Focus!

Occasionally we like to share information on other topics from top local experts.

This one is again is from our old friend Simon Chaplin from GreenStones’s, a great firm of Accountants in Peterborough, and Socks-Up-Simon which was founded to INSPIRE, CHALLENGE and SUPPORT business owners, managers and their teams to be the best they want to be.  This follows up on the previous post with his great tip about being specific and being focused on your target market to get more sales leads an referrals – To read CLICK HERE.

Let’s leave Simon to explain!

“Once you have read it here’s two little tips that improve the effectiveness of the Most Wanted sheet:

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  • #1 When you ask the customer, introducer or supplier if they know anyone on the Most Wanted sheet make sure you hand them the sheet. That way they take ownership of what they are sharing and are more likely to share information or a recommendation.
  • #2 Make sure one of the logos on the Most Wanted sheet is already a customer. When you hand over the sheet say something like “We don’t need to know about X as they are already a customer”.  This proves to the recipient that the sheet works and they are not wasting their time when sharing. Because it has worked once it will work again!

If this sheet is against your values in anyway make sure you don’t use it until you have converted at least one person from the list or alternatively say something like “We don’t need to know about X as we already know everything we need to know about them”. It is not as strong as the first statement but still add evidence.

Next time we’ll look at other ways you can use the most wanted sheets.

Until then…. Let’s Get Started…. Pull Your Socks Up

Simon”

We will be inviting Simon soon to speak to us here in Staffordshire, but if in the meantime you want to know more about GreenStones or Socks-Up-Simon then please get in touch with him via Linked-in.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

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Want To Avoid Paying More Tax? Avoid Taking Illegal Dividends?

Occasionally we like to share information on other topics from top local experts.

These great tips are again thanks to Paul Woodcock, Director of top local accountants PJW Accounting based in Rugeley.

Today is no exception with yet another excellent one-page of easy reading on this topic- “Are your dividend payments illegal?”:

“Most of us are aware of the tax advantages of paying dividends rather than salary. What is less well known is the problems that can be caused by taking too much dividend (i.e. taking out so much dividend that the retained profits are depleted to retained losses).

The Taxman might try to hit you where it really hurts in such circumstances (in your wallet). So what can you do if you unwittingly take too much dividend from your Company? Read on…”

CLICK HERE TO READ HOW TO SAVE MONEY BY NOT PAYING MORE TAX!

If you want to talk to Paul on more top tax tips to help your business then please contact him via Linked-in or call him on 01889 586431.

Watch out for more top tips on all sorts of subjects from local experts.

If you know of any great Staffordshire or West Midlands experts we can share with the world – let me know via Linked-in

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

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Want More Sales? Use The Best Networking Icebreakers!

“Talking to strangers – It’s normal to feel apprehensive”

Fact – Networking brings companies a rich stream of new contacts and business that can make them more successful & profitable

Fact – Networking helps them to understand their customers and the marketplace better whilst testing their message and its effectiveness.

Fact – One of the things that makes some business owners reluctant to go networking is that they don’t feel comfortable rolling up to complete strangers and starting to talk to them.

“Never fear
Here is an ice – breaker toolkit to get you through those awkward moments when words fail you…”

We are taught as children not to talk to strangers. In business, talking to complete strangers is only way to generate interest and contacts for your business. If you only talk to the people you already know and deal with then you’re missing out on probable big opportunities!

Set targets before you attend any networking event. Decide how many new contacts you want to make / what referrals you are looking for etc etc

Make it fun and get out of your comfort zone with practice and determination.

Remember to actively listen & not prejudge!

Remember people love to talk about themselves!

You will eventually ask yourself “what was I worried about….”

3 Great Ice-Breakers to start with:

  • Have you been to this group before?
  • Excuse me, can I have a look at your brochure? I really like that logo
  • What sort of businesses usually come to this group?

So what next? No more getting worried about meeting new people

The ice – breaker toolkit below is there to get you through those awkward moments when words fail you… but do practice, practice, practice

Now you have asked the questions – make sure you listen carefully to the answers – to get what are people really looking to achieve ie what is really important to them about their business, job, personal ambition, and family?

Remember those answers for the next time you meet them like all top Networkers!

If you have any other top ICE-Breakers then please leave us a comment via Linked-in.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

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Want To Help Stafford Scouts? Shop At ASDA In Stafford!

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ASDA in Stafford have generously put 12th Stafford (Berkswich) Scout Group as one of 3 charities that are eligible for a £250 cash prize for the next 6 weeks in their “Green Disc” charity challenge.

All you have to do to help the SCOUTS in Stafford is when you go to the till to pay for your Shopping just ask the Assistant for some Green Discs.  You then put those discs in the appropriate box (which are adjacent to the main doors). The right box is already marked as 12th Scout Group.

Your support for Stafford Scouts is much appreciated through shopping at ASDA in Stafford.

Happy shopping :-)

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

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Want More Business? Get An Apprentice!

Here is an opportunity for all Staffordshire based businesses looking at apprentices to solve their recruitment and skills shortages to meet other businesses at one of the leading local providers, PM Training Ltd.

As a business local to their Stafford office, would you answer “yes” to any of the following:-

  • Find it hard to recruit, do you have Job Vacancies now or, in the near future that might be suitable for an Apprentice?
  • Apply for up to £2,000* grant money towards Apprentice wages. *Criteria Applies
  • Would you like to promote your business in Stafford?
  • Build closer relationships with our Stafford Centre and our Schools contacts?
  • Gain new contacts and network with other local businesses that we have.
  • Informally meet potential apprentices, without the pressure of an interview.

Their Stafford office would like to invite all businesses to attend their next Jobs Fair:

  • Date : Wed 16th July 2014
  • Time : 11:00 – 14:00, including light buffet lunch
  • Venue : PM Training – Stafford, 14-16 Edric Place, Wolseley Court, Staffordshire Technology Park, Stafford, ST18 0GA

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To register to attend just email Amy Ashton amy@pmtraining.org.uk or call our Stafford Centre on 01785 254620.  You would be more than welcome to bring along any promotional material, banner stands, literature…etc, just let PM Training know.

Please go along and see what PM Training and other local businesses have to say on the subject, and invite your contacts to come along too!

Look out for more opportunities in the future which we will publicise on the blog, and let us know if we have missed anything important.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.

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Want A Job? Treat It Like A Small Business

I recently had a coffee & catch-up 121 with a very good Staffordshire acquaintance who has had an interesting time in the last 12 months with job changes etc.  They currently have a part-time job which pay the bills but the challenge of juggling this commitment, and a couple of other issues make this a less than ideal situation for them.  As such they want to see what else might be on the market that they could go for, and a couple of local companies are of great interest to them as their “referral” target.

As I said to them and in my previous post “Network Into Your Next Job Or Promotion!” the rules for job search or getting a promotion are the same or similar to winning new sales as a business owner

The advice I would give any new or small business (& I gave my 121 guest) wanting to grow their sales and market their business is as follows:

  • Networking
  • Referral Marketing
  • Reputation
  • Social Media

As a job seeker, these 4 tools / techniques apply equally well.  People need to build their own network in order to have every opportunity presented to them formally or informally. As Rob Brown says – “the right people and connections won’t always come to you. Usually you’ve got to go to them. They say your network is your net worth. So how valuable are your connections? How are you building that treasure chest?”. Therefore how would any of us answer this question if looking for a job?

Referral Marketing as in sales means having a clear target, plan of action and not being afraid of asking for the job.  If the person you have asked can’t help you themselves, then you must ask them who else they might suggest you contact for that opportunity.

Reputation is key for any successful business, and the same for a job seeker.  It is not what you know, but who you know and how you are perceived.  Often it is a case of being “open for business” and behaving correctly – same for when looking for a job.  Good grammar and spelling, and a positive attitude pay dividends every time.  Lazy & miserable people don’t get referrals, and nor will they be employed very quickly too!

Social media is now a fantastic free tool available to small business and it is there to help the search for employment too.  What ever tool you want to use (& I have seen great successes from Facebook and Twitter) as I said in my previous post “If I Were 22 again? Remembering to Grow my Network! #IfIWere22“, we have been given a fantastic opportunity with Linked-in to grow our network and reputation online as we start work and gain experience!

So looking for that new employment opportunity then get working using the 4 tools above, and start promoting yourself as any small business would do to get sales!

If you want more advice or guidance on your referral marketing, networking, social media and reputation – plus how to get the most out of them, then please get in touch via linked-in.

 

 

 

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Want More Sales? Get Some Focus!

Occasionally we like to share information on other topics from top local experts.

This one is from our old friend Simon Chaplin from GreenStones’s, a great firm of Accountants in Peterborough, and Socks-Up-Simon which was founded to INSPIRE, CHALLENGE and SUPPORT business owners, managers and their teams to be the best they want to be.

We had a 121 with Simon a few months ago, we talked about being specific and being focused on your target market to get more sales leads an referrals.  He came up with this great tip and visual aid which we want to share with you all.

Let’s leave Simon to explain!

“On my odd sock sessions there is one thing that grabs people’s attention really quickly.
It might be because of its simplicity.
It might be because it is really quick to do.
Or it might be because it definitely generates sales opportunities!
Here’s it is…

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A collection of 10 logos of the businesses in and around Peterborough that we really want to work with. They are our ideal customers. The sheet was designed by a designer from People Per Hour and we carry it where ever we go.

One way we use it (We have loads that I’ll share with you in a future blog) is to present it to our customers or introducers at the end of the meeting to see if they recognise any of the names or logos.  If they do, we gather any information they have about our prospect and store it in our CRM system for future use.  Every now and again the person knows the prospect that well that they introduce us and we get an appointment.

First things first…  If you would like to have a Most Wanted sheet for yourself all you need to do is work out which 10 businesses you want to work with.  Those businesses should obviously be ideal customers. If you have not defined your ideal customer drop me an email and I’ll send you a one page sheet that will help you work it out – CLICK HERE FOR SIMON’s WORKSHEET

And in a future post, once you have your list of 10, I’ll share with you a little trick to increase the likelihood that people will share information with you when you ask!”

We will share this next post from Simon when published with our audience.  If you are not sure how effective this will be for you, this is what Simon says on how this has helped GreenStones - “We can directly attribute £12K of reoccurring fees and £5K of one off fees to the sheets in the last 12 months. I also have a consulting customer that has been using it for about 6 weeks who is on the verge of signing up reoccurring fees of circa £7K. Also, the bigger picture is the conversations it starts. I have lost count of the times people have said “Well if you want to work with X then you’ll also want to speak to Y and I know them” and “I didn’t know you were looking for more work. Now I know you are I’ll starting looking for you” or words to that effect.”

We will be inviting Simon soon to speak to us here in Staffordshire, but if in the meantime you ant to know more about GreenStones or Socks-Up-Simon then please get in touch with him via Linked-in.

If you want to discuss your referral marketing, social media, business networking needs & how to get the most out of them, then please do get in touch with me via linked-in.