Archive for August, 2008

6 tips to do your own marketing as a small business

I found this fascinating article today:

  1. Research: Figure out what you do best and get to know who your ideal customer is.
  2. Segment: Group these customers into some categories.  Don’t default to region or industry, that won’t help you make more money or give them what they want.  Group them by what’s important to them when they are buying what you’re selling.
  3. Target: Pick a segment or group you want to start with.  Maybe they are easy to work with, maybe they are most profitable, any reason will do.
  4. Position: Tell them why they should buy from you – position yourself to provide what they want – not what they need.
  5. Irresistible Offer: Pull together a combination of product, service, price, delivery and communication that makes what you’re selling IRRESISTIBLE to them.
  6. Build Loyalty:  If you have a customer base which likes to be involved – then build community and build loyalty.
  7. Ivana Taylor, Strategy Stew, Aug 2008

The whole article is a very good read. I love the explanation about process and promotion.
It appears I need to work on my processes as I am rather good at promotion.
Sarah

Essex Couriers and Delivery services

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Making the most of LinkedIN for sales

You may be looking for more sales due to the credit crunch, or you may be hiking up your activity so you don’t feel the crunch so bad.

I found this article written by Guy Kawasaki over 18 months ago, and if you missed it then, now is the time to catch up and implement his tips and tricks…

Most people use LinkedIn to “get to someone” in order to make a sale, form a partnership, or get a job. It works well for this because it is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. However, it is a tool that is under-utilized, so I’ve compiled a top-ten list of ways to increase the value of LinkedIn.

  1. Increase your visibility.

    By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.

  2. Improve your connectability.

    Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

    You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment.

  3. Improve your Google PageRank.

    LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

    To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web> For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature.

  4. Enhance your search engine results.

    In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website”, “My Company” etc.

    If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View”.

The full article can be read here, I suggest you go an have a look at the other 5 tips and the bonus tips. It’s as relevant now as it was 18 months ago, although I hope Guy has caught up with his connection invitations by now! 😉
Linda Mattacks can be found here and Sarah Arrow can be found here, send us an invitation if you would like to connect.
Regards
Sarah Arrow

When did you last say Thank You?

An often overlooked sales tip, is to say thank you in a highly personal way. It increases customer loyalty and makes them feel appreciated. It can also make you stand out from the crowd, and when times are tough in business it may give you the edge.

Even though business thank you cards offer a tangible way for companies to demonstrate customer appreciation, only 44 percent of the consumers we surveyed received a thank you greeting card from companies with which they do business,” said Marc Wagenheim, director for Hallmark Business Expressions.

In fact, a total of 66 percent of consumers surveyed by Hallmark Business Expressions indicated that business greeting cards sent to show appreciation for a purchase or referral makes them more likely to do future business with a company.
Some people suggest you pick up the phone or send an email, but what works best for me is the old fashioned but highly memorable thank you note.


What should you thank people for? We thank new customers for choosing us to deliver their goods. A friend of ours thinks a thank you note after obtaining a quote is a good way of getting the business, it works for her.
What do you put on it? I suggest it’s handwritten, and in blue ink, so that it doesnt look like its computer generated, so it has that nice personal touch. Some discreet contact details, but they shouldn’t detract from the message of thanks.
Where else can I use it? After networking? Why not thank the person for their comments, may get read unlike an email which can be deleted, may get kept too. Certainly makes you stick in their mind.

So when did you last say thank you via a note, and how did it work for you?

Sarah

Essex couriers and parcel delivery


Business ethics or being nosy. When do you respect someone’s privacy?

I found this interesting blog today:

“There has been a lot of hype and noise surrounding Steve Jobs‘ appearance at the WWDC conference and not just because of the new iPhone launch either.  His gaunt appearance started a furore amongst the tech analysts and journalists as to how his health was, it was material they claimed.

Sally Church, Oncology Market Trends, Jul 2008″

The whole article is a good read, and having met Sally on several occasions, I know where she is coming from.
Couriers need a lot of information and if the truth be told, if a companie’s transport was going well, would we be in there collecting and delivering?
If we knew the health of one of our main customers, would it affect the service we gave them? Would we still be available?
I know we would be.
In business, others don’t think that way and does knowing all the minute details make a difference? To them it does. To your customer it does. Lifetime value of a customer means just that. Lifetime.

So, what exactly does being ethical in business mean?
Sarah
Ethical, Greener, efficient couriers

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Selling by Payment?

A customer is standing by the vacuum cleaner display. The Sales assistant approaches the customer and asks “are you looking for an upright or cylinder?”

Which letter best describes the selling skills?

Product knowledge know what you are selling.

Acknowledge customer – make eye contact

You now establish the customers need & wants

Match the products to the needs & wants

Ensure the customer is satisfied.

Now close the sale

Take the money!

I was inspired by this when I visited the local electricity shop. It is kiss inspired (keep it simple stupid).

Source: Leo Cussons, Work Connexions Link

I like the idea of following “payment” to make the sale.

Does it only work for face to face sales or can it be adapted for over the telephone and when you need to sell services?

What else other acronyms do you follow to make the sale?

Regards

Sarah Arrow

Sales success for when you drive for a living
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Looking to increase your sales in the credit crunch?

I have put together 5 tips that have worked for us.

Have a read, try them and tell us what you think.

1. Be a human.

Have you lost the human touch? Companies don’t buy, it’s people who buy, and they buy other people.

2. Advise more than you sell

You will sell more as a person who is trusted for good advice than, someone who goes straight for the kill.

3. Be approachable

If you go for the hard sell every time you met your customers, they may dread your phone calls and visits. Be personable, be approachable and you will get more business.

4. Every impression counts

From your first meeting, to your last meeting. Make every impression a favourable one, it’s you who they will be more inclined to remember and call.

5. Don’t take your customers for granted

When things are tough, many companies look at ways of saving money. Don’t take it for granted your customers will always come back. Treat each sale with respect, and if there are ways to save money tell your customer and they can make the decision.

What do you think? Want to share some of your own with us?

Sarah Arrow

Sales success for freelance and self employed couriers 

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Powerful marketing phrases – does your message stick in peoples minds?

Delivering everything from an envelope to an elephant is a very powerful marketing phrase and it stays in peoples minds. It has that extra stickiness created by the fact they indicate something small,and something large as well as the fact they begin with ‘e’.

When discussing website copy with Jeff at Rienne Business Consulting, he suggested this line, but only if we had actually delivered an elephant! Elephant that needs delivering?

Well actually, Arrow Light Haulage has delivered an elephant, not a living one, as couriers are not allowed to carry livestock, but a wire framed one for an artist client of ours.

The call came out of the blue, could we go and collect an elephant? If we hadn’t of known her, we would have thought it was a wind up! Could we collect a wire frame of an elephant? Of course we could!

Wire framed elephant

The artist was going to plaster to it and make it look lifelike as something that would go in the garden to surprise her family.

We got the dimensions, it was huge, but our since retired Luton could take items up to 17 feet high, at 16 feet the elephant just got in. The Elephant had to be carefully strapped to the sides, so that it didn’t slide and covered in felt blankets to protect it in case the unexpected happened.

200 miles later, it was delivered safe and sound, we had a few tricky moments unloading. It is awkward moving an elephant backwards onto the tail-lift but we will know for sure how to do it next time!

As to envelopes, we are delivering blueprints and documents all the time as part of our confidential delivery services. These services are often used by Essex based law firms, courts, doctors and architects.

Next time you read “we deliver everything from an envelope to an elephant”, don’t forget to ask about the elephant, and don’t forget we really have done it.

You have read our story, so how powerful is your marketing phrase?

  • Will it help you stand out from the crowd?
  • Does it have a story that helps make it memorable?
  • Does it describe accurately what you do?

Small business training can help you stick in the minds of people who can go on to become customers.

Regards

Sarah
Sales success for those that drive for a living

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