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To Add Or Not To Add That Is The Question

I get asked this question a lot by business owners; if I should be adding people automatically to my database. Especially since I tell people that your aim is to grow your data base and turn those lovely contacts into happy customers using the Marketing Production Line. Down load your copy of this here – How to get more customers and increase sales

So if you are networking or attending an expo, what’s the big deal of adding all of those lovely contact details on that shiny business cards mountain in your office to your data base? Here is one such enquiry I recently received:

I’m new to networking and not sure if there’s an etiquette involved.

I received an email with the subject line “Lovely to meet you”. The email, among a few other things, informed me, I had been added to their list and would be contacted 1-2 times a week.

I was surprised, as I didn’t “meet” this person at the event, or even speak with them, and didn’t give them my details to add to a list (which I didn’t think was allowed generally anyway).

I just wanted to check as I wasn’t sure if that is just how networking is, as clearly I can just unsubscribe, but this was all unsolicited and I was a bit undecided what I thought about that.

If it’s all just part of the networking scene, I’m just a bit of a newbie! But I’m not sure I would send people emails claiming to have met them and sending them stuff they hadn’t asked for. But that may just be me, which is why I wanted to check!

Okay so let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of this approach.

Firstly the pros from the viewpoint of the proactive business owner sending the email;

  • It is said that if you send something to the people you meet within 24 hours you are still “Hot” in their thoughts and so more likely to take action. The longer you leave it the slower the burn and the more likely you are to forget the “why” they were interesting.
  • You are reinforcing the “Why us. And laying out how you will keep in touch to build a relationship. By doing what you say you will you are helping to build a relationship.
  • Keeping in touch between meetings enables you to increase the touch points. Traditionally it was considered necessary to have 3 to 7 touch points for someone to be ready to buy from you. 21st century marketing need a lot more, because the consumer is far more savvy as to what and how they wish to buy. So by keeping in touch consistently can be a good thing.

However, what does it say about you and your business that you assumed that the other party would want to buy from you. In theory I have 100’s of people I could add to my mailing list every month and yet I don’t.

I was once advised that business to business by law we are allowed to add each other to our mailing list as long as they are able to “unsubscribe” it is only business to consumer that is not allowed to do this. (I would like to add that I recommend seeking the advice of the experts here. Angela Lock from the FSB Essex would be a good place to start since they have free legal services as part of their membership.) Regardless of whether I can or can not I don’t and the reason why?

Because I have absolute respect for how busy you are. I make no assumptions of what you want, need or wish to achieve. Or on whom you wish to work with. For some people I personify Marmite, I am so cringe worthy they are backing out of the room as if someone is screeching talons down a chalkboard, however for those few there are thousands that love working with me. So I’m happy. And yet I still don’t add anyone to mine or The Business Woman’s Network databases. I do this for a number of reasons.

  • Firstly, As stated I have absolute respect for you as a very busy business owner and I don’t want to add one item to your inbox that could stress you out. People buy into what I do because they very quickly see that it genuinely works and is genuinely very good for business. I don’t have to sell at people. They just love it. (So get your marketing right and they will come, right?)
  • By adding people to your website every time you meet anyone, how do you know what percentage of your database is actually interested? Yes you have statistics you can read however even they have their limitations. I currently use Mailchimp however I’m looking into Mail Poet too. I once had a client who hated me for a few days when I made their company get in touch with every single person on their database by phone, they didn’t hate me so much when they discovered the disconnected phone lines and dead people. They were able to sell more by targeting what they sell to and to whom they sold to. How many sales do dead people make?  I want a database alive with people energised and buzzing for what I do and how I can help, so by not signing people up but by engaging in an interesting relevant manner people come to my website and want in. Easy right? (It is with the right marketing, are you seeing a trend here right?)
  • If you send out a “Great to meet you” email and you didn’t you actually see them, then you risk looking like a liar. Now I was always told “Never trust a liar Mand, a thief will always try and rob you however you never know where you stand with a liar.” You are on dangerous ground if you make people feel like they can’t trust you. And the first thing the successful networker is aiming to do is build trust to build great relationships. so does an email that risks lying do that? I question whether it does?
  •  By not knowing who you are talking to you don’t actually know what that person wants and what their needs are. My blog is usually written for one or two people. Crazy! I hear you cry. Not really. My 7 year old successful network The Business Womans Network was built out of an understanding that all business women present with similar issues in business regardless of background or industry. So my theory has worked. If I write a blog article that works for one business owner it tends to resonate and help a lot of other business owners too. so by getting to know the people you are emailing in your database, you can create far more powerful content and get better results. i.e., more sales and more happy customers!
  • You risk talking to people that are not interested.
  • You risk annoying people. Even if they are not interested. They are likely to know people that are. I may be self employed and not employ people. However my clients do employ people. Lots of people. So its essential that I know great HR companies and great mediators, etc., etc.
  • You risk sending straight into the hands of the competitors. Scary right.

I think on top of this there are a couple of other cool lessons to be learnt;

  • How cool that this business owner had the confidence to get in touch and ask my advice. For everyone that asks there are a good few that take months to pluck up the courage.
  • Each to their own. When I worked with this very exceptional business mentor years ago he was the opposite of me and added everyone to his mailing list, stating that its their choice to remove themselves from his list. I’ve not changed my viewpoint and I’m still attracting the perfect clients for me and I know he is for him. So if it works for you, you can sleep at night with your choices, it fits with your values, whose to questions your marketing strategy (as long as its legal).
  • Respect busy business owners. The business that respects other people tends to find they don’t lack clients. I seem to have a steady stream of work coming in. Okay admittedly sometimes it feels like a tidal wave, but nothing I can’t handle or stop smiling about. So horses for course, respect, if you can hold your head high, it works for you and attract the results and customers you want. Then go right ahead. On the other hand. If there are gaps in your diary and your bank balance. Time to have a rethink on your marketing strategy? I suggest you start with the Marketing Production Line at the start of this blog article. And the book and online course couldn’t go a miss either.

And as I published this blog article the business owner in question said that they unsubscribed because it just didn’t work for them. So I think it kind of speaks of volumes right?

Yes you may be allowed business to business to add people to your data base as long as you give them the option to opt out however does it really help build good relationships? Does it really help boost sales?

To add on not to add?

I have my answer. Do you have yours?

 

 

 

 

 

  • March 20, 2016

Knowing Where & When To Spend Your Money

It may sound easy to spend money right?

But when it comes to helping your business grow, thrive and succeed how can you know you are spending your hard earned profits on the right things?

People will tell you come to our event, advertise with us, exhibit here, join our organisation, it will help your business. But money doesn’t growing on trees, so how can you know you are investing in the right marketing or if you are wasting your money?

I’m often asked “Should I spend money on advertising in this magazine?” or “Should I exhibit at this event?”

So here are my top tips to help you work out if it really is a great opportunity for you and your business success;

  1. Find out who their target audience is. Does it match up to yours? It’s all very well raising your profile but if you are on the radar of people that are never likely to have the money or the inclination to buy your products and services is it really a good investment?
  2. How many people are expected at the event? How big is their mailing list? How big is their readership? Your investment should be inline with the return you will get, right?
  3. Ask yourself if I’m giving up time to attend this event, time to prepare for the event, time to follow up effectively (always follow up effectively to truly maximise on any events you attend!) then how much is that actually costing you? That has to be factored into what you are costing. Does it still look like a great opportunity?
  4. What further promotion will this opportunity give you? When you find this organisation on line do they have thousands of followers or likes? If not what are the chances that you are going to benefit from online representation from this organisation? A great top tip for anyone hosting events or selling advertising space is the more added bonuses you can be seen to be giving customers the more they will come back and spend with you. If it costs X to advertise in your magazine but you include free twitter posts and Facebook promotion then you can become more powerful to your customers. As a consumer don’t be afraid to ask the organisation how they intend to promote their event, magazine, etc.
  5. Find out if you get exclusivity. This can be very important and can impact on the cost and the benefit to you.
  6. Ask if you will gain access to their mailing list, guest list, client database. Not many organisations offer this, but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

You could spend every penny of your profit on paying to attend exhibitions, trade fairs and shows or on advertising on websites and in magazines, so think carefully about the outcome you are looking to achieve and what ever you do decide to do know what your desired outcome is. How many sales, new leads, etc you are aiming to gain from this.

And lastly know in advance how you intend to measure the level of success your marketing investment.

I hope this helps you decide where to spend your profits, although I should warn you if your marketing budget is smaller than a budgies handbag, fear not. With my marketing production line there are enough answers to get you new leads and sales without spending any money! Click here to try it for yourself 

Or give me a call if you are having a tough time, I’ve a way of helping for all budgets!

07989 935556

 

 

  • February 14, 2015

How do I get my blog out of Never Read Land?

Great you finally got around to producing a blog, but now what?

Because aren’t you at risk of spending your most precious commodity of time writing something that no one will ever see? Well unless you include your Mum, your best mate and Your Auntie Irene.

What do you do to ensure that people actually find it?

Firstly ideally it will be on your website for a variety of reasons but the most obvious one is that it brings new fresh relevant information to your website – and trust me that’s good for your SEO.

If you can’t get it on your website relying on WordPress or Blogger, etc is better than not having one. And they are free and pretty easy to set up and use. Now is not the time to talk about delegating jobs that you not your forte. But if its taking you days maybe you should get an expert to set it up for you. The ones I know genuinely care about giving you what you want. So it could be a good use of your valuable time and money in the long run.

So you have an interesting relevant useful blog now its time to get it seen;

Talk about it on social media – Youtube, Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter are the main ones. But don’t just do endless links to your blog – you have to build up interest and get to know people first. If anyone in their very first tweet to me says “Hey check out my website, blog, FB page- I’m instantly turned off. They have never met me and they are already assuming that I need what they have. If they took the time to build a relationship with me I would be more than happy to “check out their blog” etc. So build relationships first and you do that exactly the same way as you would face to face.

Be interested in others, share useful tit bits (this works really well, commenting on other peoples discussions allows you to get to know other people’s opinions and then share yours. If you have had a great conversation with someone then you can say “Funny enough I wrote this about this very subject…” but only after being interested, considerate and getting  to know others.

If you have a mailing list (Please tell me you have one of those!) whatever effective ways you have to stay in touch with your client base (Please tell me you are doing that!) share your blog ideas there too. Don’t share the whole thing, just put something like “A client had the issue ………. so I shared this great solution and so I thought I would share it with you too. To read more…….”

Remember in this fast paced world everyone wants instant answers so sharing little useful titbits makes you a very useful golden nugget to keep in touch with – what’s that going to do to your sales?

Speaking of instant answers and useful titbits. Blogging is not just about words. Pictures can paint a thousand words and if you are a very visual business it can really share good ideas and advice effectively. Likewise Vlogging is fast becoming a great addition to your marketing. Because it can be short, useful and on Youtube. All ideal for your business and for the ever busy consumer who wants answers yesterday.

So don’t assume because you are busy you can’t blog, blogs are getting more and more creative. So ask yourself what platforms are going to enable us to communicate effectively useful and information ideas to our target audience?

If you publicly speak (and where ever you go NEVER turn down the opportunity, you never know who is in the audience and who they know!) finish with something like “There are a ton of free ideas on …………on my blog, so help yourself.”

Tell people about it in every form of your marketing in a useful relevant informative way ALL OF THE TIME. People make the mistake of assuming you can tell someone once on Twitter and that will get you a thousand hits – it won’t!

You have to tell people over and over again in a useful, relevant informative way (Hope I’m getting that across – lol!) in short succinct chunks. It’s the drip drip drip approach. That if you keep telling people they will get the message and want to know more and keep in touch and what does that do for your business success?

These ideas will work, there’s a ton more to share but get this right for starters, be consistent and you will see positive results and a great impact on your business.

And do share your results on my social media – because I just love to see what you are up to!

 

  • November 28, 2014

More Sales Please

I’ve been doing some research with The Business Womans Network to find out what business women really want and so far as well as being incredibly interesting reading we are learning that time & stress management and work life balance are still an issue close to many of yours heart but ultimately the thing in business you worry most about is those sales.

For someone that finds the sales process almost an art form to be enjoyed it makes me sad to think that its an obstacle to so many business women’s success. And I think one of the biggest reasons I feel like that is because the fact is sales really is not rocket science.

When you “get sales” you know what I am saying in the above statement, because sales become natural. Sales don’t become a bitter battle, a fight and a stress but a joy and a pleasure. An aspect of your business that you genuinely look forward to because you understand the process and what to not do and how to make it happen and it just all flows beautifully.

Rubbish you say? Sales ARE HARD WORK you say?

Well if sales ARE hard work, start by looking at your sales process?

Do you sell?

A really important thing to remember to achieve great levels of sales (and success) is to stop selling. No one on the planet wants to be sold at. I think I would struggle to find 1 person that enjoys receiving a sales call. Everyone is busy and there are a million reasons why they would rather be doing anything that listen to you sell at them. So stop selling at people. Start learning about people and think about them. Be on other peoples agenda, not yours.

As brilliantly awesome and amazing as your products and services are, the person you are talking to has successfully got to this stage in their life without needing them, so stop selling.

Have I said that enough yet?

When you get noisy and genuinely care about the people in your network you create value and when you create value you create relationships. Your aim is not to sell but to learn and care. This approach works. Remember people buy from people.

And a little reassurance that this really does work. I rarely tell people what I do, but wherever I go someone will tell me “You’re the person that helps motivate aren’t you?” or “You helped so and so increase their sales didn’t you?”  or “You can tell you are working with “A business” because they are suddenly everywhere and doing very well!” I don’t have to dance on table tops telling people what I do. Let your current customers get out there and be your sound pieces on why your products and services are brilliant. You concentrate on giving real value and time to the people you meet and see where that could lead you….

Value Added Marketing – it’s what we will all be talking about, trust me!

  • September 8, 2014

Best Kept Secret (That Could Be Costing You Business!)

Recently I’ve been working with a lot of business owners who to put no too finer point on it want more sales.

They know their products and services are good but for some reason not enough people are buying them, and so they call me in.

And what I’ve noticed is this;

Most of these business owners undertake aspects of their marketing strategy beautifully. They may have mastered referrals or networking. Social media or websites. But when you look at the big picture, well frankly their marketing strategy is lacking.

But what is it lacking you ask?

Well imagine you were in the forest and you were lost, would you sit hidden under the trees and hope someone would stumble upon you?

Or would you light a fire?

Maybe you would clear the undergrowth and right “help” in big stones?

Maybe you would head in the direction of water?

Maybe since in this analogy we are not in the olden days, you have a phone. Have you tried that?

You see if you do one thing you are likely to get one level of results. And if you do 2 things you are likely to double your chances of success. Okay so admittedly walking up to a bear and saying “Excuse me, do you know the direction to civilisation?” Would not be the cleverest move, so we need to add in there that you need to do 2 sensible, calculated things.

So what happens if you do 4? Or maybe 5? Or lets really go to town and what if you did 10 things to get you out of that forest? Would you be more likely to get the result you want and be sat by the fire with cocoa by bedtime?

So when it comes to marketing THAT is what I see. A lot of business owners do SOME things well. However if they added more things to their marketing repertoire, well guess what could happen?

So ask yourself when it comes to our marketing strategy “What do we do well?” Then ask yourself “What do we need to add?”

Because here’s the killer if you don’t add things you are basically hiding your great companies products and services. It’s like you are sat in your office talking to your wall and hoping it will put in a big order!

If you were lost in the forest I’d be expecting to find some licked clean bones in a few years time huddled under a tree. Ooooo not good! So take a look at your marketing strategy today and stop being the best kept secret. Get your business loud and loved.

Because if you don’t, your competitors will!

  • June 10, 2014

Not The Prettiest Blog Post But Could Be Good For Sales via Linkedin

So remember;

Have a genuine reason for being in touch.

Only engage with people that you are already getting to know online, off line and who genuinely want to be hearing from you – don’t waste people’s precious time to tell them all about your website!

If you use the right copy then this could lead to sales as it does for me.

Let me know how you get on.

07989 935556

(Everything I share is low cost / no cost and just like this blog it may not be the prettiest but boy does it work. So call me today so I can be helping you too!)

BTW don’t tell me you don’t have time to video blog, this short film, blog and the social media took me less than 15 minutes to do!

  • May 29, 2014

Quick Top Tip For Your Website

I know you are uber busy, but here is a quick top tip to gain sales,before I dash out to meet another new client (Yes I could help you have new clients too!). So here it is…

As cringe worthy as it is, its this page on my website – http://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/why-me-as-your-coach/  I am like most business women in that I hate blowing my own trumpet and saying “Hey I’m awesome buy from me!” but sometimes ladies its got to be done.

You’ve got to help people differentiate between you and everyone else that does what you do and this page http://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/why-me-as-your-coach/ has brought me 2 clients this week. They clicked on the link (Nice and clear on my home page!) and read some of the stuff I’d achieved for myself and my clients and were in one clients words “Highly impressed”.

So come on ladies, it will make you shudder and go “Ooo can I really do this?” but get a page so that as people love your website and find you on Google and want to learn more about you, they can really understand and appreciate why you, instead of anyone else.

Remember you can’t dictate when someone buys, but you can have a say in who they chose to buy from!

Let me know how you get on with this top tip.

And if you want more, sign up to my 6 week online course – at £32.95 I must be mad, but the results business women are seeing in their businesses are truly brilliant. So is it your turn to get better results in your business?

Let me help you.

  • May 22, 2014

How To Make Money While On Holiday

I’m fresh faced back from 12 days of Mickey Mouse, magical castles, fast rides and exercising my credit card down the Champs Elysees (it had to be done) and while I was having fun, laughing, singing and loving the magic that Disney creates for you and your loved ones I still made the sales. Why do I tell you this?

Well I did not even take my smart phone with me, I did not send a single social media message or check one email and yet I made sales in every area of my business and picked up new clients too. Wouldn’t you just love that?

You see when it comes to a marketing strategy that works it WILL deliver to you whatever you are doing, and most of the time you will be very busy delivering to your clients (but its just as effective so that you can have a life outside your business too!) So you need to know your marketing strategy is always;

  • Engaging with your much loved customers – so they know how much you value them.
  • Keeping the buzz going – why you stand out from your competitors.
  • Delivering new customers and orders.
  • Able to even deliver residual income (let me talk to you about that sometime. How cool would it be to do very little but get some money heading your way that is practically pure profit!)

(And that folks is just for starters, knowing your marketing strategy really works and is powerful for your business success gives you this inner calm and the ability to get a good night sleep too….oh and I found myself grinning a smile as big as Mickey Mouse’s when I saw those sales coming in today!)

Want the sales?

I share no cost, low costs strategies that deliver success, from a coach that genuinely understands you and your business because with my proven track record, history and skills I can ensure you are getting the results you want, and you get me there between sessions to kick butt (if you like that style) support, motivate and inspire you to succeed.

You will love having someone like me on board!

Email me to learn more or give us a call – 07989935556

  • April 17, 2014

Writing Website Copy – How To Get On With IT!

What is it about producing copy for your website that fills so many with dread?

Having heard every procrastinators excuse with my coaching clients I think I know.

You see your website is there permanently – when you meet someone if they get the wrong meaning of what you say you can adjust it, you can reflect and correct the misunderstanding.

However your website is there even when you are in the bath or working with a client. But as I always say there is a key to producing great copy and it does not involve my arch enemy Ron. Have you met Ron?

Ron is the procrastinators best friend. He lurks in every office if he gets the chance. It’s “later Ron”. Because like tomorrow Later Ron never comes around. But lets be honest we could all come up with a 10000 excuses why it needs to wait until later wrong.

But don’t worry there is a cure – and its called DIN – Do It Now!

If producing copy really is a nightmare in your head heres a few ideas for you

a)      Realistically analyse what needs to be done. To do this sit down with your web designer and talk through the style of your website. What you are looking to achieve? Who is your target audience? What impact are you aiming to have?  And listen to their advice when it comes to less is more.

b)      Estimate how long it is going to genuinely take. Over estimate a little to allow for life getting in the way, and that phone ringing.

c)       Turn off email alerts, social media and any other easy to call upon distraction.

d)      Research what you need to. Check out other successful businesses websites in your profession.

e)      Collate information. Run through in your mind what your customers love about what you deliver?  What do they expect to see? What are the things new clients say when the process with you begins?  These can be the words you use to emotional hook new clients and engage with people effectively on your website.

f)       Collect testimonials – they are great snippets to lure in an interested reader. Ensure there are some juicy facts in there to tempt new customers too!

g)      Work in short chunks – there is nothing wrong with having a break. Creativity needs space to emerge. Heard about that guy in the bath and his Eureka moment?

h)      Don’t over analyse what you write  – ie, get on with it!

The fact is, if you get the right web designer you will be able to have a level of control over your site forever, which means that if you don’t like what you write you can change it at a later date. But here’s the thing if you don’t get SOMETHING  to your web designer you have NO presence on line at all. So what’s worst something slightly less than perfection or a blank page?

So come on Do it Now – you never know where it might lead.

And as you sit at your desk to get on with it, just check Ron is not lurking near by!

  • February 11, 2014

The Death of The Sales Man (Or Woman!)

My phone is up for contract and you probably know how much I love the free tools for marketing magic so the right phone for the right business women is key.

Recently I’ve read all I can lay my hands on, asked for advice on my social media world and narrowed it down to the new Nokia 1020 or the Samsung S4. But there is nothing like holding your new phone to know if its right for you. So a trip to the shops was needed and it occurred to me how badly we seem to be lacking good sales people in some stores.

I don’t want to know what phone you have or your best mate, I want to know which phone is best for me. What is this obsession with listing off a billion things the phone can do when you don’t actually know what I want to do with it.

I don’t listen to music on my phone or stream films so that’s not a selling point for me. I want to get online fast everywhere and utilise apps that are right for my business (On that note I’m coaching a business woman who specialises in Apps and I can see it being BIG for business!)

In one shop I was told the phone could have an additional SD card and in another that it couldn’t. In one shop I was told that my calendar would never sync with my new phone and in another that it could do it automatically. I came away from the various shops completely confused and a bit disappointed that not one sales person listened to me.

To make a sale you need to listen to what the customer wants. Not what you think they need.

This folks is not rocket science, but its something that is missed time and time again.

Being a great sales person is something to be proud of.

Your customer has a need and you fulfil it.

They have a problem and you create the solution. When your words, your marketing and your message do that everyones a happy bunny.

So I ask today have we seen the death of the sales person in our phone shops?

Or was I just unlucky?

  • January 6, 2014