Tag Archives: marketing

Are you being used?

Are you being used?

Do you feel as though you spend a lot of time, and energy putting together proposals for prospects that never come to fruition? Many businesses that we work with feel the same. It can be all too easy to fall into other people’s traps, and end up being used.

Obviously, in order to gain new clients you will need to write proposals and show what you can do for that company or client, and it would be naive to expect all your proposals to turn into customers. However it is important to take a look at the situation of you feel as though you are not converting as many as you would expect into customers. Another instance where the ability to track your sales funnel is important to help you understand and improve it.

One such scenario is where a company is happy with their existing supplier, but want to tackle them on price. So they come to you to see what you can do, for what money, they take your proposal and your pricing and go back to their existing supplier with that information.They never had any intention of changing suppliers, they simply were looking for ammunition in order to drive down their costs.

We all do this to a certain extent, and it is a prudent business move to try and reduce costs with your existing suppliers. However if you are on the receiving end of other people’s ploys too often it can be a drain on your resources.

If you are experiencing problems in your sales funnel and feel that you are not converting your prospects into good quality customers, why not contact us today? Call us now on 0121 222 5743 to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Or for more information about improving your sales funnel click on the image below to watch the video.

Please follow and like us:

Beware of over-reliance…

Beware of over-reliance…

Are you over-reliant on one person? Is there that member of your team, that you think, “if anything ever happens to them…” Are you aware of this?

When you map out your sales funnel, you will be able to spot areas of weakness. One area of weakness is over-reliance on people. This is not to say that you don’t need good people: you do. But having a good process means if that person goes on holiday, gets hit by a bus, then another good person can see where in sales funnel the prospects were, and pick up the process.

If the process is not mapped out, and remains largely in people’s heads, then that knowledge leaves with them. The process of laying out a system, means that you are transferring the knowledge from a person, to a system. Ultimately your business then has control of that system, rather than being reliant on the actions of a person.

If you are struggling with process mapping your sales funnel, why not contact us? We have worked with hundreds of different businesses of different sizes, and across a range of different industries. We can help you to improve your business, driving sales and profit forwards. To arrange your meeting contact us now on 0121 222 5743

If you would like to learn more about successful selling, click on the image below to watch the latest video. Or click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Please follow and like us:

Are you taking too much time?

Are you taking too much time?

How long does your sales funnel take? From an initial enquiry, for example filling out a form on your website, to your meeting with your prospect. One of the important reasons for tracking and monitoring our sales process is that we understand how long each step takes.

If it takes too long to move your suspects through the sales funnel, you risk the suspects becoming disengaged. By studying your sales funnel you can learn where the problem areas are. Is the process too complicated? Are you solving your suspects problems and answering their questions? If they come to the initial meeting with too many questions, they will be harder to convert. If your sales funnel has provided them with answers along the way, then by the time you have the meeting, they will be better engaged.

Reviewing your sales funnel step-by-step, including the time that it takes to move between each stage, gives you the ability to make changes at each step. Small improvements at each stage can lead to a big improvement overall, resulting in a quicker and more efficient sales funnel that will convert at a quicker and higher rate.

Process mapping is vital to ensure that you fully understand your processes, and only then can you successfully change them.

If you are struggling with your sales funnels and would like to improve them, why not contact us? We can help you to improve your sales funnels, ultimately improving your sales, and profitability. Call us today on 0121 222 5743 or via our contact page.

To learn more about sales funnels and successful selling, please click on the image below to watch the video.

Please follow and like us:

Understand your sales funnel

Understand your sales funnel

Understanding your sales funnel is important, so that you can track your conversions and change the outcome. You need to be able to see how your prospects move through your funnel and how the process works, to be able to improve it.

For example you may have an online form to fill in to download a white paper. Out of the people who fill in this form, you may manage to contact five of them on the phone. Out of these five you may get a few to the meeting stage and then one turn into a customer. It is important that you understand this process.

By spending some time working on your process, you may manage to get hold of more people on the phone, and change your five to ten, which in turn may result in two clients, rather than one. By spending time on each of the steps in your sales funnel you have the ability to alter your success rate.

If you would like to learn more about how improving your sales funnel can help to improve your growth and profit, contact Aardvark Marketing today to arrange a meeting, on 0121 222 5743

Or click on the image below to watch the video to learn more about successful selling

Please follow and like us:

Why a written process is so important

Why a written process is so important

Many businesses start up with one or maybe a few people in an office, often your processes or systems have evolved from the beginning, and are now a collection of activities. When we write down our processes we can see more clearly what we are doing. In terms of our sales funnels writing down our processes can help us to track the numbers.

For example if an enquiry begins with filling in a website form, and then moves through phone calls and then onto meetings, we can keep track of the numbers each step of the way. It is important to know this, as if we know 100 website enquiries leads to 5 sales, we know that if we can improve the website to increase the number of enquiries to 200, this should result in 10 sales, thereby doubling our turnover.

Marketing is far more effective when you track the results, when you systematically work your way through to see what has an affect and what doesn’t. Haphazard assortments of marketing techniques flung together make it impossible to understand what is working and what isn’t. Spending time concentrating on your process will improve your understanding of the process, highlight any weak areas, and give you the opportunity to successfully track and monitor your activities.

If you would like to review your process with people who understand, contact Aardvark Marketing Consultants today on 0121 2225743

To learn more about successful selling watch the video below:

Please follow and like us:

How connections lead to customers

How connections lead to customers

When we talk to potential customers, it is all too easy to fix on rational reasons why they might like to work with us. We can write a new website for them, we can improve their IT system, we can improve their operating process. However in order to optimise our chances of success it is important that we delve deeper into their problem.

We need to find out how the problem affects them personally. For example their website may not be very good. This in turns means it is not producing enough leads, which may be worrying the owner as he is considering selling his business and wants to make it more attractive to buyers. So though the conversation may have started at “I don’t like my website” it has travelled to “I want to sell my business.” If your proposition can solve the owner’s pain problem of helping him to sell his business you are more likely to convert him into a client. If you only address the initial concern over the website, he may choose another person to do business with.

Remember that although we think people make rational decisions, usually they make emotional decision and then add in the rationale afterwards. So connecting on an emotional level with your prospects will help you to convert them into customers. It is important to understand what you will bring to this relationship, and it may be worth speaking to your existing customers so that you understand the reasons that your customers enjoy working with you. These will usually be softer reasons, such as they enjoy the structure of a regular monthly meeting.

If you are struggling with converting your leads into sales and would like to talk to someone who can help, call Aardvark Marketing Consultants today on 0121 2225743

Take a look at the video below for more advice on successful selling.

Please follow and like us:

Successful selling – part 1

Successful selling – part 1

Successful selling needs good marketing, and part of good marketing is ensuring that the right message is delivered to the right people. These people are your ideal customers, and tracking them down will help you to secure those sales.

You will have a picture of what your ideal customer looks like. There are markers which we look for in our on profile customers, these may be traits such as location or turnover. However there are a number of soft traits which may be as important as the more obvious ones.

An ideal customer not only represents the business that you may do with them, but also opens up the possibility of referrals, so time spent on targeting your on profile customers, may reap continuing benefits.

Do you get on with your customer? This may seem like something that you needn’t consider, but having a good working relationship with your customers is one of the important soft traits we consider when building an on profile customer picture. At Aardvark Marketing we understand the importance of a good working relationship, based on mutual respect. We need to be confident that our clients understand their industry, just as we need them to respect our knowledge.

Terms of payment are another area which could be included in your on profile customer picture. If the terms of payment offered are too long, it could lead to cash flow problems, and it may have been better for you, simply not to have taken on that customer.

If you are struggling to identify your ideal customers and would like some more advice, contact us today to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Call us on 0121 222 5743

Or to learn more about the art of successful selling, click on the image below to watch our video on the subject.

Please follow and like us:

Do you know what you don’t know?

Do you know what you don’t know?

Conscious incompetence is when you are aware of of what you don’t know. One of the keys in running a successful business is to be realistic about your skills, you can’t be good at everything after all. Outsourcing is important at this point as you hand over some aspects of your business to reliable professionals.

Richard Branson is well known for commenting “what I am good at doing is finding brilliant people,” and the trick of outsourcing is to choose good people. The problem arises when we have unconscious incompetence, we don’t know what we don’t know, as then we have no way of knowing if what we are doing is correct.

Good business owners are good at identifying their weaknesses and equally good at finding good people to do these roles.

If you are unsure of whether you can run your marketing campaigns in-house or whether you would be better off outsourcing your marketing, speak to us. We can talk through your business with you to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and move forwards in a positive way. It may be that speaking to us confirms that you can run your own marketing in-house, or that you could run it, but it would be more cost effective to outsource it. Whatever the outcome, you will be confident that you have explored all the options and done the best for your company.

If you would like to have an informal, no obligation discussion about your marketing, call us today on 0121 222 5743

To see how we have helped another business owner with his marketing click on the image below to watch the video

Mike Tombs is the owner of TLA Services an accountancy firm based in Worcestershire. Mike wanted to expand his business from just offering accountant services towards working more closely with businesses to help them grow, using his business skills to provide strategic business planning.

Please follow and like us:

Don’t just listen to us…

Don’t just listen to us…

It is all too easy to say good you are at something, but backing up your statements can be another thing altogether. At Aardvark when we work with companies we always put together case studies, interview customers to receive honest feedback, and collate and utilise customer testimonials.

Customer testimonials are important because they show us how other people feel about working with a company. People are emotional creatures they don’t focus on what they receive but on how it makes them feel. Testimonials convey that emotion. Testimonials will say that “meetings are relaxed yet productive” the customer is happy because they are not made to feel pressured, they are able to achieve in a relaxed way. Yet we would not say in our own marketing that “meetings are relaxed” it would not invoke the same response.

The video below is a customer testimonial from Simon DIxon, he talks about the work we did with him, and how it helped him grow his commercial cleaning business

To learn more about our marketing manager service click here. For a confidential, no obligation discussion about your marketing, give us a call today on 0121 222 5743

Simon Dixon is the owner of All Clean Support Services. With 100+ employees ACSS provides professional cleaning contractors from their Bromsgrove base. To learn more about ACSS visit their website.

Please follow and like us:
Aardvark Marketing Consultants | I can say what I like...

I can say what I like…

I can say what I like…

I seem to hear this more and more often, usually by someone defending their right to communicate a point of view that a large number of people find offensive in some way.
This week I was talking to a business owner who found a 1-star review had been placed on a well-known platform. On closer examination, the person who placed the review (which also included a quite damning comment or two) had never been a customer or even a potential customer. The only contact between the reviewer and the business owner was when the business made a personal enquiry to a company where the ‘reviewer’ worked and then subsequently declined to deal with the company. It seems that the reviewer has acted purely out of a desire for revenge. When challenged, the reviewer’s response was effectively “well that’s what I think, and I’m entitled to free speech”
Also, this week, the Labour Party’s NEC agreed to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism with an extra statement relating to free speech.
And every time there seems to be a case of Internet ‘trolling’ there seems to be a defence of the abusers along the grounds of freedom of speech. In the era of social media, it seems many people forget that what 20 years ago would have been a comment to a friend over coffee or a beer, is now published for anyone to read. Social media platforms continue to insist they are not media owners, but we all know that Facebook, Twitter and Google etc. are powerful media channels.

All this made me curious about what ‘Free Speech’ actually means from a legal perspective. According to Wikipedia (I know this isn’t necessarily accurate) the correct term is actually ‘freedom of expression’ and there are around 25 listed exceptions, which I assume means things you can’t say. These include abusive or insulting words, defamation and trade secrets.
It appears then that in the eyes of the law you can’t just say anything you want and claim the right to free speech.
When creating marketing communication, there are some core principles which build effectiveness:
Firstly, we need to be clear about what we are trying to achieve.
Then we think carefully about the target audience – who is going to receive the communication and what do we know about them, their beliefs and behaviours. How will this communication be received and what effect will it have on them?
We should spend time designing the message text and visual imagery – an effective message needs careful crafting, should be single-minded and expressed as simply as possible.
We also need to carefully select the medium – the medium and message need to work together, and the medium should have a good fit with the audience, not just readership, but the way in which it is consumed.
Finally, we should measure and learn – did the message get through and did it have the desired effect?

I can’t help but think that most instances of ‘free speech’ on social media that causes upset would benefit from taking the marketing approach. Thinking about who the message might reach (given the platform), and carefully considering the message, might just cause less offence.
But if you have an overwhelming urge to say something offensive, the pub might be a better place than Facebook or Twitter.

If your business could benefit from more effective communication, why not give us a call on 0121 222 5743 or contact us here

Happy marketing!

Please follow and like us: