Author Archives: Lizzie Hopkinson

Meet our co-sponsor, Ian Smith, Chair at Bishop Fleming

Meet our co-sponsor, Ian Smith, Chair at Bishop Fleming

We are proud to be sponsoring Mark Smith in his Mental Health Marathon as he takes on the Cambodian jungle later in the year. We are also delighted to be supporting Mark alongside some truly outstanding people…

Today I met a remarkable man. Ian Smith is chair of Bishop Fleming, the accountancy firm that has made The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 companies to work for‘  list for the last 4 years, as well as a string of regional awards for excellence in professional services and Investors in People.  For Ian, the success of the firm is down to developing the right people; experts in their field who are interested in developing their clients’ businesses. Ian’s ‘little black book ‘is legendary and he prides himself in making introductions from his personal network.

Ian’s responsibilities on the Board include diversity and inclusion. As a carer himself, he understands that people often have responsibilities outside the workplace, and they may take steps to keep them hidden from colleagues. He calls this their ‘invisible baggage’ and he knows that these people are under unrelenting pressure. He is someone who definitely leads by example.  Ian takes active steps to look after his mental and physical health so that he can balance his demanding role at the company he loves with the caring role in his personal life. He talked to me about the challenges people face when they first encounter something they cannot simply ‘fix’.  Ian has found his own methods that really work in practice so that this isn’t a barrier in his professional life.

Despite his busy schedule, he’s generous with his time too, and he’ll be one of the guest speakers at the “Mark’s Mental Health Marathon” seminars.  Bishop Fleming staff are actively involved in charities – this year they are aiming to raise £100K to mark their centenary year and recently 120 of their staff took part in the Bath half marathon. Others are undertaking the 3 Peaks Challenge or taking part in a 4-day walking challenge to walk 100 miles.

So what are the secrets to his success?

  1. Self-discipline and sticking to a routine

Ian is firm believer that in order to look after your team, you first need to look after yourself. For the last 13 years Ian has had a weekly session with his fitness trainer. Recently he has seen a Shiatsu practitioner twice as month as well. Shiatsu is a holistic approach to fitness and isn’t just physical fitness but includes monitoring and managing diet, sleep patterns, massage and manipulation. The aim is to release endorphins which promote an overall feeling of well-being. Ian is a very focussed, driven person himself and he’s learned that the value of sitting under a tree doing nothing or walking the dog can be as beneficial as going on a weekend away to play golf (which often gets competitive).

 

  1. Understand both your own and your team members resilience to stress.

Ian explained the ‘Stress Bucket’ concept to me. Everybody has a different ability to deal with stress, so whilst some people seem to thrive on it and perform very well under constant pressure (they have a skip sized ‘bucket’), others find that they need to keep stress at a much lower level to function well ( imagine these people with a thimble). At any time, life is adding stress into the top of the bucket, so the level is always increasing, whilst we can empty it through our own personal tap at the base. Everyone has a different relieving ‘tap’ which could be getting better sleep, quiet reading, socialising with friends, stroking a pet etc.

By getting to know your team better, and what causes and relieves stress levels, you can direct them at work to make the most of their talents and interests and avoid situations or job roles that are unsuitable for them. At Bishop Fleming, managers and staff are encouraged to have these conversations so that the root causes of stress are identified and can be dealt with, for example by finding the right person to talk to. Without this support network at work, people will often take a medical approach, when sleeping tablets or anti-depressants may be offered, which doesn’t address the issues causing stress in the first place. Both approaches have their place, but a good support network can mean medicines may not be needed.

 

  1. Adopt the Radical Candour methodology

This is a concept developed by Kim Scott, who has worked with Google, Apple, Twitter and is a New York Times bestselling author. Her new approach, which has been adopted at Bishop Fleming, helps managers have honest feedback discussions with their team, and, as a result, achieve a happier and more productive workplace.

 

Mark Smith is very grateful for the support offered by Ian Smith, both as a corporate sponsor and speaker at the seminars. You can find out more details about the seminars here .

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Meet our co-sponsor, Gary Jones, MD of Glevum

Meet our co-sponsor, Gary Jones, MD of Glevum

We are proud to be sponsoring Mark Smith in his Mental Health Marathon as he takes on the Cambodian jungle later in the year. We are also delighted to be supporting Mark alongside some truly outstanding people. The first of which is Gary Jones…

Gary Jones has a simple business philosophy: whenever he bumps into a customer before or during his beloved Gloucester Rugby – he wants to be assured that they are happy. After 35 very successful years at the helm, customers remain the most important people to him and repeat business or personal recommendation account for 75% of their retail sales. Today Glevum also supplies the top UK housebuilders including Taylor Wimpey, Barratts/David Wilson and Persimmon with hundreds of windows every week, on building sites from Cornwall to Kent, yet high quality products and exceptional service standards are not compromised. From day one of their employment, his teams understand that they should treat customers’ property with the care they would take if it were their own.

Gary has a personal experience of dealing with mental health as Mike Nicholls, his uncle and childhood sporting hero suffered from dementia later in his life. Mike was the first team captain to hold aloft the John Player Charity Shield and Gary has fond memories of being taken by Mike to see Gloucester play as a child. He still has this passion for Gloucester rugby club today. When Mark Smith at Lloyds Bank requested financial support for Mental Health UK, Gary was the first one to reach into his pocket.

Recommended to Gary when their previous banking advisor changed role, Mark has been working alongside Glevum for many years, always supporting their expansion plans by fighting their corner and enabling finance to be made available as the business has grown. Supporting Mark with this project will mean that Mental Health issues are treated as more of a priority here in the Midlands.

Gary started Glevum from his dads’ garage after serving an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering as a field service engineer, which is where he developed his eye for measurement. His first workshop was funded by selling his Ford Cortina and cashflow was a challenge. “Approaching the bank manager and being asked for a cashflow forecast seemed to me like so much mumbo jumbo back then” recalls Gary “but fear of failure was always a great motivator”. As the business grew, Gary came to rely on recruiting and keeping great people in his team, and the business has always been industry leaders in the use of new technology and innovative processes. Gary has a ‘touch of the geek’ about him, and has always enjoyed new IT.  High points in his career was winning the Gloucestershire Business of the Year in 2018 and the UK’s top conservatory builder in 2000, although he also fondly remembers the teasing he received from his mates when, at 39, he won Gloucestershire ‘Young Businessperson of the Year’.

Mark's Mental Health Marathon | Gary Jones of Glevum with HRH The Duke of Gloucester at Glevum Conservatory Village

He’s definitely not a typical MD of a multi-million turnover business! Every customer is invited to complete a 30-question survey about their experience of Glevum and on the odd occasion that any question scores less than half marks, Gary will personally pick up the phone to them so that there is ‘no muddying the water’ with middle managers involved. At the same time the business is developing innovative new apps that are used by building site managers to order their products in the most efficient and traceable manner. Orders are made at the right time in their house build process, scheduled in for manufacture, tracked through production, delivery vehicle location and, finally, invoicing. The new system saves his customers time, hassle and money.

For Gary, business is not all about money making, it’s also about giving back. Glevum are currently supporting a new community interest company (CIC) which will provide charities with affordable and state of the art office facilities in Morroway House in central Gloucester. This new hub has meeting rooms, hot desk spaces and a series of fortnightly seminars specifically for the third sector is already being planned.

Whatever the future holds, here is a leader who loves to embrace new challenges!

If you would like to read more about Mark’s Mental Health Marathon please click here.

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Mental Health Seminars – practical help for you and your business

Mental Health Seminars – practical help for you and your business

We are proud to be sponsoring Mark Smith in his Mental Health Marathon to raise £25,000 for Mental Health UK. Come and join us at the Mental Health Seminars!

With everyone becoming more aware of the prevalence of mental health issues amongst our family, friends and colleagues, it’s important that we all understand how to provide practical support for people who are at risk of poor mental health or diagnosed with a mental health condition.

These are free events are for business owners, with a suggested donation of £25 or more to Mental Health UK, via this Just Giving site, to support Lloyds Bank’s national charity, Mental Health UK.

In these seminars you’ll learn more about how you can improve your ability to manage mental health issues in your business, understand your legal obligations and appreciate the implications of getting this important issue wrong. Our final speaker will talk about their practical experiences of a business leader in managing personal and employee wellbeing.
We look forward to welcoming you to RGS Worcester in the morning or to Hereford Cathedral School in the afternoon.

Date: Tuesday, 16th July
Time: 8am to 11am
Venue: The Godfrey Brown Theatre, Royal Grammar School, Upper Tything,Worcester, Worcestershire. WR1 1HP

To book your place on the Worcester seminar email Mark.Smith5@lloydsbanking.com and put Worcester 16th July seminar in the email.

Agenda
8.00-8.30 – Light refreshments.
8.30 – Opening remarks and introduction.
8.45 – Mental Health UK – support for you and your business.
9.30 – Harrison Clark Rickerbys – legal obligations and implications.
10.15 – Bishop Fleming – Honest and practical experiences of a business leader in managing personal and employee wellbeing.
11.00-11.30 – Close and light refreshments.

Date: Tuesday, 16th July
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Venue: The Powell Theatre, Zimmerman Building, Hereford Cathedral School, Church Street Hereford, HR1 2NG

Agenda
2.00-2.30 – Light refreshments.
2.30 – Opening remarks and introduction.
2.45 – Mental Health UK – support for you and your business.
3.30 – Harrison Clark Rickerbys – legal obligations and implications.
4.15 – Bishop Fleming – Honest and practical experiences of a business leader in managing personal and employee wellbeing.
5.00-5.30 – Close and light refreshments.

To book your place on the Hereford seminar email Mark.Smith5@lloydsbanking.com and put Hereford 16th July seminar in the email.

We look forward to seeing you there!

To read more about why Mark is fundraising for Mental Health UK please click here.

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Do you know your numbers?

Do you know your numbers?

One of the most frequently asked questions about running marketing campaigns, is “how many names do I need to put in?” Well that depends…

We start with a number of names and we feed them through our multi-touch campaign, producing at the end a certain number of customers. In the beginning, if we have never done this before, we won’t know the exact numbers. However, as we run the campaigns over time, we will start to be able to narrow down the conversion rate and then be able to pinpoint a good number of suspects to start with.

The process of understanding how our conversion works is in itself very important. You may discover parts of your sales process that are working very well, and equally parts that are working very badly. Once you have pinpointed the flaws in your funnel, you will be able to improve them, so the very process of measuring and monitoring is extremely helpful in improving your conversion rates.

It is important to understand how many customers you want. You will have a business plan, with your projected growth targets, and how many new customers you need to reach these targets. Understanding the lifetime value of your clients will further improve the depth of your understanding of your customers, and subsequently the necessary acquisition rate of your new customers in order to reach your long-term goals.

As we run your multi-touch program we can refine the number of suspects that we put into the top of the funnel, and understand better the places where we lose them along the way. The beauty of the multi-touch campaign is that it has a degree of flexibility so that we can adjust the quantity of leads we are feeding through to match your requirements.

If you would like to run a multi-touch campaign and would like support, advice, or simply for us to do it for you, contact us today for an initial, confidential meeting by calling us on 0121 222 5743.

To learn more about multi-touch campaigns please watch the video below.

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What you put in…

What you put in…

It’s the quality of the data that you put in that determines how effective your touch program is. You could have the best touch program on the world, but if you fill it full of suspects who are in the wrong geographical area or are outside your budget, or entirely off-profile your conversion rate will be poor.

Don’t simply fill your program full of people so that it is full, you are investing a lot of time and effort in each suspect, so it is important that each suspect has a reasonable chance of becoming a customer. Make sure you have a picture of your ideal customer, you need to know exactly what they look like, where they live, where they spend their free time, you need to know what sort of social media they use, whether they prefer using a mobile phone or a tablet. All of this information will build up a picture of your ideal customer, so that you can ensure you are targeting the correct people.

Not only should you be putting new people through your sales process, but you should be putting your current customers and your lapsed customers through as well. Current customers may order more frequently, or spend more per order, while lapsed customers may be encouraged to return to you.

A touch program runs over prolonged period of time, which means that you are in the right place when the suspect is ready to buy. It is important to remember that people buy when they want to buy, not when you want them to buy. Good marketing will ensure that it is your name they remember when they are ready to buy, and a good touch program will do just that.

If you would like help designing, creating and delivering an effective touch program for your business, take a look at our Marketing Manager service. Or to arrange your initial meeting simply call us on 0121 222 5743

To learn more about multi-touch marketing, please watch the video below.

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Delivering a great multi-touch campaign

Delivering a great multi-touch campaign

A multi-touch campaign requires thought. In reality everything requires thought, but sometimes when we are busy it is all too easy to simply think “that’ll do.” Going too far the other way doesn’t work either. Getting stuck in the “it has to be perfect” mentality can cause paralysis.

The advantage about working with us, is that we have a good process for ensuring that the touches are designed, created and implemented to a high standard in the required time frame. As we are not involved in the day-to-day operation of your business, we don’t get dragged into firefighting. This means that you can be confident that your marketing will continue regardless of what is happening internally.

A multi-touch program relies on a consistent delivery of the marketing message through a variety of channels at regular intervals. When we work with companies the content will be very different, as each business has it own relevant content that is specific for that industry and marketplace. But the process we follow will be the same, the format for delivering the marketing program will follow a system that we know works.

If you are finding it difficult to deliver regular marketing that conveys the correct message to the right people, why not talk to us? Outsourcing your marketing provides you with high quality marketing without the expense of having to run a marketing department in your business. You can pay for the amount of marketing that you need, rather than having to pay salaries, with all their associated costs.

If you are interested in outsourcing your marketing, why not take a look at our marketing manager service? Or simply book a no-obligation meeting to discuss your business with us.

To learn more about multi-touch marketing take a look at the video below?

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Are you sending the right message?

Are you sending the right message?

If you are going to the effort of designing, producing and implementing a multi-touch program, it is vital that the content of the touches is good. There is no point producing a whole touch program that solely says how great we are! Good content is essential to ensure that not only are you communicating with people, but that you are communicating the right message.

Your communication with your prospects needs to be about them, their problems, their pain. They need to feel that you understand them, and good content can do just that. As a basic rule only 25% of your communication should be about you. This could be a piece of PR around an award, a flyer showing what you offer, but only 25%.

The rest of your content needs to be about your prospect. This can be 50% solely about them and their pain points, and 25% showing relevant industry items, so that they can see that you understand the complexities of their industry.

Good content will build around the pain points that your prospect faces, and will show empathy for their difficulties as well as solutions and benefits. Whenever we create content, we need to make sure that we have these points firmly in our mind. Relationships are built on trust, and part of the job of good content is to build trust between you and your prospect, so that they will become a client. We trust people who understand us and our problems, so make sure that your marketing invokes trust in people.

If you would like help with delivering the right message to your prospects, we can help. With our marketing manager system you can outsource your marketing to us, so that we can design, create and implement your marketing, leaving you free to manage your clients. To arrange a meeting call us today on 0121 222 5743.

To learn more multi-touch marketing, watch the video below.

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How is your relationship?

How is your relationship?

All relationships go through phases and the relationships we have in our sales process are no different. Like all relationships these go through good and bad times, but as long we continue communicating and being clear about what we both need, our relationships will flourish.

The beginning of our sales process is a little like dating, we are in the getting to know each other process. We are building trust, exchanging information, we keep up an on-going contact as we build our relationship together.

After a while, the time is right, and down we go on one knee, for the engagement. This is the where the actual sale takes place. It shouldn’t be a long or hard process if your dating has gone well. You shouldn’t still be having to sell yourself when you are down on bended knee, you should be fairly confident they are going to say yes!

And they lived happily ever after…So ends all great fairy tales, but happily ever after requires work. Don’t win your customer and then forget to look after them. Don’t be so relieved the girl said yes, that you forget to carry on being nice and kind. Maintaining customers is always cheaper then finding new ones, make sure you continue to give them a reason to stay with you. Don’t behave in such a way that you make them leave. Good customer service will always help your retention.

If you are struggling with any part of this process, we can help. Good marketing will ensure that you build good relationships with your clients, making sure that your message and communication is clear and that you are building relationships that will last. We can design and deliver tailor-made marketing packages for you, take a look at our marketing manager service. Or pick up the phone today and call us on 0121 222 5743

Take a look at the video below to learn more about how relationships change throughout your sales process.

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Welcome to Mark’s Mental Health Marathon and thanks for reading.

Welcome to Mark’s Mental Health Marathon and thanks for reading.

As many of you will already know, 2018 was a difficult year…a year in which I was told I might have three-years to live, followed by extensive diagnostic health checks, regular specialist consultant’s visits, cancelled operations, learning how to cope with insulin dependence and eventually a lung biopsy to confirmation a long-term inflammatory lung disease requiring ongoing steroids and, this year, powerful immuno-suppressants that are also used in chemotherapy treatments.  My mother’s untimely death hardly helped the year along!

This year I’ve been offered an opportunity of a lifetime – so, I’m undertaking a sponsored 80km trek to Angkor Wat in Cambodia to raise money for Mental Health UK, Lloyds Bank’s chosen charity. So, why would an insulin-dependent diabetic with only two thirds lung capacity want to take on such a physical challenge in oppressive heat of 35°c and saturating humidity of over 80%?

It’s all about saying ‘thank you’ to the community that supported me and kept me going through the ups and downs of 2018.  Of course, the support from friends and family is invaluable at times like these but I had more, much more. I experienced surprising and very welcome support from my networks of clients, colleagues, professional partners. People who would regularly pick up the phone or drop me an email and simply ask…‘I was just thinking of you, how are you doing?’…and still do!

So the challenge I’ve set myself is to pay-back to everyone who provided that invaluable support network. It’s my way of saying thank you to a fantastic business community.

I want to make a difference in 3 ways:-

  • I’d like the business community to be increasingly capable of supporting people experiencing mental health issues; by being more effective and efficient at spotting issues and hopefully preventing them from developing into something more serious.
  • I’d like everyone in my business community to be able to say ” Yes, I’ve got something out of this for myself, for my team and for my business”.
  • Raising £25,000 for a truly worthwhile and practical charity – Mental Health UK so that they can support many others going through difficult times with mental health issues.

So I invite you all to get involved with me. This might be by attending one of my fundraising events, being one of my corporate sponsors or by coming along to one of our mental health awareness seminars and hearing from expert speakers on mental health issues.

Look out for regular updates on these events as the year progresses, culminating in my trek to Cambodia as part of a team of 70 Lloyds bank staff during the rainy reason in October!

So, can I encourage you, please, to give generously to a cause that at some stage in our lives we all may need to rely on to support our family, friends, or even ourselves.

Whatever amount you might choose to donate, you have my heartfelt appreciation.  Donations can be made most easily through my Just Giving page or, if preferred, by cheque made payable to ‘LBG Charity of the Year’.

Please be kind enough to ‘like’ and ‘share’ my blog posts with your social media connections so we can spread the word. With your support, together, we can make a difference to our community.

With my personal thanks,

Mark

With thanks to Mark Smith our guest blogger this week. Aardvark Marketing Consultants are supporting Mark in his fundraising efforts.

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Making the most of your marketing machine

Making the most of your marketing machine

Once you have designed your multi-touch plan, created the touches you are nearly ready to begin. But who are you targeting? The quality of your data is crucial in determining the success of your campaign.

Finding the people who might be interested in your product or service is necessary to ensure that you are putting the right people through your marketing machine. You can design and implement a brilliant campaign around eating beefburgers, but if you target a whole list of vegetarians you are unlikely to get any response. And remember that you will need a continual flow of prospects to feed into your marketing machine. The aim is to create a steady flow of good quality leads who are poised to buy.

Once we have these leads who are ready to buy we need an efficient process to convert them to customers. Don’t lose them at this step by making your sales process too complicated or lengthy. As with all processes making sure that you review them will enable you to alter the processes to make them more streamlined and efficient. Constantly monitoring and reviewing your processes will enable them to become better and better.

Monitoring and measuring is a vital part of the success of your marketing. You need to see the effect from your actions, so that you can refine those actions to make your process continually more effective. If you don’t monitor and measure you don’t know what is working and what is not working.

Don’t forget the value of your existing customers, they already like you, they are already engaged, but if you run them through your multi-touch program they might learn more about you and what you offer and come to you more frequently or for different services or products.

If you don’t have enough time to design, implement, monitor and measure your multi-touch program, why not let us do it for you? Our marketing manager package provides outsourced marketing at a surprisingly reasonable rate. Call us now on 0121 222 5743 to arrange your meeting.

To learn more about creating your marketing machine watch the video below.

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