Archives for January 2008

Keys to Small Business Sales Success

A small business constantly worries about where its next client is coming from. Without dedicated sales people typically, most entrepreneurs generate leads themselves amidst their multitude of other business functions including servicing existing client accounts. Often without professional sales experience, the small business owner (myself included) would be remiss to turn away some helpful tips on how to sell effectively. With this in mind, I took some time to interview a proven sales professional.

Following is my interview with Kenneth Barns, founder of Breaking the Sales Bottleneck (BTSB) Consulting (www.breakingthesalesbottleneck.com):

Kevin: What sales challenges do you see the small business owner facing most prevalently today? [Read more…]

Do You Chatchkey?…

The thought started with a knife, recently sent by a small to medium enterprise ( SME ) client with a small note, which read “What do you think of the logo treatment?”, and blossomed from there. I’m new here, so we’ll see how it smells.

A kind gift some might say, and I thought so too, until I began to percolate on it a bit, and speculatively explore the relevance between the gift and the clients brand building strategy. Then, the more I percolated, the more I came to the conclusion that there was no relevance.

The knife was nice enough, and truth be told I was recently thinking about how nice it would be to have a nice knife by my side, you know, when I’m out in the yard, tending to yard things. It seems like I always need to cut something open, or separate one thing from another, knife kind of things. I even went so far as to go by the knife case in the local hardware store, and take a look at what I might get myself, you know, as a Holiday present, a sort of celebration gift, because I’d already been thinking about knives. But, I didn’t do it, I didn’t purchase. Then the box came, and I ceremoniously opened it to find… [Read more…]

How To Tell Your Brand Story

Now that you’ve committed yourself to being a “Doer”, let’s see if we can get your message out there in a way that gets attention and effectively tells your story. Once you have discovered what your point of differentiation is, chances are your next biggest hurdle is going to be delivering that message. You are going to want to present yourself as professionally as your budget allows and I believe that any budget can deliver effective results.

Even if it is as simple as a one page flyer, you can deliver a very professional image. If you yourself do not have design talents then hire that out and have it done properly. When you see flyers distributed in your markets you can immediately see and appreciate who is local and who is national simply from the design and positioning of the material you are looking at. If your materials have a very professional presentation it will immediately give you the confidence of the reader. The public trusts success or what appears to be successful… [Read more…]

Savings to be made for the bold…

In business it mainly comes down to money for most things. How much do you make in a wage? How much does your company turn over? What does the accountant say is the bottom line at the year end? But do you ever think about how much you could be saving?

As someone who takes negoiating for our clients very seriously it comes as second nature now NOT to pay full price for anything! Oh ok it could just be that I’m a Yorkshire woman, born of a Scot that I’m so very tightfisted, but I’m not about to apologise and let me tell you why… [Read more…]

B2B Branding with PowerPoint

Branding is an imperative in business today if you intend to make your company stand out from the crowd. Many businesses (large or entrepreneurial) take this to mean a slick logo or a graphically pleasing website. These promotional/branding mechanisms are important and should be considered, however, one of my personal favorite means of branding a business and its offerings (primarily applicable for business-to-business organizations serving other businesses) is to leverage the PowerPoint medium. The ability it affords for you to develop and display graphical models/images that speak volumes about your business and the value your products and services provide, make this medium a true winner in my eyes.

Personally, through my many years of PR/Marketing/Branding experience, I have come to realize the true power of a company capabilities/sales presentation that tells prospects, investors, partners and even employees who the business is and why its products and services should be considered for purchase. I have developed countless capabilities presentations using PowerPoint and have come to rely on an eight slide format that works for any organization, regardless of size, marketplace, etc. The slides include:

1. Business challenge – Talk about the challenges your clients and prospects face that lead them to search for solutions like the ones you offer
2. Your value proposition – In business value (rather than product features) terms, describe how your solutions (product and services) solve the problems described in slide 1 [Read more…]

Outsourcing

Are you a SWOT?

OK, a bit rude of me to ask, but well, are you? Or more to the point “do you”?

More and more often I hear and see companies, especially in their early days NOT doing a SWOT analysis on their marketing spend when in reality this is exactly the time they should be doing one. With little extra money in the pot, every penny being spent should be analyised and accounted for and if it’s not working then it should be cut from the budget – immediately. (After all why throw good money after bad?)

So what does a good SWOT analysis entail? Well firstly let me just explain what SWOT is, it stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. So whenever you do or are considering a marketing campaign it’s always well worth doing one of these analysis. Sounds hard? Nah! Not really, not when you know what you are doing. So to help you along I found a very interesting article that shows the SWOT analysis for Telstra’s marketing spend with the Alan Jones Radio show in Sydney back in 2002.

[Read more…]

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