All members of our mastermind group and networking events can write for our blog free of charge. Here Robyn Banks from Adavista Data Protection talks about “MARKETING FOLLOW UPS – BE CAREFUL!
Whilst it is very important – as Mandie keeps quite rightly reminding us – to follow up on approaches to prospective clients, you need to be mindful of certain “rules” in place.
Why am I writing about this? Because there is a very fine line between what is OK and what the recipient may interpret as harassment.
You should always remember that you don’t know what sort of a day your “recipient” is having – you could just be that last phone call/email that pushes the “now I’m really irritated and just had enough” button!
So – if you have had a preliminary “conversation” – by phone or email but its been a two way exchange – then you can legitimately contact them to follow up on this.
EXAMPLE – I have been contacted by two Insiders recently (you know who you are!) with a view to having a chat around my field of expertise. In both cases we have struggled to find a mutually convenient time – but I can legitimately contact both to try again!
BUT if I have received something out of the blue from someone that I don’t know, I have not responded in any way, and they send me a follow-up email which starts “just checking to see if you got my email”… or “I sent you an email last week”…Oh dear! Because I have not responded, these follow up emails are illegal as my lack of response should be regarded as withdrawal of consent to contact me.
I did tell you there is a fine line between doing this legally or illegally – probably not what you want to hear.
If all I have done is cause confusion, I apologise because that was not my intention. I want to ensure you get this right and avoid costly mistakes. If you want to discuss this further, then we can discuss this further at a BWN networking and business growth event, straight away on The Insiders confidential mastermind group or contact me here – As an Insider, we already “know” each other so its fine to get in touch. Thanks BWN for the opportunity to share my expertise with our members and women in business.”
If this has made you nervous of what you can and can’t do, don’t stop marketing your small business, talk to us. There are lots of ways we can help ensure your marketing communicates to the right people and leads to new business. Our Founder Mandie Holgate has been helping businesses to thrive through pandemics, recessions, global changes and more for over 25 years an is an active member of our mastermind group so you can ask her anything!
Follow up when done effectively will help your business grow and gain new opportunities.
At a networking event the other day I got talking to a rather fabulous business woman and the conversation went like this;
Mrs Fab “So and So is coming today.”
Me “Oh, really. I’ve not seen her in years. I must ask her how business is. Mrs So and So does this and this and is very unique in that.”
Mrs Fab “She doesn’t do this and this, she does that and that.”
Me “No I’m sure she does this and this. She was on the radio talking about it.”
Mrs Fab “She definitely does that and that I know because I was talking to her yesterday!”
Leaving me flabbergasted that I had Mrs So and So labelled so wrong and so for years had been under the illusion she did this and this. Turns out she did do an aspect of what I had thought she did for a living but because I had not chatted to her since, I didn’t know about the vast array of other things her unique company did. Which meant that I couldn’t possibly have been out there being a good networker for her.
The moral of this story. If you don’t network regularly what illusions are being created about what you do?
Turns out if I had known truly what Mrs So and So did for a living I could have put work to her at least twice in the last few years, as I couldn’t find anyone on the planet that does what Mrs So and So does.
Assumptions get made all the time in networking. And here is what assumptions do for your networking success:
Not good right?
So how do you stop networking assumptions from happening?
Allow other networkers to learn what they want to learn about what you do. NOT what you THINK they need to know.
Reinforce your networking with good social media networking. That means your message is the same where ever anyone goes. So that they really feel like they can connect with you. (Not repeating the same stuff I hasten to add.)
If you don’t understand what someone does, ask questions. How can you be a successful networker for your new contact if you don’t understand the nature of their profession?
Be consistent with your action.
And love it, because let’s be honest networking is just so good for business!
Do you have a picture on your LinkedIn/Twitter profile? And is it actually picture of you and not a cartoon dog?
I was trying to track down some old uni friends. Figuring that by now they should be pretty high in whatever career they had gone into I turned to LinkedIn. It is, after all, the network for the business person.
Now if you’re looking for someone with a reasonably uncommon name, it’s not too hard to find someone. And the first person has a name that’s totally unique on LinkedIn. So easy.
But for the second person I was looking for there were 138 results in the UK alone and in the world 450. And for some reason they hadn’t added our shared university to their profile so I couldn’t use that.
But luckily they had a photo and even though it’s a fair number of year since we left uni, they haven’t changed much. So that’s another connection made.
And for the third person there were 8,912 results. Adding our university reduced it down to 8. And again the photo came to the rescue and saved me from having to look at each profile in detail to work out which was the one I was looking for.
So photos – handy when people want to connect with you. And connecting with people – handy if you want to do business. Bit of no brainer really!
This week I’ve been at the hands of 2 businesses getting their words very wrong, and because of their words it has directly impacted on my view of their organisations. Think that’s no big deal?
Which in hard facts translates that I’m unlikely to buy from them in the future.
First example is Booking.com (sorry no hiding the names to protect the innocent here because in my view they are not!) I booked a short break for me and my family and when the confirmation came through we went ahead and booked ferries, kennels, etc. Well the bottom of the email did say this:
2 days later we received an email pretty much saying “sorry we double booked you, here is a hotel nowhere near where you want to be, offering you none of the facilities that you were looking for.”
I thus spend a couple of hours on the phone, emailing etc trying to rectify this error. In their favour the 2 super people I spoke to at Booking.com were…well…..super and really apologetic, but that hardly puts me back in my French fishing village paradise within strolling distance of the restaurants does it?
And although it’s all sorted out now, what feelings do I have about Booking.com?
Don’t dismiss feelings as a girly thing to say when it comes to sales, the fact is we buy with our emotions, and Booking.com have created lots of unpleasant ones for me, before I’ve even locked my front door and said goodbye to my dog!
Booking.com you don’t sell hotels and holidays you sell memories that I will treasure (as will my kids, hubby and parents) for the rest of our lives.
Clarice House – I have a voucher for a Germaine De Capuccini Facial, the paper work came through to confirm mine and my Mums upcoming pampering, only for the description to have changed to “Express”. On phoning them I was informed “all facials unless otherwise stated are 25 mins long” hardly that pampering, relaxing hour I was anticipating. Okay so I assumed (and we all know the dangers of THAT word!) that it meant a full hour facial, but then Clarice House hardly did anything to help me assume otherwise did they?
The fact is as a consumer before I’ve even walked through their doors expecting relaxation, stress free girly time with my Mum, with good food and a day of sheer bliss – there’s that little bit of a nasty taste in my mouth, like I’ve been duped. And how does that make you feel?
Ready to go back and buy again?
Desperate to book another spa day before I’ve even walked out the door?
A business that forgets that a consumer buys with emotions forgets at their peril. Good businesses aren’t just about the sale today they are about the sale tomorrow, next week, next year. Loyal customers, don’t just comeback they tell everyone they know – why your products beat everyone else’s. So when you read your business literature how is it making people feel? And can you deliver what you say you can?
The moral of this business story is – chose your words carefully and ensure you create the right emotions in your customers, everyday – even when they are not ready to buy!
This is the core of sales: people buy from people who they like, who they feel understand them and their needs.
Previously this used to be about making a good impression when you knocked on someone’s door, or served them in your shop. A little later having a great phone manner and nattering away on a sales call was the skill everyone wanted to have.
Getting people to buy your product has never been a hard sell: it’s always been a social sell.
And now, thanks to the Internet, our social sell has just got more demanding. Now we have to show our customers what our ethos is through our website, woo them with our newsletters and tell the world what we’re like as people through blogs like these!
Social networking doesn’t have to be a demand though: it can be a key to finding out what your customers are like, and what they want. It can help you to anticipate their demands and give them what they want.
As an active twitter user, facebooker, blogger and general social media geek I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with what makes people ‘like’ you, how to communicate with your clients and how to tap into the most powerful piece of market research you can get.
If you have a following through social media, or just through a regular stream of client phone calls/ email enquiries; you’ve already got all the tools you need to find out what your clients want and how to sell it to them. People tell us what they want through their ‘trance’ words: the words that they use when they’re really expressing themselves.
Trance words are the words that make people buy.
They are the words that your clients always mention in their email enquiries, they’re the words they mention during your sales calls; and now they’re the key words from your conversations via social media.
Let me give you two examples:
Fred calls up Human Resources Ltd and Bonnie answers. Fred doesn’t get to his point immediately: he tells Bonnie about his day, the trouble he’s had finding staff, what happened to the last person he employed… Bonnie sticks with it though and eventually gets Fred to open up. Fred explains that he really needs staff that are reliable and that have a sense of responsibility. Jotting these words down, Bonnie allows Fred to talk some more before calmly and concisely explaining that Human Resources Ltd pride themselves on having staff that are reliable and responsible. Fred quickly agrees to use Human Resources Ltd.
Rachel is skimming through her company, Cookie’s Inc, Facebook friends. She is pretty sure that there’s room in the market for a skinny double choc chip cookie for professional women in their twenties. She writes a status update about this and gets a great response. Clicking on her inbox she sees a message from Katy who is enquiring about when the cookie is going to launch. Checking out Katy’s profile page she notes down that Katy is in her mid twenties and works for a PR company in London, she likes new restaurants, yoga and music festivals. She collates this data as and when Cookie Inc’s facebook friends interact with their company’s page: and before long sees trends developing between what different customers interests are and what type of cookies they prefer. She decides that doing a product stand at Glastonbury would be a great chance to trial run the double choc chip cookie; and also contacts yoga companies about whether they’d be willing to endorse its health benefits. The skinny choc chip cookie is a huge success: and Rachel gets promoted.
Knowing what your customers want has always been key to effective sales and marketing. Now social media has opened a door for us to build on our ability to listen to what our customers really want (their trance words), make better products, sell more, and know what business ventures make sense for us to take.
To get to a place where you can use these trance words effectively; you can’t just be a great communicator, you need to be a purposeful communicator.
You need to know how to get Fred to open up, how to encourage a conversation on your social media, how to close down that opportunity to network, to create business, become more confident.
And this is where I come in. It’s been my pleasure to speak and work with the BWN on numerous occasions and now I want to teach you the true secrets to negotiating low prices, effective networking, doubling your sales (or just winning an argument with your partner!) so I’m going to host an exclusive coffee morning event for the Business Womans Network.
I usually only work on events in central London but to give you this fully interactive (that means some audience participation and real learning) seminar I’m going to come to the Five Lakes Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colchester Essex on Tuesday the 24th of April 10.30am-1.30pm.
Not only will I be hosting the event in your local area, I’ll also be offering tickets at a fraction of their normal cost: with none of the hassle of travelling into London.
So if you want to continue to improve your communication tactics, make more sales, learn negotiation tactics taught at the best Business Schools, by top NLP practitioners and have fun! Please send a paypal payment of £50 to firstname.lastname@example.org by
Friday 20th of April. Just click on the button below and a new window will open to take you to paypal
I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon
It’s a funny question but it’s one that needs asking “When did I turn into a Radio 4 gal from a Radio 1 girl?”
It may not seem that relevant a question to ask a website laden with business women traffic, but bear with me here.
Seriously since I can remember I’ve been listening to Radio 1, bemoaning a change in a DJ and then falling in love with them and furiously postulating that Radio 1 would never be the same if that person left, only to fickly move on to the next one within 5 years. I’ve seen and copied every hair cut from frizzy Kylie perms and the same leggings and brogues that are back in fashion again today and it got me thinking.
It wasn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t wake up one morning and think “That Chris Moyles isn’t for me, I need a real voice to educate and inspire my mind today.” I just found the radio had other stations I could listen to beside my childhood love Radio 1 and the lovely Dave Monk (BBC Essex will always feature in my gotta listen category – he’s safe!)
And that’s the thing to remember in business. Peoples needs change, and half the time they don’t even realise they are changing. Half the time if you asked your customers what they needed they would say they are getting it. And that’s because we are pre-programmed by our subconscious to go through the motions of what has worked before. Find yourself going down certain aisles in the supermarket more than others? Why is it you never look at the top shelf? What makes you never considered a different brand?
It’s not a conscious decision, it’s a going through the motions, on autopilot kind of process. And we do it all the time. In every aspect of our lifes.
You need to bring it to the conscious part of people’s mind, why they should try you instead of their regular supplier. Why giving you a whirl could be the best decision they ever made.
You see we are all on that autopilot slowly turning from Radio 1 girls to Radio 4 gals. We are unconsciously having decisions made for us. Rarely do you see an 80 year old saying “Loving this Radio 1, the lyrics are just divine”, and why?
Because taste change the whole way through our life.
Would you say you are tapping into that?
(On that note remember peer group pressure – my kids get in the car and I get “Ergh Mum, get this old folk radio off, put Chris Moyles back on, and I enjoy it just as much. I’m enthused by my kids to remember being younger, on the cusp of life and ready for anything and a slight hint of a desire to stay that way, encourages me to keep the radio tuned in.( There’s something to remember in your marketing there – getting those feelings, and emotions flowing! Why do you think products aimed at your age group has music that you like from your teens years blasting in the background?)
But then without even being aware of it, like when you drive along and don’t remember the last mile of your journey, the music to the Archers starts playing.)
So yesterday a client says to me thats its hard work sending out individual emails to everyone and what results do they get anyway? Thus I mentioned Mailchimp – its free, I can keep in touch with clients/potential clients/ and business women looking to grow their business effectively, knowing who reads it, how often and if they open the links I included and even automatically share on my social media too – great right?
Here’s a taster 5 minute video to help you get going;
Get started, pause the video as you and do send us your finished results.
….Asked a fabulous business woman this morning on Twitter, and since I’m stuck in bed having used up too many spoons (ask @ClareLauwerys about that – its to do with your health and ME) after a great night of partying Friday night as we were finalists in the Colchester Business Awards (no shiny awards but 3 categories – Excellence in Marketing, New Company and Highly Commended.)
So I have the time to answer personally.
So what should be on your business card. A great place to start is to ask people who you know will give you a genuine answer. Your Nan maybe your biggest fan but her critique of your business card may not be as sound as a fellow business woman at a networking event. So take along your current one and be brave.
The thing to remember is your business card needs to be a key to people wanting to know more. You know how the 60 second elevator pitch is “What you do to get someone to want your business card” Well your business card is the “What you do to get people to want to keep it and use it”. And that means creating a desire to keep in touch, and to keep up to date on all you do.
Things to consider are:
If you are using social media effectively make it easy for people to connect with you and have your links there – especially if your picture doesn’t give it away.
Testimonials are great – but not too many.
What your clients get – remember this is not what you do – this is what they get. You don’t walk into the butchers and say “Hey I would love a dead pig sandwich please do you?” So saying what customers get can be very powerful.
A great tag line is great – but only if it adds meaning – for instance ours is “As Passionate About Your Success As You.” And BWN business women KNOW it! So what is powerful for you?
As the fab business woman that contacted us via Twitter said “Less is defintely more” but if you are struggling to work out which words are most powerful – list them all and then get feedback from other people – You are always welcome to use the BWN social media to gain feedback (you can access that on the home page of the website.) Business women do love to support the success of each other, and in doing this, you are still raising awareness to you and your brand and what you do. So before your new business cards are even printed, people will be knowing you and your business.
Pictures and images – are they relevant? As pretty as a beach or a flower is, does it have any obvious meaning to you and what you do? If not is it taking away from your overall message?
Most importantly ensure your contact details are clear and obvious and Tiny writing is a hate – so don’t do it.
Hope that helps – for more ideas just get in touch – thats our job!
My names Mandie Holgate and I am the coordinator for Essex – There are other fabulous coordinators in our team and we are looking to grow across the UK, since we know what The BWN genuinely results in more business, more skills and more confidence.
So do get in touch anytime – email@example.com 07989935556
You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?
You guessed it, more customers.
But I do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?
Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?
If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.
WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.
Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.
For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.
This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…
What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?
How can other people support your marketing strategy?
Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.
A VA could be a great resource for you too. What areas of your marketing could you outsource to someone else to do?
At The BWN we have a number of great VA’s that attend our events that would happily produce your newsletter, look after your social media and pick up the phone for you. (You can check them out here – https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/the-business-women-of-the-bwn/)
Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life you will always have dips and troughs of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?
(This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week and has sparked this blog so thank you for sharing. And it has also sparked the next BWN Business Clinic with me – to learn more.)
Okay so I’m no copywriter (although I did once gain a client out of a copywriter who noticed grammatical errors on my website and emailed me!) But I do know, writing great blogs and fabulous web content is pretty pointless unless you are directing people to it.
Recently I was running a BWN workshop on Blogging For Business and this topic came up. “I am writing a blog, but no one is reading it, what do I do?”
Well here’s the thing, unless you find an effective way to market your blog, you might as well go and talk to the tree at the end of your garden. The tree will apparently feel good (he enjoys your carbon dioxide) but doubtful it’s liable to buy anything from you – if it does now THAT one would be easy to market!
You see you need to interact to the right people.
In the right way.
At the right time of day.
Saying the right kind of things that hook people in to wanting to know more.
That is useful and relevant.
And most importantly make it easy for them to find it again, and again, and again.
It could sound daunting but if you get it right, you will have people interacting with you, visiting your website regularly, appreciating you as an expert in your field and starting to love you and all that you do.
And pretty soon amazing things can happen thanks to blogging.
I personally include, new customers, speakers engagements and press opportunities but my personal fave to date, is having @StephenFry say “Great Blog” and when I DM’d him and asked if I could quote him, he said “go ahead.”
Sigh world’s best Tweeter thinks I’m great – Love it!
What could it do for you?
I am now running Business Clinics once a month at HSBC Business Banking Centre in Colchester through The Business Womans Network, for your chance to be one of just 10 business women at that table – get in touch.
The next one in October is be social media and a second one on Marketing- Creating & Actioning Your Plan. (24th October).