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
Thanks for sharing with us what BWN networking does for you and your business – we look forward to doing a ton more to help you and your business success in 2012.
By The Way – Other included – motivating you, inspiring, supporting you, being there when you felt isolated and like no one understood what running a business was like and how tough it was – and included some great comments like:
If you missed our most recent newsletter then you missed Jill Poet from Organisation for Responsible Business Owners talking about how to stand out from the crowd and care for your community, the environment and it all be good for your business (that includes your bottom line.)
Thanks for sharing Jill…..
Will you stand out from the crowd in 2012?
Richard Branson has the answer! As he says: “Screw Business as Usual – Doing Good is Good for Business!”
The Organisation for Responsible Businesses is delighted to announce that Certified ORB Auditors across the UK are able to take businesses through The Responsible Business Standard. This auditable certification, validated by Anglia Ruskin University, is designed specifically for small businesses who want to demonstrate they are socially and environmentally responsible.
If you want to stand out from the crowd by demonstrating that you operate a “Good Business,” visit www.ResponsibleBusinessstandard.org.uk for more information.
Would you like your business showcased here?
Got some great news to share? A great idea? A solution that all women in business should know about?
If you have the Business Premier Pack then send us your blog articles anytime – lovely pictures to support your story are always great – and we will be happy to share with The Business Womans Network world.
As the title asked, seriously are you in love with your website?
Unfortunately the question is not if you are in love with your website but are your customers?
And more importantly, your potential customers.
Many of you already know that it takes about 3 seconds to work out if the website you are on is going to be useful so what are you doing to ensure visitors fall in love at first site?
Is it interactive? (Blogs, ideas, newsletter sign up, questionaires, reports, eBooks – can people easily learn more without having to talk directly to you – remember people want to buy when they are ready.)
Is it automatically interactive? (You need to be off earning the money, and that can’t happen if you are constantly replying to people – autoresponders will be a godsend.)
Can they get free stuff from you? (Getting known as the thought leader in your field is an ideal way of ensuring that when people are ready to buy its you they buy from.)
Are your contact details easily found? (You will be surprised by how lazy we all can be, and how easily we get turned off of the idea of picking up the phone or getting in touch.)
Is your social media links easy to access? (And tempting enough.)
Is your website too wordy? (Something that is too wordy will numb the pants off of your audience – sorry I never did go to subtle school, but short punchy relevant sentences are key – think inside your favourite customers head, what were they saying to you before you saved the day? They are the words you need to be using.)
If you have products and services are they even best served by words – many bypass Google altogether to get their answers, heading straight to YouTube and as fabulously corporate as it is to have a £1000 professional video, capturing your passion, energy and talent on film is a great way to bring you into someones office or home. Remember when surfing the net not everyone wants to read a ton of words – images and video are key.
And lastly if you don’t know the answer to these – ask your potential customers – What do you think of my website? Remember if you don’t ask you don’t get, so asking what people think is the key to knowledge and the key to finding out what & how people will fall in love with your website……and that leads to falling in love with you and all that you do and that leads to sales – Love it!
(This blog came out of my thoughts after 2 coaching sessions with clients this week and as I prepare for The Marketing Business Clinic this morning – hope you find it useful – for more ideas feel free to get in touch email@example.com 07989935556 – because I just love hearing from you!)
So the BWN website is getting an overhaul.
I personally got raked over the coals for being too good at marketing and driving too many business women to the site and it couldn’t cope. Now that is the kind of telling off I like!
But the outcome is my IT Fairy (no really we have an IT Fairy!) said that we were going over to an even more interactive site.
The Business Women on our site would be able to use it more and it would work even better for driving traffic to their websites.
It would be easier for business women to access the information they needed.
And we would be able to add a shop with great business offerings and books from our favourite speakers.
It all sounded great……BUT…..
I like many have a passion for just getting on with it. And when confronted with something new something goes in my head. It’s my Mrs Negativity. I don’t know if you have one (But I’m betting you do) mine looks a bit like Maureen Lipman off of the BT adverts. “An ology” remember. Wow I bet I’m showing my age there!
But the fact is when she pipes up the real me. The capable, effective business women me kind of shrinks a bit. As Mrs Negativity says things like “Mmmm do you remember that time at Dads house when you broke the TV, best you leave that well alone don’t you think for the clever folk.” Then she whines “Still you are not bad at cooking, stick to that dear and leave the grown up stuff to someone cleverer. There’s no shame in being a good housewife love. Everyone needs clean floors.” Okay so there is nothing wrong with being a full time homemaker. I loved that time in my life. But the way Mrs Negativity says it she makes me feel about 5 again.
So why do we let this happen?
I know the quickest way to shut her up is to prove her wrong. And here is the thing. The minute you take action things get easier. Okay so you might make a mistake but with most things in life, that can be fixed and you can learn in the process.
The problem is the longer you hold off, you allow your Mrs Negativity to attack your success and your momentum. The less powerful you are and the stronger you make your Mrs Negativity.
Learning new things is so often an area that we procrastinate on. We hold fire. We “Wait and See” But how beneficial is that for your success?
What impact is that going to have on your business and your life?
In business there will always be a latest gadget, tool, idea that you are going to need to get your head round and you have 2 choices. 1) rise to the challengae and learn something new to grow your business and your success or 2) allow it to be an obstacle to your success.
Now who wants to put obstacles in the way of their success?
Mmmm so here I sit with a brand new layout to blog with, a new style website to up date, to interact with business women and slightly nervous as to how posting this blog will go. But Mrs Negativity (Sorry Maureen Lipman but it will always be your face I see) is firmly shut up. Oh yes I’m sure as I press a wrong key she will be there to say “told you so” but I will be ready “With don’t worry love, I have plenty of experiences of getting it right so it’s only a matter of time!” And as I say that confidently like the successful business woman I am, in my mind I am sticking my tongue out at her (Well everyone that knows me knows I’m very young and fun at heart – yes just a big kid really!)
Every time this week something new comes along. Don’t say “mmmm That looks interesting – I will look into it” Give it go. Get stuck in. And I would love to know how you get on. At the BWN there are always new things to learn, if you don’t see something you like, let us know and we will get that subject added.
I suppose if someone had asked me a few months ago, what networking does for your business I would have listed the obvious;
I would have said it connects me with my ideal clients, it finds me solutions to my business, it basically ensures that I have what I need to succeed in business through a vast network of contacts and business associates.
I know that for some it still proves to be a struggle to make networking effective (ie, it helps you sustain and grow your business.) and the problem for many is they tackle networking in the wrong way.
It is about getting to know other people. For years sales and marketing gurus have been talking about getting to know, like and trust people and this is imperative in every format of your marketing strategy that truly ensure that this is being allowed to happen. So networking is not your opportunity to run around a room selling at people, it is about the basic essential knowledge that every sales person needs to know and that you are probably already aware of that people buy from people. I know it is often banded around, but stop for a moment and think about this statement.
The last time you were networking (and here you can now add social networking too) what was your approach? Was it how can I help you? Was it “here are some free connections/ideas/solutions for you and your business? Or was it top heavy with we are brilliant, and we do this and we do that?
From day one of a networking relationship it needs to be about the other person and their business needs. Think about this, if you are seriously doing this, then in every situation everyone would be doing their best for everyone else and thus everyone would get the results they were looking for. Great right?
But a word of caution.
It is an investment of your time and your money, as with any area of your marketing strategy so invest wisely. Test and measure the impact of your networking. Do you need to network in more than one place? With a different group of people? Or do you need to reconsider your networking style?
So you know what networking can do for your business success right, but here is a thought from someone who is considered a super connector. (Not my words I hasten to add)
I have always gone out of my way at every opportunity to answer the question for you “What can I do to help you?” in doing this I know that I am now considered a valuable person to network with and know, which means that when someone is ready to buy the first person they will think of is me. Remember you cannot dictate when someone is ready to buy however you can determine who they remember first when they are ready to buy. But just as importantly I recently learnt another power that networking has.
After experiencing a year of continual illness I’m glad I have a powerful marketing strategy because something that was not listed on my marketing production line (ask me about it sometime) was other people networking.
You see despite being unable to “get out there” my business didn’t suffer, new customers continued to contact me and business has steadily continued to grow. Because?
Because I have been a tireless campaigner for other people’s business success guess what happened when the chips were down and I needed help?
You guessed it.
I was inundated with offers of help and support.
So effective networking will not only provide you with contacts, potential customers and the answers to your business success. It also becomes a powerful ally to your marketing strategy.
So today ask yourself is your networking powering your success?
If not what do you need to do?
And if I can help feel free to give me a call – 07989935556 or see you at an Essex BWN event soon.
Best wishes and Happy Business
This week 1 business woman told me that I helped her get her biggest contract of 2011, another I got on ITN news and another told me where she was close to quitting she now has 3 employees – knowing me is dangerous!