blog category: sales

Interview with Ping TV

Back in July, I featured on the Q&A panel for HeadzUp Business’ Digital, Sales, Marketing & Technology Expo in Wolverhampton.

Ping TV were there, interviewing the experts on the panel, and you can watch my interview here:

Here’s a taster of what the event had to offer:

Staying in touch with your customers

There’s a theory that says that if a customer hasn’t purchased a product or service from a business in the last 90 days, they’re no longer their customer.

It’s also widely accepted that it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer – they have experience of dealing with you and your business, and they know how good your products and services are.

And yet, most businesses dedicate the majority of their marketing time and spend to finding new customers, rather than getting their existing customers to buy again and again.

Simply keeping regular contact with your database will give you a mix of new customers and repeat purchases from existing customer (providing what you have to say is of value to them).

Naturally, I’d suggest email marketing as an effective way of doing this en masse, but there’s another strategy that’s worked well for me: set time aside each day to make FIVE phone calls. Some of these may be sales follow-up calls, but they can also be used to touch base with a client or contact you haven’t spoken to in a while. It will maintain the freshness of your relationships and will keep you open to opportunities.

The power of stories

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Patricia Fripp on stage at the Professional Speaking Association annual convention

I recently attended the Professional Speaking Association’s annual convention in London. Whilst there, the power of telling stories from stage as a sure-fire way of getting your point across was told over and over again.

It really is powerful, and the same applies in sales and marketing situations too: talking through a story of where your product or service has provided a solution to an existing client’s problem or opportunity will add an extra spark to your sales meetings.

Stories are what make you and your business referrable, because people are far more likely to remember an interesting story than facts and figures.

Have a great week!

Why I love losing clients

A fellow web designer came to me today and, bold as brass, told me he couldn’t understand how it was possible to build a web design business that ‘paid well’.

Naturally the idea of something ‘paying well’ is contextual: to one person, a high income is different to what it would be to another, in that £40,000 a year to someone currently earning minimum wage means something very different to a millionaire.

That aside, we went through the process of understanding:

  • who his clients were
  • what services he was offering to them
  • how much time he was spending on each one
  • how much each client paid him for that time

What became boldly clear at that point was that he had a handful of clients he loved working with, and a small number of clients that he didn’t enjoy working with, either because they didn’t pay him on time or because the work they were giving him just wasn’t the ideal type.

The same is often true in my own business: my A* clients are the ones I really love working for: they respect my expertise; they pay what my time is worth; and they pay on time. There are also a handful of clients who require more time and attention (which is absolutely fine, provided I’m paid what my time is worth, but that isn’t always the case).

However, every business has ‘bad’ clients. How you define a bad client is up to you, but understanding what makes a good or bad client is important. Then, you’re in a much stronger position of being able to choose who you work with, and spot those you don’t want to work with much sooner.

That’s why I love losing clients – providing they’re not a good fit for my business – because it means I can dedicate more time to the right clients for my business.

Think about your top 10% of clients, and your bottom 10%, and choose who YOU want to work with. And remember, your bottom 10% might be someone else’s top 10%…