10 things you really need to know about your competitors

Healthy competition can be good to keep you on your toes!

Having competitors is a fact of life for most businesses; few can genuinely claim they have none – and if they do they must question why.  You have to be aware of the rules of competition in your chosen markets in order to win business when the prospect has a choice of many suppliers.

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Role playing really works

You might look and sound silly (in your opinion) but this really works.

Whether its a presenation, a phone call or a networking event where you want to try out a new approach – record yourself doing this.  It will help you to identify any areas where you need to fine tune and also will alert you of any “filler words” that you tend to use regularly.

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“Send me a proposal” – music to your ears?

Or not?  Sometimes when a prospect says “OK, send me a proposal” we go into panic mode.  Whereas these words should be music to our ears!

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How to… write a great case study

Case studies are a common element of proposals, discussions and presentations.  Most people just produce them without having a strategy behind the development of them.

You can use them on your website, even link to the client site if you are able.  Think about what you want them to do – do you want visitors to be able to download them if they are more complex than a few paragraphs?  Make sure you answer potential questions when developing your case study copy.  Also include an overview of the challenges, obstacles, solutions and successes you encountered and stress that the solutions came from working together, not just from you as most companies claim! Continue reading

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Cross-selling: the ace up your sleeve?

We all know that it takes a lot more time and costs more money to win new business than to look after the clients you already have.  On this basis, it should mean that cross-selling services in professional firms is a very profitable activity.

In our experience, the reality is that most departments within professional practices operate independently from other practice areas.  At board meetings and team briefings, cross-selling is promoted as the easy business development tool and receives a very positive response.  However most of the enthusiasm goes no further that this and it is often because people are focused on individual or departmental goals rather than firm-wide ones.

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3 magic words that boost ad response

Key to success is avoiding hype

For the small business owner, advertising is a critical expense that helps to drive customers through the doors or to a website on the Internet in the hopes that they will spend their money. With tight ad budgets, small businesses need their advertising to payoff every time. Ads that result in no sales are simply wasted money.

There are countless online articles that tell you to use the words “free”, “guaranteed”, and “limited time offer” in your advertising to boost sales. They work, however the ongoing overuse of these words has reduced their effectiveness somewhat. When you’re writing your next ad, keep the following advice in mind when if you plan to use these key advertising terms.

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The “simple” business card

Do you proudly deposit your business card into the hand of its intended recipient – or do you hand it over with some trepidation, hoping the other person doesn’t look at it too closely because you know it isn’t as good as it should be?  Is it taken from a nice business card holder – or do you fish around in your pocket for the “one you know is in there somewhere” that is dog-eared and ragged?

Is your business card fit for purpose?  Does it have all the information it should?  Is it clear what you do or what your business provides?  Are your contact details clear?

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Never underestimate the value of a contact

Regardless of how unlikely it may first appear to be, anyone could be a valuable business contact. The most obvious question being, ‘How can you know who they know?’ You can bet that the first time you make the mistake of dismissing a potential contact as unimportant they’ll probably be having lunch with your dream prospect every week. You just never know. Continue reading

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Big impact doesn’t have to mean big bucks

Effective marketing campaigns don’t need big-company budgets. By being smart at the outset and taking the necessary time at the planning stage, you can coax the greatest value from your budget, regardless of its size.

Big impact doesn’t always mean big bucks!

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11 tips for customer acquisition

Set time aside to implement your customer acquisition strategy

Acquiring new customers is all about opening up new relationships and that is all about how you present yourself and your company.

Here are eleven tips for acquiring new customers: Continue reading

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