If you own a business in Shrewsbury, do you spend money or time promoting it? If not, you're probably relying on Word of Mouth or are very brave. Or have divine help, I guess. And we all need that from time to time.
Word of Mouth is and probably always will be the best form of marketing... but it is also out of your hands. You are counting on a customer pro actively willing and remembering to tell their friends about you. When you think about it, would you put the future of your business into someone else's hands? If so, then no worries, and you can stop reading now.
If you do some form of marketing or advertising, let's (for this blog) assume it is working for you. More and more people are getting to know your name and why they should call you. Remember it's not what you do that's key, it's why people can benefit from using your services. I go by the four Ws - What and Where are important but Who and Why are crucial.
So, your marketing's working. It's the next step I want to focus on. Are there processes in place to turn that enquiry into a sale? I only ask because this year I've been staggered at how many times I've been unable to give my money away.
You may laugh but it's true. Have you ever wanted to buy a product or service but something or someone in that business prevented you? The big cheese of thebestof, Nigel Botterill, calls it "The Business Prevention Police".
Before I started working with the lovely NBC Pest Control I needed a wasps' nest removing. My kids were playing in the garden and it became urgent. So I referred to a directory (aaarrgh, the shame, I know) and called the first one who looked good. His phone rang. And rang. And rang. No answer, no voicemail. Did I wait a few minutes and call again? Nope.
I called the next one. He was advertising a solitary number and it went to voicemail. Did I wait till the end of the day in the hope that he got back to me?
You see where I'm going.
I called the next chap, his landline diverted to his mobile and he answered it through his Bluetooth as he was driving about. We talked, we arranged a time and he got the business.
The ironic thing is the first two companies will probably end up thinking that the advertising directory wasn't working for them. It was, they just weren't ensuring enquiries were followed up effectively. Especially in their line of work, when things are usually pretty urgent.
Some reckon that over 80% of people don't leave voicemails. So what happens when a potential new client calls your phone?
I'm not saying do silly stuff like divert your landline to your mobile when you're going off to the toilet but if you're spending money on marketing, you need to be easy to get hold of.
I use a call answering company. And it's something I should have done years ago. Check out nomissedcalls.co.uk. I chose them because they offer a Pay As You Go service rather than tying you into a 'set number of calls' package. Moneypenny in Wrexham are supposed to be very good if you want more of a personal service and are prepared to pay for it. If I'm unavailable, my office line diverts to a real live person, who takes a message and relays it to me quickly by email. Easy peasey.
Food for thought, perhaps. Not rocket science, but then it doesn't have to be.
Member since: 10th July 2012
That's our team, L-R Emma, Louise and Andy. We run thebestof and our sister marketing company, Key 3 Media. With over 40 years' combined marketing experience, we help promote local businesses through our...