Increase your Repeat Business

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Cultivating repeat business is a smart move because you’re leveraging time and money that you’ve already spent. Here’s how you can do it for your business:

 

1. Find out what your customers want.

In many ways, you’ve already done this step. You’ve completed some thorough target market research, and continue to review your customer’s purchasing patterns. You also continuously test and measure your marketing copy so that you are sure to tap into their motivations. Don’t you?!

To go a step further, you need to find out what they need from and think about their experience with your business. You need to figure out what is important to them and what they may not care about.

Here are some ways you can do this:

  1. Conduct a survey of your existing customers. Create a short customer service feedback survey, and ask all your customers to complete it. You can easily do this through online survey programs, or hand out cards. You may need to provide an incentive for customers to fill it out – like 10% off their next purchase, or a chance to win a prize. Keep the survey short – about 10 questions – and focus on asking a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions. I use survey monkey.
  2. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your customers. If it is appropriate, nurture a social relationship with your clients. Take them out to lunch or dinner, or a sports game. In these relaxed environments, you’ll be able to easily learn new things about your customer that will show you how you can go above and beyond their expectations.
  3. Go to trade shows and industry events that matter to your customers. This will give you insight into what your competition is doing, as well as what products or services your customers are interested in. Remember that if your customers are keenly interested in a topic – like the environment, for example – that is not directly related to your business, you may also benefit from attending.
  4. Keep on top of trends and anticipate needs. Keep on top of trends in your industry so you can stay up to speed and on par with the competition. Also, if you follow what your customers are doing – if, for example, they’re athletes or high-powered businessmen – you’ll be able to anticipate their needs.
  5. Always ask for suggestions and feedback. Provide an ongoing place where you customers can provide their feedback or suggestions in an anonymous form. Review these cards regularly, and make changes and improvements where possible.

2. Give your customers what they want.

Now that you have cultivated a greater understanding of what matters to your customer base, you can start giving it to them! Here are some general suggestions for ways you can enhance your customer’s experience.

Remember to take their feedback and incorporate it wherever possible. Don’t be afraid of getting creative – unique touches will make sure your business will be remembered and revisited.

Here are some guidelines for enhancing your customer service:

  • Everything you do should be customer-driven. The service the customer receives is exactly how they would like to be treated when buying your product or service. It is reflective of your target market, and appropriate to their lifestyle. Customers would probably not appreciate white linen tablecloths at a fast food restaurant, but they would appreciate a 2 minutes or less guarantee.
  • Make your customer’s life as easy as possible. Your customers are coming to you for a solution to their problem or need. They’re coming to you to make their lives easier, so go a step further than just providing the product or service they need. Make it nearly effortless for the customer to spend money at your place of business. Convenience can take many forms – location, product selection, value-added services like delivery – and it is also consistent.
  • Be consistent with your products and services. The standards you establish for customer service need to be maintained by every person in your organisation. Same goes for every product in your business. Expectations should be clear and followed through. When customers know what to expect (and are happy with the service), they will choose your business because they trust that you have their best interests in mind. They want their buying experience to be risk and surprise-free.

Easy really! – More on this next time…

How to Write an Effective Headline in 6 Steps!

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1. Identify who you are trying to target.

You need a clear understanding of who you’re writing for and what their motivators are before you can attempt to reach them.

If you are trying to target a more specific group within your target market, you can choose to segment your market into sub-markets by demographic or behaviouristic characteristics. For example, you might choose to focus on only men, or only women with children under five years of age.

The more specific you can be with your market, the easier time you will have identifying and reaching their emotional ‘hot buttons.’

2. Identify what you are trying to communicate.

Once you know who you’re speaking to, clearly define what message you need to communicate to them. Be specific, and even write it down in plain language before you start drafting your headlines.

To clearly articulate your message, ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you have a solution to their problem?
  • Do you offer a new product or service that they need?
  • Can you provide the information they’re looking for?
  • Do you have a better option for them?

3. Identify the motivators or “hot buttons” that will elicit an emotional response from your audience.

Take the list you drafted above, and highlight or write down the words that will pique your target market’s interest, or trigger their ‘hot buttons’.

If you’re selling vacuum cleaners to young mothers, you’re going to want to identify words that would appeal to her desire to keep her home germ free for toddlers, and make her cleaning efforts easier and less time consuming.

When you’re writing for sales and marketing, always try to paint a picture for your audience. Carefully select descriptive words they will relate to and resonate with, and strong power words.

For example, phrases like “challenging outdoor experiences” would appeal to physically fit readers, but not those who don’t like to exercise.

4. Choose a type of headline that will work best based on the emotional motivators you have identified.

Direct Headlines clearly and simply state the offer or message, without any attempt at humour or cleverness. Pure Silk Scarves – 40% This Weekend Only | Brand New Security System Just $99 Per Month

Indirect Headlines are subtle, and often use curiosity to pique a reader’s interest before providing an explanation in the body copy. Clever puns, figures of speech and double meanings are often used. 

News Headlines mimic a headline you would read in the newspaper and are a great option for a new product announcement or industry scoop. These work best when you actually have news, and can stay focused on benefits, not features. 

Question Headlines ask the reader something they can closely relate to or would need to continue reading to discover the answer. Questions are easy to read, and can immediately tap into your reader’s emotions.

‘How to’ Headlines indicate that the rest of the copy or the offer itself will describe a step-by-step process of interest or use to the reader. These two words create headlines that work wonders. How to find a job in a recession | How to start a profitable internet business from scratch.

Command Headlines are similar to direct headlines, but always start with a strong verb or command for action. It usually focuses on the most important benefit you offer your reader. Triple your energy in just three days | Stop wasting money when you travel.

‘Reasons Why’ or ‘Ways to’ Headlines precede lists of tips, suggestions, product benefits or even mistakes of interest to your target audience. Keep the list to a reasonable length or you’ll run the risk of losing your reader. Eight ways to save money around the house 

Testimonial Headlines use other people’s opinions and expertise to persuade a reader to keep reading and begin to build trust. Quotation marks are used to indicate that the words are a testimonial, not the words of your business, and they can increase readership by almost 30%. 

5. Draft at least ten different headlines and pick your best three to test and measure.

Use the number of words you need to get your point across, without writing a paragraph. Remember that your headline needs to do one thing: get the reader to keep reading.

Don’t be afraid to draft pages of headlines or sift through the pages of a thesaurus before you get yours just right. Sometimes you’re only a word or two away from transforming a boring headline into a really effective one. Some examples:

Example Headline Templates

  • How to become the smartest _____ in _____
  • How to end ______
  • How I improved my _____
  • How to develop _____
  • Seven ways to add to your _____ without cleaning out your bank account
  • How to begin _____
  • 12 innovations in _____ design
  • How to enjoy _____
  • Introducing the four key rules for _____
  • How I _____
  • Six things to check when buying a new _____

6. Always test and measure the effectiveness of your headlines. Try two at a time and compare which generates the best results.

As always, you will need to test and measure the strength of your headlines. Try to test at least two “hot buttons” in different media to determine where your target audience’s reaction is the strongest.

You can leverage off of the information gathered from testing and measuring your powerful offer as well. For example, if the offer geared to safety and security concerns was a roaring success, headlines that tap into those motivators will also be successful.

You can apply these headline writing techniques to all your marketing materials.

How I help you to be Confident and what is NLP?

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I am asked on a regular basis about how I can make people more confident, what do I do and how does NLP work?

There is no quick answer to this so it’s not often I get to give the long answer.  I thought I would take the time to give more of an explanation.

My one to one clients are different from the bespoke programmes that I offer small business owners but eventually all will confide in me on both personal and business issues because I take a holistic view of their lives and check where they may need help.

Often people will come to me with what they think is the problem, when in fact it is a sympton of the real problem. I have been told many times that I unravel this in an uncannily speedy time! I think I’m just great at trusting my intuition, and often hear what is NOT being said.

Basically I use 4 main tools, although this is not the full tool kit;

A structure for the session including a main aim for the client in each one with action points to take away

The Wheel of Life in which to take that holistic view

Deep incisive questioning to make my clients more self aware and to answer stuff they have never thought of before

And Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP has, in the past, been viewed with scepticism but for me my licensed practitioner’s course was the best thing I’ve ever completed, for my own personal development as well as helping to exceed my client’s expectations (90% say they didn’t expect to have such great results in such a short space of time).

So what is it?

Neuro

The nervous system, including the brain and the five senses and how we interpret the information we receive via our filters

 Linguistic

The verbal & non-verbal language symbols with which we code & transmit meaning.

 Programming

The ability to structure our neurological and linguistic systems to achieve certain results.

 The Fundamentals

1. Know what you want (Outcome / Direction)

 2. Get the attention of the unconscious mind and become more self aware

 3. Know whether you’re getting what you want (Sensory Acuity)

4. Adjust what you’re doing accordingly (Behavioural Flexibility)

NLP makes some presuppositions as follows. These are not necessarily true but can be very useful for successful communication influence.

  • · The map is not the territory
  • · Each person is unique
  • · Having choice is better than not having choice.
  • · People make the best choice available to them at the time
  • · Every behaviour has a positive intention.
  • · There is no failure, only feedback
  • · The resources the individual needs are already within them.
  • · The meaning of a communication is the response you get
  • · There is a solution to every problem
  • ·· Mind and body are one system

So what sort of people come to me? I have coached barristers, politicians, accountants, managers, executives, nurses, teachers, students, construction workers, housewives, brides to be, sole traders, service providers, architects, bankers, web designers – you get the drift!

I have helped them to be confident in communicating, networking, speaking, presenting, interviews, managing people, managing personal relationships, focusing, being more successful, happy, reducing stress, releasing their creativity and genius, finding their feet again after a setback, marketing, getting rid of procrastination to take action, and much more.

I do this face to face as a one to one, telephone, skype, group coaching or deliver an interactive workshop or a combination of medias.

Confidence is key to so many things but that gives a flavour.

Please take a look at the testimonials on the home page or contact me for more information

If time were money, how would you manage yours? – Part 1

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Time is far more precious than money. There are a finite number of days that you will spend on this earth, while money is something you can usually get more of.

If you are 35 years old with a life expectancy of 75… you have already spent 12,775 days on Earth and have 480 months left to fulfill your life destiny. If you plan to retire at the age of 50 you have 180 months to make enough money to retire (a million pounds doesn’t put a dent in retirement nowadays…) and in those months 1,440 days are weekends… so you have 3600 workdays to make it all happen. What are you waiting for… time to stop confusing being busy with being successful!

The fact is that many business owners – like yourself – actually manage their money as though it is more precious than their time. They started the business to choose their own hours, spend more time with their family, and be their own boss. But, somewhere along the way the only goals that mattered became the financial ones. Or, the only item worth measuring and managing was money.

Your time will never be managed for you – you have to make a decision to choose to spend your time wisely. To take ownership of your own schedule, and use the power you have to change what isn’t working. I’ll show you several tools to get you started, but first let’s take a look at what your time is worth first, to attach time to money.

If everytime you do something (that is really a distraction), you might want to think of how much it’s costing your business!

Here’s a really simple exercise to determine what your time is worth based on your annual income and the number of working hours in a year.

Target annual income A. £
Working days in a year B. 235
Working hours in a day C. 7.5
Working hours in a year D. 1,645
A / D = YOUR HOURLY WORTH E.

It’s also unrealistic to assume that each of the 1,645 hours in a year is a productive one. Various studies have put actual productivity at anywhere between 25 minutes and four hours per day. That’s a lot of room for improvement!

Now, this calculation doesn’t factor in overtime hours, taxes, or expenses. If you work as a consultant for an hourly rate, it doesn’t factor in the cost for you to provide your services. The point is, this is your hourly worth in the best-case scenario.

When you start thinking about time management, the goal is to get more done in less time, and thus increase your hourly worth (among other benefits, of course!). It’s also a way for you to start proritising your actions when you consider the hourly rate it is costing the business.

Going on FB for an hour might not seem so attractive if you think of the monetary value as well as what is not getting done!

Part 2 – some tools for self management