Common-sense sales & marketing: What works?

Covering a wide range of topics find fresh ways to approach and apply your sales and marketing. Posts reference: meetings; pitching; networking; dealing with people; closing; planning and strategy; research; ideas; branding; targeting; pricing; product development; distribution; marketing promotions; export and more.

Present to Influence the Audience

How do you present to influence the audience? Stood by the roadside thumbing lifts was an empowering experience. Drivers who stopped validated what I was doing and thus hitchhiking became meaningful, worthwhile and rewarding. Whilst it wasn't rocket science, I always thought carefully in advance about my appearance as well as how and where I stood. And I looked at the driver as the vehicle approached. By thinking about how I should present to influence the audience, I was doing my best to sell the idea of being offered a lift... Read More

Achieve Sales Effectively

How to achieve sales effectively? In the early nineties I employed a salesman on a short-term 10 week contract. I gave him a sales target of £10k and suggested we meet each Friday to review progress. This was my plan to achieve sales effectively... Read More

Develop Resilience: Tackle the Biggest Problem First

When the going gets tough, tackle the biggest problem first "Where ya goin?" The van driver shouted above the noise of the engine. He was leaning over from his seat, pushing the passenger door open with his outstretched hand. Standing on the pavement and with my heavy rucksack held over one shoulder I replied. "Lake District!" The prospect of a lift added eagerness to my voice. "Get in. But I'm only going to 'arrogate'..." Read More

Trust Builds Business

Trust builds business but how do you build trust? Building trust in business is everything, but how do you do it? Here's a starting point. Can you recall a moment where someone you didn't know well demonstrated real trust - in a risk situation? What happened next? In little time strong bonds may have developed, sometimes at surprising speed. And the relationship changes for the better. The same is possible in the workplace, although the 'risk' catalyst is less commonplace (hence the need for Outward Bound courses). Read More

When Customer Demand Dies: What to do?

What to do when demand dries up? After 5 long hours stood by the roadside that hot summer's day back in 1988, I was beginning to doubt my lift chances. Bank Holiday traffic joining the M50 showed no interest in me. Could I get home? Could I even get out of Wales..? Read More

How to Shape Your Business

After several years working very hard on my first venture, an experienced mentor and friend drew me a simple diagram to demonstrate how to run a much more effective company. "It's all about knowing how to shape your business and getting the direction right" Chris said, taking his pen off the paper and sitting back in his chair. I peered at the illustration. None the wiser I looked up at his smiling face and asked him to explain. What he told me influences my thinking everyday... Read More

Figuring out pricing

Avoid guesswork when figuring out pricing Many start-ups wrongly copy the hitchhiker when it comes to figuring out pricing. An outstretched thumb works by the road, but a finger in the air almost always plucks financially flawed figures. Pricing products or services (especially the first time) isn't easy, but considered calculation based on some key principles can make all the difference between business success and failure... Read More