Author: Peter Gamgee AM BE

Benefit from travel bans

CRAZY sounding, but there are a number of ways many businesses can benefit from the downturn in International Travel – if they are willing to make some changes. I would like to share with you some ideas to take advantage of limited International travel.

My wife and I recently travelled through outback Queensland, venturing to the far North West of the state.  We were experiencing travel in an almost post-C world.  We found that many small businesses in the country towns that were previously marginal – have failed and closed their doors. Cafes, Hotels, Tour Operators, Tourist Destinations, and supporting suppliers.

We also found that those that were open were under pressure to cope with people (mostly Queenslanders) who headed to the outback for their holidays. If you hadn’t booked at those places that were still open – you missed out.  And this was before the borders to other states were opened!

More money would have been spent in outback Queensland if the existing businesses that had gone to the trouble of meeting the new regulations could have handled the demand.

When we asked travellers why they were there, it was not unusual to hear that they had originally planned an overseas trip or a cruise and of course were unable to take them. Let’s look at some statistics.

In 2019 Australians took 11.3 million outbound International trips, spending around $65 Billion!  If they can’t travel overseas now where will they go? Think some of the travel will be domestic? Want part of the $65 Billion?

Mechanic? – Are you engaging with existing and new customers to help them upgrade and make sure their vehicle is safe and ready for domestic travel? Note that caravan sales have skyrocketed – are the towing vehicles up to standard?

Retailer? – No overseas visitors? – Are you changing your merchandise to appeal to domestic travellers? Are you changing your marketing and advertising accordingly? Are you already feeling the domestic demand and need to scale your business/expand to take the place of those who have gone under?

Accommodation provider? – Have you adapted level of service, your marketing, advertising, pricing, and deals to a domestic market? Do you have “break out” packages for those ready to break out of Victoria lockdown?

International Travel Agent? – Have you changed to Domestic destinations and tour operators for products you can sell? Are you re-visiting your past and current clients with great domestic offers?  Have you locked in accommodation at those places that will be in demand?  Imagine if you could create a “Bali” experience in Australia? Did you realise those customers who enjoyed cruises are after similar domestic experience to some extent – packages, all inclusive deals, quality service.  The cheap alcohol might be a challenge to match!

You probably get the idea now – these businesses are just a sample of how you can benefit from the inability of people to travel internationally.  You will begin to realise that the business that use the No International Travel consequences will end up growing their revenue substantially, even when International Travel does return.

Laser Targeting Clients

PRECISION in being able to identify and contact your potential customers and convert them into Leads is the holy grail when it comes to eventually generating sales. One of my clever clients recently generated 75 potential sales at $2,200 dollars a sale from a single $70 Facebook Ad. And they did it in just one week!!! How were they able to achieve that?

The analogy I will use is about shining a light on, and for, potential customers.

At one extreme is “floodlighting”. Making sure you get your advertisement to as many customers as possible using lots of energy and resources and spending a lot of money. The “floodlighting” analogy also extends to “floodlighting” your products or services so as many people as possible can “see” them, and choose accordingly.

If you have plenty of money, can run large television and radio and internet campaigns to build brand strength – “floodlight” away.  Few small and medium sized businesses have the resources to take that approach. Could you compete with a JB Hi-Fi Ad campaign?

The other end of the spectrum (excuse the light pun) is to use a “laser” approach to illuminating both your potential customers and what you have to sell them by way of products or services.  This “laser” approach minimises the resources you need, can cost very little and ends up with a much better customer experience.

My clever client followed the advice on this laser approach – most likely getting more than $100,000 in sales from a $70 Ad!

There are two components to the “laser” approach:

  1. Know your customer
  2. Make compelling offers

Know your customer

What do you need to know about your customer? There are the obvious demographics of gender, location, income bracket, family makeup, and age bracket. There are also the less obvious ones of business interests, and personal interests. And then there is more, including current sentiment, desires, concerns, fears to name a few.  The better you know your customer the better you can direct your marketing and advertising to arrive on their doorstep (physical or digital) in a way that is appealing to them and engages with them.

Make compelling offers

What is a “compelling” offer?  This is an offer that a) is compelling in its own right as far as it is valuable to a potential customer; b) matches with the interests, desires, fears, or concerns of that potential customer; c) is super easy and quick to obtain; AND d) it is a single offer – no choices involved.  You can see that the first step of Know your customer helps you to understand what a “compelling” offer might be.  By the way, the offer does not have to be one of your products or services. It could be from another supplier who gives them to you for a bulk discount or some other consideration that could be beneficial to both parties.

The example I gave of my clever client is by far the best result they have ever had in 14 years of business. It is because they adopted the “laser” approach.  It took some time to work through – but the results speak for themselves.

 

A Christmas Gift for business

RECORD sales would be the perfect Christmas gift for most businesses this year to make up for the tough times.  Last edition introduced two keys to achieving the sales you want.  Pin-pointing your ideal customers and Getting their attention.

If you read the last blog you would now know how to Pin-point. Let’s explore Getting your target customers’ attention.

Let me use an example to illustrate getting attention of a selected audience. What if I had identified my target audience as mothers 25 to 50?

If I was to stand on a box in the middle of a busy pre-COVID central upmarket shopping mall in the city and shout over a loud hailer “Mum help” whose attention would that mostly get?  Some may just hear a commotion and pay little attention, but not necessarily interrupt what they are doing. What about those who are female 20 plus, who have children, and have medium to high incomes?  It will get their attention. Why?

“Mum” resonates with those who are mothers, and “help” appeals to females generally who have caring instincts. The location is one frequented by fashion shoppers who usually have the disposable income to afford brand name clothes.

The words receive much less attention by males and by those who do not have children – thus in the first instance excluding them from the follow up engagement.

Whilst simplistic, the example illustrates three considerations to getting the attention of your identified target customers:

  • Go to the right location
  • Appeal to the demographics
  • Tap into the sentiments

Go to the right location. The location may be physical in the case of the example, or it may be a virtual location. It is the place that your ideal client frequents. Clubs, entertainment centres, tourist destinations, events, or your street frontage are physical locations and at present not frequented as much as they used to be.

Going to the best virtual location is most important. These include Pintrest sites, Social media profiles and groups (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc). There are also magazines (printed and online), news feeds, and social gatherings. The right location for your target customer is the one you identified whilst “Pin-pointing”.

Appeal to the Demographics Make sure the attention getting words appeal to the gender, age, ethics & culture, profession, or hobby of your ideal customer.  In the example we used “Mum” to narrow the demographic.  Other examples of words that will help get attention of selected groups: “Grandfather”, “Grandmother”, “Ladies”, “Surfers”, “Bee Keepers”.

If your advertising is akin to shouting “Hey You” in order to get everyone’s attention it will fail to get you value for money results. This is a common mistake of most marketing where a lot of money is invested in trying to reach everyone in the hope you can get a small percentage as leads.

Tap into the Sentiments  Another way to consider this is to imagine yourself in the “shoes” of your target client. What are they doing, feeling, thinking? What are their emotions at the particular point in time when they will see your advertisement in the location (physical or virtual)? What are their frustrations, fears and desires when they are buying what you are offering?

Respond to those sentiments e.g. “Victoria ready to break out?” – a few weeks ago how many in that state would have said mentally “yes that’s what I want”?  Other might be “Frustrated with queues in Bu…..gs?”

Use these three considerations to get your target customers’ attention – and the gift you deserve for Christmas – a prosperous business.

 

Scarier than Halloween

WHAT is scarier than Halloween?  For Retailers being less than two months away from Christmas is scary. Can you guarantee getting your fair share of the Christmas sales?

Two keys to achieving the sales you want.  Pin-pointing your ideal customers and getting their attention. This week we will cover Pin-pointing.

First think about your potential customer base and the current social and economic environment – what I call  “The big picture view”.

Governments concerned about economic recovery are encouraging people with disposable income to spend. Expenditure in some demographics has been suppressed this year due to the amount of time people have spent in isolation and the inability to enjoy the services or activities that are still limited or shut down.  Just talk to those who tried to get tickets to the AFL and NRL Grand Finals to find out how difficult it was to spend money to watch people chase a ball around an oval.

Second consider your customers’ current emotional state and motivators.  The restrictions due to the pandemic have moved a large portion of the population to common emotional states of mind and to treasure family relationships.

Here is an example of how we use these two steps to Pin-point those customers who will make a big difference to sales this Christmas.

If I was a retailer selling toys for Christmas I would think like this.  Who are my best customers and how does the “Big Picture” view affect them.  My clients are usually parents and grandparents and I used to get to them through advertising to children who put in wish lists.

What is different this year? Young parents as a general rule may have less money due to unemployment and income cuts and/or difficulty in owner operated businesses. Hence broadly targeting young parents may get less return than usual, even with the spend incentives by governments.

On the other hand grandparents in the 50 to 70+ range are likely to have spent less this year on travel for example, and are more likely to have available cash. Furthermore they will have missed seeing their interstate grandchildren.  The general sentiment about the importance of family as a consequence of the limitation on visiting freedom will also be playing on grandparents’ minds.

Those in the lower end of the grandparent age bracket are more likely to have young grandchildren. So one demographic to target: Age group 50 to 70, grandparents, like travel, have interstate family in a region that was in lockdown, or live in a region that was recently in lockdown.

 

I would also think about those customers who are parents in more detail.  During the shutdown and restrictions whilst many may have lost their jobs some very specific industries have boomed and people have had good secure, and sometime intense jobs. They will have the cash and encouragement to spend on the family group this Christmas.  What industries? IT & Telecommunications, Delivery Services, Health Services and suppliers, Emergency Services  to name a few.

Hence the second demographic would be : Age group 25 to 40, parents, and then by occupation and geography.

I trust from the examples you can see how this may be applied to your business. Next blog we will tackle the key: Getting your target customers’ attention.

 

 

Kick Start Your Marketing

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
  2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant

Here’s another one I love from an icon:

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way.

Stop Wasting Your Resources!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores. The basic concept is this: You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to. Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses. As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base. So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success. LV = (P x F) x N – MC Here’s what it all means:
  • LV is the life time value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers. So, here’s your step-by-step process:
  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
If you need help working through this process, please contact us and we’ll set you up with the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, we can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.

Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.

It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) ☺ What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you great people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.