Here’s something we all could do with getting right…the dreaded follow up !
I was discussing this last week and its something most businesses don’t do at all…I was really surprised how many don’t after a sale…WTF
This is something every business should do regardless of being B2B or B2C…its all P2P these days.
If anything resonates with you here…fix it today.
Let’s take a common follow up problem:
Someone walks into your office, shop, restaurant, hotel, bar it doesn’t matter the business type this works for everyone.
You serve them the go away happy, (let’s get one thing straight before we dive deeper, this isn’t for low value items this is for the high-ticket stuff you sell, you will know what they are), have you got their email address and phone number before they disappear?
This is really important and something you should do at every turn so you can build up a strong list of your best clients.
Its 5 times more expensive to purchase a new client than it is to sell to an existing one…fact!
So, lets say you have their email address, when they get home with their new purchase imagine their surprise and delight when they open an email from you that’s thanks them for their purchase but also gets them to buy in a little deeper with you.
You will have talked about personal stuff, holidays, kids, houses, sport if you aren’t doing this then you are missing a trick as everyone likes to tell you about themselves and it’s a great way to find out those little nuggets of information that you can use in your follow up.
Tell them how great it was to hear about their son getting married or their holiday of a lifetime and next time they come in you will tell them about the time you wrestled a lion for a KitKat…little humour goes a long way, as long as you don’t take the piss out of them…this is a no no.
And that bedroom furniture they just bought would look really good paired with a new mirror that you currently have in stock and that you have lots of ideas how they can make their room look fantastic..I’m making this stuff up but you get the idea of a great follow up.
It’s the best way to gain loyalty and buy in that I know and follow up emails are a great way of doing this. Phone calls are good to but you have to be really good at this not to turn them off, emails, I find work really well, because the person has time to digest what you’ve said without feeling pressured.
Have a look at your follow up process and make sure it’s working exactly as it should be to keep your clients.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
– George Bernard Shaw
One of the most important lessons anyone, business owner or not, can learn is to change course when things aren’t working.
Something I said in the very first Next Level Thinking post “In the next post I will let into a secret, I will tell you how I turned the business and myself around by employing the ‘think big’ concept of NLT.”. What follows is that ‘secret’, if you can call it a secret because it was really just a waking up, a realisation that I was on the wrong path and that something needed to change before I either gave up or went mad from trying the same old things and them not working.
I think this was the time when I realised that Next Level Thinking [NLT] was something I could use, I had a sort of formula in my head I just needed to make sense of it and then get on with it. This can be one of the barriers that stop us achieving everything we want either in business or in life, the reluctance to change or to see that change is needed, if you have the same sort of thoughts you really need to think again as it could be seriously harming your business and your life going forward.
So how did I make this change? First thing was to come up with a strategy of change, as I said I had all this in my head I just had to make sense of it? The first strategy I came up with was a digital strategy to get the message out. Now you might be thinking that to run your business online you need millions of followers, let me tell you, you don’t, all you need is the ‘right’ followers. The days of managing millions of people has gone and really, you want it to. Most of these numbers are vanity number anyway, even the big guys like Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vee only get engagement from a small proportion of their followers, so don’t worry about numbers to begin with. Get the message out there and then build on the numbers with fantastic shareable content.
Think Big Not Small strategy.
My strategy was simple, get as much quality content out there and make sure people share it. I primarily used Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I still do today as they are the best channels for me to reach my audience. I have to say I do have a soft spot for Instagram and use it when I can.
Strategy number 1: only use the channels you can manage. Don’t think you have to be everywhere, you don’t. This can harm your business rather than promote it. At this point you are concentrating on quality content about your business and what you do that’s different. That’s the other part of the Think Big Not Small strategy, be different to everyone else in your niche.
Ask yourself these questions and implement them into your strategy:
- Why should they buy from me and not my competitor?
- What makes me/us different?
- What can I offer that my competitors don’t?
Asking questions like this will help you find your place in the whole smorgasbord that is digital marketing, you want to stand out, you want to be different but the way to do this is through quality content be that a blog post /newsletter like this, video, podcasts or anything else you can think of, the point is it has to be quality or its just noise and no one will engage.
So what if no one does engage and your blog is a dessert that no one is visiting? This can be demoralising, it can stop you in your tracks and send you right back down the ladder to the old way of thinking. Don’t let it, success is just around the corner my friend, how do I know this? We have all been there. I am not naive enough to think that my content resonates with everyone, it doesn’t. Yours won’t either and that’s ok, like I said it’s not a numbers game when starting out, it’s a content game.
You are in the enviable position to be able to ‘test’ your content, find out what your audience like and don’t like. Your stats will tell you that. Try everything you can until you hit on what it is the majority of your audience like and respond to. You will lose people along the way, again that’s OK because you will gain people too. It’s a movable feast and you want it to be.
I have people that that have been with me from 2004 when I first started ‘blogging’. They stayed with me through thick and thin, the times when I could hardly think of things to write, when I couldn’t be bothered with digital marketing and when I thought I should give up and try something else. Thankfully I didn’t, I stuck with it.
The Think Big Not Small strategy is a great starting point and if like thousands of others you are not sure where to start can I suggest you download my free eBook Engage. Now I know what you’re thinking. “I knew he was going to sell us something, it was too good to be true.”
This eBook is free and it will help you get started with a strategy that will make sense of what I’ve been saying.
In later posts I will take you through the strategy in more detail outlining how to set it up and how to implement it for 1 to many people, yes its scalable so you can use it yourself or for 1000’s of staff.
That’s all for now, I hope this helps you with the Think Big Not Small strategy? Take care have a fantastic day and I’ll be with you again soon.
PS. I have created a Facebook group where we can discuss NLT, please head over and join if it’s something you would like to be part of.
I want you to think of this part of your NLT journey as the final chapter. This is where everything you have learned will come together and let you have the lifestyle you want and run the business that will fund that lifestyle.
We touched on this at the very beginning, if you haven’t read this post you should. (more…)
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” – Richard Branson
You must realise that your mindset is everything that holds you back from growing your business. Confusion can reign if you let it, so don’t.
Let’s get back to my client, if you haven’t read the first post then you better had or you will have no idea what I am talking about – click here, and how NLT helped him change his way of thinking.
The biggest problem that my client faced, and he faced a few, was digital marketing, I know it sounds strange that we are talking about something that is so simple today, right. But he was finding it really difficult and couldn’t work out why it wasn’t working. (more…)
As you can imagine there are lots of events spread around the country at any one time, especially throughout summer, so how do you make yours stand out above the rest?
In this post I am going to take you through 5 ways you can achieve event success so that when you hold your next event you will be ready and people will know all about it.
4 weeks before event: create your strategy to publicise your event, you by now know which traction channels work for your business, if you don’t read this post first, so you have your 3 traction channels but for events they should include Facebook and Instagram, why? Because Facebook has a fantastic events system and Instagram is perfect for photos and it’s owned by Facebook so it integrates seamlessly. See the video below for a quick overview of a Facebook event.
3 weeks before event: Start ramping up what will be on and when, so if you have a full program people can decide what they want to see and when.
- Use pictures and videos from a previous event to ‘sell’ this one. Show people having a great time
- Choose the best pictures and videos you can as these will be ‘shared’ by your audience
- If it’s something like a gig then it’s easier to promote as its in a specific venue at a specific time, the way to win is to make it as simple as possible for people to find you, decide if they want to attend and then book tickets.
The more hoops people have to jump through the less likely they are to attend.
2 weeks before event: Visitors to your page, profile and website should be talking about your event and asking questions, if they are not go back to week 3 and start again.
This is really important as the more people talking about your event the greater the attendance will be. You need to create a buzz around it so this week is vital and I can’t stress that enough.
1 week before event: All your channels should be in melt down by now with people asking questions. Anticipation for the event should be at its highest, the week before an event is when the most engagement should be happening, if it’s not go back to week 2 and find out why you haven’t created a buzz.
If all has gone to plan Facebook and Instagram should be at fever pitch and you should be posting pictures of the event preparation, everything from the putting up of marquees to what food will be served. Remember if there are timings and tickets to book this is the week to ‘push’ those, people shouldn’t have to ask it should e a given.
Day of the event: ask people who are attending to share with friends of all social channels to mop up those last few. There will always be people who leave everything to the last minute and then complain that they can’t find what they are looking for, me included.
The watchword for any event is preparation. You wouldn’t dream of missing out something major from the event, like the marquee, would you, social media is the best way, and quickest way, to let large amounts of people know of your event, so use it. I find that Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the best channels for this, and it that order, because they are quick and easy to use. So use them!
After the event: this is the most critical stage and it amazes me how many people don’t do anything once the event is finished. Most time people sit back and congratulate each other on a job well done. That’s great and so you should, if it has been a job well done, but you aren’t finished yet.
This is where you website really shines. Yes you have had everything on your website regarding the event, that goes without saying, but know comes the most crucial part, the blog post.
A write up on the event is a great way to collate everything you have from the previous month. While the event is in preparation mode and then actually taking place you won’t have time for this, unless you have someone employed to blog, but I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s a waste of valuable time. It’s far better to use social media to create a buzz before and after.
Let me walk you through the after part.
The event is over and it’s been a great success, now comes the collation part of the process.
- Collate everything from the previous 4 weeks, pictures, videos and all the best comments from social channels
- Create a blog post on your website and give a blow by blow account of what happened, this can be used to promote the next event, using all that fantastic information
- Circulate your blog post on social media and you will receive even more comments and questions
- Google loves this and it will be there forever for you to refer to and for people to find when preparing for the next event
Now I know at this point you might be thinking “why didn’t we use Google Adwords or Facebook ads to promote the event?” You can, no doubt about it and it can be part of your strategy in week 4, but I would only use it if you cannot gain any traction through week 4 into 3. An event should create its own buzz, if done correctly. This goes for ‘influencer’ marketing also, use it only when you feel you have to.
That’s not to say it shouldn’t be part of you strategy, it should but if you are on a tight budget use it wisely. Get in touch if you think I can help you with that?
Depending on the size and scale of your event you could start 8 weeks out or even 12, use this post as a guide to start thinking about how you can market and promote your event differently.
I hope this has helped clarify a few things for you when planning an event and please leave comments and ask questions I love to know what you think.
NLT (Next Level Thinking) is a concept by Keith McMean to help you break out of the old way of thinking when it comes to your business and how to grow it successfully. If you have any questions or thoughts on traction we can talk them through in the comments, this way if you have a fantastic idea I can give you the credit you deserve and if I use it in a future post you’ll be right there with me.
Next Level Thinking [NLT] was a concept I have had running around my head for a while now, at least 2 years, and it all came about from a chance conversation with a client who had reached his ‘ceiling’. He had got to a stage where he couldn’t seem to take the business to the next level.
This happens to the best of us and to be honest it happened to me around 2009, no matter what I did I just couldn’t seem to get to that next level.
My client was now in the same boat as I had been in 2009.
I suppose the good thing for him was I had been through it and I could at least give him the benefit of my experience. I wanted to help him start to see where he could make changes to his thinking, because that’s what was holding him back from reaching the next level.
Before we get started I just want to say that what follows is what has helped me and it has helped numerous clients over the years to view their business differently and more importantly to help take it forward with more confidence and assurity than ever before.
One of the things that holds us back the most is our ego, plain and simple. When we are in business we do get into the habit of thinking we know it all, when in fact we know very little.
In his book ‘Ego is the Enemy’ Ryan Holiday states very clearly that not only did his ego hold him back it very nearly killed him.
“I was wound so tight that the slightest disruption sent me into a spluttering, inconsolable rage. My work, which had always come easy, became laboured. My faith in myself and other people collapsed. My quality of life did too.” – @RyanHoliday
Ego can make or break the best of us and it can be the biggest factor in holding you back from Next Level Thinking (#NLT)
If you think you can do it all then you really are doomed to failure. Everyone needs someone and a great friend of mine Les Dossey is a great exponent of what I term NLT.
Les sees things before most and acts upon it. He helps entrepreneurs really find themselves, I know, it all sounds a bit warm and fuzzy but knowing your mind is the biggest step to NLT because this is what holds you back from taking the next step.
“Learn DO Grow 10X is an innovative coaching and growth program for successful, ambitious entrepreneurs who want to expand their freedom and grow their future 10X” – Les Dossey
I urge you to check Les out over on Facebook, you’ll thank me.
Let’s get back to just why most business owners and entrepreneurs fail to take the all important next step. If you can get over the ego problem and at least ask for help you will find that everyone you ask will answer, well most anyway. When a business stagnates it’s usually because the owner hasn’t invested time and effort in themselves. They are stuck doing the same thing day in day out.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- Tired of doing the same things
- Not motivated enough to do anything about it
- Don’t know where or who to turn to
This is just a starter list, I am sure you can add many more scenarios to it, write them down this really does help clarify the problem.
Ever heard the term “think small and you’ll be small”? Well this was a quote I came up with for this very situation in 2009, I wrote it down and kept it with me and it really did help me push through to the next level. You see everything I was doing was small, I did everything in such a small way my business was never going to succeed and neither were my clients.
So this is what I came up with, well some of it anyway as it’s far too long and detailed to go into here, although it could be a series of posts, see already I’m starting to think ‘big’ and that’s the essence of NLT. Break everything down in to manageable chunks.
Right, lets dive in.
Let’s say you have a printing business, you print brochures, fliers, t-shirts in fact anything that can be printed you print it. The problem is everything is stagnant the business is going nowhere, you’ve reached your ceiling. What do you do next?
Well most of us never recognise that there is a problem until it jumps up and bites us on the bum. We sail along oblivious to the seriousness of the situation. Now this could be anything from the business slowing down, to you being pulled from one section or department of the business to another and never completing anything, it could be not managing staff correctly it could be any number of things.
But you have that nagging doubt in the back of your mind that something is wrong, don’t worry we all get it, trust me if you haven’t you will.
The problem is you are still dealing with the minutia of the business and not taking a holistic view of where it is and where it should be headed. ‘Working on the business and not in the business’ is a term Michael Gerber came up with in his book The E Myth, the updated version is here The E Myth Revisited and it still stands true today.
Think big not small.
So how do you put NLT in to operation? I can tell you from experience that it’s not easy, in fact it can be so hard that most don’t even attempt it, they give up and find something else to do. Fine for them but we are not quitters, are we?
So let’s say that you recognise that there is something wrong and after all the soul searching and hand wringing you finally admit to yourself that you are to blame, you haven’t grown as a person so how can the business grow, it can’t. Fantastic, that’s the hardest part over with, from now on it can only go one way and that’s up.
So you admit it, you need help. But who do you turn to for that help?
Well, there are a plethora of mentors and business coaches out there who are only too willing to help and someone like my good friend Les should definitely be considered that’s for sure. But say you’re not ready for that, say you want someone who will understand you and your business because they know you already.
You could turn to a family member or good friend, but are they the right person to be consulting with? On one level yes as they know you well and can sympathise but on another are they a business person? Do they know how to turn a failing business around? Let’s face it, you need the ‘right’ help.
Finding the ‘right’ coach or mentor
So how do you find the right mentor or coach to help? I can only give you my own experiences here and they have served me well when it came to the NLT concept of thinking big, please don’t think this is the only concept in NLT, it’s not, there are others which we will touch on in later posts but for now this is the most important.
First off I talked to people both on and offline who I knew had gone through similar problems with their business and life in some cases. One thing to keep in mind when you travel down this path is that you have to be brutally honest with yourself and the person you are seeking help and advice from, don’t hide anything as it will not serve you well in your long-term recovery.
I asked questions such as “how did you get out from under it?” and “what can I do to replicate your successes?” I must have been a right pain in the bum but to be honest everyone gave their time and advice freely, I was never made to feel second class or a failure, the reason for that, most have been through it. Just like I had so when I spotted the tell tale signs with my client, I could give him my advice without thinking.
Secondly, once I started to realise that I was thinking too small I took steps to change it. I decided that enough was enough and for the sake of my sanity and bank balance something had to change, and it did.
In the next post I will let into a secret, I will tell you how I turned the business and myself around by employing the ‘think big’ concept of NLT.
Please feel free to leave a comment I love hearing your stories and it goes without saying if you find any of this familiar and you think I can help don’t hesitate to get in touch.