Four Types of Social Proof You Can Use

No doubt you’ve seen this many times, so you know just how effective it is.  A prospective customer comes in, and he wants to look at your “Widget Maker”.  If you are doing your job, you will no doubt ask him how he came to hear of your “Widget Maker” – you need to know whether your website, Facebook, promotional campaign or whatever, is working. 

And something like seven times out of ten, he’ll tell you:

  • His neighbour/brother/colleague told him about it (Word of Mouth)
  • He read some reviews on-line
  • There were some powerful testimonials from people he respected
  • Everybody is after one, or whatever

These are all forms of “social proof”.  As master copywriter John Forde wrote “Used right (morally as well as strategically), it [social proof] is a powerful tool for selling.”

In “Is Word of Mouth your most powerful promotional tool?” I discussed the role of WOM in removing risk to the buyer in making their decision.  It overcomes objections, those doubts a potential buyer has lurking in the back of their mind that are holding him back. 

But social proof is more than just word-of-mouth over the backyard fence in today’s on-line world. In fact, there are four types of social proof you can use to strengthen your marketing, and you can use them whether you are writing sales letters, emails content for your website or advertisements.

1. Endorsement of experts…

A stamp of approval for your product or service from a credible expert makes a big difference.

It’s great if you can get an expert to give an endorsement but there are other opportunities:

So you “borrow” it.  You might not be able to collar the right expert’s quote for your product, but, with a bit of research, you may be able to find a credible expert commenting about the type of products you provide – XYZ says widget makers make great transformers for ……….  It could come from a newspaper quote, LinkedIn mention, TV interview or whatever. 

Your experts don't even have to be known by name if their positions elevate them to the rank of expert - Bill Blogg, Professor of Equine Dentistry at Oxford University

The expert doesn't even have to be a person.  A prestigious business or institutional name works as well - The University of XYZ’s Marketing Department, says that social proof is …

2. User social proof …

User social proof includes customer testimonials, case studies, and online reviews.  This type of social proof allows you to put yourself in the other person's shoes.

Testimonials are without a doubt one of the most persuasive forms of proof.  Even if your prospect doesn't know the person giving the testimonial, reading it gives her reassurance.  Adding a photo helps.  And as I have said elsewhere, give their name and where they’re from.  AK, Alice Springs is not particularly convincing.  The more testimonials the better.

Sometimes businesses simplify this by listing well known clients who use their product.

There is another way - you have no doubt seen ads saying “As used by ….”, naming a famous person.

But perhaps the most rapid growth is in online reviews. This is more than the reviews you see on Amazon on or through trip advisor. Services such as AirBNB and Uber require reviews from you and they guide other people’s choices.

Online directories usually include a line at the bottom of a business listing saying “Be the 1st to review this business”.

Online reviews can make or break a business as Mike Major discussed when I interviewed him a little while ago – “Online Customer Comments – Problem or Potential?” 

3. The crowd social proof …

You have heard of the herd mentality?  We all like to believe we are individual, but we also like to go with the fashion, the trend, to be seen to be doing as others are doing.

That is why you see promotions that say “as used by 9/10 house wives”, or “37% of the population use ABC.  Promoting the number of people who bought their product is a well-used tactic by MacDonald’s.

Crowd social proof panders to that desire to be part of the herd, to be seen to go with the flow, not to be different.

4. Friends and family social proof …

This is word of mouth over the backyard fence.  The recommendations of friends and family usually carry great weight.  This type of social proof has blossomed with the rise of social media.

"Like," "subscribe," "follow," supplement (and are supplanting) face-to-face recommendations.  Go onto Facebook and you'll see brands your FB friends have "liked.

I discussed this in “How Social Media can help Both Parts of Sales”.  http://www.profitsleakdetective.com/blog/311-how-social-media-can-help-both-parts-of-sales

Three Email Sales Pitch

I’ve been working with clients on “3 email” pitch for any sales offer, a series of 3 emails each examining the issue from the client’s perspective, demonstrating the benefits of my client’s offer, overcoming objections and bringing a sense of urgency to the Call for Action.  It works, but I can’t claim to be the originator.  I’ve “borrowed” from people such as Tom Poland and Ryan Deiss.  And why have I borrowed?  The ‘repeated’ technique has been proven to work.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that?  Book a Strategy Consult here.

© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

How much do you have riding on your business?

I doubt you would disagree that improving the cash flow and profitability in your business is important to you, and may be to your bank manager.

That requires planning.  There are so many quotable quotes about planning in business; quotations such as:

  • “Failing to plan means you are planning to fail”    Anonymous
  • If you wouldn’t build a house without a plan, why would you try and build a business without one?   Bob Pritchard
  • Eighty-three per cent of respondents consider planning and preparing a business to ensure survival through an economic recession to be important, but only 44 per cent actually have a business plan.  March 2008 MYOB Australian Small Business Survey
  • Action without 'direction' is worthless.  So spend time in setting your plans and finding your right direction.  Ankesh Kothari
  • Planning without action isn't worth much. Execution is what creates the value.  Michael Angier

The reason there are so many, I suspect, is that it is so important.  And yet it is not done well.

Why is it so, and what can you do about it?  As always, I go to an expert who can give you, and me, some guidance and advice.

I was lucky enough to find Dr. Warren Harmer from The Business Plan Company. 

Small, fast growing and entrepreneurial businesses are his passion.  Warren like to write business plans for them, grow them, advise them and write about them. His experience now spans over 17 years, including 3 businesses of his own.

Warren’s objective is to offer instructive, hands-on, ‘how to’ information to make business ownership easier, less stressful, more successful and more enjoyable.

Now here’s something unusual.  Warren started his career as a scientist, achieving his doctorate but soon after, decided that a career in research or academia was not for him.  His baptism of fire into small business happened when he decided to start a restaurant; it was successful but he says it was the most intense and exhausting experience of his life.

Warren left that business thinking ‘there must be better support for small business!’ so he decided to be the one giving it.

In the last 14 years since that time Warren has worked as consultant to hundreds of small businesses through Crecer (crecer.com.au) and more recently The Business Plan Company (businessplancompany.com.au).  This business is now his main focus and in the last 4 years he has also expanded into writing, now contributing to a number of columns in Australia.

Warren has big plans for TBPC and intends to expand his writing further, already having started with a comprehensive, one-stop book for small business The Small Business Manual.

I asked him five questions on “business planning for small business”.

1. Business planning takes time, money and effort for a small business to do. Why bother?

2. In your book you talk about business planning not business plans. What do you mean by that?

3. How business planning can be made easy and accessible for small business?

4. You talk of 2 different types of business plans. What are they and what are the differences?

5. What are the bare minimums that small businesses should be doing?

So yes, it is worthwhile; you need to decide where you are going if you are going to get there.  Otherwise you are going to waste a lot of time and money, potentially going around in circles, or in completely the wrong direction.  You could be going anywhere.

As Warren mentions, we have a lot riding on our businesses.

If you would like to get more information or resources from Warren go to The Business Plan Company

Fast Track to Cash

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand:

•    The strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of their business

•    Determine where they want to be – clear, achievable goals, and

•    How they are going to get there – their strategies to achieve their goals

This is sometimes known as the NOW – WHERE – HOW model.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here.

© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

How Appt!

This is interesting.  The dangers and opportunities for your business in disruption from technology keeps coming up, and I’ve been giving you a heads- up a few times this year.

•    More Disruption, But More Helpfu

•   I don’t have the answer

•   Three sources of Business Disruption to Avoid

You might think that this couldn’t happen to you or your industry.  Perhaps not, no doubt the taxi drivers, think Uber, and hotels/motels, think AirBnB, thought the same thing.

And that’s why I found this email from Richard Petrie interesting.  Richard is an expert in what he calls “Speed Marketing”, and you may recall I interviewed him a little while ago on the topic "How to sell more, sell faster, and sell more efficiently".

Here’s what he had to say:

‘San Francisco is run by apps’ says Tom.

Tom’s a cool local String (business partner) and I hung out with on Saturday night.

Head of SEO (search engine optimisation) for Airbnb – one of the star companies of Silicon Valley. I actually slagged them off in an earlier lesson from SF email.  Don’t worry I am sure Tom is not a subscriber.

Being in SF for 12 days is like seeing the future. The future holds even more use of apps (mobile phone applications) in daily life.

Everyone here uses uber.com because it is 10x better than a traditional taxi service.

Tom uses Taskrabbit (or similar) for outsourcing random tasks he doesn’t want to do. Don’t want to clean the dishes?  Then you hire someone from your cell phone.

Tom doesn’t own a car -  he uses a car sharing app.  It’s not that he cannot afford it but rather why would he?

There is a culture called the 1099 generation. 1099 is the IRS form (in the US) that the millions of contractors use to rent themselves out using apps. These people have swapped a regular 9 - 5 job for short term contract gigs using an app as their pimp.

These apps are not only more convenient but the experience is sooo good. So user friendly, so well thought out, so well designed you cannot go back to the old way.

Back in 1800’s the gold rush was gold, now it is finding an app that turns clicks into gold.

When Tom started at Airbnb two and half years ago the company was worth $2 billion, now they are worth $27b. Tom has share options so cannot leave.

The Ubers and Airbnb are really only transaction engines; they don’t own or manage houses or taxis they just arrange the transaction masterfully for 20%. They are logistic companies. That means no overhead – just profit.

These are disruptive technologies that are changing the way we buy (and live).

This new gold rush in San Francisco is driving the prices of living up. San Fran real estate is now comparable to New York. 25 year old techies are buying $5 million dollar properties – it’s a problem.

The other problem is the expectations of service have gone up. My flight from SF to Austin, Texas was cancelled. Virgin America were unorganised arranging alternate flights and accommodation. Grumpy passengers were asking ‘Surely you have a playbook for this situation’.

We expected instant solutions. Technology has trained us to know it can be done.

If Uber had been running the flight – everything would have been sorted in minutes not hours.

This is not really a marketing or selling lesson, but a heads up.

1)   The world is changing …your business needs to be adaptable because we don’t really know what is coming next, but you better be ready.

2)    Expectations of service is rising …clients are experiencing outstanding systems and get grumpy when traditional suppliers are not as efficient.

3)   If you are not using apps now, you will be soon.

Thanks Richard.   You might like to think about his three final points.

Yes - the world is changing, and we often don’t see things coming.  And increasingly they’re coming out of left-field, and not a logical process by people in our field.

Such disruptive developments are a danger, but they also create opportunities.  And opportunities need to be seized.

Customer service - think how can you use technology to improve customer service, or for that matter make your logistics more efficient and improve your processes to reduce costs.

And how might you be able to do that?  Find someone offering their services through the “Gig Economy”!

Let me draw to your attention one paragraph from Richard’s email:  “There is a culture called the 1099 generation. 1099 is the IRS form (in the US) that the millions of contractors use to rent themselves out using apps. These people have swapped a regular 9 - 5 job for short term contract gigs using an app as their pimp.”

Coincidently another newsletter I take said “There is growing awareness of what is being called the “gig economy”, where incomes are earned or supplemented by trading individual goods and services online.”

It’s not just Uber driving or AirBnB, although that is part of it.  In the US, and I suspect here in Australia, there are literally scores of websites and apps where you can advertise your services, get temporary or part-time work, and do so from anywhere you happen to be.

A quick bit of research found Cleaning Services Handy and Homejoy, online work platform Crowdflower, parking-space finder Divvy, all based on the same "community" model that is disrupting traditional marketplaces by bringing suppliers and customers together.   But it is more than that.

The gig economy is not only large in the US – but also growing.  Growing numbers of Americans no longer hold a regular “job” with a long-term connection to a particular business. Instead, they work “gigs” where they are employed on a particular task or for a defined time, with little more connection to their employer than a consumer has with a particular brand of chips.

The same research suggested that the “Gig Economy” has not taken off here as much as in the US, but I’d keep an eye open, just in case!   The world is changing – think reduced costs and improved customer service.

Is your business travelling as well as it could, and should?

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

The problems lie in the dark recesses of the business, unseen and un-resolved.  Illumination is provided by knowledge of what is happening in the business, and how to respond.

Three spaces left – The end of the year is approaching rather rapidly. And I have only three spaces left for a business assessment this month. 

If you would like to avail yourself of one, and there is no cost – this is my gift to you, book a Strategy Consult here

© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

And how to manage them

Propping question markIf you’re like my wife, if you are booking accommodation you haven’t used before, it’s not just the cost you take into account, it’s what are the comments online customers have made that will influence her decision.

She does the same thing before she buys things, whether it is in a shop, or online.  She checks what people are saying about it.  You can always find a site with reviews and comments on it, sites such as Trip Advisor and Wotif. 

Just one problem is that review sites make little or no attempt to restrict postings, or to verify the information in the reviews.

And when you are searching for a business, you will always find a site, usually a directory site, which gives you all the contact details, but also asks for your comments. 

You will recall the old comment,people are ten times likely to damn something as praise it”.  And today, because of the pervasiveness on online access, those comments are so easily found.

Wikipedia tells us that studies by independent research groups like Forrester Research, comScore, The Kelsey Group, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association show that rating and review sites influence consumer shopping behaviour.  In an academic study published in 2008, empirical results demonstrated that the number of online user reviews is a good indicator of the intensity of underlying word-of-mouth effect and increase awareness.

In so many markets today your customers have the ability to damn you or praise you.  They can be a raving fan, or sound the death knell for your business. 

So how do you manage online customer reviews?

There was one bloke I was told who knows a lot about how to do just this, and that’s Mike Major from TheBizAdviser.

Originally from New Zealand, Mike Major is an international business adviser who has consulted to media groups and owners of newspapers, radio stations and TV stations in 11 countries.

Through them he’s helped thousands of literally business owners and specialises in helping to implement online marketing strategies including dealing with the problem of dealing with online reviews, and the other side of the coin, using them to your advantage.

He currently divides his time between New Zealand, Costa Rica and the south of France because, he says, that’s the power of the internet.  You can work online from anywhere.

I asked Mike six questions on “how to manage online customer reviews”. 

1.    Why’s managing online customer reviews so important? Why do people need to worry about their online reviews?

2.    So what this means is, potential customers are more interested in what your previous customers say, than in what YOU say?

3.    Does it matter how many stars you have?

4.    There must be a lot of places that customers can leave reviews.

5.    How do you know if somebody has put up a comment somewhere?

6.    And if people get a bad review online, what should they do?

I guess the message is clear: include online reviews in your marketing strategy.   Make them a benefit, not an issue. 

Fast Track to Cash

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand:

•    The strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of their business

•    Determine where they want to be – clear, achievable goals, and

•    How they are going to get there – their strategies to achieve their goals

This is sometimes known as the NOW – WHERE – HOW model.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here

© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

Never depend on Luck - instead, Prepare

Increasingly the requirement for compliance with quality, work health and safety (WHS), environment, and risk is imposing itself on small and medium businesses. 

If you tender to Governments, or to large companies, they will want to know just how you manage these issues, whether you conform to the nominated standards.  If you don’t, your business is likely to be seen as a risk, too much of a risk.

However, you don’t have to be tendering to Governments or big business to benefit from having these systems in place.  They will help you build a better, and more sustainable business.

But how to do so?  If you are a small business owner, you will probably see it as a mass of incomprehensible paperwork – a maze that appears to be nigh on impossible to navigate your way through.

You can approach each individually, or you can integrate your whole management system to improve compliance, cut the risks to your business, and increase efficiency.

As they say, “luck only happens to those who get in front of it”.  An opportunity is only an opportunity if you can take advantage of it. 

So I had a chat with Paul McIntyre of InnovativeSBS that you might find useful.  They are a Strategic Business Solutions Company specialising in Risk & Compliance Management to assist companies prepare for and achieve sustainable growth.

Paul is a seasoned media executive and entrepreneur specializing in business process re-engineering, change management and growth strategies; from start-up through to corporate.

He is an Accredited Practitioner of the PROSCI Change Management Methodology, including Master Class and ECM (Enterprise Change Management) status, an experienced Project Manager, holds a Bachelor of Broadcast Communications majoring in specifying, sourcing and implementing complex broadcast solutions and is an Authorised Representative under an AFSL.

Paul has a passion for start-ups and business solutions that challenge the status quo.  He is the Managing Partner of the Kixstaart Equities Business Incubator in Sydney.

He tells me that what drives him is his love of helping other people succeed.  His  theory is if he can help others achieve, he will in effect be achieving.

In a funny kind of way he says he get more of a kick out of helping someone else achieve their goal than he does actually achieving his own.  Weird, but true. 

Paul answered 6 questions on “Integrated Management Systems, getting the process right and the importance of having the staff engaged”.  

1.    InnovativeSBS has a particular emphasis on people, process and technology and how they come together in an integrated management system.  How do those elements impact on an SMEs bottom line?

2.    How important is the alignment of the staff in a business?

3.    Process is a word that gets commonly used when people are talking about efficiency gains, but what does it really mean in a business sense?

4.    How important is the technology aspect for a business?

5.    What does Integrated management mean for an SME – how can it make a difference?

6.    When looking at Quality, Health & Safety and Environmental Risk and Compliance management, how do you help a business and what difference can it make to the bottom line?

Regardless of the business environment there are always opportunities, it's a matter of identifying them and ensuring you're in a position to own them, as Paul has illustrated.

If you would like to get more information or resources got to http://www.innovativesbs.com.au/

Do you want to build a business and not a job?

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand:

•    The strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of their business

•    Determine where they want to be – clear, achievable goals, and

•    How they are going to get there – their strategies to achieve their goals

This is sometimes known as the NOW – WHERE – HOW model.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here

© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

It’s about business, not technology

The lines between traditional marketing and digital marketing have become very blurred.  Small businesses continually are told today that they must have a website, that when a person wants to find a product wants to find a product or supplier, the first thing they do is go to Google to find a supplier to meet their need, and not to Yellow Pages.  And it is true.

Very few traditional marketing tactics don’t refer to, or work in tandem with digital components these days.  The addition of ever-evolving digital marketing techniques to the marketing mix means that the whole marketing task has become far more complex than ever before.

Now that’s all very well, but for many of us the internet is still hidden behind a veil.  It’s a complex subject and we don’t really understand it.  And it seems so expensive!

Unfortunately many digital professionals like to blind you with science.  They use techo terms, not marketing terms such as  'lead generation', 'conversion', 'results' and 'Return on Investment'..- things that matter to small businesses.

So many web firms get carried away with technology and being creative.  What they're not so flash at is understanding business and marketing.  This is a critical difference.... .It’s about business, not technology.  The technology is only a means to the end we seek

So I asked Craig Reardon from The E Team to clarify some of these complexities.  And there are some good reasons for my asking Craig for his advice.

In addition to being a leading eBusiness educator to the smaller business sector, Craig is the founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team which was established to address the special website and web marketing needs of SMEs.  As it approaches its 12th birthday, The E Team has amassed more than 600 SME clients from across Australia. 

I asked Craig to discuss “The Top 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Website - whilst retaining quality” around five questions: 

1 – How do you reduce developer labour and cost when developing a website?

2 – What are Design Templates, and what is their benefit?

3 – Can you, or should you Do It Yourself?

4 – What are Customer Engagement magnets, and how do you use them?

5 – What is meant by Extensibility?

Craig nailed it pretty well, as you would expect.

 

If you would like more information or resources, Craig may be found at www.theeteam.com.au.  He can help with your digital strategy, development of your website, Search engine Optimisation, email marketing, and social networking while providing ongoing help and support.

Do you want to restore real value in your business?

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

The problems lie in the dark recesses of the business, unseen and un-resolved.  Illumination is provided by knowledge of what is happening in the business, and how to respond.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows so there is real value in their business.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here.

As a client said to me only the other day - "Every business needs an Adam!"

© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

What do you want, a Job, or a Business?

Do you want to take a break from your business?  Have you ever thought, after late night after late night, weekend after weekend, that you would like to be able to take a break from your business, to just be able to step back, take a deep breath, and refresh? 

But it is never as easy as that, is it?  Your business is growing, there are constant demands on your time, and what will happen if you are not there to manage the growth.  Can you bear it?

Apart from business growth, the ultimate objective of successful owners is to create a business that can operate profitably independently of themselves and become a Saleable Asset.  If this is not achieved, they just own a job with overheads going nowhere.  You haven’t got a business, you’ve got a job, plus the risks of a business, without the returns.

And what if you fail, all that sweat blood and tears, for nothing, for debt and even humiliation?

Unless you eliminate the causes of failure, you will never have control and your business will never set you free.  You won't own a business, just a job with overheads.  So what are the areas of your business you must address to prosper in good times and bad.

One person who understands just what those areas are is by Greg Chapman from Empower Business .  Let me tell you a little about Greg:

Dr Greg Chapman has had many roles in his 30 year business career.  Before his current role, he was vice president in a multinational company and lived and worked on three continents, before starting his own company, Empower Business Solutions, now in its 10th year.  His experience ranges from operations through to marketing and strategic development.

In his current role he is an advisor to small business owners who are sick and tired of being small.  He is the award winning author of the small business best seller “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”. He is also publisher of the Australian Small Business Blog.

His latest book is “Married to the Business: Honey I love you but our business sucks” and is available at all good book stores.

After advising hundreds of small business owners, Greg says, if there is one thing he has learned from his clients it is “While money can’t buy you love, happiness is a positive cash flow”.

I asked Greg to discuss “Making your business run without you around four questions:

1. We often hear about problems that cause small business failure, but it’s not all beer and skittles as a business grows as well.  What are some of the problems faced by owners of a growing business?
2. As victims of their own success, how do owners react to these problems?
3. What are the causes of the slowing growth in small businesses?
4. What are some of the strategies that business owners can use to make their business less dependent on themselves?

Trust me, you will find this pretty useful advice.

It is well worth having a think about.  As Greg suggests, whichever path you are following, you need to look at what you are trying to achieve on that path, and the tools you should use.  What is the end result you are seeking to achieve? 

Greg may be found at www.empowersolutions.com.au Empower Business Solutions- Multiplying Your Profits & Making Your Business Run without You

Do you want to build a business and not a job?

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand:

•    The strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of their business
•    Determine where they want to be – clear, achievable goals, and
•    How they are going to get there – their strategies to achieve their goals

This is sometimes known as the NOW – WHERE – HOW model.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here.  http://www.profitsleakdetective.com/fast-track-to-cash-consult

Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

But what are “Both Parts of Sales”?

When you are seeking to grow your business, and its profitability, your sales process should have two parts.  Think ‘Churn’, and ‘Life Time Value’.  And Social Media has a role in both.

Growing your business on the Internet through Social Media can be confusing, a swirling, ever-changing fog obscuring the road ahead for most Business Owners and Managers.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn have become household names and it seems every business needs to be on them to take advantage of the over billions of registered users on these sites.

The figures are impressive.  Right now over 8 million Australians use Facebook every day and 10 million every month,  4 million Australian businessmen are on LinkedIn to which you may add the 1 billion people on YouTube every month, 250 million on Twitter and the half a billion that joined Google+ in the first three years.

There’s so much hype and excitement about them, all pop and glitz, but how will they actually help your business?  Yes, they offer a great opportunity for business, an opportunity we’re told you don't want to miss, but the fog can be impenetrable. 

How should they be used to decrease Churn and increase Life Time Value, because each is very different?  Where to start?  How to move forward? Which way to go?  Which is better for my business?

To clear the fog I spoke to Greg Paul of Digital Tiger.  For the last six years, Greg has taken knowledge of management and sales and marketing in the real world and developed techniques and strategies to use Social Media that work.

His background includes managing business around the world for over twenty years and consulting businesses on sales and marketing, with results including taking a consulting firm from three staff to four offices in Australia and three other countries in eighteen months

Greg has been working with Social Media in Australia from the beginning.  Over nine years Greg has spent thousands of hours testing, evaluating and reviewing all of the changes that have happened from the growth of Facebook, Linked In, You Tube, Google+ and more and found exactly what works and what doesn’t for small businesses in Australia.

That’s why he can proudly talk about the company that doubled their sales in two months, or the consultant who was getting 25 leads per week or the online business that got six times the web hits in the first month to name a few.

I asked Greg 6 questions about “The Two Parts of Sales in a business and how Social Media can help”.

1. What you consider the two main areas of a business to look at when it comes to sales?
2. How do the sales actions in these areas differ from each other?
3. How would you measure the sales in each area of the business?
4. Why are they both important?
5. How can Social Media and Internet Marketing help in each of these area of sales?
6. If someone was considering venturing into using Social Media in their business, what is the first thing you would suggest they look at?

You will find his answers insightful.

There’s some pretty good advice there, well worth having a think about.  As Greg suggests, whichever path you are following, you need to look at what you are trying to achieve on that path, and the tools you should use.  What is the end result you are seeking to achieve? 

Greg may be found at www.digitaltiger.com.au

Do you want to build real value in your business?

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand:
•    The strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of their business
•    Determine where they want to be – clear, achievable goals, and
•    How they are going to get there – their strategies to achieve their goals

This is sometimes known as the NOW – WHERE – HOW model.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here

© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

Using Speed Marketing

If there is a perpetual problem in small business it is how to get more clients, and to do so without it costing us an arm and a leg.  Traditional marketing teaches you to spend large to ‘get your name out there’ and ‘build a brand’.  The promise is that one day when your buyer has a need they will remember you.  

But we don’t have the money to “spend large”!  Building brands is OK for Coca Cola or MacDonalds but not for us.

For most small businesses building a brand is a recipe for suicide by cash flow dehydration.

But what if we could make the phone ring when we want it, and get a measurable return on every dollar we spent marketing.

Speed Marketing is the art of doing just that - making the phone ring…quickly .... and getting a measurable return on every dollar.   The person to explain it is the bloke who invented the term – Speed Marketing, Richard Petrie.  He is a former New Zealand cricketer who played 12 one day internationals for New Zealand.  He is now 48, married with three children living in Wellington.

Richard now helps businesses around the world to implement a simple system to win clients for whom money is not their #1 buying criteria.  He is author of the book ‘What to do if your marketing sucks’

In this interview Richard takes us through 7 big ideas that that will help you to sell more, sell faster, and sell more efficiently than you have ever have in your entire life.  And how to do all of this without spending a single penny on marketing. 

I asked Richard:

1.    What were the frustrations of selling that lead you to develop “speed marketing”?

2.    Using your strategies and approaches what results can people get?

3.    What are the steps?

a.    What is step 1
b.    What is step 2
c.    What is step 3
d.    What is step 4
e.    What is step 5
f.    What is step  6

And here is the interview.

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 Richard may be found at http://www.speedmarketing.co.nz/ where you can get a copy of his  FREE book “What to do if your marketing sucks’”

Do you want to restore real value in your business?

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

The problems lie in the dark recesses of the business, unseen and un-resolved.  Illumination is provided by knowledge of what is happening in the business, and how to respond.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows so there is real value in their business.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here. 



© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

How to maximise the Value of Your Business so you can Exit in Style

Most of us are so flat out running our business we don’t think about “What comes next?”  What happens when you decide to step back, to get out of the rat race? 

You can’t just hang up a “For Sale” sign when you are ready to step back, and get the value necessary to have the biggest pay-day you need to fund the next stage of your life.

So how do you ensure you get the maximum value from your business and not leave funds on the table?

One person who knows how to do this is Kerry Boulton from The Exit Strategy Group.

When it comes to being able to ‘monetise’ a business for sale, Kerry Boulton has over $15.4 million worth of runs on the board from businesses she has successfully helped build and sell over the past three decades.

Described by most people who meet her as an elegant, serial entrepreneur, Kerry was the first woman to manage and own an international freight forwarding company when she negotiated the buyout of Freight Management International… a division of the publicly listed company, Mayne Nickless Ltd.  She successfully sold the business nine years later after a multi-million dollar turnaround. 

Over the past 20 years Kerry has mentored many owners through successful business growth… positioning them for their ultimate sale.  Kerry works with business owners to help them create their business exit strategy, and - a life after the business. 

Cold hard facts Kerry has uncovered include:
•    81% of Australian business owners plan to retire in the next 10 years
•    53% of them have no exit strategy
•    22% will just shut shop

I asked Kerry four questions on “Game Changes to Maximise the Value of Your Business so you can Exit in Style”
1.    Do business owners actually know what an exit strategy is?
2.    Why is it important to have an exit strategy? Are there any common triggers that cause owners to put their businesses up for sale? 
3.    What would be the key areas owners need to focus on to make their business saleable?
4.    How are businesses valued? 

And here is her response:



Kerry may be found at www.TheExitStrategyGroup.com.au, where they may also get can get a copy of her FREE book “The Uncensored Truth about Exit Strategies – 10 Myths Every Business Owner Must Know Before Creating Their Exit Strategy”.

Do you want to restore real value in your business?

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  It is the lack of control they have over their business, and eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

The problems lie in the dark recesses of the business, unseen and un-resolved.  Illumination is provided by knowledge of what is happening in the business, and how to respond.

For more than 27 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows so there is real value in their business.

If you would like to discuss how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here



© Copyright 2015 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

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