Monday, 26 October 2009

Stamp out the Sales V Marketing culture in your Company

Stamp out the Sales V Marketing culture in your Company

West London based business owner and author, Rod Sloane, said today that businesses that want to reduce the cost of new client acquisition and become more profitable need to first, end the internal fight between sales and marketing and then, increase sales and marketing alignment.

Rod Sloane, author of soon to be published book “Alignment...the Secret to getting your Sales and Marketing Teams working together” said “If your Sales and Marketing teams are fighting over language, leads and resources then your business is going to suffer. Most Sales and Marketing departments cannot even agree the definition of a lead. Get them to agree that first. Get them working together, not working against each other. That is the start to making wining new business easier and becoming more profitable”

“Alignment...the Secret to getting your Sales and Marketing Teams working together” is due to be published by Sunmakers Publishing in late 2009

# # #

ENDS

Editors Notes
1. Rod Sloane works with established businesses that want to grow their revenue and reduce their cost of new client acquisition. This is delivered through keynote speeches and in house company workshops. Sloane is also the author of “121 Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business”.
Rod Sloane
12 Newland Gardens
Ealing
London
W13 9TR
P: +44(0)20 8940 0498
M: +44(0)7957 422203
W: http://no-bullbusiness.blogspot.com/
E: rod@rodsloane.co.uk
T: http://twitter.com/RodSloane

Monday, 19 October 2009

London Author claims Barack Obama should have won the Nobel Marketing Prize NOT the Peace Prize

MEDIA RELEASE…………….
For Immediate Release For Further information contact:
Rod Sloane Tel: +44(0)208 840 0498

London Author claims Barack Obama should have won the Nobel Marketing Prize NOT the Peace Prize

Ealing based Author and speaker Rod Sloane claims that Barack Obama is the World's Leading marketing expert. Sloane will be speaking about Obama success at “How To Barack Obama Your Business!” at the King George Conference and Banqueting Centre, Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park 6pm on Tuesday October 20th.

Rod Sloane, owner of Rod Sloane’s Small Business Marketing, has studied the methods and tactics Barack Obama used to win the US Presidential Race. “Barack Obama brilliantly exploited Seven Marketing Tactics to win the 2008 Presential Election. He's World Class. I believe all businesses need to know about these successful tactics” says Sloane. “Thanks to the support of local sponsors, there's no fee to attend How to Barack Obama your Business.”

“How To Barack Obama Your Business!” starts at 6pm on Tuesday 20th October at the King George Conference and Banqueting Centre, next to the Holiday Inn, 713 Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, Ilford, Redbridge IG2 7RH. Registration here: http://ow.ly/ukJW

# # #

ENDS

Editors Notes

1. Rod Sloane’s Small Business Marketing works with established businesses that want to grow to the next level. This is delivered by a free electronic newsletter, speaking, special reports, audio CDs, coaching, consulting and workshops. Sloane is also the author of “121 Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Small Business”.
Rod Sloane
12 Newland Gardens
Ealing
London
W13 9TR
T: +44(0)20 8940 0498
W: http://www.rodsloane.com/
E: mailto:rods@ducttapemarketingcoach.com

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Why is Sales and Marketing Alignment so Difficult?

Sales and Marketing Alignment is more challenging than it should be, this is often due to the fact that sales people are focussed on the short term i.e. this quarter and marketing is faced on the medium/long term.

In my recent podcast Christine Crandell gave a great ten point check list that you can use to help your company to get closer sales and marketing alignment.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

2009 Top Ten Sales and Marketing Alignment Implementations

Align your sales and marketing and you are likely to convert more marketing leads into sales and reduce the cost on new client acquisition. So who is doing this well? The purpose of this article is to find out who you would nominate as the best companies to to this world wide.

Now thanks to those smart guys at DemandGen Report who hosted the 2009 Sales & Marketing Alignment Awards we already have three.

Cisco
Automation tools are helping Cisco’s call centres prioritise which prospects to target and then improving the results in scheduling qualified appointments for sales partners. Cisco increased appointments with SMB/SME prospects by 25%.

Sourcefire
Sourcefire created an advanced lead-scoring program. The program allows Sourcefire to evaluate and adjust the quality and quantity of its leads based on feedback from the company’s sales organization. The lead scoring system has been able to show a 25% increase in sales productivity.

ADX
Employing a new eMail service in late October of 2008 allowed ADX to capture 60 qualified leads for their new service in the first 90 days.

Who would you add to this list to make the top ten?

Friday, 18 September 2009

Rebooting My Blog

Did you miss me when I was away?
Yes, ah thanks.
No, yes I know that I need to try harder.

My last blog posting prior to this was August 19th, that's nearly a whole month ago.

So have I been on holiday or on retreat.

No!!

I have just been quiet.
Yes quiet!

But that's all about to stop now, and from next week.

From next week I will be blogging with purpose but maybe less often.

Trying to blog every day proved just too challenging for this Blackpool boy.
So from now on expect to see a couple of postings per week.

These will be much more focussed than before on Sales, Marketing
and the Alignment of Sales and Marketing.

I have lots of new stuff for you, but that's coming next week.

So all I have to say now that it's good to be back and I look
forward to speaking ( do you speak from a blog) real soon.

Chiao!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

2009's Best YouTube Video So Far

One mam's view on the collapse of the Old Media

Quite a singer too.

Don't worry if you don't get all the references I didn't


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Why are business books so boring?

Look at your bookshelves.

If they're anything like mike they're groaning under the weight of worthy business books. Lots with very exiting titles. “In Search of Excellence” “The Trusted Advisor” “Advanced Selling Techniques” All good stuff, they are nice to look at, the problem comes when you open them.


What do you see?


Words!


Lots of little words!


20,000 + Words!

That feels like work, brain work.

Why can't business books appeal to the child in us?





Why do they have to be so high brow?


I think it says more about the low self esteem of the author.


I need to write something that's worthy.


C'mon appeal to the child in me!


I might just start to read it!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Does your friendly local Printer do this?

Purbrooks are a Wimbledon based printing company that lead with being green, vegetable based inks, low wastage and stuff like that. So what you might think?

But it's what else that Purbrooks and Martin Stern does that is of interest. Along side the printing company runs a branding company Visual Direction that helps with design, brochures, identity and branding. A printing company that is also a marketing house. Wow!

I have long believed that printers should be the best marketeers out there and should be advising clients on marketing not paper size?

Does your printer help you win more business or just talk about delivery schedules?

What else should you really be helping clients do?

How can you really help their business?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Cricket, Beer and Marmite!

Do you like Marmite?

The theory goes that you either love the dark stuff or loathe it. It's hard to be indifferent to Marmite. In fact go to their web site and you are asked whether you like or loathe it

Now I love Marmite so much so that when they bring out a Special Marston's Pedigree Edition for the Ashes, of course I buy it. Cricket, beer and Marmite...bloke heaven!




So how do you service the people who really like your stuff?
What else do they like? Offer them a special. They will love you for it.

What's your special?

Friday, 31 July 2009

Join me on the West London NetWalk Friday August 7th

I am hosting a NetWalk on the afternoon of Friday 7th.

It's an opportunity to meet and network in a relaxed format.

Hope you can make it.

Details on Facebook

Thursday, 30 July 2009

“How to Rod Sloane your Marketing!”

Hey my mojo's pretty high today, how's yours?

Now even me, in all modesty, I probably wouldn't run ad ad or workshop entitled “How to Rod Sloane your Marketing!” I'm too modest..but you could promote it for me, OK?

However I have a presentation entitled “How to Barack Obama your Business!” that people get excited about. What does it mean? Innovation, Story-telling, Change? So...

Why not turn a real name into a verb. After all people don't carry out a search enquiry on Google.com they just Google it.

If I put your name in the place of “How to Barack Obama your Business!” e.g. “How to John Smith your Business!” what would it mean?

Do you know?

Tip: Ask people around you...

Find out what your name means as a verb and you have some real currency with your marketing “How to Rod Sloane your Name!”

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Put your message on a t-shirt

Vic Osteen suggests that you develop a catch phrase for your business.
Brevity is key here, you should be aiming for around a six word phrase.

A phrase that not only describes what you do, but how you do it.

Both content and style.

You know "Don't leave home without it" "The World's Favourite Airline"

Now would you say your catch phrase, more importantly would others?

Now, the acid test, put your catch phrase on a t-shirt.

Would you wear it?

Would others?

Would someone spend £10 on it

That's what mine sell for!!

Great for summer, autumn and ...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Start Ya Bastard!

How much time do you spend marketing?

You know if I could just get the work in through the door then I wouldn't have to any of that marketing, admin or planning stuff. Maybe I could just automate or outsource all that stuff. I just want to do the work!

Ring true?

Doh! That is dumb thinking in my view and probably means you ain't charging enough, buster!

Yes you aren't charging enough!

Now I don't believe in the the so called 4 hour working week, but I do believe in the 24 hour work week. You should be able to do all the work you need to do, make all the money you need to make in three days a week. Chris Barrow who works with dentists suggests you work three days a week for 40 weeks a year. That is 120 fee producing days.

The rest of the time is free, planning or marketing. Make sense?

Here is my tip for 2009.

Double the amount of time you currently spend on marketing.

Not sure what to do with extra time then call me and I will tell what to do.

Go on all me now 07957 422203 and I'll tell you.

As the Australians would say “Start Ya Bastard!”

Call me!

Monday, 27 July 2009

How to Get Sales And Marketing Working Together

The biggest concern for any business is to make a profit.

This goes for any type and size of business. If the business is not in it to make profits, what good is it for them to be in business?
How can a business become profitable? It boils down to two important elements. In order for a company to make money, they have to sell their products.
This is where the sales team gets into gear. They provide the product to the customer and close the sale.
But how can they do this if no person sees the product. This is where the marketing department comes in.
As you can see, both the sales and marketing departments must exist and work together if the company is to make money.

There is one problem however. Many companies are going under because there is no unity or alignment, if you will.
This causes problems for the company. The sales department starts blaming the marketing department for not giving them
solid and reliable leads. While at the same time the marketing department blames the sales department for going after
the wrong buyer, or uses the wrong sales tactics to do the selling.

On the other hand, businesses that report huge successes and profits, have their sales and marketing aligned perfectly,
or have made improvements in the way they earn and keep customers.

Based on a survey that was done in January 2005, out of 1400 businesses that responded, 32% of them have their sales
and marketing aligned. In fact, they consider the alignment of the sales and marketing team to top priority for them
and for any business.

If you look at trends and compare companies, you will notice something of interest.
The companies that are doing well know who and where to market their products to. They present their company in the best light possible.
The sales department or sales team takes what the marketing team develops, and uses the leads they are given wisely.
They focus on what the benefits of their product are, understand what the customer is looking for, and deliver it each and every time.

Many fortune 500 companies are like this. They focus on keeping their marketing and sales aligned.
They know how vital it is to the company's bottom line. The more the sales and marketing team are in alignment,
the better chance they have to sell their products.

Based on statistics, those who have their entire business flowing smoothly find their business growth is about
5% faster each year compared to their competitors, who do not have their businesses aligned.
And of these businesses, they find that they close 38% more sales than those who do not have their sales
and marketing people working in harmony together.

This is an astonishing number. If you look at the above numbers closely, it really tells a true story about the
state of companies who keep their sales and marketing aligned as compared to those who don't.

What do you think is the difference between companies who do great and those who don't?
The biggest factor is the way the sales and marketing team work.
If the sales and marketing team work together, a lot can get done, which can work in harmony with the company.
Each person can work together with another with the goal of accomplishing one task, and that is to gain sales and make profits.

But if the sales and marketing team work against each other, you have what is referred to as an internal problem,
which if not corrected quickly, can escalate to the point the company can go bankrupt and close its doors for good.
This is why a great strategy for aligning the sales and marketing team has to be in place, for the company to succeed.
As you read through this book, you will better understand this process of alignment as you are presented with facts
and examples from both sides - those companies in alignment, and those companies not in alignment.
By looking at both sides, you will better understand why companies, who have their sales and marketing in alignment,
succeed, while those who are not in alignment end up failing. The information will also help you see how important
unification within the company is so important for the natural progression of the company.


This is an excerpt from my next book "Alignment: How to Get Sales and Marketing Working Together"
Copyright © 2009 Rod Sloane

Friday, 24 July 2009

Please, Show Me How me to use Your stuff on Video!

Video is excellent for marketing because

1.It makes your product or service come alive. It;s the closest I can get to touching and playing without having the physical product.

2.It can work as a simple tutorial after I have bought yr product. Great for non-techies like me. How do I get your thing to work and do...

3.It's fun . People watch TV for fun, they equate video with fun and entertainment.

Here is an example of "How to" use a product I have bought the Zoom H2 digital recorder. 90 second video, enough!
N.B.I have no relationship with Zoom apart from being a customer.







Now it might seem a little cheesy but it does the job. Message to Zoom...Where is your YouTube Channel?

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Branding is really just Storytelling

I'm not a huge fan of the branding culture.

And don't get me started on all that personal branding nonsense.

In my view there is a lot of hot air spoken by a lot of supposed experts.

However where I do agree with branding types is that there must be an idea at the centre of your business. An idea that is customer centric and then you must convey that idea to the market in the form of a story that your market gets.

So all branding is storytelling.

Is it that simple?

Remember simple is often not very easy!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

What is the most effective way to get a decision maker (Director or VP level) to respond for an appointment?

Cold calling can be hard.

Networking can be tiresome.

Why not save the planet and send more email?

OK, seriously.

Have you tried using Mike Southon's Magic Email?

It works, it's easy and you won't suffer rejection.

Check out the website below.

I get about a 14% response to cold emails when I am going after appointments and that was with Managing Partners in law firms.


http://www.beermat.biz/shop_item.php?id=8

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

What is your best solution to marketing despite the economic downturn?

Live by your Marketing Plan

1. Agree your marketing strategy and stick to it.

2. Write your one page marketing plan that plans out the next 180 days.

3. Pick threeLead Generation tactics, mix online and offline, old and new technologies.
Do what others aren't!

4. Review and Adjust every 30 days

5. Hold yourself accountable to what you commit to.

6. Take action

"Unless you are doing everything you possibly can, you have a business development problem, not an economic one." Bill Bachrach

Monday, 20 July 2009

Market like a Salesperson and Sell like a Marketer.

My marketing responsibility is to get prospects to Know, Like, Trust and Try my offerings.

Now you might argue that trust fellows the trial period, maybe.

Do you have a phrase that moves the prospect from marketing to customer. Stephen Shapiro's favourite phrase at this stage is “What do you think?” Simple isn't it.

My Sales responsibility is to invite prospects to Buy from me, Re-Buy and then to Refer me.

Do you or does your business have a system for doing this, or do you just wing it?

Please don't wing it...that's the style of the amateur

Please create and have a system, it might be simply ticking boxes or it might be a software solution.

Then you can “Market like a Salesperson and Sell like a Marketer.”

Friday, 17 July 2009

The Big Leap of Faith

Marketing types (like me) will often talk about how prospective customers get to Know, Like and Trust you. They (and I) will bang on about techniques and tactics to lead prospects down this path as if at the end of it is something miraculous happens and they suddenly buy. Wrong!!

Have you ever bought a car from a car showroom?

Unless you had just won the Lottery, you probably don't walk into a car dealers you know, like and trust and say “I want that one in red!”.

What do you do?

You ask for a test drive. You ask for a try.

So how do prospects try you?

How do they sample you?

Do you offer a taster?

It should be simple, fun-size and no risk.

Go develop your “test drive” and market that.

Market the try!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The most effective way to get a decision maker to respond to your email?

Who wants more email?

Do you?

I don't, but there is a simple way to use email to generate business meetings.

It was developed by my mate, Mike Southon and it's free!!

Have you tried using Mike Southon's Magic Email.

Check it out here.

I get about a 14% response to cold emails when I am going after appointments and that was with Managing Partners in law firms.

Try it

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The "One-Thing" Marketing Tactic

I have said this before but I'll say it again...

"How many marketing activities do you do?"

I bet there's a lot both off and on-line.

Have you ever just stopped and listed them all?

My suggestion is that you bin a lot and just focus on the one that gets you and your sales force talking to more prospects.

Go for that one.
I bet you don't even know what it is?
Stop 99% of the others.

Focus on THE one, put your efforts there, get better at it, become the best.
When you have gone as possibly far as you can with the one.
Then, and only then is it time to start on number two.

Most of my new prospects first see me speak at an event such as “How to Barack Obama Your Business!”.
They try me many times before they even consider hiring me as a marketing aid.

You know the old adage that you have to stroke prospects up to nine times before they are ready to buy.

Get stroking!

Where do prospects want to try you and your business out?

I know that it's easy to be seduced by the latest fad. Instead, take your time and work on your best.

There are no silver bullets in marketing.
No one shot.

But you will be better off doing fewer things better.

You will be better off doing just one thing better.

What is that one thing?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Stop emailing me...

...I won't open it

Stop tweeting me, I'll ignore them

Stop texting me. I can't understand your abbreviations.

Stop blogging, hey just stop blogging.

I haven;'t got the time for all this stuff!

If you are serious about talking with me, then pick up the phone and call.

Call me, it's the best way you communicate.

Call someone today, even better now.

Go on, make that call!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Be on time!

Is there really any excuse to be late?

Is there?

Taking away the major exceptions of War and Terrorism is there any reason?

Traffic and transport aren't, leave earlier.
If you car breaks down or the train or plane are cancelled you probably have to reschedule.

The weather isn't, Watch the forecast.

Sorry no excuse for being late, just your bad planning and leaving lack of your time.

It's your fault

It's rude

It's discourteous.

There is no such thing as fashionably late in business.

Be on time

Even better, never be late

Five minutes early is on time!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

"You're Born an Original. Don't Die a Copy"

That's the title of a best selling book by John Mason.

Says it all, have the strength to be yourself not what other think you should be.

What are you an original at?

Do you know?

That's what you should be spending your time doing, finding out, not copying.

When you tell me what it is, please drop me a line.

And please, don't copy me!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Squeezing the Lemon

The Lemon Song is a famous Led Zeppelin song from their second album. It is in turn based on many earlier blues standards. Now the phrase “Squeezable my Lemon” has many, well let's just say, adult overtones.

That's not what I mean when I say Squeeze the Lemon.

To me it means you have to “work” hard to get the maximum from any of your resources. Just having them in itself won't bring results. This is particularity true if you want better alignment between your sales and marketing teams.

To Squeeze the Lemon, your sales and marketing have to learn how to work together, speak the same language and agree on what they both want.

Squeeze the Lemon for the juice NOT the pips!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Is there More to Marketing than Lead Generation?

Leads
Leads
Leads

Who generating them in your business? Marketing or Sales.

Who is responsible for the quality of those leads?

It's all Marketing's fault isn't it. Those guys live in an ivory tower and are out of touch with real world of sales, aren't they?

But doesn't marketing have an even more important role than lead generation?

What am I talking about?

Marketing's real role is to come up with a single idea that you tell as a message, a story.

Tell your story and you will start to attract the right leads.

All you have to do is the your single idea right.

Tie it into nostalgia, fear or happiness

What's “As good for you today as it's always been?”

Simple, but not easy?

What your single message?

Monday, 6 July 2009

How to Sell your Car in Less than Four Hours

It's 9.35am on Monday June 29th 2009. The MOT and tax on my VW Passat run out at the end of the month, that's tomorrow! Time to sell my motor, but can I do it in less than 24 hours? I call some bloke who runs a business called We Buy Your Car. After a few questions, he decides he doesn't want to buy my car. Then a brainwave, well I'm slow. I'll put a ad on Gumtree.com.

Now I have to confess I'm not sure how much my Passat is worth. It has 163,000 miles on the clock and the paint work is not A1. So I look at other Passats on Gumtree and come to a decision. I pop outside and take 3 pictures of my motor. Write the ad and upload the images. Easy peasy. Within an hour the phone starts to ring. Some chap wants to buy my car and can come over by 12.15. We meet he makes me an offer which I accept and he gives me the cash, I give him the log book, MOT certificate and the keys. Done. My car is sold by 1.30pm. Less than four hours. BTW, I received about a dozen calls!

My tips, keep the price realistic and make your headline stand out. I was really subtle with the phrase 'Bargain Price' in my headline.

When I told my wife, she was amazed, I got seven times more than she expected!

Friday, 3 July 2009

My Twitter Follow Friday suggestions for July 3rd 2009

Follow Friday is a nice little tradition on twitter where you recommend others. @NikkiPilkington has come up with the idea of writing a blog posting each week that recommends others. The Reason? Because twitter can get a little full with people's recommendations and it can have the opposite effect i.e. it turns people off.

So here is my first list of people you follow:

@NikkiPilkington writes about how to make sense of all this Web2.0 stuff. Now I don't always agree with Nikki, but she does make me stop and think. She also informs and comes from a good place.

@VicOsteen part Moses, part Darth Vader. The Godfather when it comes to the marketing of a professional speaker. Always on the money.

@BernieJMitchell Talks about networking especially in East London and Essex and yes he promotes some of my events.

@MediaCoach will show you how to get your name in the media and how to be comfortable and confident about it and finally...

@PaulSloane yes he is my brother. Teller of corny jokes and master of innovation. You can never go wrong following a Sloane!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

How to create a Big Mac for your Business.

Along with quarterpounder the Big Mac is one of McDonald's iconic products.

Now you probably thought that Ray Kroc, the Moses-type character, leading McDonald's, who came up with the Big Mac. That's what I tended to assume, but I was wrong too.

The Big Mac was created by a unknown and largely forgotten McDonald's franchisee, Jim Delligatti. And it took Delligatti two years to persuade McDonald's to accept his innovation.

At the Ray Kroc supported the introduction of the Hulaburger, which consisted of a slice of grilled pineapple, with some cheese, on a bun. The Hulaburger flopped!

So don't expect your leader to come up with all the bright ideas, it might just be time for the boys and girls in marketing and sales to come up with your next MoneyMaker product or service.

Step back, Moses!

Anyone fancy a Hulaburger?

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Make Sure there is no Moses in Your business.

Marketing and Sales can work Together to Develop and Execute a Profitable Business Strategy.

Yes, they can.

First though, we need to get past the centralised control v field operations barriers that exist.

This starts from having a open democratic company culture.

Do you have one?

If the culture is set by the business founder and distributed from a centralised temple, then it won't work.

You don't need a Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments.

Centralised control of marketing doesn't work any more. That's so last century, man. Come on, you can do better than that. Marketing and sales are bright people they need to come up with the ideas.

Take a look at how Zappos.com have developed their culture, from the bottom up. Not top down.

It's the staff who develop their culture, who work on it very day and deliver that to customers.

Consider having your marketing and sales own the business development strategy and delivering it to your market.

Let them create the plan. You don't need Moses.

And if you are Moses, remember he didn't make it to the Promised Land!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

As Good As It Gets

I love the argumentative and awkward character that Jack Nicholson plays in the movie “As Good as It Gets!” It's Jack, but even more obstreperous than normal. Coming out of the Doctor's surgery he turns round to all the patients in the waiting room and utters the immortal lines “What if, this is good as it gets?” to a bemused reaction.

And that's how most directors of marketing and sales seem to think when reviewing the lack of alignment between their teams. Well it's not very good, but it's as good as it gets.

Now there is plenty of both anecdotal and scientific research about what happens with this failure to align. However, what people are looking for is how to fix it.

I think people want simple, not complex solutions.

It's not about technology.

It's not about software.

It's about people, that simple.

If marketing is seen as Fancy-Dan head office function and sales is seen as a Neanderthal field function. Then why the surprise?

The first task is to break down that head office/field office barrier and get people mixing, talking and going on calls together.

Simply put, what they first need to do is they need to spend time together

Monday, 29 June 2009

What have you sold today?

I sold my beloved VW Passat today in less than four hours from start to finish.

Placed an ad on Gumtree with an eye-catching headline

Sold it for cash.

I got seven times more than my wife expected.

So....

What have you sold today and if you have when are you going to get paid for it?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Meet Me in Newbury Park, Essex on Monday July 13th





Stop Trying to be Liked!

Your job is not to be liked!

Your job is not to be popular

Your job and role is to serve your constituency by spreading ideas to them that they find useful and practical through your products and services.

It takes a pretty immature attitude to need to be liked.

Have something of value to offer and go promote it.

Now, I'm not suggesting you be obnoxious or rude, and it's OK with being likeable, but please don't lead with your needs. Lead with your constituency's needs.

And stop talking about your family. I don't care!

Have to go now to pick my daughter up from her class. Have I told you she's the ...

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Collaboration is Not a Dirty Word

Having grown up on a diet of John Mills, WW2, Prisoner Of War movies on TV, I have must have heard the phrase “We don't collaborate with the enemy” and “Collaborators are cowards” countless times. Collaboration became a dirty word.

Now in business I have to reprogramme myself. Reaching out to others, running join ventures and joint promotions are ways of spreading the risk. Other promote my events. After all it's much easier to promote somebody or something else than yourself. It's more believable.

So..

Collaboration is Not a Dirty Word

Work with others, stop trying to control everything.
You can't and it doesn't bring great results.
Does it?


Collaboration should be your best friend and tool.

Start talking, pick up the phone.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Marry your Best Benefit!

I was evaluating a client's marketing brochure the other day and ended up confused.

I couldn't see the purpose of the brochure. She was telling people how good their business was and what they did. But reading it as a prospect I couldn't understand what was in it for me

My conclusion?

Just one benefit in your market piece, please!

If you talked about one single benefit to the exclusion of all others what would it be?

Have you got one benefit that you can explain and that prospects want? I bet you haven't!

Is it measurable and deliverable?

“£75,000 worth of new clients in 17weeks”

Good, maybe

The toughest of you might even say that is too feature led.

What would this new business and in that time do for a business?

Think in terms of both hard and soft benefits, the mind and the heart, masculine and feminine...can I say that?

Go and focus on one single benefit!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak

It's an old fashioned sales line.

Focus on what excites people NOT the product, NOT the thing.

I love the smell of open air BBQs in the summer.

The smell and smoke makes me salivate and want to eat sausages!

What makes your prospects salivate?

It ain't your products, it's how it makes them feel.

Market that! Go on make them salivate!

Pass the ketchup.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Why most blogs are deadly boring and dull to read.

Simple!

Because the writer goes on about themselves, their ideas, their business or worst of all their family,

Nobody cares about you, only your mother and she could be jiving you, too! Sorry BB

I don't care about you.

And you don't care about me.

When was the last time you picked up the phone to me?

Go on, when?

Never.

You see you don't care, do you!

Stop pretending you do, and stop listening to all those new age hippies who talk about this crap.

So stop talking about yourself and start talking about me and my interests.

And no, I don't care where you are going on holiday.

Have you been to Blackpool? See!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Your Logo and Colour are NOT your marketing.

Logos, Themed Colours and websites are NOT your marketing.

Please don't obsess about these things, who notices them anyway?

Your marketing is YOUR message.

What do you have to say to your constituency and what can they repeat to the world?

L'Oreal market all their beauty products to women “Because they're worth it!” A powerful, repeatable message and improved from the original “Because I'm worth it!”

What is your message and how are you going to communicate that to your constituency?

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Theo the Magician

Theo the Magician does something to stand out and be different to other magicians.

He wears a bright blue jacket covered with rabbits. Other magicians hate it when Theo turns up, he looks like a magician, people get what he does.

How can you dress or show up and people get what you do straight away?

See what Theo looks like when he shows up.

Monday, 15 June 2009

How to prepare for a media interview

Here is a quick Audioboo interview I conducted with Alan Stevens,
The Media Coach, about preparing for media interviews.

Friday, 12 June 2009

It's Friday and I feel good.

Must be listening to James Brown full blast at 7.47am

Therefore, I want this to be about you, not me.
However it's kind of weird to write when it's about you and your business, not me.

So here's what I want to say, How can I help you get your message out to clients and prospects today. How? Call me. Text me, AudioBoo me and I will help you. No obligation. No fee.

Give it a try I want to help as I'm feeling particularly altruistic.

Get in touch.

In the meantime here's one of my AudioBoos to listen to.


Listen!

I feel good

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Design in Marketing

I received through the mail today a 5CD collection from a well known expert on Postcard Marketing. What strikes me is how cheap is looks, because no money, I mean no money has been spent on design. It's all black print on white paper even on the cover of the CDs.

Now the author of this material may claim that this is a white label pre-release version. I hope they are right.

Because there is no colour, no design, no graphics and no pictures. It looks like some bootleg from the 1970's. Hang on some of those bootleg albums had design even.

I encourage you to spend time and money, yes money, on designing your marketing materials and products. Start to collecting samples of stuff that appeals to your senses.

Remember as my friend Scott McKain says “all business is show business.”

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Top Ten Ways to use AudioBoo

Audioboo is a free iPhone application that allows you to make a 5 minute recording on your iPhone then upload it to the AudioBoo website. No chance to edit, you have to get it right in one take, although you can pause the recording. If you want to, AudioBoo will automatically distribute a link to your twitter and Facebook profiles. You can also cut and paste the embedded code and URL of the audio. Enough of the geek stuff.

I like AudioBoo in that in my opinion you start to get a real feeling about the personality of the broadcaster. We are all broadcasters now.

Quicker and dirtier than a traditional podcast. Is Audioboo the future of podcasting?

How can you use this technology? Here are some ways AudioBoo is being used

1. Simply to broadcast information, news, or promotion about you or someone else

2. Conduct a 5 minute interview

3. Record a speech or performance, yours or someone else.

4. Review a book, movie, performance etc.

5. Ask for boos from your constituency about what's happening. ITV did this during the FA Cup Final. BBC Radio London also asked for boos from the street during the tube strike.

6. Asking for feedback and comments, Tony Blackburn does asks for requests for his radio show.

7. Quizzes. Stephen Fry runs a Mystery Word and Mystery Person boo

8. Audio diary of a personal event, birth of a baby

9. Organising where to meet with friends or conspirators!

10. Testing whether you can deliver an Audioboo from your iPhone

My Audioboo recordings are here

Got any more?

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

How do you market and sell a commodity?

What if your prospects see your products and services as being similar if not identical to other suppliers. Then, what do you have to market? Availability, service, price, delivery.

These are hard things to compete on, because things can go wrong.

People mess up

How about competing on you?
Yes, you.

Not invisible stuff like integrity and authenticity.

How about being able to tell your story? Why do you do what you do?

How about competing on your difference. How are you different to your competition?

Tell your market about these things

Simple questions, tough answers.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Marketing Monday

Every Monday on twitter, some of the community enter into marketing Monday. You might want to share ideas or ask questions. I run a marketing clinic for 30 minutes where you can message me your marketing challenge, all on twitter.

So what?

How can you use a platform like twitter to showcase your expertise?

How can you help or add value?

There's also a Mum's Monday and a Money Monday on twitter.
How about a Magic Monday, Web Wednesday.
Enough of the alliteration you could also run a Project Manager's Thursday.

Twitter gives you a chance to broadcast to and interact with that follow you, your constituency.

It's easy and simple, go add value.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Penny Power

Penny is the founder of Ecademy.com and takes a kindly maternal role to the members there. For that alone she deserves to be mentioned and written about. However it's her views on modern networking that will challenge you most

@PennyPower sees the majority of us wrapped up in a style of networking that is Closed, Controlled and Selective. Penny suggests that we choose to network with those who we see as useful to us and dismiss other as being of less value.

Penny believes that to be successful on-line we now need to be Open, Random and Supportive. Less hierarchical and trying to be in control.

You can see the former as being atypical masculine, corporate behaviour and the latter as being more feminine and family behaviour.

Now, I'm a bloke, so you can guess where I feel more natural. “Pass me the remote now, please!”

How about you, how Open, Random and Supportive are you?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Been on a tWalk?

Oh my God! You haven't!! Why not?

OK ,I'll stop being a teenager.

A tWalk combines there things, twitter education/master-class,
networking and an organised walk.
The last two have been referred to as a netwalk.

I attended a twalk yesterday that was organised by Tom Evans
aka @thebookwright in the Surrey Hills.
Excellent day to learn and network.

You'll find my audioboo below.
Or you can search twalk on twitter.

Listen!

If you get a chance to attend to take part in a twalk, my advice is to take it!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

"Shut Up, Now!"

Sometimes we are better off saying less!

Do you know how hard that is for a professional speaker to say?

You hear enough from me, don't you?

You know what I do.

Today, I'm simply going to shut up and give you a rest.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Have a good day.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

What is Twitter?

It's a phenomenon, 10 million users?

No advertising

Free communication, but what is it?

I think that twitter is: A simple way to communicate your message to your constituency.

So,do you know what your message is and what your constituency wants?

Ah!!!!

That's your homework

That's marketing.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Can you See the Real Me?

Track 2, Side One of the Who's Quadrophenia is one the boys best performances, the song is “The Real Me”. It has one of the best bass lines in rock music. Love it.

Now part of my goal with this blog is for you to see me, the real Roderick P. Sloane. I want you to see the real me, because.... I want you to see how I'm different. Dramatically Different!

Obviously, you can only get a flavour of what I'm like from my words, important even though they are.

So if you can see and hear me, then maybe you get an impression of how I'm different.

One way I choose to do this is with AudioBoo which is an iPhone application. It allows you to make a quick recording on your iPhone and then upload to your profile on AudioBoo. All happens very quickly. It's like an audio version of twitter, maybe!

You can listen to my AudioBoo profile here.

You can see my picture.

Be Different, Not Better!

Can you see the Real Me?

Friday, 29 May 2009

The Five Pillars of Apple's Marketing

Steve Chazin was a former Apple marketing executive has explained 5 of its best marketing ideas in a powerful e-book "Marketing Apple: 5 Secrets of the World's Best Marketing Machine"

Chazin notes Apple:

1. Doesn't Sell Products
People but what other people have.
It sells club membership to the Apple tribe

2. Is Never "First to Market"
Make something good greater.
It moves into existing marketing places.

3. Empowers Early Adopters
Help your customers help you.
They become the Apple sales force.

4. Make their Message Memorable
Boil your story down to it's syrupy goodness!
People need to be able to rapidly absorb, retain, and
repeat your sales message in the first 2-5 seconds.

5. Goes One Step Further
Try and surprise and delight your customers.
Make the customer feel good about their purchase.

How many of these 5 can you claim to do?

Thursday, 28 May 2009

KBO



During World War 2, Winston Churchill was famous for his motivational acronym KBO standing for “Keep Buggering On” . It was Churchill's way of saying it's tough but keep on.

KBO could well be the mantra for all businesses from the world's largest to the guy that gives away the free evening newspapers in London.

It's what you need to do worth your marketing. Keep on, Don't give up.

It was what I said to my telemarketing guy today when he asked me what more I wanted from him. KBO.

Don't need to say any more, do I.

KBO!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Value

When CEO's announce poor financial results, often they will talk about rising costs to explain their disappointing results. At the same time on-line message boards are flooded with that company's customers claiming it is poor customer service that is hurting the business. Take a look any any airline to see this pattern unfolding.

What customers are often saying is “You you're not giving me the value that I want”.

What value are you currently giving clients and prospects?

Not discounts, they want value.

Not freebies, they want value.

Assuming you don't do a straight pitch then a podcast offers value.

A blog offers value.

How do you offer value?

Offer some more!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

What Tony Blackburn can teach you about Modern Marketing.

Ever since I first started to listening to pop radio in the UK, Tony Blackburn ruled the airwaves, from being the first voice on Radio 1 to hosting Top of the Pops. Blackburn was every where. Then his popularity waned and he seemed a little cheesy and plastic. However he's still broadcasting in London on Smooth Radio and Radio London.

So what?

Tony uses Audio Boo a simple iPhone audio blogging tool to communicate with his listeners. He lets you know when he's appearing on the radio. You can Boo, those in the know just call it a Boo, Tony and he will mention you on the radio.

Think of it like an audio email.

You simply make a recording on your iPhone and send/ publish it to the Audio Boo web site. It take s minutes. No audio editing. You just add a picture and a simple title. You can then use twitter & facebook to let the world know.

It's a great way to review a book or movie.

Simple way to promote your event.

You might just to want to talk with Tony Popfantastic Blackburn.

Start booing!

Monday, 25 May 2009

So What?

Just been listening to Jeremy Nicholas on the radio talking about the "so what" test that journalists use to determine what is the story in the news. When journalists read a press release they ask themselves that question. "Bank opens new branch in Lincoln"...so what "New Bank Manager ran slowest ever time in London Marathon" now that's a story.

So What?

how does that help your marketing?

Well, it obviously is a little test for all your media releases.

But it also helps with any marketing message you might have, any benefits you claim.

I can build a web site in a week....so what?

I can produce a set of financial accounts in three days....so what?

I have a one page marketing plan template....so what?

You have to work harder, think more and dig deeper to answer the so what question.

So what?

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Do you have the bottle to Be Different?

“Having the bottle” is street language for having the courage to stand up and do something. Maybe it originates from Dutch courage. I hope that you are reading this totally sober, I maybe have some caffeine in my system, that's all.

Why do you need to be different?

Because nobody really cares, they don't.

Accept that we live in an instant gratification society, look at Twitter. I want it and want it now, Look at me now. As a professional speaker I am probably as guilty as anybody in wanting instant gratification. I want the audience to laugh at my jokes and be hooked on my stories. Yes, I want the applause. I know all about being shallow. Calling me deep is an insult to both of us!

Growing up we want to be like everybody else, our mates. Going to work we have to fit in. Now that you run your business or want success in sales you need a different template, Charlie.

That old template won't work

Be different and you stand out!

Be different and you are remembered!

Be different and you may just be considered remarkable!

Be different and I may notice you enough to care

Please don't confuse this with all that personal branding tosh. It's not about whether you wear a black or pink shirt. A shirt is just a shirt.

Tell me how your ideas are different not your clothing!

Go on...Be Different, Not Better!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Getting Prospects to Believe in your Service Based Business.

Are you a services or product based business?

Even if you are a printer or landscaper and you produce stuff; I would suggest that it's your services that are likely to differentiate you from your competition. Aren't they?
Those invisible things make all the difference?

So how do you market the invisible?

With testimonials?
Maybe, but I would suggest that people might read who has given you the positive comment, without reading the comment. “Oh they got so-and-so to give them a positive comment”
There's a much better ways to do this now.

How about a podcast, where you make your clients the star of the show?

How about a podcast for the association you belong to, where you make your fellow association members the star?
I do this with Moving Voices for the Professional Speakers Association.

How about posting a video on your YouTube Channel.

This stuff is very low-cost and easy to do.

Make your clients the stars of your marketing and people may start to believe more in you and your services.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

My best marketing tip, stop all your marketing activities now, just stop, finito

No, I'm not suggest you give up on marketing, just call a halt and think.

How many marketing activities do you?
I bet there's a lot both off and on-line.

Have you ever just stopped and listed them all?

My suggestion is that you bin a lot and just focus on the one that gets you and your sales force talking to more prospects. Go for that one. I bet you don't even know what it is? Stop 99% of the others.

Focus on THE one, put your efforts there, get better at it, become the best. When you have gone as possibly far as you can with the one. Then, and only then is it time to start on number two.

Most of my new prospects first see me speak at an event such as “How to Barack Obama Your Business!”. They try me many times before they even consider hiring me as a marketing aid.

You know the old adage that you have to stroke prospects up to nine times before they are ready to buy.

Get stroking!

Where do prospects want to try you and your business out?

I know that it's easy to be seduced by the latest fad. Instead, take your time and work on your best.

There are no silver bullets in marketing. No one shot. But you will be better off doing fewer things better.

You will be better off doing just one thing better.

What is that one thing?

Monday, 18 May 2009

I don't like your language

I was speaking to the London Chapter of the Professional Speakers Association on Saturday about professional speaker marketing. I was explaining what I speak on and described it as “working with businesses who want to better align their sales and marketing” Yes I was speaking about alignment!

After my speech Michael Dodd gave me some feedback. You probably know Michael from his media reviews on BBC and Sky News. Michael told me maybe I should think of not using the word alignment. It was too management speak. And maybe the audience were unsure as to what it specifically meant.

Now of course, Michael is correct, or is he? Alignment is a jargon word my ideal target audience use, but I would be better of saying “working better together” for the rest of the world.

I needed to be more careful with my language for certain audiences. Do you use jargon or management speak that maybe your market is unsure of?

Maybe it's time to better align your key performance indicators

Friday, 15 May 2009

100 Not Out

Sports fans like statistics, especially US sports fans. For the English we love our cricket stats and the most heroic of those is to score one hundred runs, a century, in a Test Match (please Wikipedia Test Match if unsure) hopefully against Australia.




I have to admit it's now highly unlikely that I will score a century against the Aussies. So I play out my fantasy through my blog. How sad is that! And today is my one hundredth blog entry since I stated this blog. Today I achieve my century.

So I'm some what chuffed and full of my own self importance. I also believe that:

1.)I have only just started, my target is 500 entries and then a thousand.

2.) If I can do this, so can you. I want to encourage you to take up the blogging challenge and share your thoughts, ideas and experiences. On whatever subject. Come on, you are the story!

Finally, thanks for reading, without you this is just my mind talk!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Meet Me in London on Monday June 15th

I am delivering my workshop "How to Barack Obama Your Business!" at Old Bank of England, Fleet Street, London on Monday June 15th at 6.30pm.

This event is free to attend.

This event will be recorded for an audio CD release. Come and be part of the recording!

You can see the details over on the left there, click on the blue link for more details.

Hope to see you at the Bank the 15th.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

What's your big provocative idea, Sparky?

Improve your sales and marketing and you are giving your business a fighting chance.

So how do you make these disciplines more productive, efficient and effective?

Let's agree on what I mean by marketing.

Your marketing team comes up with the ideas and stories that you want to propagate.

Your sales team comes up with the individual message they take out to individual clients and help those clients and prospects to buy from you. OK, partner with you if you won't to go all lah-di-dah.

That makes it sound it all so easy, doesn't it? Well Sparky, that's because it is.

Do you have your ideas, clear?

Are they the same as everybody else or are they proactive?

Marketing should be coming up with big provocative ideas and stories to support them.
Selling then takes them to the market, individually.

What my big idea?

That unless you have a big provocative idea, you are are marketing a commodity, If you are marketing a commodity unless you are the quickest, cheapest or forget it, Sparky.

Twitter is a big provocative idea. Lager beer is a commodity.

What's your big provocative idea, Sparky?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

How to Stand Out in Your Market

1.Establish your Overt Benefit. What's In it for Me

2.Add a Reason to Believe. Why should I believe you?

3.Include your Dramatic Difference. Why should I care?

How does this work?

Michael is a friend of mine that offers accounting services.

If your accounting bill is over £1,500 per year he claims that he can save you over 50% off your next year's bill. Overt Benefit.

He has clients telling you this and he shows how on his YouTube videos and blogs. Reason to Believe.

He will push you, challenge you and hold you accountable to other cost savings in your business. A Dramatic Difference.

Can you do that in your business?

Yes you can.

If you need any help working out how to do this, you know where to turn. Was that subtle enough?

Monday, 11 May 2009

Why Should I Care?

Back in the early 1970's I was just another spotty teenager.

Halcyon Days!

And like most kids I loved rock music. It was escape and fantasy, my favourite band in the early 70's were the Who. In 1973 they released a brilliant album “Quadrophenia” about a self obsessed 60's mod kid Jimmy. The classic song from that album is 5.15 about a train journey. Yes, a British Rail journey from Waterloo to Brighton. This song starts with Pete Townsend singing the line”Why should I care?” Now it was then introspective, but it is the line clients and prospects think all the time.

Why Should I Care about your...

Business?

Products and Services?

Latest email?

Blog?

Your profitability?

They are not going to unless.....

in the words of Doug Hall unless you can show a Dramatic Difference.

Your Dramatic Difference answers the question “Why Should I Care?”

Clue. The answer is what you do for your market!

It's not that you're the biggest, oldest etc

Can you answer that?

Friday, 8 May 2009

Why should I believe anything you say?

Give me a Reason to Believe You

Why should I believe anything you say? You're in business and just trying to sell me your stuff! Aren't you, you evil capitalist?

Tough, hey! Doug Hall suggests Reason to Believe as his second law of Marketing Physics.

Now, most people will say OK look at my testimonials and what people say about me on-line. Quite frankly that's all bull. Isn't it?

Do you believe the comments movie makers add to movie posters outside the cinema? 'Course not.

Let me tell you, don't expect people to believe you, I don't. Expect people to be sceptical. They know that you after their dosh!

Give them something they can believe in. A demo, a test-drive, your book, your blog, your podcast, your ebook. Keep at 'em

As Tim Hardin sang “If I listened long enough to you, I'd find a way to believe that it's all true

Thursday, 7 May 2009

What Overt Benefit does your business deliver?

Doug Hall is somewhat of a contradiction. He's a geeky marketeer. A scientist interested in entrepreneurship. Maybe, he was attracted to the Dark Side? In his book “Jump Start Your Business Brain” Hall introduces the concept of the the Three Laws of Marketing Physics. See, I told you it was geeky.

Hall's first concept is that we should always offer an Overt Benefit, that answers the question What's in it for me? Can you answer that in a way that is meaningful, specific and measurable.

Not in some woolly, namby-pamby way like we build websites or put ink on paper. What hard benefit do you offer clients. Can you deliver profitable new clients in 13 weeks? Can you save me 33.5% of my tax bill? Can you make me 3 stone lighter in 3 months?

These results are specific make what you do the same?

What do I do?

I can show you how to increase your revenue by 15% in 17 weeks and double it in 23 months.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

What's New, Pussycat?

Today is the start of the international cricket season in England. England play the West Indies at Lords. Now, I'm a cricket and England supporter so I'm excited and full of anticipation.

Why? Because it's the start, the first game, it's new.

The media are talking about this match. A few Australians may even be watching!! The English team are not the world's best---by some margin! However, it's the new season, a chance to look forward and be optimistic.

Get the point?

We all look forward to the new. Whether is the new George Clooney movie, the new fashions from Milan or the new baseball season.

So what's new in your business?

How about a new service, product or marketing piece.

It doesn't have to be expensive, tweaking is OK.

Now you have reason to go back to people with your new service or CD.

Tell them about your new stuff.

I'm working on new stuff right now, you'll want me to tell you about them when they're ready won't you?

Howzat!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

My Manifesto

My role in my business is to create an idea that my clients find practical in helping them solve their business problems. I convey that message in a myriad of ways (ever-changing) to my constituency.

As such my two chief responsibilities are: Marketing and Sales.

Marketing is the origin of the idea and the creation of how the message is delivered.

Sales is the personal interface with my constituency and delivery of any solutions for that business.

To succeed my business must have an equal emphasis on creation and delivery of ideas i.e. both marketing and sales.

I WANT TO BE EQUALLY ADEPT AT BOTH THESE SKILLS.

Neither is more important than the other and only by combing the two effectively will I achieve the success that I want.

Where I am weaker or short I will hire help, e.g. design and regular telemarketing.

To this end I want to market like a salesperson and sell like a marketer.

This is my manifesto.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Why you need a Colin

Colin works for me, he makes telemarketing calls to book professional speaking work. For many people, Colin is the front-line of Rod Sloane Inc.. He's is who they speak with. Although he makes telemarketing calls, Colin is really my sales function. I am the marketing function, he is the sales function.

If you own a larger business you will be familiar with that divide, if you work in a smaller business maybe that division is blurred at best or even contusing.

Now that divide/gap is important. Empires and careers have been built on that gap. It has become a great wall and tomorrow I will publish my manifesto on it's future.

Just for today, think, am I in marketing creating the message or am I in sales delivering the message to prospects.

To put it crudely are you a message creator or punter-hunter?

You need both for a successful business.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Want the office phone to ring more often, then get a ...

Freephone.

Yes, does your business have a freephone?

They work, even in 2009, they work.

If you want prospects to respond to offers, clients to place more orders and contacts to refer more business to you, then MAKE IT EASY for them. Why should I have to pay to place an order with you?

I just picked up the phone and placed an order, why? Because the supplier had a freephone. This may sound too simple, but too simple is often the best.

There are loads of suppliers of a freephone service. Just do a search on Google.

When you order a Freephone then make sure it's added to all your contact details and email signature.

What's my freephone number 08000 832597.

Call me!

Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Role of Marketing is to...

Make selling as easy as possible.

But Rod, we don't have a sales team in this business, well then it sounds like you're the sales team. Aren't you?

Is selling hard for you and your business, then it's not sales skills you need, it's marketing skills.

Let me explain, I speak professionally, yes people book and pay me to speak. Now, if they just want a speaker then it's a challenge to sell me as opposed to some TV personality. However, if my marketing has hit the mark, they don't want any speaker, they want me. They want Rod Sloane.

So the question is why should somebody want you, above your competitors or looking for an in-house solution?

That's the purpose of marketing to make it as easy as possible to make those sales.

Focus on your marketing and remember be different, not better!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Shoptalk

I heard on the BBC, this morning, the statistic that 3 million are employed in the UK retail sector and most receive no or little training. If you work for one of the big boys you probably will undergo training, but all the smaller independent shops are left to their own devices. Hence, the announcement today of the Retail Academies for specific training in that industry.

So, what training goes on in your business, you know the simple stuff like how to deal with clients over the phone. How do you cope with complaints and calls that come in after reading your website and blog? How about some simple presentation skills training? Most employers often assume staff just knows what to do. Why not give them some help?

There is plenty of help out there from both the private and public sector. You don’t have any real excuse, do you?

Give your staff the skills and confidence and they just might hit those KPIs that you give them.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Spend More Time with the Queen!

I like stamps, no I'm not a philatelist, I'm not looking for a Penny Black. What I mean is that I don't use a franking machine or Smart Stamp from Royal Mail for the mail I send. I like to use stamps with the Queen's Head on. OK, I'm not a Luddite I do use the self adhesive stamps that come in packs of 100.

So why do I like stamps?

It's the personal touch, I would much rather receive a hand addressed envelope with a real stamp. It might be coming from a real person not some marketing department.

This means that I am more likely to open it, first, if it's a person-to-person message.

Do you like being treated as a number, a transaction?

No neither do I.

It's all bout probability, can you increase the probability of the recipient picking up your letter/ postcard opining it up and reading it. Make it personal.

OK, the real reasons I enjoy queuing at Post Offices and I like the blue of the 2nd Class stamp.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Heads Up and Look that Prospect Squarely in the Eyes and say…

It’s just too easy to be focused internally at the moment.

Watch that cash flow, debtors and creditors, but there is another important group you need to keep your eyes on.

Clients and prospects.

How can you help them at the moment?

Are you going out of your way to engage with them more than ever?

Are you putting on more events just for them?

Are you surveying them?

What’s happening?

What’s the story?

Go engage with them, ask them, help them if you can or point them in the direction where they can get the answers they need.

Be a resource, this is an ideal time to grab the high ground in your market.

Go! Run!

It’s a land grab…stake your claim

Friday, 24 April 2009

Your List

In 1949 David Ogilvy made a list of the clients he most wanted. The list included General Foods, Lever Brothers, Bristol Myers, Campbell Soup and Shell .Within ten years they were all clients of Ogilvy & Mather. He also picked up the likes of American Express and IBM along the way.

Now he did some spectacular work for these clients, but Ogilvy was proud of his list, so much that he wrote about it in both of his books.

So, do you have a list of target clients?

If you do, how is your business focussed on winning those clients.

If you don't start your list now, today.

It's that simple, decide what you want, write it down and organise your business to go after them.

Sorry if this upsets any MBA types, but this stuff is NOT difficult.

Do it now, today, no more excuses!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

You get one chance, don’t blow it and there are no excuses.

If I visit your restaurant and the food and service is below average then to me it’s a lousy restaurant.

If I email your furniture repair service and it takes you four days to get back to me than I judge you as slow and useless.

If I phone my account manager at my bank and I get this voicemail message “Your call cannot be taken and you cannot leave a message, so please call later.” I assume you don’t care. And yes I heard that message today, from my bank. You know the one that lost all the money!

As Sam Silverstein says “no more excuses”. I don’t care how good you are the other 99% of the time if you suck when I interact with you then; you suck all the time to me.

Consistency is often our biggest challenge both in marketing and operations. It’s easy being a good on the sunny days, but can you still be the same when the clouds come over and the wind picks up. It’s not about being the occasional hero; it’s about your average being better than the rest. Lots cannot, if you can you will stand out.

Be ruthless and work on this every day.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

David Ogilvy and who you want as clients

When David Ogilvy started Ogilvy & Mather New York in 1949 they were a tiny back street advertising agency. This inexperienced Englishman was competing with the giants of Madison Avenue and Chicago. Yet within twenty five years had grown to one of the top four agencies in the world.

How did he do it?

Well David Ogilvy has written two books were he explains all about his advertising techniques and ability but he did two other things, one of which is so simple that you and I could do it.

He simply wrote down the top ten clients he wanted to work for and within a dozen years he had them all as clients including giants of the day such as Shell. He carried that list with him at all times.

Do you have a list of the top clients you want to work for?

Could you give me ten now?

Is the list written down?

Do you carry with you at all time?

This isn’t difficult is it?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The BNI Visitors Day Letter

Have you ever received a letter to visit your local BNI Chapter? I received one today. Here’s what I noticed that this letter does right.

1. Plain blank envelope

2. Hand written envelope

3. A proper stamp used NOT a franking machine

4. The letter says that they want one of me to pass businesses to!

5. A P.S. at the bottom of the letter that sums up the offer

6. Black print for the letter with the a real signature in blue ink

7. It’s a physical letter not an email or text

In fact it’s the same letter that I received ten years ago, it’s their control letter written by Steve Lawson that’s still universally used. That’s the point it works, they know within a few percentage points how many readers will respond. Why change it? Only a fool would do that.

How about your primary lead generation tool, your moneymaker; what is it? What response rate does it give you? Just because technology and fads change, what used to work still works, especially in these days of less direct mail.

Shake your MoneyMaker.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Cracked!

So I was relaxing on our sofa a couple of Sundays ago, when I heard a large “Crack!” and I sunk a little lower. I had broken the family sofa! Like a little boy I had to explain this to my wife and how I had not been jumping up and down on it whilst watching Robin Hood.

So what to do? It’s dangerous buying a sofa at the moment; you may pay a deposit to a sofa company who go out of business before they deliver.

So, I finally looked in Yellow Pages, yes remember let you finger do the walking, for a local furniture repair service. An ad for Stevens Restoration caught my eye because it was local to me and it had a free phone.

So on a warm Saturday I called them whilst drinking coffee in my garden. I was surprised that the phone was answered and a chap asked me a couple of questions. Then he further surprised me by telling me to email him in some photographs on the problem and he will give me a quote by return email. No need for a house visit. No having to wait in, for the furniture reply man to come round.

Now this impressed me so I got busy, and sent in my photos to get my quote. When was the last time that a supplier impressed with you with the way they operate?

When was the last time you impressed your clients with the way you operate?

How you can exploit technology to make prospects and clients life easier?

How many people do you think I have mentioned Stevens Restoration to?

Friday, 17 April 2009

New is good in marketing unless….

It’s some get rich quick scheme or instant weight loss or some other fad like that.

Otherwise…
New is good.

No one says did you see the old James Bond movie they all say did you see the new movie.

What do you think of my new haircut, new suit, new car?

New is good as its novel and fresh.

Why not add something new to your marketing?
A new blog, podcast, postcard, offer etc.

New doesn’t have to be expensive, just requires some thinking and creativity. It might turn out easier to spend the cash instead?

Today I am getting a ‘new’ haircut and then going to a photo studio for some ‘new’ headshots.

Watch out for new look coming to a web site near you really soon!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Does my business look crap in this website?

"Does my bum look big in this?"

The question all men dread being asked by their partners. Should the response be honest or reassuring? I don’t know as this is outside of my expertise and I just pretend that I haven’t heard the question.

There is an equivalent in your business, when you ask people what they think of your website. Are you ready for some honest feedback? People won’t like the colours, the pictures, the font etc. etc. But I recommend that you try.

Piers Mummery who owns Shoots Garden Centres asked people he knows these questions.

Take a look at the Shoots website and drop Piers a line on what you think of it
piers@mummery.co.uk

Please one commendation for every recommendation that you give.

Would you be so brave as to do this?

Does my business look crap in this blog?

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Which is the better marketing tactic blogging or Pay-Per-Click Google Advertising?

Blogging will help you have a good ranking in the organic searches, it’s relatively low cost apart from your time but it takes time and you have to stick with it for months, preferably years.

Pay-per-click is instant, quick you can pay what you want and determine the results very quickly.

So which is better?

It’s obvious, isn’t it?

No, and to use the answer any old marketing soak would use “It depends”
It depends on:

what you market.

who your prospects are.

what your competitors are doing.

what time of year it is.

It depends on lots of variables outside of your control.

So what’s the answer?

The only answer is test, test and test.

If you have expertise, case studies, provocative statements and insights then of course you should be considering:

blogging

podcasting

videos

teleseminars

webinarsetc, etc

There is NO certainty, we all need to test, test and test again.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

How to Apply Go-Faster-Stripes to Your Marketing

Where are you as of today and where do you want to get to?

What’s your revenue and profits for the last twelve months?

How many active clients do you have?

How many people do you employ in how many outlets, today?

Now where do you want to get to in terms or revenue, profits, clients etc,

Can you simply state where you are today and where you want to get to in 18 months?

The best vehicles to get you were you want to go is “Better marketing”. You know the one with the go-faster stripes. By the way you can put go-faster stripes on your old car.

Take the time to revisit your marketing and make it better.

If you can afford to hire a marketing consultant, now is the time to do it.

If you cannot afford a marketing consultant, then you need to educate yourself buy the books, study them and apply them. You will have to do a lot of application yourself.
Apart from my book what book would I recommend? Try “Selling the Invisible” by Harry Beckwith.

Hire a marketing consultant or study the books. You choose!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Get to the Point, Quickly or else….

The average video on YouTube is watched for less than 15 seconds, then people switch.

www.12Seconds.tv has taken this concept further in that 12 seconds is the maximum length of the video you can post on the site.

On twitter the maximum length of message you can post is 140 characters. Twitter has 4-5 million users. People are becoming conditioned to short fun size messages.

It’s getting harder to ask people to read your long stuff.

The message is get to point quickly or else I will go else where.

Go do!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Don’t Confuse Simple Marketing with Easy Marketing

Making outbound telemarketing calls is simple, but most avoid doing it and don’t think of it as easy.

Speaking in front of groups who could hire you is simple. Most don’t find it easy.

Writing a blog everyday is simple, doing it is...

Telling jokes is simple, being funny is not easy.

Lots of tasks that you do that you find simple others may well struggle with, avoid and certainly not class as easy.
So don’t assume people can do the stuff that you can

It’s OK to also say I’m not sure I could do that.

Tip: stick with the stuff that you find simple and easy, outsource the rest!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Obama Tip #7 Hire an Excellent marketing Team

Quelch’s last tip from the campaign about Obama was that he “chose an excellent marketing and campaign team, and managed them well.”
He hired people who understood the new media especially Chris Hughes the wonderkid from Facebook. He attracted the best he could to help him to spread the message.

Now maybe you can afford to hire the best, if so go do it.

If you cannot afford to hire the cream, go to their events, buy their stuff and read their blogs. I’m far too modest to put myself in that category!. To paraphrase Brain Clough I might say “I wouldn't say I am the best marketing man in the business. But I’m in the top one.”

Not sure that I can carry on with this as it I’m sure it will start to sound arrogant.

Go read and study the best and if you can afford to hire them.
Whew.

Amen!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Outsmart your Competition

John Quelch’s next point in the Marketing of a President is that Obama's communications were professional without being slick. He was smarter than the competition. So how you can you be smarter?

1. Have you shared you story, do you talk in stories?

2. Do you use all the media both old and new?

3. Do you know what business you are really in?

4. Is it all about you, your products and services? Or are you trying to share ideas and be a resource?

5. Are you consistent with whom you are, what you say and do?

6. Or are you changing message every five minutes?

Outsmarting the competition takes time and courage...start today!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Marketing Message

Part 5 of John Quelch’s article the Marketing of a President reviews Obama’s Marketing Message. Quelch referred to it as:

“The emotional appeal was buttressed with solid and specific policy details. The ability to combine emotional with functional benefits and the discipline to be consistent in positioning and message delivery are core to all successful branding campaigns.”

Obama message was “Change you can believe in” which was repeated during his campaign.
So what’s your marketing message?

Do you people know that only you can say it?

Anybody can say “Passionate about websites!”

Do you talk about yourself and your business or do you talk about your clients?
Do you repeat it?

More importantly will others?

This is your homework for the rest of your business live, roll your selves up and get to work!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Reach Out....I'll Be There!

It’s a beautiful day in London, the sort of day (as Ken Dodd would say) that makes you want to go up to clients and prospects and say do you want some of what I have? Accept, Ken said it in a more end-of-the-pier style!

But that’s exactly John Quelch’s point about what Obama did in the presidential election

“Obama reached out to all citizens. He targeted his message beyond previous or likely voters.”

Are you reaching out to your entire constituency or just the few who know you already?

Are you targeting your message beyond just your customers?

Your marketing purpose should be to spread your ideas, you need to tell people about them.

Remember the theme tune of all marketers.
As the Four Tops sang…”Reach Out, I’ll Be There”
Go play it on Spotify!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Use the Media

John Quelch noted that Barack Obama was “aided by his appreciation and use of all communications media, notably the Internet, to engage voters.” Not only the traditional but also the new online media.

So how do you use both traditional media :

TV
Radio
Newspapers and Magazines
New Media:

Your blog, you have a blog don’t you?
YouTube
Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Ecademy etc
Your web site
Your membership site

Take one of the above and start engaging and working it.
If you don’t your competitors will and become better recognised.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Ask for Support

John Quelch’s Number 2 Obama Marketing Success is converting empathy into tangible support. Obama was able to develop leverage on the basis of his support.

Before you go out chasing supporters, clients and fans, before you start putting your slogan on your t shirt and websites, ask this. Do you have a bedrock of support, from family, friends and other colleagues? Have you tried your ideas out on them? Do they resonate? Or do they sound like you just some watered down version of the latest book or article you happened to read?

Before I called what I did No-Bull Marketing I spoke to others whose opinion I respected. Was it me, did it make sense? Only when I received the thumbs up that I wanted did I go public! Try it.

Grow a nurturing support close to home before you go out into the big bad world

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

How to Develop Obama like Personal Charisma

In his no-nonsense straightforward article “The Marketing of a President” John Quelch Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School detailed eight areas that that Barack Obama excelled in to win the US Presidential Race.

The first was Obama’s personal charisma “his listening and public speaking skills, his consistently positive and unruffled demeanour, and his compelling biography attracted the attention and empathy of voters”.

So how do you score on the Obama Charisma Stakes?

1. How good a listener are you? Or are you just waiting to speak…I know that I fall into that trap. Want to improve your listening skills start giving constructive feedback to others, tell them what they do well and only lightly where they need to improve.

2. Public Speaking Skills. I believe that this is the number one skill to improve your public charisma. Maybe you’ll never be as good as Obama but you can’t start to soon in this. Join Toastmaster International; take an acting or improv class. Start today. We can all get better at this and we all need help.

3. Positive and Unruffled Demeanour. Do you know what your goals, purpose and objectives are? Do you have a plan? It is written down? Do you keep a journal? Don’t worry about critics as long as you believe you’re on course.

4. Compelling Biography. Have you written down and published you story? It doesn’t have to be 20,000 words, it might only be 500. Is it at least on you web site?

The stuff is NOT difficult, just take your time and tick them off as you do them.

Can we all seriously be charismatic?

Yes, we can!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Happy Birthday from Walt Disney

In 2009 you can visit a DisneyWorld or DisneyLand free for the day as long as you can prove it’s your birthday. What a wonderful marketing tactic especially if you live in North America. Do I really need to explain the power of this tactic even if 99% of prospects never take you up? One word….goodwill.


Celebrate your customer’s birthday with them!
So how you could model this idea..?

What could you do on your client’s birthday? Send ‘em something!

What you could do on your personal birthday? Free digital product

On your business’s birthday a special bonus on all products and services.

By the way, my birthday is May 2nd which is a Saturday this year.
Don’t forget me!!

Monday, 30 March 2009

What do to when a prospect say no

One of the challenges you are going to have to deal with is when a prospect chooses someone else rather than you and your business. Now, this is OK early on in the marketing process, but it’s harder later on the cycle.

Last week, I lost a piece of business I thought I had won. It hurts financially. It hurts personally. It bruises your business ego. It’s like being dumped by a partner. I was not a happy Roddy! So what should you do?

Get over it! Nobody cares! We all make these decisions every day not to spend money with certain suppliers. We don’t obsess as buyers nor should we as suppliers.

Here are some simple tips:

1. Don’t get mad with the prospect. They have just made a decision that seems logical. They’ll hardly welcome you telling them they’re wrong.

2. Were you really as good as you thought you were. Did you offer enough value? Were you remarkable enough? Or just another supplier they could easily say no to.

3. If you want to continue a relationship with the prospect, keep your emotions out of any correspondence. “You told me I had the business” won’t go down too well.

Last week’s news was tough for me, but I took a lesson from it. I have to offer more value and be more remarkable.

Now, how do I do that?

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Blogging on a Saturday

It’s 8.15 am on a dark damp Saturday morning in Ealing. I have just dropped my wife at the Airport she’s going with some friends to Amsterdam for the day. It’s a girls trip, no room for the boys. My teenage daughter is on a sleepover. It’s just me and the cat. All Baroque FM is playing on iTunes Radio. I have my filtered coffee and muffin. What better thing to do than blog?

So this is a blog about my blog. Pretty ego-centric eh?

According to my blog stats I have written 36 entries this year, 20 this month. So this is my first Saturday entry. By the way:

Thanks for reading this whatever way you are consuming it from my page or RSS. Thanks I appreciate your attention and time.

My commitment to myself is to blog every working day. Thanks to Graham Jones for encouraging me into that. Why do I it?

1. It’s permission. You don’t have to read this, I’m not forcing it down your throat in some interrupt spammy way. If you want it, you read it. Find it dull, then move on.

2. It forces me to think. I love the brevity of twitter where you just fire stuff off. I love watching JaythePal on 12 Seconds TV. But for something a little deeper and chance to mull over what’s happening a blog allows me to go deeper. Sloane goes deeper??

3. I receive a reaction. Some of my entries receive no response others get a comment attached. I welcome all responses. That’s just what they are responses. As JaythePal would say. "Go for it, yeah!"

If you haven’t started your blog yet or you only adding occasional entries then I encourage you to do more. Make a commitment to yourself. Who knows where it may lead. Hey, tell me what you think leave a comment.

Time to go to the local Farmers's Market to buy some pork and stilton sausages. Yeah!



Ask Jay ThePal Episode 7: Rod asks...advice for small businesses on 12seconds.tv

Friday, 27 March 2009

What can you say that no one else can say or…. dare say?

But your followers or constituency will repeat and admire you for saying it!

Muhammad Ali said it, Karl Marx said it, JFK said it, Gandhi said it and Jesus Christ said it especially.

Here are some tips of how you cannot think about building your message.
1. Not Marketing Hype…the best seminar ever

2. Not offensive

3. Not silly

4. One single sentence

5. If you have to explain it, it’s not good enough.

6. If I Google your words do you have competition.

7. Can it be printed on a t-shirt or cufflinks and would somebody wear them?

8. Does it have to be original? No, not if you make it yours. Was Ali the first to say “I am the greatest” No, but he was the first to say it to a TV audience with such confidence and conviction.

My friend Jeoff Haskins says “Right now, wherever you are, you have chosen.”
Here are some that I could say:

1. All marketing should be No-Bull marketing

2. Marketing? What marketing?

3. "Stuck? Ask what Rod Sloane would do, now?" OK a bit ego centric!!!

4. Pick up the phone, you wazzock!

5. You call this, marketing?

What can you say that no one else can say or…. dare say? Go on say it!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

How to Market in a Recession

Snappy title for this blog. Eh?

Well, actually I borrowed it from John Quelch over at the Harvard Business Review. John wrote an article with the same title listing eight areas to focus on.

Now John is obviously a lot smarter than me. I would say eight are way too many. I would suggest that you just do one thing. One thing a lot better than you can presently imagine. Be the best you can be at it.

So if it’s networking, what results have you achieved from your networking in the last 6 months? Hard results, not soft stuff like greater exposure! Should you be spending more of your time, energy, money or creativity in this area?

How would you score yourself out of ten? If you’re a five how can you become a six? How are you educating you and your team to be better?

There are lots of actions you can take just to make one marketing tactic better.
Put all your efforts there, be the best you can be and monitor the results.