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Category Archives: General News


How are you finding things now we are returning to a bit more normality?

Are you still working via Zoom or are you managing to meet clients face to
face?

Have you ever thought about what you are wearing when meeting clients,
either via zoom or in person? Do you look at your wardrobe and think you
don’t know what to wear, so just grab anything in the hope that it works?
Or, in the worst case, grab an outfit that you used to wear going out , but
now “it’ll do for work”? Perhaps, you don’t even think about it, and just
wear jeans and yesterday’s t-shirt.

As business owners we spend a lot of time working on our websites,
business cards and promotional material, carefully selecting the design and
colours – but do you spend as much time and thought into what you are
wearing?

First impressions are so important, whether on – or offline. So ask yourself –
do I look like the person my client is expecting to see?

Think of three words about how you wish to be perceived – examples are
professional, knowledgeable, approachable and write them down – I’m
sure you can think of many more – do you convey these words in your style
of dress? This applies to both men and women, and is so important.

In the first 4 minutes of meeting a client will decide so much about you and 55%
of that decision is based on how you look, and only 5% on what you
actually say.

Interesting isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter whether you wear overalls for work, being an electrician
for example doesn’t really warrant wearing a suit, but you can easily wear
jeans or overalls. Jeans are fine, but make sure they are clean and fit well –
builders bum is not a good look! Footwear should be clean- no muddy
trainers, and – don’t forget, if you are working in a domestic environment
you may need to take your shoes off – don’t have holes in your socks!

Perhaps you are in the finance sector, and need to be more formally
dressed.Check that there are no buttons missing, stains on your clothes,
hems dropping down – all small things, but collectively they make such a
difference.

The days of being booted and suited seem to be behind us but even so,
those who work in a more formal environment need to be dressed
accordingly. Think of cost per wear – your new business is going to be
bringing in money to your household, and you naturally feel passionate
about it, so buy clothes that reflect this. Well fitting clothes may cost a little
more, but it will be worth it – you will look the part!

All this applies whether you are Zooming or meeting face to face, so think
about what you are wearing and how your client sees you!

For any more information don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free no obligation
consultation and see how I can help you.

chris@cjstylist.com

www.cjstylist.com

Our Proven Techniques for Increasing Lead Conversion Rates to Boost Your Sales

Attracting a lot of enquiries for your products or services is a good start – but it’s only the start. Your business will not flourish until you improve your lead conversion. 

Measuring the number of unique visits to your website and seeing it rise is good for your vanity, but that is all it is!

The only point of increasing visitors to your website is to direct them to your landing pages and from there to improve your conversion rate.

If you struggle to convert those visitors into customers your business will struggle – and may fail!

What is the secret to successfully increasing your lead to sales conversion?

This will be different for each business, but there are some key triggers that we all have and you can take advantage of these to build your sales.

Ultimately to maximise your lead to sale conversion you need to understand the psychological triggers that will make your potential customers buy – and that means first getting a deep understanding of your ideal customer.

Understanding your customer

By this we mean REALLY understanding your customer – as a person. It means putting yourself in their shoes and creating a detailed picture of them.

It even means giving them a name and background until they become so real that instead of asking “what would a customer want here?” you are asking “what would John/Rafiq/Sue/Anna want here.

Create detailed written descriptions of your ideal customers (you will have more than one!). These are known as avatars or personas and are critical to improving lead conversion. You can get more information and free downloadable templates here.

Give them a name, age, family circumstances, job history,  ambitions and challenges. What keeps them awake at night? What interests and excites them? What media do they use and why?

Keep going until you feel you have known them for years, and then move on to the next one until you have created a group of your ideal customers – these are the leads that will become your customers after all as you improve your conversion rate!

Once you have your ideal customer personas you can then move onto designing your marketing collateral, which will help you uncover new prospects, new leads and improve conversions. 

This is a journey though so don’t forget to always look for ways to improve. Keep reviewing and analysing your sales funnel!

Why your ideal customer will buy from you

Step one to improving the lead conversion rate is to understand what needs your customers have. 

That leads to understanding how your product or service provides a solution for a need, which in turn helps you to position your marketing copy correctly to increase lead generation. It makes sure you always have relevant content for your target market and helps you follow best practices.

You can see more advice on marketing material here

Don’t forget that you will need a landing page for each need you meet with a clear call to action. 

This makes it easier for your target audience to understand how you can help them, helping to generate leads (and the more leads you get the more you can practice improving your lead conversion rate!). 

You are unlikely to get this right first time, but don’t worry about that as you can learn from your mistakes and continually improve! Keep learning and changing your landing pages and social media activity. This will lead to improved conversion!

Using psychological triggers to improve lead conversion

The key to lead conversion for a sale is to understand the psychological triggers that will make your potential customers buy – and to have the necessary messages and functionality in place to take advantage of them by making the buying decision easy.

The buying decision is always triggered by one or more psychological factors, as proven by many separate pieces of research. 

To improve your lead to sale conversion rate you need to understand your ideal customers so well that you know which psychological triggers will make them buy your products or service. This is especially important for email marketing.

At this point you may be thinking “That’s all well and good for business to consumer, but I sell to businesses”. 

Except you don’t! – you sell to people whether they are buying for themselves or for a business! And it is always the psychological triggers that make them decide if they are going to buy from you.

As humans, we share many characteristics including mental triggers that cause us to take action. By understanding and using them to help potential customers buy, you make success in business much more likely.

Below we have listed the main triggers that researchers have established. For each, we describe the trigger and suggest ways you could use this to increase lead to sale conversion. 

Remember though – different customers will each have different triggers so don’t try to make changes until you are satisfied that you really understand the type of customer you want to attract!

Everybody wants to avoid pain

This is what psychologists call “the negativity bias.” All humans will expend more time and effort to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. 

This has been demonstrated on a neurological level as the brain lights up more from negative external stimuli than from positive ones.

This is the most important trigger for converting website visitors to customers. However, each of us have different pains. That means it is key to understand your target market and what their pains are or needs are. By doing this, you will be able to design the right marketing material and landing pages, improving both lead generation and conversion rates..

How you can use this

 The most prevalent “pains” are time spent, complexity, cost and inefficiency. Make sure these are pains for your target market and then focus your marketing copy on the pain, explaining that your product or service offers a solution. 

You will immediately get interest from your ideal customers. If you talk to potential customers, use a similar approach by asking open questions (beginning with who, how, what or why) to open up a conversation, finding what problem or challenge they have, but also what pain it is causing them before you start talking about your product or service.

Most people love something new or different

Research by neurologists shows that exposure to something new and unfamiliar can generate a feeling of pleasure by increasing the release of dopamine in the brain. 

Apple take advantage of this by regularly issuing new products with “teaser” campaigns prior to the launch. It gets their target market excited and in the mood to buy as soon as the product is released. 

Apple know that their consumers will want to try new features or experiences and are very likely to upgrade to the latest product.

How you can use this

 What is new or different about your product or service from others on the market?

Emphasise the differences. Launch new versions without all the planned features and functionality so you can continually refresh it by adding new features or benefits.

Everyone is looking for answers and reasons why

As soon as we learn to talk, we ask questions – why is the sky blue, are we nearly there yet?

Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, a psychology professor at the University of California, found our rational mind is always searching for meanings, as we look for explanations to make sure we can understand everything we experience.

The Xerox experiment by psychologist Ellen Langer found that people are willing to do more for you if you give them a reason, even if the reason is completely arbitrary (people standing in line to use a photocopier were 34% more likely to let someone cut in front of them, even when their reason was as meaningless as “because I have to make some copies”).

How you can use this

 Explain why you offer a product or service (and the features of them as well) and you increase the likelihood that someone will buy from you. 

Sometimes this is explained as “features which mean that..benefits”. For example – This car has 4 wheel drive, which means that you can travel safely on icy roads.

Story telling is an emotional trigger

When we read or listen to a story it impacts our subconscious, emotional brain which is associated with sight, sound, taste, and movement. 

Research shows this is where people make their decision whether or not to buy. Improving lead to sale conversion involves triggering the emotions of potential customers!

How you can use this

 Your marketing copy and landing pages should be structured as stories about your products and services that bring the benefits to life. This could be something as simple as a case study or testimonial, or take the car example above and add a story:

This car has 4 wheel drive, which means that you can travel safely on icy roads. Imagine being able to get home without worrying about having to abandon your car and struggle home through the snow and ice in the dark.

The law of least effort

Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, says “A general ‘law of least effort’ applies to cognitive as well as physical exertion. 

The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action. In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of skill is driven by the balance of benefits and costs. Laziness is built deep into our nature.”

In simple terms, people will always look for the quickest, easiest way to get what they want or where they want to be –a bit like water running down a mountain which always finds the easiest route!

How you can use this

 Create an easy to follow process for potential customers. Show them how your product or service makes it easy to achieve the result they want as quickly as possible. You can see more advice here.

We team up with people like us against common enemies

Sociologist Georg Simmel argues we create common enemies because it unites us with people we think are like us.

How you can use this

Think about the benefits of your product or service, especially what pain they remove, then you can explain the pain as a common enemy. For example, building on the example in the previous article of a car with 4 wheel drive:

We all hate not being able to travel when bad weather hits. That’s why this car has 4 wheel drive – so you can get where you want to be regardless of the weather.

The Information Gap Theory

George Loewenstein, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, discovered that when there is a gap between what we know and what we want to know, we will take action to fill that gap.

It’s a bit like having an itch that you want to scratch – your curiosity inspires you to take some action. Not only that, it also increases activity in the parts of the brain associated with pleasure. 

It’s that self-satisfied feeling when you find the answer you have been looking for!

How you can use this

 Break down your buying process into a few steps. To maximise lead to sale conversion, don’t give a potential customer all the information they would want at the beginning. It could be too much information for them to take in which would turn them away. 

Instead, set up a simple process with a few steps.  In each step, give some information to a question you think they will want answering, with a pointer to more information. This is an effective way to improve lead conversion rate. For example, using the car information above:

We all hate not being able to travel when bad weather hits. That’s why this car has 4 wheel drive – so you can get where you want to be regardless of the weather. To find out how it works, call XXXXX now.

Note: this does mean you need to think as a potential customer would – put yourself in their shoes, think of the questions they would have and what order they would ask them in.

We hope this helps – you can get more advice like this from over 70 subject matter experts here

 

Ellan was one of the first subject matter experts we signed up for BuBul. Check out this interview with her (she has some strong views on business advice!)

 

It’s OK to make a mistake…..

Ever told someone else that but never quite believed it was OK for you to make a mistake? I was like that for years, beating myself up when I messed up, always trying to learn from my mistakes but never quite getting out of the habit of making them.

And I still make mistakes now, but what I’ve learned over the years is that it’s how you react to them that counts. We messed up with BuBul: better business building when we had to migrate it soon after launch and some bits fell off during the journey.

It meant some customers had a really bad first experience. But we told them straightaway, got it sorted and gave them free access for life as an apology.

And you know it’s worth it when one of them sends you an email that reads “you have a FANTASTIC product and with the launch of any new software, people expect glitches…the experience wasn’t rubbish, it was just confusing, and the response and the fixing of it has been wonderful, so the only feeling I am taking away as I am sure others will, is its a great product with some great people behind it”.

So, if you do mess up, fess up and fix it – that’s the way to keep loyal customers!

Up this week is Jonathan Scott, digital marketing supremo and sales director at Northern Media who gets a kick from helping young businesses grow and has his own kicking ambitions linked to the number 9 and Newcastle United. Find out more about what gets him up in the morning

 

BuBul and business

 

  • Why did you want to be a BuBul expert?

Having worked in marketing for over 20 years, I get a kick from using my knowledge and experience to help young businesses grow and thrive

  • Best piece of business advice and who was it from?

Shy bairns get nowt (that was from my Dad)

  • Biggest compliment you’ve ever received from a customer?

Quite a recent one actually, from Mark McClennan from Monster Mesh. He largely attributes his growth and success to the SEO & PPC campaigns we were running

  • Business achievement you’re most proud of?

Giving young people a work environment that helps them learn, grow and be happy.

 

The personal stuff

  • Which five famous people (dead or alive) would you invite over for dinner?

Bobby Robson, Seb Coe, Madonna, Freddie Mercury and Billy Connolly

Football, Athletics, Music and Comedy!

  • What would you banish to Room 101?

Anyone who bullies

  • If you could be famous for a day what would it be for?

Playing number 9 for Newcastle United

 

Either/Or

  • Exercise or boxset binge?

Exercise

  • Work from home or work in the office?

Work in the office

  • Sweet or savoury?

Savoury

Accountants set for business boost with BuBul

BuBul, the online software that puts directors of start-ups, or existing SMEs, in a virtual room with 30 business experts, is available to accountancy practices who want to provide existing SME customers with added value services from today 22.03.21.

In 2019 there were 5.9m SME’s in the UK but 20 per cent of SME’s fail in their first year and only 42 per cent last more than five years.

Developed with the help of the University of Bradford the BuBul software, which can be white-labelled by accountants and offered to existing customers, delivers customer journey driven analysis, advice, resources and tailored recommendations that are proven to boost turnover, profitability and improve customer retention.

It includes a dashboard that shows the top five recommendations for each client, leading to more informed conversations, as well as identifying recurring client themes the practice can utilise in its own marketing materials.

BuBul founder and blue-chip customer experience veteran Nigel Greenwood said: “Technology has transformed the relationship between accountant and client over the last 20 years and practices are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate their proposition and demonstrate the added value they provide for customers.

“BuBul is a cost effective and simple solution that benefits the accountant, because it provides that differentiation, while at the same time increasing customer turnover, which will drive additional accounting revenue.

“BuBul helps small businesses grow and prosper by giving them access to the tools and advice that larger companies take for granted. It is easy to use and provides online access to the tools, advice and resources that have helped companies like Amazon and Apple rise above the competition on the back of a superior customer experience.

David Spicer director of business and community engagement from the School of Management at the University of Bradford said: “We are delighted to see the launch of BuBul and look forward to seeing this delivering real benefits for SMEs.

“Our work with Nigel on the development of BuBul is a great example of our partnerships with local firms, linking them with School expertise and supporting their work and development thought working with our staff and students on projects like this. This creates great opportunities for us and our students to learn on live business challenges too.”

BuBul works by asking directors a series of questions that can take up to 30 minutes to complete, each answer determines the next question, so the user has a unique experience that is tailored to their business and customers.

By asking questions BuBul is able to identify changes and developments that need to happen to successfully launch a new business or secure rapid and sustainable growth for established SMEs and gives directors the tools they need to implement those changes.

In around half an hour BuBul presents users with:

  • A set of tailored recommendations for the best possible chance of success and growth
  • Links to the advice needed to start making the changes
  • Contact details of trusted experts for additional, individual help
  • For existing businesses, a map of customer touchpoints with a clear picture of which touchpoints need attention

White labelled versions are available to accountants for a £500 +VAT set up fee, which includes unlimited Start licences. Grow licences are £1 +VAT per month with no contractual tie-in.

BuBul donates 5 per cent of its revenue to charities that are committed to helping people set up their own business.

SME’s in Yorkshire are set to benefit from tailored business advice with the launch of BuBul, online software that puts directors of start-ups, or existing SMEs, in a virtual room with 30 business experts.

In 2019 there were 429,000 SME’s in Yorkshire but 20 per cent of SME’s fail in their first year and only 42 per cent last more than five years.

Yorkshire-based BuBul, which is free for start-ups and has been developed with the support of the University of Bradford, delivers customer journey driven analysis, advice, resources and tailored recommendations that are proven to boost turnover, profitability and improve customer retention.

BuBul founder and blue-chip customer experience veteran Nigel Greenwood said: “I’ve spent my career analysing the importance of the customer journey and improving it to increase sales and profitability.

“Seven years ago, I decided I wanted to help small businesses grow and prosper by giving them access to the tools and advice that larger companies take for granted. By using those skills face-to-face in SMEs, we were able to drive tangible results.

“BuBul is the next step in the evolution of advice to SMEs providing online access to the tools, advice and resources that have helped companies like Amazon and Apple rise above the competition on the back of a superior customer experience.

“It’s well-known companies who seek advice increase their chances of success and that most SMEs don’t because of the cost – that’s why we’re offering BuBul Start free to those companies who are just starting out and BuBul Grow is available at a fraction of the cost of face-to-face advice for those companies who are already established.”

David Spicer director of business and community engagement from the School of Management at the University of Bradford said: “We are delighted to see the launch of BuBul and look forward to seeing this delivering real benefits for SMEs.

“Our work with Nigel on the development of BuBul is a great example of our partnerships with local firms, linking them with School expertise and supporting their work and development thought working with our staff and students on projects like this. This creates great opportunities for us and our students to learn on live business challenges too.”

BuBul works by asking directors a series of questions that can take up to 30 minutes to complete, each answer determines the next question, so the user has a unique experience that is tailored to their business and customers.

By asking questions BuBul is able to identify changes and developments that need to happen to successfully launch a new business or secure rapid and sustainable growth for established SMEs and gives directors the tools they need to implement those changes.

In around half an hour BuBul presents users with:

  • A set of tailored recommendations for the best possible chance of success and growth
  • Links to the advice needed to start making the changes
  • Contact details of trusted experts for additional, individual help
  • For existing businesses, a map of customer touchpoints with a clear picture of which touchpoints need attention

BuBul Start is free to start-ups and BuBul Grow is £9.99 a month with no contractual tie-in. It is available to anyone who is looking to set up or grow their own business with white labelled versions available for social enterprises, charities and accountants, who want to help their existing clients grow or attract new business.

BuBul donates 5 per cent of its revenue to charities that are committed to helping people set up their own business.

There are 5.9 million small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Collectively they employ over 16 million people and contribute £2.2 trillion to the economy.

But there are risks in running an SME business. 1,400 of them close each week and only 4 out of every 10 will stay in business for more than 5 years. One main reason is that 3 out of 4 don’t seek external advice for their business.

The key reason is cost – typically an SME who receives advice will pay £2,500 a year for it which is unaffordable for many small businesses who have an average turnover of just £14,000.

But now there is a new way to get advice. BuBul is a virtual room full of 30 business experts who can give an SME the advice they need for their business for only £9.99 a month. You can get more information at www.bubulexpert.com.