The Business 2012 conference at the O2 Arena in London was an enjoyable and entertaining event but one speaker stood out amongst the multitude.
Business 2012 was designed to be a showcase of support services for business. All the stands were resources that a business needs: printing services, understanding copyright law and the tax system and the most popular one this year: how to use internet marketing (IM).
I was primarily interested in internet marketing because there is a fair amount you can do for free. I enjoyed a talk by two guys from Video Results that added a different spin to the usual chatter about internet marketing. I saw two speakers (Simon Coulson and Nigel Botterill) each of whom had become millionaires via an internet business and following their internet success were now making more mula with ‘how to do it’ courses. Success breeds success.
Invariably, at the end of each seminar, the speaker would offer a “great” deal on their coaching services with a view to sucking in a few customers. I’m a hard sell: I didn’t buy anything; I got as much free info as I could, took their website addresses and decided I would just learn from watching. Importantly, I don’t have a few grand lying around to spend on courses! Write a book and I’ll buy it.
Anyhow, one guy I went to impressed me the most because he completely ignored IM and talked about the effectiveness of old-school marketing. He said he hates employment because he finds having to fill out a form when he wants to go on holiday a most offensive corporate requirement. He prefers to swan off without having to ask. What I learnt from Nick Davies:
The beauty of email is also its shortfall. Lots of people bash out emails because they are so easy. So when he started a business a few years ago he made a list of his target corporate clients and started making phone calls with a view to meeting up.
If he couldn’t get hold of someone by phone to arrange a meeting, he wrote a letter. Nowadays people receive a lot less physical mail than was the case in the past so it may well be worth buying an attractive package and sending a letter and a sample to prospective buyers or distributors.
However, don’t just make calls and blast letters out willy nilly! Try your best to figure out who the MAN is. That is the person with the Money, Authority and the Need (they don't have to be male!).
Every organization has a person who has been entrusted with decision making power. Your sales pitch will be much more effective if you can find them.
It’s a bit annoying to buy tea and biscuits for Suzy, and then to have her say “I’ll have to speak to Jane about this, Jane makes all decisions regarding [blah]”! You should have been speaking to Jane in the first place. Of course if Jane trusts Suzy and you really impressed Suzy then it’s not a complete waste – except you’ll probably have to come back and re-pitch to Jane.
So, in all endeavours, as you try to build up a business don’t forget about traditional marketing and that your quest for sales is a quest for the MAN!
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I'm always thinking, debating, considering and revising my views - some of those deliberations will be shared right here.