Topics Discussed

We had a full house at our monthly business get together, with a number of new faces and standing room only.  As ever we had a varied agenda, all with one focus – helping us make sense of the business world and practical tips to help us run better businesses.

The main topics we discussed and reviewed were as follows.

One important conversation I had with a BGC member during the month illustrated a common problem – as far as they were concerned, they had gone the extra mile to help a client but this hadn’t been appreciated.  Where does the fault lie?  In fact when I dug deeper, it is with the member (as much as anybody is at fault) as they didn’t explain all the numerous steps they had taken – all they said to the client was ‘We’ll take care of it’.

So for all the right reasons the member was trying their level best to help, but wasn’t appreciated – this is a very common trap to fall into at every stage of the client cycle, from prospecting  through to managing the client relationship.

Why does this happen?

There is a mis conception that we must be brief and people won’t read or listen to a long ‘pitch’ and therefore we don’t get the chance to outline everything we do – to our detriment, as we can’t differentiate without outlining why they should pick us, other than on price!

We ran through the sales brochure that a highly successful wedding photographer has used for many years – it runs to 5 pages and outlines every single step in the process, leaving nothing out and includes the Business Boosters.  What he demonstrates is the exceptional value for money he provides and it moves the whole argument away from price.

We all need to outline every single step we take when providing our service or product, in as much detail as we can – use graphics, pictures, infogram style or whatever suits but do it!

We ran through two other national businesses that do this very well – the jeans company Hiut and the clothing company Stokes that make mainly trousers. Both outline what steps they take to provide their goods, in great detail – it means you ‘buy’ into their back story and the whole concept. Both are amazingly successful as we can understand what they stand for and exactly what we are buying.

We looked at two marketing campaigns that have backfired recently – Lush and Mastercard.

Lush have a strong ethical stance but their perceived anti-police stance has led to a social media backlash.  Similarly Mastercard by linking two footballers goal scoring in the World Cup to food for under privileged children has made just about every mistake you can think of!  Proves how careful we need to be when making any political or conditional statements, and check they pass the ‘newspaper headline test’ before proceeding.

We still have a way to go to utilise LinkedIn properly, as per the training workshop we ran recently.  Shortkeys Lite is a really useful tool to make engaging on LinkedIn (and everything with the written word) easy.

A telemarketing company made contact with me via LinkedIn and offers their services for only £150 per day and would expect to call around 80 people per session. I have their details if anybody is interested – they sounded professional and recommended a database site if we needed to identify and compile list of prospects –

Very cost effective and we can use LinkedIn to trawl through any list and get contact details.

One of our most famous historians is AJP Taylor, and a recording of a tv programme made in 1977 was shown again recently – what was striking was the quality of the content.  He delivered his message with no script, no music, no clever filming and no dumbing down either.  Riveting tv for all the right reasons.  There is a lesson here for us – ultimately it is all about the message and don’t worry about over producing any media pieces!

The EDP Business awards are open and I recounted a meeting I had with Mark Shields, the EDP business editor all about the process.  There is real merit in applying – for a start it helps you clarify what makes you special and what you have achieved. Secondly you will come to the attention of the EDP and be on their radar for future contact.  Thirdly you might just make the shortlist, as only about 300 – 350 businesses submit an entry – in which case you can use in all of your social proof.  And of course you might win!

Closing date is the 10th August and there is help available with your submission from a new BGC member….interested?  Just ask for details and I will publish on our closed forum a detailed guide to making an entry which is brilliant and super useful, written by our new member using his ‘insider’ knowledge.

We have developed an online forum within the BGC main site – we can all use to upload as much material as we can find linked to the individual modules and a general channel – log in and start reading and uploading!  If we all participate, we can build an amazing library of really useful material.

We ran through the Daily Accountability concept – if people engage and give it a go, it definitely makes a difference.  It is totally Slight Edge based and we have a few members who have now not only read the book, but are implementing its core message – with devasting effect – truly transformational stuff and everybody, without question should read this book and put it into action.

We talked about a recent Harvard Business Review article which dispelled some common myths about how people buy clothes.  For instance when people buy online they buy more – even more so if they have visited a store first; online isn’t just about instant gratification – people spend longer shopping online – people will spend time thinking, researching their options which fits with our first topic.  Indeed, one BGC member admitted to visiting a shoe shop online more than 30 times before making the decision to buy a special pair of shoes (which she hasn’t worn yet but simply gazes longing at them 😊).

This is only a brief summary of the main points discussed as difficult to do justice to our meeting

Next meeting date is the 10th July – again at Poringland, 8 am to 10am.