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Our monthly Business support network events are well supported, and this is a typical session.  As ever we have a varied agenda. However with one focus. Helping us make sense of the business world and practical tips to help us run better businesses.

business support network

One important conversation 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.  However, this hadn’t been appreciated.  Where does the fault lie?  In fact, when you dig deeper, it is with the member (as much as anybody is at fault). The reason being they hadn’t explained 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!  A very common trap to fall into at every stage of the client cycle. That’s from prospecting through to managing the client relationship.

Why does this happen?

People Want To Know

A common misconception is we must be brief as people won’t read or listen to a long ‘pitch’.  Therefore we never get the chance to outline everything we do – to our detriment. We can’t differentiate without outlining why they should pick us, other than on price! And none of us should compete on price alone, as it is a race to the bottom. We must tell both clients and prospects exactly what we do.  In detail.

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. It leaves nothing out and includes the Business Boosters.  What he demonstrates is the exceptional value for money he provides, therefore moving the whole argument away from price. Choosing a wedding photographer is hugely important.  Therefore you want to know all the reasons why you should choose him. Most wedding photographers issue a one-page quote, which naturally focuses on price. Our BGC photographer wins just about every time with a full 5 pages packed with benefits.

We all need to outline every single step we take when providing our service or product, in as much detail as possible.  Use graphics, pictures, infographics style or whatever suits, but do it!

Two national businesses do this very well. The jeans company Hiut Demin and the clothing company Spoke that mainly sell trousers online.  Both outline what steps they take to provide their goods, in great detail. Therefore we ‘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.

Harvard Business Review

A recent Harvard Business Review article 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.  Therefore online isn’t just about instant gratification as people spend longer shopping online. They spend time thinking, researching their options which fits with our first topic above.  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!  She hasn’t worn them yet but simply gazes longing at them ?.

Think Before You Publish

Two marketing campaigns have backfired recently – Lush and Mastercard.

Lush has a strong ethical stance and has taken a perceived anti-police stance. It doesn’t matter whether that was their intention or not.  Remember perception beats reality every time. This led to a social media backlash.

Mastercard linked two footballers goal scoring in the World Cup to providing food for under privileged children.  In effect, if these multi-millionaire footballers don’t do well, poor children go hungry! Impossible to justify and makes just about every mistake you can think of!  That wasn’t their intention of course but the backlash was instant.  Goes to proves how careful we need to be when making any political or conditional statements.  Always check they pass the ‘newspaper headline test’ before proceeding.

Content Is King

One of our most famous historians is AJP Taylor. I recently watched a recording of a tv programme he made in 1977. 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.  It was riveting tv for all the right reasons.  There is a lesson here for us.  Namely, it is all about the message and don’t worry about over producing any media pieces!

This is only a brief summary of the main points discussed as difficult to do justice to our meetings.  Suffice to say they are all packed full of small business tips and advice. A great business support network.

To find out more and our next network meeting check here: BGC Meetings

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