How to tell which ads are working

If you’re like a lot of small-business owners, you probably believe your advertising efforts are working because you’re making sales. But do you know which ads are working?

If not, it’s time to get a better handle on your advertising’s ROI. After all, why waste money buying advertising that isn’t working?

You need to look at two things: which specific ads bring in customers, and which advertising media results in new business. An ad placed in a weekly shopper-type publication may draw new business week after week, while the same ad place in a local, tabloid-format newspaper may not attract any new customers. Or, vice versa.

You can find out which ads and media are producing customers by tracking responses to your ads. …read more at How To Tell Which Ads Are Working – SmallBizResource.com, published 5 March 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Bright Star

By |2012-01-05T06:47:36+01:00March 9, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

Making the most of your sales pitches

What do clients really want and need from salespeople? What do they want from the sales process? Well, although it may seem to many frustrated salespeople that what clients want is to be left alone, this isn’t entirely the case, says sales expert Randy Illig.

“The idea that they don’t want to talk to salespeople isn’t true,” insists Illig, a senior consultant with FranklinCovey’s Sales Performance Group. “They just don’t want to talk to all salespeople.”

Clients want a competent salesperson focused on their numbers and needs, not on his or her own sales objectives, says Illig. They want an efficient sales process that results in good decisions that work to their benefit.

“And the process should add value to customers by exploring choices and assessing the impact of those choices so clients can decide with confidence,” he explains. “Because at the highest level, the biggest fear clients have is that someone will talk them into a poor decision and a bad outcome.” ..read more at Making the Most of Your Sales Pitches – NFIB.com, published 4 March 2009

Flickr photo credit: Shutter Daddy

By |2012-01-05T06:47:36+01:00March 9, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

It’s not who your customers are, it’s how they behave

Wow. I’m humbled by the commentary from my first post. I hope I can maintain such passionate interest!

Businesses cannot exist without customers, so it’s sadly ironic that many, if not most, businesses, actually understand so little about them. As a company grows, a smaller and smaller percentage of the staff interacts with the customers. In fact, those folks on the “front line” (think call centers, service counters, retail stores) are typically among the lowest-paid and have the least authority.

Meanwhile, back at headquarters fundamental decisions are made with extremely limited information about customers. There, understanding the customer is often considered someone else’s responsibility, because, “we have a department for that.” No department has a complete view of the customer, however, and so in place of true understanding are models and frameworks that attempt to describe the customer. Many companies don’t go beyond demographics and market segmentation. While it’s helpful to know how they break down by age, sex, income, region, and other easily measurable characteristics, there’s actually very little you can actually do with that information. In order to become customer experience-driven, you need to go beyond who your customers are, and understand what they do. …more at It’s Not Who Your Customers Are, It’s How They Behave – Peter Merholz – HarvardBusiness.org, published on 11 February 2009

Flickr photo credit: Roger B.

By |2012-01-05T06:47:36+01:00February 23, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments
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