Category Archives: Business Development

How Can FE Providers Balance Their Budgets?

Cookery Courses could help FE  beat the budget downturnMy recent article on FE News had the phone ringing and was shared over fifty times.  In it I said that FE needs to rethink their business model and offer people what they wanted rather than what providers thought was needed.

I agreed that qualifications were important but suggested that not everyone wants a qual.  Some people just want to be able to apply new skills very quickly and others were looking for  a leisure experience.

I provided three examples of FE businesses that were thriving and had no government funding and no Inspection hassles.

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Thirteen Words To Land a Deal

13 words to seal a deal: Text, email or call.There are thirteen words that can land any deal that has stalled.

It might be a sale or a purchase but deals sometimes stall and although you mean to chase them up and get things moving again .. you don’t have time.

So use this 13 word email template and get things moving again .. the same words work in a phone call or text message.

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Negotiation Tips: Be Curious

I'm curious .... curiosity questions are non threatening I’ve a friend who is a curious man.

No, I’m not being rude .. it is what he often says when negotiating.

He’ll say things like “I am curious about why you want this by month end”, “I’m curious why you want that quantity” or “I’m curious why you made that decision”.

His curiosity is almost childlike. But in the same way we tolerate children and their questions .. and even answer them .. he is able to ask really difficult questions without appearing rude or threatening.

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The Customer FLOW Process

The Customer FLOW process Delivers Customers Every Day  .. Like a Waterfall Delivers Water Is Your Customer Acquisition and Sales Process Reactive or Proactive?

Reactive systems are fine when they send you a steady flow of new and repeat customers but they are unreliable and frequently fail.

Proactive customer acquisition and sales processes are reliable, predictable and mean you get less stressed about hitting our targets.

The system I prefer is called FLOW, which stand s for:

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What Procurement Managers Want to See in Your Proposals

Procurement processes can make selling difficult When bidding through a formal procurement process procurement managers can be the bane of your life.

Unless you understand what really turns them on.

Two things turn procurement managers on. Continue reading


Business Development & Marketing Insights

Sometimes it’s worth looking outside our own sector to see what others are doing.

Here’s a short video demonstrating an innovative idea an Australian charity used to grab the attention of  potential corporate donors.   I’m not sure you could exactly copy this in FE but it does made me think about other ways to attract attention.

How will you use this idea to make contact with potential clients?

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Objective Reviews: Critiques for Marketing & Business Development

customer I’ve added a new menu item this month.  You can now get my free advice and recommendations on a your marketing and business development work.

I’m planning on this becoming a permanent feature on the site.

Here’s the deal.

As a special bonus for visiting this site you can ask for my thoughts and/or recommendations on a piece of marketing collateral or a business development tactic each month.   This is totally free with no strings.

It could be a Facebook ad, sales letter, web page, email, business proposal, or anything else that you need to get an objective view on.
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How to Win Competitive Tenders

How to win at competitive tenderingCompetitive Tenders Are a Fact of Life That Few of Us Enjoy  …..  or Win All The Time .

I’m sure you have your share of competitive tender stories.  You know, where you wrote a great bid, made a great presentation but failed to get the work.  I hear stories like this every week.

Well sadly, the quality of your bid has little to do with winning the work.  Yes, I know that those that set the tender criteria have marks sheets.  I know that the process is meant to be objective.  I know all these things.  BUT …

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How to Add Value to Full Cost Courses

How to add Value to your college coursesIn an age where MOOCs are popular and most training can be found as “modules” on YouTube it is easier than ever to “self-educate”.  So why do we need to pay full cost for courses.

For example I recently had a choice about how to learn a new piece of software.  It was a £900 course and a night way in a hotel .. OR .. a day looking at videos on YouTube, putting what I learned in to practice and then moving on to the next piece of learning.

I went for the YouTube approach.

Why? Continue reading


How to Prioritise Your Workload

Where do your priorities lie? Too much work? Prioritise it.

When the Olympic rowing team were preparing for competition they faced the priorities question many times. They had a very simple answer, that applies equally to Providers.

They recognised that they had one aim; to row faster than every other team. If they could do this they would win Gold. So their priorities were always addressed with the question, “Will it make the boat go faster?”. Continue reading


How To Attract Attention on Websites and Blogs

Moving images attract attention to our websites and blogs As a hunter gatherer species we are programmed to notice movement and that has a fundamental impact on our business marketing.

Of course there are hundreds of things that you can do to attract attention on websites,  blogs and adverts but I want to focus on just one that will make your post stand out from all the others.

Say I want to attract people to an equine course ….. a galloping horse will grab the attention of people with an interest in horses.  It doesn’t even have to be a perfect image. Continue reading


How To Use LinkedIn to Find Prospects

LinkedIn is about relationships with customers and contacts You can be a passive user of LinkedIn and lose lots of opportunities or you can use LinkedIn for a few minutes, twice a week, and see results in hours.

Most people like you and I are on LinkedIn but they don’t really understand the power of LinkedIn.  They don’t realise that in just a few minutes each week it is quite easy to stimulate interest from a contact .. without writing a word.

It is also quite easy and quick to start up a conversation that has been initiated by the person you want to “buy” from you.

Here are a few simple ideas that really work and have personally brought me a lot of business in the last year or two. Continue reading


Putting Off Until Tomorrow is a Dangerous Strategy

You'd deal with an electricity problem now .. so why wait to make other decisions? If your electrics were unsafe you’d make a decision to do something about it NOW.

So why prevaricate over other essentials? Continue reading


Lessons from the AoC Business Development conference

Business Development ideas for FE / FHE colleges The AOC Business Development conference was a great success; over 120 people from a wide range of college based and private providers attended.

As I was one of the speakers and am a regular contributor to FENews this leads to a predictable outcome …. so here is my FENews article on Lessons from the AOC Business Development conference


AOC Business Development Conference Presentation Synopsis – Developing an Effective Marketing Strategy

The following video condenses my one hour Effective Business Development Marketing session in to a 4 minute video.

Do you have four minutes to refresh your skills or learn something new?


What is Marketing?

What is Marketing? How Do You Develop a Marketing Strategy? I know what Business Development is .. but

Marketing Confuses Me


Marketing is all about satisfying customer needs and wants .. and doing so profitably.

It is quite simple and you don’t need special shoes or a flashy suit. Most of it is just common sense.  The rest is simple software and knowing how to use it.

I just wish common sense were more common! So think through the issues before placing an advert .. because most adverts don’t work!


Do you Have a Referrals Strategy?

A referrals strategy is essential for business developmentDo you Have a Referrals Strategy?

Even if it is written on the back of an envelope you need some sort of strategy or plan.

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Should You Advertise That?

Most advertising doesn't work Most advertising doesn’t work … so

Should You Advertise Training Courses?

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Don’t be a Carrot .. be a Thought Leader

Being a carrot doesn't sell trainingBeing a Carrot Doesn’t Sell Training

If we all had the same products, looked the same and said the same things what would happen to sales?

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Networking isn’t about coffee or breakfast.

networking is not about coffee or breakfastToo many people go to networking events without planning.

There is no point going on the off-chance that something will happen.

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