Tag Archives: business development

How to Get High Value Clients

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How to Win High Value ClientsI Know Several Ways to Acquire New High Value Clients .. But Only One of Them Works

I’m not talking about acquiring students or low value commercial business. I mean the high value clients that bring in five or six figure sums.

The businesses that pay big money.

High Value Clients May Come From ..

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How to Use Employers’ Curiosity Gap To Win Contracts

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Lowenstein and the curiosity gap What is the Curiosity Gap and how does it apply to Employer Engagement & Business Development ?

George Lowenstein coined a theory he called the Curiosity Gap. In it he suggests that as soon as we realise there is a gap in our knowledge, we strive to fill it.

In Employer Engagement and Business Development we can take advantage of the Curiosity Gap by using a very simple formula. Continue reading

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Value Based Pricing Strategies for FE Business Development

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Value Based Pricing Strategies are an FHE business development strategy essential in FE Value Based Pricing is an Alternative Pricing Strategy Few FE Providers Use

Most FE Providers ignore Value Based Pricing Strategies and go for Flat Pricing with a single option. For example, a course is charged at £195 per person. There are no other options.

This is a quick and easy way to quote but it means you are going to be compared with your competitors on price. And that means someone will always try to do it cheaper and, even if you get the work, the margins are very slim.

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The Power of Three in Sales & Marketing

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The Power of Three in Sales and markletingThe Power of Three Makes Sales More Certain

The Power of Three is a very simple idea that can really provide improved sales and marketing results.

What is the Power of Three?

The power of three is simple, but lets start with the number one. When you offer people one option .. or a take it or leave it option .. they have no choice and there is a high chance you fail to make a sale.

But give people several options and the choice goes from deciding if they want your course to deciding which option they want.

Sadly FE rarely offers people options that could sell more. But they could if they follow this advice.

Examples of the Power of Three Options

Say you are selling a First Aid course. The Power of Three in Selling First Aid Courses

Lots of colleges sell these courses and buyers decide on location and price. Where several providers exist in a buyers area they then often buy based on price alone.

The Power of Three says you should offer the standard course at a given price but then offer two further options. These could be based on anything to providing free coffee and or lunch to things like online QA after the course. Continue reading

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Coffee Gets Additional Business

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Hfree coffee is a way to build relationships ow Often Do Your Clients Become Past Memories? 

For example you might have had students from a particular business for years and then they suddenly stop enrolling one year. Or maybe a school was an excellent feeder for years and then started to tail off. The answer could be coffee!

The schools issue is not so common with most providers as they often have a dedicated schools liaison person.  And that fact indicates the problem with the former. You see if no one is tasked with keeping in touch with current customers they soon get forgotten.  It isn’t enough to think that your courses are great and they will keep on coming.  All it takes is for a competitor to appear and woo them away from you.

But if you keep in touch with them on  a regular basis then they are far less likely to disappear. Ideally you should be sending them some useful snippets of info, or some top tips relevant to them, on  a regular basis.

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Employers Will Pay Much More

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employers pay extra for luxury Frequently I’m Told Employers Will NOT Pay a Premium .. or sometimes anything at all. 

That’s NOT True

Employers will pay much more than most people think when buying courses for themselves or highly valued staff.

The trick is to tap into what they value or need most.

Employers are people and people value the little extras in life .. such as
Luxury (the feeling of)
Time
Clarity
Experience
Process (if it’s unique)
Passing Responsibility (the transfer of it…to you)
Think about the businesses that YOU pay a premium to…

What do they give you that makes you happy to pay extra?

Coffee shops; most charge a high premium on coffee fees. In return you get a distinct ambiance, great coffee, comfortable seating and (usually) good music.

Apple, Their computers and phones are really expensive. You can pay 100% – 400% premium on their computers. But in return, you get a Apple shops which provide a much better experience, a great feeling when opening the box plus good  customer service.

Even the simpler, more innovative design implies clarity.

 

What Employers Will Pay For 

Employers will pay extra if you provide some, or all, of the above.

The first step is to answer the phone correctly. These people are responsible adults that run businesses.  Far too often when I speak to providers on the phone I feel like they are treating me like a school leaver. There is no need to be abrupt or appear superior!

I’m sure staff don’t set out to appear like this .. but sadly some definitely come over like this.

So start by thinking about the people you are dealing with and what they expect.  Provide this as a minimum and then try to exceed their expectations.  You can then base your prices on this level of service and see significant income improvements.

You will also stand out from the crowd when bidding against other providers.

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How To Promote Courses to Employers

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Promote Courses: Employers will pay for unusual coursesDo you only offer the usual courses.  You know, the usual list of manual handling, health and safety courses, food hygiene and all those other courses you can find on 90-95% of provider websites?

This employer market is limited and incomes restricted.  

But there is another way where incomes and profit grow at an exponential rate.

You see while very few ever look beyond offering this shortlist and, if asked for something out of the ordinary,  just say they there is no call for it. The really smart providers do something entirely different.

They make significant profit.

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Follow Up Is a Very Effective Marketing & Sales Technique

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follow up is a vital profit making skillFollow-up is a superb way to increase your sales and profits and is very easy to understand and undertake.

So lets start with the Follow Up basics.

You’ve met someone and they have shown genuine interest in what you have to offer.  You exchange cards and part company with promises to get back in touch. But clearly you will not be doing any business if you don’t get back in contact.

Sadly that is where many potential business opportunities fail.   No further contact is made.

Now it might be that you feel getting back in touch feels a bit pushy.  OK, but if you aren’t prepared to push at this stage there is no business to be had.  You have to make the effort to get back in touch.

This is how I do it.

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Client Acquisition: How To Avoid Client Chasing

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Client acquisistion isn't easy; unless you market effectively. Client Acquisition: Getting More Business Clients Can Be Hard When Your Emails and Phone Calls Don’t Get Answered.

So how do you get the clients without appearing desperate? Try this method of Client Acquisition

You know the situation. They ask for a proposal, you write and send it and then you can’t get an answer from them.

Sometimes their priorities have changed but often it is just that you keep missing one another.  When this happens you have to decide if you should give up or keep chasing.  But chasing looks desperate.

How to Avoid Client Chasing and Looking Desperate

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Data Wins Contracts and Budgets

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Budgets are tight and Finance Directors are demanding evidence
before awarding contracts or budgets.

Internally you might find yourself having to justify existing budgets whilst externally getting that vital contract now means convincing your prospect and their FD.

So how do you convince people that you are right? Without evidence you are just another person with an opinion.  In fact ti is often worse, you are a sales person with an opinion and sales figures to hit. Continue reading

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How Can FE Providers Balance Their Budgets?

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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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The Customer FLOW Process

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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

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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

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Business Development & Marketing Insights

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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

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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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What the Wall Street Journal’s Sales Letter can Teach us in FE

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sales letters ework when sent by email or snail mailSales Letters Aren’t Dead .. Even in the Digital Age

In fact in many ways sales letters are more important than ever for one simple reason.  They work.

And actually today you have two options to choose from.  You can send them by snail mail or by email.  Both work.

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How To Use Animated Calls to Actions

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How to get people to subscribe or enrol Getting prospects on your website from interested to enrolled is sometimes difficult.

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What is Your Referral Strategy? Luck?

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Making Referrals is an excellent marketing method but do you have a strategy? Word of Mouth  Predominates

as a marketing method.

Ask anyone where most of their custom comes from and they’ll say Word of Mouth referrals.

 

Do you have a referrals strategy?

Ask them if they have a referrals strategy and they’ll say no in most cases.

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How to Add Value to Full Cost Courses

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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

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How To Use LinkedIn to Find Prospects

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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

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