Every Week I See Shiny New Marketing Toys Being Recommended. Too Often They Focus on Tactics NOT Marketing Principles
There is a big difference between a tactic and a principle. Both can work short term, but principles are far longer lived and can last forever. Continue reading
Searcher Intent? What Do Online Searchers Intend
We read a lot about SEO and ensuring that we use the right keywords in our content to ensure we come high up on the Search Engine Results Pages. But to do this, and get highly ranked, we need to know what the online searcher intent is.
Are they just merely curious, doing actual research, want to buy, want to recommend to a friend or something altogether different? People’s intentions are not always obvious, so, when writing content, we need to make some assumptions if our webpage is to match their actual needs. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous, SEO, Websites
Tagged Content, conversion, CRO, Micro expressions, micro-moments, sales, Search, SEO, SME, website
How to Generate Higher Value Employer Engagement Sales …
Using Figures on Your Course Pages is a Form of Anchoring That Can Be Used to Generate Higher Value Sales on a Website
I’ve talked about Anchoring [Tversky and Kahneman (1974)] in previous posts.
The 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.
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
Whether Encouraging Prospective Students or Employers We’ve All Sensed Prospective Customers That Are Reluctant to Proceed.
When Reluctant Buyers voice their issues it is relatively easy as we have been trained to handle the situation; we know about sales objections and how to handle them. The real problem comes when we just sense their reluctance but it is left unsaid.
So what do we Brits do? Often we leave sleeping dogs to lie. We don’t like raising problems. this is mainly because we try to avoid conflict at all costs.
The result is the meeting or negotiation goes well, there is no conflict and we part “good friends”. But the student never reappears or the employer doesn’t place the order for training or doesn’t proceed with taking an apprentice.
Everyone has wasted their time. It is a lose lose situation.
Handling Reluctant Buyers Unsaid Sales Objections
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)
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.
Get Your Marketing Right & Recruitment is Certain
There are dozens of things that can go wrong when a prospective student or employer decides to apply for a course.
Websites fall over, forms stop working, forms are unintelligible, Forms get lost, people have to retype forms , attachments get lost, stupid questions get asked, …
It ought to be really easy to apply for a course. But our survey of providers proves this wrong. Dozens of things can .. and DO .. go wrong. One college lost 3% of applications .. we found them stuck in a spam filter.
Discover more of what goes wrong. Read our latest exclusive article on Optimising FE Recruitment in FE News
Money is tight.
But recent budget cuts make increasing employer income an imperative. But how do we do it? How do we increase revenue from employers?
My recent article in FE News addresses this issue. I detail one method that works for me on a regular basis
How to Increase Provider Revenue
Follow-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.
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
On July 1st I chaired the Apprenticeships for England Employer Engagement Event in Peterborough. It was a day of 10 minute presentations followed by debate, comment and discussion from the audience.
One idea put forward is that employers live in a world where sales is not a dirty word. It is what many of them do for a living. So we shouldn’t be ashamed of “selling” apprenticeships and we should stop trying to dress it up as something else.
Start with a Smile
Smiles are free. They are also the best Marketing & Sales tool ever devised. But they have to be genuine. Forced smiles are sensed by customers as soon as seen.
Do Your Negotiations Say It With Flowers?
Are you a tough negotiator like Tesco .. or do you have more sense?
The recent spate of media coverage over the tactics that the supermarkets use with suppliers has exposed many of them to the public gaze. As long ago as the 1990s I supplied a number of supermarket chains so the current stories do not surprise me. I’ve been there and have the T-shirt.
I dumped Tesco, Sainsburys and several other supermarket chains before they controlled the business I then owned. It was tough but subsequently I was much better off.
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
Sales 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.
In 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
I said that groups are a really powerful way to link with people of similar mindset, interest or whatever ….. and a place to ask or answer questions on just about any business related topic.
With LinkedIn it is important to understand that LinkedIn is a NOT a sales platform. But used wisely it will present you with sales leads.
A lot of your prospects are already aware of you. But …
they know you run food hygiene or customer care courses; or that you have an engineering facility where you train CADCAM, or whatever, … but nothing else.
If they want that sort of training they might pick up the phone and ask you to quote on some training for them.
But if they want some training on project management or databases they will probably look elsewhere .. perhaps they’ll search online .. but they are less likely to phone you as a first action because in their head you only do what they know about. .