BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – CAPE TOWN – Only 7 spots still available

I will be co-presenting a customer appreciation morning event titled Business Breakthroughs 2014 on Tuesday, 28 January at the Winchester Mansions Hotel in Sea Point, Cape Town.

The most valuable thing you can do in January is stop, get away from your business for a morning, surround yourself with like-minded Entrepreneurs and make big decisions and big plans for the year ahead.

The first of these Business Breakthroughs 2014 seminars will cover improved communication, advanced selling skills and business growth. I am pleased to announce that my co-presenter will be master communicator Pieter Cronjé. Pieter has an amazing background and fantastic lessons to share. He was “the voice” of South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 and has also served as spokesperson for the City of Cape Town and for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 in Cape Town amongst many other career highlights. He will present a communication master class at our Business Breakthroughs 2014 seminar. Don’t miss it!

We look forward to spending time with you on 28 January. Please view the content of our two seminars below.

SALES BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – SURVIVAL IS NOT ENOUGH
Presented by John Lloyd (09:00 – 10:20)

As we enter 2014, the big missing link I am seeing in most businesses is a complete lack of powerful Selling – and a lack of a powerful SALES SYSTEM.

Like it or not, you have to learn to sell – in person as well as in an ever increasing variety of media. If you have a larger business, you need to build a sales team – FAST and they need to know how to sell too. If you leave the all-important buying decision to your customers’ and clients’ convenience… you’ll never sell anything – Period!

FACT! – Top producers can earn 10x more than the average salesperson.

The old economy is shattered and GONE FOREVER. Old-school selling is dead. It is never coming back as it was…and many sales professionals will become extinct waiting for it to return.
In The New Economy, only a select few will gain and keep membership in the elite sales community enjoying the top incomes, greatest security, the most independence and power, and the highest status.
I’ll be sharing the following with you at our business growth breakthroughs seminar:

  • How to optimise your sales in 2014?
  • The REAL meaning of “no” and why you really want to hear it from     customers.
  • The simple, everyday words that can make or break your sales.
  • How to handle objections effectively.
  • The most important skill you can ever learn as a sales person.
  • The 7-Step No BS Sales Process: finally, a reliable system you can stick with!
  • Which is the biggest obstacle holding back most sales people and how to overcome it?
  • Why your customers and clients aren’t buying from you… and what to do about it.
  • Which social media is the best for business-to-business selling?
  • What “it’s too expensive” really means (and it’s NOT that they don’t want it).
  • How to CREATE TRUST (FAST) in the trust-damaged, post-recession world.

SMART COMMUNICATION – A HARD SKILL FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS 
Presented by Pieter Cronjé (10:40 – 12:00)

Communication skills are no longer “soft” skills in business.  They are “hard” business skills.  Get it wrong and you can pay the price in lost sales, opportunity and reputation.  Get it right and you turn a buyer into a customer into an ambassador.
Communication mastery is at the heart of the Tom Peters mantra of treating customers like guests and your staff like people.  Customers have become informed, street-wise and vocal.  They do not have to find a newspaper or radio station to bad-mouth your service or sing your praises.  They have connected mobile devices and can instantly air their customer feedback on social media.

Communication and marketing are flipsides of the same business coin, not seperate departments. Make sure what you promise your customer become true when he or she e-mails, calls or walks through that door.  Make a personal connection. Successful businesses and professionals invest in communication skills.  It is an essential toolkit for a competitive world driven by 24/7 information, trends and choices. Communication skills increase your personal and commercial value. Good communication on all levels mustpositively affect the bottom line.  Understand how news and social media work and the do’s and don’ts of using them.  Know how to impress customers, handle complaints, make impactful presentations and pitches and create the best possible first impression and, thereafter, a business relationship. This seminar will give you communication insights, tips and tools to use in your profession or business.
These include:

  • Understanding integrated communication and the tools in the toolkit.
  • Using the classic principles of communication with modern techniques.
  • Building your personal and business brand.
  • Knowing the do’s and don’ts of news and social media and the skill of communicating through them.
  • Understanding how news media work and using your daily news to hone your own communication skills.
  • Learning to plan and prepare for pitfalls, and handling them when they happen.
  • Optimizing, maximizing and leveraging good communication and marketing for business success and growth.

SEMINAR PROGRAM 

08:15 to 09:00 – Registration/Coffee/Tea/Networking

09:00 to 10:20 – SALES BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – SURVIVAL IS NOT ENOUGH: John Lloyd

10:20 to 10:40 – Tea/Coffee/Muffins/Networking

10:40 to 12:00 – SMART COMMUNICATION – A HARD SKILL FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS: Pieter Cronjé

12:00 to 12:15 – Q&A: Pieter Cronjé and John Lloyd

RESERVE YOUR SEAT NOW – CLICK HERE

SEMINAR DETAILS & BOOKINGS

Date: Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Time: 08:15 to 12:15
Venue: Winchester Mansions Hotel, Sea Point (The Constance Room), Cape Town
Cost: R397-00 per person

Bank details for payment:

J.E.Lloyd, Brandstorm
Bank: FNB
Branch code: 204109
Account nr: 50260154650

Please email the payment advice. Email: karen@brandstorm.co.za
Bookings – Contact Karen for further information on 0716427992

Are you a champion business?

As a business consultant, speaker and trainer, I frequently get a birds-eye view of a wide selection of companies. Very soon the true mindset and attitude of that company’s leadership and staff become clear. Companies either fall into the category of what I describe as – “Champions” or “Chumps”.

The “chump” companies consistently show some or all of the following ten behaviours:

  • Too many rules
  • Poor training procedures
  • Lack of feedback on performance
  • Lack of differentiation for rewards between top and bottom performers
  • A few individuals that carry all the pressure and key projects
  • Promotions are based on tenure and experience rather than results
  • Weak leaders
  • Tolerance of poor performers
  • Too many meetings, many of which are unproductive
  • Nepotism

You should pay close and constant attention to this list. Am I describing your company? Champions or Chumps? You decide!

Unless you make the workplace environment your number one recruiting tool, champion staff members will always be leaving. On the other hand, life is great when champion-type companies come looking for you. It takes a while for word to get around, but if you build it – a champion environment – they will come! Get building!

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Do you regard your advertising as a cost or an investment?

As a marketing consultant, I regularly see businesses make a big mistake by not taking into consideration the value of repeat sales when they review the performance of their advertising and measure its profitability.

Determining whether your advertising is working (is it profitable?), you need to look at advertising as a long-term investment. When evaluating your advertising, you need to take into consideration repeat sales from each new customer your advertising produces. Nearly all businesses earn the majority of their sales and profits on repeat sales, not first time sales. Understanding this concept is one of the secrets to building a successful business.

For example, let’s say you run a small quarter page ad in your local community newspaper. This small ad costs you R2 000. From this single ad you attract five customers who each buy R300 worth of your products. From that information you would think that you had a loss of R500 on that ad because you paid R2000 for it, but you only generated R1 500 in sales. However, upon scrutinizing the long-term effect of those five new customers, a whole new picture emerges.

Let us say that each of those five new customers purchases an additional R600 of merchandise from you over the next 11-months. When you take that into consideration, your R2000 ad has now generated R4 500 in sales. What if each of those five customers purchases an additional R1 000 of merchandise from you the following year? Now, your original R2 000 ad has generated R 9 500 in sales over a 24-month period. Suddenly your return on your advertising investment is looking very positive.

That is why it’s essential that you view the profitability of your advertising on a long-term scale, yet most advertisers tend to judge their campaigns after one or two adverts. It is a sure-fire recipe for failure. The goal of advertising is to generate long-term customers and repeat sales. Your objective as a business owner must always be to generate faithful repeat customers, not one-time sales.

Let’s now add the amazing power of referrals to your advertising strategy. What if two of your five new customers valued your products so much that they told two of their friends about you and these two friends each become long-term customer of your business. What if those two friends each purchase a few thousand rands worth of products from you over the next two years? Are you seeing the positive result and the tremendous long-term value of that initial R2000 ad you placed?

I hope that this gives you a better understanding of advertising as an investment. It is essential that you track the source of every new customer. Whenever you talk to a new customer you must ask the customer “how did you hear about us?”, then you need to track the source of that customer and measure how many sales that customer makes over time. One of the key drivers of business growth is to have a clear sense of the lifetime value of a customer.

Figure out what a customer is worth to you over a purchasing lifetime, the total aggregate profit that each customer can generate for you, minus all advertising, marketing and service expenses.

In summary, before you discard your advertising strategies because they are not immediately generating a profit, you must first test, measure and understand the value of a new customer over time. Stop looking at advertising as a quick-fix and short term expense. Start viewing advertising for what it really is, a long-term investment and when managed correctly can dramatically grow your profits.

If you want help with your marketing, branding and advertising, then call me today. Nobody can negotiate better media deals for you. I’m talking about improving and guaranteeing your returns by over 33% for the same current investment that you make.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Have you tried freebie marketing?

Offering something for free to your clients and customers doesn’t sound like the smartest way to boost you profit, but executed correctly, it can do exactly that.

What can freebie marketing do for your business?:

  • View freebies as a marketing weapon, not with the mind-set that it’s simply a ‘giveaway’.
  • It allows customers to build a level of trust with you.
  • Encourage prospects to sample products and services they may not normally buy.
  • They make customers feel that they are getting something extra, especially if bundled as an extra bonus. This builds loyalty and reciprocity.
  • Freebies can be a great incentive to get existing customers to promote your business – especially in the age of social media where endorsing your product or service only takes the click of a button.

Ideas to creatively and beneficially use freebies:

  • Use a free offer to launch a new product or service and generate positive PR.
  • Find something in your business that is inexpensive for you to generate, but will have a high perceived value. This might be a high margin product or some information or expertise.
  • Use the free offer as an extra reward for loyal customers. The wording of your giveaway is important.
  • Offer an initial analysis for free if you provide a service. This will demonstrate your skills and start a relationship.
  • Offer free items as part of a competition. But, your customers must feel that there is a reasonable chance of winning.

Just about any kind of business (even service companies) can benefit by using freebies and giveaways to promote their businesses. Creatively offering something for free to your prospects helps you to reach new clients quickly and is an effective way of getting customers and prospects through the door and growing your business.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Are your meetings a waste of time?

‘Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.’ – John Kenneth Galbraith

Does your company have non-stop meetings? Are they boring, unfocussed and time-consuming? Do these meetings get in the way of ‘real work’?

I find it strange that the activity (meetings) which is most central to effectively running organisations is so often unproductive. Information flow is critical and good meetings can accelerate decision making and communication. This is why I find it mind-blowing that companies and teams don’t establish ways to maximise the value of every single meeting.

I list a few ideas how to optimise your meetings:

1.     Deliberate, thoughtful planning for every meeting is a key. Most people seem to pitch up for a meeting because that’s the regular scheduled time, then only do they switch on. No preparation.

2.     Lay out what needs to be discussed and by whom.

3.     Participants must be encouraged to express honest opinions. Poor managers don’t invite debate and even conflict. This is vital to good decision making and ultimately good execution.

4.     Have a meeting audit. Just because a regularly held meeting was critical in the past, doesn’t mean it delivers value today. Do an audit of frequently scheduled meetings to maximise frequency, length, format and attendees.

5.     Create an effective agenda.  Setting up an agenda is often a basic that is overlooked in meetings. And I don’t mean the same standard agenda that has been existence for five years.

6.     Ensure active facilitation. The chair should do much more than see that the meeting stays on schedule. The chair must frame subjects in a way that leads to participation and focus. The goal of the meeting is to discuss, debate, agree, solve problems and provide strategy.

‘A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours wasted.’ – James T. Kirk

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Common sense marketing ideas to grow your business

I recall a quote from Mark Twain that said, “Common sense ain’t all that common”. I now know what Twain meant. Every day I speak and listen to business people that face possible extinction, yet they show no interest in using powerful and free common sense marketing ideas to help their businesses grow.

I list eight for you:

  1. Formalise a referral strategy

The success or failure of many businesses depends on the referrals they get, or don’t get. List your twelve best referral sources and then work that list. Don’t be shy. Just ask! Most people given the opportunity to help you, will. Add to the list as soon as you get new referral sources.

  1. Become a master at converting leads into customers

Get trained. Do whatever it takes to be good at converting leads. You’re in the business to generate prospects so that you can turn these prospects into customers. Has your sales staff mastered turning prospects into buyers? No amount of advertising or marketing can replace a conversion expert.

  1. Write an article that challenges your industries rules

When a person challenges an industry perception that seems to be reasonable, then that challenge receives attention. Standing out from the crowd is the perfect way to position yourself as an authority figure in your industry. The benefit for your reputation and sales will be immense.

  1. Write “how to” pamphlets or e-booklets for your customers and prospects

The more you educate your prospects, the more chance you have of being the expert to whom they turn. This will help you become a personality in your field.

  1. Use sampling as a sales tool

If you have a product or service that you can give away for free, you’ll find this a lucrative way to market your business. This is a great way to introduce your product or service to a prospect. You can also sample by offering a product or service on a trial basis.

  1. Send out a newsletter

A personalised newsletter can be educational, informational, interesting and entertaining. It can also be a powerful sales tool. Your newsletter does not have to be lengthy or complicated. It’s a low cost way to maintain critical customer contact. Send it out fortnightly, monthly or even quarterly, but send it out!

  1. Establish three ways to make it easier for people to do business with you

Most businesses have systems and processes that seem designed to make it complicated to do business. Look at every aspect of your business and ask yourself, “If I was a customer of mine, what would make it easier and more convenient to do business with me?” List three strategies that would make it easier for people to do business with you, implement these and then repeat the exercise every three months.

  1. Stay in touch with your customers

The best place to find growth for your business is right under your nose, in your current client base. Companies though, seem more hell-bent on the more difficult option, that being, focusing on constantly looking for new customers. Regular and effective contact with your current customers will increase your sales by a big margin. Have you re-sold, up-sold or cross-sold to every single one of your current customers? Don’t wait for these customers to return to you, go to them.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

 

Do more of the seven things you can’t do too much of

If your goal is to grow your business in 2014, then there are seven essentials that you can never do too much of. If growth is your wish, then in my opinion:

  1. You cannot service your customers too much.
  2. You cannot educate enough.
  3. You cannot inform too much.
  4. You cannot make doing business with you too easy or too much fun.
  5. You cannot take follow-up or follow-through too far.
  6. You cannot make calling or coming into your business too desirable.
  7. You cannot build a big enough network.

How do you and your team rate in these seven essential areas?

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Build a website and they will come…or not?

One of the most costly myths of online marketing is that all the money is made by websites – while email is just a useful add-on. The reality is that it’s actually the other way around.

Websites definitely have a “build it and they will come” appeal. Simply building a site won’t ensure that you have traffic.

We’re advised to believe that it’s all about websites, because we’re used to spending money on Amazon, Kalahari, Takealot and the other big online retail sites. For those mega brands, everything does tend to revolve around the website. For the small and medium size business owners who are most successful online, their most significant profits come from their email marketing, not their websites. Obviously you need a web presence or shop window to direct people to from your emails, but it’s the consistent and effective use of email that drives customers back to your website.

Having a good website that is not reinforced with great email marketing is a common and costly business mistake.

How long did you spend planning and creating your website? How many hours did you spend thinking about it, talking to web designers and making changes and improvements to it?

How much time have you spent planning and developing an email strategy and sending powerful and compelling emails to your customers on a regular basis?

If you spent more time on the website than you have on the email marketing, you may have it the wrong way around.

Websites may have been the first wonder of the Internet, but the most powerful tool for marketing, the most powerful tool for branding, the most powerful tool for direct response, and the most powerful tool for building customer relationships is email. It’s inexpensive, it’s easy and everybody on the Internet has an address.

There are 3.2 billion email users worldwide.

It’s faster than a speeding bullet. It’s able to leap over tall assistants with a single click. Are you using it correctly and effectively to grow your business?

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

How to create a powerful marketing message?

Without the right marketing message, your business is in trouble.

Most businesses don’t have a well-crafted message. Today I’m going to give you a concept, that if followed, is guaranteed to give you a marketing message that will resonate with your target market.

The three letters which is extremely important in creating an effective marketing message is – USP. They stand for Unique Selling Proposition. To develop your Unique Selling Proposition you need to answer this critical question:

“Why should I choose to do business with you versus any and every other option available to me in your category?”

Do you have a good answer to that? Your answer cannot be something like “We offer quality” or “Our product or service is better”. These are marketing generalisations and offer nothing unique. Every company says that. It has zero impact.

You need to have a specific answer to the above question that is benefit-focused towards your ideal client.

I remind you of the important question that you must answer: “Why should I choose to do business with you versus any and every other option available to me in your category?”

If you can answer this question in a way that is of benefit to your target audience then you are guaranteed a very powerful marketing message.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

It’s about time

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

There is one person that controls your life. This person controls what you eat, when you wake-up, whether you exercise or not, whether you choose to eat healthy or give in to fast food, how often you check Facebook, how much TV you view and what you do with your day. That divine ruler is YOU– no one else.

Do you handle time as money? Can you tell me what your time must be worth per hour to achieve your income goal? The driving question that I always ask myself is: Will this use of my time move me significantly closer to my important goals?

Time is the asset you own outright and have total control over. I don’t really need to follow you around and observe how you use your time to gauge how you’re doing in business. All I need do is have a peek at your diary, its appointments and plans and I will know whether you are serious about your job and life. The diary never lies. I always find that the sales people with a mostly empty diary always fail to meet their targets.

“Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. Life ends. And what we came to do on earth must be done while there is time!” – Milan Jed

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za