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Armstrong Beech Marketing Leadership/Management Marketing Networking Pareto 80-20 Principle Podcasts

Being seen as the Expert in professional service firms

Being seen as the Expert in professional service firms –
from Newsletter in March 2012
Really, really important to show you are the expert and have the ‘ology’:  Being seen as the expert is a critical ingredient for any professional service business and I’ve written on the various ways to communicate this previously.  I just want to touch on two ways today:
Article writing is an essential part of this and do try to increase the number of outlets for your articles.  Not only on your blog on your website and your newsletter!  But when you can link articles to topical news it’s even more powerful as you then have the opportunity not only to share with your usual readers, but also to submit to the press and different outlets for the article to be published. Here’s an example of two articles I’ve enjoyed recently to illustrate:
It Can Only Be A Question Of Leadership – received through Rene Carayol’s newsletter
“AVB Sacked at Chelsea FC
The media is in its usual frenzy as Roman Abramovitch seeks his eighth manager in his eight year reign as the owner of Chelsea Football Club”   and the article continues to explore in quite some detail what led to the downfall of AVB”.
And following the sinking of the Concordia in January, Jan Bowen Nielson from Quiver Management wrote this article:   “Where was the coach when the ship went down”. exploring not only the blame directed at the captain for causing the accident but also the wider debate around corporate ethics, safety and individual responsibility.
It was through one of Jan’s open courses I gained my coaching and mentoring qualification last year.  It has been such a useful tool.  If this has been something on your ’roundtuit’ list, do bring it up to the top – so many benefits for you as an individual and for your business.  See the link here to the forthcoming courses. 
And what about a podcast?   Something that’s been on my ’roundtuit’ for quite a while and I did two earlier this year for The Business Women’s Networking group’s national website.  I chair their Bath monthly meetings.
So far, two on networking and one on the Pareto 80-20 Principle.   I had a skype call with the TWBC contact and it was recorded that way.   How could you use this in your business – either keeping as a podcast or moving into You Tube?

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Armstrong Beech Marketing LinkedIn Marketing Networking

Networking – Love it or Hate it – Part 2

Listen to the podcast here

This is Part 2 of my Networking Articles, The Follow Up
Some of you are regular attendees; others not sure and others again absolutely hate it.  I have always networked and passionately believe in its value. When working in the telecoms sector and establishing an office here in the South West, I gained at least one third of my business through networking.   And, equally important, those customers remain loyal and don’t get whisked away when the next ‘too good to miss’ telesales call comes in – so long, of course, that you have ‘done what you say on the tin’ and given them the very best customer service. So do give it a try.
But before you start:  you must make the time to follow up every interesting conversation/potential lead from each event within a couple of days.  If you’re not prepared to do this, then probably worth waiting until you can follow up effectively.

  • If you have promised to follow-up with someone about something, do it within a couple of days of the event whilst still fresh in your mind (and theirs) with a quick email or phone call.   And of course you’ll invite them to join your network on LinkedIn…  Even if you haven’t promised to follow up, then Linked In is great to maintain contact.  If emailing, why not attach your own ‘outlook’ business card to your mail, so it saves having to make out a card for you.  Make it easy to do business with you…. If you do a lot of networking, then perhaps consider a business postcard or folded overprinted note let to ‘stand out’ from the standard two-line email.   I was sent once a great looking card as a follow up from a national IFA once but it had no contact details!  What a waste – in fact more than that – it made me think the company was daft for going to all that trouble and not ensuring the basics were in place!
  • If you are sending an email follow up, check your email signature to see that it’s complete.   If you’re in business, you don’t have a Hotmail, Gmail, AOL account do you?  Needs to be the same as your website. These others are great for home use but do not give you a professional image. Take care with sending your own logo and test to ensure it is received as you send it and not as a box with a X in the corner.  Your signature needs:
    • First name and surname
    • Company name
    • Job Title
    • Strap line/sentence about what you do
    • Landline
    • Mobile
    • Skype if appropriate
    • Email address
    • Website
    • Links to your social media networks, eg LinkedIn, Twitter, Face book etc.
    • Links to articles on your blog or any special offers
  • If you have time, consider how the person you met is most likely to want to be communicated with – think about where they fit in with the behavioural/disc quadrants and contact accordingly.
  • When you make contact, where appropriate, suggest a follow up meeting to find out more about their business and for them to find out more about yours.
  • When you receive an email from a new contact, make sure you update your ‘contact’ details on your PC, eg outlook contacts. Personally I copy all details from an email signature and then paste onto a new contact and then populate the appropriate boxes accordingly.  (it’s always a nuisance where people list their landline numbers as +44 (0) 1225 111111)!    Another good idea is to send new contacts your own outlook business details – that way you know they’re all there and correct!
  • Exchanging business cards doesn’t give you the permission automatically to add to your data base for email ‘blasts’, unless you agreed that you would when chatting.  Nor does a list giving email addresses.  You should contact people individually if this is what you want to do to ask permission.
  •  If you are sending out an email newsletter, don’t just abandon the bounce backs and out of offices. There can be lots of useful information there – mobile numbers, alternative contact numbers and the like.  Copy and paste into the contact information.

You get out of networking what you’re prepared to put in, but you need to ‘work’ at it and build the trust.  Building up a network can become one of your best marketing strengths and can help to generate regular referrals.

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Armstrong Beech Marketing Communications Marketing Networking

Networking – love it or hate it – Part 1

Listen to the podcast here

or read the article below…
Some of you are regular attendees; others not sure and others again absolutely hate it. I have always networked and passionately believe in its value. When working in the telecoms sector and establishing an office here in the South West, I gained at least one third of my business through networking. And, equally important, those customers remain loyal and don’t get whisked away when the next ‘too good to miss’ telesales call comes in – so long, of course, that you have ‘done what you say on the tin’ and given them the very best customer service. So do give it a try.
But before you start: you must make the time to follow up every interesting conversation/potential lead from each event within a couple of days. If you’re not prepared to do this, then probably worth waiting until you can follow up effectively.
I’ve jotted down a few pointers to help you:

Categories
Armstrong Beech Marketing Marketing Networking

Welcome to the Armstrong Beech Blog

Hello and welcome to my first official blog post…. As you can see I’ve been sort of posting stuff before now, but as from today I’m fully integrated. Hoorah.   This post will also drop into my Facebook for Business page and my Twitter account.    Just a quick request here before I continue – could you just link on my Facebook page and ‘like’ me – I need to get 25 before I can have a proper looking URL that’s recognizable. That would be fantastic. Thanks so much.
OK then, so what’s my blog going to be about?  Across all of my social media channels, I’ll be posting

  • Industry news that’s interesting and relevant for you
  • News and updates about my business and any offers which I hope will be relevant
  • Random news which I hope will be of interest to you and which may just from time to time include information about my daughter Bea and her progress with her cello

 
So for example when the ASA advertising rules changed in March, I put links to this from my newsletter and they are still on my articles page on my web. I’m always learning and updating my knowledge, especially with social media, so when I come across interesting posts then I’ll post these too.  But I won’t forget the basics of marketing.  When I give my 60 second intro about who I am and what I do and I use the M word – “I work with business owners/directors of SMEs to support them with their marketing to transform their vision and ambition for their business into a reality by creating a sound marketing strategy”- I see eyes sort of glaze over – “Does she mean advertising? Does she mean social media? Don’t really know what she means”.  So I love the opportunity of talking to local business groups to explain the 7 “Ps” of marketing and that Promotion, which embraces advertising and social media, is just one of these 7.
I’m passionate about –

  • Identifying who your customer is and who your support network are
  • customer service and the customer journey
  • customer analysis – why is your tranche of customers your top customers, apart from the fee income/turnover they bring you?
  • Self and own business analysis – your SWOT – not just for the sake of doing this but so that you can use the results
  • My favourite Pareto and the 80-20 rule
  • How to increase sales – only three ways – sell more, more often and up/cross sell
  • Ensuring your brand is carried through your whole business, both through what you and your team do/say as well as physically on print
  • Making sure each product or service you offer is understood and identified (not as daft as it sounds)
  • That you really understand your target market
  • Competitive analysis so your sales team can get right in there with your benefits
  • And of course the Marketing Promotional Mix – what’s worked, what hasn’t and let’s get a strategy in place for the best way forward
  • Getting the best from your email newsletters (another half day offering)
  • Getting started with Linked In (also a half day offering)
  • Testing and Measuring and lots more

The initial AUDIT I offer is just an amazing tool for getting right there with a summary of where you are now and if you can find full details here of all my Marketing Projects (on the right hand side). I’ve always been perceptive and a quick thinker so love undertaking this with clients.  A brilliant way to start of growing your business and shrugging off this ‘recession’.
My clients cover a range of sectors, but certainly include professional services , education and hospitality. I’m based outside Bath, UK so the majority of my work is local-ish but am always happy to consider trips further afield.
My web site has got lots of info about me as has my LinkedIn profile, so I won’t repeat all of that. Suffice it to say I’ve been working in sales and marketing for more than 30 years; it’s just within me on auto pilot if you like –  a silly example – I’m the Bath host forThe Womens’ Business Club and we had a hosts’ meeting earlier this month. One of the ladies runs a fitness club and a client in their range rover had arrived for their appointment, failed to stop before the premises and had driven, quite literally, through the plate glass window.  No-one was hurt, but as she was telling the story,  I was thinking, “what a great picture that would make” and my brain was working on the headline that would have accompanied it.
In the early 80s, before the days of mobile phones and email (!),  I was working in the EFL business – the teaching of English as a foreign language. I was sales and marketing manager for one of the then largest groups in the UK and the sales part of the role took me to Central and South America, half of Europe and Syria, Jordan, Turkey etc. The most amazing opportunity and experience, but if I didn’t have lots of common sense and the ability to see the sensible solution, I wouldn’t have survived.     My first trip was replacing a Spanish speaker at short notice with a 10 day-trip to Caracas, Venezuela with British Caledonian Airways (who remembers them, then?), to appoint an agent. The agent would not only have to be effective in recruiting students on our behalf but also in collecting money and transferring it, so integrity was key. I could speak good French, but then had only a smattering of Spanish, and wasn’t HR experienced, but had and still have good intuition and gut feeling.  The person I appointed, after having interviewed loads of people, became one of the company’s best agents in providing long-stay students year round, and was with them certainly for 15 or so years.  And we remained friends for many of those, long after I left the business, married and had children!
So then to finish, I have a fantastic family. My husband Bernard is currently in Hong Kong where he is on the panel of music examiners for one of the UK Boards (remember if you ever took a music exam at school?). He’s back at the end of the month, having been there for 6 weeks;   he then will do some UK work here more locally. My elder daughter Rebecca is a staff nurse in Bristol and my younger daughter, Beatrice, is just finishing her fourth and final year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying cello, and in September will continue with her studies at The Royal Academy of Music in London on a two year postgraduate MA course. She was awarded a scholarship for this which is just amazing, though sadly the monetary value of it at £1K won’t go that far in London so we’re still sourcing funding for her studies – any pointers gratefully received!
Do follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook for Business as well as my Blog here.  I haven’t got an auto-connect just yet with Linked In as I want to see how things develop.  What thoughts anyone on including Linked In?
My goal will be to write a weekly blog and then supplement with re-tweets or quick links of interesting ‘stuff’.
Debbie Newman FInstSMM
Armstrong Beech Marketing
 

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Armstrong Beech Marketing Networking

Turning a customer with a complaint into one of your biggest fans – the Wow Factor – have you got it?

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs066/1102402695572/archive/1105078017110.html