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Small Businesses, Claim your Competitive Advantage (Part Two)

By | customers, entrepreneurs, marketing, sales training | No Comments

Small Business, Claim your Competitive AdvantageSales Training London - happy lady

Yesterday, we looked at some reasons why it can be good to be small. As a small business, you:

Respond Faster

Have More Flexibility

Have Better Relationships with Customers

Get a Personal connection to the Customer

Have Specialisation

Have The Community Edge

Today we will look at some more reasons, starting with:

Present a more compelling message
Large companies have so many people involved that it can be really difficult to create a strong message (for example a marketing campaign or new product). With multiple contributors, no one person knows the entire message and it can be difficult to get a consensus. Add to that various layers of management approval and a message will easily get diluted.

However, as a small business you have very few people involved and can create a strong compelling message quickly and then get it out into the wider world.

Better, faster processes with less red tape
Large companies certainly have lots of processes. However, they also have lots of individuals who may or may not follow them. Think about it, for a proposal, there may be different teams involved, reporting to different supervisors, with different (and possibly conflicting) objectives. It can be both challenging and time consuming to get everyone to agree. The chances are, that with larger organisations there will also be an element of office politics involved too. The different individuals or departments may all be following a different process, so a new one has to be introduced to ensure consistency for each new project and then everyone has to agree to follow it. If this is repeated again and again, then confusion will be the constant. Understandably people can then be reluctant to learn new processes so frequently and actually the whole thing becomes more chaotic. Read More

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Why you should stop discounting and charge more

By | customers, entrepreneurs, marketing, negotiation, sales tips, Training | 4 Comments

Why you should stop discounting and charge more


When you looked at that heading, did you think ‘no chance!’ Or perhaps you shouted at me; ‘what does she know?’ Certainly, if you are anything like most people in business, you might have some genuine reasons to be sceptical, like:

 

1. I need to give discounts to win business
2. I need money and I need it now – so even if it’s not that profitable, by discounting I do get some cash flow
3. I’ll raise my prices when I’m busier
4. I don”t know how to justify charging more
5. It’s just easier to give a discount
6. My customers can’t afford to pay more

Well, if that is you, then you need to know that, unless you are in the bargain basement discount end of the market, discounting has been shown not to work. These are the main reasons why:

 

1. Someone else will always discount a bit more – so before you know where you are, they have undercut you, then you need to undercut them and so on. The result? Even if you do make the sale, you have totally eroded your profit margin.

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What Rudyard Kipling can teach you about Selling

By | sales tips, sales training | 10 Comments

We are now going to get surprisingly cultural,  but it’s all in the name of selling more!

sales tips Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

“I keep six honest serving men
(they taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”

What the very clever Rudyard Kipling was talking about was the ability to ask effective questions. 

I am constantly keeping an eye out for what annoys customers when they are being sold to and the one that keeps popping up is ‘Not listening properly’. But of course, if you want to listen to a customer, you have to know what to ask them. These words to which Mr Kipling referred are, of course, ‘open’ questions. In other words, it is hard to answer briefly with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. When you are in front of a customer, talking to them on the phone, or even communicating virtually via email or social media, then you need to be able to ask effective questions or you won’t properly understand what Read More