Category Archives: Sales and Marketing

Is Your Business a well-kept secret?

As every business owner knows, getting more customers and clients is essential to making a business a success or taking it to the next level.

You’re working hard and adding value and benefits to your products and services.

But why is it that it that your business does not attract the steady stream of clients you need? Why is it that your competitors who deliver an inferior service or product do better than they should? That’s down to effective marketing.

Irrespective of the quality of your products and services, unless you can get to grips with marketing, your business will not do as well as you want it to.

The chances are that you have never received structured and effective marketing training that has been designed to get more customers consistently for smaller businesses, just like yours.

And If you’re like many small business owners, you are probably wondering whether your marketing strategy is as effective as it could be and it’s likely you are keen to learn new marketing skills to find more clients and boost your customer base to grow your business or practice.

That’s where Ford Henderson’s How To Marketing masterclasses will help you. You can choose from a menu of marketing essential topics that every business owner needs to know.

Each How To Marketing session is designed to give you hands on practical marketing strategies that can be used by one-person business owners, micro and medium-sized businesses operating in all kinds of business sectors.

You will learn tried, tested and straightforward marketing strategies and proven practical hands-on tools and techniques (not text book theory) that you need to know about marketing a business successfully today, and importantly that you can use immediately when you get back to your office.

To browse and book one of the masterclass range from Ford and claim your free marketing book simply visit –


How to build partnerships at exhibitions and events

Target effectively

Whilst a room full of people has its advantages, not everyone there will be a customer for all of us. We need to find ways of engaging with the right people.

When was the last time you were pushed or manipulated into a purchase? Perhaps never. Perhaps on a rare occasion that won’t be repeated. So trying to outsmart your audience is not where it’s at.

Maybe there is no need to push. It’s about getting the balance between awareness raising and opportunity development.

Think about whether you are playing a numbers game or building a brand.

Know how to recognise collaboration

Not all businesses can collaborate with all others. Regardless of how trendy an idea it is, you have to be selective. You can’t collaborate with someone who does the same as you. At best this would result in never knowing who is responsible for what. The thing you can do is work with people who have complementary services for a similar market. So openness about what you do (and what you don’t do) is vital.

Take your time

Most of us don’t need 100 partners or customers from any event. So don’t do the ‘smash and grab’ approach. Meeting lots of people but not making a good impression on them is futile. Instead, invest time in speaking to people chosen as best you can, and be courteous regardless of the outcome.

Respect people’s time

If your only objective is to learn from the experience of others, fine. But be open about your motives. And don’t monopolise anyone’s time at the expense of them meeting others. Investing the necessary time is one thing, but cutting people off from the audience they are paying to access is another thing.

It’s not all about you  

Humans love talking about themselves. But it needs to be made relevant to the context and the audience. What do you know about them and their needs?

Graeme Jordan is a Marketing Consultant and Managing Director of STO Consulting Ltd.

Is b2b Cold Calling Past Its Expiry Date?

Many people would agree with the following…

  • “No one enjoys making cold calls, no one likes receiving cold calls.”
  • “Social media and email are better platforms to reach potential customers. “
  • “No one has the time to answer a phone call, it’s easier to reach them via email.”

So the question of the day is this: Has the ever evolving, ever changing internet, altered the effectiveness of a Cold Call?

The answer in short is no. I’m sure you’ll agree that nothing beats a direct, genuine conversation with a prospect- and I’m sure all prospects will agree too.

So what’s the problem then? The problem is that most people do it wrong, which is why they think it doesn’t work.

Furthermore they are still hanging onto common misconceptions, that are ultimately holding them back from succeeding.

Here are a few:

  • Everyone and anyone is a prospect, just pick up the yellow pages and start making those dials.
  • Do 100 dials a day, and you’ll eventually get a yes!
  • Practice techniques to close the sale as quickly as possible.
  • Cold Calling today isn’t about manipulation, or numbers.

It’s about being smart, targeted and ultimately building up a successful, maintainable relationship with our customer.

So here are my new Cold Calling rules: 

  1.  Know who your customers are.

Create a list of all your existing customers. What type of business are they? Where are they based? What is their annual turnover? How many employees do they have? Who is your main contact within their business?

Once you establish who your customers are, you can then start to point your calls in the right direction.

  1. Appeal to the prospects needs.

All too many Cold Calls begin with the standard “My Name is X calling from X company. We are the leading accountants in the North East and we work with….”

And BAM you’ve lost the sale!

Before making your calls ask yourself:

  • What problems are my prospects going through right now?
  • What type of issues could the prospect have if they didn’t have your product or service in place?
  • Can you resolve these problems?

In order to appeal to your customers, you must first understand them. If you want their attention in those first few critical seconds- you need to have something good to say!

Get smart with you your calling and start to see better results

To learn more, get a free copy of my new book “How to get a win on every call ” here:

Kevin Ireson – Touchstone Sales Academy


Being the Cheapest is Usually a Poor Strategy

A good rule of thumb is that if you aim to win a client based solely on price it’s likely that you will lose clients on price. There is always someone that will do it cheaper.

Many business owners make the fatal mistake thinking that every purchase comes down to the lowest price and commoditise their services accordingly.

Low-price buyers tend to be the ones that create the most work for you. Everything is a problem. Nothing seems to work for them and they take months to settle their bill!

They need to be avoided at all costs.

Your clients and prospects are interested in what your business can do for them. They buy products and services to solve their problems and need to know how your services will be a solution for them.

Price becomes an issue when you haven’t given your clients and prospects good reasons for them to pay the price you ask.

Yes, there will always be clients who base their buying decisions on price alone, but most of us look at the value we get.

So to be different from your competition the conversation you must have is about desirability – the advantages, outcomes and benefits of your business that will be viewed as a solution to their needs.

Price has always been an indicator of quality. Premium pricing creates an expectation of services that deliver outstanding results and if the benefits and outcomes are clear people will pay the price you ask.

At the other end of the market, offering the lowest price can position your services as being inferior and not fit for purpose, putting prospects off from buying. To move away from a low price commodity business to charging what you are worth, you need to increase the value of your services. The challenge is to offer a package of added value benefits above and beyond the core service so that the premium price you charge is justified and the client understands exactly what they are getting.

Think of it this way: benefits minus client cost = client value

What can you do to add value and apply this to your business?

Here’s an example:

Office Stationery Company

The office products industry is the perfect example of a commoditised industry with price being the leading reason to do business.

This company wanted to win new clients and move away from trading on price.

They added more value and targeted Financial Directors over stationery buyers.

Financial Directors are interested in efficiency, financial control, limiting employee time and value for money, not just the price of products.

They introduced a significant increase in value, including:

  • A free audit to identify opportunities to reduce waste and consilience
  • Identifying the key products used and looking for better value options
  • Introducing fast efficient online ordering
  • Creating detailed cost control and management information reports
  • Staff training and knowledge sharing session
  • Offering an account manager to be the prime point of contact
  • 24 hour, next day delivery
  • Monthly invoicing to save administration time
  • One stop shop – introduced ranges of additional products to save time spent on procurement

The additional value opened many more opportunities and fuelled the growth of the company. Find a way to differentiate your business by adding value to give you a competitive edge.

This is just one of 13 proven ways to market and grow your business. I’ve just published a free guide – 13 Business and Growth habits of successful business owners.

If you would like a free copy go to