You know how it is, a random series of events sometimes makes you sit up and think.
I had a couple of hours to kill between meetings the other day so I popped into the Oxfam bookstore and bought a copy Bill Cullen’s book ‘Golden Apples’. (For those who don’t know, Bill is Ireland’s answer to Sir Alan Sugar. He’s one of 14 kids raised in the tenements of Dublin. He was out on the streets selling apples and more from the age of 6 and by sheer hard work and dogged determination has become a multi-millionaire) In the book Bill tells the story about going on his weekly visit to his favourite restaurant where the owner was celebrating her purchase of a new Ford car. Bill wanted to know why she hadn’t bought it from him. Answer: she didn’t know he sold Ford cars!
That struck a chord with me as, at about the same time, I was telling one of my clients about the Job Seeking skills training I had been delivering for another client. He said, ‘I didn’t know you did that.’ Now I’m sure that at some time in the dim and distant past I must have mentioned my recruitment background because it was something he might be interested in but as far as my client was concerned I deliver training for small and start up businesses.
Shortly after I was in a briefing meeting with another client, a BNI member, who said ‘The trouble is I’m not sure they really understand what I do’.
The morale of these stories is that our marketing plans need to include some regular reminders of the full range of our services and we need to tell everyone, not just our business contacts and prospects. How many of us lose out on business opportunities from family, friends and associates because they don’t really understand what we can do for people.
We can’t cram all the messages into our elevator pitches or weekly one minutes so we need another way. Newsletters online or in print and regular blogs are a great way of telling people what we do without making it a hard sell. By sharing a story about some work we’ve done for one client we allow others to identify opportunities for us to help them or their associates. The added benefit is that we can give our client some additional publicity which might help them win more business too, an added bonus.
So you might like to know that, in addition to training and business advice, I write newsletters and articles for clients. I’ve written newsletters for Skillsmart Retail, Northfields Estate Agents, Conker Consulting, South Leytonstone Business Support Team amongst others and have had articles published in a board sports magazine as well as a variety of business and community publications. So if you would like some help in increasing people’s awareness of what you do email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Glenda on 020 8991 2767.
Incidentally Bill Cullen’s book is a really good read.