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What is the best way to connect with super yacht owners?

Hey guys, please help! I sell electric jetboards. My perfect customer is a superyacht owner because... read more

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Do you have active strategies to get your clients coming back over and over OR do you just hope they will come back?

Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I believe there are some consistent things you can do regardless of the industry or size of your venture to impress clients. Position yourself as an extension of their business, a trusted partner not just a vendor.Always respect your clients regardless how they treat youShow them that you trust their company and the work you do togetherShow them that they can trust your company and judgmentBe transparent with clients and respect their timeBe authentically grateful for their current and future businessRemind them from time to time what sets your venture apartLastly, surprise them with great gestures
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Since you can always find more customers, does it still pay to invest in customer loyalty?

I guess really I'm asking if retaining customers is always better than acquiring new ones? read more

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Nandita ReddySales and Marketing Manager - Australia and New Zealand at Aimia Inc
I think we should firstly stop looking at customer loyalty as a points system, and start looking at it as a way to engage with our consumers, and build longer lasting, meaningful relationships.A recent study by Aimia Inc, a data-driven loyalty marketing company show that engaged customers are nearly 3 times as valuable, stay a customer nearly twice as long and at the end of 5 years are significantly more valuable.These stats really reinforce the age old 80-20 rule, where 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of existing consumers. But if you're not looking after your customers, if you're not keeping them engaged, or making them feel valued, they will go elsewhere! Technology has enabled consumers to have so many a variety of shopping/purchase options - and fingertip-ready information with which to make decisions. In this new environment, brands must use new technologies to deliver always-on, personalized experiences to stay relevant and drive preference, otherwise you will get left behind. As touched upon by Kate, if we look at Nokia, Dick Smith, etc, it's easy to see that companies that aren't being innovate or staying relevant, will get left behind. Once again, if we look at the stats from Aimia's loyalty lens, we can see how Australian's actually view and value loyalty programs.The report can be found on: http://www.aimia.com/en/ANZ/home.htmlAustralian membership of loyalty programs happens to be amongst the highest in the world, with 87% of Australians being members of at least one loyalty program (global average 85%). 72% are members of a supermarket loyalty program; followed by airlines (39%) and department stores (30%).Consumers understand that personal data is a currency they can share with marketers in exchange for offers, recommendations, content and experiences that are tailored to them. So as a marketer, this is the perfect opportunity to leverage this insight to create those meaningful experiences and develop a long-term relationship with your customer!
Brad Lyons at Rodcha
Retain your customers is always good, if you can do that getting more will be easier. For example, one of my companies is online courses. Not the best industry for retaining customers if you only have a couple of courses. However instead of just letting the customers go I ended up creating an industry organisation. So the customers who have completed the course that gets them in the industry now have a place they can get more industry information and network with others. Normally those customers would do the course and that was the last I heard of them. Now they are still customers, they pay an annual membership fee and stay in contact. Best marketing move I made as they promote my course to others and I have more insight into the industry as I have a industry organisation now.So even if you business is setup for one time customers there is still a way to retain them. Just think outside the square. New customers will come if your current customers spread the word.
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Customer acquisition

Learnings from recent workshop - How to turn the hardest part of sales into the easiest

Turn the hardest part in sales into the easiest Key learnings from the Practice Growth Formula... read more

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Jenny TseOwner at Licence to Bill™
Thanks Lina.
Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Many thanks for this article! great summary of some pretty complicated ideas.
Customer acquisition

Networking: How to Have a Conversation with Anyone

We often hear that networking is essential to business success. Yet to be honest, few of us are... read more

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Questions

How are you building your subscriber database?

Lauren JuneBusiness Development Strategist at Lauren June
Oh I love questions about email marketing - This is the area I specialise and love.It's not just about what landing page software you use (althought Leadpages & Instapage are great) structuring a landing page to convert the right people to subscribers are key. You don't want everyone and anyone signing up as they will soon unsubscribe and this can effect your spam rating. Knowing who you clients are is important to know how to market to them and speak their language to of the upmost importance so they can resonate with your message.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Lisa,What we are using for several different ventures is Mail Chimp. They have a free tier which makes it really cost effective for building an email list. They also have a widgets that you can add to a regular website or a Wordpress site with minimal effort.Another tool we have used is Google Forms. You can quickly create a form and post it your website or social media to gain feedback (and email addresses among other things). It has a few more steps than Mail Chimp but gives you more flexibility for capturing different types of information.I would also suggest using social media to connect with interest users or perspective clients. Connecting with them on social media isn't going to create a database of users for you, but it will give you a great idea into who some of your more engaged connections are and you can leverage them to help you spread your message.
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Customer acquisition

David & goliath – challeging the myth and the giants

~~I have just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s, “David & Goliath – Underdogs, Misfits and... read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Thanks John, this is very helpful.
John HoughOwner at Tender Consulting
Glad you liked it, Phil. Clearly, while there is considerable potential for SMEs to compete successfully in some tenders with larger companies, there can be real limitations, and these often include the firm’s actual or perceived capacity to reliably perform the contract (and to cope with any “… run over by a bus?” and other contingencies). If a firm is confident it has the required capacity, it would be sensible to seek to overcome or anticipate any doubts on the part of the purchaser by providing clear details of that capacity, in terms of available and reserve personnel; think about suitable subcontractors; and include a brief outline of contingency planning to address e.g. the “… run over by a bus?” thing and other contingencies. And if, after you have outlined this, it does not look completely convincing (“Yes, absolutely, we can do this hands-down”), forget everything I said in my article and don’t tender for that contract.
Customer acquisition

Timeless marketing strategies

It seems that entrepreneurs these days are overwhelmed with all the different marketing... read more

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Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
The fundamentals of marketing really have stood the test of time. Here is another related article which we recently shared with our followers: http://smedio.com/5-marketing-principles-that-will-never-change/
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Another great post Marika. The biggest takeaway for me is tip #4 be consistent. The 'feast and famine' approach is harmful but I think the only way to counter this is to be structured and plan marketing activities well ahead of time. This is a great time of the year to do so. Thanks for sharing.
Customer acquisition

5 ways businesses can stretch their marketing dollars this new year

For a lot of small businesses, the New Year can be a quiet period as customers and clients are... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Great practical suggestions! Thanks Marika :D
Customer acquisition

The ultimate pricing strategy

What is your time worth? What is your expertise worth? Here is an even better question. What are... read more

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Neil - I would rather work less with great clients for the same amount of money that you would earn over a period of time. Makes financial and time sense to me.
Wendy - the great thing about working with higher payers is that they are more committed to your product or service and are less demanding. It has always been a pleasure for me to work with higher paying clients and with my previous business when I did take a few lower paying clients, it became unprofitable.
Customer acquisition

How to map out a marketing plan

Marketing plans are often long and complicated documents that get filed away and never looked at... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi Marika, sound tips :D! Thanks for this! I'm ticking off this list with my marketing plan at this moment :)
Customer acquisition

9 Ways to Beat the Competition By Selling Less

Business & Small Business Log In | Join Log In | Join Log In Join...read more

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Customer acquisition

Why Everyone Should Buy From You Instead of the Competition

Branson Takeover Check It Out → For Labor Day weekend, we present...read more

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Customer Retention by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

About Social Media Today The world's best thinkers on energy & climate The...read more

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What It Takes to Be the Customer's First Choice

Branson Takeover Check It Out → For Labor Day weekend, we present...read more

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Customer acquisition

How to Stop Wasting Time With Tire Kickers and Qualify Prospects in 5 Easy Steps

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5 Secrets to Increasing Customer Retention -- and Profits

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3 tech Ideas to help you market your business

Marketing isn’t what it used to be. Today we have mobile apps and vending machines that use... read more

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Alicia Menkveld Director at Alicia Menkveld International
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Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Alicia, A good and relevant article, I enjoyed the tying together of smiles and technology. Two very important aspects of life but unfortunately the former is often overlooked and yet its so easy to give!
Questions

What modern marketing techniques do you use in today's competitive environment?

What modern marketing techniques are you employing to accelerate pipeline in today’s highly... read more

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Cassidy Poon Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I think because everyone and possibly their dog is capable of creating a professional looking website and list of products and services I look for: Continuous participation in the industry - through certifications and community involvement outside just the required. This may include continuous study of their key areas. One company that does this really well is Hubspot. This can also bring in lots of leads. Testimonials from people I know or reputable sources High participation on social media/blogging Portfolio and examples of case studies is the most key for me. A working online sales funnel where there is continuous qualifications and reminders sent through. The internet is not getting any easier :)
James NorquayOwner at Prosperity Media
Well I think todays market is look for the following: Results from past work - prove you can actually do the job via case studies. Transparency on all work completed - show the business you are willing to show all the work you are doing. Word of mouth - If you have highly connected customers who love the work your business does you do not need to advertise. Looking for ways to amplify your content market to get the work out - you can use many different social channels to maximise exposure on your marketing - Reddit Ads, Twitter Ads, Facebook sponsored stories ect ect Test Test TEST what works.    
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Questions

Has anyone tried a paid referral system for generating new customers?

Hi Savvys, I am looking at marketing avenues to increase my customer base. AdWords and the like... read more

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Brian Le Mon Owner at GBOS
Hi Brian, Referral programs are OK, and in my experience rarely produce good quality leads unless the referral is fresh and followed up almost immediately. I have a referral program I offer to my clients which operated like this; 1. If they introduce me to a prospect I subsequently make a belly to belly pitch to I pay $50 regardless of the outcome 2. If the pitch is a success and they buy I pay an additional $150 The product I sell is a house device sold in the price range of $10,000 to $20,000 and I know I will close one in four of the the leads I sit so this is a cost of $87.50 per lead or $350 per closed deal or a maximum of 3.5% of the sale. I have also set up displays in a number of retail shops where they get the same deal - but in these cases the reward is in product to the owner of the shop who wants the device installed in their home. I also use proactive telemarketing. A bit more expensive but works awesomly well. I (and others I know) have had a lot of success with Ashleigh Hoult at 'The PromoDonna' - a small boutique telemarketing company focusing on providing a service for micro to small businesses who sell B2B (not B2C). She is based in Frankston   0419 590 752  and mention my name. No, I do not get a fee for this. You may recognise her name as she is a part time actor in Neighbours as well. Hope this helps. Greg Ferrett
Brian Le MonOwner at GBOS
Hi Guys,   Thanks for your comments. We decided to go with a referral bonus scheme to try to get more actual value out of our advertising dollar. It makes sense for me to try to expand my business case beyond my network and to do so more rapidly by using paid referrals. It will probably also help that we can offer a substantial referral bonus for successful referrals which hopefully will generate a bit of interest. Thanks again. Brian
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