Home' Border Enterprise : Autumn-Winter 2011 Contents enterprise
Vol 4. Autumn/Winter
THERE'S no point being coy if you want
to run a successful small business, says
sales guru Ciaran McGuigan.
"In my experience shy business
owners have skinny kids," jokes the
owner of Strike Force Sales.
Marketing Angels founder Michelle Gamble
agrees, saying owners need to be "fearless,
focused, relentless and consistent".
"If you're in a small business and you want
to grow the business you just can't be shy," she
says. "You've got to get yourself out there."
The sales and marketing experts were part
of a panel at Kochie's Business Builders Boot
Camp in Sydney recently. Below we summarise
some of their best tips.
Rob Hartnett, managing director, Selling
"It never ceases to amaze me how many small
businesses are happy to spend $45,000 on a
company car to get their salespeople around,
but won't spend $4,500 on what they're going
to say when they get there," says Hartnett.
He says your first sale should be to yourself.
"You've got to believe in what you're selling".
If you don't like the thought of hiring sales
people, or can't afford it, he suggests investing
some money getting your own sales training so
you can sell your product or service.
If you are in a position to hire your own sales
guru, do some research before signing any
"Don't hire the wrong people and then try and
train them," Hartnett says. "Benchmark what
you want and then hire against that."
Lauren Brown, founder and managing
director, Pulse Marketing
SME owners should understand how their
business plans and marketing plans work
together, says Brown, and realise that marketing
covers many things.
"Marketing just isn't around traditional
marketing. It's anything that communicates with
someone who might do business with you."
Brown says business owners should enter
awards as a way of proving their credentials.
They should also make sure their marketing
is relevant and getting through on the right
channels --- whether that be traditional media,
websites or social media.
Targeting your audience multiple times is also
the way to go.
"Don't talk to 100 people once, talk to
10 people 10 times. Very rarely do you see
something once and say 'I'm going to go and
buy that'," she says.
Ciaran McGuigan, CEO, Strike Force Sales
McGuigan is a big advocate of calling 10
potential customers before 10am each day.
But if you're not comfortable cold calling, he
suggests placing the calls at a time when you
know the recipient won't be there. The chances
of rejection fall, the challenge instead being to
leave a message enticing enough for them to
"It's a different problem but it's a better problem
if you don't like being rejected," he says.
Another tip is to enter your competitors names
into Google Alerts --- "every single time they do
anything on the internet anywhere in the world
you'll be told".
Carl Bellamy, group sales manager - small
business, Yahoo! Search Marketing
Not surprisingly, Bellamy advocates testing all
the search marketing engines --- not just Google
--- before investing all your marketing cash. You
should also test your keywords to find out what
works for you.
"You need to fish where people are biting.
Think about how you search on the internet and
your keywords," he says.
Michelle Gamble, founder and chief angel,
As part of Marketing Angels' motto of being
fearless and relentless, the business' Facebook
site offers a 'marketing tip of the day,' which has
greatly increased the number of 'likes' on the
social media site.
Gamble also recommends email marketing ---
mailchimp.com.au is one such site that can help
you craft your own newsletters.
She also says small business should aim for
"Don't be frightened of chasing down media
opportunities. The higher your brand awareness
is the less it costs to get each new customer
through the door."
Scared of promoting
yourself and your
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