Tag Archives: outbound marketing

Back to the future – of running a great business

Inspired Business Development Ziggy Piggy

Last friday was a monumental day in the life of my son as he finally reached “double digits” by reaching the grand old age of 10 (that’s him on the picture – the handsome one in the white t-shirt).     As a result, this past weekend has been filled with all manner of birthday celebrations, lots of cake, a water park and (on my request) a visit to a Back to the Future themed cafe.

This particular cafe, which has only recently been opened, is in homage to the “Cafe 80’s” that features in the sequel Back to the Future II.      They don’t yet have a website and have been relying on interest being generated through social media – I, in fact, saw details of the place on a friends facebook page and, as a huge fan of Back to the Future, felt I just HAD to visit.

Now, you may be wondering why this is relevant to a blog which, mostly deals with subjects related to sales and telemarketing.   Fortunately for you, I will now answer that query.

For me, what has most impressed me about this place – in addition to the whole Back to the Future theme was that this was a business which had been started, not purely for reasons of making profit but because the two owners of the cafe have a huge interest and passion for the film.

It was so nice to walk into a cafe that didn’t fit the usual high street Starbucks/Costa mould.   Somewhere unique, somewhere that, whilst still a little rough around the ages, was filled with the passion that the two business owners had for that movie.  As a fan of the movie myself, there were so many nice little touches, references to the films, 80’s memorabilia (which I later found out the owner had brought from his own collection) and, as two people that were not only passionate about the films but also passionate about their business, so much love and attention poured into the whole experience.

And that’s how businesses should be – yes we’re in it to make money but if you feel real, true passion for what your business offers that will reflect in everything the business does and will reflect in the profits that business makes.     Not only did this passion show in the visual side of the cafe but also in their customer service – they even got a HUGE bowl of ice cream free of charge due to it being my son’s birthday.

So, I wish the best of luck to the owners of Cafe 80’s – Hope their business does really well both now, and in the future!

And if you need help with any aspects of outbound sales and marketing give us a bell on 0330 20 50 500 or fill in the contact form on our website and we’ll call you straight back

Dan Smith
MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

Inspired Business Development

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Inspired Telemarketing Blog

The main aim of the Inspired Business Development blog is to share a wealth of information related to telemarketing, cold calling and many other aspects of sales and marketing in an friendly, engaging, and (hopefully) humourous fashion.

We know it can be a tough, thankless job at times and that, even for the most experienced individual that there can be challenging days on the phone – hopefully you’ll find these ramblings to be useful and, if you do, please give them a share.

All comments – positive or otherwise are most welcome and if there’s anything you need to ask of us, do get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help!

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Could December 19th be the best day for selling this year?

Inspired Business Development Dollar Gift

For an awful lot of people, today will be the last working day before Christmas.  For many it may be the last working day of the year.      Either way, it’s a great time of year, everyone’s in a marvellous, festive mood, having fun and, inevitably slowing down the workload in anticipation of a few days of Christmassyness (yes that is a word!).

There’s a double whammy going on today in terms of keeping the motivation going – not only is it nearly Christmas, it’s a friday – the day when salespeople all around the globe turn part of their brains off and “take it easy”

Well, I say “salespeople” – not successful salespeople.  The successful salespeople will be using today for what it is – a BRILLIANT opportunity for getting hold of key decision makers and MAKING SALES.

Think about it – everyone’s in a better mood, they have less work on their plate AND less businesspeople are driving around the country attending meetings – result – decision makers are in a great mood, they have less of a workload than at other times of the year AND they’re sat at their desks, shuffling papers.

Get in there – pitch, engage, amuse, get some meetings set up for january, send over information, schedule a call over the christmas period – whatever you can do.

Don’t sit back, give up and spend the day stuffing your face with mince pies – that’s what your competitors will be doing.   Get on the phone, get those emails out, get out the door – just get some activity going.  Then you can rest, knowing you’ve made that final, all important push, ready to take a well earned break in a couple of days!

So is December the 19th the best day for selling this year?

Up to you!

And if you need help with any other aspect of outbound sales and marketing – give us a call on 0330 20 50 500

Dan

Happy selling!

 

Inspired Business Development Ltd
www.inspired-bd.com
0330 20 50 500

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Linkedin searches – how to hide your profile

linkedin-icon

I’m an avid user of Linkedin and, having carried out some Linkedin consultancy work for a client of ours recently I’ve begun to realise how vast and complex the site can be for those that are new to it.   I’m sure many people simply register on Linkedin because they feel it’s the done thing but have no real idea as to what a hugely effective business tool it can be.    Whilst I don’t consider myself to know everything about Linkedin I have a pretty extensive knowledge of it which I’ve built up over the last 4 years yet I’m still learning new things every day.   This week I’ve utilised a feature which I’d not come across before but could prove highly useful for many of you.

Now I’m all for transparency and honesty – particularly on social media but there are occasions where it’s best not to give too much of yourself away and one of those occasions is when viewing profiles on Linkedin.

Whenever you view someones profile, they get a notification that you’ve visited – very useful if you’re looking to expand your connections and make contact with key individuals for whatever reason – not so useful if you’re searching profiles on behalf of a client as it’s you they’ll see and not your client.

You may notice as you go through the list of “who’s viewed your profile”  that some users come up as anonymous – this isn’t the way they’ve set up their linkedin profile, it’s something you can do yourself – and undo- very easily.    So, if you want to be able to search for and view the profiles on linkedin but don’t want to have to deal with the awkward question of why you’re viewing that profile, follow these simple steps

  1. Login into your linkedin account
  2. Hover your mouse over the small profile picture in the top right of the screen
  3. Click on “privacy and settings”
  4. Click on “review” ( you may be asked for your login details and password again at this point)
  5. On the “profile” tab, click on “Select what other see when you’ve viewed their profile”
  6. Select “You will be totally anonymous”
  7. Save changes

Job done!

 

Do remember to go back and change it at a later stage as profile views can be an enormously helpful lead gen tool.

 

And if you need help with sales and marketing calls, email marketing or any aspects of social media, give us a call on 0330 20 50 500.  We’re helpful, experienced and brilliant at what we do!

 

Happy calling!

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

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Linkedin – how to find full contact names on searches

Linkedin Logo

We all use linkedin for different reasons but, one of the most common ones is to be able to find the names of relevant contacts within other businesses.   Depending on each individuals privacy settings you may find that linkedin does not display their full name.

Try calling a large company and asking for a “Chris C” in marketing, for example – you instantly undermine your credibility in the sales call.   So, how do you find the full name?

Here’s some tips which, in the majority of cases will work.   If this fails, you may have to just call the company and turn on the charm to get the info you need!

  1. copy and paste that individuals job title into google – if they have relatively unique wording in their job description, their name will usually come up in a google search
  2. If that doesn’t produce anything – try putting the company name after the job description search
  3. Still nothing? add their first name into the search
  4. Now, if google isn’t bringing up what you need you’re going to have to go back into linkedin, click on the contacts profile page in linkedin, go onto the “people also viewed” section on the right and start having a browse of the various profiles in there.    It might take a few different clicks on a few different contacts but if you keep an eye on their “people also viewed” sections there’s a strong likelihood you’ll see the full name of the contact you’re looking for
  5. Still no joy? Depending on that person’s privacy settings/whether they’re members of any groups, you might well see a list of the groups that individual is a member of – have a browse through those, there could be some comments or discussions that person has commented on which will often show their full name
  6. And lastly – recommendations.   Due to the way linkedin encourages mutual recommending amongst it’s members, if an individual has a recommendation from someone, there’s a fair chance that they’ll have reciprocated – along with their full name

As I say, these are by no means a guarantee but they’re methods I personally use on a daily basis to help me find key decision makers so hopefully they’ll be of use to you too!

Happy calling!

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

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Getting over the holiday blues

blues

For the benefit of my US readers, when I say “holiday” I mean “vacation” although this could apply to “holiday” meaning “christmas” as much as it could to “vacation” meaning “holiday”.   Confused?  Yes, me too.

Anyway I’ve recently returned from a very enjoyable 2 week holiday in Turkey and whilst there are elements of my batteries that feel fully recharged I have to say that the first couple of days back have been nothing short of a struggle.  In fact I feel like I need a holiday to get over it.

For me, the biggest issue I have is taking it easy when I return.  My mind is racing with a million and one things that need doing, both in the business and in my personal/home life and, combined with the inevitable reflection that occurs when I’m just sitting around a pool reading for 2 weeks I tend to return with big plans and a head bursting with ideas and urgency.

Couple that with tiredness and the awkward readjustment into working life and I often find that unless I take a step back I could quite easily burn myself out before I’ve even got back into the swing of things.

So, to both help myself and the rest of you out there that might be suffering with the post holiday blues, here are 5 tips to help you cope

1 – Prioritise your tasks.    Write a list of all the things that need doing – split them up into work and home/personal and mark them in order of importance.  Rome wasn’t built in a day – in fact I don’t know how long it took to build but there was still scaffolding around some of the buildings when I visited a couple of years ago so I’m guessing it was more than a week.   Tackle them in a sensible order over a sensible timescale.  If some of those tasks involve big life changes, break them down further, do a little bit at a time and don’t try to do too much.

2 – Get back into your normal sleep pattern.  Even if you’ve only travelled a short distance on your holidays, chances are you’ll have been keeping different hours on holiday than you normally would – late nights drinking aren’t compatible with an effective working life so, look after yourself and rest

3 – Remember that work is your choice – You can’t go on holiday without the money to pay for it and you can’t have the money to pay for it without working so, remind yourself that it’s your choice to work – nobody’s holding a gun to your head, you work to earn the money to pay for the things you enjoy so, if you’re feeling depressed about being back at work, remind yourself why you’re doing it.    If your holiday has given you the opportunity to reflect on your current work situation and led you to believe that you’re really not happy there, take positive steps to find alternative employment.

4 – Allow yourself time to recover.   Going back to work the day after you return from holiday is a recipe for disaster.  If you have sufficient holiday allowance, give yourself another couple of days off, that way you can not only get all of your home based tasks out of the way, you’ll be returning to work far more rested and positive than if you hauled yourself back in several hours after you’ve stepped off the plane.

5 – Make positive changes.   There will be many things from your holiday way of life that you don’t necessarily do whilst back at home.   For me, I’ve really enjoyed reading more, have not missed television one bit (particularly the news) and have only checked my social media profiles (particularly facebook) once a day at most.   Those small changes have really helped me to improve my mindset now I’m back home and, whilst I can’t make a change as drastic as “sit around a swimming pool sipping gin and tonic more often”  I have found that these 3 small changes have really improved my post holiday life.   A holiday has given me the opportunity to really notice the negative impact that not reading enough and spending too much time watching TV and checking facebook has had on my life and I’m glad to say I’m still maintaining those habits several weeks after returning to my normal life.

And, if all else fails, book another holiday then at least you’ve got that to look forward to!

Happy (post) holidays!

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

 

 

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It’s not just footballers that need more training

england-team_1461299c

Now, as I’m sure you’re most likely very aware, we’re currently midway through the Fifa World Cup – that’s football, or soccer if you’re in the US.   Many people in England have probably lost interest by now as England were knocked out of the tournament not long after it started.

I have to say I’m not a huge football fan – I’m one of that rare breed of men who just does not find football/soccer in the slightest bit interesting.   One thing I am interested in though is SALES and therefore I thought I’d take this opportunity to create a tenuous link between the performance of a footballer and the performance of a successful salesperson.

It may be argued that we don’t have the most effective team we’ve ever sent into a world cup – apparently, before the tournament had even started there was only 3% of the country that thought we’d have any chance of winning.    Turns out those 3% were wrong.

That aside, regardless of what the average person in the street’s opinion of the team is, behind the scenes those footballers, who are widely considered to be the best footballers our country has to offer, have put in an enormous amount of hard work to get to the level of skill that they’re at now.    Regularly playing the game, undertaking years of training, coaching, psychological training, physiotherapy to get them to the point where they are considered ready to represent their country in one of the most high profile sports in the world.

As a salesperson, you are never truly the “finished product” – sales, contrary to what a lot of people may say, isn’t something that automatically comes naturally to people.  Yes you may be confident, yes you may be articulate, yes you may be able to talk the hind legs off a donkey but there is a lot more to being a successful salesperson than just having those qualities and, like professional sportspeople it’s essential that you build on whatever natural abilities you have.

Don’t rest on your laurels, don’t assume that because you have those natural abilities that that is the end of the process.   If you truly want to succeed in sales you have to continually keep learning, keep training, keep improving and building your mindset to enable you to keep as close to the top of your game as possible.

There are countless resources out there for salespeople on the internet, social media, books, cd’s, podcasts, training courses – utilise them.

Yes, England didn’t win the world cup this year -but maybe if they’d trained harder and been hungrier we would have been more successful.     In these tough economic times – salespeople are under closer scrutiny than ever, if you’re not producing results, you’ll be out on your ear so you owe it to yourself to hone your skills and be the best you can be.

And if you find that your salespeople are spending too much time in the office, sourcing new customers when they could do more out there on the road – get in touch.   We have a small but very effective team of highly experienced Telemarketers who will work hard to get you results!

The Jules Rimet is still gleaming, even if England’s hope’s aren’t.

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

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Nev – The Call Centre. Not me and not us!

Nev

You may have recently watched The Call Centre on BBC 3 – a documentary series covering the exploits of a Swansea based Telemarketing business and their larger than life CEO Neville Wilshire.

Entertaining as it is, The Call Centre certainly hasn’t helped to improve the image of Telemarketing companies in the eyes of the general public with large numbers of mostly young and inexperienced staff churning through a high volume of calls, targeting homeowners with pre written, scripted conversations to sell the likes of home insulation, boiler replacements and pension reviews, not to mention some rather suspect management techniques and working practices.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve a lot of admiration for Nev and, as a business owner myself there’s a great deal to be said for how he’s managed to build and maintain a successful company and I can only hope in the years ahead that we also achieve the same levels of success – and profit!

However, at Inspired Business Development we do things very differently.  Our focus is most certainly on quality over quantity. We don’t deliver campaigns with a wide, scattergun approach, instead we identify and target a defined prospect profile and agree on clear objectives which we will work to on each and every call.

We have a mature, experienced team of Telemarketers who are able to have intelligent, engaging conversations based on a full and in depth knowledge of our clients businesses, not by reading from a script.

In fact everything we do is based around bringing true value to our clients and, regardless of what your business offers we follow a structured process to enable us to effectively communicate your offering and to generate qualified sales opportunities, gather valuable market intelligence and secure worthwhile meetings with key decision makers.

So, give me a call and let’s see if we can change your opinion of Telemarketing!

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

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Life is rollercoaster – as is the world of business!

 

Luna_Park_Melbourne_scenic_railway

This is less of a full blog, more of a brief sharing of thoughts – had quite the rollercoaster of a week this week.  Started the month looking very quiet, seemingly unable to get any firm decisions from potential clients – lots of meetings, lots of proposals out there but just couldn’t seem to get any decisions out of anyone.   Revenue was looking significantly down over the last 3 months.

I then had some rather tense conversations with a very unreasonable client who, upon reflection I probably should have walked away from rather than take on the project in the first place and, in short, felt very frustrated and ever so slightly disillusioned with everything.

Then, yesterday had a very productive meeting with a large company in Birmingham who want us to deliver an appointment making campaign for them.   The ideal sort of client – large company, great reputation in their sector and a wonderful offering that can bring genuine savings to their clients.   Really looking forward to starting with them

So I guess the message is, no matter how hopeless things may feel at times, there’s always something positive just around the corner

Keep plugging away and don’t lose hope, things will get better!

Have a great weekend

 

Dan

Inspired Business Development

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

 

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New years (business) resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

It’s that time of year when people are making huge, life changing resolutions which, invariably are not kept to after the first week (sorry to be negative but it’s true!)     Whether it’s losing weight, stopping smoking, drinking less or developing some sort of new life skill (I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve stated I’m going to learn french at the start of each year but it’s more than neuf at least!, maybe as many as vignt ) many of us use this period to identify and make improvements in our own lives.   Personally I’m near perfect so I’m not making any resolutions this year other than to be more perfect!

It’s also a great time of year to state your business intentions.  Whether you run a business or are employed it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect over the past 12 months, take stock of all the things you’ve done brilliantly and the inevitable mistakes you’ve made so, in the spirit of sharing, here’s my new years (business) resolutions for Inspired Business Development

  1. Gain double the amount of clients we had in 2013.   As with any business, customers are our lifeblood.  Without them I literally have no business – they’re the entire reason we exist.   We had the most successful year so far in 2013, partly because we do a brilliant job (if I do say so myself) but partly because I’ve been putting more focus on business development.   In the first 12-18 months it was pretty much hand to mouth, not knowing what work we had coming in from one week to the next.  As it was just me at the time, pretty much all of my time was spent delivering the work we had – this is a common situation for many small business owners in the early days, you feel inclined to do as much as you possibly can yourself and, admittedly I kind of resented paying Telemarketers do to the work which, essentially I could do for free myself.  The main danger with that being that, regardless of how good a job you do, the nature of outsourced sales and marketing is that it’s very sporadic.  One month there could be so much work I could hardly cope, the next month it’d be a barren landscape.  Without putting time aside for business development this cycle will continue so I aim to put even more time into developing my business and winning new customer
  2. Keep all of the customers we win.   This is often more challenging than just “doing a good job” and is a process that starts as early as the first conversation I have with the client.  It’s also a matter of realistically setting expectations, being honest, open and upfront with the client.  Even turning down business that I don’t feel we’ll be able to deliver.  Again, in the early days I was inclined to take on every bit of business that I could potentially win, now, 3 years down the line, if I don’t feel we’ll definitely be able to achieve what the client wants, I’d rather turn the business down than take it just for the sake of getting more revenue in the coffers.    In addition to setting realistic expectations, it’s about keeping regular dialogue with the client, being transparent about your processes, letting the client know the bad as well as the good.    As an outsourced sales partner it’s hugely important we build an air of trust – after all the client can’t see what we’re doing, they can only see the result of it so, in 2014 I intend to continually ensure we’re not only getting our clients the results they want but also that we let them in on our processes to continue to build trust and value at all stages of the campaign
  3. Expand our service offering.    Even before I started a Telemarketing business I knew that, at some stage I wanted to start delivering training.   I have a strong background in performing (youth theatre, amateur dramatics as a child and stand up/sketch comedy as an adult) and have delivered many successful sales presentations during my working life.   Couple that with over 20 years of sales and marketing knowledge and, in essence you’ve the perfect recipe for delivering successful Telemarketing training courses.  We’ve already partnered with a local company that offer web/seo/social media so I’ll be pushing that more actively during 2013
  4. Plan more.   I’ve always been more of a “doer” than a planner which is brilliant in some ways but I am often guilty of trying to do too much too often so will be putting more time aside to sit down and plan things – be it work, social media, web development, my own business development, recruitment etc etc.   I’ll be keeping more detailed plans and ensuring I keep a close eye on those throughout the year
  5. Have fun.   Running a business (or working for one) can sometimes be incredibly stressful but it’s important that I remind myself that I’m in this position entirely as a result of my own decisions (as is anyone, employed or otherwise).  If I can’t enjoy myself doing this, what’s the point in doing it?  yes, there’s the financial benefits but I want to ensure I enjoy being at work.  Life’s too short to take too seriously! happiness breeds productivity and I love working in this industry so there’s no reason I can’t have (almost) as much fun at work as out of it.

I’d be keen to hear what your resolutions are for this new year so, do get in touch or add a comment to the blog and, as ever, do share this if you feel it’d be of interest to any of your contacts!

Happy new year!

Dan

Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
Cradley
Halesowen
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com

 

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