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Monday Minute - Want to Know What's Working?

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Image of Mike Chantry

Want to Know What's Working?

Published on 16 April 2018

Welcome to this week's Hilite Monday Minute. Discover top tips and crafty ploys that boost response rates and slash costs – all in less than a minute's reading time. Let's get started!

Hi ,

I recently gave a talk to a group of young entrepreneurs. I must say, that if this group is anything to go by, the UK is in for a bright future. People used to look down on businessmen and women but I think that shows like 'The Apprentice' and 'Dragon's Den' and entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and James Dyson have inspired many young people to start their own businesses. 
The questions at the end of my talk came thick and fast, and I hope I gave some useful answers.
However, when I was driving home I pondered on one question as I felt my stock answer could have been better.
The question was "What is the most important thing entrepreneurs need to succeed?" My reply in the meeting, was the usual - work hard, never stop learning, persevere, network, learn to negotiate .... All sensible stuff but not the ONE most important thing.

So, I looked back on over 50 years in business. I thought about the people I had known, who had succeeded, then tried to fathom out what they all had in common.

I realised that THE one most important thing is the ability to find out what's already working then adapt it to your own needs. In my experience, these were discovering which marketing model worked but it could be a different business model or a product/service. Pioneers spend millions finding out if a new idea works - being a fast second is less risky and can often learn from the pioneer's mistakes.

To find out what's working  simply respond to as much as you can in the UK, and in the rest of the World, especially the US. Meet and network with like minded people and ask questions. John Gommes was brilliant at extracting information from others, often unsuspecting competitors. He started with a simple lead in question that flattered - "I have a problem I hope you can help me with. You're the expert on XXXXX would you mind giving me some advice?" he started. The information was not critical but the respondee was flattered and wanted to be helpful.

Then John moved on to what he really wanted to know "I was very impressed with your new newsletter launch, the copy you used was brilliant." He then said nothing and he was often able to elicit the name of the copywriter and sometimes some highly sensitive response numbers! If it still interested him he would be quick to launch a rival newsletter!

One note of caution though is that you may see something that's working in a certain way but there may be other factors involved that you can't easily see. One client of ours had ran a small ad in all the national papers, every week, to generate leads for his home study course. They had been running virtually the same ad for 30 years and were very profitable.

In our time with them we saw at least 5 other companies who tried (and failed) to copy them. They ran similar ads and so we could see what they were up to we replied to every one. Most followed up the ad with excellent letters (lifting great hunks of our copy in the process) but then nothing. What these copy-cats didn't realise was that the revenue generated from the first follow up barely generated the cost of the ad, but had they continued the revenue from the next five follow ups they would have doubled their revenue, and made the whole thing work.

We also had the ability to generate extra revenue by holding 3 weekend workshops every year. These only sold to current students but the take up was incredible - the copy-cats wouldn't have known this.

So looking for things that work will pay huge dividends. Just don't copy the ideas blindly, and remember to TEST,TEST,TEST.

Until next Monday...

All the best

P.S. Would you like to increase your open rates and conversions from your emails? Please click HERE to receive a specially written three page report with 26 vital things to consider when writing a sales email.


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