Don't Sell Features & Benefits, Sell-Certainty-Stuff We Love 003 - Warren Cass
Don’t Sell Features & Benefits, Sell-Certainty-Stuff We Love 003 – Warren Cass
This week’s stuff we love comes from the brilliant Warren Cass as he provides a roadmap for driving your business in these uncertain times.
If you are interested to understand more about Warren you can check out his business community here.
Welcome to the next instalment on the Quantum Leap business show going around the world in 24 hours. We’ve been at it since eight o’clock this morning, and we finish it at eight o’clock tomorrow morning or nine o’clock tomorrow morning. Having travelled through the UK into the Americas and into APEC later on tonight. So, ideas inspiration, we’ve got over 60 different guests on the show. So Scott, my co driver, pilot is probably going to put in the chat, a copy of all the workshops and talks and interviews that are on a schedule. For anybody that wants to grab another schedule. We’ve got people like Joe Foster, who was the founder of Reebok. So he took a little shoe shop in Bolton and turned it into a $4 billion brand. We’ve got Barry Cusick who runs a $480 billion company, and surpassing all of that we’ve got Warren Cass, who I’ve known for about 15 years. Warren is local to the UK, and has written the best selling book on influence. He’s going to be delighting you all today, with getting some selling certainty and digital in a changing world and selling the sizzle, not the sausage or the other way around. Warren over to you.
Warren Cass 1:30
Well, first of all, stop it, stop it. With regards to some of the stuff we’re gonna cover, I just wanted to say a bit of housekeeping up front. I really like it when sessions are interactive. So today, I’m gonna present you with some ideas. And my style is quite conversational anyway. I’m a bit of a business generalist, for most of you for the industries that you touch on, chances are I’ve either got some connection or some insight to that industry too. and I like to personalise my content as much as I possibly can. So the more that you participate in the chat today, and the more I might be able to respond and give you some very specific context. I’m equally very happy to engage with you on social media afterwards, LinkedIn, etc. and see if we can, if we can help from there.
Warren Cass 2:17
So just let us move forward now, can you all see my screen, you can. Now, interestingly, I just need to do one single bit of setup, which is my computer seems to always want to mirror my displays when I when I start clicking on them variable, which is annoying, because I like to see your faces your rather attractive people. So let me just see if I can get that sorted out. It doesn’t look like I can. So I’m just going to do a strange presentation. So today, I’m really talking about certainty, about how we sell it, and what it actually means in the in the kind of buying decision for your for your marketplace. What I want to start with is a little bit of an insight from you about what attracted you to this session. Now, if you could use the chat feature, so we can make this interactive, that would be fantastic. In fact, I’d like to ask a little bit more than what just attracted you to this session. If you could actually add your own LinkedIn profiles be great for you to connect with each other. That would be great. If you can tell me what drew you to this session, but maybe give us an insight as to what profession you’re what industry what profession you’re from, that would be great for me to again, contextualise for you.
Warren Cass 3:43
John gave a quick introduction as to who I am. Yes, I wrote the book on influence and I speak on this subject, internationally. Of course, lockdown has impacted that whole industry. So like every industry, we’ve had to adapt a little bit in the last year and a half but we have one of the big things that I I took a leap to was to create a brand called hive mind, which is essentially a business community of like minded people who come together for critical feedback, critical thinking with each other. They’re an incubator for each other’s ideas. It’s a support community. And I run that with another speaker called Warren. The only other Warren I know funnily enough happens to be my work wife. And we basically run masterminding various workshops and events, Warren Knight is a digital speaker. My focus tends more to be on positioning and context and the kind of psychological aspect of business. He’s a digital ninja. So he’s all about the mechanics and the metrics and the ways to amplify content and to do all of that. So that’s a bit of context as to who we are. One of the things that we also do is run a series of workshops and a business accelerator which covers these kind of key areas. So When I say I’m a generalist, it’s because actually our experiences certainly working with other people’s businesses and brands, touches on all of these areas, we, you know, we look at how their core what they stand for who they are, we look at the audience they serve and the context of their audience. We look at the business model, they operate, actually how they use that to communicate who they are, what they do. So whether it’s just process orientated, or whether it’s actually the thing that the client likes way and works within that framework, we look at the various propositions that they sell. So a model and a proposition aren’t the same thing, the model can be quite broad, and it can be an overall process, within that model, you can have multiple proposition so most of you, hopefully have some sort of product staircase. So you can start to work with people at a low barrier to entry and maybe evolve them through your product suite. We then look at the way that they position themselves in marketing and the word I don’t actually like to use the selling word, and we prefer the word nurturing, that needs explanation on the model. So we use selling, and then we tell people what the nurturing process is. That’s a bit of an over overview.
Warren Cass 6:09
Essentially, if you’ve heard me speak before, and I know a few of you have, then you’ll know actually, what’s a really big subject for me is subject of change. And actually, it’s the last 20 30 40 years where change has been a curve like this but in COVID times, I believe it’s accelerated change yet again, in fact, a lot of the changes that we’re seeing now with how people work with things like Zoom, etc. and you know, even how organisations have now reduced their office space, and allowed more and more people to homework and just come together periodically. I think these changes were inevitable, I think COVID is just accelerated change. Some of the stuff which I might touch on today are the, the changes in technology behaviours and demographics. In fact, extending demographics to psychographics and firma graphics, which I will explain the difference between those three, moving forward, and why it’s important to understand the audience that you serve. Okay, let’s move on.
Warren Cass 7:14
So just as a bit of a recap on where we’re at right now. So I appreciate some of the time for this, I’m gonna talk a little bit about some of the UK stats. So we’ve seen quite a bit of change, we’ve seen massive declines in revenue. By the way, this is a positive story ultimately, I’m just going to give you a bit of real context before we we move forward. So UK estimates are 28% decline in revenue in 2020, 82% of entrepreneurs or enterprises globally, have cut hiring budgets, e-Commerce accounted for 33.4% of all GB retail sales. So we’ve got somebody trying to get in just 77 UK brands are seizing the opportunity to invest in more marketing, 60% of organisations have identified new processes to use POST outbreak, professional messaging surges. Of course, all the brands that are proficient in those areas, stock market value, etc, has gone up 34% of us 25 to 34 year olds listen to a new space podcast every month. So we’ve all become a little bit more interested in personal and professional development and actually, you know, the thing about podcasts now is everybody has the ability to go and be some sort of broadcast, entrepreneur demonstrating expertise, etc. Facebook daily activity users increased, actually decreased in some demographics, interestingly enough, but increased overall. And 96% of US and UK social media users say they’re engaging with influencers. So influencer marketing has become a thing, not just the space of the Kardashians and the consumer there are now brands, you know, like Honalytica, for example, who kind of represent about 8000 b2b influences. And what’s happening now is organisations are starting to understand that that advocacy that comes from having an ambassador network, and they pay very well for in fact, a very good friend of mine is just signed a deal literally when all he’s got to do is the occasional blog and flagwaving and it’s 60,000 pounds a year contract to be an ambassador for a big, big brand in the accountancy space. So you know, this whole influencer strategy is being embraced but it’s still potentially the realm of the small business too, and I’m more than happy to touch on that should you want to, I just wanted to give this these were the stats very, very recently, this is from a month ago. And as you can see, from a consumer confidence point of view, things have improved. As we come out of lockdown, people are a little bit more optimistic. I just want to give this context this is the, the last 20 years so you can see from consumer confidence point of view, whilst we’re on the way up, it very much mirrors the recession from you know, 2007, 2010 we’re very much familiar mirroring back you know, we’re we’re making our way out of it. So that’s something to be happy about.
Warren Cass 10:13
From a business confidence point of view, there’s also some positive news. Albeit this is very much weighted towards manufacturing and retail, we are on our way up, you know, it’s the first time in a little while we’ve had a positive rating. To give it context, this is the past 20 years, so arguably, we’re more confident now from a retail and manufacturing point of view, than we have been for the last 20 years judging by this information, so I think those that have survived, are looking at the next journey that we’re on rather positively.
Warren Cass 10:47
But that’s about big business and retail and so I’m really kind of curious, where and how that fits from a small business point of view. So UK, small business index confidence measures risen up to 27.3, from the minus in the last quarter, the index is at its highest since 2014. So again, there seems to be positivity, that sorts of those the FSB. There is a counter side to that. Okay, so what we have also kind of high levels of mental stress, you know, this is this is happening all over the place, one in six people in the last week have experience of common mental health problem, that doesn’t mean they’ve got a mental health illness, but it could be stress related, etc, etc. The reason why I reference that is because these are the real figures around how business owners have been feeling in the last year; 21% of business owners feel anxious, 70% of stress 15%, they’re worried only one in 10, feel adequately supported. Now, this may not ring a bell for you but I pretty much guarantee this is, you know, some of your marketplace and some of your customer base might be feeling this way.
Warren Cass 12:01
I want to I’m going to be coming on to this kind of state of apathy that we seem to find ourselves in right now and how your marketplace may be feeling and what you can do to create certainty with them, to help reassure we are definitely going to be coming on to them. This is something that we have to be mindful. There are various reasons why small business owners feel concerned, you know, customers are staying online, they’re not necessarily coming into store regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated, and or even even prior to that, staying in caused a certain level of anxiety going out, caused a certain level of anxiety, right, so we’ve got this constant state of stress, and everybody’s feeling it. They want to know when their revenue is going to return to the normal levels, like the time it’s going to take to rebuild customer bases, if their customers have survived the last 18 months. Some of them have been having to make staff redundant, you know, or they’ve at least curbed their growth, they’ve may have people on furlough and can’t afford to bring them back. There’s a lot of stress going on in small businesses, regardless of whether it relates to sales and all of this is context. Okay.
Warren Cass 13:17
So coming on to the subject of today, I really want to kind of touch on certainty and what certainty looks like. And for me, there’s a few different component parts of certainty. There’s the context of the prospect, the person that you’re selling to, and how they feel we’re going to touch on all these in more depth. There’s the presentation of the seller, in this case, hopefully you as the business owner, entrepreneur, or marketing sales person within the organisation. There are the external factors which are utterly beyond our control, but will still help or factor when it comes to making a buying decision. Okay, so this, these are the aspects of certainty that I want to cover today.
Warren Cass 14:02
So let’s start with the context of the prospect. So if you’ve heard me speak before, this image might be familiar to you, because one of the things I talk about in a lot of depth is communication, and the communication model, which we all experienced, because, because unless we understand communication, it’s really hard for us to actually understand our messaging, our positioning, etc. So all of us as human beings, we receive information from all of our senses and basically what we do is we run that in for a load of filters in our own heads, we map it against all of our, our map of reality, our biases, our experiences, our values, our beliefs, and ultimately, that will in turn, affect the way we think, which in turn affects our physiology, and essentially how we perceive the person in front us, a salesperson in this case. From a prospects point of view, unless you are really good at understanding context, ie asking great questions and really getting to know them first, what you’re essentially doing is, is letting your map of reality dictate the sales process and not necessarily creating the conditions where people buy. That’s one of the biggest things I want to kind of get across to you today. So every single prospect you talk to you there is a situation or context. It’s very easy for us to assume also, that we’re the only choice on the marketplace, or even our direct competitors are the only solution for them. You know, for example, I could be nervous about home security, or I’ll feel nervous in my own home but the solutions for that could be really varied, I could just get a guard dog, I could do martial arts lessons in the USA I could buy a gun, I could get by doors and and Windows reinforced, I can get a decent alarm system, CCTV, there are a number of solutions to the one problem. The biggest mistake that many businesses make is that they believe their own hype and their own USP and think that the only potential solution in the marketplace, if you’re a CCTV company, you compete with CCTV TV companies, I would argue you potentially compete with all the others too. Unless you get take the time to understand the context of your buyer, you don’t necessarily know who you’re competing with and how to, you know, feature the the advantages of your particular solution. Not enough people, or business owners really try to understand the pain and the gain from their proposition, I’m going to come on to what a value proposition property looks like today and why it’s important to to reinvent and to re examine your own value proposition. They forego the relationship, I actually think we’re all a little bit better nowadays, I think marketing has had a humanification to it, which is, which is certainly helped even big corporate brands now trying to create a little bit more of a relationship in their in their marketing, as opposed to the broadcast marketing that we used to think. Budgets will be operational considerations, you know, for example, if I implement these changes for people who work with me, is it going to create more work for me? Do I have the expertise and the resources to see it through? How long is it going to take them? Was that going to impact my day to day customer delivery? All of these are considerations, which we’ll be going through their mind. And unless we have answers to these questions, and reassurances and take the time, to create certainty, chances are, they’re going to delay a decision making process.
Warren Cass 17:35
Coming back to this value proposition. Some of you may have seen the value proposition canvas before just going to give it a quick explanation, because I think it’s really important to re examine. The Value Proposition Canvas is the simple premise that your customer has jobs that they must do, work that they must do. Our job is to understand how we can either improve the work and those gains, they may not be aware they exist or your solution exists, our job is to educate them on where we can help them make gains. It’s also to solve pain points, to solve problems, we do that by observation. The real challenge that we have today is over the last 18 months, most people have been focused on bringing in new business and not necessarily in going out and talking to their existing customer base and understanding the challenges that they face right now in order to maybe adapt solutions in order to to help. So it’s really key that we talk to our customers, and we talk to our marketplace, and understand the current challenges.
Warren Cass 18:38
Our job is to design products and services, which are game creators or pain relievers. When we do that, we we create a bit and that’s by design. So it starts with observation, and then it’s by design. So I know it seems really simple. But I honestly have been working with customers over the last year and a half who are delivering the same thing they delivered 30 years ago, they haven’t even adapted in the technology age, let alone the times that we find ourselves in now. It’s really important to re observe and and to redesign when necessary. What does this look like from the point of view as we examine what certainty looks like? You know, first of all, a customer wants to know that you understand this specific issue, the only way you’re going to do that is by asking really good questions. So we’ve got to demonstrate our understanding of their their wants and needs. Okay, that’s part of it. If we if we don’t show understanding, or if we feedback the wrong information to them or they’re misunderstanding, we’re creating more uncertainty. I mean, if you think of this as a scale of, you know, if certainty is a building block and we want to get them to 100%. You know, any one of these aspects will chip away at certainty. I think we’ve got to understand where people make buying decisions and for different people that be in different places based on risk thresholds. Okay, and so us feeding back to them, we understand your problem, you know this, these are the challenges you’re faced with. And we’ll, we’ll start with them. Second thing is demonstrating expertise. Now we live in an age of due diligence, right? So every single time somebody is considering working with you, they’re probably out there you know, squirrelling, on Google, finding your LinkedIn profiles, looking at the content that you put out there, and trying to understand if you know your stuff. A really nice technique here is if you have done the understanding bit, well, you’ve asked really good questions. When, when you’re in the proposal stage, or the nurturing stage where the client sent them that piece that one article that addresses their need, and demonstrate your expertise. Again, it’s another step on the way to certainty, it also creates this reciprocity, that actually, you’ll be their preferred choice, because you’ve gone the extra mile, and you’ve, you’ve shown a duty of care to them. The same thing in that due diligence stage, they’re going to be looking for things like social proof, they want to know that there’s plenty of testimony, and the marketplace agrees with your own hype. They want to see that you’re confident communication and this is particularly a problem when people are normally asked for price. You know, from a subconscious point of view if asked for price, there’s a pause, or deep intake of breath, what you’re doing is creating uncertainty, believe it or not, if your prices are too cheap, you create uncertainty, because then there’s the value expectation, the psychology around pricing and how we communicate our pricing, again, is important, it all contributes.
Warren Cass 21:31
The perceived value of your product and service is important, it’s not just good for you to know it, it’s not good for you to just list features and benefits actually, where people understand value is the application of the product or service. Okay, so you need to be able to talk outcome, you need to be able to say, okay, when we do this, typically, this is what I can see, this is the this is the way they operate, these are the time saving, you know, this is what it means their work life balance, this is what it means to their staff, and teams, whatever they’re talking outcomes. So the perception of value isn’t in features and benefits it’s in, it’s in talk outcomes with people. So getting the outcome clear. Being consistent in all your communications, you know, I confess, if there’s one thing that’s led me down in my, in my earlier years, it’s the consistency around communication, it was through client and customer feedback that I learned to make sure that the discipline of being responsive, etc, really matters. If you’re inconsistent, or you don’t reply in a timely manner. It really takes it down on certainty. Whether you’ve got any money back guarantees or product guarantees, they all help, especially if they’re not just done in the kind of cavalier, churlish way that we see lots of knowledge spinners, and providing to them. If you’ve got it, we firmly believe in giving people the opportunity to have a test drive with you know, a test drive might be the first one on your product staircase, it might just be the thing that allows them to see if there’s a chemistry match, I can tell you categorically, all of the people that work with us in Hive Mind, whether on the accelerator or in our mastermind group, all of them come through a test drive first, for us a test drive is a one to one session on Zoom, where we take the time to understand the needs and add some value. So they get to see if there’s chemistry and there’s a values match, it’s only only then do people then decided to take the next step to us. Our accelerator is not a small investment. It’s several 1000 pounds, and it’s an intensive eight weeks actually completely restructuring the business. Last year, not a single person came on our accelerator that didn’t need at least some sort of one to one test drive in advance. So we know that we’ve factored that into our nurture process and into our model, because we know it’s important. All of these usual things, a conviction, etc. But the attitude to risk applied has will ultimately dictate which stage in your nurturing process they decided to go. The key thing for you is about how you design a communication strategy that talks to all of these points, right? So initially, when we’re looking at even just a relevance match, we’ve got to be maybe delivering some content. When they first get in touch with us, we’re looking at how we get their attention. That is how we engage, once we’ve engaged that how we nurture the relationship, that is taking them over the line, and creating ultimately advocacy. Now, if this rings true to you, I encourage you to stop it right and take the chance to sorted it out. The vast majority of people do all of that loving and all of that extra effort in that engagement stroke, nurture stage, and once somebody becomes a customer, they don’t give them the same love. A PBX member who I’m really fond on in fact best friends is called Barnaby Wynter and he doesn’t talk about customers, he talks about paying prospects because the sentiment there is that you always give people the same amount of love and especially when they actually get over the line become your customer, you’ve still got to talk to them, look after them and be as attentive as you were when you just simply wanted the business. S
Warren Cass 25:11
o you know, this is a big subject to cover in a short period of time we have but, you know, the, the point is thinking about the psychology of the journey when people are going through these stages.
Warren Cass 25:22
Let’s come to the presentation of the selling. So you know, what’s important for us is to obviously have a decent consistent marketing strategy, one, which actually demonstrates our values. Not enough businesses have taken value seriously, in an age when certainly younger demographics are coming through wanting conscious capitalism type of agendas, they want to see the values of an organisation. An enlightened organisation understands this, they don’t just put values on the front of their website, they live and breathe by them, they recruit by them. Guess what, if you recruit by those values, you create a culture that lives those values. If that’s your cultural experience, it becomes your customer experience, and ultimately, your brand experience. So creating, understanding your values and creating values is massively important but then being able to communicate them and match with people based on those values is really important.
Warren Cass 26:15
The way you dress them, you’re the imagery on your website, the clarity in the words that you use on your website are all important when it comes to certainty, the reputation that you have, and the testimony that you create, all contribute to certainty. Your authority on a subject all contributes right, because what we’re trying to create is credibility for our marketplace. In times where actually the context of our marketplace isn’t consistent, you know, especially if, through COVID times, you’ve now been able to deliver and engage people internationally, rather just in the UK. This is a consideration for you. I mean, when Warren and I got together just before lock down. But we were absolutely anticipating with the hive mind was that we would be UK centric in five star hotels, working with people face to face and of course lockdown happened, we had to adapt. Well, actually, last year, we’ve worked with over 120 people in 14 different countries. And and we’ve adapted, but we have to understand that everybody that we speak to has a different context. Actually, the whole group is richer for that. So embracing diversity is one thing, but when it comes to that nurturing state and your communication, if you are talking with one tone of voice, you’re not speaking to everybody. We have an age now where we get to personalise our message, and we get to understand the individual contexts. So I really urge you to think about what that looks like in your particular audience. You say we we help people create competitive advantage, and this is this is our competitive advantage model. And most people are very surface level in their marketing. Let’s face it, for most people to go off and start their own business, they do so because they’ve got they’ve got a core competency, our core passion, which has taken them to go and start their business, but they don’t necessarily know how to run the operational processes around that passion. They don’t necessarily know how to market and sell that passion. So we’re in the business of helping people position what they do, so that they get decent penetration and build a good profitable business. We are about getting beyond the surface level stuff down to that kind of core where you really have competitive advantage, and become the go to person. All of these play a part, all of these contribute towards certainty. So, you know, market forces have been, have had an impact on buying decisions coming back full circle to what I started with economic certainty has had an impact, even people who have access governmental funding over the last year, haven’t necessarily wanted to spend it, because they have just been, you know, how bad is this going to get, I need to have a fallback fund in order to adapt, and should the market then dictate it. They’re potentially looking at alternative solutions, they’ll have their own opinions, but they’ll also have all of those opinions of the people around them, their key stakeholders, from shareholders, other directors, even staff and other customers, if they’re going to be impacted by any kind of change, affected by your product or service. So all of these are the factors. The key for us is how we come out of lockdown, and create momentum in this time of apathy, how we create certainty in the minds of people in this time of apathy.
Warren Cass 29:37
So I just want to stop for a moment and let me just find a video screen of yours. I know not everybody’s on camera, but I’d like to first of all, invite any questions before I go on to Just some closing remarks around how we can create certainty in a time of apathy. So there’s anybody got a question they want to ask based on what I’ve talked about so far? Or even an example of your own marketplace, that you might want a bit of insight. And by the way, Hive Mind thinking is where other people get to contribute ideas to so don’t feel you need to ask a question, if you want to share an experience, I’m also quite open to that.
Just while people are doing that, Jackie, yes, the session will be available as a replay.
Warren Cass 30:29
Crikey who wants to put up with me twice. That’s, that’s brave. Nothing like popularity? No questions. It was only in the chat and jumps I can’t see the chat while I’m presenting. So there’s anything that I need to be aware of before we move on?
For an observation, I mean, I think what you’re putting down there makes so much sense because there is the psychology of it because if you Yeah, I’m just saying thank you and that’s why I want to see it again. So I can take it in a bit more.
Warren Cass 31:03
So Jackie, really interesting point, I want to respond. The point is that most of us get stuck in the in the day to day, right, we don’t start to think a little bit deeper around the way, the reason why people make decisions today. That’s changed, the context of every single consumer decision has changed over the last couple of years. I would argue it’s been steadily changing for the last 30 years but it’s definitely changed in the last couple of years. Unless we’ve learned to adapt the way that we present ourselves to the world we will potentially be missing out. I will also come back to appointments simplicity, but it’s, it’s most of us tend to want to throw everything at a prospect. Now we do this, this this, do this and these are the benefits, when actually they have one key requirement. Okay. If we addressed that one key requirement, they could have made a buy decision, when we give people too much choice, when we become more complex in our in our positioning, what we create is confusion and a confused mind never buys.
Warren Cass 32:09
Okay, so, think of it from a restaurant, I’ll give you a restaurant example, you turn up to a restaurant, and you’re looking to buy a nice meal with your family and somebody presents you with a 40 page menu. Suddenly got lots and lots of choice. And now you’re agonising over your choice, because there’s actually six different things that you really want to eat and you don’t you don’t want to make the wrong decision. So you know, if a waiter or waitress walks by with a tray of food, you’re you’re looking over onto the food. And it’s because we all like our expectations to be managed, right? So we want to make the right choice. So actually, if somebody presents me with a menu with just six choices, I’m happy. Because typically there’ll be one that stands out that we know I’ll enjoy. I have then less anxiety about whether I’ve made the right choice. So try and simplify your propositions try and bring them back down to you know, the kind of key things that you deliver, there might be a little bit of personalization and adaption within that back, the more we can simplify, the less anxiety we’re going to create in the prospective buyers mind, and therefore more certainty, okay, so we’ve got to simplify communication and simplify propositions, but it comes down to understanding the pain gain.
I couldn’t agree more there, Warren, because a confused person will think about it.
Warren Cass 33:29
Absolutely. And what we’re trying to do is, is to create the conditions where people buy, okay, and so it’s a journey that we lead people on, we’re leading the thought price process. So and by the way, all of this is on the understanding that we know we’re a good fit for the customer, right? So this is this is done with the right integrity, but we’re leading the thought process. So they’re in a position where they want to buy from us. That’s, that’s really what modern day selling is all about, creating certainty from that perspective.
Unknown Speaker 33:57
Thank you for all the information, it’s I find that with my with my actual business, I’ve given you the website, it’s to some of the parts need to be like a jigsaw and fit together. So I need to sometimes put the information on that link everything together. So it’s more than one item, even though I’m trying to make it one item.
Warren Cass 34:22
So the biggest thing that you can try and do today is invite the conversation, right and not necessarily bombard people with too much information. So for example, if you’ve got a website with lots of propositions and lots of information, what you can be doing is causing consideration or confusion before they even have a chance to have a conversation with you. So the best thing you can do is even simplify your messaging on your website, but invite engagement because when people engage with you it’s the opportunity to build the rapport to ask contextualising questions, and then just give them the information What really matters to them?
Unknown Speaker 35:01
Yeah, they have actually gone to my website and have simplified it it. So it’s a fron pages, it’s mainly the information of what the panel is and then after that, a future things on later on. But it’s not all available, even though that everyone wants everything available, it’s not available at the moment. So just trying to concentrate on one item.
Warren Cass 35:25
So I would go further and say, don’t just concentrate on the item, concentrate on getting them to a conversation, you know, because in the conversation, that’s essentially your test drive, that’s where you have a potential values match, where they get to understand what you stand for and they’ll be reassured by that, if the value is matching, I presume that they will, and they do. So the idea is get people to test drive as quickly as possible. How are we doing for time, we have got just under 10 minutes, so I tell you what I’m gonna do, we’ll come back to a bit of conversation, I’ve got time at the end, just want to talk about what we can do to combat some of this apathy we find today, and find a little bit more certainty. So let’s just address what apathy actually is. And, you know, just show of hands actually, before I, before I go on to this, how many people have been feeling a little bit apathetic themselves, and have or have maybe noticed it in their own marketplace? You know, people are slower to respond to emails, people perhaps aren’t picking up the mobile phones like they used to before. Maybe you’ve got less engagement on your social posts on LinkedIn, and Facebook, all of those are true for me, okay, all of those true for me as both a consumer and as somebody who markets themselves.
Okay, so it was a lot of apathy just there Warren, I couldn’t see too many hands come up.
Warren Cass 36:41
I saw them coming up and down, as I was saying different things. But, but maybe there was apathy there, too, which is quite funny, and well pointed out. This is this is something which we’ve got it we’ve got to do got to get people really excited about their own businesses as well as our products and services, right. So we can start to match those stats that I shared earlier on. Ultimately, people are positive, they’re more positive than they’ve been for the last couple of years. In some cases, they’re more positive they’ve been for the last 20 years and I think when you’re hit with adversity, there’s a kind of stoic Dunkirk spirit, which which makes us want to come out and be fighting, I think some of that’s applied to, but this is the apathy we find ourselves in right now.
Warren Cass 37:25
The question is, what can we do about it. The first thing is about controlling the controllables. So there are some things that your your marketplace, your existing customers, or your your life prospects right now, are thinking and feeling and unless you understand what they are, don’t obsess about it. The best thing you can do is engage with them and ask those questions but what you can be doing from your point of view, is making sure that,you’ve looked at your value proposition and made sure it stayed relevant in these times of change, That’s in your control. You can look at the way that you position yourself, you can simplify, you can also talk values, you can also talk solutions, you can demonstrate your understanding of the needs of your marketplace right now, all of these factors are in your control when it comes to communication. So focus on the controllables.
Warren Cass 38:20
In the last recession, there’s a whole load of data and research which shows how most people kind of combated it, and there was a whole load of people who batten down the hatches and went really defensive. What that means is they stopped any what they perceived to be unnecessary spending, that includes marketing. They weren’t the people who succeeded in the last recession. They were the people who went utterly on the offence. So what they did was they massively invested in change and in marketing. They weren’t the people who really won in the last recession. The people who, who won the people who made sensible defensive decisions, and sensible offensive decisions. So they have a little bit of balance with those two, they they made sure they understood which marketing was going to work for them. They understood which cost savings, were not necessarily going to impact the operational delivery of their products and services. So right now, if you’re feeling the pinch, or even if you’re market place is, one of the things in our control is to make sensible decisions around offence and defence. Okay. And this is where BBX plays a critical factor in In our business we spend really wisely on BBX and we make sure wherever we can release cashflow by making those sensible decisions we do. BBX is a great defensive solution, but it’s also a good offensive solution. So, you know, all of the marketeers, the SEO people, the website people they’re the people to potentially engage with and get that balance right in these times.
Warren Cass 39:55
Get support you know, if you if you’re working in isolation and doing things on your own now’s the time to find a support community, whether that’s just joining a networking group who are like minded, or whether it’s doing even more, you know, coming and being part of mastermind groups, which are much more intensive relationships, but a much deeper level of support for each other. These are things that you can do that are in your control right now and be active in those communities, you know, it’s been a lot of working in isolation, it’s really good to, to know that you’ve got people who’ve got your back in these times too. Actually what you’d be surprised about is just how much opportunity that creates, not only collaboration within the community, but advocacy, referrals to their marketplace, that type of thing.
Warren Cass 40:37
Get personal. Okay, if you have just been talking features and benefits for the last couple of years, now is the time to remember the word humanification. Now is the time to actually start creating relationships, and figuring ways to actually engage with the marketplace and talk to the demographic, psychographic and thermographic needs of your audience. Just to explain the three things. Demography is around things like gender, sex, geographical location, all those kinds of tangible facts and figures. Psychographics is about attitudes, the way that people think, and the behaviours that they have. Some of you might have a really broad marketplace that you serve from a demographic point of view but you might find there’s a particular attitude or instinct that then your audience demonstrates on a regular basis, and therefore marketing needs to reflect the so called psychographics. Okay, firmagraphics is the same things, demographics, but company data as opposed to person data. When it comes to getting personal, we’re really interested in the demography, and psychography, in order to make sure that we’re actually talking to the audience into your audience, and addressing their needs and creating relationships with them. From a values point of view, you’re interested, and we have a giveaway on our website, which is 500 core values, what I suggest you do, if you want to just go to the website and pop up will appear quite quickly but you could just go in and register for the, for the PDF. I would suggest that with a good glass of Malbec or whatever your tipple is, you sit and just read through them, and just highlight the words that really stand out on the page. If you can start to really understand what you stand for and even in a business context, I would try and whittle that down to about the five to eight, which you you might want to actually use as part of a brand guidance and make sure that you’re communicating across all of your business communications. We have something called a congruence test within our own business, we have our five main values on the front of the website. Every single time we create an article or our newsletter, or anything like that, we just go and make sure that it’s living and breathing harmoniously, and there’s a consistency with how we communicate ourselves and. Because of that, we create more and more certainty in the mind’s eye of our prospect because we become a known quantity, they know what they’re going to get from this, we’re managing their expectations at all times. Is that clear?
Warren Cass 43:16
The identity aspect, in these current times, you might just want to think about how you do go and reimagine who you are and what you do. Whether that’s rediscovering your passions, you know, looking at your your kind of purpose, whether that’s reinventing your brand, giving it a facelift and making sure it’s kind of relevant right now. Whether it’s, you know, gives you something exciting to go to the marketplace with a relaunch, another chance to engage with the people that you’ve talked to past and present over the last 20 odd years. All of this isn’t is is within your power, but it’s about looking at your identity. This is the identity model that we work with. We went to a one day identity workshop actually once a month and this is the model that we work to take people particularly through these first, firstly sectors and then sampling the purpose values and objectives. It’s amazing what business transformation happens just spending a day exploring these things for yourself, but certainly the clarity and communicating your proposition. If any of you are interested in our identity workshop, and it’s available on BBX, we run it once a month. This is essentially what happens that recording the day is available. I only work with groups of 10 people maximum because it is about getting to know everybody on the call and to be able to provide contextual information. And that’s essentially what you get not big sales pitch comes with a big workbook. I can show you testimonials, if you’re interested, go and have a look at our website where there is a Testimonials page and you can still read what other people have to say about the stuff that we do. Just to show that I mean, when I say these are the values on front of our website that we live and breathe by, we make sure all of the things that we do factor to these, the next workshop is 26 July 197 plus VAT, had to talk about BBx today is not really about a sales pitch, I wanted to talk certainty with you. So I’m more than happy to take any further questions or challenges even if you if you vehemently disagree with anything I’ve said, Now is your time. And now is your chance. If you just want to touch base with me after today, I’m more than happy to share my slides and books. The videos are available through BBX, but I’m also more than happy to have a conversation with you about how we might be able to come to you moving forwards. And any questions?
Or and I’ve got a quick question. 20 years ago, there were 3.5 million businesses in the UK, there are 6 million now. So 40% of the businesses are very young, very small, one man bands as it were. So if you can give one tip Warren, to any smaller business out there, even someone employing up to four or five staff, what would be the number one thing, the action plan that you would recommend that they take away from this call today?
Warren Cass 46:13
Can I give you more than one thing? Because that’s a bit restrictive for me on that one? Listen, listen, there are more businesses starting and that’s because we have cultivated an entrepreneurial mindset in youth, right? So there are more people starting businesses under 20 years old than ever before and get this there are more people who have faced redundancy and are starting businesses post COVID too. Right. So lots and lots of people starting up. And actually most futurists will tell you over the next 25 years, we are becoming more and more portfolio careers. And that means more than one income stream from more than one business interest. In fact, how many people here have more than one business interest? Yeah, yeah. Most of us right. So this, this whole idea of portfolio careers is a thing and every single thing that you position has to have the same clarity and work towards certainty. That means also not mixing the message inside. So it’s a minefield right now. And is there 6 million businesses where there was previously 3 million. And by the way, whilst the volume of businesses is expanded, the percentage of those haven’t really changed. But it’s still 0.6% of businesses are small to medium 50 To 50 to 250 staff and just point 1% of them, corporates returned in 50. Plus vast majority of one, one man bands or one to five staff, right vast majority. So if you’re a one man band, suddenly now competing in a more competitive marketplace, where, where the playing field has been levelled with things like social media, it has never been more important for you to start to take your personal brand a bit more seriously. Your positioning and messaging and understand that customer acquisition journey that you take people on? How do you create the conditions where people make buying decisions? Okay, so it’s not just a case now of aggressively waiting for the phone to ring to quote Brad Burton. It’s about putting strategies in place, which drive inquiry which drive engagement which start relationships, because we live in a relationship economy today. It’s about the conversations you’re having with your prospective marketplace.
Thanks. So thanks, Warren. And, you know, I, Warren could have about 100 sessions on this and he’d speak with authority on all of them. I’ve just put up in the links for everybody. Anybody that was looking for his thought leaders blueprint site, I’ve put a link in there to the to Warren’s website. I’ve also put a link in there to his best selling and I mean, a proper best selling book on Amazon, and other places in bookstores and whatnot, on influence, so anybody that wants to grab a copy of that. It’s no wonder that Warren’s one of the most sought after speakers when we have real shows, in terms of in actual locations, or and it’s been our absolute pleasure to, to have us on the show today. If anybody’s got any burning questions, please, Lincoln with Warren. He’s a good guy and happy to happy to connect with you guys. So Warren on behalf of the group, I thank you very much for your contribution today.
Warren Cass 49:25
Thanks for having me, John. Pleasure to see everybody. Thanks for your participation take care.
Just before everybody goes, I’ve just put a link up to the next speaker Bob Heywood Bob, I’ve known for 15 years. And he’s going to be doing some other things on selling on how to increase your sales and also increase the price that you get from selling. So continuing,
Warren Cass 49:46
I would absolutely advocate Bob, by the way, I’ve known Bob for some amount of time. He’s awesome at what he does. So Bob sessions. Great. I also look out for Dave Plunkett later on today, and he’s an ex business partner of mine and brilliant guy on partnerships partnerships strategies could be a great way to get to mind the future.
Warren Cass 50:10
To hold on to me, yeah, let’s see if you’re interested that. Absolutely we can entertain that. But if you’re interested, let’s have a conversation. Make sure we’re a good match. Thank you.
Okay. So thanks. Thanks, Warren and hope everybody got some benefit from from that session. And there are still I don’t know, 15 more to go, as well as interviews and whatnot going around the world. So, again, thank you, Warren Cass for your input today. And thank you all for attendance. If you liked the show, go away and share it and tell everybody that this is a great show. If you don’t like it come and just give me a private message and we can iron out any issue. So thank you, everybody, for your attendance.
Warren Cass 50:47
It’s been emotional.
Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.
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