From Chaotic Hard Work to Calm Confidence and Increased Profits Emily Anderson owner of Plazmart…
Short sales meetings changed our lives here in our marketing agency in Orewa. They gave both us, and our potential clients a great intro into working together. They also helped us zero in on the people ready to take action.
Identify is still pretty new, and we are awkwardly (but by choice!) set on running our marketing agency in Orewa, north of Auckland. I love being here – it’s close to home, it’s near the beach, and it’s (to be honest!) cheaper than having an office more central. Plus we have the opportunity to hire locals who can also enjoy shorter commute times.
I wanted to work more from my marketing agency in Orewa
One of the issues of being Hibiscus Coast based, is that any meetings in Auckland will incur a great deal of travel time. And time is precious in any business, but especially in a new business.
While some people might love the travel in Auckland’s traffic, I do not. I like my long trips to clients, and being able to get to a place then work. However I find the drive, find a park, meet, drive, find a park, meet routine of sales/meeting calls hard on my energy levels. (Life balance and falling asleep at 7:30pm aren’t really congruent!)
I had resigned myself to having to do this as part of my role at Identify. Besides owning the business, I’m now mainly the chief salesperson, and also still keep my finger in the strategy pie when we have an overflow.
Time is precious
But TIME is not only precious to Identify, but it’s precious to me. Short sales meetings, run from the office or my car (at a pinch) were more than a little appealing. I want as much time as I can with my husband, with my three daughters, and our three dogs. I’m almost fanatical about the need for my team to have time to exercise, eat right, sleep well, and not take work home. This means I try to model this myself. Which is no mean feat for a relatively new business.
We help many of our clients find methods to get their life back, while still running their business. Our marketing strategies are a mix of a bit of life coaching, business planning and motivation talks intertwined into the marketing strategy. To do this I feel a strong sense of needing to show we can do it too – so there is this tightrope of authenticity I’m walking.
A change was definitely needed
Earlier in the year, we invited Johny O’Donnell to come train all of us in our little marketing agency in Orewa in Active Campaign – which led us to becoming the first agency in NZ to become accredited Active Campaign consultants.
As part of his day, the value from me was to learn more about how he manages his time. For he too has time as one of his core boundaries/limitations and have to find tools to use it better.
Johny introduced me to Calendly . I immediately started to use it to help our clients book in time with us for our strategies, for one on one skype calls and coaching. We saw an immediate return in terms of time saved from back and forth emails around booking times. It made the process easier for everyone.
Because we cater for small businesses, we meet a lot of people who want information, but may not be ready for us, or might just be stuck on a part of their business and need an ear.
15 minute meetings began
So, I began to offer 15-minute FREE info meetings, phone only, to anyone with a business who needed to talk anything marketing, strategy, business growth, pricing, motivation on their business.
I wasn’t doing this to drum up business at all. My motivation was to “riff”, to enjoy the play of learning about someone else’s business. I’d see if we could fix a component of it, and help them.
It has become a very popular part of my week, and has been well utilised. Some weeks I speak with 12-16 businesses, all for fifteen minutes only. It take less time than I would have being stuck in traffic. PLUS, I can talk to many of these people while I am travelling, so I am focussed on idea generation when going into physical sales meetings. It is a win/win!
And then they became sales meetings
What has amazed me (and certainly wasn’t my intention) was how many of these people have either then referred me to someone who has become a client. Or have got to a point where they need our help and re contact us after a month or more, to engage us. They liked the fact it was easy to connect with me – them anywhere, me in my marketing agency in Orewa.
Even more so – the people who used the 15-minute slot to give us a shopping list of needs, and then asked for a proposal. My intention was really to add value that would help them as opposed to sell to them so it was a surprise. The short sales meetings were in force indeed!
Of course, you can’t always find out what someone needs in fifteen minutes, so more often than not, we’d reschedule in a 45-minute session. That one was more like a sales meeting, but we had a foundation that the fifteen-minute meeting had created
This one act of giving has helped our business grow, and led to us employ two more full-time employees in the last few months to manage the growth.
They won’t suit everyone and that’s ok
I got some feedback a month or so ago from a sales guy we did a proposal for. We missed out on the gig because our sales style didn’t fit what he likes (he is still in the old school and solid model of several meetings, then delivering the proposal in person) There is still a place for that type of selling, however, as deliverers in the small business space, and targeting clients with often limited budgets, this type of selling is not economical for us as a business, and also can often overload the business owner we are going to be working with.
For me, hearing the feedback helped me confidently realise that our new process was now my filter. It helps us find the right clients for our business. They are busy small business owners who don’t need/want hours and hours of meetings. In our marketing agency in Orewa, any work that is not strategy training is charged by the hour, so budget is going to get chewed up but time needy clients. We model to anyone we were in contact with the value of our time, and theirs.
I’m sold out on the concept of continuing to gift my time for any business owner who needs a 15-minute meeting to help them with their business. It’s a gift I happily give, without expectation. Plus I know it DOES WORK long-term to also grow Identify.)
Fifteen minutes worth of short sales meetings changed our business for good. They helped me grow creatively, and helped hundreds of NZ businesses we previously didn’t reach
Of course, any business owner is welcome to a 15-minute meeting. Want to give it a go? Promise I’ll make it worth your while.
I promise pure value and no selling. (Unless you specifically ask me to sell to you in this session)
Otherwise,check out Calendly. We LOVE IT. (I have no affiliate link for this btw!)