Letter from Marketing No. 3

Posted by Chris on June 29th, 2011

Dear M.D./C.E.O./Owner/Proprietor/Boss,

In letters 1 and 2 we have discussed why you need to put in place a Digital Marketing Strategy.

Let’s just say that all the ” old ways ” of marketing ( so called traditional marketing ) are not quite dead yet. Depending on your business many of them may still be relevant now and for some time but, for sure, the world is changing fast.

In the more recent world the company website was a sort of ” electronic brochure ” or ” presentation ” of your company. It was probably created by ” creatives ” ( graphic designers, marketing people ) or ” programmers ” ( software developers ). You referred people to your website by putting the web address ( url ) on your business cards ( along with your email address, phone and fax numbers ), brochures, mailshots, vans, lorries etc etc.

If the website was found by a Google search on ” your company name” then everything looked good. Or did it ??

The problem is that unless you are a really famous/well known company then people will not search on your company name. They are more likely to search for a product or service which they hope will then lead them to some information and then the best company to supply that product or service.

If say you needed help with your swimming pool in Staffordshire you might Google

” Swimming pool repairs Staffordshire “.

When I did this I got a load of Google maps results ( N.B. !! ), a load of yell.com results ( N.B. ), a company that said it was Staffordshire based but was obviously in Essex !  and one

http://www.leisurelinespas.co.uk/index.asp

that had good information and was in Shropshire – ok,  close enough ;-)

This brings us to the first point in the Digital Marketing strategy:

That you must know what you want to be found and known for – your products, your services, your advice and your philosophy – and your website ( and associated blogsite ) must be found by Google for those search terms.

To borrow from my friends at HubSpot the overall mantra is to:

1. Be found ( for relevant search terms )

2. Convert ( visitors into leads )

3. Analyse ( where you got your visitors from and how )

Find-Convert-Analyse.

The second point is that there is very little point in investing time and effort in a Digital Marketing Strategy unless you know where you started ( how many visitors/leads/sales you are getting at the moment – your baseline ) and how you are are progressing in your efforts.

Over time we will suggest that you do many things to drive traffic ( visitors ) to your website e.g. write blogposts, do Internet PR, start and run Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin pages on top of ensuring that you are found for relevant terms but what you must do is to understand what is working and what is not.

Typically your website will have a level of visitors who are finding you directly ( they know your url ) or indirectly ( they know your name and type it into google or they have typed in a search term that has resulted in them finding your website or blogsite ). You will add to this base traffic with referrals from e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or another website or wherever.

You want to know what works ??

Did you get more visitors ( leads and sales ) from blogging, posting on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin ??

Which blogs/posts/Tweets worked and which ones didn’t ???

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/07/05/letter-from-marketing-no-4/

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/28/letter-from-marketing-no-2/

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/22/letter-from-marketing-no-1/

Generate Leads from Linkedin

Posted by Chris on June 29th, 2011

Services

Services

Network Sunday’s Elite Networker™ social business development system is designed for senior Business to Business (B2B) professionals responsible for the growth of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Our clients promote high value products or services with strong market demand and propositions which can be differentiated from the competition.

Network Sunday evaluates the marketability of its prospective clients’ propositions via a detailed questionnaire and consultation process, only taking on companies we believe we can help.

Please contact us if you would like us to evaluate your suitability for Elite Networker and receive a written assessment.

How does Elite Networker™ work?

-          Creation Of Engaging Content – we translate your value proposition into engaging personal communication which works within the context of LinkedIn’s social network and will resonate and establish rapport with your audience. Gone are the days of corporate brochure-style writing techniques – people want honest, jargon-free and concise information which is enjoyable and easy to understand.

-          Proactive Online Networking – with our networking experience we help you personally engage with others, quickly raise interest and awareness and seek referrals.  But these exciting ‘digital encounters’ are not enough –  it is ‘human interaction’ which counts and this means speaking to people and moving the relationship forward.

-          Lead & Referral Follow Ups – we’ve learnt that senior professionals are not the greatest when it comes to following up prospects and referrals. Having someone specifically tasked with this is essential. If you don’t have anyone to support you we can help. (See our Elite Networker™ Plus service). Whoever is responsible for follow ups will receive full guidance and support needed to maximise the number of qualified meetings which will evolve.

Learn more about Elite Networker™ and how it’s helping Network Sunday’s clients build their business and become more profitable.

Watch 4 short videos of Tim Bond explaining the fundamentals of social business development (sign up)

Download and read further information on our Elite Networker™ system and our Rate Card.

Why purchase Elite Networker™?

Get Social: Implement a successful social business development strategy supported by experienced practitioners who know what works and how to do it.  In a world where almost everyone is claiming to be a Social Media expert, Network Sunday has an enviable track record with over 120 very happy clients.

Extend reach & visibility: Reach more senior professionals in your industry and raise awareness of your personal brand and company proposition.

Engage Others: Discover hundreds of professionals interested in your business but only speak with those who are most interested and when it makes business sense to do so.

Save Time: Leave the time consuming administrative tasks to us, enjoy the freedom to continue with your business priorities without the necessary but distracting task of building a pipeline.

Accelerate new business and ROI: Rapidly increase new business opportunities, get ahead of your competition and experience incredible tangible and intangible return on investment.

Call us today +44 (0) 1273 256 495

or contact:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/leighhopwood

Dog friendly hotels and pubs near Prestatyn North Wales

Posted by Chris on June 28th, 2011

If you are looking for a dog friendly hotel, bed and breakfast or pub near Prestatyn in North Wales then try The Glan yr Afon Inn just along the A55 towards Chester.

Over the years the Glan has had some great reviews as a Dog friendly pub and hotel such as these articles here:

http://www.flintshirechronicle.co.uk/flintshire-news/local-flintshire-news/2011/02/03/flintshire-pub-dubbed-doggy-heaven-51352-28103123/

http://www.flintshirechronicle.co.uk/flintshire-news/local-flintshire-news/2011/06/23/save-our-flintshire-pubs-the-glan-yr-afon-inn-dolphin-near-holywell-51352-28923816/

and  the Glan is always looking for ways to improve it’s relationship with pets and pet owners.

Recently someone told The Glan that there were no pet friendly hotels in the Prestatyn area and suggested that an Internet post to advise people that The Glan was pet friendly would be a good idea.

Over the years

Letter from Marketing No. 2

Posted by Chris on June 28th, 2011

Dear M.D./C.E.O./Owner/Proprietor/Boss,

In Letter No 1 we outlined the basic challenge of Sales and Marketing today – that, due to the rise and development of the Internet things are changing forever.

In this diagram

we highlighted the difference between the Internet based marketing methods and the ” traditional ” marketing methods. We noted ( in the comments ) that there are other marketing methods not identified here e.g. word of mouth marketing, business networking ( attending business networking meetings and other gathering of business people ), television and radio advertising etc. etc. We also mentioned that some of these methods are described ( now ) as ” Push ” marketing and some as ” Pull ” marketing.

One of the problems with the ” traditional ” marketing methods highlighted toward the right of the above diagram ( e.g. print advertising, tradeshows, direct marketing etc ) is that they are expensive and consuming in both time and money. Advertising in traditional print media ( papers, magazines etc. ) is very expensive and it is not just the cost of the actual advertisement it is also the cost,time and skill involved in producing the right advertisement in the first place. Attending Tradeshows is horrendously expensive if ALL the costs are taken into account e.g. not just the cost of the stand space but also the stand itself, supporting marketing materials, staff costs,travel costs,  hotel costs etc. etc. Direct mail, telemarketing and traditional P.R. are also expensive ( Internet based P.R. and traditional media PR can be very efficient and effective ).

In addition it is hard to track the returns from some of these marketing investments: How many actual leads or sales did you get from that advertising campaign/tradeshow/direct mail campaign/telemarketing campaign ???????

Furthermore it is getting harder and harder to get results from these methods because e.g. people don’t read print advertising as much; people don’t have time to attend tradeshows; direct mail ends up in the bin because nobody has time to read anything and you can’t get through by phone to the decision makers because they are too busy and have effective filters in place like their secretary or receptionist. Even email campaigns end up in Spam filters.

So it is no real surprise to hear that marketers are shifting their time, efforts and money toward the first 3 or 4 items in the above diagram.

The reasons for this would include:

1. That people are shifting their time online – in various ways and that they get information and buy when they want to and not when you want them to.

2. That the traditional methods are too expensive all around – in time, skill, effort and money.

3. That the traditional methods are not working as well any more mainly because the people are not there any more or are filtering out those efforts.

4. That the old ways are not as easily trackable as the new ways ( you cannot work out the R.O.I. as easily )

So, you must put in place a digital marketing strategy that transitions you from the old world to the new world.

How will be the subject of Letter from Marketing No. 3.

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/29/letter-from-marketing-no-3/

Investing in a Tech Bubble

Posted by Chris on June 22nd, 2011

This exerpt is taken from here
where you will find the full article and origins.
Steve Blank
The proposer’s rebuttal remarks
Jun 17th 2011 | Steve Blank

You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em
Know when to fold ‘em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

My esteemed colleague, Ben Horowitz, essentially makes four arguments: 1) look at how relatively cheap Apple, Google and Amazon stock is, compared to their growth; 2) major technology cycles tend to be around 25 years long, with the bulk of the purchases occurring in the last five-to-ten years—the major adoption wave for the Internet technology platform is due to hit within the next 8 years; 3) the economics of building internet businesses has changed; and 4) the markets are much bigger.

Therefore, he concludes that a boom is coming…but asks if you want to miss it because it has the possibility of becoming a bubble?

If this were a magic act, we would suggest that Mr Horowitz’s arguments are misdirection. To answer the question before the house, “Are we in a tech bubble?” he offers that as Apple, Google and Amazon survived the dot.com crash, we can ignore the fate of the thousands of failed public and private dot.com companies when the bubble burst in March of 2000. The issue is not whether we are on a 25-year tech cycle or that the next eight years are really going to be great. The issue is whether the next 100+ tech IPOs carried by this bubble will be worth their offering price in eight years.

One of the least understood parts of a bubble is that there are five types of participants: the Smart Money, the Shills, the Marks, the True Believers and the Promoters. Understanding the motivations of these different groups helps to make sense out of the bubble chart below.

Four stages

Smart Money are the prescient angel investors and venture capitalists who started investing in social networks, consumer and mobile applications and the cloud three, four or five years ago. They helped build these struggling ventures into the Facebooks, Twitters, and Zyngas before anyone else appreciated that these companies could have hundreds of millions of users with off-the-chart revenue and profits.

In a bubble, the Smart Money doubles down on their investment in the awareness phase, but—when it starts becoming a mania—the Smart Money cashes out. (Really Smart Money recognises it is a bubble, and bets against it.) They manage this all with knowledge of the game they are playing, but they do not hype it, talk about it or fan the flames. They know that others will.

The Shills are the middlemen in a bubble. They profit from the boom times. They are the mortgage brokers and real estate agents in the housing bubble, the investment bankers and technology press in the dot.com bubble. Since it is in their interest to keep the bubble going, they will tell you that housing always goes up, that these bonds are guaranteed by a big bank, and that this tech stock is worth its opening price. All the stories peddled by Shills have, at their heart, why “it is a new age” and why “all the old ways of measuring value are obsolete”. And why “you will be an idiot if you do not jump in and reap the rewards and cash out”.

The Marks are your neighbours or parents or grandparents. They are not domain experts. They know nothing about real estate, financial markets or tech stocks, but they do not want to miss the “investment opportunity of a lifetime”. They hear reassurance from the Shills and take their advice at face value, never asking or questioning the Shills‘ financial incentives to sell you this house/mortgage/tech stock. They see others making extraordinary amounts of money at the start of the mania—”just buy a condo or two and you can sell them in six months”. What no one tells the Marks is that, as they are buying, the Smart Money and institutional investors are quietly pulling out and selling their assets.

The True Believers do not financially participate in the bubble like theMarks (for lack of assets, timidity, or time) but they would if they could. They have no rational evidence to believe, but for them it is a “faith-based” belief. By their numbers, they give comfort to the Marks around them.

The Promoters are the ones who keep the bubbles inflated even when they know that the asset exceeds its fundamental value by a large margin. While Shills have no credibility, Promoters have “brand-name” credibility that makes the Marks trust them. What makes thePromoters‘ role egregious is that they are a small subset of the Smart Money. They loudly tell the Marks and the Shills that everything is just fine, enticing them to buy into the bubble, as the Promoters are liquidating their own positions.

To support his position Mr Horowitz used a quote from Warren Buffett that I wish I had found, “The only way you get a bubble is when a very high percentage of the population buys into some originally sound premise…that becomes distorted as time passes and people forget the original sound premise and start focusing solely on the price action.”

The “facts” raised by Mr Horowitz, that “the size and scale of these new markets have never been seen before; some of these applications and companies will reach billions of customers, generate unprecedented revenues and profits” are likely true. But they do not support his argument about the bubble valuations that we are seeing across all the companies filing for IPOs (Pandora Media just priced its IPO at $2.6 billion dollars, while admitting it will have operating losses through the end of fiscal 2012). But to justify his position, he lists the low price/earnings ratios of Apple, Amazon, Google and Salesforce.com. He argues that, if we are in a bubble, these companies ought to have their prices inflated as well.

A bubble does not work that way. Bubbles attract Marks and Shills to new shiny toys, not existing ones. Apple, Amazon, et al are not the current objects of desire that this bubble is about. The question is, are we in a new tech bubble? Does the new wave of social/web/mobile/cloud companies going public have valuations which exceed their fundamental values by a large margin (today and in the foreseeable future)?

In other words, “Would you want your mother to buy these stocks to hold them—or to flip them?”

Every bubble is a big-stakes game—played for keeps. In it, the usual cast of characters appear: the Smart Money, the Shills, the Marks and the Promoters.

There is a saying in poker, “If you can not figure out who the Mark is at the table, it’s you.”

Letter from Marketing No 1.

Posted by Chris on June 22nd, 2011

Dear Managing Director/C.E.O./Owner/Proprietor/Boss,

The way that people seek information and buy is changing rapidly, dramatically and forever.

You have probably changed the way that you buy some things – using Google to search for things, holiday booking sites for great deals and price comparison sites to compare prices. If you have young people in your family or know them you will see them using Google for the answer to nearly everything !

This change puts the power in the hands of the searcher and buyer. They will seek information on your products and services when they want to. They will to some extent ignore your ” Interrupt driven ” efforts to make them think about you, your products and services ( Mailshots, emailshots, telemarketing, advertising etc. etc. ) in the same way that you may ignore people trying to sell you things in this way. Although you still may catch them at the right time or with the right offer.

Of course the fact is that we are part way through this process and so some of the older ways are still valid now and will be for some time.

This change in the way information is gathered and products and services are purchased has been facilitated by the appearance and development of the Internet.

Of course, at present, some people use  the Internet a lot and some people not so much. You might use the Internet for email but may not be on Facebook or Twitter.

If we look at the graph above we can see a number of things:

1. That business to business marketers ( B2B ) have a range of options to get the attention of their target customers. 4 of them are Internet related ( social media, virtual events/webinars, search engine optimisation ( SEO ) of websites, paid search advertising ( PPC ). 1 can be Internet and/or traditional media related –  Public Relations. The rest are ” physical ” – phone calling, mail shotting ( N.B. email shotting is Internet related ) , attending a tradeshow or advertising in physical media e.g. a paper or magazine.

2. That 6 of them are outbound or ” PUSH ” marketing and 3 of them are inbound or ” PULL ” marketing. ( Although I think that paid search and Internet PR can also be regarded as ” PULL ” marketing in some ways. )

3.  That marketers themselves expect to put more time and money into the first three to five than the last four.

You probably know quite a lot about the last four ( although each of these needs to be done well to be effective at all ).

You probably need to know more about the first 5 ( plus email shotting ?? ).

Subsequent ” Letters from Marketing ” will help you to work out where you are in terms of your preparedness and ability with these 5/6 and also how you can develop these areas.

Regards,

Chris.

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/28/letter-from-marketing-no-2/

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/29/letter-from-marketing-no-3/

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/07/05/letter-from-marketing-no-4/

Just leave SEO and Inbound Marketing girl – they will never change !!

Posted by Chris on June 21st, 2011

I recently came across this post on another blog site:

” I do the SEO for a healthcare company, and I have these exact problems. ( a lack of respect due to … 1. Poor communication, 2. Department mentality, 3. Being seen to be opiniated )  The good news is that they are trying to improve their marketing. I have lots of knowledge, good ideas and excitement and I really want to help them reach their goals. The bad news- lack of understanding of my role, lack of coordination between the various types of marketing, because I am not being told about all the company goals, even if I ask.
In addition, nepotism and the boys’ bonding club is another thing I have to deal with. To make things worse, I am expected to train the web designer about what I do instead of doing my work, and I have to convince him that what I do is worthwhile (since he is design-oriented), so that we can design from a marketing and SEO perspective, all alone and without back-up from my boss (they are really chummy). This means projects are taking longer than they should, deadlines are unrealistic (the graphic/web designer calls the shots of when he is done and he is taking his time), and I can’t really show what I can do, nor can I do anything about it- since I have to keep my mouth shut (I have already been assigned the labels you mentioned in the article).
So, instead of marketing like crazy and getting the results- which is extremely fun for me and good for the company- I have to deal with things such as the ones mentioned, plus I have to do other things that I should not be doing and I get no support. So, yes, I get no respect. I did try to do the team work thing, but it seems to me that educating people about everything is a really a time-consuming task, and it needs to be a two-way street.
I think that companies need to educate themselves better on the roles of marketers and give them more support, instead of just expecting them to be “friendly” with everyone and being submissive and quiet, so that they would fit in. All these cookie-cutter ideas of how people should be all be the same are old and outdated. Part of being a marketer means being bold, free, more independent,creative, outspoken, taking chances, thinking outside of the box, being daring, competitive, a little rebellious and result-oriented. This is what I want my boss to support, because that is what gets him the results. “


and it really touched a raw nerve with me – perhaps because another marketer that I know was experiencing some similarish issues.

I told her:

1. To plot her exit

2. To screw ( use ) them whilst she did it

3. To be happy ( doing it )

Well – like I say it touched a raw nerve !!!!

SEO and more recently Inbound Marketing people are THE FUTURE but they will inevitably be held back by ” the old guard ” – traditional marketers, web designers and other ” established ” marketing and non-marketing functions.

Now this young lady may think she is frustrated but I can tell her that it is even more frustrating being an investor in a company that still has these attitudes and policies.

Remember, as an investor, you may sit on the Board ( or not ) but you will probably not have control ( which resides with the management team ) so you can actually only influence.

As an investor in this company I can imagine myself sitting in a Board meeting while they whinge about the fact that they are not going to hit their numbers.

Trying to ignore this fact slightly you ask why and they make some excuse about market conditions; failing salespeople etc etc

” How is your Internet Marketing going ? ” you ask, innocently. What are you getting from that ??

Oh we don’t get any actual business, they say.

Do you get visitors you ask ??

Well we do but don’t know how many.

Is the website being found ???

We think so.

What is it being found for ????

We don’t know.

Well, you’ve got an SEO specialist right ??

Yes.

So what have you told her to SEO the website for then ???

( Blank looks all around )

o.k. So listen – if the SEO specialist does not know what you need to be found for she will be guessing. So you need to think about it and discuss it with her and then allow her to make changes to the website to ensure that it gets found. Your design guy isn’t going to be able to help you in this.

You also need to think about giving the SEO specialist the tools to measure if her work is having an effect on visitor numbers and leads generated.

Of course by now you have ruffled LOADS of feathers – but hey – they are playing with your money !!!!!

I could make this a much longer blog !!

Replacement car parts market powers through the recession

Posted by Chris on June 15th, 2011

I am always looking for industry sectors that performed well over the last couple of years and the replacement car parts market is certainly one of those.

Despite ” scrappage schemes ” and ” 0% Finance ” people have been repairing their cars in great numbers and this has led to massive expansion in the sector. Here are a few extracts on some of the key players in the market:

Euro Car Parts

Euro Car Parts Ltd began as a single site operation in London in 1978 but, unlike some other companies that have hit the headlines in this sector recently; they have grown organically, rather than by acquisition, into a 38 branch national parts distributor covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Employing nearly 1,000 staff, and operating 400 vehicles (including a fleet of motorcycles where traffic congestion slows the progress of a van in highly populated city centres), this specialist organisation has been successfully satisfying the needs of German, French and Swedish vehicle repairers and owners for over 27 years.

The 2004 turnover figure of £59 million has dramatically increased to nearly £70 million in 2005 with profits rising from £1.3 million in 2003, £2.5 in 2004 and nearly £5 million in 2005, even though they are only currently supplying parts for 35% of the vehicles registered in the UK. As always, these profits have been re-invested into the business to ensure its continuing growth and ability to keep up with modern vehicle trends.

For 2006, the company is expanding its offer to their customers by entering the ‘all makes’ sector, thus increasing their target customer base to 100% of the cars registered in the UK – a staggering 27 million vehicles. The turnover for 2006 is estimated at between £90 and £100 million. With a strong management team and excellent planning in place, this looks to be an achievable target. Its 2007 plans include
acquisitions and consideration of expansion into Europe.

Facts and Figures…..

  • Our branch delivery service covers over 90% of the UK population
  • Over 80 branches across the UK
  • ECP is the UK’s largest car and van parts distributor
  • In 2009 we made in excess of 5 million deliveries
  • We have enough parts in stock to fill every seat in Wembley Stadium (with plenty to spare!)
  • Our new National Distribution Centre has more than 400,000 sq.ft of warehousing space and 12,000 sq.ft of office space
  • We have over 110,000 different parts always in stock
  • Our branch network is growing by more than 25% per year
  • We now have in excess of 3,500,000 sq ft of warehouse storage in the UK
  • We now employ more than 3,200 people in towns and cities right across the UK
  • Over 400 ECP staff are studying for an NVQ Qualification

About Us


GSF Car Parts really began back in the 1970s. Today’s business brought
together in April 2000 by the German & Swedish Management Team stems
from a number of long standing car parts specialists such as Vee Wee,
Autocavan, Andyspares, and URO.

Since the formation of GSF Car Parts in 2000, the company has developed a parts and distribution portfolio to create one of
the UK’s strongest independent parts suppliers. Today, GSF Car Parts employs approximately 800 people covering all of UK
as well as Eire. There are 60+ distribution points and over 300 GSF delivery vans on the road.

Key developments

  • 2000 – GSF Car Parts is formed.
  • 2000 – GSF Car Parts adds replacement parts for French cars to range.
  • 2003 – Hans Motors joins GSF Car Parts and sells all makes parts to other factors.
  • 2005 – GSF Car Parts adds all makes range of parts to specialist inventory.
  • 2006 – TDCS is bought by GSF Car Parts enabling industry-leading diagnostic equipment sales.
  • 2009 – GSF Derby moved to brand new refurbished site.
  • 2009 – GSF Car Parts complete several branch refurbishments and upgrade the whole company’s stock criteria.
  • 2010 – GSF Car Parts sign up with several leading garage equipment providers and offer a market leading garage equipment solution to support the existing diagnostics business.
  • 2010 – GSF Banbury, Leeds East (RDC), Worcester, Letchworth and Kettering are opened.
  • 2011 – GSF Bristol (RDC) is opened.

Today GSF Car Parts has a turnover of £75m. The company has a dynamic strategy supported by an extremely able staff
body to continue expanding its parts and distribution service to its customers.

About Us
ho building.jpg

CES (UK) Ltd was set up in 1984 by Howard Warren and Charles Colton. Both managing directors love anything to do with cars and motor racing. Equally, they both have a passion for excellence. CES (UK) evolved as a result of these interests, aiming to offer the service level of a national company to the local garages in and around Chester.

Back in the 1980′s the explosion in exhaust part numbers meant that the stock holding requirement for any garage became overwhelming and a national distributor was needed. CES was there to fulfill the role. For many years now we have supplied Britain’s widest stock range of exhausts & catalysts for national distribution.

CES (UK) quickly expanded due to our mission to never say ‘No’. This means we have to have the best technical expertise in the business, in order to source our vast stock of exhausts and catalysts. Over the years we have introduced a full range of car parts, garage equipment & training, providing automotive solutions for today and anticipating those of tomorrow.

We currently have 17 branches throughout the North West, North Wales, Midlands and the Isle of Man delivering a complete range of car parts on our vans to our local customer base.

Over the last 25 years we have twice been awarded Distributor of the year by theprestigious Automotive Distributor Federation. More recently, at the 2009 ADF Annual Awards, we won two of the top categories. CES were awarded the much coveted Distributor of Excellence award. On top of that accolade, CES put in an amazing performance and scooped all of the awards in the new category of UK Parts Advisor of the Year.

In 2001, CES (UK) became a member of the UK Parts Alliance (UKPA), which consists of nine like-minded independent distributors. To find out more about the UKPA, visitwww.ukpa.net

CES Branches
Preview
With a network of 17 branches across the North West, Midlands, North Wales and the Isle of Man, and a fleet of over 180 vans, fast, frequent and reliable delivery is one of our main commitments to you.
For customers further a field, our overnight nationwide carrier service ensures you are never too far away.
CES Anglesey
CES Burton on Trent
CES Caernarfon
CES Cannock
CES Chester
CES Crewe
CES Derby
CES Isle of Man
CES Liverpool
CES Llandudno
CES Northwich
CES Porthmadog
CES Rhyl
CES Shrewsbury
CES Stoke
CES Telford
CES Wrexham
National Exhaust and Cat Service
cartec-car-polish
car-service-ebeepbeep
As you can see there is plenty of growth and activity in this sector !!

Les Windley of Marguerite T and Nevis dies

Posted by Chris on June 14th, 2011

I have just had an email from my Dad telling me that Uncle Les Windley has died.

Les stayed with us for a couple of years when he came over from Nevis & St Kitts  but we had a bit of a falling out after a while.

I don’t have any details of Les’s death at the moment but I know that he came back to England suffering from cancer and was in a home recently.

A quick google search on Les and a sailing boat that he  was associated with for many years – the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Marguerite T – will reveal that many people regard him as a real character – which he certainly was – and miss him. Particularly he is missed in Oualie Beach, Nevis where he lived for many years.

You could write a book on Les and maybe someone will one day. Perhaps people will post stories about him here.

Les’s association with Marguerite T – a very famous Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter – began when he purchased her whilst in the Hamble and rebuilt her over many years and with the help of many friends.

Builder: E Rowles, Pill, near Bristol

Build Date: 1893

feature pic 6


Length on Deck: 53 ft

Beam: 13ft 10in

Displacement: 43 tonnes

Thames Tonnage: 35

Draught: 8ft 3in


Present Location: River Fal, Cornwall

Current Owners ( 2011 ) : Robert and Anna Brunyee

As I understand it he also learned to sail and navigate aboard Marguerite and also with my father Peter aboard various R.A.F. yachts.

I spent a memorable time as a teenager aboard Marguerite whilst she was in the Medina River, Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Les was working on the J class Endeavour and living on Marguerite – he also played music in The Jolly Sailor.

We came up to the piles in the Medina and Les told me to pass a rope through the pylon and back to a bollard on the deck. What he forgot to tell me was to surge the rope around the bollard as he went astern. I held it fast – the bollard pulled out of the deck and went over the side. Les ran up the deck and when he realised what happened he grabbed me and threw me overboard saying ” and you can get the effing bollard back ” or similar. He had a short temper did Les.

Having rebuilt Marguerite Les sailed her down to South Africa and then to the Caribbean – ending up in St. Kitts and Nevis. This was quite an achievement for a boat of which the surveyor was reputed to have said ” This boat can neither be towed, trailed or sailed anywhere “.

I am going to add more stories about Les over time.

R.I.P. Les.

Les would come to see us in an old Mark 1 capri which he loved

You could not exactly say that he was at home on the motorways of today but he got there – just !

Garden view to Sea Dreamer, Jones Estate

Captain Les Windley, an old sea dog originally from England plays harmonica and blues guitar on Tuesday nights in the Oualie Beach Boys Band. The rest of the time he is usually taking guests out sailing on his charter yacht. Ask him to tell you the yarn about the time he and another foolhardy young fellow lassoed a 13.5 foot hammerhead shark from a 13 foot boston whaler and went waterskiing up the channel behind the thing!

Please Note: I will try and make the information here as accurate as possible and please feel free to point out errors where they occur.

Manage your website like you would your salesforce !!

Posted by Chris on June 14th, 2011

I have just rushed to make this post after my friend and business colleague of many years, Brian MacIver, posted this comment

“Chris,
A well timed and topical posting. Several of my clients are asking “hard” questions about their ‘investment’ or web ’spend’. Particularly in the Property Market, they laid off sales people, boosted their web content and saw little return. Now that the property market is returning they cant find Salespeople (did they all go to Dubai?)
Good posting, thanks.
Brian”.

on this blog

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/08/what-return-are-you-getting-from-your-website-investment/

and it just made me think – You have to manage your website like you ( should have ) managed your salesforce.

What do we mean by that ??

Well, back in the day Brian would have coached us on 3 essential elements for a successful salesperson – and more were added over time:

1. Activity – a salesperson must be active – phone calling, writing etc etc

2. Skills – a salesperson must have good sales skills

3. Knowledegable – a salesperson must be knowledgeable about his products, his company and his competitors.

4. Personality – surrounding all of this – people buy from people – so be nice !!

5. Administration – You have to manage your salesforce and they have to manage their business – turning leads into orders –  and to do that you need some information – How many calls did they make ?? How many appointments did they go on ?? How many proposals did they write ?? How many orders did they get ?? How close was this to their target ??? etc etc etc

6.  Going alongside 5 is the analysis of their progress and performance to determine their R.O.I.

There may be more aspects but lets start with these. What’s the analogy in terms of managing your website like you would your salesforce ??

Going in reverse …

5. & 6. Analysis and Administration   It is essential that you have the means to monitor the performance and progress of your website. You need to know how many prospects it is reaching ( visitors ) and how many of these turn into a lead ( respond to a Call to Action ). You need to know which activities ( posting a blog, posting on Twitter, posting on LinkedIn etc ) produced the best results. You can only do this with the right software on your website.

4. Personality. When you do post information you have to do it in the right way. You want your ( attractive ! ) personality to come out and you want to be nice to people. We all know that ” hard nosed salespeople ” sometime do succeed in spite of themselves but I always thought that this was creating unnecessary ” friction “. Being funny sometimes helps aswell !

3. Knowledge. You have to be knowledgeable , educational and informative in what you say. Many of the most successful people on the Internet ” give away ” loads of free advice and information.

2.  Skills. There are lots of skills that you are going to have to learn and develop ( or you can find people with those skills ) to succeed. Blogging; Posting on Social Networks and building your networks; writing etc etc

1. Activity. Yes of course – as with salespeople it is partly a numbers game and you always have to be active – blogging, posting, commenting, liking, sharing, reading etc etc.

I think it is a great way to think of your website as like your salesforce ( or part of your salesforce ) and of managing your website as you would your salesforce.

If you can get it right the R.O.I. can be massive – just think of all those salespeople’s salaries you are not paying ;-)


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