Business Advice

Are you making HAMBURGERS?

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Are you making and selling Hamburgers?

I was driving down to one of my clients one morning last summer, on a lovely summer’s day, listening to Michael Gerber on my PodCast.  

I have a rule that if I am in the car on a work day, that is work time, so I must use this time to improve my knowledge in some way (you should try this it is a great way of learning about running a successful business).

Gerber is the author of the E-Myth and one of the world’s leading experts on small business.  

To be honest, I was only half listening, when suddenly he said something that made me ‘prick my ears up’.

He started talking about how McDonalds first started.  Ray Crock walked into the McDonald brother’s restaurant when it was a small local restaurant to sell them a milk machine.  Ray noticed that the McDonald brothers had a fantastic business and so he approached the brothers asking to buy the franchise rites to McDonalds and as they say the rest is history.

History shows that Ray Crock bought the opportunity to franchise McDonalds for next to nothing, because that was what the McDonald brothers thought it was worth.  They had tried to franchise the business, but let’s face it.  In those days who would buy a franchise Burger Bar?  The brothers believed that if someone wanted to be in the Burger Bar business they could just go ahead and start their own.  The reason the McDonald brothers did not value their business was that they believed that they didn’t have the time to franchise it, as they worked every hour there making hamburgers.  

This reminds me of what many business owners keep saying to me.  They are too busy making hamburgers, or completing accounts, or repairing locks, or cleaning ovens, or designing websites, or whatever it is that the business does.

If you think about it, most people reading this article went into business X years ago and they went into business doing the work of the business.  

If they had worked really hard and long hours where do you think they would be now?  You are correct, still working very hard!  

However, all successful businesses people go into business to run a business that completes accounts, or repairs locks, or cleans ovens, or designs websites, or whatever it is that the business does and they bring in experts to manage the other two departments in their business and they are:

  1. Finance
  2. Marketing and sales

And sales and marketing for these successful business owners is exactly what we do. 

My questions for you at this time are:

  1. What does your business need to do, look like and be in order for it to give you the life you want?
  2. What does it need to turnover in order to employ someone to do some of the work?
  3. What is your business going to be like when it is completed?
  4. Are you going you do anything as a result of reading this article and are you going to optimise your true marketing results?

If so, contact Steve Mills at

Prospecting for GOLD

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Prospecting for GOLD

Prospecting for sales is similar to prospecting for gold.  Think of the people you know, your LinkedIn contacts, the people on your email database and your prospects as gold, and treat them as you would a gold mine.

Post a claim and work it constantly. Because if you neglect it, will find someone else claiming your fortunes. Worse yet, your position in your market can sit vacated, unattended, and ignored.

The fact that you are not working your gold mine effectively does not mean it is less valuable; it just means that the gold is harder to get, but you aren’t tapping into its immense potential.

This has never been more true than during the new COVID economy. 

Pick up your phone and start getting in touch with friends, family, relatives, and past employers and take a genuine interest in them. Find out what they are doing; ask about their lives, their careers, and their families.

People love to talk about themselves, and they really love it when others take interest in them. Let them know what you are doing when it comes up, but understand that this is not a sales call.  You are simply keeping in touch with them.  In effect, with someone with whom you have been out of touch.

Make it clear that the intention of your call is to catch up with them and not to sell your products or services.

During all economies but especially during contractions, contacts and relationships are everything and you must prospect harder for sales

Have you ever heard the saying “You are short on people, not short on money”.  The people you know either have the money you want or know people who doIt is those people who want and need your service.

So the more people you speak to, the better chance you have of discovering and selling to those people.

Want more great tips on how to generate lots of leads and turn those leads into sales?  Click here

You’ll not only get access to my best sales, marketing and business course, you’ll find details of my classic How to win business on LinkedIn Course that will give you a better understanding of how to create sales for yourself in this tough economy.

Referral RESULTS System

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Referral System

As the ‘good book’ says “ask and you shall receive”

In sales, it is often said ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’.  I would also add – “If you don’t ask for the sale, or for a referral, people can’t say yes”.  

In a world of technology and digital marketing, one of the most powerful marketing opportunities is referral marketing or ‘word of mouth’ as it is often known.

However, most businesses do very little to actively work on their referral marketing and rather rely on doing a good job and ‘hoping’ people will recommend them.  This results in a general lack of referrals and sales.


In this document, we provide our clients with four systems for winning business from referral marketing

They are:

  1. Turn satisfied customers into raving fans
  2. The referral RESULTS System
  3. Bribery
  4. The written word

Before that let’s discuss your target market

Who could refer business to you?  The truth is – anyone!  However, there are people who are more likely to do so.  These people include:

  • Current, or past clients
  • Prospects you did not convert
  • Networking contacts
  • Family and friends
  • Suppliers
  • Staff
  • Friends of friends, customers, prospects, and your prospects contacts
  • Etc

The truth about referral

The truth about referrals are…

You are sitting on a ‘pot of gold’.  A massive amount of CASH that all you need to do to get it is to ASK FOR IT.

Let’s look at the numbers.  In this example, we just consider your current clients (but the same idea applies to everyone).  

Let’s assume that you have 100 clients (just so we can talk percentage).  Out of those 100 clients, 2% of them would not give you a referral (no one is perfect and let’s assume something went wrong with these two clients).  Out of the remaining 98%, a full 20% have referred someone to you over the past year.  

That leaves 78 people who would recommend you, but they just haven’t.  Why?

  • They are not focussed on recommending you
  • They did not think you were looking for referrals (you always appeared to be very busy)
  • They are busy and have not given it any thought.

So you now have 78 prospects who could refer you to the people that they know.  Not only that but of the 20% who have already referred you, could you ask them for another referral?


Let’s look at the numbers

Let’s say you turn over £1,000,000.  Currently, £200,000 comes from referrals from 20% of clients who refer you now.  So that’s an average of £10,000 per referral.  Let’s say you implemented a referral system in your business that managed to get a referral from 50% of people.  Some of those people may give you lots referrals whilst others don’t give you any.  

However, with these sorts of referrals, you would increase your turnover by £300,000 to £1,300,000pa.  Not a bad ROI for NO marketing cost!

You then implement one, or all of the four ideas discussed

Turn satisfied clients into RAVING FANS

Why do people give you referrals?  Because they are delighted with the products and/or services you provide.  

So the questions are – How can you turn satisfied clients into Raving Fans?  Raving Fans are not just satisfied with the service, or products you provide, but rather they:

  • Love what you do, or your products
  • You love working with them
  • They buy from you again and again and would not buy from anyone else
  • Recommend you on a regular basis.

All that said – All you need to do now is to work out what you need to do in your company to turn satisfied customers into Raving Fans.  Obviously, I don’t know all your businesses and so I can’t tell you what you need to do in order to achieve this.  However, I can tell you that one of the units in my consultancy service called RESULTS is all about creating Raving Fans.  Take a look at 

Having said that.  Here is a list of the type of things you might want to focus on.

  • Your new client induction process
  • The look and feel of your building, shop, office and the people that work for you
  • Your user surveys
  • Doing something that none of your competition does

The RESULTS Referral System

The results referral system is the most powerful system there is for winning more referrals.  The system basically involves ASKING.  

As the good book says – ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE.  AS many sales training courses state – IF YOU DON’T ASK, PEOPLE CAN’T SAY YES!

The question is how do you ask?  Do you say – “Do you know anyone else who would be interested in the services we provide?  If you do, then you are doing exactly the same thing as most people who ask for referrals.  This way of doing it produced average results.  

If you want above-average results, then learn, understand and use the system below:

Q1 – How long have you been in business?

Q2 – So I suppose in the time you have probably met a lot of other business people, haven’t you?

Notice the words “haven’t you” at the end.  This is called a “yes tag” because it encourages a “yes” answer.

Q3 – From what you have said during our meeting you are very pleased with the service we have provided for you.  Is that correct?

You have just got your second YES! (It important to get someone saying yes in order to get to the big YES at the end)

Q4 – Like most businesses, we tend to get many of our customers through word of mouth and as you stated we have increased your profit over the past six months by about 40%.  I was wondering who in your opinion would be the top four people for me to contact so that we can benefit them, the way we have benefitted you? 

Note the words “who you know” and not “Do you know anyone”

Q5 – May I ask for your advice?

This question almost always gets a “yes” since people love to be asked for their advice.

Q6 – Which of the people you’re thinking of would you advise me to contact first so that they can benefit in the same way that you have benefited from our service/products?

Q7 – So that it is easier for them to take my call.  It’s OK to use your name, isn’t it?

This is a key question.  Unless you can use their name when you follow up you don’t really have a referral – merely a cold lead.  Notice how the question makes it easier for you to get permission by explaining the benefit to their contact of using their name as a referee – And notice the “yes tag” at the end of the question.


We call this section bribery (slightly tongue in cheek), but this is all about incentivising people for referring business to you.  This can be done either upfront or backend.  In other words, you can advertise this, or you can do it as a thank you.

The first thing to consider is – What are you going to give as your bribe?  You could give a:

  • Voucher
  • Wine
  • Discount
  • Donation

By the way, we give £100 to Cancer Research UK for every referral that we get.  Just a thought!

The key to doing this successfully is giving enough to incentivise someone in order to get them to take action.

The written word

The last of the ways I wanted to include in this document I call ‘the written word’.  The written word involves writing and asking people for referrals.

Before I continue with this section I would like to say that out of the four ideas I have shared in this document this is by far the worst one.  Don’t make the mistake of sending someone a written message instead of calling and asking for a referral.  Asking will outperform writing 10 to 1.

However, it is another opportunity and should be used.

So, the first thing we need to consider is where are you going to write text asking for a referral?  The options include:

  • The footer of your email
  • You social media profiles
  • The PS in a sales letter
  • A referral page on your website
  • Emailing and asking for a referral
  • Etc, etc

The second thing to consider is – What are you going to say?  Here are my thoughts?

Hi _____________,

I don’t know about you, but we win a significant amount of our business from word of mouth or referrals.  In fact, last year we won 48% of our business from referral.

This being the case, I wanted to ask you a question.  Who do you know that wants to grow their business and who might need our help?

As you know we help people in three ways.  

Firstly, we help people who don’t understand modern digital marketing methods to do so.  

Secondly, we work with people who simply don’t have the time to implement their own marketing, or at best do it ‘when business is quiet’.  These people ask us to do the work for them.  

The third group are people who run successful businesses but don’t really do any marketing.  Rather they rely on referrals, networking and repeat business.  These people are often underperforming and they are now ready to leverage their business and to take it to the next level.

To recommend someone to us simply call us on 07977 074497, email us at

Steve Mills, Marketing CONSULTANTSummary

The key factor in any marketing activity is knowing what works and what doesn’t.  Remember, it’s those who keep records that break records.

For details of the many other ‘Stealth Marketing’ approaches you can use to market your business, without your competition knowing, go to 

Lessons from Yoda

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Lessons from the greatest master himself – Yoda…

I love star wars.  I think I have watched a star wars movie over 100 times and it could easily be more like 150 times.

I have to say that one of the greatest things about Star Wars is the lessons we can all learn hidden in it. “Do or do not, there is no try” is one of my favourites.

Want to try to improve your marketing?
Want to try to keep doing your marketing without any training?
Want to try keep selling your products and services whilst never doing any sales training?
Want to try keep going it alone, getting the same crap results?
Want to try to grow your business by just going to networking events?
Good luck trying!!!
Want to do marketing that gets results?  Get in touch!

What Matt Bullard of Ingress Ltd says about Steve

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A personal recommendation from Matt Bullard of Ingress Ltd

How to turn more meetings into salesThrough Steve’s online video sales and marketing courses, I’ve been able to identify and implement the key steps essential to growing and maintaining a sustainable small business.

His insight into Sales and Marketing has played an integral part in helping me achieve many of my business objectives.

I highly recommend speaking to him.

Want to know more?

Take the first step and book on to our free online training.  Click here to take a look



Simply the best information I’ve seen about the coronavirus and it’s impact on business by Tony Robbins

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Tony Robbins on what businesses should be doing in these tough times.

This is 100% worth you watching if you are in business.

There are three videos.  One for UK, one for USA and one for Australia.  I have only watched the UK one and it was fantastic!

Here is the link.

Here is what Tony’s website says about it…

Business owners are a special breed – determined. Resolved. The embodiment of self-reliance and self-determination. But it takes more than just these traits to be successful, especially right now. Right now, business owners need tactical how-to guidance so that you can defy the odds and emerge from this challenge with certainty and strength.

To help you do just that, Tony conducted live webinar training with his most trusted financial advisors from Global Accounting Advisors. During these conversations, experts in the US, UK and Australia give you the tangible advice you need to claim your share of the government benefits, apply for loans and keep your employees, and pivot in this new economy. Select your country below for timely expert guidance – and don’t forget to share these valuable webinars with other business owners who could benefit.

Steve Mills

Geo-fencing – Marketing in the new world

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I’ve been asked to write this article on Geo-fencing so that you will hopefully have at the end of it a good idea of what geo-fencing is and how it can help in your business.  

Geo-fencing is like the new kid on the block and is increasing in its popularity as more and more marketers and business owners learn about it.  The No.1 player in the market is Google and in essence Geo-Fencing is – Mobile marketing. Not marketing to people’s mobiles, but rather using their mobiles to track where they are geographically.  

This form of marketing is an essential tool and because everyone is on their mobile these days you should be using this for your business. Geo-fencing, or geo-framing, lets you target a unique group of people by their specific location.  

Geo-fencing is a location-based service delivered via a cookie placed in your mobile phone telling businesses where you are.  A virtual boundary can be set up around a real-world geographic area, known as a geo-fence. The use of a geo-fence is called geo-fencing.  

It uses GPS (global positioning system), RFID (radio-frequency identification), Wi-Fi (wireless networking) or cellular data (how a smartphone accesses the internet when it is not connected to Wi-Fi) to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary.  

Why is Mobile marketing essential to success you might ask – well the statistics speak for themselves as:

80% of internet users own a smartphone.

Users spend, on average, about 69% of their media time on their smartphones.

Over 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up.

68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy.

88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.

One way to look at geo-fencing is as an extremely advanced mobile advertising based on physical location.  This technique is great for events, works in real time, easy to customise audiences and you can go back up to 6 months in terms of collecting data.  It is a direct marketing strategy which uses a smartphone to alert the person who owns the phone about an offer from a nearby business.

Step 1 – Define your fence:

Geo-fence marketing is a virtual fence that is traces around a location where the advertiser wants to build an audience based on their visit to that particular location.

Step 2 – Tag the audience:

Once someone enters the geo-fenced area, they will become part of an audience that can later be targeted with your company’s adverts.

Step 3 – Show your adverts

Once your advert is live, customers will then start to see your adverts on free apps that they have on their phone.  The consumer can see these ads from between 1 and 30 days after they have entered the geo-fenced area.

Businesses can use this in several different and exciting ways.  It can add a whole new dimension to your analytics that can be quickly and easily unlocked using location based mobile marketing.

For instance you can bring your data to life with real world context. Visualising your data on a map provides a new perspective from which you can derive new insights.  Location and time are critical elements of mobile marketing and with geo-fencing mobile apps can drive engagement with real time.

Geo-fencing works because you can create a virtual fence around a certain location in which you’d like to market.  Therefore, when people turn on their phone’s location services (GPS), your geo-fencing campaign can communicate with then when they are in your ‘fenced’ location.  You can create your ‘fence’ as small as a local convenience store or as large as the city of London – it’s up to you.

Geo-fencing also works because people are attached to their mobile phones and use them all the time.  They actually want location based marketing and statistics show that 80% of people say they want alerts from business and are willing to share their location if they get something good in return.

We are used in business to targeting an audience and knowing where your audience likes to spend their time and with geo-fencing you can take it a step further and target them where they already are – on their smartphones and tablets.

Benefits include:

  • Increased foot traffic to your physical store
  • Increase web traffic on your website
  • Improved customer service
  • Happier customers and increased referrals
  • Integrated social sharing to improve brand awareness
  • Rising above your competition

An example of geo-fencing is if you’re attending an industry-related conference, you might want to geo-fence the conference location. Why? Because the people attending the conference are obviously already interested in your industry, and are more likely to positively respond to your marketing messages.

Another example could be – Let’s say you own a Golf Club.  You put a geo-fence around every other golf club in your catchment area and then start advertising to everyone in your catchment area who plays golf.

What is there not to like.

Want to know more from us about digital marketing, or geo-fencing?  Drop me a line.

Steve Mills

What is happening right now?

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There’s a lot of fear around right now and rightly so.  The coronavirus has changed the world and the world of business. It is well known that the fear of change is one of the most common fears!

I also think it will change the way we do business in the future, with less travel, more online meetings, decreased need for office space, with more people continuing to work from home, etc.

Right now several things are happening in business:

  • Online sales are increasing massively
  • Use of social media is skyrocketing
  • Use of the internet has increased hugely
  • Sales of online advertising have decreased (halved in some cases)
  • Less people are advertising online

The fact that more people are buying and less are advertising and the cost has halved might be an opportunity right now.  Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying we should take advantage of this terrible situation, but neither should we sit back, do no marketing and watch our businesses fade and die.

So I believe NOW is a good time to market your business

Not because you are going to get thousands of sales, but because:

  1. You may get some sales and that might be the difference between success and failure of your business
  2. Your competitors aren’t
  3. Advertising is a lot cheaper than it was just a few weeks ago
  4. When all this is over you don’t want to be starting again from a place of obscurity.  Where no one has heard for you.  You want to be ahead of your competition

So, if you need help because:

  1. You need a new website
  2. You want help with your social media, or you want to out source it to us
  3. You want to outsource and of your marketing needs
  4. You don’t understand digital online marketing and you want someone to do it for you
  5. You understand digital marketing, but you don’t have the time right now
  6. Or, you feel uncertain about what you should be doing right now and you just want some advice

Then get in touch and let’s do an online meeting together.  If you click on the button below you get access to my online diary and you can simply book a time and date for your online meeting.