Word of Mouth

The best way for business to come to you is word of mouth, when a satisfied customer passes your details onto others who need your services. I have been very blessed in this way which is why I have let my website alone for so long. I am not greedy for business. I have been able to happily maintain a good work/life balance and so I haven’t been “out there” hassling for business. Nor am I doing so now.

My purpose in writing this is just to let you know that I am still in business and welcome serious enquiries. Please feel free to contact me via the webform here.

 

More than just words…

When Uriel Maimon contacted me to do some copywriting for his site, Nominal Accounting, I was more than happy to help out. As we worked together I was able to make suggestions which he took on board. It also transpired that he had other business requirements which I was also able to help him with. Here’s what he had to say about collaboration:

I would like to thank you for your help with copywriting content for our website and user guide.You have been very responsive to all my queries and flexible with our engagement.

I especially would like to thank you for assisting me with additional things like coming up with online support options and your awesome work on the IVR script and recording!

Above my expectations.
Thanks again and I am sure we will work together again soon.

Uriel Maimon
www.nominal.com.au

Another happy customer…

Here’s another testimonial from one of my clients. This time it’s Barb Cowen of The Quilting Connection who contracted me to help her with her blog.

Mine is a small business in a hobby industry, nevertheless, the sort of image I present to the public online is important to me.

I struggle at times to stay on top of the administrative duties and recently my blog had fallen behind. Munaiba Khan, came to my rescue!

Munaiba’s ability to turn a few short and jumbled notes into an attractive, smooth-flowing, and interesting read has been very helpful. I found her quick grasp of the topic most helpful and I am very impressed by her ability to adapt her writing style accordingly.

Munaiba was patient when dealing with some complicated software and proved to me her thorough grasp of copywriting.
Munaiba is a true professional, I have enjoyed working with her and I have no hesitation in recommending ‘The Copywriter Online’ to anyone needing assistance of this kind.

Good value for money.
Barb Cowan The Quilt Connection – Brisbane Australia

 

What my clients say…

Many times recently my clients have sent me some really lovely testimonials. I admit that I ‘ve been slack and not done anything about them. Anyway, New Year, new broom, so I decided to share some of them with you.

This one is from Catherine Saxelby of www.foodwatch.com.au

Munaiba Khan adds value to our business on two fronts.  Firstly, her copywriting skills are outstanding. She makes our web content sparkle, adds punch to our marketing material and lifts the tone of articles and product reviews.  With her honed editing eye, she makes the text read so well, it ‘sings off the page’. It’s a pleasure to read.  Best of all, now we never have an embarrassing clanger of a typo out there anymore!

Second, in addition to copywriting, her web knowledge is extensive, having had experience as a web developer and website backend admin expert. She’s across web structure and language so she knows what can and can’t be done. She can make sense of that geeky tech-speak that so many developers use these days.  We have used her as a consultant on two re-developments on our Foodwatch site and found her professional and thorough with an eye for detail.  She is responsible in a great part for the success of our current site.  I would have no hesitation in recommending her for copywriting or web work and have in fact given her details to several of my small business colleagues.

Catherine Saxelby

Nutrition and DirectorFoodwatch Nutrition Centre

www.foodwatch.com.au

Becoming Social Media Savvy

Becoming Social Media Savvy is pretty much a “must” if you want to run a successful business these days. With this in mind Catherine Saxelby from Foodwatch.com.au and I went to a meeting of Social Media Women on Tuesday evening.

Catherine Saxelby (left) and Munaiba Khan

Catherine Saxelby (left) and Munaiba Khan

The speaker was Valerie Khoo of the Sydney Writers’ Centre and she spoke very eloquently and amusingly of her journey through the social media minefield.

Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo

There were four take home messages from her talk and these were:

  • educate yourself even if it’s only by reading “Social Media for Dummies”. You need to know what to do to get your business seen online.
  • engage in a conversation – social media is about multi-way communication not a monologue.
  • create relationships; really engage with others and business will follow.
  • be authentic and reciprocate kindnesses, information sharing and help.

Written out like this these all seem like common sense – and they are – but many people tend to regard social media as “gimme”. They just want to take and not contribute. Obviously there has to be a balance but my thoughts are that you if you’re only out for what you can get it will show and you’ll put in a lot of effort for nothing.

Hollow transactions

This has been a pet hate of mine for some time and I thought I’d have a little rant about it here because I think it’s relevant. Have you ever signed up for a free eBook only to find out that there is very little of value just a thinly disguised advertising spiel? Did you buy? Probably not. That’s what I call a hollow transaction. You were promised 10 Sure-fire Tips for something or other and what you got was an ad pitch. I see so much web content like this these days and I really think it is counter productive. Yes you may get sales, but only once. Maybe if you get thousands of one-off sales you don’t care but if you want a reputable, long-term business then be authentic. Interact with your customers and potential customers as a human being and not a money grabbing machine.

Sometimes you get ripped off in the process, it has happened to me, where I have spent time and effort helping someone only to have them go to someone cheaper armed with the knowledge I have given them but you know what? They wouldn’t have made a good client anyway so it’s no real loss.

Thanks valerie Khoo

Thanks Valerie for an enjoyable and informative talk and thank you Catriona Pollard for organising the event. I know it took lots of work and it is much appreciated.

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How not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

A couple of times recently I’ve been on the verge of buying something. Actually ready to hand over cash or credit card when the seller has said or done something to change my mind at the last minute. I was wondering how often this happens? Probably more times than we, as business owners, realise.

How to recognise the signs of “buy out”

There has been a lot of talk about getting “buy in” but it seems to me that we are often more concerned with this than recognising the tell-tale signs of what I’ll call “buy out”. So what are the signs? I think there are two main categories of signs. There are the ones that you must recognise in yourself that are going to prompt the action in the buyer and then there are the ones in the buyer that are telling you they’re about to change their minds.

Our actions that put off buyers

  • talking too much after the buyer has offered to buy (what used car dealers used to call “buying the car back”)
  • not knowing the product well enough, being unsure of what exactly it can and can’t do
  • vacillation – whether in possible appointment times, availability of product or delivery dates
  • using the wrong tone of voice or turn of phrase ( usually related to stating something from our point of view rather than being customer centred)

Signs the buyer is cooling off

  • no longer making eye contact
  • use of phrases like – “perhaps I’ll think about it”; “don’t bother now, just let me know when you can get it”; “I want to discuss it with my spouse”
  • you are doing all the talking, the questions have stopped.

There are many more and perhaps you have some you’d like to share. Feel free to comment.

What to do about it?

  • know your product inside out
  • listen to the customer
  • be aware of the non-verbal cues customers give you
  • be customer-centred
  • if you can’t avoid some vacillation then preface it with a phrase that shows you understand their position e.g. “I realise this isn’t ideal and you need to know when we can deliver so you can organise your day but I’ll find out as soon as I can and let you know at the earliest opportunity.”

Most of all we need to be aware that it is possible to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Be aware that we can successfully sell our product or services and then scuttle the deal by failing to notice the signs in our actions or those of our customers.

Accuracy of expression – vital for business

In the last couple of weeks I have purchased several major items and services. I consider myself to be a pretty savvy purchaser but I fell foul of inaccurate information given to me by some of the people I bought items from. That got me thinking about customer satisfaction, repeat business, word-of-mouth praise or criticism, complaints-handling and a whole host of other issues that can result from inaccurate representations.

Count the cost

There are several costs that can be involved in relaying inaccurate information to a client or customer. Here’s a list I’ve come up with but there could well be more:

  1. You could lose the sale
  2. You could have your business “bad-mouthed” by the customer and this could be in person and on the internet. Who knows how influential they are and how wide their circle is?
  3. You could make the sale and then have a dissatisfied customer which could then cost you time and possibly money in complaints-handling, a law suit, a consumer affairs formal investigation as well as being “bad-mouthed” (see No: 2)
  4. You could lose future sales from your client because they no longer trust you.
  5. You could lose referral business.

It seems to me that moral questions aside (and personally I think these are the most important) it is a very risky and potentially expensive business to give inaccurate information to your clients.

How to overcome this

Whenever we write something we need to ensure that our descriptions of our products and services are accurate, clear and not open to interpretation. Hiring a professional copywriter can assist you here. However that’s not the only way. If you can’t afford a copywriter then you really need to get several people of differing backgrounds to read your sales pitch and see if they understand what you intended to convey.

In addition to this you need to ensure that your sales staff have all the information at their fingertips. They should be trained NOT TO GUESS. If a customer asks a question they are not sure of then the response should be “I’m not sure but I’ll find out for you”. If you bring in new products, warranties or whatever then you need to train your staff and give them the material they need to answer all questions honestly and accurately.

Most of us are doing the best we can

Most business owners and sales people are honest. We do the best we can. But it seems to me we need to ensure that our clients thoroughly understand what we are going to do for them before we do it. Misunderstandings happen in all human relationships and small ones can be apologised for, made up for in some way and generally smoothed over  but serious ones can ruin your business.

Turning a complaint into a triumph

It is possible to turn a complaint into a triumph by the way you handle the complaint. I’ll be blogging about this soon….