Sales: Selling Online (Session 3)

by | Oct 22, 2021

Danielle Stanley is back with her third and final Online Selling session of 2021.

So if you’ve been to any of my sessions before, we have talked about our funnel so know, like, and trust, most people have heard of, and the idea is at the very top of your funnel, other people who’ve never even heard of you. They’re just busy going around their everyday business. And in order to become your cheerleaders and your number one customer, they’ve got to work their way down your funnel and out the bottom.

Watch the training video below…

Transcript of Video


So, hi everybody. We’re back with Danielle she’s re-recording this for members after I had a bit of a technical hitch, right? So this is the recording of your third session. I know some members have already watched and it’s all about retail sales and being ready for Christmas and et cetera, et cetera. So you’re going to go through the slides again, and we are going to just chat it through. Yep. Awesome job. Right. So do you want to then share your screen?


Awesome. And hopefully we’ll add it as a link so that people can access it separately and work throughout their own pace.


I’ll shove us down here. There we go. All right. So I want us to kind of out of the way at the bottom and just give us two seconds while I hide that. Don’t want to do that. Don’t want to do that, leave that there. Okay. Right off you go.


So if you’ve been to any of my sessions before, we have talked about our funnel so know, like, and trust, most people have heard of, and the idea is at the very top of your funnel, other people who’ve never even heard of you. They’re just busy going around their everyday business. And in order to become your cheerleaders and your number one customer, they’ve got to work their way down your funnel and out the bottom.


So the first step is about them becoming aware of you, knowing your business, building a bit of a relationship, getting to like, getting to trust you. And then the stages where it actually becomes more of an interaction is when they start to try your products and then to buy from you, and then they become a

repeat customer, and then they become your cheerleader. And that’s when they go and tell everybody about how wonderful you are. Yeah.


So the first thing we did when we did this, the first time around was I got people to think of one thing they could do for each step of their funnel in order to get people from never having heard of you to being your cheerleader. Some people will go there in a day. Some people it’ll take six months, two years. And so we’ve got to be working on it constantly. We’ve constantly got to fill in the top of the funnel and thinking about those people and gradually helping them move down.


Yeah. And I think just to remember that whilst we’re doing most of this online, and you specialise now in completely being online, you’ve got to remember those retailers and, and, and the rest of us products. So you do things in different ways. So awareness is not just online for all of us. If you, if you are standing selling, as you used to with all the stalls that you used to do, and all the fairs you used to do, you know, that’s about awareness. It’s also about, you know, moving them down that funnel. So they’re interested, they make a decision and they buy, but sometimes for those people who walk past at that moment, it’s just about awareness. So, so what did you ask everybody to do? So something about awareness, something about interest, decision, and then take an action.


All of the, we actually did a longer list. So getting to know you, so how could you get people who’ve never heard of you?

(02:54): Right. Well,


We’ve just signed up. We need to come up with an advert to go in our little village magazine that goes through everyone’s letterbox once every other month and I thought, well, why not? You know,


And that’s awareness and that’s raising interest.


Well, our target audience, my village is full of them. They are exactly the sort of customers that buy from me, but live in other parts of the country. So why not reach out to them? Why not?


Absolutely. So for knowing, for liking, for trusting. The interesting thing for me is about that, that journey that you take together, they always see you, they see your stuff. They trust your stuff. They understand that you are who you are, like for you in your work, I know the quality of your stationery. I mean, I’ve seen it in person, but I know the quality of the stationery. I know the kind of brands that you carry. I trust the, the, who you pick to sell, because I have watched you and liked you. And now I really trust your word as a sort of a thought leader, if you like, in the world of stationary, and I’m much more likely to buy and to repeat buy once I trust you.


I think for all of us watching trust is such a big thing. And, and again, an exercise is, you know, who are the people that you buy from and why do you trust them?


Yeah. And it’s going to be a big difference, whether it’s a 10p mix-up or whether it’s a £70 fountain pen,


10p mix-ups. That took us back to childhood!


You proabably won’t get too many sweets in a 10p mix-up would you?


But you’re absolutely right. You know, you don’t have to trust the shopkeeper for a 10p mix-up. So if any of you don’t know what one of those is, just ask us later, but you know, if you’re buying a big purchase, if you’ve gone for a holiday, for example, you know, you could get a one pound, I don’t know, notepad somewhere or come to you for one of your beautiful, you know, really beautiful pieces of stationery. You’re going to think about that and it’s yeah, yeah, totally.


How are you going to get other people to have that trust then? Yeah. So we’ve got Google reviews. We’ve got recommendations on Facebook. We’ve got product reviews on individual items. If you remember my Facebook group, you’ll see people showing photos of things they’ve bought and say, oh, it’s lovely. Cause it’s quite difficult when people cannot pick things up and try it.


Yeah, I agree. Great. And for you having swapped to nearly a hundred percent online, not quite, but I know you’ll do a couple of fairs if they float your boat, but you, you know, the only way anybody can trust that your products or something they want to buy when they’re ready to buy is by the reviews, is by the social proof. It’s called social proof. You know, you, you prove them what you’re doing because so many people are appreciating what you’re doing and they’re leaving you, you know, all over the place. There’s just goodwill for Under The Rowan Trees. And it’s brilliant. And, and so for everybody watching, how are you going to build up a trust? The trust comes from content. The trust comes from helping and the trust comes from other people loving you enough that they want to leave you a review.


And building that relationship showing up, whether it’s your newsletter or your Instagram lives, or, you know, people getting know you and building a bit of a relationship. And then we talked about trying and that’s easy for somebody who makes chocolates. You can give someone a chocolate to try, but for somebody who makes something a lot more expensive or does, you know, maybe runs exercise classes or something, it’s not so easy, you can’t give them a little bit. So what can you do to let people try you out?


So things like, you know, could it be a video where you demonstrate a skill? Could it be a download with something they can print out and they can use, that gives them a bit of a sort of taste of what you do and that’s going to then help them build that trust and build that relationship so that when they’re ready to buy, but we do get lost a lot of customers who will place an order for something that’s only a couple of pounds, then they’ll come back and spend a bit more and then they’ll come back and buy something a bit more so, you know, it’s okay for people just to sort of test you out and try little things.


And don’t think that customer hasn’t got any money or forget about them. It may be that the first order was a couple of pounds and the next one’s a couple of hundred pounds and you’ve got to treat them just like you know, your super-duper style high-rolling customers.


Absolutely. And that’s what repeats are about. And that’s what referrals are about because the people who repeat buy, that’s what we’re actually all after. Even if, you know, even if there are some organisations that can sell one thing and it just that’s the end of the road, but there’s always something I think that you can probably upsell or at least get those people to refer you because they’ve loved you so much that, you know, you can sell again.


And this, this idea that we have to have thousands and thousands and thousands of customers, not necessarily in retail, I know it’s different because you would love thousands and thousands of customers. But at the end of the day, if you have 10 customers that will spend a quid or three customers that’ll spend 10 quid each, heck of a difference in that and what we’re looking for at this bottom of this funnel, as people to repeat buy. But it’s not just about repeat buying anymore. It is about them, that advocacy, as you say, in your super fans, who will go out there and shout about your brand everywhere, and they are for me, that’s what we want to get as many people to always, and it’s not going to happen, not everybody becomes a super fan.


No, but that’s because they’re not necessarily the right customer for us. You know, when we first met that used to really upset me, but now I’ve just accepted that, you know, we’re not right for some people and they’re not right for us.


And I think because of the growth, the phenomenal growth you’ve had and what I’ve seen you do at the end of the day, you know, you have worked this out to, within an inch of its life, Danielle, you know, who your customers are, you know exactly what they’re looking for. You know, the kind of spend, you know, the minimum, you know, like, you know, all of these because you have all this data and,


Interesting one that. I was looking at our delighted feedback that Darren recommended and sent me. I haven’t looked for a while. And there was a really interesting comment from somebody who’d struggled to peel the back off our stickers because she didn’t have long nails like our target audience. And then I remembered that India always tries to take photos of herself, when she’s just had her nails done and her nails are looking lovely, but it’s the point where we had to take a photo of her pretending to be lefthanded the other day. Cause the nails on her right hand were such a mess. So she posed it left handed. It was that, oh no. Now my customers think you’ve got to have beautiful nails to be our customer. We need to be a bit more honest and a bit more real and go, no, don’t have to have particularly beautiful nails,


Beautiful pens, but not necessarily beautiful nails.


You see that’s what somebody had picked up from our social media that you needed to have beautiful nails. Oh no, I didn’t mean that. That was totally unintentional.


And yet what an amazing example of what people see that you don’t see. We’re living in our own world for our business and we’re pushing all this stuff out. We think it’s going to engage and get them to know like, and trust us. And actually, if someone had said to me about you and your business, the last thing on my, my mind would have been long nails and like manicures, because that’s just not you at all, you know what I mean?


So, so, but because India has beautiful nails every time she has them. So we’ve got to be careful about the product placing, about the photos that we use, what we use and this idea of trust. Amazing that someone because of your photos thinks you’ve got to have long, beautiful, absolutely perfect nails to use your product.


Are you going to trust me more if before I do a live video, I spent two hours doing my hair and makeup, or if I’ve just got back from the school run and taken my bobble hat off and just going Hi! It’s about thinking about being you and your business and not worrying about, you know, being this other imaginary you,


I know, I know it’s difficult, isn’t it is. Come on then, next slide. It’s such an interesting thing.


Oh, so the idea was there we go, Christmas presents at the bottom of the funnel for you and your customers. You’re going to be happy and relaxed and financially where you have aimed to be, if your funnel is working and they’re going to have lovely, shiny things.


So these are two notepads. So two different websites, both sell stationary, but in completely different ways. So we’ve got the Martha Brook website and her aesthetic is really strong. If you look at her Instagram, anything, I saw her speak last week, I’d already made this before that. But she, her brand is really clear and anything you look at from her, you can recognise that, you know.


That’s a reminder popping up, reminding me to pick Rowan up from after school club, right?


So her website, her branding, everything is lovely and slick and smooth. And that’s part of creating this whole experience, this whole shopping experience with her. But if you look at the other one from The Works, this might, this is that’s what Dan would go and buy. And it’s all my husband would buy. He would buy his one pound A4 refill pad and complain that it didn’t work nicely with his pen.


So it’s, you know, they’re both selling the same product. And if you look at both, they’ve got the same information on there, they’ve got about delivery prices, whether it’s in stock or not. But in a very, very different way. So they are talking to two completely different customers. And we’re just looking at the visual at the moment, not specifically, not the language, but if you’re selling a notebook for 25 pounds and someone else is selling a notebook for a pound, you’ve got to show them why yours is worth 25 times as much in this case.


So it’s about thinking about your customer, your products and how you’re going to make it a wonderful experience for them shopping with you. So the, the, the product descriptions that go with those two, you can see just at a glance, the difference in the amount of text, but I’ll just let you have a little quick read through there and see what jumps out at you.


Let me just move us over to the side in this space and move that on there. I mean, I mean, firstly, because I haven’t seen this before, on the left, there is text.


There’s a lot more of it, isn’t there?


Actually sentences. And it’s about, you know, uplift, inspire, spark creativity. This is not about a notebook. This is about a lifestyle and an Instagram photo, whereas the other one is perfectly, for me actually, easier to read because there’s so fewer words because I don’t often engage with a lot of text.


It’s still got the bullet points.


It’s it’s, it is really interesting because there are words that draw me in with Martha’s, and, but because I skim everything and words then become quite difficult, you know, it’s easier. I’m not gonna lie. It’s easier for me on the right. But, I wouldn’t buy on the right because you know, it’s just exactly functional. Isn’t it? A4 refill pad. It is a description of what the product is. Whereas on the left, it’s a description of a lifestyle choice. It really,


She’s appealing to your emotions. She’s being nostalgic, she’s telling about where it’s made and how it’s made, but they’re both, you know, they’re not, there’s not that huge difference in what the product is. It’s about how it’s presented.


Absolutely. And the words really, really do matter. There were lots of people who need words. I would’ve bought it on the picture anyway. Yeah. So I think when you’re not a wordy person, the pictures, the video or the pictures are really, really, really important. Yeah. And I’m not saying words, aren’t important. We need it for SEO, we need to read stuff, but it’s just me personally. I would have bought it on the picture.


People do because anybody who sells online will know you get messages going, Oh, it was bigger than I

thought or it’s smaller than I thought. It’s all in the description.


It’s all of us who don’t read words.


So that’s why something that keeps it nice and easy and bullet points, you know? And so it’s nicely defined the information. And also how far do you have to scroll and how many things do we click on? You know, making it really easy for people to get that key information. Yeah. Is really important. So, think about how you can create a fantastic product description. So there is a sheet that we’ll link to with this. I’ve got one in front of me that is not the most beautiful I’m afraid, but I just focused on getting the points and it’s basically all auditing a product listing.


So going through and looking at what features does it have? What features should it have to make sure you’ve got everything a customer needs in there to buy it. And I’m thinking about the title, the SEO, the links to all the products, everything, not just the text, not just the pictures, but these are some bullet points that I think will help get people in the right direction. It’s something you’ve talked about a lot. Do you remember the first time you asked me who my target customer was and I said women?


I was like, all right. Like all women, because every single woman wants my pen,


But I have now already done a lot since then, they actually just keep changing and it keeps evolving. And when we bring in different product ranges, we attract different customers. And I was targeting my Facebook ads very, very specifically because I knew exactly who she was. So I was talking to her, but then notice we’re also getting orders from this other her, and that other her.


So actually, you know, it’s keeping your options open thinking about what sort of person you’re talking to when you’re writing your product description, what do they want to know? They want to know that this notebook will change their life or do they want to know it’s got 300 pages and it’s about, you know, so think about who you’re selling, to what information they need, think about the benefits of it. So rather than just describing the product, describe how it’s going to help them.


So this pen is beautiful, but what they want to know is that it’s got really lovely weight in your hand and it’s really smooth and you don’t have to press hard to write. The actual experience of using it, not just it’s purple and it’s 10 centimetres long, you know, the experience of it. And think about the story. I have the book being a story brand on my shelf, ready to read. So when we do the next year’s training, I will tell you a little about being the story brand. Think about the story of your product, especially if it’s something you make, where do you make it? How do you make it? Who’d you make it for? What inspired you to make the product? And I know lots of people within Mint are fantastic at that. You know, they talk about their inspiration behind their products, but do they always put that in a product description or in their marketing?


So I think that’s really important to have that story behind it, especially a more expensive product. You know, we want to know why it’s expensive. What’s, you know, what goes into it. Think about your imagination, the imagination of your customers, how they will feel or how it makes things easier for them. What are their pain points? It’s a really practical product, what’s it going to help them with but keep your language natural, you know, make it sound like you are having a sales conversation. You don’t want it just to be all SEO, lists of points and words and written for a computer. Connect to them.


I think that’s really important. It comes back to your nails thing as well. You know, like for someone to perceive because photos have been taken in that way, that it’s all about having long, perfect nails. I mean, there is an audience there. If those ladies who do have long perfect nails but I, I and this is for thought as well, you know, I, I don’t associate with you in that way at all. I’ve known you for four years. That’s, that’s not what you’re about, but this idea, that natural language and tone it, it, as long as it belongs to you, as long as it is your natural language and your tone, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s real.


And, and I think that’s, that’s super important because so many people struggle with this Danielle, They really struggle to have the right terms and the right words. And how many times have we been asked, you know, what is authenticity anyway? Like how much do you put behind the scenes? But what we’re saying is you just, you’ve just got to understand your own brand and its language, its tone and help your customers come on board with you. You’re not there to try and trick them into buying, and you’re not there to write a great product description that’s full of fluff. And it’s the best thing in the world. And then what they get through the post is not even close.


I mean, I came across a seller that gave entire little stories, gave character to these plants and they were hilarious. They were really funny because there’s only so much you could say about, you know, how much water it liked. It needs a little bit of extra personality and a sense of humour. Just, I was like, ah, I’d much rather buy my plant from this person. And it was just because he had that bit of extra something and then you remember them and you go back to them. So think about brands that you love and you love shopping with, you know, and how do they get their message across? How do they tell their story and, you know, take inspiration from that. And they don’t need to do the same thing as, you know, it could be a clothing brand or a candle brand or something, a supermarket, you know, but think about what it is that you makes you feel comfortable and gives you the warm and fuzzies about their product. And how can you use that for your brand?


I love it. I love it. You know, we’re trying to have a conversation with people to get them on board with our brand, to buy our stuff, whether it’s product or services. Doesn’t matter. And the more honest that we are, I find the more you’re going to get just people coming to you, you know, we have to sell our stuff, right. And a great product description is about selling. That’s what it’s for, it’s there to sell. But in order to sell, we are having to use the correct language, the correct tones, to not waste people’s time to not just put words in there for words sake, and I just, yeah, you’ve got this new screen here. Hang on. I’ve got my mum and dad ringing,


My phone went off at the same time,


We’ve got phones going off all over the place. I’ll hand this over to you then just to explain this bit.


Something you just mentioned there, superlatives. Sorry. It’s the English teacher in me, but if you say your product is the best, you’ve got to justify it. So you need to be really careful about that. So think about, you know, do you have facts to back something up and certainly some products you’ve got to be really careful about what you’re actually allowed to say. So if you’re selling cosmetics or health food, or whatever, there are legal limits and lines about what you’re allowed to promise. You can’t say this is going to make you fitter or healthier. You’ve got to be really careful about that. So depending on what you sell, you may have to research what you legally have to include possibly with candles and things as well. There are some safety things and, you know, check that, but whatever you’re saying, you need to have facts to back it up.


So use customer reviews, customer photos, and videos of your products being used, you know, things you can include to really promote it and show it. So if my suppliers provide videos of demonstrating how to use a product, I always put those in the product description because you know, a pen is a pen until you say, you need to see how it writes, what it does, what you can use it for.


So be specific, give details where you can avoid cliches. You know, don’t just be all, you know, make it nice and clear, easy to understand they know what the product is, what it does. And what’s fantastic about it. We just talked about how easy it is to scan, bullet points, short paragraphs. A teacher I had at school told me the average reading age of people in our country was eight, which scared me a bit.


So yeah, the average age of our country. So, you know if you’ve got a WordPress website, certainly it’ll tell you off for using sentences with too many words then yeah, I get told off for my sentences been too long for my words, being too challenging.


For people like me, who just can’t take all the words. And that’s why, you know.


It’s about accessibility as well, isn’t it?


It is. I’d like to think my reading age is older than eight,


But is your concentration older than eight?


So, you know, thinking about newspapers do this, really short paragraphs, short sentences. Sub headings, plenty of white space. People will only read about 16% of what you’ve written. Nicola will read 0.16%.


You can repeat information in different ways, you know, long blurb and then have the same information, bullet points, you know, so people, however, it works for them, they can access it. So SEO, we’ve mentioned a few times is search engine optimisation. So it’s basically how Google will scan your website to find what the product is.


So if you call your beautiful new painting, dawn in Barcelona. You know, if it really is a picture of Barcelona that might be useful, but if, you know, people may want to know more. Is it, you know, wall art or a painting? You know, you’ve got to think about what people are actually searching for. So if you give your products names, like there was a plant website, back to my theme, where they’ve named all their plants women’s names. So like, would you like a Brenda or would you like a, there was men’s names as well, would you like a Brian, but what actually is it? You know, people aren’t going to be Googling a Brenda.


So think about making it nice and clear what your product is, have that in your title, have that in your meta-description and I’ll show you what that is in a second, have it in your tags. If your website gives you that option and have it in your product description. And then, you know, then Google is going to look at your page and go, oh yeah, they definitely are selling, I don’t know, a patio table. You know, it is what it says it is. And that’s how it’s going to work for you to be found on Google. And if you’re not confident about this, get some help out there. There are proofreaders, there are copywriters quite a few in Mint.


Right. Use each other, help each other.


Yeah. Invest in it. I’ll do a skill swap. If you don’t have the cash, you know, we can work with you and help you on it. It’s definitely worth it. Right? So the product listing audit, this is just to help you with some of the terms that you might not know exactly what they are. So you’ll have this sticky list attached and there’s a space for making notes and things. So I’ve got another example here, Nicola’s next dream planner. So this is a Filofax. They approached me to stock them. I don’t know if I want to stock Filofaxes. I mean, we’d need an extension, but I do like them.


I would have to say, I would buy that. Just can I just show you? I have a version of that, but it’s this color, but yours. I want, I want that one.


This is a Saffiano pocket organiser in Neo mint.


Good Lord. What is Neo Mint? Okay, so coming to it. What is Neo mint? Do you know what I mean? Why can’t they just write mint green? Cause then we know what it is. I would never search it, and this is totally relevant. I would never search for anything that was called Neo Mint because I do not know what Neo Mint is.


You’d search for green and search for mint green. Yeah.


That’s why thinking about, think about how your website works and how you can search. So I’ve got a filter, you can filter by colour. Hopefully that works and I call it green. And so every shade of green will pop up, whether it’s pale mint or whether it’s, you know, dark green you know, it should come up and you should be able to find it. So yeah. Think about making things that people can understand, but a

pocket is a standard size and an organiser, everyone knows what that is. We need to know what year it’s for. So I’ve got that there. So we’ve got our product title, which is the bit we’ve just been talking about, hopefully my arrow should appear.


It has.


Oh, I can’t see it. Oh no.


I can see them. So just keep going. I’ve got images, I’ve got short description.


Right, okay. So your short description is where this has got a quick overview.




You can’t do that on Etsy, but on most websites. There, they’ve appeared.


I’ve got to move us out the way here. Cause I’ve got arrows coming from all, all over the place, but it’s good.


They’ve appeared now. I can see them. I don’t know what was going on there. So it’ll usually be called a short description and that’s the bit that’s going to appear next to your product. And that’s the bit that’s going to be obvious for people to see when they look at it. When they scroll through, particularly on a

mobile. Think about what key information do you want in there? This one’s gone a bit wordy. I would usually include how many pages it’s got, what it’s made of. If it’s, what size it is. If it’s not obvious in the picture, that could be A4. It could be teeny. It’s hard to tell if it’s a pre-order or if it’s available or when I’m expecting stock, if it’s something that’s not currently available. So you can put all that in your short description.


Your long description is the bit that goes underneath, you know, the name is what it says on the tin, that is where you put your long description, like those examples we looked at previously.




There will usually be a box somewhere for tags and the links. You can also link within your description. If you can keep people on your website, maybe they don’t want that one. They want a big one like that. If you can say, see others in the same group here, and we’ll say, you know, this is where you can find the perfect pen to go with it, click here. You don’t want them going off your website, looking elsewhere. You want them staying on your website and you know, moving around between your pages and between your products. So make that nice and easy for them, make it nice and clear. And then, ah, there we go. This is a meta-description.


So if you Google Mint Business Club, it will come up with the website and then it will come up with a little bit underneath that it looks similar to this and when whatever you put in your meta-description box is what will people will see on Google. So you’ve got 160 characters. It’s about the length of a tweet and to tell people what you do and why they should click on you. You know, you are competing with all the other results in Google. And so it’s just your chance to get your main point across, get your keywords in there to make them click on you.


Yeah. There’s no waffle in here. You’ve only got ever such a short amount of space to grab someone’s attention. This is purely about those keywords and dragging that person in.


Yeah. Getting them to click is the equivalent of smiling at someone as they walk past your stall, you know, the, the Google equivalent. If you don’t fill that in Google will just randomly pick something from the page. That might be relevant. It might not. If you get the option to fill that in, make sure you do it. (28:14):

Right. So let me just get this out of the way again,


You’ve got your tasks, go away and do your audit. Look at somebody else’s website that you love, and that makes you want to buy from them, go through and have a look at what they do, but also use it on your own website. Or if you haven’t got website yet, this is sort of a bit of a plan, a bit of a guide for what you do to make your product listings really good.


Not everything will work for everybody. Not every website has every facility. Well, this is kind of a, in an ideal world. If you think of anything I’ve missed, do let me know and I’ll add them on because it’s a working document, a work in progress. And there’s always going to be things that you can add. And if you’re not sure what any of them are, you know, send me a message and ask and I’ll help as best I can.


So this was my kind of parting thoughts, tips, and tricks for making the most of, getting ready for Christmas. Things that when you’re in the middle of November, elbow deep, packing rush, will completely have gone out of your head. So spend a bit of time before that to get yourself ready. Have you got any leftover stock from last year? Did you shove it in the loft? Is it in the back of the garage? You know, something that’s Christmasy and now is the right time to start getting it back out and thinking about it, making sure it’s listed on your website or take it to events with you. You need to get rid of it. Cause it’s not going to make you any money sat in your loft.


And you don’t have to sell it off cheap. People won’t know it’s from last year, as long as it doesn’t say Christmas, 2021 and it’s not gone mouldy!


Yeah. You know, it doesn’t have to be a discount thing or even use it for some sort of promotion as free gifts to go with other things. But yeah. Think about what you’ve got. Think about your products and your profits. So which products do you need to focus your attention on? So India, my apprentice is busy at the moment, emailing magazines with some of our products to feature in gift guides. And so she’s choosing which ones to send and it’s the ones that we have the best profit margin on. Cause there’s no point us encouraging people to promote two pound biros.


Oh, I can see your mouth moving, but I can’t hear anything. Nope.




That’s all right. I thought you were talking to me. So yeah. Think about which profits are worth you promoting and putting your time and effort into which things you are going to take to events, which things you’re going to share on social media and they need to be the ones that are gonna make you money. So the 80/20 rule.


I think this is where I was. I was obviously trying to speak while I had muted myself at the same time. What I love now, Danielle is when you talk about, you know, you thinking about the products, which are making the profits, that big keyword, which is just as scary as the Christmas word, you know, what is the point in taking products with us that aren’t going to make us any money.


Number one, do you know, which of your products are making you the best profit? And we’ve worked on this for so many years. And so many of you who are watching this, you’re at different stages and on different journeys, but there is a point at which you come to where it’s like, if these products are not making us a profit, there’s no point.


And if you’re a reseller and you’re buying from a supplier, even if you’ve been buying from them for a long time, ask if your deal is the best deal they can offer you.


For sure. a couple of suppliers I’ve spoken to this year and said, oh, it’s just not worth it for me. And they’ve gone, oh, let me see what I can do. And it’s amazing. They can knock off another 5%.


Do you know what? You wouldn’t have done that a couple of years ago either.


That’s why I employ Samantha,


But it’s entirely true when you started, you would not have done this kind of stuff. And now, and now you speak like such a business woman. I’m so proud of you, but it’s true because if you just ask, you never know what people are going to give you. And at the end of the day, they want you to sell their products Danielle. And if they’re going to say is no, there’s no,


You know, Samantha was on the phone earlier ordering the last bits and pieces for our advent box. And she said, is there anything we can do on the price? And the one on the other end said, no, sorry. And she said, okay, that’s fine. I thought I’d ask. Yeah, nobody was embarrassed. Nobody was upset. It hasn’t damaged our relationship in any way, but she did add, can we have some of those free biscuits? Cause they send free biscuits with our orders. So that’s why we go back and we buy from them. Cause they send us free biscuits. It’s how our office is powered!


Right now is your time to stock up on packaging, business cards. And think about planning your time ahead. What needs doing when? Have you got space to store it? Cardboard is really expensive this year. I’m sure lots of you have found that. I chatted to Liza about this, boxes are not the best way. If you can think of an alternative way of packaging your products this year it’s worth investing. I found some fab kinda like Jiffy bags, but with cardboard based padding when I was at the stationary show last week. So we’re looking at swapping to those for some of our products.




Think about it. Plan your packaging. The worst thing is going to be, if you run out of bags or boxes, when you’ve got orders waiting, you know, so you can buy in bulk and have a stash. Postal sacks. I know Vicky has a bit of a nightmare with this as well. Keep ordering them, make sure you’ve got them in. So you are ready. Keep a close eye on your stock, have a system. So you know, how many of things you’ve got you don’t end up with loads left over or run out.


We use some warehouse management software and it has been life-changing. It was a big investment at the start and a long time to set up, but it makes things so much easier for us or for some people it’s just a spreadsheet and just, you know, alter the numbers every few days or once a week.


But you know, make sure you know what you’ve got and how many so that you don’t undersell or oversell. Keep the marketing going. However busy you are. Keep shouting. We need to fill that funnel. Think about next year as well as this year. And then think about January. Could you put something in with the orders you’re sending out now to encourage people to come back and shop in the new year? Yeah. January is good for us because everyone’s got new diaries and they want new pens. Maybe February or March is a bit quieter, but it’s going to be different for different people, but could you give them a voucher that gives them some money off the next order if they order in the new year or what could you do to encourage them to come back? Yeah,


I’ve got a lot of, yeah, well, a lot of Minties and people I’ve talked to, you know, if the, if the January goes very, very quiet, it becomes the perfect time to take their holiday or, or to just take the time and reflect. I think, I think though you have to start thinking about that now. So whether you’re going to have a busy January and a quiet February and March, what you’ve done is cashflowed that, you’ve thought about it, you know, the kind of campaigns you’re already going to run. And I think it becomes easier year in, year out, when you would just stand on the floor of your retail business, obviously COVID tipped everything upside down, everything is shaken up now. But you know, it’s the minute we get into that flow and really understand, but also just that flow of acceptance.


If, if you know, January after you’ve had a crazy October, November, December, you know, January is going to be quiet, then accept the quiet, keep the marketing going on, but use it to really explore what your whole year is about. But think about that now, because you need to put money away from your crazy October, November, and December. If you’re going to have a quiet January and February,


If this is your first Christmas, don’t assume, assume that January’s going to be quiet. You know what? If I was putting jobs to one side to do after Christmas and next April, I might still not have done them. You know, it’s not necessarily going to be that way.


Absolutely. All the customers you’ve attracted in the run-up to Christmas, maybe coming back for more in the new year, they love what you’re doing. Yeah,


Absolutely. And yeah, it’s, it’s a really, really valid point. You know, there’s so many cycles in all of our sales calendar and we do make assumptions. You know, we do a lot of vision work in January, but for some people their end of year is the end of March. So we’re like three months ahead. Right? So you’ve just got to understand your own and how you go with it. I think I just implore everybody, especially if you’re really new to this, you know, if you make a fortune in December and then you don’t make anything in January and February, you literally have to keep a hold of that money, that cash flow. So this is when, when you know about your products are most profitable, right? And you’ve got a profit in it. And you know, you can put some money aside just in case February is a bit cooler, but that’s part of the learning of your retail business.


And when those spikes are not making those assumptions, Danielle, because like you, right, if loads of people have bought your products and they’ve loved your products, and then the bulk of Christmas vouchers or Christmas money went into the spend, to spend that in January. And it’s just that awareness that at all times you run in a business. So we need to look at profits cashflow, you know, and being super-planned and prepared for such a busy spike which you do really well now.


You do. It’s just, it’s just, I think this is, I, I love it when you’re training as well, because you know, you were the original Mintie. You were, you were one of us when, you know, when all those years ago when we were sitting there together, and to see your journey is so inspirational because we can do this. We are all capable of this, but it’s a lot of learning and a lot of sticking in and a lot of grit and determination.


So then India was filling in her time sheet for her apprenticeship to show what she’d been doing in which hours. And she had to go back and you know, what training have we done? And we were shouting things that’s only just went on and on and on. She’s been to her first trade show. And you know, that was me. You know, if you remember, when I first went 18 months ago, when I was a nervous wreck and nearly didn’t get on the train, whereas this time I took my apprentice and I was going up and asking difficult questions and there was a few, you know, people, I ask questions. So when they went, Ooh, I don’t know. We’ll have to find out, but you know, it’s amazing how much we learn and we’re constantly changing and evolving


And to be really open to that and not to assume that once you’ve done a thing once it’s going to work or not work. And I think this is the thing with this plan and for Christmas and why I wanted you to do this retail. Cause it’s not, this is the kind of problem we should be driven all the time. It just so happens. That Christmas is a really busy time. Right? Of course it is. But this level of care and attention to detail making your website right, making the SEO right. Making the meta tags, right. All of that kind of stuff. That’s just all of the time stuff.


Christmas is not more special, right. Except if you do this right, you should sell more at Christmas. Right. Because it isn’t, it’s about taking that care and attention to the whole of every single day of all through the year. If you want a business, if you want it to become that business that you need it to be, whether that’s just to pay your salary or like you, end up in the shed, that’s now too small, already with two members of staff and you’re going to have to move out soon. So, you know, whatever anybody wants, it’s this level of planning and care and attention to detail that helps us get there.


Yeah. And not to be scared to, you know, to grow and to, you know, to try new things. And if there’s something you’re not good at, get someone else to do it, that’s when my business really changed. And I realised if I pay an accountant and I pay a web developer and I pay them, but you know, they can do the jobs I can’t do. And I’ve got more time to do whatever it is I do.


I know. Well, it was monumental though. Gosh, it’s turning into a right reflection this. Monumental, those moments. And I remember your face, you know, when you started to realise that, yes, it’s scary to outsource or to get that accountant in or whatever, but the difference that made to your life and the chance for you to make more money, because the minute you gave out those things that were holding you back, because you’re not, not brilliant at it, your money and your revenue changed, because you were just so free to go off and do what you do, which is select and sell beautiful stationary.


And Hey, you’ve all those years later doing this stuff and, and training for us now, which is just proper, proper. I was thinking about Mint alumni, how would you say, this is absolutely gorgeous.


Thank you for the session. And I’ll stop it now because we’re going to get into this massive reflection. I hope everybody has enjoyed this. Coming back, I think there’s a lot of lessons in here for service providers, as well as retailers. I genuinely do. You know, if your website, the state of the photos, the content you’re putting on, all of that kind of stuff. If you want people to notice you and love you and trust you and buy from you and then buy again and then become your superfan.


And if you love what you’re selling, you know, you know that you are selling Nicola when you’re selling

Mint and you know, for a lot of businesses, you know what I mean? You know, especially people who

are working hands-on, you know, they need to have that like, and trust even more because they’re selling, you know, they’re hands on services. So yeah,


Absolutely. Thank you so much for ere-recording and you know, and we will get our schedule for next year. We’re going to do so much cool big training next year. I mean, as in face-to-face, so we’ve got to have you back and do something for us next year.


I shall let you know, as soon as, but we will say goodbye now to everybody. Thank you and thank you for watching.