Clifford Towers’ client, Roger Smith of Grounded Shopper, chats to us about his passion for helping businesses to cut through the noise, the challenges of starting a business from scratch, and how earning brownie points is the key to professional success.
Knowing who and where your customers are is crucial to any business, but understanding their attitudes, motivations and behaviours can not only help you to reach them, it can also directly affect your bottom line.
Introducing shopper-led thinking
Grounded Shopper helps companies to understand changing shopper behaviour and expectations in a multi-channel world through tailored research and the very latest perspectives, working with some big-name clients such as SKY, Dulux, Holland & Barrett, M&S, Black & Decker and many more.
The brainchild of Roger Smith, Grounded Shopper was established from nothing almost a decade ago. Roger explains: “We had no clients or case studies and getting the business off the ground was a huge challenge. Despite having 20 years’ experience in the retail sector, I was totally out of my comfort zone. There was so much I didn’t know and it would have been easy at times to give up. I went from the comfort of PAYE and company benefits to standing on the edge of the abyss. But you have to face your fears and get on with it.”
Stepping out of your comfort zone
Roger said these early days taught him about perseverance and the business went from strength to strength: “It was a big wake-up call and had to step up. I started knocking on doors, making phone-calls, sending emails, reaching out to all the people I felt would have a need, and benefit from, our services. I’m not a sales person but I am passionate about what I do, which really helps keep the enthusiasm & energy levels up”.
He learnt to read the buying signals and says an important part of that is understanding the buyer’s market and position: “If you only take one approach, you’ll only get one kind of result. Don’t treat everyone the same with the same pitch but be consistently positive and use relevant examples”.
Earning your brownie points
Roger says he often reverts back to some advice he received on a training course about brownie points:
“The coach said that you don’t get new business until you reach 100 brownie points. Each touch point, for example a LinkedIn post, phone call, a click on your website, is worth a unique number of brownie points to each potential customer. One follow-up isn’t going to cut it, try five or six before you give up. Don’t be belligerent, you won’t convince everybody, but be prepared to be proactive”.
Manage your money for a good night’s sleep
Managing your cashflow is also a key piece of advice from Roger: “Cash is king to any business and knowing your expenditure and being able to forward project and plan helps me sleep at night!
“The team at Clifford Towers are invaluable when it comes to my accountancy needs. I have a high level of trust and respect for Simon, he translates accountancy talk into layman terms for me and helps me with my ad-hoc queries and challenges to allow me to make well informed decisions. In fact, he goes above and beyond for his clients and I get real added value from him which I very much appreciate.
“Clifford Towers was recommended to me when I first started my business so we’ve been working together for years now. I’ve recently relocated to York, and it might be more convenient to use someone more local, but I’ve never even considered using anyone else because I know that I have a problem, I know I can pick up the phone and they’ll keep me on the straight and narrow and help me to understand my choices. They are personable, dependable, efficient and knowledgeable, and have my loyalty.”