Apr 25 2012

Try it Now! Say it Now! Do it Now! Move it Now!

WHY?

                       

WHY NOT?

                         

WHY NOT ME?

                          

…WHY NOT NOW?

 

The tougher that times get, the more focused we need to be on the here-and-now present. Anything else triggers agita! Demonstrating to our customers, prospects, employees, associates, investors, advisors, referrers, and community-at-large that we are seriously committed to making things happen quickly is one of the strongest impressions a business can make.

This is not to suggest a haste-makes-waste attitude that ends up costing money or relationships. Instead, it’s all about responding promptly to what’s asked of us. Every business owner knows that pleasing others and building strong work relationships and customer relationships is directly related to one’s ability to “hop to it” when a request or purchase is made.

But all too often, this ownership sense of urgencyis never passed along through the rank and file. In my work with at least a thousand businesses over the years, I’ve heard frequent references to “The Boss” as someone who works hard and responds quickly to the interests others express or show in the business, or in the business offerings. But it’s not contagious!

Many employees and associates seem to settle into a lethargic comfort zone that relies on the boss’s behaviors to make things happen instead of assuming responsibility to follow the boss’s lead and adopt her or his commitment to action.

With the assurance that some action is always better than no action –at least in business– most bosses fail to communicate a sense of hustle to those around them.

When did you last gather your staff or team together to let them know how much you’re counting on them to solve customer problems and fill needs as quickly as they can, how important this single commitment is to repeat sales?  Are you rewarding hustle? Try tossing a one dollar coin (because it’s uncommon, it’s special) at someone every time you observe rapid response activity. You’ll be amazed at how far that single dollar will go toward motivating urgency.

  • A 6pm phone call requesting delivery of a part 400 miles away by 9am the next morning was greeted by one delivery service with “Sorry our switchboard is closed after 5pm; try back tomorrow.”

  • Another delivery service responded by saying it would have to cost $2,500 to get the part to its destination by 9am because the driver was scheduled to go the opposite direction and would have to leave two hours earlier to fill the request.

  • A third company said the office was closed and all the trucks were scheduled for the morning, but the person answering the phone said he had nothing planned for the evening and would take the part personally in his car for gas, tolls and breakfast… $323.50. Do you think that customer returned to the third company for future deliveries? 

It’s really hard to respond too quickly to a customer or prospect request. In fact, they’ll surely tell you if that’s the case. But no one forgets the business that goes out of its way to see to it that requests are handled and processed promptly. It’s called having an Action Attitude. Do you?

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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jan 03 2010

SERVE THE CUSTOMER

“Consumers are statistics.

                                              

  Customers are PEOPLE.”

–Stanley Marcus, Chairman Emeritus, Neiman-Marcus 

     In case somewhere between the thin divider line between 2009 and 2010, you might have lost sight of what’s important and instrumental to boosting business in these bleak economic times, I give you (Ta-ta-ta—-ta-ta!) the CUSTOMER!

     Former Ford Truck Operations Gen. Mgr. E.P.Williams is quoted in Tom Peters and Nancy Austin’s book, A Passion for Excellence, as saying:

We must always think the customer is in the middle of the thrust of what we’re trying to do.”

     Does that apply to small business too? Absolutely! Does it matter what kind of business you have or how old or new it is? Absolutely not!

     The challenge then is not in thinking, “How do we make more money?” It is in thinking (and acting on) “How do we get and keep more customers?” OR “How can we do a better job of providing the products and services that will attract more new customers and more return customers?”

     We already know that people buy benefits, not features. We already know that people buy products and services because of an emotionally-triggered buying motive (not a logical, rational, unemotional one!). We already know that every behavior (including buying motives) is a choice.

     And we already know if you’re reading this, you probably own or operate your own business or manage one, or part of one and/or that you’re an entrepreneur … so LEADERSHIP is also important to you.

     If you could lead the business or part of business that you’re responsible for into an ongoing, daily pattern of catering to customers and prospects with innovative new and value-added products and services that provide genuine benefits, wouldn’t that be a great beginning?

     If you could do that, you need only find a great writer/marketer (not just a marketing writer, mind you; there’s a big difference!) who has a proven track-record for triggering emotional buying motives and helping to attract the kinds of new and repeat customers you want. 

     Well, here’s the good news: You CAN do all that. It’s easier than you think. It means not accepting that the economy is a hovering doom. It means having the courage to cast off the past and the constraints that mindless politicians continue to force on small business.

     It means taking the road less traveled. This is not just empty talk, or hype. This is reality.

     If you’re serious about your customers, listen to them … and lighten up. Then watch what happens.  

More on 2010 “LEADERSHIP”? Come visit me and comment on my Guest Blog post at TBD Consulting’s Jonena Relth’s site http://bit.ly/XhN1h

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Reply Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US (Subject: “Blog”) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day!  Blog FREE via list-protected RSS feed OR $1 mo Amazon KindleGreat 2010 Gift for GRANDPARENTS: http://bit.ly/3nDlGF

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Dec 10 2009

Small Business Small Mindedness

Think Big But Act Small!

                                                                                              

     As small business owners and managers, we unfortunately have not much of a role model for success anywhere within the avalanche of daily government’s much ado about nothing, or the poor misguided mainstream media’s efforts to distort, opinionate and manipulate in order to sell advertising time and space.

     How could we expect, for example, to learn anything about decision-making from an Armed Forces Commander in Chief who takes three months to conclude what his own paid, experienced experts have told him from the outset the steps that needed to be taken with respect to troop deployment?

     And, to top it off, in addition to having put those who serve — and who are clearly committed — in harms way for that entire three months, the agonizingly slow decision and extent of unnecessarily prolonged delay now threatens to undermine the very determination that was finally and reluctantly made. This decision should have been made in one day.

     Odds are that if any of us practiced such poor (and critical) decision-making and failed to rely on those we chose to surround and advise ourselves with in our own businesses, we’d be out (or well on our way to being out) of business!

     Oh, and just imagine what kind of customer loyalty we might generate if our marketing programs and public messages were as intentionally contentious and provocative as the sensationalist “journalism” that flows from the fork-tongued mouths of mainstream media’s loose cannons. You know who and what make up this list. 

     Something about this desperate media pproach to doing business smacks of ramming a healthcare program down the throats of 63% of the population who do not want it. Could you do that with your business prospects and survive?

     We could forget about repeat sales. We could also give up our customer service pursuits (Who would ever believe in the dollar value and performance quality of our products and services when we’re fully preoccupied with putting down our competition or trying to produce sales by mental water-boarding instead of simply demonstrating the benefits of our business, our integrity, trust and authenticity?)

     And what have we in our poor excuse for a national leadership to follow? A hypocritical multimillionaire holding our feet to the fire to keep us honest while abusing tax-dollar-paid privileges? People with less business experience than your 2 year-old nephew, dictating business policy? People so entrenched in their own sense of political self-importance that they’ve lost sight of what they’re supposed to be doing and whom they’re supposed to be representing?

     You couldn’t count fast enough to guess the numbers of customers leaving your business if you started price-gouging while delivering inadequate products and services in the name of global warming scams designed to divert tax dollars to political causes, and self-aggrandizing delusional thinking about spreading wealth to those who haven’t earned it (because handouts work just fine).

     A helluva way to run a business. Any business. 

When you want to be big,

act small enough to make it clear

that your growth is not more important

than your customer.    

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Reply Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US (Subject: “Blog”) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day!  Blog FREE via list-protected RSS email OR $.99/mo Amazon Kindle. Branding Line Exercise: 7Word Story (under RSS). GREAT GIFT: new Nightengale Press book THE ART OF GRANDPARENTING http://bit.ly/3nDlGF

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Nov 12 2008

Economizing Doesn’t Make Money! SALES Make Money! (Trenchcoat Techniques)

No one ever made dollars

                                            

by pinching pennies!  

                                                                                                  

     Business reports are flooded these days with news of companies cutting, trimming, slicing, saving, searching, eliminating, conserving, consolidating, closing, and filing.  Enough already! 

     STOP worrying and making yourself crazy!  If you own or run a business, keep this thought on your front burner:  NO ONE ever made dollars by pinching pennies!  

     Your business can only survive, grow, and make money by making sales.  Yeah, you say, well that’s not so easy when people are using Gorilla Glue www.gorillaglue.com on their wallet pockets and purse clasps.  (Wow! Try saying those last two words three times fast!)  But, you know what?  It IS easy if:

  • A) you CHOOSE for it to be easy (since all behavior is a choice!), and
  • B) you concentrate hard on using empathy by putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes, by listening carefully to what your prospect says is important to her or him, and by emphasizing the benefits (instead of features) that specifically and directly address the issues and concerns that you hear expressed. 

     Gently and pleasantly “sizing up” the prospect and the situation accurately is the first and often most important step in making a sale.  You need to clear away other thoughts and concentrate on being a friendly detective.  You’ll never catch a ball that’s hit to you if you’re thinking about your next vacation, or last night!

     Pretend you’ve been hired by the prospect to work together on the same side of the desk to help him or her make a buying decision that will be beneficial (and hopefully “smart”) . . . one that truly provides the benefits the prospect seeks, which you’ll know from A) and B) above . . . one that paves the way for building a long-term relationship and repeat sales.  

     Overcoming objections can be critical as well. 

     People will not always say what’s on their minds, but –aaaaah– you know “The Columbo Technique” because you’ve seen the old TV series, right?      http://www.tv.com/columbo/show/1011/summary.html  Forever trenchcoated Detective Columbo was famous for his last-minute stepping back in through a door he was closing as he was leaving a suspect behind, where he would disarmingly lean back in and say something like, “Oh, by the way, I was just curious about something: now that the murder is practically solved, would you mind telling me the real reason you hated your boss?” 

     The prospect is getting ready to leave, and you turn to say thank you for her or his time and attention, and “By the way, now that you’ve made it clear you really don’t want this particular model we’ve been discussing, would you mind telling me the real reason for your decision?”

     Why is it important to know this missing piece?  Because when you know the real reason for the “NO” you know where to focus your energy and attention.  When someone says he or she wants a practical vehicle that can be used with both family and work needs, you then know where to channel your discussion.  Forget about price.  Forget about fuel economy.  Forget about leather interiors.   

     It’s not that these are not important features; it is that they are blocking you from concentrating on what is truly important to this particular prospect: space and convenience. 

     The person is looking for quick, easy, convertable space that passengers will find comfortable, but that changed-over, will accommodate tools or files—or whatever work needs you heard mentioned when you asked about the individual’s job in B) above. 

     The goal throughout this process is to speak 20% of the time and listen 80%.  The results will speak for themselves with sales instead of savings.  Halalpiar        

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