What are you Selling?

I got a call this week from a customer of mine. He was ecstatic. His company had just scooped IBM’s prestigious Business Partner of the Year award; a real testament to the sheer grit, determination and passion that his entire team brings to work every day.

As part of collecting the award, he got some time with one of IBM’s Marketing Execs.

The Exec shared a story of getting his bathroom redone. The usual happened. Plenty of workmen came; some huffed, some puffed, some quoted sky high, some quoted rock bottom. But the one he selected didn’t talk about baths, sinks, or even price. Read more

Who’s Talking?

My good friend Neil Plaister is a brilliant Financial Advisor. He runs a successful IFA practice and he’s never made one cold call.

I was originally referred to Neil and I continue to refer Neil. All of Neil’s business comes from referrals. Over 90% of people referred to him proceed to do business with him. Wow.

Neil is a great guy. He understands his products, his market and his customers inside out. He delivers personal, exceptional service with passion. I know whoever I send Neil’s way will get the same experience. That’s why I continue to do it. I trust him.

The question is who is talking about your offering enough to refer you? Gaining a referral is the most coveted prize in sales. It means you have delivered above and beyond your customers expectations. They trust you and they want their network to trust you too.

Want to win more customers? Start to be like Neil. Start delivering that memorable, exceptional service which is worthy of conversation.

Fear is Flawed

Throughout my career I’ve witnessed many departments and organisations where fear rules.

Employees constantly looking over their shoulder for the fear that the boss is watching. The freedom to inspire and delight customers impacted by ridiculous internal processes; dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s so that the boss will be happy. Zero signs of motivation, encouragement or inspiration from the higher ranks. Does anyone enjoy working in an environment like this?

What if the company mission and culture was simply to deliver outstanding service? To make customers smile every day. Would the iron fist ruling slowly vanish because customers are placing more orders?

It strikes me too much emphasis today is placed on ticking boxes, on internal controls and politics, on pleasing the boss. What if we focussed our efforts on delighting the customer? Empowered our teams to make the right decision for the customer, not for the rule book?

I think it’s worth a shot.

Waiting in Line

Grabbing a quick sandwich from the local supermarket at lunchtime is never fun. The chances are there are not enough tills open. Not enough staff. Zero sense of urgency.

The majority of us loathe to wait. Especially if we are in a hurry.

It was my Mum’s birthday yesterday. Like the good son I am, I chose to send her some flowers. Using Interflora’s fantastic website, the whole transaction was completed and paid for in minutes. All without leaving the comfort of my office. The flowers turned up in perfect condition. On time, exactly as I wanted. She was delighted and I was a happy customer guaranteed to return.
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I don’t have that Information

Having worked with Information Management software since 2002, I have a strong passion for how it can be used to improve customer service.

With customer acquisition and retention being on the mind of every savvy organisation, I am shocked by the number of calls I make to customer service departments only to be told “sorry, I don’t have that information”. This is normally followed by “it’s a different department” or “can I put you on hold?” Sound familiar? Frustrating? You bet.

Corporate Information Management is now more important than ever. Information is the lifeblood of your organisation, it’s the new currency. Without the tools in place to manage, protect and distribute information, you are no longer competitive. Information Management means you can process new customers quicker, deal with complaints faster and answer queries first time. You outsmart the competition. Investing in an Information Management strategy is no longer a luxury, or something that “the IT department deals with”, it’s paramount for your business growth and long-term success.

Bacon and Eggs

I’ve just got back from a fantastic lazy Sunday morning breakfast at my local cafe. There are plenty of cafes where I live. Plenty of choice for any hungry consumer on a sunny Sunday morning.

However, when I’m at home, I wouldn’t ever spend my Sunday mornings at any other place. Why?

Because it’s the nearest? No. Because it’s the cheapest? No.
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