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Practicing This 1 Simple Thing Will Make You a Better Leader in 2018

How about this…

Here is a story written by Mithu Storoni and published by Inc.com. The story talks about leadership, but please take note of the important points as regards storytelling.

Notice the five points mentioned and think about them as related to your business and developing its message to your customers.

Practicing This 1 Simple Thing Will Make You a Better Leader in 2018

https://www.inc.com/mithu-storoni/this-1-thing-inspired-president-clinton-to-be-a-lifelong-leader.html?cid=email

Customer Service – Bad Experiences

customer-service-1714287_1920My wife and I are currently doing some remodeling. We recently had a series of bad experiences at one of the big box retailers. Ultimately, to resolve our problems with the retailer we traveled between three of their stores. I don’t want to waste my readers time on a rant about the experience, but what we noticed is that the service experience was bad in all three locations. There is something to learn from that.

  1. Most of the problems had to do with the bad information. Items that were supposedly in inventory simply were not there. Bad inventory records. It’s the end of the year and I’ll bet they take inventory just now and may correct the records shortly. Nevertheless, it was the prime issue.
  2. The customer service people involved were not really helpful. I’d say they were overworked, but we also noticed that many of the customer service personnel were talking with each other, wandering about, and just seemed underused and perhaps trying to find information. It makes me wonder about the record keeping and the software being used.
  3. The items we needed were not available in one location in sufficient quantity to complete our project. The project is not overly large. The items were simply not stocked in sufficient quantities for an average project.

customer-1253483_960_720What does all this matter?

  1. As an opportunity, these big box retailers are dropping the ball and giving others an opportunity to satisfy the customer demand. The demand is for the products needed, and it is in sufficient quantities to complete the work. Also, there is demand for reasonably good communications and customer service. It’s just too hard to do business with a group of persons who are not engaged and haven’t the tools, or the will to help.
  2. Almost everyone has experienced this sort of treatment in one of these big box stores. Service and support are non-existent. Can your business capitalize on this? Maybe you don’t have the size to compete on all fronts with these guys, but perhaps you are simply better at one or more things. Isn’t that what you want to tell the customer base?

Beat them on your terms and tell the world about it.

Tell More, Sell More: The Art of Storytelling

Storytelling in Business is a big part of what I am interested in sharing with the readers. This is a re-post of a very good article about just that written by Eric Gordon and can be found on http://www.business2community.com.

Tell More, Sell More: The Art of Storytelling

Promote The Website With Business Cards

348cd8cUse your business card to promote your website. Make it clear that there is a lot of useful information on the website.

Possible back-of-card info:

For more details come to our website where you will find:

  1. Product Information and Technical Information
  2. Special Pricing and Selling Events
  3. Downloads of Practical Information in PDF format
  4. Recommendations and added resources
  5. New initiatives

Of course, include the website address. Possibly on both the front and back of the business card.

Pass them out liberally. Find places to leave them. Include a business card in all your written communications and mailings.

The Stuff I Like

Stuff. The physical things, the places, and the senses and feelings that we get from time-to-time. A look at how we all value the time we have, really the moments of any given day that we have in life. That’s what I’m thinking about here. It’s just a sort of look around in my head. Big empty spaces…

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There are surely many ways to reflect on our emotions and feelings as we live day-by-day, but let’s just think a bit about times that we enjoy. To think about the tiny influences that change the momentary experience of living into something different than a basic bland or routine set of feelings. Thinking about things again – items in our existence. My existence anyway.

The sound of the door closing on the VW beetle from my youth. It was solid, it felt like the car was sealed upon closing. It was very satisfying to the ear. Each time the doors opened or closed reaffirmed the wisdom of buying that car. Likewise, the heavy enamel paint seemed superior to the thin overspray seen back then inside the doors of US made cars. The car itself was modest. The cost was low. It was not very powerful, the heater was inadequate, the interior was small, and still, the Beetle was a cool choice. It brought satisfaction to many.

How about vent windows, as long as I am thinking about automobiles. I was content for years without air conditioning, having vent windows on my cars and trucks. Putting down the windows and popping open the vent windows to keep out the blast of air while driving was part of the joy of summertime driving. Why did the auto industry give up on those vents? Joy comes from little things much of the time.

How many details in our life have been scrubbed out that mattered to us? The smell and feel of an old library or bookshop, coffee brewing in the morning, a comfortable jacket. What can you think of?

I have a writing prompt that says, “Evoke a Feeling!”

What about in life? In business? Shouldn’t a business be trying to create satisfaction and joy for the customers? There seems to be an almost endless supply of these sorts of opportunities to bring customers to the realization that buying from you will be rewarding. That perhaps it can even touch the emotions that they haven’t been able to satisfy for lack of an empathetic supplier. Often it doesn’t cost much to fulfill the need.

What could you add to your customer’s experience that wouldn’t cost much, or nothing at all, that might make them feel an attachment, an appreciation, for what you offer?

Widening Our Topics

img_0694Until now, I’ve been posting here with the intention of influencing the reader to contact me about collaborating. I wanted to develop client relationships and had fully intended to head out and sell my proposition in person, as part of my business efforts. That never happened.

I find that I enjoy the writing process more than meeting face-to-face and selling my ideas. So I am going to shift my focus a bit. This site is going to become less about my thoughts and recommendations, and more far ranging; finding, reposting, and referencing ideas that business owners can use successfully to promote their products and their business brand.

Storytelling will still be a part of the mix, but why preclude other effect ways to reach out to the customers? Hopefully this will create a bigger picture with many options to bond with the people wanting to buy and only needing clarity to do so.

I hope this will increase both your interest and my own. There’s a lot to research and learn.

 

Selling – You and Your Business, Not Just Products and Services

Every business is selling something – products or services, or both.

If you believe that the product or service is all that matters, then all of the businesses that invest in clean and bright showrooms, nice furnishings, and that sort of thing are wasting their resources. Really, I can’t imagine that many would think that.

The things mentioned, like a clean and bright showroom, are meant to convey an image to the potential customers. Design details like color and open spaces is used similarly. These are background for the sale, but they obviously matter.

HandshakeIf these things are so obviously important, think about how you are conveying information to the customers. Does word of mouth leave the customer with enough? Is the sales person covering the concerns of the customer related to your product or service in a way that the customer can relate to and draw comfort from? Is the customer even engaging a sales person when they come to your place of business?

In a large way you are probably missing the opportunity to engage with some, or many, of your customers. Some are interested in buying, but they don’t want to get involved with businesses that don’t care about them. Some just need better information to move them to buy.

BroshureThere needs to be a smattering of details about your business that lets them know your values and lets them know about the specifics of products. Let them leave with something in their hand. Something to read and contemplate over coffee the next morning. Close the sale quickly if that’s possible, but also give the customer something to learn about you and your team, something to make them feel like they’ve made the right decision to buy from you. Something that will make them come back again and again.

ThumbdriveSome of this can be done with paper based information, but more effective will be a digital presentation either from the web, or even on a thumbdrive. Giving the customers more than expected is just plain smart. How can you use these thoughts in your own business?

YouTube Video

YouTube-logo-darkJust two years ago we were living in Indiana and I was shopping for a new camping trailer. One of the RV dealers caught my attention with their use of YouTube to show the units that they have on hand. They dealt with used RV’s primarily at that time, so there was a need to showcase each unit specifically, in order to demonstrate its condition, cleanliness, and unique aspects like low mileage etc.

I thought that they did a great job. Today that business has greatly expanded. They are now promoting several new lines of RV’s. And they still use YouTube to market their inventory.

Here are a few things that I like about this approach.

The videos are short, but through. Each one uses a similar format so the viewer can develop an expectation of what will be shown and talked about. The person shooting the video also does the narration, and importantly does not get into the video except for the voice. The product is the focus, not the salesperson. I think that that is key!

The dealer used the YouTube text box to give details about the sale price contrasting it against market value, about financing, and how to make contact with them.

I think that they did an incredibly good job in each seven minute video.

If you sell products that have a high unit value, would this work for you?

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