FEB
01

Breaking Bad (Habits)

THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERY TRADITION

No law or tradition got started for a useless reason. The reason we use age 65 as retirement age goes back to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. The young ruler wanted to fire the men who had served under his father, but was forbidden by law. So he created a new law stating that government workers had to resign at the age of the youngest age of his father's former aides... age 65! The tradition is still carried on today.
 
Before you try to change rules or traditions, examine their original purposes. Are they relevant now? Do they fulfill the purpose for which they were intended? Is there a practical sense to keep them in place?
  3492 Hits
3492 Hits
JAN
02

Trimming the Roast

POLICIES VS. PERKS

I heard a story years ago about a young bride who made a roast for her new husband. She carefully put in the meat, the carrots, the potatoes, onions and seasoning.  Just before sticking the pan in her oven she cut both ends off the roast.  

Her husband had never seen this practice and asked her why?  She answered confidently, "It tastes better.  Besides, that's the way my momma taught me to make it."  Curious, he asked his mother-in-law a few days later why she taught his wife to prepare a roast that way.

She answered that she thought it tasted better and her mother had always cut the ends off the roast and that is how she was taught.  Now this became an obsession. So several weeks later, while visiting the grandmother, the couple asked her why she always taught to cut the ends off the roast before putting it in the oven.

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  4320 Hits
4320 Hits
DEC
28

Who Are You Serving?

IS THIS IN YOUR MANUAL?

How do people feel punished for doing business with you?  I have referred before to the McDonald’s practice of making you park in their “waiting zone” to satisfy their internal timer at the drive-up window.  The McDonald’s near my house gives bonus coupons for having to wait. They go beyond the policy manual and corporate restraints.

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  3477 Hits
3477 Hits
DEC
21

Flying Lessons

POLICIES VS. PERKS

Friends and family who fly Southwest swear by them.  The other customers in the boarding area said it couldn’t be beat.  I have written about Southwest Airlines as an outsider previously on how they lead in customer service as well as making a profit every year.  Now I was about to find out why…

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  3318 Hits
3318 Hits
NOV
12

Jos A Bank

WHAT IS YOUR IMAGE WORTH?

When you hear the name Joseph A. Bank, what comes to mind?  

I asked this to a group last month and someone shouted, “Three suits for the price of one!”  In my younger days I wanted to own a suit from Jos A. Bank.  They were one of the most expensive quality suits a man could purchase.  Then they purchased Men’s Warehouse and began running sales several times a month.  They cheapened their image thinking they would be successful.  Their strategy hasn’t worked out very well so far.

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  3820 Hits
3820 Hits
OCT
26

Who Are YOU Listening To?

If you listen to your own reviews you will probably be listening to some false information.  I am not against self-confidence. I am against over confidence to the point where somebody feels invincible. 

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  5801 Hits
5801 Hits
OCT
12

What is the Soup of the Day?

Learn to tell the difference between the Soup of the Day and lasting trends. The Soup of the Day is good for just what it say: only one day. Then is thrown out the next day in favor of the next one. What are you?

Is your product or service the current trend? Will it last the test of time? What can you do to make a lasting impression on people and stay in the mainstream? Like Apple, motorcycles, Chick-Fil-A, shampoo, Chinese takeout, etc.

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  3989 Hits
3989 Hits
OCT
02

When You Should Probably Shoot the Messenger...

Wikipedia says the term "Don't shoot the messenger probably dates back to Plutarch in ancient Greece.  

He wrote: "The first messenger, that gave notice of Lucullus' coming was so far from pleasing Tigranes that, he had his head cut off for his pains; and no man dared to bring further information. Without any intelligence at all, Tigranes sat while war was already blazing around him, giving ear only to those who flattered him.'

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  4674 Hits
4674 Hits
AUG
04

Fix It!

If you have to educate most customers how to jump through the hoops to buy from you… Fix it!  

A room of sales account executives were asked about the biggest complaint they got from customers.  The unanimous answer was, “Billing.”  They each said the follow up from the company was difficult and not easy for customers.  One lady said her customer told her, “Your billing process is confusing.  If I had known how difficult it would be to pay, I would have never bought from you. I wish you had warned me of your process.”

Stop doing it the same broken way and FIX IT!

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  5898 Hits
5898 Hits
JUL
28

Is it Hard to Buy from You?

Is your website buyer friendly?  We live in a one or two click world.  Your competitors know that eager buyers don’t want to go through a lot of trouble to purchase.  That is why they make buying easy.

EBay members know that buying is simple if you already have a PayPal account.  It is a matter of two or three clicks and your product is on its way to you.

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  3878 Hits
3878 Hits
JUL
21

The Soup of the Day

WHAT ARE YOU?

Learn to tell the difference between the Soup of the Day and lasting trends. The Soup of the Day is good for only one day. Then is thrown out the next day in favor of the next one. What are you?

Famous "Soups of the Day" were Furbies, Tickle Me Elmo, Good to Great, LEAN, Palm Pilot, the Pony Express mail delivery, Biplanes, Boom boxes, Saturn automobiles, etc.

Is your product or service the current trend? Will it last the test of time? What can you do to make a lasting impression on people and stay in the mainstream? Like Apple, motorcycles, shampoo, Chinese takeout, etc.

What are you doing that will last?

  3676 Hits
3676 Hits
JUN
17

Five Ways to Increase Your Value, Part 5

How can you increase value and sales in a turbulent and unpredictable economy?

5.   Charge more!  You would think this would make sense… if you want to increase your value, then charge more for what you offer.  But most people are scared to charge more.  They think if you offer a cheaper price you will get more business.  You won’t.

Raise your prices and it will raise your value!
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  3858 Hits
3858 Hits
JUN
10

Five Ways to Increase Your Value, Part 4

How can you increase value and sales in a turbulent and unpredictable economy?

4.   Move on!  The first week I started cold-calling a woman named Victoria was rude and hung up on me in a matter of seconds.  It made me angry.  I knew how to put her in her place.  But as I picked up my phone to call her back and royally chew her out a thought occurred to me: I still won’t be able to sell to her if I win the argument.  It won’t make me feel better to get in the last word and still not make money. 

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  3165 Hits
3165 Hits
JUN
03

Five Ways to Increase Your Value, Part 3

How can you increase value and sales in a turbulent and unpredictable economy?

3.   Bundle your offer.  Sell multiple items together as a group.  Do you know anyone who has their auto insurance with the same company as their home owners insurance?  Why?

Everyone likes a bundle.
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  3165 Hits
3165 Hits
MAY
27

Five Ways to Increase Your Value, Part 2

How can you increase value and sales in a turbulent and unpredictable economy?

2.  Market the results, not the process. Most people don’t care how your product or service will help them or solve their problem; they just want it solved. They don’t need to hear the process.  They need the help they come to you seeking.

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  2661 Hits
2661 Hits
MAY
20

Five Ways to Increase Your Value, Part 1

How can you increase value and sales in a turbulent and unpredictable economy?

1. Find the right audience.   Who would buy what you sell in the first place?  Most new sales account executives have no idea how to find a following of people who want what they sell.  They exhaust their resources in a matter of days, because they don’t know how to “prospect” for people who already like or want what they have to offer.  Sure, you will sell to people who don’t start out wanting what you have, but you can sell far more to people who already do.  So how do you find them?

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  2660 Hits
2660 Hits
MAY
16

Are Your Vultures Gathering?

Several years ago I heard consumer reporter Clark Howard say, “Someone will always find a way to do what you do for less. But people will pay MORE for the experience of doing business with you.” 

Consider Starbucks coffee.  Is it overpriced? Many people think so, but they have developed a strong niche experience that keeps them at or near the top in coffee shop retailers.  Many people just can’t do life without a stop at the local Starbucks each day.  Customers enjoy being seen with a Starbucks “Venti” cup in their hands.

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  4145 Hits
4145 Hits
MAY
02

Morning Coffee on the Plaza

Last month we stayed at the La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This is a renovated hotel with every amenity you can imagine.  I was presenting the keynote for the New Mexico Hospitality Association  Governor's Conference.  

Several of the hotel staff members and executive leadership attended the conference.

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  3055 Hits
3055 Hits
FEB
25

Corporate Family Traditions

PASSING THE TALES...

Ever notice when you go home to visit family it takes several days for them to “open up” and start telling the stories they won’t tell on a short visit?  Have you noticed during the holidays that after a few days, the secrets start flying?  The longer you stay, the more you hear.

Your company culture has traditions just like your family does.  And it continues those traditions and tales just like a family passes its heritage along to each new generation.  And the longer they stay, the more they hear.  Your people do the same with your customers.

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  4044 Hits
4044 Hits
FEB
18

Wicked Leaks

SABOTAGE

"Wicked leaks" from your organization are most often revealed to customers both verbally and non-verbally.  This is just like the infamous “Wikileaks”… only these leaks are about you and your business.

Your disgruntled staff’s “tells” are given away with looks, glances, rolling of the eyes and outright truth-telling.  The most dangerous employee is one who is assisting your competitors by driving your business away. They are not loyal to your organization... only loyal to themselves.  

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  4672 Hits
4672 Hits