Category: Customer Care

A Reminder: It’s All About People

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I was talking with a friend a couple of days ago about marketing which led us to talk about popular searches  and just for nothing in particular I thought I’d take a look. About 80% of the most popular searches are about a person.

Not the same person, obviously, but to maybe express it more clearly the most popular searches are about people.

The most popular people appear to be those in the ‘Entertainment’ business if you are in the USA. In the UK the most popular people are still in ‘entertainment’ though most likely they will also be someone who did something noteworthy recently. That can be being evicted from Big Brother, confessing to having had an affair a few years ago (Don’t ask me, I don’t know either) or any one of a surprising number of activities that probably wouldn’t get a mention if it was an unknown who had performed them.

In Australia the most popular people were sports people. I guess that’s still entertainment?

How can this help your marketing?

Marketing is about connecting with your target market, meaning with a select group of people. It involves positioning your product or service inside their world, convincing your target market that they need it.

What the popular searches tell us is not to dwell to much on the features of your product or service, instead describe what effect they will have on the person reading your copy. People are mostly interested in people. Connect to that in-built drive and your message will be far better understood and accepted.

Describe the experience of using your product or service from the perspective of the buyer. Show them how it will improve their lifestyle. Include some comments from other people – also called ‘testimonials’.

Remember the world’s most popular radio station: WII-FM. That’s the call sign, their tagline is “What’s In It – For Me?”

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Are YOU Chasing Clients Away?

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Many self employed or those with a commission component in their salary are – perhaps unconsciously – chasing clients away. Are you one? You’ll know when you’ve read this article.

Some discourage clients by describing the benefits of working together in ways that make it sound like any benefits gained might be accidental! It’s true that results might vary from client to client, but don’t make the fact that you can’t guarantee the best results for every client the focus of your presentation.

Describe the best possible result, and then do your best to deliver. Let them know from the start that the client has responsibilities as well, and the better they perform them the better their results will be. You are an expert at what you do, and that means the bulk of the variation is in the client’s hands.

A lot of clients want to find out the price before discussing more than the briefest of details. When asked at this early point many coaches and sales people mumble and often deflect the conversation away from talking about money. The fact is: your client just asked you a question, and they must get a good answer or the game may well be over.

If you already know enough to give them a good quote then do so, with confident tone and posture. If you don’t yet know which of your services is most applicable then just say so: “I’d like to be able to tell you right now what the price would be, but I’m not yet sure which of our services would best suit you. May I ask for some details that will help us both find the right solution?”

You then perform your normal fact-finding to determine what they need, and then confirm the value of the solution, and then give them your quote.

Do you give others the opportunity to tell you about what they need? Meeting people at networking events, for example, is often mishandled. Unless the client leads the conversation this is not where you sell. It is where you establish a good connection, and permission to make contact from time to time.

You then make contact within 24 hours. Thank them for their time, and reinforce how interested you were in what they said and did, and in their business. Then ask them if they understood your services, and what you have to offer, and if they say “No” then offer to meet them to more fully explain. If they say “Yes” then offer to meet them to discuss how you may be able to help people they know.

Talking about helping others is less confronting than asking for a sales meeting, and the important thing is to make contact and arrange another one-on-one conversation. This is the time when you really start building your reputation, and good reputations lead to great sales.

Have you recognised any of your habits here? Or perhaps some of your employees? Well, now is your chance to change that, starting right now. (And we’d appreciate some feedback about what you changed and the effect that had)

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4 Parts to Your Image

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We all talk about our image in the eyes of our customers as though that was a single entity. In fact there are four parts to that image, and each part must be visible or your message will not be heard, and that can mean that your business will suffer.

An earlier post described the “know, like and trust” aspect of the image that you and your business needs to cultivate, and we’ve described the difference between ‘selling’ someone and establishing the conditions that encourage people to want to buy from you. The rest of this article is about another aspect of your business image.

We know that your perception is your reality, and that your customer’s perception becomes your businesses’ reality.

Regardless of whether you sell a product or service, you need to instruct your customers on what they need to do to maximise the benefit they receive from having used your product or service, and that means covering three different aspects, and an additional perspective that is missed at least 99% of the time.

The first aspect is that you must give your customers the detailed instructions that enable them to get the maximum benefit – how to best use your product or service. Tell them exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how. This is the easy bit, and it just requires you to transfer your knowledge to your customer.

imageThe second aspect is that you need to reinforce your marketing message in that you must inspire your customer that they have made a great decision. Tell them again about the benefits they are likely to receive as a result of their decision to buy from you, and how they can ensure that those benefits can be realised. For example give them some tips or shortcuts that will provide additional value. your goal is to make them really pleased that they bought from you rather than the guy down the street.

Then you must connect your product or service with your customer achieving their higher purpose. That doesn’t mean that all your customers want to save the world, but they will want to leave their children a legacy, and yes, some of them will want to leave the world a better place for having been here.

Throughout these posts you will find many tips that will make your work easier and more productive, all you have to do is follow the guidelines. That will improve your profits, and most likely reduce your effort – working ‘with’ your customers is more effective than trying to trap them into buying something.

Can you imagine what difference an additional 10% or 20% or more profit will make to your family’s lifestyle? That’s what you can achieve if you read and follow our posts. No, that’s not a marketing ‘spin’, that’s the result of 30+ years of study and hard work that I’m sharing, plus the 40+ years that the other contributors have shared.

If you have been paying attention you will have noticed that so far there have only been three aspects mentioned. Now its time for the last piece of the puzzle.

Remember I said that it is the hidden piece? Its hidden because your customer doesn’t see it, only you know it is there. Your customer is aware of the effect though. The hidden piece is your plan to make this all happen in the first place. Leaving your customer experience up to chance means that they may or may not enjoy the experience of dealing with your business. Having a fully worked out ‘Customer Care Experience’ plan and implementing it means that your customers are likely to want to come back.

All four aspects are important, though the last one is arguably the most important one of all. The problem is that 99% of businesses do not have a plan, and the opportunity for you is that 99% of businesses do not have a plan. Creating and implementing a Customer Care Experience that maximises the benefit your customers receive as a result of buying from you will create solid, long-term relationships with your target market, and that’s great for business!

Do you have an idea that you’d like to share? Just leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Customer Care Education and Training Implementation Planning

The Single Most Important Thing You Need To Know About Sales!

Whole libraries of books have been written about sales, add to that the number of video and audio training courses and the pile of information is quite big. Sadly virtually all of it misses the single most important factor! What do you think that might be? At least some of you will be surprised!

The vast bulk of the current documentation focuses on various techniques. Those SalesPresentationtechniques cover the opening statement (or question) which is typically some statement of the problem to establish that the salesperson knows and cares about the problem you have, then it will continue into the solution phase where the fix will be described (or elicited via more questions) and so on.

That’s all good stuff, but it misses the mark completely. By the time you have read this article you will know why.

Some pundits even suggest that there are different sales ‘personalities’. The point being that to make a sale you need to match your in-built sales model. The way I make a sale might not work for you, and vice versa, and yet both methods might be equally effective.

I think that’s good advice – find your own path, do not try to ‘be’ someone else, but it still only goes half way to the solution.

The real solution is that everybody has their own Buying Strategy. Different people buy for different reasons. To make a sale you need to resonate with the potential purchaser’s Buying Strategy.

There are four groups of motivators that result in four different strategies that different people use when about to buy.

One group is interested in how impressed their friends (and strangers) will be when they see the purchase. Maybe even envious! They are motivated to buy to be able to demonstrate that they are successful, financially secure and can afford the best. They are convinced by facts and data.

Another group is interested in how much fun they and their friends will have as a result of the purchase. They are somewhat spontaneous, and tend not to think about the purchase for too long, instead buying as soon as they can see the great times ahead.

The next group are more likely to buy if they can see how the purchase has a positive effect on their family. That it will add to the quiet good times they already experience. They will want to know the facts though not in as much detail as the first group, and they need to feel that the purchase is a good idea. (These guys can be the toughest to sell to because even if they have all the facts, and they indicate a benefit, they still may not buy!)

The last group is concerned about the effectiveness of the purchase, how ell it will work for them. They are straight-talking, will ask a question and expect a straight forward answer. They buy as soon as they figure out how useful the item will be to them, in their circumstances. That means you can’t talk them into buying, they must do it themselves!

Unless and until you present your case in the correct manner you will find sales a somewhat hit-and-miss affair. By that I mean that you might only sell to two or three out of every ten people you talk to. Yes, I know most companies think that’s a good rate.

What if I told you that when you present your offer in this way – so that it resonates with the purchaser’s buying strategy – your sales rate will double? That would make sense, you are now connecting to the buyer in a way that is natural to them, so of course your results will dramatically improve.

So the single most important factor influencing your sales is their Buying Strategy, and whether that matches your style. By the way – there are four Sales Styles that match the Buying Strategies and even knowing that can improve your sales. The best part is none of these strategies depend on ‘buying’ the sale, or competing on price.

Your percentage sales will increase and your profit per sale is also likely to improve! Don’t believe me? Ask me for proof.

What I want to know is how many of you would be interested in attending a webinar on this topic, and learn exactly what the different strategies are, how to identify them the moment the person steps into your store, and how to communicate your message to them in a way they understand? All without having to ask questions, or spend time observing them interact with others. (No, it isn’t NLP, though if you know NLP this is a far better method of establishing rapport than the NLP techniques though of course they can be used in conjunction with this method)

Everyone who has used this technique so far has achieved better than double their normal rate, with some even reaching over 80%! And the “Buyer’s Remorse” rate reduces!

Leave a comment or email me and if there are enough people interested I will organise a webinar to share the information.

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Procrastination–5 things you need to know.

Imagine trying to build the motivation to write about procrastination! I’m not really on a deadline, I could do this tomorrow… and I do have other things to do, more important things like tend to my social media sites and then there’s my email. There’s more to procrastination than meets the eye, and what follows is a list of things that you need to know. Are you a sufferer? Find out now.

LazyOxFirst, let’s agree that procrastination is not a good habit to have. It damages the likelihood of achieving any goal – pretty obviously, if you never quite take action then the goal can never be reached. So why would people do this to themselves? Remember that everything people do, they do because it makes sense to them at the time.

Procrastinators can be made, not born. People who grow up in a family where there is a very controlling influence never develop the habit of making their own decisions. Later in life they still don’t make decisions, and now since the controlling parent is no longer there to call the shots nothing happens.

They can also be self-made. People who procrastinate lie to themselves. “I’ll feel more like doing this later” or “I do my best work under pressure” are examples. There are times when these statements can be true – writing a report when the builders next door take a break seems like a better time to think than when the jack-hammers are pounding, and a little pressure can add a clearer focus to the proceedings. These kinds of thoughts only become procrastination when they appear even when there are no external stimuli.

There are three types:

  • Thrill seekers, who wait for the last minute to generate a euphoric rush
  • Those who avoid because of what others might think, or because of fear of failure (and fear of success)
  • A special case of avoidance where they avoid making a decision. Not having a decision means that no action is required.

Did you know that about 20% of people procrastinate? Procrastination is for them a lifestyle. Christmas or birthday shopping is left until the day before, bills are not paid on time and they arrive too late to buy tickets for events such as concerts. It isn’t a lifestyle that leads to a bright future, but they do so much of it that it is accurate to describe it as a lifestyle choice.

Procrastination isn’t a trivial problem. It can have a substantial effect on the sufferer and their immediate family and friends. The problem compounds because Western societies tend not to challenge people who procrastinate. “I’m too busy right now”, “There was a death in my family” and we normally just accept it, even when we don’t believe it. We just do the extra work, or figure out another way to get it done that doesn’t involve the procrastinator.

Studies at Universities have discovered that people who procrastinated suffered more colds and flu, more gastrointestinal problems and more insomnia than the general population. It also flows on to associates who must take the extra load – making decisions, motivating or forcing the sufferer to make a team deadline and that can lead to resentment on their part.

By the way, procrastination isn’t a time management problem. They are just as good at estimating the time that a task will take, and arranging a schedule to complete the necessary tasks in the right sequence. Research shows that they may be a little more optimistic than the general population, but not everyone who is optimistic procrastinates.

They also look for distractions, things that do not take a lot of commitment on their part. Checking email is an almost perfect example of this. It can be justified as an important task, absolves the reader from making any decisions since now they can simply react to what is in the email, and it really can be done later without measurable penalty. (I wonder of writing or reading articles counts?)

The good news is that it can be ‘cured’. It takes effort on the part of the patient, and the solution depends upon which type of procrastination they suffer from.

Finally – since procrastination is a self-regulation problem people who suffer tend to drink more alcohol than others. (I wonder of there might be a self perpetuating system here? More alcohol can mean less ability to make decisions, not making decisions is a symptom of procrastination, procrastinators have problems regulating behaviour.)

I think I’ll grab a glass of red and check my emails while I think about it. Or maybe I’ll think about it tomorrow, I’m far too busy today.

What do you think?

For more information refer to http://www.psychologytoday.com/. This article was based on information at http://www.psychologytoday.com/.

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