Please Put Laser Beams In My Eyes

Said no one…..ever.

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Too often in sales and marketing, we are selling our product with absolutely no thought towards why our customer would want it.

I can promise you it is never the same reason that we want to sell it.

The secret to being the best is learning to fill the need of your customer. What is THEIR motivation to buy?

Not yours.

This pertains to anyone selling anything.

For example, if you or your client does lasik surgery, it is a safe bet that not one person EVER said, “I wish someone would put a laser in my eyes.”

But, if you find the REAL reason the consumer would come in, you are on to something. Like, if you ever walked in from the cold into a warm room and your glasses fogged up, you know how annoying that is. You might want to check out lasik. No more foggy lenses.

How about the dropped contact? You ever done that. Lasik will fix that.

You are working out and your glasses keep slipping off your nose. Lasik will fix that.

The consumer can relate. You are solving THEIR problem.

No matter what you sell and who you sell it to. Talk to them about what THEY care about.

Spelling Lesson

“Contrary to popular belief, there most certainly is an ‘I’ in “team.” It is the same ‘I’ that spellingappears three times in ‘responsibility.'” Amber Harding

I like to take it another step and say PERSONAL responsibility to the team.

Most people just don’t realize that every action that take effects others around them either positively or negatively. Rarely is there a neutral effect.

When you are a member of a team, you are expected to do AT LEAST your part. Even the littlest things can have a much greater impact on the big picture. (Also called , “The Butterfly Effect”)

Heck with butterflies, it’s my blog, I like sports metaphors and it is the NFL Playoff season, so here is another one.

As an offensive lineman, you miss a block on a play because you were a little tired from the play before. Your assigned player gets past you and hits your Quarterback causing him to fumble the ball, get picked up and returned by the defense for the game winning touchdown. Your team has now lost the game and a chance to move on, go to the next game and possibly a shot at winning the Super Bowl. That loss also cost your city another game and millions in dollars of revenue. Food, hotels, merchandise, etc.

All because you  didn’t do your part for one play.

Oh, did I mention that your MVP Quarterback was injured on the hit and may not play next year? How many people will that impact?

Maybe I resort to overstatement, but sometimes it is needed to make a point.

Whether it is your professional or personal life, you are part of a team and your every action counts. It is meaningful. Make it count for the positive.

Everyday, every play.

It is your responsibility to the team in your life.

 

Be A Difference Maker

It can be you.Image

Anyone that knows me very well, knows that I am a life long Denver Broncos fan.

It is no accident that the Broncos have just clinched the number one seed in their conference for the second year in a row. (this means that they have the best overall record)

Coincidentally, they signed a difference maker two years ago.

His name is Peyton Manning. He plays Quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

This year, after four neck surgeries and in his 16th year in the league, he broke NFL records that included but are not limited to : Most passing touchdowns, Most passing yards, Most passing touchdowns in a game and the offense scored the most points EVER in a single season.

Love him or hate him, he is a difference maker. Of course, he doesn’t win on his own. His attitude, preparation, attention to detail, passion and drive to win DOES make everyone around him better. Peyton Manning gives or accepts no excuses from himself or his teammates.

YOU may not be Peyton Manning, but you CAN be a difference maker at work, at home or anything that you are involved in.

Don’t stand on the sidelines and watch life go by. Step up. Take charge. Make a difference. Lead by example.

What is one thing that YOU can do TODAY as a step towards that goal? Comment on this post if YOU will be a difference maker in 2014!

Readin’, Writin’ & Smart Resolutions

Start the year off with the 3R’sresolutions

You have all heard the old saying about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions. If not, now you have.

When you lay out your resolutions each year, you don’t INTEND on breaking them a few hours later. Did you put yourself in a position to succeed? It is simple to increase your chances of success.

Write them Down.

Put them where you AND others can read them. Everyday.  Mine are posted in my office, in my car, gym locker and by my bed. I will share them with anyone that asks.

Make them SMART. Smart is an acronym to insure good goal setting

S – Specific

You can’t say “I want to lose weight”, you need to set a solid goal, “I want to lose 10 pounds”

M – Measurable

Weight loss is measurable, but “I want to get in shape” is not. I want to be able to run a 5k without stopping is also specific.

A – Attainable

“I want to have more hair”, probably won’t happen, unless it’s white ear hair. You can’t set a goal to be taller. Make sure that your goals are within reason.

R – Relevant

Is there a reason behind it? Does it matter? To you or anyone else? If not, why bother?

T – Time Bound

Have an end time or progress check. “I want to lose 10 pounds” doesn’t fly unless you set a time for it to be accomplished. “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next three months”

Just to prove that I am not a total hypocrite, here are my Resolutions / Goals for 2014. I have specific tactics to help me attain each, but these are just the goals themselves.

1. Weigh 190 pounds by March 31st

2. Run a 5k in under 30 minutes by Thanksgiving

3. Win World Champion in Taekwondo in 2014

4. Earn my 2nd Degree Blackbelt in 2014

5. WORK – Hit Billing Goals every quarter

6. WORK – Win President’s Cup in 2014

7. Write a blog post AT LEAST 4 days per week

I may ask you to help me with one or all of these throughout the year! Thanks in advance for your help! Feel free to post your resolutions here.

Writing Your Own Prescriptions

doctorSo, you walk into the Dr’s office and tell him that you need Amoxicillin. No, I don’t want an exam. Don’t ask me questions about my symptoms or condition, I just want the prescription. I am the patient. I know best. I am paying you….now, write the prescription, Doc.

Sound silly? Sure it does. According to drugs.com, Amoxicillin is prescribed for the following conditions :

It is probably important to know which one of these, IF ANY, that you may have. Depending on which one of these you have, the treatment can be VASTLY different. So, of course, you wouldn’t TELL the Doctor what to prescribe. You will answer his questions. You will then listen to his diagnosis and follow his treatment plan. Why? Because, he is the Doctor and you want to get better. He knows about doctoring. He is the expert.

Unfortunately, when it comes to advertising, most business owners try to write their own prescriptions from inside the pill bottle. They insist on running ads that answer questions no one is even asking (thanks Roy H Williams, http://www.wizardofads.com). They try to sell products and services that no one wants. Advertising does not create demand for something that no one wants.

Business owners and managers are uniquely unqualified to write their own prescriptions for their advertising. Let the experts help create a strategy to accomplish your realistic goals and objectives. Just make sure those goals are in line with what the end consumer also wants!

Remember to finish all of your prescriptions. Don’t stop after 4 days of a 10 day prescription. When you start an advertising campaign, see it through.

If this all gives you a headache, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

But, I Paid My Bill!

I got three voice mails yesterday afternoon from the same 1-800 number. bad-customer-service-511

I finally listened and it was “An urgent message from my internet / cable provider”. The kind you get when they are about to shut your services off.

I paid my bill. I always pay it from my online bill pay on the 15th.

At least I thought I did. Didn’t I?

I rushed to the computer, logged on and sure enough, there it was. It cleared the bank on the 19th of November.

Whew! I guess I had better call and find out what’s up.

After navigating the phone tree, the automated attendant politely let me know that my last payment was received on October 19th and my services were set to be disconnected at Midnight. There will be a re-connection fee as a little bonus!

I pushed a button to get a live person and had to go through all of the verification stuff again. All to be treated like a criminal. Even after explaining the situation. The customer service representative all but called me a liar when I explained that I paid with online bill pay like I had for the past two years. I explained to her that I was looking at the cleared payment online.

I quote, “Sir, my system doesn’t show that you made a payment, so there is nothing that I can do. Maybe you didn’t send it to Knology.” (I will refrain from sharing my response. Suffice to say, she went to talk to a supervisor.)

I was on hold for ten more minutes.

Upon returning to the phone, I was informed that I must have sent the payment to the OLD location in Atlanta. Payments from Kansas need to go to North Carolina now. We put a note in your October billing. “Do you not read your bill, sir?”

“Uh, no, I pay online. You also have my email address. Did you try that?”

Anyway, we went around in circles. No resolution. Then it got better.

I was told that in order to rectify the situation, I needed to contact my bank and have them fax proof to Atlanta that I made my payment.

Now, if it is the same company, why can’t they just call Atlanta and handle it for me? I was told:

“Sir, that is YOUR responsibility, not ours. YOU sent the payment to the wrong place.”

By now, I am thirty minutes into the call. Steaming mad. I asked to TALK to the supervisor.

Waste of time. No better. He just promised that my cable would not be shut off if the bill was taken care of in the next 5 days. How nice is that?

I understand that things happen, but they could have used this opportunity to create a happy customer by taking care of it, offering some alternative solutions or at the very least, showing some understanding and empathy instead of acting like I was a deadbeat.

I have to go. I need to search for a new source for internet and cable. Someone else will be getting my $200 plus every month!

Please remember that customers are the lifeline of any business. Make them feel special.

The Road Twists And Turns

If you have followed my blog, you know that I have written about the “Road To The Customer”. I have used many analogies of a road trip as it relates to a business and its’ customers.

With all of my road analogies, I never really addressed what happens when you reach a fork in the road. One that you just can’t find on the map. One that your planning did not account for.

You have two options. Turn around and go back or make the best possible decision and keep driving forward. Whether it is business or life, we can never plan for what happens next. Life and business are both full of “detours”.

When you reach one of these critical junctures, here is my suggestion on handling it.

1. Be calm.

2. Pull over and gather the facts about the situation.

3. Choose your new direction.

4. Don’t look back. Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror.

5. Fully expect another detour. They will happen.

Pretty simple stuff, but often overlooked. Have a great week and see you down the road.