Please Put Laser Beams In My Eyes

Said no one…..ever.

Image

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.

Lion Or Goldfish

You can be either. Image

In business and life, it is up to you. 

You see, it is simple, a lion hunts for it’s food. A lion doesn’t sit in the den and wait for the next meal to come to it. A lion gets out and finds the food. 

A goldfish on the other hand, swims around the bowl waiting for someone to drop in the tropical flakes. If the goldfish doesn’t get fed, it starves. 

Are you swimming around in your bowl or sitting at your desk waiting for things to happen like a goldfish or are you scouring the Serengeti, hunting your next meal?

Be honest.

Flap your fins or roar.

Your choice.  

No Genie Lamps

Goals without execution are just wishes….

.Image…..and I have yet to see a genie lamp that works.

You have your goals / resolutions for the new year.

That’s the easy part.

Today, the rubber meets the road.

You need to take your first step(s) towards them.

Without taking those steps, your goals just become wishes. Wishes that will be unfulfilled this time next year, unless you become your master and genie and make things happen.

Face it, there are no genie lamps with three wishes.

Whatever it is, if you want it, work for it.

Every day.

It will be hard.

You will suffer setbacks.

Stick with it and….

POOF!

You will accomplish your goals and grant your own wishes.

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.

Reading This Will Make You Taller And Smarter

Ok, not really. But it did get your attention. 

One of my biggest pet peeves in life and advertising is the lack of honesty. (Just ask my kids)

You see it everywhere. People bend, twist,shape and alter the truth to fit their needs, cover up mistakes or just to hide deficiencies. The lack of honesty or not being real can come in many forms. Sometimes, people will change the facts to keep from hurting or upsetting someone. That usually backfires in the long run.

Own the truth in everything that you do.  No matter how hard.

This applies to advertising and marketing as well. Be who you are. Be it proudly. Don’t use your marketing to make you or your business something you are not. People will figure it out and not only will you be uncovered, you will be labeled a fraud.

For example, if you have slightly higher prices than your competitor, that’s ok. Build value as to WHY you may be slightly higher. If your parking sucks, point it out. Explain why it is worth the trouble to find a parking spot. Figure out who you are. Who your business is. What you want to be know for and be it proudly.

Don’t misrepresent. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. People will respect this refreshing approach.

No, this post didn’t make you taller. Hopefully, it did make you just a bit smarter about the importance of being honest and real.

See you down the road.

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.