fbpx

Untangle the Red Tape

Posted by kevinh

In the last post, we talked about how to bring the big-company mindset into your business and your team.

This will help you overcome the mental obstacles that will keep you from being successful. Now, that you’ve learned how to overcome that, we’re going to talk about who your fish is. It’s important to know about the fish you are looking for before you put a plan together. We’re also going to take a moment to talk about the potential “red tape” you may encounter along the way.

The most important thing to know about your fish is their purchasing habits and procedures. There are four main things you need to work on in order to be successful:

1. Responsibilities: You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does the actual buying and who can kill a deal if they want.

2. Get on Their List: You need to know how to get on their list of people to buy from. Your name needs to not only be on the list but at the top of it and in as many categories as possible for the more interaction. Ask about a procurement program and what you need to do to go through the application process.

3. Lingo: You need to learn about the company’s unique language and communications methods. These could include report names, buzzwords and even the nicknames they have for their employees.

4. Fiscal Budgets: It’s essential you know the fishes fiscal budget, so you know exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year.

Now that we’ve talked a little about what you need to know about your fish, let’s a quick look at the “red tape”.

Bureaucracy might as well be a four-letter word with the emotions it stirs in all of us. “Red tape” is a necessary evil, but one you can use to learn from. There are two ways to learn from their system:

1. Analyze their activity.

2. Review their correspondence.

Being an outsider looking in can have its advantages too. If you hate dealing with the “red tape”, imagine how their employees feel dealing with it. If they need to crunch

some numbers, offer to do it. If they need more info, make sure you are giving it to them in a user-friendly way.

The things we talked about in this lesson will help you prepare for the big approach. If you need help with any of this, try our FREE test drive to find the right tools to get the job done.

Shhh… I Have a Secret

Posted by kevinh

Customer service is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business.

Consumers
have little patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long
lines, trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return
something or trying to communicate through a language barrier.
If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience they will revisit your
business over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know!
There are three secrets to good customer service, the first one we’re going to conquer is
knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you
need to have a clearly defined plan for your business and that includes customer
service.

There are three main goals you need to consider:

1.It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this
with advertised discounts, kiosks, your website and other technology-based
programs to help them shop.

2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff
has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers
need to feel like they are getting good value for their time and money.
Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their
shopping experience.

3. Change your mindset and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these
things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy
customers.

With these thoughts in mind, you also need to take a few things into consideration
when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place.

 Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff.
 Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
 Monitor the level of customer service your staff is putting out.
 Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
 Continuously focus on your goals.

Now, that you know what you want you can start thinking about how to meet those
wants and create a positive customer service experience.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools, resources and
coaches in our FREE test drive can help you define the wants and needs of your
company in relation to customer service.

Kick Start Your Marketing

Posted by kevinh

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
  2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant

Here’s another one I love from an icon:

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way. The tools offered in our FREE test drive offer these very same things.