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HOW TO RETAIN HAPPY, LOYAL, PAYING CUSTOMERS.

CUSTOMERSERVICEWe are all consumers. We have our favorite restaurants, body shops, gyms, clothing and even grocery stores. We expect and quite frankly, demand a certain level of customer service. If we do not experience it, we walk go someone who will.

What baffles me is that as business people we expect a certain level of service, but are we providing that same, or even better level of service in our own businesses? Recent surveys suggest we are not.

BEST TIME TO MAKE THE CALL

making the callI have been asked many times: “Joe, when is it the best time to make a cold call?”

Dr. James Oldroyd, from the Kellog School of Management in studying over a million cold calls from approximately 50 companies came up with a few observations:

  • Thursdays are the best day to call.
  • Friday is the worst day to call.
  • Between 8 am and 9 am are the best followed by 4 pm to 5 pm.
  • The worst time to call is between 1 pm and 2 pm.

With all due respect to Dr. Oldroyd, I am going to have to disagree for the following reasons:

  • How many industries were the 50 companies in? Was there a good cross section from high end IT products, to manufacturing machinery as well as simple commodity retail products?
  • Is the best day and time to call dependent on industry-specific organizations or even the level of the person that you may be attempting to connect with? By the way, if you are trying to connect with the purchasing agent, you are wasting your time. Therefore, stop it!
  • Was there consistency as to the objective/outcome for making the call.

I would like to provide a concept of the best time and day to place a call. What opportunities are you uncovering by not making the call? Go ahead take a minute to think of the answer. Right, there are no bad times or days to make calls. However, there are really bad times and days for not making the calls.

This goes also for special times of the year. I would like to share a personal story. Back in my corporate life my team and I were selling construction marking and measuring systems and commodity items. The summer months were thought of as a dead time as everyone had already purchased everything they needed and were being productive at work and further, had no time to talk to us. Generally speaking, September was the next time that everyone got a big rush of orders to get the projects done before the weather closed it down.

Summertime is where my team and I put the pedal to the metal for a couple of reasons:

  • First, everyone always runs out of something and as long as you are front of mind they will always call you first.
  • Secondly, because you were there during the summer and planted all the seeds, who do you think they are calling in September for the big fill in last push order?

We did exactly the same thing over the Christmas holiday period. When it came time to start up again, who do you think they called? Also, a lot of companies have leftover budgets that they need to spend at the end of the year, but how many of us fall into the trap of: “There is no business over Christmas.” Decembers were some of my highest months throughout my career.

You will never know the right day or time for your industry unless you actually make the call. However, make sure you are ready to make the call. If you waste their time and have no objective or goal for the call, all you will do is annoy a potential client. Is that something you really want to do?

We invite you to join The Action Suite to make sure you are prepared as you can be to make the call that has to be made in order to turn that prospect into a happy, loyal and satisfied client.

By the way, the answer to the question asked at the beginning is always: “Right now.”

IS FAILURE AN OPTION?

failure‘Another day of monotony Has gotten me to the point, I’m like a snail I’ve got to formulate a plot ‘fore I end up in jail or shot Success is my only (explicit) option, failure’s not.’ ~ Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’

Is success really the only option?

Winston Churchill said: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

We give failure way too much power and credit. Once we fail at something we take it personally and it makes our self-esteem drop like a lead balloon. How are you defining failure? Merriam-Webster says that it is a ‘lack of success or falling short.’ However, it does not say that it is fatal and permanent. Therefore, why are you taking it as it is so?

CONSIDER ‘OVER THE TOP’ THINKING!

over the topSociety, in general, has a great deal of difficulty coming up with an appropriate reaction to ‘over the top’. Whereas in one circumstance, one group embraces opinions or plans of action, another group will completely disagree and fight to keep it out. These two groups generally belong to the same business.

The definition by Merriam Webster, states that ‘over the top’ includes: “going beyond what is expected, usual, normal or appropriate.” Excluding the last one, which again, is based on interpretation, is that not what every business strives for? To separate themselves from the norm.

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE RAIN

rainWhile spending my annual two-week vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we had a day where it rained (like it does every year on our vacation). Now, when it rains here we are not talking about a little shower but rather torrential downpours that make visibility a challenge.

As a reminder, I reside in Vancouver, British Columbia, the rain capital of Canada and there was a distinctive difference between how we handle being caught in the rain and how the people in this region handle it.

ARE YOU A ‘YESAHOLIC?’

yes“Hi. My name is Brian and I am a ‘yesaholic.” “Hi, Brian.”

What is a ‘yesaholic?’

These are the people that cannot say ‘no’ even though they know they should and continue to say ‘yes’ to any request and task asked of them. This is something that has become rampant in the business world. The reasons that I get from my clients is that if they do not say ‘yes’ they may lose an opportunity, they may lose a client and therefore business among a long list of other reasons including; disappointing others, making others angry and portraying that they are incapable or do not care about their careers.