Confucius said: “Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Why is that?
There are many times during a session of The Action Suite I get: “Joe, it can’t be that simple.” to which I reply: “Yes, it truly is.”
There are so many out there in the area of sales that are expounding all sorts of techniques and tricks as well as manipulative ways to get to the bottom of what the prospect may be thinking or feeling. Here is a thought; ask.
I was reminded in the book by Michael LeBoeuf, Ph.D.; “How to Win Customers & Keep Them For Life.” of a management course that I took many years ago and a fable with a very important lesson for all of us.
The fable was; ‘The Snake and Fisherman.’ There existed this old fisherman that would go out every day by himself in his small boat. One day, he looked over the side and spotted a snake swimming by with a frog in its mouth. Feeling sorry for the frog, he bent over and removed it from the snake’s mouth and set it free. However, he then started to feel bad for the snake as it would now grow hungry. He looked around his small boat but had no food. All he had was a bottle of brandy. He opened the bottle and gave the snake three shots. The snake happily swam away and everything was good. About an hour later the fisherman heard this insisting banging on his boat and when he peered over the side, there was the snake, but this time it had two frogs in its mouth.
We 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.
Isn’t technology grand? Yes, it is. Unless, if by using it you are getting ignored.
One of the most used tactics today in using technology is, using emails as a way of performing ‘cold calls’. Hands up of those of us who actually enjoy getting these emails? Okay, then what makes you think anyone would like to receive these emails from you?
The fundamental rule of business is to retain customers. It has also been proven by numerous studies it cost five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.
These studies go on to show only 18% of companies actually work on client retention.
There are many factors, other than the economical one already mentioned as to why you may want to switch your focus more into the retention side rather than the acquiring effort.
Last week I was fishing off Port Renfrew located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island North of Victoria. It occurred to me while out on the boat, very early in the morning, the metaphor that is used many times in business; ‘fishing for clients.’ This analogy may bring some clarity about why you may not be ‘hocking’ the clients that you may be going after.