Pinnacleceo's Take

Experiences put to paper…

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Take the Challenge: One Week of “One More”…Read On if You Dare!

The number one has a lot of different meanings. It is priceless in sports; it designates no one better, world champion! One more point, one more run, one more defensive stop can mean the difference in winning and losing;one less stroke in golf can mean the difference in millions of dollars in winnings…just ONE! So as you can see, one can be a very BIG thing.

In monetary value one dollar does not mean much in itself but when added to hundreds or thousands of other “ones” it can begin to add up! When you think about just one to anything initially it may seem very small, but in many circumstances and situations when it comes to adding to the bottom line of your business or practice, just one more can be substantial or even career changing…interested in knowing more?

I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many salespeople over the last 28 years and I had the opportunity to work with an agent who could tell me down to the penny what his activity was worth. So much so that he could attest that every time he picked up the phone to make a prospecting call it was worth $27.32 in his pocket. He derived this from taking his average commission on a sale, number of sales per week, number of appointments it took to make a sale and the number of phone calls to make an appointment. As you can see, one additional phone call at a time can really add up! If you have never done this calculation, please do so. It can be very enlightening. Back to the point…I also met a sales person who averaged $1500.00 on every sale she made. So think how much just one more sale a week or month would mean for her!

When you know your score, you can quickly see how just one more on a consistent basis can really bring career changing impact to your practice. So now that I have laid the groundwork, here is my challenge to us all.

The day after reading this article, I want you to focus on the concept of one more, for a full work week with emphasis on the following:
One more prospecting contact: However you approach folks, either by phone, in-person, email, pre-approach letter, whatever, when you feel you are through …you got it, contact one more.
One more appointment set: When your call list is clear and your appointments are set based upon your goal, set just one more.
One replaced appointment on a cancellation: If an appointment cancels unexpectedly, don’t call it a day until you get just one more to replace it.
One more ask for a referral for the week: Ask just one more time for a favorable introduction!
One more service call to check on a client: It may be buying time again!
One more of anything else you normally do: In case I missed anything, do one more of whatever it is you normally do during your business development work week. No exclusions allowed!
I am not suggesting the moon here, just simply adding or obtaining one more…that’s it. I am confident we can do. I’m committed to it…so are you in?

After completing this week of “one more” please comment back your results. I would welcome the feedback. I truly believe the concept of one more can put us on a path to reaching exponential growth.

Best wishes for your success!

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Me First! Then Be First! Six Proactive Steps That Keep’em Coming Back!

I talk a lot about putting customers first and making them feel like number one; but, if we want to create a “me first” mentality in the minds of our customers, the reasons that keep customers coming back time and time again, there are some things that we must be first in. Here are six things to strive for to keep you ranked at the top.

1. Greet first. Nothing is more disturbing than to walk into an establishment and have absolutely no one acknowledge your existence. Or perhaps worse, to have someone acknowledge your presence, yet do nothing about it. I walked into a financial institution once and the person at the front desk saw me coming and made no effort whatsoever to smile or speak to me. I walked all the way up to her and had to start the conversation with “excuse me, but”. This is totally unacceptable! On the other hand nothing is more pleasing than walking into an establishment and someone on purpose meets me, and energetically says “hello and welcome, how may I help you?” They even stand up first! Wow!

I challenge you that if you really want to be viewed as the number one choice in your industry, you need to make it a habit of greeting customers first. This clearly shows them you are expecting them and are ready to make this an unforgettable experience. Greet first!

2. Names first. If a new customer approaches, after your proactive greeting, introduce yourself first, or if they are a returning customer, say their name first and welcome them back. Names are critical to the personal approach. Each time a name is used effectively it clearly demonstrates this is no cookie-cutter experience, rather a personal one. Names first!

3. Deliver first. If you need to introduce a customer to another service provider in your organization, the personal hand-off is critical. Deliver first says “I’ll show you the way” vs. “you need to go that way”. Again personal experience took me to a place where the greeter informed me that the person I needed to see was “that way” and simply pointed south! Too vague for my taste. The personal delivery that is called for here is a personal hand-off and introduction to the service provider. Deliver first!

4. Thank you first. Don’t let a customer or client leave your presence without you thanking them for coming in or choosing you. Your thank you should be the last thing encountered with you. The exit should be as memorable as the entrance. No further elaboration needed. Thank you first!

5. Follow up first. Here is something that really demands personal attention and time. After completing a transaction, be it a new sale or a service request, be first to follow up to make sure all is well. If you are in an industry that requires you stay in constant contact with clients for things like annual reviews, be first to contact them to set it up. Don’t wait for a call from a concerned client wondering where you are? Ouch. Did that hurt? I hope so; it did me too, until I chose otherwise! Follow up first!

6. Responsible first. Finally and perhaps the most difficult thing to be first in is taking responsibility. I’m talking about for everything; your attitude, your results, your decision making your choices, everything. Do not blame circumstances or obstacles. Everybody has them. I don’t know any one person that does not have issues to deal with. There will be times when you make mistakes. Take responsibility for them, correct them and move on. The toughest words anyone can say but at the same time can produce the greatest benefits are “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong”.

On the same note, however, be proud of your successes and let them catapult you to new heights. Give yourself a pat on the back once in a while. Give credit where credit is due. Responsible first!

So there you have it. Six things I hope you strive to be first in. I believe if you choose to stay number one in these areas, those you serve will always have you at the top of their list and your trophy case will never be big enough!

What You’re Really Saying Is…Culture Speak-Your Personal Business Language!

Your company, your people, your approach to business has a language all its own. It comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. Often times it is conveyed without speaking a word. This concept has been proven to be one of the most powerful and influential components to every successful business and has also been verified to be the driving factor for long term, sustained success! Care to know what I’m referring to? It is your culture- speak.

Your culture-speak is composed of the actions, the processes, the motivations that you perform on auto pilot across the board. They are the habits you develop with everyone and everywhere you do business. They are the things remembered most about the encounter with you. Culture-speak begins at the greeting and ends at goodbye. Culture -speak is also specific key words and phrases that identify your organization with those you serve. Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising to promote a catchy slogan to help you think of them when the time comes to decide whom you will choose. Here are a few examples. “Just do it” -Nike; “What’s in your wallet?” -Capital One; How about this one…”when you care enough to send the very best” -Hallmark Greeting Cards. Not only do these phrases identify these companies, they distinguish them from the others! So let me summarize culture speak before we move on. Ready?

Culture-speak is the actions, processes, motivations, phrases and key words that are habitually performed throughout an organization that identifies and distinguishes them with those they serve. Your culture-speak is a powerful weapon!

So let me get right to it. What does your culture-speak look and feel like? Will I be able to distinguish a clear, noticeable difference in choosing you the first minute you greet me? Are there specific things in the encounter with you that you habitually perform? Here is an example. I know a dry cleaning establishment in my town that delivers your clothes to your car. You have to tell them if you wish to carry them yourself…the staff automatically (it’s a habit) takes your clothes off the rack and heads to your vehicle. I know exactly what is going to happen when I walk in the door. Culture-speak!

Are there specific ways you automatically greet customers when they walk in your door? I’m reminded of the sit-com Cheers when Norm walked in, everybody shouted his name “Norm!!! ” What a great welcome. Even the theme song to the show expressed it best, “you want to go where everybody knows your name”. Now I am not proposing you scream the name of every person who walks in but I am proposing a proactive greet first approach!

Are there specific statements or phrases that you say automatically that distinguishes you? There is one fast food establishment I go to at least four times a week and no matter the time of day, who waits on me or the location I choose, when I thank them for anything they all automatically say “my pleasure” and more importantly than the words…they really mean it! I actually tried to get them not to say it and failed miserably. It is part of who they are and just one of the reasons they are so successful.
Finally, even more so than the “what” to your culture speak, is the why. Why do you choose to do what you are doing? What is your motivation? Culture by definition is the pattern and activity behind the behavior- not what you do, but why! Your culture- speak will have a greater negative impact than a positive one if your language is expressed out of duty rather than desire! When you perform any activity, or say anything, do so with a sense of energy and enthusiasm. It should be everyone’s desire to make each and every encounter with you as pleasantly memorable as possible so they will tell others and keep coming back- Your culture-speak can’t be defined any better than this!

So as I close, my challenge to you is to take a good, hard look at your culture-speak. See what, how and why you do on auto pilot because whether you want to admit it or not, when it comes to the language of our approach to business, we all speak and demonstrate our very own.

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