(I knew that would grab your attention. No need for a double take, that's Steve Martin. I found this photo in the New York Times book review section. The photo credit goes to Sandee O.)
What does it mean to be a Renaissance Man?
After some intense thought and brief research, I found that a Renaissance Man is thought to be a man or a woman of many accomplishents. The success of these accomplishments is in part due to the Renaissance Man's proficient knowledge in a wide range of fields.
Where am I going with this?
I came across Steve Martins' Born Standing Up earlier this year and it really got me thinking about processes. This book is an autobiography, but reads like a biography because it's a step-by-step take, by Steve Martin, on how he accomplished his success.
In business terms, Born Standing Up is about the process. It's healthy to ID what customers need and then give it to them, but having a process in place on how to accomplish giving the customer what they need is stellar. Do you know your process?
Beth Schneider over at Process Prodigy has nailed the topic and has created a business based on processes. It is my understanding that in order to be successful in your deliverables for the customer, you have to have a process (system) in place to be sure it happens the way it's supposed to happen, every time.
What's your process for keeping your customers?
Send me a comment, I'd like to know. And if you've read the book, what are your thoughts about it?
Have you ever stopped to wonder about that? When you meet with a prospect at the local coffee shop, that eventually turns into business...what's the dollar value of that cup of Joe?
Before I go there, I must say that getting to that cup of coffee has a lot to do with what you said yesterday, last week or last month that even got you the meeting. What you used as your pitch plays a HUGE role in how you plan to keep the pipeline full of prospects/business. The key to keeping that script fresh in your mind is to rehearse it as often as possible. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Look beyond the $4.85 Vanilla Latte...how many of those Lattes led to a new account? It's all in how you look at it. In fact, if you stopped reading this blog and went to your local coffee shop right now, you'll most likely see business happening all over the place. Those conversations you'll witness are far more than coffee.
Having a perfect elevator pitch isn't about big words and confusing jargon, it's about truly understanding your target market and having the ability to tug at their core emotions in 30 seconds or less whenever you're asked the coveted, sometimes dreadful, "What do you do?"
I found a useful tool to help hone in on my elevator pitch. Practicing what you're going to say allows you to break away from the unneccesary information and get to the point of the message.
If your coffee talks are down, maybe it's time to take a look and a listen. Grab a buddy, pitch and ask for feedback. Your pitch is your ticket to getting more time over coffee and in turn, greatly affecting your sales goal.
Gaining an international presence in your industry is a process that doesn't have to be long and drawn out. It just takes some proper planning and stamina. I'm hoping that my thoughts will give your company the boost it needs to get out there...in a major way. Here's a picture of me [BELOW] presenting to a team in
In this game, there really are no rules, you make the rules. The tips that I'm sharing with you are the rules that we've [Bizucate] established to help us win this game of playing in international markets. Here are my other tips: 1.GET OUT...visit your chosen country and see what it's about 2. Make yourself aware of the economic markets and conditions of that country as part of your Going Global research
3. Decide why you want to go global (as part of your number 3 below). Is it to see something in another country, have something produced/developed there) or both? It will drive your research efforts
These tips are a great way to realize the culture and really measure whether your selected country would benefit from doing business with you. This gives your company an edge and a true understanding of what you're getting into. Again, you want your motives for doing business in the selected country to be crystal clear so when asked, you will be able to communicate the company's objective(s).
The next BIG question is how long should it take before your company is actually delivering its product or service? That time is up to you and your team. Like anything, you want to craft your plan, talk to as many companies or contacts who are already global, and take measurable action. To keep the idea of going global exciting, check out the blogosphere. I've recently discovered this blog doingbizabroad and international business is the primary topic.
Do you have any ideas about going global or other great blogs focusing on this topic? Leave me a comment.
Until then, create your plan and stay focused on the vision.
I’ve been spending most of my holiday with family and friends and overall, the experience has been refreshing.
On New Year’s Eve day, I decided to eat breakfast at a local restaurant. The experience left me thinking, ‘Where has good customer service gone?’ After being seated by the host, I decided another available location in a booth was more preferable than the table I was initially given. I asked if I could move and was surprised to hear the host say, “That’s another section, I’m not sure, let me go check.”
I didn’t need to hear the turmoil of the host not knowing and that being another section. I was expecting something like, I’m sorry that’s reserved or “Oh sure, sir, go right ahead!” Whatever happened to that?
This leads me to this post today. They say in life you should never waste an experience. Always use what you’re going through for the greater good of someone else. So I guess it’s safe to say that my turmoil is for your good.
What does it cost to retain customers vs. acquiring new ones?
According to authors Emmett C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy’s Leading on the Edge of Chaos, acquiring new customers can cost five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers, a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by10%, the average company loses 10% of its customers each year, a 5% reduction in customer defection rate can increase profits by 25-125%, depending on the industry and the customer profitability rate tends to increase over the life of a retained customer.
There you have it! That’s it in a nutshell. What are we doing to keep our current customers happy? It’s a matter of sales and excellent customer service. Many times the sales team is there to close the deal, then the customer is passed on to a formal customer relations program to ensure that the customer’s overall experience is managed. This is all good. In fact, I highly recommend having systems in place for retaining the customer. That’s ‘getting it’ when it comes to the profitability and success of your department or business.
I’ve been a customer of L.L.Bean for years and my experience has always been excellent. They go out of their way to accommodate my needs and they guarantee their products. Sure, I bet they get new customers logging on or entering their stores everyday to make a purchase, but they understand the value of paying attention to the customers they already have, and how profitable customer retention is to their bottom line. That’s being better than good.
The New Year is here...2008 is upon us, how are you planning to be better than good to your customer? Leave me a comment, I’m open to how we can maximize the lost art of “good customer service.” At Bizucate, we plan on making that a focus of ours for the new year.
It's September 4, 2007 and I'm returning from A Proper Holiday to Alaska and I wanted to share two important lessons as I reintroduce myself to the life I live here in the east.
Before I left I was having problems with my PowerMac G5 tower. It was dropped off at Apple and I went yesterday to pick it up because it had been "fixed." I headed to the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, PA and went into the store. I was happy to hear my Mac was fixed but alas they said the hard drive was fried and they could not transfer the data. When I inquired about the old drive, the Apple expert said he needs to send it back to Apple. I had lost data before and there's a company on the west coast called DriveSavers that "saves the data from the stars." Well the information on the mac contained family photos, my music, customer sample files and some test files over years of gatherin' up files used in different training sessions and classes I've taught. Of course I didn't have a back up. (I do on this laptop and my other PC with the Raid Level-1.) Drive Savers can charge between $1500-$3000 (they charge by the amount of data recovered) or more to recover data and they do a good job! I had them recover data from a laptop before. But it's expensive and you can't pick what data to save and what to let go. Since they wouldn't sell me the old drive so I had them put it back in (it cost me $90 for diagnostics and labor) so I could recover data later. I'll buy two drives at a later date, format them and then turn them into a Raid for my Mac.
I headed out of the mall and back to my car in the parking lot, I wasn't gone for more than 50 minutes and I found my drivers side window smashed and my Garmin Zumo 550...gone. That GPS got me from Philadelphia to Alaska and back throughout the month of August. It was so good to me and in minutes it was gone...just like my data.
My life and business lesson to all of you... 1. Back up your data and 2. Put your valuables out of plain sight. If I had only put the GPS under the mat like I usually do...it probably would not have happened. If only I backed up my data the hassle would not be so great, nor as costly.
Consider these lessons and think about how lost data and lost valuables rob us of not only our data and money, but of the most valuable thing that can never be replaced...time.
Let me know some of your life lessons. I'd love to hear.