Relationship Marketing: Skate Boarding Shop November 30, 2007Posted by David Dirks in Building Foot Traffic, Public Relations Strategies, Retailer Store Strategies, Sales Tactics.
Tags: contact management, managing a business, retail store, skate board shop
Good grief. I was at my local ski shop the other day, picking up our ski rentals for the season. Right next to the ski shop is a skate boarding shop. While waiting for a few things, I decided to walk over and take a look around the skate shop. I encountered the owner and we chatted a bit. I asked him how business was going and things like that.
Of course, it didn’t take too long for me to ask: do you collect any information on your customers when they come in to shop and buy products? Simple things like, name, address…and email? Let’s see, skateboard shop with twentysomethings and tweens who frequent the shop are into email and instant messaging, text messaging…it’s their way of life.
His answer: No, we do not collect information. And he said it as if, well, we hadn’t thought about that. Me: how about if you host a special event here at the shop…wouldn’t it be easy to email your customers about the event? How else would they find out about it? What if you started a free electronic newsletter and offered that to all who are willing to share their email address? Wouldn’t that be a great way to maintain contact and build a relationship? What if you had a special sale…just for those on your email list?
I could have went on and on with ideas to promote his business but I stopped. It was clear he wasn’t getting it. I did offer that you didn’t need to have some fancy PC database management software to collect customer data…how about a simple 3×5 card that has the name, address, phone, email of your customer? Just simply ask them at the point of sale. Most of the time they’ll say ‘yes’, of course. Especially if you tell them that they will receive a free newsletter on skateboard, ‘invitation-only’ events, special sales, etc.
I look a the expression on his face. He’s not buying it. I’m apparently not selling it well, either.
We grabbed our ski rentals and headed out the door. Of course, I’m thinking: here’s a guy with a store, hidden off the main street, that needs every bit of promotion and customer relationship building he can get…and he doesn’t see the need to start building a relationship by maintaining contact with people who might drop into his store. Small thinking. Too bad.
Achieving your goals November 15, 2007Posted by rickbron in Achieving goals, Bronder On People, Bronder on Vision, Uncategorized.
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Get what you want! The Big Dogz know how to get what they want. They set goals and achieve those goals at a much higher rate than others. How do they do it? Well, there are many models for setting and achieving goals, but most of them follow a basic set of steps to identify and accomplish goals. Here are those steps:
1. Make sure your goals are really your goals.
Focus on those goals that you want to achieve. Just because someone else is success at starting a new business does not mean that is the right goal for you. Many times we listen to our managers or co-workers and focus in on doing what they say is a good goal. The Big Dogz know this strategy can only lead to defeat.
2. Base your goals on principles that are important to you.
What are your values? What do you think makes a good person? What is important to you? These are some of the questions you might ask when determining your goals. If you feel that helping people is a virtue, then a goal around the concept of helping others would be a good fit for you. Begin your goal setting by identifying key (5-6) principles that you believe should guide your life. This process takes time and may need adjusting after you begin to execute your goals.
3. Set goals that you believe are possible for you.
It is just as frustrating to set goals that are too easy as it to set goals that are too difficult. This is not to say that you should not stretch yourself. The Big Dogz do this by thinking about what they can do, and then adding a little bit more. Goals that are challenging are exciting and achieving those goals is very rewarding.
4. Develop a metric to measure your progress.
A goal without a metric is a wish! A metric is quantative and date related. Having a goal to become rich is not an energizing goal. The definition of rich is relative and when will you become rich is also relative. Try quantifying the goal; I will have a $10 million net worth in 5 years is a much stronger goal.
5. Document your goals.
Physically writing your goals reinforces the commitment to those goals. Yes, I have goals and they are in my head is a common response. The Big Dogz know that the more you write your goals, the stronger the commitment you have to achieving them. Some successful people actually write their goals on index cards and carry those cards around with them.
6. Share your goals with people you respect.
Sharing your goals with others can be a very productive way to motivate yourself. A word of caution for the selection process; select only those people you respect and who return the respect for your goals. Beware of the “dream thieves” who will tell you that your goals are not attainable. Using others to discuss your goals is an effective way to get goal adjustment and to even get some specific tips on how to accomplish your goal. An excellent person to share your goals with is someone who has already accomplished what you want to accomplish.
7. Develop objectives and action plans to accomplish your goals.
For each of your goals, break it down into manageable pieces complete with specific actions that must be done. Make sure the objectives also have metrics. The Big Dogz know that by breaking goals into objectives and objectives into action plans, the goal accomplishment process becomes more fluid and the success rate is much higher. For each objective you set, establish a personal reward for achieving that objective.
8. Set up regular status meetings on your goals.
Use your calendar to set these meetings. Allow sufficient time for you to review your progress. Hold yourself accountable for progress. The Big Dogz are more ruthless with themselves than with others. Document your status in a written report. Use a format similar to most project status meetings:What have I accomplished?What problems am I experiencing and what am I doing to overcome them?What do I plan to accomplish before my next status meeting?
9. Re-evaluate your goals based upon your progress.
Your first action after your status meeting is to reward yourself for your accomplishments. Next, look at your progress relative to your metrics. If you are over achieving, then set your goal higher. If you are struggling, look at what you need to do to recover or perhaps you need to adjust your goal. Having unrealistic or unachievable goals is de-motivating and can spiral into defeat. The Big Dogz are constantly assessing their goals and when you do that, you will get a much better sense of your capabilities and will get more attainable goals. Now is the time to re-write your goals to reinforce your commitment to achieving them.
The above steps define a basic roadmap to setting goals. You may want to customize the goal setting process for yourself. If you are like most people, you are missing some of these steps in setting and reaching your goals. If you are one of the Big Dogz, you are going “Yeah, yeah, I do that!”
How Can I Increase My Account Sales? – 2 November 15, 2007Posted by David Dirks in Building trust, Keeping Your Customers, Managing Sales Accounts, Sales Strategy/Tactics, Uncategorized.
Tags: account management, account sales, customer service, sales strategies, Sales Tactics
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Increasing your revenues from existing or potential business accounts is key to long term profitability. One aspect that is often neglected is helping your clients solve their most pressing challenges. That starts by asking your client THE question:
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST PRESSING BUSINESS ISSUES/CHALLENGES?
I can guarantee that most business people, regardless of the size of their business, DO NOT ask this question of a prospective or current client.
“But I’m not an expert in what they do?” If that’s your first thought or reaction, then listen up. You may not be able to directly solve any or all their most pressing business issues. However, by asking the question and getting grounded on what’s keeping this customer up at night, gives you a insight as to how you can best service and support this customer.
But that’s not the only issue here. By demonstrating that you are really interested in their business and helping them succeed, you begin to build real trust. That’s the beginning of building a strong relationship.
No, you may not be able to DIRECTLY solve the problem(s) but you probably know someone or something that just might help. I don’t care if it’s not directly related to what you sell or services you provide. What I care about is that you take an genuine interest in their business. You get to know what makes it tick. And you get to know what makes it sick.
The follow-up to asking this question and carefully listening/noting the responses, is to make sure you make an effort to help. It might be someone you know who has the expertise they need. Two months from now, you may read an article that sheds light on one of your customers most pressing needs…and you can send that article to them…in person.
Wow. Imagine what a prospective customer or current account would think? They’d probably faint in finding someone who actually listened to them about what they need help with most in their business and was actually trying to do something about it.
Your competitors aren’t asking this question. You can bet on that. When was the last time some retailer or service provider ask YOU that question? And if they did, bet they didn’t follow up on it either. Only the best execute on this one.
There’s a lot more to this question than meets the eye.
Oh, and your sales…they just come.
How Can I Increase My Account Sales? – 1 November 7, 2007Posted by David Dirks in Managing Sales Accounts.
Tags: account management, account sales, contact management, sales, sales management, small business sales
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There is nothing more challenging that building a business. Many businesses are selling their services directly to other businesses or as it’s called, B2B sales. How would you like to go from selling $1,000 per month in goods/services to an account to $2,000 a month? It’s more than possible.
Some of the best of the Big Dogz have account management down to a science and for good reason. They’ve learned long ago that managing accounts of any size is absolutely critical to their sales and profitability success.
If your business depends on account sales, then you need to pay attention to the next several weeks of my blogs as we take this subject apart and help you to maximize your account sales.
There are several key questions you need to ask yourself and apply to EACH of your business accounts. In each of the next several blogs, we’ll take a look at one of those key questions.
How often do I need to contact my accounts?
In this day and age of speedy communications, there is no excuse for hearing these words from a business account customer: “I haven’t heard from them in a while”. This may sound basic but you’d be very surprised to know how many times I heard that in business conversations.
There are a couple of ways to avoid this situation:
1. Ask the key decision maker(s) at your accounts how often they would prefer having you check in with them. Go to the source. They’ll tell you and you can adjust according to their feedback and your actual experience with them over time.
2. Create a contact calender that allows you to organize you contact time for all your business accounts each month. This insures that you’ll not forget to call, visit, or send something to them each month. By being a bit more disciplined in this, over time it’ll become second nature and part of your business culture.
Too basic, right? Think again. Making sure there is consistent level of contact with business accounts is where, in my experience, most people fall off the cliff.