Monday, 30 April 2012

What Are Your Team Doing?

Last week I had an unannounced visitor. I was working in my home office and there was a timid knock at the door. So timid I was not even sure it was a knock. When I got to the door there was Malcolm*.

Malcolm was walking the street for a company and giving away "Stand By Power" boards as part of a government initiative. So his company would get paid by the government for the 1 per household board they installed. Anything else they sold was theirs.

It was obvious to me that Malcolm was massively undertrained. It seemed like his company just scooped up uni students who needed cash and said. "Walk the streets, give these away and fill out the paperwork."

With the right recruitment and the right training, Malcolm could have done these things too:

  • Engaged with me so I cared about what he was selling
  • Questioned me about other rooms in the house that may have needed another board
  • Offered an energy audit to be done at a mutually agreeable time
  • Offered LED globes (Malcolm would have seen at least 9 globes that could have been replaced with them at my place)
  • Asked me if I have family or friends in the area who may be interested so he could get a warm referral
These things may have added five minutes to the time with me but over the course of a day, it would add hundreds to his sales figure.

So what are your team doing? Do they have the training to do their job correctly? Are you checking that they are following the training? What about you, do you have the training you need? 

If not, take the action and get it.

* Names have been changed to protect the innocent

PS If you Exhibit, there is a 2 hour training session on tonight in Mulgrave on how to Exhibit Like A Pro. Details are here 

What Does Great Service Cost?

What Does Great Service Cost?
When it comes to Customer Service, I don't need Outstanding Service, I don't need Great Service, I would settle for Good service!
As you know from last week, it was my birthday on Thursday (by the way, thanks for all the birthday wishes!) Wifey took me to Number 8, an upmarket restaurant in the Crown casino complex. It had great reviews and seemed suitable for a posh night of celebration. It's not cheap (about $50 for a steak) but I am happy to pay for "an experience".

The summary is that the food was good (presentation was a bit ordinary) but the service was atrocious for what I expected from such a high quality establishment.

Simple things like:

  • They were advised this booking was for my birthday, but made no reference to it
  • The waiter did not engage with us at all - merely asked if we had finished when he took plates
  • The waiter offered to get another drink when we had 2/3 of a glass (when we didn't need it) and did not offer when it was empty
  • We waited so long to give our dessert order that we left and bought ice cream as we walked along the Yarra River
Notice how these things are incredibly minor? As I said, customers do not expect a great deal. Get the basics right and they will be impressed. All they had to do was listen to what we said, and be observant for our needs.

What about in your business? Do you listen to what your customer wants? Are you observant to what you think they will need next? It could be an internal customer (you know, your colleagues) or an external one. Great Service does not cost much extra effort to provide but it pays off big time. Can you afford not to provide great service?

PS For more tips on Great Service when Exhibiting, check out our 2 hr, $29 Exhibit Like a Pro session on next Monday in Melbourne.

Don't get me wrong. I get that this situation is a real "First World Problem". Can't get good service for my $50 steak - really! The idea is what small thing can you do to improve your service?

Image: Flikr TinyApartmentCrafts - This image is a vegetarian friendly steak. I didn't want to upset anyone!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Happy Birthday

I like birthdays. I figure every year that I have one is a good year and to be quite honest, as I get older I feel more comfortable with myself and my life. This week it is my 44th birthday.

Naturally wifey has been asking what I want for my birthday. The reality is that I have everything that I need. I don't really need anything extravagant just for the sake of it. 

But Wifey is persistent.

The lawnmower died a couple of weeks ago, so on Saturday I got a brand spanking new lawnmower for my birthday. Thanks Wifey!

I wanted to give you a gift as well. It's my way of saying thank you for receiving the Get More Goer every week and tolerating some of my literary indulgences and tilted perspective on the world. A few years ago I created the Birthday Bash. It is an easy to use two page document that enables you to do a quick assessment of the year past and the year ahead. You can download it here as my birthday gift to you.

Whether you use it on my birthday (this Thursday) or wait until your own birthday is up to you, as long as you use it.

Happy Birthday to me, I hope you enjoy it. I know I will!

PS Speaking of gifts, if you struggle to think what is the best gift or freebie to give when you are exhibiting, sign up to our 2 hr Exhibit Like A Pro session to be held in Melbourne on Monday 30th April. This is just one of the many things we will be covering. Find out more info here.

Monday, 9 April 2012

What Did You Give?

Easter Egg
I had Easter lunch with some of my family on Sunday. My niece and nephews were all fired up on chocolate. The question that most people would ask them in relation to the Easter Bunny is "What did you get?" After considering this for the last 24 hours, I think "What did you Give?" would be a better question to ask.

Our modern society is so focussed on the individual that we forget the community. Some people say "It is better to give than receive" but they are not the actions that I see in the world.

Business is no different. A lot of people talk about Win-Win but would you err in the side of caution and make sure your customer wins first or maybe even your supplier? How can you Give to those at your workplace rather than looking at what you get?

So today, my question for you is What Did You Give?

Monday, 2 April 2012

Quality or Quantity?

QuantityI have to fight people to have them make their life easier. Let me explain.

At Trade Shows, Expos and on sponsor tables at conferences, it is common to see exhibitors giving away a prize if you put your business card in their glass bowl. It's an easy way to get leads and very effective.

But if you are giving away an iPad or a bottle of top shelf alcohol, all you will get is the business card of people who want an iPad or top shelf alcohol. That will be a lot of phone calls or sales calls that will add no value to your business.

A better approach is to offer a prize that is RELEVANT to your business and will help leads self qualify. Something of value that doesn't cost you a lot. Maybe free installation, an on site audit, a second one free, access to your guru for the day, a free session - whatever you know your clients and prospects want from your business.

You will get far fewer business cards in the bowl, but they will be much higher, self qualified leads which will save you time and be way more likely to increase your results.

So where is your focus, Quality or Quantity?

PS For more Exhibiting and Tradeshow tips, check out the 2 hr Exhibit Like A Pro session being run in Melbourne on 30 April 

Image: Flikr Placid Casual