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In the last blog entry we discussed about how to bring the big-company mindset into your business. This helps you to overcome the mental obstacles that restrict your success. We’re now going to discuss who your big client and fish is. It’s important to understand the client you are looking for before you create a plan. We’re also going to take a moment to discuss the potential “red tape” you may come across on the way.
The key thing to know about your target client is their purchasing habits and process. There are 4 main things you need to focus on in order to be a success:
1. Roles and Responsibilities: You need to know who has the influence over purchasing, who actually does the purchasing and who can kill a deal if they choose to.
2. Get on Their Supplier List: You need find out how to get on their supplier list. Your name needs be on the list and at the top of the list in as many categories as possible. Ask about any selection process and what you need to do to get through it.
3. Language: You need to understand the company’s unique language and communication methods. These could include acronyms, report names, buzzwords and possibly even the nicknames they have for some employees.
4. Budgets: It’s essential you know the clients fiscal budget, so you know exactly when they are planning to carry out their procurement for the year.
Now that we’ve discussed what you need to know about your client, let’s take a quick look at the “red tape” or bureaucracy.
Bureaucracy might as well be a swear word with the emotions it can create. “Red tape” can be a necessary evil, but it’s one you can learn from. There are 2 ways to learn from their system:
1. Analyze their activity.
2. Review their correspondence.
Being on the outside looking in can have its advantages. If you hate dealing with the “red tape” and bureaucracy, imagine how their own employees feel. If they need to run through some numbers, offer to do it for them. If they need more information, provide it in a user-friendly way.
The discussion today will help you prepare for the big approach. If you need help with any of this, try our”>http://www.marketing250.com/guidedtour”>our FREE test drive to find the right tools to get the job done.
In the last blog post we started our series on catching big “fish” i.e. clients that will sustain your business over the long term. We’re now going to take that a step further by discussing how to understand and think like that big fish client and how that enables you to plan your approach and find success.
Before you can start the process you have to make sure the entire team is engaged with your approach and vision. There are six key steps to finding big client success. They are:
1. First Impression: The first contact counts – you must remember you have one shot to land that big client. If you don’t get it right, they aren’t likely to consider you again. Never give them any reason to doubt your abilities.
2. First Priority: Your client must always feel that they are your 1st priority. Return calls, messages and emails immediately and identify solutions to their problems or questions quickly.
3. Flexibility: You need flexibility in your negotiations. If they need a customised service or for you to tailored product, say yes as you will reap the benefit in the long term. A little change now will deliver big results later.
4. Think long-term: This goes with the last one to a degree. As you are negotiating and approaching with the big client think about the long term benefits to you and your business. If you go for a one-time big result they will lose interest.
5. Enjoy and have fun: Work should be enjoyable and fun, even when trying to land your big clients; in fact, this should be the most fun. You are sharing your capability and vision with new people and incorporating them into your future success. People work better in an enjoyable, fun, happy environment. Your passion will be contagious and you pull the clients into your vision even more.
6. Help Them: If you take a little time and provide your clients with ways to save money or time for example by introducing them to potential business partners, this will show you really are interested and invested in their business. Strive to ensure balance between your client’s needs and your business needs.
There are also a few strategies you can use to bring in a big-company vision to your team. You can:
• Post these six key steps for all to see.
• Create a performance based incentive program.
• Have frequent team meetings.
• Use a “right now” policy that ensures big client call are answered immediately.
• Offer awards/recognition for big-company ideas and results.
• Create together a training program and certification based on the six keys above.
These 6 keys and tips will help you ensure a big-company mindset is in place throughout your company which will enable you to be more prepared and land your big clients. Once your team is thinking this way, you’ll be all unstoppable.
If you need assistance putting together an incentive program or other method to push your team toward the big-company mindset, to try our FREE test drive or to work with one of our coaches check out our resources and tools
There are a number of factors to take into consideration when preparing yourself and your company to get in front of the largest clients you’ll ever work with.
We’re going to start with a brief look at the 3 paths every business faces and show you which one is the path to success. Then we’ll talk about the right mindset that it takes to attract the big fish.
There are three major paths a business can take:
1 Snail Speed
2 Shooting Star
3 Catch the Big Fish
1 Snail Speed
Most business owners ended up working themselves into the ground with little reward or success. This is what happens when you convince and fool yourself into thinking you will find quick success. You may also find yourself following this path when you are afraid of or unwilling to change.
2 Shooting Star
This describes a business that shoots to the top so quickly you are overwhelmed and don’t have in place the right resources to adapt. This can also happen from if overwhelmed by small clients and not taking the time to find larger clients, which will sustain your business after the small client sales reduce.
3 Catch the Big Fish
This is the approach that allows you to build at a steady pace that you can manage by not allowing your customers to outpace you. You can do this by putting to work these tips :
1. Attract, then keep and lock in big clients.
2. Integrate “big business” culture into your employeesr and company .
3. Get the expertise you need to grow into the company.
4. Have the courage to change as you grow.
Now lets talk about the “big fish” mindset. It’s possible it may sound easy to find and catch that big fish, but if you are stuck in the mindset of “small business”, you may find it a lot harder than you think.
Think of all the benefits of aiming at bigger clients:
• Profitable – highly
In order to catch the big fish then you need to believe your company can make a difference with the big fish companies. It’s easy to incorrevtly get into the thought that a large company doesn’t need anything from a small business like yours!
Take a look at how big companies operate and get to know which ones are the best fit with your company e.g. do you know someone on the inside who can put in a good word for you, this really makes the differnce.
If you’re not sure where to start try our FREE test drive to get help from our amazing business coaches.
The 1% Rule is simply defined as adding to your customer service one percent at a time. Little and often You must have your consistency perfected or it will never work. This one percent may seem small, but if you approach the vision for your company taking baby steps, you will find a huge increase over a solid chunk of time. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much at once. Think of the confidence you and your team will have when you improve one percent each week. By the end of a year, you’ll have improved more than 50%!
Rules and standards are necessary for growth, but always be flexible with your best customers. Most retailers only allow a set number of items into a dressing room to reduce the risk of shoplifting, but it generally restricts the large percentage of people who are not stealing from you. Flexibility is always the key to what you deliver to your customers and consistency is the main key to how you deliver it.
Customers rely on you to deliver what you promise. Don’t spend too much time and money on bulky advertising that promises more than you can deliver, your best intentions will unravel quickly if you overpromise and under deliver.
Focus on your vision and taking baby steps to turn your satisfied customers into Raving Fans.
I hope you’ve learned a lot out good customer service – it’s essential to your overall success. If you need assistance with any of the steps in the last four lessons try our FREE test drive and get access to some of the best tools, resources, and coaches available. Contact me on 01157143331
In the last post we talked about how to figure out what your customers want out of a positive shopping experience. Today we’ll talk about the concept of Deliver +1 and how this concept can take your customer service to the next level. I’ve decided to split up this post so the next one will cover the 1% Rule.
Consistency is the key to any great customer service experience. If you want to take your satisfied customers to Raving Fan status, you have to go above and beyond the average customer service experience.
There are three ways to develop consistency:
Avoid offering too many customer service options.
We sometimes get so caught up in giving customers what they want we get away from our original vision. Instead, stay true to your vision and offer one or two solid customer service techniques that will set you apart from the competition.
You need to fine tune the current systems you are using before you can add anything to the mix. There’s nothing worse than launching a new program when you haven’t even worked out the kinks of an old system.
Put solid systems into place.
Once you know what you’re going to offer, you need to have a system in place to execute it flawlessly every time. This system needs to consistent of the right people in the right roles and responsibilities and technology that guarantees a positive experience every time. Emphasis needs to be placed on the results, which ultimately is the satisfaction of the customer.
Good training is the key.
Once you have your system in place you need to train people to use it properly and efficiently. This helps your people deliver the results your customers are looking for. While, train is essential for the system to work and for all your people to work together cohesively, appreciation will go a long way.
I hope this has given you a look into what you need to do in order to have a quality customer service system in place. If you need help, try our FREE test drive and gain access to a wealth of resources, tools and coaching.