Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Why Don't They Like Me?"

According to Tom Asacker,

"Try to get a hold on why people are critical of your message. You'll find it may be because you're treating every interaction with them as an opportunity to get your message out, instead of an opportunity to improve their lives."

So true.

I know that I tend to focus on spreading our "message" instead of focusing on the customer. If your message is relevant to them (as it should be) and valuable, you don't have to worry about getting the message out...they'll take care of that.

So often we think we've got a great message and if people only hear it, they'll respond. That's putting the cart before the horse. What we should be doing is finding the message that people want to hear and find an original way to address THEIR message. Then, they'll take care of getting it out.

Seems like the better way to do things.

What say you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Speaks to Me

"You don't have to have all the answers. Just making an effort to discuss things openly, vigorously and repeatedly is itself a good thing to do." Tom Peters

Brilliant.

I tend to forget this. I tend to tense up or clam up when I don't have the answers. Or (even worse) try to pretend like I DO have the answers. That's even more dangerous.

Where do we get answers? From discussion, from open communication. Every answer has spawned from that process, so why are we so hesitant to use it? I think it's because we try so hard and work so much to be perceived as an EXPERT that we forget that we (and our clients) are also HUMAN. We can't have all the answers and an open, honest effort to find the answer for a customer will go much further than trying to represent ourselves as "know it alls."

What say you?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Your Best (read ONLY) Chance

As the guru Seth Godin says:

"The only chance you have is to sell to people who like change, who like new stuff, who are actually looking for what you sell."

Why do we waste so much time trying to get EVERYONE to buy what we're selling?

Why don't we get to truly know our prospects, and match our services/products with those people who can truly benefit?

Because...if EVERYONE buys, that's more money for us. Right?

Wrong.

The premise is correct, but what are the chances of EVERYONE buying? Slim to none...and none just walked out the door.

In reality, our best chance is to get to know the ideal prospect: their wants, desires, needs, feelings, emotions and what's important to them. Then we develop a remarkable product/service that matches what they needs while exceeding their expectations.

What say you?

Friday, January 13, 2006

How Good Are You?

Back to some classic Tom Peters.

"Today you are as good as thos who swear publicly by your work, the skills & results you can confidently and concisely brag about and the number of contacts you maintain in your professional sphere of interest."

I know for myself, I can get caught up in "the next big thing" or "this is a really cool idea" for the sake of a big thing or the cool idea.

I can get focused on doing those THINGS rather than the PEOPLE I do them for.

The focus needs to stay on the customer, prospect or colleagues. That's what it's truly about. Without them, the next big thing would just be a thing.

What say you?

Monday, January 09, 2006

"Oh, nobody does that!"

Let's switch gears and look at something Seth Godin once (probably more than once) said.

"Find out things that are 'just not done' in your industry and do them."

Seems pretty straight forward, right?

So why are there so many copycat companies out there? Why does any customer have to say, "Well, that's how everyone does it...so I guess I have to live with it."

"Everybody" put lots and lots of stuff on their search engine/portal front page. That's how it was done. Enter Google.

"Everybody" made flying somewhere frustrating, just another service and nothing special. Enter Southwest and JetBlue.

If everybody is doing something, you know exactly what not to do. In finding the thing that "everybody" is scared to do, you find success.

What say you?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Fire me...Please!

Another from Tom Peters:

"The most likely path to career salvation is to try to get fired."

Now, I don't think Tom was referring to the attempts as shown in "Office Space," but I think we all know what he means.

In trying to get fired, we won't tell ourselves, "Oh I can't do that!"

In trying to get fired, we'll try things we wouldn't try if we were trying to save our jobs.

In trying to get fired, we'll do things that everyone else won't because they're worried about their job.

In trying to get fired, we'll do new things, learn new things and improve for the future.

We all know the limits, but why not push them as far as we can? We just might find that our perception of the limit comes up short of reality.

What say you?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Go Beyond Price - Go to success

A quote from a Top Peters book by David Friend,

"The challenge is to stand out in some way that goes beyond price."

How true.

Being the lowest priced provider hurts you so much in so many areas. First, it's easy for someone to come along and lower their price more and then you've just lost your competitive advantage.

Secondly, what is your opinion of organizations that continually have the lowest price? Do you see them as the best quality? Is Wal-Mart seen has having the best quality goods?

No, it's essential to build on something truly valuable to customers and price fairly to what you provide.

You need to have an advantage that it's difficult to top. Find your niche...guess what-price is taken.

What say you?