To succeed in business you can't just be "as good" as the next guy. You must be demonstrably better and be able to prove it. Each issue will discuss ways that you can explode your business. Since this is the first issue and the topics took up most of the space, this article will be shorter than normal.
I had an experience that made me realize why so many businesses fail. I wanted to purchase a gift for a client I was visiting so I went to the store and arrived there 3 minutes before closing. As I was walking to the store the employee literally raced to the door to hold it shut. As I reached for the door, he held it closed and said, "We're closing."
When he said that I thought he was joking. He wasn't! He had seen me walking to the door and deliberately stopped me from doing business that night. How ridiculous! Here I went out of my way to buy something and I was not allowed the "privilege" of giving them money.
Sadly, I see this as all too common in business today. A totally apathetic attitude towards the client. It appeared to me, that he had absolutely no respect for clients. Now think about it, how many people do you do business with repeatedly who have no respect for you? I wouldn't think too many. So why do people think that they can treat people with no respect and still keep their clients?
By the way, this person was not the owner of the store. He was an employee. Some may feel that it's not the fault of the business owner that he treated me like this. But it is! Obviously, the owner has not made it clear that client service is the employee's number one priority. I can't imagine any of Disney World's employees treating their "guests" like that.
Let's look at what I'm worth to a store. Lets assume that I buy $20 a week there, and I'll be a client for 5 years before I move. That means that they'll have $5200 less business in those 5 years. Now, lets say that that person worked there for only 2 months, but he caused four other people like me to stop doing business there. That's $26,000 in lost business. That is a very costly mistake.
Now think of those businesses or people, who you would continue to do business with, even if it became inconvenient for you. Why do you continue to patronize them? Maybe because the business makes you feel special and they appreciate you? I can think of a hairdresser who has clients drive 60 miles to see him, he's booked 3 months in advance, and he charges triple what the average hairdresser charges. I wonder why he can do that?
If you're thinking that this is obvious stuff and what does it have to do with using direct response techniques, here's the answer. You can use all of these techniques perfectly, but if you don't have good client service you aren't going to succeed long term. Good client service is the foundation for any solid business.
This may be commonsense, but so many businesses ignore it. Ignore it at your own peril.
In upcoming issues you'll learn how to use this to your advantage. You'll discover the reasons why so many businesses fail because they don't use these easy to use steps and how you can become successful in any economic climate simply by following these steps.
I have a scenario for you to think about.
I'm a new arrival in your town/city and I need some plumbing done. I call your company to see if you can help me. Here are some questions for you:
To make this more difficult, I don't want to hear anything about how good the quality of your service is, that you're number one, or anything about how long the company has been around. Here's the final question:
- Why should I do business with you?
- What makes you better than your nearest competitor?
I am amazed at the number of business people who can't provide me with a satisfactory answer to that simple question. Or, even worse, their answer is indistinguishable from their competitors.
- Can you tell me in 30 seconds why I should do business with you?
In all fairness, I was guilty of that also. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way, a client asked me that and I briefly paused to think of an answer. That slight hesitation was all it took me to look unprepared. After that I vowed that I would never again be at a loss for words when I was asked that question. I hope that now you will also never be at a loss either.
By the way my answer is:
"We Provide Effective Business Techniques And Products To Aid In The Success Of The Service Contractor, Through Integrity, Quality Marketing, Training, And Consulting."
Till next week,
"My goal is to translate response into results.
Some teachers teach for others to learn. That's not me.
Some teachers teach for others to accomplish. That IS me."
- By Jim Rohn
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