A Measure of Relationship Value

For everyone, everywhere

I once had a customer who was a bit of a maverick in his marketplace and in the industry. He has since passed away, but Chuck Forcey was a character. When he was in the military, he flew planes and was on an elite fighter team…and he brought his irreverent ways with him.

Fortunately, he had a commander who was tougher and more focused than Chuck was and while he respected and appreciated what Chuck brought to the team, he refused to let the team be defined by one of its members. To address a particularly aberrant behavior, the commander pulled Chuck aside and told him: “You are a valued member of this team…and you will have a place on this team as long as your contribution exceeds your aggravation…and not a moment longer.” I LOVE that measure of relationships … and don’t we all use something like that, even if it’s not as clearly stated? Think about it as you evaluate design project clients, hire new associates, work for rogue employers…and maybe closer to home, too.

A new thought for a new year.

Now, go sell something.

oxo,

Jody

Jody Smiling Photo copy

Customer Service Cancellations

 

For everyone, everywhere
As you might be doing at the start of the new year, I am scouring my expenses looking at what is nice versus necessary and can be cut. As an avid reader, my news subscriptions paper-business-finance-document-previewstarted to add up and I considered how much I read of each publication and I decided to cancel my digital subscriptions to both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The latter could be done via their website and it was a simple process to execute, followed by a confirming email from them within minutes asking why I was leaving – which I answered, and another email within 24 hours, saying they were sorry to see me go.
The former made the cancellation process more difficult for me, the customer. In order to cancel WSJ, I had to call a phone number and speak to someone who wanted to know why I was leaving. I said I didn’t read the publication enough to warrant a subscription. He asked “What does enough mean?” to which I responded, “Hardly ever”. He then asked if he cut the subscription cost in half, would it approximate how much I read it? I said yes, and he said, “Let’s do that then”. He proceeded to cancel my most recent payment and to start another subscription at 50% of what I was paying.
What a difference. At first, I was bugged by WSJ who didn’t make it easy for me to take action…but the experience was not problematic. And, while they lost 50% revenue, they kept a customer…something that the Post didn’t do.
It raises the question…where are you losing customers with a policy that intends the best but may not deliver it?
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy

“Helpful” is Not an Outcome

For sales professionals, everywhere
 
I had a great call today with the sales leadership of Interiors Home in PA. We have been working together for a couple of years and discussing how to break some habits and create new, more effective ones. One of the actions we were discussing I have mentioned Handshakebefore: Sales managers interrupting sales/customer interactions on the sales floor to help the salesperson to overcome concerns and to help them to close the sale (or get the appointment).
Today we distinguished HOW to engage. Instead of the sales manager introducing themselves to be ‘helpful’ to the customer and to the salesperson, it’s better to “Actively and Intentionally Engage” with the outcome being the sale or the appointment. And to take the opportunity to demonstrate the selling skill needed (new questions, more powerful presentation, overcome sticky objections, or ask for the commitment!) that the salesperson may have missed or performed poorly. It’s a BIG difference from just being helpful.
As I said to them, for the sales manager, Intentionally Engaging to Produce an Outcome is an equivalent of what sketching the rooms is for the salesperson: High-level tools that satisfy multiple objectives.
Sit with this for awhile…then give me a call and let’s discuss. 877-663-9663.
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy