Smartz Biztips 29 - K.I.T. (continued) The Personal Touch
Yesterday we talked about texting. Another excellent keeping in touch method is the personal “drop in while passing”… even if you plan to be passing. Keep in mind your customers as sometimes a spontaneous drop in can be an interruption but it sure is a great way of showing you care.
Smartz Biztips 32 - K.I.T. Touchpoints (continued) - Send a Postcard
It’s as simple as saying “Thank You”; “great to catch up with you”; or “let’s meet for coffee.” By sending a post card especially if it’s branded with your company logo and details everyone from the mail sorters to the recipient get exposure to your company. Also the recipient gets pleasure from receiving the postcard and enjoying the message on it.
Smartz Biztips 31 - K.I.T. Touchpoints (continued) - Use the phone
Do you find most of your customer dialogue is email or txt these days. Try something novel and pick up the phone. The personal interaction will stand you out from your competitors and it's an important element in building relationship.
Ask them a simple question - Hello (insert their name), this is (insert your name) How's things? And let them do the talking - you will be surprised at how much they want to share with you and perhaps send potential work your way
It's all in the relationship
Smartz Biztips 30 - K.I.T. Touchpoints (continued)
Great feedback yesterday. We've been asked to explain more fully about timing. It depends on your normal sales mix and sales timetable. Where you might normally be in front of customers infrequently then we suggest a maximum touch point of 3 months, this is even if you only sell on an annual or even longer basis.
In essence then systematize the 90% and humanize the 10%
Smartz Biztips 29 - K.I.T. (Keeping in Touch) Touchpoints
Keeping in touch is all about touching your clients, not in a dodgy way, but touching them visually or auditory just so you stay in touch.
So... how is your touchpoint calendar?
How often are you keeping in touch? There is no hard and fast rule as this depends on your sales cycle but we tend to suggest every 6-7 weeks. Specific ideas to follow
Smartz Biztips 28 - A Special Thank You
A special thank you to all the feedback we have been getting over the last few weeks. A special thanks for people requesting specific topics and suggestions for tips. You asked for it so here they come over the next couple of weeks.
The topic of choice is how to get the customer(s) back more often. This is one of just 4 ways to grow a business.
Increasing transaction frequency is all about simply keeping in touch. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? And yet sometimes we struggle for new and innovative ways to just stay in touch.
So keep your eyes peeled for specific examples, hopefully some will work for you – all are based on the principle of getting your customer to increase their transaction frequency with you.
Smartz Biztips 27 - Customers Vision - Weak Spots
In finding the weak spots ask yourself what does the customer care about? Sure pay attention to complaints and gripes, but some weaknesses your customers may not even see. Now check out the cause of the weaknesses.
Short term - fix it for the customer, long term find out if it's a human or system error or malfunction and fix it so it doesn't happen any more. Always look at weaknesses from the customer perspective then analyse and treat the cause from your own perspective.
Smartz Biztips 26 - Customers Vision
Customer service vision starts with two important ingredients.
1. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses (if in doubt get someone else to do it for you)
2. Recognise and document the importance to the customer of every task your team perform
Be brutal in your honesty here. Strengths need feeding and maintenance so spend time on them
Smartz Biztips 25 - More Customers
Every business has a customer(s) and they determine success or failure. It's alarming how little we actually KNOW about our customers sometimes though. It's generally accepted that to be successful you just have to give customers what they want. Right? Hmm trouble is many don't know what they want and worse not all customers are the same. The next few tips will delve into how to get into your customers heads and find out more about them.
Smartz Biztips 24 - Innovation - How's your reception?
When someone has a new idea how is it greeted? Is it greeted with "Oh we tried that before and it didn't work" or "it's too expensive" or "Nah it just won't work". Negativity is the quickest way to slow down innovation in a company. Kill it. Now
Smartz Biztips 23 - Innovation - an excellent first step
Try out the "What if..." question. It's great for getting some ideas flowing. You can use it on small and big issues. You can use it to solve problems or anticipate new ones, stimulate thinking or just get people involved.
A few minutes of "What if..." at a meeting shows who's on the bus and who's not.
Smartz Biztips 22 - Innovation - a practical anology
There's the old Pantene® shampoo commercial. "It won't happen overnight but it will happen!" Innovation is the same. It's not about rip shit and bust it's about setting a course and going for it. Take the triple jump for example. You have to cover the maximum distance possible, first with a hop, then a skip and then a jump. Innovation is the same.
Smartz Biztips 21 - Innovation - a "How To"
Ask yourself... "Where are you when you get your best ideas?" What do all those places have in common? Jot them down then spend more time there! Interestingly most say the work environment is NOT a common place, it's too stressful, busy and noisy... try having a quiet space. In our own office we have a conversation pit, a room with the walls painted in whiteboard paint where you can just go and doodle.
It's amazing what ideas get dreamt up in there.
Smartz Biztip 20 - Innovation - Support
To be truly innovative everyone needs to be involved. Therefore innovation needs to be built into the way people work day by day. There needs to be a support structure. The organisation must encourage and support ideas, systems in place to make implementation of ideas easy.
Smartz Biztip 19 - Innovation - Ideas
Innovation needs people to think in different ways. You need problem solvers and analysis, people good with hunches and then following them through. Basically we need ideas and plenty of them.
Smartz Biztip 18 - Innovation - Commitment
Most organisations are not short of ideas. They are short of people committed to seeing it through though. Commitment is showing your support for something, listening to ideas, taking time with people, offering assistance, overcoming barriers, encouraging and being true to your word. Yes, hard work! Commitment is saying you'll do it and then doing it.
Smartz Biztip 17 - Innovation - Purpose
In innovative businesses the individuals and the organisation are trying to achieve similar things. There is a common purpose. Does everyone in the organisation know what the purpose is? It's rare to get everyone to memorise it but it's a vital ingredient in the innovation process
Don't have a documented purpose? We can help you if you want.
Smartz Biztip 17 - Innovation - Juggling
Innovation can be like juggling. Just throw some good ideas up in the air and see what happens. It won't work. You need to keep your eye on more than one thing at a time while moving constantly with slight adjustments all the time and on the way.
It involves letting things go but throw the wrong things in the air and you end up with anything, or nothing. Throw the right things and you end up sustained innovation.
What are the right things? Purpose. Commitment. Ideas, Support.
Smartz Biztip 16 - Innovation
The most successful business live innovation but it is more than just a good idea. Innovation takes a good idea, improves it, develops it and implements it.
That's the theory, the next few tips will share some tips on HOW to do it so stay tuned!
Meanwhile did you know we are running a Nationwide Seminar, 12 topics in 27 cities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register an interest or find out more
Smartz Biztip 15 - Growth
Have you got clients/customers that don't contribute to the bottom line, take too much of your time, or are simply outside the area in which you want to work - then get rid of them! There is nothing to say that you have to act for them and they are distracting you from your goals
Smartz Biztip 14 - Stay Focused
The old saying that "Rome was not built in a day" applies here. Just because you open a business doesn't mean that you're going to immediately start making money. It takes time to let people know who you are, so stay focused on achieving your short-term goals and give the rest time to come together on its own.
Smartz Biztip 13 - Know what you know...
Know what you know, what you don't know and who knows what you don't.No one knows everything, so don't come off as a know-it-all. Surround yourself with advisors and mentors who will nurture you to become a better leader and business person.Find successful, knowledgeable individuals with whom you share common interests and mutual business goals that see value in working with you for the long-term.
Smartz Biztip 12 - You don't have to...
You don't have to start a business to be successful - if you find a good business you can always buy it, grow it, and sell it for a good return.In many cases it is less risky to buy a business than to start it from scratch.
Smartz Biztip 11 - Take Leadership!
As the owner of your business, you are the leader. Even if you're working with a mentor or just starting out, you're the leader and don't need anyone's permission to take action. Get feedback from colleagues or friends, but ultimately the decisions are yours.