Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Help me by delivering value

 I think much is to be gained by looking at particular business scenarios through a different lens.

The perception that businesses need to be using in the current market is answering this question: How can I help my customer in a way that delivers additional value to them?

Not in a fake way, a legitimate way that improves the life of your customer.

Some of you may say hang on I’m an employee this doesn’t apply.  Yes it does, act as if your employer is your customer, this is going to make you infinitely more valuable.

For example:

  • Apartment Rentals, install an espresso machine & communicate the value, save your clients $40/week or $2000/year spent on espresso coffee, have many apartments? bundle all their utility accounts together and negotiate better discounting, give each new tenant a big hamper to welcome them in, follow up a bottle of wine after successful inspections.
  • Daily Paper, offer a daily exclusive section on your website with the access code printed in the daily paper,  offer the paper dropped off at the office by first thing in the morning or by mid morning break.
  • Knowledge  Worker/Employee? Take an extra hour a day for a week to figure ways to use technology to automate your office systems, upskill yourself, figure out tasks that do not add value and suggest you drop them, find out the key issues affecting your companies clients and ways you can help them, this will make yourself invaluable.
  • Contractor? Offer a monthly newsletter delivering relevant information for your clients, write up some documents saying how you prefer to work and how they can help you work more efficiently for them, ask your clients what their problems are maybe you can help or know someone that can.
  • Petrol Station, (see previous Monday Ideas post on petrol stations) offer $2 speed service, free espresso with fill up, lunch packs for the kids, paper, I could go on all day with this one.
  • Cable Tv, offer a bundle pack with netflix (or equivalent dvd rental service) get both and save $10/month, better deal on a second decoder, you choose movies, that is offer options of blockbuster movies and viewers can vote.

What services are you considering cutting?

How do you think they could improve under this view?

What can you do to help your customers?

(I would love to heard your responses in the comments.)

February 8th, 2009

Commanding Time Updated

Today I celebrate 9 months of blogging.

Yay! It’s another notch in the belt persay.

I like to celebrate the small wins, so thought I would update my Commanding Time post.

Since I’ve started the blog I have garnered 636,230 seconds of attention or 10,603 minutes or 177 hours of attention. Wow.

That is staggering, and guess what I’ve love every minute of input I’ve put into this, and I still get rewarded! Neat huh?

Again (like I asked 6 months ago) what would you pay for that kind of attention?

February 5th, 2009

Marketing in Shops, Case in point Clothing Shops

Shopping is not my favourite pastime.

Especially with inept sales peoples.

If they offend me I have a tendency to leave.

I can  come back later or go elsewhere to shop.

The typical conversation that you experience is:

I wander into a Clothing Store and

  • Staff Member 1: (Usually positioned on the door) Hey, can I help you?
  • Me: No thanks.
  • About 90 seconds later once your looking at clothes.
  • Staff Member 2: (Usually lurking around a vertain clothing area) Do you need a hand?
  • Me: I’m fine thanks.
  • I’m sure many of you have experienced this.  

Some like it, many answer automatically.  Why’s that? Because as soon as they ask, your barriers go up, hang on they’re trying to sell to me, no thanks.  Even if you want help your more likely to say no than yes.  I know what you’re thinkign you have done xactly that huh?

There is a simple fix.

Change your language! Be interested in me and what I want.

Some different approaches:

Acknowledging the customer is a person:

  • Staff Member: Hey there, Im Ben whats your Name?
  • Me: Alexander
  • Staff Member: Well hey Ben my job is to help you if you need it, so be sure to let me know or one of our other staff members would be more than happy to help.

Light Hearted:

  • Staff Member: Gee this weather is mint huh? or Yuck outside glad to be inside?

Help the customer:

  • Hey, I just wanted to let you know, we are having a sale on jeans 25% off this range. (Keep it unadvertised, so that people have to engage to find out specials in future.)

Ther are many ways, remember to acknowledge the person, try and build a repoir and then help them.  Like the doctor if your good I’ll be back.  

If you work in a clothing store (or any other consumer goods store) do not use the typical sales pitch, they are average and will lead to average results.

Be different remind yourself its all about the customer.  You will also learn more about your customers and will need a different approach for each and everyone of them.  If you can do this you will easily excel 🙂

February 4th, 2009

You can't do everything! Create Scarcity

When the cut comes to the chase we get things done.

And we also naturally flesh out work to fill the time before completion (Parkinsons Law).

Just as creating scarcity in your industry creates value,

Limiting your time input each day forces you to prioritise, challenge yourself and be more effective.

(As your time has become more valuable)

Its too easy to work over time but much more rewarding to work within time and complete everything.

Building in a time constraint ensures you become innovative with your own activities.

I think once you can accept you can’t do everything you will really see the value in this

February 3rd, 2009

Nicest Toilet as a Destination

Over the holidays I stopped in a small town on the way to my destination (6 hours driving).

I pondered over the success of these small towns to capture people as they drive through.

Some are small art shops, fruit and various other sites.

However most are missing out on an opportunity.

There is no ‘the best’ or ‘remarkable’ stops.  

Come on! You have a monopoly, everyone who is heading to a a destination has to drive past you.  If you play your cards right you will reap the benefits over and over and over again.

On any big road trip there are three things that are needed:

  • Food
  • Petrol
  • Toilets

So everyone needs to stop for these on a decent trip.

I suggest being the best of one of these three, the nicest toilet, the best food, the best petrol service.  

Do something that makes you the best.  Everytime I make the repeat trip, where am I going to stop for one of the above three? At the best of course.

February 2nd, 2009

Start a Blog Today

Taking Monday off for a little R & R I listened to a few podcasts, one of which was Duct Tape Marketing  Podcast talking to Seth Godin which gave me inspiration for this Monday Ideas Post.

Discussing blogging, Seth had this to say:

“Start a blog even if no one reads it, and this is what people are missing on this whole blogging thing, there are people that are saying its too late, no ones goind to read my blog, Im afraid of writing.

My argument is if you force write yourself to one cogent, intelligent thing every single day that may or may not be written by the public, it will change you, it will make you more analytical, it will make you smarter, it will make you kinder, it will make you more transparent, because you will notice things all day long looking for something to write about next, you will understand the underpinnings of systems, you will be able to see what people are afraid of, because you know your going to write about it, and its hard for me to imagine me to imagine someone who is so busy that they don’t have eight minutes everyday to get those benefits.”

Start a Blog TODAY! 

Seth describes almost definitively what I have experienced since starting this blog so I can doubly vouch for the quote.

So go ahead, start it, see what happens.  I dare you to do so and come back in 6 months and say its hasn’t been for the best.

February 1st, 2009

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
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