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July 2009
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The Truth About Client Care

Table and Chairs We all know that satisfied clients are the lifeblood of any business.

What you may not realize is that when a challenge occurs, you have a great opportunity to show what your personal commitment to client care is really all about.

Case in point. I purchased a new dinette set from Ashley Furniture. I took the pieces home to assemble them.

The table went together fine, but when I got to the chairs it was a different story.

The holes for the chair screws were about 1/8” off, making it impossible to assemble the chairs successfully.

I went back to the store with chairs in hand. It was no problem for them at all; a manager said their warehouse person would assemble the chairs for me.

The warehouse person had no better luck than I did. So, he took a set of assembled chairs off the selling floor, put on the new seats and a few other parts and loaded the new, assembled chairs into my car.

I’m happy to report that the new dinette set looks great.

It was obvious that the manager at Ashley Furniture cared about my business. It’s also obvious that when I need something like this again, my search for it will start there.

Whenever a client challenge arises, view it as an opportunity to show how much you actually value that clients business.

The truth about client care is good news spreads quickly and bad news spreads even faster.

To get the good news out there, all you have to do is truly care. Make a commit to correct any challenges that come up quickly and painlessly for your client.

The reward is great client relationships that lead to successful Word of Mouth marketing and increased sales for your business.


Awareness as a Business Tool

IStock_000004635383XSmall Awareness is actually very easy to develop. All you have to do is stop worrying about the past, don’t anticipate a future that hasn’t occurred yet and stay focused on your thoughts and actions in this very moment.

OUCH! That may seem next to impossible for many people.

The reason is conditioning. Most people, especially many who own a small business, are so consumed by the past and future that they miss the beauty of every moment they are actually living.

Think about that for a moment. Whenever you are stuck and thinking about anything except right now, this moment, you are truly missing the richness of every “now” you are actually living.

This moment is all that you can control. The past flavors your actions today with the wisdom of experience and your future is created by the thoughts and actions you take right now.

What kind of future are you creating today?

Recondition your thinking by simply catching yourself slipping into the familiar patterns of past or future thinking.

Catching yourself is easier than you might think. It just takes awareness of what you are thinking in any given moment.

Take this article for example. You are reading it, probably thinking about something you IStock_000004778955XSmall have to do, wish you did, or are putting off for some future “better” time.

What about your thoughts right now, as you read this?

STOP for a moment and consider what you are thinking as you read these words. Write down any ideas that you will apply to your life.

When you interrupt your old thought patterns with a big bold STOP, you are conditioning your mind to listen to your true desires and not run rampant on its own, creating confusion, stress and overwhelm.

3-fun things you can do to develop greater awareness (sitting on a rock and humming is NOT required).

1. Play a round of golf. Notice what you are thinking about between shots, as you hover over the ball anticipating your next shot, or as you line up a putt. It is probably focused on what already happened or what will/may happen.

STOP, catch yourself, focus on the feeling you’ll have when you make a great shot, then take the shot. For every poor shot you hit, be aware of your actual thoughts. I’ll bet those past and future thoughts of success and perceived failure crept in there.

2. Sit quietly with a pen and paper and write down anything that comes to mind in the moment you are sitting there.

If you start thinking about a past or future STOP, re-frame, and focus on right now.
When you are just sitting peacefully and not thinking of anything except right now, what thoughts do you have? Write them down, then read and reflect on them.

3. Go into nature with a camera. No need for anything more than a point and shoot model.  Don’t look for the obvious sweeping vistas. Instead look for tiny little miracles all around you, like the way the sunlight plays off of a flower, the way a rock sits in a stream, the beauty of the bark on a tree, or the miracle of a blade of grass.

Notice things you seldom allow yourself to see and take a photo of them. What did you notice that you have overlooked before? How did that make you feel? Write down your feelings as you review the photos you took.

Take the awareness you gained in the exercises above and apply them to your life in business.

When you are getting ready to launch a new marketing campaign or create a new sales push how do you feel? Are you focused on results of the past or future or are you experiencing how great you’ll feel when your campaign succeeds?

Remember the great golf shot. Didn't you make your best shots when you envisioned the outcome you really wanted?

When you are stuck with a business problem do you panic and scramble for answers or are you calmly analyzing the situation; allowing your mind to peacefully explore and find new ideas that solve old challenges?

Remember how great it felt to relax and explore your feelings and thoughts in a given moment.

How about when are looking for new ways to grow your revenues. Are you aware only of the obvious sweeping vistas?

Remember the small miracles that you discovered simply by looking for them.
Awareness is a state of mind. It is focused on right here and now, instead of a past or a future.

The creative mind is aware of everything. It’s your past/future panic thoughts that comes in to block the beauty of this moment; keeping you stuck in the realm of confusion instead of open to the beauty of your personal genius in this beautiful NOW.

Sales From a Lofty Perspective

Sales happen when two people feel good about each other and an offer being made. IStock_000008106300XSmall

The buyer has interest, trusts the seller and feels there is enough credibility to ensure delivery of the promised value.

Once that feeling is embraced the sale is made. Then the buyer justifies their decision based on logic.

BUT the decision to buy is always based on a feeling first.

As a result, when you are the seller, how you think and feel about your company, the offer you're making and the prospect you're working with will mean the difference between sale or no sale. 

Before going into any sales call be clear about how you feel your prospective buyer will benefit.

In your imagination see the buyer gaining significant value from the offer you're making.

In your minds eye see the buyer taking advantage of your offer, reaping the benefit and moving forward with a sale.

When you're in front of the buyer, make sure you understand the value they really hope to gain.

Show how your offer delivers that value.

Then care enough about the buyers success to help them make the best decision for their specific situation.

Keep in mind, when you care about the buyer more than a few dollars in your pocket, sometimes your offer won't fit. If it doesn't be truthful and tell the buyer directly.

The combination of personal self-belief in what you're selling, envisioning the buyer moving forward, understanding buyer desires and caring about the results they gain is a potent combination.

Follow this pattern and you'll see more sales close consistently. As an added benefit, you'll feel happier about your business and life.