August 28, 2016

Perception

Often what we think to be true is not actually correct. Our perception of reality may not be what is really accurate. We must work to make the perception held by our prospects, customers, clients, and everyone else to be factual about our business and what it offers. Anything else will not bring us success.

When we have dealings with others we must discover what their perception of us is. What do they believe that we do as a business, how do they believe that we perform our business tasks, and what do they believe that we offer to the public? Do they believe that we are fair and honest business people; do they even know what we actually do as a business and what our buying process is? Is their perception accurate, or is it flawed in some manner?

Who are these other people whose correct perception is vital to us? It includes prospects, customers, clients, networking partners, lost customers, and anyone else that we know, have ever known, have ever met, or may have some knowledge of our business, or us, in any manner. Of all the people in the world, this group includes anyone who may have ever had any information about us in any way possible.

How do we discover what the perception of others is of us? Obviously the most direct manner is to ask them, actually have a conversation and obtain detailed and factual data that allows us to determine what the other person perceives. Some companies ask people to complete surveys, with preconceived questions that are either true/false or multiple-choice. This is not conducive to obtaining information that is detailed or even factual, and may be tainted by what the requesting party already thinks is true.

What would anyone say if you asked them what they thought of you and your business? What would they say if you asked them what they thought of your products or your buying process, your website, your employees and their manner of marketing, or your customer service and follow-up? What would they say if you asked them why they stopped doing business with your company? These honest answers would be very informative if asked in the proper manner.

Sometimes we must face the facts that we don’t like. If people have the wrong perception about any part of our business, we must correct that fact. It doesn’t matter how wrong the perception of us may be, we must fix that perception and do so quickly. Otherwise the perception will spread to others like a wildfire in a dry forest. To fix that situation must be our objective as soon as we can.

Gratitude Marketing means that we do our best to treat others as well as we can. We must appreciate our relationships and business with others. We must make sure that others perceive us as the best people with whom they can do business and that we appreciate our relationships with others. If their perception of any portion of our business is incorrect, we must fix that error as soon as possible. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 21, 2016

Be Positive, Have Fun

This past week I spoke at a luncheon meeting and advised the attendees to be positive as they went through their daily functions and to have fun in whatever they do. When we work in a positive atmosphere, it is more enjoyable for others to interface with us. This makes everyone’s day so much better and so much more pleasant.

Every day we all should try to do something that will help others be better than when we first meet them. We should support them, advise them on ways that they can be more successful, give them helpful tips of how their business may fulfill its potential, or introduce them to others who may need whatever they offer or may also be partners as we are. We must be positive and supportive instead of negative or demeaning.

We should stop being sales people. We must become advisors, or partners, who learn what the other person needs, or wants, and helps them obtain that object of their desire. We must stop trying to sell whatever it is that we offer and help others obtain whatever they need or want. Then we can become networking partners with others and build relationships that benefit us all.

Actually this atmosphere makes us better to connect with, better to relate to, and better to communicate with. It makes us more pleasant to be around, in the same meeting or place, and be in a relationship. Knowing us in this manner makes us more popular and enhances our reputation as someone who others want to know, spend time with, and refer to others. We also are perceived as more authentic in whatever we say.

If we are not having fun in our everyday lives, no matter what we are doing, we must either change how we perform our daily functions or change whatever it is that we do. I have learned how miserable I could be when I was not having fun at work. I also learned how miserable the people who worked with me were when I was not fun to work with. It was like a disease.

When we are not fun to work with, no one wants to spend time with us, much less buy from us, or listen to our advice. In the past we have discussed that we must make the customer buying experience enjoyable for everyone involved. When our customer enjoys the buying process they will tell everyone that they know about it and recommend us to others. If we make the lives of others more fun, we will benefit.

Want to be known as the grump who only wants to sell someone whatever you have to sell? Want to have others tell everyone that doing business with you is no fun, that you don’t really care if what you offer is best for them, and that you only want to make a sale for your benefit? If so, you will realize that your success will suffer accordingly.

Start being a positive person each and every day. Be positive in your dealings with others and with yourself. Then make sure that you have fun in everything that you do and make sure that others with whom you interface also have fun. Gratitude Marketing means that we appreciate the relationships and business with others. Make sure that they enjoy the process and appreciate doing business with us. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 14, 2016

Warm Fuzzies

Many years ago one of my staff told me that she loved to get “warm fuzzies” when she completed an assignment or project. If she knew that she did her best, that the product was the best that she could have produced, and that the client department was receiving the most for their investment, she felt these “warm fuzzies” inside.

We must apply this same philosophy to our daily businesses and the relationships that we build and maintain. We must do our best to provide the best product or service to our customers and build the best relationships with everyone, even our non-customers, that we can. What is our best? Is it best for us, or is it best for our partners? Maybe we should make everything the best for everyone involved.

Are we always going to be the best for our customers? Of course we cannot. We may not be able to provide the best product or service depending on what the other person needs. We may not be able to provide something for the best price. We must strive to do our best to be the best vendor to as many other people as possible, giving them the product or service that is best for their need, at the best price we can.

Someone else may provide a more appropriate product or service for a better price. We cannot always have everything that everyone may need, and we cannot always have the lowest price. We should always do the best we can with the offerings that we have, making the effort to supply the most appropriate offering for the customer’s need, at the price that is fair to them and to us.

It does no one any good to go out of business by discounting prices. We should charge a fair price for our offerings, and not enter into a bidding war to get a quick sale. We must refrain from offering everyone a new deal and becoming known as the “cheap” business who charges whatever the public demands if this compromises our ability to back up the sale with great customer service.

Is it possible for our Gratitude Marketing to provide “warm fuzzies” to all parties involved? Of course it is possible. When we provide a great product or service for a fair price, with a marketing process that makes the customer know that we really have their best interest in mind, and top it off with great follow-up and customer service, everyone can get “warm fuzzies”.

When customers get “warm fuzzies”, they will become clients who have standing orders or upgrade their orders, and they will bring us referrals for our continued success. They tell others about their great experience with us, about our wonderful customer service, and our follow-up. They become our marketing partners and contribute to our continued prosperity in more ways than with just their purchases.

We must strive to have “warm fuzzies” from our marketing processes. We must also strive to give “warm fuzzies” to our customers and to everyone we meet, even if they do not become customers. Our Gratitude Marketing results in others knowing that doing business with us is rewarding, fun, and a true great experience. Then they will tell everyone else that they know about us. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 7, 2016

Really, Don't Do That

Once again we need to look at all the actions that we take as business professionals and stop following those practices that drive prospects away from us. We must examine every procedure and action that we take in our everyday dealings with the public. If we cannot honestly say that our business practices result in prospects believing that we are a pleasure to deal with we must change what we do or how we act.

Recently I had an opportunity to try to purchase products from a business website. I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person who can navigate a company’s website, decide what I wish to purchase, and make that purchase. On this occasion I attempted to place an order for the product that I desired, but could not do so due to the confusing nature of the website.

As a result of this situation, I took the stand that I will pursue my purchase through a different website for a different company. The website that I originally visited is difficult to follow, the process is challenging, and the time required is beyond normal. I just don’t want to do business with a company which requires this type of process.

If a prospect, after either completing or not finishing a business purchase, has the impression that they have been put through a process that leaves them frustrated and weary, the company involved is at fault and deserves to lose the business. We all want to experience a pleasant purchase process that makes us happy and pleased that we chose a business from whom to buy. Any other feeling makes us unhappy and not pleased with the purchase process.

People do business with others that they know, like, and trust. They refer business to others that they know, like, and trust. They also will do so with businesses if they believe that the buying process is simple, enjoyable, and not so difficult that they are overjoyed when it is finally over. If they believe that the purchase process is worse than having their appendix removed, they will tell everyone that they know how terrible the experience was.

People refrain from further business with any vendor for various reasons. Maybe they believe that the business does not have what they need or want, perhaps they feel the price is too high, or they could think that the business does not appreciate their business. There are many reasons for us to end a business relationship, some logical and some not. Some reasons may be valid, and some may not be. Some may be factual, and some may be emotional.

Gratitude Marketing means that we appreciate the prospects, customers, clients, and associates that we have. It means that we appreciate everyone with whom we come into contact. That appreciation includes all the means of interacting with these people, even a website. Appreciating others means that we want them to have a pleasurable experience doing business with us. Anything else is detrimental to our success.

What do prospects, customers, clients, or anyone else have to say about a purchase experience with your business? Do they rave about how much they enjoyed the process, even if they did not complete the purchase, or do they tell everyone to avoid your business like the plague? Maybe some Gratitude Marketing might fix those negative feelings. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.