The wheels come off!

A good friend of mine wanted a new head torch for her cycle helmet and so popped along to the local branch of Moore’s Cycles; she had shopped there before.

Unfortunately, they were just closing but the person on the door was really helpful, gave her a couple of ideas, and suggested that she call in the morning just to confirm that they had them in stock, so she didn’t waste her time coming to the store only to find they were out of stock.

The next day she called and asked the person who answered what head torches they had in the shop. It wasn’t the same person who had been so helpful the evening before – and what a difference.

This person had no interest in advising on head torches, let alone checking which ones they might have in stock. Instead they suggested checking on their website and then calling them back to see if they held the one she wanted.

Being somewhat taken aback she hung up and went online. It didn’t take long on the Moore’s website to pick the one that best suited her. But then the obvious thing happened. She checked the price from other suppliers. And guess what?! She could buy exactly the same head torch somewhere else but for 25% less. Moore’s Cycles had lost a sale and, more importantly, possibly a long-term customer.

This was all because of two very different members of staff and I wonder just how much other business this unhelpful member of staff is costing Moore’s.

If you have staff, any staff, that have customer contact, do you know how they portray, not only your company, but also themselves? If not, you could have staff, just like Moore’s, that are costing you a great deal of money.

My new Park Run top

Recently a friend wanted to buy a new running top; she had a particular style and colour in mind. In the first shop she tried, when asked if they had anything in stock to match, the sales assistant showed her everything but what was asked for. It came across as if it was her fault that she didn’t fit the styles that they had. Needless to say, she left empty handed.

The next shop she tried asked if she was looking for anything in particular, and when told, they showed her two things that matched exactly. The assistant then suggested another item that my friend might be interested in. Again it looked great.

In the end my friend spent over £200.00 on three, not one, pieces of running kit. Why? Because the assistant was interested in her, listened, and only offered items that would interest her. He wasn’t going to try and sell her just what he had in the shop.

What can we learn from this story? Well, the first shop didn’t make a sale, but, more importantly, has lost a customer for life. Whereas the second shop made a sale of over £200.00, and has gained a customer that will be going back.

So, in your business, is your service losing you both sales and long term business, or making extra sales and fans that will return again, and again, and recommend you to their friends?

If it’s the latter I’m sure your business will go from strength to strength, but if the former I would be rather worried.

Do you press the button?

I was listening to Radio 5 Live recently: the programme on allowed listeners to have a rant.  When they were finished the presenters gave them a score: top score being the Rant of the Week!

Well, one guy explained how he couldn’t understand why people had to press buttons that he had obviously already pressed.  He gave a couple of examples: waiting for a lift and at road crossings.  I have to say it amazes me when people press the button at road crossings even when there is not a car insight.

The thing is that people are programmed to do all kinds of stuff without thinking.  We all do hundreds of things every day without a moment’s thought.  But, and this is really important, what don’t you do because it would mean having to think differently?

My bet is that you really want to grow your business. but that marketing your business everyday (as it should be) is not automatic.  So, the big question is how long does it take for something to become automatic?  Like most things there is no hard and fast answer.  Research shows that it can be anything from one to eight months and I bet it has a great deal to do with what sort of person you are, how old you are, but, bottom line, how much you really want to do it.

So, how about trying this?  Write in your diary, right now, ‘Marketing’ every day for the next month and see how long it takes to become automatic.