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.

Did you tidy your office today?

Ask my staff and on 99 out of 100 hundred days they would tell you that my office needs a good sort out.  I admit that it could to with a tidy up from time to time, but strangely I know where everything is and can lay my hands on anything I need in seconds.  Oddly, this is something I can’t do if papers are neatly filed away.  But yes, I do admit, there are occasions when even I would accept that my office needs to be tidied.  You really can’t work effectively if things are in a real mess.

But enough about my office, I want to talk about yours.

My question is more by way of example than really wanting to know if you tidied up your office today.  You see all too many business people spend far too much time putting off what really would make a difference to their business in order to do, well almost anything else. Tidy the office, create a new filing system, design a new spreadsheet for the petty cash, make a long list of people to call. You know the type of thing I mean.  We’ve all done it.  We have all convinced ourselves that these things are really vital and will make a difference to our lives.  And, of course they will, but not in the way we actually want.

Why do we do it?  Well, the things that are going to have the biggest effect on our success are hard, and sometimes even unpleasant.  So we put these difficult things off and do other ‘important’ things like tidying the office instead.

So, if your business isn’t moving in the direction you want, as fast as you would like, be tough on yourself and list the ‘important’ jobs you have done in the past few days, against the really important jobs that need to be done to move your business forward.

Actually picking up the phone today and calling even a few people will have a much more dramatic effect on your business than having a long list of people you could call another day.

Is your phone answered?

I was at a seminar recently on sales and marketing and the following facts were given.  And, these facts weren’t just generic: they were the result of the company ringing their own client base between 8.30am and 9.00am.

18% were answered, 43% had an answerphone pickup, and 39% just rang.

Further, at least half of those answered by the answerphone made the caller never want to call back!

So, this is my question – how much business are you losing by having a bad answerphone message for your business or simply because no one answers the phone?

By having your phone answered well, you could improve sales significantly, without any effort or extra cost.

If your phone is left ringing, make sure it isn’t.  And, listen to your answerphone message now.  If it doesn’t make you want to call back, make you feel welcome, change it today!  It’s a five minute job.  Promise me that you will do it today!

Why not let me know in a couple of weeks time how much your call rate has increased?