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“Don’t Dig for Gold, Sell Shovels!

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Thanks to Dave Schneider for image.

And we thought the gold diggers were the ones who made money! According to Frank Rumbauskas, Author of Never Cold Call, “The people who prospered most during the gold rush weren’t the ones digging for gold.” Those that made money were those who provided goods and services for the miners. Those that opened bars!

WHY? They knew their customer and what their customers needed.

What does this mean to sales people?

Many people spend hours “digging for gold.” We have been told the more calls we make the more customers we will get and eventually we will ‘strike gold.’ We’ve been told ‘play the numbers;’ the more you play the more opportunities you will have. If that really worked wouldn’t all of us be rich?

IT’S NOT SO! SURE YOU SHOULD FISH WHERE THE FISHING IS BETTER!

Sure you need customers, but cold calling isn’t getting leads; it’s calling on people who don’t know you or even care about you. They are ‘cold.’ Sure I know if you snag one of these you really feel good but why waste your valuable time when there are other ways to get customers?  You need quality leads, not just leads.

Why would you do that? There are other ways to get quality leads.

First you have to know your customers. Who buys from you and what do they buy. Customers who have bought before are always better prospects. They are willing to pay your prices because they already like and trust you. In sales it’s critical to be liked and trusted. Forbes suggests you analyze your market and know exactly what your customers like and if they’ve sneezed!

I know you think you’re unforgettable but it’s not so. Pay attention to customers who have bought from you. In other words, follow up after you’ve sold these customers. It doesn’t matter when they will need your services again; eventually they will. How will they remember you if you don’t stay in touch?

85% of your business comes from referrals. Need more business, go back to your sold customers and ask them for help.

Warm up those cold leads! That’s what social media is for; use your LinkedIn connections, your Facebook friends. It’s likely if you ask enough people you can get your self-connected.

Don’t get caught in the cold call trap.

Need Lisbeth to help you warm up your cold leads? For personalized training to get more customers call 518-495-5380.

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By | January 30th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Please Macy’s, Don’t Forget Me!

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Businesses with great customer service stay in touch with their customers.

I  must admit I love the clothes and shoes in Macy’s.

In the 70’s I had a Macy’s credit card and used to receive offers from them. It seemed like once I stopped using the card I never heard from them.  Every time I would purchase at Macy’s the clerk would ask if I had a credit card. I would tell her yes, but they could never find it. I just paid cash, purchased less and wondered how they lost me.

Did  I forget to pay a bill? How could Macy’s lose me?

Yesterday I was in Macy’s Shoe Department and found the most unforgettable pair of shoes. Of course the clerk asked if I had a credit card. This time I decided to say I didn’t have one.

“Let’s get you one, she said, there’s a 20% discount today if you get a new card.”

After 10 minutes of questioning back and forth,  she finally said, “They want to talk with you.” Now I’m nervous. Are they going to announce  over the loud speaker that  Lisbeth Calandrino is a deadbeat?

I thought they would tell me I had an unpaid balance of $10.00 and they’d crossed me off their list. Instead they asked my name, address and phone number and then said they wanted to talk to the clerk.

“You have a card she said, how come you haven’t used it?”

“They won’t let me,” I replied. She laughed and said, “That’s strange.” It may be strange to her, but every time I told the clerk I thought I had a credit card, my purchase was denied.

The clerk announced that Macy’s has decided to send me a new card. (By the way, no 20% discount for me. The 20% discount is only for new card holders.)

I guess they’re trying to tell me  I can’t put one over on them.

So how do businesses lose customers? Do they  decide some customers are better than others? What criteria do they use? Frankly, in this case, I just think it’s a case of not paying attention.  I should be receiving offers and discounts automatically from them.

Great customer service is remembering your customers and staying in touch with them.

White House/Black Market never loses me. Cachet knows where to find me. As a result of their coupons, discounts and special offers, I’m at both  at least twice a year when the seasons change. There have been many times I wanted to charge something in Macy’s and pay it off in two payments but passed on my purchase.

Your most valuable customer is one who has purchased from you. Why would you forget them? They didn’t spend enough?

I’ve told lots of people over the years about my Macy’s credit card problem and have avoided shopping there with my friends   The only reason I was there yesterday because I was doing a SodaStream demonstration.

(By the way, you must see the SodaStream commercial they wouldn’t air on television.)

Consider your past customer is your connection to your next new customer. When my friends want to go shopping, I always say, let’s not go to Macy’s.

When you don’t keep in touch with your customers, they make friends with your competitors. Not going to Macy’s has forced me to check out new stores, and get new credit cards. Oh well, I guess I’m not that important to Macys.

I read a statistic that the average business loses 10% of their customers yearly.

I found some other statistics that might be important to you if you own a business.

  1. 73% of marketing managers of various large companies credit “Repeat purchase behavior” as integral to the definition of successful customer engagement –Forbes Magazine
  2. A survey asking which is the most important marketing objectives, shows that 29.9% think that it should be customer acquisition, and 26.6% think that it is customer retention.
  3. However 62.2% admit that they concentrate on customer acquisition, with only 20.6% focusing on customer acquisition. –Emarketer
I guess Macy’s isn’t the only offender.

Want more information on repeat and referral business? Check out my Surfaces Blog from 2012.

Lisbeth helps businesses build loyal and profitable customers through customer service training and social media marketing. Her book, Red Hot Customer Service is about to be published in its updated version.  To book her for training  or speaking, she can be reached at redhotcustomerservice@nycap.rr.com.

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By | February 17th, 2013|Blog, Repeat and Referral Business|0 Comments