Setting Higher Expectations

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higher expectationsPeople are afraid to set the bar too high…Why is this?

Over the last few months, I have been studying some great companies and having some interesting discussions. What I am finding is that many people are setting their project expectations very low when it comes to serving their clients. They are basically using a prevent defense and watching the recent transactions to make sure those numbers do not move to far from the typical normal process.  It is the easy way out and frankly many people are starting to see through this type of approach and if you dig deeper, you may uncover all kinds of issues. If you find yourself in protective mode, they are usually not growing and they are trying to hold on to what they currently have. As a result, their business is suffering and their profits are falling off very quickly.

Next, I am seeing the great companies are planning for exponential growth. They are looking for opportunities to work with clients and ultimately get a win-win-win scenario for their clients. Win-win used to be the norm. I will help you, you will help me and we will both benefit.  It is the approach most people use today. It is an old, tried and true method which sometimes works and sometimes does not work.

Using a win-win-win approach adds one more important factor, clients. Both companies win and both companies will be able to gain more clients as a result of their transaction which ultimately results in huge wins for the clients.

To get to a win-win-win strategy, means knowing and understanding your clients’ needs better. In the past, it was not proper to ask for this information and many companies were not willing to share this type of information. Now, companies are understanding the real value of relationships and how critical it is to truly understand the wants and needs of clients and to better understand their processes. This information is really the key driver to setting the bar higher for all of our relationships with clients outside and working relationships inside our office.

Going forward in 2015 – Getting more personal

The economy is showing signs of getting weaker once again. If you pay attention to the recent economic figures in 2015, you would think we do not have much of a chance to succeed. For me, this signals a huge awakening and a time to roll up my sleeves and set the bar higher than before. There are so many opportunities to serve clients and make a difference in our companies. Only a few will recognize this and see results. If you surround yourself with great people, you can really learn a lot and it will help you see where you can go in the future. Keep connecting and setting the bar high if you want to see your company grow in the future. Look for win-win-win possibilities to start and strive to learn more from your current clients. They are your rock and foundation for growth.

Picture Source: Pixabay

Some Advice to Salespeople

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sales peopleI look forward to working with the salespeople I come in contact with. Most of my great connections have worked hard to understand my ever-changing needs and have experienced a time or two where deals have not come through. Salespeople have a lot of work to do and the good ones know their clients well and have connections like you can’t believe. Other salespeople are trying, but they typically miss the mark on a number of key decision-making opportunities and as a result I often tell them that I am just not interested in the proucts or services they provide.

Below is a guide to what I have seen with respect to salespeople I have worked with in the past. My hope is there is one item in here that will help you, as a salesperson look at your work a bit differently with your next interaction with a client.

Most salespeople I work with  are doing the following:

  • Not Listening for what is really important to clients.  (Pointing out Features that do not matter. Each person is different)
  • They talk to much about the great technology they have in place and the fact they have an innovation team, strategy team and service team.  (How does that relate to the client?)
  • They want buy-in, but do not know how to start the process. (If a salesperson would work on a win-win offer, this would be a great starting point) (Get to the Point – Don’t Waste People’s Time)
  • Are not excited about what they sell. Have some passion and show excitement!

Here is what I would like to see more salespeople do:

  • Come in with a “Wow” option after listening to a clients’ needs. Have some options available. These options should be easy to setup and the client should be able to see the value.
  • Actually know their products or processes really well and provide specific examples from other experiences.
  • Show how their product will improve the quality of life at our company. (Salespeople need to sell an experience that they have not seen before)
  • Ask me to keep an eye out for <You fill in your need here> .  Start by asking  for my email address and tell me you will send me more information on a particular topic, product, service, person. Some type of related information. People like myself like to be kept informed of something in the future that could really be of value to me.
  • Invite me to meet one of your other clients and learn how they are using the particular product or service which is being offered to me.

I don’t think these requests are out of the question and in fact if a salesperson actually lookes at these processes I think they would have a good understanding of how I think. By the way, this approach is what I work on with respect to my relationship with clients and vendors. It is a 360 degree process and it really comes down to serving people’s needs in a way that stands out from all the other sales processes out there.

Picture Source: Pixabay


Make it Personal

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Personal MarketingToday, everyone spends time on their smartphone. Whether its checking email, news or our favorite social media site. When we go to share information, we talk in phrases just like everyone else.

You don’t have to look any further than people saying Happy Birthday on your Facebook Page.

  • How many people type the same phrase, “Happy Birthday <Insert Name Here>  – We do this to show we care.
  • However, check and see how many people actually take the time to add a personal note or something memorable?

I know this may seem trivial, but if you want to stand out in a world of noise, you may need to really consider looking at the way you respond back to people.  Do you still need some more examples of how we’ve all become robotic responders? Here are some more examples:

  • Twitter – Do you retweet people’s content or do you actually take time and add a note about the content they posted?
  • Linkedin – Do you just connect with someone and leave it there or do you follow-up with a note as to why you value them as a valuable content.
  • Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ – Do you simply give a “thumbs up”  or do you actually add a comment.

Now here are some ideas for connecting again on a better level:

Start a new conversation and refer to an article they posted or send a comment about their website or profile information.

Find their email address and add a note to say hi and acknowledge which social media platform you saw their content. This will let the person know that you really value the content they are posting.

Write an article or share a comment about the person. This takes a little bit of thought, but it really does show a deeper appreciation.

Finally, some other areas to consider looking at when it comes to being personal.

Review your voice mail message. “Is it really fair to tell people that you value their call and you will get back to them when you get back to your desk” Do people really believe this anymore?  If you prefer responding to emails than voicemails, indicate so on your message, Voice Message Tip. The truth works much better than a misleading message.

Review your automatic email messages back to clients. – You will be surprised at the lack of professionalism you may be sending back to your client after they fill out their information on the Contact Us Page.  Maybe you should make sure the message is coming from a person and not a system.

Review your “out of office email message” – Could you tell people you are checking emails periodically because you are out of the office and will get back to them.  Make your message as simple and clear as possible.

If you want to connect and stand out from others, consider connecting and being a bit more human/personal.

Picture Source: Pixabay


Digital Transformation

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Digital TransformationWhat exactly does this mean? – Transformation defined, by– A change in appearance, form or character.

I think this is the key to beginning a digital strategy is to have an idea of where you want to be with respect to

  • servicing your clients
  • improving your current internal processes
  • defining your marketing goals and objectives
  • how technology will facilitate this process
  • being able to see a noticeable difference in your company
  • planning with respect to your company representatives
  • getting your clients onboard with the new changes and exceeding their needs

On the surface it looks like every other marketing campaign out there. However, as I go deeper on the digital front I am seeing more of a shift from traditional marketing messages and metrics to a whole new way of looking at things.

We are trying to create an experience!

At Your Company

It is critical that this experience includes internal processes. In the past, the focus was totally on the client and as a result a number of key processes and technologies were never addressed because no extra value could be proved. Now with the focus on more customer experience, it is imperative that employees are empowered through increasing knowledge and access to the most current tools.


There is a lot of disparity with respect to client needs. All of your clients and vendors are trying to upgrade their processes and continue to find and develop new processes to improve their own businesses. Many clients don’t know what they really need and others are finding it difficult to do business everyday.  Digitally speaking, this is where companies must work closer than ever to insure their customers are successful. In the past, this type of information may have been taken for granted too much. Today, everyone needs to know much more about their clients.

What does it take?

It really starts with the leadership of the company. The vision needs to come from the top of the company. This person is the key person in determining what the future will look like for the company. We are seeing a lot of strong leaders growing up rapidly in this era. These people are doing their homework and are getting out and looking at the needs of their workers and clients. In addition, these people are taking this information and formulating it into a strategy.  It is here that transformation can take place. The takeaway here is that we cannot work in a vacuum. Regardless of your position, you owe it to yourself to get involved and know where your company is headed. Digital is not another marketing campaign. It is a new way of thinking and acting. Are you ready?


Where do you start with respect to DIGITAL

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The past few articles have really hit this topic of DIGITAL and its impact on businesses.
(Buyers in Charge, Change Management, You Don’t Know What Your Clients Want)

Going DigitalWhat I am learning through this process is that it touches your entire company. It is not just a marketing idea. It is not only about technology. It is not only about processes. It literally is a new way of thinking and a move toward being competitive in a new environment. June 3, 2015

What I am currently witnessing in the industry?

  • Companies are literally fighting for customer attention these days. Those most desperate are reducing prices in a big way to hold on to what little customer base they have.
  • Executives are fighting politically to hang on to their jobs and staff and cannot afford to take on new projects.
  • Executives are job shopping every couple of years and following the money to the next opportunity.
  • Many entrepreneurs are trying to get a company started quickly and put it in a position to sell it as fast as they can.
  • Many companies are growing through acquisition in order to gain more customers.

What are you doing digitally speaking? (Here is my list of items I am looking at)

  • Reviewing processes – Where can we upgrade and improve
  • How do we relate better to our clients – How can we improve our client service processes?
  • How do we get our company message in a world of noise?
  • How can we upgrade our employee’s skillsets for the future?
  • How can we tap knowledge from our most experienced staff and share that across to our employee staff?
  • What will our company look like in two years, five years?

It is a big undertaking to look at digital and see what it looks like for your company. The key is having the right viewpoint. I initially looked at this topic from a technology and marketing standpoint, but quickly realized there is a real human component here too. This is a lifestyle change and it will take a lot of work to make it work.

No one department or person can take this mission on by themselves. It requires a team effort and a commitment from everyone in the company to want to learn and change. The more I look closely at digital, the more I realize tht it is necessary to approach this topic from a global view and roll up the sleeves and dig into it more each da.

What does your digital strategy look like? Do you have a vision of where you want to go for you, your employees and your clients?

Picture Source: Pixabay