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Articles tagged "Sales and Marketing"

Are You Working Your Sales Process?

Transition from leads to prospects to satisfied customers.Having and following a consistent sales process allows you to easily move through the process as you transition leads to prospects to satisfied customers. Here's a basic 10 Step Process I've shared with my clients.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on August 5, 2014 in Sales, Marketing & Customer Service and tagged , ,

 

Don't Work So Hard: Target to Grow Your Pool of Tier 1 & 2 Customers

Target to Grow Your Pool of Tier 1 & 2 CustomersIf you want to increase your customer base, be smart and target the types of customers you really want.

 

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on July 1, 2014 in Sales, Marketing & Customer Service and tagged , , ,

 

Know How You're Different & Valuable - Know Your USP

Know How You're Different & Valuable - Know Your USP

If you want prospects to first notice you, second pay any attention to you, and then third, buy from you, you need to make it easy for them to choose you over someone else. You need to make it easy for them to pick you.

Know your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

Your Unique Selling Proposition is a basic statement that clarifies how your business is unique and valuable to your targeted customers. It helps you answer the customer's question: Why should I buy from you instead of the other supplier selling basically the same thing? Why you?

A few years ago I worked with a community bank. They had six branch locations, and like their competing community banks, they were struggling to compete against the big guys expanding into the area. So the question to them was, "Why should a customer choose you instead one of the other community banks in the area?" To say I was met with a room full of deer-in-the-headlights stares is an understatement. They couldn't. They were local. So were the other community banks. They were active in the community. So were the other community banks. They had been around for over 100 years. So had a few of the other community banks. There was nothing that could set them apart.

However, after a few strategy sessions and some homework, the bank's leadership team came up with their USP: We can simplify your financial life. Even though they were "just" a community bank, they had most of the financial features and services of the big banks, yet they made their financial decisions locally, quickly, and in-house. From complicated trusts and investments to basic checking accounts, they could handle it all.

When most banks provide the same general products and services, being able to simply and concisely explain how you can help your customers fulfill their financial objectives differently than another bank, can be the key to winning their trust -- and their business.

 

Copyright MMXIV Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC. – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz and her team work with leaders to create focused plans for their organizations' future. Then they work with the leaders to ensure their plans are implemented effectively.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on June 17, 2014 in Sales, Marketing & Customer Service and tagged , ,

 

Where's April?

Where's April

He didn't realize he'd even said it, yet my husband had stopped in his tracks and had basically bellowed the question across the dining room of one of our favorite lunch spots. Upon entering the dining room, he'd done a quick scan to ensure April was there. When he didn't see her, without thinking, he opened his mouth, the question came out, and all the patrons, the other servers, and the chef stopped and looked at him.

"She took the day off. She'll be back tomorrow," the Chef growled.

My husband, Bob, continued through the dining room and joined Gina and me. "Well this stinks. She's not here," he said. "I know. It's Thursday and she's supposed to work Thursdays, " I whined. "So much for our strategy of coming here today because April would be here." Gina grumbled.

OK let me give you some background as to why we three adults were basically acting and sounding like whiny, spoiled kids because April wasn't working that day...

When our various schedules allow, the three of us eat lunch together during the week. It's our time to get out of the office, get away from the computers and phones, decompress, and well... eat. There are a limited selection of restaurants near our office building, so we've honed our favorites down to a handful. One of those is this particular cafe. The food is amazing. Truly. The chef makes incredible sandwiches, salads, soups, and other specials of the day. However, the service is not amazing. It's not even good. It's... tolerable. The chef growls and isn't sociable. The service staff is slow, disorganized, unfriendly, and let me say again, slow. It's not unusual to have to wait 45 minutes for a sandwich. But the food is amazing when it does finally arrive, so we typically select this restaurant when we don't have to rush back to the office.

Two months earlier, we had decided we could "waste" a bit of time over lunch so we selected this cafe. When we arrived and grabbed a table, a new server came to our table within 30 seconds of our having sat down. This shocked us, but then she took the shock factor up a notch because she was friendly. She even asked if we wanted menus or perhaps were already regulars who knew what we wanted. Then she took our drink orders. When she hustled away, the three of us looked at each other rather stunned. THIS was a whole new level of service. But the intrigue continued. She brought us our correct drinks in less than five minutes, and she somehow managed to have our food prepared so she could deliver it to our table in under 15 minutes! Amazing! Needless to say, we enjoyed our lunch and she received a nice tip.

The following Monday, I was traveling when I received a text message from Gina. Her name is April. She works Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. I had no clue who or what she was talking about so when I asked, she texted back: The waitress! Her name is April and we got her schedule! Obviously Gina and Bob were at the cafe again and were enjoying lunch because of April.

When I was back in the office the following week, and lunch rolled around the conversation went something like this, "What are we doing for lunch today?" After the typical "Oh, I don't cares," and "I don't knows," I realized it was Thursday so I said, "Hey, it's Thursday! April's working today!" Without another word, the three of us headed out the door for lunch with April. When we arrived at the cafe, April smiled, pointed us to a table, joined us at the table and said, "Hey there! You're back. Would you like your usual drinks? Two waters and I believe you had an unsweetened tea the last time you were here right?" Holy cow this woman is amazing! She remembered me and what I like to drink! As was becoming the custom, she brought us our drinks quickly and again in less than 15 minutes -- our food. As she placed the food in front of each of us, she said, "You're going to love this special today. It's amazing." The food was amazing. It always was, but April was amazing and because of April, this cafe was now amazing.

So here we were, just a few short weeks later, and there was no April. Granted she was only gone for one day, but we all felt deflated. Sure the meal would be good, but we were back to the former level of service. No other wait staff would remember our drinks, no other wait staff would be particularly friendly, no other wait staff would hustle to get our meals to us, no other wait staff would make the experience amazing. They would take our orders and serve us our meals. That would apparently be enough for them. But it wouldn't be amazing for us.

April takes her job seriously. She doesn't do anything terribly difficult or technical. April simply ensures her customers are welcomed, remembered and served in a way they appreciate. April knows her customers expect a great meal. April ensures they have a great experience by doing what her customers appreciate. April is amazing.

So what might cause one of your customers to bellow, "Where's April?" What might cause your customers to wonder where the amazement is in how you service them? How do you train your staff to provide April-like service? What does your staff do to make your customers want to come back time and again. How have you created consistent April-like experiences for your customers?

Where's your April?

 

Copyright MMXIII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on August 27, 2013 in Sales, Marketing & Customer Service and tagged , , ,

 

Are you Valuable or Valued?

Are you Valuable or Valued?

We've heard over and over "Add value for your customers!" But what does that mean?

According to Webster's Dictionary, VALUE means "Monetary or material worth". Therefore, "Add value for your customers" must mean we have to add some thing (product, service, or other benefit) that adds tangible monetary or material gain for our customers. How do we do that? We need to find out what is valuable - and not merely valued - by our customers.

There's a big difference between providing something that is valuable and something that is valued. Again, according to Webster's Dictionary, VALUABLE means "1. Of high monetary or material value 2. Of great importance, utility, or service". VALUED, on the other hand, means "Highly esteemed". Both terms are impressive. However valuable products, services, and information are what keep customers coming back to you time and again. Valuable items create some type of monetary or material gain for your customers; whereas, a "valued" item is appreciated by your customers, but may not be important enough to them to pay for it. That's the distinction. Do you want to get paid for what you add or do you just want to be appreciated?

To determine how valuable your products, services, and information are to your customers, ask them. What elements of your service do they find valuable? What aspects make their jobs easier, less time-consuming, or more profitable? What would make their jobs even easier, less time-consuming, or more profitable? What do you provide they like, but don't really need? What do they find wasteful or unnecessary? How does the value of your products or services compare to others?

Ask your customers for the answers. They'll tell you. Then you'll know how to add value, because you'll know what is valuable.

 

Copyright MMIII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on April 9, 2013 in Sales, Marketing & Customer Service and tagged , , ,