Archive for 'Being Relevant'

Day 31: Scale

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The foundation of scale is all about zeros.  Just add or take away zeros and any small or big business plan can be drawn to scale.  The old model requires you to bully your way into the market or use your purchasing power to buy space and people.  Big Ink did that by deciding to give away its printers for free;  Facebook does this by buying employees for millions, often by purchasing those employees’ start-ups and shutting them down.  Is this sustainable?  Probably not.  Does that mean you can’t compete?  Absolutely not.  You just need your team members to work together and innovate, control, and lead by creating marketing programs that offer a more complete and scalable experience.

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Day 30: Focused Executive Program

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A Focused Executive Program comes down to one word:  relationships.  So get off your butt, get out from behind your gosh-darned desk and go visit and talk to customers – every single one of you – so they turn to you and you can help them.  This is Jeff-speak for something more diplomatic, suitable for pasting into PowerPoint slides anywhere:

  • Establish top-to-top executive relationships with key strategic customers
  • Use these relationships, whenever appropriate, to
    • Influence major business decisions.
    • Avoid/assist in crisis management and/or problem resolution.
    • Identify long-term opportunities for collaboration.

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Day 29: 4 E’s

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Several change agents I spoke to bravely admitted they had missed the boat initially on social media, but turned it around quickly.  That’s the beauty of social media, too.  As long as you eventually get it, you can catch up pretty quickly.  And you don’t need some high-priced consultant to get started.  Just remember the 4 E’s:  Engage, Educate, Excite, and Evangelize

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Day 28: Speed

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Customer service is all about capturing and listening to your customers, and the phone and certainly social media can’t replace the human touch.  People are not particularly adept at listening on social media – really listening.  We tend to talk at each other when we chat, text, tweet, and post.  Even when you have the human touch, you need to to want to listen to those customers.  Simply put, there is just no substitute for listening to your customers and then keep listening, because as Kent Huffman, CMO at BearCom Wireless Worldwide says, “If you do, they’ll tell you exactly what they want and need, which in turn will enable you to make the changes necessary to turn those customers into rabid proponents for your company.”

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Day 27: Customer Service

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Customers don’t and won’t care about you until you deliver and keep your brand promise to them, and that requires you to do one thing first:  care about them.  That’s why I spend so much time creating programs that directly connect to my customers.  Great change agents know they need to do this, and to do it the way our customers want it, not just the way we want to do it.  My friend Ray Tom echoes this when he “strives to give excellent customer service, which incorporates the focus of making your customer’s job easier.”  So does Ronald M. Turner, CME, president of We Care/HydroMaid, who knows, “The best decisions are made after you look at the problem or program from the customer’s point of view.”

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