The problem with promises, implicit or tacit, is that they create expectations. So what?
Here’s the problem with that:
As business owners we make promises, whether you want to or not. When we make a promise we are creating the future for other people. People come and expect that something will happen within a reasonable delay and with respect and a fair price.
I have stopped using stores for numerous reasons, all related to failed expectations.
One of the local sporting stores wanted to charge me for warentee support for a product that they sell and carried a lifetime guarentee!
I had to chase after the regional distributor and then finally the manufacturer in Germany to get warranty service from my local vendors. It took me almost two years of intermittent effort to get a lifetime guarantee honoured.
This is exactly the opposite of what we expect of a company that offers a strong warranty on their products. No one said to me when I purchased my product that the service would be fast and easy. They just said that they would replace them if they broke due to manufacturers defects. But our expectations turn around something will happen within a reasonable delay and with respect and a fair price.
So the only way for us to satisfy our clients is to allow them live fulfilled expectations. So it is up to us to manage the things that we can.
We have to justify:
If you can manage those things then you will be able to have happy clients with fulfilled expectations. They will thus have nothing but good things to say about them because you held up your end of the bargain.
Be proactive and control the promises and turn any tacit agreements into voiced agreements so that people won’t be surprised by their own expectations being unfulfilled!
Good luck and take control.Learn More
Charm is a wonderful thing.
I love a charmer, someone who comes along with a big smile and is eager to help. That is the best kind of reception that we can receive; if they have a desire to fulfil your desires and expectations. All of these things are really pleasant to find in your environment.
But there is another side to the charmer’s personality. They expect you to say yes to their effort. They are not used to being denied for no other reason but you don’t feel like it. You are supposed to be polite and accept their effort as cash and feel bad if you say no. So, we as customers will avoid that guilty feeling of denying effort by saying yes.
That works with lots of people, but not really. If you leave with the feeling of being taken advantage of you will be an unhappy customer and avoid that store in the future because you don’t like that icky feeling of being used.
So it is important that your best charmers are well trained in being able to take no as an acceptable answer to their charm.
It was quite funny this morning when I was sitting in the coffee shop where I wrote this article and I wasn’t quite ready for anything and a lovely waitress comes up with the full blown charm machine running and asks if I would like a good capuccino or a café au lait in a bowl…I said not yet; and I was briefly reminded of Bilbo’s Gollum moment in the Lord of the Rings:
I think I was momentarily scared…fortunately there were witnesses so I was okay.
But it is to be remembered as the supervisor of the sales force that our clients are more than just tools to fulfil our objectives. They need to be listened to and empathised with. So make sure your charmers leave the clients charmed and not mildly terrified, queasy or guilty.Learn More
In any hierarchical relationship there is the a social contract in play. You may ask “Why are you writing about this, Aaron?” and you’ll see that it makes a difference to your clients how your employees feel about their work and workplace.
This image comes to mind…
This whole thing is related to broken window theory. The less you maintain your workplace the less people respect it, the more you maintain it the better people feel about being there. As the owner of your business, you have to provide a number of things to your employees to make sure that they feel that they are respected and honoured individuals in the work place. If you can manage this you will create something far more important than DWYL(do what you love). Because people are far more interested in working at a place that respects them and treats them as honoured members of the team than they are in simply getting paid. That doesn’t mean we can underpay workers it just means that once fair wages are in place we have to begin with aspiration management. So I will argue that as both employee and employer, the most important feature of our personal self-respect is the ability to accomplish goals and advance our perception of what we think we should be doing.
So should you love your job? No, but you should be able to respect what you do and the people that you do it with and for. When we get up in the morning and we look forward to working with our co-workers, because we have fun together, the world is a different place.
When we get up in the morning and you’re going to work with a gang of morons, it’s harder to get out of bed. So choose people and employees based on whether you think that you can respect them.
Now I walk into two different businesses and here is what happens
1) respect absent:
There is tension in the environment and the people destined to serve the clients are under motivated. They are there to collect their pay-cheque until they find another job. I am disinterested to buy here because I become uncomfortable in the environment.
2) Respect present:
People are having fun and like to work with the people in their environment and feel more at ease working as a team. I get better service and am at ease dealing with the people, because I am also being respected in the environment.
So the more effort you put into maintaining the excellent relations inside your company the better your client relations will be and the more your business will flourish.Learn More
People are meaning-making-machines. We need meaning, we need to find reasons and relationships. Try and get away in a world that is empty and meaningless and you will fall in between the cracks filled with those who provide people with meaning. So if you choose a company name that has no meaning, internal or external, people will have a hard time making yous stick in their heads.
When I started my Storage business, I spent about 8 months finding the name that would work. I founded Casa Grande self storage. Why? Because, we went through a hundred names before settling on that one!
A name has power and we can’t forget that. It is what people told fairy tales about and so many stories. When you know the name of something you have power over that thing. You also have the ability to call upon it and to use it. In the best known fairy tale, the hard working girl has to guess the name of the tricky gnome (Rumplestiltskin) to get out of the horrible deal that has been cut.
Even when my children came about, we spent a great deal of time hammering out which names to give them…And other great successes today have done the same. Look at:
All names that are huge in their own right and all of them tell you exactly what they do! There is no working hard to figure out what these companies do and how they can help you! Please help your clients because they have better things to do than figure you out. People work hard to assimilate all the diverse and complicated information that is out there. People are here because they want to live their lives…Not because they want to make you rich. It is not your client’s job to understand you and to figure out why you’re the right business to do business with. It is your job to understand what job your clients have to do and let them know that you can do it for them!
If you decide to come up with the name that makes you happy but no one understands, go ahead but don’t sit around waiting for people to break down your door because they know exactly what you do and how you do it!Learn More
So last time we looked at the hierarchy of needs by Maslow, and how the basic needs are the same for everybody, but how we arrive at those needs differs between people. Now we are going to look at how using basic needs allows us to create relationships that last a lifetime and to which we are fundamentally bonded. attachment theory is something that has been being developed since the UN wanted to create awareness of the impacts on children being left orphans after the Second World War. It has largely supplanted Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as the dominant approach in understanding people through Psychoanalysis.
“Okay Aaron, you’re babbling…what’s your point?”
Pay attention, the whole world revolves around this theory now and it explains why social media works and why you should care!
Today people are in an ocean of media marketing crap. We are constantly bombarded by people telling us how much we should give them our money because they make the biggest, fastest, hottest, sexiest, most ecological thermonuclear widget in the world. But what actually attracts people is calling to their attachments. And those attachments may be parental, relational, emotional, sexual, political, and even brand. But how do we attach ourselves to a brand??
People live in a theoretical future. People don’t spend there time in the present, they live in some hoped for future that calls them to do things today. If our society didn’t completely fail us we feel part of some group. And those groups are what link us together; us and them. Social media, and even brands are about creating links between culture and product. Their product has to make my life a representation of what I want.
When it comes down to it, I could care less about the difference in flavour between coke a Pepsi! I want to drink Coke because it’s the real thing. I don’t want to be part of the new generation I want to be solidly planted in the historical number one. I see myself as the solid winner not the substitute number two. So I see Coke as my drink and Pepsi as the replacement.
Now ask yourself to what subset of humanity do you want to attach yourself? What need do you want to fulfil as a brand? That is the group who will become your tribe and the people who you will want to market to.
Have fun!Learn More
This is not a I love Apple article…so anti-apple people, Stop. It just happens that I had a great client experience with them.
If you want to know why the Apple Stores do so well, well there is a customer service aspect that goes beyond the whole design, it just works whoop,whoop thing.
We are currently evaluating what kind of IT equipment we will transition to for the next generation of computers, smart-phones, etc.
One of those options is to go into the closed garden that is Apple. We are tempted. And I have to say the pre-sale experience has been impressive so far, and I’ll tell you why.
They have been there when I called and I was impressed by their capacity to listen recommend products and solutions that they have as well as taking the time to write personalized letters and make jokes in them as well as making sure to be there when they say they will be and they have followed up in a respectful manner. They are an excellent example of permission marketing.
What is permission marketing, simple, just ask if your allowed to do things before you do them! IE
So when we ask our clients what they want we feel respected and it makes us responsible for our relations with them their actions and our feelings towards them. It is the new wave and it is so much better than older methods.