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
There are only seven ways to make money. An immense number of things can be transacted in these seven ways but there are only seven ways to sell things.
Sale of an object, User fees, Memberships, Rental, Licensing fees, Brokerage fees, Advertising fees. That’s it. And it is through understanding your clients and their capacity to pay for something that we choose the appropriate method. What is it that people need, why do they want to hire your products or services and how do they expect to use what you have to sell. So let’s look at them and what they have as expectations and advantages.
So now you can ask yourself: how would my clients be most advantaged? That approach will generate more business than any other approach due to its clientcentric nature. So ask yourself, “If my product or service is too expensive or burdensome for my clients, how can I build a business model that is based on service and not your personal desires.”
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
My Grandmother was easy to set off. If you wanted to see someone rear up and kick call her a liar…and really I think this is the case for almost anyone! People all want to be seen as good and one of the things that we all know is bad is lying. There are many times in a day when we tell white lies but the key to those is that they are mutually agreed on and we all know that they are kindnesses and not genuine attempts to mislead. So I was talking to one of my suppliers for, what I was to discover was, the last time. And the conversation went like this.
Me: There is a mistake with the order…it was supposed to be one-sided not two…
Me: We need it to be one-sided so we can remove one sheet and not two…
Supplier: Well my order sheet says you ordered two-sided!
Me: No…I remember the conversation I requested one-sided after you called me asking if it was two or one.
Supplier: Well my order sheet says two…
Me: Okay. We, my associates and I, discussed this at length…We absolutely knew that the job had to be one-sided recto only.
Supplier: Well our order sheet says recto/verso…
Me: Alright, thank you.
And that is the last time that that business will ever hear from me for a print job…ever! not only that it is the last time I will recommend that company as a business partner. I even started the conversation willing to split the difference since I needed to make changes on top of fixing the problem. So they lost a client who has pretty decent volume as we have manuals and employee handbooks that we create for our clients. How many clients can you afford to lose in a year in an industry experiencing compression and closures left right and centre it seems to me the last thing you want to be doing is calling your clients liars to their face.
Now what to do about that?
So be careful what you are saying to your clients when you tell them they are not telling you the truth…because you are calling them a liar…be ready for the consequences.Learn More