Tim Harris, owner of Tim's Place, is the country's only restaurant owner with Down's Syndrome,. The joy he gets from serving people good food carries over into his diner's most famous export: hugs!
What are the advantages of making a Will? What might it cost? Can it be changed if my circumstance change?
What attracts consumers to your brand and turns them into loyal customers are the unique qualities your products and services have to offer. You provide something that no one else does or in a way that no one else does. Otherwise, why would you be in business?
Your Brand Is Not a Cliché
Your products or services are unique, so make your marketing as unique. Don't package your marketing messages in clichés or overused phrasing that has lost its real meaning. It's not enough to say that your brand is "the best widget maker around." You have to dig deeper than that and get to the core of why your brand makes the best widgets. That why is what consumers are interested in and what will keep them coming back to your brand time and again.
Find Your Brand's Standout Power
Because you spend every day with your brand, it may not be obvious to you exactly what makes your brand so great. You just know it is!
Here are some questions to help you brainstorm what gives your brand its standout power:
- How are you making life easier for your customers?
- What follow-up or customer service do you provide?
- Why do you stand above your competitors? Why would customers choose you?
- What proof do you have that your brand is standout? Customer ratings or testimonials?
- What stories can you tell about how your brand has worked for others?
Don't just ask yourself and your staff. Ask your customers! They can be the best resources for true insight into your brand. Send out surveys to your current base and see what they have to say. A lot of times companies are taken aback by the critiques and praises they get. You can use this data to mold not only your website language and images, but also your ads and the way you sell to you people. Remember to look for common themes within the surveys to address the biggest pros or cons of your business. Don't try to fix it all at once.
Remember: in creating your brand's promise for marketing messaging, don't just describe what your brand does. Describe what your customers get every time they choose your brand. Highlight the value you will bring to them with every interaction with your business. Remind them of this every time you get off the phone with them, obviously in a non cliché way, and your call backs or order times will improve.
Author: Jason Thomas We can help you use the best free advertising space out there. With custom-branded sticky screen cleaners, your marketing message can adhere directly to the back of the mobile devices of your customers and contacts.
You provide them with a convenient way to clean those greasy screens we all touch endlessly every day, and they show your brand message to the world!
Visit our site, http://www.pristinescreens.com or call us today for your free sample at (800) 540-5971 or fill out our sample request form.
You can expect excellent customer service, FREE samples, digital proofs, and bulk discounts.
The old saying is wrong—winners do quit, and quitters do win. Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point—really hard, and not much fun at all. And then you find yourself asking if the goal is even worth the hassle. Maybe you’re in a Dip—a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. But maybe it’s really a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better, no matter how hard you try.
According to popular business blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin, what really sets superstars apart from everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly, while staying focused and motivated when it really counts.
Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons.
In fact, winners seek out the Dip. They realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for getting past it. If you can become number one in your niche, you ll get more than your fair share of profits, glory, and long-term security.
Losers, on the other hand, fall into two basic traps.
Either they fail to stick out the Dip they get to the moment of truth and then give up or they never even find the right Dip to conquer.
Whether you're a graphic designer, a sales rep, an athlete, or an aspiring CEO, this fun little book will help you figure out if you're in a Dip that's worthy of your time, effort, and talents.
If you are, The Dip will inspire you to hang tough. If not, it will help you find the courage to quit so you can be number one at something else. Seth Godin doesn't claim to have all the answers. But he will teach you how to ask the right questions.
Author: Seth Godin
Seth Godin is the author of eighteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.
In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of Squidoo.com,. His blog (find it by typing "seth" into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.
You can find every single possible detail that anyone could ever want to know at sethgodin.com
Who are you?
If someone wants to know who you are, they type your name into Google.
Before the meeting, you have been googled.
Before the interview, you have been googled.
Before the pitch, you have been googled.
What is Google saying about you?
What did you give Google to say about you?
It's an interesting exercise to Google oneself ... interesting and sometimes surprising!!
Right there is a little window into how people might be seeing you.
That is the story people are seeing and reading about you - your personal brand story, your business brand story.
Did Google put it there? No. But Google chose which parts of it to put in front of searchers as the first thing they saw.
Did other people put it there? Yes. Your clients comment on your business and connect with you. Your friends comment on you and connect with you. You listed yourself on other websites, and commented or interacted there.
So to some extent, this is happening without you.
Consider, though ...
You gave your clients something to comment on. What was that?
You connected with them. What impression did that give?
You gave your friends something to comment on. What was that?
You connected with them. What impression did that give?
You associated yourself with other websites. What impression does that give?
My mother said to me often and often, "Put your words on the palm of your hand before you say them."
She probably said that as I grew into a teenager with attitude, and not much thought for what I said, or what the consequences might be.
Everything communicates, especially words, but actions too.
So everything we do on the internet communicates something and it's not always what we might expect.
Google, and the internet as a whole, gives us an unparalleled opportunity to communicate, to share and to build a brand, and there is nothing so challenging, nor so rewarding as to to watch that brand build and grow.
Author: Bronwyn Ritchie.
If you would like help telling your story on-line, please contact me. I have a "Connecting the Dots" programme that helps my clients find the story they need to tell.
Being well entrenched in the Digital/Internet Revolution we are in today, one thing has become more important and paramount than ever before in history... TRUST. The other name for this period of time we are in is "The Customer Revolution"... and for the same reasons. If your customers don't trust you, you are at high risk of extinction in the not too distant future.
TRUST has become the ultimate prize for businesses today. If your customers trust you, they are choosing to work with you over anyone else in your industry... even if they have to pay a higher price. And one of the biggest reasons Trust is so critical to people is because of TIME. As I have talked about in several earlier posts, Time is the most valuable asset for people today (according to Forrester Research and others). People don't feel they have enough of it and they can't afford to waste it. Those that can help them keep more of their time are more trusted and become the winners in the new Revolution.
If your customers Trust you, they don't have to spend the time searching around and checking out other options... they can simply buy from you. And they are proving this by their willingness to pay more for the same products/services. This is a HUGE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE for businesses today.
But how do you create more trust with your customers?
The underlying core of this answer is very simple... yet many businesses seem to ignore this simple message. The underlying foundation of Trust is PROMISES MADE = PROMISES KEPT. While this is an easy concept to grasp and understand, it appears to be an incredibly difficult formula to execute on a consistent basis throughout one's business. I refer to this often as playing the "Whack-a-Mole" game... where you have a bunch of holes in front of you and a different mole pops up randomly out of each hole... when you hit one, another one pops up. This is the same situation many companies face on a daily basis... having several things under control but another one pops up for you to deal with.
This isn't any more evident than in the area of CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. One of the biggest challenges businesses face today is delivering a CONSISTENT AND REPEATABLE customer experience. Look at your own business and you can see exactly what I am talking about. There are areas that seem to be doing OK and areas that area a disaster when it comes to delivering an awesome, incredible, amazing experience. I can almost guarantee you that there isn't consistency in your customer experience throughout your company... and if there is, you are in a very small minority today.
The CUSTOMER JOURNEY is the collection of customer experiences throughout your company... all working together to deliver an "overall experience" to your customers. The Journey is the "sum of all experiences" you offer to your customers. This includes the experience from your call center, sales, accounting, shipping, marketing, distribution, and every other area of your business. The customer touches each of these areas to some degree at one point or another throughout their overall experience with you when purchasing and/or using your products/services.
So here's the big problem for the majority of companies and why TRUST becomes an issue.
There are usually areas in your business that do better than others when delivering a customer experience. Some might knock it out of the park where others cause great pain for your customers. A good example of this is the Sales group vs. the Accounting group. The Sales department is usually the most "customer centric" in how they treat their customers... it is usually required as part of their role. Accounting, on the other hand, probably doesn't even have it as part of their job description/processes. Their role is to get the bills out, pay the invoices, and make sure all the money is accounted for within the company. Providing an awesome and incredible experience to the customer when they call isn't probably high on their list even though it should be. Regardless of how they treat the customer, they are part of the CUSTOMER JOURNEY inside your company.
When you deliver an awesome and incredible and remarkable CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE... demonstrating how much you care about helping your customers... you build TRUST. When you don't deliver this level of an experience you erode the trust you have with your customer or don't establish any if it is the first interaction.
And when you make PROMISES to your customers through your marketing and advertising, in addition to what your employees tell your customers... and you don't keep them... you lose/erode TRUST. When this happens over and over, your customers lose TRUST IN EVERYTHING YOU DO... not just the few areas that are causing the issue. To the customer, it is a JOURNEY OF TRUST.
Customers don't segregate out the departments in your business... they view their entire experience as a Journey. When different departments don't deliver this incredible experience and don't keep their promises the customer simply says, "They promise things they can't or won't deliver... I don't trust them or anything they say or do." This is even the case when you have one or two departments delivering a experience. The ones that aren't delivering this experience are the ones that bring the company down to the lowest common denominator... a low level of trust for the entire Customer Journey.
If you want to INCREASE THE TRUST OF YOUR COMPANY, YOU HAVE TO DELIVER ON YOUR PROMISES AND DELIVER AN AWESOME CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE THROUGHOUT THE COMPANY. This is the core behind building trust with your customers.
Change the JOURNEY to one where every area of the company is honoring and delivering the promises they make and give your customers a WOW Customer Experience and you will change the level of TRUST. The concept is simple... the execution isn't. If it was, everyone would be doing it. The research wouldn't be telling us that customers don't feel they get an awesome experience. The customer is telling us loud and clear what the answer is to EARNING THEIR TRUST... the question is whether or not we will listen and change our CUSTOMER JOURNEY to one that creates TRUST rather than erodes it.
I would encourage every leader to take inventory of their company's customer experience and how consistently they are delivering on the Promises the employees are making every day. If the experience isn't awesome and you see promises being made that can't be delivered, you have your answer as to how much your customers really trust your organization. This is one of the most valuable "audits" of an organization a leadership team can do to truly understand the level of trust they have with their customers. Give me a call if you have any questions and I would be happy to steer you in the right direction.
Author: Blaine Millet
If you found this helpful, please share it with your friends so they can also learn from the material. It not only means a lot to me but it helps other people see the story. And if this resonated with you, please visit my http://www.WOM10.com site and read more posts like this one.
We used to get excited about moving our companies from being GOOD to being GREAT... but today, being GREAT isn't good enough... it's a commodity. Today, if you aren't on a path to move your company from being GREAT to being REMARKABLE and MEMORABLE, you don't get talked about.
My PASSION and MISSION is to help INSPIRE, GUIDE, and HELP you move your company from being GREAT to being REMARKABLE... and create Word-of-Mouth on STEROIDS so you get talked about... a lot.
I have a model that helps get you to REMARKABLE. In the core of the model is creating unbelievably incredible amazing and awesome Customer Experiences... you can learn about it in my book, "Creating and Delivering Totally Awesome Customer Experiences." With this as a foundation, you are well on your way to being REMARKABLE.
I get to SPEAK about it, WRITE/BLOG about it, and HELP leaders understand it, aspire to it, and achieve it. There are four key components to help get you to being REMARKABLE... getting talked about in the market... and ultimately letting your CUSTOMERS DO YOUR MARKETING FOR YOU.
Are you ready to become REMARKABLE? Shoot me a message... we'll have an awesome conversation!
Your attitude that you show up with each day has a lasting impact on your behavior that affects your outcomes. A person's attitude is an expression of their mindset at any time and in any given situation. Your attitude represents a feeling that can be changed instantly or maintained for a lifetime.
Why is this important?
It is important to understand the attitudes of the most successful business owners so you can emulate them and move your business forward.
1) Success Business owners are passionate about the success/value they can create. Unsuccessful ones are more passionate about watching people on TV live out their dreams in sports, movies shows etc. than actually going out and creating the life they want.
Consider any major success story - what did they have in common?
· Passion for the value they could create.
· Ask yourself am I really passionate about my project?
· Is this passion sufficient to take me through all the ups and downs that I can expect in growing and scaling my business?
· If the passion is really not there - stop and rethink your next move carefully.
· As the old expression goes - "Don't climb your business ladder to only learn it is leaning against the wrong wall".
2) Successful owners maintain a positive mental attitude as a steady state condition. Unsuccessful ones have a mental state that changes and varies with outside circumstances.
Why is this important?
Many times in life you rise and fall to your level of expectations.
If you start with a Negative Mental Attitude you are likely to not fully apply yourself and get results consistent with your expectations.
Life is too short to be grumpy and you will attract other people who are also grumpy and will pull you down.
A positive mental attitude is not sufficient but it is a requirement to succeed.
· Change your attitude right now by focusing all your thinking on what you are grateful for.
· You cannot maintain two completely different thoughts in your mind at the same time.
3) Successful owners are hyper consciousness about what they are thinking and their attitude at any given point in time. When they feel their attitude turning towards the worse they take massive evasive action to change their attitude since they know their attitude determines their altitude in life. Unsuccessful Business owners allow their emotions derived from their environment to run unchecked. They pay little attention to what they are thinking about and emotionally move with the current. Unsuccessful Business owners are not in control of their mental state.
· Take time at multiple points during the day and ask yourself: "What are my thoughts and feelings on ________ (the most pressing issue for you right now).
· Journal those thoughts and then analyze why you think the way you do.
4) Successful Business owners understand the importance of understanding the root of fear so they can eliminate it before it impacts their attitude. Successful Business owners have an abundance-oriented attitude and believe there is more than enough for everyone. Unsuccessful ones never get to the root of their fears and correspondingly their attitude is impacted. Unsuccessful Business owners have a scarcity-oriented attitude and believe that the pie is only so big - for them to prosper someone must suffer.
· Write down a list of what you are fearful of.
· Separate the fears into two columns.
· Those that are rational with real consequences and those that are not rational without real consequences.
· For example jumping out of a perfectly good airplane to sky dive is a rational fear - you could die.
· Speaking to a group of 1000 industry peers at a conference is an irrational fear.
5) Successful Business owners have a can do attitude and focus on what they want irrespective of the odds. Unsuccessful ones allow the statistics of others to shape what they believe is possible and often settle in life.
· Write down very clearly what you want and why you want it.
· Now go deeper and ask the question why again - you will soon discover your internal core motivation and it is this motivation that you need to harness to drive you through to achieve what you want.
· Pay no attention to the Nay Sayers and those that tell you why the odds are against you - they have already given up on their dreams and consider themselves to be "practical".
6) Successful Business owners maintain an attitude of true collaboration and cooperation with others because the notion of competition while important is not the primary focus. Successful Business owners preoccupy their mind with offering incredible service as a way to differentiate themselves and be selected by the market. Unsuccessful Business owners believe that competition is the primary focus and their attitude is they must beat their competitors into the ground. Unsuccessful Business owners preoccupy their mind with how they can hurt the competition and by accident win new customers.
· Develop the ideal customer journey path for your client.
· Vividly imagine how a district and delightful experience can be crafted to meet your customer where they are to help them get to where they want to go.
· Focus 100% on the customer problem and anticipating their needs because you understand them so well.
7) Successful Business owners maintain a balanced attitude and seldom allow events in life to be taken personally. They look at life's events objectively and are careful with the labels they use. Unsuccessful Business owners love to assign labels to everything and often get very excited because they take everything personally.
· Exercise your intellectual asset of Perception - whenever you examine a new idea - turn it over in your mind to see things from all perspectives.
· Be very careful before you assign a label to something as being "good" or as being "bad" because these choices impact your thinking downstream.
· For example if you lose a key customer and associated this as a "Terrible Loss" you cut your mind off from understating why they left and what can be done to improve the customer experience to:
· retain the rest of your clients and
· To innovate your service to attract more clients.
8) Successful owners maintain an attitude rooted in humility. Their inner self does not need this validation. Unsuccessful owners win so seldom that they want the whole world to acknowledge how great they are when it happens. Their sensitive inner self needs this validation
· Objectively look at how you respond to wins and loses relative to your interactions with others
· Do you boast about your wins or are a quietly confident individual?
· Consider asking those that are very close to you this question and see what they say.
9) Successful Business owners maintain an attitude that is open to being wrong. Unsuccessful Business owners believe they are seldom wrong because they are so smart and accomplished
· Make a list of mistakes you have made or were wrong about your business.
· Take a look at your financial statements and ask yourself this question again. If you struggle to see your weakness you will never address it or compensate for it through smart hires.
When you change your thoughts, actions and habits your whole life and business will change. To move you through this process, I regularly share ideas and strategies that you can implement today. One aspect of success is your career and business. Individuals who have joined early stage companies or decided to start their own company have created the majority of financial wealth. Click on http://www.RayStendall.com to watch a short video lesson about how you can drive profitable growth through building, marketing and selling products so you too can have the life you have always dreamed of.
Author: Ray Stendall
Mr. Stendall is the President & CEO of Ray Stendall International, Inc. a San Diego-based consulting office. He is also the Publisher of Customer Engagement Magazine, Author, Activist, and board member of the Financial Policy Council.
Mr. Stendall works with small High Technology Businesses to Sell More, Save Time and Get Organized using Sales and Marketing Automation Systems and Best Practices. This approach allows his customers to make the process Acquiring and Retaining Customers easier and more predictable.
The fact is…women account for the majority of the newly self-employed and whether you think so or not, you need to become the sales person in your business when you decide to go it alone.
If you feel challenged by the thought of doing this, then Good Girls do Sell will provide you with the methods to overcome your selling reluctance.
This book is invaluable for all the entrepreneurs who desire the success and want the know-how to build their business using authentic selling techniques.
Find out why…
• Sales scripts aren’t authentic and don’t work
• Customers who get what they want are willing to pay more
• Your perception will influence the entire sales process
Imagine how empowered you’ll feel when you are confident and brave in every sales exchange.
By following the steps in this book, you will find out how.
She has the runs on the board and knows the processes described in Good Girls do Sell work. Having coached high performing, commissioned-based sales teams, Janeen knows exactly what it takes to inspire top results. She was instrumental in the expansion of a multi-million dollar business by applying the authentic selling techniques you will read about in this book.
The book is available from Amazon