Friday, April 24, 2009

You Lost Me At Hello

I was looking for a headphone/microphone for my laptop. I didn't know if I wanted the plug in one or the USB version.

My first stop is to the computer store that spends considerable advertising dollars and they were advertising both versions. I brought my laptop in and headed over to a salesperson and asked if I could test a unit before I bought it.

The sales person sent me over to service where I explained what I was looking for.

Here is how you lose a sale.

Service Guy-"We don't have any that you can try. You will have to buy it. If you have to return it, its an in store credit not refund."

So in a nano second all these things went through my mind:

Why wouldn't you have a display unit to test drive. I have my laptop with me. Is that not signal that I want to buy?

I am going to pay for it at that end of the counter and if it doesn't work I am going to walk 5 feet down that sales counter to return it but not for cash but an instore credit.

What makes you think I would want to shop here in the future.

I came in here to buy and you blew it.

Out the door and down the street to the competitor. Not only did they let me test drive it, the owner took personal care of me hooking it up to my computer, let me tap into his WIFI and I made calls using my SKYPE. Worked beautifully and I was a happy camper. Even better when I went to pay for it, it was on sale saving me another $10.

Here is the thing. All things being equal in price it all boils down to service and the first store failed because that employee was likely following store policy.

Like one of my first sales managers taught me, "Don't negotiate with me to make the deal. Save that for the customer." And, "its always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission."

You can't use the excuse that the advertising didn't work. Your company policy did that.

Tony Mariani

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

3 Questions Any Advertising Sales Person Should Ask

When you ask these 3 questions, be prepared for the owner to have the deer in the headlights look.

For the most part advertising is foreign. Its usually is done on a whim and a prayer.

So try these 3 questions.

1. You know Mr. Business Owner, advertising is an integral part of any business operation. Would you agree that you need a plan and stick with it to the end?

2. My experience has shown me that many businesses fail to put enough emphasis on an advertising plan over the long term. Worse many businesses do not measure how well their advertising is doing. How do you measure your advertising success?

3. How do you determine your advertising choices?

Try it on your next call and then come back and leave a comment of the call.

Betcha your answers will be priceless!

Tony Mariani

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What If All Businesses Were Run The Zappos Way

I am following company CEO Tony Hsieh, on twitter. His twitter name is, zappos. It was somewhere among the tweets where I learned you could email Tony and he would send you a copy of Zappos 2008 Culture Book. A couple of hours after my email I received a return email from Tony telling me the book was on its way. And there it was a few days later sent by UPS.

The Culture Book is written by employees. Its refreshing to see a company empower their employees to WOW customers. What a novel idea, customer service.

Tony Mariani