Delivering Happiness; Enterprise Rental Cars Knows it’s About Doing a Number of Little Things, Consistently Well

 

 

Delivering happiness to your internal and external customers is not about just doing one big thing very well. Market leaders understand delivering happiness is about intimately understanding your customers and your market and consistently doing a number of little things exceptionally well.

Delivering happiness is the “golden rule” in action.

 

This week my work brought me to Chicago. As I discussed in a previous post about the buying experience as a differentiator , my preferred rental car company is Enterprise Rental Cars because of the amazing expertise I had at their Denver location.

I arrived at the Chicago airport, retrieved my checked bags and I was off to the rental car shuttle bus location. When I arrived I was happy to find the Enterprise bus waiting and I quickly boarded. The driver helped me with my bags and provided me a map to help me return the rental car when my trip was over. Another bus arrived and we were quickly off to the rental car parking lot. On the trip the driver (just like Denver) said “we will be arriving at your car in approximately 12 minutes”. As we drove the driver offered to provide us directions if we needed them. The driver radioed “we have two customers approaching and we are two minutes out”…great, I wonder if they will greet us when the van rolls up like Denver?

Sure enough, we were greeted by professionally dressed associates waiting for us. They introduced themselves and invited us inside. As I made my way to the counter, I was offered a cold water to drink. (How did she know I was so thirsty)? We quickly started on the paperwork and she asked how my flight was. Interesting, this is when Dollar or Hertz is typically trying to sell me a GPS rental or insurance, and she seemed to genuinely want to know about my day…

The reservation was pulled up quickly and she led me outside to pick out my car. I chose a small Kia and she walked around the car with her clipboard inspecting the car for damages with me. Again, how nice as this is my job with other companies and it never seems to fail I miss something. She asks about gasoline and insurance packages, but in a way as if she was concerned about my overall service experience and not like she was receiving a sales spiff like I have experienced with Thrifty and other rental car companies. Again she asked if I needed directions and she drew on my map the route to my hotel. She too offered me a map for returning the rental car and circled the directions I would use based on the location of my hotel in Shamburg. She quickly handed me my paperwork and said; “you will need to show this paperwork and your drivers license to the guard at the gate when you leave”. How did she know? How did she know one of my (many) travel pet peeves is if you need to see my drivers license again when I leave your lot, tell me. Don’t wait until I am in the driver’s seat, seat belt fastened and now having to retrieve my wallet and license again. Awesome, it’s like they shadowed me for the past 26 years of traveling and know each of my needs.

Another smaller irritant if you will is finding a radio station I like. Not a big deal mind you, but I often find myself trying to find a station , as I am driving at night in a strange place, trying to follow my Google Maps directions while keeping my eyes out for the right exit signs. When I sit behind the wheel of my Enterprise Rental car I look up and there, hanging from the rear view mirror is a list of radio stations…again how awesome.

After my work was completed I followed the circled directions and quickly found the rental car lot for my car return. When I arrived I was directed to rental car returns and found three people, professionally dressed again, waiting to help me. I would say from the time I pulled in, to the time I was back on the bus to the terminal was no more than 3-5 minutes. Again…awesome! They must know that travelers on their way home just want to get home. We seem to lack patience even more so on the return home than when we arrive and waiting in lines to drop off a rental car is not something we want to do.

Enterprise Rental Cars is in the delivering happiness business and they again reinforced my loyalty based on an amazing overall buying experience.

 

To deliver happiness you must intimately understand your buyers and not rely on your gut and intuition.

 

The test if you are truly committed to delivering happiness is the repeatability of the overall service experience.

 

Market leaders identify customer needs and build repeatable processes and procedures that insure a quality experience each interaction.

 

Market leaders committed to delivering happiness also instill a passion in their team members that is seen in authentic individualized service that reinforces the overall passion to serve.

 

So how about your team?…

 

Do you choose to deliver happiness to your internal and external customers?

 

Is your customer experience the same in Denver as it is in Chicago, Cleveland, or Miami?

 

Do you have processes and procedures in place to insure you consistently deliver happiness? (Market leaders do)

 

How can you instill a passion to deliver happiness in your organization?

 

Just as Enterprise Rental Cars has taken what historically was a matter of fact exchange of service in renting a car to an opportunity to deliver happiness, you can too. You too can get to know your buyers, your market and identify all those little opportunities to serve them that often cost very little but have a huge impact. To do so you need a culture passionately committed to the overall customer experience and an intimate knowledge of your buyers, their needs, and frequent problems.

Oh…as a side benefit, when you passionately deliver happiness customers are forgiving when things go wrong. When I arrived at my hotel I noticed my automatic door locks and truck release did not work. Given how many times I was in and out of the car and trunk over the weekend this would have normally been something that irritated me and tainted my overall buying experience. Since so many other parts of the buying experience were amazing I found the door and trunk release not working not a major problem. I was more forgiving of those inevitable occurrences that go bump in the night than I would have been having rented a car else ware.

Are you in the delivering happiness business?

 

If not now is as good a time as any to start!

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Are You Playing Russian Roulette With your Brand by Keeping Obsolete Products in your Mix?

 

Our focus in business is to identify buyer problems and solve them in ways that create positive buying experiences. When we accomplish this we make the sale, and we build positive word of mouth. A poor buying experience and or an obsolete product that no longer reinforces your brand promise can quickly create negative word of mouth.

 

Keeping obsolete products in your mix is like playing Russian Roulette with your customers buying experience and ultimately your Brand.

 

As I have discussed I travel quite a bit. Some call it old school, but I need to be in the markets I serve. This requires air travel, rental cars, and a number of hotel stays. I was recently working with a customer in Indianapolis Indiana and needed a hotel room for the night. I booked a room with an airport hotel, however the Google maps instructions were not accurate and the person at the front desk of my hotel could not provide me directions. (Another post that needs to happen, but I will let it go for now). After two attempts to find my airport hotel I gave up, and pulled off the next exit to find a room. As I exited the highway I saw a number of hotels and one of which I recognized and had a good feeling about was the Ramada. I pulled into the Ramada as their brand has always meant; clean rooms at an affordable price. They often lack the frills of larger hotels but my understanding of their brand was clean, safe rooms at a completive price. Seeing as how I maybe was going to have seven hours of sleep, I thought the Ramada would be just fine.

What I experienced was the worst hotel stay I have experienced in the past 26 years of business travel.

 

It turns out a road rally was coming through town and they had a number of tired drivers checking in. Understaffed (although they had reservations) I waited over 20 minutes just to check in. I kept telling myself to lighten up, it’s just one night, and now for just 6 ½ hours. As I walked to my room I noticed the carpet in the hall was dirty and had little collections of food and dust in corners. Just as the restroom of a restaurant will tell you about the cleanliness of a food establishment, I have always found public areas of a hotel are a good indication of the cleanliness of your room.

I found my way to my room and as the door opened I was surprised how old and run down this room seemed. Again, self talk said…” it’s only one night and now only 6 hours…” I showered to calm down so I could fall asleep. I found the shower tub disgusting with stains. I found the towels were old and stained as well. As I brushed my teeth I was greeted with an old scratched sink with a rusted water stopper…” it’s only 5 ½ hours”…

As I walked to the bed my feet felt like they were sticking to the old dirty carpet. I turned down the covers and found the sheets too were stained and hopefully clean, but just stained. The pillow felt like someone bought a square piece of foam and cut pillow sized squares out of it. As I lay there, disgusted, my mind raced to the recent Animal planet I watched with my children about parasites and bed bugs.

I tried to relax but I could swear something was crawling on me. I turned on the light and could not find anything, .must just be in my mind. I tried to relax and eventually I must have fallen asleep. My alarm went off and still tired I quickly got ready and went to the lobby to check out.

What I found was a long line of people wanting to be checked in and checked out. I could tell one employee was experienced and one must have been new. Each time the new employee confirmed someone into a room, he would check with the experienced employee to see if it was a “good room”. Interesting, so they must have some old rooms like the one I slept in and others that were “good rooms”. Unfortunately you had to be an experienced employee to know which rooms were good or bad. New employees had no way of knowing with the tools provided what kind of a room they were checking guests into.

When it was my turn to check out, someone who checked in earlier returned to the desk demanding a better room. His room was quickly changed.

As I checked out the young lady did not ask how my stay was, but instead asked if I needed directions. Had she asked about my stayI would have said “disgusting and disappointing” but since they did not ask I felt they just did not care and were anxious to get me on my way.

So on to the next city and I checked into an amazing Comfort inn in Louisville KY that was clean, the person checking me in made me feel like I was his only guest. I went to my room that was very clean and Googled the Ramada to see if perhaps my understanding of their brand was wrong.

If you visit the Ramada web site, Mark F. Young promises;

 

You can rest easy knowing that we are expertly equipped to “create caring experiences for every person, every time.” We are committed to delivering excellent service. All of our properties feature modern amenities such as high speed Internet connectivity.

 

Tell ya what Mark F Young; I have a challenge for you. Visit your hotel on Thompson Ave in Indianapolis and stay in room 219 and tell me if you are living up to your brand promise…. NOT!

The more I thought about this the more convinced I became that businesses who keep products in their mix that are obsolete and do not reflect their brand promise are playing Russian Roulette with their customers’ buying experience, and their brand.

Bad products always seem to find their way to someone.

 

Your team members who have been around a while will know not to sell them, however new employees do not know any better. Negative word of mouth seems to travel much faster than positive feedback particularly with social media. Very quickly one bad customer experience can be heard by over 2,000 people.

In today’s competitive economic times can any of our businesses risk playing customer Russian Roulette with obsolete products?

 

Do you have any products in your mix you do not want customers to ever experience? If so, why are they still there?

 

Does your company have a formal process to audit the quality of your product and your customers’ overall buying experience? If so who reads this data?

 

Have you asked any of your people if there are products you have that should never be sold to customers?

 

When was the last time, as a leader in your organization you bought (shopped) what you sell?

 

When was the last time you inspected what you expected?

 

When was the last time you called someone who just purchased your product or service and asked them about their overall experience?

 

I know I was hard on my terrible experience with Ramada. I guess what bothered me most is I felt they broke my trust. So now I will avoid Ramada hotels even though I had great experiences in the past.

Are any of your current or new customers buying one of your “bad products” this week? You sure?

How Can Marketing Make Your Company Wealthy?

Go to "Energize Growth NOW: The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company" page

 

Being diagnosed as an entrepreneur does not have to be terminal. Far too many entrepreneurs launch with unrealistic expectations, and if they are members of the 1/3 of companies that do survive more than 18 months, they fall prey to “the entrepreneurs’ dilemma”.

As an entrepreneur you probably were working for someone else and found a market opportunity, a need, and a problem that needed to be solved. Chances are you brought the opportunity to your company and they quickly dismissed your idea. So what are you to do? Do you keep trying to convince your “hippos” the size of this opportunity or do you break out on your own on a quest to solve this problem so obvious to you?

If you are wired to be an entrepreneur you set out to solve the problem, and if you truly understood the problem and designed something that solved it completely, you start experiencing sales. This is a fun time because if you did your research before launch, your marketing message clearly explains what your product or service does and buyers instantly get it.

At first your biggest challenge is how to make more…quicker. The next thing you know you are hiring others and you now have a “team”. You now have a CFO instead of your wife paying the bills. You are hiring others from the industry and training them to meet with the customers you once served personally.

Then it happens one evening, usually after 7:00 pm on the drive home (late for dinner again) you do a gut check; “Am I having fun anymore?” If you are honest with yourself the answer is often “no” as you is now “running “a company. Your days of meeting with customers and potential customers are replaced with meetings, planning, and holding your team members accountable. (You became a hippo) You begin noticing a decrease in the incremental sales growth per new employee hired.

The days of you jumping out of bed at 4:30 am long before your alarm goes off are replaced with the ring of an alarm at 6:30 a.m. and …dread, another day of work. If it sounds like I have been there I have…”been there… done that….have the t-shirt”.

The good news is being an entrepreneur does not have to be terminal. There is a great book I finished not long ago titled: Energize Growth Now, the marketing guide to a wealthy company by Lisa Nirell. If you find yourself in the entrepreneurs’ dilemma or want to avoid it, I recommend you buy this book for yourself and all your leaders within your organization.

I found the book provided high level strategies for plugging back into your market as well as tools and rules that are applicable the day after you read this book.

It is not too late to energize growth in your company.

I particularly liked her chapter on increasing your company’s wealth quotient and seven principles to position your company for higher valuation.

It is time we rethink how we “do “business and break the entrepreneur’s dilemma. This book reminds us how critical it is to stay focused on creating value for your buyers and market , and in so doing your wealth quotient as an organization will continue to climb.

Are you in the beginning to experience the entrepreneur’s dilemma?

Do you find yourself needing the alarm in the morning, longing for the days you did not need an alarm?

Are you looking for a road map on how to increase your organizations’ wealth quotient?

I highly recommend Energize Growth Now.

Sales is a Science When You Have Strong Marketing….an Art When Your Marketing Sucks!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is sales and “art” or a “science”? It depends….is your marketing strong, or does it suck?

 

In my last post: Is Sales an Art or a Science I shared how I opened a recent presentation to business owners and their senior leadership teams with a question;

Is Sales an Art or a Science?

 

The responses were pretty predictable;

Felt sales was a science: 30%

 

Felt sales was an Art: 60%

 

Felt sales was both an art and a science: 10%

 

This was interesting, however I heard the soft comment I was waiting for: “It Depends…on your industry, team’s training, product, price, availability of sales tools, your web site….” (Perfect! Now we are going to have a discussion!)

Then they asked me…what did I think? Art or science? I said “yes” as sales is often both. I find where sales falls in the spectrum with art on one end and science on the other depends on the organizations competency in marketing.

Marketing? Yes, because the fundamental job of marketing is to have an intimate understanding of your market, its buyer’s problems, and how they set out to solve those problems. Competent marketing teams clearly understand the buying process, cycle and criteria. They create tools to help buyers buy.

Market Leaders

 

If you have a strong competency in marketing, you know your market, and its problems that need to be solved. You know the buyers; you have clearly stated buyer persona’s and you understand the buying process. Your message is clear and does not require a translator (salesperson) to help buyers understand the problems your products or services solve.

Market leaders have such a clear understanding of the buying process their sales is more of a science. The art in the sale for market leaders is the salesperson’s ability to ask open-ended questions and apply proven sales tools for the right step of the buying process that keeps the conversation moving to a sale.

In market leading organizations, sales are 80% science and 20% art.

 

Unfortunately less than 10% of organizations would be considered Market leaders. Those that are, dominate their markets.

 

 

 

Market losers

 

If your team lacks a competency in marketing you will experience it for yourself on sales calls. Your team plays; “ feature and benefit BINGO” in hopes they rattle off all your features and benefits and at some point your buyer yells “BINGO” as they put the pieces together with the problem they have, and they understand how they “think” you solve this problem.

 

Market losers really do not know the problems their products solve for their buyers, the buying process, or buying criteria. In most cases their products were built from the inside out and marketing was tasked with “creating the need” for their products…losers! 

Market losers launch products and believe they can “manage by objectives” and meet their goals by managing key performance indicators created without any knowledge of their market. 

Market losers  have high turnover as they replace those who fail to hit goal, and skilled team members leave to join market driven teams.

Market losers have websites that talk about their company, years in business, and they prepare the feature and benefit BINGO card for their buyers and salespeople.

 

For market losers 80% of sales is an “art”.

 

The CEO and CFO of market losing companies go crazy because there is a lack of predictability, and they can not “manage” their way to market leadership. In this model your salespeople need to disregard what marketing does provide, and listen to their buyers, understand buyer problems, and create their own sales tools that discuss how their product or service solves those problems.

The danger in this model is sales may be promising things your product does not do, and the message varies by salesperson and thus is not repeatable.

 

From my experience, I would say about 50% of the companies out there are Market losers.

 

They build products because they can and not because they should. They are sales driven or bottom line driven. They have high turnover and ironically the salespeople they are letting go today won awards for sales performance two years ago….so what changed?

From my experience 40% of companies are somewhere in between but striving to improve.

They often launch a product that becomes very successful and then have a series of launches that fail. As they grow, the leaders who knew the market are now “managing the business” and lose touch with the market and its problems. They forget it was their understanding of market problems that caused their success and often fall into the trap that they think it was their personal brilliance and or hut spa.

As I closed the discussion I asked everyone in the room to do two things in the next seven days….

  1. Go out and meet with your customers and ask questions about their business and the problems they are facing, and how they try to solve those problems

.

  1. Look in your top salesperson’s trunk of their car and or lap top and see the tools they are using

 

The good news is everyone can become a market leading organization and realize higher than market average profits, lower turnover and increased shareholder equity. When you clearly understand your market and buyers, and create sales tools to help buyers move through their buying process, you create a win-win-win.

So what kind of organization do you work for? Market leader? Market Loser? Or someplace in between? Why?

 

You Got a Minute to Win It…Your Buyers’ Attention

When you are shopping for a new item where do you start? If you are buying a snack or Diet Coke you find the nearest source. However, when you set out to buy more substantial products most of us start shopping with an internet search. Information once only available through a salesperson is now available on web sites, in chat rooms and blogs. Where most organizations’ web sites fail is their message is about them, how great they are, how many years they have been in business, who some of their key customers are, and awards…blah …blah….blah.

Market leaders know their web site needs a concise message that clearly states the problem they solve for their buyers because today you have less than a minute to win it…your buyers’ attention that is.

 

 Featured Content

Have you seen the new game show on Sunday nights titled; “You’ve got a minute to win it.” I predict this show will not only be a huge success but it will have entrepreneurs creating home minute to win it games and consumers will be making their own contests based on what they have seen on television.

 

As our family watched this new game show we found ourselves cheering for the contestants as they attempted challenges of varying difficulty. I thought how similar these contests are with the environment most marketers face when trying to capture consumer interest on line.

Your web site should not require practice for consumers to win (find answers to their unresolved problems)

 

The contestants on this show have all practiced their challenges at home prior to appearing on the show. So they practiced balancing bolts strung on a chop stick and bouncing a ping pong ball over three consecutive plates and into a fish bowl. What we as business people can learn for this includes;

  • your potential customers do not want to learn how to win , practice finding, the problems your product and or service solves for them

  • It is your responsibility to test and keep testing your web site and adjust it so potential buyers “get it in a minute.”

 

The moral of this blog post is;

*when your marketing team knows they have a minute to win it in terms of customer attention they will boil your message down and clearly explain the problem your product or service solves for buyers in your market. When done properly you receive more traffic, more page views, a reduced bounce rate, more inquires that turn into more leads, and ultimately more sales.

 

So how about your web site and your message…if you asked a potential customer to view your site would they understand the problem you solve for them?

 

Does the imagery on your site also clearly show the problems you solve for buyers in your market? Not sure?

Print your home page and give it to potential customers. Potential customers are buyers in your market that could use your product but you have not sold them in the past. Set your timer for a minute and ask them to quickly read and view your web page. [Warning; if you are a C level executive and chose to try this you will not like the answers you receive if you are like 90% of companies] If you are a market leader clearly explaining the problems you solve and not playing “feature and benefit bingo” hoping your buyers figure out what you do, you will enjoy this exercise.

You have a minute to win it in terms of customer attention when they are shopping on the internet.

Your web site must clearly state the problems you solve for your buyers in your market, ideally in the voice of your market. If you fail to do so they will be gone in a click to other sites until they find one that does not require practice to master.

 

 

How about your companies’ web site?

 

Do you understand the problems you solve in less than a minute? (If your answer is no you are really in trouble as you have more product knowledge than your buyers just starting their buying process)

 

Do you have the courage to ask potential customers to take the win it in a minute challenge on your web site?

 

Is your current web site a virtual brochure that requires customers to play feature and benefit Bingo to understand your message and the problems your product or service solves?

 

You have a minute to win it with buyers shopping on line for solutions to solve their problems. Your website must clearly state the problems you solve for your buyers in less than a minute or you loose the game.

Are Your Customers receiving a “Luke Warm” buying experience? …if so it’s costing you more than you know…

 

The climate for business is difficult with consumer confidence low, the access to cash tight and record unemployment. However some organizations are thriving while others know something is wrong, and they are just blaming the economy. The economy is a factor; however it may be the main “why” behind your organizations’ struggles to make numbers if your clients are receiving a “Luke Warm” buying experience. Luke warm employees create a “just enough to get by “buying experience and that simply is not cutting it in this highly competitive environment. I discussed how the buying process has changed over the last year in my post: Are you Enabling your Sales Force or Emasculating them?  With these added pressures, the last thing you want is for your clients to have a poor buying experience and seek out your competitors.

I just finished a book by Francis Chan titled; Crazy Love. It’s a book about growing your spiritual life.. In chapter four he discusses “the profile of Luke warm” and I thought how the wisdom he shares with regards to our faith life also applies in the business world. Chan describes how a Luke warm faith life is worst than being hot or cold and I feel this is also true for businesses and their employees. Specifically this is most evident in the buying experience.

What is it like to buy from your company? Are your salespeople trained and knowledgeable? Do they know how to find buyer problems and set out as if on a quest to solve them?

Or are you like most organizations who have built inside out service models and you hear executives challenged by “how our clients just are not smart enough to see the value in what we provide.” Or maybe you have downsized your sales and customer service teams and you are wondering why your business is declining and your customer satisfaction is at an all time low?

Luke warm team members produce Luke warm service levels.

The Bible discusses how being Luke warm is worst than being hot or cold and this rule also applies to your team members. I would much prefer a team member who tells me: “I just don’t get our plan and I am having a hard time getting motivated to execute my indicators” than someone who says they are on board and is just going through the motions to just get by.

As I discussed in my post: Third Part of truth …Motivation; Are You willing to go the extra mile like Chick-fil-A?  As a consumer we instantly recognize good service and an organization that has clearly set an expectation for how customers should feel in the buying process.

I need to ask…How you want your customers to feel in the process of buying your goods and or services.

Once you intentionally create this vision, you will need to identify team members who will need to be trained, and in some cases replaced.

14 warning signs a team member may be Luke warm and negatively impacting their service to internal and external customers

1.)    They do what they believe is expected of them and only what they believe is expected of them

2.)    They choose to follow Hippos, they do what is politically correct but may not be right

3.)    They are striving to survive not win

4.)    They rarely share their knowledge and experience as they use knowledge as power and not a gift

5.)    They focus on comparing their results to that of other team members versus their key performance indicators

6.)    Their actions serve themselves more than others ( customers both internal and external)

7.)    Their service is conditional, selective, and often comes with strings attached

8.)    They are focused on today and what’s in it for them today, they lack a future vision

9.)    They spend more time with their bosses than their subordinates and customers

10)    They do the bare minimum , and their goal is to be “good enough”

11)    They play it safe, they know the rules better than anyone in the organization and often site them

12)    They are visually busy, but not necessarily adding value

13)    When things go wrong they quickly blame others

14)    They seek the safety of their silo’s, and lack a “one company-one team” mentality

A half hearted commitment to the organization’s plan; mission and vision can be felt by customers. A Luke warm commitment to service disrupts your team from within and in the market if left unchecked.

If you read the above and could apply at least four of them to specific team members; employees, managers, supervisors, you now have to ask yourself a tough question;

Will I be a Luke warm leader and look the other way? Or will I take the market leader position and address poor service resulting in a bad buying experience?

 

 

 

What about your organization?

 

When you read the above did specific employees come to mind?

 

How about you, did you personally identify with any of the above?

 

How have you helped Luke warm employees become energized value adding producers again?

 

Have you experienced a loss due to not addressing a Luke warm employee and you would like to share?

 

What should you do if your boss is Luke warm?

 

 

Thank you to Francis Chan for his book; Crazy Love, as it challenged me on many levels.

Top 20 Entrepreneurial Best Practices to Make Sure 2010 is a Profitable Year

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When I wrote my EBook: 50 Ugly Truths About Owning and Running Your Own Business…and 5 reasons why you should do it anyway I was responding to a number of misperceptions I was hearing from entrepreneurs.

Historically, at any given time six out of ten US adults is thinking about starting their own business. A number of new entrepreneurs are emerging that  I refer to as “necessity-preneurs “who were downsized and can not find new employment, are deciding to launch their own businesses as they want a much more active role in the security of their careers. The last group are cashing in their 401k and or borrowing from friends or family to buy an existing business and in a short amount of time realize they really just bought a job and they are quickly running out of cash.

One thing I have learned over the past 25 years of identifying roadblocks impeding businesses profitable growth is there really is not any new creations in terms of problems and strategies to grow a profitable business. Peter Drucker simplified it even further; there are only two considerations; innovation or marketing.

Just as I shared 12 mentor moments that I have used personally over the years to help businesses grow profitably, I have the Top 20 entrepreneur best practices that I have observed and lived over the years.

#1 “More” Sales or “Create Sales Velocity”?

#2 Dismiss or Distribute “Yafo’s” quickly …

#3; If Sales are Scary, You Can NOT Afford to NOT get Creative..

#4 Remember “The Law of the Locker Room”… it truly is a small world after all

#5 Tailor Questions for your buyers that Illustrate your Expertise and Prepare you to Serve their Needs

#6 Learn To Cut Bait …early

#7 You are Not Your Market

# 8 When Sales Get Rough…Look for Diamonds

#9 Don’t Let the Two Most Important Plates Drop

#10 “How” you “CHASE” New Business Matters….Do you want pepperoni with that new checking account?

#11 Follow the leader is a dangerous game, particularly when you follow Hippos…

#12 An “Idea” is not a product…and it’s definitely not a business

#13 Hire Strategic Partners… Not “Marketing Tools”

#14 Customers will Stiff you…But Don’t Let Them Burn you…

#15 Beware of “Smores”…Social Media Whores

#16 “Make a Wish” come true with Focused Passion

#17 intentionally reward the customer behaviors you desire …

#18 You will Receive Your Best Tips To Grow Your Company From Prospects Who Do Not Buy From You…

#19 Interview those who Exit and identify Roadblocks to Achieving Your Strategic Objectives…

#20 Exercise Your Power of Choice in Choosing Your Role on the Team…If Your Gift is Being a Duck….Be a Duck!

 

 

The above are by no means an all inclusive list of every entrepreneur best practice but they are some of my favorites. The post that seemed to resonate the most and create the greatest number of discussions was the difference between creating “more” sales versus “creating sales velocity” ( entrepreneur best practice #1).

 

 

How about you….do you have an Entrepreneurial Best Practice you use regularly and would like to share?

 

 

Of the above which best practice(s) resonate most with you?

 

 

Which of the above do most entrepreneurs struggle the most with based on your observations?

 

 

Is there a Key best practice not identified? (If so please add to the discussion)

 

 

As we move into 2010 which of the above Best practices do you feel will resonate most? Why?

 

 

Thanks for hanging with me  in this series of posts and I want to particularly thank those who have reached out to me personally to discuss this series of posts. As I have discussed, I enjoy helping entrepreneurs realize profitable growth and the strategies discussed are not new. One of my goals in blogging is to help business owners who may not be able to afford outside help at this time and I hope this blog adds value.

If you are wired to take on the 50 Ugly truths of starting and owning your own business and you have intentionally chosen to do it anyway I hope the above best practices were of value to you and your team.

Entrepreneurs will lead our country to economic recovery and I am proud to serve this innovative group of passionate problem solvers along with my other clients.