Who Owns The Sale?

Last week I called Qwest (Soon to become CenturyLink) about my firstQwest Logo  "Complimentary Account Review".  I just wanted to make sure what their business says our business has...is what we have.  At the end of the conversation the customer service representative said, "I see we've got you at a 7mb Internet speed.  We can move you to 12mb at no extra charge and no service interruption."  Me: "Really, no charge and my equipment will work?"  Qwest: "Yes sir!"

We Pulled The Trigger...

I was told it would take three days to make the switch.  On day three Insight had no Internet Service...zip, nada...nothing.  I did the CenturyLink-Business standard "pull the plug, do a little dance, count to sixty" reset.  Nothing.  Called Qwest visited with Wendy who said,"Hmmm, shouldn't be doing that.  We'll get somebody in Tech to look at it."  Meanwhile I contacted my friends @TalkToQwest on Twitter.  (We've found, over the years to receive much better service if the communication goes through Twitter...no joke.)  They bounced back and said they were on it.  A few hours later...nada.  But, they are friendly...

Day Two...

See "We Pulled the Trigger"...same story.  Then, through Twitter, we got hooked up wth Joe, Louis and Mike in Boise, ID. who said, "That modem won't work with that new speed."  Problem identified.  The solution was to head to Jordan Creek Mall and pick up a new PK-5000 from Carrie...who was delightful.  Then it was on to re-configuring all the computers to the new modem.  And we were golden.

Who Owns The Sale?Man odd

Which bring us back to the start.  Who owns the sales transaction at your shop?  Sales people should have some great product knowledge and when (and if) sales, customer service, support and tech all communicate.  Guess what?  Magic.  In this case some folks didn't own the sale or had some lousy information.  

In the end some folks did their job and patched us up.  But, if we had a handle on the problem...last week.  Think of the savings in time and energy.  Share information people...with everybody.

Want to leave a comment?  You can here, drop me an e-mail, let's connect on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV or our agency Facebook Page is right here.  Have a great day!


Fourth Quarter Marketing Tips

Yesterday Insight on Business with Michael Libbie covered the recent story coming out of the Nielsen Wire regarding Holiday Sales.  In aWoman Santa Helper  word...flat.  That got us to thinking about what you should do NOW...TODAY to gear up for a better fourth quarter and a better holiday sales season.  And, if you would like the read the research from Nielsen, for backup, here is that article.  Good stuff...and yes, there are winners and losers in the mix.

Here's what we think you need to do NOW in advance of October 1st:

The Social Media Angle- If you are not using some form of social media in your marketing plan you're...going to lose.  It's that simple.  Social Media is a tool that helps you build a tribe, a following, helps you learn consumer trends and builds sales.  There are many roads in SM, our favorites include the Business Blog, Twitter and YouTube.  If you don't know how ask somebody but get started...today.  If you don't want to ask me...contact my friend Mike Sansone or Nathan Wright...but DO IT.

Review Your 4th Quarter Ad Spend - And then double it-  I know, "But, Michael YOU'RE not writing the checks."   I realize that however to get noticed and to boost sales you are going to have to be more aggressive.  As you can tell by the research, shoppers are making fewer shopping trips it's your job to make sure they plan a trip to see you and if they don't know about you...guess what?   Remember it takes money to make money.  It's still true.

Listen to Your Consumer Base - Where are they?  What draws them to your product or service?  Do you know?  Do you ask them?  If you don't honestly know where your consumer/customer is how in the world do you find them?  Better yet how do you know you've got a product or service anybody wants or needs?   Starting today...make it a point to dig into the shopping habits of your customers.  These existing customers are just a fraction of the folks you could impact...if you knew where they are.  Ask.

Review Your On-Line Experience - While you might think you've got a snazzy website what does it do for consumers.  Read the research, "Consumers with incomes between $70,000 to $100,000 will shop on-line more this year."  If their digital experience with your product or service sucks...you will not get the sale.  Get some help...today.  Again, ask a professional about your site and the digital experience it offers consumers.

Bonus Tip - "Trust & Value" -  These are the two biggest words you need to include in your marketing and in what you do.  Take that to the consumer and you'll win.

That's it.  Now, stop reading and get to work.  Four things...just four things you need to focus on today to make sure we can have a great conversation in the Second Quarter of 2011.

Thanks for reading and you can connect with me on Twitter: @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV, leave a comment here, send me an e-mail or connect on Facebook






Thanking the Competition...

I get regular sales updates from a fellow by the name of Bob Janet. Bob is a "sales guy" of the "old school".  You remember those days...when folks actually WENT OUT and called on other people, face to face.  Seems a little silly in the world of technology.

Or is it?

The other day Bob sent out his "e-mail newsletter".  Constant Contact?  No way...Bob doesBob Janet it the "old fashioned way".  It's an e-mail.  Honest.  This particular "newsletter" was great.  He was thanking the competition for a number of bone headed decisions over the past year.  Including, "Thank you my dear competition for:

  • Not being aggressive in marketing to your customers and letting me steal them;
  • Cutting back on your marketing and advertising expense so nobody can find you;
  • Reducing inventories so you don't have what the consumer wants;
  • Assuming your customers would stay with you even when you neglect them;
  • Thinking I too would become less aggressive in my search for new customers;
  • Cutting back on sales training for your staff, that really helped.

I LOVED IT!  So much that I had to share it with you.  Many of the things Bob wrote we've been saying since 2008, well ahead of the recession.  But, folks didn't listen and many of them will never get their customers...back.

So, here is to "old school" and solid advice...  Thank's Bob...it was a nice reminder in many ways!  Now do something with that website...K?

Let's stay connected on Twitter?  @MichaelLibbbie or @InsightADV and if you want to do that "Facebook Thingy" here is where we're at both PERSONAL and BUSINESS.6a00d83452534069e20120a53db1ed970b-800wi


Actually, we were never hired...but it's a great story about how we fired ourselves...BEFOREMan Fired 2 we got the job.

The other day I received an e-mail from a mid-western manufacturer asking us if we were interested in doing some work for them.  They wanted to increase their manufacturing capacity and asked, "So, can you design a survey item that will actually get returned?"

The simple answer is, "Yes."   But I wanted to talk about it...in depth.  So we set a telephone interview for this afternoon and after the "howdy - hi" portion got into our questions:

  1. Where, in the nation or region are the majority of your clients?  "Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota."
  2. Long term customers or recent?  "Most are long term."
  3. In the three states, about how many customers do you have?  "Seventy."
  4. How were your customers affected by the recession?  "Most faired pretty well and they are starting to climb back."
  5. Of the seventy customers how many might, in your opinion, have the capacity to increase their buys from you?  "Maybe forty-five."

That's when I fired us. 

"Look", I said, "we could create a survey for you and take your money and maybe even sell you more stuff.  But what you need to do, and you are not going to like my answer, is get in your vehicle and go see each one of these customers.  You, not a sales person, not somebody else from the office...you." 

It's not always about technology.  It's not always about a third-person visit.  It's about relationships and going out and asking for the business.

In retrospect, perhaps we didn't fire ourselves...but made a friend.

Thanks for coming by.