Consultant Marketing Word Man

Cult Classic

There’s a cult classic movie called “Eddie and the Cruisers.” It’s the story of a driven young rocker from the shore who pushed everyone he made music with to levels they had not dreamed they could reach.

It is a drama full of angst and attainment, joy, grief and, in the end, hope. While searching for the missing tapes of the band’s never-released album, a TV reporter newswoman makes the band think that Eddie may still be alive. Made in the 80’s, the story is about a legendary group from the 60’s

Major Cast

The Car A powder blue ’57 Chevrolet convertible.

Eddie Wilson is played by Michael Pare

“I want something great. I want something that nobody’s ever done before!”

Sal Amato is played by Matthew Laurance

We ain’t great. We’re just some guys from Jersey.”

Doc Robbins the slightly shifty manager is portrayed by Joe Pantiliano

“…never bull shit a bull shitter. You make the music, I’ll make the deals.”

Joann Carlino is embodied by Helen Schneider

“Eddie and I, we had a deal, we never talked about the future. We thought the present was so fine, why ruin it by planning ahead?”

Maggie Foley Our erstwhile TV reporter was brought to life by Ellen Barkin

“I am going to do a tribute to a group of guys who were ahead of their time.”

Word Man (Frank Ridgeway) was performed by Tom Berrenger

“You don’t understand. The night Eddie died, the Cruisers died with him.”

Words & Music

Early on Eddie is challenged about bringing Frank Ridgeway into the band. His answer is one I’ve never forgotten:

“He’s got somethin’ we need. Words and music, Doc. Words and music.”

 Either can strand alone. Either can be celebrated. But together they can be noble.

Brand is like that.

There are some that believe brand is all about the graphics of Brand Identity.

It isn’t.

Some will tell you the words are most important.

They are half right.

Words & Music.

Your brand is the sum total of all the perceptions customers, prospects, contacts and strangers have about it.

Your brand can be a journey.

Just like Eddie and the Cruisers you can build a dream. Start rockin’ it with your entreprenurial idea. Get the beat. Bring in the horns. Covers are okay but you need original stuff to really get noticed.

Get a word man. Mold a product or service marked by a singular approach that is memorable.

Get the entire organization in the groove. When everyone has the same mission the service you present to the world is consistent. It is the same in Toledo and Timbuktu. The customer gets the same service regardless of where they are.

Satisfaction leads to positive comments.

Your reputation grows.

The stages get bigger.

Trust builds.

You stay with your proven hits but slide new items into each set.

That marks the difference.

The Great ones

The great ones are always upping their game.

They pull in influences from other parts of the world.

They experiment and keep what works.

But those that become legendary do one thing others don’t.

The change the way those that follow them think.

Here’s the way Eddie put it:

“What I want is songs that echo. The stuff we’re doing now is like – somebody’s bed sheets. Spread ’em out. Soil ’em. Ship ’em out to laundry. You know? But, our songs, I want to be able to – fold ourselves up in ’em – forever. Do you understand? That’s the most you’ll ever get out of me, Wordman. Ever.”

Not bad words for a music guy.

And so it goes

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Pillow Talk

If you’re lucky.

Not everyone has a partner outside the business they can talk to candidly about how it is going. For the majority of consultants who are solopreneurs the only chance they have is when they are comfortably esconced in bed with that special person. If married the mate can be the sounding board. In a long term relationship you can share with the one you’re with.

Triumphs and tragedies

The need to share the triumphs and the tragedies can grab hold of you at any time. The desire to take someone else along on the journey can be overwhelming.  We don’t want to be alone.  Our egos are always looking for praise. That causes problems.

Hitches, glitches and snags

  1. The loner brain dump       This occurs when an expert consultant happens to be a solo in her/his practice, home life and social life.  The need to vent or share a victory builds up until without warning the brain dump begins. It can ruin a date or dinner with friends or a special occasion like a wedding. If the one unloading their latest client experience is lucky they will be considered merely offensive.
  2. The honey pot         If you are into spy fiction or reality this one is obvious. In order to perform industrial espionage a person of the consultant’s sexual partner preference is introduced. They practice their sexual wiles on the unwitting counselor becoming the willing listener to all the woes, trials tribulations and triumphs in order to get the secret to the client’s success. It ain’t pretty but it has been working for eons. The more solo the consultant the more effective this approach can be.
  3. The one for the road         Our ill-fated expert advisor puts a real hitch into his or her git-a-long by agreeing to just one more drink before heading off to a well-deserved rest. After that conviviality she or he “opens up” and the next thing you know a trademarked process is drawn and annotated on the closest napkin. It happens. And the worst part is our guide may not recall blurting out the methodology or special ingredient or whatever secret should have remained so.
  4. Another Client’s shoulder           This is possibly the worst. The need to share engages when our erstwhile expert is engaged with another client. It doesn’t matter whether the information being shared is positive, negative, secret or common knowledge. The problem is the effect on the client receiving the remarks. How would you feel about someone sharing private information with you? Would you be concerned about what you have provided the consultant in confidence?
  5. Ego boosting events         These can take on many guises. The common denominator is the combination of public attention and a bit of ego massage. For instance, the interviewer in a pod cast asks how you accomplished a turnaround for a client or what process was used to save multiple clients. You overlook confidentiality because it feels good. It feels good when a reporter seem intrigued by your answer so you add more details. A national outlet calls you to get confirmation for a story they are working on but you go further than a yes or no in your answer.  You see the public aspect as good advertising and your ego appreciates being preened so you stick around to get groomed a little more.

Forewarned is forearmed

Some of us are inherently close mouthed, have solid ethics and just cannot comprehend behaving in such a way. But not all of us. That’s why the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) has a 15 point code of ethics.

This discussion deals with item 5.0 which is:

I will treat appropriately all confidential client information that is not public knowledge, take reasonable steps to prevent it from access by unauthorized people, and will not take advantage of proprietary or privileged information, either for use by myself, the client’s firm, or another client, without the client’s permission.

Notice that it provides you with a way to be able to share the data with client permission.

Here are some ways you can make that wok to everyone’s advantage:

  • Joint presentation at an industry event.
  • Joint appearance on a panel at a conference
  • Joint interview by a media outlet
  • Publish a case history or success story approved by the client
  • Record a video testimonial from your client and put it on your website
  • Invite your client to lunch with a prospect and allow him/her to present the particulars of the engagement.
  • Make that client’s story an approved part of your next book

Losses count, too.

And don’t forget the losses. Many times those are just as important as the wins. When a client demands a process or procedure or approach you know won’t work based on your experience it is a significantly more powerful argument to try another way if you can cite an example that refutes the prospects preference.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Into the Dark

The sneezing makes it hard to concentrate.

Two nights and two days without power with temperatures below freezing in a hundred-year ice storm will leave you cold.

Bone Cold

Even when I found a friend’s couch to surf on I was still cold. Even when she produced a stew that I’d write home about I was still chilly. After two days of hospitality I got a call that power was back on in the neighborhood.

I walked into a home that was already warming up.

The lights worked.

My computers came back to life.

 I muddled my way through 4 days of e-mail. Life had become normal again.

I had a hot meal. Left-overs, yeah, but I zapped ‘em in the microwave.

Slept in my own bed.

Murphy came to visit.

This morning I got up early to catch up with all the things that needed doing after 4 days in the dark.

What is that old line about he best laid plans going to Hell even as you put them to work?

My internet that had been working when I returned home was not. At first I thought it was somehow connected to the power outage. I rebooted two computers just to see.

Nope. So I turned to my phone to try to call the cable company. To use search on the phone I had to enter my Office 365 password. I tried that but it requires double security. I got through the first step using my phone as the security device. But because it is a two-step security system you need to use e-mail for the second step. Of course, I had none.

Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it will.

Into the dark

So what do you do? I figured that there were a number of things I could do that didn’t require the internet.

  • Continue pulling together scripts (audio and video) for the next round of Newlsogs
  • Tackling all the filing I’d been putting off (one piece of administrivia I abhor)
  • Preparing some blogs in Word for a client to demonstrate how to do them in WordPress
  • Scripting sequences for orderly contacts of meeting professionals
  • Tuning to local radio to see what is going on in the world.

Long term.

Those things are fine for the moment. But what should anyone do to avoid the problems long term?

  1. Learn to use your phone. Unless towers go down it usually will be the last device lost.
  2. Be sure you have all the methods of accessing your phone written down and that you test them at least monthly.
  3. Be sure you have the emergency number of your internet service in your phone (with a written copy in reserve)
  4. Make sure you can use your phone to contact clients, associates and others that impact your business.
  5. Be proactive. Reach out to all those an outage can affect. Do it as soon as you know.

That is not a lot to do, but it would have saved me hours of trying to get hooked up when my problem was an outage for the area.

I can work on both my business and projects for clients because I keep files resident in my system and synced with cloud copies. Unfortunately, I don’t sync everything. That will change.

Too many assumptions

The designers of the security systems are just trying to make things as risk free as possible. BUT, sometimes security measures can get in the way of effectiveness. The only way I could get the emergency phone number for my cable/internet service was to call a friend who was still connected. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to put it on every device where it could be found easily?

Customer disservice.

When you turn the TV on you get a message that the cable/internet is not connected and instructions you can’t finish reading about what to check. Wouldn’t putting the number to check for outage problems be a good idea to put into that message?

The problem is that damn little brain sweat is spent on situations with less than perfect conditions. The assumption is that these kinds of situations occur so infrequently that a band aid is sufficient for a sucking chest wound. Phone software that assumes you will have internet capability is simply stupid because there are a lot of times that could happen that are not connected to power outages. The inability to get any information on an internet outage other than a non-committal “It will be fixed shortly” is a customer disservice. People want to know how long power will be out, when the internet will be available again. How about a little customer service that acknowledges the customer’s questions and concerns.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

How Your Brand Can Win Customers Over

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It isn’t automatic.

There are some basic reasons your product or service will even be considered. Here are the results from a survey conducted by InfoGroup. What customers want from a brand:

  • Excellent product or service—58.2%
  • Meaningful Content—15.4%
  • Relevant ads/messaging—11%
  • Funny Marketing—10.9%
  • Flashy Packaging—3.3%
  • Celebrity Endorsement—1.2%

It’s close to Pareto.

The first three categories above add up to over 80%. The Pareto Rule of thumb is that in any group 80% will hold similar opinions. Another corollary is that 80% of your purchases will come from 20% of the audience.

The online corollary continues.

Research reported by Bynder tells us that the number of brands followed online breaks down this way:

  • 1 to 9 brands followed—67.6%
  • 10 to 19 brands followed—22.6%
  • 20 to 29 brands followed—5.9%
  • 30+ brands followed—3.9%

Over 90% follow up to 19 brands. That 90% number is common for a significant series of analytics on the internet. Sales is the most commonly cited with 90% of sales being generated by 10% of the followers that engage with a brand.

How do you engage for greatest impact?

There are no surprises here. Nearly 60% of prospects prefer a visual approach using photographic images and videos. Another 16% want your online content to be interactive. Another 12 % stated that they didn’t want to be “sold at” and preferred a conversational format (to include chatbots and forums). If they are truly interested in what you have to offer they will read blogs and articles of length.

In fact, over 50% of them cite articles, blog posts and social media as the reason they will try something new.

Once you have their interest…

Don’t betray their trust. Make it as easy as possible for them to buy. They measure the convenience you offer from the git-go. Will you customize the product or service? Tell them. Can package offerings or packaging be customized? Consider it. About 10% are looking for that kind of consideration.

The more they orient to working with you on line the more you need to have a firm grasp of their pet peeves and how to avoid them. The more you can personalize the content you serve up, the better off you’ll be. Just as importantly, the better you know what they think, feel and believe the more singular the information you provide to them can be. Being the same as “everybody else” will make 34+% of them lose faith in you. Whatever you do, make sure the data you provide is appropriate for the platform on which you serve it up.

Communication is not a two-way street.

The way customers want to be contacted is not the same as they want to use to contact you. Here are how the differences stack up:

Technology               To Customer             From Customer

E-mail                         70.8%                         59.4%

Phone                        7.2 %                          23.1%

Direct Messages
on Social Media        4.5%                           5.9%

Text                             6.1%                           3.7%

Direct Mail                 7.5%                           2.6%

In summary:

  1. Offer a good product or service that you explain in a meaningful, relevant way.
  2. Treat loyal customers with respect.
  3. Don’t betray their trust
  4. Be as easy and convenient as possible
  5. Personalize your approach down to how you communicate with them.

What will you change in your approach?


Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com 

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

Brand is a Rainmaker

In times gone by, there were folks that hoped or believed they could get nature to relent and to turn cloudless skies into rain that would wash away a drought if only in one little part of the country.

Some seemed successful. Others, not so much.

Desire doesn’t change.

Each of us want there to be some sort of magic formula to bring new business to us without our having to work for it. We want the gods to smile on us. We’re willing to wear clothing we were wearing when we were successful before. That special tie comes out for the “big pitch.”  The unmatched socks get worn on purpose when we’re going for a new job interview. That railroad watch your Dad gave you gets wound up for the first time in years.  The rabbit’s foot key ring once again settles into your pocket.

The charm is your brand.

  • Sorcery doesn’t deliver potential clients. Staying true to your brand does.
  • Voodoo will not bring a customer to you. A brand that delivers will.
  • Alchemy doesn’t solve customer problems. You do and that is what your brand is based on.

You make the rain.

Although my blog appeared here each Saturday for the last month, I was half a world away from my office. I wrote those weekly comments on Brand before I left on a trans-Atlantic voyage followed by visits to Barcelona, Madrid and Washington, DC. I maintained my work with current clients (when I had internet connections). I wasn’t looking hard for new business. I was taking a vacation and meeting with some folks in person that I enjoyed from internet contacts. I thought I might be of assistance to some of them along the way. Turns out I will be.

Sometime when it rains, it pours.

As initially planned I was going to spend a few days sightseeing in Barcelona and return home. But then internet contacts in Madrid agreed to meet with me for lunch or coffee and so I extended my stay to take a high-speed train to Spain’s capital. Here’s what transpired:

  • I had coffee with the managing director of the largest speaker’s bureau serving Europe, Central and South America. He asked if he could add me to their database 10 minutes into our conversation.
  • I had lunch with the Spanish speaking former employee of a client based in Singapore. Later, because of her new coaching business I introduced her to the speaker’s bureau.
  • The founder of a social media service agreed to have coffee with me. I asked why things had “gone dark” after an initial burst of funding acquisition. He told me, in detail, and then proudly said that they had held the company together and it was now profitable. Then he asked for my consulting help in building the business in the USA.
  • I telephoned a client when I reached DC to find out how his knee surgery had gone. He asked me if I would take on an assignment for an association he is working with. I said, “Of course.”
  • A client “hip-dialed” me yesterday morning. We chatted briefly and then he asked me to meet with a consultant he knows. I agreed and the luncheon meeting is set.
  • This morning I got a message through the social media site that another member of group is as he put it “Looking for a professional speaker that may be interested in assisting to bring a virtual reality product to the market in North America.” We’ve agreed to talk about it.

You can’t control it, but you can influence it.

Just like you can’t control Brand, you can’t control the pace at which new business opportunities come to you. You can however, influence both.  You start by staying true to what you do. You stay honest and forthright. You decline when you have to but you always try to suggest someone else that might be able to help.

Most of all you build Trust. You do it in each conversation. You do it more in your actions.

I didn’t have to introduce Rosa to the speaker’s bureau, but I did.

I wasn’t calling a client about his knee surgery, I was calling a client that over the years has become a friend. Help him with the association? I’ll do that regardless of the fee.

Have lunch with a prospect when one of your best clients asks? Definitely. He knows the prospect will get honest answers and didn’t even think to ask.

Hear out a founder who has come through the valley and has emerged profitable? Accept an assignment? Done, in all humility.

Agree to talk to an engineer about becoming a “product ambassador?”  You bet, because I’m convinced that contact came about because of my conversation with the social media network founder in Madrid.

And, so it goes.


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Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com 

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

Three Little Words

Heart in sightsNo, not those three.

The three I have in mind are

  • what,
  • how
    and
  • do.

Putting together a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) program called No Budget Branding over the last few weeks made me think about decisions I’ve made over time and how much I’m like other people.

What

Back in the days when I was up to my eyeballs in a pheromone fog “What” started rattling around my skull. I was lucky. I selected my parents well so the decision for me was delayed until after those halcyon high school days. Friends and acquaintances had to choose due to financial and social situations long before I did. They followed their fathers into the construction trades and the military and their mothers into the careers reserved for women at that time…homemakers, cooks, waitresses and nurses.

Some of us were lucky enough to put that decision off until we went to college. It was called selecting a major. I had my choice between Business, Engineering and Advertising. I took one look at the business school types wearing ties and blazers, the engineers with huge slide rules hanging off their belts and said, “Madison Avenue, here I come!”

It ain’t pretty but that’s how I decided what I was going to do with my life. I could have changed but I stuck with it. I’m still sticking with it a full career later. Yes, I was one of the Mad Men. That TV show was accurate, sort of.

How

I learned a lot in College—mostly that I had a lot to learn.  You see, making a profit on what you do is dependent on knowing how to get it done. If you are working in a trade, your knowledge is what lifts you to a position of expertise. Understanding the how will get you into management, assure you better pay, and sometimes ownership.

What is the way people are intrigued with information on the internet. How is what they are willing to buy.

You can tell people all day long what they need.

You can get them to click on the offer because they want to know how.

Think about that offer which you ”bit on.”  The video on the web site told you how the seller was now making seven figures. The clock on the webpage kept ticking showing how little time was left for you to jump in. The testimonials talked about instant results. The key elements of the formula, what makes it work, were revealed and even offered as part of a downloadable note. Some organizations even showed you how they were improving society as well.

Do

You clicked the orange button, plunked down your credit card, signed up and downloaded the “goodies” to include the promised bonuses. Wow! Talk about instant gratification!

Did you notice the admonition that was the first thing out of the chute? It was something like this:

Step away from your limiting beliefs.

You can do this. Focus on it.

Dedicate your life for the next x weeks to this formula.

Focused action will allow you to accomplish your goals

You will be SUCCESSFUL

That’s because the seller knows a secret.

Most people will not act. Many will not even open the packet of information, digital or traditional.  They are telling you the truth.  They decided or were forced to decide what to do. They learned how (sometimes the hard way). They learned that the only way to make something happen is to do and stick to it.

Will you act?


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

 

Your Customer Service is Your Brand

Brand is an expression of Trust.

That means that every contact you or your organization have with an individual can impact how much they trust you and just what they think feel and believe about your brand.

A recent experience with a company demonstrates how to screw this up:

If you are a senior they offer a wonderful service.

They are there when you’ve fallen and can’t get up.

They are there when you need to get to the emergency room now.

You would think they would be there for the relatives after a loved one passes on.

Wrong!

First they call and demand the equipment. Then they dictate how you are going to return it.

Yes, they will have UPS pick it up at no charge.

No, it does not have to be returned from the address of the user. Your business, your home or a neighbor is acceptable as a pick-up point.

Maybe you could leave it on the porch if you can’t be there.

You can’t get a prepaid label sent to you so you can take the equipment to a UPS Store on your own schedule. Explaining that you are in another state 2200 miles away from the equipment and not available to wait for a driver to get around to you does no good.

You must take time out of a wall-to-wall schedule when you are in Mom’s home town because sending you a prepaid label to take to a UPS store “can’t be done.”

Never mind that you’re grieving. You must to do it their way.

I won’t be held hostage by having to wait for an unscheduled pickup.

I won’t accept responsibility or liability for goods left on a porch at their direction.

I will cooperate with a customer service person who listens and tells me the truth. (So far, I’ve spoken to at four and my situation is off their scripts and it is obvious that management has no Trust in their staff.)

I’m done, except for a letter to the Chairman and CEO of the organization.

My letter will detail the multiple telephone discussions and refusals to listen. More importantly I will reiterate some points I’ve made on platforms across the country.

  • Your brand is an expression of Trust.
  • Your brand is a reflection of all the trust points in your organization.
  • Your brand strength requires Trust in yourself, Trust in your company, Trust in your employees, and Trust in your customers.
  • Your brand is the sum-total of all those points of trust. If they diminish your organization will wane and die.

____________________________________________________________________

Jerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Brand vs the Technology Tsunami

TsunamiWhen the client awakens,

Recently, a long-time client quietly announced that he was now going to learn about all this internet stuff because he felt that if he didn’t he might miss out on some “good stuff,”

I applauded his decision and told him so. For years. I’ve been trying to get him to pay a little more attention to all the possibilities, to no avail.

Like so many of us he just had no time for technology shifts as long as it didn’t directly impact his business.

Do not put your head in the sand.

You and your business cannot stand still. The technology changes, each incrementally small, keep adding up until they are like a tidal wave for those that haven’t heeded the warnings. Your brand is judged by all the interpersonal actions it has with the public. All of them. That includes those that include a technology-based interaction.

Engagement is the only option.

You can’t run far enough or fast enough to avoid the hit. You can, however structure your approach in such away that you maintain pace with the preponderance of your customers. You don’t have to be first to adopt a new technology if your clients aren’t early adopters. Being last in some categories is acceptable if that’s where your clients and prospects cluster.

The key is knowing where the people that pay for your goods and services actually are on the technology adoption schedule. Let them dictate your pace.

Talk to your customers.

  • Literally have conversation with your customers about the technology they use and the ones they recommend to friends.
  • Do a digital survey of a larger block of customers based on those conversations at least once a year
  • Carefully select the technologies that will keep you competitive and satisfy current customers and prospects
  • Implement use of the preferred technologies in your business in time to keep early adopters from jumping ship
  • Do not force the paying public to adopt the technology to do business with you

Don’t go all in.

The services and processes that made you successful should not be sacrificed for new approaches. There are earnest young men and women that will tell you to abandon all the “old ways:,” Don’t. For example, I recently flew in to transport my Mom for eye surgery. It didn’t happen because her blood pressure was in orbit. The reason was she had not taken her morning dose of meds.

In sorting the problem out, I found that the directions she had were not clear, only partially in writing and not in type large enough for a person with cataracts to read. In addition, she did not have written information that identified her daily regimen of medicines and what they were for.  There was an app that you could get but when a person is 95 and does not have a computer or smart phone that doesn’t work.

Give the customer the technology they can use.

If that means pen and paper, so be it. If that means printing things out in larger type, make it possible. If that means taking a little more care in making sure  you have communicated, take the time. You get customers by being approachable. You keep them by being flexible and dependable.

Stay tuned.

Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

Step Away From That Social Media Suckhole

Social Media SuckholeJim said, “One of my clients was talking about his experience on FaceBook. It seems he has looking for a high-tech app for his company, saw an ad on FaceBook, clicked on it and within 15 minutes someone from the company was calling him.”

He told me that he suggested the CEO turn it around and use it for his own company.

Then he asked the wrong question!

No, I said, you should not be advertising on FaceBook. And you should not think about LinkedIn or Google either. The reason is simple: That is not the right model to build your business.

Until the customer/ client/ patient gets access to your product you don’t have a business.

Service Businesses require someone to provide “hands or minds on” actions. There is direct contact.

Product Businesses make an item that can be used but the company may or may not have direct contact with the end user.

Combination businesses make products and provide services associated with those products usually but not always directly. Their passage or physical distribution may be direct or through several intermediaries.

Distribution businesses provide physical distribution of products to end users or resellers such as retail outlets. The most common are independent distributors and wholesalers. The amount of inventory they carry varies across a full spectrum.

Agent/Broker businesses sell products or services to end users but may not handle physical distribution. Most independent salespersons fall in this category. Frequently they handle several lines that are used in an industry but are not directly competitive.

What is the right model to build your business?

  • Consultants and Professional service providers usually do best when they use tools that generate referrals
  • Business to Business B2B organizations that offer services need a combination of promotion, referrals and a sales force that connects with customers efficiently
  • B2B organizations that offer products at low cost may orient more to advertising and telephone follow up like Jim’s client experienced. The controlling factor is the cost of the products offered. Higher priced products generally require a more knowledgeable sales person and sometimes the best solution is an engineer partnered with a salesperson.
  • Business to Consumer B2C companies have the broadest selection of distribution possibilities that run the gamut from direct sales to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. But here, too, the price of the product being offered will have significant impact on the level of salesperson required.

Do you or a competitor have a way to change an industry?

Examples abound: Amazon, Lyft, Driverless Cars, Disney’s Magic Band access to hotel and park, Airbnb and a host of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that may not have existed last week.

You need to think about how FedEx technology adaption forced UPS to leapfrog them. Can you do something like that? No matter what your product or service, you can, if you think it through, make your offer in such a way that it stands out form the crowd.

That’s when Social Media fits in.

Use the social media platform that gets you the most exposure within your target audience at the lowest cost until you move on to pay per click advertising. Hire a professional organization that makes a living doing that. You will save yourself time, pain and money in the long run. But first, make sure your landing pages and website support your Mission, Position and Value Proposition.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Brand Isn’t Blind Like Justice

Sccales of JusticeI agreed to be a mock juror last weekend.

Six attorneys gave abbreviated versions of their openings for real cases.

I can’t discuss the cases but I can tell you a little of what I learned.

What I learned was a little scary.

  • The American system of civil justice does not include a way to stop a professional from continuing to practice.
  • The American system of civil law only includes one way to punish an individual or a company for a wrongdoing.
  • The American system of civil case law can’t force the fix of a product problem.

Being sued can cost you a bundle but you can keep your license.

You can’t take a doctor or other professional to court to cancel their license. The licensing body is the only one that can do that and they tend to protect their own. So your civil suit is about money.

It’s all about the money.

One thing attorneys were practicing in this mock jury presentation was how to explain that the only recompense available was money. One young man stood before us and put his hands out to his sides like the scales. As he put it, “Here in my left hand is all the things I’ve told you happened to my client,” he said, lowering that hand while his right crept upward.

His left hand continued to descend as he said, “My client’s life has been changed forever. The years without will add to that pain and suffering. The only thing we can put on the other side of the scale is money. How much will it take to bring those scales level? That will be your decision.”

The better the lawyer is at getting a client’s case across to a jury the higher the monetary award can be to balance the scales.

Justice is blind.

She can’t see what you put into the compensation side of the scale (or the other for that matter). Whether you call the money reimbursement for a loss or damages or an additional award for pain and suffering it is one and the same to Justice. She just wants the scales to balance.

With Brand, money is only part of it.

Your brand is how your customers see you. If you screw up badly it will be reflected immediately. Your income will go down. Repeat purchase will diminish. New customers will slow to a crawl. Referrals will cease to exist. Your reputation will be in the toilet. Negative word of mouth will increase and because of human nature could become viral. The value of your organization will be depressed.

Brand depends on trust.

The more your clients, customers and patients trust you the easier it is to overcome a single event. If you  are constantly seeking and posting testimonials and positive reviews the better off you will be. Every time you deliver beyond expectations you are building your account to balance the scales. Don’t wait. Start adding to your brand value today.


Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com