Customer Service

How to Keep Your Customers Happy

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If your focus is on meeting your customers’ expectations and making them happy, you’ve already lost. In today’s competitive environment, you have to exceed their expectations and make them ecstatic. Hopefully, this doesn’t come as shocking news to you. People much smarter than I have been saying it for several years now. (For the record, people much stupider than I have been saying it also, but do we really want to focus on them?) So we all know that to ...

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A Crucial Trait

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There is one trait that the Beatles had which cemented their allure to the world. True, there were many elements that put the Beatles ahead of the competition; we’ve talked about several of them in previous postings, and we’ll be exploring more in postings to come. But the trait we’re going to talk about today may have been the most important (or at least in the top three). Without it, they still would have written amazing songs that would live ...

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Are You Better Than Nothing?

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Whatever business you’re in, you’re selling something. It may be a product, it may be a service, but you’re selling something. And my guess is that you’ve got competitors who are also selling something—probably something identical or very similar to what you’re offering. It’s your job to convince your customer that you—your product, your service—will be the best solution for their needs. But if that’s all you do, you may very well fail. Because it’s no longer enough to convince ...

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What Are Your Assumptions Costing You?

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I just got back from a speaking engagement in DeFuniak Springs, Florida (“Home of the Second Roundest Lake in the World!”). I spoke there on Saturday night, delivering my signature keynote presentation, The 5 Best Decisions the Beatles Ever Made…and Why You Should Make Them Too! Because of a combination of inclement weather and a mix-up in the printed schedule, attendance was much lighter than we anticipated. Let’s just say that well over 200 of the 300 available seats were ...

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Details, Details, Details

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I just listened to Strawberry Fields Forever again, for what must be the thousandth time, and I heard a harmony I had never noticed before. That’s one of the things I love about the Beatles’ music: there are so many layers, so many little details, that you can listen to it over and over again and still hear something new. That’s one of the reasons so many of their songs sound as fresh and exciting today as they did forty ...

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What’s Your Focus?

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I have a friend who is really struggling in his business right now. He works for himself, and when the phone was ringing life was good. But the phone hasn’t been ringing for a couple of years now, and he doesn’t know how to turn things around. He said to me the other day, “I’m doing everything I can think of, putting in ten hours a day trying to build the business, but nothing seems to be working.” And it’s ...

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Give Your Career a Tune Up!

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My piano is being tuned as I’m writing this. Don’t get me wrong…it didn’t sound out of tune. But it’s a valuable instrument, and I care about it. So I get it tuned twice a year, without fail. Now, I have this friend who I’ll call “George” (although his real name is Alan). “George” also has a nice piano. Mine’s a Steinway, his is a Baldwin. “George,” however, only gets his piano tuned when he thinks it sounds out of ...

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Linking Your Stories to Your Message

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There are many compelling reasons to use humorous stories in your presentations. They make you more likeable, they make you more memorable, they help you generate higher fees, etc. But as far as your audience is concerned, there is only one reason: you use humorous stories to further your point! That’s it! You’re not using them to get a laugh, because getting a laugh is about you, the speaker. Using a humorous story to help get your point across is ...

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Stainton’s 10 Commandments of Humor

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[Tweet “Stainton’s 10 Commandments of #Humor “]

1. Thou shalt target thy audience

This is the first and great commandment! You must know who your audience is, and choose your humor appropriately. This doesn’t mean just knowing who the group is, or even who the individuals who comprise the audience are. It means understanding the occasion, knowing the back-story of the group, assessing the dynamics of the event. I was speaking to a group whose venerable and much beloved founder had just ...

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