Posts Tagged 'sales'

Are You In the “No” Business?

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There’s a little Italian restaurant near my home where I go when—well, when I want to eat Italian food. Duh. So I was there the other evening (because I wanted to eat Italian food), and the hostess was seating an elderly couple. I wasn’t really paying attention, but apparently they asked if they could be seated closer to the window. The hostess very nicely explained that that wasn’t possible, for some reason that I didn’t catch. But the owner, who ...

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Why This Business Made the Sale

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I guess I’m getting a new roof. I don’t want to get a new roof, but I guess I’m getting one. I mean, I know I’ve needed a new roof. My neighborhood, and therefore my house, is 20 years old, and most of my neighbors have already replaced their roofs. I’ve been holding out because I’d rather spend my money on candy and ice cream. Still, in the past two or three years I’ve received dozens, possibly hundreds, of flyers ...

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How Much Are Your Blinders Costing You?

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Don’t look now, but you may be going through life with blinders on. Actually, we all are to some extent—some of us more so than others. What do I mean by this? Well, I grew up in Amish country, where horses and buggies are a common sight. Because horses have amazing peripheral vision and are easily distracted, the Amish put blinders on the horses so that they can only see straight ahead. This is a very good thing for a ...

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3 Things You Can Do NOW to Build Your Business

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A friend of mine has a dog with cataracts. He (the dog) is perfectly happy going through his day, but he bumps into things a lot. It seems to me that a lot of businesses are plagued by “corporate cataracts.” There’s a lack of clarity, a lack of focus, in what they do. Their vision is cloudy, and this is costing them millions of dollars a year. So right now you’re either thinking, “Boy, I’m sure glad that’s not my ...

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A Proven Formula for Failure

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When I was back in high school, a friend of mine started a rock and roll band which lasted all of a week. When I asked him why they broke up, he said, “Well, we had one practice, and it was pretty clear that we’d never be as good as the Beatles, so we quit.” Leaving aside the question of whether one practice session is really enough to determine, with certainty, that you’ll never be as good as the Beatles ...

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What Are Your Customers Really Telling You?

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At a conference I was speaking at, one of the other presenters was talking about customer service. He showed a photo of a storefront he had once seen; it was a small, mom and pop candy store. Taped to the front window was a hand-made sign on which was printed, in large, angry letters:

NO, WE DO NOT SELL ICE CREAM!!!

This conference happened several years ago, and although I don’t recall the name of the other presenter ...

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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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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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Breaking Out of “Home Base”

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It’s not an absolute rule, but Beatles fans tend to fall into one of two camps: those who favor the early Beatles (She Loves You through roughly the Help! album) and those who prefer the later Beatles (say, Rubber Soul through Abbey Road). It pretty much depends on which iteration of the band you grew up with (or encountered initially, for those of you who weren’t lucky enough to catch them the first time around). Although I’m a huge fan ...

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The Ed Sullivan Impact and Your Business

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Tomorrow—February 9, 2009—will mark the 45th anniversary of the Beatles’ historic first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. An estimated 73 million people—roughly half of the U.S. population at the time—watched as the Beatles performed five songs that night (All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand). Although just a little kid at the time, I was one of those 73 million. For that I have ...

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