Roy's Blog: April 2010

April 28, 2010

This is the pain that product floggers really inflict

Sales product floggers torture customers in many ways.

— Little interest is shown in what is going on with the customer. They only care about driving the product down the customer’s throat.

— Way too much fast talk. It’s a monologue about the features and benefits not a conversation. If the sales person takes a breath it’s a miracle.

— No knowledge of the customer is evident. The product rules!

Inflict pain

— Scarce listening. Lots of transmitting.

— Product monologue. No solutions dialogue.

— Product features prevail. Little VALUE communication.

— Lots of “techno-speak”. Sales person very impressed with their knowledge.

— No defences evident for the customer. The flogger is relentless.

— The short term focus overwhelms any long term flavour.

— Price benefits trumps any VALUE considerations (perhaps there are none?).

— Technology coolness. It’s about what the product does more than the VALUE it creates for the individual.

— Pressure to buy is immense. Customer wants to get it over with and escape the sales pain.

— Implied criticism on the customer if they don’t buy. “Don’t you realize the amazing deal you would get? (Are you dull?).

It’s not the sales person’s fault. This type of behavior happens because of leadership.

Sales is compensated by how much product they sell. Relationships? It’s fuzzy stuff that really is tough to quantify in terms of benefits and therefore doesn’t matter.

Absolute rubbish!

If you want to know how to make Sales relationship-building behaviors matter and build them into your leadership strategy just give me a call. It’s not rocket science.

The real issue is do you have the intestinal fortitude to focus on customer relationships as key to growing revenue or do you intend to go forward actually believing that that slamming products at people will get you the gold medal?

Your call. I hope, your employees hope, your owners hope and your customers hope you make the right one.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 4.28.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

April 16, 2010

Beware of managers who hold on to the past


Creating strategy is just as much about letting go of the past as it is about taking on new things.

Eliminating non-strategic activities, projects and programs in fact is critical to creating the bandwidth to take on the new things required.

You simply don’t have sufficient time, energy and resources to take on new stuff while continuing to carry on with past activities.

Of course there will be managers in your organization that really like the past direction and don’t want to be part of excuting on a new course.

For many, the past is familiar and comfortable and relatively stress free. Why would they want to give it up for the anxiety, risk and uncertaintly of going a new direction?

Their preference is to continue to manage the irrelevance that gives them satisfaction and security.

image

It is essential to identify these custodians of the past and to act on them.

If not, they will infect others in the orgainzation by attempting to convince them not to embrace the new strategic direction.

Here’s a process to follow.

— determine the CRAP, or non-strategic activities and projects that are no longer appropriate given your new strategy. Make the list long. Avoid being persuaded that everything associalted with your old plan is relevant to the new.

— identify the people associated with the CRAP.

— develop an action plan for each person who is engaged in irrelevant activities. Don’t assume a single solution will work for everyone. Each person will be different and will require a personalized solution.

— reassign those who want to go to your brave new world and give them all the training and development support they need to succeed.

— exit those who are either not qualified to take on the new challenge or who refuse it. Either way, they need to go to prevent the inertia virus from spreading!

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 4.16.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

April 13, 2010

This is what happens when rules serve not control customers

Rules, policies and procedures are, in most organizations, tools to control customer behaviour.

And policies can be critical in determining the success of your strategic game plan particularly as it relates to interfacing with the customer.

Look behind most negative customer experiences in an organization and you find a rule, policy or procedure that has infuriated a customer.

Why not create policies FOR the customer as opposed to against them?

Why not create internal rules that liberate a customer to achieve what THEY want in a manner that is acceptable to THEM?

Why not design procedures that make it EASY for the customer to business with you and not put them through hoops just because of organizational limitations and other internal self-imposed limitations?

image

A complicated, bureaucratic and customer unfriendly system of rules communicates that you really don’t care about the customer experience; that you really are more concerned about internal efficacy and conformance than creating memorable experiences for people.

Not a good thing to tell a highly competitive market where customer empowerment and choice is greater than ever.

Policies should be created in the image of serving the customer to create dazzling service experiences.

Here are a few benefits:

- customers will be liberated to do what they want to do and therefore will be motivated to give you more business.

- customers will find it easier to do business with you.

- frontline effectiveness is improved as they are taken out of the position of having to enforce rules that annoy and make no sense to customers.

- frontline job satisfaction goes up as the anxiety and stress of dealing with unhappy customers is reduced.

- the customer experience improves dramatically as the rules of the organization please the customer as opposed to police them.

- customer loyalty increases as a result of the more memorable experiences they are realizing.

- the organization is distinguished from its competitors who continue to treat rules as vehicles to control the customer.

Where to start? How about asking the customer how they want to do business with you. How they want to partner with you to get their desires satisfied.

You will be delighted with the response you get. Take your most troublesome Policy and create a compromise with the customer based on what THEY want.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 4.13.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

April 10, 2010

How to really cut costs and keep customers

When operating margins get squeezed, organizations go on a cost cutting rampage often without reflection on their strategy. This approach is a disaster waiting to happen.

Here are some guidelines for collapsing your cost envelope without being sorry later for your actions:

1. Avoid considering activities that impact how you serve customers. Customer serving functions and people are definitely NOT in the ‘low hanging fruit’ category.

2. Examine quick hit opportunities to simplify business processes. Cut out unnecessary steps that impair effectiveness. Less complex processes will drive expenses down.

3. Eliminate layers in your organization that ‘manage’ and do not directly contribute to the output of the organization.

image

4. Throw out low value-add positions. Any ‘or’ jobs such as ‘co-ordinator’, ‘administrator’, and ‘facilitator’ should be considered for elimination. You need doers not people who work with the output of others.

5. Cut the crap. Anything that does not directly serve the strategy of the organization should be hacked. This is essential in good times; it is critical in challenging times.

6. Look at temporary positions. Consider keeping only those that are in the serving customers value chain.
- training programs that don’t support the strategy (customer service, marketing and sales) directly should be postponed.

7. Mass media advertising should be eliminated in favor of targeted “me marketing” programs.

Incent your leaders to remove non-strategic costs. Change the bonus compensation plan to make it matter for all of them.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 4.10.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
  • Permalink