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Relationships Vs Business During Crisis

17 Nov

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I have spent the last few days checking on each of my clients in France. Everyone seems to be okay, but quite shaken by the cowardly attacks on innocent lives in Paris.  After losing two friends here in 9/11 I understand their emotions.  It is for that reason that I am writing a very different type of post this week.  You see, sometimes you have to stop doing business with your clients so that you can just be a friend to someone who needs you in their darkest moments.

 

Paris tear 11-13-2015Now that the shock is passing the reality of what has just happened is starting to set in and fear is taking root.  If you have any clients or customers in any part of Europe right now I encourage you to reach out to each one on as personal level as you can.  Fear is such a crippling and destructive emotion and they are going to need your extra support to get through the next few days and weeks.  Most importantly let each one know that there is no doubt that you care about what they are going through and look for any way that you can help them, particularly on an emotional level.  Here are a few suggestions.

 

 

  1. If you were here in the USA during 9/11 or in another country that has been touched by terrorism briefly share your story and emphasize you understand what they are feeling because you have experienced it.

 

  1. If you have been fortunate enough not to have experienced a terrorist attack please be honest about it. Just the fact that you are reaching out to them without an agenda will let them know you care.

 

  1. This is NOT the time to pitch your product. This is the time to build your personal connection with your clients and to simply be a human being.  There will be time enough for business later.  Paris morns 11-13-2015

 

I hope you will follow up on this and if you have comments or any suggestions on how to comfort and support our Parisian and European friends please post it down below so that the rest of us can make good use of your insights.

7 Easy Steps To Creating A Great Offer

17 Jun
small business: happy owner of a stationery shop

7 Easy Steps To Creating A Great Offer

You have been working like crazy to build your business, doing all the right things, but you are still not generating the sales you need to make a comfortable living.  The reason may be that you haven’t yet perfected the art of a truly great offer.  It doesn’t matter if your business is online, home-based, or a traditional brick-n-mortar.  Creating a great offer will make all the difference and I am going to show you how using this simple framework and answering a few simple questions.

  1. What are they going to get?

What is it that your customers are going to get from you?  What is the product or service you are offering and most importantly, what will be your customer’s results or experience after buying and using it?  What problem will your product or service solve or urgent need will it meet and how will that make your customer’s life better?

  1. How are they going to get it?

How are they going to receive your product or service?  Are you going to ship it?  Do they come into your store?  Is it immediately downloadable? Do they need to make an appointment?

  1. What are they going to pay?

Simply put, what is the price for your products or services?

  1. How are they going to pay it?

What payment methods do you accept? Do you offer an optional 3 month easy-pay option?  Is it a monthly membership fee? Can they place their order on your website? Do you offer free shipping with in-store pick-up?

  1. Urgency and Scarcity.

Having a stated a limited product availability or time that your offer will be available creates a sense of urgency and helps motivate your customer to make their purchase.  You must follow through and end your offer as stated or it will critically damage your credibility and your customers trust in you.

  1. Risk reversal.

Do you offer a money-back guarantee? Is there a time limit? Do you cover return shipping?  Is there a product or service warranty?

  1. Bonuses!

Bonuses are another great way to create risk reversal.  You see, nearly every product or service generate the need for an additional product or service.  Sometimes they even create a new problem for your customer.  Bonuses are a wonderful way to resolve your customer’s hesitations to making a purchase by giving them an additional solution as your gift.  It shows that you have really been thinking about your customers experience with your product or service and you want to make sure it is a great one.

Speaking of bonuses, I would like to offer you one extra gem to close your offer with and that is this.  Paint a vivid picture of how your customer’s life will be after purchasing and using your product or service.  What results they will achieve and how it will benefit their daily life.  This is where you want to make your customer actually feel the results. Remember, the vast majority of decisions to buy are driven by emotion, not price.

I hope you have found this week’s post helpful and you use it in your own business.  If you need more help I have created a new video series that answers the questions I am asked the most frequently and I walk you through each solution with simple, easy to implement steps.  This is absolutely free as my gift to you and I hope you enjoy them.  Just click on the image below and enjoy!

SBA Campaign Offer 1

How Important Having a Customer Centered Business Is To Your Bottom-line

16 Apr

happy-customerOver the last few weeks we have been talking about the importance of great customer service and how it can positively impact your business and your bottom-line. Well… disaster struck our house this last week and I was able to personally experience the best example of exceptional customer service I have seen in a long time.

 
I will spare you all the unpleasant details, but suffice it to say, we had a plumbing issue in our bathroom that we were not able to resolve ourselves and we ended up calling Roto-Rooter. Of course this would happen on a Sunday so I was expecting to have to pay extra.
Fortunately for me Roto-Rooter has a customer-centric business policy and understood that disasters don’t observe the calendar or the clock and did not charge extra just because of the day of the week we needed them the most urgently.

 
My first contact with Roto-Rooter was their website that had their service number in big red numbers right at the top of the page where it was easy to find. The woman on the other end of the line was very courteous, but also seemed genuinely sympathetic and understanding to my personal situation and the anxiety I was going through at that moment. She promised to have a technician to my home during a certain time period that day and that I would receive a phone call 30 minutes in advance of their arrival.

 
True to her word, everything happened just as she said, but then things took another unexpected turn. The gentleman who actually showed up at my door was exactly that, a gentleman, in every sense of the word. The professionalism, the exceptional quality of work, his graciousness and good manners, and the professional respect Farhad showed to me was unlike anything I had experienced in quite a long time and if you are a woman you know exactly what I mean.

 
As he began his work to resolve our issue things went from bad to worse quickly. He discovered that there was water damage that had apparently been going on for a while resulting in structural damage to my home. Not what I wanted to hear. It also seemed that there was a secondary issue that would require hiring another contractor and digging up our front lawn and removing most of the drive way to replace some pipes. By this time all I can think of is a bill that started out as a few hundred dollars was suddenly exploding into the thousands and Farhad seemed to understand that.

 
He arranged to have a camera crew come and run a camera through our system to find out exactly how bad the damage was and specifically where it was, thereby reducing the amount of additional damage and expense necessary to the front of my property. Most importantly, Farhad arranged to have this done at no additional charge to me.

 
As you might of guessed, I had just gone from being a satisfied customer to a raging fan as I saw my bill start to come back down. But he wasn’t done. He left my bathroom clean and in good working order. Farhad took a few moments to freshen-up outside at his van before going over my bill with me, which so far was still the same few hundred dollars it started out as. Then as a way of introducing me to a new product and to prevent any more potential issues and expense, Farhad left me with a gallon bottle of Roto-Rooter’s Pipe Shield as a gift.

 
In this one day I experienced each of the key customer service points that you and I have been discussing over the last few weeks. I cannot emphasize enough how important having a customer centered business model is to your business and your bottom-line. If you haven’t had a chance yet to go through my free video series “How to Get More Customers and Grow Your Business” I highly recommend you do now. Each of the videos walks you through how to implement each of the key steps, how it will benefit your business, and it is my gift to you. However, it’s only going to be available for a little while longer because I have a new series coming in just a couple of weeks. So take advantage of them while you still can! Just click the image below to get started!

 

Offer 8

5 Simple Steps to Turn Your Business Into a Success!

25 Mar

Business Owner 7

One of the absolute essentials for building a successful business from scratch and then continuing to grow it year after year is doing just one thing and doing it incredibly well, and that is building your repeat customer base. If more of your current customers continue to come back for more of your products and services it won’t be long until they draw more first time customers who can then become repeat buyers and then generate more sales and revenue for your business. So how do you do that and where do you begin? I have created a simple five step outline that you can use starting today, no matter what type of business you in, where you are located, or what your products or services are. And, if you are just getting started setting up your business you will want to use this as your Customer Experience road-map. So here we go;

Step 1: Provide a Memorable Customer Experience
• Create an amazing entrance to your business no matter if it is your home-page or front entrance to your traditional brick and mortar
• Be Polite and use your best manners. No first names unless invited by the customer
• Treat each customer as your most important
• Pay attention to the details of your customers experience
• Learn about your customers so you can personalize their experience such as using their name.
• Take a tip from Disney and look for ways to create a moment and a memory
• Make sure your customer’s know how much you appreciate them.
• Look for opportunities to surprise and delight. Notice, and when appropriate act on, even the tiniest scraps of information they observe or discover about a guest that will enhance their experience
Step 2: Exceed Customer Expectation
• Nothing impresses a customer more than an employee who goes, “above and beyond the call of duty” to ensure total customer satisfaction
• Show that you care about them personally
• If you can’t meet your customers’ needs and expectations, then offer options for other sources, even if it is a competitor
• When offering options to your customer, you will also need to give them the information that will help them to make the best decision for their situation. Most customers prefer just two or three options.
Step 3: Create a Company Wide Standard of Excellence
• Every aspect of your business should be driven by a focus on your customer
• What so my customers need and how can I best provide it?
• Have a written plan for ensuring excellence in customer service
• Create clearly defined company-wide service standards that are measurable
• As the owner or boss, you need to walk your talk consistently and lead your staff by example

Step 4: Keep In Touch After the Sale
• Offer opportunities for customer feedback
• A telephone call or a hand written letter sent in a timely fashion after a sale shows the customer that your business cares about their experience
• Ask open ended questions in order to give your customer opportunities to express perceptions, attitudes, both positive and negative about your business and its quality of service
• Follow-up and customer feedback will enable your business to emphasize those things that are most important and most critical to your customers.

Step 5: Deal effectively with the difficult customers

• All employees should be trained and experienced in handling difficult customers
• Listen first, then speak.
• Use the mirror technique reflect back to the customer what he or she is saying to you in a way that the customer knows that you are listening and feels that you care.
• Show empathy, looking directly at the customer while you are listening
• Be unwilling to stop until it is right.
• Difficult customers can be an asset for excellence because valuable information is likely to come out in the frustration of the moment that otherwise might be kept private

I hope this was helpful to you and that you will begin to implement these five steps into your own business starting today. If you would like more in depth help in just how to use these five steps I have created a FREE VIDEO SERIES shows you with real-life examples from different types of business owners how they implemented them into their own business and the amazing results they achieved and you can to starting today. Wouldn’t it be great to see your sales begin to grow week after week? Here is the link to your FREE VIDEO SERIES.

Video Offer 3

6 Simple Steps To Keep Your Customers Coming Back and Buying More!

18 Mar

Customers have come to expect good products and service. What blows them away is when companies go beyond the line of duty, giving customers more than they expect.  Unexpected gestures are what turn a run-of-the-mill experience into one we’ll remember. Your employees have an important role to play in wowing customers by going beyond the call of duty.  Small actions can not only transform an experience into a memorable one, but also change the perception of an organization in customers’ eyes. It can make the difference between a one-time transaction and a continuous business relationship. Moreover, it can turn customers into advocates and promoters.

Step 1: Turn Every Transaction Into A Wonderful Experience
• Express genuine interest
• Offer sincere and specific compliments
• Share unique knowledge
• Convey authentic enthusiasm
• Use appropriate humor
• Provide pleasant surprises
• Deliver service heroics when needed

Step 2: Follow-up With Thank-You’s and New Product/Service Intro’s
• Personalize it.
• Thank them
• Help them relive the experience
• Ask for feedback
• Invite them back
• Promote social sharing

Step 3: Host A Special Event For Your Best Customers
• Build Brand Awareness
• Generate New Customers
• Build Long Term Relationships With Current Customers
• Introduce Your New Products and Services
• Do Something Unexpected or Innovative

Step 4: Create Personal Relationship With Your Customers
• Communication is a contact sport, so do it early and often
• Reward loyal customers
• Go the extra mile
• Treat every client as your most important one
• Respond promptly

Step 5: Create Ways To Anticipate Your Customers Needs
• Get to know the customers
• Ask the right questions
• Customers appreciate alerts to products and services that can make their lives easier
• Anticipate potential problems and offer solutions beforehand
• Customer needs should be the driving focus of your company

Step 6: Offer Free Samples That Are Relevant To Your Customers Current Needs
• Spreads the word about your products and services
• Shows your generosity and helps to create brand loyalty
• Let’s your customers fall in love with what you have to offer
• Great opportunity to get customer feedback and make sure you are offering what they are looking for
• Reward your customers to spend a little more by offering free samples when they spend above a certain threshold

Being a successful business owner comes down to just a few things and doing them incredibly well. One of which, is continually building your repeat customer base. This is the Holy Grail when it comes to owning your own business and generating the kind of income that will keep you in business over the long term, as well as take care of you and your family.
If you would like more help understanding just how to implement these six steps into your own business, I have created a FREE video series that walks you through step-by-step and then gives you real-life examples of business owners just like you who have successfully done it so you can see how they would work in your own company. Here is the link:

FREE VIDEO SERIES

I love reading your comments and I do my best to answer as many questions as I can so please feel free to leave yours in the comment section below!

Offer 3

 

5 Ways To Attract and Keep More Customers

11 Mar

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One of the biggest challenges to most businesses no matter what type of business you have, traditional brick and mortar or online, the need to attract more customers is universal. If your sales are slow and your business is not seeing the rate of growth you would like it may be because you need more traffic to your place of business and website. So, how do you do that? How do you create more interest in your business, products, and consistently generate the kind of growth year after year that you would like?

I have a lot of information for you here so I have boiled it down into nuggets. If you would like more help I also have a free video series that covers everything here in depth and I will tell more about that in just a bit, but first let’s get started.

Step 1: Identify your target customer
• Create an ideal customer profile.
 Name:
 Gender:
 Age:
 Appearance: (What do they wear? E.g. Suite/tie, medical scrubs, tee shirt/jeans, etc.)
 Current Occupation:
 Marital Status/Children:
 Common Trait or Group Identifier: (Shared experience, situation, circumstance, etc.)

Step 2: Identify their most urgent need
• Offer customer feedback opportunities.
• Join relevant social media groups.
• Read or listen to news reports regarding your area of business.
• Provide customer follow-up.
• Ask customer at time of sale.

Step 3: Make sure you are offering the products and services your customers want to buy and not just the ones you want to sell.
• What is your best selling product or service and who is buying it?
• What are they using it for and how can you provide additional products or services that will help them even more?
• What other similar individuals, groups, or businesses could you also provide these types of products or services for?

Step 4: Emotionally engage and connect with customers
• Provide opportunities for customer feedback.
• Understand the needs, perceptions and expectations of its customers at an individual level.
• Seek out opportunities to create emotional connections with Guests whenever possible.
• Provide exceptional customer service.
• Make each transaction an interaction.

Step 5: Ask repeat customers to invite their friends to your place of business
• Host “Thank You” event for your customers and ask them to bring a friend.
• Participate in an event in your local community.
• Invite local media to cover event or offer a press release.
• Create synergistic partnerships with other business owners who share your customer base, but are not competitors.

I know this is a lot of information, but I hope this will help you to get started growing your customer base and developing your repeat customers. No matter what type of business you are in using these five key steps will get you results if you do them consistently and with excellence. If you have found this helpful and you would like more in depth help just click on the link below to enjoy a free video series that walks you through each of these steps and shows you how you can implement them into your own business. Here is your link:
http://www.alexzandrad.com/

If you have a business question that you would like help with or an area that you would like more information on please post it below in the comment section. I love hearing from you and I do my best to answer as quickly as I can.

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Why Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Waite For An Economic Recovery!

4 Mar

small-business-owners 3

The first thing entrepreneurs do differently is not to wait for the recovery surge! An economic down turn is a great gift to anyone who is looking for opportunities because it has a way of weeding out the fluff and defining our greatest needs. As it happens these needs tend to be basic and ongoing even in a strong economy. For the wise entrepreneur they take advantage of the moment and establish themselves in meeting the greatest need for the greatest amount of people. Not only does this build a customer base, it also builds brand loyalty. Think about it for a moment, who would you be the most loyal to? Someone who met your need only when times were good or someone who was there for you through the dark times as well?

I encourage you to give careful thought to these business success principles, especially if your business has been struggling a bit.

1. Ask yourself what are the greatest needs of my customers?
2. How can I meet that need better than anyone else is doing so far?
3. How can I serve the greatest number of people?
4 How will my product or service bring increase and benefit to the lives of my customers?
5. How can I do this right now?

One final thought, if you are always looking after the best interest of your customer or client you can rest assured that financial success will follow. It is when businesses get greedy and self-centric that puts them on the road to financial ruin. If you want to take full advantage of the recovery, start now! Don’t wait until it gets here in full strength!

If you are going to introduce a new product or service make sure you have a high demand market that is not adequately being met by others in your industry.

Identifying a potentially successful market niche begins with determining the emotional motivation of your customers or clients. Ask the following questions to clarify your niche market ideas and identify the ones that will be worth your time and effort to pursue. This simple test can save a tremendous amount of time and money. Here is how to get started.

Ask yourself the four questions below when considering a niche market. If you get four yes’s then you have a good niche marketing idea and you should test it. If you don’t get all four yes’s then you need to fine tune your idea until you do. Use this test each time you are considering launching a new product or service and you will dramatically increase your chances of success.

1. Is my customer or client experiencing an urgent need, worry, pain, or strong desire?

2. Is my customer or client current searching for solutions to their most urgent need or problem?

3. Does my customer or client have few if any recognized options or solutions to their current problem or urgent need?

4. Is there a large group of people (1 in 500) who are currently looking for a solution right now?

If you have been able to conclusively answer these questions the chances are you have a good idea with a viable market and an opportunity to grow a successful business.

I hope this has given you a little guidance and I have a gift for you to help you grow your customer base even more! I have released a Free videos series with tons of step-by-step guidance to help you really jump-start your business this year and grow your customer base. The entire series will be delivered right to your inbox and it is absolutely FREE as my gift to you! You can also leave your comments or questions just under each video. I love hearing from you so keep the comments and questions coming, it helps me know what questions you would like answered next! Good luck! Here is the link:

http://www.alexzandrad.com/

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http://www.alexzandrad.com/