I work with a LOT of companies. Solopreneurs. Small Businesses. Large Businesses. Corporations. Across the entire spectrum of the marketplace, I see three standard rules that make companies successful. How they service their clients everyday. How they incrementally grow by making the right decisions and recovering quickly from the wrong ones.
So without further ado, here they are:
- Delight Your Customer. Not just service them - DELIGHT them. Make them step back and say "Wow". In one of my past posts, I mentioned add 'Pizazz' to everything you do. This is the same thing. When you deliver your service, find one way to go the extra mile and make your customer smile and think "I am so glad I shopped here/worked with you." How can you do it? Nordstrom's excels in customer service and quality. Jet Blue does it with customer service and price (and great seats!). Trader Joe's excels in products, price, and customer service. Get where I'm going?
Next Step: Look at your pricing, your product, or your customer service and tweak a bit. Give them something they don't expect. Make them say 'Wow". Go the extra mile.
- Meet New People. Everyday. Get out of your office/store/home and meet people. And not just any people - important people that can HELP you grow your business. That means finding those people who are your customers and touching them or finding connectors that will help you meet your customers. Do lunches, coffee, drinks after work, breakfast, dinner, show up with a pizza . . . whatever. You need to touch people to learn what's happening in the outside world, meet and greet new prospects, and spread the word about your great products.
Next Step: Make it a point of getting out in the next 24 hours with ANYONE. Take the plunge - do it now.
- Ask Lots of Questions and Listen. Whoever I meet, I ask key, basic questions to get them going. "How's business?" "How's the family?" "Where did you go for vacation?" "How's that rash healing?" You know - all the small talk questions. Then I add in a follow up question: "Really . . . tell me more." That is the magic question - getting them to delve deeper into their experience while you just SHUT UP and LISTEN. You are listening for openings, for ability to seed your services, to help your fellow person. That is invaluable in today's marketplace when all people do today is TALK.
Next Step: The next person you meet (for lunch, at the supermarket, etc.) ask them a key probing question, follow up with "Really . . . tell me more.", and then LISTEN. You will suprise yourself how much info you get out of that person.
By the way — all three of these ways to grow your business are incredibly fun to do. Trust me.