Monthly Archives: September 2010

How to Keep Customers Loyal

I received an email from a small service business owner having trouble. He is losing customers when their technicians leave and take customers with them when they quit and go to work for a competitor. He is concerned his marketing and sales plan must not be working, I was puzzled.

Why do his service technicians leave his company and why do they take the service work with them? Perhaps he needs a better employee retention program and a better customer loyalty program. The problem is not with his employees or customers. The problem lies within how he runs his business and prioritizes his time. Keeping customers loyal is simple: go see them on a regular basis, take them to lunch, send them thank you cards, and show them you care about them. They are not your employee’s customers. They belong to your company. Keep them by making customers a top priority. Treat them like you want to keep them instead of just doing the work and sending them an invoice as your thank-you gift. Keeping employees is another simple task. What do you do to motivate, recognize, appreciate, and train your key people? Do you let them into your management decisions and let them feel like they contribute to the success of your company’s future? Do you compensate them based on results and acquiring new customers? Employees leave because their employers don’t give them a reason to stay. Think about your company and what you do to find and keep customers and employees. Perhaps you have to do something different with your time and money to make more money.

Consider one of my workbooks and cd sets for sale on my website entitled: “Sell More Than Price” and “Profit-Driven Leadership”.  This will be a helpful tool when looking to improve customer retention and relationships.

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Be On Purpose! Be On Target!

FACE REALITY

I sent this email to the President of a company I am consulting with. See if it can help your thinking during the slow economy.

1. Whether or not the note comes due doesn’t change anything for the next few months. The money is still due and deserves a return. More investment money will only enable you to limp along longer without accountability.

2. The economy is not an excuse for 4 years of no growth and no profits. The purpose of every successful company is to grow and make a profit. The more sales and profit, the more valuable the company.

3. The sole purpose of a real company is not to sell it, but to grow it. Entrepreneurs grow companies. Small business owners own a company that barely makes them a living.

4. CEO’s of companies who don’t steadily increase the value of their stock and/or grow their revenue get replaced fast. No excuses. They make it happen or find another job.

5. The meeting we had was the same meeting we have had at least 4 times over two years:  

  • No growth and not profit.
  • No positive sales results.
  • Not enough sales activity or impact to attract new customers.
  • For whatever reason, you have not hired more sales people to close enough leads

As you know, I study entrepreneurs and small business owners. 95% of them get stuck and can’t grow beyond a certain level that leaves them short of successful. Good intentions, hard workers, work 80 hours / week, care about their product, and very convinced their way is the best and only way. But these 95% of all small businesses don’t move beyond the owner’s ability to control all the work. This keeps them stuck at a level they can’t get beyond. They don’t know what to do next except try to work harder themselves. They get frustrated when questioned because they value working hard over getting results. They never can find any good help they can afford. They are slow to hire new people who will help them grow the company. They don’t put strong people around themselves because they think they cost too much. They can’t let go, can’t delegate, and micro-mange everything that happens every day.

The only way to break the cycle is for the owner to change their habits or be replaced by another manager who knows how to manage instead of doing the work. For example, my friend has started 6 companies and eventually gets replaced or fired by the investors when the company gets stuck. With new direction and leadership, the company gets back on track.

Now what is your solution?
I DON’T want to Survive for another year. You have a great product that saves companies money. The economy is not the reason for the lack of sales. It is a lack of enough excellent and qualified people selling. You can’t do it alone with weak players surrounding yourself. You must reshuffle your staff to make way for at least 1 more fully qualified sales closer to get the revenue back on track. Time is too short to hope for a big deal or another loan to bail you out for another 6 months. I will close this rant with one of my quotes:

“The results you get are a direct indicator of the leader of an organization.”

It is time to face reality. What BIG change do YOU need to make (and your company) to get different results.

Stop Waiting For It To Get Better!

Give Thanks For Opportunities!
Over the next few weeks, give thanks for what you’ve got, not what you’ve lost or don’t have anymore! One thing you have is a clean plate to start building upon. Make some good decisions about your future. Spend some quality time with your family. And emerge stronger and wiser. Consider joining one of our Circles or Roundtable Peer Groups – they may be one of the pieces to get your puzzle started on the road to recovery. But for sure, make a decision to stop waiting for it to get better!

Welcome To My Official BLOG!

The purpose of this BLOG is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners to get their companies to work exactly the way they want them to work.

I have been speaking to business audiences since 1992 on the subject of building your business. Currently I speak 50 times every year to companies and associations on the topic of building profits, customers, people, and wealth. My e-newsletter has over 5,500 subscribers who get my advice every month as well. Plus I have written a series of 8 workbooks and CD’s entitled “The Business Success Blueprint.” I also hold two day boot camps open to business owners and principals called “Profit Builder Circles” held every few months around the country.

Now the birth of two new exciting projects. This BLOG and my book entitled

“Get Your Business To Work!  – 7 Steps To Earning More, Working Less & Living The Life You Want.  Fell free to click here for more details about the book.

I hope my continuous business ownership advice will benefit you greatly and help you reach your business and personal goals. The purpose of owning a business is to have it deliver what you want from it. To make that happen, you have to operate your business like an owner and make strategic business decisions. You have to get organized and replace yourself with systems so your business will run like a machine. You have to let go and get your people to do what you want them to do so you can invest your time doing what brings your company the greatest return.

Are you ready to get your business to work? Keep reading and learning. See you at the bank!

Visit my website to learn more about the services offered for business and entrepreneurs: www.hardhatpresentations.com