Friday, June 10, 2016


Well, here we are, half way through the year. Time to do a check to see how we are doing versus our plans for the year. So,

Let's start with sales. Have you reached half of the volume you projected for the year? If so, congratulations, keep it up. If not, why not? Then what are you going to do to get back on track? Now is a great time to analyze your numbers. 

How many contacts do I need to make to secure an opportunity to present a proposal (not bid)? Do I need to step up the campaign so that I am getting more opportunites? Do I need to change something that I am doing to improve the success of opportunities I get to present?

How many proposals turn into actual customers? What do I need to do to improve that percentage? Do I need to revise my presentation to be more in tune with what the prospect is asking for? Am I practicing my presentation skills so that I present our proposal in the most professional manner possible? If not, what do I need to do about it?

What is the average dollar volume of my proposals that turn in to sales? Am I creating enough volume per sale to make our projections? If not, am I really chasing the right kind of business? What market segments do I need to spend more effort on? 

Am I contacting my existing customers on a regular basis to remind them of the additional services we can provide to make their life easier and our profit more enhanced?

There are a lot of things that go into selling and each of us needs to be tuned into each one of them and make each item the most effective and efficient that we can. 

Now, how about operations?  

Are your recruiting efforts on target? Are you being creative in finding new employees in this competitive environment? 

What about your onboarding of new employees? Do you have an effective orientation and initial training program for all new employees that you do each time you hire someone? What about your retraining program for existing employees?

How's your turnover rate compared to last year? At $500+ to recruit and onboard a new employee, it is vital we do what we can to reduce that turnover number. If you have 100 employees and make 200 W-2s per year, your cost of turnover is in excess of $50,000 per year. Need to improve your numbers?

I can go on and on with mid year check up things to do but I have probably given you enough to think about right now. Do the analysis, you may be losing thousands of dollars. With the immense competitive pressure on margins, it is imperative we do everything we can to manage an effective and efficient company. 

As always, we are here to help. Check our web site at for educational and training materials, forms, and DVDS that can assist. 

Don't forget we also have a weekly pod cast available at You can also access them on you tube.  

Till next time.     


Monday, June 6, 2016

For those of you that know me or have read my books know that I spend quite a bit of time talking about customer service vs. customer satisfaction. For those of you not familiar, I define customer service as a concept whereas customer satisfaction is a demonstration.
Almost every company I know in and out of our industry has a customer service department or customer representative. But, so many companies fall short when it comes to providing real customer satisfaction---in other words, demonstrating to make sure the customer is really happy. 
I want to relay an experience I had just this past week when attempting to order something on line. It epitomizes the difference between the two.  I placed my order and was told via email that they needed additional information. Okay, I will provide that information. I was told via another email that the new information was incorrect. I made another attempt to provide the information the CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE wanted. Still not correct and this time an email that was quite explicit telling me how inept I was at completing their forms. 
Let me shorten the story. After 11 emails from them and 10 in reply from me I couldn't contain myself. I had to do something that seems to be out of style in today's world---I picked up the phone and called their customer service department and asked to speak to someone other than the person I had been caring on a dialogue with via email. 
I got a very nice person and resolved the issue within 5 minutes. Now, here is the real kicker...The information I had given on my second email with was the correct information they needed. Amazing how easy issues can be resolved talking instead of emailing or texting.
You are probably thinking why in the world did he communicate with 11 emails? Answer: I wanted to see just how long it was going to take. When I couldn't take it any longer I gave up on my experiment and called the company. 
So, let me ask. How is you company doing on the customer satisfaction front? Do you have a customer service department or do you have a customer satisfaction department? So many companies will spend so much time proving that the customer is wrong when it really doesn't matter who is wrong---THE CUSTOMER IS THE CUSTOMER and deserves to be satisfied. Proving you were right only loses customers. 

Arby's has a great system for customer satisfaction. They call it the BLAST system,

B--Believe what the customer tells you.
L--Listen to the customer.
A--Apologize for any inconvenience.
S--Satisfy the customer.
T--Thank the customer for their business. 

Great system isn't it? 

As a reminder, we have a Customer Relations training DVD in English and Spanish that focuses on this issue. You can order it at

Till next time and MAKE IT A GREAT DAY.