Warning, this rant is not what you think it’s about…..
Hey there, it’s Mike here!
Four nights ago I was on a call with a good friend of mine, “super” marketer Marcin Marczak from London. We met about 8 months ago at a business workshop during an exotic breakfast in Bali, Indonesia.
He is one of those people who always takes an interest in others and the events around him with an amazing ability to build instant rapport. What is amazing to me is how well he transforms his observations into business relatable stories for future use to help new marketers create and tell their own stories.
Why am I talking about this?
He and I were discussing a problem common to many people who are just like me. How do we relate everyday seemingly uninteresting “happenings” that are positive and negative into a teachable moment?
I grew up a very private person and never wanted to “put my life out there;” so Facebook was never of interest to me. However, I learned that social media is critical in today’s business world because less and less communication is done face to face or even verbally, it’s done with a keyboard, short videos and programs like skype.
So as Marcin would say, the process is simple and all you have to do is just “take action” and do it!
Mike’s Tip: when you have a “warm” customer who wants to make a purchase… take them seriously.
Two weeks ago my laptop crashed, it suddenly got so hot it could have fried an egg, beeped out an error message and promptly shut down. Now I knew what the problem was, but decided my time could be better spent doing productive things for my business than disassembling an older laptop, searching and replacing the part.
So, I made the correct decision for the problem by deciding my time spent focusing on business was more valuable than paying a tech money to do the repair.
The solution was simple and I dropped it off at the computer store where I was already a customer, explained the problem to the owner and let him know that I need the unit for business. If it could not be repaired quickly and reasonably then just call me with a quote for a new machine.
My point is we already had a business relationship and since I had done business with him before, he fit the “know, like and trust” requirement.
The good part, I’m already a customer… So why did I buy my new computer yesterday from someone else?
He did not take an honest interest in me as the customer, ask pertinent questions, qualify my needs and instead assumed that my problem could be solved with a cheap price.
Here’s what I mean… He listened to my tale of woe politely, but didn’t really hear what I was saying or asking. I had already told him that I had a need, what I wanted and what I was willing to do. I basically handed him my “wallet” and he totally ignored it, he walked past the “low hanging fruit.”
He was more concerned with his own agenda and began pushing his “on the shelf” stock. He assumed a low price was more important than fitting the needs I just carefully explained to him. His solution didn’t fit my requirements. Another quick explanation on my part was answered with an “I got it” and we were finished with a promise to get back to me quickly.
I waited 2 days before calling him only to learn that his tech had not started the project and he would call me in a couple more days. When asked about the price of a new computer, he had not gotten around to it. OK, he is busy, I get it.
Two more days go by and still no call. Since I normally pass his store on my way home I stopped in to see if he had a solution. Not yet, they are really busy and just could not get to it… great. (Ok, I get it, you’re really busy, but your making your problem my problem… I’m skilled enough to create my own problems without anyone’s help)
The weekend is approaching and he closed a couple of days early for Easter weekend, no problem I will get it on Monday. I called Monday and he told me it’s next on the bench and no he hasn’t priced a new computer yet.
Day number 10, I speak with him on the phone and learned the computer is not repairable and trying to get parts will be difficult. Now I just want it back, and I will start looking on line for another computer.
Day number 11, I stop back, and there is my computer on the bench in pieces…he will have it ready for me to pick up tomorrow.
Day 12, the computer is in one piece and I pick it up after paying a $45.00 bench fee. Oh and I’ll have the quote ready for you tomorrow.
Day 14, I still don’t have a laptop and I placed an online order for two of them direct from the manufacturer following keyboard chats with the salesperson.
Here is the take away:
• If you are dealing with a warm customer, let them know they are important by listening to their “story” and provide quick follow-through.
• Don’t make them chase you, the marketer, for promised follow-up.
• Don’t make a rooky mistake by ignoring the “I’m ready to buy now” signal
• Treat every customer, new and repeat by their purchasing potential as a repeat customer over time and not just the current sale.
• Know your products and offer your best advice on the merits of the purchase, it builds trust.
The real issue is this is not a rant about the repair guys. It’s not even about the repair, but it is about the importance of taking care of a customer and it’s really about his lack of follow-through causing me to lose the Freedom to work from anywhere I wanted to be.
Suddenly, I am reminded of a time when much of my work had to be done in an office and I admit I’m spoiled.
I miss the freedom a laptop provides, not to mention the ability to be in the field with a camera and still conduct business while waiting for the light to change or wildlife to appear.
Did I mention not liking to write on an iPhone where the keys are too small for my fat fingers?
So, here is the sell, if you have never enjoyed the satisfaction building your own business with the freedom to work anywhere you don’t know what you are missing!
Want to find out? Contact me by email or skype for a free strategy session.
Ps: New laptop to arrive in 10 days.
PPS: if I had ordered this 10 days ago I’d be sending this message from my new laptop instead of this $@&$@ phone. Lesson learned.
PPPs: Thanks for the advice Marcin, you were right about slowing down and appreciating the journey!
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