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Module 1: How to Position Your Brand to Sell
Section 4: How to Create Your Brand Strategy
Post 3: The Secret to Creating a Free Sales Force for Your Brand
Let’s quickly review – our last post was about the most critical factor in building a brand that sells: delivery.
It’s easy to make promises. It’s not always so easy to keep them.
Simple stuff, right? So why do so many business people fail to do it?
They forget a cardinal rule: If you’re not sure you can keep a promise, don’t make it. Life is so much simpler
Of course, we’ve all heard stories about the entrepreneur who said “Yes” when a customer asked if they could do something. They weren’t sure if they could do it. They’d certainly never done it before. But they found a way. It was a major moment in the history of their business.
So yes – sometimes it may pay to break the rule. But we’re not thinking about those kinds of situations. We’re talking about every day business, telling customers what you can do and then doing it.
Promises kept creates trust. Trust builds your brand. Your brand is the foundation of your business. Your business will give you the life of your dreams.
So keeping promises leads to life on your own terms. BIGG success!
But you can do it even faster. Remember “promises plus” as we said last time.
Keep your promises and you’ll satisfy your customers. Go a little bit beyond and you’ll thrill them!
The BIGG value of small improvements
Let’s say you have 100 customers. You focus on finding a way to serve just one more customer every week, without sacrificing quality or profit margins.
Under this scenario, you would be serving 52 more customers by the end of the year. That’s over 50% more than where you started. Since we assumed you held your margins, your profit would also be up over 50%!
So you can create tremendous value from small improvements. It’s true for sales and profits. It’s also true when serving customers.
It’s better to be consistently mediocre than inconsistently great.
But it’s best to be consistently great getting greater.
Remember talking about your ideal customer experience last time? We saw a great example of this in action….
We visited a company who had their entire process mapped out on the wall of their conference room.
It included all their touchpoints – from the first interaction with the customer to following up after the sale. But there was something even more intriguing…
They had all these sticky notes up on the wall.
They were all over the place! Upon closer observation, you could see that they each one had handwriting on it.
We were so curious that we just had to ask: What are the sticky notes for?
We learned that each sticky note highlighted one small thing they wanted to test – the “plus” in “promise plus.”
They would pick off one sticky note at a time to see if it improved results. If it did, they kept doing it. If it didn’t, they scrapped it and moved on.
These suggestions had been made by customers and employees. That’s what makes this concept so useful.
It’s a great tool to get employee buy-in. They get on board because they can see that their suggestions are being considered.
More than that, they may get tested. The test results may call for full implementation!
It makes your employees feel like they’re a significant part of something bigger. They feel valued. They’re happier. And happy employees stick around and produce more.
Not a bad use for a conference room wall, huh?
The key to finding plusses with impact
When you think about your ideal customer experience, you’ll get the BIGG things right. But it’s the little things that turn ordinary customers into extraordinary evangelists of your brand.
How will you discover these little things? Ask!
Talk with your customers every chance you get. Ask them what you could do even better. You’ll find this customer wants this thing while another wants something else.
Observe your competition. What are they doing that you’re not?
However, here’s what you’ll find in most cases – when you deliver that little thing, ALL your customers love it! They may have never mentioned it. They may not have even thought of it. But they’ll notice it!
Of course, you can only do so much. Bite off these tasks as you can. But always be seeking feedback from your customers.
With social media, you have a focus group at your beck and call every day. Take advantage of it. Ask your fans and followers for their opinions. Use a service like Survey Monkey to query the people on your list.
A surprising experience at a restaurant
A friend of ours told us about her recent experience with a nearby restaurant. She went out to lunch with a colleague. Neither of them had ever been to this restaurant – it had just opened a few weeks earlier.
The food was great. The service was even better. They had a wonderful time.
About a half hour after our friend got back to her office, her assistant buzzed her to let her know she had a phone call. It was the manager of the restaurant where she had just eaten.
What’s this about, she wondered, as she picked up the phone and said, “Hello.”
“Good afternoon. I just wanted to call to make sure you enjoyed your lunch today,” the manager said.
She said, “Yeah…everything was fantastic.” She paused, wondering what was coming next.
“So glad to hear it. And I just want to let you know that we really appreciate your business.”
“Well…thank you,” our stunned friend replied, barely able to form the words.
“Have a great day.”
With that, the call ended. No pitch. No nothing. Just a question about the experience and a note of appreciation.
And did you notice what naturally happened as a result? Our friend thanked the manager!
Have you ever had a restaurant call you just to say thanks? How about other service providers?
This is a great example of a promise plus. Our friend was satisfied by her experience at the restaurant. But she was thrilled with the follow-up.
And guess where she always suggests going for lunch? We can’t tell you how many people she’s introduced to this place.
She almost never goes anywhere else for lunch. And she’s not shy about sharing the story we just relayed to you. It’s why we found out about it.
She may very well be their best salesperson – and she’s not even on the payroll. In fact, she pays them!
Yet if we asked 100 restaurant owners if they do follow-up thank you calls, how many do you think could honestly say “Yes”?
We don’t know the answer. However, we’d be surprised if 5 of the 100 actually did it. We wouldn’t be surprised if it was only 1 or 2.
Why so few? Because it’s so hard? No, it’s really pretty easy.
Is it because they’re scared they may prompt a complaint? Perhaps, but remember what we said about people who complain – they can quickly be turned into brand ambassadors if treated right.
But in most cases – the real reason is because it just isn’t a priority. They may intend to do it. They may like to do it. But in the rush of everyday business, it gets pushed to the bottom of the list. And the list keeps growing so the bottom gets pushed lower and lower. In the end, it never gets done.
So the few who invest a small amount of time to do it reap BIGG dividends.
What opportunities can make you shine by making something simple a priority? Look for touchpoints which make a difference with your customers and your competitors ignore.
It’s the secret to thrilling your customers. They are a selling force, unequalled by any team of the best people salespeople who could ever be assembled. Even better, they’ll do it for free. And you’ll reap the rewards!
Take your pick: You can go to Part 3 of the Create Your Brand Strategy Guidebook or go on to the next post. We recommend going to the Guidebook.
And if you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “BTS QUESTION” in the subject line.