Archives for category: Sales

For those of you interested in this level of detail, the linked article has great advice for business owners (especially smaller ones) looking to optimize their Google My Business listing(s).

Regards,

Rindge Leaphart

Any business today needs targeted visibility on Google. Most businesses know that this requires optimizing their website and Google Ads,…

Source: 13 Essential Google My Business Optimizations for 2020 – Business 2 Community

Several interesting points in this brief article. An interesting tidbit was that loyal customers value discounts and promotions less than other key items, such as trusting the people at the business and their capabilities.  That would be a key reason the sales team and I constantly discuss “Serving With Excellence” because in certain segments, service is valued much higher than discounts.  Enjoy.

Rindge Leaphart

If you’ve been following my work, you know I preach that there is a difference between repeat customers and loyal customers. While loyalty is the goal, I’ll take a repeat customer—for the right reasons—any day.

Source: Three Out Of Four Customers Are More Loyal To Your Employee Than Your Business

While, I have no background in the convenience store industry, I found this article to be compelling.  The owner’s focus on innovation and customer focus is his key to staying ahead of the competition. Enjoy

In his 19 years of owning a gas station, Kent Couch has rolled out a beer cave, kombucha on tap, and uniformed attendants who greet customers by name.

Source: The Convenience-Store Innovator of Bend, Oregon – The Atlantic

Rindge Leaphart

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rindgeleaphart
https://rindgeleaphart.wordpress.com/

 

RIF – Does anybody remember the acronym RIF – Reading is Fundamental?  Maybe I watched too much TV on Saturdays as a kid. Nonetheless, it seems as if the 2016 Man Booker List, which identifies titles that are in the running for the Man Booker Prize, has been published.  I’ve read through this year’s list and have identified one or two titles that I’ll probably pick up.  Last year Marlon James won the top spot with “A Brief History of Seven Killings.”  While there were a couple of dry spots in the book, overall it was very enjoyable and definitely worth a read.  I hope the titles on this year’s Man Booker List are as enjoyable.  Take a look at the list via the link below.  You might find a few titles that pique your curiosity.

The authors in the running for Britain’s most prestigious literary award include three debut novelists.

Source: Inside the 2016 Man Booker Longlist – The Atlantic

Rindge Leaphart

Maybe it is just me, but I am heartened to learn that LP sales (yes I said LP as in vinyl) have had another robust year in terms of sales.  It might just be time to go ahead and purchase another record player so I can listen to my vinyl (most of which has been digitized) once again.  With LP sales on the rise, I imagine that manufacturers of record players, record cleaning systems, needle manufacturers, etc are also doing well.  Enjoy the brief article and have a Great Thanksgiving…Gobble Gobble!

• Chart: Vinyl Comes Back From Near-Extinction | Statista.

Rindge Leaphart

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rindgeleaphart 

I’ll cut to the chase on this post.  Recruiting customer facing employees with the “Right Attitude” drives customer satisfaction and increased spend.  The genesis of this post is based on my grocery shopping experiences.  I frequent a number of grocery stores on a regular basis.  There are several, though, that I am going to comment on in this post.  I am always impressed when I interact with employees from the following grocery stores: Market Street, Whole Foods, and Central Market.  In my experience, these stores generally have higher prices and in some cases less selection than other grocery stores I frequent.  Even with higher prices and less selection of the foodstuffs that interest me, I continue to frequent these stores.  Why?  The employees.  When I interact with employees from these stores, I am always impressed with their customer facing skills.  The employees  exhibit a number of traits that I do not find in other grocery store employees.  These traits are as follow:

  • A positive attitude
  • Knowledge about the products in their store
  • Willingness to assist
  • Provide customer service with a smile

I have a recruited a number of employees in the past and while you can teach employees technical skills, I am not sure you can teach them the traits outlined above.  What I find interesting is that the majority of the employees I come across in said stores seem to all have the same type of positive attitude.  Hats off to the leaders of these stores for recruiting front line employees with the “right attitude”.  I suspect employee pay at these grocery stores is higher than at others.  If so, this is a great example of why paying more to recruit talented employees is worth it.  I am sure there are many other factors at play beyond salary.  Whatever they are, there is something to be learned from these companies and their recruiting policies.  People often talk about the great service provided by Nordstrom.  I believe employees at Central Market, Whole Foods, and Market Street are another example of how recruiting employees with the right attitude can positively impact financials.  Because of these employees, I gladly drive out of my way and spend more than I typically would on groceries.  I think the image I found below drives home the point.  Your thoughts?

 

Regards,

Rindge Leaphart

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rindgeleaphart
https://rindgeleaphart.wordpress.com/

and instead start talking with them.  When I make presentations I always remind myself (and others) not to talk to the crowd, but instead talk with them.  Engage them in the presentation and you might find yourself participating in a robust discussion instead of another ho-hum presentation.  I know, easier said than done.

The same holds true in interacting with your customers.  The more you talk with them, the more engaged they are,  and the more likely they will be to share your product / service with others.  I recently read a couple of books that prompted this post.  They are “Contagious” by Jonah Berger who teaches at Wharton and “Highly Recommended” by Paul Rand.  A quick side note, the book written by the professor (Berger) is well done and does not come across in a professorial manner.  Reads more like a general strategy book.  On the other hand, the non-professor’s book (Rand) definitely reads like a professorial tome.  Somewhat didactic in nature as well.  But I digress.  In general, both of these books are good and focus on the same end goal, which is how products and services catch on with the masses.  They are also both somewhat critical of Gladwell’s Tipping Point and I must admit more insightful.

I am not going to bore you with passages from each book, but focus on what I think is the most important aspect, which also happens to jibe with my experience.  There are clearly a number of offline and online methods (Berger and Rand do a good job of describing) that a company can use to facilitate customer interaction.  Whether you are soliciting ideas from customers or engaging them in contests of some sort, you may find yourself 2-3 steps ahead of the competition.  Many companies have facebook pages, twitter accounts, etc.  Many companies do a fine job of pushing information to customers via these channels, but how many provide a meaningful mechanism for feedback?  More importantly, how many provide a meaningful mechanism for interaction?  Take a step back from your day-to-day responsibilities and consider what activities you can influence so that your organization can better engage customers.  What things can you do to influence “word of mouth” about the product or service you provide? Advertising has been around for quite some time, but an endorsement from another customer (an engaged customer) is much more powerful than a paid advertisement.

So, Stop Talking to Your Customers…And Instead Start Talking With Them

 

Rindge Leaphart

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rindgeleaphart
https://rindgeleaphart.wordpress.com/

 

When Customers Make You Smarter.

A great post about the learning (and increased revenue) one can achieve when talking to potential customers.  Based on the article, the team at Tidepool is going through a very structured process in launching their service.  It seems, though, that the most important thing they learned (they were potentially leaving revenue on the table) came via an “aha” moment when talking to potential customers.  A very important reminder that organizations should try their best to engage with customers (as well employees, suppliers, and the  like) because “aha” moments do not necessarily come about when you are alone in the office (or lab) “thinking”.  Get out there and interact with the users of your product / service.  Listen to what they are saying and you might surprised by what you hear.  Make sure to check out the video at the end of the post.

Rindge Leaphart

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rindgeleaphart
https://rindgeleaphart.wordpress.com/

I am a fan of small businesses and especially the brave entrepreneurs who launch them.  Below is the link of a recently launched business: Viddlz.  Viddlz has developed a marketplace that allows food artisans to sell their product online to other foodies.  Great idea and I am wishing the Viddlz team much success.

Viddlz Introduces E-commerce Platform & Marketplace for Food Artisans | Viddlz Blog.

Rindge Leaphart

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rindgeleaphart
https://rindgeleaphart.wordpress.com/

Brief, but good article geared for small / medium sized business owners.  One of the areas the article touched on was firing customers who may be late payers or have low margins.  This is a concept I often see referred to in the business press, but I have not yet come across a situation where I “fired” a customer.  Enjoy the article and let me know if you have ever fired a customer.

Are You Growing Too Fast? – Sandeep Dahiya – Harvard Business Review.

Rindge Leaphart

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rindgeleaphart

http://www.quora.com/Business/What-are-the-top-5-questions-every-accountant-should-care-about-when-it-comes-to-the-books-of-a-small-privatly-held-business

http://rindgeleaphartphotos.wordpress.com/