Monday, 20 February 2012

Baby-steps to HUGE results!

Small business person says to the business success guru, “What can I do to increase my sales by 100% this year?” 

Guru, “do 100 things 1% better.”

That’s not the answer the small business person wants to hear, but it’s the truth.  What they want to hear is, “Do this one revolutionary thing and your sales will double!!!”  You can’t tell me that Starbucks is successful because it has the best coffee in the world.  They are successful because even when there’s a line-up it seldom takes more than 3.5 minutes to get your drink.  They all have Wi-fi, they all are easy to find.  Almost every location has a drive through.  They have comfy chairs.  They have plug-ins for my laptop or phone.  They have a classy d├ęcor.  I usually really like the music they play.  Their gift cards are easy to buy and easy to use.  They have clean washrooms.  All Starbucks have convenient gifts I can take to a friend or client.  It goes on and on, and I haven’t even touched on their product.  The reason they pump-out the drinks so fast is that they’re organized and trained to do so.  What are you organized and trained to do 1% better than your competition? 

Remember that your brand is what people say about you.  Make a list of one-percenters and add to it constantly.  Make a list of things that you commit do every-time for every person that comes into your store.  Strike things off the list that don’t work or stop working.  Your best clients love when you offer to clean their jewellery for free.  If you offered all clients free cleaning, would they love you too?  If you send thank you cards for your biggest sales, what would be the impact of sending cards for your smaller sales?  Do you include all visitors in your social network?  Do you say “hello” to every single person entering your store within 10 seconds?  Do you drop “busy-work” like a hot-potato every time someone enters, or do you say, “Awe, gee, if it weren’t for all of these clients, I could get some work done!”  Do you have an in-store atmosphere that takes into account all 5 senses?  Committing to these tactics might come at a cost, but do you really expect to double your sales without increasing your costs?

Start the list today.  I hope you discover that you do a lot of things well, and are ready to commit to doing them all the time in order to create a consistently remarkable customer experience.  Oh, and if you don’t really want to increase your sales, just keep this in mind: the status quo will earn you diminishing returns.  There’s more competition, more rapid access to product information, more sharks, and more is required of you just to keep your sales even.

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