By k | April 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Post sale customer service matters
yet many businesses
don’t allocate many resources to it.

As Barry Moltz
shares

“According to an infographic
from Help Scout,
the most common complaint
from customers
is not that they are dissatisfied
with the product or service they bought,
but rather the post sale customer service.
This is why 86 percent of customers
take their business elsewhere.

Making matters worse,
most small-business owners just sit back
and think that dissatisfied customers
will contact them.
Unfortunately, according to Help Scout,
only 4 percent actually do.”

Are you allocating enough resources
to post sale customer service?

By k | April 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Disagreements rarely lead
to sales
so how do you disagree with a prospect
without getting into a disagreement?

Mike Michalowicz
advises

“If you ever say
“You’re wrong,” or “the truth is” or “no,”
you’re starting a confrontational dialogue
and you will probably be perceived
in a negative light.

Practiced self-promoters give
the other side
an escape hatch.
They use language that starts with,
“That’s really interesting. My experience is …,”
“I once observed …,” or
“I have heard of a situation…”
In every instance,
they are giving the listener an opportunity
to hold on to their own story
while deflecting the potential for conflict.
This allows the listener to “save face,”
to still have confidence in themselves,
to be non-defensive and
be influenced by or
integrate their experience
with the speaker’s knowledge.”

Give your prospects
an escape hatch
and keep the sale alive.

By k | April 18, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

For almost three years,
I published stories with an OK publisher.
The sales weren’t bad enough
to force a change
but they weren’t good enough
to help me meet my readership goals.

Eventually,
the publisher’s status changed,
from OK to bad.
I switched to a GREAT publisher
and kicked myself for
not switching sooner.

OK is deadly,
including the OK employee.

In February’s Entrepreneur,
Mel Kleiman,
founder of Humetrics,
shares

“The worst person to hire
is not a bad employee;
it’s an OK employee.

Why?

If you get a bad employee,
you figure out pretty quickly
they’re bad
and get rid of them.
If you hire someone who is OK,
then at least they’re OK,
and you have too many things to do
besides finding someone better
so you just leave them in the job.

Mediocrity is a slow death.”

Eliminate the OK.
OK is not good enough.

By k | April 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Smiling is contagious.
If I smile at you,
it is human nature
for you to smile back.

Smiling people are less likely to complain
about anything.

In February’s Entrepreneur,
sales productivity expert
John Boyens
shares

“We have something I call
the customer-retention formula.
Employee satisfaction drives
customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction drives
customer retention.
Happy employees equal
happy customers.
Never in the history of business
has a disgruntled employee
delivered delightful service.”

Are your employees happy?

By k | April 16, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’m slowly, slowly, slowly
building a readership
for my romance pen names.
It is tough going
and a constant process.
I’m continually marketing
and selling
and, of course, producing.

When asked how to find an audience,
Seth Godin,
in February’s Entrepreneur,
shares

“Generally, the tribe finds you.
If they are hiding,
you are never going to find them.
And if they find you,
it is because you are being generous
to others who are in your tribe.
Generosity in the industrial setting
means giving them stuff.
But I’m talking about giving them
kindness and attention and connection.”

Be generous
(and patient).

By k | April 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of the first rules of sales
is “Don’t be late.”
An appointment is a commitment
to a prospect or customer
and when a saleswoman is late,
that saleswoman is breaking her commitment.

As Ross McCammon,
in February 2013’s Entrepeneur,
shares

“People might smile
and say, “Oh, that’s OK.”
But the price has been paid.

Morale is lower.
You’re trusted less.
They’re frustrated.
And they’re going to take out
that frustration
in ways you can’t quantify.

The whole basis of business is trust.
A meeting time is a commitment
and when that commitment isn’t honored,
bad things happen.”

Honor your commitments.
Be on time.

By k | April 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

As a primarily eBook writer,
almost all of my interactions are online.
I build and interact
with my customers (my readers)
through social media and email.

These customers expect a timely response.


As Caterina Fake,
co-founder of
Flickr and Hunch,
shares

“When somebody posts
on your [Facebook] wall
or responds to you
on Twitter,
think of them
as customers standing in front of you
in your shop.

If you ignore them,
they won’t come back.

Respond the same way online
as you would offline.
Engage with them
and be yourself.”

Respond to your customers
when they talk to you
through social media.

By k | April 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Recently,
I signed a three book deal
with a major publisher.
I had submitted several stories
to this publisher
before I sent them a story,
they not only loved
but wanted sequels to.

I have writing buddies
who gave up after the first rejection
from this very choosy publisher.
They wanted to know my secret.
My only secret was
I tried different ideas
until the publisher loved one.

Bob Parsons,
Founder of Go Daddy,
shares

“When I started Go Daddy,
I tried many things
– like building networks
and selling education —
and none of it panned out.

I lost millions of dollars
the first couple of years.
I made a lot of wrong turns,
but that’s the process of
being successful in business.

You got to go down
a lot of wrong roads
to find the right one.”

You’ll make mistakes.
You’ll take wrong turns.
Don’t let this stop you.

By k | April 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I first started writing,
I wrote whatever I wanted.
I didn’t have a writing schedule
or a submissions schedule
or… well… any schedule.

I also didn’t get much done
and even less sold.

Now, I have a career plan.
I have a writing plan.
I have
annual, monthly,
weekly, daily schedules.

I’m a professional
and I get sh*t done.

As Pete Cashmore,
founder of Mashable,
shares

“Execution really shapes
whether your company takes off or not.

I’m very much a creative person,
but you’ve got to do the follow-through.

A lot of people start out
with an exciting thing
and they want to take over the world,
but really the people who do
take over the world
have a good plan of
how to get there
and the steps along the way.”

Create a plan
and then follow it.

By k | April 11, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my superfans
has what she calls ‘the writing closet.’
Whenever she hears one of her favorite writers
has a deadline looming
or a project she needs to focus on,
she throws her in the writing closet.
Whenever she sees the writer on social media,
she tells her “get back in the closet.”

It sounds silly
but it works.
One of the reasons I wrote 100,000 words
in one month
was because she threw me
into the writing closet.

Entrepreneurs often need
to be locked in a room also.

As Scott Heiferman,
co-founder of Meetup,
shares

“A lot of people think
entrepreneurship is just about reading stuff
and talking to people.

No.
You also need to build, make, design.

Meetup was started by me
locking myself in a room
and sketching, sketching, sketching.”

If you need to get something done,
lock yourself in a room
and complete it.