Steve Ferrante's High Performance Blog for Sales/Customer Service/Leadership Champs and Progressive Professionals!

Posts tagged ‘Sales’

Monday Morning Motivation: New Beginning

Hard to believe 2013 is now half-way to done. Time flies when you’re on the run!

This mid-year point is the perfect time to evaluate your sales performance year-to-date. Have you hit your performance goals thus far? Are you on track to achieve your 2013 goal? If not, why not? What do you need to do to get on track, elevate your performance and finish strong in the second half of the year now here?

My 25+ years of sales/sales management experience has revealed that under-performing salespeople are typically not getting themselves in front of enough qualified prospects or, if they are, they’re not as effective as they should (and could) be. Often it’s a combination of both deficiencies.

One thing is certain; you cannot change the past. You can, however, control your future. What you do (and how you do it) from this day forward will determine where you end up at the end of the year. It is your new beginning…

New Beginning

Vitallity Ability

Power Your StoryMake a Great Day!

Steve

Need help with what you do and how you do it to achieve and exceed your sales goals? Visit Sale Away LLC.

The Power of Doughnuts?

national-doughnut-day-2

Good Day Folks,

As a professional sales/customer service trainer,  I’m often approached by individuals seeking the right foods to power their pinnacle performance.

Actually that has never happened but it does bring up a good point.

Today is National Doughnut Day!

It’s true. See this report from ABC News that includes where you can get free doughnuts today > National Doughnut Day 2013: Where to Get Free Doughnuts

Assuming you have not run out of the building to your local doughnut retailer and are still reading this I will add that doughnuts would not be my first recommendation as an energy-driver power food. However, there is something to be said (something good) about the personal enjoyment derived from a good glazed pastry with a hole in it.

Or perhaps your more  of a creme or jelly filled sans-hole type of doughnut connoisseur? No worries, they have plenty of those to please the most demanding pallet.

There is some logic, albeit fuzzy, at work here too. Doughnuts put you in a good mood. It’s just hard to miserable eating one. And when you’re in a good mood “Positive Attracts Positive” and everything goes better.

Besides, you work hard. That’s what Pinnacle Performers do. You deserve a delicacy now and then. Consider it a just reward for a job well done this week.

Make mine a powdered chocolate warmed (but not too hot) with some strawberry cream dipping sauce!

Steve 🙂

Do Not Let What You Cannot Do Interfere With What You Can Do

Good Day Pinnacle Performers,

This next John Wooden Maxim ties in perfectly to one of the principles I preach and teach to my Pinnacle Performance clients; Focus On What You Can Control.

Excerpt from Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court:

When you get too engrossed in those things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect those things over which you do have control – namely, your preparation.

All too often, individuals get bogged down by things that are beyond their control. High-achiever Pinnacle Performers do not allow themselves to become a victim of competition, market circumstances, pricing or other external issues they cannot control that would otherwise undermine their productivity and results.

The reality of sales is you cannot manage your results. You can only manage (control) what you do to achieve those results.

You must be well-prepared, maintain the proper positive attitude, focus on your behaviors (Doing the right things) and your execution (doing the right things the right way).

By focusing on the things you can do you are maximizing your time and best positioning yourself to succeed!

Do Not Let What You Cannot Do Interfere With What You Can Do

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Customer Disservice… With a Smile!

disservice

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of providing quality customer service and superior customer experiences to improve customer loyalty and sales and, as you know if you’ve visited this blog before, these topics are a primary elements of my Pinnacle Performance training seminars and consulting practices. But, on the flip side, there’s relatively little dialogue about the aspects that turn customers off, harm customer relationships, and can ultimately have customers not only leave your business for a competitor but do so while complaining about your business to everyone they come into contact with.

Please allow me to provide you a very personal experience of my recent family vacation in sunny San Diego. I didn’t know it (or expect it) going in but left with plenty of examples of what not to do when providing proper customer service. First, please know I am removing the destination name we stayed at because this is not intended to slam them directly but rather to learn from their mistakes and ensure you’re not doing the same with your customers.

The first thing you should know is that this was not a bargain basement motor lodge. It is a high-end, “luxury resort” that advertises “first class” vacation experiences. Sounds wonderful… let’s go!

Traveling with another family, we required two separate suites. Using a special American Express promotion I was able to secure a desirable “free room upgrade”, a significant savings of $50 dollars per night over paying for the rooms without the AMEX card. On the online reservation return receipt I noticed that room upgrades (like the ones I just reserved) are “based on availability” so I promptly called the hotel for clarification and was told to call back a week before traveling out and they would reserve the room upgrades at that time.

Enter Patsy. Patsy and I had a wonderful conversation and she was most helpful saying that my room upgrades were “all set” and would be waiting for us when we got there. So we got there and, lo and behold, found that was only half true. Seems only 1 room upgrade is available, the other is not. Not particularly good news and certainly not what we were expecting. I explained my previous “all set” call with Patsy. The reply from the front desk employee? “Patsy is in reservations, she doesn’t upgrade rooms”. Let me see if I have this straight… Patsy is in reservations and she doesn’t manage reservations? You would think the person most empowered to manage reservations would be the person whose job is to interact with customers on their reservations line, right? Evidently, wrong. So much for being “all set”.

Lesson #1: Be Accountable.

A big part of delivering great customer service is assuming responsibility and standing behind your commitments. Saying it is not the important part. Doing it is. Sales and service professionals already have their work cut out for them to gain customers trust. Broken commitments are a warning sign of mistrust that can seriously jeopardize the health of the relationship. You will never see this type “it’s not her job” finger pointing at elite customer service establishments. They focus on making it right for the external customer not on who made it wrong internally.

Once settled in our suite we realized there was no silverware, glasses, plates or any other kitchen utensil in our kitchen. So we called the front desk. Remarkably, their first response was “many guests bring these household items with them”. We traveled across the country from Boston to San Diego with two kids and four suitcases. Did they actually expect us to pack and lug our kitchen items as well?

Lesson # 2: Never make your customer feel like they did something wrong.

 When a customer feels like their being accused of wrong doing they typically get defensive, annoyed and uncomfortable. Obviously, these are not the best emotions for positive customer relations. Never make the issue the issue, focus instead on what you can do to help the customer. Managed properly, the front desk employee should have replied with something like, “I’m sorry to hear that, we should have asked you upon reservation if you would like us to supply the kitchen with these items, I’ll see to it that this gets taken care of right away.”

In any event, after the initial inquiry nothing happened so a few hours later we called again. Each time the staff member on the other end of the line was polite, helpful sounding and ensured us it would be taken care of in short order. But, for the entire day, exactly nothing materialized and we were still completely utensil-less. So the next morning while staring at our dry cereal we decided to physically go to the front desk and seek redemption. Once again, the smiling staff member entered the information into “the system” and ensured us that the utensils would be sent over right away. A few hours later when (unbelievably) no one showed up I made the last call, the call that makes it clear that we are beyond displeased, have no faith in anything that is spoken to us, and asked what manager I should speak with when nothing happens after this call-in-progress too. That’s all it took to get some basic kitchen utensils at this “luxury resort”.

Lesson # 3: It’s not what you say, it’s what you do.

 The old adage is true; actions do speak louder than words. Many people think providing great customer service is about being friendly, polite and smiling a lot. While that’s essential it is only part of the total equation. You can smile all day but if you don’t fulfill your commitments and meet your customers’ expectations then the net effect is greatly diminished. Customers ultimately view the gestures as insincere, and you’ll end up with an unhappy customer.

Unfortunately, we experienced at least a couple more incidents of customer disservice that week. Clearly, there is a detrimental disconnect between what staff members are demonstrating/saying (behaviors) and what they’re doing (actions/execution) at this vacation resort. True world-class customer service can only be achieved with a proper unity between the two.

In closing, always remember this fitting Ben Franklin quote, “Well done is better than well said.”

Steve 🙂

Discipline for Success

Discipline is a fundamental component of success in anything in life.

Have you ever seen an athlete achieve world-class greatness without discipline to their sport and a commitment to working on their game and honing their skills? Champions rarely wing it.

Have you ever seen a seriously overweight individual get in shape without discipline to some form of diet and exercise? Most likely, no.

Sadly, it is rare to see the same level of discipline in sales and/or customer service reps. Sure, the consistent achievers (Pinnacle Performers) have it. But they are often the exception and not the rule.

Everyone wants success in their sales or customer service role. True performers achieve success by committing to continuously improving their skill set and performance.

I once had a trainee tell me that he didn’t like to role play (customer interaction scenarios) because he didn’t feel he was very good at it and he would be “a mess”.

Imagine telling your (pick a sport) coach that you don’t want to practice because you’re not very good at running the plays?  That’s the point of practice!

I tell trainees all the time, the program works if you work the program. All it takes is discipline.

Steve 🙂

Persist To Succeed

Good Day All,

The attached image shows just a few but many of the world’s greatest accomplishments never would have been achieved without persistence.

Right now, in a tough economy, there is much to challenge your chances of success. Consumers limiting their spending, reduced traffic in the stores, etc.  It is easy to fall victim to these external issues and lose your internal drive.

Persistence takes practice. It’s something you bring to work every day. Regardless of what your goal may be, you can only accomplish it if you persist towards it with daily focused behaviors.

Commit to moving forward every day, each another step of progress and one step closer to your goal and ultimate success.

Steve 🙂

View All Pinnacle Performance Quotes > Pinnacle Performance Quotes on Pinterest

Keep Moving Forward To Succeed

Hi All,

As any calendar will tell you, we are now officially half-way through 2012. And this midway point comes smack dab in the summer season when it’s easy to be distracted by the nice weather and thoughts of being out of work for a little fun in the sun.

That’s great and well deserved for your efforts. Just don’t take that mental vacation while at work too…

You are (or should be) on the right track to a Pinnacle Performance year. This is no time to stop and smell the roses.

Keep moving forward towards your goal and striving to be better today then you were yesterday.

Walk The Path!

Steve :-)

Frost on The Road Less Traveled

Hi All,

In one way or another, I speak about this all the time in my Pinnacle Performance training.

The fact of the matter is you’re not a monopoly in the marketplace. There’s likely many people and companies who do what you do.

When product and/or services are identical from company-to-company they are automatically commoditized with lowest price being the single biggest purchase influencer. When you are the same as everyone else in your role then you too are commoditized and worth only the “going rate” for your daily duties.

The best performing companies, and the people in them, are innovators. They don’t behave like everyone else. They go over-and-above to create special value for their customers, internally and externally.

They take the road less traveled and that truly does make all the difference.

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

See All Pinnacle Performance Quotes > Pinnacle Performance Quotes on Pinterest

Autograph Your Work With Excellence!

Good Day All,

How true this next Pinnacle Performance quote is…

Executing extraordinary work puts your stamp of excellence and leaves a lasting impression with customers and co-workers.

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

See All of Steve’s Pinnacle Performance Image Quotes on Pinterest > Pinnacle Performance Quotes on Pinterest

Workplace FUN Tips!

Why are so many market-leading companies also the best places to work? Because they know happiness matters and they create a culture of fun in the workplace that improves employee morale and productivity.

Here’s a amusing little video on some silly things you could do to have some fun in your workplace…

Make a Great Day!

Steve

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