A Business Without An Active Mailing List Isn’t

      If you’ve been in business more than a few hours and still don’t have a mailing list you’re using at least twice every month I wonder what you’re waiting for. After the start of this pandemic I was getting calls from business owners I’ve met with who poo pooed the value of a mailing list…. who all of a sudden wanted to create a database really quick without the raw material to do so. A truly heartbreaking case was a family owned restaurant with great food and a not so great location. When we initially met a couple of years earlier they didn’t want to bother with a mailing list or an active social platform (which could work as a secondary mailing list). Today they have closed their doors permanently and filed bankruptcy. The reason he didn’t want to take the time or spend the money to create this list is they were “too busy” and based on the level of business it wasn’t needed. 
     I’ve seen so many businesses spending money on advertising to get a new customer then balk at spending less money to keep the customer they already have. If a business makes a sale to their customer twice a year on average and they increase that average to three times per year they have increased their business by fifty percent (50%)… How would accomplishing this be a bad thing? People who already buy from you know what it’s like to do business with you and are the easiest to get a return visit from. These same people are easier to get an increased dollar value sale out of as well.
     Few owners make the connection between the value of their business and how it relates to having a database. True Story…  Several years ago I was working with an HVAC company who maintained their customer database within their billing system. They weren’t using the database for marketing purposes. Everything was kept on a tape back-up which was left in the back-up slot in the office computer. Nothing was ever taken off site. I suggested they learn how to restore from a back-up and also recommended the back-up be taken off site. A tragic fire happened late on a Sunday night several months later (not suspicious in any way) and the physical business burned to the ground… A complete loss. Some technicians took their vans home and they were unaffected. Monday morning I had them go to a local office supply store and buy a computer with a tape back-up already installed. They went about restoring the data. By a little after 11 am that same morning they had their database reinstalled along with their A/R and A/P and due to remote call forwarding were already taking calls for service. They had a database, knew how to restore it, knew how to use it and leveraged that information. They continue to use it even today and most of their marketing is driven from their internal database.
     How do you use your database? There are several businesses who have already come out of this and doing better year over year compared to 2019. Great! Top Of Mind Awareness is critically important right now. Create, use or enhance what you have and you can move from a market participant to your market leader. Being the leader is what this is all about! I have a few suggestions so you can move in that direction!        
 If I you want to talk let me know at www.speakwithsteven.com

Why The lowest Paid Employee Could Have More Influence Than The President

 I called the “customer line” instead of the ‘back line” of a new client yesterday. What I heard horrified me. I’m 100% certain its costing them money in many different ways. The person answering the phone was overly distracted and had no way of knowing if the person I wanted to talk to was even on-site. I asked a friend to call them a little later and their experience was much the same. My friend was of the opinion my client needed a new person on the phone. I dug a little deeper. The companies initial training plan was to give the receptionist/admin an anchor and ask them to swim. This plan is used far more often than most want to admit!
     The real issue that has to be dealt with is training, standards and follow up. Typically the lowest paid person in an office is the one answering the phone. This person is the first voice representing the company callers hear. For many of these staff members their entire training program boils down to “Here is the phone. When it rings answer it!” That completes all the training you will have now good luck!  Heck, these team members often aren’t even invited to attend the staff meeting/complaint sessions the company has! This happens when we fail to inspect what we expect.
     Just imagine your favorite NFL team designating the center as the lowest paid and least valuable member of the starting line-up. The center touches the football more than the quarterback who is typically the highest paid member of the team. The logic defies explanation and yet it exists. I often hear the argument “if I spend money training them I’m afraid they’ll leave” and the most useful response to that is “if you don’t train them I’m afraid they’ll stay” and that is a far greater risk.
     Little hinges swing big doors is a phrase I’ve said for years. An untrained, overworked and forgotten receptionist/admin may be the best example yet and one that consistently proves the point. When your home is for sale you spend time and money to improve your homes curb appeal to entice them to look deeper. For many businesses the person answering the phone is their curb appeal.  
 If I you want to talk let me know at www.speakwithsteven.com