Are good salespeople manipulative?

The best sales traits include caring for customers, asking great questions, following a system and being persistent

Are good salespeople manipulative?The snow in 1979 was record breaking and it was still piled high in our yard late into the spring. My brother Rob was so anxious to see the green grass that he decided to sell the snow. He drafted a sign and put it in the front snowbank. He was determined to sell it…

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanity

A household calamity, an accommodating retailer, some dirty and hard work, and a twofold payoff at the end

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanityThis time of year, one of my country morning rituals is cleaning last night’s ashes from the fireplace and laying the beginnings of this evening’s fire. We have what is now considered an old fireplace – it has a brick-lined fire chamber with a small rectangular ash-emptying door in the centre of the fireplace floor.…

So you want to launch a freelance career?

Tips for communicating with and keeping clients in the modern gig economy

So you want to launch a freelance career?You have a list of potential clients for your freelance services in the new gig economy. Now comes the tough part: building relationships to establish a lasting assignment requires work and dedication. Customer service is key and that starts as near to the top as you can get. Try to speak to someone like the…

Service with a smile: the simple formula for success

Four tips to transform the customer service your business offers

Service with a smile: the simple formula for successI don’t usually eat at Wendy’s, but last week I was in the Phoenix airport and I was famished. Instead of lunch, I’d escaped from the conference I’d presented at and hiked Camelback Mountain. A few hours later, I was waiting for my flight home. I’d eaten a small meal at a neighbouring restaurant with…

Key to your business success: consistency and congruency

When customers know that you're going to be consistent or reliable, and congruent or true to your word, they want to do business with you

Key to your business success: consistency and congruencyLast week, I didn’t write an article. I could give you all the excuses in the world. I was travelling, I had meetings, my dog was eating my printer paper. They’re all true, but the real reason is I had a man cold and just couldn’t write. Outside of holidays, it was just the second…

Who’s paying attention to the essential details in your business?

Documenting, teaching and training your staff on what they need to do to ensure the business thrives is critical to success

Who’s paying attention to the essential details in your business?I had a letter returned to me this week. I’d sent payment to a subscription service but they'd moved, unbeknownst to me. So my cheque came back. The problem? The subscription forms still contained the old address. How many other customers has this happened to? Perhaps your organization thinks you don’t need more customers –…

How to create customer service that works

It’s all about making a connection with your customers and building a relationship by giving them what they need in that moment

How to create customer service that worksI recently gave a customer service session to the employees of a store called Great White Toys. Having seen in the news that Toys ‘R’ Us has filed for bankruptcy protection and that many other retailers are also in trouble as a result of online competition, I was surprised to hear from store owner Cameron…

Five things retailers must do to survive

Exclusive products, niche markets, human contact, offering experiences and developing keen business knowledge can help set you up for success

Five things retailers must do to surviveI recently facilitated a meeting of a group of more than 100 retailers. Seventy per cent of them were either fearful or concerned about the future of their stores. And so they should be. Retailing is changing – you would have to be blind not to see that. When I started in retailing in the…

Is customer service dead?

When we take the time to engage with our customers and be sincere and interested, the dollars roll in

Is customer service dead?It was a Friday afternoon in Alberta. I’d met with some clients and had time for a walk. I decided to head to the strip mall near where I was staying. My first stop was the Peavey Mart hardware store, since I’d never visited one before and it looked interesting. I entered the store and…

Air Canada’s lesson in how not to communicate with customers

Air Canada could have reduced a lot of stress among its passengers by clearly conveying the winning message it intended

Air Canada’s lesson in how not to communicate with customers“Why are you making us do this?” the lady screeched to the Air Canada check-in attendant at the Dublin Airport recently. “I’ve never been asked before to put my carry-on luggage into those things.” She pointed to the metal stand into which her teenage kids were forcing their obviously oversized bags, to estimate appropriate size.…
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