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Improve Your Chances of Success by Starting Small and Carefully

As long as your product is not in a specific market or retailer, it can’t be discontinued. Once you are discontinued you may never get back. You’ve got one shot. Take careful aim and hit just one bullseye at a time.
The shotgun approach may get you more distribution in the beginning, but, due to complications and idiosyncrasies in the distribution system, or due to you own underestimations of labor and oversight, your… Read More

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The Advantages of Being a Small Start-Up – Part 3

By focusing on your customer, and not your big time competitors, your small start-up has the opportunity to address the market with creative and relevant products.… Read More

In this series we have examined some of the powerful advantages of being small, undercapitalized and able to turn on a dime.
These days, with lawyers running the big corporations either in fact or in fear, more and more truly game changing concepts are coming

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The Advantages of Being a Small Start-Up – Part 2

This is the second installment in a four-part series designed to encourage small start-ups by recognizing some of their inherent advantages.
Small start-ups face a myriad of challenges. They are undercapitalized, unproven and have no market traction. They are up against the status quo that will use its established power and influence in the marketplace to suppress any new challengers. Buyers are reticent to take… Read More

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Dress for Success (Especially in the Office)

Many companies these days seem to think that they are giving their office staff some kind of a benefit by letting them dress any way they want. Business casual has become casual and casual has become downright scruffy. What happens when Mr. Big walks into your company and your people are dressed in a way that doesn’t telegraph customer service and professionalism? Before you can say anything, your new client has made… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 2

A company survives and grows due to sales and the loyalty of customers and staff. Sales are based on price, value, dependability, integrity, availability and perception. The basis of perception is image, networking, and more recently, the transparency of the producer.
Transparency is what the brand stands for, its authenticity, its identification with higher values, and the actions it takes to demonstrate those… Read More

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Business People making mistakes right

Making Mistakes Right

Everybody makes mistakes, so why not take advantage of them? If your company culture does not give permission to make mistakes, your staff will hide them.
They’ll want to ‘fix’ it fast and hope you never find out. They may be the only ones who know how to fix it, and they, or someone else, are likely to make the same mistake again. Here are some tips on how to turn mistakes into assets.
1) Give your staff permission to make… Read More

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Listen to and Learn from your Sales Staff

 

In the previous post we examined some of the ways your well-meaning office, marketing, production and accounting staff may come up with “cost-saving” suggestions than can actually hurt sales. 
When little things go missing or the package gets simplified in the name of production efficiency, you may hear “It hasn’t affected sales”…yet! Or, “Our sales are still strong” implying all you were doing… Read More

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Distribution: The Distance between a Great Product and a Sale – Part 2

The least glamorous but most essential part of making a sale is actually getting your product to your buyer. Many great products are rotting in warehouses somewhere because their designers didn’t take the realities of the distribution system into account. Here are additional questions product producers need to consider:
6. How will you stage your product for shipment? Most products are stacked on a pallet for easy… Read More

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The Easiest Way to Lose your Customer

If you think all you’re selling is a product, think again. In order to continue to do business with your new buyer, you must also sell a service. The demand for customer service increases significantly after the first sale is made. That’s when your customer sees if you stand behind your products, and how you treat their company. Here are some suggestions to forge that critical relationship that will pay off with return… Read More

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Is Your Company Doing these Things?

Recently, while attending a Wine Industry Symposium, I had the good fortune to sit next to a fellow consultant, James J. Downes of BBK, an international business advisory firm. Over lunch, the conversation quickly got down to what we each thought were the biggest mistakes growing businesses make today. Jim’s list sounded strangely familiar because my own company had been guilty of several!
Jim says according to… Read More

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