The Key is to Care

LEGENDARY SERVICE

Fable Unfolds ICARE Essentials
Written with two veteran consultants of the Ken Blanchard Companies, Kathy Cuff and Vicki Halsey, management guru Ken Blanchard’s latest fable offering is Legendary Service, which focuses on customer service. The story focuses on an employee working in the Home and Office section of a large discount store who strives to apply the lessons she is learning in a customer service class she is taking at a local university. In those classes her professor lays out the ICARE customer service model.

The Framework

The five elements of the authors’ ICARE model are:
Ideal Service. The focus here is on consistent dayto- day service, which the authors describe as employees striving to meet customer needs because they truly believe that service is important. In the fable, the heroine of the story, Kelsey, exemplifies Ideal Service by jeopardizing a sure sale for the benefit of the customer: she confirms to that customer that the vacuum cleaner he’s decided to purchase for his wife’s birthday is not a great present.
Culture of Service. Going beyond individualized day-to-day service, write the authors, a culture of service creates the environment in which employees are inspired to focus on the customer and are held accountable for carrying out the company’s service vision. While Kelsey’s employer displays a complete lack of service culture, various businesses that cross Kelsey’s path, including the physical therapy practice rehabilitating her grandmother’s injury, illustrate the hallmarks of a service culture, including a posted service vision for the company.
Attentiveness. This element of the model involves knowing customers and their preferences well. Kelsey is led through the exercise of creating a customer profile: the various categories of customers she serves and their respective needs and preferences.
Responsiveness. Knowing your customers is a first step; the next step is knowing how to respond to their needs. In the story, Kelsey’s colleague deals with a customer who is unhappy that the store no longer matches competitors’ prices, in this case for a lamp. The colleague notes that the competitor charges extra for the lamp shade, thus making his store’s lamp actually less expensive. “Kelsey was impressed,” the authors write, “not only with the way Rob had listened to his customer and solved the problem to her satisfaction but also with his knowledge of the other store’s pricing policy.”
Empowerment. The final letter in the book’s customer service model is for empowerment: employees having the freedom to take the initiative to implement their company’s service vision. Both Kelsey and her manager want to turn around the store’s poor customer service reputation and yet are continuously hampered by a leadership that focuses only on the bottom line.

Legendary Service is successful because most readers will be able to relate the fictional characters and events to actual people and situations: the people-oriented small business owner represented by the physical therapy practice owner; the small business that dresses up its facilities but offers terrible customer service, such as the fancy hair salon Kelsey walks out of; the stores that offer the same products but with completely different customer service cultures, illustrated by the two competing discount stores at the heart of the fable. The situations are authentic, and the conflict that moves the story forward – will Kelsey quit and join the competitor as her own store goes from bad to worse? – will keep readers engaged. And if there is a bit of a deus ex machina ending, why not? It worked for Jane Austen.

The Six Megatrends You Should Know About

What is a megatrend? In their book Leadership 2030, Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell explain that a megatrend has three dimensions: Time – it’s observable and can be predicted with high probability at least 15 years into the future, Reach – it affects all regions and stakeholders, and Impact – it fundamentally transforms policies, society and the economy.

Through their research with Z-Punkt and the Hay Group, Vilemetter and Sell have uncovered six megatrends that we need to be aware of in the near future:

Globalization 2.0: Asia dominates the global economy
Climate change: Sustainability becomes imperative
Individualism: Freedom of choice erodes loyalty
Digitization: Boundaries blur between private and working lives
Demographic changes: Aging populations intensify the talent war
Converging technologies: The sharpest tech shift in history is around the corner

If you would like to hear more about these megatrends and how they will impact your business, please join Vielmetter and Sell at our Soundview Live webinar on August 7th entitled The 6 Megatrends You Need to Know About. You’ll learn how these megatrends will affect your sector of business, and what you can do to prepare for and take advantage of these trends.

Book Review: The Innovative Sale

the_innovative_sale

by Mark Donnolo

You and your sales team are always looking for fresh ways to approach selling. Some even suggest that you be creative and innovative when selling. According to sales and creativity expert, Mark Donnolo, there is a fresh, dynamic approach for addressing your customers’ needs while expanding your entire way of thinking. In his book The Innovative Sale: Unleash Your Creativity for Better Customer Solutions and Extraordinary Results, the author defines the four-phase innovative sales process and how to apply it to challenges that may arise.

Donnolo lays out how to creatively sell and develop innovative solutions in a sales environment. He also explains how to apply Innovative Sale principles to create better value propositions. “The Innovative Sale process is a left-brained thinking process that helps to generate right-brained innovation,” he writes, ”Sales organizations need the structure of such a method to address the range of variables that define sales challenges and constraints.” The author then goes on to lay out the four phases of an innovative sale. The phases include defining important conditions, listing known approaches, discovery, and application.

The Innovative Sale guides you with proven, results-oriented techniques to incorporate both creativity and innovation into your sales practices. With this guide you will better understand your customers. With The Innovative Sale you will have the everyday tools and logical framework to create winning strategies and increase revenue while using functional creativity in sales.

A Powerful System for Achieving Breakthrough Career Success

TURBOCOACH

With numerous words of wisdom for improving yourself, your field, your productivity and your business, coaching experts Brian Tracy and Campbell Fraser present a complete personal coaching program in TurboCoach. Filled with tools, exercises and stories that offer the building blocks of a personal strategic plan, TurboCoach creates a complete foundation on which readers can develop the knowledge, skills, habits and activities that can take them to the next level of business success.

The first part of TurboCoach describes a process for helping the reader gain clarity in his or her personal life and business life. Each chapter begins with probing questions that encourage the reader to focus on a specific aspect of him – or herself, and ends with an exercise that helps him or her apply the answers to daily life.

Your Personal Strategic Plan

For example, the first chapter, “Create Your Personal Strategic Plan,” starts with the questions, “In the past six months, have you given any thought to setting specific career or business goals for yourself?” and “If you have set goals for yourself, do you have a schedule for achieving them?” The chapter ends with an application exercise that includes questions such as, “What is your career or business purpose? Whose lives does your career or business serve?” and “What one goal, if you achieved it, would help you the most in realizing your ideal career or business vision?” By asking these types of questions, and providing the guidance that drives readers to answer them with purpose and direction, the authors help readers focus on their goals and contemplate a broader perspective of themselves.

The second part of TurboCoach shows readers how they can increase their productivity. The tools the authors offer include 11 keys to increasing productivity, Pareto’s Law (the 80-20 Rule), zero-based thinking, effective delegation, the power of leverage, and Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage and the Parthenon Principle. This last principle can be summed up in the simple sentence, “Small improvements in multiple areas can result in large improvements in results.” The authors write, “Like the Parthenon, your career or business is also supported by pillars, each of which is central to its integrity and survival.” If you want a career or business that is built to last, then you must base it on rock-solid principles. As each pillar is strengthened in a small way, the durability of the entire structure changes dramatically. The authors point out that improvements in just 10 percent of each of the core systems of a business — sales, service, pricing, promotion, referrals, productivity and profitability — will virtually double the productivity and the profitability of the overall enterprise.

Grow Your Business

The third part of TurboCoach, “Grow Your Business,” provides readers with seven essential strategies to increase revenues in any organization. These are:

1. Make more sales. Expanding your customer base is the best way to do this.
2. Sell more often to existing customers. Look for ways to increase the number of times you sell to an existing customer in any given period.
3. Sell something else. Ask yourself, “What else would my customers buy?”
4. Make larger sales. How might you increase the dollar size of your average sale?
5. Increase your price. Increasing the perceived value of your offering can justify a higher price to your customer.
6. Make more profitable sales. Knowing the profitability of your individual customers and products can be a key to increasing net revenues.
7. Reduce your selling costs. Examining your sales process is the first step to doing this.

Once this base is in place, the authors describe ways to increase customer satisfaction, build business through referrals, create a marketing plan and create a personal brand. Their laws of personal branding include rules on specialization, leadership, personality, distinctiveness, visibility, congruence and persistence. They explain that the time and energy anyone invests in building a powerful, personal brand will pay huge dividends because people will trust him or her and willingly accept his or her suggestions and recommendations.

While describing how to maximize an organization’s profits, the authors explain the importance of habitually examining the profitability of employees, customers, sales and marketing initiatives, products and markets, and show readers how they can develop the discipline to become an industry leader.

Turning Around the Troubled Company

Turning around floundering companies requires effective management at all levels of the organization. But how is this achieved? What must management do to be effective?

Jim Burkett knows something about making the right things happen. He has turned around twenty-eight underperforming and troubled companies, from Fortune 500 companies to smaller public and private companies, throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Burkett has come up with a tool kit for turning around companies that includes:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Measuring performance
  • Executing
  • Following-up
  • Real-time reporting
  • Problem solving

If you are facing the daunting task of helping to turn around your company, then you’ll want to join us for our Soundview Live webinar The Learned Disciplines of Management, coming up on July 29th. You’ll hear more about his tool kit along with practical examples of how turnarounds can happen.

Join us and invite your whole management team. And make sure to bring your questions to post for Jim to answer during the webinar.