This is Why Your Business Sucks

Now that I have your attention, we can get down to business.

Your business sucks. It sucks rotten eggs.

Why?

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Because of the (bad) assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services. In other words: Customer Service.  This definition was gladly provided by Merriam-Webster, in case you were wondering.

This past weekend my family and I drove a twelve hour round trip to Atlanta, then back to Florida.

On the way there, and on the way back we encountered the worst type of Customer Service. It was so bad I had to write about it.

Now let me make myself clear, I work in Customer Service. Day in, day out, Helping my Clients is my number one priority. If I don’t do my job, then I don’t have a job. End of story.

But some companies don’t care about customer service, and continue to hire rotten egg people who don’t give a hoot about giving you customer service either. I could name a few (a cable company here in Florida we use as our internet provider, what a joke!)

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But, I want to discuss the vital necessity of good Customer Service. Because your business is either hinged on good service, or eventually you will lose business. If you lose business, then you go out of business eventually. If you go out of business, it’s not like us Consumers will be missing your sucky service. After all, there are other companies out there swooning the customers and good at it.

Just a side note: the only way companies stay in business even with bad Customer Service, is because they have a monopoly on the market and no new competition. Like our sucky internet provider.

You get the picture.

So my husband and I stopped at a restaurant in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Not just any restaurant. A main, down home, country cooking one that is nation-wide. I prefer IHOP, but this was the only one we could find.

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Image courtesy of Chaloemphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We were seated pretty fast, but the waitress took forever it seemed to come to our table. We just wanted coffee, and our four year old just needed something cold to drink to pacify him until the food came. (The food was another horror story, but not worth mentioning in this blog)

During the hour we were there: we waited eons to get our food. When she delivered the food, she didn’t bring silverware. My husband had to go find her to get silverware. When he saw her grab the silverware, then she walked away to another table and started talking to them instead of bringing us utensils.

In our eyes, it looked as if she had the gift of gab more than she did doing her job. To make matters worse, she walked away with our silverware and disappeared.

My husband walked across the restaurant to find her again, asking her to give us our silverware. Then after that, she disappeared. No coffee refills. No drink refills. Nothing.

The food sucked. The service sucked. She sucked. As customers, and consumers, because of the bad service: in our mind, that restaurant sucked.

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Image courtesy of nalinratphi at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We left before we finished our food, which was cold by the time we found her to get silverware. We did not give her a tip, and complained to the cashier. The cashier wanted us to wait to talk to a manager, but we were so exhausted with a fussy toddler we refused.

We left unhappy customers. We spent money at that establishment, and to the very least that restaurant should have had the decency to make sure they hired competent help. I also felt bad for other customers traveling through that could only find that restaurant on the way south.

Again, if you are a business with bad customer service….

This is a prime example of having a monopoly on the market, giving bad service, yet still making money because there are no other options to the consumers.

Another thing that makes or breaks a business: First Impressions. The definition of First Impressions is as follows:

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In psychology, a first impression is the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person. Impression accuracy varies depending on the observer and the target (person, object, scene, etc.) being observed. 

Dear waitress and restaurant: Your first impression sucked. Your food sucked. The service was atrocious.

Consumers are tired of bad customer service. We pay for a service, and expect to get that service. It’s not just this experience we had this past weekend, it is everywhere. First impressions make the difference between a waitress getting a tip, or that restaurant getting a repeat customer.

Same goes for a bank. A car dealership. A grocery store. The list goes on and on.

Businesses succeed on service. Perhaps the product is good enough a business doesn’t need service. But in this day and age where people work hard for their money, and expect to get a refill on coffee during a twelve hour round trip….

Service is everything.

 

 

 

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Hurricane Nonsense & Missing Donuts

With all this Hurricane Irma Nonsense, I just don’t get why Publix had to sell out of donuts.

Of all the ridiculous things we go through in life, but donuts?

I mean, after going without electricity, sweating to death in a sauna of a house, taking cold showers and still going to work, no television or wifi…

But donuts?

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Image courtesy of Amanda Steed at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is just no excuse for that. Us Floridians need those Publix donuts like we do a brisk dip in the ocean. After the Hurricane, I drove to the grocery store, because like all good Floridians, we know the best food to buy when the electricity is out is donuts.

They were sold out. It was horrific.

I almost cried.

No donuts in the deli. No donuts up the isles. Not even any donut holes. I swear even the buy one get one free Entenmenns, (Is that the proper spelling? See, I’m so distraught about this I don’t think I spelled it right), donuts were gone.

I left so disappointed.  Irene already screwed everyone over as is, but missing donuts?

We have got to do better next time Publix. Because us Floridians need serious donut therapy after these ridiculous hurricanes.

Stop Cynicism at the Doorway by Taking Care of Yourself First

A change is in the air. Autumn is coming. You go into the stores and see Fall and Halloween decor already gracing the cluttered shelves, and people starting to huddle around those isles.

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Image courtesy of bugnin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Businesses are engulfed in the third quarter, stores are hiring temporary workers to fill in the soon to be Holiday bustles, and I am sitting here contemplating the rest of the year.

I bought a day planner, and believe it or not, have days and months til the end of the year filled with appointments, seminars, blogging schedules, writing novel schedules, publication dates, family time, events….wait..

STOP. It hit me today. Here we go again, the Holidays approaching and this is all madness. Already?!

My children just finished Summer vacation and starting school this week, and yet already our culture is advertising things to buy for this Fall. And we all know Christmas will be tossed in the mix soon after. A feeling of dread hit me.

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Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I scrolled to the month of October, I realized I had already filled in a wish list for Christmas gifts. Here we go again, I thought to myself. And then I stopped.

I realized as I was scrolling through this day planner so many things were planned, I failed to plan anything for myself to detox from work. I realized many nights I come home mentally exhausted to the point of going cross-eyed, and then I jump right in to help my husband with the kids, dinner and household chores.

I failed at taking time for me. I was putting everything else first besides what mattered most. My husband was doing it too, after all he is an Entrepreneur himself.

I read an article from an Entrepreneur last week, he said he is taking a month sabbatical, some time off to unwind and clear his head. I thought, wow what a great idea. Realistically and financially, most people cannot do that, but we can stop what we are doing and take a break to clear our heads.

So I did just that.

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Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I stopped what I was doing. I left a cup of coffee on the table alongside my daily planner and I drove to the beach. I took a long walk, breathing, meandering through the water as they touched the shoreline. Just being me. I cleared my head.

 

 

When I left the beach I felt more energized and ready to tackle my day, than I had working all week at work with no breaks and customers constantly in my face.

As working professionals, especially Entrepreneurs, it is vital to our survival we stop what we are doing at times and breathe. We get so caught up in the schedule, killing ourselves with the tip of our pens at every single thing we jot down on a calendar.

Our jobs are important. The customers are important. However, constant in-your-face humans can breed cynicism and create a bad perception for any company if the employee isn’t getting a moment to breathe! I realized I was at my breaking point.

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Image courtesy of bugnin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our health is more important. Our emotional stability is vital to our making it or breaking it in this career centered world. Let’s face it, if you don’t take time for yourself then what are you living for? Every person needs a moment of silence or a break from time to time.

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Image courtesy of bugnin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Before the Holiday hectics hit, make sure you are jotting down moments of time in that day planner for you. After all, Rome didn’t get built in one day. Wall Street isn’t going anywhere any time soon. You add more value to your team by having rested, coming to work refreshed.

Most importantly, you add value to yourself and your family. If you aren’t any good to you, how can you be worth anything to your job or anything else in life? Take care of yourself first.

The Hardest Thing you Will Ever Do

The hardest thing you will ever do is…

Allow other people to tell you how to live your life without knowing anything about your dreams or purpose. Allowing those people to tell you where to live. Go to college. How to dress.

By allowing others to dictate and control your life, you lose.

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And the hardest pain you will ever experience is allowing those people to win by continuing to dictate your life.

Life is too short. Every person has their own purpose. Don’t let anyone take yours away. Be yourself.

 

When the CEO says: Yes, but the Gatekeeper says: NO

There’s a communication problem in B2B, and it’s not YOU. You are cold calling for business to business development. The only way you are going to get to a decision maker to let you in to pitch your product or service is:

A. Call the Owner of the company yourself and hope he is the end of all decisions. Or…

B. Call the gatekeeper.

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But what happens when you actually reach the owner or CEO of the company you are trying to penetrate and he/she says: “Yea! Send me your information”, only to find the one whom you have to send the information to says: “NO!”

I have seen the owners of company’s say: “Send me your info, I may be interested.” And then when you email the one sheeter or a proposal info, the gatekeeper email’s back a negative response like this one: “This business does not set appointments. Thank you for your time.”

In other words what they are really saying is: Go shove off. I don’t want your information. I am not open to anything new. Stop wasting my time.

This is an issue in the cold calling initiative to try to get in through the gatekeeper. In reality, the owner of the company may see real value in what you have to offer, but the gatekeeper (or marketing manager) may roll his eyes and huff. And it’s hard to get past him when after all in his eyes, the business doesn’t need you.

But you know businesses always need more ways to drum up business. How else do their profits grow?

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Image courtesy of jk1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the problem: The gatekeeper has seen this before. He knows your tactics. In reality, he doesn’t want your services, regardless of what the owner or CEO says he may be interested in. Unless you get the gatekeeper’s approval, you are dead in the water of the B2B development.

So what do you do? You could pop off a smart elect reply to that negative email or say: “Hey, you do know the owner said to send you my info, right?” Wrong.

The professional response would maybe be to reply to the email that you had kindly spoken with the owner/CEO and he stated to send your info over. By the way, this hardly works because the gatekeeper has seen this marketing tactic before too. There are too many sleazy cold callers that say things like that but the owner never talked to them. So the gatekeepers are cautious for a reason, and since time is money, you better have a good reason.

In situations like this, the best way to deal with it is to move on. In reality, when situations like this happen it should make you see the lack of communication within that business between the Owner/CEO and gatekeeper. You have to realize business owners are pressed for time. They don’t have time to dilly dally. They may tell you to send your info over to let the gatekeeper deal with it, only to be slammed in your face because at the end of the day, the gatekeeper doesn’t give a crap about what you can do.

If you are lucky, you will get a gatekeeper that sees real value in what you can offer to their business. It’s not the end of the world, other than it may be the end of that company’s opportunities with the lack of communication that is apparent. And if a company is that hard pressed to penetrate, you may see in a year or two they are closing shop. Why? Because the gatekeeper did not see value in what you presented to the company, and has no clue about business development or how to grow it.

But you know business development takes time. I have seen companies on the brink of closing and firing everyone, but with the perseverance of a professional cold calling initiative they start prospering. Why? Because that cold caller was given a chance by the gatekeeper to build relationships and market that business to potential clients/customers and drum up contracts and sales within time.

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Just remember: cold calling is a masterful art in initiation. You are taking the initiative to reach out, hoping the gatekeeper sees your value. If they don’t, take that company off your list. Why do you want to sell your services to people who fail to have adequate communication within the ranks? If they take you on anyway, you may be at the end of those communication fails one way or another, which will make your job harder.

There are a ton more businesses out there that need help. That’s what you do. You help companies build business. You help them keep people employed. You help them build relationships, and along the way, you solidify yourself in the ranks of B2B development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courage is…

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Silent morning, prayerful hopes, and Coffee…Start your day off right, and the rest will follow. Just don’t give up. 

“COURAGE is facing your hearts greatest nightmare and doing the right thing anyway.”-Tim Keller

The Difference between You & I, and this Big Hot Mess of a World is…

The world is a big hot mess. But it always has been. There has always been fighting. Ignorance. Hopelessness. There has always been problems, famine and death.

But there has also been Hope. There has also been courageous people who stood up against the odds and made differences in people’s lives and futures. There always will be. None of this will change.

The difference between the both, is you….

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Doing the right thing has power-Laura Linney

and I, and doing the right thing.

Every day we have choices to do what is right or wrong. To be hopeful and pursue our passions, or die inside of hopelessness with no end in sight to our hardships. Every-single-thing we pursue in our lives leaves an impact.

We can choose to let our hardships kill us inside, or help us grow. Hard times are not a testament to our character, because hard times have always been around. They can help us become stronger if we keep moving forward, no matter how painful. We can choose to be better people and do what is right, or be bitter and miserable, and make those around us miserable too. Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Doing the right thing has power”-Laura LinneyID-100176697

The difference between growing (being better) and dying (being bitter), is you and I.

You look at yourself. I look at myself. Each person takes honest inventory of our pursuits, our passions, our failures, and our mistakes. What drives you? What hopes and aspirations do you seek? Are they good? Are they bad? What are your intentions in this crazy world? Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Courage is facing your hearts greatest nightmare and doing the right thing anyway.”-Tim Keller

The world is a big hot mess, it always has been, nothing has changed.

The big difference in this world are people who make it better by grasping hope, doing what is right, and encouraging others when they feel hopelessness is the only alternative.