This is how not to make a Sale!

This week I was contacted by a Corporate Merchandise Company, a cold call asking for me. When I picked up they went straight into overdrive asking me about my company…it’s a debt collecting business isn’t it?

Me??????????? NO.

My brain starts going a million miles an hour (this is a bad opening, their process is way off of how to truly build a relationship, they’re not listening),

As I piece together his opening statement “so you’re a debt collecting agency” I’m thinking, so you did a google search for “TCMUK” then picked the first one, “TV channel” no wouldn’t be that, next one nah!!!!!   It must be the third one…

What a PRIME example of how not to know your customer avatar…..I actually appear third and fourth, but they still picked the wrong one????

Sales 101

Know your Customer. (your avatar)  

What they want and what motivates them to buy. Clarify who your market is, What is it your perspective customer is looking for but doesn’t perceive to be available. Where do they hang out?

Develop your Marketing Message

Market – Message – Media

Don’t just cold call, shout at them down the phone, then get abusive.

It doesn’t have to be in order but it is certainly a PRIORITY knowing your customer avatar.

Now this business does look as though they’ve had some success (financials), but their customer reviews/feedback is 1.4 stars out of 5, and reading some of them

“Would never use this company again! Used them once for diaries for clients and ever since we have been bombarded with hundreds of phone calls, despite telling them we would contact them should we ever need anything in the future. Constantly having to put the phone down on them. Safe to say we will not be using *&^%$ again. There is persistent and then down right harassment. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY!”

They certainly have room for improvement, 1.4 stars out 5!!!! Imagine what they could achieve with a completely different customer orientated approach. I think there will be a KPI driving that Sales behaviour some-where. Wrong KPI, Wrong Behaviour. (KPI – key performance indicator)

Getting and Keeping Customers

Focus on Customer Satisfaction then Profitability, DON’T focus on Profitability at the cost of Customer Satisfaction, you will have limited success and you won’t be in business for very long.

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Processes, Growth and Scalability.

I’ve had a number of discussions this past few weeks regarding GROWTH and SCALABILITY.

One recurring theme is regarding processes, and when I mention that processes should be standardised, I get the normal “we’re growing and that one size standardisation doesn’t fit and this is a back-office environment

Process Standardisation

Let me explain, every business is individual and has its unique way of doing things, but that unique way can still be standardised. Having a room full of 20 Service Call Associates operating in their own way results in 20 different outputs and potential chaos.

If you were to standardise the process (optimised, least way way of doing things) written procedures, your 20 Associates now operate in the same way and give a repeatable, stable output.

This standard way, considers;

  • Tasks and activities
  • Decision points
  • Cycle times
  • Work in process
  • Flow time
  • Sequence
  • Loops
  • Travel / distance

Standardisation and Growth

A business has 555 calls coming into its service centre, it’s normal work hours/week are 37 hours (excluding breaks, etc).

Our TAKT Time

37 x 60 = 2220 mins/week

2220 / 555 = 4 mins TAKT

Let’s say our Standardised Process has a manual cycle time equalling 24mins

Therefore, our number of employees to match demand and capacity is

Total Manual Cycle Time/TAKT which is 24 / 4 = 6 Associates


our calls increase to 740/week so our TAKT = 3 mins

As our process is standardised this SCALABILITY is relatively easy to accommodate

24 / 3 = 8 Associates required


PS: these standard processes are TRANSFERABLE, think McDonalds.

Many thanks for viewing my post and would you please share it with anyone you feel would benefit from the advice provided. 

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Do you have a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Mindset?

The past week or so I have come across the Growth Mindset in two different scenarios’, which made me think how this should be applied to business.

The first was with my son and his school, he was invited to an awards ceremony for “Achievement in Excellence”. This was a formal ceremony, smart dress, round tables, the lot. The school made a massive deal, and so they should.

What got me intrigued was the first presentation, “having a Growth Mindset”, the number one priority of the school was endeavouring to give all pupils a “growth mindset”, as opposed to a “fixed mindset”.

Now following on from that a few days later, I had a monthly magazine delivered and low and behold there is an article on the same subject, and the example given was regarding another school implementing the same principle.

Now, in the presentation and article they spoke about some of the behaviours that demonstrate a fixed mindset, for example “I can’t do that…”, “it’s alright for her, she does xxxx”, “you either got it or you haven’t”.

To be direct, when people with fixed mindsets come to an issue that requires more effort, more hard work, they conclude that they are no good at it. Does this sound familiar? It ultimately holds them back, not only in school but in BUSINESS!

I’ve come across this so much within businesses, “I can’t do that because”, “we’re different, it won’t work here”, “we can’t do that of x,y,z”.

A “Growth Mindset” works around those obstacles; learns from those obstacles; sees mistakes as interesting and grows from them; they have a genuine thirst for learning and developing.

One of the comments by the writer said “my dad always told me nothing worth having comes easy”. What we think about affects how we feel and how feel determines how we act and the actions we take.

You have a choice of what to think about which ultimately determines your outcome.

For more on Growth Mindset click “Dr. Dweck’s discovery of fixed and growth mindsets have shaped our understanding of learning

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Understanding your Competitive Performance

Understanding your Competitive Performance can be used as a differentiator as well as a enabler for growth.

Analysing where our business sits compared with our competitors (order losing, parity, advantage, superior) across the six categories of Quality, Cost, Delivery, Agility, Tech & Innovation and Customer Experience is an excellent way of highlighting where you need to focus.

Competitive Performance Analysis

If you’re sure your competitors are doing something better than you, you need to respond and make some changes. It could be anything from improving customer service, assessing your prices and updating your products, to driving process capability and performance.

Exploit the gaps you’ve identified. These may be in your product range or service, marketing or distribution, even the way you recruit and retain employees.

Customer Experience reputation can often provide the difference between businesses that operate in a very competitive market. Renew your efforts in these areas to exploit the deficiencies you’ve discovered, listen to the Voice of the Customer.

But don’t be complacent about your current strengths. Your current offerings may still need improving and your competitors may also be assessing you. They may adopt and enhance your good ideas.

Don’t stand still!

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