Archive for December, 2012

Who’s Got Your Back?

Your people are on your side. If you show that you have their back they will fight for you in return.

I was at a national conference talking with some employees at a trade show.  One asked how she could get me to come in and teach a teamwork and support workshop to their company.  I asked could I call her and talk to the right person.  “Call me, but let me talk to him.  My boss is the major hindrance to our company’s growth. He wants teamwork, but he promotes territorialsim by his actions and policies.” She really wants to make him look good but he seems to be fighting any transparency and lacks trust in she and her associates.

Why?  Often the people who want us to succeed are frustrated by a lack of permission to do what they do best. They just aren’t trusted by you. They want success but their hands are tied.

Your employees want you to succeed because your success is the key to their success. Why wouldn’t you want to listen to their feedback and comments, if they are for your own benefit?

You don’t have to prove you are smart or more business savvy to them. In fact, if you feel you do, you are in more trouble than you thought.

They will have your back if you have theirs!

Is Your Business “Easy?”

Mutual of Omaha at one time had only one competitor on price for their Medicare Supplement policies: AARP. But MofO sold their clients on the easy process to file a claim. While AARP required you to call a toll-free number to submit a claim, MofO sold the local agency as a more convenient process. They led in sales in almost every market.

People were willing to pay more for the ease of service than the less expensive inconvenience of calling a stranger.  In fact my apartment management has an easy process for turning in maintenance issues. Turn in your request online and you are rewarded with faster service. In fact, as I write this I am turning in my maintenance request online during a flight over Oklahoma (and that’s another “Ease of Service” story!) turning in a maintenance request. It will be handled and corrected by the time I get home tonight.

That was easy!

Servicing your customers and clients should be easy. If not, they won’t be your customers or clients much longer. Someone else will always find a better, faster, cheaper or easier way to do business. Your business that was once secure!

Ease of Application

There is a process we go through in filling out an application, contract or agreement that seems to take forever…

In 2009 a rural community bank was in the news because they made application for loans easier for their customers. It is a perfect example of the recession driving an innovative CEO to move his market to an area that no one else is targeting.

Mendenhall, Mississippi is a town of a bit more than 2,500 people. Peoples Bank of Mississippi has stood since 1908. But in 2009, when lending to small-town businesses was at a record low, the bank kept giving out loans. It kept lending (even though new loans backed by the government stimulus offered little for the bank) — no interest and deferred payments. Peoples Bank became known for making more interest-free loans than any other bank in the country. While other banks were shutting their doors to such loans, they kept their doors open!

What were the results? Peoples Bank is now third in the entire country in offering small business owners loans. Bank president and CEO Dennis Amman said, “We looked at it and said it’s going to take work on our part; we might not even make money off it in the short run, but in the long run it’s going to be good for customers, so it’s going to be good for us.”

Applying for your business is a separate entity from selling or servicing.

Don’t you agree?

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December 2012


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