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Are You Fishing for Customers in the Wrong Hole?

“If you want to catch a trout, don’t fish in a herring barrel.” – Ann Landers

George said he’s been fishing at times when he would have been happy to catch any fish at all. He’s even had times when his friend a few feet away was catching all kinds of fish.

So he found out what his friend was using – what bait or lure – and changed his, but he still didn’t catch any fish. He concluded he was fishing in the wrong hole.
 


Fishing for business
Sometimes we experience the same thing when we’re fishing for business. We’re putting our line out but we don’t get any bites.

It may be that the customers aren’t where we’re fishing – they’re in another hole!

For example, maybe your customers are primarily shopping for your product or service online and you’re only marketing offline or vice versa.

People don’t use the internet for that

George remembers having a debate with one of his business managers. This happened to be a plumbing business. They were discussing how to allocate advertising dollars between various media. George thought they needed a bigger online presence. His manager insisted that customers wouldn’t go online if they had a plumbing emergency.

After surveying calls that came in, the manager reported back to George that an overwhelming majority of the people who had called with a plumbing emergency during that time period had found them via the internet.

Sometimes we think we know where our customers are, but our perceptions are clouded by our own biases. Fortunately, there’s a way to find out for sure.

Today’s bigg action item – survey your customers.

Find out how they learn about new things. The odds are your future customers are probably a lot like your current customers.

How one car dealer did it

One example of this is a car dealer. He had the employee who pulled the customer’s car into the service bay record what radio station was playing. He analyzed this information to determine which radio stations to use.

Is there some way in your business to naturally find out what media your customers use? If there is, develop a system to track the information so you know in which hole to cast your line.

Work with your direct mail supplier

Here’s another example from George’s service businesses. His mailing service was able to take his customer lists and ping the national databases to see where their existing customers fit in. Then they had a good profile of the people to target with future advertising – target people who are similar to your existing customers.

Survey them directly

You may just have a survey form that your customers fill out. Offer them some incentive to take the time to complete your survey. It may be a product or service you offer that’s relatively inexpensive …

… or cut a deal with another merchant – maybe even work a trade – to offer an incentive to your customers (e.g. movies, dessert, or gas)!

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A New Leadership Style Emerges

By Bigg Success Staff
06-09-08

Leadership Skills

leaders

If we’ve learned anything from the explosion of social media, it’s that people want to connect with other people. They want to be a part of something. They want to contribute. They want to build relationships with like-minded colleagues.

It calls for testing old leadership styles. Leaders still need the same skills they had, but they need to apply those skills in a different way.

At the risk of over-generalizing, men tend to charge in and demand the most (e.g. the cheapest price from their vendors, the most output from their subordinates).

If you’re doing a one-time deal, that may be fine. But if you seek a long-term relationship, men might learn something from women.

Women tend to collaborate. To seek a consensus. They want win – win.

This may be less fruitful in the short run, but in the long term, it often pays bigg dividends.

People don’t do business with people who have burned them. Fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me.

So creating an environment around collaboration, where everyone feels like they’re part of the team is productive. Building an organization that allows everyone to win is good business.

And “everyone” means employees, customers, vendors, and more!

It’s a very inclusive organization seeking to create the best opportunities for all the parties involved.

As more and more women obtain leadership positions, this style will become more prevalent. It behooves all of us, man or woman, to get on board the collaboration train!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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5 Marketing Strategies to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck During a Recession

By Bigg Success Staff
05-30-08

Bigg Success in Business

bullseye 

When times get tough, businesses often cut their marketing budgets. This may not be the best move you can make, but it may be necessary. If you need to cut back, there are ways to do it without destroying your future prospects.

Here are five ways to get the biggest bang for your buck during a recession.

Current customers

It’s much less expensive to market to your current customers than to find new ones. So share the savings with your customers! Find a way to save them money and they’ll be more likely to buy from you, even in tough times.

Contacts

Step up your networking efforts. The more people you meet, the more likely it is that you’ll find someone who needs what you sell. You may spend less money on marketing during a recession. Make up for that by investing more time in your marketing endeavors.

Referrals

The best way to get referrals is to ask for them! Ask your current customers for people they know who would benefit from what you offer. You may even offer an incentive to them for doing it. And don’t forget to work your contacts for referrals as well.

Customers like your customers

If you can identify people who share the characteristics of your current customers, you can target them efficiently. Check with your mailing service. They should be able to compare your customer base to their databases to find these prospects. This will also help you later with all your marketing efforts.

Counter-cyclical segments
Some products or services do better in a recession. Identify the areas of your business that are likely to gain more attention during tough times. Use those areas as a way to keep people buying from you and to gain new customers. Invest in what’s going to bring in dollars now.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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Touching Others by Adding Your Personal Touch

Sometimes we forget what an impact we can make in the lives of others with our jobs. No matter what that job may be.

Barbara Glanz wrote a wonderful book called CARE Packages for the Workplace – Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work. In this book, she tells the story of a person who attended one of her workshops about putting your own personal mark on your work.

The story is about Johnny, who is a bagger at a grocery store. Johnny took Barbara’s point to heart.

Here’s what Johnny did …

Johnny had an idea for putting his stamp on customer service. He would come up with a thought every day and put it in every customer’s grocery bag. 

He went home that night and asked his dad to teach him how to use the computer. You see, Johnny has Down’s syndrome. His dad helped him develop a three column by three row page.

When he gets home from work each night, Johnny finds a thought for the next day. Sometimes he can’t find a good one, so he makes one up! With his dad’s help, he types it into the computer. They copy it into the other eight sections of the page. Then they print it out.

Johnny cuts up the nine thoughts and then personally signs the back of each one … which means that Johnny signs at least 1,800 thoughts each day.

Here’s what happened as a result …

The store manager noticed that Johnny’s thoughts were in huge demand. He first noticed it when he was walking through the store one day and there was a long line. He immediately called for more lanes to be open.

But the customers didn’t move – they wanted to be in Johnny’s lane so they got his thought for the day! One customer told the store manager that she used to only shop at his store once a week. Now she only comes to his store – because she wants Johnny’s thought for the day! Johnny’s thought has turned shopping into an experience for his customers.

Other employees also noticed what Johnny was doing. The people in the floral department started thinking about how they could put their mark on customer service. Now, when a flower breaks off or isn’t going to be used, they don’t just throw it away like they used to. They find an elderly woman or a young girl and personally pin it on her!

One of the meat packers loves Snoopy. He bought 50,000 Snoopy stickers, which he puts on every piece of meat he packs. Johnny’s thought has made work fun for his co-workers.

So Johnny shows us that every single one of us has the ability to make a significant difference in the world. No matter what our job is.

We applaud Johnny’s bigg success!

Our bigg quote today is by William James, who said,

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”

Sometimes a simple thought, put into action, creates a chain reaction.

Next time, we’ll discuss how to establish credit for the first time. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Two Common Themes for the Jobs of the Future

By 440 Wynn Bigg]
Bigg Success Contributor
05-30-08  

Wynn Bigg Today

people 

As developed countries continue to develop, more and more outsourcing to less developed countries is occurring. Some see this as a great evil. I see it as a natural evolution. Businesses will continue to seek the lowest cost for the goods and services they buy.

So you have a choice to make:

  • You can complain about it and do nothing else.
  • You can position yourself for the future – a future that spells opportunity for people who get on board quickly enough.

If you choose the latter, there are two things to consider as you think about your own career – two factors that spell opportunity for the careers of the future in developed countries.

On site

Careers that require you to be on site will be full of opportunity in developed countries. If it can’t be done in some other area of the world, your job is much more secure. Your job requires you to be on the premises – of your employer or your employer’s customers – in order to perform your duties. For example, there will be more opportunities in jobs that require you to physically inspect the work that has been done.

In person
Careers that require face-to-face communication will also thrive in the coming years in developed countries. If you have to see the person, or they have to see you, it can’t be done somewhere else. Your job calls for the richest form of communication – in person – in order to be done properly. As an example, any job that requires a hands-on demonstration of a product will be full of possibilities.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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