PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

THE ART OF MOVING PEOPLE

Consultative-Sales
I am not going to talk about sales here but how to move or influence people. According to Dan Pink we are all in sales. I strongly recommend reading Dan Pink’s book, TO SELL IS HUMAN THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT MOVING OTHERS. I have the audio version in my car. Yes, we are all in sales no matter what our job title; be it teacher, manager, or parent because our communication needs to be a dialogue that influences others. Here are 7 ideas that will open your current sales thinking and help you become more effective in influencing: 1. Don’t use a “pitch” but instead start a conversation. When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves 2. Your central goal is always to...
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WHAT IS YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION?

Aligned-Team
How does your business create value? You should have a powerful customer value proposition. But don’t forget your staff, your team. Do you have a powerful employee value proposition? Successful companies with loyal customers have both. When I consult with business owners in Westchester County New York often I hear comments about getting the staff to do the right things. Sometimes an owner is willing to place all the blame on the staff being lazy, unmotivated, or the like. Fortunately, most will ask how they can improve their ability to get the team behind them. You can change things by being laser focused on the goals and leading by example. Your laser focus empowers your employees who in turn create loyal customers by their actions. Being Laser Focused - You may be the owner or manager but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. As owner you can...
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ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES

Employee-Value-Proposition---Copy
Now might be a good time to look at the strategic direction of your company. Here are two basic questions. What business are you in? Are your employees aligned and are they doing the right things for the right reasons? What business are you in? Don’t laugh. What product or service do you really provide and have times including the last two years caused you to rethink? You might be providing computer and IT support but now you may be a consultant to clients to protect and secure their information. You might need to do a scan of the landscape, gather information, talk to customers, and study industry trends. Failure to do this may cause your business to decline. Listen to your customers and ask for their opinion about your services. Learn this and create your customer value proposition. Are your employees aligned and are they engaged? You will not exceed...
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LOYAL CUSTOMERS EQUAL BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY

LOYAL CUSTOMERS EQUAL BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY
The best measure of business success is the loyalty of our clients. People do not buy what you sell. They buy you. If they truly buy us they are a loyal customer. Nothing is more important to a business than a loyal customer. You can be making a lot of sales and have a good income, but you will not have that for long if you don’t have loyal customers. Peter Drucker said the main reason for a business is to attract and retain customers. What is the best way to have a steady stream of loyal customers?   Under promise and over deliver. Customers generally have a level of expectation when they engage our services. It is important that we manage those expectations by being truthful about our procedures, deadlines, and outcomes. Failure to meet expectations of our customers will result in a lost customer. Doing exactly what we say will...
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DO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES SEE YOUR COMPANY LIKE YOU DO?

DO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES SEE YOUR COMPANY LIKE YOU DO?
Successful business leaders see their companies through the eyes of their employees and their customers. To successfully see as others do you must be able to listen and understand. More important than that you need to continually listen and measure and measure your results. This is not necessarily as easy as it sounds. Many times, when you see something every day you stop noticing. This might give a false sense of security. Everything is working and if it’s not broken don’t fix it. But things might have changed in the last five years or even two years. Has the customer value proposition or the employee value proposition with your company changed? How would you know? Here are two questions you should be asking yourself. Has a new team member joined and pointed out things you didn’t see? Have you had any suggestions or complaints by customers? Sometimes a person with a...
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DO YOU HAVE A CLEAR MESSAGE TO YOUR TARGET MARKET?

DO YOU HAVE A CLEAR MESSAGE TO YOUR TARGET MARKET?
If you don’t have a clear message people will not understand you. When asking entrepreneurs about one of the biggest business challenges a large majority with answer Marketing. According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. That is a complex statement. I would simply define as being top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy. Do you know your target market?   It is important to define the parameters of your ideal prospects because it will help you to focus on those areas and people with whom you have the highest probability of success! This may be counter intuitive but in defining your market less is more. The best way to do this is to identify your competitive advantage and determine who is most likely...
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WHEN YOU OVER DELIVER YOU CREATE LOYAL CUSTOMERS

WHEN YOU OVER DELIVER YOU CREATE LOYAL CUSTOMERS
People remember when they have been wowed in their experience with your company. What is the difference between average and being wowed? To wow your customer you must exceed their expectations. When you wow your customer by exceeding expectations your customer creates an emotional bond with your company and your services. They become loyal customers. But there is more to this. Sometimes you will disappoint a customer. No one is perfect but how well you react to make it right can create an even bigger emotional bond. Here is the way one of my Westchester County Businesses handled critical customer situation. They are an HVAC provider. There had been a spike in temperatures in our area causing an unusually large number of air conditioning units to fail. The company received a large number of calls and the service team was working overtime. They were honest in telling clients that they could...
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IS THIS BUSINESS SUSTAINABLE?

IS THIS BUSINESS SUSTAINABLE?
If someone were to ask you if you have a sustainable business would you know how to answer? There is no clear answer to this question. Sustainability means different things to different companies as well as industries. Sustainability really started with the whole concept of being green, becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability has become a viable business strategy which takes into account the economic considerations for business sustainability, governmental issues, and opinions from customers and stakeholders. Where did the term sustainability come from? The term sustainability actually emerged in the 1987 report by United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development. The report simply defined sustainability as follows: to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. No matter how a business defines sustainability...
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INNOVATION IN THE EYES OF YOUR CUSTOMER

INNOVATION IN THE EYES OF YOUR CUSTOMER
Having a unique value proposition will differentiate you from your competition. Most people are at a loss to really articulate their unique value proposition. Many companies say that their service is what sets them apart from their competition. They will say, “Our Service is what sets us apart. We give great customer service.” If that is your answer I would ask you to think about that. Doesn’t everyone claim to give great service? What is unique about yours? You really need to go a step above that by exceeding your customers’ expectations. One way to do that is create a product, a service or an experience that is innovative in your customers’ eyes. What would really wow your customers? Steve Jobs achieved that wow when he created the iPhone, an invention that was less of a phone than something holding most of our needs that we can carry anywhere. According to...
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HOW TO BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR TO YOUR CUSTOMER

HOW TO BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR TO YOUR CUSTOMER
Becoming a trusted advisor is a process that is built on credibility, trust and respect. Many business advisors and sales consultants talk about how they want to be a trusted advisor to their client. For some, achievement of that objective for some will require a paradigm shift in conduct of the buying selling process. I have recently read Dan Pink’s book, “To Sell is Human”. In my opinion this goes to the heart of being a trusted advisor. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing. This is a tactic no longer works in today’s information rich environment. Using gimmicks to get sales in the past was based on the fact that the seller had a deal or that the buyer did not know what the seller knew. Today we buy things from the Internet. In fact anything a buyer wants to know is on...
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USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PUT YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE OUT THERE

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PUT YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE OUT THERE
According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. That is a complex statement. Marketing is simply defined as being top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy. Know your target market. It is important to define the parameters of your ideal prospects because it will help you to focus on those areas and people with whom you have the highest probability of success. When defining your market less is more. Start by identifying your competitive advantage and determining who is most likely going to benefit from doing business with you. The tighter you focus that market on your competitive advantages, the more likely you’ll convert those market members to prospects. For example, a financial planner I know differentiates himself by providing specialized services for...
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