|JJ's (Feb 2010) Tips in this issue:
1. Running Scared & Forgetting?
2. JJs Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching, Mentoring, Training
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
Has this downturned economy got you running scared and forgetting to listen to your customers? What signs are your department, division or company showing of this?
A regional manager of a large well-known company called last week to share what had happened in one of her meetings. She has been involved in my Tele-Coaching program for some time and had found a lot of obstacles placed in her way by her parent company during the downturn. She said, I am in the airport waiting for my flight home, but even though I have been slammed with tough meetings all week, I am really jazzed by my last meeting today! Finally, someone important is asking what we think and actually listening to our input. This vendor rep holding the meeting was in a new position, but had previously had lots of experience dealing with people on all company levels. He knew to ask and listen to us.
Other vendors are running scared in this economy, and they are telling us what to do and how to do it to make our regional numbers. The harder they push the more constricted my people become trying to do it their way. They have forgotten to team with us. They know sales contests and trips have motivated our people in the past, but sales are flat or down so they dont offer them now. Instead, they intimidate and stress us to produce more sales without partnering with us.
After every meeting conducted in this manner, I have had to shake out, regroup and remember what really motivates my people. Listening, collaborating and partnering together has kept us the highest regional producers.
For once I didnt feel exhausted after this vendor meeting. He asked for suggestions and heard what I said. He stepped out of his comfort zone and allowed himself to be vulnerable in his meeting. He inspired us with a new vision of what we could do together. Now hes implementing these suggestions and helping us sell his line to be even more successful this year regardless of the economy. I wish all the other vendor lines we carry would do the same. Then there would be no stopping us!
A few days later she had a meeting with her people and she shared her excitement and feelings of being inspired by this vendor. She in turn inspired her team to do the same. This is what sets her team apart. They now have another inspired vision of what is possible for them this year.
She explained further that through our sessions and her experience managing people, she has learned that it is as essential to have input from the bottom line (internal customer) as it is from the vender and public customers (external customers). Listening and implementing to meet their needs creates teamwork, cooperation and inspiration. It is always best to communicate, collaborate and have a meeting of the minds to make the best decisions.
Always keep the big picture in mind instead of constricting (out of fear) into only management thinking. Those frontline people feel their customers daily challenges and can often make innovative suggestions that will improve sales. Listen to new ideas and remember past successes before you make decisions. Inspire them to think out of the box, the unusual.
Here are some innovative ways other companies have competed to win past their competition. You can bet that they collaborated to come up with these creative ideas.
From: Make it a "FANTA$TIC" Future !
By Stan Billue, CSP
TIP: I saw a TV Ad for Office Depot which really drove home how Being Creative can Crush your Competition. It showed a local Barber Shop who considered going out of business when a national chain opened up across the street and advertised $6 Haircuts. The owner had a large Banner created and hung it above his front door. It said: "We Fix $6 Haircuts". Within months the national chain was
out of business.
Then there was the Furniture Store in a small 3 Store Strip Center. On his left was another Furniture
Store who started a giant Going Out of Business Sale and advertised the lowest prices in their history. On his right, a new Furniture Store opened and ran a giant Grand Opening Sale and advertised the lowest prices that the law would allow. The owner of the Store in the middle had a giant Banner made and hung it over his front door. It said: "Main Entrance". Ya gotta luv creative thinking.
Your creative marketing stories gave us a smile and made us think today.