Posts tagged: customers

Never Try to Up Sell an Unhappy Customer

But I’m Not Wrong!

So, you’ve had a problem with someone. Your spouse, your customer, your kids… anyone. And now you need something from them. But you don’t want to apologize because:

  1. You didn’t do anything wrong
  2. You don’t like to apologize
  3. You’re sick and tired of taking other people’s crap
  4. The other person was wrong
  5. On and on and on…

There are 1001 and reasons why you shouldn’t have to say you’re sorry. All of them perfectly justified in your mind. So I’ll ask you this one question.

Do you want to be RIGHT? Or do you want to be HAPPY?

Some people will say, well, if I’m right, then I’m happy because I know I’m right. Oookaaay. If that’s how you feel, then you are all set. Or maybe you have a great example of how being ‘right’ is more important than being happy. I’m sure there are some. My point is that when we have conflict with someone, it may be because … we want to be right.

Is the Customer Always Right?

Of course the customer is NOT always right. But the customer is ‘righter’ than we are, because we need them. They are the lifeline to our business. They have the power to influence others, positively and negatively. The same goes for our friends, loved ones, co-workers. Every day we have a choice to be ‘right’. Every day we have a choice to graciously acknowledge that other people have a right to their positions.

Trying to convince them that their point of view is wrong… is, well, wrong. Even worse, trying to convince them that we are right (the up sell), is even worse. The best we can do is to listen and see if we can find a way to bridge the gap. We can maintain our dignity (no doormats allowed), and show that we are open to hearing something different.

I wish it were easier. I wish this was a skill we were taught in school, but like many important skills, we are on our own.

Image Credit: Steve  Steve Snodgrass

Who’s Your Customer? It’s Not Who You Think…

A lot is written about discovering who your customer is and how to find them. A new blog post by Seth Godin, titled, “Who is Your Customer?” sheds light on this in a whole new way.

Instead of thinking about customers as a group of people, think about the one, two or three people who are most important and pay attention to them.

For example, Godin asserts that Apple employees had one customer only, Steve Jobs. Nike’s customers are not the people who buy their shoes but the athletes who endorse them.

I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Godin; but I do like the idea of shifting our thinking. Whether we are in a job search or looking to put some sparkle back into our lives, the idea of thinking about who we are trying to get to support us is a great exercise.

If I want to sell a book of fiction, maybe my customer is a publisher. In a way, this is like the viral sales funnel. In the “old” way of selling, we broadcast messages to lots of people. The ‘new’ way (social) of selling/marketing is to get to the key influencers and then ‘attract’ them to help you spread the word.

If we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got… but the rules have changed and we have to find a way to change too.

Photo credit:

Viral funnel credit: Socialsteve’s blog

Are You a Dinosaur in the Making? Pay Attention to How You Learn.

“Show me a company that’s been in business for 50 years and I’ll show you a company on its way out of business,” said management guru Peter Drucker in the 1980’s. Twenty-five years and a host of Fortune 50 companies later, we see that Mr. Drucker was right. His theory was that big companies get arrogant,  stop listening to customers and fail to innovate. So how do we keep ourselves from becoming complacent? We do that by constantly learning.

I recently came across an article Drucker wrote called,”Managing Oneself”, in the June 20005 issue of the Harvard Business Review. In it, he says that each of us should understand how we learn. As a person who was trained as a teacher, I know that certain people learn by seeing and others by listening. But I had not heard about two other ways in which many people learn; by writing or reading.

This comes as some comfort to me as I am a reader. I take in everything and somehow digest it. If I attend a class or a lecture, I need to take notes and then go back and read them over.

His article talks about how President Kennedy was a reader and so he surrounded himself with writers. When President Johnson, a listener, took over the Presidency, he kept the writers, but did not learn from them the way Kennedy had. Lyndon Johnson “destroyed his presidency by not knowing that he was a listener,” Drucker observes.

He goes on to say that most knowledge workers don’t understand how they learn and therefore fail to perform well consistently over time. Our work and our personal relationships could improve if we know ourselves better. Please share with me about how you learn and work to avoid becoming a dinosaur.