Business Building Action Steps From Terry Brock
[Note: Be sure to listen to the Russian podcast of this at the bottom of this article]
Today’s economy requires innovative ideas to generate more revenue. That comes from creating dazzling customer experiences that bring customers back again and again.
Recently I had the opportunity to hear Cathie Black, the President of Hearst Magazines, make a presentation at a Harvard Business School Alumni Club meeting in Atlanta. The insights she had about running a media business amidst today’s economy and the morphing change of paper newspapers has a lot of wisdom for you and me in our jobs as entrepreneurs and in running a small business.
Here are some insights which can help as we build experiences for those wonderful people called customers, clients and/or buyers who pay the bills for us.
- Get A Different Attitude About Skill Sets. Today’s marketplace calls for new skill sets which are often different from what worked previously. Hearst magazines still sells millions of copies of good ole, paper-based magazines. However, they are also expanding into digital as never before. You and I need to embrace what still works —- and is profitable — from the old way of doing business. In addition, we must also acquire the necessary skills for success in the future. For today that means getting acquainted with and using Social Media skills with tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others. Have an attitude of constantly learning and growing. Make it your goal to learn something new every day (yes, every day!).
- Focus On Customer Experience, Not The Device. Much talk is bantered about today concerning electronic E-Book readers. Personally I love reading good old paper books. But I have to admit that I have found a lot of joy reading books through Kindle for iPhone. I can digitally download books (usually at substantial discounts) from Amazon and carry many books to read while on the road. This gives me a new experience in reading and I love it. Focus on the experience as it relates to your customer — not the device. Make it a pleasant experience doing business with you, regardless of the technology you use. Once you’ve focused on making the customer experience delightful, you can monetize both the device and the experience for your bottom line. As Cathie Black said, It is not about the device but about the business issues that go into the device.
- Don’t Let The Negative Bleed Into Your Business. It would be very easy to be distraught when we hear negatives about the economy or our business. Think of the negatives bantered about concerning newspapers. As a writer for paper-based newspapers I feel they have a role but it has changed. They are no longer the fastest way to deliver. This was resolved long ago. However, they provide a reading experience that is pleasant and still enjoyed. I talk about this in my seminars and it is applicable in many businesses. Blend the best of the old with the new digital approach. Stop the negative aspects of your industry and business from overshadowing the realistically positive aspects for the future. Be strong with a realistically optimistic approach. This positive mental attitude was a strong component of serious business growth for greats like Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale years ago and the principles still apply today. Understand the realities of what is happening but have a dogged determination to find the good. This is not Pollyanna but a hard-core pragmatic approach that works!
- Be The CEO — Chief Encouragement Officer. People do best when they are in an environment where they feel valued and accepted. It is your job to encourage others around you to be their best. As Steve Epner says, business is not about a supply chain as much as a supply team. Be the person who finds the good in others (and yes, sometimes you have to look hard). By accentuating positive aspects even in the midst of challenges, you bring out the best in people around you and ultimately help the bottom line.
- Carefully Allocate Your Resources For Maximum Results. Today you can’t afford to waste any time, money or effort on projects or efforts which don’t generate a strong ROI for you. Time is the ultimate resource. To create dazzling customer experiences and build strong Relationship Marketing, you want to focus on those areas that yield the maximum return. Fortunately, many of the best uses of your time cost little or nothing. A quick phone call. A nice hand-writtern card. A kind encouraging email or tweet on Twitter can mean a lot to people. Make it realistic and not puffery. Allocate your resources so that you maximize your Relationship Marketing and you’ll enjoy favorable relationships with customers and your bottom line will be stronger.
Cathie Black demonstrates how to live life and do business successfully. She is a person who commands respect not just because of her position but because of what she does. We can all learn from these principles in our own businesses. Building quality, value-for-value relationships in business is the best way to create those dazzling customer experiences. This will work today or in any economy.
Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or through his website at www.terrybrock.com.Â Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: TerryBrock