Why is Client Loyalty So Rare?

Why is Client Loyalty So Rare?

Car SalesmanWith Maggie’s car lease maturing, we decided to visit her local dealer. This would be her third new car from the same dealership and she has been a loyal patron of their service department as well. We met with a salesperson (whom we’ll call Jake) for nearly two hours. Jake was seemingly doing many things right. He was personable and attentive, used our names often, offered the test drive and injected occasional witty humor. While his product knowledge wasn’t up to par and he admitted to being with this dealer only five months (and to working for about “twenty other local car dealers”), his outgoing personality and aptitude for client service more than made up for his deficiencies.

Much to our surprise, as we’d only planned to look, we eventually ended up in the negotiation stage of the process. When Jake presented a new lease offer, he explained it as, “A flat deal – we’re not making any money and we’re not losing any money.”

I’ll refrain from getting too deep into the details of what ensued and simply say that within five short minutes Jake’s sales manager was saying, “We haven’t [Read more…]

Google’s CEO on Coaching … and Self-Perception

What you can learn in 40 seconds from Google’s CEO

A billion-dollar tip (or 2) in under a minute

My friend and colleague, Myron Radio, must feel as strongly about this 40-second video as I do — He has a link to it, at the bottom of every e-mail he sends out.

There are two related — yet very distinct — messages in this short clip from an interview with Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt. I was so inspired by both topics and really wanted to share an observation, especially since I’m wondering if most viewers will only see the obvious one. I’d love to know what you think…

The Obvious:

Eric Schmidt’s tip on hiring a coach may already be a familiar one to you. The most recent observation and parallel you could draw from coaching has to do with our Olympics. For the last 16 days, we’ve watched in awe as the world’s top athletes have endured what most of us would consider unfathomable.

These Olympians achieve such greatness in their area of expertise that there is only enough room (in the world) for a select few to even compete on their level.

So, what can a business owner, CXO, manager or salesperson learn from these elite few? You guessed it: coaching is what helped get them there and coaching is what helps keep them there. A coach can help you navigate your path to success and a coach can help you maintain your existing success. Every Olympian has reached great success and every one of them has a coach. Every single one. Shouldn’t you?

“The one thing people are never good at … is seeing themselves as others see them.” ~Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google

The Not-So Obvious:

Okay, this is the part of the video (below) that really got me excited. It’s related to the Driven To Excel tag line, “Aligning Behavior … with Mission.” At the end of this video clip, Eric Schmidt says, “The one thing people are never good at … is seeing themselves as others see them.” So true, right? If you’ve ever taken a personality test, you know exactly what he’s talking about. At a recent leadership meeting, our facilitator took us through an interactive exercise involving the four personality types. What was most fascinating to me was that the group’s perception of each individual was usually completely different from that of the individual. In other words, you could think (perceive) that your dominant personality trait is influence while everyone around you sees (perceives) it as dominance — two distinctly different personality types. And perception is reality…

The same holds true for your organization. How are you (your organization; team) showing up for others? If you saw this ad (left) in the paper, what would you “make true” about the “county?” They’re spending $250k! … to advertise … A LACK OF FUNDS?!?

Just today, I was visiting the web site of a marketing company … a marketing company. The site consists of one single page of (boring, me-centric) text (not one single picture) and the founder’s personal email address at the bottom. What would you “make true” about this company? Obviously, the founder doesn’t see herself (her company) the way others might. She’s simply unaware of how she’s showing up in the world. Maslow might classify this as unconscious incompetence. She doesn’t know … what she doesn’t know. I’m sure I’m guilty of this from time to time … aren’t we all?

I see it every day; everywhere I turn. A self-proclaimed “seafood restaurant” serving frozen fish, an Architect’s flimsy-thin business card, an Editor with misspellings and grammar faux pas on his brochures, a financial planner driving a Yugo, a depressed-looking comedian, a real estate agent … well, you get the idea.

While these might be the examples of obvious and blatant misalignment, the more subtle ones are all around us too. And all of these things are gathered as evidence, both consciously and unconsciously, by onlookers. QUESTION: Based on the “evidence,” what are your potential clients “making true” about you?

Maybe it’s time for an assessment. Maybe it’s time to consult with the CIO (Chief Impeccability Officer)

Embedded video from CNN Video

:: What do YOU think? ::

(If you don’t see “Share Your Thoughts” below,

simply click on this article’s headline at the top)

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It’s ALL in the Details (Part 1 of 2)

What are the Details Saying About You? (Part 1 of 2)

How You’re Creating the BIGGEST Impression Even with the Smallest of Things

Recently, I was waiting to meet a client at a restaurant. While pecking away on my laptop, I noticed one employee jumping up and down near the wall. It turns out he was trying to see if there was any dust on the top ledge of the wall-mounted coat rack. Later, I saw this same gentleman removing wall decorations for dusting.

The folks at this restaurant must realize something most businesses completely miss – it’s all in the details. As a patron, when you see dust on decorations, ceiling fans, or even in restrooms, what do you “make true” (assume to be true) about that establishment? You see, every detail you notice – both consciously and unconsciously – goes into your mental bag of evidence. No matter how much or how little evidence you’ve collected, your first impression has already been formed about an establishment; an individual; a company.

This becomes your “truth.” It may not be THE truth, but it is your truth … which IS the truth … to you. This begs the question, what are your clients “making true” about you?

Stained Ceiling TileA friend who owns a business recently received some (very valuable) feedback from a client. It was all positive and generous comments and compliments about their overall experience and the products … then this client said, “… but have you noticed that you have a few stained ceiling tiles?”   [Read more…]

We Felt Like We Were Interrupting Her Personal Life

How Professional is Your Organization? (4 Tips for Being Regarded as a True Professional)

Meet The Parents, Universal Studios and DreamWorks

Meet The Parents, Universal Studios and DreamWorks (CLICK to WATCH (1:41))

We stood there, dumbfounded…
Recently, while attempting to make an airline connection in Brazil, my girlfriend (Maggie) and I took our paper tickets to the counter to get our seat assignments. As we approached the desk, the clerk, “Mariana” had her head down and was carrying on about her weekend to the person on the other end of the phone. When she finally looked up, we were greeted with a half-smile (no words – she still had the phone held against her ear). For the next 31 minutes (we timed it), Mariana continued with her personal phone conversation and occasionally pecked at the computer keyboard, never really telling us what she was doing. Maggie and I just kept looking at each other, as if to say, “I can’t believe this is actually happening.” We felt like we were interrupting her personal life.

You might be thinking, “But Steve, why would you put up with such behavior for 31 minutes? Why didn’t you say something?” [Read more…]