Achieve Your Success

Boost Business Sales and Become the Person You Want to Be! For More information go to

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Putting WOW Into Your Business

Putting WOW! Into Your Business

By Terry L. Brock

“Make your customers say “WOW!” – Legendary Australian Marketing Guru, Winston Marsh

Acquisition and retention of customers is paramount for your business success. You need to make it your job to have customers regularly and frequently saying “WOW!” for what you do for them. Once they are saying “WOW!” you have the opportunity to build Relationship Marketing in a way that goes beyond what your competition will do.

In the past I’ve talked about a company that had consistently provided a “WOW!” level of service. They kept things simple and they did it right.

Unfortunately, it looks like that “WOW!” has changed into an “UGH!”

The company I’m talking about is my beloved Southwest Airlines. At the outset you have to know that I have been a die-hard, loyal Southwest Airlines customer. I prefer them and fly them often---even when their price is a little above the competition.

However, that could change as a result of their new policy.

Keeping the “WOW!” in your business requires diligence and it is never-ending. As the old football coach said, “It ain’t what you done, it’s what you done lately.” And lately, Southwest Airlines has changed their policies regarding boarding and some other details that make the flying experience less than what it could be.

I used to be able to call 24 hours in advance of my flight and check in online. That usually insured me to get on with the coveted A boarding group. However, that has now changed and Southwest has a new category they call “Business Select.” They are trying to offer a service much like we see from their competitors who are more “legendary” airlines.

This new policy makes it much tougher for the small business person who needs to fly regularly. If you don’t hit 32 segments in a year, your chances of getting the preferred seating are now out of your control. Getting to the airport early doesn’t give you an advantage.

Yes, you could elect to fly in their “Business Select” category but that could set you back $100-$200 extra just to have the privilege of getting on the plane earlier and getting an extra drink. I checked several sample fares from my home base of Orlando and found enormous differences between their “Wanna Get Away” fare and their “Business Select.” Somehow, as a small business owner, I don’t find getting on a plane earlier and one drink (which I could purchase on the plane for less than $5.00) worth it. If I fly Southwest’s “Business Select” I might as well fly one of the other guys, get an assigned seat and build miles towards international flights.

The point is that no business can afford to alienate their loyal customers and stop the Relationship Marketing that makes customers say “WOW!” We all have to strive diligently on a regular basis to meet the needs of those who are loyal to us.

We also have to avoid “We Think” marketing. This is the kind of marketing that is done in a vacuum. I don’t know what kind of market research that the good people at Southwest Airlines did to come up with their new strategy. I’ll bet it was calculated due to rising fuel costs and other challenges in the marketplace. However, after talking with a few others (yes, a non-scientific random sampling on my part) I see concerns about staying with Southwest Airlines as our main provider of air travel.

Time will tell. As the word gets out that Southwest Airlines is not like it was, the marketplace will decide. I could be dead wrong in my guess that this strategy won’t work. The marketplace rules. Many times in the past I’ve thought something would turn out a particular way and it did not. However, my batting average is pretty good and I think Southwest is not going to do well on this. Hopefully, Gary Kelly, Southwest’s CEO, and his team of really good people will correct this error.

For you and me, we can learn from this. Even the best of companies---like a Southwest Airlines--- can make egregious errors. Hopefully they will correct this error before they lose too many customers like me. Hopefully, I will be wrong in my estimates.

However, it serves as a strong reminder for us to constantly assess how we’re putting the “WOW!” in our businesses and making it special for those wonderful people who pay us. Whether we call them customers, clients, passengers, members, guests or some other title, they are the reason to be in business. Only by making them say “WOW!” with great service and value do we retain their loyalty and stay in business.


Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2007, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission..

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Benefits Of Persistence:With Technology And People
Terry L. Brock

The other day I was working with a client to solve a problem he was having with his computer. We looked at the issue and then tried a couple of other possibilities. While working on those other options to solve the problem we discovered a whole new series of options that he had available---without purchasing anything new.

By staying with it, and not giving up, we were able to come up with some solutions that not only solved one problem but created many new revenue-generating opportunities. This is a good example of the application of what I call “Smart Persistence.”

Smart Persistence goes beyond a mere strong-willed determination to see something through. It involves a starting presupposition to know what is appropriate before the tactics of “staying with it” are applied. In the situation with my client, we knew what had to be done for his business. We remained flexible to try various alternatives and worked diligently as we explored many possible options.

When you employ the power of Smart Persistence with technology, you focus on what needs to be done and creatively work to explore not only a solution to the problem at hand, but you remember the “why” behind the work. You get involved at the micro level to solve the problem while keeping in mind the macro goal that you are trying to accomplish.

It is important to continually look for new answers to a problem. You will often try one tactic but change as new information is discovered. As long as you keep your eye on the prize of the overall goal, you’ll move forward.

Earl Nightingale told us that the difference between successful people and those who fail often is that successful people take just that one more essential attempt to make it work. Those who fail give up when the going gets tough. They cave in. They get frustrated, blame it on anything other than their own lack of Smart Persistence and move on to the next task---only to fail again.

Russell Conwell was famous for his speech on “Acres of Diamonds” (treat yourself by reading it if you haven’t yet). He stressed the benefits of finding the diamonds in our own backyard by staying with what we’re doing. This is an example of Smart Persistence.

Technology requires persistence. Smart Persistence requires us to adopt what I call “Not Yet” thinking. When asked if they can do something, those who are not successful complain and come up with excuses why it won’t work for them. However, if instead, you have an eternally-optimistic view that responds with “Not Yet” thinking you are affirming that you might not be able to do something currently, but you can with the right training, learning, education and assistance later. When someone asks you if you can do a particular technological task, you look them in the eye and honestly say, “Not yet!” This has the necessary seed of a positive attitude built into it to give you what you need. Your mind begins looking for a solution as you remember the overall goal.

Successful people understand that anything worthwhile requires diligent work. In a knowledge-based society which ours is today, this requires us to constantly seek new learning through books, audio training, video training, taking courses, attending seminars, hiring coaches to help and doing whatever is necessary to acquire the skills we need.

Relationship Marketing requires persistence as well. To successfully build your business means that you establish, nurture and build relationships with customers, employees, suppliers and other stake holders who are involved in your business. Smart Persistence in Relationship Marketing means that you’ll use your judgment and have a good vision of what is your overall goal. Smart Persistence means that you will need to relinquish some customers as they don’t fit into your overall goals. Wish them well and move along. Other times you’ll need to apply a bit more Smart Persistence in working with “temporarily difficult” customers to convert them into delighted, loyal, profitable customers. Sometimes they’re “not yet” delighted, loyal and profitable. To achieve those goals often requires Smart Persistence.

As you apply the principles of Smart Persistence and “Not Yet” thinking to your technology and Relationship Marketing you’ll have a competitive advantage. The competition will give up when things get tough. You, however, will embrace “Not Yet” thinking and incorporate Smart Persistence to achieve your goals.

---Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2007, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Getting Business Through Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing And Getting Business: Vital Principles For Sales

By Terry L. Brock

“The personal element is not tangential to business. It is business.” Mark McCormack.

The other day I met someone at a business meeting who was getting started in a service business. As we talked he told me he was trying to “get the word out” about the services he and his partners have for their market. When I asked him what he was doing he told me he was calling prospects to ask for meetings.

This is a nice tactic but often fails when the person doesn’t know you well. We are all bombarded with way too many messages today. We have way to many email messages, we’re now getting massive amount of text messages, and we have lots of Podcasts and video Podcasts to process. TV, radio and newspapers are all begging for our attention. So the guy I met and his new business are facing a very steep uphill climb to get business.

We’re swamped with messages and interaction from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and more social networks every day. I must get about 3-4 messages every day from someone wanting me to join their LinkedIn or other social network system. Some of these people I don’t even know. I might have met them, but I don’t know them and there is a big difference. There is no solid foundation on which to build a relationship. Meeting someone once at a Chamber of Commerce meeting and swapping cards does not a strong relationship make!

Relationship Marketing is the key for building your business. People listen to those they respect. The concept of “trusted advisor” is a buzzword we hear a lot today and it is profoundly important. You want to do those things that help you become that trusted advisor. This takes time and you have to take time to make it work. It is not a quick fix. Like exercise you have to practice it regularly for best results.

Trying to build a relationship too fast is like going into an unknown town and hoping to get a lot of close friends real fast. You have to do the right things in the right way over a period of time to get results. You’re building trust. This takes time and it can’t be rushed.

I suggested a few items to the gentleman I met the other day as he seemed like a sincere, good person and I wanted to help him. Here are some of those suggestions and a few extra for good measure that you can implement.

Ways To Build Trust

1. Build Trust As An Expert. Relationship Marketing is more than just being nice and friendly. You have to have something that is valuable to the other person. Do your homework and become an expert in an area in which people need assistance and need problems solved.

  1. Be Consistently Dependable. Everyone can be good for the first meeting. However, it is the subsequent meetings and the little things that matter most. A true professional is consistent and dependable throughout a relationship.
  1. Provide Value First. Think of it like priming an old-fashioned water pump. You have to put water in first before any comes back. Be the one who gives something of value to the other person to initiate the relationship. One of the best ways to provide value is to get business for them. To do that, learn about what they provide and see if you can generate business for them. That will get their attention and most people will want to reciprocate in some way.
  1. Write Valuable Articles In A Place They Respect. Write articles for your target market in magazines, Blogs and papers they respect and read. Become well known to important buyers and influencers and you’ll stand out above the crowd. You build trust in relationships by being the authority. Be the “Go To” person in your field.
  1. Speak To Your Target Market. Use public speaking opportunities to get your message promulgated. Many groups meet and are looking for high-quality speakers. Focus on solving their problems and helping them, not promoting your business when you speak. If you help them think, make them laugh, and let them learn, they will come to you and want to have you help them.
  1. Put Your Message On YouTube As A Video. Hey, if you’ve got serious value for the market and you’re really good, get the message out there to people. Let the marketplace judge what you have to offer. This is great test marketing. This is a great way to objectively find out what people like and where you should focus your efforts. Take a look at what I’m doing at and you’ll see what you can do as well.
  1. Go Beyond Relationship Marketing To Value Creation. Too many people have read a book or two about handing out cards, taking someone to lunch or calling on the phone to “pick their brain.” Ugh! Instead, figure out ways to add value for the other person. Get them business. Solve a problem they have. This value creation on your part will go a long way to establish, build and maintain relationships. From that you can create a bountiful stream of income for your business.


Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2007, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Time To Renew

By Terry L. Brock

Writers are on strike. GM just turned in a $39 Billion loss for the quarter (ugh!). Ford Motor Company is celebrating that it only lost a little over $300 million --- in contrast to billions last year at this time. The US Dollar continues to fall to record lows vs. other major currencies. The subprime mortgage mess has so far claimed the jobs of top CEOs at CitiGroup and Merrill Lynch, two stalwarts in business. As I write this oil is flirting with the $100 a barrel magical level. And President Bush just upped the debt ceiling even more. The US is now over $11 trillion (not billion---trillion) in debt. And I won’t even mention Iraq and all the controversy there---let alone Iran and the potential for disaster waiting.

What is going on?

We’re facing some serious problems and it is time to re-examine both our businesses and our personal lives. Will Bonner and Addison Wiggins warned us about this in their book of a few years ago, Empire of Debt. We can’t treat a new credit limit and the ability to “break in that new credit card” as income. Sales and increased earnings trump credit limits now more than ever.

So what is a small business to do? And what can you do personally, to be ready for whatever happens as a result of what is happening?

In a word---plenty.

It is time to renew. Time to go back to the basics of building a business. Yes, we know this but we need to be reminded of it. The story is often told of the great football legend, Vince Lombardi, who on the first day of training would gather his tough, burly, seasoned football pros in a meeting, hold up a football and say, “Gentleman, this is a football.” Going back to basics is one of the first steps to correct a problem.

For business, this means addressing the needs of customers and examining what we do. This morning I re-read Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s great book, Execution in prep for this column for you. The fundamentals of getting the right people, laying out a realistic plan, following-through and being business-minded make a lot of sense. It is easy to get fat and happy when things are rolling along smoothly. The successful businessperson knows we have to reinvent regularly.

Here are some steps you can take in light of today’s troubling news that can help you now and into the future:

  1. Recognize Reality. It is time for some serious, no-soft-peddling analysis of where you are. The old WOTS Analaysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities) is imperative for this. I recommend to my clients to do it annually, usually around New Years. Beat the Holiday rush and do your WOTS Analysis today! Benefits to accrue with proper execution!
  1. Listen To Your Customers’ Pain. Find out where they are hurting and how you can relieve that pain. They are going through similar challenges and you can provide new, creative solutions for them. But you have to ask first, then listen---carefully. Get rid of your old ideas of what worked before and focus on what they are asking for now.
  1. Devise Realistic Plans. As Bossiby and Charan told us, stretch goals are worse than no goals when they are unattainable. Be realistic in your plans. Then be diligent and doggedly persistent to reach those realistic goals.
  1. Focus On Relationship Marketing As Never Before. Your future business will come from the people you know or people you meet. Tailor your Relationship Farming to those ways that help you sow the right crops, nurture the crops, weed out the “weeds” of business and prepare for a new harvest. Don’t forget the importance of simple phone calls, hand-written notes (please---too much email today!) and personal visits. Yes, we’ll use email and web-based information but don’t rely on that exclusively. Focus on customers. Relationship Marketing will help pull you and your business through anything that happens in the future.
  1. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. This great Fleetwood Mac song from the 70’s is true today. Focus on how you can first make yourself and your business optimal. This is a good time of year to renew, refresh and reeducate. Then get ready to charge into a world of abundant opportunities. In the midst of the challenge, the opportunities are enormous.

Embrace the principles and the technologies that can give you an advantage. Clean up the sloppy areas of your personal life and your business. Put yourself into a “Mental Bootcamp” This time of renewal for yourself and for your business can only help no matter what happens in the future.


Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2007, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.