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Category Archives: Customer Experience

B2B Marketing – Customer and Prospect Intelligence

Harvey MacKay sold a lot of envelopes before he became a best-selling author.  He became a wealthy man selling envelopes.

Back in 1983, MacKay understood how important relationships were to being successful in business.  In fact he was a master at it.

I was cleaning off my workspace and found a copy of the MacKay 66 Customer Profile.  It’s four pages of customer information that he believed was important to know.  And almost all of it was personal.

Where did they go to school?  Who makes up their family?  What positions have they held in their career?  What do they like to eat?  Where do they like to eat?  What are their hobbies and recreation choices?  Where do they like to vacation?  Do they like sports?

The answers to these questions give us insight to who they are.  What makes them unique.  What’s important to them.

The answers to these questions help to build a foundation of a relationship.  Knowledge of these things helps to keep the conversation more interesting than “It’s been a couple of months since we started talking, has any budget freed up for a software purchase?”  The answer to one question, probably leads to another.  The answers lead to sharing and really getting to know someone.  It builds an ongoing conversation.

At ITA, in my presentation ‘100 Names, Days and Ways to Grow Your Business’ I talked about how the bulk of my marketing was personal.  I use branded items – but my message to the recipient is all about them.  If they know, like and trust me – when they decides they need marketing services, they’ll ask me.  I don’t need to hound them.  When I focus, genuinely, on relationship development – the business development always follows.

Other MacKay 66 questions include:

What do you feel is his/her immediate business objective?  What do you think is of greatest concern to the customer at this time – the welfare of the company or his/her own personal welfare?  What is he/she most proud of having achieved?

What are the key problems as the customer sees them?  Can you help with these problems?  How?

The final question is:

Does your competitor have better answers to the above questions than you have?

If the answer is ‘yes’ – the competitor owns the relationship.

No one wants to be treated like a prospect.  No one wants to feel as though the conversation is a means by which to get at the checkbook.

If you own the relationship, eventually you will own the business.  MacKay understood this over 30 years ago.  Back then there weren’t CRM systems.  No LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.  No email.  No blogs.  Think of all the tools we have to build relationships and yet the overwhelming question I always get is ‘How much business does [insert name of tool or platform] actually generate?”

Business is generated by the customer.  The ineffectiveness of our CRM, Social Media, email, direct mail, conference attendance, etc., I believe is a reflection of the ineffectiveness of our relationship building.  It is a reflection of our inability to enter into a meaningful, ongoing conversation with our customers.




B2B Marketing – 3 Marketing Blunders You’d Never Commit Face To Face

Think about the most qualified opportunity you have right now.  Chances are you’ve been working with them for several months and there has been much information exchanged back and forth:  you’ve been asking questions to understand more completely the challenges they face and providing them with your insight and the necessary information to make theContinue Reading

B2B Marketing: You Can’t Ask For Referrals If Customer Relationships Are Cold

Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you that referrals are the best source for generating new business.  But how does your customer feel if they haven’t heard from you in a long time and now here you are asking for a referral? Being proactive about your customer relationships is not only beneficial for cultivatingContinue Reading

B2B Marketing – The Unspoken Questions

When it comes to selling professional services with high price tags, complex sales and implementation cycles there is the likelihood for a lot of unspoken anxiety. We justify our selection with facts, but we make our selection based on emotion.  No matter how veteran our resources or how proven our track record – there’s noContinue Reading

Customer Experience Report Card

Today the Drudge Report had a link to an article stating there was 9% unemployment but the number could actually be as high as 16% if the number of people who have given up searching was included.  And so as I did my errands today, that statistic was bouncing around in my brain. I leftContinue Reading

B2B Marketing – Care and Attention to Personal Details Wash Away a Multitude of Sins

You are important enough to warrant my full attention. Yesterday I caught a couple of minutes of the Jim Rome Show.  He was sharing a story about when he and his wife met Dennis Rodman.  At some point during the conversation, Rome’s wife mentioned that she had lost a loved one and was feeling down. Continue Reading

Of Course I’m Going to Write about The King of Limbs Release! But First a Lesson in Marketing from Radiohead…

Normally I would have handled this in the Mailbox Miscellany format, but what Radiohead has done here is so brilliant and such a good marketing, customer relationship lesson, that I’m treating it straight up as a marketing article. Our job is to delight our customers.  And, if we do that, do it really well, thoseContinue Reading

Well, he was wearing socks

One of my favorite scenes from The Sopranos is Christopher’s intervention. The instances that each character brings up tells us as much about the characters as Christopher’s behavior. Adriana, one of the most sympathetic characters in the series, hates that his drug use is impacting their intimacy, and oh, that issue about killing the dog.Continue Reading

Sometimes the Shirt Says More than the Logo

Years ago I read a section of Gordon Bethune’s From Worst To First which was about his early days at Continental Airlines.  One of the things he noticed right away was the lack of employee morale.  Flight Attendants would leave their planes, immediately take off their jackets, fold them up, and proceed through the airport. Continue Reading

Delighting Your Customers – a Hat Tip to Amazon.com

Over the weekend I ordered some DVDs from Amazon.  I am a member of Amazon Prime – where for an annual fee, I get free shipping regardless of the dollar amount of my order.  I am also an Amazon affiliate – in that I (would) earn a small commission on any items that are orderedContinue Reading