2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 2

Continuing with Brad Sugars’ presentation.  Brad listed some of his favorite 5 Ways strategies (in his order of preference):
  • Margin:
    • Don’t just raise prices, continually educate your customers and team as to your value proposition
    • Don’t discount – instead of giving away cash, give away value (make it special)
  • Conversion Rate:
    • Training, training, training
    • Make a benefit list – the top reasons customers should buy
    • “you can’t outsell your competitors if you don’t know them.” – Learn as much as you can about what they do well and not so well
    • Flowchart your sales process
    • Use Critical Non-Essentials (CNEs)
  • Average $ Sale:
    • Training, training, training
    • A/B/C/D customers – guide your customers, or send some of them to your competition
  • Number of Transactions:
    • Constantly build your database
    • Rebooking
    • VIP programs
    • Special offers & events
  • Lead Generation:
    • Video testimonials
    • Professionally built website
“Marketing is the life-blood of the business.” Our next speaker was the very inspirational Dr. Jen Welter.  Dr. Welter is the first female coach in the NFL.  She coached the inside linebackers for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.  A few key BFOs are:
  • Don’t live life looking in the rearview mirror
  • Be defined by what you do, not by what people are willing to pay you
  • “You are the producer, director, and lead actor of your life.”
  • “Why fit in when you can stand out?”
  • People listen when you whisper
We finished day one with a presentation from Richard Maloney, Founder and CEO of Engage & Grow Global.  Richard’s presentation revolved around the subject of employee engagement; its definition, costs, and its cure.  Among the many, many BFOs presented are the following highlights:
  • “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Definitions of the different levels of employee engagement
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  • According to a 2017 Gallup survey of companies in the US 69% of employees were disengaged (a 1% improvement from 2016)
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  • Disengagement looks like this
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  • And a Gallup poll concluded that an engaged workforce yields tremendous benefits
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  • Richard outlined the 6 Steps to employee engagement
img_2913-for-blog A few more key BFOs
  • “If you don’t measure, you lose treasure.”
  • Resolve disagreements within your company quickly – get the “splinters” out before they become infected
  • A great question to regularly ask your team is – “What around here needs to improve to become number one in our industry?”
Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2019 BEF.

Stress Test Your Business

One of the most important concepts my colleagues and I at ActionCOACH coach our clients on is being proactive.  Everything from our GrowthCLUB (90 Day Planning Workshop), our use of the ActionCOACH Business Chassis (5 Way Formula), to the alignment consultation we use to start each of our client’s coaching programs, is aimed at promoting proactivity.  Unfortunately, too many of the businesses I am introduced to operate on a reactive basis, reacting on a daily, sometimes hourly, rhythm of solving crisis after crisis after crisis.  The consequences of operating in reactive mode are many; lack of growth, low company morale, low or no profit, high levels of stress, and in some cases, bankruptcy! Chief among the steps toward proactivity is to periodically Stress Test your business.  Here are a few of the tests you must perform:
TEST Explanation
What if this works? “What if this works?” is one of my best coaching questions.  You cannot achieve continuing success without preparing for it.  This doesn’t mean starting a second shift before your sales increase, for example.  It does mean having the plans and processes for starting a second shift prepared as part of introducing your new product.
What if a key part of your business goes down? Machinery breakdowns, illness of key team members, storms, key team retirement or resignations, etc. are a fact of business life.  How much cross training and employee development is part of your daily routine?  How many strategic alliances have you developed?  Do you have succession plans?  Being prepared is a major responsibility of business ownership and leadership.
What is my customer retention? Low customer retention, and/or a low customer referral rate are leading KPIs, indicating a need to proactively redesign your operations.  Simply, if you are not at minimum, satisfying your customers, you have a big problem.  Of course, your goal should be to consistently WOW your customers.  Customers who are only satisfied are not loyal, raving fan customers.
  The results of these stress tests and others, whether good or bad, should lead you to proactive activities.  My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH are ready to assist you to stress test your business and to implement proactive processes.  All you need to do to start your proactive journey is contact us.  

Work on your business, not just in your business.

Net Promoter Score and Your Business

During recent coaching sessions, the subject of Net Promoter Score (NPS) came up.  My clients wanted to learn what NPS is and how it might benefit their businesses.  Thus, I thought this is a good time to share a few ideas about NPS. What Is Net Promoter Score? Simply put, NPS is a very simple, direct, relatively easy, and effective method to measure your customer’s (client’s, patient’s) loyalty to your business and the likelihood they will refer your business to others.  In other words, how healthy is your customer experience and your customer relationships?  It was developed by (and a registered trademark of) Fred ReichheldBain & Company, and Satmetrix Systems. Net Promoter Score was introduced by Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article “One Number You Need to Grow”.  NPS can be as low as −100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter).  An NPS that is positive (i.e., higher than zero) is felt to be good, and an NPS of more than 50 is excellent. Why is NPS Important? Time after time in measuring conversion rate (as per the ActionCOACH 5-Way formula) by lead type, it is obvious that referral leads have the highest conversion rate of all lead sources.  Therefore, it is extremely important for your business to deliver a great customer experience (GCE).  A great customer experience will result in a high NPS.  A high NPS will enable your business to have a robust and consistently effective referral system.  The formula is

GCE -> HNPS -> NewCustomers -> Revenue -> Profit

Many successful ActionCOACH clients have achieved completely referral based businesses, with the ability to add as many new loyal customers as they can serve.  An added bonus to a referral based business is lower customer acquisition cost and higher lifetime customer value. How to Develop Your Net Promoter Score At its core, NPS is derived from a single question customer survey.  The question is

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend, family member or colleague?”

Those who respond with a score of 9 to 10 are called Promoters, and are considered likely to exhibit value-creating behaviors, such as buying more, remaining customers for longer, and making more positive referrals to other potential customers. Those who respond with a score of 0 to 6 are labeled Detractors, and they are believed to be less likely to exhibit the value-creating behaviors. Responses of 7 and 8 are labeled Passives, and their behavior falls in the middle of Promoters and Detractors.  The Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. For purposes of calculating a Net Promoter Score, Passives count towards the total number of respondents, thus decreasing the percentage of detractors and promoters and pushing the net score towards zero. There are a variety of thoughts within the NPS consulting industry as to:
  • When to survey, and how often?
  • Types of surveys – relationship vs. transactional
  • Additional questions (if any), how many, what should they be?
  • How many people should be surveyed?
  • Format of the survey
There are many resources available to enhance your understanding and implementation of NPS.  This blog was based upon a great web article by Christian Reni ( https://customergauge.com/news/how-to-calculate-the-net-promoter-score/ ). If you wish to build your business on a solid foundation of raving fans who are both very loyal and who consistently refer new customers, NPS is an essential part of your toolkit.  My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH can assist you in building and implementing this important business building strategy.

2016 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 2

More BFOs from Day 1 of the 2016 BEF, Troy Hazard continued. Troy told a story about car salesman who had sold him a luxury car in Australia where he lived before moving to the USA a few years ago. The salesman asked how often he traded cars in, Troy answered about every 4 years. The salesman began contacting Troy about every 6 to 8 weeks, by mail, email, telephone, you name it – when Troy moved to USA permanently the salesman continued kept in touch.  After about 4 years the salesman called to say it’s time for a new car.  Troy told the salesman that he permanently moved to US and salesman continued to stay in touch.  On a family visit back to AU, Troy dropped into the dealer and asked the salesman why he continued to stay in touch, answer … “I sold more than 100 cars to your friends.”  The business question to ask yourself is; How is my business staying in touch with our customers, members, advocates and raving fans? (See the following section – day one BFOs from Brad Sugars – The Ladder of Customer Loyalty). Next, Troy urged us to always have absolute clarity of where the money/profit comes from.  His example was an electrician who repositioned to being a Total Energy Solution. Troy also told us about one of his companies that had five salesmen.  Following a typical bell curve, at one end of the curve was a salesman who was only doing about $60,000 in commissions and was way below quota.  In the middle were three salesmen at or slightly above quota, earning $100,000 to $125,000 in commission income.  At the other end of the bell curve was a salesman who was pulling in about $275,000 in commissions.  Troy then threw a trick question at us, asking who he fired.  Most guessed the $60K salesman.  In fact he fired the $275K salesman, explaining that he was disruptive, not a team player, stealing leads from the others, didn’t embrace the company culture, etc.  The business question here is who on your team is not fully engaged with the mission/vision/culture of your business?  By the way, he also fired the 60K salesman. The final BFO from Troy Hazard was very simple; Change or Die, one change at a time!   Our next speaker was Brad Sugars, the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH.  Brad opened with the statement that “Profit comes from REPEAT BUSINESS.” Next Brad presented the ActionCOACH Ladder of Customer Loyalty. IMG_7935 small The first rung of the ladder is Suspect – a target or an ideal customer.

Suspects are moved up the ladder to Prospect via marketing.  Prospects have taken some action; responded to an ad, visited your store, called to ask buying questions, etc.  The BFO here relates to the ActionCOACH 5 Way Formula, “if the Conversion Rate is low, the Target is WRONG!”Prospects are moved up the ladder via sales to Shopper. Shoppers have made their first purchase.  The BFO that Brad mentioned here is “the 2nd purchase is 10 times more important than subsequent purchases.”

Shoppers become Customers when they make that all important second purchase.  This is where you begin to build a relationship with your customer.  Have a consistent point of contact and establish genuine know-like-trust in the relationship.

As you develop stronger and stronger relationships with Customers they can become Members.  Members will develop a sense of belonging.  The sense of belonging must be enhanced by superior, personalized customer service and continued relationship building.  The BFO here is Great Customer Service starts with doing business with those you want to do business with (see Target above).

Continued relationship building and consistent superior customer service will result in your Members moving up to Advocates.  A major BFO here is every customer defines customer service differently, that is why building strong relationships is the KEY.  Advocates will refer their friends and network to your business.

If you consistently deliver exceptional customer service and continue to build relationships, your Advocates will become Raving Fans.  Raving fans will refer all of their friends and their networks to your business.

Whew, this wraps up my BFOs from only the first day of the 2016 BEF.  Stay tuned, there is much more to come.