Communication is the crux of your success. There is no way around it. Every fundamental in business stems from a common root – and this is the ability to communicate effectively with the people around you, whether it’s your clients, others in the company, and anyone else that you come into contact with. This applies to all aspects of life and relationships, too. In today’s solo episode, Doug C. Brown uses real-world examples of how communication impacts the customer experience, and does a deep dive into how great communication can boost your growth.
I’m bringing you another great episode with an amazing guest. That guest is me. It might sound a little braggadocious but in this episode, you get me as your particular host, interviewer and interviewee. The reason I’m doing this is what’s called the solo broadcast is because I wanted to bring something to your attention, which I’ve been noticing across the board. It started about years ago and it’s just continuing on. It’s a regarding communication because communication is the life’s blood of your business. It is all responsible for your initial sale, second sale, repetitive sales, expanding your sale and how many referrals you get.
The whole gamut is skewed around or surrounded by communication. Customer service is an oxymoron in most companies. The initial conversation is similar, contradictory and thought patterns going on within the communication. It doesn’t matter if it’s B2C, B2B or B2E, Business to Consumer, Business to Business or Business to Entrepreneurs. I’m seeing this across the board and in my life. We bought a new house and the construction crew has been amazing in trying to get this house renovated for us because we bought a house that needed renovation.
Quite frankly, most of the time, they’ve been lacking in communication. Something will go wrong and they’ll try to fix it but they don’t communicate to us, which has extended their ability to deliver on time. We had a very short timeframe in the beginning but if they had communicated, we could have made adjustments on the backend, which would have made our lives a lot easier if it came down to it. The question is, “Are you doing that to your business clients?”
Whether it’s B2C, B2B or B2E, we’re all human beings and we all want to communicate. Let me give you an example on business to consumer sales. We purchased some mattresses at Mattress Firm. They generally have a pretty good reputation. We spent about $6,500 on 3 mattresses. The reality is they were due to deliver, even though we’re not into the house. We bought three mattresses and some adjustable bases. We got an email saying, “We’re going to deliver this to your house,” where we’re not at yet because we’re living in Vrbos until they complete the house.
We get this email that says, “Two of your adjustable bases aren’t showing up.” No one called or gave a reason why. We’re in scramble mode trying to figure this out. We’re like, “We’ve been on the road. We drove 1,300 miles. We’ve been living in accommodating housing, Vrbos, for days until they get the house done.”
We’ve got one more problem stack upon this which is, “They’re going to come in and throw some mattresses on the floor.” You could say, “You can sleep there but it’s not as comfortable as sleeping in a regular bed.” The point being is they’re not communicating. They’re just showing up, dropping and doing the basics. They then expect, “You’ll get this later on.” In the buyer’s mind or my mind at this point, the buyer goes, “Let’s go find somebody who has all of the stock who can deliver.”
I’m willing to cancel a $6,500 sale where I have 2 more bedrooms to buy additional furniture, which I won’t buy from them based on this. You might go, “Doug, you’re being hard on these people.” No, the reality is they need to communicate this. How many times have you been in business or you have expected something to be and your time is getting wasted, your funds are being depleted and no one is telling you about it?
For example, in the construction crew, I found out that we were $8,000 over budget. Don’t you think that should have been conveyed to me earlier? What I’m trying to say to you in this episode is communication is the life’s blood of your business. If you upset people, they remember. If you upset them by not telling them things proactively, then they’re going to remember this.
One more example is Chase Bank. I’ve been with them for many years. I called in. I had somebody else on a credit card that I needed to get off the credit card. They said, “You can’t do that. However, what we can do is take a new credit card and take the volume from that credit card. We’ll extend it into the new volume of the credit card.”
In other words, I didn’t want to drop that credit card because it’s got many years’ worth of history on it. It will drop my credit score. They told me, “Go ahead and do this.” I applied for a new credit card. I got $21,000 a credit line on that card. I had about $47,000 on the other card. I figured they’d chew it up and all would be good.
After the fact that I got the credit card, they told me, “There was somebody else on this credit card. We can’t do a transfer for you. We’re only going to be able to do that transfer if you drop the credit card that you have and then reapply for a credit line increase,” which means that I’ve got to pull my credit again. Every time I do this, I’m dropping my credit score. If I drop the credit card, the original, I’ll probably drop by twenty points itself. Between that and applying, my whole credit score could drop 25 or 30 points. That is the difference between taking you from an excellent credit score into a very good credit score, which affects your rate. If I’m going for a mortgage, I’m going for something.
I called Chase Bank. They said, “We made a mistake but it’s all on you. We can’t do anything.” Here’s my point. If I’m dropping the credit card, then I’m dropping my banking relationship with Chase. I’m going to a bank that will support me in my life. Wouldn’t you do the same? This is not to sound like I’m just complaining. What I want you to get out of this is it doesn’t matter if it’s B2C or B2B.
For example, my software company that is responsible for developing my software, their communication dropped off when they weren’t communicating with me for almost a month. Think about that. You’ve got hundreds of thousands, close to millions of dollars invested in something and your software company stops talking to you. What do you expect?
Lo and behold, the owner of the software company has some issues. That is fine but why not tell somebody you’re going through a divorce, having a challenge or, “This is the delay for this?” When you’re dealing with those types of numbers on companies my size, those are pretty sizable investments when you’re investing multiple six figures a year. Guess what happened? I decided in the process, because he did this twice, that I would start interviewing new companies. I moved from him, who had been there for years, to another software development company. Frankly, the relationship is much better for me.
Here’s the point. He’s probably lost millions of dollars over the years in revenue on my account. If you do that in ten accounts, that can add up to a lot of money. Why not communicate? Why not bring things forth? Bangor Savings Bank, who I’ve been working with on my payroll for years, all of a sudden stopped communicating.
I inquired because I needed to get a payroll audit done and they didn’t reply to me for weeks and then one month. I kept making five inquiries into the bank. Still, no resolution. I’m talking with multiple people. They said they’ll get it done. They didn’t. What did I do? I called the CEO of the bank. I found his number and left a voicemail message. My problem was solved within two hours of that phone call. Why do we need to call a CEO of a company to get a response when all these people below are being well paid and highly trained to respond?
I’ll tell you why. Over time, the level of acceptance of communication has been dropping. If you don’t look at this in your company, my suspicion is your revenues will start to drop. Your sales will get harder. If you are the person who is the shining star of the process, then you’re going to want to put things in place that make the business work for you and also for your clients.
Let me give you an example. I was driving up from Florida to New Hampshire where I relocated. I needed a place for myself and my family. We had a cat with us so we needed a pet-friendly place. I called Marriott in New Jersey. They said, “Sure. We’re a pet-friendly hotel.” They’re in the courtyard. It’s a great place to stay. I’m a gold member with Marriott. I’m a diamond member with Hilton. I chose Marriott over Hilton at this time because of the availability. I wanted to use points. The hotel told me, “I can’t use your points because I don’t have access to the Marriott system.”
Think about this for a second. No access to a system that you’re part of? I called Marriott Corporate. They told me I couldn’t use points. I called the hotel back and said, “You can use points. How many points it’s supposed to be?” I call Corporate back. They said, “You can’t use points.” I said, “Why can’t I use points?” They said, “The hotel sets the rules.” I said, “I’m talking to the hotel but the hotel says I can use points.” It goes back and forth. I call the hotel and they go, “This is crazy. You should be able to use your points.”
Here’s the point. I bought the room anyway. I’m happy with the place in New Jersey but I’ll never bring my Marriott stays up in displaced with my Hilton points. I won’t become a diamond or the highest level member with Marriott and drop the other brands. Why? Communication. I spent 1 hour and 15 minutes trying to get points for a hotel. This might sound like Doug is complaining. I don’t want you to take that part out. Although I am complaining and I’m giving you all these complaints. Look at companies that are doing great jobs on their communication.
Let me give you one. It’s called Baby Bathwater. It is a business networking group. I invested $10,000 with them. Their annual subscription is $15,000, which I’m reinvesting. I went to 1 live event for $10,000. The communication was amazing. I went to Mexico and they had people to pick us up. They were on time and had communication going. They had all of these things well-orchestrated, even post-follow-up on the event. If there was a challenge, they took care of it.
If there was a challenge and they knew about it, they proactively communicated it to all the members that were there. This is how you want to run your business if you want repeat business and referrals. I’ve already told three people about Baby Bathwater and they’re not paying me a commission to do so. I’m not asking for it because this is how we work as human beings. I’ve been to other Marriott Hotels. They’ve been amazing. The Marriott in Peabody, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire.
They’ve been amazing but the corporate office dropped the ball to the point where I will not progress forward. How many of you were like me? I suspect some of you readers out there are like me. Here’s the thing. Society, in general, has diminished or dropped the level of communication. We do this through electronic media more and we’re taking the personalization out of the communication loop. We are human beings who still have emotions and want connections. It is a human need to have a connection. We want communication from one another. If you ever had this happen to you, you go into a place, maybe it’s a restaurant or somewhere and all of a sudden, it’s amazing. The people are communicating with you. Everything is flowing.
There might be a problem and they let you know, “This is what’s happening up front.” You’re like, “No big deal. This is great. I appreciate it.” Why? It’s because they gave you part of your human need, which is a certainty. Communication conveys certainty and proactively gives you good things. In other words, please take out of this episode one thing. Look at your communication plan with your current people.
Are you following up? Are you doing what’s necessary? Follow-up is a common courtesy. It is not a laborious thing that you’re supposed to do. It’s something that should be built in like breathing. You breathe in and breathe out. When you make a sale or communicate with a business prospect, you should be doing follow-up because it’s a common courtesy and it’s expected like any proactive communication would be expected.
I know I’m complaining and I’m being emotional but what I want you to take out of this is to look at your business and communication plan and ask yourself, are you at the top of your industry so that you can be selling in the top 1% of your industry globally? A major part of that success is going to be the communication plan that you have with your clients.
Until next time. Go out, be brilliant, sell a lot of stuff and sell it profitably. If you like the subject matter, please give this a five-star review and subscribe to the show if you have not already. We will see you again with a great episode. If you have material that you want us to cover on this show, we’ll go out on the source of guests for you. Send it to Doug@CeoSalesStrategies.com, my LinkedIn @DougBrown123 or call the company at (603) 595-0303. Let us know your ideas. We would love to hear from you.
If you need help in helping your people, employees or yourself, get into the top 1% of sales in your industry globally. Let us know. If you want to hire, retain, train and maintain the relationship or build a team of A-players or what we call elite sales producers, those who are already in the top 1% or will be in the top 1% for you, reach out to us so we can help you. Have a great day and to your success.
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