The Right Way Works! – jeff korhan
Jeff Korhan is an Entrepreur, Green Industry Expert, Sales consultant, and Speaker who gets results that work!
March 03, 2008
Is Done Better Than Perfect? – You Decide
A friend of mine is well-known in our industry for saying that ‘done is better than perfect.’ He recognizes that there are perfectionists out there — moi?!! – that get so caught up in doing things right that they don’t get things done at all.
Regardless, I still applaud Starbucks recent ads, no doubt inspired by founder Howard Schultz stepping in to resurrect the brand he created – which of late has been tarnished by a series of missteps that have eroded the culture that made for such an exceptional – dare I say – PERFECT experience during the chains formative years. The new slogan is simply….”Make it perfect, please.” No apologies. If it isn’t to your satisfaction, it will be. All you have to do is ask. Starbuckslogo
In a world where quality has become a punchline, I am encouraged by Starbucks attention to getting back on track – to…well, as my friend Mark had implied…to just get it done. Done doesn’t have to be perfect, but these days, getting it done usually suggests getting it done right. Why? We have the resources in front of us. All we have to do is discern, discriminate, and decide!
Posted by Jeff Korhan on March 03, 2008 at 09:42 PM in Customer Service, Leadership, Marketing, Right Way, Sales | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
January 24, 2008
I Hear You AT&T, and I Like It!
AT&T recently announced their 4th quarter earnings are up 62%. I’m not surprised because my recent experience with them was quite favorable. I’m impressed with the new AT&T. They’ve shown me they care! Best of all, AT&T seems to understand that customers do indeed take into account the OVERALL experience of working with a company.
I was restructuring our land-line service and the representative went out of his way to show me ways to save money and simplify our package. When I didn’t opt-in to the recommended package, he still continued to work with me to accommodate my needs so that when the time comes and we’re ready, we’ll make the right changes for us. It was all about me, the customer – and we all know that when we work to understand the needs of our customers we will serve them better – and retain them. Simple, isn’t it? That’s how to increase your sales – which is always good business.Att_logo
So, I ask you, do you think its too late to change your sales and marketing approach to rebuild your reputation in the marketplace? Think again. If mega-corporations like AT&T can pull it off with a simple, customer-centric approach, then it can also work for your business and mine. I wish I could say I had a similar experience with my cellular service. They don’t seem to get it, but maybe they will when competitors step in and take a better approach. Maybe that competitor will be AT@T.
Posted by Jeff Korhan on January 24, 2008 at 10:57 AM in Customer Service, Marketing, Right Way, Sales | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
December 16, 2007
Get Real Sales by Blogging
I’m a sales and marketing expert, though my expertise in two specific areas seem to be merging to create a unique niche. For nearly fifteen years I have worked with the Chopra Center for Well Being, becoming a Certified Meditation Instructor as a result of my incredible experience. Lately, I’m teaching more as interest in meditation is on the rise, especially with business people. There are a few reasons for this, which include reducing stress, improving productivity, though the most common one is to connect with what we intuitively know as real – our true nature. In fact, most of the stress we experience is due to the fact that our attention is scattered all over the planet! Reconnecting through meditation grounds you and gives you great stability and strength to accomplish your goals.
What does this have to do with blogging? If meditation helps to understand your true nature, then blogging is one of the best tools to get that unique and personal message of yours out to your market to then attract the right clients. Last week I gave a presentation on blogging to very attentive members of the Illinois Chapter of the National Speakers Association. We barely scratched the surface in the 90 minutes we had together, but several new blogs have been launched as a result of that meeting, including www.pureandsimplemarketing.com, by past president Al Lautenslager. He kindly shared that “Everything I know about blogging I learned from Jeff Korhan.” Thanks Al! My view is blogging is one of the best ways to connect with your clients – your audience if you are a professional speaker – because they get your real, unvarnished, and therefore, credible perspective. In fact, web and SEO expert Kurt Scholle of Web Asylum recently informed me about a study in which the identical text was placed on a blog and a website, with the blog testing as far more credible, by something like 47%. Interesting! This only supports my belief that blogs may well usurp some of the territory currently held by websites. Either that or the lines between the two will become blurred as we merge the two technologies.
So how do you get more sales – GET REAL! That’s what I tell my clients. We’re living in a reality based society. If there was ever a time to cut through the b.s., now is that time. You’ll feel better, your customers will appreciate your forthrightness, and best of all, you’ll sell more of your products and services.
Posted by Jeff Korhan on December 16, 2007 at 12:55 PM in Marketing, Right Way, Sales, Stress and Change, Your True Nature | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
May 28, 2007
Grow Your Business The Right Way
A few nights ago I was sitting in my screened porch enjoying the scents and sounds of the evening rain storm. When I wandered inside to the pantry for a snack, I was struck with how many products today are labeled ‘organic’ – from chips to raisins to even wine and more! I wondered if organic really means something or if it’s the latest ‘flavor’ that is being marketed to us consumers.
When I think of organic I think of things that happen naturally – almost without effort. Organic growth, whether in nature – or in business, such as internet search engine optimization (SEO) – implies that organic is a better way because it’s more sustainable in the long term. I’m an educated consumer, so I know, for example, that wild salmon is better than salmon raised in farms where cholorinated products are used to control the undesirable growth of pathogens. For some reason wild salmon doesn’t even cost more. At least that has been my experience. I do know that organic SEO is cheaper and more effective than pay per click. Organic is really taking a natural approach. I suppose natural has connotations that don’t work as well in commerce today and we need a descriptor that does. Enter Organic.
What we are really after is results. If you want to get the right results, you can achieve them in many ways. But if your approach is the right one – the natural way – then you are most likely in harmony with what sustains that result. This applies in nature as well as commerce. Interesting, isn’t it? This takes me right back to my rainstorm. You can’t replicate that. Something is lost when we don’t follow the right or natural path for obtaining desired results. I’m suggesting that organic is more about “the way” and less about the product.” If you want to acheive the right results in your business – sustainable sales, service and customers – you need to think about “growing” your business organically – which simply means doing the right things in the right way. Your value system will give you clues to the right way – then you just have to ‘grow from what you know.’
Posted by Jeff Korhan on May 28, 2007 at 07:44 PM in Awareness, Customer Service, Green Industry, Marketing, Sales, Stress and Change, Teambuilding | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
May 17, 2007
Market to Yourself – and Get What You Want!
Are there things in your life that you are having trouble achieving? Maybe you should consider getting the message out to the one person that can help you most – you! If you are going to make something happen in your life, you have to keep your attention on that goal. I’ve blogged about The Secret before – which of course isn’t a secret at all. It’s simply a matter of focus and attention. However, there is one secret that I’d like to share that made the difference for one person.
My son Zak was having trouble making the grade in his high school Honors History class. I won’t reveal what his grade was at mid-term, but let’s just say it was substantially below average. We discussed the situation. We talked about study habits and advanced preparation. He even had a one hour session with a tutor to see if we weren’t missing anything. You guessed it, he is very likely going to get an A — a massive improvement in a couple of months. In fact, because it’s an honors class, an A is actually an A+ in the grading system. So what’s the secret you ask? We recently discovered the secret — and it was right before our eyes. It was Zak’s secret. In his re-organization effort, he had printed a new cover for his binder and appropriately titled it “Honors History.” Though we only recently noticed that lying just beneath that title, in quite large, yet, very, very, very faint letters, was a subtle message…. “A+” – exactly what he wanted! There really is no secret – just know what you want – set your “marketing” plan in motion – and don’t be surprised at the results you achieve!
Posted by Jeff Korhan on May 17, 2007 at 03:08 PM in Awareness, Marketing, Your True Nature | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
May 07, 2007
What Matters is What’s Right
The Dalai Lama recently visited the Chicago area and suggested that we all let go of anger, hatred, and all of those things that don’t matter. I couldn’t agree more. Destructive emotions and the pursuit of things that don’t matter get in the way of living in a way that works for us. This morning I remembered his words and averted a melt-down while trying unsuccessfully to register online for a conference because the system wouldn’t accept my user ID and password. “Why can’t they just keep things simple, I thought!” Then I realized it didn’t matter that I register today and I’ll do it another day when I have more time.
What does matter? What matters is what’s right. This is important in life and in business. If you aren’t clear about your personal mission in life, how can you work congruently for the mission of your employer? I am, of course, presuming your company has a clear mission – you know, what they believe in and promise their customers. If you don’t give much thought to what matters to you, it’s difficult for you to attract the right customers. This is vital if you are going to “make that cash register ring.” The marketplace rewards clear purpose becauses customers align themselves with those companies and their people that will take them where they want to go – help them have what they want to have – and do what they want to do.
The right thing – what matters – is what’s right for everyone involved in any transaction, whether that transaction is personal or commercial. We engage and build relationships with people that understand us and share our views and beliefs with how things should be. We can’t expect to align ourselves with everyone, only those that share our views and beliefs about what’s right. Taking this concept a step further, the Dalai Lama also points out that all religions matter because “just as we all need different medicines to be healthy, we need different views.” It seems clear that what matters most is first what’s right for you, then what’s right for everyone you live and work with, including your customers. We all know that when everything works it has to be right!
Posted by Jeff Korhan on May 07, 2007 at 11:05 AM in Awareness, Customer Service, Environment, Marketing, Your True Nature | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
April 15, 2007
Do Your Customers Know They Are Special?
How special are your customers to you? That’s exactly what they want to know. Recently I received a communication from the financial service I use to make my online investment trades. They explained that I am now an Apex™ customer and will be receiving a multitude of privileges. I wondered why I have been gifted with this honor. I’m not sure if I’m a high roller or not, but I do feel special – simply because I have told that I am special!
Do you have customers that you view as ideal? You know, the ones that use your services frequently, pay you easily and on time, refer you to others, and are simply a pleasure to work with. How do you attract more customers like them? Start with this core group and recognize them. Make sure your entire staff knows to treat them with white glove care – no questions asked. Then work to elevate others into that group. Soon the buzz will travel though your office. Now when an ideal prospect contacts your business, you can use this as a selling tool. “Mr. Johnson, what you seem to be looking for is our Apex™ service package.” Can you imagine Mr. Johnson’s delight in finding a company that not only appreciates his business, but actually cares enough about customers like him to have set aside a special level of service – just for him?
Now all you have to do is deliver. This can sometimes be challenging, especially if you are in a seasonal business like we are. However, the key is your staff now clearly understands what to do because you’ve built a system that recognizes your desire to attract the ideal clients that will help to grow your business, enhance your marketplace identity, and reinforce what your brand is all about.
Posted by Jeff Korhan on April 15, 2007 at 09:57 PM in Customer Service, Marketing, Sales | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
April 11, 2007
Entertain Your Market
Having commented previously about American Idol, I just have to weigh in on the Sanjaya debate. First, with all due respect to Simon – It’s not a singing contest! While a given amount of talent is necessary, that is not what makes the difference. This show is about marketing yourself to an audience. It’s about marketing – and marketing is, among other things, about being likeable. I say kudos to this kid for being original, especially considering this is the most unoriginal group we’ve seen to date.
The misunderstanding is the singing is the product. It isn’t. This is about being someone the audience can relate to and to some extent, wants to be like. Who doesn’t want to let their hair down (or whatever in Sanjaya’s case) and and get crazy once in a while? Who doesn’t want to prove the naysayers wrong?
Isn’t American Idol supposed to be a “reality show.” This IS reality! You can’t have a reality show with rules. What Sanjaya has proved is you can beat the system by following your true nature. I say good for him and I hope he goes as far as he can with this. He is giving all of us a great lesson – be yourself, have fun, and don’t worry about what anyone else says. The marketplace is obviously saying they agree.
Posted by Jeff Korhan on April 11, 2007 at 03:58 PM in Awareness, Environment, Marketing, Your True Nature | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
April 04, 2007
One Team – Five Promises
I was very impressed with coach Pat Summit’s simple formula that enabled her Lady Vols to easily prevail over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for the Women’s National Basketball Championship. Coach Summit focused each player’s attention on one thing – one quality that happened to be their unique contribution to the success of the team. She didn’t have them focus on the obvious – on scoring, or defense or the logical aspects of winning the game — but on one subtle, yet uniquely valuable quality that each player brings to the mix. While I cannot recall the complete list that was briefly flashed on ESPN last night, one player was asked to be the ‘voice’ of the team during the competition.
Why is this concept so effective? It honors the true nature of each player as a unique contributor first, and a team member second. Each player is accountable first to themselves to express their talents to the the limit of their capabilities. Then the result is a team that is almost certain of being a success. You can’t have a unified effort – one in which everyone succeeds together, if the contributors aren’t being congruent with who they are. Pat Summit made her five starters aware of that. The result was a uniquely and synergistically balanced effort that happened to result in a national championship.
Posted by Jeff Korhan on April 04, 2007 at 11:09 AM in Awareness, Environment, Marketing, Teambuilding, Your True Nature | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 28, 2007
What’s Your No. 1 Gift?
How do you stand out in your market? One way is to dominate it. Not with aggressive force, but skillful exection in one area where you are better than anyone else. I was watching the replays of Naperville, IL native Candace Parker on defense as the Vols made short work of Ole Miss. Parker is a great player – no doubt, but her defensive skills are a joy to watch. When she is knocking down her opponents shots she may as well be swatting flies! She simply is playing at an entirely different level.
What’s the solution for her competition? Focus on your strengths? We aren’t all gifted in the same areas. We have to focus on what works best for us. Anyone can dominate a market if they focus on being the best in one particular area. The art of winning is first knowing where you can excel and then taking the necessary steps to develop that talent to its full potential – then everyone wins, because it is a joy to watch someone fully expressing their talents. Sports is entertainment, so watching exceptional talent is what the market wants. What does your market want that only you can provide?
Posted by Jeff Korhan on March 28, 2007 at 12:08 PM in Marketing, Your True Nature | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
No matter what type of business you own, whether it be large, medium or small, your aim is often to increase sales. There appears to be so many different ways to accomplish this outcome. It could be that you have a large budget and want to undertake an extensive branding campaign. You may want to make a specific offer to your potential customers. You may spend your money on developing more innovative products or you may put the money into operations and get your products to the market faster than you competitors. Which ever method you use it is important to realize that you can’t go out and just get more sales. Sales are the result of something else.
Marketing guru Jay Abrahams says that there are only 3 main ways a business can make more money. The first is to increase the number of leads you get. The leads are the people that call you up or walk into your store. They are the potential customers with money in their wallets but are not sure who they are going to give it to you. It doesn’t matter if you are in the green industry or in the retail industry, in order to make more money you need to need to get more leads. This is where some clever marketing can come into place to get more people walking through your door.
The second way to increase profits is to increase your conversions. Conversions mean the number of leads you turn into customers (or people that actually buy your product or service). In order to improve in this area you can undertake both marketing and sales techniques. It may be offers like 10% off that will convert a lead or it could be a sales person in your team that really demonstrates the benefits of your product. I often tell my students that in order to make money you need people to give you money. Most people don’t hand over money to anyone, they need to see value. Your job as a business owner or sales person is to create value and show it to them. Only then will they feel comfortable about giving you their hard earned.
The third way to increase profits is to increase the average dollar sale. This means that for every customer you have you want to increase the amount they spend. If you increase the amount they spend then you can increase your turnover with the same amount of customers. Large food companies such as McDonalds and KFC learned this many years ago. One of the simplest ways to increase the average $ sale is to package up your products. The major fast food companies all have meals where you get a drink and chips/fries. Before this many customers would come in and purchase a burger but now they purchase a meal for more money. The customer is willing to pay more money because they see more value.
There are obviously more ways to increase profits such as reducing your expenses etc but these three are a great place to turn your business around. The important thing to remember is that sales are a result and you cannot improve a result without improving the process. So look at improving in these areas and you will be on your way to a healthier business.
Buy High or Buy Low
One of the many questions out there regarding buying a business is whether you should buy a business that is going well or a business that is going poorly. In order to answer the question there are a couple of things that you need to consider before you spend your money on a particular business. Much of your decision will depend on the type of business you are looking at purchasing as well as the structure of the business i.e. franchise or and existing company or sole trader.
- Marketing & Sales
One of the key aspects to look at when purchasing a business is its current marketing and sales or lack of. If the business has done lots of successful marketing campaigns that have converted into fantastic sales then this business has a formula that you are able to use. Many people think they have to get creative and change their marketing up all the time. If something works, then stick to it. There are many small businesses out there that run the same campaign in a local newspaper over and over again and it converts well. The problem with purchasing a business like this is that it is relatively successful and you are going to be paying a premium for this type of business. It may therefore take you longer to get a return on your investment.
On the other hand if you are looking at a business that has run very poor campaigns which resulted in poor sales, then you may have a bargain on your hands. The reason for this is that it is something that you can easily improve. You need to make sure that it is actually the poor marketing that is causing the poor sales and not the product you are selling. If it is the marketing then you may be able to make some simple changes and see the results improve dramatically. A franchise with poor marketing and sales is something to stay away from as you most likely don’t have the control to run your own campaigns. This is a licence to fail.
- Customer Service
Finding good people to hire can be a difficult task and so many businesses have poor customer service as a result. If you find a business that has a great team that really cares about their customers, the results will show in the profits. Customers will pay for great service and even more importantly they will return and become a repeat customer. These types of customers are invaluable to your business and if you find a business that has great customer service you may have a long lasting business. Again, these businesses are normally making good profits and you will pay a premium price but it is fun owning and working in a thriving business where customers are happy.
A business with very poor customer service will struggle to make money unless it has something totally unique that people will pay for it anyway. This is rare so it is likely that it is a struggling business and you can get it at a cheap price. Many people ignore these types of businesses as they see the end result rather than what can be with some improvements. Improving customer service is not all that difficult. You will need to train your employees or even hire new ones, but it can be turned around. This can be the hidden value in a business if you feel comfortable in turning it around.
These are two areas that you need to look at when looking at purchasing an existing business. Many people are happy to pay a high price for a thriving business but don’t just ignore the poor ones. It may be that they are no good, but you may also find a gem in there that you can change some small things and reap some very big rewards. Always to your homework and get advice from an appropriate adviser before you take the plunge.