Listen Real Close

Hey you. Your clients are talking to you, telling you exactly what they want. Are you listening? Are you hearing them? Take those earphones out for a minute. Sometimes you get so caught up in creating and delivering what you want to give them that you miss hearing what they really need. And then you miss out on the opportunity to deliver it, better serve your customers, become the hero and increase your profits.

Zen Rabbit was built to help business professionals multiply their profits through sweet appreciation. The main tool has always been The Gratitude Cookie. Now, while I doubt that will change and everyone still loves the cookies, I’m also hearing my clients say they want more. They want to work with me to develop a whole repertoire of products they can send in appreciation. They want a monthly program through which they can send something different every month.

Considering Zen Rabbit is really a thank you concierge, I’m excited about coming up with new ideas and finding cool options to offer. That’s how the Money Tree got added to the product line-up and there are more very exciting items coming soon.

In nature, it’s called evolution. What is the next logical step in serving your customers? Are you teaching clients the “how to” without offering the “done-for-you” program as well? Given that so many people are time stretched (or are they just lazy?), there could be an opportunity for you to expand.

I’m not suggesting you give in to the Achilles’ heel of entrepreneurs – Shiny Object Syndrome – and go off in all different directions. I’m merely advising you to pay close attention to what your clients may really need, either in addition to or instead of what you’re currently providing. After all, they already trust you to deliver “A,” so it’s likely they will trust you to give them “B,” as well. Now all you need to do is listen, learn and create the tool or the program or the service that allows you to serve them even better.

Do you “get” what your clients want?

When you understand what your clients really want, you’re certainly in a better position to deliver it. That of course, always leads to more satisfaction for them and for you. And more money.

You cannot be this guy & have a thriving biz

The thing is, I find a lot of business people only want to give clients what’s easy, what’s already on the menu. Don’t go and ask for special orders.

The businesses unwilling to customize may have to learn a hard lesson in the form of decreasing sales. Not many can operate in the way of the Soup Nazi.

Here’s a testimonial I received last week from fab client David Wolfe, President of Lupine Partners. I share it with you not from an egotistical place, but because I’m excited he’s validating one of Zen Rabbit’s prime tenets for serving clients.

Lori Saitz, and her gratitude program, has been a strategic partner of mine since February, 2011. I first heard of Lori while listening to a GKIC CD that she appeared on. I sent her an email while I was listening to the program and requested a meeting. The response from her came very soon after my initial email. I was interested in a custom program that would allow me to tailor my ‘gratitude’ on an as-needed basis with no restrictions. In other words, I wanted the gifts to my customers to go out immediately as soon as I thought of it. I fully expected Lori to tell me what her rules were and how my request did not fit any of her programs.
Instead, she gave me exactly what I asked for. Sent the contract that day and I signed it. Call it the cookie bizarro world…
Despite my sometime curmudgeonly leanings, I feel like she gets me and does a very good job of trying to provide solutions to the scenarios I bring her. I like the way she thinks.

Listen. Let your clients tell you what they want and then deliver it. Seems pretty simple. Makes me wonder why more businesses aren’t doing it.

You Never Know Who’s Listening

Last week on my trip back from California to Florida, I ran into a colleague from my Execs’ Association in the Atlanta airport. He was returning from Austin and we were on the same flight to West Palm. It was funny because last year a similar thing happened in Dallas with another Execs’ colleague. And on my flight out to LA two weeks ago, I sat next to someone who ended up being at the same workshop I was attending. And then at lunch one day, I was talking about Nikki Incandela with my lunch partner, only to turn around and see Nikki sitting at the table behind me. She said she hadn’t heard me, but no matter because I was saying good things about her!

I find it fascinating how the universe arranges things. You never know who’s around you and who’s listening to your conversations. Which is exactly why it’s so important to make sure you wouldn’t mind being overheard or having the person you might be talking about hear whatever you’re saying. Goes back to that quote your grandmother may have said about “if you don’t have something nice to say…”

This whole idea fits right in with what my friend and mentor Bob Burg promotes all the time. And it’s no wonder that in return, I’ve only heard raving praise for Bob from others.

So this week, think about who might be hearing your offline conversations or seeing your online ones and remember to only say what you wouldn’t mind hearing repeated somewhere.