Category Archives: Service

Posts related to providing value to clients or others

Aiming For A Deadline Is The Same As Aiming To Fail

We all too often think of a Deadline as the ‘finish line’ for a task, but deadlines are, in fact, the point at which we have failed. Aiming at the deadline is aiming to fail.

We need to think of the deadline as our worst possible finish date even if everything that CAN go wrong, DOES go wrong.

Even if you chronically procrastinate to the last possible moment. Even if everyone you’re counting on lets you down.  Even if the power or your internet goes out for a day. Even if your computer burns out or is lost and you need a new one. Even if there’s a death in the family and you’re suddenly away for a few days.

Assuming ALL of these things are likely to go wrong you still need to beat the deadline.

So you need to decide how much extra time do you need to allow for all these things. Whether it’s a few days, a week or several weeks, THAT is your actual “Finish Line”, your real target date.

Aim for this target date instead of the deadline and you’ll be aiming to succeed brilliantly and consistently.

We are in the business of Referability Management.

We create tools and resources that automate the processes of building and maintaining trust relationships between services and clients.

Not just pushing emails, but actually providing profoundly better services through reliability, repeatability, responsibility, accountability, regularity, measurability and simplicity… just for starters.

We do for ‘quality of service’ what automation did for the quality of manufacturing. Where they produced quality objects we help you produce the highest quality deliverables and client experiences in your industry.

Make no mistake: we aren’t about “talking a good game”, we’re about making a ‘sea change’ happen in your industry. If you want to be ‘the real deal’ and do what it takes to BE the very top of your industry then you’re the kind of company we like to work with.

When you ARE the best you won’t have to talk it up. And you won’t have to beg for referrals either. Referability is the measure of how trustworthy you really are in the eyes of your clients.

Social science has proven time and again that “like people tend to congregate”. Your best clients likely know many others who are potential best clients and they are increasingly relying word of mouth to source new business relationships.

Which brings us full circle: We help you define precisely what it takes to be the best. We help you automate those processes and to improve them every time you find any kind of shortcoming.

With assembly line repeatability and computer assisted accuracy you will become the very best at what you do. That, in turn, will get you more referrals AND provide a scalable infrastructure so you can fulfil the new contracts.

Sloppiness erodes trust. Trust is referability. Referability is word of mouth and word of mouth is the most cost effective form of growth.

This Is Better Than Newsletters

I hate newsletters.  I never sign up for them. Do you?

The reason is simple. They’re almost always about the company’s interests… getting me to read or consume their (thinly veiled) sales literature.

There’s one exception (well, two exceptions now). The only newsletter I actually read is customer centric.

Short and sweet, it tells me how prices are dropping (with no action required from me) and how a few recent developments may solve problems I’ve been having. Perhaps a new product announcement if they’re feeling pushy.

The point is that they are focused on what they can give me, not what they can get from me…. and it works. I scan it every month to see what might apply to me. I never filter it from my inbox because it’s a well spent 2 minutes/month.

So when we were designing our newsletter my first reaction was to rename it. We no longer have a newsletter or journal or chronicle or bulletin… we have a monthly ‘Answer Sheet’.

We don’t send you ads, we send you help, answers for your problems. All for free. No catch. No obligations.

Amazingly this not only changed how we think while we create it, but it is already becoming much more interesting and compelling — even to us!

So, in summary: Give, don’t take. Serve, don’t sell. Demonstrate your worth through generosity and people will engage with you on their own accord.

The Question I Dare You To Ask Your Best Clients

Everything I’ve seen and learned about the financial services industry leads me to one overwhelming conclusion:

There is a simmering spring of discontent among the affluent because they have been under-served, ‘sold’ products rather than ‘served’ with well conceived, comprehensive advice.

Most of the implied services that they have been led (or allowed) to believe in,  just don’t exist. Some believe that their financial well-being is properly attended to — right up until the moment they lose everything to some Bernie Madoff type.  Of course it’s not always that dramatic, more often it’s a slow accumulation of missed opportunities because there was no proper strategy in place.

Behind closed doors these people consistently tell us that they rate their advisors at “… maybe a 6 out of 10 …”  at best.  Most are lower.

So why don’t they find someone else? Because they already know they’re going to find just more of the same thing. The entire industry is homogenized on doing business this way and “that’s just how it’s done.”

Some six years into a related project I am still FLABBERGASTED that an industry can so blatantly ignore the needs of it’s very best clients.

How is it possible that the most-able-to-pay are unable to find what they want, at ANY price?

Yet the Advisors themselves complain that there’s not enough business to go around and they can’t distinguish themselves from the crowd!

Seriously? Are you kidding me?

Next time a client declines to give you a referral perhaps you should dare to ask, “What is it that I am doing, or NOT doing, that you wouldn’t boast about me to your best friends or family the same way you’d recommend a good movie?”