In this weeks episode, we talk referrals and word of mouth. One of the best ways to grow our creative small businesses, if we care, create systems and are consistent with those systems. Easy? No. Simple? Yes. Thanks so much for watching.
“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”
(image via Google)
Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.
Have you ever heard the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”? OMG. That was actually something we put into children’s minds.
I like to think we have evolved more intellectually and emotionally to know how incredibly damaging that message is. But sadly, that is not always the case.
Words matter… in business and in life.
They create an awesome experience. Or create a not so awesome one.
They help build confidence. And they can destroy it.
They build relationships. And break them.
They build trust. Or create doubt.
They can excite me. Or they can bore me.
How much time do you spend choosing the words you are using in your business communications, both online and off?
How much care do you use when choosing the words you use when coaching a team member or speaking to a colleague?
How conscious are you of the words you choose when talking to yourself? (and please don’t even tell me you don’t talk to yourself. We all do. Whether we are conscious of it or not.)
Some wander through the social web, through business, and life, using words that have the potential to cause damage. But some choose to use words that empower, enrich the conversation and create awesome experiences.
Your choice. Choose wisely.
(shared with LOVE from Nina)
“We asked ourselves what we wanted this company to stand for. We didn’t want to just sell shoes. I wasn’t even into shoes – but I was passionate about customer service.” Tony Hsieh
I have noticed a very sad trend happening with small businesses and it makes me wonder if anyone really wants or needs my money. I do not have a ton of it, but when I need something, when I am ready to spend it, is your business ready to take it? I know, sounds a bit fundamental, but there is a reason I was inspired to write this post.
My beautiful awning in the backyard has been slowly deteriorating for some time. A few Santa Ana winds (what we call wind in la la land) literally tore my awning apart. I called USAA where I have my homeowners insurance, they are awesome. They were ready to give me the money to get the awning fixed, I just needed to get a quote. Easy enough I thought. Well, not really come to find out.
It took me 3 months to find an awning company in LA to take my money, well part USAA’s and part mine. Why? Not a single company returned my emails and phone calls.
Finally, I stumbled upon an awesome company called Superior Awning. Found them on YELP. To my surprise, they actually answered my email inquiry with a phone call, within 24 hours. They had a highly trained awning guy at my house within 36 hours and had the job complete within 2 weeks. They clearly wanted my money and I happily gave it to them. I guess those other companies were doing so well they had no desire for a new client for life.
My Mom just moved back to So Cal after 30 years on the East Coast. To say I am thrilled is an understatement. What is one of the first things people do when they move to a new city? Find a salon. How do people go about finding salons in today’s connected economy? They head to Google, YELP and ask their friends and family.
Since I did not know any salons in her new town, I went online and found a couple via YELP that I thought she should look into. So as any good Mom does, she follows her daughters recommendation. :)
She found one she liked, and used their “Contact Us” form on their website. And the waiting game began. One week, radio silence. No response. No reply. Well, my Mom is pretty patient so she decided to call the salon. She left a voice mail. And waited. One week, radio silence. No response. No return call. I guess that salon is fully booked and has no desire to engage with new clients.
Mom did finally find an awesome salon & hairdresser, Penelope at Salon Ana, based on a good old fashion referral from a friend, and she is very happy.
You have systems for cutting hair, for creating color formulas, for ordering inventory, for cleaning brushes, but do you have a system for engaging new clients?
Here are a couple things you may want to take a look at in your salon:
1. What is your system for returning voice mail messages?
2. What is your system for email inquiries from your website?
3. What is your system for email inquires from your Facebook biz page?
4. What is your system for client questions posted to your social pages?
Change the system. Change the result. It’s really is that simple. If you want new clients that is.
If you are in the LA area and are looking for awning repair or a new awning, Superior Awning is the BEST.
(shared with LOVE from Nina)