Ain’t it great, when the unexpected pleasure slaps you upside the head and reminds you of the little things that really matter in business. Well, I had one!
It wasn’t a mere raise-the-bar experience. It launched the bar. It was a moon-shot!
A few years ago, I was in Dallas for a five-day business trip. It was the annual meeting for my industry. That’s right. In the same place, at the same time, 1,700 speakers, trainers and consultants. I know. Frightening!
Each convention has commonalities, i.e., loads of content, frenetic schmoozing, the constant search for new ideas, rekindling relationships, non-stop laughter and most of all, sleep deprivation!
On day four, I was pooped. So at 3:00 p.m., I decided to sneak up to my room for a well-deserved nap. However, a better idea hit me.
I approached the concierge and said, “Hi Machelle, could you please help me schedule an in-room massage within the next 90 minutes?”
She replied, “Hmmm. We usually suggest guests simply go to the health club, but I know who to call.”
She reached for the phone and said, “Hi Sandra, it’s Machelle at the Anatole. Mr. Blackman would like an in-room massage, at 4:30 or earlier. Are you available? Not ‘til 5. Mr. Blackman, will that work?”
I requested the phone and said, “Hi Sandra, I’ve got a commitment this evening and would really like to start at 4:30, is that possible?”
She answered, “Mr. Blackman you have my commitment, I’ll be there at 4:30 or earlier.”
(Smart business people commit to a deliverable.)
At 4:25, there was a knock at the door. It was Sandra.
(The great ones honor their promises.)
She greeted me with a big smile and a firm handshake. She then asked, “Mr. Blackman where would you like me to set-up your massage table?”
(This was now “my table” not hers. I suddenly had vested ownership! She used the words you and your vs. I, me, mine or my.)
Sandra then said, “How long have you been in Dallas? What’s the purpose of your visit? Tell me more about what you do…”
(She immediately took an interest in me, by asking questions.)
Sandra then made the following request, “To assure you the best results, could you please complete this form.” She then handed me a form with questions, similar to ones I had completed when visiting my chiropractor or physician.
(Her focus, an outcome with the “best results.”)
Over the years, I’ve had lots of massages, but never one that started like this. So I asked, “Sandra, what do you need this information for?” She responded, “Mr. Blackman, the best way for me to help your future, is to understand your past. For the body never forgets!”
(Whoaa! I wanted to know what time her workshop started! She had a valid reason or justification for her request.)
When my homework assignment was completed, Sandra studied it. She then said, “I see you’ve had lots of athletic injuries and you’re still very competitive with your weekly softball games and workouts. Here’s what I suggest, why don’t you take a hot shower, to wake up your muscles. Then, I’ll stretch you before we begin, to create positive energy for your massage.”
(Who am I to argue with a trained professional, who uses benefit statements?! My muscles were about to wake up! And, I was going to be the lucky recipient of positive energy!)
As I headed for the invigorating waters of Dallas, Sandra asked, “Oh, Mr. Blackman, which do you prefer, classical music or jazz?” I said, “Classical,” to which she responded, “Classical it is!”
(Sandra asked a question that gave me a choice. Once again, she was focused on a simple pleasure to maximize my experience.)
When I exited the shower in running shorts, to my surprise, Sandra was on the phone. I heard her say, “Hi, this is Sandra, I’ll be giving Mr. Blackman a massage. Could you please hold his calls for the next hour, so he won’t be disturbed.”
(She controlled the environment, to assure success and satisfaction.)
For the next 10 minutes, Sandra stretched me. Bent me. Shaped me. I became a human pretzel. She then said, “Let’s continue the healing process. Please lay on your back on your massage table.”
(Hey, I was up for healing, especially on “my table!”)
As Beethoven soothed me in the background, Sandra placed her hands on my forehead and said, “Close your eyes and take a series of deep breaths. As you inhale, take in your hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations. Visualize them. See them coming true. As you exhale, remove from your life, any doubts, fears, pressures or worries.”
(Okay, at this point, I was ready to buy her series of CDs, videos, books and monthly coaching sessions! This wasn’t a massage, it was a series of valuable business lessons.)
Within an hour, under Sandra’s watchful eye, remarkable business style and magical hands, I was revived. Ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
(Business is all about successful outcomes, results and improved conditions.)
Before Sandra left, we continued to chat about her business and mine. She then asked, “Mr. Blackman, how can my team of massage therapists help you and your fellow professionals at next year’s convention? Perhaps with chair massages.”
(She’s pursuing the next opportunity, suggesting solutions and seeking referrals. I love it! To Sandra, this wasn’t a mere transaction, it was an opportunity to lay the foundation for a long-term relationship.)
I said, “Sandra, every year, we’re in a new city. Next year we’ll be in Orlando.” She said, “Oh, that’s great. It’s easy for me to fly there and coordinate a team of Florida therapists.”
(Wow! She even knew how to overcome objections!)
As Sandra left, I thanked her profusely and tipped her handsomely. She deserved it. She delivered. Big time!
(She of course left behind business cards, as well as additional literature on the benefits of her company and massage. Great “sales marketers” always plant the seed for the next sale. They use a singular positive event, to position and leverage a customer for a lifetime of value.)
As I entered the bathroom to shower, I noticed something was different. When I exited the shower an hour earlier, I engaged in the “shower dance.” You know, that little jig where your feet precariously straddle the tub. Then one foot remains firmly implanted in the tub, while the other one futilely searches for a safe landing on that tiny bath towel mat on the hotel floor. An experience akin to parachuting from a few thousand feet and landing on an M&M!
However, the tiny-target bath mat was gone. In its place, Sandra had draped a large bath towel across the floor. She made sure my wet feet would be dry and comfortable for the demanding two-step journey from the shower to the sink!
(She created another moment of massage magic. She anticipated a problem and solved it. It was a bonus or unexpected extra.)
Upon return trips to Dallas, Sandra has continued to work wonders on my sore and tired body. And, to this day, she’ll call or e-mail me to stay-in-touch, to say hi, to simply let me know she’s “Thinking about me and my health and well-being.”
(Follow-up breeds success, when it happens after each sale and before the next sale.)
Sandra’s company is Mobile Massage. I think it’s really mobile success! So the next time you’re in Dallas and need a body or business boost, give Sandra a buzz. Oh, be sure to request the deep-penetrating wintergreen!
Bonus points or winning ways:
- How can you upgrade your “contact points” or “moments of magic” with your customers?
- How are you developing long-term profitable relationships vs. merely completing a singular sales transaction?
- What inexpensive and unexpected extras can you deliver to customers?
- What problems or needs are your customers and prospects likely to have? How can you offer them pre-emptive solutions?
- How effective is your follow-up after a sale? How can you improve it?
© Blackman & Associates, LLC
Tales of terror!
A client recently asked me, “Jeff, what are the worst things you have ever seen a sales or businessperson do?”
Yikes! Just remembering these tales of terror, sends shivers down my spine!
Okay, the following may be weird, frightening and painful, yet they are all true!
Believe it or not and I ain’t kidding, from the simple faux pas to the unforgivable, here are some of the acts I’ve seen or heard business buffoons and sales slobs commit:
- tell dirty jokes
- ignore ringing telephones
- stare at customers, yet not greet them
- leave French fries, half-eaten burgers and open mustard containers in the sales or display area
- be sloppily attired
- b.s. with other employees, while ignoring customers
- clean their nails
- complain about; their work, company and leaders
- read a book, play a game, watch television or stay glued to their computers, while eager customers wait to be served
- argue with customers
- talk with food or a pen in their mouth
- frequently glance at their watch while with customers
- open their mail
- smoke and flick ashes on their office carpet
- refuse to help a customer, because they were on break or headed to lunch
And, here’s the funniest thing a salesman recently did, while his cell phone was ringing:
|Me:||“Would you like to get that?”|
|Him:||“No! I never answer my cell phone, when I’m with a customer!”|
|Him:||“Nope. You have my total attention. I’m here just for you. Although, let me check caller-id to see if it’s my wife! Oops. It is. I’ll be right back!”|
Plus, here’s the funniest thing a saleswoman said to my wife:
|My wife:||“Hi, could you please help me?”|
|Her:||“Oh, sorry for the wait. It’s so slow and I didn’t expect to see anybody today. The mall is dead!”|
|My wife:||“Well, I’m alive!”|
|Her:||“Hmmm. Yes, yes you are!”|
Do you recognize yourself or one of your teammates in any of the preceding examples?
Customers often make hasty generalizations, like, “Whoaa, if that guy is such a jerk, bet everybody in this place is a jerk!” Hey, who said this is fair! It’s tough to create a “wow” when you’re perceived as weak or whiny.
What are some of the bizarre behaviors you’ve seen? Please send them to [email protected] and we’ll add them to the next tally of terror. And give you credit for sharing them.
© Blackman & Associates, LLC
|P||Provocative or Playful|
|I||Inspirational or Informational|
|T||Thoughts or Theories|
Forget about working 9 to 5. Here’s the actual sign posted at the Art Expressions store in Northbrook, Illinois:
Open most days about 9 or 10. Occasionally, as early as 7, but some days as late as 12 or 1. We close about 5:30 or 6:00. Occasionally, about 4 or 5, but some times as late as 11 or 12. Some days or afternoons, we aren’t here at all. And lately, I’ve been here just about all the time, except when I’m someplace else.
Room-service with a “bite.”
Me: “Hi, what’s your soup-of-the-day?”
Shirley: “Don’t know. But do know, today my husband is driving me nuts!
© Blackman & Associates, LLC
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Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller), and the revised 4th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults