April 2010

April 2010

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter April 2010 Issue 52


Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
Copyright 2010 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

In this April 2010 issue:
Thoughts from the office
Thoughts from the road
Thoughts from others
On the road in 2010

Special notice: My office will be closed from April 19 – May 7. Please place any product orders by April 16 for immediate service.


Are you looking for meaningful topics for your CSR staff meetings?

Great Service Sells: How Great CSRs Turn Service into Sales – book and audio CDs

A ready-to-use customer service program for your agency staff meetings!

Designed for CSR group learning in staff meetings using both the print book and accompanying audio CDs. Presented in 21, five-minute chapters, the tips, techniques, real-life stories and personal challenges offer a year’s worth of training sessions. For a complete list of chapters and facilitation tips, go to www.sellingstrategies.com. Newsletter readers receive a 20% discount by using coupon code NEWS11 at checkout.


1. Thoughts from the office

I met the customer from hell. It was me.

In last month’s newsletter I relayed the story about how an emotional abscess developed into a painful physical abscess. Here’s the story behind it.

My new print book, Great Service Sells, is also an audio book. To create the best quality recording, I decided to use a local recording studio. The editing and final production would still be done by Jack Burke, my long-time friend and ace audio man who lives in Branson, MO.

To meet multiple deadlines, I plan ahead and work ahead. I chose a local studio operated by Mark (not his real name), who was well qualified for my project. We set a recording date.

I authorized him to do some “it won’t take long” additional work and he gave me a completion date of one week when he would be uploading the file to Jack. He shared with me that his father-in-law was ill and he was spending time with family, but assured me one week would be enough.

One week went by, then two weeks with no contact. I left him a couple of phone messages and sent a couple of e-mails. Three weeks had passed. No response. Thanks to www.whitepages.com I was able to find his home phone number and left a couple of messages there. Finally, I heard from him and he said he’d have it to me in several days. Two more weeks passed with no contact.

I had met Mark’s wife during the recording session and learned where she worked. It only took a few phone calls before I located her at work. I told her my story and how I was desperate to know the status of my project so I could move forward. She was pleasant and reassuring and at the same time quite surprised to have been brought into the matter.

By midnight that night, Mark had sent everything to Jack. The quality was what I hoped. Mark apologized profusely. He also did the right thing and discounted the cost to offset the inconvenience. However, the one thing that should have been done and influences whether I will use his services again was to keep me informed of the changing status.

The irony that the project title is Great Service Sells has not escaped me.

Customer service lesson: To a customer, there is something worse than bad news. It’s bad news that isn’t delivered.


Great service starts with honest communication. EH


2. Thoughts from the road

John and I finally made time when visiting my mom in Arizona to visit Pinnacle Peak Patio in Scottsdale. Serving mesquite-grilled steaks since 1957, Pinnacle Peak Patio is best known for its “no necktie” policy. Their website reports that this “no necktie” tradition was started one night when a Phoenix executive came in for dinner. The original owner, wanting to keep the atmosphere in his restaurant casual, told the executive, “Either you take that tie off, or I’ll cut it off.” Over the past 48 years, restaurant workers have cut over a million ties from unsuspecting customers.

John and I were having dinner when a family of four came in. The mom, dad, son, and daughter all were wearing neckties. Goodwill-style neckties. The kids were wide-eyed as they looked at all the ties hanging from every rafter. The family was seated and soon enough, snip, snip, snip, snip. The children were given thumbtacks and told to hang their ties. It was great to watch.

After dinner, we sauntered into the gift shop and met up with the family. Turns out, they were visiting from San Francisco. The father had visited the restaurant with his father when he was the same age as his son. He was beaming from ear to ear. He said that the joy of giving his children the same fun experience he had with his father is overwhelming.

What is it that brought you joy as a child that you can share with a child you love?


The Energizer Minute

This month tune in to hear Make a Date with Yourself. Go to the www.sellingstrategies.com home page and click on the Energizer Minute.

3. Thoughts from others
Making peace
“If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” Thich Nhat Hanh


Consulting, coaching, and workshops to stay up to date with current business trends and approaches:

Phone consulting to Create an Effective Marketing, Sales, and Service Plan for agencies with fewer than eight people. Learn more on the website consulting information page.
Strategy planning consulting and facilitation Professional facilitation and guidance enable owners and managers to agree on goals, strategy, and implementation. Establishing priorities, creating action plans, timelines, accountability and follow through generate results.
New producer development and sales coaching Customized personal guidance for new producers. Includes sales plan creation, structured curriculum and phone coaching,
Workshops – Turning Service to Sales for CSRs and Client Based Selling for Producers
In-house workshops for agency sales and service staff. These sessions fast forward individual skill building resulting in improved customer retention and new business growth.

Presentations Speaking topics include Lean and Mean Management, Selling from the Inside, and Kick Your “But” to name a few. Additional topics on the website information page.

For more information, www.sellingstrategies.com or emily@sellingstrategies.com or 888-309-8802.


On the road

Business travel is taking to me these places. Please give me a call if you’d like to connect when I’m in your area.

Consulting engagement in Charlotte, NC – private client – April 7-8, 2010
Speaking engagement in Des Moines, IA – private client – April 11-13, 2010
Speaking engagement in Appleton, WI – private client – April 14, 2010
Agency Management CIC, Edison, NJ May 14, 2010
Consulting engagement in Charlotte, NC – private client – May 18-19, 2010
Consulting engagement in Phoenix, AZ – private client – May 25-27, 2010
Consulting engagement in Pittsburgh, PA – private client – June 23-25, 2010
Agency Management CIC, Minneapolis, MN July 14, 2010
Agency Management CIC, Oklahoma City, OK July 21, 2010
AASCIF Conference, Lexington, KY July 25-29, 2010


Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2010 Emily Huling. All rights reserved. Feel free to share our newsletter if copyright and credit are always included.

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