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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Oct 18
2018

Create Customers

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Management expert Peter Drucker frequently said that the purpose of any business is to create customers. As simple and accurate as this statement is, we often miss the mark.

The challenge arises when we make decisions based on what we prefer to offer versus what our customers demand. An example is “Ken” who owns a pet store that targets healthy ingredients for animals. Ken decided to carry only expensive products. I pointed out that he could easily carry less costly products that would appeal to a wider cross-section of customers and increase sales. By my perspective Ken was too narrowly focused on the product line. He could easily maintain healthy products for pets while adding some lower-cost products. He simply would not do it. In going over a number of issues about how Ken ran his business, I believed Ken was more interested in providing what he wanted to sell rather than focusing on what customers demanded. I tried to repeat that I was not suggesting that he forgo his passion for healthy pet food.  I simply wanted to show Ken how to create more customers.

Oct 15
2018

Don’t Waste Time While Driving

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I spend time in my car that I don't like to waste. I can divide my driving into three categories:  long trips of several hours or more, 30 minute trips and trips of uneven length as I drive around town making visits to customers and prospects. I don’t want to waste my drive time.

For long trips I listen to downloaded preaching messages or business books on audio when it doesn’t interfere with my driving concentration.  When I'm not driving I'm able to take notes. Anytime I read a book, my goal is to learn one or two ideas I can implement.  I'm not looking to remember a lot of detail, but if I can utilize three ideas effectively.

Oct 11
2018

Managing Customer Expectations

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I've read that “disappointment equals expectations less reality.” If I go on a fishing trip expecting to catch 30 salmon a day but only land three, I may be disappointed. However, if I go salmon fishing expecting to catch one or no fish but bring home three, I get pretty excited. The difference is my expectation. Likewise we need to make sure that we manage our customers’ expectations appropriately to avoid future disappointment.

When I have done consulting work with clients, I endeavor to match expectations to reality from a time, cost and result framework. An example would be if I'm assisting a business owner in improving the work results of an employee, I explain that in most cases the best you're going to accomplish is a 10% to 20% gain. If this is not the results you require, then you might be better off discharging the employee sooner rather than endure the pain of a long process. I explained that rarely can a manager take a person producing D-level work and raise them to A-level.  It is more likely that you can get them to produce at a C-level.

Oct 08
2018

Do Not Fear the Day

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

An organization, Study Finds, released a report indicating that when we fear the day in front of us; our day becomes more stressful, reduces our focus, impacts our memory and decreases our productivity. The full article is here:  https://bit.ly/2LBkijS

The Lord spoke to Joshua and said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Oct 04
2018

Being Predictable and Reliable

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Some years ago I offered “Ken” a summer job.  He called me the day he was supposed to start to tell me he had decided to take another summer position. Later, Ken asked me several times about part-time work.  My short answer was no thank you. 

I've been reading more articles about how some job applicants simply don't show up for interviews. They simply fail to contact the company that they are no longer interested. If someone simply doesn't show up for an interview but tries to set another time to talk, why would the company want to hire a person who has already demonstrated unreliability?