Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Nov 17
2020

Passing on the Business Culture

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Every business has a culture of some type.  The most effective businesses determine the type of culture best suited to serving their customers and teach that culture to all employees. One culture does not necessarily fit all organizations. For example, a business that serves customers with one-time transactions may not need to develop a strong relational bond with customers.  However, relationship building is critical if your goal is a long-term business interaction.

When an organization believes building strong customer relationships are crucial, effective leaders teach this principle to employees. They train their staff about how to build and maintain relationships and the importance of taking the time and effort to ensure these relationships remain in place.

Nov 14
2020

Case Study: Customer Service

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Great American Furniture owns seventeen furniture companies that manufacture and sell all types of furniture to stores throughout the United States. The company developed a standard practice that all orders will be shipped within 25 working days.

Kankakee Furniture Company of Illinois, a subsidiary of Great American, developed its own system of entering orders and confirming expected shipping dates with customers. Orders are tracked, performance records are kept, and a report is generated confirming that shipments are shipped within the agreed-upon dates.

Nov 11
2020

Lessons from Disappointments

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We all face disappointments occasionally.  As adults many of us commit to work through these challenges. Most of us just muddle along and learn as we go. 

When each of us experiences disappointment, regardless of age. we need to be able to talk through setbacks with others. Additionally, we need to go to the Lord and ask for grace to accept the disappointment. We also endeavor to learn from these experiences.

Nov 05
2020

Qualifying Customers

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My experience has taught me that most salespeople do not adequately qualify prospects. Knocking on doors, sitting in front of a prospect, writing proposals is not necessarily the most effective way of getting business. We need to engage in an orderly process to properly qualify customers.  Then, we can focus on those who are the best possible prospects.

First, determine if a customer has the finances to buy the product or service. Do this by asking the customer if they budgeted for the cost. I worked with an award-winning landscape architect who fielded calls from people wanting yard work. My client focused on projects at $40,000 and above. Customers looking for a $5,000- 10,000 job were not an effective use of time. My client simply referred them to other landscaping services. While it is important not to arbitrarily reject prospects, we need to make a reasonable determination about their ability to afford what we are selling.

Nov 02
2020

Compounding Mistakes

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Once I was called to traffic court as a witness and found the proceedings interesting. A couple of cases highlighted the importance of not allowing one mistake to trigger a second and more serious error.

In one case a man was charged with failing to turn left from a left only lane.  Instead, he cut back into the right lane to go forward, cutting off the car in front. Unfortunately for the driver, there was a police cruiser behind the cut-off vehicle. The man told the judge that he found himself in a left only lane but realized he needed to go straight.  “What was I supposed to do?” the man asked.  The judge said that he should have turned left because he was in a left turn lane.  The judge pronounced the defendant guilty and issued a fine. The driver could have made the inconvenient left turn and still found his way to his destination with only minor inconvenience.  Because he didn’t, he ended up with a fine, a conviction on his driving record, and significant hours taken from his day.