The Competitive Advantage
March 10, 2015
Internet viewing trends
As regular readers of this column know, every Saturday morning, I go to the same local coffee shop to spend a couple of hours working “on” my business… not just “in” it. I do some writing, review email and social media metrics, plan out the upcoming week and record the past week’s Google Analytics.
Rarely do the Google Analytics surprise me… but this week they did. Of all the visitors to our website this past week, 24.8% of them came from a handheld device or tablet. That is, 1 in 4 visitors were not using a computer! It was the highest ever – up from an average of about 1 in 6 just the middle of last year – and the continuation of an ever-increasing trend.Continue Reading
March 3, 2015
In last week’s post, I wrote about several things NOT to do in a booth when exhibiting. And one of those was giving away cheesy “merch.” I believe that things like pens, mini-frisbees and logo’d post-it notes just don’t deliver lot of value for the exhibitor.
However, I did see one exhibitor at the CASRO Digital Conference a couple of weeks ago with what may have been the best booth giveaway ever… and for a couple of reasons.Continue Reading
November 18, 2014
My son, Alex (see photo), is a senior finance major at the University of Tennessee. After interning this past summer in the wealth management division of a large bank, he stayed on and has been working there this semester. He’s been very fortunate that one of the senior executives there has taken him under his wing and been a good mentor to him.
Alex was home this weekend and we talked about his boss/mentor. A really interesting lesson that Alex took away from him was the regular giving of gifts by his boss to his clients… and not just at the holidays, but all year round.
That got me to thinking about our industry… Is gift-giving (outside of December) a common occurrence? Should it be? Does giving gifts help to build relationships? Or guarantee a client’s on-going patronage?Continue Reading
July 16, 2014
My kids got me a FitBit for Father’s Day… it’s a device you wear on your wrist that acts as a pedometer and comes with an app to track weight, diet, activity, etc. Pretty neat little item and a good reminder to stay active. Nice.
And if you achieve a certain level of activity – say, 10,000 steps in a day – it sends you a little ‘congratulations’ email. Again, nice.
But yesterday, I got an email telling me that my FitBit battery was getting low on power and needed to be recharged! What?! OK, it’s a small thing… but it’s also one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Somebody at FitBit was thinking – and in real-world terms, too. Yup… they dazzled me.Continue Reading
July 9, 2014
We invoice all of our clients monthly… but recently took on a new client that wanted to pay with a credit card. No problem. I called the credit card processing company we had used in the past to make sure that we could accept AMEX, to go over the monthly amount and to let them know we’d be processing the card manually.
You would have thought I asked for nuclear missile launch codes! I was going to have to send in an exception request every month, talk to the “limits department” and so on. What a ridiculous pain-in-the-a**!
Coincidentally, I had coffee with my bookkeeper that same afternoon and told her the story. She suggested I look into Square.com – the company that provides that little device that merchants use to take credit cards with their iPhones, etc.
Holy cow! What a difference.Continue Reading
June 11, 2014
Yeah, I know… we all live in a web-of-all-things, socially-connected, technology-driven world. There’s no getting around it. But even with all those bits and bytes whirling around in the cloud, regardless of what we do for a living, we are still in the “people business.” And because people are the decision-makers and the key drivers of success, the following saying becomes even more relevant…
All things being equal… people do business with people they like. All things NOT being equal, people STILL do business with people they like.Continue Reading
May 6, 2014
As I write this, I’m flying home from several days in Southern California, after working with a couple of clients. In both cases, there were just a few people sitting around a table, collaborating and working toward a common goal. We did some planning, talked strategy, bounced ideas off of each other and, in the end, left with To-Do’s for each of us as we move forward together.
But more importantly… we also shared a meal, laughed, talked about families and discussed summer vacations. It was real human-to-human interaction.Continue Reading
March 26, 2014
I’ll bet you do.
But have you ever thought about WHY they’re your favorite client?
Interestingly, it’s almost never the size of the client. Bigger isn’t always better. And it isn’t always those clients that have the employees you connect with on a personal level – though that’s surely part of the equation.
More often, it’s defined by the ‘relationship’… and specifically, by the collaborative nature of it:Continue Reading