Here is another two-part message. Those of you who know me will easily recognize these four rules:
80/20 Rule – This rule is uncanny in its effectiveness. It implies that 80% of your profit originates from 20% of your client base. What does this, as far as Customer Service is concerned? You must identify which clients are contributing most to your eating habits and treat them accordingly. No, you do not have to treat everybody equally. You do have to treat everybody honestly. Identify your top 20% today and thank them for stopping by.
1.6% Rule – This is a rule I founded myself resulting from a little math following the Winter Olympics a few years back (Nagano, Japan). The difference between a gold medal winner in the men’s downhill and the seventeenth place finisher was less than 2% in time differential. In a race that takes 1 min and 30 seconds (90 seconds) that isn’t much difference between first and seventeenth place.
This rule can influence your future. To be really good at what you do doesn’t mean you have to be a lot better than your competitors. It implies that if you are just a little better in a number of different yet meaningful areas, you will be destined for the medal stand. Believe it.
The Rule of Reciprocity – This rule implies that what goes around, comes around. When you perform a service or do something nice for somebody, they often feel that it is their obligation to return the favor. A personal example of this is when my wife and I once entered a flooring store seeking nothing but information. The storeowner was so receptive to all our questions that we would have felt guilty if we left the store empty-handed. We actually looked around for something that we could justify. And yes, we left with a product and receipt in hand. I am sure you have many stories of your own to support this rule. Another phrase in the service business that supports this human phenomenon is known as the “Give Before You Get” philosophy.
The Rule of 7 – If you could follow just one rule, this would be it. The Rule of 7 is both simple and profound. It ensures your visibility in your marketplace and serves as a constant reminder that when you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Making seven contacts in each 18-month period is the letter of the law. Email, letters, phone calls, personal visits and any other contact maneuver you can think of qualifies as one of the seven. As long as you consistently pop back into the prospect’s mind from time to time you will be adhering to this rule. There is nothing sacred or magical about the number seven or 18. The message is to maintain a consistent and persistent visibility in the lives of those you care about.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.