That was "just easy"...and Sales
My new iPad was delivered last Monday. On the marketing bell curve, I’m on the far left side of the “early adopters”, and although I’m no longer sleeping on the sidewalk waiting for the store to open, I always like the excitement of new toys. Most of the time the new toy syndrome plays out perfectly in products such as Apple’s, and sometimes it backfires like when I bought that piece-of-junk Touareg the week it was introduced. With computer products, back in the day, I would then block out the rest of the morning and afternoon to upload, download, plug in, plug out, reboot and reboot again after reading through inch thick manuals.
Not with Apple. Starting up the iPad was "just easy”. Nothing to read except a very tiny piece of 3x3 paper in the package thanking me for the purchase. Already charged, it accessed my iCloud, did some stuff, then accessed my music, did some more stuff, verified my email address, asked a couple of questions, I typed in my password, it verified, it did some more stuff again, and it was done. Complete. Over. All in 30 minutes after I greeted the UPS guy. Just easy!
I was a happy camper, but day two, a tiny windshield-kind of crack appeared on the glass, and by the end of the day, my new toy was depressingly cracked from edge to edge. In a hyperventilating mode, I contacted Apple support, and she gave me two options: return it by mail or just walk down the three blocks from my office to the Apple store, and they would "work it out". Better yet, she made a Genius bar appointment for 30 minutes from then. I was in the store 15 minutes later. Met my guy, Shane, a fellow Vermonter, and I left 30 minutes later with a new iPad and all of my stuff already transferred over. No cost, no hassle. Just easy!
For years, I have loved finding an excuse to shop at Staples and at Home Depot. Ordering online at Staples is even better than just easy (hence… the “That was Easy” marketing tag). Search, click, checkout, reminds me of what I have been ordering, deducts my Rewards points, remembers my credits cards and various locations. Click, click, done. Just easy! Home Depot, the same way, but there I enjoy the F2F experience…mostly because I want to feel and touch, (it’s a guy thing) and their assistants are bright, cheery and extraordinarily knowledgeable.
Which got me to thinking about the question of do I and my guys make it easy for our customers to do business with us? I think so, but I plan to spend time in April asking this question directly of our customers, both big and small. I’m wondering how they will rate us.
As importantly, do we make it easy for new prospects to understand what we do, our value proposition and how they would enter a consulting arrangement with us, especially since strategic business planning and sales optimization planning both sound very similar to having a root canal? On this issue, I’m not sure that we do a really good job, so I’m about to begin my once a year, April-June, detailed review of our website, our content and our value proposition. Painful, detailed work, but it needs to be done just like spring cleaning, but this year, I’m going to keep in mind last week’s Apple experience which was the epitome of “just easy in sales and service” Definitely an A+.
Perhaps in this week's sales meeting, you might ask everyone on the team how would they would rate your own company’s experience of being “just easy” to do business with? Plus, as a salesperson, how would your prospects personally grade you in terms of being easy to do business with?
In the meantime, Good Selling this week as you put the finishing touches on the quarter!
Derby Management, Box 171322, Boston, MA 02117-Please note New Address
As most of you know, I'm a marketing professor at Tufts in my spare (?) time, where I have the pleasure of working with juniors and seniors in a unique program. Each semester, I embed five students/team into six companies to execute on complex, semester-long, marketing assignments, and I am now looking for companies for the fall semester. Companies have ranged in size from emerging startups to large corporations. The common factor is that they all have interesting and complex marketing projects. If you're interested, just email me, and I will set up a call to discuss this with you. It's a great opportunity to solve the marketing project idea that you've been thinking about, but haven't had the extra resources to put to it.
Derby Management, Box 171322, Boston MA 02117