Tag Archives: Comcast

Are Your Employees The Best People To Sell Your Product?

Stereotypical Employee Photo

A recent WSJ article noted that 10% of Microsoft employees (about 10,000 people) use iPhones to access their email, an interesting statistic when many smart phones that run on a Microsoft platform are available.

Closer to home, after canceling Comcast cable for AT&T U-verse, Comcast sent a rep out to pick up my equipment.  In conversation, he revealed that he uses Direct TV at home, instead of Comcast, because Comcast did not offer discounts to employees and DirectTV was more affordable.

Both stories got me thinking: While your employees can certainly sell your product without using it, imagine how much more effective they can be if they actually use your product as well.

What can you do to ensure your employees become advocates for your products/services?

  1. Make Employees Customers. Even if you have to subsidize the product, make sure your employees use your product over a competitor’s.  Car dealers have “dealer” cars so their sales people can speak intimately about the products they are selling based on their own experiences.
  2. Educate. Let your employees know everything about your product (good and bad).  Don’t let them find out about any functions or problems from a customer.  When the latter occurs, it can cause unnecessary conversations among the employees about the quality of your product.
  3. Transparency. Communicate with your employees regularly about your services.  If you are making changes, tell them why.  It will help them better communicate with consumers.
  4. Let Them Compare. You want your employees loyal to your products, so encourage them (and even subsidize) using a competitive product/service.  This will allow them to see how your product is different and will help in emphasizing your product strengths from a personal experience.
  5. Ask for Feedback. When your employees are using your products/services, you now have a in-house focus group to gain learnings on how to improve your offerings. Asking for their feedback, and acting on it, will foster loyalty among employees and ultimately create a better product.

No matter how good your product or service, your employees are integral to selling the product and connecting with the consumer.  Give them every opportunity to get to know your products and services better, and your efforts will pay off in so many ways.

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Never Contradict Your Brand

jm-fat-burneAs an exercise boot camp instructor, my guilty pleasure is NBC’s The Biggest Loser.  I appreciate the no-nonsense approach to weight loss:

  • Burn More Calories Than You Consume
  • Make Good Food Choices and Eat In Small Portions

So I was surprised to find Jillian Michaels – an extremely tough-minded trainer who thrives on reminding her trainees that there are no shortcuts to weight loss – lending her name to sell fat burning and weight loss supplements.
Doing so not only contradicts her brand; it also contradicts the Biggest Loser brand. Not surprising, as companies often contradict their brands.
For years The Home Depot swore it would never have sale prices because they always offered the lowest price.  Even before the economic downturn, they began offering sale prices instead of sticking with brand position as the lowest price provider.
Comcast promotes increased efficiency with the speed of their Internet service.  You can hear this promotional message at least 25 times as you sit on hold waiting to talk with a customer service rep.
A former client of mine wanted to be known for operational efficiency, but regularly invoiced their customers incorrectly.
Your brand is the combination of many things:

  • The customer experience with every touch point with your company
  • Marketing
  • Office/retail space
  • Packaging
  • Customer reviews
  • Web Site/Social Media presence
  • Invoicing
  • On-Hold Time/Messages
  • Guarantees/Return Policies

When managing your brand you need to evaluate your entire operation to make sure your message is communicated consistently. Any contradiction can begin to erode your brand without you even knowing.

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