PanaSupply's Top Ten Business Tips Can Help in Personal Life, Too
PanaSupply, a developer and distributor of a wide range of telecommunications products, has added a page of business advice to its website. While some of the advice is specific to the telecom system installation business, much of it is applicable to all businesses, and to life in general.
Company president Michael N. Marcus said, “lots of companies can collect money and ship boxes, but there are two things that make PanaSupply different. We have unique products that are not available from other distributors, and we have knowledge accumulated in nearly 30 years in business. We are pleased to share our experience to help our customers, and everyone else.”
Here are the Top Ten Business Tips from PanaSupply:
1. Sometimes it's best to turn down business. Some customers are such pests that no amount of money will compensate your company for the angst and aggravation you'll have to endure. Over-eager salespeople will make a deal with the devil, because they'll never have to see him again; but your service staff will suffer. Salespeople should learn how to read the signs. It's not hard to detect a lunatic. If business is slow, it's tempting to ignore the signs and take on a "suicide mission;" but it's a mistake. A nasty, crazy, demanding, slow-paying customer can suck up resources that should be devoted to nice sane folks who pay their bills on time.
2. It's impossible to keep every customer happy all the time, but we all want happy customers (and relatives). Sometimes you'll have to bend or stretch your rules a bit. Sometimes you just have to seem conciliatory. One great response to a screamer (which could be a customer, parent, spouse, child or partner) is "what would you like me to do?" That simple question usually quiets the screaming, encourages the person to think rationally, and implies (but does not actually promise) that you will grant the request.
3. If you're going to miss a payment date to a supplier or a bank, call in advance and let them know, so they can plan. Creditors like to receive money, but truthful information is also high on their list. Don't try to BS them with "your check is in the mail."
4. Encourage public service. If a traveling employee sees a disabled car, he or she should stop and offer to call for help, or even change a flat tire. Freud said that every encounter between a man and a woman is sexual. Similarly, every encounter between your staff and others is advertising. Make sure it's positive advertising.
5. Make sure your vans and trucks clearly identify your company name, and display your phone number, specialties, and slogan. Make sure the vehicles are kept clean and that body damage is fixed promptly; and warn employees not to do anything stupid while using company vehicles (or any vehicle).
6. If you have employees sitting around with nothing to do, tell them to go through the Yellow Pages of the phone book to look for sale leads. Every new book has new potential customers.
7. If you're having trouble collecting the final payment, or if a routine service bill is unpaid after several months, ask the customer for a credit card number. It's better to get 97% than 0%.
8. When negotiating a sale, particularly in a competitive market, you can add value without cutting your price. Offer to upgrade a couple of items, or provide a freebie, or extend the warranty. The customer will view the saving based on resale price, but your added cost is based on the wholesale price. Sometimes you can be a hero by giving away things that cost you nothing, or even things that no one will buy.
9. It's tough to compete with suicidal Internet dealers and auction sellers who sell at a few dollars above wholesale cost. Even "protected" product lines show up on the web, thanks to desperate dealers and greedy wholesalers who bend or break the rules. Don't make the mistake of selling at a loss in anticipation of future revenue that may never come. If you are asked to match a low price, offer to also match the service (which is probably no service at all). Or, if someone asks you to meet a price, you can try saying something like, "since you can already get the lower price, why do you want us to sell for the same price?" At that point, the prospect will probably recite a list of reasons why your company is better than Ebay or Cheapcheapcheapcheap.com; and it should be easy to make the sale.
10. Cherish and reward your good employees, and cut the bad ones loose as soon as you realize they are hopeless, or they can topple the entire organization.
Michael N. Marcus