Last week I received an email from a member of my team with the following words:  “We got a bad review on Google”.

 

Turns out, it was even worse than I thought.  Much worse.

 

It was the one and only review our company had on Google (we never had any reviews at all) giving us a rating of 1 not-so-shiny star (out of 5).  Additionally, the review went on and on (over 1000 words), listing some of my employees by full name alleging every imaginable wrong committed.

 

Obviously, this was something we had to correct from every angle. We immediately tried reaching out to the upset client to see how we can make things right but he refused to take our call.

 

(After taking my head out of the oven) I sat down to do some research on how to best mitigate the damage.  After all, 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews online.

 

The first and most important step is to respond to the review online.  Here is what we posted:

 

Dear XYZ,

We are deeply sorry to hear about the issues you’ve experienced.  Nothing pains us more, than even one unhappy client.  Please reach out to me directly and I will do my utmost to right the wrong.

Sincerely,

Shoshi Miller

Client Relations Manager

855.323.8300 Ext. 2155

 

The next thing we did was advise our customer service team to ask the clients they were working with to leave us a positive review.  Hopefully we would outweigh the one negative review with many positive ones.

 

This story has an happy ending, but one that is totally unpredictable.  That evening an old friend (and current client) knocked on my door.  He lives about 100 miles away but was in the area and stopped in to say Hello.  After a bit of catching up I shared with him the above story.  We chatted a bit more and he left.

 

The next day I get a voice note from my friend saying “I just finished a 2 hour lunch with Mr. XYZ at his house and the review will be removed shortly”.  I was completely floored!  My friend had looked up and tracked down the negative reviewer, drove an hour out of his way, bought lunch, and spent over 2 hours hearing out the client and communicating another side of the story. This was a whole new definition of the word SELFLESS!!!

 

So now the review is gone but the lessons learned are everlasting:

  1. Make sure the customer has a platform to voice their grievances.
  2. There are selfless people in this world!
  3. (Most Important!) Do not wait for the bad review to start getting good reviews.

 

On that note, I turn to you dear reader with a personal request: If you are satisfied with our company, please go to Google.com leave a positive review for us.

 

@Michael Greenfield = SELFLESS    May you be blessed!

 

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!
Kevin

We got a bad review…

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Yes, I’m back!  After a 2 month hiatus I return to my weekly blog to ask you, my dear readers, for advice.

 

Earlier today I was sitting in on a weekly sales meeting at one of the companies I’m involved with. I listened to the sales team lament about the difficulties they were experiencing closing sales.  They told me how the prospects love the service, they all agree it would be a great system, the price was right, but for some reason they can’t seem to get the prospects to cross the finish line.  No one was in a rush to sign up.  The sales guys would walk out of the meetings with the words “Let me think about it” echoing in their ears.

 

The issue was clearly a lack of urgency on the prospects side, which would cause them to delay making a decision and ultimately put the whole thing out of their mind.

 

My first thought was to create a sense of urgency by using the age-old tool of scarcity.  Tell the prospects we are only taking on a limited amount of new clients and there are only a few slots left.  Or, perhaps, offer special pricing incentives which expires after a certain amount of time.

 

An example of successful use of this tool would be Amazon’s “Lightning Deals”:

is it urgent - amazon

However, after spending some time doing research on this topic I have learned that perhaps the real sense of urgency does not come just from external motivators.

 

Take this real life example:  I am long overdue a new suit.  I keep pushing it off due to my busy schedule and wishing to avoid the painful process of shopping at the crowded local stores.  I have turned the page on “SALE 80% OFF” and “3 DAYS ONLY” time and time again.  It was only when my suit ripped that I picked myself up and went out to buy a new suit.  What changed – the need was clear – now it was urgent.

 

By really listening to the prospect, understanding their current operations and pain points, asking probing questions like “is there room for improvement” “are you committed to resolve this issue”, getting the prospect to clearly see what they are lacking, and then showing them how the solution will help them – once that is crystal clear – then it’s urgent.

 

Do you agree?  Reply and share your thoughts.

 

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!
Kevin

Is It Really Urgent?

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21 years old, having just left the Army, Michael Newby started out as a route driver for a small uniform company in Bayside NY. Knowing nothing about the industry, his job was to pick up soiled clothing and deliver fresh cleaned uniforms. Now a young 67-year-old, he is President & CEO of Superior Uniform Services and is joined by 3 of his sons in running the operation.

Is your business primarily a laundry service or uniform business?
Many people mistake us for a laundry service. We do actually launder the uniforms but that is incidental. We are a uniform rental service. Automotive, manufacturing, laboratories, etc., come to us to create uniform programs for
them. It is our responsibility to make sure the employees look clean and professional. If you have service technicians meeting with your customers, you want them to look presentable.

How do you deal with a client whose employees destroy their uniforms more often than normal?
We charge a monthly fee per uniform. Our goal is to maintain the uniforms in top condition as long as possible. We do take some risks and, in some cases, such as the one you describe, we will have a lower ROI.

So how did you go from a route driver to being the owner of your own uniform company?
After 4 years as a route driver I was offered a position at another uniform company, where after undergoing psychological testing (things were different in the 70’s!), they gave me my first taste of management. A few years later I joined my current company which was owned by a very hands-off CEO. He sat me down and said “it’s yours son” and walked out. That forced me to learn it on my own – literally opening drawers, reading everything in the file cabinet, which turned out to be one of the best things that happened to me.

And then you married the boss’s daughter?
No 🙂 For 40 years I was content to run his company and move up the ranks. I became President in 2005. I’m a blue-collar guy and am close to all my employees. As my children got older and joined the company they gave me
the push to take the one giant step I never took in my life – buy the company!

Since you were President of the company and knew the finances prior to buying, why was it such a big step for you to take?
There is always the fear of taking on the responsibility. I was an employee. I vacationed whenever I wanted. I traveled the world. I even went to Jerusalem and stood at the Wailing Wall! (This is probably a sin, but I put a note in the
wall for my dog who was undergoing an operation at that time. He came through fine!!) Owning your own business always carries a risk and can be scary.

With the advance of new laundering technology are you afraid companies will do this service in-house?
History has shown that most times when the companies and/or employees are responsible for their own uniforms they are not maintained properly. The larger companies would never do this on their own.

How has technology helped you in your own business?
The industry has definitely been getting more automated. The washing machines are now fully computerized and automated. Detergents are injected automatically during the entire wash cycle. Another place where technology has helped us, is with our payments. Banquest set us up with a beautiful easy-to-use system for automatic monthly billing which ensures our cashflow always remains positive.

That’s it folks for this week.

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling (and a very Happy Purim)!

Kevin

 

Banquest Client Spotlight: Superior Uniform Services

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We continue to highlight some of our premiere clients. “Experience is a master teacher, even when it’s not our own.”  Join us as we get an inside view of our fellow business owners’ struggles, strengths, and experiences!

This week’s interview is with:

Dovi Levi, Financial Manager, Kayco

Background
Starting from humble beginnings delivering tea biscuits and grape juice off a truck, Kayco is a family-owned company that is the merger of Kedem Foods, Kenover Marketing and B&W Foods, made to incorporate hundreds of food products. Kayco is unique in its ability to handle a portfolio that includes over 100 brands (some of them competing products) that create added value for the consumers while maintaining a competitive edge.

 

It seems that Kayco acquired many successful food brands. Do you have any competition out there?
We did acquire many quality food companies, but we still have competition. Competition keeps us on our toes and us makes us work harder to be even better.

 

What makes a food a “classic” that sticks around forever while other foods are fads that come and go?
There is no magic wand that tells us what will be a winner product. We focus on bringing good quality products that the market will appreciate, and the rest is from above. For example, the Gefen Organic Beets (fresh vacuum pack beets) is one of the best-selling products in Costco because of its superior quality. When we first introduced the product – our sales reps were very hesitant because they didn’t know how to eat it themselves!

 

Was there ever a product that you brought to market that was a total failure?
Absolutely!  Many times. I’ll give you an example: when the price of Honey was skyrocketing we created a “Honey-Blend” product that is not 100% honey but tastes just the same. Turns out the consumers did not like the idea and preferred 100% Honey rather than a less expensive honey-blend.

 

When we were dealing with one of the largest food retailers in the US they asked us ‘what is our fail rate?’.  They wanted to hear a high number! To be innovators in any industry you have to be willing to take risks and the failures that may come with it.  

 

As the leader in Kosher Grape Juice for over half a century, what would you say makes Kedem Grape Juice a better choice over competing brands?
60 years of doing it again and again!  Practice makes perfect.  We are grateful to grace the table of every Jewish home and celebratory event.  From the first drops a baby tastes at his Bris to the Kiddush Friday night; we are part of the family.

 

What is the most far flung place that you produce food in? 
We produce in Spain, Thailand, El Salvador, and really all over the world. We source food from whichever location produces the top quality.

 

It seems that many large food companies process their credit cards with Banquest. Kedem, Astor, Gefen, Paskesz just to name a few.  Is there some kind of food connection?
I guess people with a discerning palate like good service!  We found that with Banquest we were truly educated on how the payment industry works.  Most companies we’ve worked with in the past tried to make things as confusing as possible so we don’t ask too many questions.  The Banquest team took the time to educate and helped us save tens of thousands of dollars.  Another value Banquest has is the service continues long after the sale. Whenever there is an issue they respond within the hour!

 

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

–Kevin

Banquest Client Spotlight: Kayco

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