Thursday, June 26, 2008

Be Nice to Everyone

I have this theory about successful radio personalities. It also goes for entertainers and Business leaders as well. As I look back on my life and think of all of the the radio personalities that have achieved great sustained success, for the most part, they all have one thing in common. That is, they are all involved with the community and they make time for their fans.

They might raise toys for kids around the holidays or do food drives, shoe drives, they are the spokesperson for a charity, or they champion a cause. What ever it is, they take their notoriety and influence and give back to the community. They are also the ones who recognize that if it were not for the fans they would not have a job. They go out of their way to meet them, greet them and talk with them and make them feel special.

Today in Fred Jacobs' Blog, he highlights a story written by writer Matthew Berry talking about his first job out of college. Berry was working at FOX TV with the late George Carlin on his sitcom. Berry remembers what a great guy Carlin was and how he would gratefully take the time to autograph pictures and memorabilia for fans. When asked why he did it, Carlin responded......

"I always do it. No matter what. Look, it's 30 seconds out of my life. And now those people had a good experience. And the next time my name comes up, for the rest of their lives, they'll say 'Yeah, I met Carlin once. He was nice.' I'd much rather that than a lifetime of 'Yeah, I bought all that guy's albums and then he wouldn't even sign my hat. That guy was a jerk.' Thirty seconds for a lifetime? I'll do that every time."
Fred went on to comment......
"George Carlin understood a lot about the human condition and what made people laugh - and think. But he also had a keen sense of what entertainers bring to the lives of fans, and the relationships that are created in the process. In our world of radio, these relationships still matter, and in fact, are very much a part of our "secret sauce."
George got it! So do Matthew and Fred!

Read Fred's Blog Here.
Read Matthew Berry's story about George Carlin Here.

For us broadcasters, we remember Carlin for something else, "The Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say On Radio or TV". To this day I still have them memorized!

Watch it here. Be careful if you are in the office or kids are around.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Closer to Number One, The Closer We Are to The Money

Sales trainer, author and Phoenix broadcast veteran Jim Taszarek has an interesting perspective on how to maintain and grow radio revenues in a tough economy.

Here is what he had to say in his recent "Quota Busters" Newsletter.

"We’re just paying the price of a few fat years. When times are good we fall back into the delusion that the big money is Agency. We’re repeating history of "There are no Ups - Up." My darlings, when will we learn? Avail money is the Easy, and as we’re again seeing, very Temporary Money.

The BIG money is in Local Direct. The more Face-to-Face selling we do with decisions makers, the more we’ll sell. It's more often billing that sticks to the wall. The more we work through an intermediary or a third party, the less control we have – and when times turn, even a little, we get whacked. This applies to 90% of the businesses in the world.

Buyers and Agencies don’t create budgets. Some other guy determines that, and THAT'S where we should be spending our energy. The further we are from the top - the further we are from significant and manageable billing. The closer to Number One, the closer we are to the money. Simple".

Jim is 100% correct. In order to succeed in sales, especially in this business climate, sellers need to get back to the basics, work smart, present great ideas and most importantly get face-to-face with the #1 decision makers.

You can subscribe to Jim's "Quota Busters" News Letter here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lesson Learned Part 2

Turn around is only fair!

Less than a week after shooting off a letter to US Airways regarding my treatment on a recent flight, I was pleasantly surprised by a note I received from their customer relations department.

They were very apologetic about the incident and appreciated my feedback. Furthermore, they offered Fran, myself and the girls travel vouchers as a gesture of good faith and to "convey their apologies".

I expected a letter. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect a travel voucher.

You have to give it up to US Airways. They took a page right out of the customer service handbook and confronted the situation head on and did the right thing to try and make things right.

Thanks US Air. I appreciate it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lesson Learned

Being very big on customer service, we just got back from our summer vacation and I wanted to share this story with you. We were very fortunate this summer and went on a cruise in Europe for seven days. We took the girls and had a great time.

On the way over we flew US Air. Fran and I are both Elite flyers with them, Fran a Gold and me a Silver. We flew from Phoenix to Philadelphia and then on to Athens. More than eighteen hours on the plane.

Our flight to Athens was delayed three hours due to mechanical problems. I understand this, I sure don't want to be over the Atlantic and have there be problems. Although, We were a bit frustrated that we had to stay on the plane the entire time that they were fixing the problem.

Fran and I sat together and were separated by a few rows from the girls. This is were the story gets better.

Every hour or so, Fran or I would get up and check on the girls to make sure that they were doing OK. Towards the end of the flight, I was standing in the aisle leaning over talking to the girls when a flight attendant intentionally elbowed me in the back and told to go back to my seat. I looked at her and explained that I was checking on my girls and asked her why she was being so rude to me. She then lashed out at me in the middle of the cabin in front of my children and the group that we were traveling with. She yelled at me and called me a "Goof-ball and a Hideous human being". (I've been called worse) I'm not embellishing or exaggerating, she was yelling at me at the top of her lungs and everyone in the cabin was watching!

Needless to say, I was very surprised by her action. My initial response was to give her a piece of my mind but the thought of being escorted off the plane and thrown in a Greek jail when we landed was not the way I wanted to start my vacation. I calmly suggested to her that it was people like me that ultimately paid her salary and went I went back to my seat for the last hour of the flight. I should have kept my mouth shut, bit my tongue and walked away, but I was tired and frustrated at the way I was being treated. I did nothing wrong. I did what every parent would do. The seat belt sign was off and all I wanted to do was check on the girls. Don't lash out at me and call me names in front of my friends and most importantly my kids!

Further more, I don't know what was going on with the crew on this flight, by enlarge they were all pretty cranky. This is not what they promote in their new trans-Atlantic Envoy service.

Conversely, on the remaining flights back home the flight attendants were great and both of our flights arrived early.

So here is the lesson learned. We had four flight segments on US Air. Three of them the service was great. One of them the service was horrendous. When you look back at this post, how much time was devoted to the positive service versus the inferior service? When I talk about my summer vacation, do you think I'm going to be talking about the good service or the bad service on US Air?

Finally, If you want to learn about customer service that goes over the top, read about Crystal Cruise lines. US Air could learn a lesson from them.

My father always taught me that there are two rules in business.

Rule #1) The Customer is Always Right
Rule #2) See Rule #1

The lesson learned, Don't be rude to your customers, It's bad for business!!!