M/A/R/C Research
Search the blog:

Archive for October, 2009

Attention Best Buy: Right Question, But You Need To Add Another One . . .

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Okay, let me start by saying I shop at Best Buy. Yes I have a Rewards Card and use it often and yes I run (actually sprint) to the store every time I get a Rewards Coupon. I love the store and really enjoy shopping there. As you walk into the store you are always greeted by a greeter who welcomes you. When you are in the checkout line the cashier will always ask "Did you find everything that you were looking for?" Great question–appropriate for sure. I am sure some customers say, "Well actually, I was looking for blank and didn’t locate it."

Last week my son wanted me to go to Best Buy and purchase a new DVD movie. As always I walk into the store and the greeter welcomes me and I go in and browse. But this time something different happens: I look around and can’t find the DVD. I assume it is coming out next week. So I walk out of the store without buying anything.

Yes a "good-bye" – from the greeter – but nothing else?

I say why is that?

I believe they are missing a great opportunity to engage a customer who just was in their store and didn’t buy anything. Why aren’t they asking me:

  • I noticed you didn’t buy anything – can I help you find the item you were looking for?
     
  • Oh – I know you were looking for this but this item will also accomplish the same thing.

To me, they aren’t taking customer service to the next level.

They are missing a great opportunity and frankly they are letting revenue walk right out the front door.

What are your thoughts?

  • What do you think about what I described?
     
  • Are there other stores that do the same thing?
     
  • Do any stores stop customers that are leaving empty handed?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Never Too Late To Try Different Things

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Yes I am getting older. With each day, week and month that passes I do get a little older and perhaps – who knows? Maybe I’m even slowing down a bit. Regardless of that I say it’s never too late to do something that you wanted to do. It is NEVER too late to experience something that you want to experience.

You want to:

  • Learn how to ski
     
  • Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
     
  • Travel to Australia
     
  • Participate in a triathlon
     
  • Run a 5k road race
     
  • Write a book

I say do it, and do it now! Come out with a plan and make it happen. Remember you only go around once, so make it the best it can possibly be and experience everything that you want to experience.

Okay. With that said.

  • What are you going to try and experience in the next year?
     
  • Where have you always dreamed of going but for some reason keep putting it off?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Baseball Fans: Time To Fill In The Blanks.

Monday, October 26th, 2009
Nomar Garciaparra

As you know, I love baseball. Over the past decade there has been so much movement with players, it is sometimes challenging to keep up with the player and their new team. Some of those changes worked out and some didn’t. Some players never should have taken the money and switched teams and they would have been better off and perhaps happier if they had stayed where they were. Remember the grass isn’t always greener somewhere else. 

Here are a few examples of what I am talking about:

Nomar never should have left the Redsox. Yes he was traded, but really forced the Redsox to do so. He was amazing in Boston and could have been incredible for many years if he had taken the Redsox offer–which as I recall was fair at 60 million for 4 years.

Manny Ramirez never should have left the Indians. Manny had great numbers in Boston and has done ok in LA but how happy is he? In Cleveland he had great stats and was in a small market where the media isn’t in your face 24/7. I have a feeling (just my opinion) he loved it there and wish he stayed and oh by the way–the Indians offered almost as much money as the Redsox.

Now your turn. Who makes your list?

Please fill in the blanks.

 

_______  should have never left the __________?

 

I look forward to reading your comments.

Sometimes It’s Okay To Come In Second!

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

I’m sure the title of this post made you think I was nuts and perhaps crazy.  Yes I am competitive – ok very competitive and want to come in first all the time. As I get older it’s about a lot of things. Effort and how you show up are very important.

About a month ago we found out we didn’t get a piece of business that we wanted. Yes we want all business for which we are lucky enough to send a proposal, but this business was a little different.

It was a nice-sized project, and would have given our team a chance to utilize some different skills. As part of the project we would have been given an opportunity to present this to our client’s clients and be involved in the sales process which would have been very cool. Also the main contact at the client is one of the nicest people I have ever met in the research industry. He not only is very intelligent, he is very, very caring about his research partners and kept us informed every step of the way. His communication skills are a benchmark for everyone’s communication skills. In addition, the project was in the sports industry so you can see why we really wanted this piece of business.

Our proposal that we sent was solid. The client narrowed the potential vendors from ten to four and we were one of the lucky four. Next stop: a trip to NY and a presentation in front of the client team which was ten people. Although I was there, I talked very little but rather watched our research team razzle and dazzle the client. Our team of SH and SH was great. They knocked it out of the ballpark and frankly in my mind couldn’t have done anything better. We had a terrific methodology, a great research plan and they both answered all of the clients’ questions like champions.

Frankly I was–and still am–VERY proud of both of them.

Well we didn’t get the business. Our contact scheduled time with our team to review the reasons why we weren’t selected. Side note: don’t we all wish clients would do that? How many times do you send a proposal and NEVER hear back from the client?

The bottom line for me was we not only tried our best, we really performed at a very high level but weren’t awarded the prize. Since we gave it our best, did everything we possibly could, I say "Sometimes it’s okay to come in second!"

  • Do you agree with that statement?
     
  • Do you have to win in everything you do?
     
  • What are some of the things you teach your kids about winning and losing?
     
  • Have you been proud of your team or yourself when you have come in second, third or beyond?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Isn’t It All About . . . FOLLOW-UP?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

If you want to go to dinner and the movies with your friends, you need to make plans and then follow up to make sure it happens. If you want to play tennis or baseball you need to make some calls, coordinate everyone and follow up. If you go to a conference and meet a few prospects, in order to turn that into revenue and a new client you need to follow up. When you are in the middle of a client presentation and one of your contacts asks a question that you might not be 100% sure of the answer, you need to follow up in a timely fashion. If not, your customer service will take a hit and frankly your contact will probably be unhappy.

To me it’s all about follow up. You interview for a job. Send a follow-up email/letter. You win a project . . . send a follow-up email/letter. You lose a project . . . the same thing should happen. Someone gave you a birthday present . . . Guess what? Follow up.

The question is, how is your follow-up?

  • Are you really good at it?
     
  • Do you have some best practices you could share?
     
  • Do you have friends that you make plans with and they never follow up and you never see them?
     
  • How do you feel when you give a gift and there isn’t any follow up?
     
  • How are your vendors/partners follow-up skills?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Time To Give Some Advice

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Everyone has an opinion and most people like to share it. Well today is the day where you can share your opinion and give some advice. You can base your advice on a gut feeling, experiences you have had, maybe a book you have read or something your parents taught you many years ago.

Here are the subjects you can give advice on:

  • Someone just graduated college – what advice do you have for them?
     
  • Someone just got laid off – what advice do you have for them?
     
  • Someone just got into a heated argument with their best friend – what advice do you have?
     
  • Someone just broke up with their significant other – what advice do you have for them?
     
  • Someone got caught skipping school – what advice do you have for them?
     
  • Someone is struggling to pay their bills – what advice do you have for them?
     
  • Someone isn’t speaking to their parents or siblings – what advice do you have for them?
     
  • Someone didn’t get that promotion they were promised – what advice do you have for them?

I hope you will pick one or more of the topics and give your advice.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Hey David Tyree, What Happened?

Friday, October 16th, 2009

So there I am in Las Vegas with five of my friends. It’s a Sunday in February and the big game is only a few hours away. No, I am not referring to a poker tournament or a black jack table. I am referring to the Super Bowl. This game would be amazing. It has my undefeated New England Patriots against the New York Giants.  Since the Patriots had beaten the Giants a few weeks earlier and they hadn’t lost in over a year, one could make a case that they would win this game as well. I actually don’t really want to spend too much time on the game (congrads again Giants fans) but rather one play and one football player.

His name is David Tyree. He was born in NJ and was a sixth round draft choice of the Giants. He didn’t catch a lot of passes during the year but during the Super Bowl that all changed. He made one of the most amazing catches ever. It made every highlight reel and in fact I believe was the ESPN play of the year. The play was known as the "helmet catch." David leaped high over everyone (especially Rodney Harrison) to make an amazing catch and help lead the Giants to a Super Bowl victory. Without that catch they probably would have lost the game.

I am sure there were a lot of people, myself included, who thought this was David’s coming out party. Next year would be a break-out year, a perennial Pro Bowl player and who knows–the hall of fame. Ok maybe I am stretching it a little bit.

Yes he got hurt the next year in training camp and a few weeks ago the Giants cut him.

  • What happened?
     
  • Did he not work hard enough?
     
  • Was that his only moment to shine?
     
  • Did he lack talent?
     
  • Did he get complacent?
     
  • I am sure we all know people who haven’t reached their full potential — was David one of them?
     
  • What advice would you give him?

I look forward to reading your comments.

This Hat’s For You!

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Those of you who know me really well realize that I like to wear a suit and tie to work. I guess I am old school (thanks Dad). But on the weekend it’s a different story: jeans, shorts, tee shirt. And most weekends one more piece of clothing: a hat.

Last week I was getting dressed and the last thing I went to put on was a hat. So I went into my closet and picked one out. Not an easy choice for me since I probably have a few hundred hats. In fact in my office I have 11 hats hanging up on the wall. They include:

  • Redsox
     
  • Dallas Stars
     
  • Dallas Cowboys
     
  • UNC
     
  • Hofstra
     
  • DePaul

And a Superbowl hat with the St Louis Rams and New England Patriots logos.

As you can see I have lots of hats and frankly really like hats. The question is, what are my favorites? Which ones mean a little extra to me? Which ones won’t I wear out in the rain? Please stop laughing. I am sure many of you have hats you will or won’t wear out in the rain.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • No surprise the first one is a Boston Redsox hat that is red with a Sox logo and the word "Believe" across it. Love the hat and got it during the 2004 playoffs when the Redsox won the World Series.
     
  • I also love a dark blue hat with the number 8 on the front. I actually won the hat in a bet (thanks RH) and the 8 is the number of my favorite player Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski
     
  • Another one of my favorite hats is from the 2008 NBA Finals. The hat has the Celtics and Lakers logo on it with the word "Finals" across it. I went to the game with my college roommate (KW) and had an amazing time.

Your turn.

  • Do you wear hats?
     
  • What is your favorite hat?
     
  • Do you like your significant other in a hat?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t We All Want To Be Like Tennis Star Venus Williams?

Monday, October 12th, 2009
Venus Williams

Recently I was watching the US Open and a match involving Venus Williams. It was early on in the tournament. In fact it was her first match against Vera Dushevina and she was in a real battle. Yes, her opponent was playing great but that wasn’t really it. She was hurt, Venus was struggling physically and had a problem with her knee. She wasn’t moving well at all and you could see the pain on her face and her body movement. Not too far into the match Venus had to call for an injury timeout. She needed to have her knee taped and then try and fight through the pain and win the match.

What was amazing wasn’t the fact that she played great and won the match. The amazing thing to me was the fact that she didn’t want to talk about the injury. She gave a tremendous amount of credit to her opponent and didn’t want to make any excuses at all. Every question that was about the injury Venus deflected like the pro she is and turned it into a positive. That was the amazing thing for me! No matter what, she had an amazing smile on her face even though she could barely walk.

  • So I ask you don’t we all want to be like Venus Williams?
     
  • Wouldn’t it be great if our staff was filled with people who always tried their best and never made excuses?
     
  • Wouldn’t it be great to have a team of people who always performed at a high level even if they aren’t feeling well?
     
  • What other athletes never make excuses?
     
  • Wouldn’t it be great if we never made excuses?

I look forward to reading your comments and getting your point of view.

Some Fun Pictures For A Friday . . .

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Ok so it is Friday and time for some mindless fun. Take a look at the pictures below and tell me what your favorite picture is:

Giant Squirrell

 
Giraffe and Ostrich

 
Baby Monkey

 
Rowdy Granny

 
Cow Crop Circles

 
Doggies in Baby Carriage

 

For me, I have two favorites. I could see the squirrel saying something like, "Hey honey. Can you crop the two strangers out of this picture?" or maybe, "Hey guys, smile!" And I am still laughing at the dogs in the stroller. Here are a few captions I came up with: "Hey has anyone seen my bone?" or "Can someone please let go of my tail?"

Ok your turn:

  • Which one made you laugh the loudest?
     
  • And for a bonus, do you have a caption to go with your favorite picture?

I look forward to reading your comments and captions.