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Archive for April, 2013

How Many Of Me Are There?

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Have you ever thought to yourself, “How many people have my name?” Well I have and with the help of my oldest son (thanks J.D), I was able to find out using a fun website.

Before I tell you the website here are a few stats about my first name:

    • There are 15,783 people in the U.S. with the first name Merrill.
    • Statistically the 1,495th most popular first name.
    • 90 percent of people with the first name Merrill are male.

And my last name:

    • There are 686 people in the U.S. with the last name Dubrow.
    • Statistically the 36,129th most popular last name

The website that my son told me about is howmanyofme.com and it was really fun site to visit.

There are 315,658,458 people in the U.S.  So I ask you:

    • How many have your name?
    • How popular is your name?
    • Do you like your name better now that you have done a little research?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Time For A Fun And Quick Friday Quiz…

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Over the years we have all heard some very popular phrases. Time to take a quick quiz and see if you can fill in the blanks:

Click here to take the quiz.

I look forward to your answers.

Three Things That My Dry Cleaner Doesn’t Do That Every Company HAS TO DO!

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

I drop off my clothes at the dry cleaner weekly and the staff is always friendly. A hello, good bye is always said but there are a few things that are missing.

A few weeks ago I dropped off some clothes as well as picked up and paid for the clothes that I had dropped off the week earlier. As I was getting out of the car I asked my son (thanks J.D.) to bring in my dry cleaning and he actually said, “Dad – these clothes don’t look like yours.” As I took a quick look he was 100% right and two minutes later we were back at the dry cleaners exchanging the wrong clothes…. I hoped. Thankfully after 15 minutes they found my clothes and life was back to normal and my shirts were back with me. The interesting thing was what the owner said or actually didn’t say. The only thing he said was, “Thanks for bringing back the clothes,” which I thought was very odd. There was no sorry for the mix up… no sorry for any inconvenience… in fact, no sorry at all.

  • Lesson number 1: Say I’m sorry. It isn’t a sign of weakness; it isn’t a sign of embarrassment. Frankly it is a sign of honesty and sincerity, and it shows the customer you really, really care about them and their business!

In the past few months I have also noticed that my dry cleaner will give me a date/time when my clothes will be ready. Low and behold when I show up, they aren’t. I understand that you can miss a deadline but when you know you have missed a deadline, say something; they have my phone number and email. Make a call or send a text/email.

  • Lesson number 2: Everyone will miss a deadline. Doing nothing, sweeping it under the rug and not communicating is a huge mistake and CAN only cost your business in the long run!

This next one was actually very funny or at least I thought it was funny. I lost one of my buttons on my shirt and asked my dry cleaner to sew it back on. They said, “No problem at all and it will be ready when the rest of your clothes are ready.” A few weeks later I wore the shirt that they had fixed and noticed the button (on my sleeve) was actually a different color than the one next to it. My dress shirts have two buttons on the sleeve so it is very easy for me to notice. I looked at the bottom of my shirt where there is always extra buttons sewn in and low and behold, all of the extra buttons are still there. Ok, I will admit I did chuckle a little bit.

  • Lesson number 3: Pay attention to details. It is the SMALLEST of details that can and WILL affect your business the most.  Rest assured if you pay attention to details your enterprise has a much better chance to be successful.

So I ask you …..

  • Do you want to be like my dry cleaner or the exact opposite?

I look forward to reading your comments.

“What I Want To Be When I Grow Up” By 9-Year-Old Guest Writer, Riley Dubrow

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

What did you want to be when you were growing up? For me, I have many choices and I would like you to help me pick.

My choices are:

1. Professional Lego Builder – I would like to do this because I like to build with Legos. My favorite Legos are the 1 in 3 packs. The 1 in 3 packs mean that there are directions for 3 different figures in 1 box. Do you like to build Legos?

2. Biologist – I would like to be a biologist because I like learning new things. What I mostly want to learn about are reptiles. Do you have any reptile stories for me? Do you own any reptiles?

3. Theacher – I would like to be a teacher because while I am teaching I can learn new things, too. It is cool to watch new videos and have people learn about what we are studying. The subject I would like to teach is math. Do you have any hard math problems for me? Not too hard since I am in 3rd grade.

I look forward to seeing your comments.

Attention Researchers: Who Is In Your Research Hall Of Fame?

Friday, April 19th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was  listening to sports radio and the topic was the Hall of Fame. Mike Greenberg was discussing the differences for the hall of fame in a number of  sports and the criteria for having a team retire a player’s number.

Of course this got me thinking a little bit about this great industry I work in and think about the criteria and candidates for our research hall of fame. I am sure there are a number of research hall of fames but I thought it would be fun to start our own.

Click here to add your comments to the ballot.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Working For The Weekend… I Say No…

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was working out and the music I was listening to was Loverboy (please don’t laugh).  “Working for the Weekend” came on and as I was singing along (ok, not well) I started to think about the name of the song and the meaning of the phrase.

One of the things I always say when I am mentoring people is to be passionate about your job. Always do something you love to do so you will always enjoy what you are doing and give 110% each and every day.

Well, the name of this song is the exact opposite. To me the song represents people who don’t like their job, don’t like where they work or what they are doing.  That’s really unfortunate and I am sure very frustrating.    

I am sure we all know people who are working for the weekend.

The question is:

  • What advice do you give them?
  • Is there a way to guard against having this happen?
  • If the situation happened to you, what would you do?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Is It A Client… Or A Partner?

Monday, April 15th, 2013

When I started out in this great industry (way, way, way back in the day) every client was called… a client. Now that isn’t always the case. Companies have some clients and they also have some partners.

The question is: What are the definitions of each category and do companies always use the right label to describe a relationship.

Here is my definition:

  • Client: A client to me is a company that you do business with, they pay you for your services and those services are pretty much transactional. In a lot of ways this can be viewed as a commodity business. My dry cleaner, cable provider would consider me a client.
  • Partner: A partner to me is a relationship that is very important on both sides. Both parties see and understand the benefits and tend to be very loyal to the relationship. A partner is a very important relationship and one that allows you from time to time to call in a favor. Whether that favor is a discount in price or a better timeline. You have a vested interest in the relationship and when there is an issue or mistake, no one goes off the deep handle. The situation is discussed in a professional manner and a resolution is found very quickly. I would like to think that I would be considered a partner of our handyman Gary and companies like Marriott & American Airlines.

Anyone who is in a leadership position would like all of their clients to be viewed as a partner, but in reality that isn’t the case. By putting the wrong label on a relationship you are potentially giving yourself a false sense of security. And yes, we have done this at M/A/R/C Research. By calling a client a partner when in reality they are a client, you are viewing yourself much more important than you really are to them and very quickly the relationship can go away. Longevity doesn’t always mean a client is a partner – and yes, we have made that mistake as well.

By not putting the right label on a relationship you can’t maximize your opportunity and value to that company. Take a few minutes today and take 20 companies you do business with and put them into one of the two buckets. Take a deep breathe, a step back and I promise you will be surprised by the results.

And after you do that, let me know what you found and changes that you might make. But first,

  • What is your definition of a client?
  • What is your definition of a partner?

I look forward to reading your comments.

PS. We actually did this last year and it helped us go deeper with some of our relationships and turned four clients into partners!

What Else…?

Friday, April 12th, 2013

The two words I would love for you to think about are “What Else”. These two words might be the most important and critical words for your company in 2013!

    • WHAT ELSE can you do to help a colleague?
    • WHAT ELSE can you do to make your proposals better?
    • WHAT ELSE can you provide to one of your current clients?
    • WHAT ELSE can you do to increase efficiencies?
    • WHAT ELSE can your marketing department be doing to promote your company better?
    • WHAT ELSE should you include on your website?
    • WHAT ELSE can you do to turn a prospect into a client?
    • WHAT ELSE can you do to turn a client into a strategic partner?
    • WHAT ELSE can you do to move your company forward?

WHAT ELSE? You tell me!

I look forward to reading your comments.

1,000 And Counting…

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I can still remember the discussion of the staff trying to convince me to start a blog. For weeks and perhaps months, I said no. No matter how they asked or what they said, the answer still was no. Well here we are 6 ½ years later and today this is my 1,000 post of this blog. By the way I should have said “yes” sooner and this post would be my 1,100.

Amazing! I have learned so much during this time. Even though I wrote every post unless the title states “guest writer”, there are so many people who work behind the scenes to make this blog a reality. Most blogs come and go or have large gaps of time between posts. Our team doesn’t let that happen! The internal team of S.H., B.T, E.L. and especially C.D. is as good as it gets. They review everything I write for grammar, spelling and flow. They program questionnaires when necessary and find the appropriate pictures. They do a great job every week – THANKS!

The blog started August 1, 2006. During this time I hope the readers have learned a few things, joined in on a discussion or two and enjoyed some of the crazy contests we have had.

Moving forward I promise to continue with crazy, passionate thoughts and the same energy that I have always had. One of the things I will be adding is having my kids as guest writers once in a while. I hope to have them write their first post in the next month.

Thank you for reading, sharing, learning and expressing your thoughts. That is what life and this blog is all about…

I Love Working With These Types Of People

Monday, April 8th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was interviewing a potential candidate to bring on board, and during the discussion the person asked me what type of people I like to work with. I thought the question was very interesting, strategic, important and thought-provoking.  I have interviewed hundreds of people and I don’t believe I have ever been asked that question. After I paused for three seconds, my answer was:

  • Passionate
  • Hard working
  • Over achievers
  • Team-oriented

So now I ask you:

  • What types of people do you like to work with?

I look forward to reading your comments.