Attention to detail

The question is, "which detail?" We've become obsessed with the kind of detail that doesn't matter:

The number of keywords on website content

The length of a blog post

The color of the Call to Action button

The size of the font

The emotion-packed words we use

Creating an 'urgency' to drive immediate sales

And so we spend so much time on details that when the BIG moment arrives we're too busy and we drop-the-ball.

The moment? When something worked and someone replies to an email, leaves a voicemail or asks a question on social media.

I have always had two rules about business:

If you're too busy for my business you will never hear from me again.

For every complaint we get, there are at least ten others who didn't bother and just went shopping elsewhere.

Here's the thing: why spend all those marketing dollars if you're not able to respond to every inquiry? Why waste time analyzing your marketing spend if you're not serious about serving customers?

Answering an inquiry, picking up the phone and following up on a previous call are the kind of details you should be paying attention to.

Let me illustrate with a recent example:

I am in the process of publishing my first book. It's an overwhelming task but I'm close and at the stage of selecting a publisher. I came across a local publisher who claimed that he is the guru of self-publishing. I decided to explore and wrote him an email with some questions. Nothing. I made the mistake of downloading an eBook which he (mistakenly) took as permission to flood my inbox with daily emails. I gave him a few days, hey people are busy, I'm reasonable. Nothing. Normally, and at this stage of bad service, I would bail, but I decided to call. The person whom I spoke with was clueless and kept feeding me with "you can find this on our website" answers. Still nothing, this time I'm done: I opted out of everything and created an autofilter to delete any emails I get just to be safe.

So here's a publisher who is in the business of very fine details, his website was good, his content was great, his Call to Action was smartly crafted and got me to sign up - great stuff, except what mattered most in order to get a sale; just answer my question, I was almost there but now I'm gone forever.

If you want to grow your business, heck if you want to stay in business, you must, I repeat, you must see the world from a customer's perspective. Quit falling in love with your own brand, it isn't about you.

There's absolutely nothing worse than creating an expectation and then failing to deliver. While this was one of many publishers out there, being ignored is personal. Spending valuable time engaging with a business just to be dismissed is, from a professional standpoint, business suicide. Close the door and throw away the keys: business ownership is not a feel-good adventure, it comes with a lot of responsibility and accountability.

Should every email be replied to? Yes

Should every phone call be answered by a knowledgeable and friendly person? Yes

Should you follow up on any of the above to see what else your prospect/customer needs? Yes

Should everyone in the company be in a meeting while calls are going into voicemail? No

So next time you're in a meeting arguing over pointless details like red versus green or "call now" versus " get them while they last", listen to the phones and look at your inbox; chances are there's more business potential there and you're just one step away from seeing nothing but green.