Posts Tagged ‘customer retention’

Got any stories?

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

One of Robroy’s favorite things to ask a CEO is, “Got any stories?”

After a couple of decades of listening to their replies, I’ve finally made an important distinction about story-tellers.  The good ones teach us something about themselves.  And the great ones teach us something about ourselves.

Imagine having the ability to do this with your clients and employees.  To help them learn more about themselves by the stories that you tell.  Imagine the bond of trust, appreciation and loyalty you’d develop.

“Does that really work?” you ask?  Well, let’s see what we can learn from five Baltimore CEOs who, by Robroy’s definition, are great story-tellers:

1. Greg Cangialosi, CEO of Blue Sky Factory, never was a sales guy, and yet sold his business for millions of dollars.

2. Bernie Dancel, CEO of AscendOne, realized that, unless he helped others, they would never be free.

3. Marty Mintz, CEO of Northern Pharmacy, withstood large, faceless competition to keep the corner drug store open for its 70th year.

4. Myra Norton, CEO of CommunityAnalytics, had to experience great sorrow before coming to trust her team.

… and, finally, a lesson from the past on what not to do:

5. Captain Isaac Emerson, CEO of Bromo Selzter, advertised a headache remedy for troubled marriages, while building monuments to his own failed marriage around Baltimore.

As for me, I’d say I learned that I am human.  I’m afraid of being misunderstood.  I’m afraid of losing business and losing love.  I’m afraid of having my loved ones die.

But I’m not afraid to go for it all, anyway.

How about you, boss.  Got any stories?

See Robroy LIVE!  http://bit.ly/qhmqek

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Granny on the roof

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Every time I drive by, I get a kick out of the corner drug store in my neighborhood in Northeast Baltimore City.  I love how they’ve adopted a marketing stunt from auto repair shops of the 1950s.  Not a car but a motorized wheelchair sits on the roof of Northern Pharmacy.  It’s as though some hotrod granny overshot the parking lot, climbed down, did her shopping, and forgot where she’d parked.

I recently had a chance to interview the owner, Marty Mintz, for a story in the Baltimore Business Journal.  Here’s the column.

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Home-wrecker

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Most men in their 40s have no idea how close they are to losing their wives.

In their 30s, the wife was the one at risk.  She had to worry every time he went on a business trip.  But now it’s the husband’s turn.  He is fat, gray and balding – while she is still curvy, dark haired and hot-blooded.  He is looking for the sports.  She is looking for the action.  He’s thinking, “What’s for dinner?”  She’s thinking, “Why should I wait 15 years to divorce him, when I can do it now, while I’m still young and beautiful?”

The same thing happens in business.  You think you are doing everything possible to keep the customer satisfied.  In fact, I’ve known far more CEOs committed to their customers than to their wives.  But even that committed relationship can fall apart if you don’t keep it fresh and exciting.  There’s a home-wrecker lurking in every lobby.

So how can you save your customer base?  The same way you can save your marriage.  Surprise them tomorrow.  Show up, unannounced.  Sweep them up in your arms.  Tell them you are blinded by desire.  You can’t stop thinking about them.  You want them; you need them; you must have them.  Then deliver your custom solutions.  Implement your paradigm shift.  Oh, baby.

And when it’s all over, if it ends, it ends.  But if you can pay attention well enough, and if you can be responsive long enough, you just might come away with a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

And if that happens, don’t thank Robroy.  Just doing my job.

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