Spread Roots and Be Indispensable
"WE DON'T tell upper management everything that the machine can do. If they knew, well… (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) then there would be more work for us."
A colleague of mine spoke these words to me while I was researching a rotary engraving machine. I'm still amazed that he actually said that to me—out loud. I refrained from commenting, but on the way out the door I whispered to a staff member of mine, "If I ever say anything that resembles that comment, please remind me of this day, and I will gladly resign."
The biggest problem with my colleague's statement is that this attitude will run through your in-plant like the H1N1 virus with the same calamitous results. However, the opposite of this "say no first" attitude can be equally contagious. Say "yes" to your customers and provide them with every service and solution that you possibly can. Go the extra mile on every job, every time, and up-sell, up-sell, up-sell. If you set the example, your employees will follow.
Perhaps the most famous up-sell ever, and we've all heard it, is "Would you like fries with that?" Always give your customer the option for "fries."
We recently had a customer order 20 certificates that were going to be given to attendees upon completion of a particular conference. This was certainly not the kind of job that would help me justify new equipment or staff.
The customer told me that they just "hand them out at the end." I suggested that they would look better framed, and the customer agreed. We bought pre-matted frames that looked more expensive than they were, and delivered 20 framed certificates. The best part of this story is since that day we have completed more than 400 framed certificates for that customer and have received orders from others. Even the customer's language changed; whereas they used to "give them away," they now "present them to attendees." In this scenario those frames were the fries.