Relationship Building Back in the 1980s when I started my business, I read just about any book that I felt could help me. Back then if you went to the business section of the bookstore, there was maybe one shelf of books. One of those books was Harvey Mackay’s Swim with the Sharks without Being […]
Back in the 1980s when I started my business, I read just about any book that I felt could help me. Back then if you went to the business section of the bookstore, there was maybe one shelf of books. One of those books was Harvey Mackay’s Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive. His company, Mackay Mitchell Envelope, is a prime example of how the product (envelopes, stationery and other printing products), while important, is really second to the customer service and relationship that he gives his customers. That philosophy made this book one of my “go to” business books.
Some say the book is a sales book. Some say it’s about customer service. Both those topics are covered, but my biggest takeaway from the book was about relationship building, which crosses into virtually every area of business; from sales to customer service, to management – to just getting along with the people you work with.
One of the most powerful tools in the book and there are a lot of them, is the Mackay 66. The best way to describe this is in Harvey’s words (from an INC Magazine article):
When I was a young salesman, I developed the Mackay 66, a 66-question customer profile that includes absolutely no information about the envelopes a company buys, but rather focuses on the person who does the buying. What are they like as human beings? What are they proud of accomplishing? What’s their life like outside the office? How do they want to be seen by others? In other words, what makes them tick?
The big lesson here is something I’ve written about before, and it is worth repeating:
Don’t focus on the sale. Focus on the person.
You may not only get the sale, you may get a customer for life.
In addition to the typical business questions, many of the 66 questions are personal. Some of my favorites are about where the customer went to school, what sports they were interested in or played, favorite menu items, proudest accomplishments and more.
You won’t get these answered at your first meeting. It will take a while, and it’s worth it. Harvey has an important philosophy that when you have a good product, a good customer service experience, and a good relationship (and a good place to start is by getting the answers on the Mackay 66) it will be very difficult for a competitor to come in and take your customer away from you. And while price is always important to the customer, because of the relationship you build, there is more price elasticity. Price becomes less relevant because of the value of the experience and the relationship.
So, take a few minutes and download, at no charge I might add, the Mackay 66. I’m sure you’ll find it is an excellent investment of your time.
And speaking of value, Harvey has created what he calls his Harvey Mackay University. Not long ago, Harvey started a mastermind group, where the members paid $150,000 to attend. In addition to the brainstorming that happens during the meetings, Harvey brings in outside speakers such as Sir Richard Branson, Lou Holtz, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard and many more. He recorded these presentations, and now he makes them available to the public. Plus, you get eBook versions of all of Harvey’s New York Times bestselling books. All you have to do is enroll in Harvey Mackay University. I don’t normally endorse programs like this in this newsletter (This is actually the first time!), but the content of this program is of such high value, and Harvey’s offer is so compelling, that I have to share it with you. To enroll in the online University usually costs $990, however, Harvey is offering the program to our readers at just $100 – that’s not a typo! And half of that will be donated to The Cancer Support Community, which helps support cancer patients and their families.
Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.
(Copyright © MMXVI, Shep Hyken)
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