Thursday, June 28, 2012

Make Your Employee Entrance a Marketing Tool and more

Employee entrance motivation and marketing
This is the employee entrance for the Holiday Inn in Burlington, Ontario.

I have attended many events at this hotel over the years yet this was the first time that I noticed this door and this sign.

This door is about 10 feet north of the main entrance. Most hotel guests would not notice the door or the sign.  I noticed it because I was pacing while waiting for an airport shuttle bus.

I was struck by the power of this sign and the thoughtfulness that went into it.

It is a powerful yet subtle marketing tool. Any customer who notices this sign is likely to remember it and mention it to others (as I'm doing).

As a customer you might think, "If that's the way they treat their staff then just imagine how good the service will be."

This portal is also a powerful management tool.

Just imagine walking through this door on your way to work. It's a special doorway - "Employee Entrance Only".

The words are positive. As long as the management are congruent with these words the effect will be incredible.

Look at these positive words.

"dedicated team"

That reminds staff that they are part of a team and that dedication is needed and expected.


Hotel staff are not called professionals. Imagine the ego boost to staff to be called professionals as they go about their often mundane yet critical task each day.


This suggests that management knows and appreciates how hard staff works. That also suggests that there is a two-way commitment.

"superior customer service"

A solid reminder that the customer is the one we all serve and that we need to be better than okay. We need to be superior.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing
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Monday, June 25, 2012

You Need to be Slightly Better than the Competition

Motorcycle Flat Tire Power Marketing Blog George Torok

On a weekend motorcycle ride my bike suffered a flat tire. I wasn’t hurt and the bike wasn’t damaged. Fortunately I was close to a mall. The Canadian Tire store in that mall wasn’t able to repair the flat but the service manager allowed me to store my bike in the shop over the weekend. That was an unexpected friendly gesture. Storing the bike inside was much better than leaving the bike in the parking lot over the weekend.

On Monday I started calling motorcycle shops to arrange pick up and repair. I was surprised at the responses.

The first shop was less than a mile from the Canadian Tire store. The person who answered the phone said, “Nah, I’m booked solid and everyone’s screaming for their bike. I have to turn you down. I don’t want your business.”

Wow. That was a rejection that I didn’t expect. I won’t call them again and I can only imagine why people might be screaming.

The second shop was closest to my home. The person responded with, “I’m busy today. Call me tomorrow.”

I wondered, “Why can’t you take my call now? Why should I call you back?”

By the time I called the third shop my expectations were greatly diminished. The person said, “I can pick it up tomorrow.”

Wow! That sounded promising. Tomorrow was the best promise I’d heard so far. Then he added that he might not examine the bike until Thursday. The bike might not be available until Saturday. That was the best promise yet as I told him I am a weekend rider so Saturday or Sunday was good.

A Few Questions
Why were the first two shops so negative? Why did no one ask me about my expectations? Is that a symptom of the industry or simply bad retail service?

Tuesday morning I waited for the service truck at the arranged time. Fifteen minutes after the scheduled pick-up time I called the shop to check the status. The shop person didn’t apologize for the lateness. Instead she said that the truck should be there soon. The person picking up my bike was 30 minutes late. He didn’t apologize either.

Looks like there is a lot of room to improve customer service in the motorcycle business.

It’s curious that the friendliest person was the service manager at the Canadian Tire store. Too bad that they don't fix motorcycle tires.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing
Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Wrong Way to Leave a Voice Message

If you want people to return your calls, don't leave a voice message like this.

This message is for George Torok.
This is Alex calling.
I need you to return my call at 1 800 000 0000  It’s urgent that I hear from you.
Once again the number is 1 800 000 0000.

That was the message on my voice mail. There were at least two messages from Alex and one from a female using the same script. I could not understand her name.

What's wrong with this message?

1. There was no reason to call. Your listener is wondering, "What's in it for me?"

If you want people to call you, you must tell them why. In particular the reason to call must be in their interests. The listener doesn't care about what you need.

2. Just because you say it's urgent doesn't mean it's urgent. Even if you think it's urgent, that's only your interpretation. It's not urgent to your listener.

If it is urgent tell your listener why it is urgent for them.

3. There was no offer.

What was Alex offering? Was it a free gift, special price or insider information? Who knows? We can only assume that Alex was selling something. Clearly it was not something I wanted or needed because he didn't mention the product or the problem that it would solve.

4. There was no connection.

Alex didn't mention his company name so the listener is left wondering. I don't know Alex. I wondered, "How did you get my name?"

If there was a pre-existing connection or referral - tell your listener. That can warm up the relationship.

5. It was clearly an automated call.

My name was in a different person's voice. So it was patched into the voice message like a mail merge in a word processing program. It was clearly not a personal call but one intended to broadcast to as many as possible in the hope of catching some unsuspecting fish. Telephone spam.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing
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Friday, June 01, 2012

Controversy Sells: Richard Branson Does it Again

Richard Branson built a billion dollar empire and a powerful personal brand. There are common elements in those two achievements and some distinct differences.

Let's look at the more interesting part - the personal brand.

If you were to describe the man, what simple words would you use?

These are the words and phrases that come to my mind:





Wicked sense of humour

My guess is that none of those surprise you. So why was the government of British Columbia surprised and unprepared when he acted exactly that way on his recent visit to promote Virgin Atlantic flying into Vancouver?

After BC Premier Christy Clark invited Branson to go kite surfing off the BC coast, Richard responded on his blog.

Richard Branson Christy Clark invitation to kite surfing

When in British Columbia a few days ago, the delightful Premier Christy Clark accepted my invite to come for a kitesurf ride on my back.

One thing though - I forgot to tell her about the dress code! Well, here it is.
The offer still stands Christy!

By . Founder of Virgin Group


Classic Branson!

Provocative and wicked sense of humour.

But the stuffed shirts at the BC government proclaimed his comments as "offensive" and "disrespectful".

Those stooges played right into Branson's hands by fuelling the controversy in the public media.

Score Card

Richard Branson: For being true to himself: 100

BC Premier, Christy Clark: For her clever and funny quip: 50 Government back room advisers: For their lack of forethought and afterthought : minus 30

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing
Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter