Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 September 30, 2018

Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

Like you, there are times in my work when emails and texts aren’t efficient and I actually need to phone someone and have a real conversation. In my case, it’s when I’m preparing for a training session or to speak at a conference that requires interviewing senior managers and key employees. I’ve made literally thousands of calls over the years, and since I pay particular attention to customer communication I’ve created a list of Top 10 Telephone Turnoffs. See if you can relate to them, which I’ve rated from least annoying to worst. More importantly, read the accompanying tips to ensure you and your team members aren’t committing the same offences.

10. “Good afternoon, thank you for calling ABC company, Ralf speaking. How can I help you?” Long greetings waste the caller’s time. Instead, just open with, “Thank you for calling ABC company, this is Ralf.” It’s concise and finishes with the employee’s name rather than the word speaking. People remember the word spoken last and the most important word is your name. While you’re at it, avoid asking, “How can I help you?” The caller will tell you this, and adding that statement essentially steps all over your name by following it with more words that make it even less memorable.

9. “Hello.” While, turnoff #10 was too long, this greeting doesn’t offer enough information. If a call is transferred to you from a switchboard, just say, “Good morning (or afternoon), this is Jeff.” In this case, by saying good morning you let the caller know they’ve reached you live; not your voice mail.

8. “How are you?” Asking this question to someone you’ve never met has two unintended consequences: 1) sounds insincere 2) wastes the person’s time. Not a great start, especially when the most important thing you’re trying to establish is trust. Instead of asking, “How are you?” simply introduce yourself, then explain, “We’ve never met. The reason I’m calling is…

7. “Please hold.” Putting a caller on hold without asking permission is rude. Instead, ask permission and thank them: “May I put you on hold for a moment? Thank you.”

6. “I’m either on the phone or away from my desk…” Callers understand that they’ve reached your voice mail. They don’t need an explanation about why. If you’re out of the office for several days mention that. Otherwise, just state, “You’ve reached the voice mail of Jeff Mowatt. Please leave a message. ‘Nuff said. (Please don’t tell me to have a great day. Just stop talking so I can leave a message.)

5. “Your call is important to us.” This is the default recorded message you often hear when reaching a call centre. Again, the most important thing to establish with customers is trust. It doesn’t help when the record message tells a lie. If our call was really that important to the organization, they’d have a live person taking our call. This statement insults our intelligence. Instead, opt for, “Your call will be answered in approximately x minutes. Thank you for your patience.”

4. “You need to call Department X.” (When customers have a complaint). The last thing customers want when expressing a concern is the runaround. If a customer is unhappy, rather than foisting them on another department, ask permission to put the caller on hold. Then you call the department to brief them about the customer’s concern and their state of mind. That leads us to turnoff #3…

3. ABC department? (When picking up a transferred call after you’ve been briefed about their complaint). Forcing unhappy customers to repeat themselves simply elevates their frustration. Instead, answer the call by introducing yourself with your first and last name, explaining that your colleague briefed you, and paraphrasing your understanding of the situation. Then, rather than starting back at square one, the customer can simply correct or confirm the details.

2. Peeking at your smart phone screen while in face-to-face conversation. When you check your phone in front of others you demonstrate a focus on yourself that undermines trust.

1. Talking on a cell phone around others. No one wants to hear a half of a phone conversation from a bystander. Anywhere. Anytime. We’d rather listen to jets taking off than be subjected to someone’s stream of consciousness. If you must make a phone call while others are within earshot, keep it short or go elsewhere to make the call.Bottom Line… the good news about these telephone turnoffs is they are easy to avoid. As I teach in my seminars, ask yourself if everything you say and do enhances or diminishes trust. When you demonstrate your respect for your customers’ time and intelligence, chances are you will be rewarded — literally — with their loyalty.

This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease by Hall of Fame motivational speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com. Watch for more articles from Jeff in future issues.

 

OlsonBy Katrina Olson

A recent CEW article by David Gordon caught my eye. The headline was, Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams Inhibiting Growth?

As a marketing consultant, writer, and trainer, I recognized the challenges and barriers that David was writing about. We agree on many issues (and their causes) facing electrical distributors and marketers. But I also hear from marketing people all the time that the C-Suite is hindering their efforts which, in turn, hinders the company’s growth.  

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2018 Electrical North American MeetingOn October 29-31, 2018, the AD Electrical North American Meeting drew over 1,000 attendees. This event attracted 151 first time attendees and representatives from over 362 companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Attendees benefited from a variety of agenda topics, including: Network Meetings, Emerging Leaders Session, and Country-specific Business Meetings. New to this year’s agenda was a SPA Optimization Workshop led by industry veteran Mo Barsema. In addition, members and suppliers also attended a panel discussion on managing and measuring your digital success.

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Changing Scene

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Effective January 1, 2019, Ramy Yousif assumes the position of Rexel Atlantic’s General Manager.
This past summer, from July 1 to September 15, AD Rewards ran the Redeem for a Dream promotion.

 

 EFC Announces 2018 Marketing Awards Winners

2018 Marketing Awards WinnersElectro-Federation Canada (EFC)’s Marketing Awards program recognizes member organizations that demonstrate marketing excellence and innovation within the Canadian electrical manufacturing and distribution industry. Winners of this year’s awards were recognized at EFC’s 8th Annual Future Forum, held earlier this month. (Shown in photo: EFC President and CEO Carole McGlogan with representatives from Bartle & Gibson, winners of the Integrated Marketing Award — distributor under $50 million.)Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)’s Marketing Awards program recognizes member organizations that demonstrate marketing excellence...

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Peers & Profiles

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On a regular basis, our publications profile members of our industry through their responses to a ...
First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing ...
Sales of electrical supplies from full-line electrical distributors capture the geographic ...
Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for ...
Michael Gentile, President and CEO of Philips Lighting Canada, has had a long and distinguished ...

 

 Young Leaders: Taylor Gerrie

Taylor GerrieOn a regular basis, our publications profile members of our industry through their responses to a Q&A. It’s a way of recognizing industry movers and shakers, and helping our readers get to know them better. 

Recently we launched an initiative with Electro-Federation Canada's Young Professionals Network to include profiles of up-and-coming leaders. We provided the list of questions below to Taylor Gerrie, Automation Account Specialist at Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd. in Burlington, Ontario. Here are Taylor’s responses.

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Susan Uthayakumar, President of Schneider Electric Canada: Driving Success

Susan UthayakumarBy Owen Hurst

First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing with a friend than conducting an interview with the Canadian president of one of the world’s largest electrical manufacturers. Of course, she exudes the confidence and knowledge her position demands, but equally identifiable are an open and engaging nature.

In a recent sit-down, we learned a little about Susan’s history and what drives her to succeed.

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Looking Back

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The best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. ...
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Prior to the late 1950s there was little if any involvement in CEDA by the so-called “national ...
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Looking BackThe best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. The welcome they gave to me, all of them men. (In those days there were not many women in business.) This welcome I will always remember. CEDA has played a very important role in my success.

One year our conference was in Hamilton, Ontario. Mr. Caouillette, our speaker, got lost and instead of going to Hamilton went to Toronto. I think that that was the longest cocktail hour that CEDA ever had… waiting for him to arrive. Certainly that night the head table and everyone were in good spirits.

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Looking BackLooking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Small electrical distributors just were not acceptable for membership as they did not carry the main-line manufacturers’ goods, publish a wiring device catalogue, or employ four to five salesmen as CEDA requested.

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