Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

Dec 5, 2018

Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

Quick — name two words which, when frequently used by waiters and waitresses, increases tips by 12%. (Hint: it’s not please or thank you).

Give up? The answer is, “for you.” So, rather than saying to a customer, “Would you like some more coffee,” the savvy waiter would say, “I brought more coffee over for you.” The patron thinks, “Gosh, you did that for me, how thoughtful!” and tips accordingly — on average 12% more.

That’s what I call easy money. If you answered correctly, ignore the rest of this article. If on the other hand you’d like more phrases and tips that increase your perceived value, then read on.

It’s okay to be in a bad mood

I don’t buy-in to the conventional wisdom that an employee must bubble with enthusiasm to provide great service and high value. In the real world of upset customers, long hours and stress, an employee’s enthusiasm will occasionally wear thin. We all have bad days. So, front line employees need to be trained on how to convey a positive, helpful attitude even when they’re not having a zippity-do-dah day.

Here are several situations along with phrases that convey a powerful positive impression, no matter how stressed you may be.

A customer asks for something and you don’t know if it’s in stock

• Without training: “I don’t know if they’re in. I’ll have to check.”

• With training: “I don’t know if they’re in, but I’ll be happy to check for you.”

The trained employee conveys a better attitude. The irony is that she didn’t work any harder than the untrained worker — they both checked inventory. But the trained employee gets a lot more credit because she used better phrasing. What’s more, she didn’t have to feel happy or enthusiastic to get the extra credit. She just used wording that made a better impression.

A boss, co-worker or customers asks you to do something

• Without training (any of the following): “Okay, I’ll try, I’ll do my best, uh-huh, sure.”

• With training: “I’ll take care of it.”

“Okay” or “Sure” are adequate responses, but who wants to be perceived as adequate? On the other hand, imagine asking someone to do a series of difficult, inconvenient, unpleasant tasks, and they respond instead with, “I’ll take care it.” That conveys the impression of a positive, confident, caring person. Again, we don’t have to actually feel excited or want to do the task, but using the right phrasing creates that perception.

A customer asks about a delivery date

• Without training: “We might be able to get it to you by Wednesday.”

• With training: “We’ll deliver it by Friday.”

The guideline is underpromise and overdeliver. In this situation, if the delivery is made on Thursday, the untrained employee looks incompetent while the trained person looks like a hero. Keep in mind that it’s not just your organization’s reputation that’s at stake. It’s also your personal reputation. So make promises sparingly, and then keep them — no matter what it costs you.

You’re addressing a customer


• Without training: Says, “sir, miss, or ma’am” frequently.

• With training: avoids using sir or ma’am and instead uses person’s name.

While you can never be too polite with a customer, you can be too formal. When I ask participants at my seminars how they feel when a front line employee addresses them as “sir” or “ma’am” the overwhelming response is, ‘old’. Not a good feeling. What’s more, it creates a barrier between the customer and employee. The customer may be starting to think of the employee as a equal – which we want. But the moment the employee uses “sir” or “ma’am” the customer begins to think of the employees as being at a lower status. Of course there are exceptions where you may choose to be more formal; such as when you’re dealing with certain senior citizens or someone from a conservative cultural background (anyone from England).

You want to be believed.

• Without training: (Prefaces the statement with any of these phrases): “The truth is… believe me… honest… true story… I really mean this…”

• With training: Omits all these statements and just makes the statement of fact.

Prefacing a statement with a phrase that essentially says we’re about to tell the truth, implies that everything we’ve said up till that point has been a lie! These statements hurt rather than help our credibility. So trained employees just don’t use them — especially when having a sales conversation.

The competitive edge.

Having a technological advantage over the competition is almost impossible to sustain in today’s marketplace. Customers can almost always get a similar product to yours somewhere else. The easiest way to differentiate you and your organization is by providing value added service. That doesn’t mean everyone has to work harder. It does mean you need to speak the language of professionals. That’s when using the right phrase really pays.

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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 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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 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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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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