The Long Hike to The Summit

Diving into a blog is irrefutably one of the most precarious things I’ve done. For years I’ve seen, read, and used information posted by bloggers across the globe yet, as I stare at my screen, it dawns on me how complicated posting an article can be! Luckily these postings will mainly be shared with ‘you’, my friends, in an effort to convey ideas which might help you when facing some of the idiosyncrasies we commonly encounter in our everyday lives.

Why the title dude?

Glad you ask. One of the aspects of my life which has taken a big chunk of my time is this customer service conference I’m helping market, sell, and produce in Cleveland Ohio. I figured, what best way of alleviating some of the stress associated with this endeavor than by recording all thoughts and activities associated with it. The event begins November 5 at 8:00AM. I truly hope this is of benefit to some of you out there who are a part of the decision making process within a company, family and/or community.

The rules:

I will not write too much otherwise you won’t read it 🙂 So I will ONLY write 3 paragraphs + 1 take away at a time:

  1. What’s going on?
  2. How I’m feeling AND what do I think about the situation?
  3. What will I do about it?
  4. What did I take away?

Let the games begin…

THIS MORNING I walked out the door to find out D had left me -we car pool- and man was it a hot morning too!! Here I was standing outside, in a 85 degree day, with my backpack strapped to my back , and no D in sight! It was then when the almighty iPhone reminded me Mr. Soprano had used our purple bathroom rug as a toilet, and D went to pick it up from the neighborhood laundromat (we have yet to buy a washer and dryer for the house). We still made it to the office early enough. These last couple of weeks my primary objective has been to secure sponsors for our event. Not easy. Especially in this economy. You see, the basis of a sponsorship is based on the exchange of value. Sponsors support an event with money, products, services, or cross promotional activities, looking to benefit from brand exposure and revenue generation (acquiring new leads and clients). My calendar is full of follow up calls to potential candidates. From 1st calls, to close calls. I must say it is an incredible experience. Today I reached an old friend of The DiJulius Group. A president of a company who has truly embraced customer service as their competitive advantage. We had a great, solid conversation.

This was my second call to him. I was excited yet a bit concerned that the audience at our event might not have been the audience he would normally point his marketing efforts towards. I feel strongly that in order to secure a solid sponsor there needs to be a win-win exchange. And there is no better way to know if it will be a ‘win’ for the candidate unless I ask. And I did. Candidly he responded that from a marketing standpoint it might not be suitable for them “unless we had drilling companies in the audience” -which we won’t. However a table at the event (10 seats) might be more in alignment with this year’s business strategies. You see, there are 2 ways businesses come to a conference:

  1. They are looking to learn more about the topic at hand
  2. To market their businesses in front of other businesses via a sponsorship

I think there’s a strong chance this ‘friend of the customer service revolution’ will end up securing a table at the event. The teachings to be delivered at this conference are for him a long-term investment in his company. We agreed he’d like to run this decision by his customer service unit and I could follow up with him on Friday.

My take away: “If you walk into a negotiation with an equally valuable plan B you reduce the probability that your prospects will decline the offer altogether.”

El Lobo Ruiz

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