Knock Their Socks Off: Lessons from an Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur it’s easy to become distracted by big-company tactics.  We want to “sell” our way out of a downturn or market ourselves to future growth. We like to excuse poor decisions with our lack of information and reporting.  There’s always something that “mature” companies have that we don’t.

We like to remind ourselves these gaps exist.  It makes us feel better to have an excuse ready to go.

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In reality, only one thing really matters: creating a “wow experience.”  Customer service is everything.

I’ll never forget how 3Pillar won our first ever full-product lifecycle engagement.  We had significant experience in all aspects of the product lifecycle but had never been responsible for the entire lifecycle.  We were at a significant disadvantage to our competition.

We won because we “out-wowed” our competition.  Instead of focusing on putting together a killer proposal, we offered the client a wow experience.  We invited their senior executive team to our offices for a “workout session.”   This workout session gave their team the opportunity to see 3Pillar in action.

To create a wow experience, we thought through what it would take to knock their socks off.  Here’s what we did:

Location, location, location.

At the time we were officing in a shared executive suite.  We had intentionally picked an impressive location.  We took advantage of the resources at our disposal and rented the shared boardroom for the day.

Welcome them by name.

We gave the receptionist a heads up of our pending visitors and asked her to greet them by name.

Be prepared.

When our guests arrived they were brought into the boardroom.  The room was prepared to the nines, with an agenda, a notepad, and nice pens at each seat.  Participant’s names and the company logos were projected on the wall.

Share your plans.

The walls were lined with notepads so that we could collaborate together.  One was populated with guidelines for the day and another was labeled as a parking lot for issues that we wanted to table.  Others were prepared as templates for certain discussions we knew would happen.

Plan for food.

We had breakfast ready upon their arrival and lunch brought in right at noon.  Both were simple and relatively cheap, but obviously orchestrated and thought out beforehand.

Respect their time.

We started right on time and held to our agenda. We drove the meeting with great confidence and wrapped the day up with very clear outcomes.

The core of every business is the product or service that you provide.  Identify a few key prospects and knock their socks off.   This creates a “Wow! Experience.”  Wow experiences build momentum.

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