It might only be a teabag to you…


…But to them it’s their whole business – and so I found out the other day.

For the last year I’ve been posting blogs about all things selling and service, and a good chunk of those postings have been observations around when sales and service goes wrong. Despite how it might seem, I much prefer writing about good news stories, like the one you’re about to read…

My better half has recently developed a liking for Red Bush tea, and so she regularly buys Tetley’s Red Bush from our local supermarket. However, the last couple of times she has bought it, she has got home only to discover she has in fact bought the Vanilla version of the tea rather than the original brand of Red Bush she prefers.

So why the mistake? Well, the boxes are almost identical, certainly in colour, and it was really easy to get them confused.

When she told me about this I suggested she email the Tetley’s customer service department to give them this feedback, and to my amazement she did. But even more to my amazement, was what happened next!

Within only a couple of hours of sending the email, she received a telephone call from no other than Susan Tetley herself, wanting to apologise for the misleading packaging, and talking about how they are already looking into redesigning the boxes. To add the cherry on top, she even said she would send some free vouchers in the post to her by means of making good her inconvenience.  

Now, in fairness to my better half, she never expected anything like that to happen. To be honest, we both thought she might get an email reply at best, thanking her for her feedback. Yet to receive a telephone call from one of the Tetley family was way and above our realistic expectations.

But why should it have been? Have we been brow-beaten so much by indifferent service over the years that we expect the worse?

What Susan Tetley was getting was the best ever customer survey money can buy – a real-life customer with real-life feedback on their product, which is priceless to any provider of goods and services.

So, don’t ever be afraid of feedback from a customer – feedback isn’t what will break your business down, it’s what will build it for a sustainable future.

Make sure you are constantly seeking feedback from the people in the best position to give you it – your buying customers!


Are you a Pain-Removal Machine for your customers…?


This won’t take you long to read, and it should only take you a short while to put into practice, but I’m positive you’ll find it a quick and easy tool in getting your customers to want to buy from you.

I was reminded of it the other morning as I was driving to a meeting. I was listening to my usual commercial radio station and – unlike many radio-listeners, who are probably tempted to change the frequency when the commercial-breaks kick in – my ears prick up when I hear the adverts. The reason being I’m always interested in hearing how advertisers are trying to sell their products – and how not to sell their products!

For instance, every morning I hear about how I can get my car air-conditioning recharged for only £29.99, and every morning that advert fails to get me even in the slightest bit interested in their offer. Why? Because I have no idea why I need to get my AC recharged, or why my world is going to be a better place because of it. But then I heard another car air-con advert and my ears really did prick up!

This is what I heard – “Are you struggling to de-mist your windscreen on these winter’s mornings? If so, clear your windscreen quickly by getting your air-con recharged.”

Genius! Let me explain why it was such a hit with me by deconstructing it into its small component parts – in fact, 3 simple steps…

Step 1 – The Pain Question (“Are you struggling to de-mist your windscreens on these winter’s mornings?” – it’s a straight-to-the-point question that quickly establishes if your customer has the pain you can help with or not. When I say pain I mean the basic reason why they would want to buy from you)

 So, if the answer is no, then the chances are they will probably never buy from you. But if the answer to that question is YES, then without doubt they will be interested in hearing Step 2 – The Solution!

Step 2 – The Solution (“clear your windscreen quickly” – this is your doctor’s prescription; this is the solution to take away the pain your customers are experiencing)

The last step is where you come in with your service…

Step 3 – The Method (“get your air-con recharged” – this is what your customer has to do in order to get the solution to their pain – and this is what you provide!

Let’s put the simple equation together…

The Pain Question + The Solution + The Method = The Sale

If you find yourself making your sales pitch sound too complicated, then try the 3 Steps to Simple Sales Success – in the eyes of your customers you will be a Pain-Removal Machine!