I just met the man who, in my opinion, bears responsibility for Microsoft’s meteoric rise in the 90’s. He wouldn’t put it that way but without his research and insight, Microsoft would never have had the small and medium business sales that catapulted them into the forefront of business technology. He developed the sales process that made Microsoft an industry standard.
His name is Jim Cecil.
Never heard of him? Just Google his name and you’ll see that every industry insider calls him a legend, brilliant, and marketing master. He created the Nurture Marketing System and continues his quest to educate business owners about the benefits of relationships over transactions.
I found his book, Nurturing Customer Relationships, on Google Books as I was waiting for my wife to finish trying on clothes. I had a lot of time to kill. As I read the description and the underlying philosophy, it was shockingly apparent to me that this man was elaborating on the same things I’ve written about for years. The further I went into his philosophy and background, the more apparent it became that this was a man I wanted to meet. So I commented on his blog and sent him an email asking for some of his precious time. He graciously accepted.
After meeting with him for 2 hours, I have to say the man lives up to his reputation. Jim rains down information and gives freely of what he has. He represents the quintessence of his philosophy in his generosity and attention to the personal relationships he cultivates. I could not have had a better time.
Some Key Points he shared:
- Sometimes Luck Plays a Part – Much of Jim’s successes began from being in the right place at the right time. But I’m sure that without his spirit of initiation, that inner desire to start things and create, he would never have capitalized on those lucky beginnings. He’s proactive and open to possibilities.
- Give More Than You Take – Very often, Jim cites Napoleon Hill and for good reason. Many of Hill’s maxims and much of his advice is as relevent today (sometimes more so) as it was when he wrote it. He said there are Givers and Takers and Givers will always outperform the Takers. Giving more than you get is key, but also…
- Give More Than They Expect – I’m a huge believer that expectations are the primary drivers of behavior and emotion and Jim hit on something that I try to practice in everything I do and teach. Exceed their expectations, always. If you do then your customers, your co-workers, your friends, your family will be happier. It’s that simple. Jim said that this might be the key to everything else you do in marketing.
- Find the Right People for the Job – It’s amazing how many companies waste millions of dollars on hiring-firing-retraining when simple steps could be taken to find the right person in the first place. Jim’s working with sales managers right now to implement systems that aid in the hiring process. He found great power in salespeople developing relationships with clients but found that power being squandered with the wrong people time and time again. Now he helps sales managers develop systems to find the right people.
If you are reading this and know that your sales force is not performing up to it’s capacity, I would highly suggest you research Jim Cecil and Nurture Marketing (http://www.nurturemarketing.com). At the very least his book is great investment for your library (HERE on Amazon, not an affiliate link) and an invaluable resource.
Looking at the key points above, you might think that they are old hat. But which are you consciously attempting everyday? Are you giving more than getting? What about exceeding your client’s expectations? Are you pushing forward and trying new things or are you relying on the same old to “get you through”? We all need reminders and Jim Cecil is a master at reminding us in a fresh new way.
Thanks Jim for your time today, I’m sure we will be in touch soon.