8 phrases customers (don’t) want to hear you say

Your customers are tired.

Tired of terrible service.
Tired of getting the run around.
Tired of waiting in lines all morning.

Most importantly, they’re tired of hearing excuses.

THE GOOD NEWS: there IS a way to offer more approachable service!

Here is a list of eight phrases (er, excuses) your customers don’t want to hear; AND, several alternative phrases that payses you can use instead.

1. “I’m sorry.”

Sorry is negative.
Sorry is problem-oriented.
Sorry is usually followed by excuses.
Sorry is focused on the wrong person.
Sorry is sucks the positivity out of a conversation.

Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t over-apologize. Instead, consider framing your response differently.

“Thanks for telling me.”
“Thanks for bringing that to my attention.”
“That’s horrible!”
“I have no excuse. You’re right.”
“I apologize.”

2. “That’s not my job.”

Too many front line employees evade personal responsibility and professional accountability.

REMEMBER: part of your job is to reassure the customers.

That you’re on it.
That you’re taking ownership of the problem.
That you’re going to find a solution; even it’s not your job.

“I will personally take care of that.”
“I will take ownership of this problem.”
“And for future reference, the person who usually handles that problem is…”

3. “There’s nothing I can do,” or “I can’t.”

Negative language! No good.

Focus instead on what you CAN do. On solutions; not problems.

REMEMBER: there’s always something you can do; even if it simply means finding the right person to help.

“Good news!”
“You’re in luck!”
“Here’s what I CAN do.”
“Today’s your lucky day!”
“The best way for me to help you RIGHT NOW is…”

4. “I don’t know.”

That’s OK. You can’t know everything!

Still, you want to reassure your customer. So, remember to first lay a positive foundation and then reassure the customer that her problem will be addressed.

“Let me find out for you.”
“Let me look that up for you.”
“Good question! I’m not exactly sure, so let me ask someone who DOES know.”

5. “Our policy is…”

The mere mention of the word “policy” sends a chill down customers’ spines.

So, try shifting your verbiage to something more approachable.

“Our guidelines are…”
“In order to be fair to everybody.”
“Let me make an exception for you.”

6. “You’ll have to call someone else.”

This is called Punting. Passing the Buck. Evading Responsibility.

And customers are tired of it.

So, even if it’s not your job or area of expertise, you can still be of assistance.

“Here’s who you CAN call…”
“Let me connect you with George, he has the answer to your problem!”

7. “He’s not here.”

Especially if your goal is to achieve first call resolution, avoid this phrase!

Who knows? Maybe you can answer the question for a coworker who isn’t available.

Remember: we live in a fast-paced, hyperspeed, A.D.D culture. Customers want answers NOW!

“Steve’s unavailable right now, but MY name is Karen; is there anything I can do to help?”
“Steve’s out of the office right now, but is there a question I might be able to answer?”

8. “As soon as possible.”

ASAP. When I get a chance. When I get around to it.

All of these phrases make customers think, “Yeah right!”

You need to emit a sense of urgency, confidence and reassurance. Try these:

“Right away.”
“Give me fifteen seconds.”

NOTE: for a free, dowloadable copy of my ebook, 117 Phrases That Payses, go to www.hellomynameisscott.com, login if you’re a first-time friend, then scroll down to the “Free Ebooks” section.

What other phrases do customers (not) want to hear?

Post your alternative phrases that payses here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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The Nametag Guy gives away his 4th book for FREE!

2,372 days ago, I made the most important decision of my entire career…

I decided to wear a nametag all day, every day, for the rest of my life.

My name is Scott Ginsberg.

I’m That Guy with Nametag.

And this is my story.

It’s called Make a Name For Yourself.

Friends, this book will knock your socks off.

It’s the best work I’ve ever created to date.

And if you read it, study it and put it to action, you WILL make a name for yourself too.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what a few of my heros had to say about it…

“Scott Ginsberg is THAT GUY. His book will make YOU that guy, if you buy it read it, and put it into action, not only will you make a name for yourself, you’ll also make a bank account for yourself. Sweet.” –Jeffrey Gitomer, Bestselling author of The Little Red Book of Selling

“Scott’s fourth book is funny, informative, educational, and compelling – all rolled up in one book. I am strongly recommending it to my network!” –Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI and NY Times Bestselling author

OK. So, here’s the deal guys. You have three options:

1. Buy the book on Amazon.com.
2. Buy the book on my website.
3. Download the ENTIRE BOOK for free, right now.

Obviously, I recommend options 1 or 2. However, if you simply can’t wait, please feel free to download the ENTIRE book for free, right now, no strings attached.

WARNING!! Understand that if you DO download this book for free, you WILL want to buy it by the time you’re done.

Because if you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you.

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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17 Reasons to Write a FREE Ebook

If you’ve been to this blog before, you’ve probably read my position on the power of free.

Anyway, to keep the tradition going, here’s 17 reasons to write a FREE ebook:

1. Storage. You have all that great material already, right? Blog posts, articles, rants, whitepapers, etc. It’s time to put them together into a nicely packaged document that delivers more value. Content = useless until it’s accessible to all.

2. Reach. Sure, you could charge $7, $17 or $47 or whatever other shrewd pricing strategy you learned from those Internet marketing dudes. But if it’s free, more people are going to see it. And if your ebook ROCKS (and has some, but not too much, cross pollination of your additional services) the revenue will bounce back ten fold. Er, seven fold.

3. Differentiation. Most ebooks out there, especially the ones people charge for, suck. Very little value given. Just a teaser to get you to buy something bigger. And I’m all for using ebooks to cross-promote, but don’t chince out. Don’t give away one or two good ideas; pack it full of dozens of ideas and content that is SO good, people want more.

4. WOM. Seth Godin wrote the best-selling ebook in the history of ebooks. Funny thing is, he didn’t charge for it. At least, not if you didn’t want to pay for it. He offered people a choice: get it for free, pay a small donation, or pay full price. Your choice. BRILLIANT! More people talked about that ebook than anything else ever written!

5. Value. You’re smart. You’ve got lots of good ideas, tips, techniques and philosophies that can help others. Don’t be selfish with your knowledge. Share it with the world. Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas.

6. Fans. Your duty to your company, yourself and the people you serve is to cultivate fans. NOT customers. Fans. The people who loyally love your stuff and tell everyone about you. Free ebooks = new fans.

7. Free. Statistically speaking, research proves that people like free stuff.

8. Traffic. Kind of a no-brainer, but yes. Ebooks drive traffic. I’ve written ten of them and received more website (and blog) traffic that I can possibly keep track of. NOTE: remember, however, that “hits” is an acronym for “how idiots track sales.” So before you post that ebook, make sure your website ROCKS and is CONVERTIBLE. Still, the ebook will enable you drive web traffic the “old school” way: content. Forget ad words, sponsored links and pay per click. That’s interruption. You need interaction.

9. Sales. I don’t believe in selling. I believe in enabling people to buy. And that’s exactly what a free ebook does. You deliver value FIRST in a manner consistent with your brand and philosophy. As a result, readers are interested, educated and excited about you. That’s why at the END of the ebook, be sure to include plenty of info about what ELSE you do. And not some ridiculous five-page sell sheet. Just a note that says, “Hi! Hope you learned a lot from my ebook. Actually, I’m more than just a writer. I also do these other things. If I can help you, drop me a line.”

10. Time. As an author myself, I know cranking out (real) books is an arduous process. In 2007, I’m putting out five new paperbacks. It’s not going to be easy. That’s why ebooks are a nice “placeholder” for your content. You don’t have to go all the way and publish a real book per se. You can simply do the ebook, post it on your blog and wait until you’re ready for the BIG one to do it for real.

11. Testing. OK, so you’ve got these ideas, stories, tips, etc. You want to test the waters before writing a real book, right? Cool. Write the ebook, post it for free, and see what people say. Maybe you’ll get glowing emails from around the world saying how great it is! Or, maybe nobody will download it except your wife and even she’ll tell you that it sucked. Either way, you’ll have a better idea of how the market responds to your content before spending $5000 on the real thing.

12. Content. Content is king. People might forgive sub-par packaging, but they’ll never forgive crappy content. Work hard on making your ebook meaty and chunky. Like Campell’s. Full of great stuff. People LOVE that. Plus, writing a content-rich ebook will put you in the 90% percentile, since most ebooks are total fluff.

13. Authorship. Writing an ebook doesn’t make you an author. Author = actual, tangible books. However, it’s one step closer. You’ll feel like an author. And once you write an ebook (that everybody loves) perhaps you’ll be inspired to get that real book out of you.

14. Practice. I’ve written four paperback books so far. And I don’t think I discovered my true voice until the third one. So, practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes polished. And starting with an ebook or two is going to let you sweat out some potential sub-par stuff until you get it right. The more you write, the more clear your voice becomes.

15. Credibility. Providing that your ebook gives useful, sound advice, you will be perceived as an expert. An authority. Maybe not THE expert or THE authority. But the more you write = the more credible you become.

16. Build your list. It doesn’t matter what you sell. If you’re reading this right now, odds are, you’re in the business of NAME ACCUMULATION. You need to build a following and stay in front of these people (your fans who love you) on a regular basis. Your ebook will help accomplish that. Especially if you give it away as a bonus to anyone who signs up.

17. Google. FINALLY…post that bad boy on your blog, website, myspace page and everywhere else you possibly can. Go back after 1, 3 and 6 months and search on Google. Just watch the hits come up!

Good luck. May the e-Schwartz be with you.

Oh, and to spice up this post, here’s my latest free ebook:

Sticky Note Success:
25 Self-Motivating Messages to Pump Up Productivity and Stimulate Sales

What’s your favorite ebook?

Share your favorite ebook with us. Post a link to it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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Yet another free ebook from The Nametag Guy

Last month I released a free ebook about speaking.

It was downloaded a few thousand times, which ain’t bad.

Because I got so many positive emails, calls and comments about it, I decided to write a companion ebook for authors and self publishers. Here she is:

203 Things I’ve Learned about Writing,
Selling and Marketing Books

Three of my favorite tips are:

#37: I would recommend you give away at least one free downloadable ebook a year and post it on your website/blog. It gives value, increases traffic and often results in future sales via click-throughs. (Kind of like I’m doing RIGHT NOW.)

#84: If you don’t want to make this a business, don’t bother.

#196: People don’t want to rent a car; they want to get out of the airport. Think about it: what does your book REALLY DO for your readers?

What does your book really do for your readers?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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Free Ebook: 234 things I’ve learned about…

I’m pretty bummed out.

NSA St. Louis was set to host its annual Speakers U this weekend, in which veteran speakers share their experiences and wisdom about the speaking industry to prospective members.

Now, although I wouldn’t call myself a veteran, I was still excited about the opportunity to share what I’ve learned in my four short years in this business.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel. Not enough people signed up.

Which SUCKS, because I worked really hard on this new ebook.

Anyway, since I can’t give it out on Saturday, I thought I’d post it here. So, for those of you who’ve always wanted to become a professional speaker – or at least become a more effective speaker – here’s pretty much everything I know about the subject:

234 Things I’ve Learned about Creating, Delivering & Marketing Speeches

Enjoy. I’m off to San Fran to speak at the NAPS Conference.

What are your best pieces of advice on creating, delivering and marketing speeches?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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