Providing The World With The Ultimate Customer Experience

Lucky's Blog

This blog has been created to keep our customers, partners and friends up to date with pertinent information relating to our industry, technical or otherwise. It will also keep everyone up to date with M.C. Dean's ever expanding capabilities. Thanks to all my followers and I hope you find this blog both helpfull and informative. Best Regards: Lucky Drake

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Buying Triggers

What is a Buying Trigger? Simply put, a buying trigger is what motivates a consumer to crack open their wallet or open their purse and buy your product or service. Several examples of common thought buying triggers are:






Price seems to be what most people think is the driving factor. However, I would have to ask; why then do many businesses go under even when they cut their costs and prices to near zero margins? While price may be a factor, it is rarely a true buying trigger. Think about it. If price really was the determining factor then Target and Best Buy would never be in business. Everyone knows that there are other stores with the same products as Target and Best Buy for less money. So why do people go to Target or Best Buy? Simple, the buying experience! Consumers buy an experience not just a product or service. My wife and I always go to Best Buy when we need to buy an electronic type product. Upon arrival to the store a staff member quickly asks if you need any help, is always very knowledgeable, and the store is kept very clean and organized. Compare that experience to that of a department store where there are products all over the ground, no one to help you and screaming kids running up and down the aisles, and you begin to understand what the buying experience truly is. I have always believed it is important to try and make the buying experience as easy and pleasant as possible. Take a look at what a customer needs to do to purchase your product or service. Are you setting up barriers? Are you making it difficult for someone to purchase your product or service? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself, “What can I do to make it easier and more pleasant to do business with me?”

Value can be a powerful buying trigger. The problem seems to be-- what is value? Too often people think they are getting or giving value that is not tangible. Value means that you are getting or giving more bang for the buck. This is something that can be measured. If it can’t be measured then it is not true value. I have heard potential clients say that the existing vendor already knows the system and our processes, so there is value there. I would have to ask, are you sure? What is the cost of having a new company learn the ropes? If you have problems with your existing provider, then the true value may be to invest in a new provider. The short term cost to train a new company in your process and systems could, in the long run, save you much more money. M.C. Dean offers bundled services. This allows for less management, paperwork, and accounting. It is easy to see how this is a value. If you can come up with a measurable value so you can show the customer how they will save money and what their ROI will be, then the sale is already made. Unless someone isn’t interested in saving money in today’s market. Don’t be so quick to laugh that off. You might be surprised to find out how many people are not willing to take the necessary steps to save money. Which brings us to our next trigger.

Relationship is one of the most compelling triggers out there. People are just used to buying from them and as I have said in a previous article, people don’t like change. It is easier to do business with them because they know our system, they are already setup with our company, they have been handling our account forever, are just some of the relationship driven answers I get when I speak with potential clients. Sometimes it is just as simple as they like the company they are using. While this seems to frustrate most salespeople, I love this customer. Why? Because, if I ever do earn their business, they will be a loyal customer for life. This is a much better option than the true price driven customer. If I am going to invest my time into a prospective customer, I am going to spend it with someone that I can build a relationship with, not someone who will drop me for another company over a half of one percent savings.

Timing, as in comedy, is everything. However, we can’t always control when and where we are going to be meeting our customers and if the timing is right. There are many schools of thought on when the best time is to present your product or service to the customer, and only you can determine what works best for your industry. My only suggestion is to understand your customer’s buying needs and his industry’s buying trends. Ask the probing questions to understand where they are in the buying process. I like to flat out ask my prospective clients, “When are you planning on making your final decision?” At least then I have a time line. The more you understand what the customer needs to make their decision the better chance you have of putting yourself in the right place at the right time.

Fear is the ultimate buying trigger. However, I don’t believe in praying on my customers fears. With that said, in the electrical industry there are many things a customer should fear. I focus on educating my customers to the real dangers of electrical work and the hazards of hiring the wrong people. My customers know that there are many capable companies other than M.C. Dean, the real danger is using unqualified companies. I want them to understand what to look for and what differentiates a qualified company from an unqualified one. This is a simple process of helping protect our potential customers from danger and not using fear to sell a product or service.

So, in closing, stop talking and listen to your customers. They will let you know their buying triggers. It is all a matter of knowing what your customer needs, and trying to provide them with the ultimate customer experience. The more you listen the more you will learn and the better you can become at solving problems for the most important part of your business, THE CUSTOMER!

Marketing & Sales Series

I didn't think that this would turn into a series. I have had quite few emails from people wanting more on my insights to marketing and sales. So in the spirit of customer service I have put together two more posts, Market Differentiators and Buying Triggers. Consider this Lucky's marketing series. (((Chuckle)))  In the future I will try and pepper in some words of wisdom relating to marketing and sales along with my other post, but this series is directed at customer demand. My buddy John has a great blog as well for sales and marketing, and it is a much more polished site. http://salesandmanagement.com/blog/

Thanks to all and i hope you find this information valuable.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Market Differentiators

What is your market differentiator? Believe it or not, whenever I ask this question to my colleagues I almost always get a blank stare. It’s simple really; what makes your service or product different than the others? In other words; why should I buy your widget rather than the competitors?

In today’s rough economical times the market place is flooded with companies vying for the customer’s business. As a service provider and a consumer I always try to think like the consumer and ask myself, “Why me, why now?” This is the message that I need to communicate to my prospective clients. Yet, when I have a vendor sitting across my desk and I ask them this question, “Why you”, I get a lot of stuttering or a blank stare. Really! Why would I want to use a vendor that doesn’t seem proud or confident with their service or product?

If I had to make suggestion that would have an immediate effect on your success, I would tell you to make sure that you know the answer to these questions. Why you and Why now? You not only need to know the answer to this but you also want to start thinking about ways to set yourself apart from the competition. How do you do this? Once you think like your customer it becomes quite easy. Just figure out what triggers their buying and then focus on what you can do to pull that trigger. I will go more into depth on this topic in future articles.

Here are a few examples of how M.C. Dean sets ourselves apart from the rest:

Subject Matter Experts

M.C. Dean offers their customers free training on many topics, from Safety to Arc Flash. This sets us apart from our competition as subject matter experts. Since we are standing in front of our customers most valued resource, their employees, and teaching them about how electrical and data effects their environment.

Social Media

This blog and other social media sites, combined with the networking events, helps make my customers and fellow networkers more comfortable in approaching me at events and functions. Since I have topics that may interest them on my blog, or if there was a status update they found to be interesting, the ice has already been broken. It also sets me up as someone who is willing to share information pertaining to many different fields.


I have always tried to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. While I admit I am not as good as some, I do make an effort to keep up with all the newest gadgets that have the potential to save money and make M.C. Dean more efficient and offer better service to our customers. This is different, because most people do not like change and are way behind on technological advances that lower the cost of doing business.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

LED Lighting Article From EC&M

I have added this link to the EC&M article for LED lighting. This is a great article that covers a highly controversial subject, LED Lighting. This is part one in a series and is worth the read if you want to better understand the new applications of LED lighting. As the other parts become available i will post them as well.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Three secrets to my Success

Ok so here it is! I keep having people ask me about my success in marketing for M.C. Dean, especially when you consider the state of the current economy. While I remain modest about the success I have had, the numbers are quite impressive.
2009 – 60% increase in revenue and a 38% cut in costs

2010 To Date – 72% increase in revenue and a 17% cut in costs
When you consider that we operate in the construction industry, which parallels the real-estate industry, it adds even more of a wow factor. Nobody needs to be told the current state of the real-estate market in Florida and the construction trade, for those who are not directly connected to it, it has followed the same market decline trend over the past several years. So, for those who are not familiar with the construction industry, think of it this way. If a realtor increased the number of home sales by 103% over these past couple of years, considering the current market, that would be a comparable feat. Seems impossible right? Well luckily, that has been the growth I have experienced.

So the question is how do you do this? Well I don’t have a definitive answer or a simple action to reproduce these results across the board; I can share the following insights to why I think I have achieved these results throughout these tough times.


M.C. Dean offers a product that is truly second to none. It makes my life easy when the product sells itself. Due to our commitment to quality and the customer, M.C. Dean truly sets itself apart from the competition. We offer such a large, diverse set of services, that our customers find value in bundling services together. We offer the same bundling options on the billing side as well. This reduces many administrative costs to our customers reducing the amount of invoices, checks, mailing, etc... It also reduces the frustration level of our customers having to coordinate several vendors to multiple projects that are connected to one discipline. When you take into account the savings coupled with the superior service and quality you can begin to understand why my job is such an easy one.


While I may be the one who is seen as the rainmaker, it is truly a team effort. Without the support of the best account managers and service technicians in the industry, I couldn't service the accounts that I bring in. M.C. Dean Florida has a unified vision of providing our customers with the Ultimate Customer Experience, and will put the customer's needs ahead of profits to ensure their satisfaction.

At the beginning of each year I review with my team the yearly goals. We go over new customer targets, revenue targets, and expected margins. We break these down into weekly increments and measure our success at our weekly staff meetings making adjustments as necessary. This keeps all team members apprised of each player’s performance, and allows us to help each other understand what is happening in the trenches. It also keeps us all focused on our goals and holds each individual, as well as the team, accountable for our overall performance. I believe that this is a required step if you want to be successful in any effort that requires a team. The whole team must understand the goal, the rules, the rewards and the consequences. If these are not clear to your team then how can you expect them to perform?


While networking is nothing new, the way that networking works has changed a bit. With the depressed times everyone is getting a crazy amount of cold calls, drop-ins, emails and every other sales tactic known to the industry. It is getting harder and harder to get in front of people or to even have a chance to sell something. Networking has always been a more effective way to sell through referrals. However, with the overwhelming amount of people asking for referrals, customers are less interested in meeting with new vendors, even if they did come through a referral.

The changes I have made in my networking strategies are based on the "less is more" philosophy. I have tried to narrow down the amount of networking partners I work with and focus more on helping their business. I look at it this way. If I limit the number of partners I bring in and we all agree to work together to build relationships for each other, the following results can be expected. You will not overwhelm your current customers with recommendations and referrals, and you will have a whole sales force working for your business development effort.

I try to set aside one day a month where I work for my networking partners. I spend the day as a sales person for them reaching out to my current customers. I do this with an agreement that they will do the same for me and the ball starts rolling. Think about it. If you commit to spend one day working for your networking groups BD efforts rather than your own, and you get them to commit to the same strategy, you will have an increased amount BD effort for your company. You will only be spending 1 day working on BD efforts for others, but you will have 25 others working on your BD efforts for one day. That coupled with the fact that they are referrals, increases the possibility of landing more customers.

The key to successful collaborative networking is to make sure that you can trust the partners you are aligning yourself with. You need to know that you can count on them to treat your customers the same way you would treat them. This is imperative. If your customers don’t believe that you care about them and that you are referring someone to help the customer not the person being referred, then your referral will not hold any weight and the customer will stop accepting referrals from you. You need a commitment from your networking partners that they will treat your customers the same way you do. If you are not confident with their commitment then you should move on to another partner.

There are too many "professional networkers" out there that don't understand the importance of a customer. Their idea is to get as many people in their networking group as possible and just open up their contact files to the group. I disapprove of this process and hate the term "professional networker". The idea of just referring someone to your customers without knowing who they are or their capabilities and strengths, undermines the relationship you have built with that customer. Maybe I am just old fashioned, but I believe that a customer should be treated as a valued business partner. Your job as a vendor is to help them be a stronger company and more competitive. You need to always keep their best interests at heart and never roll them for profit. These may be old fashioned ideas but they are the principles I run my business on and I believe it has contributed to my success.

Well there you have it! I believe that this article covers the main reasons I have found success in such trying times. I hope you find value in this article, but if not....You asked for it!

Lighting Savings