Martha Coakley Reveals 3 Mistakes Businesses Must Avoid

Today the election of the replacement for Ted Kennedy will be watched across the nation.  What
probably began as just another general election “go through the motions to defeat the Republicans” has
turned into an extremely close race creating excited for both sides.
I don’t claim to be a political strategist, but a quick look at the election shows us that Martha Coakley
has revealed 3  mistakes every businesses must avoid.
Mistake No. 1: Stopping Too Soon.

Today the election of the replacement for Ted Kennedy will be watched across the nation.  What probably began as just another general election “go through the motions to defeat the Republicans” has turned into an extremely close race creating excited for both sides.

I don’t claim to be a political strategist, but a quick look at the election shows us that Martha Coakley has revealed 3  mistakes every business must avoid.

Mistake No. 1: Stopping Too Soon. 

Some say that after winning a 4 way primary race Coakley declared herself the victor and stopped.  It appears that her post-primary efforts were more directed to promoting other democrats than in promoting herself.  Obviously her campaign would disagree with this assessment.   From the outside looking it, her campaign was not “campaigning.” 

In your marketing and promotion efforts don’t make the same mistake: stopping too soon.  If you choose to conduct a direct mail campaign, it’s not likely that one mailing will be sufficient.  In fact, two mailings may not be sufficient.  You would probably be better off reducing the scope of the mailing and schedule 3 mailings with a strong “call to action” on each one.

Sometimes we stop too soon by not following up.  Have you had that face-to-face conference with a client and then “they never called back?”  If we are honest, we will admit that too often we have the conference and then wonder why we weren’t retained.  Here’s why: You stopped too soon!

Give the prospect a reason to call you back.  Perhaps the follow-up call you make will cement some of the advice you gave during the office conversation.  Perhaps there is just one question, which if answered, would result in an  ngagement rather than the disappearance of the prospect.

Failing to make the follow-up call presumes on your prospect.  That leads us to Mistake #2.

Mistake #2:  Assuming Your Customers Will Always Be with You.

Massachusetts is a rock solid blue state.  The last time a Republican held the Senate was over 35 years ago.  That’s pretty solid!

Coakley held the mistaken belief that her prospects (the voters), her customers (the voters) would always be with her.  Again, her campaign will strongly disagree.  However, her actions, like the action of failing to follow-up after the initial office conference speak volumes.

She has revealed Mistake #2: Assuming Your Customers Will Always be With You.  For lawyers, that is manifest by our failure to treat our “best clients” as “best clients.”  Do they get the quickest call back or does the new prospect who needs to “hire a lawyer today?”  Have you ever been in court and heard one of your “best clients’” names called out and another lawyer stand to answer?  You sit there and wonder, “What did I do? Why is she representing “my client?”  Perhaps that has never happened to you.  When it does, you can be sure you’ll stop assuming your best clients will always be there ready to do more business with you.  When was the last time that you just “paid a visit” to one of your client’s offices (without cause or intent to bill)?  When was the last time that you just picked up the phone just to “check in?”  When was the last time that you sent a unique greeting card as an encouragement?

Mistake #2 is evidence of a presumptive attitude to your clients.  Mistake #3 reveals a similar presumption.

Mistake #3:  Not Paying Attention to What Matters to Your Customers.

In the last few days of the campaign, Martha Coakley made what appears to be a significant blunder: declaring Curt Schilling a Yankees fan.  Now I’m not a big baseball fan.  After all, I’m from Tennessee where we play football.  However, I do know a little about sports heroes.  I was here when the University of Tennessee kicked Johnny Majors to the side.  Here, that was almost sacrilegious in addition to being just mean.  It appears calling Schilling a Yankees fan is being taken the same way in Boston.  Shilling commented on his blog saying, “ But never, and I mean never, could anyone ever make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn’t know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could…”

Look, everyone makes mistakes.  This one illustrates that we have to “Know” and “Pay Attention To” what matters to our customers.  Voters and customers are fickle.  However, they both know what matters to THEM.  We should as well.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming , “well, that shouldn’t matter….”  You might find out it matters to the client.

This business we are in is in the category of “professional services.”  The very name itself screams we are to “serve” our clients, customers (or whatever you chose to call the people that pay you).

Part of that “service” is to find out what matters to them and then make sure it matters to you.

Ms. Coakley may recover from these mistakes.  However, let’s do our best to avoid them with our businesses. 

Three Mistakes Every Business Must Avoid:
Mistake No. 1: Stopping Too Soon. 
Mistake #2:  Assuming Your Customers Will Always Be with You.
Mistake #3:  Not Paying Attention to What Matters to Your Customers.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: