Last week we discussed how sharing your trade secrets can boost your brand awareness and increase potential clients’ interest in your product or service. We reached out to different departments at The YGS Group and asked members of our team to share their trade secrets.
When it comes to putting together a magazine feature, VP of Editorial Services Kelly Winkler has trade secrets that are sure to make your feature article shine. Kelly says the elements that make features the most successful are:
• 5-7 strategic entry points
• Headlines and deks
• Photos, pull quotes, and call outs
It’s important to dress up your features with visual interest, instead of just having a block of text. The feature story needs to stand out from the rest of magazine, and with this combination of content and graphics, your readers are sure to stay entertained.
Kali Eskew, marketing account manager in the Marketing Services department talked about the importance of keeping your teams organized when taking on large projects. In order to ease the stress when redesigning The YGS Group’s website, the Marketing Services team put together an organizational strategy so everyone who worked on the project would know where to find the bits and pieces.
“We created folders on our server for each page of the website, so that our team never had any questions regarding what copy and images went together, and where they belonged on the website. We also worked off of a live Google doc spreadsheet to keep track of our tasks leading up to the website launch. Tasks were categorized by website page, and status filters (in progress; review; complete, etc.) were utilized to increase efficiencies when tracking progress.”
While this system worked well for our website redevelopment team, the tips Kali gave can be reworked to apply to any project management challenge.
Matt Meyers, VP of Sales, also chimed in with the trade secrets of sales professionals. One of the most crucial elements of success in sales is showing your passion for the trade. Being genuine with your clients will really give you the extra edge, Matt says.
“You need to be sincere and confident that you are helping a customer be successful and not look at it as an opportunity to just sell something. If you don’t show enthusiasm and a positive relationship with your customers, they won’t enjoy working with you.”
While most companies offer their sales professionals specific training to sell their products and services, Matt says there are sales basics that can be applied to all sales relationships: “be responsive, follow through on your commitments, apologize when something goes wrong, and fix it beyond what was expected.”
Next, we heard from Janet Kennedy, customer service manager at YGS. If there isn’t awesome customer service, there can’t be success in business. Janet admits that customer service isn’t always easy, but she has found many rewarding aspects within the department. There are times when congratulations among the customer service team are warranted: a customer provides positive feedback on an experience or a product, or a team member is able to follow through on conflict resolution. However, when the truly difficult clients or situations arise, Janet’s mantra is positivity.
When Janet came into her role as a customer service manager, she made it a goal for her team to “take a challenge or an obstacle and make it an ‘opportunity to improve.’” When those challenging clients call in with a comment or concern, it is important to focus on what can be done instead of what cannot or what wasn’t to begin with. Her recommendation for a successful customer service team is to “look at failures … as an opportunity to grow and strengthen your staff, improve workflows, and, most importantly, strengthen the company’s relationship with customers.” This attitude is definitely the way to keep your existing clients happy and let potential clients know you’re in business with good intentions.
While Janet makes sure our team communicates harmoniously with our clients, Human Resources Director Dawn Myers is focused on the relationships within the office. Dawn says there are two sides to every story, so in order for the mediator “to fully understand [the situation], always ask the extra ‘why’ question.” Getting the full points of view from all parties is the best way to solve issues in the most agreeable way. Being an advocate for positive workplace relationships is the best way to keep the business on track.
Now that we’ve had a chance to share our trade secrets, we’d love to hear from you! What’s your business and what secrets to success do you use that have your customers coming back for more?