Kevin O’Leary, known as Mr. Wonderful on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” says, “The more we can connect directly, the better business gets.”
Keep the customer happy
“The whole business is about connecting with people and forming a relationship with them,” adds O’Leary, who has over 40 companies. “Once they become customers, we try to service them so they stay customers, so they want more and more products and services from us.”
With customer service as the focus, businesses can make money. “When we acquire a customer, and they’re happy, they become less price-sensitive,” he says. “In other words, if we’re scoring top in customer service, our margins remain high.”
The businessman explains that if customer service falls below the 50th percentile, businesses may lose clients who don’t feel well served, or, if clients stay, they may not absorb price increases.
Work to get noticed
The no-nonsense television personality and author advises business professionals to do whatever it takes to get noticed in a crowded industry.
“Ring a big bell, because when you’re starting out and you’re a competitor in a fast-growing sector or industry, nobody knows who you are,” he says. He encourages those just starting out to attend industry conferences and make sure people understand that “you’re there; you’re relevant; and you’re competing.”
It can be tedious to attend so many events, but if you want to compete in an industry, you need to be visible. “Because if you’re not there, you’re forgotten,” O’Leary cautions.
Go the extra mile(s)
In-person meetings need to be a priority. “At the end of the day, nothing replaces human beings sitting beside one another, talking and looking in each other’s eyes,” O’Leary says. For large clients and businesses he wants to be associated with, he takes the CEO out for dinner, a good bottle of wine and communication. “Even if you only do that once a year, people remember who you are in a way you’ll never get with an online experience.”
Make a lasting impression on a business trip by giving the client a gift. “I always leave something they remember me by,” says O’Leary, who recommends giving a gift that will stay on the client’s desk or in their office, such as a piece of art, one of your products or even a pen.