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Put Customers First
by Deborah Chaddock Brown

I recently read a synopsis of a presentation by Ben Yoskovitz, outlining the Ten Things You Must Consider When Starting a Business. The article’s message has value for anyone starting out but also for entrepreneurs looking to revitalize or grow their business. Just a few points are:

  • Hire the right people
  • Train them
  • Consistent brand messaging
  • Adequate funding when you need it
Although the article has a lot of value, one foundational component was missing: THE CUSTOMER

None of the ten things mentioned the customer. One could argue that each of the items impact, benefit or involve the customer but the customer was never named.
I contacted the author via the comments section of the article and Ben told me that in the actual presentation he stressed the value of the customer in each element but it got me to thinking…how many of us have an idea, create a plan and begin executing without ever ASKING the target customer if the idea is the right one, the marketing vehicle works or if the experience process is what they’ll find valuable?
We ASSUME we know what the customer wants.
How often has assuming led you astray?
I am starting a new online resource geared toward the sales executive looking to go from good to great. Put Customers First is a philosophy I strive to achieve. In a world of go-go-go, drive sales, increase profits, beat the competition we are ruled by numbers: units, dollars and market share. Often the customer gets lost in the process.
My belief? Put Customers First and the money follows. It’s all about the relationship:
  • Over the phone
  • In person
  • Online
  • After the transaction
  • Handling dissatisfied customers
In an effort to Put Customers First as I create this new resource I will be contacting some of you to participate in a short survey to learn what resources and tools you’d find of value. If you are interested in participating in the formation of the Put Customers First resource, please email me and I’ll send you the link to the survey.
Those companies that Put Customers First in all aspects of their business, benefit from word of mouth referrals, repeat business and a brand awareness that sets them apart from the competition. And isn’t that what we all strive for?
How do you Put Customers First? Need help? Call me 330.414.8792 for training and consulting.

Want to participate in the survey? Email me at 


April 2010
Volume Five, Issue four

Podcamp Cleveland
Interested in learning about podcasting, social media, Wordpress or creating webinars to connect with your customers? Podcamp is finally coming to Cleveland. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 1 from 9-5 at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. I’ve attended the Podcamp in Columbus and found the sessions to be wildly informative and the “hallway learning” to be invaluable. I’ve already signed up to attend and hope to see you there. For more information visit Podcamp Cleveland.
A Quote Worth Living

"A vision without ACTION is a daydream.  Action without VISION is a nightmare."

Where is Deborah Speaking Next?

April 12     "Use Social Media to Connect with Customers"
                 Fairlawn Chamber of Commerce
April 14     "Create a Social Media Strategy"
                 IDS, Canton, Ohio
April 21     "Unleash your Inner Hero"
                 Annual Administrative Assistant's Day, Green Ohio

Interested in having Deborah speak at your next event? Visit Customer Relationship Speaker for more information.


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