I recently attended the annual convention of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) with Guy Kawasaki as the keynote speaker. His new book, Enchantment-The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions just came out and provided the theme of his talk.
What can estate planning attorneys or funeral providers learn from this former chief evangelist at Apple? Here are a few of Kawasaki’s thoughts that could benefit your business:
- Achieve likeability: Have a great smile (with the eyes as well as the mouth); dress to tie – that is, be a peer (don’t under-dress or over-dress); and have a great handshake – eye contact, smile, firm but not hard grasp, and dry skin. Those with naturally sweaty palms may have trouble controlling that last element.
- Achieve trustworthiness: One could write volumes on this topic, but Kawasaki summed it up citing corporate examples of trustworthiness by Amazon.com, Zappos.com and Nordstrom. He suggested thinking like a baker rather than an eater – An eater looks at a pie and says, “I have to get as big a slice as possible.” A baker thinks, “I can bake a bigger pie for everybody.” And finally, default to a “yes” attitude – “How can I help this person?”
- Do something DICEE: This stands for Depth (features, full service); Intelligent (you’ve thought of everything, beyond what your customer has thought of); Complete (totality of service); Empowering (makes the user feel productive, creative); and Elegant (his example was the Apple interface). Is this how you operate?
- Use technology and social media: Remove the speed bumps to service online (like those hard-to-read “Captcha” words); provide value in information, insights, and assistance; and engage fast – if someone uses your Contact Us form, they need to get a same-day response from someone who can actually help.
He also talked about the need to use salient points, the information that really matters to your customer. Instead of touting the gigabytes a gizmo has, frame it in terms of the number of songs it can hold. Instead of talking about miles per gallon, frame it in terms of the yearly cost of gasoline (which is only going up these days).
And about those formal presentations: He suggested using the 10-20-30 Rule: keep a presentation to 10 Power Point slides in 20 minutes at 30 Point font size. And don’t read your text verbatim! The audience will read ahead and you’ll lose them.
So the question for estate planning attorneys (as well as ICCFA members), are you doing all you can to enchant your current and prospective clients? It’s not just how good the service you provide your clients actually is – it’s how your clients perceive that service.
Gail Rubin is the author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. She just debuted “The Newly-Dead Game” at the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in Nederland, Colorado and attended the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s convention and expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the Grateful Dead sang, what a long strange trip it’s been!
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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San Diego, CA 92124