Thursday, June 7, 2007

Why it always pays to "go the extra mile"

Years ago, I worked for a software training company and became good friends with the head of the sales department. His name was Jeff. He was a great guy, and in his spare time he taught Catechism at his church. One day, we were out to lunch and he asked me to take a ride with him to a religious book store so he could pick up some books for his students. After he checked out, he handed me one of the books and told me to keep it. It was a small book with a blue cover. Sadly, I don't remember the name of the book, but I do remember its content, which had nothing to do with Catholicism, by the way. It was a collection of life lessons as told through the experiences of its "mysterious" author. One of the chapters was titled, "Go The Extra Mile." Like all of the other chapters, the lesson was simple: Go the extra mile and it will pay you back ten-fold. Since then, I've applied this wonderful lesson to my relationships with friends, family, and business associates, and it really works.

Shortly after I began working at Famous Smoke Shop six years ago, one of the first things I realized was, not just that we were competitive in terms of low prices for our premium cigars, but that we offered great customer service. In fact, whenever I'm talking to a customer service agent for a company I'm doing business with, I hold them to what I call "the Famous standard."

I could go on tooting our horn, but in lieu of that, I'd rather direct your attention to a blog written on June 3 by Thomas J. Gray Jr., a marketing consultant who writes on Internet Marketing at Gray emarketing solutions (www.gemsolv.com). Under the heading of "The Evolving Internet Marketer," in his blog titled, "Deepen the Connection between You and Your Customer," Mr. Gray describes his experience with Famous Smoke Shop, and how other online businesses can learn by following Famous's lead. There's also tons of other valuable information on improving your online business, so make it a point to visit.

I've already posted a personal thank you note to Mr. Gray under his column, but I wanted to go the extra mile by mentioning it here.

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