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TL:DR summary: How can you help your customers or clients place complete orders? How can you help them choose the right online talk, landscape design, haircut, jewelry, commissioned painting, container planting, etc. and be happy with it?
Katie Headshot
"Do they have hot lobster?" my Mom asked.

In Wilmington, NC lobster rolls are currently a thing, and we have at least 4 food trucks or restaurants that exclusively serve lobster rolls, in a town where lobsters do not grow natively. 

In search of hot lobster (listen, the lady wanted what she wanted), we ended up at my favorite, the Maine Lobster Roll Company (MLRC).
And a newsletter that seems like it has nothing to do with anything was born. 

Here's why we're talking hot lobster today. The MLRC website demonstrates my number one tip to saving time and money in business, which is, whenever possible:

Place a complete order or Take a complete order

 

The MLRC demonstrates how you can help your customers place a complete (and completely informed) order so the customers get what they want. 

I circled the hot lobster item because that is why we ended up there. BUT, if you look above the circle, you see a succinct description of what's in each size of lobster roll. 
It says:

ALL OF OUR LOBSTER ROLLS ARE MADE WITH MAINE LOBSTER MEAT, SOURCED DIRECTLY FROM THE DOCKS OF STONINGTON, ME., SERVED ON AUTHENTIC NEW ENGLAND STYLE HOT DOG BUNS, TOASTED WITH BUTTER. 

All our rolls are served on the same size bun. The amount of lobster meat determines the size. A half will fill out the top of the bun, a whole will generously mound over the top and with a hearty, all the lobster will not fit in the roll!
If someone has never encountered a lobster roll, wants to try it, isn't sure what to expect  ("What, exactly, is, a lobster roll?") or what to order ("How much lobster do I really want?") that simple description does it all. 

It teaches the customer how to place their order. 

Again, this is my best business tip to save time and money:

Place a complete order.
We use this lingo at GOW - with clients and with each other.

If I actually say the words, "I'm placing an order with you," it sets me up to think about the specific info I need to give to place a complete order so that I get what I want from the person providing the service.

It also sets up the person taking my order for thinking about questions they might need to ask to make sure they correctly produce the deliverable (marketing email, one sheet, email signatures, landing page, product description) that I ordered. 

If I say to my clients, "I'm taking your order, let's make sure we get it right," it ensures that both of us know that they're requesting services, and I'm taking a work order. 

Ironically, this newsletter was almost set to go on Tuesday when I had to stop and fix something because I had given an incomplete order to one of my team members. 

Doing that definitely cost me time and money. 

Just another charming example of how at GOW we run a pretty tight ship, but every ship leaks sometimes. Ya can't beat yourself up about it.

How to Place a Complete Order


Use the old newspaper standby questions to start:

What: What is the thing? Is it tangible? Is it digital? Is it a product? Is it a report? Is there formatting you need/want? 

When: When do you need a draft or an outline? When do you need the finished product? When is the due date? When will it launch?

Who: Who will do it? Are multiple people involved in the creation? Who has final approval? Who is the thing for? (The intended audience)

Where: Where does the finished deliverable live? In dropbox? On a website? On a shelf? Are materials needed from another location? Where will they find information to do the product? Where should they source materials?

How: Are there specific processes someone needs to follow? How should the finished product be delivered? Is there a way that the final product should be proofread?

Placing a complete order does not have to be a long ordeal, and once you get in the swing of doing it, it'll all be quick and feel natural to you.

Here's what placing a complete order for a website update looks like within a company where John knows how to reach Rachel.

John, please switch the featured product on the website home page under the fold from amaryllis gifts to air plant gifts. Ask Rachel for a banner and make sure it links to the air plant gifts collection. I need this completed no later than end of day 4/23/21.

Who: John do it. Ask Rachel for materials.
What: Switch a featured products banner
Where: On the website home page under the fold
How: Link to the air plants gift collection.
When: By EOD 4/23/21

Bonus points for including an explainer video using Vidyard or Loom, or including a screenshot with key areas circled. 

Here's an example of a 37 second explainer video that helped me get a recent job done quickly and accurately.

Scoot 'n Fruity

I have been dying to send you guys links to these hilarious pronunciation videos that Steph and Mallary found. This one is fantastic. And the inspiration behind today's subject line. This is the actual pronunciation of that word. 

Until I was 30, I pronounced acetaminophen ASS-a-TAY-min-OH-fen. (That is, APPARENTLY, not how you pronounce it.)

Tangent to tangent to tangent - never make fun of someone for how they pronounce a word because it means they learned it from reading and reading is good.

K, back to subject line. 

What if you don't know how to correctly place an order for something? Maybe you're buying a website and you don't even know how to ask for what you need because you don't even know what you need or how it should be done? 

What if you're asking for Tylenol but you're saying ASS-a-TAY-min-OH-fen, so nobody knows what the heck you're asking for and you end up with directions to Target to purchase a Taylor Swift deluxe album with polaroids or a poster? 

In that case, the best way to place a complete order is to find someone who can help you place that order and won't laugh at you, condescend to you, or make you feel small.

We help clients place complete orders all the time. 

I love businesses that help me place complete orders, like the Maine Lobster Roll Company.

How can you help your customers or clients place complete orders? How can you help them choose the right online talk, landscape design, haircut, jewelry, commissioned painting, container planting, etc. and be happy with it?

Favorite Finds

All of these pronunciation videos. (This curated collection is 100% SFW, but will auto play. They're YouTube links.)

Current read. Can't devour it fast enough.

The easiest sheet pan dinner ever. Takes 10 minutes to throw together if you use baby carrots.

Photos and plant descriptions for your website

Free online chart maker
 

Happy (non) customer testimonial
 

"Samantha is fantabulous! Thank you so much for the referral." 

Are you looking for someone to do SEO? Help you with your Zoom talks? Write sales copy? Proofread your catalog? Package your book? Run google PPC ads? Manage your social media?

If you need services that aren't our focus areas  I would be happy to direct you to someone that's not me. 

Drop me a line

Need team GOW help (email marketing, website development, business planning & web strategy)? Book a discovery call:
Book Now

Your turn

Do you have a fantastic business tip that has saved your butt more times than you can count? Please send it over, and I'll share a round up of reader tips. 

(I totes stole this idea from Jane Friedman's Electric Speed newsletter, which is free, fantastic, and full of great digital tools — and reader intel.)

See you in the inbox in two weeks.
~Katie
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