Service, not Systems

My wife and I bought a new car last month. (Yay - new car! Boo - spending lots of money!)

The car is awesome. The experience was… meh.

Here’s the short version: We spent 6-8 weeks deciding whether we wanted a big or mid-sized SUV, and we looked at several different brands. We stayed in touch with the sales guy for each dealership throughout the process, either by answering their follow-up calls, or calling them with questions, or stopping by to see the car in person (again.) Eventually we narrowed our list down to a couple of options, and bought the one where we were able to negotiate the best deal.

That’s it. The process was over. We have a new car, and each dealership’s sales guy knew if/when they were out of the running. End of story - or at least it should have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t.

We then received multiple sales emails over the next 2-3 weeks, from the dealership where we had just bought our car:

  • Hi Chris, it looks like you missed an appointment you had scheduled with (sales guy’s name). Did you want to reschedule your appointment to a more convenient time?

  • Hi Chris, we are having a big sale this weekend on (model name). Please give (sales guy) a call to schedule an appointment to come test drive a new (model name) and get a great deal on a great car.

  • Hi Chris, it looks like you haven’t been by our store to see (sales guy) in a little while. Please give us a call or stop by anytime if there’s anything we can do. We would love to help get you a great deal on a great car.

Finally we called the sales manager and asked to stop sending us emails.

This was worse than bad customer service - it was insulting.

We spent two months in constant communication with your sales guy, then spent a lot of money at your dealership, and you can’t even move our contact information from your “prospect” list to your “customer” list?

It’s a good idea to use systems to help increase your efficiency and stay in touch with as many people as possible.

It’s a bad idea to take the customer, and the service, out of a customer service business.

Systems are great; personal is better.

- Chris Butterworth


The World is Changing Fast

Each week there's a next-new thing. Another social media network. An update to your phone. Photos are auto-tagged with facial recognition. New features to learn in ARMLS. A new app wants to be your lead source.

Do you have to learn it all? Are you going to be left behind if you don't?

B 180621 - pathway.jpg

Let's slow down for a minute and take a deep breath.

June Reflections

June, for me, is a month of reflection. It's my birthday month - a time to take stock in where I've been and where I'm going. It's Father's Day month - when I think about the impact my Dad had on me and the impact I'm having on my kids. And it's my Dad's birthday month - he passed away a few years ago, and I still think of him often, especially in June...

What Really Matters

Let's be honest: does it really matter what platform you use to stay in touch? Will you lose a relationship because you tweet a snap from instabook instead of some other connected app?

One of the things my Dad did really well was the way he talked with people. He talked with everyone, but he rarely talked about himself - sort of Dale Carnegie style, although I don't think he ever read that book, it was just his way. He was the exact opposite of a "self promoter."

Dad was friendly and respectful to everyone, although he wasn't a natural extrovert. And he was genuinely interested in hearing how you were doing. (Genuine being the key word there.)

The thing is - even though he didn't talk much about himself, he was really well liked.

The World Isn't Changing at all

Technology is getting faster. Google and Amazon know what you want before you do. People's attention spans are getting shorter.

But they're still people.

And people like others who treat them well. Who respect them. Who are friendly towards them. And who are interested in them. It's the same as it was 30 years ago (and 30 years before that.)

Take the time to build genuine relationships, and you won't have to shout-chat faster and louder than the others bragging about themselves - your people will come to you because they know you'll take care of them.

- Chris Butterworth

Ps - One way to stay in touch with your sphere of influence is to send out a monthly eNewsletter. (or twice-monthly!) If this sounds like a good idea but you aren't sure how or you don't have the time, I'd love to help - hit reply and let's talk!


OPGS - Technology Tidbits

Other Peoples' Good Stuff (OPGS)

There is so much incredible content available that we simply can't find it all on our own, so I like to share some of the best and/or more thought provoking things I've seen online recently.


AI Chatbot Fights Email Scammers

The concept is sound: email scammers send out millions of phishing emails (like bait), and then work hard to rip off the few who actually respond. If an AI chatbot can keep them busy answering questions, the bad guys can't respond to as many legitimate people.


If the youtube video doesn't embed properly, click the image below to view it in youtube directly:

Click the image above to watch on YouTube..

Click the image above to watch on YouTube..



Driver-less cars arrrive in Phoenix

Google's driver-less cars (now called Waymo) have hit the streets; Phoenix and the Southeast Valley are one of the few cities chosen to participate.

Personally, I can't wait. These cars are logging millions of miles on the road (and hundreds of millions of miles in simulation), with each car gaining the experience of every other cars' experiences. It won't be long before they are safer than the average human driver. Once they are, I will not only have less people texting while driving next to me, but I'll also be able to get productive work done while commuting - double bonus!


Swarming Drones for the Military

Think about a swarm of bees. No leader; no formation; no particular order - just thousands of insects flying in near proximity to each other, working together towards a common goal, and without any crashing.

Instead of attacking with a multi-million dollar aircraft, why not send in a swarm of a thousand miniature drones? The enemy might shoot a few out of the sky, but they won't get them all - and new inexpensive replacements can be easily added to the swarm. (here is another article on the topic.)

I first read about this concept from an economics & investing email; looks like some people see financial opportunities in the changing times.


Bill Gates invests in an Arizona "smart city"

It's becoming more and more apparent that, whenever we need to make a quantum leap forward, it's going to be done by private industry.

SpaceX is giving NASA a run for its money. Not mention the Hyperloop, Solar Roof Tiles, and Self-Driving Cars.

Next up may be a new Phoenix area suburb, built from the ground-up to take full advantage of technology.

Ready or not, technology is coming. Well, it's already here, but it's going to keep coming anyway..!

And if all this technology is off-putting, so much so that finding the right platform for your monthly newsletter is getting you down... Let me help - that's what I do best!

- Chris Butterworth

Change brings Change

I'm writing this post specifically for those of you receiving it via email (clients, supporters, followers - THANK YOU for your support!) I have just finished a massive website rebuild (check it out here), and I will be changing some of my processes going forward as well.

image credit - flickr william warby


You normally receive my "Email and e-Newsletter tips and ideas for Realtors" emails. Well, starting today I'm combining that email-only information with my website. I will continue to write these tips and ideas, but instead will be publishing them publicly on my blog. You will then receive the blog post via email.

Same great information; slightly different format and delivery.

If everything sounds ok, no action is required on your part. You will continue to receive new content by email.

If for some reason you don't like the new format, please click unsubscribe at the top or bottom of this email, and you won't receive anymore of these types of emails.

Or hit reply and let me know what you think!

Thanks again, for everything,

- Chris Butterworth

ps - for those of you who aren't reading this via email, you might want to enter your email address in the right sidebar, so future articles are delivered directly to you...

Hello, RSS Feed

This is a short, quick post to test my rss feed. I will add a photo and some additional text below, just to see if formatting comes through ok.


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Let's see how this comes through the intertubes...

- Chris

Hello World

It's a whole new website, and a whole new world!


Update 10/17/17 - I was able to import all existing blog content from my prior blog platform, but of course some of the images, links, and margins are a bit wonky.

I'll work to fix everything over the next couple-few weeks. In the meantime, at least they all got moved over..

- Chris Butterworth


OPGS - Just Stand There

Sometimes I like to highlight Other People's Good Stuff (OPGS) - usually something I've read within the last week or so that made me stop and think, whether on-topic or off-the-rails completely, and I felt the need to share it with you.

Recently I read an email from Rob Hatch of Owner Media Group (his newsletter is worth signing up for!) titled "Just Stand There", where he talks about having the opportunity to unplug from his phone for a day.1

image credit - flickr clement127


You probably don't even realize how often you check your phone (I didn't either, but apparently they have an app to tell you the answer.) It's become so habitual that every minute of downtime - waiting in line, arriving early to an appointment, etc. - is met with a reach into our pockets for a glance at email or facebook.

Rob thinks this constant flow of information to our eyeballs is hampering our brain's ability to think freely, creatively, subconsciously.

Forget the old saying "Don't just stand there; do something."

The new saying should be "Don't do something; just stand there."

What would happen if we left our phones in our pocket? Probably more good than we would imagine...

- Chris Butterworth

1 Unfortunately I can't find a link to an email archive, so I'm linking to Rob's site and recommending his newsletter.