The big game is in the books, and the commercials were actually kind of funny this year. Here’s a great place to see them all again, in case you missed any (ranked in order of votes from USA Today readers:

I particularly liked the one with the wiener dogs dressed up as … wieners.

I would love to sit in on some of those marketing meetings with some of these companies, though, and see how they justify the expense of some of these ads without knowing what the clear ROI would be. A few of those advertisements seemed like pure exercises in vanity or entertainment.

One of the things I want to do in 2016 is to pay closer attention to well-run companies. There’s that old saw: “Don’t work hard, work smart!” To me, working “smart” can still be a big waste of time — I’d rather do it right, follow a model, and not have to really even *be* that smart!

So this week, I am highlighting a couple smart businesses (in my opinion), with some thoughts for how we can model after what they do well.

Let me know your thoughts (shoot me an email by clicking the button above) … and of course, if you’d like to talk over this or anything else with us, we’re here for you: (516) 449-2852 (our phone number) is your friend. We are definitely very busy these next few months, but you are always a priority for us.

Michael Kessler On Client Relationship: A Key Trait Of Smart Companies
“Who covets more is evermore a slave.” – Robert Herrick

Let’s talk about a few truly excellent companies I’ve recently read about or personally encountered — who get that their “widget” or service isn’t actually the most important part of what they do. It’s their focus on client relationship.

For example:

Federal Express. My firm has used them from time-to-time to deliver time-sensitive materials and to pick up documents. Further, I know of someone who even had FedEx pick up a check from a top five commercial airline because this particular airline couldn’t move the check overnight — but FedEx would. In my experience, they hardly ever “miss”. They really do deliver absolutely, positively overnight.

But even more importantly, FedEx places a priority on its relationships with its customers. For example, FedEx sends new information, literature, brochures, etc. to its customers frequently. And FedEx employees — those who pick up and deliver and those in the offices — are simply great. They are friendly, courteous, helpful, they listen and don’t interrupt, they react calmly to even bizarre problems and questions, and they sell FedEx.

The driver who occasionally comes to our office often passes on some new piece of information about FedEx’s statistics, new services or products or expansion. This kind of service does not happen by accident.

Company #2: Omaha Steaks. What an incredible company this is. Omaha Steaks sells food by mail order and online, including the best corn-fed beef you’ll ever eat. Frankly, their products are expensive but the product quality warrants the price. However, the steps beyond product quality are what make this company a superior performer.

Here’s just one example of the obvious value and importance they place on the customer. I know of someone who would call Omaha often during the year and send different assortments of their products to valued clients as thank you gifts. Last year, shortly before Christmas, this client received in the mail from Omaha a list of all the people they had sent gifts to during the year, what they had sent them, when they sent it and what they had spent. If they wanted to send the same gifts again to the same person it was as easy as checking off a box and returning the form.

This is a prime example of a brilliant marketing strategy that is also a true service to the customer.

And that’s the real key idea — “How can you market your products or services–and at the same time provide a meaningful service to the customer?”

I’m personally dedicated to your success. Can other accountants say that?

As I mentioned last week, referrals are a beautiful thing. Here’s what you can do, if you’re so inclined. Share this post with a bunch of your close business associates and recommend our services (if you’ve had a good experience, of course!). All of our contact information is here, so they can get a feel for what we do and who we are.

I’d be much obliged!


Michael J. Kessler, CPA
(516) 449-2852
(203) 658-5092

PS–Join us for our show Business Profits In The Real World Saturday afternoons at 4 on 103.9FM WRCN where we bring you Long Island and The New York-Metro’s most successful business owners sharing how you too can bring your business to among the most profitable in your industry.  No radio? No problem! Listen live at – or can’t listen live?  Hear our past shows at