Jan 18 2015
“Z”. . . ZEST
ZEST (not the soap) I am referring to you and your business . . . ardor, élan, gusto, joie de vivre, lust, oomph, passion, pep, pizzazz, tang, vitality, energy, zing, zoom, zip, zap . . . either you’ve got it or . . . . . . . .
If you’ve got it, you can make it better. Start here now. If you don’t have it, you can get it ignited here, now. Free. No strings attached. No gimmicks! Just you and your business, and me.
Sounds good, you say, but who cares? Uh, your customers, your employees, your suppliers, your investors, your lenders, your community . . . and your family. Does that work for an answer? This is not just another lecture on motivation. It’s about operating your business with a competitive edge.
Let’s get to it: When did you last ask a few customers why they do business with you instead of with __________ (fill in the name of a leading competitor)? Oh, you did a survey? Well, that’s great, but there’s nothin’ like the real thing, Baby, goes the old song, and there’s nothing like straight eyeball-to-eyeball answers.
Whatever you hear back, by the way, accept and be appreciative. Do not criticize. Do not “Yes, But.” Do not argue or dismiss. There’s a reason for everything. Take it in. Write it down. Smile and say thank you. Go off and think. Odds are pretty good that the answers you’ll get will have something to do with your attitude and approach.
In other words, HOW you deal with customers, employees, and others around you is what determines more than anything else why your customers are your customers. And it’s that reputation that attracts other customers. So, if these assumptions about how you deal with others are even just half right, you already have a competitive edge.
It may simply need –like the holiday carving knife– a little sharpening. Start by asking yourself if you and/or someone else who works with you have been partly or largely responsible for positive customer feedback. Do you appropriately reward that behavior when it comes from others. Rewarding positives breeds more positives.
If you get feedback that attributes your business strength to other factors –price, quality, convenience, etc.–you need to giddy-yap over to your customer service counter/person/policy/strategy/whatever, to fix it or make it better.
Why? Because in this lousy (that we keep hearing is great) economy, it is frankly not a good sign that anything other than your outstanding service should be the #1 factor quoted by customers. You cannot any longer compete on price or packaging or quality or convenience or sustainability. Anyone with the know-how and gumption can beat you on those points.
But no one else can be you!
No one else can treat people exactly the same as you, and therein lies your single greatest and unique competitive edge — it’s the differential that you, exclusively, can offer. Have you ever by-passed others and gone out of your way to deal with a particular business because you relate better to the source? Of course you have.
We all seek individuals and entities we feel offer more integrity, more authenticity, a better reputation, provide more extras. So your customers are different? What’s keeping you from adjusting, over-hauling, boosting or perking up your business approaches and attitude NOW? Aren’t roadblocks, after all, a matter of choice?
Choose more of what works. Put a little spice in your spirit! And remember what you put out and how you come across – your spirit — is yours alone. No one else has or can use your strengths.
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Open Minds Open Doors
Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.
Make today a GREAT day for someone!