March 27, 2016

Walk Our Own Talk

All of us are more than willing to help someone else make their business and their life better. We all know that karma rewards everyone with the same type of effort that we put forth. We counsel and coach others with advice that should make everyone who hears us more successful and more prosperous.

However, are we ever guilty of not following our own advice? Do we recommend that others take one type of action and then follow a different path ourselves? Of course, we may argue that our situation is different from that of the other person or that we are different in some manner that only we can see. What are we doing; what are we exhibiting to others? Do we actually walk our own talk?

We all may tell everyone to buy local, to place our purchasing dollars into the local financial stream, assisting local business and local governmental tax revenue. It also may benefit us since we may be a local business that has a large, national, or world-wide business as a rival. After all, buying local may be a slogan that promotes us as well as the bakery on the corner. Do we follow that advice ourselves?

If we are going to influence others by offering advice to them and to counsel them on how they should operate their business, we must be the example of what we tell others. We must walk our own talk and be a product of our own product. If we are a realtor, telling everyone how they need to buy a residence and enjoy the tax and other benefits of being a homeowner, we should own our home. If we represent a nutrition product or plan, we must be an example by using our own plan and products.

“Lead by our own example” must be our mantra. Others should see us as the type of business person that they can be and how following our advice results in the type of prosperity that we have achieved. We must develop our credibility through being an example of how others should operate their business. This provides the leadership that shows others that what we preach actually works and how it would work for them.

In the past we have determined that a successful business is operated as a business, by a person who is a professional, not being in business for a hobby. The same person treats their prospects, customers, clients, and everyone else as individuals who are people, not statistics. Finally the business owner, and everyone who is an employee, must be a product of the product, or service, of the business. Thus, everyone sees us as the successful result of the product or service that we offer.

One of the best ways to lead others is by example. That is what we do when we walk our own talk. Others will see us as successful for what we do and how we do it. It applies to our marketing and to our customer relations. It also applies to how we treat our own employees. Being an example for our networking relationships is the best way to be a mentor for others.

When we tell others how they should operate their business, we must be the example for them in how whatever we advise them to do really does work for success. We must be a “working” mentor for our partners who we want to assist. We must walk our own talk. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 20, 2016

Never Quit on a Bad Day

We have all good days and bad days in our business lives and in our personal lives. Everything may not go as expected, the weather may be dark and rainy, and everyone may not cooperate with us. We may believe that we cannot do whatever we set out to do that day, but we must never, ever quit on a bad day.

We all have goals, some of which must be long term, and some must be short term. We need daily goals, and we need weekly, monthly, or annual goals. If we get overwhelmed with the difficulty of annual goals, we should always break them down into shorter term goals. These are easier to visualize and are not so daunting to us. It helps soften the impact on our own spirit.

Our small accomplishments are stepping stones to our goals. We must recognize our small accomplishments for what they are. Every small accomplishment is important and vital to our own spirit and temperament. Maintaining our spirit is important to our ability to reach further accomplishments and our goals. Without celebrating these small accomplishments, we may never achieve the goals that will mean our overall success.

Goals must be attainable when they are originally written. Writing down goals means that we have committed to accomplishing them, that they are important and vital to us, and that they are seen as the building blocks of our success. Being able to mark written goals off is very therapeutic for a business person. It allows us to celebrate these accomplishments in a way that reinvigorates us and gives us the impetus to move forward toward further success.

Is it possible to have a bad day that would normally negatively impact our spirit and impede our forward motion to business success and still have small accomplishments that will refresh our resolve? Yes, most definitely small accomplishments may happen at the same time when other negative events loom over us. They will soften the blows of these negative events and will strengthen us.

Of course, if we suffer failures in our daily lives and the goals that we plan on accomplishing, we must never let those failures overshadow the objectives that we have in our overall goals or even in the smaller ones that would lead to our main objectives. We must have the resolve to see the process through to the end result and move on to the end game, the main goals of our business.

Goals should be written in pencil, not carved in granite. They must be adaptable to events that are out of our control and must be able to be revised as needed. We may see something that should make us change our goals and accomplish more than we ever thought before. Who knows; maybe we might be more successful through adaptability than we ever dreamed when we wrote our goals originally.

As business people we must never allow the events of an individual day, or even one hour, to make us give up and abandon our dreams. “Never quit on a bad day” is not just a saying to raise our spirits. It should be a philosophy and mantra for our success over the long haul. We should be better than allowing small events to drive us to failure. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 13, 2016

Doing The Right Thing

Last week I mentioned that business owners must do the “right thing” in relationships with others. It doesn’t matter whether the other person is a prospect, customer, client, family member, or friend, every relationship should be treated as we would want to be treated. The “right thing” may be different as per the situation, but it must be honorable, ethical, and professional, never less than the other party is due.

The “right thing” is best described as what anyone would do when no one is watching, the actions they take at any one time. When a sale is made, how is the contract fulfilled? Is the buyer satisfied? Does the buyer get what they expect? Is the quality, quantity, color, size, or whatever the same as represented in the purchase? Is the delivery on time, to the satisfaction of the buyer?

Client satisfaction means that the client is happy with the buying experience as well as the completion of the process of the purchase. They found the buying process as they expected that process to be. Client satisfaction leads to client loyalty. If a client is satisfied, the client may be loyal. However, client satisfaction does not guarantee client loyalty. Loyalty is a result of satisfaction with the buying process plus a lot more.

The “right thing” includes the actions we take in the process of conducting our business and personal lives. It involves the marketing, sales, delivery of products or services, and follow-up. It also involves our interface with those with whom we do not have a client relationship, including prospects, family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. How would others describe your actions toward total strangers? Are you proud of all that you do, and are your family or friends also proud?

We all should conduct our business and personal lives in a manner that reflects well on us, in a manner that inspires loyalty. That includes honest, ethical practices that treat everyone in a manner that we should want others to treat us. Treating others as we want them to treat us is a great philosophy. Would it be better if we treated others better than we expected them to treat us? Do the “right thing” at all times; do whatever is right, or correct, in every step of our business and personal lives.

This ongoing philosophy includes thanking people for their business, for their help, for their contributions to your life. Everyone likes to be noticed, all of us. We all like to be appreciated for whatever we do, especially for whatever we do for others. How about we thank others for their part in our lives, not just their initial contribution? What about their referrals, their advice, for their continued support? We must show this appreciation over and over to retain their loyalty. If we appreciate others, they will appreciate us, our business, and our future.

We must think about how we can show our gratitude to others. What can we do to say “thank you” to someone each and every day, maybe multiple times per day? How does that action make others feel, about us, and about life? How does that action make us feel about them, about ourselves, and about life? How do we feel when they thank us for thanking them?

We must build great karma, and great karma builds great client loyalty, leading to business success. Great karma reflects our doing the “right thing” always. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 6, 2016

Don't Wait

We all have friends or relationships that we have not contacted recently. We may know what is happening in their lives, or we may not; it does not matter. We must make an effort to renew our relationships before it is too late, before anything might happen that prevents us from speaking with the partner in question.

Gratitude Marketing means that we establish relationships with others. These may be business people, family, friends, prospects, customers, or clients. The best way to do this is to meet them one-on-one and get to know them. We should learn their story of how they reached this point in their lives, both personally and professionally.

We should not assume that this meeting is the only one with this person. It may take us several meetings to decide if we know, like, and trust the other person. If a business relationship develops, then we will have accomplished one of our goals. If not, maybe a networking relationship can be what we gain. Either way, we are better than we started. Have we helped make someone’s life better for these efforts?

Our networking partners and the relationships with them deserve our continued efforts to maintain the relationships, the friendships, and the mutual support. We must nurture these relationships and continue to develop them. People change and so do situations. We should keep current with our partners. If we do not, how can we know what they may need or what introductions will help them?

What happens if we lose track of one of our partners? Who do we know who may assist us in locating them? Perhaps they have changed their business, or maybe they have relocated out of the area. Are they still the same person we knew, and can we still refer business to them? Are they even in a position to answer our referrals if we make them? If they are not, we may lose face for the failed referral.

If the loss of contact is our fault, how long do we have before it is too late to attempt to resume the relationship? That may depend on the person with whom we are attempting to rebuild a partnership. However, a good rule of thumb is that it never too late to say that we are sorry for losing contact and for attempting to reestablish contact. Sometimes eating a little crow may help us regain a friend. Make the effort and see what results.

Nurturing relationships must be a fulltime endeavor. With customers, marketing never stops with the sale because there is always someone out there talking in our customer’s ear, telling them how much better business would be with them. We must maintain our contact and support our relationships as if we were growing a crop. We will lose some customers or relationships, but we will develop and maintain many more.

Gratitude Marketing means many things to us. It means developing and appreciating our relationships no matter the basis for them. It means that it is never too late for saying that we are sorry, and it means being true to our word in what we say. It also means doing the “right thing” when we do business, no matter what results. Don’t wait to develop relationships and don’t delay their maintenance.

Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.