April 29, 2018

How “Good” is “Good Enough”?

How often have we heard the phrase: “That’s good enough?” What exactly is “good enough” for Gratitude Marketing believers? Is it the level of product excellence that allows a company to “just get by” with meeting standards? Is it the level of customer service that will not provoke outcry and backlash? Is it the performance that only meets regulatory minimums?

The phrase “good enough” implies that someone provides the level of service or the quality of product that meets minimum requirements, whether these requirements are regulatory or buying public expectations. They provide no more than necessary. If you analyze most regulatory requirements you will understand that these standards are too low for nearly all public desire and need.

As business owners, we should strive to wipe the phrase “good enough” from our vocabulary, and that of our staff personnel. Marketing “good enough” products means that we do not care about doing what we should do to appreciate those who spend money to purchase from us. “Good enough” means that we do not care about our customers, our products, or our service.

We have discussed that we should provide a good product or service for a valid price. Define the term “good”. Is it just “good enough” or is it really the best that we can provide for the price charged? Can it be better, or are we just “getting by” with only what is required? Who defines the level that is “good” anyway?

I have stated many times that I strive to provide the type of customer service that I myself would want to receive. We should treat customers as we ourselves want to be treated. That opinion has provoked comments from my networking partners that I am wrong. They tell me that I should treat others as they want to be treated, not how I want to be treated.

I disagree; my standards are higher than the normal customer’s. I am “high maintenance” and want to be treated very well, not just “good enough”. The average customer has come to accept what I consider to be below average customer service. The state of normal customer service is now so low in most business transactions the customers have come to accept a level that they would never have accepted in the past.

It is time to correct this complacency. We need to step up and stop being “good enough” and start appreciating our customers, our prospects, and everyone with whom we meet. Start treating others as you want to be treated and be demanding in what you expect from others. That is the way that we can change this “normal” level of behavior and service.

From our products to our service to our prices and to our everyday marketing, we can fix this abysmal level of customer relations. It doesn’t take much, just consistent work, doing what we should be doing each and every day. Make it a habit, and it will become normal operating procedure. Be proud of what you market, including your service and relations.

Please leave me your comments and questions. I will respond to emails at Jim@SOC4Now.com or to calls, or texts, at 360-314-8691. Your input is always appreciated and important to me. That is Gratitude Marketing.

April 22, 2018

Our Motivation

How do you get your motivation? Who, or what, motivates you? In other words, who, or what, drives you to succeed, and to push your success further and further? Maybe you are the best source of your own motivation; maybe it is your family. Perhaps you are motivated purely by money, and the quest for more of it; possibly the search for self-fulfillment is what motivates you.

What is motivation? Is it the same as inspiration? If you look in a thesaurus you will find that the word motivation equates with incentive, inspiration, drive, enthusiasm, and other similar words. My friend, Jon Turino, has written a book which I strongly encourage you to read, entitled “Inspiration Now!” I know that you will find it inspiring, motivating, and very supportive.

We all must discover our own motivation. Are we just slaves to the dollar and is that what motivates us the most? Are we that shallow that we only live in order to make more, and more, money? However, do we need money to order to make our lives better? Is the money the necessary factor to enable us to do the things that make our lives, and that of others, better?

Our motivation is the reason that we do what we do, and we can have multiple reasons for our business lives and how we conduct ourselves. Our rationale is how we act, what we actually do to make us more successful. Our motivation makes us create our goals of what we want to accomplish, and these goals may be the purpose for what we do.

Motivation is what we use to establish our goals to measure our success. Goals may be the end result that we wish to reach in our work. Goals can also be the intermediate steps that we use to reach the ultimate objectives in life. We can have personal goals, and we can have business ones. We also discover that some goals apply to both our personal and business lives. This is a fact that we must understand and accept.

Books, videos, seminars, webinars, and other means of education can provide motivation to us. We must renew our commitment to use these tools and what we learn from them in our lives. It does us no good to attend a seminar, take copious notes, and never apply what we learned. Practice what you learn, and practice again, over and over. Your knowledge will allow you to reach your goals and perhaps your motivation.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” This quote from Zig Ziglar may be motivation in and of itself for us to incorporate what motivates us into our lives. We must have a “why” for what we do, and how we do it. We should be able to articulate our “why” to others and to ourselves.

What is your “why”? What makes you what you are, what you do, and how you do it? Your “why” should be your motivation, along with the desire to accomplish your goals and better your life, and the lives of others. If you can accept, and attempt those goals, you will have a successful life, both personally and in business.

Why do you do what you do, and how you do it? Do you agree with these ideas concerning motivation? Whether you do or not, please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or email, me at 360-314-8691. Everyone’s opinion counts, and I would love to chat with you no matter how you feel.

April 15, 2018

Building, and Maintaining, Networking Relationships

When we first meet anyone, we should never prejudge them and whether they would ever enter into a business relationship with us. We should get to know them, decide if we like them, and decide if we can trust them. Then, if we cannot help them find what they need, we must try to connect them with someone who may be able to help them, or who knows someone else who might be of assistance. That is Gratitude Marketing.

When we develop a relationship with others we become their partner and have a vested interest in their success. We should have the type of relationship where we can call on each other for referrals, advice, and assistance without keeping score on who has done what for whom. The best partner works to help the other person be successful without expecting referral for referral in return.

Recently I heard a person at a networking meeting say that he was interested in matching referrals with others, giving the other person referrals for each one he himself received. That is keeping score, exactly what we agreed we should not do. That is self-serving, and it benefits no one.

So what if someone does give us a referral, perhaps one which puts a significant amount of money in our pocket? What do we do if we cannot become their client or do not know someone who needs what they have? We have to wait and try to put someone in touch with them who may provide a mutually beneficial relationship to both parties. That is Gratitude Marketing and shows that we are grateful to both parties.

Networking relationships, like all partnerships, must be built and maintained, through mutual hard work and benefit for both parties. They do not start or stop on a specific date or time, and they do not take a recess for any holiday or event. You may be able to assist your networking partner in business, while one, or both, of you is on vacation, or you may be able to help someone through email, phone, or direct contact.

When we first meet anyone there are plus and minuses about them. There are certain aspects about them that we like and other characteristics that we do not like. There may also be characteristics that we just cannot tolerate. If the latter is true, are these characteristics deal-breakers; can we accept these and tolerate them to the degree that we want to maintain the relationship?

Sounds somewhat like buying a house or starting a personal relationship, doesn’t it? Well, it is, and it should be treated as such. Networking is work, and building and maintaining relationships is also work. However, just like marketing our businesses, we are rewarded for our efforts with success.

Relationships are the lifeblood of our business success. Through building, and maintaining, relationships, we can gain success for ourselves, and for our networking partners. However, we must work to do our part and make sure that we keep the interests of our networking partners foremost in our minds and efforts. It then pays off for everyone.

How would you rate your business and networking relationships? Do you believe that you are benefiting from them, and do you learn from your experiences in them? Do you practice Gratitude Marketing, thanking everyone for everything that they do for you and for others? Your comments here, or your emails at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or your calls at 360-314-8691 are always welcome, even if you disagree.

April 8, 2018

The Junk in Our Trunk

Some years ago I had the opportunity to meet Weldon Long. This is a gentleman who raised himself from a very negative early life to become a powerful motivational speaker. He discussed the need for all of us to deal with the “stuff” which keeps us from achieving the success that we desire and can reach. We must address this “junk in our trunk” and prevent it from holding us back.

This junk includes all the negative thoughts that others have placed in our minds during all our life. There are people who, while they appear to be our friends, have no interest at all in our success. They only want to make sure that we never rise about their level of achievement, the level that we strive to surpass. They are jealous of anyone who rises to a level that they will never reach.

These people will, while appearing to have our best interests at heart, tell us to never take risks, never try something that may take us to higher levels of success than the one where they are our equal. “You can’t do that. You will fail at that. That will never work. Whoever told you that you could do that was a liar.” These are their words. They cannot tolerate the idea that you will leave them to wallow in their own world and never rise to the level of success that you desire.

You cannot strive to achieve success and rise above the status quo if you don’t take a chance and try something new and different. What if you do something unique? What if you step out of the “normal” expectation that you have and believe that you might achieve something more? What if you move out of your comfort zone and take actions that others might mock?

The definition of insanity is expecting something different to happen when you still do everything the same way that you always have done. “That won’t work here; that isn’t how life is; everyone knows that will never work.” These are the words of those who don’t want you to succeed, because then you will see them for what they are, the doubters who held you back.

The junk in our trunk includes everything that we have learned from the day we were old enough to understand others. It is ingrained into our brains and our processes of life. It includes the doubts and fears of our lives, the lack of knowledge, and the worry that we will fail and be embarrassed for that failure. That fear of embarrassment is a weight around our neck and holds us back from our ability to succeed.

Who do you know that has taken a chance in life and failed? We all have failed at something. Maybe it was a marriage; maybe it was a business venture. Just because one project fails doesn’t mean that all of our attempts at anything in life will fail. Did the fact that someone turned you down for a date make you never ask anyone else? Did you stop trying to turn prospects into clients when you failed with one possibility?

Of course not; you keep trying, knowing that you will learn from your experiences and will succeed. How does that make you feel; how does that influence your later actions? Wouldn’t you like to share your experiences with others and maybe help someone learn what you have learned? Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691. I would love to hear from you.

April 1, 2018

Telling Your Story

We have all been told that we must be able to tell our story. This is the tale of how we come to be where we are today; this is the chain of events that led us to be where we are now. It is the story of who we are and what we did to become what we represent in business as well as in our personal life.

You must realize that the story that you tell is very important; it is what you utilize to get others to know you, and it should make others believe in you. It must be true, and it must be believable to others. The facts must be consistent from one telling to another, and they must be simple for you to relate. My daddy always told me that when you tell the truth, you will easily remember what you say.

You must also realize that the manner of the telling is as important as the story itself. You must tell your story in a believable manner, and you must keep it simple. You also should keep it short enough that others will not lose interest during the telling and so that others will be able to relay the story to others. Consistent facts will keep your story the same as it is retold.

How you tell your story also includes that you do not dominate the conversation. If you are speaking with someone one-on-one, you must allow the other person to tell you about themselves. You should always ask the other person about their story and how they came to be where they are now. Show interest and listen to the other person. The more that you listen, and learn, the better your networking relationship will be.

Listening, and learning, is Gratitude Marketing at work. If someone believes that you are only interested in telling your story, and not hearing about them, you will never have their respect. Your networking partners will know your story includes your desire, and practice, to learn their stories. If you do not know someone else’s story, how can you include them in your referral process?

Of course, a polite manner and genuine interest are necessary to establish, and maintain, a networking partnership. Remind yourself to treat others as you want them to treat you; if you want them to listen to and remember your story, you must listen to and remember theirs. Perhaps you can help each other to refine your stories, thereby mutually helping each other to be better. You are partners after all.

Your story should also include how you utilize your product or service in the business that makes that product or service available to others. In other words, how do you use your product or service to market your product or service? Examples of how you do that should be included in your story. Last but not least, your story should be personable, something that can relate to others.

So what is your story? How do you tell it to others? If you don’t have a story that you share with others, why not? Your comments are always welcome here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691. If we can share our stories, that would be valuable time spent by both of us