Your Only Competitive Advantage

Product, price, promotion or place is no longer a competitive advantage. The only competitive advantage that you have left is the level of customer service you provide. To provide exceptional customer service is not that difficult. You only have to be better than your competition. Based on the results of a recent survey of 1281 consumers it doesn’t appear to be that big of a deal. 55% of the respondents said that they would shop elsewhere because of a “don’t care attitude”. 35% said being ignored by a sales person while they carried on a personal conversation on the sales floor or on the phone would be a good enough reason to leave. 58% of those surveyed sited rudeness as a reason to go elsewhere. 42% would go out of their way to do business where they got polite, respectful treatment. Let me repeat that again. 42% would go out of their way to do business where they got polite, respectful treatment. What level of customer service are you providing? More importantly, what lever of customer service is your sales team providing? Remember – to be exceptional in the eyes of the consumer you only have to be better than your competition.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Selling is a Contact Sport

People Love to Do Business with People They Like

People love to do business with people they like and trust. How do you get people to trust you? Trust is a by-product of building those all-important relationships. Some people are better at it then others, but you can learn how. First you need to establish rapport. Find out what they like to do outside of the workplace and use that to strike up a conversation. Do they have a hobby? Do they enjoy cooking, tending to the garden or watching sports? Once you have established a rapport comes a relationship. You can’t build a relationship until you have established a rapport. Out of that relationship comes mutual respect. Others will not respect you until you have built a relationship. If they respect you – they will trust you because they believe you have their best interest at heart. Once they trust you – more than likely they will go along with what ever you recommend.

Copyright(c) 2019. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you are your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Being a Passionatepreneur is Never Enough

entrepreneurshipBeing passionate about becoming an Entrepreneur is only the beginning. It’s going to take a great deal more than just being passionate about your small business to be successful. Being passionate is a good start – It will get you out of the starting blocks but it won’t get you to the finish line. The majority of small businesses fail. A study conducted by Eileen Fisher, Schulich School of Business concluded that thirty percent of all new small businesses fail within the first two years, and only half make it to year five. Some of those failures are out of their control. It wasn’t because they weren’t passionate. They failed because they lacked the management or financial skills they needed to succeed.

#Worth Remembering … I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson. 

Being an Entrepreneur and starting your own small business is not for the faint of heart. You have to be comfortable flying without a net. You have to be comfortable with not knowing where your next pay cheque is going to come from. You have to be comfortable with not having all the answers all of the time. You have to decide what you are willing to give up to succeed. Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky or Tiger Woods didn’t succeed by being lucky. Luck had nothing to do with it. Did they catch a break now and again? Absolutely. However, the truth of the matter is, they became the best at their sport because they were willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed.   How much time and effort are you willing to put in?

#Worth Remembering … Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can live the rest of your life like most people can’tUnknown 

You aren’t going to be great at everything but I believe you must be good at most things. If you study successful entrepreneurs you’ll discover they have some common characteristics. If you had to put a list together what would be your top five? Here are my top five.  I’ve listed them here in no particular order.

  1. Time Management: Be able to manage your time well. Learn to prioritize what needs to be done, so that you do the most important things first. Sometimes that will mean doing things that you don’t like to do. Don’t waste your valuable time on things that won’t help you succeed.
  2. Open-Mindedness: You only know what you know – you don’t know what you don’t know – and it’s what you don’t know that could sink you. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and be smart enough to use it.
  3. Patience: However long you think it’s going to take you to accomplish a task, times that by two. Rarely does anything happen just the way you thought it would. Learn to take a deep breath and count to ten. All good things happen to those who wait.
  4. Communicate: You must be able to communicate in a way that others will understand. If you can’t communicate both verbally and by the written word, then you stand little chance of being understood.
  5. Goal Setting: Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and then put a plan together to get there. However, you need to be flexible enough to change or adjust your plan if it’s not going to help you achieve your goal.

I taught Entrepreneurship for over a dozen years at Algonquin College’s School of Business. On the first day of class, I would give the students my “Dorothy doesn’t live here anymore” speech.  I’d tell them if I haven’t talked you out of being an Entrepreneur by the end of the semester than chances are you might succeed. If I have talked you out of being an Entrepreneur than I have saved you from yourself. Either way, it would be a win-win. I would have done my job and you would have learned a thing or two. Being a Passionpreneur is never enough.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or seminar leader who can deliver an entertaining and informative presentation on a variety of soft-skills topics? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com

 

Has The Pendulum Swung Too Far?

Choices

Has political correctness gone amuck? James Damore was fired by Google for posting a memo he’d written. Right or wrong, it was his opinion. Just because you don’t agree with it, does it make it a fireable offence? The courts will decide if his dismissal was for just cause. What are we teaching our young people if everyone makes the team – everyone plays the same amount of minutes regardless of skill level? Where’s the incentive to improve? Are we teaching transferable life skills if everyone gets a trophy for just showing up? Is it fair that everyone gets the same bonus, regardless of his or her contribution to the project?

Should we be lowering physical standards so women can perform the same task side by side with men?  When the building is on fire I want someone who is physically capable of carrying me down four flights of stairs. If a woman can do it – have at it. Trust me – I won’t complain. The truth of the matter is there are some tasks that only men can perform, just as there are some tasks that only women can perform. Mind you there aren’t many that men can do that woman can’t.  If someone is physically and mentally capable of performing a task, gender is a non-issue.

I remember singing the National Anthem and reciting the Lords Prayer in school. It didn’t seem to do me any harm. Why are we afraid of hurting someone’s feelings if we call it a Christmas tree and wish people Merry Christmas?  We may not agree with the message but surely we can agree that everyone has a right to freedom of expression – as long as it doesn’t take away those same rights for someone else and it’s done in a lawful and respectful way without causing physical harm to people or damaging property. Everyone has a right to be protected under the law regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or message.

Just because you’ve worked there the longest doesn’t mean you are entitled to get the promotion. I believe promotions should be based on ability and not longevity. Has the pendulum swung too far the other way? Are we going out of our way so as not to offend anyone? Has political correctness gone amuck? You be the judge. Some people may think we haven’t gone far enough, I respectfully disagree. But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong, but then again I could be right.

Copyright (c) 2017. Not to be reproduced. Brian Smith – Professional Speaker, Seminar Leader, and Author. Are you looking for someone who can entertain and inform your audience on a variety of soft-skills topics?  Visit https://briansmithpld.com