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

International Institute of Municipal Clerks Conference

Great News!!! I will be speaking at this years International Institute of Municipal Clerks Conference in Birmingham Alabama on May 23rd. Are you looking to enhance your ability to communicate and interact more effectively regardless of gender or generation? I will be delivering 3 sessions that day. “Powerful Communication Strategies: Bridging the Gender and Generational Gap” – “Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak: The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make & How to Avoid Them” and “You Don’t Have to Like Them – Just Learn to Work with Them: Collaborative Team Building and Performance Improvement”. If you’re attending the conference please drop in and say hi. If you’re thinking of attending the conference you still have time to register. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization please visit: https://briansmithpld.com

How to Build a Relationship With Just About Anyone

Conflict Resolution 2Practice the 3 R’s – to establish trust and build relationships with the people you work with and interact with. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Yuck – what a dink?”. (I don’t mean Double Income No Kids). There is just something about them that you don’t like. For what ever reason they rub you the wrong way. The truth of the matter is sometimes you have to work with – or interact with – people you don’t like. Even if you don’t like them – you still need to find a way to work with them. I have a solution for you. Think of someone who you work with that for what ever reason, you are having difficulty getting along with them. I want you to try this little experiment and see if it helps repair that relationship or a least make it bearable. I call it the 3 Rs to building relationships and establishing mutual trust with just about everyone and anyone.

Rapport: Start a conversation and find out something about them that you can talk about. What are their hobbies? Do they have children, play sports or read books? What do they love to do in their spare time? You can’t build a relationship with anyone that you haven’t established a rapport with first. Get them talking about themselves or what they love to do, and you are on your way to the next step. You are on your way to likeability.

Relationship: People like to hang around with, and interact with people they like. The more conversations you can have with that person or persons, the more likely it is that you are breaking down those barriers and are becoming more likable. Soft-skills – the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others is a necessary skill in building relationships. Building a relationship is key to getting along with people – even the ones you don’t like.

Respect:  You don’t respect anyone you haven’t built a relationship with first. Out of a relationship comes mutual respect. You might not agree with everything they have said or done – but because you have built a relationship with them, you will respect the fact that they have a right to their own opinion and a right to live their lives as they see fit. We tend to agree to disagree with people we respect.

If you have navigated the three-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with the people you work with and interact with. You never trust anyone you don’t respect first. As friends, parents, managers, leaders, and coaches sometimes you need people to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you don’t have all the answers and need them to trust you. If you have established mutual respect in your relationships, then they will trust you. They will take that leap of faith knowing that you would never set them up for failure. They’ll know you have their best interest in mind.

Copyright (c) 2017. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com