By Jeffrey Gitomer
When you walk into someone’s place of business to shop or buy something, what are you expecting? Most people (you included and me included) expect to find someone friendly and helpful when you need them, to be served in a timely manner, to be given fair value, to be presented with a quality product, to make the process quick and easy, and to be thanked whether you give them the business or not.
Then the question is: What do you get?
Typically, you get a mechanical welcome, someone feebly says, “Can I help you?” Followed by people telling you what they can’t do vs. what they can do, or what they don’t have. Maybe a bunch of sentences containing the word “policy,” or an inability to understand that just because they’re out of an item, doesn’t mean you don’t still want it or need it, and will likely go to their competition to get it. All this, and an occasional touch of rudeness.
Now, maybe I have exaggerated a bit. But I can promise you, not by much.
And the interesting part is, many companies have multiple locations where the products are the same, but the service is not recognizable from place to place—one may be fantastic, while the other may be pathetic.
The inconsistency of people-performance can make or break a business.
Here’s what will make you or anyone near you, or anyone in a job they consider beneath them, or anyone who hates work, understand the formula for a better career—certainly a better job.
All of these elements will be reflected in your performance.
1. Your internal happiness. Happiness is not a job, it’s a person.
2. Your attitude toward work. Do you just go to pass the time for a paycheck, or are you there to earn your pay with hard work?
3. Your self-esteem and self-image. How you feel about yourself.
4. Your desire to serve.
5. Your commitment to being your best.
6. Your boss and how your boss treats you.
7. Looking at your job as menial rather than a steppingstone towards your career. It’s not “just a job”—it’s “an opportunity.”
8. Pride in your own success.
9. Realizing that you’re on display, and that your present actions will dictate your future success.
10. Every today is a window to your every tomorrow.
Companies spend millions of dollars, sometimes billions, on advertising, branding, merchandising, strategizing, and every other element of marketing that they believe will bring business success. But when there are people involved, marketing means nothing if the people are not great.
When I walk into a business, I ask people, “How’s it going?” I get answers like, “Just three hours to go.” Or, “It’s Friday.” What kind of statement is that? What does that tell you about what kind of employee they are, much less what kind of service is attached to their attitude?
When you go to a hotel, a $50 million business rests on the shoulders of the front-desk clerk. That’s the first impression you have. In a retail business, it’s no different. All the advertising gets you to come into the store. From there, it’s all about the retail clerk. Doctors and dentists now advertise. But it’s the person who answers the phone that gives a true reflection of what the doctor or dentist’s office will be like.
What is your company like? Do you have any people working there who hate their job? Do you have people with “attitude?” What can you do?
These elements will get YOU to BEST:
1. Set the example by being your best and doing your best.
2. Hang out with winners, not whiners.
3. Create best practices for service, and have everyone implement them.
4. Have weekly internal positive-attitude training.
5. Look at the best companies in America for best practices you can adapt and adopt.
6. Do your best at everything, everyday.
7. Work on your own attitude. You must think you will succeed, before success is yours. You must think you will be happy, before happiness is yours.
The root word of “your” is YOU. Each employee has the responsibility of representing the company to its customers in a way that reflects the image and reputation needed to build or maintain a great reputation and a leadership position.
Anything less than “best” is not acceptable. But here’s the secret: Don’t do
it for your company—do it for yourself. Develop pride in doing your best at your job, even if it’s not your career.
Real winners are few and far between. Making yourself one is a choice.
Jeffrey Gitomer is author of The Little Red Book of Selling and The Little Red Book of Sales Answers.
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