Meeting the Customer on Their Ground

Although we live in a remarkable age where we can virtually be anywhere in the world in milliseconds, thanks to the World Wide Web, you may find that you do better in meeting your client face to face. There is a positive human emotion that comes out, and we stop seeing people as objects and start to see them as people. We find ourselves viewing a kindred spirit, rather than looking at a picture on the screen.

Sometimes it is just physically impossible to be there in person. And sometimes, you just have to work around the difficulty of understanding what not being there represents. If you can be there, even if only for a significant action or a start, you will find it makes a world of difference. You have a much closer relationship and a more in-depth understanding of those with whom you have spent even a little time.

If you live in the middle of the United States and are working with people from India or Siberia, it is tough and expensive to get there. However, I know people in Colorado Springs who fly to China to talk with the factory owners who build their products. Being able to speak face-to-face removes a lot of assumptions and gives us a better feeling of what is going on, and how we can help to make things better.

Quite often, in business, we have to send deliverables to other people. To complete those deliverables, we have other manufacturers who have to send the products to us first. I believe this makes us all part of one large shipping chain. And if our customer doesn’t know us personally, they measure us based on the quality of goods and timely delivery.

Even in life coaching and other work which is dependent upon reaching and helping people, our deliverables are often timeliness, understanding, caring, and truthfulness. People will measure us based on our work, no matter what it is, or how it is sent to them. How would you feel if you received a worksheet to accomplish that held even a few grammar and spelling mistakes?

I believe that each time one person interacts with another, either way, they always leave an impact. I have something for you to think about today. What type of impression do you want others to have of you?

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

What Are We Doing

We want to grow our business. We want to make our business one of the best in its field. We want to see our business grow and do well. We love our company. So, what are we doing for our business? How are we making our business better?

Some owners will throw money into a business, buying a lot of advertising and gimmicks. Some will try to give everything away for free, and others will charge $20,000 for the honor of working with them for six months. Unfortunately, none of this is the key to growing your business.

You were not born with your full height and weight. All your teeth in and a fully developed brain are not part of the original package. You started off very small with not much of anything, really. You learned very fast you had to count on others. And in your first year of life, nobody handed you a checkbook and credit card. Yet you survived, you grew, and you learned. And I am willing to bet you turned out pretty good.

Your business is the same. You have to start off just as an idea. The idea actually grows into something small, and it takes a lot of nurturing from yourself and others. You will learn, and that knowledge will help to grow the business. The best companies that stay the longest are not the overnight sensations that skyrocket to the top. They are the ones who take the time to cultivate and satisfy their customers.

The hotshots looking for a fast buck would call this old school. We probably know this as growing a good business. There is work involved, but there are also exciting outcomes.

You want to avoid negative incentives. Money is a negative incentive. If you get something for free, you want to get everything for free. If you are charged a high cost for the product, you are wondering if you’re getting gouged. Trying to woo a customer based on prices and expenses is a negative incentive. Try to avoid getting caught in that situation.  Instead, focus on all the help you give the customer in exchange for a fair cost.

Try to build a business on positive incentives. Your customer’s knowledge that you are there for them. That you will do what it takes to satisfy the concerns they have. The mere fact that you’re there and not hiding after the sale plays big. Checking up on the customer, offering advice, working to make things right, are the steps that you take towards owning a company with a good reputation that people want to do business with. Those people would gladly tell their friends about the company and what it could do for others.

Don’t take my word for this, go out and try. Trying something is the only way you know if it is right or not.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Business Ventures

Books are great. And it’s always wonderful to be able to sit and read and learn from the actions and exploits of others. It is even a good way to save a little. They say that failure is the price of learning. If you can read a book and learn from someone else, you’re actually receiving free knowledge, although secondhand, as based on someone else’s success or failure.

You never really know until you put your own ideas to the test. If all you do is read books, and reading is essential, then you know what the writer has told you. You do not see the rest of the story, parts the author left out. And in those details, the ones you do not learn in books, lay the aspects of success and failure. To truly succeed you have to go forth and try.

I am not saying you need to fail to succeed. Failure is often overrated. You do have to go forth to see what works and what does not. And, you must know when to go straight forward, and when to pivot into a new direction. You pivot when you see you are up against insurmountable odds which would bury you should you continue to go towards them.

What else can you do to mitigate failure? You can watch others. Find mentors and ask questions. Study what happens to businesses and plan for success. Will this guarantee you freedom from failure? No. It will, though, give you a fighting chance.

If you’re looking for absolute guarantees, business is not the best place to be. Business faces too many variables which range from government regulation to manufacturing, to labor and, most fickle of all, to the customer.

I am not suggesting you avoid business ventures. Read books, find mentors, ask questions, study what’s going on, and do your best. When it’s your business, just know that there is no backup. Your business is you, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Work to make your ventures prosperous.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.