First things first, success is for you to define! When you think about starting a business the
thought of success might initially be about the money but over time it might be about the quality of the relationships you have built, the time freedom you have gained or the knowledge you have developed.
Whatever way you define success, though, there are some business basics you need to consider to achieve it;
- Any Negativity Is To Be Replaced With Positivity
Whatever way you look at it, no one wants to be around someone who is negative. When you go into a shop and the assistant treats you like you are invisible or fails to greet you with a smile or a thank you for purchasing goods from their store, how do you feel? You know that it’s your money keeping their business going yet their interactions with you display a ‘can’t be bothered’ or ‘I really don’t want to be here’ attitude. Personally, when I go into shops like that I rarely if ever go back and I often share the appalling service with a friend (and of course, me being me, usually write to the shop owner too!)
If you want to make sales, if you want people to fall in love with you and what you have to offer, get positive! People have more choice now than ever so if you are unwilling to show you care, to demonstrate that they, your customers, count, don’t expect to be in business for long.
2. Remember It’s Not About You
Yes, it is your business and yes, it is you getting up every day to make things happen BUT it’s your customers that bring what you offer into reality, and never forget it. If you are going to talk about you and how great you are 24/7 then expect people to tune out. They want to know what you can do for them, not what makes you so great! They’ll see your greatness when you are meeting their needs. Ultimately that is what they will be paying you for. WIIFM = What’s In It For Me; the most asked question from any customer. It is not ‘how fantastic are you?’!
Let your customers get to know the real you by all means but always remember you are there to serve them.
3. Understand That Likeability Will Only Get You So Far
We’re human beings, we like to be liked but the reality is there will always be people who don’t like you. I remember being given these statistics at a business convention;
- 33% of the people you meet will like you (love you even!)
- 33% of the people you meet with be cautious but will give you opportunities to prove you are worth their time & energy
- The remaining 34% will dislike you no matter what; even if you collect the stars out of the skies for them
Get over it, get over you! Harsh I know but true. In business, it is better to strive to produce excellence in your products and services than it is to be liked. When you know you have something great to offer and you understand its value you don’t have to spend lots of time trying to get people onside via the like stakes.
And that aside, if you potentially have 66% of the people on your side, why would you kill yourself trying to win over the 33% who just won’t shift… 66% is fab (and the stray 1% could end up anywhere)!
4. Never Make An Ass Out Of U & Me (= never assume)
Okay, we’ve all been there, we’ve all done it but in business, there is no place for it. Do you remember that scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Robert goes into the store and the ladies won’t serve her? She is not their ‘typical’ customer and they proceed to belittle her in front of the other customers? Well, there is the result of assumptions. Back the next day with Richard’s credit cards in hand and the world is her oyster. How sick do you think those sales ladies must have been? Commission; I don’t think so!
It’s that old saying ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Treat everyone who wants to use your products and services with the respect they deserve. Equality matters!
5. Be Courteous, No Matter What
Politeness costs nothing and good manners are essential if you want people to keep coming back. Just as negativity will keep people at bay so will rudeness. And rudeness is not always blatant. It might be someone trying to tell you something and you talking over them (rude), or a customer making a complaint and you telling them it is unfounded (now you are calling them a liar; rude).
Diplomacy and courteousness go a long way in business. People may not always like what you say but if you say it the right way, they are far more likely to respect your decision. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!
Live Blissfully & be a success in business!