In this business coach and online sales training, we will discuss duplicable systems and quality control. You must systematically exceed the expectations of your clients in order to grow exponentially. Napoleon Hill once wrote, “Over-deliver and you will soon be overpaid.” Hill was stating the obvious, yet often forgotten truth that customers will be glad to give you free exponential-growth-causing “word of mouth” if you are willing to exceed their expectations with your product or service. Doing this is not hard, but it does required diligence. In Proverbs 21:5 (NIV), it is written, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Sam Walton, the famous business mogul and founder of retail giant Wal-Mart, once famously said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” My friends, your service and product must wow your customers. Your product and service must wow humans or it will fail, and because we are operating our businesses on the planet Earth, you will have to wow them in a profitable way. You can’t simply just throw huge sums of money and bribery at the customers to earn their business, unless you are a political candidate (sorry, I had to get that in somewhere).
Think about the truly amazing business coaching and customer service experiences out there today. Take Starbucks and Southwest Airlines for instance. When you walk into a Starbucks, you are greeted by a “Barista” not just an employee. Your drink is customized for your unique palette and flavor preferences. Your name is written on the cup to even further enhance the experience. The drinks are referred to as Tall, Venti and various other unique nomenclature. The fact they don’t have small, medium, and large actually adds to the perceived value and experience. What does it cost to change the words your team uses to refer to sizes of things? What would it cost your team to write the name of your clients on their cups? How much value does this add? Southwest Airlines offers unassigned seating to make the seating process go quicker. Flight attendants are encouraged to be funny. In fact, they actually celebrate and reward the most innovative, unique, and spirited flight attendants by featuring them in commercials and their own magazine produced for the passengers’ viewing pleasure while flying. Southwest gives bonuses to their most spirited employees. They don’t charge extra for bags. How much does this cost them? How much will this cost you? Do the math. Take the time. Figure out what is going to wow your clients while producing a nice profit for you and your team. Ultimately, the prices that your customers will be willing to pay will be based upon the perceived value that they believe your product or service offers them. The more you write their names on a cup, the more they will be willing to pay. Starbucks gets away with charging a large sum of money for each coffee because they offer a large amount of value. However, I must warn you. If you do not add value to customers in a systematic and memorable way, they will be forced to make their purchasing decisions based on prices alone, and this places you in the commodities market, which is not a good place to be. Always remember that when value is absent, pricing concerns and objections will become super prevalent. Take 10 minutes and write down all of the benefits that your chief competition offers and how you will systemically “best them” or “one up them” and you will win. What are the benefits your competitors offer and how you will “out do them” with your service?
Once you answer the questions above, you will have a way to provide product wow for your customers. Next comes product pricing. If you find yourself unable to correctly price your services or products, I would highly recommend that you do one of two things. Option one: Spy on your competition and then do more than they do for less than they charge. Option two: Call up to our office and schedule an in-depth pricing and value-add brainstorming business coaching session with our team. In less than 2 hours, we can help you build a pricing model that makes sense for both you and your customers. If you need help beating your competition, and you can’t find someone who is willing to spy on your competition on your behalf, our firm will be happy to “mystery shop” or “spy on them” for you. Visit us or give us a call today at 918-878-0216 and we will help you do this. For more ideas on how to wow your clients, read “Soft Selling In A Hard World” by Jerry Vass.
Bonus Business Coaching Lesson & Profound Truth: Duplicability: If it’s not duplicable and scalable, it’s not worth doing.
“Most entrepreneurs are merely technicians with an entrepreneurial seizure. Most entrepreneurs fail because you are working IN your business rather than ON your business.” – Michael Gerber
If you have created a product or service that only you or an elite few can do, you have not created a VIABLE BUSINESS TO GET RICH. YOU HAVE CREATED A JOB that no one will want. If you are the only person in your company who can render the product or service, you are going to have to work all the time, and people will always ask for you personally. If you have a design company and you are the only designer on staff that you can ever trust, this is problem. If you start a DJ company and you are the only “good entertainer,” this is problem. You must create a product or service that is easily scalable and duplicable.
If you can’t train someone to do tasks needed to perform their job in 40 hours or less, you have a big problem. How would you grow quickly if it takes you 2 years to train people “to do it your way”? I meet entrepreneurs all the time who have been in business for 25 years and don’t get this. I met a dude recently who is a seasoned photographer and he actually said, “In my company, I don’t just trust anybody to take photos. In fact, that is why I take all of the photos myself for all of my clients.” This is BLASPHEMY for any successful entrepreneur. IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE BIG MONEY, you are going to have to delegate everything but the crucial decision making. This photographer needs to quit calling himself an entrepreneur before he discourages everybody around him. I realize that the process of building a duplicable process seems daunting, however you can do this. I took Algebra 3 times and I never did pass my CPR class. Learning is generally tough for me, so I can tell you with confidence, you can learn how to do this.
As you begin to create this duplicable system, just keep 3 quick business coaching rules of thumb in mind and you will be off and running:
1) Common sense is not common– Whenever you find yourself saying, “That should be common sense,” go ahead and get out the stapler and staple a Post-It Note to your forehead to remind yourself not to do this. If you are truly creating a service or product that adds tremendous value to people’s lives, know that your customers may not currently be experiencing these types of unique value adds elsewhere in the marketplace. Thus, your employees most certainly have not seen this high-value system in action either.
2) You must be able to train someone to do every core competency within 15 hours or less. The system that you build should be easy to teach and it should be written down. I am always amazed by the businesses I work with that claim to have a “unique system” or the “best staff processes,” but upon further examination, I realize that everything the company does is not written down, and thus it does not happen systematically. Imagine if the Bible was just a verbal history. That would be one crazy book at this point. You must write things down. You must turn your value-add thoughts into things.
3) You must condense value-add items into a series of checklists to be appropriately delegated. If your systems consist of huge lengthy binders and documents:CONGRATULATIONS! You are going to be the only one who will ever read these! You must turn your ideals and your value-add systems into a checklist that can easily be inspected on a daily basis by the management staff or you.
Now take the time to write out the step-by-step process needed to provide your product and services to the MASS-AUDIENCE.
If you need help building a duplicable and scalable process for your business, you are not alone. We worked with a national appliance store that had great products, but nothing in the way of checklists and operational systems to run things effectively on the store level. Simply by equipping their team with the right business coaching and tools, they made huge improvements and increases in revenue within the first two months. If you need more information about our on-site or phone conferencing business coaching sessions, contact us today by going to www.thrive15.com or give us a call today at 918-878-0216 and we will help you do this. Creating a “workflow” (the duplicable and scalable process for your business) can be overwhelming, but we can help. The best book resource for build a successful work-flow is “The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.”
Now, let’s focus a bit on quality control. There have been countless books written entirely about quality control & management; however, at the end of the day, it all comes down to six simple concepts and one incredible man.
Rule #1: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
If you want your people to do something, you have to find a way to make their results quantifiable. If you want them to market more, what is the specific number of prospects you want them to reach? If you want them to “try harder to improve quality,” as a percentage, they must know how many errors they are currently making. If your team needs to “be on time more,” then you must be able to explain to them what percentage of the time they are currently late. When it gets right down to it, you have to measure everything that you want to ever manage. Find a way to quantify everything that you want done. Have your people track their results and their progress and hold them accountable.
Rule #2: Inspect what you want people to respect.
If you want your team to respect anything you say and any objectives that you intend on achieving, you must be relentless with your follow-up. Sam Walton was known for his “relentless follow-up.” Your people must know that your leadership is going to follow-up on everything. Your people must know that you are going to survey your clients. Your people must know that the boss can come down at any time. If you actually expect your team to do anything, you have to inspect everything.
Rule #3: Differentiation
Jack Welch, the greatest CEO of all time and the wizard of modern management, came up with this system, and it works. Essentially his belief is that in every group of people there are A, B & C players. Your A players go over and above and are always looking for constructive criticism. They bring a passion to work everyday and they are your top 10% of employees. These people work with energy. These people execute plans and get things done no matter what. These people have an edge to them; they don’t mind irritating C players to get something done. These people are your all-stars.
Your B players are needed to achieve your company’s goals. They are consistent and they are on-time. They rarely show up early and almost never stay late. They have passion on occasion, but more than anything, they are consistent. You need these people do get things done, because they make up 80% of your workforce, but these people do not have the passion, drive, and ambition that A players have. You can’t grow an organization compromised of only B players. Your goal should be to push your B players and encourage your B players to become A players, but you must realize that they are currently not A players.
Your C players are chronically late, tired, frustrated, down, wore-out, unmotivated, etc… These people have no passion for life and their job. These people complain and destroy morale. These people are sarcastic and they are negative. These people cannot be pushed to greatness. In fact these people get defensive when presented with constructive criticism. These people make up the bottom 10% of your workforce and they must be fired before your clients fire you. As Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, put it, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” You must fire C players as soon as possible.
Jack Welch believes that every employee should be graded on an A, B & C level, and that everyone should know where they rank in the company. He believes that every company needs to be honest with their employees at all times about where they stand in the company. He believes that all C players should be fired as soon as you can, as long as they knew where they stood and as long as they were given the opportunity to improve. I agree with Jack Welch. This system works.
The key to making this system work is in the praising of your A players, the pushing of the B players (to improve), and the firing of the C players (who refuse to get things done). If you would like for our team to send you an example of what a good employee ranking system and evaluation sheet looks like, visit our website today at www.thrive15.com to request this information. For more information about Jack Welch’s system, purchase his best-selling book, “Winning.”
Rule #4: Candor Is King
If you want to be an effective manager, you are going to have to be candid. Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, was famous for saying, “Be candid with everyone.” This sounds simple enough, but I sincerely believe that less than 10% of all companies use candor on a daily basis with themselves and their employees. Candor is the art of stating the realities of job performance to your people without sugar-coating and diminishing the cold hard facts. When you are 100% candid, your people can trust you all the time, because they know that you are telling them the good and the bad. When you only tell people good, over time it diminishes the meaning of a “good job.” In fact, most managers that don’t use candor tell everyone that they are doing a “good job.” However, the harsh reality of business is that you either “did or did not do something.” You either “got the deal or you didn’t get the deal.” You either “made the client happy” or the client “is not pleased”. Learn to stop sugar coating things in meetings with your team. Learn to tell them how they did in a candid and truthful way. People trust candid people, and trust builds solid relationships.
When your sales numbers come in, when the customer satisfaction surveys come in, or when you go to the bank to make your weekly deposits, you will be forced to confront the harsh realities of how people actually did. Don’t sugar-coat everything you say with “false kindness” because eventually you will have to be frank with your people. Nothing feels worse than having to fire someone because of their sub par job performance after you have been telling them they have been doing a “good job” for the past 2 years.
Rule #5: Problems, Solutions, Action Steps, Accountability, Deadlines & Knowing Your Numbers
As the “entrepreneur/visionary/leader/founder” of your company, you are going to have to lead a lot of meetings. When you lead these meetings, you had better have a coherent format to get things done. You must be able to energize your team or your staff is going to fall asleep. The format for these meetings is simple, yet profound.
A. Problems – What is the “root” of the problems from last week? What are the issues?
B. Solutions – What are some viable ways to actually solve these problems?
C. Action Steps – What specific action steps must we take to solve these problems?
D. Accountability – Who is assigned to getting these tasks done? Teams are evil. Groups are bad. Which individual is going to take credit or blame?
E. Deadlines – You must assign a deadline for everything or nothing will get done. Hold your people accountable to hitting their deadlines every time.
F. Knowing Your Numbers – You and your team must know your numbers. You must manage by the numbers only. How many did you sell? What was your closing percentage? What is your conversion percentage? What percentage of your clientele is happy? What percentage of your clientele is unhappy? How many appointments did your sales team go on? How much did we spend on food last month? How much were our credit card fees this month? Don’t allow people to say things like, “The numbers were pretty good.” or “We had around 50.” If you can’t quantify it, your weakest employees will justify it.