Business Growth, Mindset, Planning, Time

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I like to ask people how they spell “LOVE”. When they look at me in a strange ‘did you really just ask me that dumb question’ sort of way, I follow it up with saying “I know how my boys spell it.     They spell it  T – I – M – E ”.

Time handTime is our most valuable resource – as well as our most scarce. And how we use or time is one of the biggest opportunities we face every day.

Imagine that a secret benefactor gave you £86,400 on Monday, but just like Monty Brewster with his Uncle’s test in the film “Brewster’s Millions”, you had certain rules regarding the money. Those rules are:

You must use it wisely

You cannot give it away

You can use some of it for charitable purposes

You must use it all by the deadline. Any that remains will be taken away from you.

There are no credit terms – you cannot go overdrawn

So the big question is:  How would you use it?

Of course we all get that balance every day – except it comes in the form of seconds not pounds, but the rules still apply. Any time we don’t use wisely will be taken from us, never to be seen again.

The big question still remains – How would you use it? But let’s rephrase carefully:

How will you use it? This is a strong positive question, but it is too ‘big’ a question for most people to comprehend, particularly if they currently lack focus in their life.

How could you use it?  Gives you the option of choice, but this question lacks any clarity about using it for the right reasons?

How should you use it? This is much more powerful. Introducing the concept of morality into the question will help us choice wisely in how to use our time.

In the current day, people multitask – trying to get as much done in the precious time they have, me included. But I’ve been reading up on the subject and multitasking doesn’t actually save us any time – in fact studies suggest the opposite is true.

We can only process one thought at a time, so switching from one task to another constantly does not make us effective. Researchers of brain activity have found that, on average, it takes 28 milliseconds to switch from one task to another – and that dead time quickly mounts up. The research went on to suggest that multitasking results in a daily loss of 28% productivity, particularly as they also found that multitasking results in more mistakes than simply being focused on one activity.

So how can you improve your own time effectiveness?

In my experience, the single most important tool to improve the amount of work I get done is to create a list of the 6 most important tasks I need to complete.

BUT

I’ve noticed that I can improve my effectiveness by improving the process around creating my list. Simply writing a list of tasks just won’t cut it.

Firstly I categorise all my tasks according to their urgency and importance. Importance is my assessment of the benefits to me of completing the task.

Urgent tasks clearly need to come higher up the list than non-urgent ones, but, as best as possible I delegate the urgent, non-important tasks to my team.

I focus on the urgent important tasks, and then move on to the non-urgent important ones.

Once I have categorised my tasks, I ask the Focusing Question. This little gem comes from Gary Keller’s Book – The One Thing and  is :

“What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”

Focusing on the most important task with undivided attention will significantly improve your productivity. And with improved productivity, comes increased profitability.

So this week, start reviewing how your plan your day, and then choose to work on what you should be doing to take you towards your goals – and ask yourself ‘what’s the one thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary’.

How much more could you achieve if you had the right focus and accountability to get stuff done?

As a coach, I help my clients focus on their “one-thing” and then hold them accountable to getting it done – and their results speak for themselves.

If you’d like to achieve more than you currently are, working fewer hours, and having more fun than you can imagine, then we should talk!

Why should you contact me…?

Simple – you will be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.

I will expect and encourage you to achieve more than you think possible, you will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…

So, if you think you’re ready – drop me an Email…

Haven’t got the time?  Of course you haven’t….  if you did have the time you’d be sunning yourself on a beach in the Bahama’s…. And what other fun things do you not do because you don’t have the time?  Let’s talk and we’ll find you the time to do all those things you’ve been putting off!

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Today I received the latest copy of the Yellow Pages at my office.

Do you remember what the Yellow Pages used to look like?  1½” thick, A4 sized directory that was always kept by the phone. Today’s copy is less than ½” thick, and is a little over A5…. My home copy will either get thrown away 

I can count the number of times I have referred to last year’s copy using the number of wild giraffe I keep as pets in the office…. Er… None!

What’s more, on flicking through this year’s copy to find out who is still using their advertising budget in this out dated way, one thing jumps out quite quickly….  British Gas Boiler Repairs feature over and over again – I’m guessing as ‘filler ads’! (Sometimes they even feature the same advert 4 times on the same double page!).

Now if you are like me, you have moved online to find the goods and services that you used to find using the yellow pages – after all the internet is quick and easy to use, and you can get to considerably more information about potential suppliers than the Yellow pages supplies.

So why would anyone still choose to advertise in the yellow pages?

I guess firstly there are a few people who don’t have access to the internet – and will still use the more ‘traditional’ method for finding suppliers. Then there are the group of business owners who don’t properly test and measure their marketing… and continue to advertise in the yellow pages because it is what they have always done, and they believe they still get business from their advert.

I suspect there are also a small group of people who are still hoodwinked by the sales people who convince them that taking an advert will be good for their business.

The marketplace is continually evolving, and the methods that business owners use to reach their customers must evolve with it. 

In today’s marketplace, hoping that people choose your advert from amongst a selection of similar businesses in a book kept near their telephone is unlikely to generate a return on the advertisement investment – even if it has been offered “free” as part of an advertising package.

Want to make an impact with YOUR marketing?

Follow these simple rules for guaranteed improvements in your results

You MUST measure your marketing results.
You need to understand which route your customers took to reach you.  Over time you will learn which routes are working and which aren’t.  Then turn off the routes that aren’t working and reinvest the money in the routes that are.

Have several different marketing strategies operating.
Whilst most of your new customers are likely to come from just one or two strategies, you need to have several working concurrently. When one strategy begins to become less effective, another should be coming into fashion.


Your marketing should be about building relationships with your potential customers.
Get hold of a copy of Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing – You can find my summary of the book here:  http://www.actioncoach.com/rogerlamb/book-summaries

permission.marketing

If you aren’t familiar with Seth’s work, then I thoroughly recommend you take a look. Permission marketing is about getting permission from potential customers to continue a dialogue with them and build loyalty so they continue to spend money with you, and this will become even more important in the future.  Build a loyal customer base through relationships and you will reduce the amount you need spend acquiring new ones.

Use your website correctly.
Unless you are selling things through you website, get some clarity around its purpose. A website is there to provide you with and online voice, to be your brochure for potential clients, but most importantly you need a way of capturing the contact details of those people who are visiting. To do this effectively, give something of value away in exchange for their permission to contact them again.

If you’d like to discuss your current marketing strategies, and have some ideas about what you can do to improve your marketing, then we should talk.  Contact me and let’s arrange a coffee.

Why should you contact me…?

Simple – you will be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.

I will expect and encourage you to achieve more than you think possible, you will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…

So, if you think you’re ready – drop me an Email…

If you think you’re not – then it makes no difference what you do…

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Back in the 1400s, the uneducated thought the world was flat, and to suggest otherwise would have been heretical. Thankfully, with time and education, we now see a different perspective, and know the truth about the shape of this planet we inhabit.

But the people of the 1400s didn’t know what they didn’t know.  They were simply unconsciously incompetent. They hadn’t yet had the opportunity to see the world from a different perspective.

All too frequently in business we forget that we can view things from different perspectives.  We become entrenched in our thinking and our actions, seemingly self-paralysed to view things differently.

Early in my career as an accountant I was taught to take the client file from last year and to copy the work done, but with this year’s figures. Doing that reminded me of the story of the young monk who was tasked with copying old documents by hand. The monk notices that he is copying copies, and not working from the original text. So he approaches the head monk and asks to see the original, suggesting that if there were ever an error made, it would be repeated in all the new copies.


Deciding that the young monk has a point, the head monk goes to the cellar where they kept the original, taking with him the copy the young monk has just made so he can check the text. Several hours later when the head monk hasn’t returned, the young monk goes back to the cellar to find the old monk sobbing. 

“What’s the matter?” the young monk asks.

And from behind his tears, the monk replies “The word was celebrate…”

Simply copying what you did last year is NOT a sensible strategy to growing a business, if you aren’t achieving the things you wanted when you started the business.

One of my clients was challenged by her friends when she first started coaching. They asked why she wanted coaching when she had been in business for 20 years. Having had a few weeks of coaching, her reply got straight to the point.

“What I’ve realised”, she said “was that I might have been in business for 20 years, but I’ve really only got one year of business experience and I’ve repeated it 20 times, and what I really want is better results.”

It can take courage to begin looking at things differently, but it is really important that you do – Imagine flying high above your business and taking a 30,000ft view of things. You need to be able to step back and objectively look at everything that’s going on. Work out what is working well, and what isn’t. Identify areas where you could improve – after all, you need to continuously improve to keep ahead of your competition.

Thinking a little differently can make a compelling offer. Consider the following image

MOTjpeg

What a great way to look at an existing offer and encourage customers to come to you. We all need an MOT, and hate the thought that our car might fail.  Most testing stations offer a ‘free’ retest if done within 7 days of the original. But Newmans flipped the idea on its head….   Now you only pay if your car passes. So the minor pain of payment when your car fails has been removed.

So what can you do to take a different perspective with your business today?

Want a different perspective?

I’m happy to give your company an MOT, without fee. And I’ll even give you some strategies for growth to help you with any obvious weaknesses we find.

But why should you contact me…?

Simple – I promise you’ll be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.

I will expect and encourage you to achieve more than you think possible, you will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…

So, if you think you’re ready – drop me an Email…rogerlamb@actioncoach.com

If you think you’re not – well it makes no difference what you do…

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In my previous blog I talked about how Tesco’s financial woes are largely caused by its failure to innovate, referencing how its rivals have taken market share by using customer experience as differentiation.  It is an example worth exploring because it illustrates how market places are diverging, and in doing so, are making the middle ground a dangerous place to be.

Business Competition

Businesses once sought balance: they provided goods and services at a price point that was sustainable, and the service experience simply needed to be satisfactory to retain customers.  Now competition in all sectors is greater, customer expectations are higher and speed of communication means that any failures are reported globally via social media in minutes.  

This crowded and fickle market makes it very difficult to stand out from the competition and Tesco has lost market share because it is fighting a battle on two fronts.  At one extreme are the budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, which in perfecting the low-cost, no-frills model, have made Tesco’s and the other more established supermarket’s price matching efforts seem convoluted and cumbersome.  At the other end of the scale we have Waitrose and M&S, which have upped the luxury game to capture the (relatively) low volume/high margin shoppers and turned grocery buying into a personal, aspirational experience. 

Faced with these extremes, what helps Tesco stand out? If shoppers value cost and experience as the greatest factor defining where they shop, what can Tesco offer differently? There’s no easy answer, but it illustrates neatly how businesses that were strong in recent times need to be mindful of how the middle ground is no longer safe, and doesn’t resonate or excite people.

What service is appropriate to your business?  I can help you build a customer service strategy that helps you win over new business. If you’d like to chat over a coffee and brainstorm some ways to help you build a customer service strategy, then get in touch : email rogerlamb@actioncoach.com, or call me on 01962 670200.

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Last week’s election result may have come as a surprise to most of the nation. And unsurprisingly there has been the usual fall out from those who didn’t like the outcome.

One business owner however took it one step further, displaying a sign outside his gardening shop :

IMPORTANT NOTICE

image1

Photo from @GroomeElaine

PLEASE COULD ANYONE
WHO VOTED CONSERVATIVE
IDENTIFY THEMSELVES ON
ENTERING MY SHOP AS I
WILL BE HAPPY TO APPLY A
10% ‘TORY TAX’ ON YOUR PLANTS.
I’M SURE, AS SOMEONE WHO
HAS OPTED TO SUPPORT A PARTY
OF ELITIST, SELF-SERVING TYPES,
THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT
THIS IS ONE OF THE MANY
‘TOUGH’ DECISIONS THAT I NEED
TO MAKE TO ‘BALANCE THE BOOKS’
UNDER YOUR PREFERRED GOVT.
DON’T BE A SHY TORY!
OH, AND UKIP VOTERS
PLEASE SHOP ELSEWHERE.

Now firstly I have some respect for the shop owner, Matt Woodruff, for being so forthright in standing up for what he believes… However, the potential effect on his business could be massive (and not necessarily in a good way)

Two thirds of the population voted. Of the votes counted, 36.9% was for the Conservatives and 12.6% for UKIP. Now if the third who didn’t vote follow the same percentages, Matt has potentially alienated 50% of his customers by imposing his own political agenda on them.

In a previous blog, I’ve discussed the reasons that customers choose not to continue shopping with us. Overwhelmingly, they leave because they perceive that we don’t care about them. And Matt clearly doesn’t care much about his customers. He certainly doesn’t suggest that those customers who voted the same way as him get a discounted service. In fact there is very little incentive for ANYONE to continue shopping with him. 

According to an article in Metro, Matt has already received a lot of mail about the sign, but he insists  it will be staying, and he already admits it might cost him his business.

In is generally accepted that you should avoid 2 topics when discussing business. Those are Religion and Politics, and Matt’s sign proves why.  Regardless of your persuasion, you need to remember that you serve your customers and in return they will look after you. But they need to know that you care about THEM. Remember the phrase is “customer service”, not “business service.” 

If you want to create loyal customers, who come back and spend with you time and time again, start by always making them feel special, and then begin to introduce ways they can feel part of your business. That way, their loyalty will strengthen, and they will be talking about you to those they meet, creating a ready stream of new customers for you to serve in the same manner.

If you’d like to create a winning customer service strategy which leads to a strategy of getting good quality referrals, then maybe we should talk.

But why should you contact me…?

Simple – you will be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.

I will expect and encourage you to achieve more than you think possible, you will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…

So, if you think you’re ready – drop me an Email to rogerlamb@actioncoach.com or phone me on 01962 670200.

If you think you’re not – well it makes no difference what you do…

 

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Tesco was once a beacon of business success, steamrolling the grocery competition with seemingly endless store openings to accompany eye-catching annual profits.  But the corporate juggernaut which has steadily been in decline came to halt following the announcement of the biggest ever recorded pre-tax loss of £6.4 billion < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32408755>, just one year on from a £2.26 billion profit margin.

Success:failureNow on the face of it, that would be enough to close even the hardiest of businesses, so it pays to take a look beyond the figures.

Tesco is still a giant, accounting for almost 40 per cent of a UK grocery market with an estimated value of almost £175 billion per year.  Yet the fact it has stumbled so badly given its formidably strong position is worth investigating because it offers a lesson for all businesses to heed.

Firstly, Tesco knew they were having a profitably bad year, and when you have to give results to the market, you might as well give as much bad news as possible this year so future years look like you’ve quickly turned things around, rather than spread out the bad news and suggesting you have had several ‘mediocre’ years.

So they revalued many of their properties to reflect more conservative prices, and this accounted for £4.7bn reduction. This isn’t really a ‘loss’ per se, although with the expected closure of almost 50 stores across the country, it may well become realized in the next year, and it certainly won’t have helped their share price.

But what about the other £1.7bn? A swing of almost £4bn – What happened?

Simply put, Tesco stopped innovating.  It’s easy to forget that Tesco blazed a trail with its Clubcard loyalty scheme – a move that its competition never fully recovered from.  Tesco also accelerated the hypermarket model, upping the product range to create single supplier shopping centres, while its Tesco Local stores changed the corner shop culture forever.  But since then, while its competitors have steadily eaten away at market share, particularly the perceived low-cost alternatives Aldi and Lidl, Tesco has become a monolith, reacting to the market rather than dictating it.

The current customer experience of buying groceries is going through another massive change. More and more people are switching to the convenience of ordering online, and with the major supermarkets providing price matching ‘offers’, the battle of getting and keeping customers is intensifying. Getting the customer experience right, at an acceptable price will be key. Upset your customers and they will simply switch to your competition.

There’s plenty of time and money in the coffers to ensure Tesco can get itself back on track.  But until it rediscovers the flair for innovation, it is likely to find itself constantly dealing with the impact of decline.  Markets and customers change all the time, and as the speed of communication and business accelerates, those businesses must be nimble and not expect to trade on previous successes indefinitely. To really stay ahead of the competition, you need to be a constant innovator

Has your business forgotten how to innovate? If you’d like to chat over a coffee and brainstorm some ways to kick start the creativity which wins you customers, then get in touch : email rogerlamb@actioncoach.com, or call me on 01962 670200.

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… OK there is no such thing…  however, with the right checks and measures in place, you can achieve something quite close.

customers

But first you must STOP wasting money on non-effective marketing – and that means correctly testing and measuring the effectiveness of what you are currently doing.

It still surprises me the number of business owners who don’t know how effective their current marketing is.  So it is vital to ask new customers which marketing route they took to get to you.

Traditional marketing methods are becoming less and less effective in the current marketplace, and most businesses are poorly educated about how to approach their marketing. The ‘interruption’ style of marketing simply isn’t working in the informational rich environment in which we now find ourselves. And Why? Simply because when people make the decision to buy something, they have the means to research exactly what they want, when they want it.

The key therefore is to make sure that when they DO want to make a purchase that you can supply, that YOU are at the forefront of their mind. 

And to do that well, you need to begin interacting with your potential customers now. 

So how can you interact effectively?

Well firstly you need to be specific about who you are targeting to interact with.  And the more specific, the better.

Interacting with potential customer’s works far better the more you can tailor your communications to their wants and needs. So write a list of all the attributes of the customers you want to attract – age range, geographical location, likely hobbies, typical shopping habits, where they might work etc.  Think about what they do, and where you can find them in the highest numbers.

Then…

Start engaging with them

With more and more people making the use of Smartphone technology, you need to ensure your interactions are smartphone friendly.  

Communicating via email is OK, but you must engage using various social media platforms as well. Just make sure you have created an irresistible offer for your audience, and give them great value. People will spot a blatant sales approach, so make sure your content is about THEM and THEIR issues. Take them on a journey through a series of interactions, and you will begin to build relationships with them. And test and measure different approaches to determine which works best.

But it doesn’t stop there…

With a constantly changing marketplace, you need to continually measure the effectiveness of your interactions, and over time you will begin to get better and better results.

So back to the Cash Generating Marketing Machine…

If you really want to get one of these working for you, follow these simple steps:

Determine who your target really is

Determine where you can find your target in the highest quantities

Begin interacting with your targets, taking them on a ‘journey’ and providing them with great value

When the time is right, you will be at the forefront of their mind – so be ready to serve them!

Would you like a free copy of the bestselling book “Buying Customers” by ActionCOACH Founder Brad Sugars?  

Buying customers

By following the proven strategies contained in the book, you’ll discover more ‘secrets’ of how to turn your business into a “Customer Buying Machine”.

I have 50 copies to giveaway to qualifying businesses, so email me : rogerlamb@actioncoach.com and request yours now…  and soon you will see better results in your business, and you’ll change the way you think about marketing forever!

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Last weekend was a huge rugby fest in my household. The final day of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations took place, and proved to be one of the best days of rugby in a long time.  Then on Sunday, my 7 year old son played in the local U8 rugby tournament against 20 other teams, and his team came home with the tournament shield, having played 7 fantastic games of ‘tag’ rugby.  Let’s just say I was a very proud Daddy when he got home with his medal!

But back to the 6 Nations. 

Super Saturday, as it’s known as, proved to be compelling viewing for households all across the UK. But let’s just summarise with some numbers:

221 points scored on the day – a third of all the points scored across the tournament

27 Tries scored on the day

3 tries in 11 minutes scored by George North (Wales)

4 tries scored against Scotland by Ireland – more tries in total than in their previous 4 matches!

61 points – Wales’ best ever win against Italy

+30 points – Ireland equalling their biggest margin against Scotland

55 points – England’s best ever win against France

Impressive numbers, you’ll agree, but what was the cause of such an incredible “Super” Saturday?

Going into the final day, the title could have been taken by one of 4 teams (although France would have needed Ireland and Wales to have lost, as well as beating England to stand a chance).  England, Wales, Ireland had each won 3 games and lost 1…. So the winner would undoubtedly be decided by the point’s difference. And there was just 25 points separating the top teams.

So it was all up for grabs.   Rugby trophy 

And that resulted in some of the most passionate rugby being played. And the overall result wasn’t decided until the very last minute of the last game…  The nation was kept on the edge of its seat.

In business, getting your teams to play with as much passion and commitment as those rugby players might seem a pipe dream, however it is possible – with some careful planning.

Have you ever noticed that you get a significate amount of work done in the week immediately prior to going away on holiday?  There is no secret here.  Having a finite deadline is a massive motivator to achieving. The rugby players had a finite deadline….    And the goal was clear….  To win wasn’t enough….  England needed a 26 point margin over France. 

Having a clearly communicated goal with a specific deadline is imperative to getting the best from your team.  All too frequently in business, the goal isn’t communicated clearly enough, and the deadline isn’t specific enough, so the team’s productivity is, at best, average. 

With one of my clients we wanted to increase productivity for the next quarter. The company tracked the number of instructions they got from clients each quarter. The directors estimated that the team should be going for 60 instructions for the quarter, until I challenged them.

I asked how many they thought they could do if the team pushed harder, and they thought 70 would be a good number.  So they set 70 as the target.

As the weeks passed away, we reminded the team about the 70 instructions, giving clear communication, and tracking the numbers on both a daily and weekly basis.

And as we got closer to the end of the quarter, the team could see that the target was more than possible, and we kept motivating them to achieve the best they could.

The final figure for the quarter was 81…. A full 16 instructions more than their first target (almost 25% more).  Would the team have achieve this if we didn’t stretch them?  I doubt it!

I always recommend yourself to achieve more, but accept your best effort, even if you fall short.  My clients are often surprised by how much more then can achieve with a little motivation and encouragement.

Oh, and if you want to see what motivation and encouragement can really do, this video is well worth watching  Click Here

If you are wondering what a difference some motivation and encouragement could do for your business, then we should meet for a coffee.

Email me : rogerlamb@actioncoach.com, or phone : 01962 670200 and let’s get a hour in the diary. You’ll soon know if coaching would work for you, and the value it could bring to your business.

And if you aren’t wondering about the difference….   Well no doubt you’ve just had your own Super Saturday (or Friday, or Thursday…)

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It’s the middle of March already – the first quarter of 2015 is almost complete, and later this week we will experience a 90% solar eclipse – the next time we get to experience such a full (although not total)  eclipse won’t be until 12th August 2026…. Spring is very definitely with us though, and we are reminded that the clocks will be going forward (spring forward, fall back…) and the evenings will be getting lighter.

Clock Change

The season is named as such because of this new growth that springs forth due to the atmosphere warming up as the earth’s axis begin to tilt more towards the sun and many flowering plants begin to blossom.

 Other than the season, Spring and “springtime” also lend themselves to the notions of rebirth, renewal, rejuvenation and regrowth. We are even encouraged to have a good tidy up “spring clean” by clearing out all the things that are no longer serving us well.

These concepts are just as true for business as they are for our homes.  Spring is an ideal time to be forward thinking about what we want to achieve from the rest of the year, as well as to clear out the old things in your business that are no longer serving you well, and thinking about what new growth you want to see taking place.

Spring cleaning within a business, may be as simple as tidying up your working areas and throwing away those things that you no longer use or need (e.g. old equipment, unused and outdated marketing materials, reference books that have been superseded etc…), or it might be slightly more involved with you reviewing you outdated procedures, or reviewing and grading your customers, politely choosing not to do business with those that cause you the most headaches, freeing you up to give better service to those who love what you do for them and actively promote you to their contacts.

The difficulty many business owners have is finding the time to have a business spring clean, and yet by doing it, they often find that it makes them considerably more productive after they’ve finished, and makes them feel more positive about the future of their business. 

So what can you do easily?

Start by taking a walk about your work environment with a notepad, noting down anything that could quickly and easily be tidied up / thrown away.

Then consider the procedures your got working in your business – Ask your staff whether the systems work effectively and what they would do to improve them.

Failure Success

Then think about the new growth you want over the next 9 – 12 months….    Look out for my next blog as I’ll be covering growing your customer base, and offering a free paper book full of strategies for getting new customers.

Want the book now?

Then email me at rogerlamb@actioncoach.com.  You will need to fulfil some simple criteria, but then I’ll personally deliver you a copy!

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You may have seen on Social Media recently a dress, the colour of which was hotly debated. Some saw it as blue and black, others saw it as white and gold.  In fact I was lucky enough to see the colour of it change in the split second I scrolled up and down my newsfeed.

Now the reason behind why the dress was seen differently has been more than covered elsewhere on the internet, so you won’t find it in this post, (mouse here if you want to know) however, what is important about the debate is that people’s perception of the colour was different – Indeed 2 people, in the same room, looking at the same photo, at the same time, could easily perceive the colours differently.

Perhaps the greatest lesson we can take from the blue black / white gold dress debate is that our brains can perceive things differently depending on our environment.

Einstein JPEG

Changing Faces – Move toward/away from the image in order to see the transformation.

Perception is a funny concept. The psychological definition is: a single unified awareness derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present.

And it is, of course, entirely plausible that we perceive lots of things slightly differently. And in business, this is something we should take extremely seriously.

When I start working with a new client, I give them a commitment sheet – a document which makes a number of statements to which I commit to as part of our ongoing coaching relationship.

One of those statements is this:

Your Perception of my performance is always the reality

This is probably the statement that I rate above all the others on the sheet – My job is to help  my clients get fantastic results (whatever that means for them), and I make sure that happens. And my clients love me for that…

…but I have to remember that it doesn’t matter whether or not I think they are getting fantastic results. It matters what THEY think.

Their perception of my performance is always the reality.

If I think they are doing well, and praise them as such, then that is OK, but if, at the same time, their PERCEPTION is that they aren’t doing well, then THEIR perception is the reality, not mine.

All too frequently in business, people think that the service they provide their customers is above average. Sadly, as a nation, we have come to accept poor service as the norm. But is it OUR perception of the service we RECEIVE that counts, not the business’s perception of the service they provide.

To get it ‘right’ for the customer, we need to regularly check with our customers that we are doing so – and not by asking the age-old question “is everything OK?”  Customers don’t give you any useful feedback to that question!  

Rather, we need to ask them things like “What could we have done better to enhance your experience of our service?” or “Was the service you received today better than your expectation?” The important thing is that you do ask for this constructive feedback – and most importantly, you act on it swiftly.

If you can give service above the expectations of your customers, not only will they will come back time and time again, but they will always tell others what great service they receive from your company, so you will have a ready supply of new customers whose new perceptions you will need to carefully manage.

If you want to know more about how you can get more customers, and how you can deliver awesome customer service, then get in touch…

But why should you contact me…?

Simple – you will be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.

I will expect and encourage you to achieve more than you think possible, you will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…

So, if you think you’re ready – drop me an Email…

If you think you’re not – then it makes no difference what you do…

A face or a liar?……

Liar JPEG

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