Your Comfort Zone Is Your Enemy

When we choose to try new things there is this feeling in the back of our minds that is always reminding us of how scary or uncertain the outcome of trying something new maybe. This is our comfort zone talking to us.

Everyone has some type of comfort in their lives that they hold on to like a life raft. We call it our comfort zone. Our comfort zone may seem like this warm fuzzy place that we can go back to when times get tough. What we tend not to realize is that this comfort zone is more like a jail cell. You maybe asking, how can you compare something that makes you comfortable to a jail cell? It is a very easy comparison when you realize that it shackles you from going out and attempting new things or following new ideas. Our comfort zone is the mask complacency wears that is anchored by fear.

The idea of stepping out and trying something different gives us uncertainty and butterflies in our stomach, it’s called fear. This is how our comfort zone holds us back. It is not so much that we are so comfortable where we are at, but more about having to face a fear without knowing the outcome. This is why our comfort zone is our enemy. It limits our abilities and thirst for experience by showering our minds in fear. Fear is the greatest variable in holding a person back from what they are really looking to achieve in life. It’s like going rock climbing without any support. You can feel safe and secure on the ground where you know nothing is going to happen or you can climb the moutain and possibly fall to your demise. You maybe saying this example is a little harsh, but is it really? We are talking about the rest of our lives being held back by the idea of falling and hitting rock bottom. We have a choice in our lives, be mediocre and follow a path of certainty or taking on the climb to achieve something greater. Yes you may fall, but you won’t always hit rock bottom.

Stepping out of the comfort zone is the single most important thing you can do for your life. It doesn’t have to be in terms of career or success, but in life in general. The experiences you will have if you over come the fear of failure and uncertainty are absolutely mind blowing. The things we can achieve are endless as long as we overcome our fears. It is not easy to do, but it is necessary for our growth and progress. I am not saying go climb Mt. Everest as a rookie but why not try to climb something small first and then move on to greater things? It is your life, you can do anything, be anyone you want to be, you just have to overcome the fear and get out of the comfort zone that is holding you back. Today, try something new, no matter how small you may think it is, just get out there and try.

Preparation is Necessary for Success

We underestimate the value of being prepared more then we would like to admit. Preparing yourself for the day and week before hand is necessary for success. It allows us to have more time and less stress throughout our day and week.

If you go into your day unprepared, you will find that it is more chaotic then what you really want it to be. Our time becomes limited, our minds are cloudy, and our stress level is peaking. These are just a few things that we can attribute to being unprepared. More importantly, being unprepared causes us to make mistakes and lack professionality. If you set yourself up before your work week for success, that week will be fluid and unhindered.

Being prepared makes us feel good and less stressed. It also sets us up for more success, especially when the unexpected happens. We can get a lot accomplished in minimal amounts of time, but the quality of that work when we are rushed tends to lack the professionalism we would really like to see. Yes, we feel accomplished when we knockout something important quickly, that is until we find out that we made the mistake or that we could have done better. By preparing yourself for the week a head of time, we won’t have to worry about the mistakes, lack of professionalism, or the inability to handle the unexpected. Being prepared will also give you more time and the ability to prepare even further.

This week, set yourself up for success. Prepare for yourself for the next day and if you can the next week. By doing so, you will get to see the affects and positive outcome being prepared will do for you. Let me ask you this, do you think it would be an easier life if you were always prepared or would it be an easier life to just wing it? Really put this into perspective and the answer will be a simple one.

The most important part of success is your mindset.

We hear it all the time about how important your mindset is to your happiness and success, that is because it is. We underestimate how powerful the mind is more times then not. The mind is the greatest weapon in our arsenal. It causes us to relay the information we get and turn it into anger, happiness, sadness, excitement, and anxiety. Our mind causes all of these things to happen on a regular basis, but we still underestimate its true potential.

If you are looking to be a happier person, you can fill your mind with cute cats to make you happy, we can fill our mind with happy thoughts of old, or we can fill our mind with just positivity in general. If you were to start doing this on a consistent basis, you intern would become happier. That is how powerful the mind is. You can literally train your mind to be happy. You can also train your mind to be negative.

Filling your mind with constant negativity will cause you to look at all of the negativity around you, instead of the positive. It is important to understand that your mind will react to a situation based on the previous information you have given it. If there is a positive situation happening, you maybe saying, this is great, but. This is the mind of a person who surrounds their self with negative content continuously. They may say, I am just being logical, but more times then not, they can’t embrace the positive. Negativity acts like a virus for your mind. It will bring you down, demotivate you, it can even make you put your well being at risk. This is the worst part of the mind if we can not control it.

You can also train your mind to become more disciplined. If you are always putting in the right information to help you succeed, be happy, or motivate you, the next thing you know, it will happen without any effort. We need to understand and respect how much power our minds have over our life. We need to respect our minds and continue to feed it and nourish it everyday. If we don’t control the things we choose to put in our minds, our lives will not flourish the way we would like it to.

The next time you want to fill your mind with propaganda or dumb viral videos, keep in mind, if you do it enough, your life will start reflecting that mentality. Look at people who are surrounded by gangs or people who surround themselves with alcoholics, they start becoming who they hang out with. Filling your mind with information works the same way. I can tell you this, it is harder to change a lifestyle when your not willing to change the information you allow to enter your mind.

The Three Stages of a Successful Mindset

Success is mostly a state of mind. You maybe sayng, no way, it is what you achieve. There is some truth to that but it all starts with your mindset. If you can not wrap your mind around what it takes to be successful, the rest of you will do what is easy. Success is not easy.

The first step in creating a successful mindset, is to fill it with positivity. Positivity keeps you motivated and pushes you through the stumbles, set backs, and whatever else you come across down the path of living your dream. If you are not continously positive in your outlook of life and what you are looking to accomplish, you will fail almost immediately. Positivity is a key strength of those who are successful. It is what allows them to wake up and face the battle of life with an advantage. Life itself has its hardships, but building your dream will bring a level of toughness out of you that you never thought you had.

The second step in creating a successful mindset, is to find your passion and let it motivate you. Motivation is a key to getting things done. It is the driving force to what you are looking to accomplish. Without motivation, you have nothing but complacency. I know it is hard to stay motivated, but it is a neccessary component of your successful mindset. Wake up everyday and know why you are doing what you are doing. Know that throughout the day this is the dream you are going to live. You have to tell yourself these things, day in and day out. Will there be times that your motivation is lacking, sure, we all have it happen but our third step in creating a successful mindset is the back up to motivation, it’s called discipline.

Disciplining your mind to do what needs to be done is probably one of the hardest steps in the mindset process. You can feed your mind with positivity and motivation by simply listening, watching, and reading about success stories or speeches. Discipline on the other hand does not happen without the will of you. There will be days that you will have to will yourself out of bed in order to accomplish the things you need to get done that day. There will be days that you may not be as positive as you should, which will drain your motivation. Discipline is your back up plan, it is the one thing that when others areas are lacking that day, discipline will keep you on the right path.

These three things are how you create a successful mindset. Positivity, motivation, and discipline are the keys to your life. After you have completely transformed your mindset to run on all cylinders, go out and build your dream. There are no limits to your dream, as long as you follow these three steps.

How you handle failure determines if you will be successful

Failure is a part of life, everyone has and will experience it. How we handle failure is a totally different conversation. Failure can have an ever lasting impact on us, whether it be positive or negative. Fortunately, we get the choice on how we personally handle failure.

Failure is not an unkown entity that just comes out of no where. It has a beginning and an end. The beginning of failure, is you trying to progress toward some type of goal. The end of failure, is the result turning out a different way then expected. Now that we have figured out how failure happens, let’s talk about how we can handle it and the effects.

Handling failure with a negative out look can shut down your dreams as quick as a snap of the finger. Understanding that we will continue to fail at things throughout our entire lives should almost be comforting. It is not out of the norm, we know it is going to happen, and we know that we will continue to live our daily lives afterward. The issue with failure is not that we know, but that we let it affect our mindset so drastically, we can shut down from the world. This is an example of what failure can do, it maybe a drastic one, but it is the same reason we give up on our dreams, or stop trying altogether. Viewing failure with a negative mind will stop you from doing everything you wanted in life. It is your choice to decide if one small set back will determine your future.

Keeping a positive mindset through failure, makes failure not so much of a fail. With a positive outlook on failure, you will no longer view it as the failure you once knew. It will now be a learning experience, a sign that you are moving in the right direction. The failure you know, will now become your motivation. I know I talk about a positive mindset over and over and over again. There is a reason, with a positive outlook on your life, you start becoming in control. Realizing that with this mindset, you can and will accomplish whatever it is you want to. Failure will continue to happen while you are working for your dream, heck it will happen even if you’re staying complacent. Choose to look at failure with a positive mind and you will progress. Remember, failure leads to success.

The Snowball Effect

They always say, how you start your morning will dictate the rest of your day. I do not believe in this statement. I believe that if you wake up in the morning with a positive mindset, regardless of what happens it is a direct reflection on how you view life.

If you wake up in the morning and things start going wrong, this is not how the rest of your day will go, unless you let it. We get wrapped up in the snowball effect of our lives and think if things start going wrong we need to brace for impact for the rest of the day. It happens to all of us, things are going to go wrong. How we choose to handle them is what will dictate the rest of our lives. If you let negativity over come the positivity, you have lost the battle. Too often we let small things impact our mindset so greatly that we put ourselves in a slump that may take hours, days, or even years to recover from. Life is a blessing in all forms and because of this, we need to focus on the good in our lives.

It is vitally important to drown out the noise and chaos of everyday life. If you have a plan, a dream or any other ideas that you think are important, focus on that. Put the work in and go for it.. The only thing holding you back is you. I am not saying you won’t have some stumbles or falls along the way, but instead of viewing those things negatively, view them as steps in the right direction. I say this all the time, perception is reality. If you view most things with a negative mind then that is all you will see, but if you look at the silver lining, even in times of struggle, your mind will train itself to think positively in all situations. You can create the snowball effect for positivity the same way you view it for negative situations. Your mind will do exactly what you fill it with. Let the snowball effect work for you, not against you.

Why feeding your mind with the right information is so important for your personal growth

In a world filled with all types of different information and ways to access it, we need to be very careful on what we let into our minds. If you are constantly filling your mind with information that has a bad message or that doesn’t contribute to your progress in life, you will eventually start becoming what you fill your mind with. This can be a good thing or a bad thing based on the information you let yourself receive.

Let me ask you a question, is it more important to fill your mind with empty information or with information that could help you learn and progress? I would like to think the answer is clear. Yet, we get so caught up in all of the dramatic chaos of social media and celebrities. You may say, Josh, it is just entertainment. Your right, but is it positive entertainment? By following people who portray money as success and being a good person, we get blinded by that lifestyle and look past the real meaning of being a good person. I am going to have a lot of questions for you in this article in hopes to put things in perspective. Would you support someone with less money and no celebrity status that beats their girlfriend, cheats on their significant other, or commits a crime? How about the people who don’t have money that party and do drugs, but can’t hold a job? If you tell me it’s different because of their social status, you are the problem. We look at this type of life and instantly start comparing our lives to theirs and when things go wrong, comparing our lives to the less fortunate. I am not saying that all people with money act in this way, there are plenty of people who are wealthy that contribute more then a twerk video to society, yet we don’t idolize them, why? Why are we so caught up in drama and not positivity? I can tell you, we love watching people have problems to help justify our own. Worse part, we feed this type of behavior and not condemn it. It is time for you to shut off the dramatic social crap and fill your mind with positive, progressive, and inspirational information. I am not saying stop social media by any means, but watch what you are letting your mind receive.

You need to wake up everyday and feed your mind with positive information about your career, business, even listening to a positive message will do wonders for your thought process. I myself was victim of the dramatic social media information, it took me know where. It made me mad that celebrities could do whatever they wanted without some sort of backlash, outside of the media putting their lives on display. When I started cutting out all of the drama on social media and started filling it with positive information on social media, the impact it had on my mindset was mind blowing. I became more positive, I became more motivated, and I started believing in a better way of life. Why put energy into people that don’t even know you exist? Why put your energy into people that surround themselves with drama and excuses? Too many times we do not see the impact of negative information because we are so embroiled in it that it becomes the norm. I challenge each and everyone of you to cut out the drama on social media and dig into the positives of social media. I challenge you for one month to fill your mind with positivity, knowledge, and inspiration. I promise, in that one month, you will be happier, you will start performing better, and you will start becoming better.

Failure is a sign of progress, not defeat

We all view our failures differently. The one thing about failure, you can learn from it, our you can let it set you back. Every person you have ever strived to be, does not let failure set them back, it motivates them to be better. It is a sign that they are trying to move forward in the right direction.

Failure is part of life and something that will always be present. If we allow our failures to drag us down and not motivate us, we will be back to square one. Let me say this, you will fail more then you succeed, this is a fact of life. Those failures and how we handle them determine how strong we are and if we are willing to do what it takes to achieve our dreams. Failure is what defines us, not success.

We need to strive to be better everyday. The only way that happens is if we are willing to take the leap. Now, I am not saying make an uneducated leap, but take the right leap. You will fail and you will struggle every step of the way. Turn that experience into ammunition, into motivation, and discipline. Having this mindset that failure is not going to happen will only disappoint you. Instead, understand failure to be a sign of you trying everything to make sure you get it right. Wake up every morning knowing, that at the end, it was worth it.

Holding yourself accountable makes you happier and more successful

How many times have you heard people make excuses about something that they did wrong or put the blame on someone else? People that continuously manipulate the situation so they can place blame on someone or something else other then themselves, have created a victim mindset. This type of mindset is the same mindset that will hold a person back from accomplishing success and enjoying a happy life.

If you have ever noticed, people who tend to blame others or their situation tend to always be in a funk. They have allowed this victim mentality to control their lives and have forgotten about their ability to make themselves happy and successful. Once you get in this rut, it is very hard to get out of, but not impossible. You have to choose to accept responsibility for your position. If you can’t make this change in your life, will be forever sentenced to a life of feeling incomplete and victimized. Victimization is continuing to spread rapidly in the world we live in today and it is easy to fall into the mentality that everyone is out to get you. It is called life, get over yourself, you are not a victim of anything other then your own mindset.

We need to hold ourselves accountable for everything we do. This allows us to set a standard for ourselves in life, in our career, and even when it comes to family. Having a standard of what is and is not acceptable, is the only way we can move forward. By doing this, our expectations are raised and will continue to progress in a positive manner. It is so important to set your standard if you are looking to be successful or live a full life. There will always be situations out or your control, but how you handle them is what defines you. You have control over your life and your happiness. If you can control this part of your life, you will find yourself happier more successful and willing to take on challenges you thought were impossible. You have to train your mind to continue this thought process, otherwise, you will be back at the starting line. Choose to make the change before it is too late.

You create your own success!

Creating your own success is not rocket science. It is a basic idea that everyone dreams of, but there is always the question of why doesn’t it happen. There are various reasons and situations in everyone’s life that creates a, we will do it later mindset. Unfortunately, this is the same mindset that prevents people from doing what they love and becoming successful. Success has a different meaning for everyone, but that is not the problem.

As we continue this journey through our lives there will be failures, obstacles, and hardships. We can choose to submerge ourselves in these things and let life drive our car. We get so hung up on all the bad things that happen to us that we get blinded by the negative. After submerging ourselves in this mindset for so long, we don’t realize that life continues to happen with or without us. Then we start looking and judging everyone else’s life to find people that we can put down, criticize, and laugh at, all to make ourselves feel better. Then you bring in the social media aspect of it all, continuous drama. We are so entrenched in everyone else life and what they are doing that we don’t focus on ourselves. This type of mentality is a virus to our well being.

You have two choices in life, success or complacency. I don’t like to use the term failure, because some people are perfectly content in their lives and that’s okay, if you want to stay in the exact same place you started. Success is driven by motivation, positivity, and passion. If you are questioning your place in life, look in the mirror. That person you see staring back at you, that is the same person responsible for your success or complacency. Your situation does not dictate your outcome, unless you let it. If you want change, you make it happen every single day you wake up. Clear your mind of all the clutter that you fill it with and replace it with things that will help you progress forward, whatever that may be. You can listen and ready all the motivational speeches, books, and articles you want. If you are not willing to separate yourself from the noise that holds you back, you are not ready to be successful.

Why it is vital to surround yourself with positive and successful people

There are many days that we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We stub our toe in the morning, get soap in our eyes, or trip over the dog bone. Unfortunately, this can dictate how the rest of your day goes, if you let it.

People who are continually surrounded by negativity will always look at the negative. How many times have you heard how bad someone’s morning was? This is a terrible way to start off your day. One thing you will notice, people who have chose to surround themselves with positivity, have a completely different view on what could have been the exact same morning. They won’t let a rough start take away what they are looking to accomplish for the day. They are determined to be the very best version of themselves at all times.

Successful people do not go through life without the strength of positivity. Sure, some people are handed their lives to them on a silver platter, but the majority has worked and fought battles you could never imagine and still remained positive in the face of defeat. We would like to think that successful people go through life destined to be successful. Destiny is in your hands, it is up to you to create your future. Successful people surround themselves with other successful people.

Negativity and regret about life works very much the same way. Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe in product of your environment. You can always find a way to remove yourself from a negative setting. That being said, if you choose to stay in that type of environment, you will quickly become what you surround yourself with. Do you think that Oprah or Mark Cuban surround themselves with people who are negative and unsuccessful? I don’t thinks so.

If you find yourself continuously struggling to stay positive or find success, look around. Who are you affiliating yourself with? Are they successful, are they always looking at the positive, are they someone you can strive to be in some form or another? If your answer to these basic questions of life are on the latter side, you may want to think about changing your environment. It won’t be easy. It will be challenging. It will be worth it. Remove the negativity and those who make excuses about their life. These are not the people you can surround yourself with everyday and expect to bring out your full potential.

The mind works like a machine that has been programmed to whatever you have surrounded yourself with. It will turn the cruise on and stay the same speed until you choose differently. Surrounding yourself with positivity and success consistently will reprogram your brain, like an update. It will take time to feel the effects. After you have surrounded yourself with this type of mentality, you will notice that your life will start to become positive, successful, and more motivated then you could imagine. You will no longer be bogged down with complacency, negativity, and feeling like the road you are traveling is a straight boring line with your end being the same as where you started. It is your life, you choose who you want to be. I know my choice.

The Internet Is Killing The Brick And Mortar Stores?

One thing that I continue to hear is that the internet is killing stores all over the country. The biggest excuse I hear for the demise of brick and motar stores is that the internet is more convienent. You can sit at home and do all of your shopping online while eating cheetos on your couch. This maybe true as far as being able to sit on your couch and shop. Let me ask you a question, have you ever order something and the wrong item arrived? I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that question. Let me ask you one more question, what do you do when you get the wrong item? That’s right, you have to re-package the item, drive to the post office, unless you have Amazon prime, then wait another 2-7 days for your corrected item to return. Would’nt it just be easier to drive to the store pick up the item and go home? Why would you want to wait days before you get the item you purchased, are we that lazy? I do not believe that everyone who shops online is lazy by any means, but I do believe it is a way to make sure you do not have to deal with the grumpy person behind the counter or scavaging through the store to find what you are looking for. Did you know that Amazon, the king of online shopping has hundreds of brick and mortar locations? Did you also know that they established those stores after they became an online giant? Why would they do that, the money is in online shopping, it’s more convienent, it’s easier…right? Some of the the reasons previously stated may be true in some cases, like buying the charmin toliet paper you have used for the last decade, it hasn’t changed. Most companies like Macy’s, Sears, Carson Prairie Scott, and JcPenny have online shopping, just like Amazon. This begs the question, why are they still struggling? Multimillion dollar companies have given you the same convience as Amazon, but none the less they continue to falter.

People love to shop, there is no question about that, it is how they shop that makes the difference. If you continue to go to the same store and receive the same crappy experience, you won’t go back. If this continues with other businesses, you then turn to online shopping. That doesn’t mean you do it for convienence, you do it to avoid a bad experience. Companies that go above and beyond for their customers to create the perfect experience and atmosphere still have a great customer following. Nordstroms is a perfect example of how a business can be successful with minimal marketing, in comparison to other retail businesses, and not see a downturn due to the online shopping boom. Portillo’s is another company that even during the 2007-2009 economic downturn was still opening location after location. Costco is one of the largest retail giants and they are packed with people everyday, they even have online shopping, it’s mind blowing that the interenet hasn’t caused them to shut multiple locations. I think I have made my point. These companies that I have mentioned all have one thing in common that makes them successful, customer success. When was the last time you walked into a Nordstrom and had a bad experience?

Putting your customer first is the most important thing a company can do, customers keep your doors open. What tends to happen, is we don’t train or hire the right people to interact with our customers. The front of the house is just as important as the numbers you review everyday to see how your company is doing. If you have been on a downward slide don’t blame the internet, look at how your customers view your business and try to see what has changed or what you can change to be more customer centric.

Handling The Different Types Of Customer

The world is full of all types of customers. You have your great loyal customers, the price hunters, the never satisfied, and we can't forget the I know everything customer. All of these customers take a different approach to earn their business, except what we like to call the two percenters. The two percenters will never buy from you regardless of how well you do your job and exceed the standard customer expectation. There is light at the end of the tunnel, with every customer you work with, you should always be able to learn something from each experience. 

The great loyal customers believe in every aspect of the experience, from the first impression all the way to the end of the sales cycle. As long as you do your job and follow the process, you should be able to lock this one down fairly easy. You can't get complacent when you realize what type of customer you have in front of you. It is just as easy to lose them as a customer as it is to keep them as a customer.

Your price hunters can be great loyal customers, as long as they feel that you bring additional value to the deal. Now, you're not going to knock it out of the park because you will need to adjust your pricing, but they will continue to return to you and pay just a smidge higher for the add value. If you recognize this type of customer quickly, your approach should change drastically. Building value in everything is how you're going to lock down this customer. Customers like this tend to know exactly what they are getting into, they have researched every bit of your industry and they are prepared to do some heavy negotiating. By building value in your business and company beliefs, you will be able to justify a higher price within reason. 

Customers who are never satisfied will still choose to do business with you depending on how you handle their complaints, uncertainties, and criticism. You will immediately realize this type of customer. Keep in mind they still are in the market for your service or product. Building value is always a must. In this case that is not the focus. You need to be sympathetic to their every issue, not agreeable, that will get you into trouble. These customers always have a bad experience, everywhere they go there is something that they will not be satisfied with. You can still make them a customer for life if you treat them with care.

It's interesting when you deal with a customer who "knows everything". They like to put off the illusion of intelligence so they can try and intimidate or impress you. I like these customers, they are probably the easiest customers to seal the deal with. Let me explain, all you have to do is make them feel like they are right, be agreeable and show excitement. This bolsters their pride and makes them feel like they are on top of the world.

You maybe thinking by the end of this article that we are judging a customers ability to make a justified decision due to manipulation, this is only one way to look at it and not a good way. The whole point of customer success is to make people feel how they want to feel. Who are we to deprive them of what makes them feel good. Tailoring you attitude, personality, and verbiage is an ability that needs to be mastered. It is not manipulation , it is the art of creating a customer for life. We need to understand our clients needs, attitudes, and how they base their decision on who they are going to give their business to. Focus on your customer and who they really are. This will truly connect you with your customer and allow them to open up and reveal their needs. 

 

 

Customer Success Is A Need In Every Industry

The term Customer Success started in the IT industry and has not yet made its move to any other industry. I believe this is do to the idea that people believe that customer success is just a re-branded name for customer service, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Customer service is part of every industry and so should customer success. 

Customer service is generally the front line of a business in regards to customer/client relation. Customer service representatives field phone calls or addresses the customer/client when entering your business, they generally have no ability to solve issues on their own. How many times have you had an issue when working with a customer service representative and they had to get permission or a manager to handle the situation?  Customer service is almost a laughable term, because you can have good service, bad service, or mediocre service, it is all customer service. When you break it down, it is service that deals with a customer, hence customer service, not customer success. 

Customer success envelopes your entire business and the customer experience. Customer success focuses on things that are generally overlooked or not even thought of that have some type of impact on your customers experience. Let me give you a couple of examples, if your company offers a drink to a client, hopefully it's cold or hot depending on the drink, do you have napkins that you wrap around the drink so the customers hands don't get wet or a heat cover for coffee so they can be comfortable holding their drink? What about the chairs that you offer a customer/client to sit in, are they comfortable, do they have stains on them, are they torn and discolored? How about giving your employees some guidelines to resolving issues without having to ask for permission or getting a manager. Wouldn't this be easier, efficient, and provide a better experience for your customer/client? Things like these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customer success. You may be thinking that these are all common sense things and if they are, then why do companies not address them? 

Customer success is not just for one industry or one company, it is a need for everything that is business. You need to make your customers/clients comfortable in your place of business and know that everything that you do is being judged by your potential or current customer/client. The things you think that don't matter, are the same things your customer/client is paying attention to, no matter how small or insignificant they seem. 

 

An Open Letter To Management

Having worked with many different companies, management are generally the ones to have push back when someone mentions change. Let me elaborate, managers who have been in their role for years tend to have a little hesitation when it comes to applying a new thought process. Because of their given years in their industry, they believe that their way is the best way. Now I am not saying that all managers think this way, but generally the ones that do, are cemented in their industries and do not want change.

Change is an integral part of success; we adapt to keep up with the changes in our given industries and to our new line of employees. The workforce landscape is entirely different now then it was 10 years ago, heck, even 5 years ago. What we are seeing, is old school management styles collide with the new workforce. Managers and leaders of a company need to bring the value of teamwork to the table. You hear teamwork mentioned all the time yet it is rarely implemented in a team fashion. Teams work together, striving for the exact same purpose. Old school managers preach this act time and time again but do nothing to sustain the team mentality; constantly pitting people against each other expecting the friendly competitiveness to increase their sales. You can create a fun competitive environment that exemplifies the team mentality, as long as you do not play favorites. 

Playing favorites I have found happens when managers have old school ideologies. Managers or team leads will come up to me during my consultation and whisper how good one of their employees are. Generally this is caused by what I like to call, "hand holding". Managers taking a special interest in one or two employees and go out of their way to make sure they succeed. This goes completely against the team mentality. Other team members watch the hand holding take place and feel put out, causing disconnect and lack of motivation. Companies with high turnover tend to be the worst when it comes to playing favorites. 

Managers who choose to operate with such carelessness tend to have other issues besides the inability to adapt. Managers with this type of mentality have a hard time not being in control of every situation, micro managing. The problem with micro managing is that it does not allow an employee the freedom to get things done any other way then the person over them telling them that it's not the right way. This is where that team mentality comes back into place. If you are a manager that constantly micro manages your employees, you may never find a more effective way of doing things. Managers still need to be open to learning and trying different things. Employees can be a great asset to a company as long as they are allowed to be. Teamwork is not just for the bottom dwellers but every part of the company. If everyone worked together in the company and traded ideas, that company could be unstoppable. Unfortunately, there are still people in positions that cannot adapt to change. These are the same people who will keep your business from progressing to a higher level. 

Leaders not bosses, help their employees grow not only on a professional level but on a personal level as well. Leaders continue to learn and listen to those who help drive business. Be the Leader your employees inspire to be and watch the growth and magic of your business unfold. 

 

 

Is Customer Success A New Thought Or A Lost Art?

                Customer Success Consulting and Managing is somewhat of a new thought. Companies have worried so much about customer acquisition that they have forgotten about customer retention. The important difference between the two, customer acquisition cost more than retaining customers. Companies want to get everybody they can in their door yet won’t do everything they can to retain them. This is a problem for most companies as their focus is primarily marketing to new customers and seemingly forgetting about the ones they have.

Customer retention is one of the most important aspects to building and keeping your company in the green. Customers that continue to go back to the same business will spend more than a customer that has never been there before.  New customers will be weary to spend excessive amounts just because they do not know the business they are working with. Where your loyal customers will have no problem spending, they have worked with you before, they are comfortable. If loyal customers spend more and require less, then why do companies not focus on retaining them?

There is an idea that companies can grab a majority of the market if they market to everyone. This is not a great way to do business if you are sacrificing quality. Companies generally start marketing to a certain type of customer which builds their success. After the company becomes successful with a certain market they want to branch out to grab more of the market. They forget about the customers that made them successful in the first place. Companies want to expand as quickly as possible without thinking of what can happen if they forget about their foundation. This ultimately leads them to spreading themselves thin and losing their foundation customers.

It is important to understand the value of one customer/client. If treated right, these customers will be your free advertisement via word of mouth and referrals. This type of advertisement is better than the commercial or ad in the paper, it is the ultimate advertisement. People trust people when it comes to working with a business. Companies need to treat every customer like they are the most important part of their company, because they are.

If you need help increasing your customer success and sales, Tier One Consulting specializes in this area. We help businesses create and build on their foundation for long term success. Contact us for a free consultation to start building your customer success.

It's The Little Things That Matter

As a whole, we tend to overlook the little things to make the customer experience better. Things like, putting a napkin around a drink so your customers hand doesn't get wet or folding their newly purchased clothes so they don't get all wrinkled, these are just a couple of examples of the little things.

Companies focus heavily on producing a number and not an experience. This has lead major companies to value quantity and not quality. There is nothing wrong with trying to hit a number as long as you are not sacrificing quality. Keep in mind, quality is in the eye of the beholder. Customer experience is what drives customers/clients to return to your place of business. Things like holding a door open for a prospective customer/client makes a difference. Offering something to drink while conducting business is also something that should be done. If you add up all the small simple things we can do to make the customers/clients experience better, you would be surprised at what type of impact it will have during the purchasing decision. There is only one problem.

We are trained to think that if we offer the lowest price that we will automatically earn someone's business, this is not a very accurate train of thought. Cost cutting has become a major problem, companies trying to compete based on price find themselves loosing money and not retaining the right clientele. People who look for the cheapest price have no loyalty when it comes to a business, they will always look for the cheapest price. These are not the customers your company should attract. You should be attracting the customers/clients that want the experience and knowing that you are there specifically for them. This will create loyalty, great customer base, and profitability. Isn't that what we strive for?

By creating a consumer friendly atmosphere, you will notice a dramatic change in your business. Your employees and customers/clients attitudes will change for the better. When you walk into your business you as an owner will be happier knowing that the service you provide is top notch. Your customer flow will be smooth, your profitability and customer retention will increase. If these are the things you want out of your business, change your mentality.

If you would like some help or an outside opinion of your companies customer atmosphere, we here at Tier One Consulting LLC can help. Let's make your business stand out from the crowd!

Is It Financially Irresponsible To Have High Employee Turnover?

I think it's funny when companies hire multiple people at once in hopes that a few of them will stick around for the long haul. This is a terrible business practice that has been going on for years in various industries. The problem,  if you hire multiple people at once and spend money to train all of them without really digging into who they are, you are wasting your companies money, especially if your turn over rate is higher than average. You also risk the employment of those who have been around for a while ie... unsatisfied due to limited sales, decrease in pay if your commissioned based, or the veteran who is waiting for their raise that sees money being wasted.

It is financially irresponsible to have a continuously high turnover rate. Think about it, if you are using additional resources and time to train people who are not fit for the position then leave after a month or two, wouldn't that be a waste of money? Companies who need to fill one or two positions hire ten people to fill only those positions, why? The thought, you do not know what you are getting when you hire someone, so the law of averages come into play. I firmly do not believe that this is the best practice. You have to take the time and energy to figure out who fits the part and the team, then train them to the best of your ability. Hiring a rash of people and giving them mediocre training can also cause a high turnover rate.

When you hire someone make sure you are giving them all the tools to do the job. In a world were hands on training is minimal, you can expect a minimal out come. Instead of using videos to explain something, take the time and do it yourself. We need to invest every resource we have into the people we hire and try not to leverage the law of averages. Think about all the money a company looses by the mass hire and fire routine. Invest in your company by investing in your employees.

The question that needs to be asked when a company has a high turnover rate, how does this affect the customer experience? Customers expect a professional and knowledgeable staff. If your company is constantly training and hiring new employees, where does the knowledge and professionalism come into play? It doesn't, it causes distrust among your prospective clients, it could also cause a bad or not so great experience. Your company needs a strong core to operate efficiently and effectively.

If you expect to grow your numbers and profitability, it is counter productive to higher a mass of people expecting to get the desired results, especially when the training is minimal. Instead focus on growing the people you have. If your operation grows and you need more employees, the focus turns to hiring the right person and giving them everything you have to make them successful. This will create a happier work space, a happier new hire, and decreased turnover. Your employees are only as good as the people hiring and training them.

 

 

The Positivity of Failure

What is failure? Is it not being able to close a deal or is it something we just thought we would succeed at but didn't? Failure is a funny thing, in most cases people view it as a step back or something they will never get over. I do not believe in failure, I believe that failure is an opportunity waiting for a solution.

We can take failure and turn it into something positive, as long as we view it that way. It is hard to overcome failure or even a mistake. Failures and mistakes are only such if we do not learn from them. There is always something to gain when things don't go the way we planned, they are learning experiences. Albert Einstein said "the world as we have created it is a process of our thinking, it can not be changed without changing our thinking". This is a vital thought process to transforming failure into a positive situation. We need to change our thinking so we can continue to learn from our experiences.

The next time you feel like you have taken a step back or made a mistake, learn from it. Know that everything has it's purpose. As long as we can continue to strive towards our goals with a positive manner, anything is possible. If you want it bad enough, you will figure out how to make it happen. Remember, failure is only something that happens when you give up.