The ten most important attributes of a successful business
Yesterday, as I was contemplating how various businesses handle their marketing and sales, I remembered something one of my friends has told me on multiple occasions. He said, “You should start a blog. People need to hear what you have to say.” For quite a while, I’ve wondered, “What on earth do I have to say that other people would want to listen to?” This probably sounds strange to those who know that I am currently writing a book.
I am stepping out and taking a big risk because the moment I hit “submit” to create the first entry in this blog, in some unspoken way, I’m committing to the difficult task of consistently creating new content. I hope that today’s entry is the first of many to come.
Marketing can be done in a variety of ways: online, print media, door-to-door, phone calls, letters, radio, etc. The list seems endless and for each unique industry different methods will yield different results. However when it comes to the sales process and customer service, there are some non-negotiables if you want your business to be wildly successful. And I don’t just mean the type of success that is measured in terms of dollars and cents. Success can’t be measured solely by profit margins or net income.
I have created a list of attributes called “The Ten Cs” to help every entrepreneur or employee remember the most important aspects of business. No, my list isn’t as valuable or impactful as the original “Ten Cs” that Moses received from God on Mt. Sinai, but I hope that in some way my list inspires you to tweak something about your business or your life that brings about positive change.
The TEN Cs
- Considerate. There’s an old phrase that says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It seems that God placed an innate ability inside everyone that enables us to discern if someone really cares. Common courtesy is called “common” for a reason, but compassion for others is something that can’t be faked. Always treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Confidence. No one wants to do business with someone who is unsure of himself. If you aren’t confident in yourself and your abilities, how do you expect anyone else to be? If you aren’t confident in your products or services, find out why not. Become an expert in your field, but also know that you don’t have to be perfect to be confident!
- Competence. Your customers want to know that you are the expert. They came to you because they couldn’t or didn’t want to solve the issue on their own. Don’t hold that over their heads. Be a servant, but also know your stuff. If you don’t know something, don’t lie. Confidently tell them that you will find the solution to the problem and will come back to them as soon as possible with some viable solutions.
- Convenience. The customer’s, not yours. You may have to meet a customer after hours at a distant location or perform some service for free to make things right. Don’t worry, customers never forget exceptional service. They will tell all their friends. It’s the best way to grow your business.
- Careful. Not many businesses pay attention to the little details. If you do, you will immediately set yourself apart from the crowd. When you enter a customer’s home, remove your shoes. When you are moving equipment or furniture, don’t damage the paint on the walls. Watch your spelling and your grammar. Show up to appointments on time. Do everything with excellence.
- Comfortable. I’ve heard it said that people vote for the person they want to sit down and have a drink with, not the person who has the “perfect policy.” No one wants to be around someone who is uptight, swears a lot, has poor hygiene, or dresses inappropriately. Stay calm, cool, and collected and watch your customers become more comfortable working with you and sending referrals your way.
- Chop-chop. This is a bit of a stretch, but c’mon not everything can start with ‘C’. It seems almost everyone wants their product delivered or service performed on the same day as their order or request. While for most businesses that is impossible, reach out to your customers as quickly as possible. Even if you can’t ship the order or get out to their home for a week or two, let them know as soon as possible that you are working on their request. Assure them that you value their business and that the reason you are busy is because you are trusted by so many. Explain that it takes time to offer every customer excellent service and to pay close attention to details.
- Connected. I know this is strange but customers won’t always tell you when they are dissatisfied. Like a good waiter, check back with them and ask questions. When you stay connected with your customers you can address issues before they become big problems. Your customers want to know that you will be relentless in resolving their issues and addressing their concerns. Staying connected gives them peace of mind. Ongoing communication also enables you to keep customers informed of any current promotions or new products and services.
- Consistency. Don’t change your location, your processes, your business model and your products/service offerings all at once. Change is a good thing, but too much of it can devastate your business and your relationships with your customers. They need to be able to count on you to provide them with quality service and a great experience EVERY time, not just during the initial sale. Don’t take shortcuts or do anything that might violate your customers’ trust in you. Don’t do anything that you would be embarrassed by if it were published all over the Internet. It may very well be!
- Capacity. Make sure that you have the ability to handle all of your customers. Don’t get so busy or understaffed that it takes you weeks or months to handle a job. Either rein in your marketing or grow your staff. Don’t lose out on valuable revenue because you aren’t prepared.
Your customers are your business’ lifeblood. Cherish them as if your business completely depends on them…it does.
I wish you the utmost success.