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Like a Ninja

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He was a ninja, a drink warrior, making his way through the crowded bar, like a hot knife through butter. His memory was impeccable, as if the drink and food orders he took we paramount to national security. He repeated the orders we barked at him over the din of the bar crowd, seemingly reading our lips. It was probable he was even reading our minds. He somehow knew we were short on time, and long on hungry as we stood shoulder to shoulder in the crowded space. We were in need of a quick meal and libation before taking off for our 7PM call time at the theater.

His memory was impeccable, as if the drink and food orders he took we paramount to national security.

Richie has been a favorite employee at GrillMarx Steakhouse and Raw Bar for several years, patrons know his name and he knows theirs. He remembers orders, pays special attention to all details, past and present, and provides a level of service where every need is responded to properly, quickly and with a positive attitude. Uncharacteristic of many runners in the food business, Richie gets it. He understands exactly what exemplary performance is all about. He is a top notch employee, with the attitude of an owner.

What do you do like a ninja? Are you returning calls, emails and messages quickly, accurately and with a positive attitude? Are you on time, every time, and do you provide solid advice, anticipate your customers' needs and follow up consistently? In the entrepreneurial world, these are the traits of a ninja. Take a lesson from Richie, and be a ninja warrior, with a side order of awesome.

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4 People You Must Follow If You Want To Get the Most Out of You in 2017

As a fan of the four business leaders I note in this post, I follow each of them because of their vast knowledge and their attention to fine detail. But what I love most about all of them is their sincere desire to do the right thing, consistently. These four leaders are kind, sincere, genuine and willing to lend advice and information, even when they have no financial stake in the game. These qualities make them far more than good business people...they are good people. Period.

Since following them, I often referred to their posts and advice to help move my business forward.  Recently, I asked all four a question: When making decisions, how do you feel about the importance of doing the right thing? The email I drafted was simple, and I knew, with certainty, my question would get amazing responses from them. I asked Judi Holler, Rob Jolles, Shep Hyken and Marty Wolff to help with this week's post. Here are their responses:


Your brand is not what you say it is, it is what your market says it is. Get the most out of your brand and follow Judi Holler. Judi has been a friend for the past several years and I have been a fan of her video posts and Friday Fab Five emails for quite some time. Not only is she a great writer, Judi is an incredible speaker as well, bringing her improv speaking style to the stage nationwide.

The world is WAY too connected and if you are naughty, we will find you out. If you really want to earn trust, if you really want to have a great life and build a great business ... you have to show up and you must do the right thing ... every time.
— Judi Holler

I was originally introduced to Rob Jolles without fully knowing the tremendous impact Rob would have on my life. Rob not only helped me outline my book, Nice Guys Finish First, but he wrote the foreword for my book, has helped me launch my speaking career and most importantly, proven to me that hard work, dedication and doing the right thing is always in vogue. His BLArticles (Blog/Article) are bi-weekly lessons in business and life. Not only will you enjoy his writing, but you will find yourself putting into practice many of the ideas Rob writes about.

We all need to be on guard when our inner voice of ethical guidance is countered by another voice that tries to rationalize a set of behaviors that, deep down, we know is not right.
— Rob Jolles

Entertaining, engaging and so very WOW! That's how the world of customer service describes its top expert, Shep Hyken. With decades of experience training and speaking to world class organizations like Eveready, Applebee's, Aetna, Avis and hundreds more, Shep is a man worth quoting and worth knowing. Implementing even a short list of Shep's teachings will put your organization on track to exceed customer expectations.

Jiminy Cricket said, ‘Always let your conscience be your guide.’ That’s all about doing the right thing, which is crucial to building relationships, trust and business.
— Shep Hyken

Marty Wolff is probably one of the most well rounded business pros on the street today. Marty knows marketing, sales, and all aspects of business operations. He has a podcast and blog and shares his insights regularly. If you have a pressing business challenge, Marty is capable of putting his skill set to work or making you aware of the resources needed to get the job done. As a valuable team player, Marty is an incredible utility player and a go-to problem solver.

If you have to have a meeting to decide what the right thing to do is, I suggest you spend that time revisiting what you and your company stand for.
— Marty Wolff

Please share in the comments section below any blogs or people that you follow as well and the impact they have made in your life.

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10 Inspiring and Slightly Offbeat Quotes

I had an opportunity to interview Pratima Aravabhoomi, founder of Craft Street Design. Pratima and her team know that meaningful words can have a huge impact on the way we all live our busy lives. The words we share with others and say to ourselves can make the difference between failure and success. Stay tuned to The Nice Guys on Business podcast to hear the interview, coming soon.

Read more about the Craft Street Design story directly on their website. Enter a drawing to win a wood block filled with 12 quotes (the 10 below plus two bonus quotes), exclusively picked for my Nice Guy blog readers (that's you), by clicking here.

Enter a drawing to win a framed quote exclusively picked for my Nice Guy blog readers by clicking here.

Quotes:

"Your biggest obstacle is the 6 inches between your ears." Get out of your own way, let your passion guide you, stop the negative self-talk and watch success find you.

"The key to success is knowing which door your passion unlocks." Wake and work with passion and enthusiasm for all that awaits you around every corner.

"Find a way or find an excuse, you can't do both." Having a positive mindset can take you far. Believe in yourself and anything is within reach.

"I used to be a thinkabouter, now I'm a getitdoner." Take action, get it done, daily. The conditions will never be perfect. Just go for it.

"High touch trumps high tech every time." For now and always, be a human being and remember the importance of being a real person. Be genuine, authentic and totally you.

"You are bound to make mistakes, it's what happens next that really counts." Human beings make mistakes, do not beat yourself up. Be accountable and responsible when you make a mistake. Apologize and do your best to not make the same mistake again.

"Don't look back, you're not going that way." Stay focused on what is coming and do not look back. If you've "burned the boats," you will only have one option -- FORWARD.

"Why be normal when you can be WOWmal." Over deliver at being amazing. With each and every encounter, be the best you can be. Wow your customers and your co-workers and you will find yourself consistently on top.

"Be a rockstar, even if the only one hearing you sing is you." When your business is still new, you MUST believe in yourself. In the beginning you will be looking forward to customers, followers and people to help, but even if no one surfaces, believe what you are doing is right and believe YOU are a rockstar.

"Shoulda, woulda, coulda, killzya." Stop saying, "one day." Today is your day to take action. Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right. Make it happen right now...what are you waiting for?

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The Sound of Silence

The sound of silence can be deafening and quite possibly disastrous for your business. Are you listening to what you can't hear?

The numbers are alarming. For every one customer that complains, over 25 customers who have had an unfavorable experience with a brand don't complain. Silence, zilch, crickets, nada, nothing. And these same customers are walking out the door with their money,  heading to the competition.  Complacency, due to a lack of complaints is not a good place to hang out.  Check out these points:

No news is good news.  Think again. Regularly survey your customers, ask questions that evoke emotion. Questions with answers like "satisfied" or "expected" provide no real value.  Survey questions that require your customer to defend your brand, will tell a lot about how your customer feels about you. "Please list the top reason that almost stopped you from using us?" Dig for the negative. 

Silence is golden. Silence is costing you money and can result in lots of red ink, bleeding your business of profits. Once you find out how our customers really feel about your products or services, take action to correct the issues that arise. What good is there in finding out problems, if you are not willing to correct them? Now is not the time to get defensive or for paralysis by analysis. Your customer speaks and their words have value to your business.

If a tree falls in the forest... Your customers want to hear from your brand. When you reach out to them, they are providing free advice to you that has tremendous value to your company. The more vocal your customer is, the more value they are providing. Every level within your organization should participate including management, sales, accounting, operations. This is not just about products and services, it's about people relating to people. 

Actions speak louder than words. Don't just rely on your front line to get information. Your customers would love to hear from the company owner, president or partner. If given an opportunity to discuss your products and services in a non-threatening, open and genuine environment, your customers will tell you how they feel. You just need to ask them.

With your help, the silent customer will become an advocate for your brand, shouting great things about your company from the mountain top, echoing referrals, future sales and profits as they go.


 

 

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4 Ways To Get Noticed Starting Right Now!

Photo by Nastco/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Nastco/iStock / Getty Images

The noise is everywhere, making it more challenging than ever for your message to be heard. With so much noise , how is it possible to get noticed, stay top of mind, or even get your brand off the starting line? The goal isn't to get noisier, that would be the answer if your were looking to be more annoying.  Business will not just find you, you have to go and get it. But how can you get more business and rise to the top, above the noise and get noticed?

It's time to get your head out of the sand and start focusing on the real reason people will do business with you. The answer is NOT about having the lowest price, the best features, the quickest delivery or even by being the best at what you do. Certainly, some of those things are nice, but they are not the universal answers to building business. Building business is about building relationships and that starts with each and every encounter you have. Start getting noticed now, regardless of whether you are developing a relationship online or face to face. Use these 4 tips to start getting noticed beginning right now:

The most rewarding things are the things you do for others. Especially when you’ve done it because you’ve wanted to, not because you’ve had to. @Mark_Sanborn
— Mark Sanborn

Catch people in the act. Getting caught in act is not about finding people doing something wrong. This time, catch them doing something right. People respond well to compliments and businesses respond the same way. If a brand you want to get noticed by does something good, let them know it. Create a "social scene" if they have done something good for their community. Tweet it out. If they have resolved a problem with a customer, let it be known how quickly the issue was brought to resolution. Too often companies are chastised for doing something wrong. Not often enough are they given praise. If a brand you are trying to build a relationship with does something right, catch them in the act, and it will get you noticed. Action item: Write a handwritten "caught in the act" letter to a company you are trying to do business with and watch how quickly they notice you.

It’s a matter of thinking how you can add value. It’s not through what you sell, it’s what else you can bring to the table. @davekerpen
— Dave Kerpen

 

Add value to your relationships. Don't make it about you.  Spend more time on what you can do for those you want to be noticed by. As an self-help, business book writer, in a field filled with hundreds of other authors I work hard to promote my book, Nice Guys Finish First. Although there are dozens of podcasts that can help promote my book, the field is still very crowded and gaining access to podcasts is not an easy feat. Instead of sending an email describing the benefits of the book to their audiences, I tell them how I will be able to help promoted their show, sharing not just my episode but other episodes as well with my social network and email list. I've been told several times I was selected as a guest because of my willingness to share information with others and that I did not come across as selling. Action item: Write a list of 3 ways that you can add value to a brand you wish to pursue. In other words, what can you offer them and in what ways can you help them to achieve their mission.

Be genuine, authentic and have peoiple in your life that will call you out and hold you accountable. @getjimpalmer
— Jim Palmer

 

Be unique. Don't be normal. Normal is a setting on your washing machine. Be unique, creative or downright entertaining. That doesn't mean that you have to break into song when you walk into your office or start tap dancing when get into the parking garage. A friend of mine, Ted Rubin is known for wearing crazy socks. Before delivering a keynote, audience members have remarked, "I wonder what socks Ted has on today?" Bowties, eye glasses or cufflinks are great ways to gently show your unique nature.  Maybe fashion isn't your thing, and that's ok. To be unique and add a bit of personality to my emails, I sign almost every email with an "XOXO." I've gotten email responses from people thanking them for the smile and the X's and O's. Action item: Make it your goal today to do something unique to get yourself noticed. If that scares you, start small, but realize your uniqueness will set you apart from the rest of the world. Be uniquely you.

If you think about the relationship first, if you are nice, and treat people well, it will enhance your relationship. @tedrubin
— Ted Rubin

 

Put yourself out there. In order to get noticed you have to take action, starting today, right now. Open your mouth, let your opinion be known, be remarkable and go big or go home. Putting yourself out there might mean volunteering for a project at work, stepping outside your comfort zone, doing something that you have never done before and taking some risk. Risk does not mean reinvention. You don't have to turn your life upside down if the risk outweighs the potential reward, but push yourself beyond the walls that you have built around yourself for so many years. Stop telling yourself NO and start telling yourself YES. Life comes at you fast, take control of the direction you are heading on the path you are on. Action item: Putting yourself in a position to be noticed is about putting one foot in front of the other and taking baby steps. Sign up for Toastmasters Club or attend a networking meeting and take control of your future today. 

Work hard to eliminate mediocre, average and an attitude of insignificance from anything you do. Each action step you take will help get you noticed. Getting noticed will help grow your existing relationships and will help build new relationships relationships as well. As an added bonus, the more you get noticed, the more confident you will become. Keep in mind, in order to see growth you will need to approach these changes with a genuine desire to improve and help others in the process and that's so much more cost effective (and helpful) than renting out Time Square.

Check out the latest episode of Nice Guys on Business....it pairs quite nicely with today's post.

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