Here’s the scene: You’re at a party, or a conference, or a meeting—somewhere with a lot of people around. You see someone whom you’d like to talk to, so you walk over and start a conversation. And after a few seconds, they begin The Scan. You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s the moment when they break eye contact and start surveying the room, looking for someone better to talk to.
I don’t know Janie’s boss. I’ve never met Janie’s boss. But I do know Janie. Janie is one of the most diligent, hard-working, eager-to-learn people I’ve ever met. But because Janie’s boss doesn’t understand one of the basic rules of leadership, Janie is being made to feel like a failure in her job, and is thinking about leaving. So what’s the rule that Janie’s boss doesn’t understand? It’s this:
It would be good to be Shonda Rhimes, wouldn’t it? She’s the creator and producer of not one, not two, but three hit TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Along the way she’s made the careers of numerous actors, entertained millions of viewers, and, by the way, amassed a net worth of some $60 million. Not too bad! So how can you achieve results like this in your world, and with your people?
Here’s a quick quiz for you. If you want to have a great conversation with someone who speaks only Italian, and you speak both English and Italian, which language are you going to choose? If you said “Italian,” congratulations! You understand how communication works! Why then is it so often a different story when we want to have a great conversation with our customers?
When it comes to customer service, one size definitely does not fit all! And yet many companies treat their customers as if they were all cut from the same cloth. Sure this makes things easier, cheaper, and more efficient. But it sure doesn’t create loyal customers!
A long time ago, shortly after the dinosaurs died off, I had a paper route. The ...
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to write monolog jokes for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. One day after the show I happened to be sitting with Jay (no doubt having pizza; with Jay, it’s always pizza), and the conversation turned to fame. Specifically, the double-edged sword that is fame. At one point, ...
It seems there are new books on leadership, sales, customer service, and every other topic coming out every day. So how do you decide what you really need to read? It turns out it’s actually pretty basic!
I was talking to my friend and colleague Lewin Williams yesterday. Lewin is a financial services consultant who helps other financial services consultants improve their business. Lewin’s philosophy—the one that has made a big difference for his clients—is simply this:
Focus on your “A” clients.
Now that sounds simple and obvious, doesn’t it? Focus on the 20% of your clients who bring in 80% of the results. Obvious, right?
Except that it isn’t.
If it were really that obvious, everyone would be doing it, ...