Categorized | Publisher's Letter

A ‘yes’ culture for your business in the new economy

I have always believed that with enough creative thought and ingenuity, we can always find new solutions to old problems. That’s an important concept, because if you think about the core of your business, what you do is to provide solutions to your clients’ problems. In other words, clients come to you to buy your products or services because they have a problem that needs to be fixed, and you have a specialized solution (one you have worked hard to perfect) for them.

Now think about this: You yourself probably have more than one problem. So do your customers. What if you (and your employees) took the time to ask a few probing questions to uncover more of your customers’ challenges? Would you be able to solve those problems, too?  Maybe.  Think for a moment the benefit probing about problems could have on your top line. Offering another solution could add perhaps 10%, maybe even 20% to the average invoice.

I’m reminded of something the owners of a surveillance company recently told me. They said that simple observation of staff behavior could identify teachable moments.

For example, if you were to sit back, watch, and listen, would you observe employees on the phone saying, “No, we don’t do that,” or “We don’t have that in stock” and then hang up the phone?
You would probably be greatly disturbed if you observed that happening in your business. After all, you have put lots of sweat equity and money into making your business phones ring. Unfortunately, however, that type of scenario does happen every day.

Since we are talking about solutions, the solution to employees’ saying no is to create a “yes” culture within your business. (You might even consider banning the word “no”!) The benefit to that culture is enormous: Creating a “yes” culture can force you to find more solutions for customers problems (that is, to get into different lines of business), which then can result in more revenue opportunities than you ever before considered. Using the simple “yes and….” technique can help you evolve from being a “one trick” business.

Granted, making good on your “yes” promises takes extra effort. Outsourcing, shipping overnight priority, hiring new talent, and even taking extra calculated risks may be required.  But it’s good for you, and it’s a strategy.

So here is my challenge: Start today to create a “yes” environment. The way to start? At the top, with you, and cascade it to all your employees. We are in an ever-changing business environment, and success depends upon business evolution. Think of it this way: If you don’t establish a “yes” culture, you most certainly will pass up a revenue opportunities and maybe worse: You may drive your customers to your competitor.

Until next time,

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