Tuesday, March 6, 2012
water and the "Delta" snacks. Those consist of peanuts, pretzels or
some small cookies. It's a small thing but it shows some concern for passengers
who have flight delays or cancelations. I'm not happy with a flight delay but
the bottle of water helped ease the anxiety of the moment. I was up a 5:15 this
morning and arriving at about 1 AM the next day does not make it easy to have
the best of attitudes. As I am sitting and waiting, it brings to mind little things
we can do to relieve some of the anxiety our customers have.
When our Techs go to a customer's home it is like we are invading their castle. The moat
is filled and the bridge is drawn. The defenses are in place. The troops are at
the walls with their bows drawn and the cannons readied. We are not best buds.
But could this change if we came with a peace offering? What if we brought the
newspaper or a packet of flower seeds or some other small thing? Would we be
looked on differently? Would the draw bridge be lowered, the arrows be returned
to the quivers, and the cannons put on standby? Often it's the "little
After the call is completed do we call and thank the customer? Do we send them a token of
our appreciation? It could be a couple of movie tickets, or an air conditioning
cover, or an extra filter. There are hundreds of ideas that could be used. The
cost can be related to the size of the service call or installation. Even something as simple as a couple of garden hose washers or a universal aerator would work. It's the "little
Your employees are also customers. What "little thing" have you done for
them? When they do an exception job do you ward them with a thank you and a
token of your gratitude? A couple of movie tickets or a gift certificate to a
restaurant can do wonders to keep up the moral of your people. Be sure to
remember the office people as well as the field people.
Dan has been in the service industry for nearly 50 years.
He has operated a large plumbing, heating and air conditioning service company
and for the past 11 years has helped small companies in the service business to
grow and prosper. Contact him @ Dan@SayYesToSuccess.com.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Hyatt in which he asked these questions, “ Think of your biggest goal right now. What
is at stake if you achieve it? What is at stake if you don’t achieve it?” It
made me think of the results of our actions. We often have a goal that we want
to achieve but for some reason it just never happens. I think into my own life
and see big goals that I achieved and those that have not come to pass. What’s
the difference in those that were accomplished and those that were not? I have
listed several reasons I have not met a goal I had envisioned. Maybe some of
them are your reasons.
In the famous Aesop fable a grasshopper has spent the warm months singing while the ant (or ants in some editions) worked to store up food for winter. When that season arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and upon asking the ant for food is only rebuked for its idleness. I too have wastes the “summer” away instead of doing the hard work to achieve the goal. I was just plain lazy.
The goal just seemed too big to ever conquer.
This is often the issue we may have with losing weight or making a change in
our business. The real issue may be the spoon is too big. We just want to solve
the issue or attain the goal in one quick act. You don’t run a marathon in one
step, a 5K or ever run around the block. You do it in many steps.
What an embarrassment if you fail! Friends and
associates find out you failed and immediately you are embarrassed. You’re the only person to ever fail to meet a goal, NOT! We should be embarrassed for not going for our big goals.
We are actually afraid of the consequences of
our success. What will I do? How will I handle it? What if, what if, what if?
It’s a lot easier just to dream about the successful goal accomplishment than
to deal with the success once it is achieved. Or is it?
When we have run out of options, when there is no other course, when time has run out, and the results will be dire, we strive for the goal. We need that push over the edge to get there. We have no more excuses. We go for it. This choice is often fatal to our success. We may have waited too long to go for the goal and there is not time, or enough resources, or enough energy to accomplish the big goal.
Just in a rut from the day to day grinds of life. Getting up in the morning, traffic, customers, employees, money, details, family, appointments, activities, and all the other day to day stuff just wears on the spirit and the
not successfully conquering every one of my big goals. If I stop for a minute
or two to see why I have not met them, I can lift myself up to meet the next
big goal and sometimes realize that the “big” goal was not necessary for me to
be successful or to be happy. Think about it and let me know your thoughts.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I saw this phrase somewhere and could not get it out of my mind. Sure I have seen the occasional church member dose off after a sleepless night. I even remember Wally who sat in the back row, always in the same seat of our small church. His wife made him come to church, I am sure. His head would bob from side to side or his chin would be touching his chest. Once or twice a year his head would bob back and hit the light switch. Out would go the lights and his wife would elbow him to wake him and reach behind him to flip the lights back on. Of course the title above is referring to a church setting but aha, on day I had an epiphany. It is the same principle in business. If the team is asleep, wake up the boss.
I saw this phrase somewhere and could not get it out of my
mind. Sure I have seen the occasional church member dose off after a sleepless
night. I even remember Wally who sat in the back row, always in the same seat
of our small church. His wife made him come to church, I am sure. His head
would bob from side to side or his chin would be touching his chest. Once or
twice a year his head would bob back and hit the light switch. Out would go the
lights and his wife would elbow him to wake him and reach behind him to flip
the lights back on. Of course the title above is referring to a church setting
but aha, on day I had an epiphany. It is the same principle in business. If the
team is asleep, wake up the boss.
Over the years as I have attended
meeting and seminars with contractors, I have heard that the employees just are
not doing their job in the way the boss wants them to do it. They are lazy,
they are stupid, they don’t care about the customer, they don’t care about the
company, they, they, they. It goes on and on. Bosses are part of society today
which likes to point the finger at someone else and not recognize the three
fingers pointing back at themselves.
The boss needs to wake him or herself
and actively make the changes within the business that will produce the results
needed to make the business profitable and sustaining. It all begins with
planning. A plan has goals, with each having finite measurements, and a time
frame for completion. This requires the boss to sit down and think of the 10 –
12 achievable goals that would make the greatest impact on moving the company
forward. Then those goals need to be communicated to every employee. They
should be posted if possible. Everyone should know their part in the plan and
that they will be held accountable to achieve their part of the plan. This also
requires the boss to express the option for an employee to come to him if they
need help to meet their tasks. Weekly, biweekly or monthly updates need to be
disseminated and posted. As a goal is achieved and maintained for a reasonable
time, the team should celebrate the victory.
To help in this pursuit, BEC
Group has provided a pdf goal sheet on our website, http://www.sayyestosuccess.com/, which you can download and use as a tool to
start your awaking process. And remember this is a process not an end goal
because if you don’t keep at it, you’ll be back to putting your team to sleep.
May your New Year be the best
year of your life!
Monday, October 31, 2011
This seems like a rather strange phrase here in America. Perhaps when you have played with a small child you have used those words as part of a game but it does not seem part of our everyday. Maybe you remember it from the movie “Avatar”. In some parts of the world, “I see you” is used each and every time they greet someone. This would be similar to us saying “hello” although it expresses much deeper meaning. It is saying, “I recognize you as a person, as important, as you have my attention.”
Perhaps this would be a phrase to use with your employees on a regular basis. In my years in the industry, more employees have left an employer because they did not feel the owner or owners did not care about them as a person, as important or give them the attention they deserved than any other reason. Yes, pay was mentioned often, and the opportunity to grow and advance but these can be traced to “not seeing them”.
I was visiting with a business owner several years ago in his office and he was not seeing me. He was so preoccupied with his computer screen that he barely, if at all, looked at me during our 5 to 10 minute conversation. I felt unimportant, not a person across the desk, and not having his attention. I left that conversation feeling this owner did not respect me and I had very little respect for him. Is this happening with you and your employees, customers and suppliers? If so, a change in these habits can improve your company without a dime of cost.
Here are some thoughts for you to mull over and see if they might be of help.
1. When you are having a conversation with someone at your desk, turn the screen of your computer so it does not distract you from the conversation.
2. Turn down the ringer in your cellphone and landline so they are not a distraction and the calls go to voice mail.
3. Turn off the tone for an incoming text and leave the text reply until after the meeting
4. Keep the conversation on topic so it doesn’t drag out and waste time for both of you.
5. If it is possible, have the conversation at the employees work area or “off campus” such as a coffee shop.
6. Know more about your employees that just their name. Ask about their life outside of work without getting too personal.
7. Have regularly scheduled meeting with your employees without interruptions.
I see you can change your business. Drop me an email and give me your thoughts.
Monday, July 25, 2011
With the extremes of weather over the last few months, many of you are excited about all the incoming calls and keeping your Techs so very busy that they received large checks with oodles of overtime. The money is rolling in and you are so excited. You can pay down those “nasty” creditors, your suppliers, your advertising bills, your telephone bill and maybe even yourself. Oh what a rush we get from the business of extreme weather. Why it’s almost as good as that rush you got last fall and early winter when the phones were ringing as your customers wanted that new system in before the end of the year to get that tax credit and utility rebates.
But let’s take another look at the nine months or so. You finished the year with great sales because of the federal tax credits and utility rebates. Then came January and February with huge invoices from suppliers and once again you are in the 60-90 day overdue to most of them. The calls are coming in from creditors and you are giving excuses. Certainly some may be legit, but you are just putting them off to get some breathing room. Then came the weather. Heavy rains, scorching temperatures, oh were they ever manna from heaven. Guess what, come August and September you will be right back into the 60-90 days behind on your bills, not paying yourself, and in the dumps again.
Do you remember one of the definitions of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over the same way and expecting different results. A while back, I had read an article which called this type of behavior, “Gomo”, or going thru the motions. Sorry I cannot recall the author. I should have saved the article along with the hundreds I already have. I thought I might find the article on the web but the search came up with 526,000 results. Too much information, although the first page of results came up with the Urban dictionary definition of GOMO as “A homosexual who is also geeky, or into geeky things.” This was not what I want to rant about today. Then there was the use of GOMO by Susan B. Wilson on Execstratagies.com of “Get Over it; Move On!” Once again not exactly what I was looking for as an accurate definition of the point I want to make.
The frustration I have with owners in our industries is the fact that many, many of them are just going through the motions of being a business owner. They are just doing the easy day to day stuff and not making the plans and decisions to change their businesses into the high income potential that most all of them have the capability of becoming. Quit the Gomo mentality and move your business forward. Learn how to be a true business owner and not just a supervisor of day to day activities.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Does Success Comes in Cans?
I was at the local grocery store this week and low and behold what did I find, but Success in a Can. Well that’s not true. Actually I heard “Success comes in cans not cans” on “Dancing with the Stars” last night from Hines Ward, an NFL football great.
What Hines was saying is success comes from our attitude. He is not the first to say this nor is he the last. Many great motivational speakers have said it with different words and phrases but the point is the same. When we have a positive attitude, we are much more likely to be successful in our pursuits. What are some ways we can change our negative attitudes into positive ones that help us achieve our goals?
Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, “We become what we think about all day long.” To me this means focusing on the goal I want to accomplish. I have done this by posting a picture of the goal or something that represents that goal in places I will see it throughout the day. It may be on my desk or on the mirror in the bathroom. I have written the goal down on a 3x5 card and keep it in a shirt pocket which required me to handle it several times a day. I have verbalized it to my wife and other key people in my life. I have tried to keep the goal front and center in my everyday life.
This is not a panacea for every goal or difficulty I have had in life but it has helped me complete many of my goals that I may have let slip by in life. Try it and see if it helps you. Let me know about your successes at Dan@SayYesToSuccess.com.
Monday, December 27, 2010
It’s that time of year again with crowds in Times Square, Dick Clark (or his protégé) rocking New Year’s Eve, and the crystal ball dropping and ushering in the New Year. The dropping of the ball represents the move from the old into the new, the dying hopes to the new hopes, the aged thinking and ideas into the new and bright ideas. But wait a minute!
Haven’t we had 30, 40, 50, or more New Years to bring on the new, the bright, the exciting, and the change? I have had 63 of them. But I don’t remember all of them since I was a child for a number of those (my wife would say too many of them). I didn’t care when I was a teen or a young adult. I may have celebrated too much at a couple of them, but I have had 63 of them.
So many of us have had the real New Year’s Eve experience, we have dropped the ball. We have dropped the ball on making the changes that would make us better, healthier, nicer people. We didn’t quit smoking like we said we would, we didn’t lose weight like we said we would, we didn’t work hard to change ourselves into better people. We dropped the ball.
We dropped the ball when it came to our families. We were going to spend more time with the kids, we were going to have regular date nights with our wife, we were going to mend fences with our brother, and we were going to call Mom and Dad regularly. We dropped the ball here too.
The same goes in our businesses. We are going to follow a budget, we are going to work on our business not in our business, we were going to improve Customer Service, we were going to improve our website, we were going to pursue new business lines, we were going to clean-up the warehouse, we were going to make a budget and track our results. None of it got done. We dropped the ball again.
Well the Lord has blessed us with another New Year to celebrate and make changes that will affect us in such positive ways that we can’t even imagine. Try to think what it would be like if you were healthier, if you spent more special time with your wife and kids, or if your business became profitable (or more profitable). It’s really hard to do, but I assure you it can be done. A few dedicated people do it every year. The answer may be as simple as writing your goals down for 2011 and thinking about them constantly. Keep reminders everywhere, on the mirror in the bathroom, on the dashboard of the car, on a 3x5 card in your shirt pocket, on your IPhone or Blackberry in a spot you see often. Don’t ever give up! You can do what you pursue! Go get your new life in 2011!