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  • Bob Burg

“Just in my second year in business, I'm on track to do over a MILLION DOLLARS in commissions!”

~ Cal Faber, Agent, RE/MAX - Victoria, BC

Archive for the ‘The Go-Giver’ Category

The Next Best Thing to Controlling Our Brand

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

To What Degree Can We “Control” Our Brand?At our recent Speaker Certification Training for a group of our Certified Go-Giver Speakers, the following was pointed out:

“Bob, you are really protective of your brand.”

All heads nodded in agreement…including mine.

Allow me — if I may — to set the stage: On the day that our speakers were giving their presentations, whenever there was a statement that could possibly be misunderstood, I would, afterwards, gently (yes, gently) point it out and explain why.

I’m also known to politely email bloggers and those on Social Media platforms who take the philosophy of The Go-Giver out of context or misquote. And, it happens often.

Does it drive me a little bit nutty keeping on top of it? Sure, to a certain point. Fortunately, it also teaches me two very valuable lessons:

  1. To the degree you can care without emotional attachment to the results, that’s the degree to which you’ll have peace of mind.
  2. You can manage your brand, but you can’t really control it.

We, as business people in today’s environment, cannot control it any more than we can really control anything that is outside our direct influence. We can manage it by taking all the steps that are within our influence. That begins by communicating our message correctly, always doing our best to provide an exceptional customer experience and being ultra-responsive to our customer’s needs.

Along with that, we can utilize various Internet and social media “alerts” to let us know when something about our brand is positively or negatively mentioned, stolen (accidentally or…”accidentally on purpose”) :-) or simply misinterpreted. People who are “watching our backs” will also let us know, and this includes customers, clients and friends.

There are major corporations that — especially in their utilization of social media — do this extremely well. Others? Not so much. And, we continue to see examples of both.

Regardless, whether huge or mid-sized companies or small entrepreneurial firms, none are actually controlling their brands. Those days are along gone. We can manage our brands; not control them.

Wisdom is knowing the difference.

Success is doing it effectively.

How do you do in that regard? And, do you agree with my premise or have I missed the mark?

Agreement and disagreement are both welcome, as I hope you know.

The Small Stuff Worth Sweating

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Attention To Detail Bob BurgYears ago a little book authored by the late, Dr. Richard Carlson entitled, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff provided some much-needed wisdom for those of us whose sense of peace of mind and happiness were continually disturbed by life’s little inconveniences.

And, in that context, the phrase itself is certainly valid.

Many are familiar with the term, First-World Problems. Yes, your hotdog bun splitting at the bottom while you’re enjoying a baseball game is indeed “small stuff.” :-) So are most of what we allow to annoy us and sometimes even ruin our day.

However, there is also a time to absolutely sweat the small stuff…because doing so can make a significant difference in your results.

In our Go-Giver book series, John David Mann and I suggest Attention as one of the five “Elements of Value” that serves as a differentiator. While this includes attention to one’s prospective client in terms of listening to what they are saying (and, sometimes, not saying), allowing us to better understand their needs, it covers another area, as well.

Attention to detail means also learning as much as you can about them as individuals. This creates the environment for you to cultivate the “know, like and trust” relationship so often the difference-maker in today’s commodity-based sales environment. In this case, paying attention to the “small stuff” provides you with a distinct advantage over your competitors.

One of my favorite examples of this is business legend (and, self-proclaimed “envelope-salesman”) Harvey Mackay. In Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, his first of seven New York Times bestsellers, the Founder and Chairman of the enormously-successful MackayMitchell Envelope Company introduced us to his now-famous Mackay 66 — a customer profile helping his salespeople to really “know the customer” – the individual who would make the buying decision.

Please understand; Mr. Mackay’s company sold envelopes! If ever a product could be considered a commodity, here it is. After all, there’s only so much possible differentiation in a product like this.

However, there’s lots of possible differentiation in the person selling that product. When you focus your attention on them; on knowing everything you can about what’s important to them, it allows you to effectively communicate your additional value.

And, that’s where sweating the small stuff…make a huge difference!

How do you sweat the small stuff in a way that communicates your value?

A Literal Success Truth That Never Fails

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

A Literal Success Truth That Can Never Fail - Bob BurgFormer Campbell Soup CEO, current Avon Chairman and leadership authority, Doug Conant recently tweeted this famously-profound quote from the classic, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill:

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”

This immediately brought to mind one of my all-time-favorite (and, unfortunately, often-misquoted) sayings by the legendary, late Zig Ziglar:

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

What do those two powerful sayings have in common?

That to the degree we can take our focus off of ourselves and place it onto the other person, that’s the degree to which we ourselves will become successful.

Law #3 from The Go-Giver, The Law of Influence states:

“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other peoples’ interests first.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that we should be anyone’s doormat or in any way self-sacrificial. It simply means that when we move from an I or “me-focus” to an “other-focus, we naturally bring more value to — and hold more value to — that person. As Sam, one of the mentors in the story advised the protegee, Joe:

“Make your win about the other person’s win.”

How do you feel that person would then feel about you? Would they be more likely to buy from you? To want to do business with you? To make you a part of their life? Would they be more interested in your success? Would they be more excited about referring/introducing you to those they care about so that you could make your win about their wins, as well?

I believe that — as the first part of Mr. Hill’s quote opined — “it is literally true.”

What do you think? And, how do YOU make your wins about their wins?

More on Receptivity And Worthiness Issues

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Bob Burg - peace of mindWe recently looked at why it can be so difficult to receive. When combining the many “scarcity messages” society provides us along with a lack of self-worth the results can be devastating. This to the point of consciously knowing we’ve earned the right to receive while subconsciously — and unconsciously — not allowing ourselves to do so.

The post resulted in a number of emails. One was from a reader who — in extending herself far past the point of client expectation — wondered if that was appropriate or if she was simply allowing herself to be taken advantage of. She wondered if she should ask for additional compensation, but noted she felt “guilty” for even thinking it.

In other words, was she simply “giving additional value” because it was the right thing to do or was she being self-sacrificial? And, that’s a very important question.

If you ever have similar questions regarding your thoughts or actions, please consider asking yourself the following:

“Am I doing this consciously (and feeling good about it) or unconsciously (and feeling a bit yucky)?”

In this case, the question might be, “Am I providing this additional value because it’s congruent with my belief system of giving as much value as I possibly can? Or, because an unconscious lack of self-worth says that I’m not worthy and must do even more in order to justify the money I am receiving?”

You can decide whether you should inform the client that you’ve found an additional way to add value to the relationship (that was not part of the original agreement) and that you’d need to charge additionally to pursue that. Or, you might decide that it’s a natural part of what you had agreed upon and simply act upon it in order to provide a knock-your-socks-off customer experience.

If you choose the second option because it is congruent with your values and will result in happiness and peace of mind, then that’s terrific. If, however, it’s because you subconsciously feel you are not deserving and must be self-sacrificial, then that’s more than likely a self-worthiness issue and should be treated accordingly.

Please know that the worthiness issue is something we all (at least “I”) continually need to work on. The key is to keep working at it and to keep growing!

What are your thoughts, most awesome readers?

Strenghtening Our Receptivity Muscles

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Receptivity MusclesIn John David Mann’s and my book, The Go-Giver, Law #5 is “The Law of Receptivity.” Both of us are continually told by others that, while applying this law often created breakthroughs, it was also the most difficult Law to grasp.

When thinking about it on even a surface level, it makes sense. The ability to receive is linked not only to one’s own self-worth but to the constant stream of “money is bad”-type of lack messages provided courtesy of general society and the media.

Once we recognize that as long as we have provided lots of value to others we have earned the right to receive, then it becomes easier to accept this earned abundance.

Or, does it?

After all, our conscious is to our subconscious what the tip of the iceberg is to that part which is under water. We may know something on a conscious level yet our actions are being run by unconsciously programmed beliefs.

In this case, the subconscious nearly always wins.

Unless we consciously work on improving in this regard.

And, while the ability to receive includes financial, it also includes other areas of life such as kindness, friendship, love, acts of service, and sometimes even just a simple compliment.

In other words, we need to actively strengthen our overall receptivity muscles.

Let’s discuss this further in future posts.

Meanwhile, how do you do this? Any examples (personal or from others) you’d like to share?