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  • Bob Burg

“[Burg] has demonstrated that adding value to people's lives is the way to climb the ladder of financial success.”

~ Fran Tarkenton, Hall of Fame Quarterback and Founder/CEO GoSmallBiz.com

Posts Tagged ‘Go-Giver’

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?

It’s What Makes A Great Company Great

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Staples That Was EasyWhat makes great companies great? While what they do is certainly important, I believe it’s more than that.

Recently saw the following on my friend, Certified Go-Giver Coach Linda Murnane Ryan‘s Facebook page.

Awesome Customer Service just now from Staples. Received my order and wanted to return the headphones ($20) because they didn’t work with my phone. The nice lady said “I just credited your account $21.39, but rather than send a driver to pick them up, we ask that you kindly donate them to a child or a charity that could use them.” How great is that?!

Great, indeed! What a terrific example of an awesome company!

Sure, these types of examples are written about often. Mark Sanborn would refer to the customer service rep as a “Fred.” Joe Calloway would say they are being the best at what matters most. Dondi Scumaci would see this as a team built on commitment as opposed to compliance.  Scott McKain would site that as an example of how a company can Create Distinction. And, of course, a master on the very topic of customer service, Shep Hyken, would consider it to be part of The Amazement Revolution.

And, you know what? … They’d all be correct.

Here is the key, and something with which I believe we would all agree:

It’s simply who they are. And, because it’s who they are, it’s what they do!

And, that is just one reason why Staples is so special, and so successful.

In other words, it wasn’t about the customer service or the WOW experience. The customer service and Wow experience is simply a part of…them.

And that defines their greatness.

Your thoughts?

A Lesson in Excellence, Courtesy of Marriott

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Chicago Marriott SchaumburgIt’s where the event would be held, so it’s where I would be staying.

And, I should have known from the start this was someplace special.

Young Marguerita couldn’t have been more helpful in solving an issue. But, it was far from her simply providing great customer service. It was her attitude; her entire essence communicated that she just couldn’t wait to add value to my experience. And, she was like this the entire weekend. She was my star. Marguerita is very young, works a second job, as well, and I predict amazing success for this young woman.

However, it wasn’t just her. They were ALL like that; every team member of the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg. They didn’t just aim to please…they went out of their way to find ways to please. Fellow speaker, Scott Schilling shared with me that he was out of something important that the hotel doesn’t carry. So, the manager on duty sent a team member to a local store to purchase it. He then gave it to Scott, and refused payment.

In his great book, Be The Best At What Matters Most, Joe Calloway would say this kind of experience is meaningless IF it were a one-time thing. Agreed. But, no, this was their norm. Indeed, they were excellent in all traditional hotel areas; cleanliness, attentiveness, cuisine, service. Everything that — for a hotel — matters most. However, to site the title of another terrific book, this one by Scott McKain, they Create Distinction through — what is for them — their normal way of doing business. It’s simply who they are, so it’s what they do.

I didn’t meet the general manager, Maz Ismail, but I’m going to assume he’s a top-notch leader. This kind of attitude and teamwork typically doesn’t happen without great leadership creating the proper environment.

I’m often asked what I consider to be Go-Giver type companies. Really, it’s simply those that follow The Five Laws. And, the result is always high-profitability.

But that’s just the result. Their focus is on providing exceptional value. They constantly put the interests of the customer, client, patient or guest ahead of themselves. In other words, they are, “other-focused” rather than “company-focused.” And, by being other-focused the company attains great profitability.

As a speaker for more than 25 years, I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to stay at some of the finest hotels and resorts in the world. At many of these, the service has been excellent; even exceptional. But, there was something extra special about this one. While hard to put my finger on it exactly, there just seemed to be that desire to put me first, and to make me feel as though I was the only guest in the hotel. The cool thing is that they made every other guest feel…the same way.

Thank you, Maz, Marguerita and the entire team at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg. You are a Go-Giver hotel!

 

Fred 2.0 – An Interview with Mark Sanborn

Monday, March 18th, 2013

His breakout business phenomenon, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary has touched the lives of millions of people since first published nearly ten years ago.

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE’s New York Times Bestselling book, based on his new postman named Fred, actually spurred a movement of people who would never again accept good enough as…good enough.

Finally, he has released Fred 2.0, journeying even wider and deeper with The Fred Factor philosophy, with principles, strategies and tactics that will help you – and the Fred’s you lead – increase effectiveness, earn more, and touch more lives with exceptional value.

Mark SanbornFred 2.0Mark is a man of wisdom…and himself a definite Fred.

Enjoy our chat!

 

For as long as I’ve know him, I’ve said that Mark is one of the best speakers in the world. That is no exaggeration. His list of clients includes Harley Davidson, Costco, Cisco, ESPN and First Data. And, he certainly hit a grand slam home run at our 2012 Go-Giver Retreat. If you are looking for a fantastic speaker for your next event, be sure and contact Mark either directly through his website or via your favorite speakers bureau.

NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.