Being a part of a success story like Linda’s is a once in a million opportunity. She was primed and ready to change before we ever met. Me getting to be a part of that change is an honor to me, and one that I continually strive for with all clients I get involved with. Read this and get to hear it In Her Own Words…

barkingpugs

That is just what I feel like. It all started with a class from Pro/Vision Coaching I took on Guerrilla Marketing.  At that class we were given the book E-Myth Revisited by Michael E.  Gerber. That lead to me reading E-Myth Chiropractor.  Soon I found myself reading through all the books Michael has written.  That lead to The Go-Giver by Bob Burg which lead to The Go-Giver Sells More by Bob Burg,which lead to It’s not about you by Bob Burg, are you getting where I am going?  Well I then called my friend Doug Christy owner of Pro/Vision Coaching and asked him what he could recommend to me to read.  He suggested The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalwicz.  Loved what Mike had to say so much that I read his first book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.  I started following Michael, Bob and Mike on their websites.  Recently Mike released…

View original post 59 more words

Advertisements

Is Greed Good? | A Look at Business Vision and Profit

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

As our friend Gordon Gekko once pointed out, “Greed is good.” It is the oil that keeps the economic machine running, the grease that lubricates our free market, and the sludge that is produced from our toxic waste sites. I contend to you, how good is greed?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF_iorX_MAw

Our free market economic system relies on one very simple premise: supply vs. demand. Without demand, there would be no reason for supply. Without supply, demand would rise so high that even reasonable adults would transform into raving lunatics running on pure bloodlust for the next Tickle-Me-Elmo. Welcome to the holidays.

“After Target decreed that Black Friday would start at midnight Thanksgiving night and that employees must report to work at 11 p.m., an Omaha worker, Anthony Hardwick, posted a petition at Change.org asking the company to move the official start of Christmas shopping back to 5 a.m. Friday. Response from workers and others has been stellar: 192,000 signatures by Monday.” CNN.com

Each year we have watched these stores open earlier and earlier, tempting shoppers with great deals at horrible hours. It’s simple (and good business): this time of year there is an inherent rise in demand for the holidays. Because of that rise in demand, supply becomes in danger. Small stores cannot keep supply on the shelves and the wholesale market caters to those who can continue to keep demand on the rise. Big-box stores such as Target and Walmart have the infrastructure to handle holiday demand, keeping a relatively decent supply of products on their shelves for the shoppers. Obviously they want to sell more than other stores, so they compete with each other; if Target opens at 4am, Best Buy will open at 3.

The people that stand to be hurt are the employees, all of whom have significant gripes against their big-box employer (see americanrightsatwork.org to see examples of offenses). Not only do people have to be there during open hours, but stocking, delivery, preparation and clean-up work are needed also. Can you imagine shopping in a Target ravished by holiday shoppers with no clean-up? Not fun. Truth be told, though, in this instance, the stores are only responding to the public. If no one shows up to go shopping at 2am, do you think Target would remain open at that hour? No.

Thus, the question remains. Who is to blame? Is it the big-box stores? Is it ourselves? Is it a flawed economic system? Is it Cap’n Crunch’s? Gordon Gekko was right. Greed IS good – at least to a point. Greed is the emotion that pushes us to be the best doctors, inventors, teachers, producers, etc… in a free market economy. This is based on the simple principle of competition. I want a better life and to reach it must do better than others. Good business coaching focuses on this – VISION. This can be a good thing, because in order to reach that, we need the help and cooperation of other people. Thus, the “if you profit, then I can profit” ideal was born. As communal greed grows, life grows. It builds cities, national parks and green energy.

This philosophy fails when restraint dies, giving us no control over our material desires. Greed without restraint pushes us to dangerous ends that destroy others and search for our good at the cost of others as opposed to the good of all. It is this mentality that leads to corruption and is the cause of many of the symptoms our economy currently faces. When we look to help ourselves with the point of doing it at someone else’s expense, we cross the line. That greed does not rebuild our economy.

Maybe the best lesson this holiday season is a classic proverb that can help us look at things from a different approach. “It is better to give than to receive.” If we all give, then we all will receive; if you profit, then I can profit. After all, I would want my children to receive the best education possible so they have the opportunity to reach their potential. If I keep cutting the wages of our teachers, then I am not promoting good greed that grows a community (and my children’s future), I am just being selfish.

Selfishness is not vision. Vision for a better life for yourself and others is a great thing and the ultimate description of profit.

The Death of Customer Service

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

It had been a long day at the office. All day long, day after day, it was always the same routine; and it was starting to get harder to pick himself back up again. There was no real reason why it broke – sometimes that’s what things do; they break. Tom was just reaching a crisis point. The competition for his job was becoming a bear to deal with, and neither his age nor experience was counting as much as they used to. When his mp3 player busted, for Tom, that was the last straw.

Granted, Tom had only purchased the mp3 player a week ago, and there was no reason for the player to die; it just did. Relying on the success of his storied career, he planned to walk right back into the store and have this problem fixed. Unfortunately, that was not in the cards. At least he wasn’t alone.

Tom’s friends joined him at the mall, though I’m sure it was mainly because he promised to take them out to dinner afterwards. The fun did not last long, though, because as soon as they entered the store, they had to deal with Ray. Ray was the customer service manager at the technology store. His job was to make sure that every customer got served, but he also had to ensure no easy points got scored against the company. In other words, Ray—definitely no saint—had no intention of allowing a return.

“I’m sorry, Tom. Before I can let you return this, I need to ask you a few questions. Has your mp3 player been roughed up in any way? Have you ever dropped it in water? You do know that automatically voids the warranty. If we find in any way that you caused the breakage of this machine, you’ll have more luck making money off the old 49′er gold rush than you will getting a replacement device.”

His buddies did the best they could to protect him from the coming onslaught, but Tom scrambled out of their way and into danger head-on. Ray’s complete blockage of an innocent return was inexcusable. There was no reason for Ray to be colder than steel; it was as if he were trying to pack on the punishment for no reason. After forty-five minutes of convincing, Ray finally relented and gave up the discount; mainly because he finally succumbed to the pressure being laid on him by Tom’s buddies. Being gang-tackled by a bunch of large guys isn’t fun for anyone, especially Ray.

In the end, Tom won the day and returned his mp3 player. I would say he is enjoying his new iPod, but I’m not allowed to use real product names. There is a lesson to be learned in all of this (by the way, if you haven’t picked up on all the football references by now, there are multiple lessons to learn), and that lesson is the value of customer service. When did it become okay to lie to a customer while signing up for satellite television? Or to jet off after a contract signing before anyone could ask questions? It certainly seems as though the big companies today truly do not care about your business. It may only be $39.95 this month they receive, but the lifetime value of that $39.95 per month client can be in the hundreds of thousands after a few years if nurtured properly (by way of longer-term contract, referrals, etc…).

The problem is that nobody cares anymore. What reason did Ray have to actually care about Tom’s problem? What motivation do the “Ray’s” in the world have for actually caring for the client experience? Are they receiving extra rewards for their level of “niceness”? Are they being compensated off the long-term value of the clients with whom they work? No. This is why customer service is dead. It wasn’t eaten by a lion.

If a customer service employee comes to work after having a bad start to their day, there is nothing to keep them from passing that on to other people; no motivation to listen to another complaining customer, or to take seriously an issue that they’ve heard about by thirty other people in the last hour. That is, unless the owner of that business cares – and cares enough to ensure that no bad days are allowed in the office – at least by way of ensuring that each employee is directly rewarded for their client care record. Maybe then customer service can be revived. Though I’m not holding my breath, miracles do happen. A few weeks ago a cowboy named Roger fulfilled every American male’s dream by making one simple decision.

Buccaneer.