In a seminar with JP Horizons, I was given some revealing statistics entitled: Why Customers Quit. The number one reason was because of a poor attitude from an employee. This month, I want to focus on specific and practical attributes that every successful business person must possess in order to convey the right attitude and image.
BE honest. It may sound simple, but honesty is often neglected in our society. If someone within your organization didn't order a part, do not tell the customer that the part is on back order. Inform the customer of your oversight, apologize and guarantee that you will order the item immediately. Most customers will appreciate your honesty, and people purchase from those they trust.
BElieve in your product, people and services. If you do not have confidence in your products and/or personnel, then you have some work to do. Re-evaluate product lines, people and practices. If you don't believe in your business, then it's high time to do what it takes to have the confidence to move forward.
BE goal oriented. A business plan will give clear and concise guidelines for all team members, producing the confidence and results your clients demand. It is a tool that drives your business towards achieving goals. Goals are foundational and must be implemented to succeed and thrive in today's market.
BE assertive. Once goals are set, be assertive in attaining them. In my position as a territory manager, I get outside the store and visit commercial landscape contractors. The world of opportunities that lie outside of a dealership's four walls is amazing. Carve out some time and visit current and potential customers. You will be amazed at the feedback and the knowledge gained from visiting your clients, not to mention the increase in sales that will follow.
BE efficient. Efficiency is vital to so many areas of business, and can be the difference between red numbers and black numbers at the end of the year. Common areas you must be efficient in: returning phone calls, processing orders/shipments, parts returns, technician efficiency rates, delivery/sales routes and time management. Profitability is tied directly to efficiency.
BE profitable. Profit is what keeps you in business, available to service your clients now and in the future. A great place to start is understanding what a profit margin is and knowing what margins are acceptable for your organization by department.
Calculate the price for a desired 22 percent GPM on a $100 product with the following formula: $100 (cost)/.78 (100-22=78, place a decimal before 78) = $128.21.
BE a resource. People don't need you unless you are a resource to them. Always be a resource on behalf of your customer and market those strengths. The biggest mistake a lot of business owners make is trying to be all things to all people. This is not possible, and the quicker you stop trying the better off your business will be.
BE educated. Whether through college, technical schools, personal experiences or reading trade magazines, continuously educate yourself. This will lead to a lifetime of knowledge and achievement that customers appreciate and gravitate towards. Education breeds confidence and confidence never goes unnoticed by patrons, employees or vendors.
BE branded. The best way to be branded is through proper marketing and merchandising of your store, property and self. By branding yourself and looking the part, you stimulate conversations that could lead to extra business off the clock while providing a professional appearance on the job. Properly branded clothing, apparel and vehicles make you identifiable and help in building rapport, putting the client at ease about their decision to solicit your store.