For years big corporations ruled the world, and the business world – not any more. Most of them are hurting – wounded – dying – or dead.
Big banks, big home builders, big auto makers, big newspapers, big stock brokerages, and other “big” companies are under water or treading fast. The only thing sinking faster is the price of their stock.
Business is so bad at big hotels that in Las Vegas, hotel people are actually becoming friendly. Before President Obama put the hex on Las Vegas, I traveled there once a month doing corporate events and seminars. During the past ten years I can report that Las Vegas did not have the worst service in America – they had the worst service in the WORLD. Times have changed. Drastically. Have you heard?
GREAT NEWS: This economic situation has created the greatest opportunity for small business in the past 100 years. You have the opportunity to topple, or at least outsell and out serve, the giant of your choice. While they’re busy cutting everything, guarding “shareholder value,” and their employees are guarding their desk and their job, NO ONE is guarding their customers (AKA: the lifeblood of their (and your) business). Is that cool, or what?
Here’s a list of what you have to do in order to out-do in these times, and for all times:
Out think. Whatever big companies are thinking, it isn’t enough. You don’t have to go very far to beat them in this department. In most cases just think “for the customer” rather that yourself, your job, or your shareholders. Think “invest,” not “cut.” Think “value,” not “price.” Think “be your best.”
Out hustle. This is easy. Most big companies are about as agile as the Queen Mary. And their employees have a sense of urgency about them that’s somewhere between zero and minus zero. Employees of large companies typically have an attitude of “someone else will do it.” This is your game plan: Get up early. Stay up late. Talk to every customer you have ever had. Schedule breakfasts and lunches six weeks in advance. Let your customers know your new hours start before they get there and end after they leave.
Out sell. Be there for the business, and be there when your customer is ready to do business. This means you also have to be there when they are NOT ready to do business. You can’t just hang around for orders. You have to be a consistent value provider in order to be able to earn the business when the time is right and the time is ripe.
Out serve. Now is the time for all good companies to come to the aid of their customer. (With homage to typing teachers.)Now is the time to INCREASE service and service offerings, not cut back.
IDEA: Next time a customer calls and asks for help or a favor, before they can say a word, you interrupt and say…
Used with permission from Jeffrey Gitomer