(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:  
    “Stop complaining that you can’t get good people anymore.  The best people have to work for somebody…it’s just that you have to deserve them. What extraordinary business culture and career opportunities have you created to deserve the talent you need?”
    …Donald Cooper.
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    What can you do to become your customers’ ‘Caring Coach’?
    Home Depot has always understood the importance and value of being their customers’ ‘Caring Coach’.  For years they’ve run in-store Seminars on how to confidently and effectively tackle various DIY projects.  Now they’re committing to help millennials (currently 27 to 42 years old) with new online ‘New Homeowners Hub’.
    This HUB will provide ‘valuable resources including DIY guides, product recommendations, design inspiration and more.’ to this generation of current and future first-time homeowners. 
    What can you do to be the ‘Caring Coach’ to your current and future target customers?  How can you help them wisely choose and effectively use the products or services that you sell?
  3. We’ve been wearing neck support travel pillows wrong. Most people, me included, wear their air travel neck support pillow with the bulky support part at the back and the skinny part with the clasp at the front.
    But, it works much better when you put the bulky part at the front to support your head and neck and the clasp at the back. 
  4. Moving to a 4-day X 10-hour work week: A year ago one of my Biz Coaching clients moved their 5 Service Departments to a 4-day X 10-hour work week and the results have been dramatic. Productivity and engagement have increased considerably, and absenteeism and staff turnover have decreased significantly.   
    In conjunction with their Team, they’ve arranged the work schedule so that their Service Department still operates 6 days a week, so customer service has not suffered, and the entire program is a big success!   
    What changes in work time and flexibility might make a big difference in your business?
  5. Shameless Promotion: 

    If you or your Industry Association have a Conference coming up in the next 12 months, perhaps we should talk. As a thought-leader on management, marketing, staff engagement and profitability, I deliver bottom-line business insight in a way that informs, energizes and inspires.

    To quote one recent attendee, “Best, most real, insightful and entertaining management session I’ve attended in 30 years.  Bring this Cooper guy back!”

    Our most requested topics are:

    1. a)  “Accelerate Your Business…the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line…and have a life.”
    2. b)“Winning the Talent Wars…8 essential steps to attracting, developing, leading & engaging a top-performing team.”
    3. c) “Vision Critical…how to manage, innovate and thrive in a very different tomorrow!”
    4. d) “Succession Planning & Exit Strategies…preparing your business and yourself for the most important financial transaction of your life!

    I’m happy to chat about possibilities at 416-252-3703 in Toronto. 


Now, to this week’s important topic:

Confidence is #1:

Every five years a leading advertising trade magazine asks thousands of people to rank, in order of importance, various factors affecting their buying decisions.  In their most recent survey, ‘Confidence’ was rated #1, Quality was #2, Service #3, Selection #4 and Price was #5. 

Personally, I think they missed the real point by not asking the important follow-up question… “Exactly what is it that you want to be confident about?”  I think that when people rank ‘Confidence’ as #1 what they’re really telling us is that they want Quality, Service, Selection and Price!  They want it all and they want to be confident that they’re getting it all…and that’s why they put ‘Confidence’ as #1. 

Does that sound like your customers?  They want to be confident that you understand them, that you care about them, that you know what you’re talking about and that you’ll deliver what they want, when they want it.  So, to be your customers’ ‘Preferred Supplier’ you must create confidence. 

Everything we do, or don’t do, creates or destroys confidence.  How we look, how we sound  and how we perform at every touch-point matters.  So, we must act with absolute integrity and we must have high standards of performance, appearance and behavior in every part of our business, not because we’re old, or mean, or cranky, but because anything that destroys confidence, destroys our business must be eliminated.  Always explain to your Team why we have high standards…but never apologize for them.

Remember, customers also want to be confident in themselves.  How can you coach them, help them and encourage them to be confident in making wise purchasing decisions and to wisely use, care for or consume what you sell?   How can you be their ‘Caring Coach’?

Bonus thought:  Every business has a fundamental decision to make.  ‘Are we trying to get our customers to do what we want them to do…or are we 100% committed to helping them do what they want to do?’

Action to take:  Create a small team of some of the best minds and hearts in your business to look at every part of the business with you.  Thinking and feeling like a customer, make a list of everything you see and feel, at every touch-point, that might destroy customer confidence…everything that creates confusion, suspicion, resentment or doubt, or causes stress.  Then, create a list of the specific things that you will change or do to create more confidence, more clarity and less stress.  For each improvement that you commit to make, get specific about who will do what, by when, at what cost, with what outcomes, measured how and rewarded how, to make it happen.  Document commitments and follow up.  The world is run by those who follow up!



That’s it for this week…

Live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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