Why Your Business Needs to Be More Fun

May 21st, 2019

Why Your Business Needs to Be More FunOne of my favorite pieces of research in the field of sales and marketing is a survey of B2B buyers conducted by Britt Beemer for American Demographics Magazine. In it, Beemer found that 70.1% of respondents would switch to a different vendor if the company was more fun to do business with.

When I first read it, I was surprised. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Buyers—even business buyers—are human beings. And human beings like to have fun! (I know—SHOCKING, right?)

The implications of this one, simple statistic are profound. It means that the features and benefits of your product or service are not all-important. It means that quality, selection, and price are not as important to your market as you think they are. It means that customer experience has the potential to trump everything else.

It means that fun is a competitive advantage.

Which brings up a few questions:

• How can you have more fun with prospects before they even begin their buying cycle?

• How can you make the buying process more fun for them?

• How can you help your customers have more fun after they’ve bought from you?

The answers to these questions can have a huge impact on your sales. Because fun is serious business.

33 Things You Should Be Proud Of

May 15th, 2019

33 Things You Should Be Proud Of

 

Pride is a tricky thing.

Many religious texts—and religious leaders—decry it. In fact, it’s one of the “Seven Deadly Sins,” along with greed, lust, envy, sloth, reality TV, and ordering red wine with fish.

It goes before a fall and it pairs well with Prejudice.

Sometimes we have to swallow it. (I find the best thing to wash it down is a chocolate milkshake.)

As kids, we’re often taught that we should be humble, and yet our parents take enormous pride in our accomplishments, even to the point of plastering them on their cars.

Adding to the confusion, we celebrate Italian Pride (Columbus Day), Mexican Pride (Cinco de Mayo), Black Pride, and Gay Pride.

These mixed messages can leave us feeling uncertain about whether or not pride is a good thing. And it causes too many people to downplay their talents, efforts, and accomplishments.

Which is a shame.

Because pride is about valuing yourself, as well as the people and things around you.

Researchers argue that pride is a universal emotion that serves multiple purposes in a society. It encourages us to value the future, to take risks, to persevere, and to help others. In short, pride helps us—as individuals and as a society—succeed

It’s also a useful guide. If you feel pride about something you’ve done, that’s probably because it was a good thing to do. By contrast, if you feel embarrassed or ashamed about something in your behavior or your organization, that’s probably a bad sign.

So you should be proud! And here are 33 things you can—and damn well should—be proud of:

1. Yourself
2. Your company
3. Your people
4. Your product or service
5. How happy your customers are with you
6. Your suppliers and vendors
7. Your partners
8. What you do for a living
9. How far you’ve come
10. Your ethics
11. Your values
12. Your attitude
13. Your talents
14. Your skills
15. The quality of your work
16. Your price
17. The value you deliver to customers
18. The jobs you’ve created
19. Your charitable efforts
20. Your customer service
21. How well you take care of your employees
22. The time you devote to family and loved ones
23. The people you’ve nurtured, mentored, and supported
24. Your commitment
25. Your compassion
26. Your appearance
27. The obstacles you’ve overcome
28. How you react to failure
29. The lessons you’ve learned
30. Your personal, professional, and/or organizational growth
31. The awards you’ve won
32. The accomplishments of your friends and loved ones
33. The changes you’ve helped create

If you’re not proud of the company you work for, or the products you sell, quit and go somewhere else. If you’re not proud of the way you look, hit the gym or hire an image consultant. If you have a hard time taking pride in your talents or accomplishments, consider seeing a therapist, to unburden yourself of the negative belief that pride is sinful.

Note that there’s a huge difference between pride and things like arrogance, hubris, conceitedness, cockiness, and narcissism. Taking pride in your appearance is not the same as being vain. Sharing your most recent success is a long way from bragging.

And I’m not saying humility isn’t valuable. In fact, quite the opposite—humility reminds us that there’s always room for improvement and helps us appreciate the value of other people. A little humility also keeps us from venturing into the arrogance zone.

But it’s absolutely okay to feel pride. In fact, it’s essential to your sales, business, and personal success. Being proud of your skills, appearance, commitment, and accomplishments boosts your confidence. And being proud of your company, product, service, and people boosts your enthusiasm. Those two factors are tremendously important for increasing your sales.

So stop downplaying your awesomeness. Embrace it! Let that pride surge through you and propel you to even greater things. Hey, if it worked for U2, it’ll work for you too.

What Are You Tolerating?

May 1st, 2019

What Are You Tolerating?As a professional speaker and trainer, I spend a lot of time in airports. And I see an awful lot of bad behavior there.

Recently as I was waiting to board a flight, I witnessed some incredibly poor behavior by a boy I would estimate to be between ten and twelve years old. He had a phone in one hand and a tablet in the other. He was making rude noises at a high volume, cursing like crazy, and literally spitting at his mother. The woman periodically told him to stop, but made no real effort to curb the boy’s actions.

Which saddened me, because not only will that boy’s behavior not get any better over time, it will assuredly get worse.

Because whatever you tolerate, you encourage.

Too often we fail to call out and address bad behavior because we’re afraid of conflict, or we’re afraid of the consequences of taking action. But the reality is, if we don’t actively discourage bad behavior, then we’re actively encouraging it. There is no middle ground.

That goes for your leadership, employees, colleagues, prospects, customers, vendors, and everybody else related to your business. When you don’t put a forcible stop to intolerable behavior in your organization, you’re communicating to everyone that said behavior is acceptable. Which means If you tolerate sexual harassment, you’ll get more of it. If you tolerate late payments, you’ll get more of them. If you tolerate lying, tardiness, back-stabbing, and rumor-mongering, you’ll get more of those.

And it’s not just in sales and business—the same principle holds for the people in your personal life as well: neighbors, acquaintances, friends, and family. When you allow people to treat you badly, call you names, or take advantage of you, it won’t just continue—it will get worse.

Fortunately, you can put a stop to bad behavior. Or you can cut the offending people out of your life or company. It takes courage—and there may be costs—but it’s absolutely worth it.

You can’t control people. But you can influence them. And you have more power to influence than you realize. And if you want your sales, your business, and your personal life to flourish, you owe it to yourself to exert that power.

So what are you tolerating that you really shouldn’t be? And what are you going to do about it?