Something’s fishy around here.

On our tour of southern Georgia, we visited the Andersonville Museum and Prison grounds. In between the sites, we stopped for lunch at a little combination restaurant/grocery store complete with all the wonderful southern hospitality we have come to love. The menu featured braised pork chops, since pork chops are not in our diets, nor were any of the other featured items, we were a little stuck.

Donna Lee said, “I sure would love a tuna melt.” The owner, whose little children were playing on the floor behind the counter said, “Well, we do sell canned tuna, I could open a can of tuna and fix one for you.” A few minutes later Donna Lee had a wonderful tuna melt sandwich. Her sandwich included the pickle, onion, everything that makes for a wonderful tuna melt. Since I’m on a gluten-free diet, not much on the menu would work for me. I had a very special BLT with no bread. Everything was prepared with a great deal of joy.

Find out what your customers are asking for that your team is saying “no” to.

The action I call you to take is to survey your team. Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • How are we handling “special requests?”
  • How are we tailoring our offerings to the unique needs of each customer?
  • How are we tailoring what we are offering so each customer feels special?
  • When we go “off menu” does everyone do it with joy, glad to meet our customer’s needs?
  • When do we have to break rules to meet our customer’s needs?

Then, ask them this next question:

“How can we be sure all customers’ needs are served in ways that ensure our mutual success?”

Take this assignment seriously, get everyone in on the act: all customer service personnel, all delivery people, all salespeople, all purchasing people, temporary employees, contract employees. I recommend you carry this down to how and when your team says “No” to internal customers who ask for something different, at a different time, or in a different form.

Do this in earnest and you will find new ways of serving all customers at higher levels. You will generate more sales and more revenue. You will find ways to improve your processes

and cut costs. You will generate more profit from every sale. And, you may be surprised by the uplifting effect this exercise has on morale and creativity.

Easy to say ,”No,” better to say, “Yes!”

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will increase your team’s performance and do it NOW! In Formation equips your team with the same advantage a flock of geese takes for granted. Following the time-tested guidelines, your organization will fly farther, faster, and with no additional effort, keeping you out in front.

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