Small Business Ru!e of the Month

Small Business Ru!e of the Month

01.6.2018 You Can't Hit A Target That Doesn't Exist

While reading through the list of proposed sports for the 2020 Olympic Games, I noticed a new sport was being added. It is called “clayless pigeon shooting.” The concept is remarkably similar to the traditional clay pigeon shooting, except there is no target. The shooter lines up at the stand and calls, “Pull!” The trap button is pressed, and nothing comes out. The shooter fires—at thin air. After this goes on all day, they hand out medals for the  ..

01.5.2018 Let The Client Make The Decisions

I walked into a large whitegoods retailer to buy a new fridge for our staffroom. I made one statement to the salesperson: “I need to buy a fridge with a built-in water cooler.” No more, no less. He showed me the “only model that had that feature” in the store. He showed me how easy it was to manually refill the water reservoir. I said that this seemed clumsy and asked to see some other models. He told me that this was the only model with water. I mentioned s ..

01.4.2018 People Buy Emotionally And Justify Irrationally

I love it when potential customers visit our store and then walk back in some time later with a catalogue from another store. They walk up to a salesperson and tell them how much better/cheaper/faster the product from the other store is. Once that happens, we know we have the sale. If they really thought it was so much better, then they would have already bought it. They are walking back into our store because they felt an emotional connection with our staff/brand/message and want  ..

01.3.2018 Promise X Deliver X + 1

Good service is incredibly easy. Tell someone you are going to do X. Then…do it! Great service isn’t much harder. Tell someone you are going to do X. Then…do X+1. One of the greatest examples of this was delivered during the Sydney Olympics. It shows what can be achieved through careful expectation management. The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta were generally hailed as a transportation nightmare. During the lead up to the Sydney Olympics, we were constantly warned abou ..

01.2.2018 Place Round Employees In Round Seats

We were doing some work for a legal firm many years ago, and one of the partners in the business wanted to know how I could stop a certain employee from wasting time in Microsoft Word. This particular partner was complaining that this staff member seemed to spend a lot of her time “fiddling” with macros and templates and not doing what she was paid to do, which was type up documents in Word. This staff member had been in trouble numerous times for not doing he ..

01.1.2018 Put On The Client's Shoes - Even If They Don't Fit

The clade of lizards known as chameleons is well known for their specialised cells, collectively called chromatophores, that lie in layers under their transparent outer skin that can rapidly relocate their pigments to influence the colour of the chameleon. Humans are not chameleons. One of the hardest activities you will find as a salesperson is seeing something from the client’s perspective—simply because it is not your perspective. It would be great if all custome ..

01.12.2017 Backs Have Ears

Claire Swire wishes that Bradley Chait had read this rule. Claire Swire was the infamous subject of the “Claire Swire e-mail of 2000” when her boyfriend forwarded on a personal e-mail to some friends—and that e-mail was distributed faster than you can say “don’t expect another date!” Before the weekend was over, the e-mail had been read by millions of people across the world and reported in every major news service. If you are going to say ..

01.11.2017 Be Transparent Or People Will See Through You

Remember when you were a child still at school and you used to pass notes to your classmates while the teacher had his or her back turned? We all thought we were very clever, and we could pass notes or whisper to our classmates without being caught. Then when you reach adulthood and maybe even have children of your own, you suddenly realise how much you can see as an adult and how you are aware of almost everything your children are doing, and they are only getting away with  ..

01.10.2017 If It Doesn't Work They Can't Eat You

You have a new idea. You are uncertain of the consequences if it doesn’t work, and you are nervous about implementing it. Sometimes you don’t try it because you are nervous about the implications or the ramifications. Think about it again. What is the absolute worst that could happen by pursuing your idea? Try to quantify it. Will people laugh at you? Will you lose money? How much? Actually write down the absolute worst that could possibly happen. Usually it ..

01.9.2017 Keep Changing The Furniture

Jack Gibson (coach of the Australian Rugby League Team of the Century) used to say, “In football, if you are standing still, you’re going backwards fast.” Jack was an innovative coach who also produced classic quotes. He used to use the above quote to illustrate the requirement to continually innovate in coaching—otherwise his team would be left behind because his competition would definitely be trying to improve. He could just as easily have been talking ..