Small Business Ru!e of the Month

Small Business Ru!e of the Month

01.9.2018 If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It


There have been many times when I have heard someone point to a successful business in a certain industry and exclaim, “Now that is the business to be in!” They mistakenly think that it is the industry that has been responsible for the success of the business. I have even had people say to me, “You were lucky that you got into IT at just the right time.” Let me make a very simple point here. There is no one business that is the bu ..

01.8.2018 Practise Reciprocity Theory


Reciprocity theory is best reserved for those particularly challenging clients that you just can’t get over the line with the normal sales processes. I had one such client just over two years ago. When we first introduced our SLA concept to our client base in 2005, some clients loved the model and jumped on board immediately. Others were not convinced and needed some time to wrap their heads around the idea, and one particular client was completely opposed to signing on ..

01.7.2018 Train Your Staff


Business owners often tell me that one of their biggest fears is that they will take good, young, inexperienced staff members and train them and give them skills and experience, and then they will leave the organisation and chase the bigger bucks offered elsewhere. I tell them that I have the opposite fear. I worry that we will employ good, young, inexperienced people and not train them and they will stay! Then I end up with a bunch of unskilled staff. For my organisation ..

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 ..