I have a sign on the wall of the office that says, “Money Loves Speed”. It proved true once again yesterday to close a quick sale. While I have my fair share of slow responses, I’m getting better at responding with speed via phone, email and text.
Admittedly, I dislike the anxiety of having to respond to inquiries more quickly than pre-internet days, but I am happy email, text and cell phone allow me to do so with lightning speed and ease.
Cut and paste responses, auto responders, website contact forms, pdf’s with full color sales literature and YouTube how-to videos allow for extreme efficiency for getting back to prospects and customers within hours if not minutes. If you haven’t leveraged technology to your advantage, why not?
Dale Carnegie wrote in his classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, about the effectiveness of praise. “Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
Indeed, almost everyone likes a compliment and praise motivates far better than criticism in most schools of thought. When it comes to employees and family, often it’s difficult to find something to praise.
Employees are paid to do their jobs and shouldn’t need constant praise, should they? “Nice job feeding the horses”, seems to be far too patronizing to deserve mentioning as praise. But, a comment like this is interpreted as far more sincere and believable: “I’ve noticed how punctual you are at feeding every morning and taking the time to check water buckets at the same time. It makes a difference and I appreciate it.”
Expectations of family are high and praise often is neglected due to the assumption that they don’t need to be thanked as they perform tasks for the good of the business or the good of the family. Family needs praise even more than employees do to help them feel good about contributing and the value they offer.
If you find it difficult to find something to praise for certain people, adopt the attitude of “catching them doing something right.” It works.
And by the way, bravo for you for reading this. You obviously have an interest in professional development!
Bad manners are as obvious as a horse on the wrong side of a fence. A customer’s exhibition of bad manners does not license you to reciprocate with an equal display for her.
Stay on the right side of the fence. Your community is following your example.