Think you can do better?

Have you ever sat in a restaurant, visited a store or stayed at a hotel and thought, "boy could I do this better!"  Hmmm…well, perhaps it’s just me but my experiences with customer service have made me say this very thing under my breath quite a bit lately.

My family stayed at a cabin on the west shore of Lake Tahoe this weekend.  A nice, private celebration of our wedding Anniversary and Hannah’s first Birthday.  The operation is run like a bed and breakfast without the availability of the owners.  Our local experts to ask questions and provide us with a connection – a sense of belonging – were never available.  What a mistake!  We had other challenges but that’s enough to keep us from coming back.  We didn’t feel like welcome guests.  If we had, we could have overcome the other stuff.

This happens at all manner of business locations.  The businesses that gets my business are the ones where the owner makes me feel like a welcome guest AND I get introduced to his/her other guests.  This should happen where I get my haircut, eat my lunch, or buy my suits.  Will I recommend a place to eat if I know you’ll be treated well and introduced around the room?  You bet!  And, what if the owner comes to your table and says, "Welcome, how did you find out about us?  What do you do?  What kind of folks do you like to meet?"  When I call you (on purpose) and say, "How was your lunch," How will you feel?

We all need to pay careful attention to each and every one of our clients and customers and always consider them as our guests.  At the same time, find out who they like or want to do business with and make the introduction!  Your guests will love that you’re keeping their best interest in your heart and mind.

The 7 Ps: Updated

I originally posted this years ago.  I’ve since learned that the 7Ps have been around for a long time, and repeated often.  The Air Force, the Boy Scouts and countless project oriented companies use this as a constant mantra.

I had the pleasure of attending a Microsoft Live Meeting this week entitled 7Ps: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance“Relationships For Revenue Growth,” featuring speaker Keith Ferrazzi.  Keith is a friend and author of a great read, Never Eat Alone.

[Keith has since published Who’s Got Your Back and has an exceptional blog at]

The meeting was energetic and focused on concepts I evangelize daily in my practice.  I did want to pass along Keith’s reminding me of something I hadn’t heard for a long time but just love – it’s the 7 P’s:

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

I assure you that the 7Ps are a great acronym to keep in front of you.  Keith was referring to preparing in advance and making the people you meet intentional.  Learn about the person in advance – ways to make a cold call never really cold.  In either case, planning sounds so basic but it is so taken for granted.  Don’t waste your time climbing the ladder only to find it’s leaning up against the wrong wall.

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