Staying Positive = More Sales…..AND a Gift for You
Staying Positive. This is something takes a little effort, given what is going on around us and in the news media every day, but working at it is worth it. Especially if you read all the way through this post.
I know you’re thinking I’m going to talk to you about having and keeping a positive attitude BUT I’m not. I DO think having a positive attitude is essential to success of any kind, but it IS especially important to those of us who are self-employed. I also believe in fostering a positive environment in all aspects of your business. I know I’ve had to terminate employees and end business relationships due to the negativity they were bringing to the table. In every case, removing the source of the negativity moved me closer to the success I was looking for. But I want to talk about something else when it comes to being positive!
It is critically important that you, and especially your employees, don’t allow negative conversations to become part of their interaction with your clients. I know at times it can be difficult, when there are all kinds of things going on around us that aren’t necessarily positive. Natural disasters, shootings, bombings and… It will often take a focused effort to keep things positive; if you don’t, it literally will cost you money. I’ll explain.
Many believe that Christmas has become very commercialized; just the fact that Christmas decorations began going up BEFORE Halloween is a point they use. There is a sound reason why this has happened every year earlier and earlier.
Walt Disney’s Vision
This is NOT theory – it is a known fact that those who are in a good mood spend more money! Don’t believe me, ask Disney! Why do you think they spend so much money “creating” the atmosphere they do, they parade every day down main street! They know happy people spend more money. I’ll bet you know someone who went there for a vacation and spent way more than they had budgeted! I know I have. Disney can charge outrageous prices for things that can be bought on the outside for half of what it is there, yet “guests” pay the higher prices.
There’s a reason why they call their employees “cast” members versus employees or cashiers or… There’s a reason why they call those who come “guests.” Being called a guest makes someone feel better than being called a customer! Disney doesn’t talk about customer service. Their vision is “We Create Happiness” and during the orientation for “cast members” they are told “your job was to make the Guests happy.”
A few years ago, Disney’s Service Basics were created for every cast member even if they were street cleaners or costume makers. There were four areas of focus with key behaviors listed underneath:
· I project a positive image and energy.
· I am courteous and respectful to all Guests, including Children.
· I stay in character and play the part.
· I go above and beyond.
Beneath each of these were specific behaviors like “Smile” and “Look approachable” for the first one listed. Moreover, they identified specific actions expected of Leaders as well. This was critical, in that having a great Guest experience requires having management supporting that experience.
A book I recommend is The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney, available in paperback or Kindle version at Amazon.com.
Ways to Promote a Positive Environment
In addition to the book recommendation, here are a few ways to promote a positive environment for anyone interacting with your business:
I’ll start with a few topics to have your staff avoid discussing with your clients. Politics is an absolute no, especially given today’s environment, which is mostly negative. Religion, again most are passionate about this topic no matter what their affiliation. Have them stay away from discussing whatever is going on in the news that is negative; doing so can immediately bring someone’s spirits down, evoke unhappy thoughts, feelings and emotions, all NOT good for how they respond to spending money with you.
Let your staff know to avoid these subjects; if you don’t, chances are they WILL talk about them. Just watch how your customer responds when your staff member says “oh, isn’t it terrible what happened in…”
A few things YOU can do to help keep things positive and help them feel “happy” while interacting with your business. First, YOU have to lead the way!! I know you have a lot to deal with but when you’re with your employees and around your clients, you have to put on the happy face. It’s why Disney refers to their employees’ work as “the show.”
Do what you can to “create” a festive/upbeat atmosphere – decorate your reception area for the holidays, not just Christmas time but for Halloween, Easter, July 4th and… You can often find complete decoration packages that are pretty inexpensive at OrientalTrading.com.
Also, play upbeat music at the business or as on hold music. Don’t blare it but have it on. Most love listening to holiday music, which is why so many retailers play it in their stores; some even pipe it outside the store to help entice prospects to come into the store.
Allow your staff to be part of it. I had several staff members who liked to wear a Santa hat during the holiday season; this works even for those who are only dealing with customers via the phone. If the employee feels good, festive, upbeat, it will come through the phone. I had a CSR who asked if she could do the decorating for Halloween; she brought her own stuff in and did a great job, much better than if I had done it.
If you have a brick and mortar, have something for those who come in; very popular is a bowl with pieces of candy on the counter. It really doesn’t take much. There have been many occasions folks come into the business in not such a great mood but leave smiling – that’s the goal!
If you are selling online, include a surprise gift along with their purchase; one of the most popular things we send out is a small package of cookies. Food is almost always a winner (of course, if you’re selling weight loss or fitness, be sure the food is appropriate.)
Take care of the things you Should NOT do, add in the things that contribute to a fun, positive and upbeat atmosphere in your business, and you’ll find sales easier to come by. Remember, it all starts with YOU!
Positive Leadership Resource
About YOU staying positive – a great way for you to do just that is by attending our marketing workshop where you can be around like-minded, upbeat entrepreneurs, business owners and professional practice owners all looking to grow their business. To find out about this month’s workshop and to register to attend click on this link.
I have a gift for you! A little while back I interviewed John Formica the ex-Disney guy, who talked about “What Your Business Would Look Like If Disney Owned It.” If you would like a CD recording of that interview, click the button below. Be sure to include your full mail information – this is not a download but a CD we will mail to you.