Archive for the ‘Invisible Qualites Needed For Business Success In A Recession’ Category

In my last post, I asked you an usual question to be asked in a business context.  I asked you… “Do you love your customers?”

Well, today I want to ask you another strange, but powerful question.  It’s a question that can begin to help us see how we could move closer towards actually loving our customers.

But first, I want to share something with you.

In the famous book, “How To Win Friends And Influence People” Dale Carnegie says…

“People are not interested in you.  They are not interested in me.  They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.”  Later he says…  “Why should people be interested in you unless you are first interested in them?” 

We need to understand that deep down all of us crave to be treated like someone important – someone who matters.

Later in the book Dale shares a story that proves his point.

He tells about a researcher on coast to coast airplane flight who tried an experiment.  He only asked questions to the person sitting next to him- for 6 hours! 

When the person the researcher was talking to, got off the plane, they found out they were a part of an experiment.  They were asked what they thought about the researcher and they all said they thought he was a really good conversationalist!  

All he did was ask questions and let THEM talk!  And THAT is what made him a good conversationalist!

Why?  Because people become interested in you when they realize you are interested in them.

That leads me to the other strange question I told you about.  Are you ready?  Here it is…

Are you running an “I-It” business and an “I-You” business?

If you have no clue what I’m talking about (which I’m guessing is most of you) then listen to this story that Daniel Goleman tells in his book “Social Intelligence” and you’ll see what I mean.

Daniel says…

A woman whose sister had recently died got a sympathy call from a male friend who had lost his own sister a few years before.  The friend expressed his condolences, and the woman, touched by his empathic words, told him poignant details of the long illness her sister had suffered, and she described how bereft she felt at the loss.

But as she talked, she could hear the clicking of computer keys at the other end of the line.  A slow realization dawned: her friend was answering his email, even as he was talking to her in her hour of pain.  His comments became increasingly hollow, perfunctory, and off-point as the conversation continued.

After they hung up, she felt so dejected that she wished he had never called at all.  She’d just had a gut punch of the interaction that philosopher Martin Bueber called “I-It”.

I-It” is when we treat someone more as a thing than as a person

The Austrian Born psychologist wrote about “I-It” in his book in 1937 called “I-You”. 

In “I-You”, Bueber wrote that an “I-It” person has no attunement to the other’s subjective reality, feels no real empathy for the other person.

He said an “I-You” relationship is a special bond, an attuned closeness that’s often – but not always – found between husband and wives, family members, and good friends.

Daniel Goleman goes on to say…

“The emotional indifference and remoteness of an I-It relationship stands in direct contrast to the attuned I-You.  When we are in I-It mode, we treat other people as a means to some other end.  By contrast, in the I-You mode our relationship with them becomes an end in itself.”

The sad reality is that many businesses live, move, and breathe in “I-It” mode.  After an experience with them we feel more like an “it” than a “you”.

It’s an expectation that causes us to approach them suspiciously – with our guard up.  It makes us cautious of doing business with them again.  And if the experience is bad enough – we even warn others to stay clear!

But when we’re actually treated as a “I-You” by a business, we’re so shocked and surprised that we drop our guard.  We open our hearts to them and what they’re selling – and even go tell the world about our amazing experience!

You see?  There’s a HUGE, powerful affect you and your business can have on people if you just started treating others as “Yous!”  And the amazing part is that the same response will start echoing back at YOU!

Robert Cialdini talked about this idea of people responding back in the way you do to them.  He calls  it “The Rule of Reciprocation”.  In his book “Psychology Of Influence”, he tells this story to explain it…

A few years ago a University Professor tried a little experiment.  He sent Christmas cards to a sample of perfect strangers.  Although he expected some reaction, the response he received was amazing – holiday cards addressed to him came pouring back from the people who had never met nor heard of him.  The great majority of those who returned a card never inquired into the identity of the unknown professor.  They received this holiday greeting card, click, and whirr, they automatically sent one in return.”  Cialdini says, “While small in scope, this study nicely shows the action of one of the most potent of the weapons of influence around us – the rule for reciprocation.  The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided for us.”

When we start treating people the way we want to be treated, we start getting treated the way we want to be treated!  It’s like magic!   🙂

People are craving and fiending for someone – anyone – to treat them as “Yous”! 
People are looking for empathy. 
They don’t want you sympathy – for you to feel sorry for them.  They want to feel understood!  

That’s what you want, isn’t it?  You want other people to feel what you do, so you know they understand.

If you and your business give that to other people they’ll love you and do almost anything for you!   

I know some of you are probably thinking, “This is all great, in theory, but is it really possible to apply this in my business?”  I’m glad you asked!  🙂

I want to share one last story that shows you the real power and impact of a business that treats their customers as “I-Yous.”

Scott Stratten shares a story in his new book, “Unmarketing” that proves that a business can live out what I’m sharing with you today.

He tells the story about Zappos.com – the famous online shoe store. 

Scott shares the story of about a person who ordered multiple pairs of shoes for his mother.  She was ill and in the hospital, and he didn’t know the exact size that would fit her, so he ordered 9 different pairs. 

He planned on having her try them on, so he could pick the right pair and send the rest back.  But things didn’t go as planned.

His mother ended up dying and he later realized, after the normal “return” window of time, that he still had the shoes.  Because they cost him a significant amount of money, he decided to contact Zappos and see if they’d still give him a refund.

He called in and shared his story and to his amazement the customer service rep said they’d take back the shoes.   The rep worked out a time to send a UPS truck to come get the shoes and the full amount he paid was put back onto his card.

But that wasn’t the real shock for this customer.  The real jaw-dropping moment came when the delivery truck came to collect the shoes. 

The delivery truck driver had brought along a bouquet of flowers with the deepest sympathies from the customer service rep he spoke to on the phone!

Now THAT is an example of a business treating a customer as an “I-You!”  That customer service rep treated this man as a person, not as an it.  He didn’t worry about the costs of taking back the shoes.  He  didn’t worry about putting the money back on the man’s card. 

He just put himself in this man’s place and treated him how he would want to be treated if his mother had died.

But that’s not the end of the story!

The customer was so overwhelmed by the way he was treated that he blogged about it and his post was read by thousands!

If we, our business, and our employees started treating other people the way we want to be treated – starting loving others like we love ourselves – we would be surprised at the way people respond back to us!   

That’s the power of an “I-You” business.

Feedback? 
What do you guys think about this “I-You” idea?  Do you have any other ideas or examples about how to apply it in our business?

Coming Tomorrow
Stay tuned.  In my post tomorrow, I’ll give you 4 ways we can live an “I-You” life and have an “I-You” business.

Until then…

If you thought this post is worthy, can you please do me a favor?
Please share this post.  Choose any (or all) of the “Share This” options below.
Or here’s the link you can post on your blog: http://wp.me/pfeEX-gT

Thanks,
Scott @rampbusinesses

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In order to survive and prosper in a recession, you definitely need effective methods, because without them you don’t have much of a chance.

But you also need to possess certain unseen, or “invisible”, qualities if you want to be able to guide your business towards success in a recession.

This blog series will focus on what I’m calling “The 7 Invisible Qualities You Need To  See Your Business Succeed In A Recession.”

Yesterday we looked at the 1st quality, which is persistence.  (See previous post here.)

Today, we’ll look at the second invisible quality you need to possess to succeed in a recession.

Let’s start with a story that Paul Harvey shared in the LA Times.

It’s a story about a man named Ray Blakenship who made an incredible rescue.

But the reason his rescue is so amazing is not because of what he did, but  because of a little known fact about him.  This fact reveals the second quality you need to succeed in a recession.

Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

“One summer morning as Ray Blankenship was preparing his breakfast, he gazed out the window, and saw a small girl being swept along in the rain-flooded drainage ditch beside his Andover, Ohio, home.

“Blankenship knew that farther downstream, the ditch disappeared with a roar underneath a road and then emptied into the main culvert. Ray dashed out the door and raced along the ditch, trying to get ahead of the foundering child.

Then he hurled himself into the deep, churning water.  Blankenship surfaced and was able to grab the child’s arm. They tumbled end over end. Within about three feet of the yawning culvert, Ray’s free hand felt something–possibly a rock– protruding from one bank.

He clung desperately, but the tremendous force of the water tried to tear him and the child away.

“‘If I can just hang on until help comes,’ he thought.  He did better than that. By the time fire-department rescuers arrived, Blankenship had pulled the girl to safety.

“Both were treated for shock.

“On April 12, 1989, Ray Blankenship was awarded the Coast Guard’s Silver Lifesaving Medal.  The award is fitting, for this selfless person was at even greater risk to himself than most people knew. Ray Blankenship can’t swim.”

How much persistence does it take to pull someone from the raging current of a flooded drainage ditch?  A lot!  But when you can’t even swim in calm waters, then you need more than persistence.  You also need courage.

Courage is the second invisible quality that you need to lead your business to success in a recession.

Courage is one of those factors that most people probably don’t think of when they think of your every day business owners, but it’s definitely the invisible quality that makes the difference between failure and success in so many endeavors.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was attributed as saying…

“Whatever you do, you need courage.  Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.  Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

I love Emerson’s line when he says, “There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.”   And I love that he describes the courage as “the same courage that a soldier needs.”

Courage is needed to face the difficulties a recession brings to your business.  Courage is needed to cause you to take action instead of taking cover.  And courage is needed to accomplish the things that others are too afraid to even attempt.

Without courage there is no victory.

Do you have the courage to face the facts about where your business is really at right now?

Do you have the courage to gain the knowledge and, if necessary, bring in the expertise to accomplish what needs to be done?

Do you have the courage to take the actions that need to taken?

With courage and persistence you can accomplish things that you never thought you were capable of.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

This is the 2nd invisible quality you need to possess in order to succeed during this crazy economic time.  We’ll look at the third quality on Monday.

In the meantime, subscribe to this blog at the upper right or follow me on twitter, so you can get the update on when the next post is up!

Can you do me a favor?

If you enjoyed this post, then please link to it from your blog or tweet the link to your followers.

Comments are always welcome too.  Post your thoughts on courage below.  Thanks!

@scottaughtmon

One summer morning as Ray Blankenship was preparing his breakfast, he gazed out the
window, and saw a small girl being swept along in the rain-flooded drainage ditch beside
his Andover, Ohio, home. Blankenship knew that farther downstream, the ditch disappeared
with a roar underneath a road and then emptied into the main culvert. Ray dashed out the
door and raced along the ditch, trying to get ahead of the foundering child. Then he
hurled himself into the deep, churning water. Blankenship surfaced and was able to grab
the child's arm. They tumbled end over end. Within about three feet of the yawning
culvert, Ray's free hand felt something--possibly a rock-- protruding from one bank. He
clung desperately, but the tremendous force of the water tried to tear him and the child
away. "If I can just hang on until help comes," he thought. He did better than
that. By the time fire-department rescuers arrived, Blankenship had pulled the girl to
safety. Both were treated for shock. On April 12, 1989, Ray Blankenship was awarded the
Coast Guard's Silver Lifesaving Medal. The award is fitting, for this selfless person was
at even greater risk to himself than most people knew. Ray Blankenship can't swim.&nbsp; </p>
<p><font color="#0000FF"> Paul
Harvey, Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

In order to survive and prosper in a recession, you definitely need effective methods, because without them you don’t have much of a chance.

But you also need to possess certain unseen, or “invisible”, qualities if you want to be able to guide your business towards success in a recession.

My next blog series will focus on what I’m calling “The 7 Invisible Qualities You Need To  See Your Business Succeed In A Recession.”

Today, we’ll look at the first invisible quality you need to possess to succeed in a recession.

In a Reader’s Digest issue, Jacob Riis hinted at this first invisible quality when he said…

“I look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Persistence is the first invisible quality you need to possess if you want to see your business succeed in a recession.

You need persistence to enable you to push through during these hard times.  You need it in order to see that “breakthrough” that only comes from the 101st hit.

Paul Harvey said that if there is one common denominator of men whom the world calls successful it is this: They get up when they fall down.

They don’t give up!  They keep on, keeping on!  They push on and push through.

Do you have this quality?

It’s not the same as stubbornness or denseness.  There’s no need pressing on when you’ve come to a dead end.

You definitely need to know when is the right time to quit.

But, most people quit way too soon.  Many people give up at the first sign of trouble or resistance.

If you want to conquer resistance you must use persistence!

Do you have it?  Are you willing to push on in a tough situation?

Success and greatness are discovered by those who possess the invisible quality of persistence.

George Bernard Shaw alluded to this need for persistence when he said, “Grain by grain – a loaf; stone upon stone – a palace.”

It is only persistent, consistent forward-moving steps that allow us to reach any worthwhile goal or end result.

This is the 1st invisible quality you need to possess in order to succeed during this crazy economic time.  We’ll look at the second quality tomorrow.

Subscribe to this blog at the upper right or follow me on twitter, so you can get the update on when the next post is up!

Can you do me a favor?

If you enjoyed this post, then please link to it from your blog or tweet the link to your followers.  You can use this to tweet…

“The 7 Invisible Qualities You Need To See Your Business Succeed In A Recession” Trait #1 – http://TwitPWR.com/g9p/

Comments are always welcome too.  Post your thoughts on persistence below.  Thanks!

@scottaughtmon