Living in Abundance
Do you know what living in abundance is? Living in abundance is a
key principle for business success that is overlooked by many people.
It’s a mindset issue that significantly affects both customer loyalty and
retention, and has a huge impact on employee morale, work effectiveness, and allegiance.
Let me give you an example from one of my clients who embraced
the concept of living in abundance. A new customer was coming from
out of town to take delivery on his purchase. My client arranged to
have him picked up at the airport in a limousine, booked a room for
this customer at the Ritz-Carlton for the night, and took him out to
dinner at one of the finest steak houses in town.
What do you think this customer thought of and said about my client
after he experienced this unexpected, first-class treatment?
Well, first of all, he was very thankful and surprised that a business
owner would appreciate his business that much. Some of you may
think this example is an over-the-top action, but let me tell you the
reaction of the customer was also over the top. He appreciated his
royal treatment so much that he referred many other customers to
my client and has placed additional high-ticket orders that have more
than made up for the initial cost of the limousine, the night at the
Ritz-Carlton, and the steak dinner. This one customer is responsible
for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of new business for my
client. Did the effort to reward this customer in a very abundant way
pay off? You bet it did!
I hope one of the lessons you learn from this example is to go the extra
mile with your best customers and turn them into huge fans of you and
your business. Another fantastic outcome is that this specific customer
told several of his friends who are in the same line of business about
his extraordinary experience, and they are now customers of my client.
This example also demonstrates the power of a referral. Taking extra
care of your best customers through living in abundance will come back to
you, multiplied in so many ways. The conversation on price will become
secondary, and referrals will effortlessly flow your way. When you act
abundantly referrals will seek you out, and when you treat customers
with abundance they will buy. Referrals are the best kind of customer
you can have — they already know about you, trust you, and are anxious
to do business with you!
Continuing with the theme of customer appreciation and respect,
let’s now explore living in abundance a little further. Think about where
you love to shop or a business you enjoy buying from. Why is that?
Most of the time, it isn’t because of the price or product. No, the
reason you are a loyal customer is because of how you are treated when
you are there! Every single customer should be considered special, and
you and your employees should have a plan to always keep that at the
top of your minds.
Now, you may ask, “How do I make every customer seem special?” Of
course, the answer is to treat them in abundance, but that doesn’t mean
you have to treat all of your customers to a steak dinner. One simple
example of extraordinary treatment is to greet your customers by name
whenever possible. Make it a priority for you and your employees to get
to know the names of your most frequent customers. Think about the
times when you go to a favorite restaurant and the maître de or waiter
knows your name. Doesn’t that make you feel special? When you “Live
in Abundance” you upscale your business. You feel, look, and behave
differently, and your customers will sense it and see it.
Your employees will be watching, and they will see it as well, so let’s
talk about how living in abundance benefits your staff. When you live
and — more importantly — act in abundance, you will have highly
motivated and loyal employees who want to become part of the success
of your business. One of the keys to creating great employee morale is
to treat them as you would want to be treated.
You should always remember to over-deliver on every aspect of your
business, including how you treat your employees. Make a conscious
effort to do this, and you will be rewarded with a business image and
perception that will be extremely difficult for your competition to beat.
Wouldn’t it be great to never have to go out and recruit new employees?
If you become known for treating your employees well, potential
employees will be lined up waiting to secure a position with you.
A simple act of abundance is the practice of sending short thank-you
notes to your employees. This small gesture will go a long way towards
building an unbeatable staff for your business. Take a look at www.
sendoutcards.com for an easy way to handle this. Tomorrow, I want
you to send one of your employees a simple written thank-you note
for something good they have done, and then wait to see what happens.
This very simple action will get a big, positive response. Happy
employees = motivated employees = more sales and more money for
everyone. I guarantee it!
Let’s shift gears and talk about your money mindset around pay and
recognition for your employees. Does it need a little abundance tune-up?
This can be a very difficult topic, and easy answers are not always
available. I believe happy and hard-working employees will produce
the best results. Living in abundance may mean paying them above the
going rate, and then expecting more in return for their performance.
Employees want to be recognized and appreciated for their hard
work and contribution to your business success. They also want to be
paid a good wage equivalent to what they think they are worth. An
employee’s first priority is usually pay, but work environment, treatment,
flexibility, and communication all play a major role in determining an
Employees will usually leave if they are not paid competitively, so it is
in your best interest to know what your competitors pay, and then pay
more. But in return, you must expect more from your staff. Another
simple way to show employees that you value them is to have a formal
review process. Tell them what a great job they are doing!
Would you be surprised to learn most employees want to be held
accountable? They want to know how they are doing and how you
feel about them — so tell them, and tell them often. What systems do
you have in place to hold your employees accountable? Do you have
a formal review process? Is it effective? I suggest a one-page quarterly
review that is simple and straightforward. Evaluate them on the top
five things you have clearly communicated and expect from them. By
implementing a simple review process, it will be easier for you to keep
your employees on track doing the things that are most important for
growing the business.
Are you recognizing your employees and showing them your appreciation
on a regular basis? As I mentioned earlier, thank-you notes go
a long way, but what other ways can you show appreciation? Small,
simple things on a frequent basis work the best. Quantity vs. quality is
the best direction to go, because frequency will keep them motivated
and in touch with what you expect. Is there a small quarterly incentive
program you can implement? Do you have a contest for “employee of the
month or quarter”? You could implement this by simply establishing a
bulletin board in a visible area, such as the break room or Intranet site,
dedicated to honoring your best employees.
Another way to live in abundance with your employees is to allow
them the opportunity to help you run the business by simply asking for
their advice, ideas, or help. Your interaction with abundance-minded
employees should translate into higher sales and happier repeat customers
every single day, which ultimately translates into more profit for you.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about coming from a position of
lack for a moment. Lack is the opposite of abundance. It is a negative
mindset that can impact your entire business. Ask yourself, “Is there an
attitude of lack or abundance in my business today?” Do you have the
mindset that all customers are just looking to get the cheapest price or
that they’re all trying to steal or cheat you in some way? Or, that expecting
exceptional customer service from your staff doesn’t really matter
in the end game?
I hope this is not the case, and that you are coming from a perspective
of abundance with both your employees and your customers. If you act
with abundance, they will recognize the positive energy, because acting
from abundance is a key driver of employee and customer behavior.
Make a commitment to banish coming from a position of lack forever!
It’s okay to start small and live within your means, but stretch whenever
you can and live in abundance within your business. It will have a
significant impact on customer loyalty and retention. Have you defined
your customer service policy? Is it written and displayed for all of your
employees to see? Have you put in place the top 10 things you do for
all customers that you and your employees practice every day? These
small actions demonstrate to your staff and customers that you care
about them, and this is what living in abundance is all about. It doesn’t
have to involve spending large sums of money!
I encourage you to get into the practice of living in abundance by
learning your customers’ names and then calling them by name whenever
they visit your business. In addition to writing thank-you notes
to your employees, send your customers a thank-you/follow-up note,
expressing your thanks for their business. “Thank you” can be two of
the most powerful words in business. These small actions will build
huge loyalty, and the special treatment you give to your employees and
customers will allow you to live in abundance all day, every day! Put
these actions into place to establish a happier employee team and a
much more loyal customer base. In return, you will be rewarded many
times over — guaranteed!
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