I’m sharing the story of Frank Ruta, who previously won a James Beard award, because of the lengths he went to in advance of opening his new restaurant. The Washington Post reported that to prepare, Ruta traveled to Paris and ate at many Michelin-starred restaurants.
His main takeaway? “Everyone in a Michelin-starred dining room can answer a question about the food or wine, even a junior kitchen member who runs food to the table.” Ruta continued “You really felt the power as soon as you walked in. ….the power of how confident, and how well they knew their job.”
How does everyone in your company exemplify confidence and power? How well do they know their jobs and how effectively can they answer questions?
The power of confidence and a deeply knowledgeable staff give every company, particularly those whose clientele are other businesses, an edge. This kind of edge must come from the top. When the CEO or Owner incorporates education and information sharing as key ingredients of the company’s culture, your buyers will notice and appreciate it.
This culture starts with the CEO or Owner being willing to pay for the people best suited to communicate with your buyers. They treat receptionists, call-center staff and other buyer-facing people as the true gems they are when well trained and well-compensated.
Your customers or clients mentally award stars to every company they use for business. Institute these tactics to earn 5 stars from each and every customer.
- Hire for attitude and train skill. Make sure your customer-facing staff, including those who answer the phone, personally love being friendly, outgoing and knowledgeable with visitors and callers. This is not a job for people who think callers are a nuisance. That happens too often, don’t let it happen at your company.
- Share all company information with this staff. If your company is in the news, let them in on the good or the bad, and coach them with some tips on how to respond to questions. Let them practice with colleagues before they’re expected to speak to the publlic. Never give them a script.
- Recognize these people. Outstanding employees contribute to the company’s topline and bottom line, even when they are not in sales. When you lead with this recognition, everyone will follow.
- Ask your customer-facing people about clients’ attitudes toward your company. Humans like to be liked by people they consider important or of high status, like the CEO or Owner, so they’ll always flatter them. A buyer may tell a receptionist, admin or call-center employee things they wouldn’t tell the CEO or Owner. Use these gleanings to improve your whole company.
- Innovate and improve your customer facing processes and systems before you try to innovate and improve your products and services. The outstanding regard you generate from the former help you sell the latter.
Your company’s current buyers are the very best source of additional revenue and dramatic business growth and deserve your intense attention and Singular FocusSM. Focus on being a 5 star company and enjoy the difference it makes.