Archive for May, 2012

Customer Dinosaurs

Are there customers who are just wearing you out and not producing income or profits for you? Are there people who are demeaning and abusing your gracious efforts? Fire them.

I worked with a large national corporation several years ago. It was a great income producer to work with them.   The next day she wrote a scathing email to me about how it embarrassed her regional managers who weren’t getting the good attendance I was in their sessions.  She said she had to make them look good no matter what.  I understand her priority here.

Three months later I received a note about meeting with me to move forward with them under her “new rules.” I copied the earlier email she had sent and replied, “Thank you, but I don’t need business this bad to be treated this way. I hope this is a good year for you. However, I won’t be meeting with you.” The next week I got four new clients to fill the void created by her absence.

You have some abusive customers who are wearing you and your people out. They think they own you. They don’t. You own you.

If you keep bad customers, you will only attract more of them. Draw a line in the sand and say “No more. I appreciate your business but not your attitude.” And bury the dinosaur.

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional, executive coach and Best Selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly newsletter by sending a message to:  subscribe@jimmathis.com.

Can You Make People Scratch?

I live in the Southern United States. We have an insect in this region that will bite, cause a rash and provoke you called a “chigger.”  Many people call them “red bugs.”  Chiggers get on your skin and make you itch so much that you HAVE to scratch them. The little invaders attack campers, picnickers, hikers, bird watchers, berry pickers, fishermen, soldiers, and homeowners. Yeah, pretty much everyone in their environment.

Chiggers don’t burrow under your skin, they bite you on the surface. They don’t give you a warm, comfortable feeling. They make your skin itch and force you to scratch the rash.  Scratching is the only relief you can do without medication and it only begins to solve the itching problem.  When you have chigger bites, they really don’t itch all the time.  They really itch when you think about them and concentrate on the pain they have inflicted on your skin.

They are very, very small bugs.  But these small insects can make a very, very large person change their behavior by scratching and clawing their bites.

Pretty significant behavior modification program!

I learned a few years ago that people can’t be motivated. Sure, you can be influenced by others, but you have to motivate yourself. I also learned many years ago that people will change when their level of un-comfort forces them to quit doing any practice or habit that continually causes them pain or irritation. Otherwise, they have no interest in changing or reinventing themselves.

I would rather be an influencer, or chigger in someone’s life who makes them scratch (or itch enough to WANT to scratch) that they force them to change their way of thinking or acting. I would rather be a chigger than a motivator.

If you spend your time trying to change others, you will be wasting your time. Spend your time making them scratch their heads, their arms, their legs, their brains and you will see results.

Your customers might be content with the status quo on the surface, but they have itches that they need scratched. Your employees or staff may be going through the motions, but until you reveal their bug bites, they are hesitant to scratch them.

A sales trainer taught me that you have to find the problem, agitate it and make the prospect want a solution.  Then offer the solution.  Ask questions to make the other person agitated enough to want your solution.  Make them scratch the itch that already exists.

How can you be the Chigger on their skin?

Jim Mathis is an international speaker, executive coach, professional “chigger” and the Best Selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly newsletter by sending a message to:  subscribe@jimmathis.com.

Your Industry iPad

In March Apple introduced its Third Generation iPad.  As with the previous two, consumers lined up around the block to get the first ones.  Even with all of the talk of “doom and gloom” we can’t wait to get our hands on the latest cool gadget, be it an iPad, iPhone, Kindle or device.  Each changes our life (and the lives of their competitors forever.

Somewhere in your industry, there is an “iPad” that is changing your business forever. It is answering needs in ways your older brother/sister (not just your father/mother) never dreamed of.  Meanwhile we cling to the same old tactics – favoring us over buyers and customers. What boss thought this junk up?

What is the iPad in your industry?  Is it internet sales?  Online streaming?  Faster processing? Better service or products?

What is changing life in your business forever?

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional, executive coach and Best Selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly newsletter by sending a message to:  subscribe@jimmathis.com.

Change Your Habits

Decide today that the habits of the past are just that; the past.

For instance, focus on future goals instead of dwelling in the past. Often we are diverted from our goals by problems in the present.

Keep both eyes on your personal, work and family goals. Don’t let anything deter you from focusing on them.

Jim Mathis is an international professional speaker and best-selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his monthly e-zine by sending a message to SUBSCRIBE@jimmathis.com.  An electronic copy will be sent to you each month.

Does your Life Have a Unique Mission Statement?

What do you do that makes you unique? What is your stamp on life that makes others remark about you?

As Seth Godin, the Marketing Guru says, “What makes you ‘remark-able’?” In other words, what special product, style or service do you do that makes people remark about it to others? Where does your creativity lie?

Most people can discover with a little effort what they love to do. It takes someone willing to go to the next level to say, “How do I do it in a way that no one else does?” This is what separates great products and services from run-of-the-mill, everyday items that are here today and gone tomorrow.

How many copy-cat books about “The Code” came out after the success of  The DaVinci Code?  None of them are very memorable.

Find your unique purpose then determine your mission in accomplishing it for the benefit of all.

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional, executive coach and Best Selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly newsletter by sending a message to:  subscribe@jimmathis.com.

Program Dinosaurs

What programs are you using that have run their course? Sales training, customer service, management processes?

I have led training for years and years. Every year the organization I worked with would reuse the old program that was going to work this time. We tenaciously hung on to it in an effort to avoid admitting defeat. It would have been best to cut our losses and cut the program. But no.

Now understand that if the program is working for you, then by all means work it until it’s dead. Whether it’s Six Sigma, Sales Force, FISH!, CWT, Good to Great, DiSC, Sandler Sales or the “flavor of the month,” I don’t care what it is called.

If it has run its course, let it go.

The program no longer produces results. You are still hanging on to it convinced it will resurrect your sloppy team. Maybe it worked in the past. But the past is history… and needs to be buried.

Move on!

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional, executive coach and Best Selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly newsletter by sending a message to:  subscribe@jimmathis.com.

Reinventing Toyota

Just when you thought they were down, Toyota became different.  The big Japanese automaker seems to have won over disillusioned buyers due to a combination of disasters:
• Safety and quality problems
• Drastic leadership changes
• Terrible publicity and public image (remember the “Can’t stop my Toyota” jokes?)
• Flooding in Thailand (supplier of many auto electronic systems)
• The resurgence of American car company Ford
• Government bailout assistance of GM
• A worldwide recession (crippling and run many in the automobile business out of business)

In an article from USA Today earlier this year, “Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com says Toyota scored No. 1 in brand loyalty among shoppers who used the kbb.com site in the fourth quarter last year. That’s the first time since third quarter 2010 that Toyota was tops.
Brand loyalty is defined by Kelley Blue Book as, “owners of the brand who are currently shopping the same brand for their next vehicle.”

The completely reinvented 2012 Camry (Toyota’s description, despite a significant amount of the same material) has helped.

Meanwhile the bailed-out General Motors has struggled with CEOs lagging sales to Ford (and Toyota) and bad press. Could they have survived the crises faced by Toyota?  One wonders…

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional, executive coach and Best Selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly newsletter by sending a message to:  subscribe@jimmathis.com.


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