Establishing Trust (part 2)

I’m currently working my way through Tom Peters’ new book The Little Big Things – 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. His 36th “little thing” caught my attention and struck a real chord with me as I thought about this month’s column. It also caused me to reflect on a similar thing I would do when I was managing different retail stores.

Peters calls it committing “Acts of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement”. The discipline began after Peters read an interview with former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson. Before becoming the Treasury secretary Paulson was the boss at Goldman Sachs. During the first week of each New Year he would call 60 CEO’s to wish them Happy New Year. Tom Peters had a brief stint at the White House in the mid 70’s. One New Year’s Eve he spent eight or nine hours on the phone, calling 100 people he had worked with – in agencies all over Washington and embassies around the world – to thank them for their help the prior year. He readily admits that he was purposely engaging in an Act of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement.

This practice isn’t about false sincerity, people can spot that a mile away, it’s about connecting with the people who support you and have linked up with you and your business. So, make it a priority to CALL, NOT EMAIL 20 to 50 people in the next five days. After this pick a time at the end or beginning of the year and begin a tradition of connecting with those very important people in your business. Thank them for their support and let them know how much your appreciate them and that you are looking forward to strengthening your relationship with them in the coming year.

Don't Talk Like a Robot to Your Customer

Earlier this evening I was reviewing my file of saved quotes and came across this one from Andy Wibbels. He said, "Show your passion for helping your customers solve problems – and talk to them like you talk to your friends. A real, enthusiastic, human voice is every small business's edge"

This is a great reminder from Andy. With so many different things competing for our time and energy, it's easy to become robotic in our responses to our customers. Keep your human voice strong and your business edge sharp.

What is one thing you do to maintain your enthusiasm for what you do?