(This article will shortly appear in Business2Business a business magazine for Buckingham, Banbury and Bicester)
When you watch the Olympics are you inspired? Does its theme of excellence make you think about how you are competing in the business world? If you hadn’t thought of that, think again.
The athletes are physically fit. Are you? Jon Denoris, personal trainer to many business people, argues that to be excellent in business you need to be physically fit. “All the successful CEOs that I see, take their health very seriously. They know that their success depends upon it.”
Successful CEOs, like Olympic athletes, make excellence their top priority. To achieve that they become goal-oriented, efficient and utterly dedicated to what they do. Above all, they are totally customer-focused. But what does that mean? It means thinking about everything you do from the customer’s point of view, and that usually means taking care of the details.
Some years ago Sir Philip Green, owner of Debenhams, was visiting one of his stores and on walking out of the door turned to his staff and shouted: “Where are we?” His staff were mystified. What was he talking about? “We’re in Debenhams!” “Yes I know that,” he said, “but if I am the customer leaving the store, where does it tell me that?” The sign, ‘you are now leaving Debenhams,’ went up within days. That is excellence.
If you want to be known for excellent service, then think yourself into the minds of your clients. Don’t just do the minimum, just doing what you’ve been asked to do. A client will often miss some of the things they need or they may not explain fully what they require. Clients often need advice and usually welcome it.
Research your client’s needs. I recently hired a graphic designer, Denis Hanlon, in South Warwickshire. At our first meeting he astonished me with his depth of knowledge of myself and my business. He had done all the research he could possibly have done and then arrived at some great solutions. Now that’s what I call excellence.