Get On Your Feet

Feet Floor

“Get on your feet. Get up and make it happen.”

Gloria Estefan’s timeless anthem of action and forward motion recently played from my Galaxy. A buddy of mine, in an attempt to get me pumped up for my day, selected that little classic to get me up and at ’em. (After all, sometimes the motivator needs some motivation.) They did the trick that day and I found that song bouncing around my grey matter for the rest of the day.

This morning I faced a slight dilemma. I’ve been going back to the gym, having recently made the decision to pay more attention to my health and make some necessary changes for the better. After a weekend off from the gym, there was one thing on my mind as my alarm music attempted to rouse myself from my sleep:

“No. This bed is soooo comfortable. Just enjoy it for awhile longer. Go ahead, you’ll make it up tomorrow.”

Choices. They tend to get us into trouble. Given the choice of effort or the path of least resistance, we unfortunately tend to gravitate towards the latte. However, this morning I had this thought that hit the override switch on my near choice selection to return to slumber.

“Get on your feet!”

No, it wasn’t Gloria singing to me. Rather, my mind was yelling at me, giving me it’s best barbaric yawlp to motivate me to sit up, put my feet on the floor, get vertical, and begin forward motion. And from there, it was on. Hit the gym, got my sweat on, and left with the feeling of accomplishment that generally comes with a good workout. Mission accomplished.

This same thing applies to life in general. Nothing happens until you get up and get going. Whether it’s in business, education, relationships, spirituality…absolutely nothing can come about with inactivity. When you’re faced with the choice between the proverbial (or actual) snooze alarm and forward motion, your success is contingent on forward motion. Don’t let opportunity pass you by.

QUESTION: What opportunities have you missed out on because you hit the snooze button rather than getting up and moving forward?

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Fast Food Service? Time For an Overhaul.

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By a show of hands (yes really do this), how many of you went through the drive through lately and were given all of the above:

1.)  Visual acknowledgement (they looked at you)

2.)  Facial acknowledgement (they smiled at you)

3.) Professional acknowledgement (they thanked you for your business)

I’m not seeing many hands.  Figured as much.

Over the days ahead, I’m going to be writing on this very issue…drive-through customer service.  It’s not rocket science, but even with that in mind, the question is still this: why in the world is it so damn hard to get (minimum) good service at the drive-through?

Now, I do understand that not every fast food restaurant offers that same experience (I’ve still yet to go to a Chik-fil-A that didn’t provide me with, minimum, good service and more often-than-not exceptional service).  But there is clearly a problem that needs to be rectified.

And hopefully I can help alleviate that problem.  If only a little.

To be continued…

Where’s the Passion?

Hands in pockets.  Shoulders slumped.  Expressionless face.  Closed body language.  Basically, everything about these salespeople was screaming, “If you want to buy my product, that’s fine.  If you don’t that’s fine, too.  Whatever, just follow me on my tour as I tell you stuff.”

Watching these people was a terribly underwhelming experience.  Each and every single sales rep from this company was missing a key ingredient from their sales schtick (I couldn’t quite tell if they were asking questions and matching needs with solutions).  That one ingredient is this…

Where’s the passion?  I’ve written about this idea before, but then I see it happen again and again wherever I go.  Lack of passion is a plague and it’s not showing much, if any, signs of improving.  I’ve heard it suggested a couple of times recently that wages and salary caps are to blame.  (Which, of course, begs the question, At what salary can we expect excellent customer service and effort?)  Lack of incentive might also be a cuplrit (in this economic climate, however, the primary incentive should be receiving a steady paycheck).  I have a different theory personally.

Management.  Pure and simple.

Managers, if you want passionate sales and customer service reps (or all team members in general), you need to do three things:

1.)  Train the passion.  Granted, I can’t give somebody passion as if it’s a Christmas present (though I wish I could).  But I can show my team how to express passion in two words: body language.  Open posture and gestures.  Smiles on faces.  “Yes” phrases instead of “no” phrases.  Genuine interest in a prospective or current client’s questions, and wanting to let them do most of the talking.  Train your team on expressing passion…and you could see an uptick in your closing ratios.

2.)  Foster the passion.  Maybe you can’t pay higher salaries or fat bonuses.  (Of course, if your sales team closed more sales, this might not be an issue.)  But you can do more to encourage people to get jacked up on their jobs.  Contests, incentives (doesn’t always have to be about more money…find your team’s hot buttons and get creative), and other morale boosters can get your team excited about their jobs and give them more reason to come into work each day.  Share your vision, your goals, and how your team members contribute to the success of the company.  Try some transparency and trust that they’ll catch on to what matters.

3.)  Model the passion.  It starts at the top.  There isn’t a manager on the face of the planet who could possibly expect his or her employees to have passion for their work if they, themselves, don’t personally model it.  I tell middle and frontline managers to suck it up and show their direct reports their own passion for their work and company, even if the higher ups don’t do likewise.  But upper level managers, if you’re reading this, believe this to be true…if you’re not doing it, don’t expect your team to do it, either.  They’re watching you and will resent you if you don’t practice your preach.  You want them to model passion?  You be the first to model it.

If your team is currently lacking in the passion department, there is no easy fix or turnaround.  But you can right the course of your vessel if it’s off by following these three principals.  It’ll take some time, but the results will be noticeable.  And profitable.

QUESTION:  How can you best model passion for your team (regardless of your position in the company)?

The Difference

I’ve often thought about what it means to be a professional.  Is there any kind of philosophical difference between being an employee and being a professional?  As I’ve turned this over throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is, in fact, a difference between the two.  And it boils down to one simple yet profound word.

Passion.

The word “passion” has become associated with many ideas and areas.  Those in the Christian faith recall the passion of Jesus during that first Easter weekend.  Two lovers experience passion for one another, which typically involves the physical, erotic stage of romance.  But the passion I’m thinking of deals more with that which drives a person to excel and be the best he or she can be.

The difference between an employee and a professional is passion.  An employee approaches his job as a hired hand, somebody who clocks in for a few hours each day or night, fulfills a list of job responsibilities, and gets paid periodically.  A professional can also clock in, fulfill job responsibilities, and gets paid periodically…but they are so much more.  They don’t see themself as a hired hand; rather, the professional sees themself as an intergral part of the organization.  Their job might be done at the end of the shift, but the work isn’t.  The professional strives to be the best, do the best, and produce the best.  She works in such a way that she can sign her name on each and every day of work as if that name is a personal seal or guarantee of excellence.

I had a 6th grade teacher who used to tell our class, “Don’t be satisifed with mediocrity.”  The professional isn’t satisifed with the status quo; to the contrary, she becomes a student of her trade or craft.  The professional seeks to become better in his career or work, not being content to rely on his boss to provide training but also seeking out ways to acquire training on his own.  The reason is simple: they are obligated to give the best return for their company’s investment.  Doing one’s best isn’t just a priority…it’s THE priority.

There’s a lot more I could share along these lines, but for now it suffices to say that the great difference between employees and professionals is a very simple word with profound consequence – passion.

QUESTION:  How do you define “passion” in your own life?

Hello world!

Hey there.  Thanks for stopping by my newly re-launched blog (formerly known as The Morgan Files).  I’m excited to having this updated platform to share my thoughts on customer service, sales, management/leadership, social media, and other professional issues with you.  With so many other blogs out there on these subjects, why stop and read mine?  I’ll give you three great reasons:

1.)  I’m not just somebody with opinions.  I’m a trainer and speaker who works with business leaders, managers, and frontline employees on a daily basis.  I’ve helped others with their businesses and I might be able to help you with yours.

2.)  I care about your business.  I don’t take the time to do this because I’m bored.  I do this because I’m tired of seeing businesses accept mediocrity and the status quo. You were meant for more than that.  I offer real solutions and strategies to help business run with excellence.  It’s time you grabbed it and ran with it, too.

3.)  I’m a consumer just like you.  But as a trainer, I pay extra attention to how the businesses I buy from get the job done.  I see what works and what doesn’t work.  I’m pretty critical at times (almost to a fault).  Sometimes I want to scream when I see the apathy.  Sometimes I want to throw a double fist pump for a job well done.  In either case, it’s always with an eye toward WOW.

So here we go.  I hope as you read on that you’ll feel compelled to comment on my posts, subscribe, and even share me with your friends and associates.  Looking forward to engaging with you.