ProfitCenterCoach.com – Day 13 – I Hate Jerks.

“I Hate Jerks”

Kenny Chesney has some pretty amazing music. But, even better is his No Shoes Radio station on Satellite Radio.  It has this total vibe of the Caribbean and boating. Not a bad vibe. 🙂

In between songs Kenny and company will relay stories from the road.  Today’s caught my interest on my way to work.  He told a story of the marina he keeps his boat at in the Keys.  He specifically mentioned the Dock Master.  This person came up to him, gave him a newspaper, and said “this is the best paper you’ll ever read” to which Kenny said, “Why?” and the Dock Master said, “because you’re not on the front page, the middle page or the back page.”

Great example of how customers at a marina can truly enjoy their time with the crew.

I’m going to let you in on the hidden life of a dock master or in my case general manager.  Our number one, I repeat, number one job is safety.  That’s it.  Everything else falls in place when safety is achieved.

Most likely the Dock Master that Kenny speaks of was on morning rounds to visually check every slip.  It’s a must do.  But checking for new hazards, like a broken line, or leaking “something” is critical to maintaining a safe environment.

Here’s a secret, if you really want to anger a good Dock Master, distract them.  Especially by getting hostile and out of control reckless.  This is why.  There is a constant focus to watch everything going on at all times.

For our marina, we have gasoline sales, a giant forklift, and boats with propellers.  There are wet docks, electricity, tripping hazards, and ropes.  Now mix into it wind, excessive heat, weather changes and alcohol.   Nothing is predictable.

My obligation is to my crew and their safety.  Sure, there’s some absent minded motivational saying that “without the customer there is no business” that was clearly written by a customer because at a point, there are hundreds, thousands, even millions of customers.  Let me prove it. There are over 300,000 registered boats in Minnesota alone.  But my dock crew is age 16+ and the last thing I want to do is have to call their mom and tell them there was an explosion on our dock. Therefore, their safety comes above all.

Did you catch what I said… about an explosion?

Yes.  This is why a Dock Master gets really angry if you distract them.  It only takes 3 things to create an explosion at a gas dock.  You need oxygen, fumes, and a spark.  We have two at all times.  Therefore, you focus on mitigating sparks.  If you distract us, it is dangerous.

Now… let’s review the biggest jerk I’ve ever had to deal with…. and I’ve dealt with several over the past 2 weeks, but this is the biggest in all time.  His boat has a problem and he brought to our dock, unannounced.

Arriving unannounced is very bad protocol.  You should do the courtesy of letting any Dock Master know you are arriving.  We need to know the nature of your boat problem so we know where to have you dock.

So this overweight, red faced, jerk is all worked up and angry that his boat is not working.  He’s yelling at me for absolutely no reason and the distraction has begun.

Let me also state that the weather today was over 90 with high humidity.  This is also a danger, not only for the health of an out of shape angry customer but also for it’s heightened danger for gasoline fumes because they do not dissipate quickly.

I asked him what was going on.  He said “Oh you know” – honestly… no clue.  I asked, “I need to you to fill out a service report” and he said, “I am not filling out anything”.  I asked, “What is the nature of the problem” and he said, “You didn’t fill it with oil.”  Now I know who he is and I’ve heard about the incident from my other crew.  I said, “You put oil in and it’s out?” and he said, “That’s it. I’m not telling you”

Now I’m distracted and pissed off.  I have no idea if I have an environmental spill in progress, or an explosion risk. I could have both if the oil is leaking in to the bilge that will discharge.  But this jerk won’t even tell me what the problem is.

His daughter happened to be coming off the dock and I could get information from her.

I took her inside and was able to get a service report filled out and then I got a call on our radio that a big red truck was blocking our warehouse door and launching ramp.

I’ll give you one guess as to who was the owner of the big red truck.  Yes, our friend the jerk.  He was standing there when the call came in on the radio, and he looked at me and said, “I’m not moving my truck”  He’s blocking the ramp for our forklift, but more important he’s blocking the access for emergency vehicles if needed, and I still haven’t determined the actual nature of the problem of the boat that is on our fuel dock.

Finally, in the course of his incomprehensible behavior he has now distracted 5 more of my crew to determine who owns the truck.

Next he started making demands that I call our owner and all sorts of other nonsense.  I said no.  Then he raised his voice and distracted the two or three members of my crew inside our store/office.  Again, when you really want to piss off a Dock Master, continue to make a scene.

But as a Dock Master you also have the responsibility to maintain control of your facility.

I told him to leave.  I said “go home”.  “Get out of my store”.  There is something to learn from the continual brutal assault of a bully that cannot even function in society as a normal human, you do not ever ever ever ever have to put up with their amazing array of bull _____.

There is an HUGE difference between “service” and “servant”.  While I will give service, I am not your servant.  Remember this distinction in your business. You provide service but you are not a servant.  Never let yourself or your crew be treated, as my crew member said, “inhumanely”.  You owe yourself and your crew better behavior.

My first and only job is to safety.  Without safety there is nothing because what you have is an accident, loss of property, damage, injury or even death.

You NEVER sacrifice anything for safety.

We have a 4 level pillar system for operations.

  1. Safety
  2. Courtesy
  3. Experience
  4. Efficiency

Here’s an example:  Our forklift must keep going, unobstructed, to maintain it’s schedule to provide a good experience for our customer.  Now… if a child runs in front of the forklift, the forklift must stop… #1 safety supersedes the #4 goal of efficiency.

If I have a jerk that comes in and will not tell me the nature of the problem with his boat and refuses to move his vehicle off the ramp impeding access for emergency vehicles and our forklift. He is violation goal #1 safety and therefore you cannot get to #2 of courtesy.

Accidents happen so quickly.  I did have the privilege of attending an amazing safety training with my husband several years ago.  He’s a retired police officer and several area law enforcement departments attended this training.  The main take-a-way was that every accident is preceded by 4 “negative” events that alone will not cause an accident.

Think back to a car accident.  You probably had speed, road conditions, balding tires, none of which would independently cause the accident.  But throw in distraction and CRASH.

Well, did I mention we had fumes, oxygen and high humidity…  and that is why you can really anger a Dock Master by creating a “me me me” scene which distracts several members of their crew.

Here’s your take-a-way for today.

Learn your operation standards in 3 or 4 quick easy words.  I learned this from Disney Institute Training.  Mine are 1-safety, 2-courtesy, 3-experience, 4-efficiency.

Next, recognize when you are on the trajectory to an accident and do what ever you need to stop that 4th ingredient.  Chances are it won’t make you popular.

But at least in my case, preventing the explosion will keep me off the front page, middle page, and back page of the newspaper!

Still on my mini break!  I hope you’re enjoying my daily life experiences… (roll eyes).

Profit Center Coach – Day 4

“Kind people are the best kind of people”

It’s been a tough week at work.  I always “joke” that when we get a week full of “odd” customers that it’s got to be a full moon.

well…

Sometimes people are just in a crappy mood.  Here’s a quick little tidbit from today to throw a little perspective in your life.  We had a customer just “over the top” angry today – she was rude to our crew saying we have the “crappiest customer service she’s ever experienced”.  Honestly, our crew was doing lots of things to help the woman.  Well… she left, went on her boat… and about 6 hours later came back…

no one wanted to help her.

But the crew did.  And she had the chance to come in and shed a little light on the morning activities.  Her father had recently died and they were having a family gathering in remembrance…  and she appreciated our help.

So there you have it.  Everyone has their own baggage.  Be Kind.

Remember… I’m still here, I’m just taking a little creative break!  More details coming soon!

Week in Review – #405 to #410 – Tips and Ideas to Improve Sales for Small Business Owners

In case you missed an Episode… here’s a link to Episodes 405 – 410 of The Two Minute Commute on BigFishIdeas.com.

 

Episode #405 – Monday – The Best Way to Spend 5 Extra Minutes Is…

Episode #406 – Tuesday – The Tiny Costume

Episode #407 – Wednesday – Go For A Walk

Episode #408 – Thursday – Trade a List to Build Your List

Episode #409 – Friday – Which Came First the Tiger or the Sign?

Episode #410 – Saturday – Create a Kindness with that Unbuttoned Shirt

 

You can also access it on my Free App: SmallBusinessClubApp.com

Thanks for being here!!!

Big Money Small Change Success
Character + Content/Consistency + Goals/Motivation + Customers =
Infinity Marketing Machine

Infinity Marketing Machine Daily Topics:
Monday – Character (Subject Matter Expert)
Tuesday – Content & Consistency
Wednesday – Midweek Motivation
Thursday – Infinity Customers
Friday – Big Money
Saturday – Try This!

Would you do me a favor and join my “week in review” newsletter, that way, I’ll also be able to keep you posted on my progress of upcoming books, speaking events, etc…

 

Episode #410 – Create a Kindness with That Unbuttoned Shirt!

Saturday Try This

Have you ever carried an oversized box from your car to the Post Office and you can see the door, you dread trying to figure out how to open the door…. when all of a sudden someone rushes ahead of you to grab the door and hold it open for you?

How about when you go to the grocery store and you have one carton of milk and you’re standing in line behind the person with the cart so full that the box of crackers tumbles off the top… and they say, “please go ahead of me”.

Then of course, there are the times when you are leaving a parking lot in your car and there is a line of cars bumper to bumper… and someone flags you in front of them!

When these things happen to me I feel such a sense of gratitude.  Really, they are very small kindnesses.  But their impact is tremendous.

My husband gave me this neat hang tag from the dry cleaner.  They replaced the button on his shirt.  They easily could have ignored it, put a note that said “you’re missing a button”, sewed one on and never said anything, or sewed the button and attach the card.

Personally, I like knowing when an extra mile service is done on my behalf.  Just like holding a door or flagging you into traffic… the kindness is wonderful.  Sewing a button is not “hard” but who truly wants to do this?  It’s like when someone loads the dishwasher for you… it just makes you feel all warm inside.  Seek out a way that you can help your customer. Maybe you carry their purchase to the car, add a few reward points to their account, double bag their groceries, recognize a special accomplishment, or even put a bowl of mints on the counter… just do something nice.

Try this!

 

Big Money Small Change Success
Character + Content/Consistency + Goals/Motivation + Customers =
Infinity Marketing Machine

PS: thanks for reading!  I really appreciate you being here.  Make sure to “like” this post… and follow me! (and please do me a favor… if you want more great ideas like the one in this post, just fill out this form and I’ll send them to you…  start here

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Action Steps

1- Find a way to create a kindness at your business… it doesn’t have to be huge, small things often have the largest impact.
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Episode #408 – Trade a List to Build Your List

“The most crucial contact of all is the first one that the customer makes with your business, because if you lose him here, he’s likely lost forever.”

When I read this inspiration, the first thing that came to mind is my front line employees.  At our marina, often the first point of contact is our entry level customer service crew.  For most, it’s their first job!

Now… I think this is the case for most businesses.  When you stop at McDonalds (inside) the first person you see is often the cashier because they take your order.  When you go to a retail clothing store, it’s the host at the front… and at a restaurant, again it’s the host stand.

My next thought with this statement was signage!  When you pull into the driveway you see a sign or a series of signs, and again our marina is no different.

My third thought was about my website… did you even think about that?  To keep and retain customers, what does your website look like?

I am very aware of my web presence and it was the third thing I thought of when I read this inspiration… so I have to rationally come to the conclusion that others may never think of their website when it comes to realizing you may lose your customer forever when they visit your site!

How often do you visit a website, never to return?  Why?  Is it because the site was ugly or didn’t have the information you needed… there are many reasons, but the one thing that will help your retention is a freemium!  A “freemium” is a type of gift that is traded for an email.  It does not have to be a physical gift, the most effective can be an electronic download of information by words or video!  It’s a special creative piece of information that a customer wants to help enhance their visit.

Many websites have a download PDF of a top 10 list or book…even a video “how to” series.  Get it — You can trade a Top 10 List to build your names on your list!  (see… the title makes sense)  Anyway… Many pieces of information are helpful to your customer and retaining their email helps you to make their visit to your website a welcoming experience.

This email then feeds into your Infinity Marketing Machine which allows you to continue to nurture your relationship for… well… infinity!

Big Money Small Change Success
Character + Content/Consistency + Goals/Motivation + Customers =
Infinity Marketing Machine

PS: thanks for reading!  I really appreciate you being here.  Make sure to “like” this post… and follow me! (and please do me a favor… if you want more great ideas like the one in this post, just fill out this form and I’ll send them to you…  start here

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Action Steps

1- Go for a walk, right now.  Clear your head… come back and be ready to start!
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #408 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Infinity Marketing Machine Daily Topics:
Monday – Character (Subject Matter Expert)
Tuesday – Content & Consistency
Wednesday – Midweek Motivation
Thursday – Infinity Customers
Friday – Big Money
Saturday – Try This!

Episode #407 – Go For A Walk

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Are you ready?

If you answered, “yes” – what are you waiting for?

Today, for our Midweek Motivation, we get to figure out what is stopping us.  You see we’ve answered that we’re ready and yet, we can’t quite get “it” going!

I’m glad you’re here for a goal achieving / motivation refresher! Remember the best thing to do is get super specific about what you want… alright, that’s fine.  You’ve got that covered, but you just can’t get “it” together to get going… then what?

I like the chunking it down technique.  When you take the big goal and break it into smaller goals you have a great opportunity to succeed and keep going…

But again, what if you just can’t even get to that smallest chunk?

Then stop.  Get away from the goal all together.  Clear your head!  It’s ok.  You need to take a break… try a 5 minute walk.  If that doesn’t do it… go for an other 5 minutes.  Just get out of your own way so you can get back to the beginning, gain clarity, focus, chunk down and GO GO GO!

PS:  I started writing this post and I was TOTALLY unmotivated… so I did get up and let my dog out and then attacked it!  Trust me… that whole get up and clear your head thing really works.

Big Money Small Change Success
Character + Content/Consistency + Goals/Motivation + Customers =
Infinity Marketing Machine

PS: thanks for reading!  I really appreciate you being here.  Make sure to “like” this post… and follow me! (and please do me a favor… if you want more great ideas like the one in this post, just fill out this form and I’ll send them to you…  start here

*************

Action Steps

1- Go for a walk, right now.  Clear your head… come back and be ready to start!
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #407 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Infinity Marketing Machine Daily Topics:
Monday – Character (Subject Matter Expert)
Tuesday – Content & Consistency
Wednesday – Midweek Motivation
Thursday – Infinity Customers
Friday – Big Money
Saturday – Try This!

Episode #406 – The Tiny Costume

“A strong story about your brand is engaging.”

“OH my goodness we put the cute little costume up on our production board!” -said the costume designer.  My mom wanted to order a custom-made costume for me during my competitive baton twirling days… she and I carefully cut out the pattern we wanted in the perfect shade of royal blue and kelly green.  We then glued it together and sent it to Missouri!  About 6 weeks later the exact costume arrived in the mail… in human size!  It was perfect!  I felt so good wearing it and I won my State title which qualified me for my first National competition.  Two short months, and many many hours of practice later… we arrived at nationals.  Between competitions we stopped at every baton twirling pop-up store along the strip of hotels, that for one week in July, host over 4,000 baton twirlers.  It was soooo hot outside, that dead of summer dry heat with a wind that kicked up the parking lot dirt into your face…  I really didn’t want to go to one more hotel pop-up store… but we climbed the stairs to the upper atrium and there we met Nancy, the designer of my costume.  The woman that took our little cut out costume and made our vision a reality!  It was exciting to meet… and thank her.

OR

We design and create costumes for baton twirlers.  There are 17 different shades of lycra that are carefully sewn into the costume of your dreams.

Both describe the services of the business… but one makes you connect.  One is a story.

This is what you need to strive to do with your customers.  Every time you write you should strive to make a connection!  Look to the emotion of your core message and create a story to help you illustrate your features and benefits.

It’s not easy, but it is effective.  One good idea is to draw upon the personal experiences you have with customers in your business and keep a journal of topics you can write about… later.  Another neat way to accomplish this goal is to ask for testimonials or personal stories your customers can share.

The story I wrote above… did actually happen.  It is my experience I had when I was 13 years old… kind of neat, eh?

PS: I still have that costume… just wish I could still fit in it! haha

Big Money Small Change Success
Character + Content/Consistency + Goals/Motivation + Customers =
Infinity Marketing Machine

PS: thanks for reading!  I really appreciate you being here.  Make sure to “like” this post… and follow me! (and please do me a favor… if you want more great ideas like the one in this post, just fill out this form and I’ll send them to you…  start here

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Action Steps

1- Keep a journal!  When you keep a journal of stories of your customer interactions you’ll have great experience to draw from for future posts!
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #406 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Infinity Marketing Machine Daily Topics:
Monday – Character (Subject Matter Expert)
Tuesday – Content & Consistency
Wednesday – Midweek Motivation
Thursday – Infinity Customers
Friday – Big Money
Saturday – Try This!