Your Business Vision Establishes Your Principles
by Dirk Zeller
Friday, June 01, 2012
The next group that will become aware is your customers. This is especially true if you publicly state your core purpose and core values verbally or in your marketing pieces. Even if they don’t read it or hear it publicly, they will observe it. It is impossible to get away from the observable elements.
Once you have established core values and a core purpose, you might have to change. You might have to change yourself first. When leading a team, the leader is the one who usually has to change the most. You might also have to change your systems, procedures, marketing, advertising, customer service, communication, lead generation, lead conversion, strategy, and tactics. There are numerous changes that might need to be addressed once you have clarity in your core values and core purpose.
You might also have to change people. My belief is you can’t train people to adhere to and believe in your core values. They either buy into them 100% or they don’t. There really is no middle ground on this. As the lead agent and owner of the business, you do have to train them on the core values and purpose and the quantifiable actions that fulfill those values and purpose. You can’t just hand them a piece of paper with them on it and consider it done for good. There will be a constant education as to the meaning of your core values and core purpose. Through training, education, and coaching of your core values and core purpose, you want internalization applied to their decision making, so you create adherence. If a staff member doesn’t share your view, you can’t change it; you can only improve it.
Champion Team Rule - If you can’t change people, you have to change people.
You might have to read that a time or two for it to sink in. It’s always a better statement from the platform than on paper. What I am trying to express is that if someone on your team won’t improve or change, you will have to find someone else for the position. You will have to change to someone else.
An effective business vision will help you make cogent decisions on staffing. Do you want to provide Lexus customer service or Kia customer service? Is the experience for your client important or is getting the job done professionally and well more important?
Look at Starbucks. Their whole vision and passion is about the experience. We pay almost $3 for a latte that costs them less than $.50 to make for us. They are getting in excess of an 80% profit margin at the cost-of-sales level in their business. This is all due to the experience. In fact, a recent memo that came from the CEO to all the employees expressed concern that, since Starbucks went to the totally automated machines, the experience of Starbucks had suffered. The aroma of coffee is less noticeable, the grinding sounds are absent, and the barista measuring coffee and tamping it down (pounding out the used grounds) are all missing from the Starbucks coffeehouse experience.
As a business, if your core vision and core purpose define the service and experience for your clients at this level, you’d better make the commitment to have enough staff to pull that off. You will need to guarantee that your systems are customer oriented; that they are easy to understand for your staff and clients. The clients you select can’t be focused on a service model that Joe Cheap Discount real estate agent uses. If the price you list the house for and the fee you charge are the most important concerns, this is probably the wrong client for you.
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