Google+

That may seem like a strange title for a blog post but recently Mark and I were getting ready for a long weekend with family. We live in a beautiful part of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, and quite often, especially on public holidays, family chose to make the most of our great location and visit, as was the case on that long weekend.

We decided it was beautiful sunny weather so we would go upstairs and clean our rooftop terrace so that we could spend some time up there on the deck. Mark came home from shopping and realized that I was still on the terrace and had been up there for quite some time. He came upstairs and asked, “What are you doing?” I was inside the spa bath, that we have on the terrace, and I said, “I’m just cleaning the spa.”  When he said “You’ve been there for so long! I quickly responded “I know because I need to make sure it’s perfectly clean.”

Mark reminded me that “it’s our family, they really don’t mind” and, without hesitation responded, “but my Grandson will be in the spa.”

I expected that our daughter was likely to  bring our 4-month old grandson up into the spa bath – they use it as kind of mini-swimming pool for him to help him soak: he loves his baths ;-) And it struck me that the way I approached the cleaning and preparation was totally different when I realized that my brand-new grandson would be in that spa.

It really made me start thinking about priorities and how that reflects in everything we do in life but particularly in our businesses. I thought to myself “Wow, would I recommend my products and services to people that I love?” Would I sell to my Grandson?

No, I am not saying here that your product and service must be suitable for your grandson. I can assure you that Reece has no interest or understanding of my social media marketing training, nor any use for it, and I understand that several of my clients have products and services that would be completely unsuitable for their grandchildren. But, think about it, if the people you love, your family members, your best friend, your colleagues: if they were looking for your product or service, would you recommend YOU?

Are you really the best in your field? Are you providing the best service that you possibly can?

Why that has become so vitally important, and why I’m asking you to put your products and services under a microscope is because social media will magnify whatever you are in terms of your business, service and product strengths. If you have fantastic customer service and you’re offering a great product at the right price, with sensational followup then social media will magnify that. You’ll get wonderful third party testimonials and viral recommendations that would be mainly positive. In fact in marketing terms, we all go searching for that holy grail of viral third party endorsement.

If however, your business is lacking in any areas, perhaps you’ve been really busy and your follow up is not so great or you have certain staff members that maybe aren’t that great in dealing with the public or are cutting corners – that also will be magnified by social media. But when corners are cut, or your businesses are not performing, then your social media presence would be mainly negative.

If you know already that you’re not quite keeping up with demand, your prices are too high or value too low, your quality is not where it should be, CHANGE IT. If you wouldn’t recommend your products and services to the people that you love most in the world, why should you be promoting it to anybody else?

Think about how you would act, how you would feel, and how you would care for your customers if they were your 4-month old grandchild about to get into the spa bath. Would you clean it differently? Would you provide a different service? Would you go above and beyond and care just a little bit more? Because your ideal target client, the client that you wish you had thousands of, is deserving of that level of service and care.

You have to strive to be the best in your field – I’m not saying that you are going to please everybody all the time. The very nature of working with the public means I find that impossible, but unless you strive to provide the very best possible service that you can to your clients then, quite frankly, you shouldn’t be in business and you definitely should not be using social media.

Social media will magnify your brand, purpose, intent, service and support. So make sure that what it’s magnifying is positive.

Have an awesome week!

 

You may well think so based on current news reports in Australia. But is there really a silver lining to our silver haul? Or has Australia really developed an attitude of “If it’s not gold it’s not good enough”?

What do you think? Mark pondered this in his latest post on his Wanderings and Wonderings blog that I have copied below:

OLYMPIC DREAMING

Over the past week, I, like billions of others world-wide, have been watching the Olympic Games in London. And I, like billions of others world-wide, have been cheering my countrymen and women as they battle it out with the best athletes in their respective sports.

Today, I opened up my Sunday newspaper to read page after page with headlines “Where did we go so wrong?”, “Water Torture” (referring to our Olympic swimmers) and “Failure to Launch” – a particularly nice 3 page article (yes 3 pages) about one particular swimmer. Excuse my language, but what the hell is happening here?

Australia is a proud sporting nation, but because we have won (at this stage) one gold and 12 silver medals, suddenly every athlete and coach is a failure and the millions of dollars spent on sports programs have been wasted. All of this is emanating from journalists masquerading as experts. I will concede that many of them know much about the sports they report on, but they obviously have little or no compassion or idea of what The Olympics are all about.

You only have to look at the “Medal Tally” so often flashed on our screens. The countries are listed in order of how many gold medals each has won. Countries do not compete at the The Olympics, individuals do. The Olympic spirit is not about who goes home with the most gold. It is about competing at the highest level against other individuals or teams – it does not matter which country they represent. It does matter that they are there because they are amongst the best in the world.

These individuals make huge sacrifices to compete at this level. They give up social lives, employment opportunities (and the ability to earn money) and relationships just to train at the highest level, many for years on end. To say they have failed by not winning is shameful. Some have “failed” by fractions of a second – I am sure they are devastated enough without having it plastered all over news bulletins and magazines as a failure. They should be hailed as winners – just for being there.

I am sure I speak for the vast majority of Australians in saying to all our Olympic Athletes “You have done us proud”. Don’t listen to the naysayers – none of them have won a gold medal. It is best summed up by the quote:

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” Pierre de Courbertin, French Educator.

To all our Australian sportsmen and women – you have fought well.

FOOTNOTE FROM ZOE: And we’re incredibly proud of you all. “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that counts”. Making it to the biggest sporting event in the World, challenging yourself against the greatest athletes in the World is an accomplishment in itself.

What do you think? Is it unrealistic to expect nothing but Gold? Are we supporting and pushing our athletes to great heights or berating them for only being the 2nd or 3rd greatest athlete in their sport in the World? Let us know in the comments below and, as always share this post far and wide.

 

photo credit: geckoam via photo pin cc