This is Part 6 in my series, The Old Rules of Business That Still Matter. Links to previous Rules are available in right sidebar.
As mentioned before, I've had amazing response to my Old Rules series. The cool thing has been how people have reacted so personally. When I asked for your suggestions, the response was gratifying. I asked my BFFs (that's YOU by the way) to share your own ideas of Old Rules and so far have received these:
BFF Dr. Goerge Melnykovich said, "Always hand write thank you notes and put a real postage stamp on the envelope."
BFF Kathleen Shchmatz wrote, "A significant mentor of mine, Tom B. Babcox, entrepreneurial business publisher, announced to me to "take the time to write a short letter.". And what he meant applied to awkward problem-solving, taking a long breath before writing an angry letter, and surely taking the time to write a sincere and literate reply."
BFF Mark Winterbottom shared, "…adapt the face to face courtesy of old to the digital age, start e-mails with thank you for your enquiry or I hope you are well and finish them with if you should need any further help then please feel free to contact anyone of our friendly office team…"
BFF David Sims wrote, "If people don't feel better about themselves after meeting with you then they did before they met with you, you won't get them as a client."
One of BFF David Vandenburgh's Founding Principles is, "The secret to SUCCESS is CONSISTENCY"
Pacific Northwest BFF Craig Weindling sent, "Open Ears. Close Mouth. Engage Brain."
BFF John Wolfe commented, "I want everyone in our store to make EVERY customer feel special and cared for, no matter how small or how large the transaction."
BFF John Turnbull sent, "You are in the business of solving people's problems."
BFF Jeff Moormeier didn't write anything,he sent this (click image to view larger):
Most of these comments connect back to Old Rule #1: People Do Business With People. But there's also another congruent message I believe I'm reading and that brings me to the Old Rule of Business That Still Matters #6:
Be Brilliant at the Basics
Do what you said you were going to do
Do it when you said you were going to do it
Do it right the first time
Tell your customer immediately if you cannot do those things
Actually answer the phone when it rings
Don't be late
Say Please and Thank You
Do all those things my BFFs said to do.
Be brilliant at the basics and you might be surprised at how much you separate yourself from the competition.
It goes back to the poem by Robert Fulghum: “All I ever really needed to know I learned in kindergarten.”
I vaguely remember the United Airlines commercial. I’m not sure that scenario would really “fly” in real life (pun intended).
Ok, another great post. Be brilliant at the basics – I love it. However, over the last few posts you keep writing something that just doesn’t sit well with me. I have to comment on it. It is “BFF.” Did you pick up this term from your daughter? I know that you brand yourself as “Kelly’s Dad”… so I guess maybe the BFF fits with that part of your brand? Otherwise, when I hear BFF, all I can think is “Teeny-bopper.” It just doesn’t seem like a term that fits with “highly experience marketing consultant”, and it quite literally throws me off as I read your post.
So, to go full circle; I once had someone tell me to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and not to get caught up with the newest “thing.” I know “BFF” is not a new term, but when I read it, it seems as if it is deliberately being used to portray yourself as being “young and hip”… when in actuality it comes across as a Dad that is trying too hard to be cool (when he isn’t).
Don’t take my comment too seriously… even though it throws me off, I do have to smile and laugh a bit. Oh, and I do think you are cool and experienced – but I just have to keep telling myself this as I read “BFF.”
Jeff, Just relistened to the United ad for the third time and reread the Be Brilliant with the Basics. I have a print that reminds me of my Grandfather (who started our business in 1924) on my office wall. It is of a pair of Mallard ducks on a pond with an occupied duck blind in the backround. It reads: Always behave like a duck. Keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like heck underneath! Always lessons to be learned!
Actually, I LIKE “BFF.” It fits who you are and I take it as tongue in cheek. You call yourself a “Marketing Gunslinger,” identify yourself as “Kelly’s Dad,” and never wear a tie. I happen to know you refuse, on principal, customer agreements that contain a bunch of “legalese.” You’re different and unconventional, which is a big part of your brand.
Because of that, I think “BFF” makes a nice, playful connection that fits. It shows a two-way appreciation for your relationship with your readers.
BFF is definitely a teeny-bopper phrase, but it’s become so pervasive that even our own teeny-bopper only uses the term BFF in jest. So to call your readers BFFs is a fun twist.
I understand the commment Ryan made – but that’s my opinion. I’d be curious to learn what other (blogees?) think they/we should be called.
And Ryan, did I change your mind? 🙂