03 February 2007

Never be afraid to tell people that you are good at what you do

I often wonder why people are almost afraid to pronounce that they are good at what they do but it is a phenomenon that is very real. Sometimes I think it is because we don’t always have a way of measuring or comparing what we do so how can we know if we are good at what we do?

There are lots of ways to measure this – most significantly is the amount of repeat business we get from our existing customers. If they keep coming back it is a pretty good sign that what you are doing is right. If your customers are telling their friends to use your business, likewise it is a pretty good sign that you are on the right track. If you are winning awards or industry recognition, again you are on the right track but it is important to be proud of what you are doing and to tell your staff, your suppliers, the media, your friends and family, your colleagues and anyone else you can think of.

This doesn’t mean you should stand on a street corner wearing a sandwich board saying “I am wonderful” but it does mean you should put letters of appreciation from customers in full view, if you win an award put the certificate or trophy in a place where everyone can see it and if your customers are happy, ask them to tell their friends.

I recently did a project for a company that owns a number of petrol stations. This company has a head office, where staff and suppliers go but very few customers would ever go there. They have one huge wall covered in certificates and letters from customers, showcasing the awards that the business has won, the respect that their customers hold for the business and the charities that the business supports. Whilst this is great, the business doesn’t use any of these very significant promotional tools on their customers. I believe that it is due to a sense of modesty but in the modern business world – modesty is a liability not an asset. Every petrol station that this business owns should have copies of all of these letters and awards plastered in any available space. In fact they should make a brochure outlining what they do in the community and this should be given to every customer who visits the business. It reinforces that they are not only good corporate citizens, but they are also good at what they do.

Be proud of your achievements and remember that people like to do business with people who are good at what they do.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? List five ways that you can actively promote your business by telling your customers that you are good at what you do.

3 thoughts on “Never be afraid to tell people that you are good at what you do”

  1. Jean says:

    “I often wonder why people are almost afraid to pronounce that they are good at what they do”

    Unfortunately in this country… and I am beginning to suspect elsewhere as well, the tall poppy syndrome is very much alive and well. To announce to the world that one is good at what one does is risky business… but no more risky than the alternative… which is to publicly undervalue our own worth. So… it’s a catch 22… a delicate balance that only some people seem able to achieve. But in my opinion Andrew… you handle the balance really well.

  2. Thanks Jean – it is interesting and I agree with you – it is an Australianism in many ways. From my own experiences in the USA, Europe and Asia – there being good at what you do is something to be both proud of and vocal about. In Australia we do tend to have both the tall poppy syndrome and the lack of confidence to say that we are proud to be good at what we do to contend with. I love meeting people who can make a statement about themselves and most importantly, back it up with what they achieve and how the live. And further to this, on a global scale – Australians are very good at what we do and we should be more encouraging of each other as a nation, especially in areas other than sport!!!

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