How to Handle Tough Conversations Webinar & Giveaway Reminder
Before we begin I wanted to remind you about the two exciting events coming up this week. First, if you haven’t already, now is the time to sign up for the webinar with mydoma this Thursday, February 28th at 1 pm. I’ll be sharing how to handle tough conversations and conflicts with clients calmly, confidently, and with expertise. You’ll learn exactly what to say, and not say, when you have to have “the talk” with clients. All those unpleasant conversations that you dread can actually become shining moments if you handle them correctly. And it will also be done LIVE so you’ll have the opportunity to ask any question you’d like. Sign up for that here.
There’s also only a few more days left to sign up for the LuAnn Nigara Live Giveaway where one lucky winner will receive 1 ticket to the Live Event & to the VIP Breakfast happening on March 30th – April 1st. It’s a $795 value so sign up now for this not to be missed opportunity! Enter here before the giveaway ends on March 4th!
Now let’s get on with what inspiration Lowe’s can bring us!
A Tip from Lowe’s
Now what does Lowe’s have to offer us in the way of business advice? Their slogan, “Never Stop Improving.” Or what I wrongly thought it was, “Always Be Improving.” Either way the idea is the same, be constantly dedicated to improving. And not just to improving people’s homes which is obvious, but your business as well.
All industries have some element of consistent change. But industries like fashion and interior design are literally built around the ideas of trends and change. There’s a reason why High Point happens two times a year, or why there’s always different clothing lines for different seasons. Because change, trends, and improvement, are an expected part of the business.
But outside of staying on top of the color of the year, what metallic finish is in right now, and what type of tile should be used in a kitchen backsplash, there’s other improvements to be focused on as well. Like, is there a way to better relate to your employees? Is there a way to get them more involved? Is there a way to have more touch points with a client? To have your website more up to date or client friendly? The possibilities for business improvement are almost endless.
Now, how do you do that in an efficient way? Three ways really.
1. Always ask for feedback (from clients and employees).
2. Section your business into categories that can be improved upon.
3. And write a list of all the things that are working, and all of the things that aren’t working.
Always Ask for Feedback
I’ve discussed this many times before and is why we now specifically offer this service, feedback is crucial. Finding out from both your employees and clients what needs to be improved, and in what ways they recommend improving upon it, should be a constant and continuous effort. Many businesses have gone under in times of change because they aren’t talking to their clients and employees about what issues are occurring and what can be done. But, once you get the feedback, just make absolutely sure you take action afterwards. As this can often be the moment businesses start to falter. Don’t spend time and money collecting data, and then do nothing with it. Take it and run as fast as you can towards improvements.
Section Your Business into Categories
If you’re having trouble deciding where to start improving, section your business into categories. Categories like, Website, Social Media, Employees, Filing Systems, Vendor Relationships, Marketing, Client Relationships & Experience, Finances & Profitability, etc. Then consider, which section needs the most focus now? What’s the highest priority for you right now? And what’s the highest priority for you a year from now?
And well, how do you decide on priorities? First, decide what’s an absolute emergency. What is a real drain on your business, fix those first. Then, move towards what you do really well, and try to blow that up as much as possible. How do you can focus as much as possible on your strength? Can you offer a new service? Should you change your design process? Whatever it is, fix the emergencies first, then try to continue improving as much as possible on what you do really well. Until you become unstoppable in that one area. Until you can become known for that one thing. And, while you’re doing that, hire for what you hate to do or don’t do well.
Write Down a What’s Working/What’s Not Working List
Sometimes simple is best. If you don’t have time to break your firm out into sections or categories, just write down a sort of pros and cons list for your business. What is working really well and what is not going well. Just looking directly at a list of what is and isn’t going well in your business can be a really enlightening moment. It allows you to truly see, without judgement or feeling, where there’s room for improvement.
Maybe it’s your website because it was built in 2000, has never had an update, and you’ve never had a single person contact you through your site. Maybe it’s your relationship with your employees as you feel like you’re more of a friend and less of an authority. Or maybe it’s that you’re just exhausted. You can’t work any more hours, but your business is naturally starting to grow, and you realize you need to hire another designer. Whatever it is, sometimes just seeing things in a very clear, no way to argue it list can be a motivator for change.
Be Dedicated to Improvement, Not Just Change
Whether you do one, or all, of these things, be dedicated to improvement. Not just change. Being dedicated to change is very different than being dedicated to improvement. Don’t waste time changing just so you don’t seem out of touch. But instead change for the sake of constantly improving so you can continue to grow, expand, or even just maintain a design firm that you love. Because there is always, always room for improvement. No matter how successful your firm is. Just ask any business at the top of their industry. They’re constantly looking for ways to get better. For ways to excel. For ways to improve. That can be you too, if you’ll only commit yourself to it.
If you’d like even more ideas on how to provide the kind of client service that gets you higher fees and profits, visit the Services page to find out more!