Are You Known For Customer Service?

My favorite fast food restaurant is Chick-fil-a.  I love it!  I love the chicken, but it’s the service that always leaves me impressed. According to QSR Magazine’s annual drive-thru report, Chick-fil-a is statistically the most polite restaurant chain out there.  According to the report, Chick-fil-A employees said “thank you” in 95.2% of all drive-thru encounters and it really pays off.  In 2015, the chain generated more revenue per restaurant than any other chain in the US.  It’s these small pleasantries that really set Chick-fil-a apart in the industry and drives higher sales.  The company invests more in its employees and they definitely see the benefit on the bottom line.   Investing more time and effort into customer service will always pay off.  It certainly keeps me, and thousands of other Chick-fil-a customers, coming back for more.  I’ve never left Chick-fil-a without feeling like a valued customer who received superior service and that goes a long way.  
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The Lost Art of Handwritten Notes

A few weeks ago I was boarding a Delta flight from San Antonio, Texas to Salt Lake City, UT. I am a loyal Delta flyer and am often upgraded to first class as I was on this flight. When I got to my seat I found a handwritten note on my seat with two chocolates. It read: Mr. Bennett, Thank you for your continued business and loyalty as a Diamond Medallion with us! We truly appreciate you here in SAT!! Each of the first class seats had a handwritten note and some chocolate. The guy next to me was amazed at the fact that they were personalized (his talked about how he has flown over 2 million miles with Delta). It reminded me of the power of a handwritten note. It stands out. It is meaningful. It shows that you took time. That you really care. As technology makes communication
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Research Pays Off

A few weeks ago I was speaking in Omaha, Nebraska for Centris Federal Credit Union. When I got to my hotel room there was a gift basket waiting for me from the team at Centris. It was a very nice gesture but the reason I am writing about it was because they took an extra step that most people don’t take. They had done their research and the gift basket was full of things that I personally like. (Personal note: Dr. Pepper and Licorice are the keys to my heart) I was reminded of how much a little research pays off. Before you meet with a potential client, team member or partner – take a few minutes to research what they like, dislike, etc… It will give you insights into that person, allow you to personalize your approach and customize the conversation. I recently had a meeting with a potential
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One of The Biggest Keys to Influence & Charisma

  We all know someone who is charismatic. They have a charm that can inspire devotion in others. My question is: What creates that type of Charisma? What produces that type of presence? One of the biggest keys to influence and charisma is being genuinely happy for other people’s success. When someone achieves something great – do you feel threatened by their success or do you celebrate it? One of the surest signs of someone being comfortable in their own skin is how they see others and how they can separate others experiences and achievements from their own. Too many people subscribe to the idea that tearing others down actually builds you up and it’s just not true. It makes you look weak and insecure because that is where it is actually coming from. People who are secure with who they are genuinely happy for others, they celebrate their success
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Kindness Is A Better Game Plan

I could write this from a human decency standpoint and help you to see that we should be kinder to each other and extol the virtues of living this way but I also know that the people who need to read this are thinking what’s in it for me. So let me tell you why kindness is a strategy that will make you more influential. In other words – it’s a better game plan. Last week I got stuck in the middle of the chaos of Delta’s worldwide computer system going down. I was flying through Atlanta on my way to Boston. We landed at 7:30 and because of the system failure we couldn’t pull into the gate. We sat on the tarmac until 10:30 pm, there were hundreds of planes that were in our same boat so once they got the system back online it took quite a while
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If You Want To Communicate With Influence – Then Use This Phrase

When you’re the leader, the one in charge, it’s far more natural – and far easier – to lecture and command than to discuss and invite. Leaders can create caste systems within their organizations simply by language choices. When they refer to “we” as the leadership team and “you” as the employees, they create a separation in the team. If we want our people to feel like they are in a partnership with us, that we are in it together, that we are locking arms with them to accomplish the overall goal of organizational success, then we need to communicate in a way that creates partnership. The ultimate partner phrase is: “If I, will you …” Examples: “If I set aside time to help fine tune your board presentations, will you have it prepared by Friday to review?” “If I let you choose your people, will you head up the project?” “If
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The Power of a Name

There’s a new dry cleaner in my neighborhood. I went there a couple of times and then I’ve been out of town for the past month or so and I just went for the third time and as I walked in the guy working said “Ty Bennett, right?” And it surprised me.  I told him I was impressed with his ability to remember names.  He played off the complement, but was very interactive and personable during my visit. It reminded me how powerful a name was and where I learned that lesson. A few years ago I had a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I flew in late and got to the hotel.  I asked if the restaurant at the hotel was open and they said that it wasn’t. They said that there was a Panera Bread down the street that I could walk to that would still be open. So
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People Support What They Help Create

One of the key lessons I teach leaders is that – People Support What They Help Create. Our world has changed, and rapidly. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted your voice to be heard, you pretty much only believed it was heard if you held a position of leadership. Social media has changed all that and I don’t mean just because people have Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn where they can go and voice their opinion. It has changed the psyche of our world. It has caused everyone to feel like his or her voice should be heard. Regardless of where people are in your organization, they mentally believe that their voice and their opinion matters. As a result, our top-down directives don’t work the same way they used to. We can’t just throw things at people and expect them to jump on it, to run with it, and go for
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One of My Favorite Stories For The Lesson It Teaches

One of my favorite stories illustrates the dramatic effect increased confidence will have in your life. It is story written in 1914 by Harry Leon Wilson, called Bunker Bean. Bunker Bean’s parents died when he was a child leaving him to grow up on the street. As an adult Bunker Bean struggled to survive. He was weak and timid as he lived in fear, struggling from job to job just to make ends meet. Then one day as he was living in a boarding house he met a man who was a spiritual medium. The man convinced Bunker Bean that he had special powers and he taught him about reincarnation. The medium taught him that people had lived before as other people, and that for enough money, he would tell Bunker Bean about his previous life. Bunker Bean scraped together the money after a couple of weeks and upon paying
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Confidence Will Change Your World

The word confidence means to go forward with faith. Self-confidence causes you to act. It is bold but not overbearing. It dispels doubt and fear. It is personal power. Ralph Ellison said, “Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.”  When you have confidence in yourself, you gain confidence in others. Great leaders have great confidence. It is attractive, focused and contagious. Many military leaders were known for their supreme confidence on the battlefield. One of those was Napoleon Bonaparte. The Duke of Wellington said,  “In my opinion Napoleon’s presence on the field of battle was the equivalent of 100,000 additional troops. His very name acquired a mythical power and his supreme confidence of himself was transferred as if by magic to those serving under his command.” No wonder so many people followed him! Confidence
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