High Performing Contract - May 2010
May, 2010 – Issue #80
This e-newsletter is dedicated to supporting High-Performing Contractors and all contractors working to become one. Written by Dennis Sowards
Leadership & Learning
High-performance leaders need to continually learn to stay ahead of the competition. Ted Garrison, a well known consultant in the construction industry has a free Internet radio show. You can listen weekly as Ted interviews experts in the construction industry on the trends and issues that matter most. Hear the best and brightest not only share their insights on what is happening, but also get ideas on how you can improve productivity and profitability to prosper in the new era of construction. Go to New Construction Strategies on NCSradio!
You can hear Ted interview me about Lean in homebuilding at http://www.jackstreet.com/JackStreet/WCON.Sowards4.cfm
“Is it a mission, a promise, a commitment, or a bunch of hot air?
Ever read someone’s mission statement and said to yourself, “What a bunch of B.S.!” You said that because their interactions with you were not congruent with their “mission.” They said how much they want to “exceed your expectations,” and they could not even MEET them.
“I had a banker and a bank for 17 years. I was loyal to them. Until they fired me. Never missed a payment. Grew every year. I went online the other day and saw their new marketing slogan: “We Value Relationships.” Pure, unadulterated, marketing horse manure. An outright lie of the first order. My personal banker for seven years resigned because they did NOT value relationships.
“Not my problem anymore – I have a new bank that loves me.
“About a year ago, I began a list of customer promises. They transcend B.S. mission statements. They simply state what we are committed to in our customer interactions and relationships. Things we do because we intend to do them.
“They are NOT goals. They are NOT missions. They are NOT hype, or marketing drivel (like your mission statement). They ARE promises TO customers, AND commitments that WE have made to ourselves, and deliver to everyone we connect with.
“You might want to compare this list of commitments to what you are doing in your company with and to your customers. And you may want to TRASH your self-serving mission statement that NO ONE could recite even if someone was pointing a gun at them.
“NOTE: If you answer your phone with “press one, press two…” you automatically lose. No matter what you do, every customer hates you before you say a word.
“Customer Promises and Commitments (that are all about outcome)…
- We will be friendly.
- We will be professional.
- We will be helpful.
- We will be proactive.
- We will be knowledgeable.
- We will have what customers want, when they want it.
- We will make providing customers the best service our top priority.
- We will view service as an opportunity and a priority, not a job function.
- We will answer the phone on the second ring with a live person 24-7-365.
- We will be available when you need us.
- We will be human to human at all times.
- We will be easy to do business with.
- We will provide the highest quality products.
- We will provide the highest quality training.
- We will do what we promise.
- We will keep you informed as we progress.
- We will think long term in all our endeavors.
- We will maintain great attitudes toward service.
- We will earn your loyalty with quality and value.
- We will take as much pride in your business as you do.
- We will maintain our dedication to lifelong learning.
- We will recover memorably when an error occurs
- We will provide prompt service.
- We will respond in a heartbeat or faster.
- We will serve memorably.
- We will kiss ass and we will do it with a smile.
- We will go the “Extra Mile.”
- We will be on the leading edge of technology.
- We will customize and personalize all enterprise training.
- We will help increase YOUR sales.
- We will be an expert resource for you.
- We will use CREATIVITY and VALUE to differentiate and dominate.
- We will cultivate relationships by paying attention to each customers individual’s needs and interests.
- We will become your trusted advisor.
- We will collaborate with you every step of the way.
- We will practice what we preach.
- We will lead by example - always walking our talk.
- We will be committed to earn your loyalty.
- We will treat all customers the same – LIKE GOLD.
“Long list? In my opinion, not long enough. Got list? Got intentions? If you want your company to develop harmony, consistency, clarity, and loyalty, I recommend that you make your list of commitments and put them into action. Before your competition does.”
- Jeffrey Gitomer's Sales Caffeine issue 413
I feel a mission statement or better titled a “purpose statement” does have value to a company and its employees if share correctly, but Jeff makes some great points about customer promises use what better fits your company’s culture. However, be careful or your Customer Promises such as above will be meaningless too. It’s never in the words, but in the heart and how management empowers employees to live the words. That’s what really counts.
Visual management tip. When doing charts and graphs always show which direction represents improved performance so at a glance one can see if the trend is in the desired direction. This can be done by simply adding the words “GOOD” with an arrow pointing in the good way to the chart or graph.
You may be interested in attending one of these training seminars by Dennis Sowards:
May 20, 2010 - Getting to the Root Cause by Analysis not Luck - Phoenix, AZ, Sponsor: PIPE & 469 JAC, contact Cathy Mayeux at 480.966.0377 or CMayeux@pipetrust.org
June 17 – 18, 2010 – Lean Tools, BIMForum, Kansas City, MO. See https://bimforum.org/2010summer
Sept 30, 2010 – Lean Construction – It can work for you - Phoenix, AZ, Sponsor: PIPE & 469 JAC, contact Cathy Mayeux at 480.966.0377 or CMayeux@pipetrust.org
Oct. 11, 2010 - Lean Principles Based on Kaizen Blitz - at the Industrial Contractors Forum of the SMACNA 2010 National Convention, Phoenix AZ. Contact: https://www.smacna.org/events/annualconvention/
Oct. 21, 2010 – Gaining Customer Loyalty by Design - Phoenix, AZ, Sponsor: PIPE & 469 JAC, contact Cathy Mayeux at 480.966.0377 or CMayeux@pipetrust.org
Oct. 29, 2010 – Lean in Construction and Lean applied to Service at PHCC National Convention, Las Vegas.
Thought for the day
Know the enemy and know yourself, and your victory will never be endangered; know the weather and know the ground, and your victory will then be complete.”
—Sun Tzu, Chapter 10 of Art of War
For more information about the High-Performing Contractor assessment process contact Dennis Sowards at 480-835-1185
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