Are you serious about them?

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Most people misunderstand and mis-define the word serious. They view it as stoic, non-smiling, stiff, non-humorous and boring.

Hardly.

Serious is the intention, the intensity and the focus that you put into your work ethic and your personal ethics. Serious is a way of life, a way of business, a way of selling and a way of serving.

How serious are you?

When your prospect or customer comes to the realization that you are “serious” about doing business or earning business, it stems from the actions you took to make that feeling possible.

Those serious actions or characteristics include:

• Speed of response.

• Ability to deliver.

• Ability to serve.

• Desire to serve.

• Knowledge about how what you have will help someone.

• Friendliness.

• Personable.

• Perceived value of product or service.

• Truth at all cost.

• Available when they call.

• Easy to access anyone.

• Easy to do business with.

• Online access to information and ordering.

If you have all those attributes, you have a chance of being perceived as serious.

What are you serious about?

I always found it pathetically funny when someone told me, “We have all the business we can handle.” This is a sentence often spoken in response to an offer to advertise.

I wonder if that same sentence is true today? Maybe if that business owner was more serious about business building rather than business bragging, he would be in better shape today.

Yes, I’m serious about the economy, and our present state of affairs, but I am 1,000 percent more serious about my business, my finances and my sales. My focus is on success, not doom and gloom. There’s no bailout for entrepreneurs. And the only stimulus I have is the one I create for myself.

During good times or bad times, here are a few things we are serious about in my business: (How do you and your business compare?)

• We are serious about helping our customers. Many are in need and looking for answers.

• We are serious about being friendly. It costs no extra money to be friendly and it sets the tone for positive outcome.

• We are serious about being an online leader. Online is forever, and we are investing in our future.

• We are serious about “now is the time.” We are not waiting to see what happens, we are taking success actions for the opportunities that exist now.

• We are serious about error-free order processing and packing. We focus on delivery, not shipping. And yes, we do make errors. But our recovery is spectacular. The best e-mail I get is one that says, “You walk your talk.”

• We are serious about getting every order shipped the day it’s received. Our customers expect “fast” and “perfect” and we deliver.

• We are serious about doing the right thing and the best thing for our customers. This is a true mission statement.

• We are serious about having fun while doing it. We kibitz, we wisecrack, we engage customers about them, and we do it with the serious intention of having a great time and being memorable.

• We’re a family, not a team. Maybe that’s why we’re serious about working together, staying together and succeeding together.

I realize that many of my customers need help and I am serious about giving it to them. Not selling — giving.

I realize that many companies are having tough times, and because our field of expertise includes attitude, sales and loyalty, we have a genuine opportunity to help.

As a speaker, I’m serious about connecting with my audience. I want them to get my message and improve their sales, their business and their lives — and to do that I know everyone must laugh. And laugh hard. And laugh a lot.

I’m serious about humor. I practice timing as I’m speaking to maximize audience laughter, pleasure and learning. Through the years, I have come to the full understanding of the power and appeal of laughter.

These are times that call for different approaches and different actions. They challenge me to have a different mindset and slower expectations of victory. Not lower, slower.

Wanna learn how to be funnier? Visit www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time visitor and enter the word LAUGH in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts Internet training programs about selling and customer loyalty at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or salesman@gitomer.com. © 2009 All Rights Reserved