I built my first “traditional” business in the Special Events industry from scratch – literally. I went into debt to fund some equipment and worked genuine 90-100 hour weeks between building it and maintaining a job so I knew I had money coming in.
Eventually I was able to completely quit the job, build the business full time and I turned it into a multimillion dollar enterprise over the next decade.
Some family and friends said “why don’t you write a book on how to be successful”? Well other than describing hard work and a desire to be successful, I knew that the book only really needed one page. On that page there would be just two things.
1) Honor your commitments
2) Return phone calls.
Straight up – that’s it!
If there really is a “99%” and a “1%”, I guarantee that the 1% all have in common that they do those two things. This might sound ridiculous to you – surely everyone does these two things right? – Wrong!
I cannot tell you how much frustration I have felt over the years – even when I am actually trying to give people money for products, services and/or time and they totally feel it’s OK to not return a voicemail, not show up on time for an agreed appointment, not bother to show up at all. From vendors to realtors to insurance salespeople, the list is endless.
Now I do live in Southern California which Frank Zappa immortalized as “having the most of them”, but I know from business dealings everywhere that this lack of integrity – for that is what it is – is absolutely the norm and unsuccessful people all do this and likely whine about being broke too.
I know for a fact that I secured and retained clients that over the years earned my business millions, simply because they 100% knew that if they called my voicemail, I returned calls, if I had an appointment, I would be there or be sure to let them know well ahead if circumstances meant I could not and I did what I said I would do.
Overwhelmingly, my competitors blew off meetings, did not return calls or did not perform as they said they would. I got to know the 1% of top professionals in my industry very well and instead of competing, we were comfortable working together because we knew each of us had those same standards.
So let’s look at the two basic points above.
1) Honoring your commitments. The nature of developing the Professional Home Business Academy means that I am calling people who are also interested in doing the same or building a business of their own. I cannot tell you how many people set a follow up phone call time and then willingly, knowingly blow it off or never have the intention of showing up for it in the first place.
Now I know that this is “par for the course” and it is simply a part of the process, but I also know with 100% certainty that those that do so will never have professional (or likely even personal) success with that lack of integrity. If there is lack of integrity in something as absolutely basic in showing up for a prearranged phone call, even if it is to take 10 seconds to say “no thanks”, what hope is there of integrity on any other level?
I also know with 100% certainty that the people who honor those commitments will be successful, whether in business with me or elsewhere in life. Like attracts like and those who have professional integrity, even on this small level will naturally be drawn to like-minded successful people.
It is also stunning to me that in the days of ubiquitous communication devices, people feel it unimportant to not inform others if they are going to be late or unable to attend an appointment or meeting. No amount of chaos in someone’s life, outside of death, injury or appalling illness or circumstance should disable someone from making a 30 second call, sending a text, email, Facebook message, Skype or any of the other seemingly limitless communication methods.
ALWAYS Honor appointments or at the very least be diligent in letting the other person know that you cannot.
2) Returning phone calls. There truly is zero excuse to not return a phone call. It especially blows my mind that people choose not to return a call from a prospective customer, but even a sales call should be returned even if you aren’t interested. There is zero reason to not return a call. Even a “no thank you” takes just 30 seconds.
If you do not do this, you are compromising your professional integrity and the 1% will beat you hands down.
Blowing off a voicemail or failing to return a call is absolutely never about them, it is 100% about you and the value you place personally on professional integrity.
ALWAYS return phonecalls.
I work closely with a select group of business partners who have high integrity and when I look to work with others, I expect the same and I also treat that integrity extremely seriously myself.
Outside of my business, the realtors I work with, the insurance salespeople I use, the plumbers, electricians all have this integrity of the basics in common.
As a golden rule for myself I only ever leave a maximum of two voicemails for someone – ever. If someone blows off an appointment and never explains why, I am done with them. If someone blows off an appointment and gives me a reason later I usually say “that’s OK, I understand your time is more valuable than mine” which either manifests in them not doing that again or not interacting with me again – both of which are OK options.
In a job, if someone didn’t return calls or honor their commitments, they would be fired. All someone has to do then, to be successful in business or personally, is treat themselves with the same level of commitment to integrity as if it was their job.
So there you go! Two really simple tips to massive success. Get them right, I promise you success in life. Maybe I should pad these two simple tips out to 500 pages with tons of jargon and make that book!
I would love your feedback and “horror stories” on this subject for sure.
All the Best,