Stop Oversimplifying Everything!

It’s so easy to get caught up in memes that just make everything simple and easy to understand. It’s so easy! Then we nod our heads, share it so everyone can see, and we feel a sense of peace that a complex or controversial topic really just comes down to 1 simple explanation.

Here is the problem with that, it’s not simple. Life is not simple. The world is not black and white. We live in a world full of grey and lots of rainbows. There is usually more than 2 sides to every story as well. There is an entire LIFETIME of stories behind someone. A entire separate life sometimes that has built people. So to oversimplify everything into just 1 sentence is absolutely NOT doing any justice for these issues.

So why do we do it? Cause it’s easy and most people respond to easy.  It’s so easy to make things good or bad, black or white, right or wrong. It’s so easy! And when faced with a complex problem it is human nature to try and simplify it as much as possible. Then we can make the best decision based on that. It’s not crazy, it’s human! We are simply responding to what comes quickly and easiest to us. So there should be no shame in your game if you do this, we all do it or have done it before. The goal here is to take a second to really think before you oversimplify an issue, and look at all the sides.

The problem is that these amazing and complex issues deserve to have time, energy, thought, and arguments over them so everyone can learn them. It’s not always about resolving problems, sometimes it’s just about educating and trying to move forward while accepting it’s not perfect. But people don’t like to do that because it makes them uncomfortable, they have to be unsettled, and they are forced to have to think in a complex manner.

Complex thinking is not fun for me. I’ve had chemo brain for the past 7 years. I can’t count how many drugs were pumped through my body, if I had to guess it was probably more than 20 chemotherapy drugs. Not to mention radiation and two transplants. So my brain doesn’t always work as quickly as it used to. And trying to solve a complex problems sometimes seems absolutely exhausting, it’s the last thing my brain wants to do. So having to break down a complex problem takes time, energy, it brings out emotions that aren’t fun or enjoyable, and then sometimes we are still left with some upheaval because we still don’t have a simple answer.

So I get it, it’s hard! But it is worth it. Let’s create a world where every person, subject, topic, gets a chance to be heard and to be worked on, not always worked out. Let’s move foward, always, and give justice to these major issues.

 

Relationships? We don’t need no stinking relationships! –Michael Scott

I study Leaders, it’s what I do.  My education is in Leadership.  I studied Leaders all day. Over a decade later, and not because I’m in class, I still study Leaders.

I follow leaders in several different employment and positional arenas but I really like following Life Coaches, Network Marketers, and Motivational Speakers.

Recently I was listening to some Network Marketer leaders, some of the high-rankers.  There were 12 of them that I was fortunate enough to listen to.  I heard some amazing stories and most importantly (and of most interest to me) what they did to get to the top.

There were many similarities of course; sharing the product, having classes, speaking to people, etc…  But the one that EVERYONE spoke on was building relationships.  This really is the key in any business building.  Doesn’t matter if you are a Network Marketer, running a brick & mortar, or have an Etsy business.  Relationships are the number one way to build a clientele that wants to come back to you.

But there are many people that don’t know how to build relatinoships.  Now the relationship is part of the customer experience.  That starts early and doesn’t even have much to do with you.  It’s the advertisement in the paper, the ads on Facebook, the signage when you drive by the store,  the t-shirt someone is wearing.  Those are the beginnings of the experience.  But this post isn’t about the entire process, that’s an 8-week course right there!

The relationship is the personal aspect, when you are face-to-face or even messaging online.  That is where the relationship is building.  It can either be built poorly with bad structure or build strong with a solid foundation.  Either way, it’s building but you decide how it’s to be built with your customer.

The best way to build a relationship is to listen.  I read ads, comments, articles, blogs, and posts all day of people selling.  Probably 1 out of 10 is actually focused on the customer whereas the rest of everyone is trying to just push their product and focused on what they can do the for the customer.  The focus for the customer needs to be what they want and how you can deliver it.  The only way to know that and to deliver it is to listen.

What do they want vs. what they are saying.  If a customer says “I want my water heater to work” they are most likely want to not have to take a cold shower at 6am in the middle of winter.  Instead of delivering them a brand new water heater or a specific part; you can offer them what they want which is that new part to be installed by a trusted technician that will have hot water running in 1 hour so when they wake up they can have the steamy shower they are aching for.

That is listening and that is what the customer wants.

“Your Call is Important to Us.” Oh really?

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This graphic made me laugh because we all have been there.  Needing help, feeling frustrated and the timer on our phone is ticking away.  We hear this and just roll our eyes.

We all understand the reps are on calls with other customers, we know we have to wait in line like everyone else. So why are we so frustrated and so annoyed with that specific comment of “Your call is important to us”?

The reason is because we don’t feel important.  If our call was so important then the company would have enough employees staffed to take the calls immediately and not have to have anyone placed on hold.  If they didn’t have the staff then they would be pulling managers, supervisors, and trainers onto the floor to take excess calls.  Or they would re-route some of the calls to go to another center so no one would have to wait.

THAT is what shows me I am important to you.  You “busting ass” to make sure you take my call.  Because remember, you are working because I am a customer.

So how does this relate to your customers?  They need to be shown they are #1 priority to you.  That means when they need help, you respond and you do it promptly with a smile on your face.

Put yourself in a customer role;  if you have an issue and you know that someone is willing to help you, friendly, and is not going to waste your time then automatically your stress level decreases and it doesn’t turn into something you dread.  In fact, you may look forward to getting help because the interaction will be so positive and your problem will be resolved in an easy way.  Can you image your customer HAPPY to have a problem?!

It’s not that difficult.  Always be ready to help, and always always always apologize for them even needing help in the first place.  This isn’t accepting blame for anything.  It is you accepting responsibility for their experience and taking initiative to solve their problem.

Responding that way will keep your customer for life.  As long as they stay away from Jack Nicholson…..

You are telling people they are wrong, and they don’t like it…

Now surely you are the person that DOESN’T always tell people they are wrong right?  Well, most of us do in some way or another everyday in every interaction.  And guess what, even if it’s true people DON’T LIKE IT!

So what does this mean for your business relationships?  Is the Customer “Always Right”?

Well, yes.  Sorry to break it to you but the customer is always right.  Now with that being said, “right” is subjective.  Are they technically always correct? Nope, probably more often than not!  But we don’t tell them that, and we don’t lead onto that. Why? Because we aren’t their momma and we aren’t here to teach them life lessons.  We are here to provide a service and that’s that.  So keep it simple, and stop telling them they are wrong.

Now what does that look like? Let’s say your customer sends you a message online and says “I love this product but it just doesn’t work for me and I don’t like it. I want my money back.”  Initially you may think, well there is nothing wrong with the product so I won’t be taking it back.  Plus it’s your fault if you like it or not, not mine.  The PROBLEM is is THAT is exactly what you end up saying to your customer but you say it in a “nice” way.  Customer still gets pissed off and you think “well, there was nothing I could do, I was nice about it, just can’t make her happy.” You believe this and everyone typically agrees with you in that you “did all you could do, some customers are just not worth it.” Therein lies the problem.  She’s wrong, she’s the problem, and you believe everyone else who is validating you.  They validate you because they do the same thing and want their own validation in that what they are doing is right.  So if you are doing what they do, all is peachy-keen!  If you do it your own way then all the sudden you are “letting the customer take advantage of you, stand your ground!” and all hell breaks loose.  Believe me, I see it and live it every day.

Regardless your tone, you told the customer she was wrong and she didn’t like it.  No one likes being told they are wrong.  We have egos and selfish tendencies, we are humans.  Does that make us a bit childish? Yep! But it is how we are anyways and we have to act according to how we ARE rather than what we wish we would be.  Especially in customer service.

So what do you do instead?  My advice is always to approach the subject with “Yes” in mind.  Whatever their concern or issue, you are going to fix it how they want it.  They ARE right, they don’t like their product and they probably aren’t lying about that.  Their experience is always right, regardless of what you think.  If they don’t like the smell of the perfume that doesn’t mean they are wrong, they just don’t like the smell.  If the plastic tube they bought is poor quality to their standards then it’s poor quality to them regardless of the actual quality of products on the market.  No one is ever wrong about their experience.  Think of it that way.

I know this scares the hell out of people, they immediately believe that if they validate their customers feelings and do what the customer wants then they will probably lose their homes, their kids will go hungry, and all their hopes and dreams will be burnt to the ground because someone took advantage of them so much and so often.  Then these “bad” customers will tell all their friends to come to you and take advantage of you because you will HAVE to do the same thing as you did before or else…..something even worse will happen.

Does that sound ridiculous?  Well it should because it is.  Are there customers out there to take advantage of people?  Absolutely there are.  Are they all over the world and trolling for people like you? Probably. Is it likely your target market is going to be those people time and time again? Nope.  But the fear of it happening, or when it does happen, is so strong that people flip out and change their entire business and life plan to avoid it happening again.

But when you really think of the impact, it makes sense to say “yes”.  By finding a resolution for your customer, you are creating trust.  Usually there is a lack of trust in the beginning and the customer may even resolve to trying to bully you because they don’t think you will help them without fearing them.  So sometimes they come in demanding things, being hot headed, stern tone of voice, etc… They are trying to intimidate you because they don’t think there is any other way to get a resolution.

This is sad to me.  We are so inclined to think that being nice and kind is not going to get us anywhere.  When in reality, it gets us most places quite often but the one time it doesn’t we change everything around that time.  That’s not how this needs to work.

By building trust you are creating a relationship.  Relationships = loyalty.  They will come back and be willing to spend their money on your product, you won’t even have to talk them into it!  Your price higher than the competitor? No biggie, they trust you and would happily spend a few extra dollars because that is an investment in your relationship you built with them.  Will they go another place for the same item? Of course not.  Will they tell other people that you are the only person they will go to for this product? Every time.

So what do you do with that customer?  I recommend saying “Thank you for messaging me and I am so sorry that you do not like your product.  What about it is not working for you? I’d love to get your feedback on this. Don’t worry, we will definitely come to a good resolution for you.  I want you to be happy and I’m so glad you ordered with my shop.”

A simple response like that immediately softens the heart.  this also gives the customer the “ok” to say what they really think and feel.  Sometimes you can “fix” the issue, and sometimes you can’t.  So if you can’t, they return the product and get their money back.  However you just created a relationship with someone who knows that if there is a problem, you will be there to solve it and be kind and nice to them.  Guess who doesn’t have to be a jerk anymore? The customer!  And it’s really nice to know that you don’t have to be mean to get your way, most people don’t want to have to do that anyways.

Can an Introvert be successful in a networking business?

Contrary to popular belief, I am not an extrovert. I am really about 60/40 Introvert vs. Extrovert.  I prefer to keep to myself and am not an overtly loud person.  HOWEVER, get me into a situation where I am comfortable and that changes.  Comfort to me is an environment where I feel one of two things; I have something to offer or I have something to learn.  Those feelings make me comfortable and I am more extroverted in those types of environments.

Now, without that type of situation setup, that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily uncomfortable but it does mean that I’m in my Introvert stage.  That means I’m not looking for interaction, I don’t want to engage with anyone, and I need nothing from anyone.  I’m really just in my own zone, thinking wild things in my head.  Perfect example is when I go grocery shopping.  I am not there to interact with anyone or make friends or influence people.

For the longest time I always thought that maybe I was a fake.  Because there were times I was the life of the party and other times I just wanted to blend into the wall and be left alone.  If I wasn’t crazy then I was most likely bi-polar maybe.  People even told me that I was fake, so I had to believe them right?  I felt fraudulent, but it was who I was, and I couldn’t deny that or believe it was wrong…it was just me.

The more I invested in personal development and growth, I really got to understand my personality type (Advocate) and what that meant about me.  Finally I got answers as to why I reacted and acted the way I did.  I learned not everything about someone is black and white, we don’t all fit into boxes.  I finally felt understood and not crazy. That is pretty empowering.

I remember mentioning this to my mother.  I remember her saying “Well Cayci you never really tried hard at everything.”  The reality was, she was right.  But most importantly, I FINALLY realized that that was OKAY!  I didn’t try hard at everything, especially when it was something I wasn’t interested in.  Sorry folks, but I’m not going to try hard at Trigonometry. I hate it, don’t understand it, and it didn’t provoke any passion for me.  However I loved playing the Cello, and I practiced it intently.  I was passionate about it and I was talented, so THAT I tried hard at.

I guess the lesson was it’s okay to not go 100% with everything all the time.  If it’s not for you, it’s not for you.  As an adult I found out that I am not going to participate in activities where I don’t WANT to give 100% because that doesn’t work for me.  There are people out there that will GRIND all.day.long doing something they absolutely hate.  And they do it for beautiful and noble reasons.  I am not that person. I do not get any fulfillment from that way of living.  And that is OK.

So the answer to the title of this post “Can an Introvert be successful in a networking business?” YES! This whole idea that you need to be this social butterfly, cheerleader, or extreme extrovert to sell something is ridiculous and uninformed.  And it really is chipping the shoulders of those that love their job, their product, their opportunity. It’s creating hesitation, guilt, and fear.

All you need to be successful is to be yourself.  When you are really acting upon the real you, and that passion in your gut, you will be your best self.  That is one that oozes love, passion, caring, and heart.  It can come out in different ways too.  It isn’t always heavy and emotional either.  People can tell if you are real, enjoyable, and honest.  People aren’t stupid, they know when they are being led on by someone fake.

An Introvert is extremely passionate and is typically more concerned with the path and journey rather than the end result, and this is phenomenal.

So I challenge you Introverts to find your “safe space” and what that means to you.  My space where I feel safe and comfortable is when I feel I have something to offer or learn.  What is yours?  When do you feel most extroverted in your personality?

Let us know!

What about “The Push” ?

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A widely discussed topic among Network Marketers is “The Push”. This is when you have to “push” to get to the next rank.  Typically you are super close to that rank and just need a spike during the current month to get you to that rank.

Most talk is about what actions or activities are involved in “The Push”.  Typically it’s sending out mailers, doing a fun campaign or giveaway, making phone calls, sending private messages, just trying to engage people to make a purchase or another purchase to get you where you need to be in your goals.

The issue is after you do “The Push” you are left right back to where you were last month but now you are closer to LOSING that rank.  So everyone is now saying “But do I have to do The Push again and again? Every month?”  You are blown away by the damn effort it took just to get you where you are now, and you have to do it again?  It was already awkward and annoying trying to get Debbie to purchase one tiny thing and now you gotta keep making rounds every month? People are going to get annoyed and you are going to be embarrassed.  So what do you do? How do people that are in high-ranks making this happen?

Here is where the disconnect lies.  “The Push” IS your job.  This isn’t just a “lay back and watch the money come in” type of business.  No business is that forever anyways.  Sure you may have episodes where the money really is coming in when you sleep, but there is ALWAYS going to be effort that has to be put out in order for you to get a return.  No one in high-ranks just sits there and has been sitting there the whole time, it just doesn’t happen that way.

So what is the “new” Push consist of?  Every month you should have activities planned for you and your team.  You should be furthering education every month, having new classes for newbies, having informative classes for possible new signups, following up with your monthly order folks, sending out thank you cards, engaging everyone on your FB page…this IS “The Push”!

By continuing to do this every month (remember, this is what you should be doing every month) you won’t have to have an extreme push to reach rank.  Now did you see I said “extreme”?  There still may be a time where you might need a small push to get rank, and it’s the perfect time to do a giveaway or a drawing or have an extra class to get there.  But it shouldn’t have to be balls-to-the-wall to get there UNLESS you plan to do balls-to-the-wall each month.

Now go get that rank girl!