How To Stand Out From The Crowd

On hero TV today, we’re going to be talking about how to stand up from the crowd and who better than Sydney Jacques. She’s going to teach this to us.

Hey everybody its Sydney Jacques and today I’m going to be talking to you about how to stand out from the crowd. So I have a contract to do ongoing training at the city of San Francisco. So, every time I go to San Francisco I always use uber. Do you like to use uber? I’m telling you if you’re going to a big city where it’s hard to drive and parking is impossible uber is the way to go. So every time I go to San Francisco I always use uber. So I flew out there and I was doing a workshop one Monday morning. So I went, and I always work at the Public Works Department in San Francisco so I went and I did my workshop, I finished my workshop, hauled all of my flip charts and all of my bags and everything out onto the sidewalk, got out my phone and I got my uber app out and I requested my uber in a short period of time my uber car pulls up. Now, one of the things I love about uber is every ride is always different. So this day I, he, pulled up to the curb I through all of my stuff in the back of the seat and I hopped in the car and this driver he turned around he handed me a bottle of water and he said, “happy Friday” Okay do you remember what day I said it was I was doing my workshop? it was a Monday so he said happy Friday and started driving and I started getting a little nervous thinking, oh can I trust this guy? he doesn’t even know what day of the week it is but he started driving and talking and he seemed nice enough but finally I couldn’t stand it anymore and I just kind of leaned up into the seat and I said, “oh excuse me did you know that today is really Monday it’s not Friday?” he said, “oh I know that. But you know what I know? everybody’s always happier on Friday!” he said. So as long as, you’re in my car I want it to feel like it’s a Friday. So I love that story because that uber driver in the short period of time that I spent with him, he had an influence on me. He taught me how to think. He knew what he wanted to create. He was very intentional about the mood that he wanted to set while I was writing in his car. So today as we talk about how do we really stand out from the crowd the first step is you really have to be intentional about it. You can’t just hope that it happens you can’t just do business as usual and hope that it’s going to work out that way. You have to be intentional about it. So I’m excited to share with you today a model that I created when I was building my multi-million dollar engineering firm. So when I started out, I had a few years experience I had a few contacts but it was overwhelming to think I was going to enter into this world as a sole entrepreneur at that time and how was I going to succeed? So I knew the first thing I had to do was figure out what my product and service was going to be? What was I going to provide into this industry? and how could I do that in a high quality manner?

So on my little graph this is zero and as I go this way it is improving the quality of my product and service. My goal is to have satisfied customers right? so as I thought about my quality product and service, how can I satisfy my customers? I knew as I improved my quality my customers would be more satisfied? what I didn’t know would happen is there would come a point of diminishing returns where I could continue to improve the quality but my customers wouldn’t be satisfied anymore than they were before. So an easy example of this is I love to fly. So the airlines if I want to be a satisfied customer I expect their quality product and service to be but they’ll get me there within 10 minutes of the time that they said they would. If they provide that to me, I’m a satisfied customer. Now if they work really, really hard and they can improve that too, they can get me there within one minute of the time they said they would, you know what? I’m not more satisfied because I’m going to be sitting there waiting for my bags anyway. So in the airlines, if they continue to improve that quality it’s not going to matter to me as a customer because I’ll be sitting there waiting for my bags anyway. So what they’ve discovered is what I have coined the upper arrow and what this means is that once they have the quality product and service, then they do something that will set them apart and take me from just being a satisfied customer to an extremely satisfied customer. So, personally I’m a fan of Southwest Airlines. I love to fly Southwest, one of the reasons that I do is their frequent flyer program I believe is hands-down the best. When I fly on Southwest Airline, I had the ability to earn a companion pass where every single time that I fly, somebody flies with me for free. Even if I’m flying on a free frequent flyer ticket, I can still take somebody with me for free. To me, that’s an upper arrow. That takes me not from just being a satisfied customer because they got me there on time but now I’m extremely satisfied because I’m taking somebody with me on my trip and I don’t have to pay for their ticket. Time, after time, after time. Another thing that I get on Southwest it’s another upper arrow? two free bags. Can you believe that?
Not just one, but two. a lot of times we fly with our family, we’re a family of six and do you know what I do? I fill a whole suitcase full of food because I have…four kids to feed while we’re gone. So I will fill a suitcase or two full of food and take it with us on our vacations to help us save money while we’re there. So lots of upper arrows things that they do that helped me become extremely satisfied.

So when I was, come back with me to the time when I’m building my business and I know what my quality products and service are I’m pretty sure that I can satisfy my customers but then I need to figure out what am I going to do that’s going to jump above the regular and really differentiate me and set me apart and make my customers extremely satisfied I thought back to a time my very first job working as an engineer I worked for the Forest Service and when I was working for the Forest Service, I had the opportunity to go to the 3m company in Minneapolis to be trained as a total quality management facilitator. So I went to the training and I really didn’t know what to expect but it was in an Embassy Suites Hotel which is a very, very, nice property and when we walked in there were literally live ducks on the pond and a free happy hour and I’m thinking to myself, “this is going to be a nice place to spend a week”. So the next morning when I went to the training they had a buffet breakfast and they had tablecloths on the tables and little candies but the best part was every afternoon right at 3 o’clock an older gentleman and he always had white Baker’s apron on, an older gentleman would come through the back door and he would be carrying a platter with fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. and oh! at 3 o’clock in the afternoon they just hit the spot and tasted so good. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, right at 3 o’clock in would come the fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. So on Friday I’m thinking to myself well I have to travel all the way back to Salt Lake probably not going to have time to stop anywhere for dinner so I think I might just wrap some of these up and napkin and put them in my purse or my pockets so I have something to eat because these were really really good chocolate chip cookies. So I’m making this plan thinking ahead and three o’clock comes and our class is still going on and that doors not moving and then it’s 3:15 and 3:30 now I promise you by this point in time, I’m not the only one that’s watching the back door other people are too. 3:30, 4 o’clock our classes over and do you know what happened that day? There were no chocolate chip cookies! He did not meet our expectations.

So I sat there and I thought to myself, “you know what? every meeting really is better when you have chocolate chip cookies.” so come back to the time as I’m building my business and I’m trying to figure out how do I take my customers from just being satisfied to being extremely satisfied and I thought about those chocolate chip cookies and I thought you know what that’s it how many engineers do you know that will get up early every morning and bake fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies for their meetings that day? Take them to their clients. I didn’t know anybody and I thought that’s it. That’s what I’m going to do. My chocolate chip cookies will take my customers from being just satisfied to being extremely satisfied because it’s something different it’s something new so that was the upper arrow that I started in my business many, many, years ago. And you know what? it worked. I have gone on to build a multi-million dollar award-winning firm based on the principles of having quality product and services and then continually adding upper arrows that differentiate us and set us apart. So, as you look at your company I want you to think. one, do you have clearly defined products and services? and can every person in your company tell you what their product and service is that they offer? I think you might be surprised. Once you get that piece figured out, then I want you to brainstorm and say what can we do for our upper arrow? what can we do that would make our customers extremely satisfied to the point where they’re going to be loyal to us? every time I have the opportunity, I fly Southwest Airlines because I want more of those frequent flyer points so I can take more trips, so I am loyal to them because, I’m extremely satisfied. What can you do in your business? Now the interesting thing with this model is I love it because we can actually use it in three different ways. So the first one is with your business, with your organization, what can you do that will set you apart? as a leader this is important for you to determine but also important that you get feedback from your employees and let them help you figure it out. The second way that we can use this is as an employer, one of my goals always is to recruit and retain the very best help that I can get. So I take this model and I flip it internally and I say as an employer hopefully my employees are satisfied with the basic package that I give them but what can I do that will make them extremely satisfied? what can I do that will take them above and beyond so that they’ll want to stay with me. They’ll want to be a part of my team. They’ll want to be loyal to the team that we’re building in our company. So what could it be? Maybe it’s financial opportunities?

I have a lot of years, we always do we, call it the JMA getaway and it’s based on how much profits we have the year before then in the winter, usually January, February time when people are kind of you know cold and in going through that post holiday, you know depression stuff. We a JMA getaway and again depending on the profits our year before sometimes it’s just an overnight at a hotel and we go to a play and have a nice meal with our team and their spouses but a couple of different times, we’ve gone on cruises, we take our whole team when we go on a cruise now do you think that’s an upper arrow that people are excited about and makes them want to stay loyal to our company? Sure. I believe it really makes a difference. So it doesn’t have to be big it can be smaller ones maybe there’s ways that you can give them flexibility in their work schedule. Maybe there’s ways you can include theirfamily. Maybe there’s ways that you can help them feel more fulfilled in their work through doing opportunities, to do volunteer service.

So think of how you can use the upper arrow to really have an influence on your team and your employees. And then the third one that I want to talk about is individually, I hope that you are thinking what could I do as an upper arrow? or, me as an individual? remember back to my story of the uber driver? that uber driver he had a fantastic attitude that in itself is an upper arrow he went through his day influencing, influencing people to be happier. You know what? we have staff meeting every Monday and do you know what we say at the end of every staff meeting? Happy Friday! so while the rest of the world is down with their heads down moping through their Monday, on our team, we’re saying happy Friday! So that’s one example of an upper arrow. The last one I want to share with you is one that I think can really change your life. When I started my business, I hired a business coach to help me. He taught me a lot of things. I needed a lot of help.I had an degree in engineering. I didn’t have any classes in business so he taught me a lot of things about how to set up my business plan and how to move forward the things that I should do. But the thing that he taughtme, this is almost 25 years ago now the thing that he taught me that you really stuck with me the longest is he said, “Sydney, if you’re going to be successful in business, you need to learn to be 100% present.” think about that? How often in a normal day are we really a 100$ present? it’s not very often. But if you think back to when he gave me that advice almost 25 years ago I didn’t have an iPad, and iPod, a cell phone, I didn’t even have a laptop computer. I had this big clunky thing that sat on my desk. And even then, he was telling me you need to learn to really be present with people. In our day and age, I think one of the greatest upper arrows that we can offer is to truly be present. Be present with your team, be present with your family, be present with your customers. It will make a huge difference and I promise you it will set you apart from the crowd. Thanks so much for watching hero TV today I hope you found that valuable and thanks again Sydney for all your information in this video. I put a lot of details down in the description below. If you have any questions, or comments, you can share those and we’ll make sure to respond to those. And remember live on purpose, make a difference, and leave a hero.

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