Do your people read your marketing? That’s somewhat of a silly question but I run into companies all the time that don’t seem to have their own team read their marketing or understand the mission and the vision. You have to share what you are trying to do with the people that can help you get there. If you don’t, you run the risk of clients saying, “They aren’t who they say they are,” and then they lose trust in you and when trust is lost, you are in big trouble.

Recently I was at a grocery store with my family to get pizzas for dinner. They make great ones. My son asked for a pepperoni pizza; the clerk said, “Sorry, we’re out of pepperoni.” I found that odd but I was tired and didn’t say anything. When we sat down to eat the pizza at the store, my youngest daughter said, “Dad, how can they be out of pepperoni? It’s a grocery store!” She was right; they were out of the upscale pepperoni but sell tons of other kinds in a case. So, yes, they could have made Grant a pepperoni pizza if they were thinking. Yeah, I’m being tough. But there’s a point I’ll get to in a minute.

That same day two hours earlier, my wife was frustrated beyond belief when the clerk at the drugstore she went to to get some passport photos taken said, “We can’t do any photos; we lost the memory card.” My wife left and went to another store. When we met at the library to get our passports, she told me they had to go two places to get the photos because the first store lost the memory card for the small camera they use. She said she didn’t understand that as that store sells memory cards for the camera they use to take the passport photos. Gee whiz, ladies and gentlemen.

Here’s the lesson. We have to teach our team what we are trying to do. And you have to do it with passion, clarity, and exactness. No lip service! The young lady making pizzas at the grocery store should have thought to offer the lesser quality pepperoni for my son on his pizza but she didn’t. The lady at the drugstore should have thought about the memory cards for sale 20 feet from where she was standing but she didn’t. We can’t expect our people to always think of these things; we have to teach them to think like this and you do this by saying things like, “Take care of the customer; do whatever you need to do up to $25 without asking me to make sure they are happy.” Or something along these lines. Train them to think, trust them and then brag about their efforts to the whole team so the rest of your folks see the examples of the things you expect your people to do.

It takes time to get an organization full of people who think; it takes time to have a culture that fosters and empowers a team to take care of the client. How about starting on that quest today?!

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