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The Power of One

August 19, 2009

As I strolled along the beautiful grounds of a historic institution listening to the peppy admission counselor frantically give a presentation on college life there, I became frustrated at the rushed pace and the fact our guide didn’t realize she had the power of selling a $45,000 a year transaction to a group of parents and prospective students. After the rush of the tour and not feeling like we saw everything there was to see, my son and I strolled over to the ivy covered athletic building to learn more about the college’s athletic programs. There we experienced what I called “the power of one.”
Greeting us at the main desk was a student who offered to show us around the complex. When we asked her about their basketball program, she said “I’m sure our varsity coach would be willing to talk to you about it.” Within a blink of an eye and not enough time to let panic settle over my shy 6’4″ son, we were whisked down a hallway to the veteran coach’s office. The coach greeted us warmly, invited us into his office, shut the door and spent 30 minutes discussing their program and what they look for in a scholar athlete. When we walked away from the unexpected meeting, I realized how one person can change an entire perspective about an institution or company by simply taking enough time to talk.
As entrepreneurs we are so rushed. Sometimes like the tour guide we rush through our sales pitches, hurry through prospective client phone calls, or dash through customer complaints because we have other things to do. Sometimes our employees don’t take enough time to make our customers feel like they are worth the time because of their own list of responsibilities. But as entrepreneurs we must train ourselves and our staff to be that “power of one” within our own organization. Just like the veteran coach, we must take enough time with a potential or current customer to slow down, show interest, be informative and answer their questions and concerns.
Today remind yourself that you and each of your employees have the power of being the one person who can change the course of a transaction for your company. You have the power in taking enough time to turn someone into a new customer, the power of taking enough time to create loyalty in existing clients by slowing down to listen and the power of sending a positive message into the business community with each constructive communication you make with someone.  This week I encourage you to be the “power of one” and watch its impact.

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