Jan 18 2015

ZEST! The Competitive Edge.

“Z”. . . ZEST

                                                                                ZEST (not the soap) I am referring to you and your business . . . ardor, élan, gusto, joie de vivre, lust, oomph, passion, pep, pizzazz, tang, vitality, energy, zing,  zoom, zip,  zap . . . either you’ve got it or Leaping Consultant . . . . . . . .

If you’ve got it, you can make it better. Start here now. If you don’t have it, you can get it ignited here, now. Free. No strings attached. No gimmicks! Just you and your business, and me.


Sounds good, you say, but who cares? Uh, your customers, your employees, your suppliers, your investors, your lenders, your community . . . and your family. Does that work for an answer? This is not just another lecture on motivation. It’s about operating your business with a competitive edge.

Let’s get to it: When did you last ask a few customers why they do business with you instead of with __________ (fill in the name of a leading competitor)? Oh, you did a survey? Well, that’s great, but there’s nothin’ like the real thing, Baby, goes the old song, and there’s nothing like straight eyeball-to-eyeball answers.

Whatever you hear back, by the way, accept and be appreciative. Do not criticize. Do not “Yes, But.” Do not argue or dismiss. There’s a reason for everything. Take it in. Write it down. Smile and say thank you. Go off and think. Odds are pretty good that the answers you’ll get will have something to do with your attitude and approach.

In other words, HOW you deal with customers, employees, and others around you is what determines more than anything else why your customers are your customers. And it’s that reputation that attracts other customers. So, if these assumptions about how you deal with others are even just half right, you already have a competitive edge.

It may simply need –like the holiday carving knife– a little sharpening. Start by asking yourself if you and/or someone else who works with you have been partly or largely responsible for positive customer feedback. Do you appropriately reward that behavior when it comes from others. Rewarding positives breeds more positives.

If you get feedback that attributes your business strength to other factors –price, quality, convenience, etc.–you need to giddy-yap over to your customer service counter/person/policy/strategy/whatever, to fix it or make it better.

Why? Because in this lousy (that we keep hearing is great) economy, it is frankly not a good sign that anything other than your outstanding service should be the #1 factor quoted by customers. You cannot any longer compete on price or packaging or quality or convenience or sustainability. Anyone with the know-how and gumption can beat you on those points.

But no one else can be you!

No one else can treat people exactly the same as you, and therein lies your single greatest and unique competitive edge — it’s the differential that you, exclusively, can offer. Have you ever by-passed others and gone out of your way to deal with a particular business because you relate better to the source? Of course you have.

We all seek individuals and entities we feel offer more integrity, more authenticity, a better reputation, provide more extras. So your customers are different? What’s keeping you from adjusting, over-hauling, boosting or perking up your business approaches and attitude NOW? Aren’t roadblocks, after all, a matter of choice?

Choose more of what works. Put a little spice in your spirit! And remember what you put out and how you come across – your spirit — is yours alone. No one else has or can use your strengths.

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Hal@Businessworks.US  931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Dec 06 2010

Walk The Talk!

Follow, deliver, be urgent


and reckless


hardly sounds like a


success formula, but 


. . . NOTHING in business is more telling about the character and integrity of an individual or organization than the honoring (or not) of commitments.


  1. Consistent follow-through and follow-up

  2. Delivery of what’s promised when it’s promised

  3. An all-pervasive sense of urgency, and 

  4. The reckless pursuit of customer delight

. . . are the marks of true business leadership.


Underpinning those magical business attitudes are respect for others, and a mission to maintain quality and value at every turn.

Besides –that all by themselves– those qualities make for explosively productive marketing and branding programs, regardless of the nature of the business or the goods or services offered.

Humans buy benefits first, attitude of the provider or supplier second, and product or service features a distant third.


Who knew? Not most business owners (who continually insist on marketing features first, and who routinely dismiss attitude issues as ones that impact the bottom line, and that they have little or no control over).

In fact, benefits and attitude offered are the engines that drive the bottom line. They are also largely a matter of choice. Attitude is 100% choice. If product or service benefits are limited, it’s because someone at some point didn’t recognize or flex that 100% choice muscle in the process or decision making about what to offer customers. But choosing a corrected attitude can upgrade the benefits.   

The only problem is that I can just barely think of slightly more than a handful of businesses in my lifetime that actually deliver consistent follow-through and follow-up, delivery of what’s promised when it’s promised, an all-pervasive sense of urgency, and the reckless pursuit of customer delight.


What happens when you put these four yardsticks up against the ways you think and the ways your organization is doing business right now? How do you and your business measure up?

Are your weakest-link areas ones you can correct/adjust/improve or boost on your own, or will you do better to enlist outside help? How big of an issue are the expenses associated with getting expert input? What’s your opportunity loss?

You could well be, for example, losing more dollars worth of business opportunities right now because your and your business’s emphasis are on the least productive points (like marketing features?) which could easily be costing you more than to bring in a professional specialist who can help you stop the trickle before it becomes a flood.

If you go this direction, be careful about who you choose to step in. Make sure that that team or group or individual exemplifies the four points identified above. Yes, there are plenty of earnest and capable individuals (especially) out there who can deliver the results you seek. Do due diligence. Ask for references and ask references for references. Use your gut instincts.



302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jun 23 2009

Continental Airlines. United Technologies. Lessons for Small Business.


–Continental Airlines





–United Technologies


     I’ve never been a big fan of Continental since they lost my business presentation luggage 14 years ago (note, by the way, how long we harbor ill feelings about a bad customer experience!).

     In all fairness, though, I must confess that Continental’s branding line stands head and shoulders above all others in the airline industry.

     In fact, “WORK HARD. FLY RIGHT.” actually serves to set a best practices philosophical mark for small business to emulate. Doubts? What small business have you ever heard of that couldn’t stand to improve itself by working hard and flying right?

     How about ANY business for that matter? And, while we’re at it, might we also want to consider application of “WORK HARD. FLY RIGHT.” to any PERSON? Just imagine what a pleasant and productive world this would be if we could all live by these four words.

     Not good enough to get you cranked up?

     Okay, how about adding four more words that come from a great corporate campaign of old for United Technologies: “OPEN MINDS. OPEN DOORS.”

     So there you have it. Put ’em together and what have you got? 8 words that can literally reverse global economic woes, change the world’s governments and politics for the better, and produce increased, ongoing opportunities for cooperation, growth, success, and universally happier existences.

     Sounds great but how do you start? By getting started. At home. In your own office. On your own work site. With your SELF:




     Start now. Tonight. Tomorrow morning. 8 Words. Write them on paper and tape them to your computer screen, cellphone. desk drawer, briefcase, rear-view mirror, medicine cabinet, ceiling fan, wristwatch, your son’s forehead! Watch what happens. You will astonish yourself. I guarantee it!  

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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

Jun 16 2009

“There’s no business like YOUR business…”





     In case you may have started thinking the whole world’s joined forces with the government to push your business off the rooftop, STOP! Maybe they have all joined forces with the government; I’ll grant you that possibility.

     Even if the whole world is not actually involved, there IS certainly some truth to be said for the government’s strangulation taxes and requirements to comply with the bombardment of over-regulations that threaten and seek to control small businesses.

     But, guess what? You can put a stop to it!

     HOW TO STOP IT: First, step back from the upset feelings and take a deep breath: http://halalpiar.com/2009/05/4-steps-in-one-minute-zero-stress/ 

     Next, accept the fact that you are you and in all the world, there is no one else exactly like you. You are unique. Got it? No? RE-read the boldfacing again. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here for you. Got it now? Good. Believe it? If no, you may want to explore some therapy options. If yes, then take the leap of faith to the next level:  

     If you can accept what you just read, then it should be a no-brainer that the business you own or manage or the part of a business you own or manage is also unique. Why? Simple. YOU are unique and YOU are running it! YOU control the day-to-day activities, and what takes place is YOUR choice. Your behavior and your attitude are YOUR choice. What you decide to do with and about your business is YOUR choice. 

     Leave the victim role to Atlas in Greek Mythology; he took the whole world on his shoulders. [For more on the victim “Poor Me” role that many business owners insist on playing, see the great old Gestalt Psychology classic book, BORN TO WIN, by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward. I promise that even now, 40 some-odd years later, it will astound your sensibilities about what makes people choose so many self-destruct directions in life.

     If you continue to worry, check this post for reassurance: http://halalpiar.com/2009/05/stress-kills-sales-quicker-than-the-economy/

     The bottom line is that there simply IS NO OTHER BUSINESS like your business because yours is the business that reflects your uniqueness.

     So choose to rise above the rubble and the unfairness and the shortsighted incompetence of government. Extract yourself from the mire of those around you who choose to wallow in self-pity and act defeatist and negative.

     Choose instead to surround yourself with positive people and thoughts and appreciation for the differences you bring to your company and industry and community tables. Make them work FOR you!  

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Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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