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Confidently Prepare for the Best When You Feel Helpless

Mar 4, 2008
Irresistible forces can leave you feeling helpless. When that occurs, you are often vulnerable because inaction is often worse than a poor action.

How can you find a helpful path? Answering the following questions is intended to help you see alternatives where you might otherwise feel helpless in the face of irresistible forces.

How can this setback become the best thing that ever happened to your enterprise?

In the case of a faulty product, for example, you have the chance to show that you are prepared and capable of putting customer needs ahead of your own, and win the respect of customers who become more loyal and committed to you. Research on hotels shows that the happiest and most loyal customers are those who experienced a terrible problem that the hotel resolved quickly and happily to exceed the customer's expectations. While not a reason to create problems, this experience certainly shows the positive side of seeing customer problems as an opportunity.

Suppose you need to reduce staff and are concerned that this action will hurt morale and customer perceptions. This action can be implemented in a way that raises the quality of your remaining staff by eliminating only those who are the lowest performers and have the least potential.

You can also take some of the money you save and provide additional incentives for top performers to stay and do even better in their careers. You can convey your intention to improve the quality of your staff to customers so that they will be aware of the potential benefit to them.

Employees normally experience a morale boost when the weakest performers are eliminated, because the weak performers usually make a lot of extra work for the high performers.

If you have promised not to do something, such as reduce your performance to customers, your need to consider that reneging on your promise can be an opportunity to explore in more depth with customers what their current needs actually are. You can then redesign what you offer so that the bundle of benefits overall is better for the customers.

For example, customers may have wanted to receive supplies quickly (causing you to promise fast deliveries) because they usually have to return a lot of the merchandise you provide to them due to your manufacturing faults. If you improve quality, they may be willing to wait longer for deliveries because they won't need to return so much or keep as much inventory. Usually some other factor will provide more benefits to both your enterprise and to the customer, than the way you have been serving the customer.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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