I have taken some time out with colleagues this week to think about what it means to 'be the best'. We are not in the business of applying superlatives where we cannot know if they apply, but we wanted to explore the process of how a company might go about being the best, and we came up with some conclusions:
- You must hire the best people. It was Red Adair who said "you think professionals are expensive until you hire an amateur".
- You must train and develop your people. If they go on a course which improves their career prospects and allows them to move on, so be it. You cannot keep people by creating poor working conditions.
- You must filter your sales pipeline. It is no good attempting to service everyone's needs. Until you filter out some potentials, you won't have time to service your customers properly.
- With your customers, you must go above and beyond what is expected. Think long term. As with your staff, your customers need your time and attention, whatever stage of the process they are at.
- You must learn from the competition. Not to slavishly study their manuals, but to innovate and find ways to offer better service. You must keep up with the industry and the times.