Positivity alone to improve your business? Really? While I try not to be all sunshine and rainbows over here, I do try to focus on good over bad, which you can probably tell if you read my blog often. BUT there's a good reason for it. It's not because I don't have bad days, or that I don’t know there are less than ideal things going on in the world, but for me, I know it doesn't help me or my business to focus on things that aren't positive.
Sooooo, what do I mean by that? Why would focusing on positivity be helpful for your business? Below are some of the ways I have found a positive mindset keeps me on track.
No one, seriously no one, likes a negative customer service experience. Whether it is someone taking your order or your photo, answering the phone or your insurance questions, we all notice the way we are treated as a customer. The reason I feel confident saying this? I am a customer more often than I am providing a service - and so are you. You notice when the waiter at your favorite restaurant remembers you. You also remember the rude cashier who wouldn’t take your one-day expired coupon. If you have clients or customers, as I am sure you do, you are providing the service here and you need to put yourself in their shoes.
If I'm negative during my day, it is much harder for me to provide a good experience for my clients. While there is some degree of being able to fake it (which whenever you are having a bad day…by all means fake it) you can usually tell when someone is being genuine. By maintaining a positive mindset throughout the day I'm able to be more genuine with my business clients.
Gratitude for Your Clients
On the flipside, I can tell you countless stories of hearing fellow designers or account managers hating on the client because they've had it with the project and/or the client. Look, sometimes projects and/or clients are frustrating. I’m not going to sugarcoat that. But I can tell you from experience, you have the power to control your reactions here. Earlier in my career, I would spend entire mornings dreading my upcoming meeting with a “difficult” client, then spend the whole afternoon complaining about said client.
Here is where the floodgates of negativity can open. When I was in an office setting, once one person started complaining, inevitably, we would all jumped on the business bitching bandwagon. Every time, I would quickly become worn out and start to feel unhappy. It would totally drain me.
Whenever I start to focus on how irritated I am with a project, the slower I make progress. Then the longer a project drags, the more noticeably irritated the client and I both become. So I decided it was time to take another approach. This has taken time and I still catch myself on that complaining train, but less and less often.
Instead, I do my best to remember that they hired me to do something I told them I could do. I try to remember I want them to not only be happy with the final product, but with the entire process. Instead, I try to remember that I am doing what I want to do for a living.
What if you remember you are being paid to provide a service that you enjoy? That is amazing! And a privilege. What if you look at that difficult client as a lesson? Because honestly, I have learned more from those clients than almost any of my easy ones. Some of those lessons for me have included, but certainly aren’t limited to, communication, efficiency, how to choose clients who will be a good fit, and determination.
In the first scenario, where your frustration is leading the way, you and your client start to butt heads, potentially even resent the process, which risks their feelings with the finished product , which you want to ensure they are happy with. If it was unpleasant, event a little bit, they won’t forget the pains it took to get there.
The really great part? Pretty much all you have to decide is that you're going to do your work this way - that you will be grateful for your clients and be a positive force within the process. Be positive to the point that they can’t help but notice! I know that when you're in the thick of it that's really not what you want to hear, but I'm here to tell you that you really do you have that power.
People are drawn to positive people.
If you are a service-based company then this is really important. Even if you are in a product based industry, this can still apply to you. People are drawn to positive energy - plain and simple. As humans, we tend to seek it and listen to those emanating it. If this weren’t true motivational speakers wouldn’t have a job. The Tony Robbins of the world would have a voice but no audience. Yet Tony Robbins has reached people on so many levels because there’s an abundance of people drawn to his knowledge and process to focus on positive, forward thinking.
If I were to ask you to think of Anne Frank, then think of one quote of hers, I would be willing to bet I know which one comes to mind. Better yet, Google it, and you will find the same thing. Why do we remember her? Why are we inspired by her? Because in the midst of tragedy, this young girl chose positivity, wrote it down, and her beautiful words remain with us today.
Positive people make others feel good about themselves. Being aware of this can not only be a great way to focus your outlook on life but become something you can capitalize on. Best part? Everyone wins in this scenario. Not to get too rah-rah here, because that's not my goal, but it is my goal to highlight a simple fact here.
Think about being around a grouchy person. You're probably excited to leave them when you do. At the very least, it’s not likely you want to linger around them. But when you're around a happy person who's making the interaction and your time spent together better, you're more likely to want to be around that person. And honestly, you're probably more likely to want to do business with them. This is why it is so important for service based industries, especially if your interaction is ongoing. Think about tasks you probably don’t love - taxes, banking, working out. What if you disliked interacting with your accountant, banker, and trainer? Your unpleasant task just got worse. But if you enjoy them? They make the task better! You can be that person for your clients and you can give them that experience.
Since I started this business, I have studied what other businesses and individuals with a strong following post on their social media. Honestly so far what I have found is that the people others engage and connect with most are those who aren't shy about expressing gratitude, are almost overly positive, and use their voice for honesty and encouragement. The most engaging people tend to be positive ones - a good thing to remember as you try to find and land new clients.
Your Day to Day tasks are Bearable
This one is pretty simple. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t let the little things get you down. Chin up. All the cliche phrases. Keep up with it, don’t complain, look on the bright side, and you can brush those little things right off your shoulder and off your list.
How have you found your attitudes affect your interactions with clients?