The more things change, the more they remain the same. Recently, at my annual event for landscapers, GROW!, we had the pleasure of listening to my friend, New York Times best-selling author and award-winning speaker Mark Sanborn.
Mark is the author of several books, including the smash hit, “The Fred Factor.” The wisdom that Mark shared with my group was priceless. He made all of us think about what we are doing at our businesses. However, it was something that Mark mentioned to me outside of the event that has really woken me up.
Mark told me that in our marriages, “We don’t get extra credit from our wives for the big things we do, like being faithful to them or earning money to help support our families. That’s the cost of entry into marriage, a basic requirement, if you will.”
He said we get credit for the little things we do like, “saying thank you, being considerate, cleaning up the kitchen, celebrating important dates and showing appreciation.” Mark went on to tell me that it’s the little things people appreciate that make a difference. He commented on how this is true for all relationships – business and personal. Ain’t that the truth?
Recently, I had to take my new vehicle in for warranty work. When we take our vehicle in for service, we expect it to come back the way we had it. Well, that’s not what happened.When I got into the vehicle, the seat was all the way up, so I had to fix that. The mirrors were adjusted to fit whoever drove it which doesn’t make much sense to me as I didn’t think it needed to be driven very far. The radio was switched to a station I did not have programed, and finally, no one at the dealership explained to me what they did.
On top of that, while they were removing the top to work on a crushed wire in the GPS, whoever did this got their greasy fingerprints all over the bright white inside of the top. I spent 30 minutes cleaning it up. Now, none of these things are terrible. And I sent an e-mail to the owner of the dealership which he forwarded on to his people who called me. I’m going back. This isn’t a deal breaker. However, if it happens again, it probably is a deal breaker, and that leads me to the point of this month’s column. Little things make a big difference!
Mark is right. We don’t get credit for the big things we do right. The dealership fixed the GPS. It now shows my office on a road, not in the middle of a cornfield. However, the other little things, the things that I could really notice, were not done well and left a sour taste in my mouth. Look at your own business. How are you at the little things?