Champions Work Harder After Winning

Last week I was in a major North American city that’s home to two of the premier franchise sports teams on the planet. I was thrilled to be working with both teams.

The previous season, both of these teams had an impressive run. One made it all the way and came away with the prize. Even with high demand from consumers based on their recent successes, they’d engaged me to do some work with them on enhancing their customer loyalty and retention efforts, specifically with the sale of seasons tickets in mind.

In many ways, it was a very different room than I’m used to working with.

First, the talent level was incredibly high, and the age range was lower than I expected. The sales & service representatives in the room were all in their early-mid 20s, and both their intellectual firepower and work ethic were leagues ahead of many places I’ve been in (where the mid-40s senior managers often scoff at the lazy millennials).

Second, the leadership was listening and acting on the ideas and perspectives of the young staffers. Their dedication to improving their customer’s experience was similar to their work ethic on the playing fields.

Everybody in the room was fully engaged in creating an excellent experience for all of their guests and were doing a ton to retain all of their clients.

For example, they are making training both regular and consistent for their people. But they didn’t just view things as “a training” as some companies like to call it. They were invested in ensuring results would stick and that new things learned would be implemented and carried forward.

Most of the time when I work with high profile companies, they spend more time telling me about their training programs than their people devote training… But this group had scheduled regular training in for all members of their staff.

The leadership in the room was equally impressive. I could tell how engaged their teams were and that was because leadership was so involved.

When we did hot seats and role-playing exercises, one of the executives was the first to volunteer with me, his comment was simple: “I love roleplaying!”

And wow, could they ever roleplay!

Even better, they could dissect a role-play discussing the good, bad, or indifferent and use each roleplay as an opportunity to get better.

If you’ve followed these tidbits (or read my most recent book), you’ll know how vital doing regular roleplays are for all customer-facing staff – especially salespeople!

And while most executives I work with nod their heads and agree that it’s important, it rarely turns into a regularly practiced activity within the organization.

Working with these organizations reminded me why the best keep getting better.

They’re taking whatever steps they can to improve and get better all the time. An organization that doesn’t even need to work to sell tickets is asking the question, “How can we provide our customers an even better experience?”

And that, in my opinion, is the secret of winning. It’s about being consistently good, instead of haphazardly great.

It’s about continuously looking for ways to get better.

It’s about being on top and asking how you can create an even wider gap instead of merely resting on your laurels even when business is good.

It’s about doing the hard work all the way to the top and continuing to do the hard work day in and day out.

Your Challenge For This Week:

What’s something that you’re doing well, that you could double-down on to do at a world-class level?

Best,
Noah