Fired Up with Enthusiasm or Just Plain Fired? How Your Everyday Attitude Can Affect Your Profits

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Frances Moffett

When you hear the word enthusiasm what comes to mind? Is it a term you’ve heard some pie-in-the-sky motivational speaker toss around or is it something you view as critical to the success of your business?

Author and business trainer, Glen Gould spoke at iFLEX 2015 on finding enthusiasm in any situation and being able to successfully transfer it to others. Gould defines it as the ability to joyfully engage in a task or activity with confident, unconscious, skill.

“We marvel at the ease with which musicians, athletes, artists and even great business leaders seem to ascend to the top,” Gould said. “They do so because they are joyfully engaging in their craft with confidence and skill and they do so seemingly without effort or thinking about it.”

Everyone can harness his or her enthusiasm. It’s important to your business because your passion and eagerness to serve your clients ultimately affects how you operate thus affecting your potential profits. We caught up with Gould to learn more:

Q: How can business owners — particularly those who have been in business for a long time — contain their enthusiasm?

Gould: It begins with understanding motivation — our need or desire that has been put into action. As longtime business owners, we become complacent because we lose sight of our motive for work. When we began our business we had a core set of needs and desires but little direction. As the business grew, these needs and desires became fulfilled and if new goals weren’t identified we became stagnant. That’s why so many successful businesses have a core set of principles to live by. They endure beyond the time in which the business was formed to continue to provide direction to the organization.

Q: How can we inspire those around us to be enthusiastic, and how can we foster a work culture that does the same?

Gould: You must have a commitment to enriching the experience for those around you. People tend to mirror those around them. If you are enthusiastic about something, your staff and clients will be too. It’s easier when you know where you are going and why you are headed there. Having a clear reason for the work you do and understanding how it impacts those you do it for should be the focus.

Too often, we think our work isn’t significant. But really think about what happens as a result of what you do. At an oil change for example, your clients save time, money and gain peace-of-mind. If you don’t service a client’s automobile they may have a serious mechanical failure.

Q: What are the steps to finding enthusiasm in a negative situation? What should we keep in mind when faced with something that could potentially spark pessimism?

Gould: Negativity and pessimism are self-centered emotions and signs of things being unbalanced. They can surface when you feel inadequate to handle a situation. It is important to do something you feel successful at to get back on track.

When I taught golf, there were many times when students would become negative or pessimistic. That’s when I would return to the fundamentals. It was essential to go back to something he or she knew how to do. We would return to the basics of the game and revisit why he or she wished to learn it in the first place.

In business, you must understand why you do what you do and how it impacts those you do it for. It is difficult to be pessimistic when you are focused on the client.

Q: What are some of the tangible results a business owner can expect to see when they learn to find enthusiasm in all situations?

Gould: People like to work with, and buy from, people who enjoy themselves. Clients will seek out people and places that make them feel special and they’ll become fiercely loyal. Even better, they’ll become actively engaged in sharing their experience with others. Being enthusiastic will show your clients you are different because you care about their needs beyond the transaction. It will also show them you are easy and fun to do business with. Your employees will be serving happier clients and because clients are happier, and being served joyfully, they will be willing to pay more and buy from you more often.

Everything we do in our business should eventually result in profit. Even if we try something and it fails, we should profit from the knowledge going forward.

Q: How do enthusiasm and passion affect the customer relationship?

Gould: There are three “Rs” everyone seeks. They are respect, recognition and return on investment. When engaging a client you should have a good idea of what they want. Did they come to you for an oil change? I think it is much more than that. Of course, the oil change is important, but that’s what a customer wants. A client wants to be treated with respect, to have you know and use their name, to know their vehicle and perhaps something about them personally. And they want it fast and competitively priced. Clients will go out of their way and be willing to pay more if they are treated well. What’s interesting is the better you treat your clients, the better they’ll treat you and your staff. A customer is a one-time transaction, a client is a lifetime of transactions.

FRANCES MOFFETT is editor at the Automotive Oil Change Association. For more information on membership in AOCA, call 800.230.0702 or visit: www.aoca.org

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