Want to Stand Out Online? Here's a Time-Tested Tip!
customer service more money

“The goal as a good company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” - Sam Walton

I come from a service background. As an ex-actress, I have a PhD in waiting tables and tending bar.

Good service is something I notice. It affects my buying. It affects my brand loyalty. It probably shouldn't, but it can even affect my mood. 

Good service will keep me coming back to a sub-par restaurant. Excellent service gets me to rave and tell all my friends about a spot (hello word-of-mouth-advertising). Above-and-beyond service inspires me to write corporate offices and send reviews that have resulted in promotions (true story).

So let’s talk about service because service matters.

We’re in such a hurry to live our entrepreneurial lifestyle that we forget we’re in business for a reason. Forget good business, it just IS business to show up and serve the people who pay you.

In the online space, we learn about client avatars and running webinars. We talk about social media marketing and followers. There’s live streaming and our messaging. Our brand and brand story. Marketing and sales. The list goes on, but who’s talking about service?

Who’s talking about the way we show up and serve our audience and clients?

We’re farming out the human element one messenger bot at a time, and we’re trading connection for convenience.

Think this is just some ex-waitress rant? Think again. The way we serve our clients and customers affects our bottom line!

I could wax poetic about the importance of service, the integrity behind this, and how it ties into our business purpose. I could tell you that being of service will build connections.

But sometimes numbers speak louder than words, so let’s look at some stats:

  • Studies show it costs 6 to 7 times more to get a new customer than to keep an old one.

  • Loyal customers tend to be worth ten times their first purchase. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)

  • A study showed that 3 out of 5 of us are willing to give up a brand we love in exchange for some good service. 

  • Another study showed that 9 out of 10 of us are willing to pay more for something we think has awesome customer service.

  • Studies also tell us we’ll walk out of stores when we think the services sucks.

{Stats pulled from this awesome article: https://www.helpscout.net/customer-loyalty/}

Sometimes we shy away from providing excellent service because we think it comes at the expense of our well being or means a ton of extra work. 

And, yet, good service can truly be working smarter, not harder. After all, it’s easier (and cheaper) to keep a happy customer than it is to get a new one. Besides, anyone who’s ever done something nice for someone else knows we always get the fringe benefit of feeling good ourselves. It’s why it’s said there’s no true altruism. Good service is similar.

I’m a firm believer that business success comes from being client-serving and self-serving. We need the marriage of both, and serving one serves the other. Meaning, when we serve our clients well, it fulfills us, our purpose, our mission, and our overall business and bottom line.

Cultivating excellent service within our businesses and making our clients and customers feel heard and understood has never been more important. As consumers, we’re starved for quality service and stuffed with options. 

Want to stand out online? Want to find a way to differentiate? Want to find your ‘blue ocean’? Your ‘unique selling proposition’? It might just lie in delivering outstanding service. 

If you want to find an edge and thrive as an entrepreneur, I dare you to swim upstream and focus on service first.

Instead of looking for ways to disconnect and step away, find ways to lean in.

Instead of looking for ways to scale, look for ways to show up and serve the people already in front of you even better. 

Instead of bouncing after closing a sale like a bad one-night-stand, find a way to show up and surprise and delight your customer. 

Here’s the deal with good service, it doesn’t take much. It’s amazing what simply listening to your people’s needs can do. One bonus or unexpected extra can do wonders. A simple check-in or question to make sure your client feels taken care of.

Sometimes a simple gesture is all it takes. Did you know they’ve found that waitresses who leave smiley faces on their checks get better tips?  Small, positive gestures add up into real dollars.

Paying attention to details can make us feel special. I know when I open a product that’s carefully wrapped or receive a thank you email for my purchase, it makes what I bought seem extra luxurious.

Service is a human element, and it makes people us feel good about spending their money. In fact, sometimes it makes us want to spend money again and again.

The combination of a stellar product or program with excellent service will have you rise to the top. People will notice because it’s rare.

Be rare. Care enough about your business, brand, and most importantly your customers to deliver excellence. 

Wishing you your version of success!

customer service for small business

P.S. Ready to design and build a business that serves you AND your clients? I’d love to support you! Let’s get you out there connecting with and serving your dream clients, so you can make more money doing what you love! Click here to learn more and book a free coaching consultation!

Kim ArgetsingerComment
‘The Riches Are In The Niches’ with Sarah Kornblet

BUSINESS INSIDE OUT

NORMALIZING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPERIENCE ONE REAL CONVERSATION AT A TIME. GET COMFORTABLE, GRAB YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE, AND JOIN ME FOR A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT THE MINDSET, GRIT, AND STRATEGY THAT CREATES BUSINESS SUCCESS FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

riches are in the niches.png

We hear about the importance of having a niche and niching down all the time.

“The riches are in the niches,” right?

But how does one go about finding one of those niches?

And if you do (find one), then other questions start pouring out and we wonder if we’re going to lose out on a ton of business as a result.

If any of this is ringing true for you, I think you’re going to love my conversation with Sarah Kornblet!

Sarah’s an attorney for coaches and online business owners and the founder of Destination Legal, where she helps passion-based business owners get their legal foundations in place. She’s also an incredible, freedom-loving adventurer with some serious business knowledge.

Sarah’s locked into a tight niche and has a thriving online business, but it wasn’t always that way.

She started her career at a traditional law firm and realized it wasn’t for her. She didn’t want to be on the track she was on and always just wanted to travel. “Drudging out each day, going to my windowless office” made her think that there had to be something else. And there was.

Sarah’s journey to ’overnight success’ and 10k months included moving back in with her parents and then to Thailand, a furniture business, a Mastermind group, some grit, grace, and the willingness to listen to what she wanted as well as what her clients wanted.

“The bottom line is to just start and recognize that that’s not where you’re going to end up.”

If anyone knows what it’s like to transition businesses and niche down, it’s this lady.

Join Sarah and me for a conversation all about niching down and the journey behind ‘overnight success’. We’re getting real and talking side-hustles that pay the bills, the importance of who you surround yourself with, and the art of transitioning.

Grab a coffee, your notebook, and let's dive in!

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW:

(You can also download the interview and listen to it anytime.)

Subscribe and listen on iTunes.

I’d love for you to join us for the entire conversation, but here are the 'Cliff Notes' if you want to jump around:
{1:13} Sarah shares her story of going from working in a traditional law firm to running her own freedom-based, online business. Like so many of us, her journey wasn’t a straight line!

{7:40} What success looks like for Sarah now.

{11:09} A look behind-the-scenes at Sarah’s journey. It’s so good!

{17:19} We talk about the importance of taking action and surrounding yourself with people who are doing what you want to do.

{18:47} Sarah and I talk about the power of niching down.

{24:08} On continuing to refine your niche. 

{26:18} We talk about transitioning gracefully when you switch niches or entire businesses.

{28:16} Sarah busts a few online business myths. 

{31:20} Where you can find Sarah and Destination Legal online (links are also below)


Once you’ve had a chance to listen, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I’d love to know: what’s your niche? Has this always been your niche or have you narrowed in as you’ve grown as a business owner?

Let’s all give ourselves permission to START the journey with the knowledge that so much becomes clear when we take action. I hope this conversation will release the pressure valve and remind you that things will look different down the road. And that’s ok. I also hope it will inspire you to get curious about how you might be able to niche down a little bit more!

Sarah, thank you again for taking the time to share your experience and insights!

Wishing you your version of success!

niching down entrepreneur interview

CONNECT WITH SARAH AT DESTINATION LEGAL AND SHOW HER SOME LOVE:

WEBSITE

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FACEBOOK GROUP: COCKTAILS AND CONTRACTS

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Is This Pattern Keeping You Stuck in an Employee Mindset?
employee mindset

“The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own.” -Dr. Steve Maraboli

A few weekends ago, I was at an event in a room full of smart, powerful, successful women.

When there was a moment to ask a question or share a reflection, I noticed how one woman after another wasn’t really asking a question, she was asking for permission or validation. This is something I’ve noticed comes up for clients as well, and this is a pattern I definitely fell into at the start of building my business.

It made me wonder, how many of us are holding ourselves back from the next level of success in our business because we’re waiting for permission?

How many of us are sitting on a brilliant idea or know exactly what next steps we want to take, but are waiting for someone else to validate them?

How many of us are crowd sourcing important business decisions in Facebook groups or allowing people who have no knowledge of our work to influence what we will and won’t do? Decisions like what we stand for, what offers to make, what business model to use, pricing, and even the size and scope of our business.

These are all decisions we have to make for ourselves. Even with my coaching clients, I guide and encourage them to decide for themselves. 

The problem that occurs when we’re outsourcing business decisions, is we’re essentially saying, “I don’t trust myself.” We also tend to get feedback laced with other people’s limiting beliefs and fears.

Seeking permission and validation are two of the biggest ways I see entrepreneurs hiding in plain sight and staying stuck. Sure, you’re out there asking questions, but you’re eroding your self-confidence and self-trust in the process.

I get it. We’re afraid to fail. We’re afraid to take the wrong step, and there seems to be an internet-wide belief that there’s an answer out there we’re missing. 

When we’re looking outside ourselves for validation that what we think and believe is in fact true, good enough, or “right”, we place all the power outside of ourselves. 

We then receive our sense of self-worth from other people, letting us know we’re good enough. 

Sometimes, we’re waiting for that gold star to give us the self-esteem we aren’t willing to give to ourselves. 

Other times, we don’t really believe in our ability or the possibility of what we want, and we’re hoping that if enough people tell us it’s ok, that it can happen, that it will.

Depending on where our mindset is hanging out, we can also subconsciously seek out the very people who will tell us not to move forward or that our ideas aren’t valid. We’ll notice the few words that validate our biggest fears and turn them into truth. Suddenly it’s a crazy fear-party that’s running our business, and it’s not even always OUR own fears that are running the show! 

For some of us, this is something we learned back at our 9-5’s. We’re used to being an employee who has someone else telling them what to do and how to do it. It can be scary and a big adjustment to switch out of the employee, permission-seeking role and into being the person who runs the show and decides what’s going on.

I’m always saying being an entrepreneur doesn’t come with a handbook, so it can feel very rudderless, and getting a little validation can feel soothing and ease the discomfort.

Not only does this keep us hiding in plain sight and creating a business based on other people’s opinions, it’s damn confusing and such a time suck!

Who hasn’t had a great idea that they’re all fired up about and lost weeks getting input, only to find themselves no further along, confused and deflated?

I get it. I’ve so been there and used to survey anyone who would listen for a thumbs up. I still have to sit on my hands when I’m looking at an important business decision, to make sure I weigh in with myself first, and choose from this space versus picking up the phone to see what my coach or business bestie thinks. 

Success is an inside out process. No person, no guru, expert, teacher, or coach can tell you what’s right for you and your business. Someone can guide you to clarity, which is invaluable, but the best results come when we check inside first.

You don’t need anyone’s permission. In fact, permission might be holding you back.

Instead of looking for permission and approval, I think we want to get curious about why we need it in the first place. What are we hoping someone else can give us that we can’t give ourselves?

What’s the fear that’s keeping us from trusting ourselves?

It’s with this clarity that we’re able to get back into the driver’s seat and make decisions from a place of personal strength. This is when we get out of employee mindset and step into the role of CEO.

To create the next level of success in our businesses and lives, I believe we have to first give ourselves permission. We have to stop looking for validation outside ourselves.

Let’s all give ourselves permission and validate that we’re doing it right, that our ideas are good enough, that we should publish the thing, share the thing, take action on the thing, do the thing.

Wishing you your version success!

give yourself permission

P.S. Ready to stop hiding in plain sight and make decisions like a BOSS? I’d love to support you, so you can get out there and make more money doing what you LOVE! Click here to book a free coaching consultation!

Be an Oak Tree Not a Weed
grit and growth ceo mindset

“People are rewarded in public for what they’ve practiced for years in private.” -Tony Robbins

If you’ve been hanging out with me for a hot second, you know I'm all about playing the long game and cultivating a grit and growth mindset.

I like to think of this stellar combo as being an oak tree versus a weed.

Weeds pop up overnight. They smother gardens as they suck up resources. They’re easy come, easy go. We can pluck a weed out of the ground without any effort, and the next day it can be replaced by another of the same.

Oak trees, on the other hand, have roots that go deep. In fact, their roots can total hundreds of miles (fun fact). They're strong and can withstand the winds and storms that pass year after year. Oak trees stand the test of time.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think about my business (and life), I’d much rather be an oak tree than a weed!

Fun analogies aside, let’s get back to a grit and growth mindset and playing the long game. You may have heard me sing my praises for grit in the past. I know it’s a harsh sounding word, but its meaning is anything but.

Grit is a term in psychology, and it means the passion and perseverance for a long-term goal. 

Grit IS playing the long game.

A growth mindset is the other piece of our mindset combo. In psychology speak, we can have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset, and trust me, we want a growth mindset.

A fixed mindset is the mindset that thinks, “We’re born with it”. This mindset believes that whatever skills or talents we have are set, and there isn’t much room for improvement.

A fixed mindset decides after a few subpar tries at live video, that we suck at it and therefore shouldn’t do it. It’s the same mindset that tries any new skill in our business, like sales calls, and after less-than-stellar results wants to throw in the towel. 

Then, there’s a growth mindset. This mindset believes we have the ability to grow our talents and mind. This mindset believes that through deliberate practice we can get better and excel at anything.

Faced with the same business frustrations this mindset says, “I can figure this out. I can learn this. I can do this.” It asks, “How can I get better?” It knows, “I WILL get better” and has the passion and perseverance to stay in the game long enough to make that a reality.

This combination of grit and growth is that strong mighty oak tree, and it’s also an important part of what makes up a successful, CEO mindset.

I get that this sounds great in theory, but isn't always the same in practice.

“Grit and growth, yeah!” We nod our heads and agree until we’re facing our own set of challenges and 'growth opportunities'. Suddenly grit doesn’t sound so appealing and that fixed mindset can feel like a get-out-of-jail free card. Like so many things, these are easier to throw a hashtag in front of than they are to cultivate.

It doesn’t help bolster our commitment to the long game when popular culture seems to strengthen a fixed mindset and weaken grit.  

We live in a world that promises us instant everything. I can microwave my food and order anything I want on Amazon and have it here tomorrow. There are quick-fix solutions all over the place and we celebrate the ‘overnight’ success.

Since we’re wired for comparison, this can send us is into mental quicksand pulling our grit and growth mindset down.

And the long game? It’s pretty much the least sexy topic out there. Who wants to sign up for sustainable growth with a side of grit when you can instantly download success? Who wants to put in the hours to deliberately learn and master a skill when you’re being promised 10k months on automation?

But we can’t crash-diet our way to what we truly want, not if we want anything sustainable. We can’t microwave success. And last time I checked, Amazon Prime doesn’t have build-an-entrepreneur-overnight for two-day delivery. Sorry not sorry.

It takes time to truly master a skill, acquire experience, and become the person we need to be to step into what it is we want, whether that’s a successful business, a creative talent, healthier body, or athletic skill. 

It takes time to develop and nurture the relationships and connections that are essential for business success.

It takes time to test and tweak our message, offers, marketing, and sales efforts.

It takes time to show up, fail, pivot, and leverage those failures into success.

I’m not big on promises, but I promise you this: If you take a look at the people you admire who are excelling at what they do, they’ve committed to the long game and daily grit required. I’d bet they’re all about a growth mindset. Their path is most likely littered with failures, setbacks, and challenges we can’t see that they’ve have the grit to persevere through.

Even if they SEEM like an overnight success, I promise you, there’s something that’s been done behind-the-scenes that you aren’t aware of. They've got some roots that are digging deep to support them.

And if you’re sitting there thinking, yeah, but I want it now. I don’t want to wait. Know it doesn’t have to take forever. It’s all about the mindset and approach and less about the time frame.

Wherever you're at on your journey, remember that a sapling will always be stronger than a weed.

Let’s all stand taller and stronger than instant gratification. Let’s water our trees, allow our roots to grow deep, so we can be the ones that stand the test of time.

Wishing you your version of success!

grit and growth mindset

P.S. I'm celebrating a new level in my business, and my private coaching rates are going up to reflect my growth and what I bring to the table! If you've been curious about coaching, I still have a few spots available at my current rates before they change Oct. 5. Click here to learn more and schedule a free coaching consultation!