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Tuesday, 7 December 2021
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Glimmer Blog
Jul 12

Written by: peterm
12/07/2010 3:44 PM 

No, this is not some crazy story about when I dressed up as a nun… although that is a very good story… sorry I digress…

Habits are amazing things and quite frankly can be brilliant for your business if they are White or more commonly known good habits. However habits can also be extremely damaging to a business’s growth if they are Black or bad ones.

You may or not be aware that a habit can be, and usually is, formed in as little as 21 days. When it was first explained to me I was a little skeptical and set about trying the example I was offered. If you too are a non believer, please give it a go. If you have an alarm clock and use it to wake in the morning then the test is simple but the process can be applied to any action you wish to train the body or mind with…
Set your alarm clock for the same exact time every day, including weekends. As soon as the alarm goes off get out of bed and begin your daily routine… no pressing the snooze button or sneaking back to bed after cleaning your teeth for a ten minute nap. Follow the procedure for twenty one days, the alarm clock goes off and you get out of bed… then the next night turn off your alarm clock and you will wake up at the exact same time as you have for the last 21 days… it’s a great test and it really works.
No one can really pin point why it works but because of the repeating actions, your mind and your body forms a behavioral pattern… or something like that! it is not really why it works that I want to talk about, it’s the fact that it does and how we can use it to our best affect to help improve our business practices… both the black and the white ones. That’s right we have to admit that many of us have great business habits (they are now referred to as our business practices, and they were all formed by making them a habit in the first place). However we probably all have a couple of bad ones too that we need to break.
Let’s start with the White ones… with good habits, some of them are very easy to form because in some very direct way they improve our bottom line.  We work out that when on the phone to a client by asking a simple question, such as, “do you know anyone else that might be interested in our product or services”, we get business this way and it’s a very effective form of marketing. Therefore it is easy for us to form this type of habit because it’s quantifiable to us in a financial sense. Sometimes it’s the not so tangible good business practices that are harder to form and might take the disciplined 21 day approach. But basically because we can see the benefits with a bit of determination and will power, these good business practices can be formed, you got it, in just three weeks…
Now let’s turn to the dark side and this is where, in order to improve our business we have to be horribly honest with ourselves and admit we are doing something wrong. It’s easy to listen to new advice and add it to our business repertoire but to actually admit we are doing something wrong and change it takes real resolve. Why would we be doing something detrimental to our businesses, that’s crazy… we all want to succeed and we wouldn’t knowing do anything to harm that surely? Not consciously perhaps but some of the bad habits we get into can be detrimental to our business and cost us sales.
I am talking about making decisions for people we are not qualified to make. This tends to start when we get comfortable in our role, we have been in the industry for a while, perhaps made significant sales and are very comfortable in our abilities. This, of course, is a great place to be but can also be a very dangerous one. It is about this point we begin to make decisions… The person walks into the shop and we decide that they are just tyre kicking… we haven’t spoken to them, we haven’t approached them yet but we have already decided they are not here to spend money and so we don’t talk to them. Be honest with yourself, have you done that and then ten minutes later you see them buying from another staff member who is about to get their commission?
Let’s put it into some other industry situations. Perhaps you are in recruitment and have interviewed a candidate, and said to yourself, “I won’t send them across to ‘Company A’ to take a look at, I know they are not the right fit”… three weeks later you speak to your candidate who has just started work at ‘Company A’, but they weren’t introduced by you but by your competitor.
Real Estate – a person approaches the window and you decide they don’t look right, they are just browsing… Are you getting the point yet? If you can hand on heart say you have never done this… excellent… but don’t think it won’t happen to you because the minute you get too comfortable… it can.
How do we stop this from happening… the million dollar question I suppose and I don’t have all the answers. We need to be aware that it happens and when it happens to you, have the resolve and the honesty to recognize it and stop the bad habits. There are, unfortunately, a lot more bad habits we form in business and I will share some more with you another time, but making uniformed decisions about potential customers or clients is up there with the worst of them…
Don’t Panic - as if anybody actually was!  There is a train of thought out there of course that not only can you form a habit in 21 days but you can break one in the same time…

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