Never Be Generic - Tips

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The same thinking can rescue both your career and company

NBG (Never Be Generic) Thinking is an antidote to the forces pushing nearly everyone - and every company - into a race to the bottom. 

Who can charge less? Who can ship for less? Who can make it cheaper? Who can do it for free?

Despite the hype from the occasional "zero to two billion" startup, selling your services for free is not a viable strategy for 99.99% of the human population.

I have a LOT to say about this, and have been formulating strategies since 1995. No kidding. Here are some quick tips that really work...

Remember information for others: Your in-depth understanding of the needs of others makes you more valuable. I mean specific others: your boss, the CEO, your biggest customer, etc. This knowledge enables you to deliver more customized - and thus more valuable - services.

Think of it this way. With whom would you rather work...

a.) Someone to whom you have to explain everything in annoying detail

b.) Someone who does what you need, almost without you ever having to ask

B, hands down.

Practice drip irrigation: You can never know enough about what others need. Make it your practice to learn something new every day.

Do this in a gentle, unobtrusive way. Don't send someone a survey or corner them for a 30-minute grilling. Just observe, learn, and ask a question every now and then.

The best possible tactic is to put yourself in a position in which you learn without asking anything from the people you are trying to serve.

So if you are running a business, try to embed feedback mechanisms right into your products and services... such as a sensor that tracks usage... or a software app that sends you data.

Just don't annoy them with surveys, because my next tip is...

Make loyalty convenient: You always want to make it easier for your employer - or a customer - to do business with you than with someone new. Period.

If you are ever tempted to be lazy and stop doing legwork for others, just picture yourself alone and poor. And friendless. After even your dog (or cat) has abandoned you.

The more work you have to do to make loyalty convenient, the greater the loyalty you will enjoy. 

Focus attention: I'm only including four tips here, because if I included 27 tips you probably wouldn't remember any of them. Instead, I'm sharing the ones that have stood the test of time over two decades.

This last one means that you need to go to great lengths to focus the attention of others on what you can do for them, and what they need do to make it possible for you to serve them.

  • Use words with precision
  • Offer vibrant descriptions
  • Show yourself to be a genuine and engaged human being
  • Use pictures, or stories, or data... or whatever it takes to connect and form productive relationships with others
  • Most importantly, be able to say clearly how you can help others

For example, I can help you shift your thinking enough to make a rapid and measurable improvement in the trajectory of your career and the growth of your business.

Want more insights? I'd love to conduct a workshop for your team. You can contact me here.

I love to practice what I preach, delivering presentations that are both dynamic and memorable. Here are a few examples...