Each Rules! book is a collection of the 52 most important business strategies for managers and employees in a particular field. They are written by experts. These practical gems will help you with customer service, business development, career building, employee motivation, and much more. Let the Rules! be your guide to achieving business success.
Are you a professional on the go? These books are small in size for easy carrying, and the chapters are short, sweet, and to-the-point. Each book has one rule for each week of the year—but if you want to read them all at once, we won't stop you!
Never miss a deadline. No exceptions.
by Steve Hickner
As long as there have been college assignments, students have turned in their work late. And their usual penalty is that their grade is lowered.
That is college.
In the working world, there is no lowering of a grade. There is hitting the deadline or not hitting the deadline. And people don’t care why you missed the date. They just want the work finished. If you can’t hit the target, they will find someone else who can.
Agree with the customer.
Customer Service Rules!
by Don Gallegos
When a customer is upset, the first thing to do is agree with the customer. Tell the customer you are surprised he or she isn’t madder.
Murray Raphel, a clothing retailer and leading marketer, used to tell irate customers, “Okay, you have two choices. I’ll either refund your money immediately or I’ll give you a store credit. Which would you prefer?”
When a customer is really mad and you agree with the customer, you immediately de-escalate the situation.
You can gain a customer for life when you kill ’em with kindness.
Measure yourself against the best.
by Michael Sansolo
If a company wants to succeed it has to keep an eye on the best performers and match up with them. Nothing else will do.
Bob Bartels, the chairman of Martin’s Super Markets in Indiana and Michigan, learned about the importance of competing with the best. His lesson was key to keeping his small family business growing for decades despite powerful competitors.
In the mid-1960s, Bartels was feeling great about how his stores had performed in the past year. Sales were up and the numbers were looking strong.
But one day Bartels got a cold dose of reality. A business colleague with insights from a much larger chain in the area gave him some shocking news: not a single one of Bartels’s stores equaled the financial performance of the larger chain’s worst store.
In other words, the good year really wasn’t all that good when measured against strong competition.
Bartels still tells this story today because of the powerful lesson it packed. It motivated him to sharpen his company’s focus and push performance to a level he didn’t even think was possible. And that’s probably why Martin’s, unlike so many other family retailers, is still thriving.
Find your best competitors and benchmark them.
by Kevin Coupe
If it is important to empower your employees (Rule 48), you also have to trust them.
In other words, let them know that you trust in their ability to make the best possible decisions they can in the moment (which, by the way, won’t always be the right decision . . . but that’s okay), and won’t second-guess them. Later, you might revisit decisions, if only to work through the decision-making process and talk about how to deal with specific situations in the future. But you can’t have employees feeling like someone is looking over their shoulders every minute, ready to pass judgment on whether or not they are doing the right thing. Most of them want to do the right thing, and, when empowered and trusted, will do the right thing.
By trusting your employees, you also are creating an environment in which the people who work for you are going to trust you. They know you have their back . . . and they trust you to do the right thing for them.
I worked for three retail bosses who all trusted me, and whom I trusted to treat me well. That’s the best kind of environment in which to work.
Harold C. Lloyd
Jenny Land Mackenzie
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