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Made Easy 3 

We've spent the last two weeks discussing the four-word rules.  My goal remains simple: I want to give you easy-to-implement , tactics, and techniques to improve your business.

Each rule is only four words long because that's all it takes to make a huge difference when building your and business. And because four words are about all my short attention span can handle!

Rule 1 is: “Shut the @#$%!! up.” If you missed it, point your browser HERE.

Rule 2 is: “Take them to lunch.” If you missed that one, point your browser HERE.

Today's rule is just as simple as the first two. And, of course, it's only four words long.

Sales Made Easy 3 

But first, a story:

Between my sophomore and junior years in college, I worked as a waiter at a fine restaurant called the Grand Café. 

I enjoyed the work and liked the other folks I worked with. To this day, I'm convinced that there's no better way to learn how to handle people than to be on the front lines of a service business—one day in particular taught me more than a year in graduate .

That day, I served a woman who wasn't happy with anything. Her water was too warm. Her food was too cold. I brought the salad too quickly. I brought the entrée too slowly. The was too loud. The table was unsteady. The A/C was blowing directly on her.

Finally, she was so exasperated she insisted I fetch the manager.

Back in the kitchen, I relayed her message and told the manager what had happened. He asked me what was wrong.

“I honestly don't know,” I shrugged. I don't think I've done anything to get her that upset, but no matter what I do, she's just not happy.”

The manager walked to the table and introduced himself. I stood a few safe steps behind him.

“Good afternoon, Ma'am. I'm Bernard Fish, the general manager. How can I help you?”

That was the invitation she'd been waiting for. A five-minute rant followed about everything wrong with the food, the service… and the server.

Mr. Fish stood quietly, watching and listening, nodding appropriately. Finally, when the angry patron ran out of steam, Mr. Fish leaned over and said quietly:

“I heard everything you said. And I can fix it all for you. But I must tell you, I think something else is going on. Tell me the truth. What's really bothering you?”

The patron was so angry she couldn't utter a word. And then, like the passing of a raging thunderstorm, her face softened and dropped. She stared at Mr. Fish before bursting into tears.

“My husband left me last week, and I don't know what to do,” she blurted out. Her head collapsed onto her arms.

Mr. Fish turned to me. “Grab a couple cappuccinos and a nice slice of cheesecake.”

I hurried off.

“…and bring two spoons,” he added over his shoulder.

Mr. Fish sat and listened to the woman for the rest of the afternoon. When we were done cleaning up after the lunch rush, when the chairs were up on the table, when the carpet was being vacuumed, they got up. The woman walked over to me and apologized for her behavior. She hugged me and handed me a $100 tip.

So what is four-word rule 3?

Sales Made Easy 3 

Uncover the Real Problem.

The water wasn't too warm, the food wasn't too cold, and the food came out when it was supposed to. But none of that mattered because the wasn't happy.

Most therapists will tell you that their patient's first concern is usually the symptom, not the problem.

I had a client who used to say, “Don't fix problems you don't have.”

It goes double for your customers and clients. Your job is to uncover the real problem.

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