Ed Surman, Director at Mushroom, interviewed Michael Cochrane, Inspirational and Motivational Speaker about his business success for Ed’s podcast, Business With The Fun Guys. The podcast interview is available here to listen to, however we’ve outlined Cochrane’s teachings, below:
8 Things You Need To Do To Be Successful in Business
- Communicate Effectively
There’s an acronym, KISS, which stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. Many people think this isn’t relevant anymore but Michael disagrees. He states that if you keep communication simple, the chances are, the people that you’re actually speaking to internally and externally will understand what you’re talking about. He gets frustrated these days listening to the so-called gurus who stand up and tell you that they’re experts, but they talk in a different language to the audience that they serve. Michael advises that if you’ve got something to say, say it well, say it often, and you’ll succeed.
- Always Be Open To Learning
From Michael’s point of view every day is a learning day. A day without learning is a day without living. Even now he listens to a wide range of webinars. He learns from others. He says “You learn from the best and you leave the rest”. From the start, he used his eyes, ears and mouth in the ratio he was born with. He observed and listened very carefully, took what he needed and dumped what was irrelevant.
- Take Action
There is no point in learning something new but not implementing this knowledge. Michael shares that people come to his talks and watch his webinars, however when he follows up with them, they’ll tell him that the talk/webinar was great but they haven’t taken any action. In his opinion, they’ve wasted their time. It’s not enough to just watch. It’s important to listen, learn, assess and act.
- Belief In Yourself
Our beliefs often define us and our actions. If we believe we can be a success, we will make this happen. We will be focused and determined, completing the appropriate actions we had planned and amend anything as appropriate.
Michael reminisces about a gentleman who entered the car dealership where Michael worked as a trainee salesperson. The gentleman was driving a poor car and therefore, other salespeople believed he wouldn’t buy a car from them. But Michael did not judge and just saw an opportunity to sell. He soon found that the gentleman had borrowed the car and was looking to buy as soon as possible. Michael, before the end of the test drive, had already decided that the gentleman was going to buy the car, he had no doubts at all, and he made the sale, without negotiation, to the astonishment of his colleagues.
- Belief In Your Products/Services
You need to ensure that your products and services are second to none. Your people need to believe this. Your clients need to believe this. Your prospects need to believe this. And this is where the simple communication mentioned in Item One is required.
- Value Your People
As a Sales Manager of a car dealership that was losing six figures, Michael had to turn it around fast. The key, he says, was to get everybody on the same page and not to aim bigger than anyone else. So he explained to his staff that they had 45 pieces of the jigsaw. At the end of the day they’re all different shapes and sizes and they probably thought the biggest piece was him. But he told them that if he was missing the smallest piece, he couldn’t make it work. They were a team and without the smallest piece in that team, it couldn’t function.
Michael shares a lesson in great leadership from Alan Forks, the MD of Iveco Ford Truck, who surprised him with a visit once. Michael invited him for a coffee and chat in the boardroom but Alan said the first thing he wanted to do was to shake every truck technician’s hand and thank them for the work they do. He made sure that his staff knew what they did was valued, and that they were valued.
- Stand Out From The Crowd
Michael explained that his company used to sell Ford Motor Cars, and you could buy a Ford motor car from anywhere. So from a product point of view he wasn’t standing out from the crowd. But what stood him out from the crowd was his team, and the customer experience they gave. You have the opportunity, and must, stand out from the crowd and be completely different, no matter what business you’re in.
- Exceed Expectations
This is a simple but key point and follows on from the customer experience Michael mentions in Item Five above. Never over promise and/or under-deliver. Always ensure that you over-deliver.
And finally, remember you don’t pay the wages, the client does. Whether you’re a business owner or a sales person, the client ultimately pays the wages. Treat them well, and they’ll treat you well. Customer retention and word of mouth are extremely valuable.
Is your business already doing these 8 things well?
If you would like to find out more about Michael’s talks and webinars, click here.
If you’d like some business support, please contact Mushroom by clicking here.