Discover Step #1 On How To Win In Business

This week on Marketing Monday, Angus Pryor the Practice Growth Specialist will share with you the first step on how to win in business. Actionable principles that you can apply to your business.

Now today we are continuing our series. I introduced this last week. Jack Welch is his name. “Winning” is the book. And the series is around how to win in business. Now Jack Welch was the CEO of General Electric for about 20 years, from the mid-80s to the mid-2000s.

So this is my thinking. Most of us, me included don’t have businesses the size of Jack Welch’s. Be aware when he started GE (General Electric), was at $12 billion. When he finished GE was a $410 billion. Unbelievable growth in that time. So I figure he knows a thing or two and we could apply that in our business.

So first point, he stressed the importance of having a good mission for your business. And that’s a word that a lot of us hear and go, “Oh, sounds too complex, sounds too vague. And what’s the point?”.

It’s really important to have a good mission, particularly if you describe it the way that he recommends which is simply how do we intend to win? What does success look like for us? How are we going to do that?

Now, in his business, one of the interesting things about GE was that their goal was to be first or second in every industry that they’re in. As you might imagine, whether you’re at $20 billion or $400 billion, they’re in a lot of different spaces. But their mission was we’re going to be first or second or we’re going to get out.

My question for you in dentistry is what’s your mission? How are you going to win? Is it :

  • We’re going to provide high quality dentistry services with a second to none customer experience?
  • Are we going to be cost conscious so that it’s very affordable for people?
  • Are you going to niche in the kind of dentistry that you provide?

How do we intend to win?

And the reason mission is so important is because and I experience this in my own business all the time, if you don’t have a clear mission of how you intend to do this.

If you’re a Jack Welch and an opportunity comes to bear in another industry, if an opportunity comes from whatever reason, then you go, “Hmm, well that sounds interesting. Maybe we should do that”.

But if it’s not consistent with your mission, then don’t do it. If you want to be, “We’re about providing high quality, high customer service and experience,” if that’s what your mission is, that’s how you intend to win.

Then there’ll be certain things you’re going to go, “Nope, not going to do that. That’s not consistent with our mission”. So that’s why this is really important.

The next thing that he said was around values. And again, values can sound a bit complicated. What does that all mean? And he described it very simply as behaviours. How do we intend to win and how are we going to behave?

Again, it’s a great way of really focusing in what it is that you want to do and how you’re going to do it. Now, one of their values that I thought was really interesting was around facing reality. If they’ve got the goal that they want to be one or two in every industry that they play in, they’ve got to face reality.

And there’d be certain areas where they would be lagging badly behind and have to go, “Well, are we going to achieve that goal or not?”. So that was for them, face reality.

A bank, one of their values was to say thanks. Literally that was a value. It’s how do we win and what are our behaviors? And I guess the question is what do you guys want to stand for? You figure out what your mission is and then what are the behaviors that are going to support that? They can be just as simple as those.

In Jack’s business they needed to face reality. Often we, and I’m a fairly optimistic person, sometimes we lie to ourselves rather than facing reality. For this bank it was about saying thank you. They wanted a real sense of appreciation.

The final point is mission and values, is that these things have got to work together. They can’t be created in isolation. And there have been many instances of businesses where they’ve had what sounded like terrific missions and terrific values, but if they don’t work together …

One of the examples he quotes in his book is Enron, which was a fairly spectacular fall from being a massive. I think hundreds of millions of dollars, I’m not sure about billions, to completely imploding. And he described it because of this inconsistency between their mission and their values.

But for you in dentistry, this is something simple. It’s not easy but it is simple. Figure out how do you intend to win and then what are our behaviours going to be? Get together with a team. What do we want to be known for?

We’re going to provide the highest quality customer experience in our area, so therefore our behaviours are we say thank you and we greet people within 30 seconds of walking into the practice.

This is step one for how to win in business.