This phrase appeared on my radar while listening to a CD by Mike Litman called ‘Greatness Held Hostage’. If you’ve ever listened to anything by Mike, you know you will remember something! He is ‘Mr. Enthusiastic’ and was once described as a modern day Napoleon Hill. So when Mike said ‘You’re either consistent or non-existent’ it sunk in because before the CD was finished I’d heard it at least three times.
The more I ponder on this phrase the more I realize just how powerful it really is. Consistency is the lifeblood of any business. Consistency is the key to a great customer experience. If you start slipping up or forgetting things, your customers can only assume other problems are afoot as well. Consistency assures your current customers of the experience they will have the next time they do business with you. If you did a good job this time, the customer will be more likely to give you repeat business. Consistency helps retain those customers that would otherwise turn to a competitor. Consistency makes it extremely easy for your current customers to tell their friends about your business.
One of the best ways to gather force, especially regarding our businesses, is to practice consistency. Consistency can mean many things to different people. It is as simple as choosing to perform a basic task at the same time every day for at least 40 days. For example, I decided recently to write a blog post a day for 90 days straight. If I missed a day I had to start all over again from day 1. Two things I learned from that particular exercise in consistency. The first was that consistent performance of a chosen task sometimes even at a chosen time over a period of days helped me to gain force and momentum. The second lesson was that having not set another goal for consistent writing once I had completed my 90-day goal I began to miss days and subsequently lost some of the force I had gained. In fact I noticed that my contributions to my blog sometimes dwindled to one post a week! Now I know that the discipline of committing to consistency (and daily blog posts seems to do it for me in this instance), underpins my success in any endeavor.
Closely tied to consistency’s hip is completion. Ever notice how horrible you begin to feel if you don’t regularly keep your word? The dictionary says that completion is finishing something and making it whole. Your energy and power is consumed by things left unfinished. Think about the incompletions in your life: unspoken truths, broken agreements, promises made and not kept, people you appreciate love and care about but haven’t told directly and of course money owed. In the ‘Five Wishes’ Gay Hendricks says that “justification is one of the glues that hold incompletions in place. “I’m right so technically I don’t owe you anything or you made me angry therefore I don’t owe you the money!”
If you say to a customer “I’ll call you tomorrow,” you have created a new agreement of how things will be. If you then make good on the agreement and call tomorrow you line yourself up to experience harmony. If you don’t call, you leave a loose end. By not making the call you communicate something that directly affects your business and life. You are in fact saying that your word is no good and the customer is not worth your effort to keep your word!
The most important aspect in my eyes when it comes to trusting someone involves their consistency. I have met several people at various social events who all appear to be friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable regarding the product or service being promoted. Then it comes time for the follow up process of setting a first appointment. Sometimes they make the appointment but never show up. They might call the next day offering an excuse. Some never follow up. One would think that after meeting such a great person that presented themselves so well at a mixer, there would be no further issues? WRONG! This follow up process has already started to show these people’s inconsistencies and in turn, makes me lose the trust factor that I must have if I’m to do business with someone.
So how do you achieve consistency in your business?
First review your business. Take an inventory of your current situation to see if your business is set up to accomplish what you truly want to achieve and build the trust you say you wish to establish. Clarify your vision. Write a vision statement that spells out clearly what you see your business providing for the customer. Then write a mission statement that explains how you intend to achieve your objective or vision. Ensure that all connections made with your customers achieve this including phone messages, phone calls, emails, social media sites, web sites, company policies, your presentations – EVERYTHING! Develop a sound business strategy. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and describe them in detail. Then outline how you plan to capitalize on both particularly if you discover ‘energy’ leaks in your business that need to be stopped.
The power of being consistent is about cleaning up the habits and thoughts that do not serve you. It is about going to the depths of who and what you truly are. The power of completion can go into all areas of your life; do you have a song inside you, a canvas to paint, a relationship to heal, or a destiny to follow? When you get complete with that which is still left undone in your life, it frees you up to explore the passion and possibility that is out there for you with your name on it!
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