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Summary:

Recently I’ve been surprised by how hard it is to find anything that I would call remarkable. Everything seems to be declining in quality, and a lot of people seem to be indifferent when it comes to the quality they bring to their work.

I’m reading Seth Godin’s new book, “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” If you haven’t bought it yet, get it. I’m only on page 80 and have already found it unbelievably useful.

The concept of the book really resonated with me, as recently I’ve been surprised by how hard it is to find anything that I would call remarkable, whether it’s service professionals, books, products, customer service, or even food at restaurants. Everything seems to be declining in quality, and a lot of people seem to be indifferent when it comes to the quality they bring to their work.

It’s unfortunate how rare it’s becoming to hear things like:

  • “She’s awesome with [fill in the task/skill].”
  • “He’s a rock star [fill in the task/skill/title].”
  • “She’s a [fill in the task/skill/title] genius!”
  • “He’s expensive, but you won’t find anyone who’s better at [fill in the task/skill].”
  • “Oh, you should contact them. They’re wonderful at [fill in the task/skill/service].”
  • “They have a waiting list, but it’s so worth it!”

How many people can you think of who are truly remarkable at what they do — not OK, not good, but remarkable?

Although this can be disappointing when searching for a particular product or service, it presents a wonderful opportunity for anyone willing to go the extra mile and stand out, for anyone willing to do more than just show up and watch the clock. As Godin says in his book:

When customers have the choice between faceless options, they pick the cheapest, fastest, more direct option. If you want customers to flock to you, it’s tempting to race to the bottom of the price chart. In a world that relentlessly races to the bottom, you lose if you also race to the bottom. The only way you win is to race to the top. When your organization becomes more human, more remarkable, faster on its feet, and more likely to connect directly with customers, it becomes indispensable. An organization of indispensable people doing important work is remarkable, profitable, and indispensable in and of itself.

If you can be a rock star, truly remarkable at adding value to the lives and businesses that you serve, you win. You’re the one they’re going to rave about, you’re the one they’re going to call on every single time they need help, and you’re the one they’re going to pay top dollar to for the skills and talents you bring to the table.

Exceed expectations. Over-deliver. Out-perform everyone around you. Focus on exceptional quality. If you do those things, your customers and clients will be running to the mountain tops for you.

Think about it. How often are you truly impressed by someone? When you are, isn’t it hard to wait to tell someone about the experience? Now imagine if your customers and clients felt that way about you.

When’s the last time you felt that you received a truly remarkable product or service? How quickly did you share the news with someone around you?

Photo by Flickr user nikilok, licensed under CC 2.0

  1. Fitting in alongside this premise for remote workers is to be highly visible. If your client rarely sees you, it is not likely he/she will find you “remarkable”. Be constantly in front of the client, telling her “I am here, I am working incredibly hard for you, and the results show it.”

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    1. Totally agree, James. When you don’t hear from someone who works virtually in a few days, it really makes you wonder if they’re getting any of your work done. I’m struggling with this very thing right now. I absolutely do not want to hire someone to come to work for me “in-person,” but it’s hard to monitor the work of virtual service providers, and I’ve had several issues related to this recently. If they would take the lead in that department, it would be very helpful to the client.

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  2. [...] Far Beyond The Stars – The Minimalist Guide to Leaving Your Soul-Crushing Day Job Scott H. Young – Why Goal-Setting Can Leave You Miserable Zen Habits (Guest Post: Mark Sisson) – The Simple Guide to Optimal Health & Fitness WebWorkerDaily – Are You Remarkable? [...]

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  3. I think society has lost what is remarkable. We can’t limit it just to the work place. Most people just don’t help one another anymore.

    When was the last time you saw s stranger stand up for another stranger?
    When was the last time you saw someone help someone with a bag, or a door?
    When was the last time you someone go beyond in any situation?

    The Good Samaritan is dead, and as a society good customer service has gone with it. People, who volunteer, people who naturally help others, are rock stars everywhere. Because they don’t care about customers, they care about people, some of them just happen to be customers.

    If your motivation to be good to someone, is you want a pay off; like a customer buying something or a good review. The customer senses this, and raises the bar, and never feels they are getting good service. But if you do something because you honestly want to help, no matter how small, people seem to notice that, and then you are a rock star.

    Most people just are not authentic with their intentions.

    Just my 2 cents.

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  4. I too find top talent and expertise to be thinning out, but when I find the odd service that is highly recommendable and reputation building, you are right – I’m quick to recommend it.

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