Plus One

Rita Santamaria - President of Champions School of Real EstateIf you work just for money, you’ll never get rich but if you love what you are doing and you are consistently looking for new business, while remembering the customer is always first, success and personal satisfaction will be yours.

This phrase said in so many different ways is factual. The problem is we all need the money in order to pay our obligations and that brings on the pressure which brings on stress. How you and I handle stress is the key to success and personal satisfaction.

Culture tells us about our success. The more you do the more you are worth. People who are more productive are worth more. Perhaps this is why teachers, maintenance persons are not paid more as they are perceived to be not as productive. How very incorrect this thinking is. We need our maintenance engineers to keep us healthy and safe and we are uneducated if we do not have our teachers, or what I like to call, “subject matter experts”. So culture must be wrong when identifying success.

Success to most individuals is having a good business or job and enjoying good family relations. Being good in all areas of our lives is learning to work with the stress that is converted to energy and productivity. Stress can be good if it allows us to set appropriate priorities. Priorities, aka, goals must be based on trustworthiness, honesty and building a respectful reputation, while laying the foundation for business and family success.

Our customers are coming to our business with their stress. They need our products and are willing to compensate us for them and all we need to do is give them good service. Even if the customer is exhibiting a bad attitude, we don’t have the luxury of allowing the customer’s attitude to affect our Plus 1 attitude. The Plus 1 attitude means we take great care to full fill the customer’s order and then you do something extra for the customer.

A recent example in my business occurred when an agent from another state talked to our Champions career counselor and wanted to know how to transfer his out of state hours to obtain a Texas broker’s license. After she told him the procedure, she went to the other state’s website and pulled off their form this customer needed and handed it to him to take with him and fill out. The customer could have done the process after leaving her office. He could have gone on-line, printed the form but she did a Plus 1 and he was very appreciative.

Here are some simple acts of consideration which I consider Plus 1’s: When visiting with a customer in person, you offer the customer a water, coffee, or soft drink. You have a play area, or crayons, etc. for the children. You never show any anxiety over the children’s behavior…never. You introduce them to others in the office which is a show of respect and manners. Simple statements like “we are so appreciative you have chosen our company for your________needs”; always saying “thank you for your business” is a must. These are simple commands but next time you are the customer please check to see if you get these courtesies.

On the internet or via e-mail the way you write your notes, the speed of your reply and clarity of your delivery tells the customer how important they are to your business. Never use all caps on a reply. It comes across you are yelling. Always use spell check. Don’t use abbreviations in business correspondence. These are only a few examples of how our business is perceived by others through electronic delivery.

Plus One can be achieved through personal and e-delivery methods. The way you acknowledge, reply and take action for your customer’s benefit will correspond to the degree and height of your success.

Rita Santamaria is the owner of Champions School of Real Estate and Champions Professional Development. Rita was recently honored by the Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce as one of three Texas honorees for 2013 Business Woman of the Year.

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