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The Lost Art of Making Change

change We don’t pay with cash too often, but one of our brother-in-laws does. A pet peeve of his is that people can’t (or don’t) make change properly anymore. You know, the way it used to be done. Starting with the amount of the sale and counting back the change up to the amount you gave them.

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It seems like retail clerks either count out how much you have coming back or they just dump the change in your hand. Couldn’t they at least hand us the bills and the change separately? Or have one of those cool machines that spits out the change automatically?

So making change seems to be a lost art. Which made us wonder … what does that say about us?

That we can’t do math?

Because that really is what change-making, the old-fashioned way, requires of us. We depend on computers today, so we don’t have to do the math ourselves.

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georgeMy first real at-risk business was a retail store. We’re going back over 20 years here. I hired a woman in her 50s as a clerk. She hated the new-fangled cash registers we had. But she was brilliant. She could figure out how much change the customer had coming back faster than the cash register!

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marylynnI wonder what percentage of retail clerks could do that today. Here’s another example – have you ever given a clerk the dollars plus some change so you get an even amount back? And they get confused about why you’re giving them extra money!

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Practice makes perfect

We found a fun game to practice your change making skills and we have a link to that site on our site today. You get to see the change accumulating in your little piggy bank every time you get an answer correct.

What counting back change properly says

We’re losing some of our skills while gaining others. That’s part of the evolutionary process, but we need to make sure we’re not losing something in the process.

As we talked about this, we realized that there is a very important reason to count back change the way it used to be done. It has far bigger implications than you might think.

But today, we suspect that many people don’t see the benefit of the custom and it’s a pretty important benefit. By counting back change properly, the customer is reassured that we’re giving them the correct amount of change back. It highlights our honesty and integrity.

So whether we use a computer or not, that’s the reason to do it – it builds trust.

That’s why we’re talking about this today. We have a zest for new technology and that’s good. We are on a quest to be more productive. That’s good. But we have to make sure that we’re not throwing out customs that build our relationships.

It’s one thing to lose a skill that can be done by a computer; it’s a totally different story if we stop doing something that enhances our relationship with people. So, here at Bigg Success, we’re reviewing our practices to make sure we aren’t neglecting actions that solidify our relationships with the people we depend on for our success.

Sometimes the old way of doing things is the right way to do them. Because we rarely distinguish ourselves by some bigg accomplishment. We set ourselves apart by things that seem insignificant. Bigg success often comes from little actions.

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we continue on this thread but twist it in a different direction. We’ll talk about making change count. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00341-030209.mp3

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Build Your Brand By Promoting Others

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We started Bigg Success about eight months ago. In that time, we’ve met some incredible people – listeners of our show, readers of our blog, and colleagues at conferences. One of the most amazing people we’ve met is Liz Strauss.

She’s known as the “queen of blogging.” She’s also the queen of conversation – her blog has more comments than just about any other blog. She’s also an SOB – her label for Successful and Outstanding Blog!

A one-of-a-kind show that’s an incredible resource

Liz recently held a Blog Fair. Think of an auto show, where you have all these cool cars lined up. Liz decided to do this with blogs, allowing other people to promote their sites on her site.

Read more

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There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, Unless …

By Bigg Success Staff
07-03-08


Bigg Success in Business

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The University of Chicago is one of the most prestigious universities. Among other notable accomplishments, it is home to a large number of Nobel laureates, many who won their prize by advancing economic theory.

One of those theories is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a price. Or does it?

Free lunch for Nobel laureates

There’s a story about a small restaurant near the campus of the University of Chicago. In the window was a sign that read, “Free lunch for Nobel Prize winners.”

So, it turns out, the same people that postulated that there is no free lunch were able to get a free lunch!

Now this story may be folklore. We couldn’t confirm it. If you know of this restaurant, we’d love to hear from you. But real or not, it still illustrates the point we’re about to make.

Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

If the story is true, one would be tempted to say that there is. After all, these Nobel Prize winners ate without any cost, right?

But it still cost the restaurant owner money for the ingredients that went into the lunch and to prepare and serve the food. So, while the Nobel laureates didn’t pay anything for the lunch, it still wasn’t free.

Costs with benefits

The restaurant owner paid for it. Why would a restaurant owner do that?

For a benefit. Having Nobel laureates frequent his restaurant, which made other people interested in eating at his restaurant. And it got people talking!

For a very small cost. 

Is there something you can do that won’t cost you much, but will get people talking? Use a portion of your marketing budget to influence the influencers. Sure it costs you a little, but the benefits can be significant!

 



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Your Mutual Admiration Society

By Bigg Success Staff
06-26-08

Personal Branding

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As part of building your personal brand, take special notice of the people who are thrilled with you and your performance. Of these people, who really impresses you?

Maybe they always go above and beyond the call of duty. Perhaps they follow through on time, every time.

Form a mutual admiration society!

Not to sit around and tell each other how great you all are, but to help each other by promoting one another.

It’s one thing if you tell someone how good you are. It’s quite another if someone else toots your horn. So toot back!

It has to be genuine. You have to believe in each other. You have to know each other well enough to know that whatever you’re saying will be backed up. But once you reach that level of comfort, go for it!

All of you benefit when you speak on each other’s behalf!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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