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Apologies – The Bad and the Ugly

sorry.jpgYesterday we talked about how Ramon De Leon, the owner of six Chicago Domino’s franchises, responded to a complaint by Amy Ravit Korin on Twitter and created a video apology promising to “wow” her. You owe it to yourself to see how he did it.

When it comes to apologies, this is the good. Today we want to talk about the bad and the ugly and discuss three steps in the art of the apology.

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The bad

Domino’s, the chain, recently found itself making the news when two employees of one store posted a video on YouTube showing them mishandling food, to say the least. Domino’s President, Patrick Doyle, was featured in a video apologizing for the mishap and reassuring customers that this was an isolated incident.

There was backlash to this video because it didn’t seem sincere. We think that the apology itself seemed sincere. However, he wasn’t looking at the camera so it’s obvious he was reading from a script. He should have at least looked squarely at the camera when he said, “We’re sorry.”

The difference between this video and Ramon’s video is striking. Ramon is looking right at the camera and it’s obvious that he’s not reading from a script. There’s no question about his sincerity in the way he delivers his apology.

The ugly

You’ve probably heard about the free grilled chicken promotion by KFC. Unfortunately, KFC was not prepared for the overwhelming response to this promotion. Countless customers were turned away when they arrived at their local KFC to redeem their coupon. KFC’s President, Roger Eaton, issued a video apology.

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georgeI’m a positive-thinking person who loves positive-thinking people. But he was too positive in light the situation.

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marylynnI agree completely. He seemed happy. If I’m dissatisfied as your customer, I want to see that you’re unhappy about it. Show me that you’re empathetic to my terrible experience.

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george
Show you know I’m as mad as a chicken on a hot tin roof?

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marylynn
No … as mad as a chicken in a frying pan!

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The KFC apology focused too much on the success of the promotion and not enough on the debacle that followed. However, we’ll cut them some slack because they’re dealing with a more massive problem than the other two.

The art of the apology

Bigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Sometimes we experience the most growth when we’ve made a mistake.

No matter what medium you use to apologize – video, phone, e-mail, in person or some other way – there’s an art to it.

First, simply apologize.
Get it out of the way right upfront. Ramon, the Domino’s franchisee, gets right to it as does Patrick Doyle, the Domino’s President.

The KFC President, Roger Eaton, completely missed the mark. Instead of apologizing right away, he starts off talking about how successful the promotion was.

Second, talk about what you’re going to do about it.
Once again, Ramon nails this one. He told Amy that he was going to wow her. And wow her he did along with the rest of us. Patrick Doyle got this right too.

Roger Eaton eventually gets to the point – they’re going to honor the coupon and give you a free Pepsi product if you do a whole bunch more work. Instead of talking about how they will remedy the situation, the people who were affected have to follow-up to get what was promised to them in the first place.

Third, look to the future.
There’s nothing wrong with ending an apology on an upbeat note. Look to the future of the relationship. Ramon hit this one out of the park as well. We think the park was Wrigley Field!

Patrick Doyle closes strong. He thanks people for their support and says Domino’s will work to rebuild our trust. However, right before that, he says that “it sickens him that the actions of two individuals” could impact their brand. You could feel his emotion. This is where he should have started.

This is a mistake that’s easy to make – beginning and ending with an apology. Follow the process mapped out here to avoid doing that.

The President of KFC completely struck out. He apologizes right at the end of the video – the best apology in the whole video we might add. Fortunately, he didn’t close on that note; it appeared as if he would. He does end on an encouraging note.

Use this three-step process and deliver your message with sincerity the next time you have to apologize. We all make mistakes. When handled properly, even they can lead to bigg success!

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Please join us next time when we talk about out of this world communication.

Thanks so much for hanging out with us for a bit today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00393-051309.mp3

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What is Your Thing?

tutors-on-tv.jpgToday we introduced a new segment on The Bigg Success Show – Tutors on TV. You really might enjoy listening because we can’t fully replicate the experience in text!

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One of our favorite TV shows is How I Met Your Mother. On a recent episode, two of the characters, Barney and Marshall, were discussing that there could be more layoffs at the bank at which they both work.

Barney says he’s not worried about it because he has too much on them. But Marshall is worried.

Barney tells Marshall he needs a “thing” – something that makes him fun and well-liked. Barney points out the guy in Account Services who’s known as “The Food Guy.” There’s “Fantasy Guy”, “YouTube – Clip Guy”, and even creepy “Back Rub Guy.”

After several attempts, Marshall came up with “Sports Guy” – he ran the fantasy sports league at the office.

Although this is a comical way at looking at how to stand out, it probably isn’t going to help you keep your job. But there’s an underlying lesson that will help you build your personal brand.

A memorable characteristic

Our friend, Jay Ehret, The Marketing Guy, recently left a great comment on a show we did about personal branding. We said it was important to have a consistent persona. Jay added that it was also crucial to have at least one memorable characteristic.

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georgePeople tell me all the time that they love my laugh. It’s funny – I don’t know how to develop a good laugh. But I know when I hear anyone in my family laugh, I get a kick out of it. I guess I’m lucky enough to share the same genes.

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marylynnGeorge’s laugh makes people feel good. And he has a natural ability to make them laugh. People love that about him.

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So what about you makes you stand out? For what do people remember you? What’s your thing? It can be as simple as a handshake. You may be sincerely likable. There are a lot of possibilities.

Beyond personality

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marylynnBut it goes beyond personal characteristics. It’s also about what you’re really good at. I think I’m pretty good at audio production. I have experience, but also a real passion for it.

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georgePeople often comment about the production quality of The Bigg Success Show. I tell them Mary-Lynn gets all the credit for that. For example, she created the fun sound effect for our show today as well as all the sound you ever hear on our show.

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You may be the go-to person or the connector – you’ve got a great Rolodex. You may be the person who can lead people others can’t. Once again, there are a lot of places to find your thing.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Finding your thing

We think you often find your thing where your passions meet your proficiencies. What do you love? What are you really good at? They’re not always the same, but they often are.

If you’re a really humble person, it may be hard to think about what your thing is. But fortunately, there’s a really good solution …

Ask!

Ask your family, friends, and closest associates what they think that thing is for you.

A bigg request

We want to do more segments of Tutors on TV. We’d love it if you help us out. Have you learned a thing or two from a TV show?

Please share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We thank Jay for sharing his fantastic insight with us. And we thank you so much for reading our post today.

Please join us next time when talk about sharing toys. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00379-042309.mp3

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For What Will You Be Famous?

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(Image in today's post by lilie)

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The Dirty Truth About Being an Entrepreneur

tpentrepreneur We were joined today by Mike Michalowicz. Mike is a serial entrepreneur and author of the just released book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. He has been featured in Inc. magazine, The New York Times, and is a frequent guest on one of our favorite television shows, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.

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marylynn
The first thing we have to ask is … what the heck is a “toilet paper entrepreneur”?

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mikeA toilet paper entrepreneur sheds insight on what entrepreneurialism is all about. What a lot of us read in Inc., Fortune Small Business, and Fast Company is what Google, Facebook, and YouTube did. They’re overnight successes. The dirty truth is that “overnight success” is ten to fifteen years of hard work for most entrepreneurs. Just like with entrepreneurship, there’s the stuff that happens in the bathroom that no one talks about. So the title came from an experience we’ve all had. We’re in the restroom and we’ve done what we came to do. We look over and, sure enough, there’s only three sheets dangling there. It’s in that moment where true entrepreneurialism kicks in. We do the incredible – we grab the toilet seat like a pommel horse, stretch the foot out, hook the garbage can, root through it and find three sheets and the torn up cardboard roll. With that, we’re able to complete the job!

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georgeMaybe Sheryl Crow is the quintessential Toilet Paper Entrepreneur because she can get by with one sheet! Seriously, that’s a great analogy – entrepreneurs find a way to get the job done, no matter what.

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mike
No matter what. A true entrepreneur will dig deep and use things no one would ever consider.

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marylynnDon’t you think that the Facebook guys and the Google guys did that at some point? We often hear that some of these overnight successes are created in a garage. They do the same thing too, don’t they?

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mikeThey do in the sense that that’s how they all started. The only difference is Google received funding within a year. That’s what I call the “full roll” of cash. Most entrepreneurs don’t ever receive funding. There’s a path when you don’t get that money; there’s other ways of doing it, sometimes just as quickly.

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marylynn
In your book, you say that sometimes money is actually a detriment to entrepreneurs.

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mikeI totally believe that money is a detriment. Money amplifies the habits we have. In my own life experience, I was 25 the first time I received a good chunk of change – a $250,000 investment. I bought nice furniture. I hired employees. I got a good car to impress people on sales calls. I wasted the money. When I didn’t have the money, I learned how to leverage it appropriately. Then as the business grew, and more money came in, I was able to use it as a vehicle for growth.

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george
Another thing that I found interesting is that you’re not a bigg believer in business plans.

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mikeI’m the antithesis of it. I just received some hate mail from a university professor saying that he couldn’t believe I said that.

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georgeHey, today was my business plan lecture by the way! I’m kidding – we actually don’t talk about business plans in my class.

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mikeIn my experience, business plans are wonderful dust collectors. If someone can project their own financials four or five years out, they should invest in stocks because, if you could do that only ninety days out, you could become a millionaire overnight.

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georgeI’m not an advocate of “ready, fire”; you do need to “ready, aim, fire”. But at the same time, it’s amazing how many times someone writes a full-fledged business plan and then, within a few months, they end up in a completely different business. And that business takes them to their success.

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mikeYes. So I think, in the early stages of a business, you have to be very cognizant of everything that’s going on, watch the consumers’ behavior, and then flow with the river and adjust the business, sometimes 180 degrees, to match what they want to buy.

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george
I thought you were going to say “flow with the toilet”!

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marylynnSince we’re back to toilet humor, tell us about one of the crappiest resources you used when you had nothing.

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mikeHere’s one little trick I’ve used – the most expensive cost, besides rent and your employees, is professional services … your attorneys, accountants and so forth. I go to the local colleges. They have CPAs and attorneys working there that are now professors. They are more than willing to give free advice and work up the documents with you. Sometimes the exchange is simply being a case study for their class. It saves me thousands and thousands of dollars. I still use it today.

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You can get a free chapter of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur on Mike’s site. It’s a great book that we highly recommend to you. You’ll find it to be great bathroom reading!

Thanks, Mike, for sharing your time and wisdom with us. We wish you bigg success with this wonderful book.

Next time, we’ll talk about lovin’, touchin, and squeezin’. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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