To serve is to rule. Who are you ruling?

To serve is to rule. Who are you ruling?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

To serve is to rule. Who are you ruling?

You’ve all heard thestories – fabulous stories of great service. Nordstrom, Lexus, Auto Zone, LesSchwab, and individuals in small businesses that have gone WAY BEYOND the normto provide extraordinary service.

You have probablyheard them enough to make you sick.

Especially if yourservice is lousy.

You go to the airportand see some huge banner of an airline BRAGGING about the “satisfactionaward” they just won from J.D. Powers. HUH? Am I missing something here?When did an airline deserve to win anything? Maybe the luggage fee award, but Ican’t see how anyone who makes a customer wait endlessly on the phone, getdinged for everything under the sun, be penalized to change a ticket, and standon line for an hour to receive “service” just to get a boarding passand get charged for a bag or two should be rewarded. Help me understand the”award” part of that.

But I digress.

As a country, each ofus has had a wake-up call both in business and individually. Things ain’t whatthey used to be. And in spite of what you may hear or read from some economicor government genius, it will be a long time until things return.

Meanwhile in the realworld, you and I have a job to do, a business to run, customers to serve,people to employ, and attitudes (morale) to maintain. Some will take these tasksmore seriously than others.

And now is not thetime to point fingers and blame. Now is the time to take responsibility –personal responsibility — for the outcome of business success, especiallyyour business success. Whether you own it, sell for it, work in it, or are partof the family of someone employed, NOW IS THE TIME.

REALITY: There is nohandout, er, I mean bailout coming in the mail for you. The check is NOT in themail.

REALITY: You are thebailout. I am the bailout. Together we are the collective bailout.

REALITY: Your victorystarts with your customer’s victory. Without customers, there is no chance ofwinning.

REALITY: There are lesscustomers, and those that are left have less to spend.

NOTE: I didn’t say,”nothing to spend,” I said, “less to spend.”

Now is the time tothink: SERVICE BEFORE SALES.

Here are the elements ofyour bailout, your survival, your sales, and your success:

Success starts withattitude training. If you, or your people, or your co-workers are angry,afraid, or resentful, it will reflect in the way customers are served.

Leadership creates thetone, and the environment for success. Employees look to employers for direction,and to set the example.

Attitude starts insidewith co-workers and bosses. Train attitude before you train service –invest in people. Start with real world training.

It costs no extra tobe friendly. But friendly is worth a fortune, and a reputation.

Identify every serviceopportunity. There are probably less than 25 actual opportunities to serveco-workers and customers. Once you identify them, have a company meeting (ormeetings) to identify best practices — and dates to IMPLEMENT new and betterstrategies and expressions.

Service is anindividual not a company. Serve for yourself first. This is perhaps the mostdifficult of all the points I’m making. It means you have to be personallyresponsible for everything you say and do — for yourself and for others.

Service is a personalact of pride, not a chore. Most people fail to realize how powerful servicereally is. Service is not a job or a task. It’s not a bunch of words you say toothers. It’s not how you respond and react to a situation. It’s not justrecovering from an error. Service is being kind, having a heart, and doing theright thing — the best thing — in favor of your customers.

Well, there you haveit. The secret sauce, the formula, and the actions that will help you throughthese trying times.

GREAT NEWS! If youstart today, you’ll be just in time to catch the wave of customers as theeconomy begins to tick up — or should I say up-tick? Either way, theclock is running. Better catch it before it blows by you — to yourcompetition.

For a few more economyinsights go to and enter ECONOMY in the GitBit box.