This month in Betties Land, we enjoyed the blunt and quick read, Shut Up and Listen: Hard Business Truths That Will Help You Succeed by Tilman Fertitta. The year is already flying by so we were grateful that this book was such a quick and easy read while still being packed full of valuable tips. If you are short on time but ready to learn, this book should be next on your list.
Shut Up and Listen Takeaways
1. “Take the word ‘no’ out of your damn vocabulary.”
Telling a customer “no” is not letting them know you can’t do something, it’s letting them know that you’re choosing not to do something. If a customer wants eggs after breakfast, and your restaurant has eggs in the kitchen, why tell them no? Instead, let them know that you can make them eggs but there will be an additional charge because breakfast hours are over. Find a way that makes good business sense to give the customer what they want and accommodate their request.
Use the word “no” sparingly. You will certainly use it in some instances, like when a guest devours their steak then demands a refund. Or perhaps the roads are flooded due to a storm and you cannot make a delivery. But using “no” should be a very rare occurrence. Instead, think of using “yes, and…” For example, “Yes, I can do that and here is what it will cost as a premium for the convenience.”
2. Details matter.
Tilman can tell what his dining experience will be like before he even walks into a restaurant. If there are cigarette butts on the floor or smudge marks on the door because the hostess is inattentive, it is likely that the same lax attitude may be found throughout the rest of the staff. If the hostess doesn’t keep things clean, it’s possible that your service and food quality will also be subpar.
3. You absolutely must know your numbers.
No exceptions! A company that is struggling can find inefficiencies when they know their numbers. It is much, much easier to fix current inefficiencies to increase profits than it is to go out and find new customers.
4. Never lose sight of the customer’s experience.
Mystery shop your business to gain valuable insight into what it’s like for the customer. Listen to feedback and take reviews seriously. 95% of the business is likely going to run really well so never lose sight of the 5% that needs improvement. Always seek out ways to be better.
5. Leverage your strengths.
Learn to improve upon them and delegate your weaknesses!
6. Ignore the naysayers.
Do not give up until they have padlocked your doors shut! Most businesses are failing because people give up on them too soon. If you are taking the steps above, don’t give up until the ship has fully sunk.
7. Choose a partner wisely.
Do not go into business with a friend or family member with similar strengths to your own! Go into business with a partner who is complementary. When they started Betties, Emily’s partner was great at sales and Emily was great at process. If they had both been process people, we would have had a business capable of execution with no clients to serve.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments or find us over on Facebook!