The Pep Talk That Always Works

If you’ve ever attended a motivational program, read an inspirational book or saw a movie that inspired, you know first hand how effective a shot of positive energy can be.

Unfortunately, the buzz doesn’t always last long.  It’s often not transformational.  Life goes on when we forget the positive message.

When we hear something inspirational, motivational or down right life changing, how do we give it legs so its sticks with us?

“The road to life is always under construction” – one of my favorite inspirations because it shows that work ethic is good enough and that accomplishing the end goal is not necessary to be successful or even productive.   

“Make a life not a living” always sets me straight because it takes my type A personality and reminds me that if I turn it lose on personal matters not just career, my private life can be better.

“Be the fine person you are” was uttered by my best friend years ago and it sticks with me to this day because it reminds me that I don’t always have to be what other people expect of me to be a good person.

So here’s how I recall these life-changing inspirations and integrate them into my life.

I make them a short phrase or sentence.

Attach a benefit – you will see in my quotes above the benefit that is forever attached to the words.

One more thing.

There is inspiration all around us.  I get it every day when readers of this blog show gratitude for the writing.  I try to write back and share a benefit I received from their kind gesture.

The pep talk always works when it is short, memorable and has a specific benefit attached.

Subscribe   • Read Jerry’s bookMore stories  • Talk to Jerry

+ Comment on this post

Love Saves Lives

Last week Robin Quivers, Howard Stern’s radio sidekick for the majority of his career, went on the air to say that she had been battling cancer for the past year.

The man known as a “shock jock” was visibly moved as he told the audience that he thought “we lost her”. 

Quivers said she had great doctors who helped her heal and that recently she was told by the doctor that she was – in her words – “cured”.

For the past year Quivers was working from a studio in her home and remained unseen on the video feed of Stern’s SiriusXM show. 

Great doctors had a lot to do with Quivers’ recovery.

But the line that was most touching and most memorable was when Quivers said, “People don’t understand how the people who love them save their lives.”  I love that.

Fighting illness is a tough job but medicine can only go so far.

The love of others is often the elixir that aids in extending life and making it better.

Subscribe   • Read Jerry’s bookMore stories  • Talk to Jerry

+ Comment on this post

How To Get Better Customer Service

Airlines are awful these days. 

And cable operators act as if they don’t care. 

Even your local doctor’s office may be not be immune to this disease we call “consumeritis” or poor customer service.

If you’re like me, you’ve been driven to the brink by people who seemingly don’t care and by customer service that is an affront.

But I share with you a technique I learned that is better, more effective and often leaves the purveyor of bad customer service more responsive and nicer.

It’s built on the kind of good human relations we value but it provides an effective way to stand up and be heard like never before.

  1. Write or email the Vice President of Poor Service at the offending company or provider.  Do not call or text.  You can use Yelp and other social media to gain the attention of some companies that keep an employee watching for angry consumers but that’s not what I am talking about here.
  2. It doesn’t matter if the poor service company or provider has or doesn’t have a Vice President of Poor Service – more often than not the person on the receiving end will see that your letter gets to precisely the right person – something consumer’s rarely know. 
  3. Write “confidential” on the envelope if using snail mail and “confidential” in the email text at the top.
  4. Clearly state the problem without attacking the person who screwed up, the company or the industry.  Stay focused.
  5. Give the Vice President of Poor Service a reputation to live up to with lines like “you probably value customer service as much as I do but sometimes things fall through the cracks and help is needed”.
  6. Clearly state what you want in one line – no more than two.
  7. Thank the Vice President of Poor Service for taking the time to read your message or letter and provide your contact information.

Writing to the Vice President of Poor Service has worked successfully for me for many times.

Once my office staff complained bitterly about the Pepsi machine in our cafeteria area that never worked right.  After making many complaints to the Pepsi Cola Bottler in Pennsauken, NJ to no avail, I wrote to the Vice President of Poor Service at Pepsi. 

One day my secretary called me out of a meeting to say that Roger Enrico, then the CEO of PepsiCo, was on the phone. 

Who knew that Enrico himself was the Vice President of Poor Service?  Such letters are usually sent up the chain of command not down as often happens when you go to the top and complain to a CEO.

Enrico proceeded to tell me personally that PepsiCo will not tolerate unhappy customers and he said he told the local distributor to replace the machine and keep it filled and working without fail.  Enrico said to call him if they screwed up again.

Then the local distributor called to apologize and beg me not to call Enrico with any further problems and he provided me with his home phone number.

Can anything that started so bad end so good?

If you have positive experiences like this and would like to share your advice, feel free to comment below and next time you get your ire up, try the 7 steps above as a very effective alternative that gets results.

Subscribe   • Read Jerry’s bookMore stories  • Talk to Jerry

+ Comment on this post
  • As a person specifically tasked with monitoring mentions of our company on social media for a growing family owned business of three retail stores, I can attest that the process listed above would work. I routinely share messages detailing both the bad and the good with the president of the company, and we do our best to listen to our customers. #6 on your list is crucial, and makes my job and those of people like me much much easier.
    I would also add a #8 to your list. If you have had a good customer service experience anywhere, or even a better than not bad experience please consider writing in and sharing that experience as well. For small businesses its entirely possible that it will get shared among the entire leadership team and helps moral in a huge way. By doing this you will be encouraging the business and they will likely try harder than ever to improve their customer service for you & your fellow customers and we all win in that scenario.

The Gift That Truly Keeps On Giving

The gift of your time.

It doesn’t really cost us anything.

It makes others feel better.

And in giving our time we receive the benefits as well.

Lawyers and other professionals keep a log of their billable hours for commerce purposes.

If we kept a log of our time, how much of it would go to someone who is not paying us for it?

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give” – Kahlil Gibran

Subscribe   • Read Jerry’s bookMore stories  • Talk to Jerry

+ Comment on this post

How To Make People Like You

Money won’t do it.

Botox won’t either.

And power may actually turn people away.

The most reliable and predictable way to make others like us, no – love us – is to increase our humility.

Few think of things this way, but then again the world is increasingly filled with unhappy rich, successful and powerful people that others don’t like.

I know a wealthy TV personality who not only hands out gift cards to restaurants at holiday time to support personnel he comes in contact with daily, but stops and talks to everyone – from guard to janitor the other 364 days a year – calling them by name, inquiring about their families and showing genuine interest.

Or the surgeon who slips away on “vacation” to perform clef palate operations for needy children here and in other countries.

If we were judged not on how much money we have, or how much power we possess but by how humble we try to be, what would be our grade?

Subscribe   • Read Jerry’s bookMore stories  • Talk to Jerry

+ Comment on this post