What is a RACERS Edge? It means that you focus on Recognition, Action, Connection, Expression, Retention and Simplification to keep your competitive edge in your business.
Recognition – Recognize when you are getting way too lazy and comfortable with your business. You have stopped feeling hungry so you no longer hunt for business. The clients/customers seem happy so you contact them less frequently. You believe that your competitors have no chance of catching up to you or stealing business from you. Your competitors are closer than you think and it’s time to sharpen your edge by expanding your product and/or service offerings, gaining new clients/customers and finding new markets.
Action – Take action if your clients/customers are not returning your calls, cancelling orders or backing away from commitments. Step back and look at how you are doing business, how you are spending your time and money and whether your products and/or services are still marketable and profitable or is it time to take action to make them more relevant or pursue other products and/or services.
Connection – Connect with individuals in person rather than on the phone or by e-mail. Arrange to buy them lunch or coffee. These are people who you admire for their commitment to excellence and humility about their extraordinary achievements. They are the best at what they do and generously share their time and experience, give valuable advice, honest feedback and want you to be successful. When you connect with them use the four most courageous words in the English language: “I need your help”. If you want to get your business moving and growing, ask them what they did when business was slow to connect with clients/customers and how they would go about creating, revitalizing or eliminating products and/or services.
Expression – Express gratitude to every individual that you work with and do business with at every opportunity. Send a personalized handwritten thank you note and gift to your clients/customers either during the holiday season or on the anniversary of the day they started doing business with you. Include a message of gratitude in every e-mail, invoice and any other form of communication with your clients/customers.
Retention – Retain your current clients/customers by making each one feel like they are the most important. Ask them how you can become an advocate for and a contributor to their business. Involve them in your business by making them advocates and contributors. If you constantly work to retain their trust, loyalty and commitment, you will make them a client/customer for life.
Simplification – Simplify the way you do business by doing more with less, making time for your clients/customers; listening to their ideas, comments and concerns; planning, producing and launching your product and/or service with care and attention and deciding any increase or decrease in price, features, service and/or delivery through focused conversation and deliberate consideration. Keep it really simple and simply real. Authenticity attracts quality and abundance while phoniness attracts quantity and lack.
Since meeting my life partner three and a half years ago, I have become a big fan of certain motor sports: Formula One, World Rally Championship (WRC) and MotoGP. The competitors in these events are the world’s best in these sports. Last October, the world of motor sports lost two individuals who died doing what they loved most. They were both reaching toward the peak in their sports and beginning to enjoy the fruits of their hard work in the prime of their lives: Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli. As racing season began last month with WRC and with Formula One and Moto GP starting in the next two months, I feel that this is a fitting tribute to them and their impact on and contribution to their sport.