We have all heard not to sweat the small stuff. I don’t necessarily think that’s bad advice, but I think that the “smaller than small” stuff can make all the difference in the world.
Think about Michael Phelps victory in the 100 meter butterfly during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. He won by 1/100th of a second. Think about all of the smaller-than-small stuff that could have made the difference. It could have been where he happened to be during his stroke as he approached the wall, maybe it was the timing since his last workout, maybe it was the amount of sleep the night before, maybe it was last half cup of coffee at breakfast. The difference between gold and silver could have been the result of countless seemingly insignificant details. Chances are, the difference wasn’t one smaller-than-small detail, but, more than likely, it was the combination of many.
What are the smaller-than-small details that can make a difference for you? Here are some ideas you can implement that, as simple as they are, will make you stand out.
- Hand-write a note.
- Answer the phone on the first ring (instead of letting it go to voicemail).
- Call (Instead of sending an e-mail).
- Catch someone on your staff doing something right.
- Look someone in they eye and say “thank you for what you did, you made my day easier/more enjoyable/memorable”.
- Make 1 more prospecting call.
- If you promised it by 1:00, deliver it before lunch.
None of these are monumental, but that’s exactly my point. Given the nature of typical service today, any one of these could be the smaller-than-small detail that makes a difference for your success. Problem is, you never know which one it will be, and, you may never even know when it made a difference. However, make a habit out of paying attention to the details when your competition doesn’t, and your success will follow.
Photo by popofatticus.