Hi, this is Mike Lipkin and thank you for taking a risk on me. Yup, you’re investing your time and energy in this message. You’re sacrificing other opportunities to get the insights and inspiration you’re banking on me bringing. And there is an even greater danger here – what is heard cannot be unheard. I may say something that could annoy or unsettle you. I may ruin your day or at least the next hour. You’re never getting these minutes back. Consider yourself warned.
On the other hand, you know what you’re getting into. This is G-Rated material – the G means Great, by the way. You’ve seen me before or you’re in my network or you’ve been referred to me by a friend. I’ve made it through multiple filters to talk with you. You’ve decided I’m a safe bet. Your risk is mitigated. At worst, you’ll be momentarily disturbed. At best, you’ll be thrilled by what you learn.
The decision to watch me may seem like an easy one. But this is your life in miniature. It’s the choices you make multiple times a day. It’s the wins you want versus the losses you don’t. It’s the moment-by-moment evaluation of different options that yield pleasure or pain, reward or penalty. What kind of choice do you represent? If people can choose, would they choose you? Have you trained them to expect you to come through for them in ways both big and small? Would they rather spend time with you versus your competition? How do you know? Have you even asked them?
The most popular way to evaluate customer approval is the Net Promoter Score. Customers are simply asked, “how likely is it that you would recommend this service to a colleague or a friend?” The Net Promoter Score is the percentage of people giving you a 9 or 10 out of 10 minus the percentage of people giving you a 0-6 out of 10. So, if 20% of people give you a 9 or 10 out of 10 and 10% of people give you a 0-6 out of 10, your Net Promoter Score is 10. Anything above zero is positive because it means that you have more promoters than detractors. However, that means nothing if your competitors are achieving scores of 60, 70 or even higher.
As a motivational speaker and coach, I regularly ask my clients how likely they are to recommend me to a colleague or a friend. In fact, my longevity depends on it. Over 80% of my work is referrals. Recommendations are my lifeblood. Over the past ten years, I have focused single-mindedly on being the safe bet. Of course, there will always be the risk of non-performance. We’re all fallible. That’s why we call it a bet. The risk can never be totally eliminated, but it can be dramatically mitigated.
2023 will be the year of chronic unpredictability. It will be a year of slow-downs and speed-ups. It will bring new breakthroughs and heartbreaks in equal measure. There will be a recession in some sectors and a boom in others. Interest rates will go higher before they go lower. About half of U.S. adults say that the uncertainty of the pandemic has made planning for their future feel impossible, according to APA’s 2021 Stress in America Survey. While nearly a third say their stress levels are so high that they sometimes struggle with even basic decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat. On top of pandemic-related stress, the vast majority of U.S. adults are reporting new stress related to the war in Ukraine, including worries about inflation and global uncertainty.
So what is the moral of the story? It’s not good enough being good enough at what you do. It’s not even good enough to be great at what you do. You need to reassure people that you will always come through for them. Through your words and actions, you need to continually make deposits on their safety account.
Here are Lipkin’s 7 steps to being The Safe Bet:
- Tell people what you’re doing to do for them with clarity and conviction just like I’m doing with you now.
- Make good on your promises. Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else will.
- Communicate how well you’ve done for others with tact and discretion.
- Ask people how likely they would be to recommend you to a colleague or a friend. If they don’t respond, give yourself a 0.
- Keep raising your game. Aspire to being a GOAT in your domain.
- When you stumble or fumble, acknowledge your failure and publicly commit to growing from it.
- Do it now. Perfect is whatever you can achieve today so you can make it even more perfect tomorrow.
This is Mike Lipkin and if you like this message, you’ll love my new book, The Potentiator – available on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.com. I look forward to talking with you again soon. And in the meantime, remember becoming the safe bet doesn’t happen by accident. Prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent.