Can I Meet the Chicken?

By | Inspirational, Reputation, Service, Uncategorized | No Comments

As I walked downstairs for breakfast, I was in a highly energized state of mind. I had finished up in the gym and prepped for my keynote address at a major conference, and I was stoked. The conference was being hosted at a luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, and so far, everything had been perfect.

As I walked into the restaurant, I was immediately impressed with the ambience and decor. The hostess welcomed me and promptly walked me to a table with a peaceful view overlooking the pool. The table was set with fine white china rimmed with gold-leaf and crystal glassware. The table featured a beautiful centerpiece of fresh-cut flowers that complimented the statement of luxury. My expectations were definitely being exceeded at every turn at the Four Seasons.

“Creating a magical experience for your guest is a great way to build a value proposition that impacts the customer.”  – Paul Cummings

Then I met Olivia, who would be my server for the morning breakfast experience. Her radiating smile and engaging personality would make any guest feel special. Olivia presented the menu and explained the morning specials in a casually confident manner. She asked me a few questions about my stay at the hotel and even complimented my suit. To say I was impressed with her engagement approach would be an understatement. Someone had obviously done a world-class job of training the great team at the Four Seasons.

“Treat your internal customers well, and they will extend that treatment to your honored guests.”  – Paul Cummings

I casually looked at the menu and ordered my usual: 2 eggs over easy, crispy bacon, wheat toast, and fruit. Orange juice, still water, and a large latte would be the beverages of choice. Olivia smiled and repeated the order back to me flawlessly. The service I received during my meal was the perfect blend of efficiency and engagement. What a wonderful way to begin my day! The meal was perfectly prepared, and the atmosphere was even better. Soft jazz played in the background, and for someone who travels as much as I do, a great experience never gets old.

“Creating a world-class service experience is a planned event that is directly tied to your people and your process.” – Paul Cummings

Olivia and I engaged in some small talk, and I asked for the final bill. She quickly returned the check to my table. When I opened the bill, I must admit I was surprised at the amount: $73.19 for breakfast certainly makes a Tennessee Waffle House breakfast look like a bargain. However, I was not upset in the least. As I reviewed the itemized charges, I noticed the eggs were $24.00. I laughingly asked Olivia, “Can I meet the chef?” With a look of concern, she asked, “Is there something wrong?”

I assured her everything had been perfect but was just hoping the chef could introduce me to the chicken. She replied, “The chicken? I don’t understand.” I said, “Well, in Tennessee our chickens lay .59 cent eggs, and I just wanted to meet the chicken laying $12.00 eggs.” She laughed and said, “Oh, we have the same kind of chickens. You’re not paying $12.00 for the eggs, Mr. Cummings, it’s for the overall experience and environment. Our commitment is to provide you with service and quality you can’t get anywhere else. How did we do?”

“The value of customer-centric communication skills are immeasurable to any organization. When the words and the delivery are authentic and genuine, the effect is powerful. “  – Paul Cummings

Olivia and I shared a great laugh, and I thanked her for making my morning brighter. She was a rock star, and her service and attitude exuded an effortless joy in serving others. Yes, I tipped Olivia like I was angry at my cash, and would do it again. Value is driven up by legendary customer care delivered by people with a servant’s heart.

Although I have to admit, as I walked out the door, I still wanted to meet that chicken.

Make a difference today.

Don’t Tell Anybody Okay?

By | Leadership, Reputation, Uncategorized, Wisdom | No Comments

Have you ever been approached by someone in your work environment that opened the conversation with these words, “Hey, I need to tell you something but don’t tell anybody okay?” This should be a immediate warning sign to you that someone is trying to drag you into the rumor mill and gossip group of negativity. Stay away from these types of conversation. Why?

It Will Be Repeated

Years ago, a senior executive shared some advice with me about communication. “Never say anything to anyone that you don’t want repeated.” This is great advice for anyone in business. You put yourself at risk the very minute you participate in the “hush toned” conversations in your work place.Why? People will always repeat what was said, who it was said by, and I promise you that as conversations are recycled they always change.


Protect your reputation by never being part of the problem. Don’t invite or accept an invitation to participate in the loop of the loser. Complaining, griping, and criticizing the company and your peers will never help you grow within an organization. Winners simply don’t have time for this destructive practice as they are too busy pursing their goals and dreams. Forge relationships, don’t tear them down.

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”               ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


When you talk about others behind their back you will destroy trust. Trust building and likability are two of the competencies you must master to win at the highest level. Do not associate with anyone who wants to infect your mind with negativity. Build trust by being a team builder and promoter of others good attributes.

“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”

Make a difference today.

Copyright 2016: Paul Cummings Enterprises.

Attributes Are Your Business Card

By | Attitude, Reputation, Sales, Uncategorized | No Comments

After conducting over 4,000 live events as a corporate teacher, I am convinced salespeople drastically underestimate the power of their own attributes with regard to their results, reputation, referral base, and customer retention capacity. Your personal attributes are your business card. It’s what people see in you, feel from you, and hear from you that will lead them to tell others about you and your products and services.

The Attribute Check Up
Today’s customers are more demanding and better educated than ever before. Their ability to research prior to purchasing has armed them with more buyer confidence and has served to increase their expectations of salespeople.

As a result, salespeople’s character attributes matter more than ever before as well. Consistent attribute checkups are mandatory for success. Look at the list below and be brutally honest with yourself. Do you display these attributes consistently with your customers?

  • Trustworthy
  • Service-minded
  • Intelligent
  • Authentic
  • Likeable
  • Customer-focused
  • Enthusiastic
  • Prepared
  • Available
  • Active listener

There are many important attributes we could discuss, but these attributes will set you apart and give your customers and potential customers a high degree of confidence in you. These attributes need to be defined, refined, and evaluated often in order to be consistently on display.

Questions to Answer:

  • How do you define each one of these important attributes?
  • How will you represent each one of these attributes from a behavioral standpoint?
  • How do you feel each one of these attributes will affect your customers and potential customers?
  • How would you rank these 10 attributes in order of importance?
  • What is one “I will” action you can implement to would improve each attribute?



Next Steps:

  1. Create an attribute card for each attribute with the definition listed.
  2. Read this card every day before beginning your work day.
  3. Write 10 “I will” action statements to refine the attributes on the back.
  4. Review your planned actions each day, and hustle to execute.

If you adopt this strategy, I have no doubt you will expand your audience because your prospects and customers will become your personal advocates. They will become your personal storytellers at home and work.

Why would you not adopt this strategy? What is preventing you from taking action today? What might be holding you back? Resolve these questions, and step over hesitancy and doubt. Embrace action and belief!

Make a difference today.

Find out about Paul Cummings University demos here.

Copyright 2016: Paul Cummings Enterprises.