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12 Business Tips to Steal From Santa

Sound like a bizarre source for advice? Think about it: He spreads good will, gets his work done on time, and he's a great judge of character.

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Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Whether you ever did--or still do--today I submit a different reason for thinking of the jolly old elf: business inspiration. Here's a figure who exudes good will. He's well-liked wherever he goes. And he has a number of attributes that every entrepreneur should aspire to have. Stay with me.

Good Reputation

 You can’t buy a good reputation; you must earn it. Santa has a positive reputation because he is a magnanimous soul who stands for goodness and generosity. There is nothing more important than a good reputation in building a successful business. Stand for what is right, and you won’t get knocked down.

Great Memory With Names 

Santa never forgets a name. If you want people to know how much you care, show them how much you remember. Learn their names and use them often. It’s an important skill to develop. 

Creative Gift Giver 

Santa’s gifts relate to the recipient, not the giver. To do the job right, you have to know your customer as a living, breathing human being with likes and dislikes and interests. A knock-your-socks-off-gift doesn’t have to be expensive either. A gift that shows you have paid attention and have taken a genuine personal interest in your customer says a lot more than a dollar sign. Santa also understands the importance of rewards.

Good Listener 

If you remember sitting on Santa’s lap, you probably also remember that he paid very close attention to your requests. You can win more friends with your ears than with your mouth. People who feel like they’re being listened to feel accepted and appreciated. They feel like they're being taken seriously and what they say really matters. 

Great Smile 

Santa’s flowing beard may hide a lot of his face, but never his smile. I learned years ago that one of the most powerful things you can do to have influence over others is to smile at them. That’s why I never underestimate the value of a smile. It should be standard equipment for all people--at work and after hours.

Humility 

Santa doesn’t take credit for all the happiness he spreads. It’s refreshing to come across co-workers, bosses, or even customers who have enough self-confidence to let their work speak for their abilities and achievements. Humility is becoming a lost art, but it’s not difficult to practice. It means that you realize that others have been involved in your success.

Enthusiasm 

How can Santa Claus continue to do the same job year after year? He’s a pro. He gives it everything he’s got. His focus and enthusiasm is obvious. He loves what he does. If you aren’t getting excited about hitting the pavement every day, it will show. Enthusiasm is contagious. Start an epidemic.

Positive Attitude 

Santa promotes good will and good behavior wherever he goes. He encourages children to “be good for goodness’ sake.” Thinking positive has no negative. A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health, and success. If you get used to behaving in a positive way, you will form good habits.  And your habits will help define the kind of person you are. 

Loyal 

Even Santa has his elves just like the Lone Ranger had Tonto. One of the first qualities that I look for in both employees and friends is loyalty.    

Respects Deadlines 

If ever there was a job with deadline pressure, Santa has it. Getting the job done on time is essential in building trust and loyalty. 

Good Judge of Character 

A naughty or nice list isn’t necessary for most businesses. But demanding that people in your organization act with complete professionalism and respect for your customers is not up for discussion.   

Well-dressed

Say what you want, but Santa dresses for success! 

Mackay’s Moral:  Happy and safe holidays to all!

IMAGE: iStock
Last updated: Dec 25, 2012

HARVEY MACKAY, author of The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World, is founder of the MackayMitchell Envelope Co. He has written six bestsellers, including Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.
@HarveyMackay




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