Unless you live in an igloo (and I’m sure plenty of Eskimos heard this too!) you will probably know that the Tesco supermarket group last week announced their results for over the Christmas period.
To everyone’s surprise, including the analysts and financial experts, the numbers they announced were disappointing. So much so, something like £4.5billion was knocked off their share price!
Now this blog isn’t about the state of supermarket profit-margins…but it is about how their public-face reacted to it.
On the morning of the announcement I dropped into my local Tesco to buy a newspaper.
As I was paying for my paper, I said to the sales assistant: “Bad news about your lot this morning.”
There was a reason why I did this – you could say I was conducting a little scientific experiment. To my admiration, it was an experiment that resulted in a very positive reaction.
The sales assistant, who was called Rory, answered me by saying: “Oh, it’s nothing to worry about. When the full year’s figures are announced everything will be back to normal.”
Full credit to him, he said this to me without even a hint of hesitation or awkwardness. The key for me was that I BELIEVED him. I genuinely believed that he believed in what he had just told me. It didn’t sound like a party-line that all the staff had been told to say. But even if it was, he believed in what he was saying, which was brilliant.
I took my newspaper and change, and said to him: “Well done!”
And I really meant that, because it would have been easy for him to join in with my hubble-bubble toil-and-trouble comment about your lot.
In this case your lot being the big corporate entity of Tesco. But he didn’t join in, because he saw himself as the public-face of your lot. In fact, he was as much part of your lot as the CEO or the cleaner.
Brilliant! We stand together regardless of the news!
The moral of this is to remember not to fall into the trap of failing this test with your own business. It’s easy to tell the world how well things are going when they are, but it’s harder to keep positive when things aren’t going so well.
This is when we all have to dig deep (I know I have had to recently) because no-one can help you as much as you can help yourself.
Of course you can ask for advice, read articles, and reappraise your business goals – but ultimately it’s down to you and only you to put things right.
Look at Tesco; they haven’t said their customers haven’t been buying enough. They have said they need to provide their customers with more of what they want.
And that is exactly what we all need to do with our businesses – because they are our businesses and no-one else’s!