My college, Henderson State University, frequently invites guest speakers to speak in our school of business to share information about what they do and the things that they have learned outside of college. I recently had the opportunity to listen to Richard Johnson, owner/CEO of Johnson Investment Group LLC, speak and he said something that really stuck with me: Mr. Johnson stated that, “In whatever you do, do the last 5%.” He went on to say that this simple concept is a large part of what has made him successful in his career.
So, I started to think about what it is that I do. Then I started to examine what the last 5% of those things include. Here is what I came up with:
- As a boyfriend, the last 5% is opening the truck door for her every time and walking her to the front door after a nice date. I do these things, and if you were to ask her, I bet they mean the world to her. I must continue to do these things.
- As an associate, the last 5% is walking the bag of purchased goods around the counter, placing them in the hand of the customer, thanking them by last name, shaking their hand and letting them know that it was my pleasure helping them. I do this a lot of the time, but not all the time. There is room for improvement.
- As a student, the last 5% is putting in a little extra effort on a project that I am burnt out on. It means to finish strong when all I want to do is quit. It means taking the time to make a connection with my professors that they desperately seek (one of the advantages to a small college). I do this a lot of the time, but not all the time. There is room for improvement.
- As a son, it means taking the time out of my “busy” day to call my father that I never get to see. It means ending every phone call with my mother with “I love you”. It means thanking my step-father for allowing me such the opportunity to attend college and not only get one degree, but to get two. This is one area that I have focused on in my life.
As I started thinking about the “last 5%” and how often or how little I do it in the various aspects of my life, I realized just how important it actually is. The last 5% is something that few people do. Failure to do the last 5% as an associate can quickly turn a loyal customer of your business into a loyal customer for your competitor. If you can do the last 5% you will create a competitive advantage for yourself. Girlfriends, customers, professors and parents notice these things. They respect these things and whether they tell you or not, they remember them.
I encourage you to list out the things you do in your life, and do the last 5%. I then challenge you to monitor the impact it has in each of those areas.
Thanks for reading!