“A man has to have goals, and that was mine, for a day – for a lifetime, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter that ever lived’.” ~ Ted Williams
Ted Williams was the last Major League Baseball player to have a batting average above .400. He accomplished this in 1941 when he finished the season with a batting average of .406 and is considered by many to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. When asked in an interview why he tried so hard he said, “There may be some kid in the stands that is seeing me play for the very first time, and it may even be the only time they will ever see me play. I want to make sure they never forget the time they got to see Ted Williams play baseball.” Using that incredible philosophy throughout his baseball career earned him a .344 lifetime batting average. It probably would have been higher had he not sacrificed 3 seasons in the prime of his career to become a Navy bomber pilot in World War II flying 39 missions. Then he later missed the better part of the 1952 and 1953 seasons as a Marine Aviator during the Korean War, making the total sacrifice of almost 5 complete seasons during the prime of his career.
Imagine if everyone in business used that same philosophy. Imagine a car salesman saying to himself, “This may be the only time this customer ever buys a new car. I want them to never forget this experience.” What if a chef in a nice restaurant said, “This couple may be celebrating a very special event in their lives. I’m going to make certain they will never forget the meal I serve them.” And what if, as self-storage managers, we approached every customer with the same kind of dedication to insure their storage rental experience is one they will never forget. Just as with the kid watching Ted Williams, the customer you are serving may never rent storage again. But if they do, you want to make certain they never forget the wonderful experience they had renting from you.
There were literally hundreds of people who played Major League Baseball in the 40’s and 50’s, but Ted Williams is one of the first names people of think of from that era of the sport and it is because of his dedication to giving his best performance every time he took the field. You don’t get to be the best by giving your best performance every now and then. It takes persistence and dedication.
Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Airlines said, “The only difference between good service and exceptional service is attention to detail.” I believe that statement is 100% accurate. It’s the little things; the attention to detail that makes all of the difference. When we start seeking short cuts and cutting corners we lose focus on giving our very best effort.
That was the thing that really set Ted Williams part. He never took short cuts. When the Red Sox were down by 8 runs and there were two out in the bottom of the ninth, when he stepped up to the plate, he tried just as hard as he would any other time. He wasn’t thinking about just getting this over with. He was thinking about that kid in the stands that might never get another chance to watch him play and he did everything he could to make the moment special. Do you use that same philosophy when it is five minutes before closing time and a customer comes in your store?
When that next customer walks in, it may be your only chance to show them your very best self. Don’t let that opportunity to shine slip away. Use the Ted Williams philosophy. As that customer is walking through your door, say to yourself, “I want to make sure they never forget the time they did business with (insert your name here).”
- Think Like a Baseball Player, Not a Gymnast | LinkedIn (csuitementor.wordpress.com)