When I asked Lindsay "Trip" Dryden III, CEO, Dryden Oil Co., the secrets of his business success, he replied, "You can have the best business in the world and the best products in the world, but if you don't have the best people, you won't succeed. They're priceless jewels.
"I know from experience. We have 18 locations, all virtually the same. The difference in volume and profit is the people. We need upbeat men and women with a positive attitude. If people don't have that positive attitude, they should be -- and are -- terminated. And by getting the right people we've become the largest industrial lubricating manufacturers in the U.S., servicing such customers as Bethlehem Steel, Caterpillar, Genstar and so on. We sell more car dealers than any other firm."
When I asked Dryden how he gets the best people, he replied, "I steal them. I take them from other firms. Most companies in our business put people on straight salaries, so I grab those people. I believe in incentive plans, so I give them the same salary they were getting plus an incentive of up to 50 percent of that base pay. They love to come with us."
MOVING UP: Want to get promoted? Here are some tips from "How to Think Like a Boss and Get Ahead at Work" by Barry Ingen. "Here are types of people bosses promote: powerful people, men and women who carry themselves with confidence and speak with purpose; people who think for themselves and anticipate the needs of the organization; individuals who are comfortable in social settings, yet who are all business when they are working on a task; people who are goal-oriented and always seem to have something to do; men and women who will help solve the company's problems and who come up with solutions instead of just identifying problems; people who are willing to take more responsibility and accept more work." (Above sent in by WBAL Radio's John Patti.)
IMPROVING SERVICE: With recession still hanging on, would you like your company to improve its service and keep your customers? Here, from "The Professional Consultant & Information Marketing Report," Woodland Hills, Calif., are some tips: "Have your receptionist answer the phone with 'How may I help you?' after giving the name of your firm. This increases the callers' positive attitudes by 23 percent. . . Insist that your employees avoid saying 'Have a nice day.' Callers are sick of trite, overused phrases. . . Don't put anyone on hold for a long time. Instead, tell callers you'll call back promptly. . . Respond to requests for information about your products and services the day you receive the inquiries. . . When interested prospects don't follow up, turn their names over to a manager or someone at another level for a follow-up call."
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: If you're worried about paying college bills, and want a free flyer which describes different options, plus a worksheet, call Institute of Certified Planners (800-282-7526) and ask for "Your Children's College Bill.". . . "Ways to cut business losses include: in making hotel reservations, ask about corporate rates; cut inventory, especially when suppliers are nearby; as an alternative to budgets, ask people to justify everything they spend; cut down on headhunters and recruiters when business contacts and newspaper ads will get the job done." (INC. magazine). . . The Kiplinger Washington Letter says that the recession is uneven, with the Mid-Atlantic area hard hit, but there are signs of a bottoming out ahead.