Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Pay Attention to “7”

April 14, 2019

by Robert Stevenson

The number “7” is used, referenced and associated with a lot of things. There are the 7 wonders of the ancient world, 7 continents, 7 seas, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 notes on the diatonic musical scale, Snow White had 7 dwarfs, three 7’s is a winning hand (Blackjack), three 7’s on a slot machine hits the jackpot, and there is the 7th inning stretch in baseball. You also have the 7-year itch in marriage, 7 letters in the Roman Numeral system, and 7 deadly sins: greed, gluttony, pride, lust, sloth, envy, and wrath

Today I want to talk about the number 7 as it applies to business. There are 7 words that will kill a company. Saying, “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” is a sure sign you are headed in the wrong direction.

Here are 7 words you never want to hear a customer say:

  • “I’ll never do business with you again.”
  • “I will be trashing you on Facebook.” (Twitter - YouTube)
  • “I absolutely hate everything about your company.”
  • “Everyone should know how bad you are.”
  • “It’s my goal to wreck your reputation.”

Here are 7 questions most employees have difficulty answering:

  • What’s our competitive advantage?
  • What are several ways our customer service stands out?
  • Are there ways we can sell value instead of selling price?
  • Why should customers want to do business with us?
  • What will make our clients tell their friends about us?
  • How can we deliver more than we promised our clients?
  • Is there anything we do better than our competition?

Here are 7 sure signs you have a “Corporate Culture” problem:

  • You have a management vs. employee atmosphere
  • Customer complaints are ignored
  • No one is ever held accountable for their mistakes
  • There is no forum for sharing new ideas
  • Management has a my-way-or-the-highway mentality
  • Laughter is seldom heard
  • No recognition for going above and beyond the “norm”

There are those who think the number 7 is a lucky number. I feel in business we make our own luck. I truly believe in the old expression, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Working hard is important, but working smart is even more important. For you to survive in this highly competitive environment, pay attention to how “The 7 Words,” “The 7 Questions,” and “The 7 Signs” could be hurting your company.

Here are 7 signs you are doing things right:

  • You have no problem getting people to volunteer
  • Employees are always making suggestions
  • Associates are helping each other
  • Employees take accountability for their actions
  • Managers are respected rather than feared
  • You see a lot of smiles and laughter
  • Everyone is concerned about customer complaints

Make your customers want to say those 7 magical words about your incredible customer service: “I’ll be telling my friends about you.” They really are magical, because they will create more business for you.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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