The Fundamentals of it All
I read comments last week from an NBA coach that had me chuckling out loud. I’ve shouted the same thing scores of times in recent years while coaching and watching my sons’ basketball games.
But his comment struck a nerve with me about more than sports. I believe the main point behind it is relevant in business as well.
Byron Scott of the LA Lakers was interviewed after a frustrating loss, and he complained, “No one boxes out for rebounds anymore.” When asked why he thought that was, he said, “AAU. I hate AAU.”
Now, for the coach of one of the most iconic professional teams in the world to lament his own team’s lack of fundamentals struck me as kind of humorous. But I understood his frustration.
He suggests that young, talented players are no longer being taught the fundamentals of the game. They simply rely on athleticism and natural talent. They take things for granted because they’re better than the competition around them.
But when these players eventually run into competition with as much (or more) talent, their lack of fundamentals hurts them and their teams. At a certain level, natural talent no longer differentiates. Everyone out there is talented.
Scott’s statements got me thinking about our industry, as well. There are a lot of smart, talented folks out there competing for the same customers.
And they’re all good. And they all want to win.
But some are more fundamentally sound in their practices than others. Like the player who understands that boxing out for a rebound increases his chances of success, bankers who are committed to the fundamentals of productive service and sales cultures likewise improve their prospects.
It may be as simple as consistently welcoming customers with a smile, using their names in conversations, and sincerely thanking them for their business.
It could also be checking in with your better customers to get caught up with them and make sure they are happy.
It might be handing out business cards as often as possible and making a point of introducing yourself to folks you don’t know.
And something as complicated as simply, clearly letting people know you’d personally love to have them as customers has been known to work wonders, as well. (Go figure.)
How fundamentally sound is your team?