Often times, I have an organization or individual complain to me that they just can’t get the recognition they feel they deserve.
“We’re just as good...if not better…than our competition — but the marketplace just doesn’t get it,” I hear proclaimed. ”I am just as good…if not better…than someone who got a promotion — but the boss just doesn’t see it,” is another, more personal version.
So…how do you deal with that situation?
Last night, Tammy and I were guests of our good friend, Brad Lea — CEO of LightSpeed VT, the global leader in virtual, online learning — at a private event where the band Train performed for a small crowd I would estimate of about 600.
- Until last night.
If I were to make a list of the top lead singers of bands of all time, I would say there are four: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Steve Perry from Journey, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. (Your list could be different, naturally! However, you have to agree — this is a pretty powerful list, right?)
What did Pat Monahan of Train do to prove that he could belong on the list?
Early in the show, he started singing the Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” — and bridged that into the Train hit, “Drops of Jupiter.” Very cool.
Then, mentioning that Train…like Journey…was a San Francisco band, he pulled some fans onto the stage as the keyboards sounded the unmistakeable intro of “Don’t Stop Believin.’” I saw Journey a few times when Steve Perry was the lead singer — and Monahan, as much as it pains me to admit it, sang the song just as powerfully.
After performing their hits (and they have more than you might realize), Train returned to a thunderous ovation and played their encore — a note for note cover of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” right down to Tyler’s scream leading into the last chorus.
(OK — so, he didn’t do Robert Plant. However, this morning I discovered that Monahan’s first band was a Led Zeppelin cover group in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania!)
The coolest part is that they didn’t do these songs with a “look at us, we’re just as good” attitude — they just fit into the flow of the show, engaging and entertaining the audience. However, they also proved that they belonged in the conversation with those other groups…something I NEVER would have said before I saw them live.
Interestingly, this event in Vegas has featured top bands annually — from the Eagles (my favorite group) the first year, to Maroon 5 last year. However, Train is the only band they’ve had twice . When I asked why, the response from our host was — aside from the obvious quality of the show — that Train was easy to work with, seemed to sincerely appreciate the charity efforts of the organization, and all acted like they really wanted to be there.
What concepts for ANY business!
- Prove by your quality that you belong with the best
- Deliver a performance that engages the audience
- Be easy to work with
- Sincerely appreciate the efforts that customers make to do business with you
- Act like you really want to be there and be of service…because you DO! (Your business depends upon it, whether it’s where you work…or if you’re Train!)
One last point: Notice what Train did last night? Through a stellar effort, they turned a customer into an advocate. Your performance should do the same.