Excuses Cause Failure: 4 Business ProTips from Jon Taffer

Jon Taffer is the host of Bar Rescue on Spike TV, and he also runs two consulting companies. I really like Jon because he’s not only a strong B2B salesman, but also, if you watch the show Bar Rescue, you’ll see the way he coaches all of these business owners into having more profitable bars.

In this post I want to tell you about a few specific lessons from Jon Taffer, that you can use in your business to improve your mindset and the hopefully improve your profitability. Let’s begin:

1.      Bars are the ultimate example of business

If you watch my video, you can see Jon Taffer himself explaining this point at an interview (mark is 1:05). He says:

“That’s the trick of the bar industry. In that industry you’re managing costs by the moment, no by product per se, so I have to manage product exposure, waste, breakage, overuse, underuse (…) it becomes a very difficult business to operate in the moment-to-moment basis”

There is a meta-lesson here too; if you can take whatever you’re doing right now – the niche you’re serving, the type of company that you’re running – and translate that into an entire industry, you’ll have a very successful consulting practice, just like Jon has.

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2.      Excuses cause failure

Another clip from Jon Taffer (1:56) has him talking about how in all his years of experience and after doing over a 100 episodes of Bar Rescue, you can see how excuses can make people fail and underachieve:

And the common denominator of failure is excuses. Let me make it simple: you wake up in the morning, you look yourself in the mirror, you’re losing money, letting your family and your business down, etc. It’s very easy to blame it on something else, always.

But if you look at the mirror and blame yourself, you really don’t like it, so then you’re caused to change. It is very comfortable not to change when is somebody else’s fault.”

To add to Jon’s point, the year after the housing crisis was 2009, which was the same year where every successful mobile app development agency was started. I can name dozens, they all started in the middle of that depression and they’re all successful now.

Excuses cause failure, a 100% of the time. 

3.      Serve “customer reactions” instead of products

If you go to the mark 3:10 on the video, you can see a clip of Jon talking to an audience about what this means:

“I’m inspired by the look on your face. I don’t believe that we serve food, I believe we serve reactions we achieved through food (…) the fact of the matter is if the viewer doesn’t react to the ad, then the ad is meaningless.

We don’t sell ads; we sell reaction we achieved through ads. That’s what I learned from a young age and that philosophy changed my life”

This lesson is moving and is something for you to think about. In your business, how do you want customers to feel after they buy your product or after they work with you?

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What sort of emotional reaction you want them to have when they look at the balance sheet and see the ROI that you’ve given them? Or even when they’re up for promotion?

4.      One language change is worth a lot

The final clip in the video (4:13) has Jon talking on an interview about how this works:

“You go to a retail store and a sales person comes up to you and says ‘Can I help you?’, and of course you say ‘no, I’m browsing’. That’s what everybody says.

Next time you come in the store, the salesperson says ‘Hi, you’ve been here before’, and when you reply ‘Yeah I come here all the time’, she says ’Great! I’ve got a special sales rack in the back for frequent customers. Let me show you’, and takes you there.

 Next person comes in, ‘You’ve been here before?’ says the salesperson, and if the customer says no well ‘Terrific! I’ve got a sales rack in the back to new customers!’

A little shift in language, can really matter”

This one might be fairly obvious but it’s true. So your homework on this post is: on your next sales call think about the words that you’re saying to your customers.

Pay special attention to those initial words on the call, and try to think about what you can change to make your costumer reactions better.

And if you don’t think you’ll say the exact thing at the beginning of each sales call, you might want to start recording these calls, because I guarantee you’re saying at least a few repeated phrases over and over again.

I hope this helped! Thanks for reading and see you next time.

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