The Opening Night Principle


opening nightIn the world of Theatre, actors await Opening Night with anticipation. It is their first night with an actual audience. The actors know that a great performance will mean an engaged audience, followed by a storm of applause and standing ovations.

But how does the Opening Night concept translate to the business world?

It applies to any industry where employees rely upon external and internal Client Relationships as much as actors rely upon an attending audience.

Think about it. Who is our audience? Who do we interact with on a daily basis when we’re leading a cause, coaching on skills, making a sale or servicing and retaining what we have? Co-workers? Direct Reports? Prospects? Clients? For those of us who have been in the same role doing the same thing for several years, like an actor who has played the same role 100 times, we can’t help but feel a bit stale in our interactions.

The first time we engage with a Prospect or service our first Client feels new and exciting. But once that initial excitement fades, the repetitive nature of the task kicks in, and our enthusiasm wears off. We may even find ourselves getting annoyed, as the 20th Prospect or Client in a row asks the same questions about the same Policy. We can’t help but want to scream: ‘WHY DON’T THEY JUST GET IT BY NOW?’

We forget that our Client’s experience is a first for them, every time.

So, what is one of the key things we could remember to make each business interaction a terrific one?

We can start by maintaining an Opening Night attitude, whether it is our 100th or 1000th interaction.

What’s in it for us?

The result is our ‘business version’ of a full house, applause, standing ovations and an audience that comes back to see our show over and over again. That is, the creation of a massive portfolio and black book of quality Clients and Prospective Clients—who will come back time and time again and refer others to us along the way.

Given the competitive nature of the marketplace today, to experience long-lasting success, an Opening Night Attitude is no longer a choice. It is our responsibility.

Your thoughts?

Neda Bayat is Global Business Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc. and Breakthrough PerformanceTech, LLC.

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