There’s one thing that separates long-term successful people from those who are not successful… or are temporarily successful but doomed to fizzle out.
And rather than playing the old, “read on to find out what it is” game with you, I’ll just tell you what it is.
It’s the back end.
Ok, so that’s kind of a dirty trick. I said I wouldn’t do the “read on” thing, but as it turns out you’re going to have to read on to fully understand what the back end is. In all fairness, I did spill the beans as promised.
I spilled those beans despite the fact that I hate that saying.
“Spill the beans.” It sounds like the result of some sort of intestinal problem or a particularly gnarly experience on a carnival ride. But what do you say we do our best to shake that mental image and move on?
What exactly is the back end and why is it so crucial to your success in life and business?
Anyone Can Start Strong
Everyone is your best friend when they’re trying to win you over.
The first date.
The job interview.
The entire online or offline sales process.
On the first date, doors are opened, chairs are pulled out, “please’s” and “thank you’s” abound - and everyone chews with their mouths closed.
At the final job interview, the prospective employer sells you, the candidate, on the job and the company. They tell you all the wonderful things about the company, the hours, the benefits, and your potential for unlimited growth with them.
During the sales process, you’re treated like a royalty. You’re told how the doohickey they’re selling is going to solve all of your problems, and how the people selling the doohickey are the most qualified people on the planet to fix everything that ails you via the aforementioned doohickey.
Everything’s wonderful. Everyone’s happy and everyone’s best side is showing. It’s the honeymoon period.
Nothing but sunshine and draft beer from here on out, right?
Not so fast.
And Then the Story Changes
The first date becomes the 23rd date, and before you know it, all the pleasantries are gone. The restaurant quality incrementally drops to drive-through fare, “please” and “thank you” go the way of the dodo bird, and suddenly you don’t feel so special anymore. It becomes, “You’re with me now, so I don’t have to keep winning you over.”
The interview leads to the first day on the job when you figure out that the “wonderful” company you joined really has no clue. There’s little or no training, all your coworkers look like someone with fangs and a cape has sucked the life out of them, and they don’t even have a place for you to sit yet. There’s a problem with your pay, or your email, or your benefits… and suddenly the vibe is, “We bought you, so we own you. Live with it.”
And that incredible doohickey you bought… well, at some point you have a problem with it or a question about it. And your (phone call/email/god-forsaken support ticket) goes unanswered. It’s like pulling baby rhino teeth to get help. And if you want a refund… ha! Good luck with that, right? Their message is delivered loud and clear: “We already have your money, so we’ll get to you when we get to you.”
And now you know what the back end is.
It’s the post-honeymoon period of any personal or business relationship.
And the vast majority of people and companies out there suck at it.
The Right Thing is the Right Thing Because it’s the Right Thing
I worked in the corporate world for 20 years, and from an employee standpoint, easily 80% of the companies I worked for were hapless on the back end. I’ve also worked for an online company, and the experience I had there as an employee was arguably even worse.
Do a quick mental inventory of your past relationships, jobs, and purchases and you’ll come up with a couple dozen examples yourself. It’s rampant.
Think of the back end as being similar to great customer service or internal customer service.
It’s following up and taking care of people after you’ve gotten what you want out of them. It’s doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
It’s also more profitable long-term. Here’s why…
When you act with indifference to your people (be they loved ones, employees or customers), they leave you. They (justifiably) feel used, lied to, and abandoned. Buh-bye.
That’s not to say that you can’t get a TON of what you want on the front end: Affection from a relationship, hours and work from an employee, and mountains of cash from customers. You can. It’s done all the time.
That is, *if* you’re ok with being the kind of person who uses people up and walks away when you’re finished with them - and you’re ok with having everyone know it. (Because jaded, ignored people will out you!)
So yeah, if you were a total sociopath, that could work for you I guess.
But if doing the right thing isn’t your cup of tea, there’s still a very compelling reason to master the back end…
You Earn Your Rep
Even if you were one of those smarmy selfish people who’s only in it for yourself (psst… don’t be that person), you’ll still ALWAYS get better results by taking care of your people and doing the right thing.
If you treat enough dates poorly, no one will ever want to date you again.
If you’re a bad or inept employer, once the word gets out, good luck finding more drones to do the work you need to have done.
And if you’re a business with lousy back-end service, not only will you never get a second order from your mistreated customers - but you’ll develop a reputation that will turn off any potential new customers.
So how does one provide a stellar back-end experience?
I thought you’d never ask.
Actually, that’s not true. I suspected you would ask all along.
The Simplest Things Yield the Greatest Results
Now, if you’re the victim of a lousy back-end experience, the remedy is fairly simple.
Cut them loose.
If your relationship, your employment, or your patronage means that little to someone you’ve invested your time, effort, or money in… refuse to be their punching bag and cut them loose without hesitation.
It’s not always easy to do, but…
wait… yeah, actually it is easy to do. You’re worth more than that kind of treatment.
If you want to stand head and shoulders above the competition and succeed long-term, then treat people right on the back end.
Have a “back end” plan, follow up, respond quickly, show you care, and make it painfully obvious that you have gratitude for the relationship.
Stupid-SImple? Yep. But also as rare as a pig in flight. This alone will put you ahead of 90% of the population.