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Jan. 22, 2021

The Opportunity In Change For Strong Customer Relations with Patti Mara

The Opportunity In Change For Strong Customer Relations with Patti Mara

In this podcast episode, Tania speaks to an expert on perspective, Patti Mara, whose passion is helping people find the perspective that will enable them to generate extraordinary results and build strong customer relationships.

Show Notes


Finding or creating opportunities to build strong customer relationships, as we navigate through a time of change, starts with perspective.

We discuss in this episode:

  • The opportunity in change and challenge for entrepreneurs. (4:53)

  • What is key for businesses to provide to their customers to be successful in 2021 and beyond. (09:58)

  • How Patti found her way into entrepreneurship during university (which was during a time of change and challenge too). (13:21)

  • Why entrepreneurs need to shift their business model from sales to solutions. (16:16]

  • What an entrepreneur can do to identify the unique value their business offers. (19:12)

  • How to approach customer engagements so that it leads to value and stronger customer relations. (21:10)

  • Patti's customer Touchpoint Scorecard and how you can get access to it for free. (24:12)

  • Why you need to prioritize rest and work-life balance. (27:06)

  • A quick and easy way to cultivate gratitude daily. (30:02)

  • Patti's top strategy for building strong relationships as an entrepreneur. (33:31)


Startup Advantage welcomes voices from many spheres with different perspectives and opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. The show does not endorse, promote, or is in association with guests' business interests.


Resources mentioned:


Disclosure: The link(s) to the resource(s) mentioned in this podcast and its blog, Startup Advantage with Tania De Ridder, are not endorsements or affiliated links, meaning that neither the podcast nor its host earns a commission or compensation if you decide to purchase tor use the mentioned service(s) on this page. This is an independent podcaster and blogger and the reviews are done based on their own opinions.


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Episode 29: The Opportunity In Change For Strong Customer Relations with Patti Mara

Please enjoy this transcript of Patti Mara's interview with Tania on the Startup Advantage podcast. This transcript is lightly edited for readability.

Tania De Ridder owns the copyright of content in and transcripts of the Startup Advantage podcast, all rights reserved.

[00:02:20] Tania De Ridder: This week, we have the special guest on the podcast who is an expert on perspective and creating strong teams and customer relations. We're talking about the opportunity in change for building strong customer relationships with Patti Mara. I invited Patti because she will be able to help us move into the new year with a realistic, yet optimistic perspective on how we can position our businesses and find opportunities in change to build strong customer relationships as we navigate through the uncertainty of the upcoming year. Patti has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurial owned and operated businesses to help reposition them for success and she's dramatically helped increase their growth, customer retention and profit. She is generously sharing a free copy of her Touchpoint Scorecard with you. It will help you to approach your customer interactions and touch-points  thoughtfully. I'll share more details later in this episode on what the resource is and how you can use it and how you can get a free copy for yourself. At the end of this episode, I want you to feel encouraged  that there are things that you can do to build strong relationships with your customers. Let's welcome, Patti. 

Hi, Patti. Welcome to Startup Advantage. Your passion is helping people find the right perspective and you have helped businesses generate extraordinary profits by shifting the perspective of its owners.  And I'm so glad you can join us today because we need your help in shifting our perspective as entrepreneurs as we go into the new year. During the global pandemic there's challenges that remain; there's a lot of uncertainty and there's also fear and change happening, so thank you so much for being  here.

[00:04:14] Patti Mara: Tania, thank you.  I love having these conversations at the beginning of a calendar year. It's a new perspective, every year it's a new perspective. And as you said in particular, this year starting 2021, we're in the middle of a global pandemic, so this is a new perspective and a completely different game.

[00:04:35] Tania De Ridder: Patti  in following your work, I've come to appreciate very optimistic, yet analytical viewpoint  and you've said that, 'opportunity is the upside of change'. I just love that. Why do you believe strongly that there is opportunity in change and challenge for entrepreneurs?

[00:04:53] Patti Mara: I actually think this is the entrepreneurs advantage.  Entrepreneurs are people who adapt to change , and the reason I love working with entrepreneurs, I only work with entrepreneurial companies, they have to be entrepreneurial owned and operated because everyone in an entrepreneur organization is connected to the customer. Even if they're working behind the scenes, they're connected to the customer. So everyone is results based and results focused and that has everyone in an entrepreneurial organization on the court. I like to talk about on the court of life. They're not in the stance. So these are the people that  have an idea, put it out there and get feedback. Some of it works, some of it doesn't work. It's almost like part of the genetic code for being an entrepreneur is you are adaptable to change. So  we actually have an advantage this year. We're going through this huge massive shakeup.

When I talk about the impact of the pandemic, I'm talking about the business opportunity, not the health cost. When we look back on this period, I think what we're dealing with, the crisis has interrupted all of our infrastructure, what we took for granted, how we thought we had to operate it's all being interrupted and there's a huge opportunity on that. I think we're going to reflect back on this period 2020, and in going into 2021 as almost like a reset that is allowing the future faster. 

[00:06:22] Tania De Ridder: Patti, you talk about reset, that businesses have to reset their approach. Why do you think some businesses are thriving right now in this environment while some are hanging on and others are shutting down?  What's that key to resetting? 

[00:06:37] Patti Mara: Oh, Tania, I just love this question because you've really just got right to the heart of the matter.  And the best way for me to do this is to give you some examples.  A good friend of mine about two years ago, opened a pet food boutique, like a small pet food boutique in a small store, in a rural area, like 5,000 people in the town surrounding rural area,  maybe 60,000 on the surrounding area, but the little league town. And she did it because  one of the really significant shifts that's happening right now, especially for retail and service businesses, which covers pretty much everything is you can no longer wait for a customer to come to you. You have to be out there and engaging the customer and giving them a reason to come back and building that relationship. You cannot be transactional.  So she was out at local farmer's markets. She has a social media presence, she got into local Facebook groups and she was posting all the time. In March when we had the first lockdown, she invested a month to add Shopify to her website to give greater accessibility.  Curbside pickup started offering free delivery, which is just the owner and the manager running round deliveries,  but she increased accessibility. She put herself out there, increased communication. She provided confidence and trust. So while people were dealing with all this uncertainty, their beloved animals, they felt like they were taken care of. So  it's almost like it took one upset away and had people feel good.  Not only has her business grown significantly month over month, but she opened a second location during the first lockdown and that actually is thriving beyond the first, but she's not waiting for people to come in her door.  Her whole approach right now is this is the opportunity to get customers. This is probably the biggest opportunity; crisis interrupts all patterns. We have buying patterns and everything's been interrupted right now. For businesses that are going out there and engaging in increasing accessibility and trust and building relationship and providing confidence, this is the biggest opportunity you'll ever have to create really strong customer relationships.

And contrast that: one of my favourite stores in the world I'm a horse person. So  one of my favorite stores is a local tack shop.  It's  family owned. I love it. I know the people and they're not doing well. Their website is awful. The only saving grace is that most tack shops seem to have awful websites, but you can't find anything. You can't search for it. So  they haven't used this period of time to figure out how to be more accessible and people are spending money right now. We're not traveling, we're not doing some of the other things and they're spending money. You have to make it easy for people to be accessible to what you offer.

[00:09:25] Tania De Ridder: Patti, what I'm hearing is it's about entrepreneurs taking action to be visible online, to have that presence ; being accessible. And then also the relationship building part ; building relationships with your customers.  I had this question that I wanted to ask you about your expectations and predictions for the coming year.  How would you say entrepreneurs should position their businesses for success in 2021. Is that kind of tying onto what you just spoke about? 

[00:09:58] Patti Mara: I think if you want to have a keyword for 2021, it needs to be accessibility. I'm going to recommend some action steps for any business. In particular, Tania, you work with entrepreneurs that's starting up. Whatever experience you've got wisdom, you've got talent. So who do you want to work with? First of all, identify who do you want to work with? One of the challenges when you're first starting your business is everyone is a potential customer. But as you start going through, everyone's a potential customer start honing in on who do you really enjoy? You enjoy working with them. They value what you're going to do, what you do for them. And they're willing to pay you for that. So when you know who they are and then find out what's important to them, what are their challenges? What are they excited about? How can you make their life easier? What based on your talent and your skill set, what can you provide that makes their life easier? And  the moment you do that, now you have something to position as a solution.  It's really identifying what unique do you have to offer? And then how do you make it more accessible? 

We have so many more resources when we talk about online. Most of my clients are actually brick and mortar businesses. And one of the challenges for them is  if you have a brick and mortar business, you can have a local focus to your business, but you still must have an online presence. That doesn't mean your focus is building a website for the world, but you need to build a website that creates more accessibility for your local audience.

Versus my personal trainer, she used to come to my house to train me and of course we had locked down, she couldn't do that. So she started offering Zoom. All of a sudden that's a flip for her.  The whole world now is a potential for her. And so she's looking at how does she scale and make it easier for people to be in the fitness that they would like. Different focus. But it's how do you increase the accessibility? 

[00:11:59] Tania De Ridder: Thank you, Patti, that's  great examples to help us visualize  what it actually looks like.  You mentioned there key is finding who you enjoy working with, that specific customer that you enjoy serving.  How do you do that? What's the key to finding that group of customers. 

[00:12:16] Patti Mara: If you're in a startup mode, go talk to people, talk about what it is you do, what you love to do, what you believe you bring to the table. And then,  ask people: where do they see a fit?  Learn to ask great questions. Because the moment you're asking great questions,   people feel heard, they enjoy having the conversation with you.  If they feel heard and listened to, they will share all the information you need to know. And now you start honing in on, where did you do something that you really liked the outcome you created? Or who really valued working with you? What did you enjoy? What did you not enjoy? You just start refining based on your experience. 

[00:12:59] Tania De Ridder: You've been an entrepreneur since university, and when you started out in the late 1980s as an entrepreneur, it was also during a time of change and challenge; it was during a recession. You seem to be very much comfortable with the idea of change now. But back then, how did you feel and why did you get into entrepreneurship then  despite the challenges?

[00:13:21] Patti Mara: It's interesting because  you're right. When I graduated from university,  it was actually the recession that was fueled by the first impact of  microtechnology shifting management infrastructure. So I remember the headline that IBM was laying off middle managers for the first time in its history. And microprocessing started to replace the layers of people that were required in a company. And so nobody was hiring and, my dad had always said, you go to school, you get a degree, you find a job in a good company. They will provide you a training and you will grow in that company. Nobody was hiring.   

I would say, I don't come from an entrepreneurial background, but my grandparents were very entrepreneurial, both sides of my family. My grandfathers were very entrepreneurial.  One was an entrepreneur  so I grew up just a different way of thinking. Everything was on creating solutions and finding the right fit and  I had a t-shirt business when I was at university, of one of my summer jobs if you will,  I got a student venture loan and designed t-shirts, had them manufactured, then went in the streets of Toronto trying to sell my t-shirts. So it turns out I loved everything about it, except for standing on the streets, trying to hock my wares. And it wasn't necessarily a very profitable summer, but at least I  covered my expenses and it was an interesting experience.

I graduated, there were no jobs and I just, I fell into  trying to figure out where I fit and I ended up falling into some network marketing companies and I'm not a fan. I'm not a big proponent of network marketing. I think one of the challenges is that you're really somebody else's distribution  channel.  And you don't control the business so they can make changes at any time. So you can build something and not be able to control what happens with it, which for me is there's a lot of effort, but I really learned a lot. So there was a skincare one, there was a water filter one and there was a cat and dog food one. What was interesting in every single one of the experiences, I was really good at retailing and almost immediately within a very short period of time, I was the one being called on  to train everyone else in that organization on how to retail.   So that led me into training, which then I just kept going on that path. So I'm very grateful for having graduated during a recession.  Because it led me down a path. The other option I was leading into is what my dad did was in the banking industry, which I'm sure would have found a path there, but I'm very happy with having dealt with that struggle to figure out where do I fit and what talent do I bring.

[00:16:10] Tania De Ridder: Why do you encourage entrepreneurs to shift their business model from sales to solutions? 

[00:16:16] Patti Mara: This was actually the cornerstone of my book, UpSolutions. It's the blueprint, if you will, for how to position your business as a solution-based offering to the marketplace.  The impact of the internet is that a lot of businesses have been commoditized. So either dealing with competing with national chains or they're lumped in with everyone else in the same industry or people are buying off Amazon and it just means  you feel like you're forced to compete on price. This has been a trend that I've seen increasing for the last 20 years. 

I think there are actually new business rules and what's happening this year is again, this complete disruption that where it was an increasing trend and increasing pressure trend. This year it's full stop; either you're making a shift or you're really in trouble. So the new business rules are, you must shift from focusing on sales, to focusing on solutions. You are businesses, not what you sell. What you sell is just a vehicle for you to create solutions or results.  So people say, I'm a real estate agent. I sell cars.  I have a car garage, I'm a mechanic. We tend to talk about what we do in our business based on,  what the business is, the vehicle, if you will, but  you need to be aware of who are you a solution for? What solution are you creating? How are you making it easier for your customers? How are you making their life easier and really tapping into that as a solution?

For example, my friend who has the pet food boutique her store is farm to paw. And I'm trying to think of what the byline is, but they've got a great one, but they've really positioned as we are the resource for the healthiest pet possible, farm to paw. So they're not in the grocery store. Their market are not the grocery store, so they're not selling on price. They are selling on value. They're not selling on price. That's the first new business rule is shifting from sales to solutions. 

The second one is shifting from transactions to relationships. And this is back to what we started talking about is no business can wait for a customer to walk in your store or call you on the phone or send you an email or opt in on your website. You cannot wait for them to come to you. So yes, you have to have marketing campaigns that they find you in the first place, but once they found you, you need to cultivate them as a relationship.

So it's  once you've created some kind of value, it's opening that up, developing that, building trust. You want to position yourself as a trusted solution partner for your customer base so that when they need something that you're in the arena of providing you're who they think of, you're there. They wouldn't even go anywhere else because they know you're going to take care of them. 

[00:19:12] Tania De Ridder: So Patti, that can be very hard to do to identify that unique value that you offer, especially if you're just starting out.  What advice do you have for that specifically on identifying that unique value that your business offers?

[00:19:27] Patti Mara: Great question. Ask everyone. What did they think about what you just did for them? Ask everyone, whether it's in a testimonial, video testimonial, written testimonial, or just asking for feedback, every single person you want to know what worked, what didn't work, what would they like more of? What would they like less of? And just engaging again, people like to be asked. We don't like to receive an automatic survey after every purchase we make. I mean that drives everybody crazy. Everyone's trying to do this now, but just go and ask permission. Can I find out how that experience was for you? What did you like?  Is there anything missing that you would like more of ? If you increase the feedback you're getting, because people want to tell you, if you give them permission, they want to tell you, and you want to appreciate the good, bad and the ugly, because all of it's important information.

There's a book I highly recommend every entrepreneur read called,  'A Complaint Is a Gift' by Janelle Barlow.  She has a seven step 'how to handle complaints' and it puts the person complaining at ease and it perks the person receiving the complaint at ease. So you actually get the gold underneath. It's an interesting thing that most raving fans are not people that everything's gone well with their people that something went wrong with and because of how you handled it, they become raving fans. 

[00:20:54] Tania De Ridder: Customers themselves often don't know the questions to ask, to make an effective purchasing decision or to give you proper feedback. So how should you approach a customer engagement to solve their needs and to learn more about what they're really looking for? 

[00:21:10] Patti Mara: Tania, I'm so grateful that you brought that up because it's actually, for me, one of the most important pieces is we take for granted, we think everyone else knows what we know, so we completely underplay the value we bring. And if we just want to start at the fundamental, how you create value for your customers, it's helping them make an effective decision. Just that. If you help your customers make a decision that they're happy with and they feel confident about you've created a huge amount of value. And we forget that. So we wait for customers to ask us, rather than guiding, asking probing questions and guiding customers to make an effective decision.  

A good story that comes to mind, was a friend of mine decided he wanted to put up a shelf in his office, and he went to one of those storage stores and he's in the shelving isle, and a young clerk came up to him and said, can I help you? And my friend Dan said no, I'm fine standard response. But this young guy is on the ball, this young clerk.  He said, what kind of wall would you like to put the shelf up on? Now he's got them. Now it's a relevant question because he knows these are the things you need to know to make a decision on what shelf to buy.  But Dan doesn't have a clue. So he said drywall. And then the young clerk said, what would you like to put on that shelf? Some knickknacks, some books  and he went into the why it anchors into the wall and if you were to buy this shelf, which is the shelf Dan was looking at, it'll probably fall down with the weight you've got on paper wall within a month.  So Dan said, thank you very much, bought an $85 shelf. He was looking at a $25 shelf, but he walked out of that store so much happier with his purchase because he got what he needed. If he hadn't had that help, he would have bought the $25 shelf. It would have fallen off the wall and he would have thought that's a cheap store.

People don't know the questions.  I remember when I decided to buy a flat screen TV and I was lucky enough to have a local store.  I had gone with a budget of $400.  This was probably 10 years ago and I got hooked into the new led at the time it was new led technology. I walked out buying a $1,200 home theater set up and they set it up for me and it was fully installed and I was happy. Cause I actually ended up  happy with the purchase.  You really need to understand that you asking questions,  to find out what their needs are, based on your experience and expertise and help them make a decision, that's what they're looking for. How many times have you bought something that it's not the right thing? So you ended up returning it or buying and you end up spending a lot more money and still not happy with the result because someone hasn't helped you buy what you need. And you solve all of that, you simplify it and help people make decisions. 

[00:24:02] Tania De Ridder: Patti, you've created this free resource for listeners, thank you so much for doing that, that helps us do role play with our customers. Can you please tell us more about it and how we can use it? 

[00:24:12] Patti Mara: Absolutely. It's a very simple exercise. It's basically identifying touch points in your business. All different areas of customer contact. In print, on technology, face-to-face, physical, and just taking a look from your customer's perspective. Are you creating an experience that's aligned with the value you're providing? And my favourite example of that in retail stores one of the most overlooked touch points is the receipt. Every purchase you make, you have a receipt. Does that receipt reinforce the value of what they just purchased as they're going out the store or as they, get an email with the purchase. It's one of the most overlooked and easiest to adjust is to make sure that receipt reinforces the value that you've just created. It's just looking from your customer's perspective. It's a good brainstorming exercise, and there's a short video to walk you through how to use the exercise. 

[00:25:14] Tania De Ridder: When you say reinforcing the value on the receipt, what do you mean by that?

[00:25:18] Patti Mara: There are functional things that have to be on a receipt, right? The store name, the address, what you purchased, how you purchased it, the date and they're functional things that have to be, but then  I certainly would like to see a logo.  I've seen some receipts that are in black and white, that's the lowest design so it almost looks like it's colour because of the different shades of grey. Your byline or impact statement should be on it. At the bottom, if you want people to do a survey or please come back or  have you joined us on Facebook?  We share tips for your, whatever.  So how can you  turn something that's functional into reinforcing the value. 

[00:25:57] Tania De Ridder: What I love about the  point card is that you've created different versions for different types of businesses. And it really connects to what you spoke about just now about being thoughtful about all the different areas and all the different touch points that you have with your customer. Do you have tip on how to approach using this score card? 

[00:26:18] Patti Mara: My tip would be two things.  Watch the video, it's a very short video. It's maybe 10, 11 minutes long. And the video will literally guide you through with some examples, the different versions, it's all the same tool.  It just gives you different sample copy as a starting point to make it easier to adapt it and edit it for yourself. And then  do it with other people. So if you've got a team do it with your team. If you're working by yourself, who's helping you? 

[00:26:45] Tania De Ridder:  I want to talk a little bit about work-life balance as well, because you've created your success without sacrificing your personal life, and you've said that you're, 'religious about your free days'. Does this come naturally to you from the get-go from when you started out back in university? Or did you have to create this? 

[00:27:06] Patti Mara: Oh, that is, yeah, it did not come naturally. I was the worst at it. I was one of those ones that was, always working because,  one of the opportunities of being an entrepreneur is you get to choose when you work. One of the challenges of being an entrepreneur is you get to choose when you work, which often means you work all the time. And that, that was definitely me. I was good at getting something off the ground, but I didn't know how to create the infrastructure to take it beyond startup mode. And in 1997, I came across a company called Strategic Coach. That was one of the  primary shifts to going beyond startup mode, to building an infrastructure in a foundation of business growth was being able to take time off. Strategic Coach talks about it, this entrepreneur Dan Sullivan and his wife, Babs Smith, and the premise of this is that  you have to recharge your batteries, if you're not taking time off to recharge your batteries, you don't have your creativity and entrepreneurs aren't paid on their time. They're paid on the results they produce, regardless of how much time you put in. You only get paid when you produce results. So if you're not recharging your battery, you're tired. And if you're tired, you're not producing results, you're just putting in time. So it's actually counterproductive. And even knowing that it took me awhile to  not feel guilty for not working on the weekends.  Now don't ask me a business question on the weekend because my brain isn't even going to go there. But  it was a pivotal shift that taking time off to recharge is a prerequisite for business growth and success. 

[00:28:43] Tania De Ridder: Patti, does this connect with the idea that you mentioned earlier about embracing being in the game of life, being on and off the court?

[00:28:53] Patti Mara: Yes. Absolutely. When you're recharged, when your battery's full, if you will, then if something goes wrong, you sit back and think. Oh, that was interesting. Okay. Let's take a look at what worked and what didn't work and what did I learn and how can I use this going forward?  All of a sudden you're embracing everything that happens as an opportunity for you, whether it worked or didn't work it's actually leading to your future success. If you're  tired, it's like  you can't get out of this horrible negative loop that everything is  crushing down on you. And really all that's going on is you're tired. You cannot stay in the game of life on the court. If you're not taking care of your energy and your wellbeing. 

[00:29:38] Tania De Ridder: You come across as a very optimistic yet, focused and reasonable person. And I've seen on your blog as well, that you encourage us to allow for gratitude in the face of change and challenge and during the coming year. Do you have a habit or a strategy for how you cultivate or focus on gratitude regularly that you would recommend for someone? 

[00:30:02] Patti Mara: Tania, that's a great question. It's become so ingrained. I'm trying to think if there was a place where I started. I'm not a great journaler. A lot of people write journals.  I like to meditate and don't do it often enough. I think that's another great resource. Right now, my goal this year, I'm working on, the first hour of the day is my time to do some exercise, to do some meditation , walk the dogs and then get into the day. And gratitude is definitely in that. I just find myself, so that's what I'm working on, but what I find is I just say thank you all the time. Like just in my head, a parking spot opens up as I'm driving in. Thank you.  Sometimes it's when something's gone wrong. It's become a practice to stop and say, thank you even if I'm thank you. And then say, all right, what happened here? What went well, what worked? What didn't go what didn't work? What did I learn? And  think that thinking process has definitely done me well, and I just noticed in my mind, I'm just, I just say thank you all the time. 

[00:31:07] Tania De Ridder: Thank you, Patti. There's two questions I want to use to close off our chat today. The first one is when you reflect on your entrepreneurial journey, which strategy, habit or mindset have you personally found to have helped you the most to achieve success that others can learn from? I know it's hard to choose just one, but if I forced you, what would you say? 

[00:31:30] Patti Mara: We talked about the idea of free days and allowing recharge time earlier and  I couldn't be doing anything of what I'm doing now without that. One of my business mentors, Dan Sullivan with Strategic Coach came out with a book with Benjamin Hardy this year called, 'Who Not How' and Dan,  shared that concept a couple of years ago in the Strategic Coach program; it's been pivotal. So 'Who Not How' is that as an entrepreneur, your job is to come up with some kind of a solution, a creative opportunity, a business idea , whatever it is, your job is the creation. And then when you start to try and figure out how to do it, you get mired in the muck. So the first thing to do is realize that your job is to be creative, and then find who can help you and support you.  And listen, when you're in startup, it's beg, borrow, and steal, have friends, family help you wherever you can, but there's also so many resources now. I use Upwork a lot. I've used Fiverr,  a lot of different organizations that you just on a piecemeal, not expensive. Like for example, all of my online resources have been created into PDF writeable, PDF tools, all of that I've outsourced to somebody I've found an Upwork.  There's no way I could have done that myself. I marked it out on an Excel spreadsheet and then they created it into a light, nice, lovely, workable tool. So definitely a key piece for me is  if you find yourself bogged down, it's probably because you're trying to figure out how to make something happen instead of figuring who can make that happen for you.

[00:33:05]Tania De Ridder: That's excellent advice. We often feel we need to do it all, right. Especially when we start out.

[00:33:12] Patti Mara: Especially in the beginning. 

[00:33:13] Tania De Ridder: Yes.  My last question for you today, Patti.  Based on your experience, what advice do you have for first-time entrepreneurs on which relationships they should prioritize when starting out and what they can do to build these relationships strongly?

[00:33:31] Patti Mara: Yeah, it's a great question and I think you're spot on. None of us do anything in a vacuum. Anything worthwhile we do collaboratively, and that doesn't mean you have to have a huge staff. My team's all virtual. And then I have a lot of people that work on projects. Where to start, I would say  work on projects, so choose the most important projects and who can support you on those. And again, I  found a lot of great resources that I work with over and over a time when I need them only through Upwork, that's been a great resource for me. So put it down into a tangible project based, and then who can support you on that. And then the key piece for me is how to build strong relationships. Strong relationships are based on trust and connection.  One of my rules of thumb is that  if I'm meeting with any team member, they're treated as an A client. I show up on time, I'm prepared and I'm fully present. And, they bring their A game because I bring my A game and they need to be treated with that level of respect. That builds relationship. And in the end produces dramatically greater results. 

[00:34:46] Tania De Ridder: Thank you so much, Patti, for joining us on Startup Advantage today. You've provided us with a lot of value and we really are grateful for that.  How can listeners connect with you? 

[00:34:57] Patti Mara: My website's a great place, which is Patti Mara dot-com. P-A -T-T-I-M-A-R-A-dot-com. And  as you said, Tania, the link,  which is Patti-mara-dot-com-forward-slash-startup-advantage will actually take you to a hidden page on the website. It's just for your podcast listeners, and that's where you can download the TouchPoint Scorecard. There's a link if you'd like to purchase the book UpSolutions. And you can also join I have a Facebook group, an UpSolutions Facebook group that I'm available.  I answer questions. I post resources. This is the time of the entrepreneur. We have an advantage. We're adaptable, we're creative. This is our time. And so really I just want to see us all thrive. And as we thrive, we bring our communities out of crisis. 

[00:35:46] Tania De Ridder: I'll share that perspective. Absolutely.   Thank you again so much. 

[00:35:49] Patti Mara: Tania, thank you for having me on; just an absolute treat. 


What was your favourite quote or take away from this episode? 

Patti Mara

Founder, Author & Creator

Patti Mara has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurial owned and operated businesses to reposition them for success and dramatically increase their growth, customer retention, and profit.

Patti is a popular speaker to groups from diverse industries, ranging from finance and commercial real estate, to restoration and cleaning, restaurants, and independent pharmacies. She has also been a featured speaker to North American women’s and entrepreneurs’ groups.

She is the owner of Maranet Inc. and the creator of The Profit Generator Program*, which takes business owners through a process for developing the ability to see through their customers’ eyes. She also created the Breaking Through Barriers Program*, which helps business owners identify and eliminate the bottlenecks that impede growth and success.

She is the author of UpSolutions – Turning Your Team into Heroes and Customers into Ravings Fans.