Steve Ferrante's High Performance Blog for Sales/Customer Service/Leadership Champs and Progressive Professionals!

As a long-standing resident of Planet Earth, no doubt you’re familiar with the expression “Rise and Shine”.

Well I’m here to set the record straight once and for all…

The expression has been bantered about likely as long as folks have been sleeping, a very long time indeed.

In the literal sense, “Rise and Shine” means ‘get your butt out of bed and be lively and energetic’!

So, are most folks doing that? More personally, are YOU doing that? If you’ve been working somewhere you’re not particularly enthused about after you rise then the odds of you ‘shining’ there are quite low.

Sadly, countless companies across the globe are populated by the walking dead… zombie employees dragging themselves through the day. All rise, no shine.

Often, the problem stems from a poor corporate culture lacking effective leadership. More on that here > Eight Great Practices for Creating a Winning Team Corporate Culture

In any event, with regards to high “Pinnacle Performance” achievement, the expression itself is backwards…

One does not merely rise and shine.

A living testament to this, I was rising for years and wasn’t shining much at all. It simply doesn’t work like that.

To truly shine, you must first be excellent at what you do. Once you master your craft you will ‘shine’ and, once you do, you will most certainly rise to higher levels of success.

Like the song says…

When you truly ‘shine’…

Your customers will notice (You’ll improve relationships and increase sales)

Your team will notice (You’ll set the winning example for all)

Your employer will notice (You’ll stand out and position yourself for promotion)

So please… Don’t rise and shine… Shine and Rise!


Success has a Formula

As you strive to maximize your performance in 2022, remember success has a formula:

You must have a growth mindset (winning attitude). 

You must do the right things (behaviors).

You must do these things the right way (execution).

Average performers fail this formula. So remember…

WHAT you do and HOW you do it will determine WHERE you’re going and how successful you will be WHEN you get there.

Make a Great Day!


Unless you are somehow fortunate enough to have a one-of-a-kind product and/or no competition in your market space, then being remarkable matters.

As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with advertising and marketing messages. Precious few of those messages make it through all the noise and stand out in our minds. They’re unremarkable.

As I wrote about in How to Fail in Your Business, Consumer research has shown that approximately seven out of 10 customers leave a business because of indifference. They feel like “just another transaction” and have no emotional engagement with the business.

As your potential customers shop around with very little to distinguish one business from the next, they naturally default to the cheapest price for the product or service they’re seeking. Losing on price or discounting is perhaps the single biggest consequence businesses suffer for being unremarkable.

While every business is capable of being remarkable, only a small minority actually achieve it. The majority play it safe, stick to the norm, and deliver ordinary unremarkable customer experiences.

Always Remember…

Most businesses are perceived as ordinary and this contributes greatly to the ordinary (unremarkable) results they typically realize.

The fact is, nothing perceived as ordinary is ever valued as something special.

As I wrote in Would You Buy You?, YOU have a choice in the way you perceive yourself, manage yourself and, ultimately, sell yourself to others.

So ask yourself, is our business truly remarkable? How do we look, sound and feel from the customers point-of-view? Do we stand out in a positive way or do we simply blend in and fade away as just another (fill in your business type) in our market?

Here’s a great example of a business (Ember) that is standing out with not only an innovative product but a remarkable ad for that product.

At the end of the day, a business’s success is largely determined by it’s ability to stand out from it’s competitors and attract more customers. Being unremarkable just won’t cut it.

Make a Great Day!


Seeking a remarkable sales strategy, customer experience model, and/or workplace culture? I can definitely help you! Contact me direct at

We all love rooting for the underdog. That person or team that defies the odds and finds a way to win.

My personal favorite example is the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union 4–3 during the medal round of the men’s hockey tournament. As the four-time defending gold medalist, the Soviet Union was heavily favored to win. Now, the “Miracle on Ice” is forever etched in the memories of sports fans as one of the greatest sporting events of all-time.

While it’s awesome to bring home the gold medal, overcoming challenges and beating the odds isn’t always about coming in first place. It’s about the will to win and having the determination to succeed despite the obstacles in your path.

An outstanding example of this is Alicia Follmar. As a runner for Stanford, she accidentally tripped just over a lap into a race and was trampled by other runners. Hurt and seemingly out of contention, most people would of simply given up.  Alicia got up and finished the race in 3rd place.

You can read about the event here > stanfordmag/indomitable

Overcoming adversity is one of the true measures of a persons character. If you have not endured adversity and have somehow taken the perfect path to success then good for you.

And potentially bad for you too…

When obstacles block your path will you have the resiliency, grit and determination to overcome them and succeed? 

The ability to overcome adversity is a common characteristic of high-achievers. Whereas the average person’s progress is hindered (or halted) by adversity, high-achiever’s view the same challenges as obstacles to overcome on the way to their goal.

Ultimately, the underdog wins because they rise to the challenge and defeat it.

Some say these high-achievers are simply programmed differently. I say we’re all capable of programming ourselves to achieve greater results, be it on the playing field or in our work.

One thing is certain…

Either the obstacle wins, or you do.


** For many more Pinnacle Performance Quotes, please visit > Steve’s Pinnacle Performance Quotes

Ever buy a good product and get lousy service? I bet you have. When you get poor service at a restaurant, as an example, the food doesn’t taste as good and your view of the business is downgraded.

Much of the problems created by poor customer service can be resolved by hiring people with a good attitude and pleasing personality before you tell them they need both on the job.

All too often employees go thru the motions without their head and heart committed to providing the quality of service that customers fondly remember, rave about, and return because of. Serving customers exceptionally well is not especially important to these disengaged employees.

Beyond hiring and training your customer service staff properly, leadership must constantly promote the proper customer-focused culture and communicate the importance of service excellence as a key driver of the businesses success.

Make a Great Day!


** For many more Pinnacle Performance Quotes, please visit > Steve’s Pinnacle Performance Quotes

Happy Customers Only

Everyone knows happy customers are the best type of customers. This business has a creative (and memorable) way to ensure they enter their store that way!


You can (and really should) find much more Pinnacle Performance content @


Hi All,

Like the heading reads, the best customer experiences are positively memorable.

As an example, think you’d remember this service with a smile?

Obviously, there’s an element of danger with her steaming liquid pouring presentation. You could say the same of the fire & knives show put on by Japanese restaurant chefs… it’s all about mastering your craft and enhancing the customer experience!

For more on in importance of creating positively memorable customer experiences, read my Selling Smart article here > Five-Star Mediocrity

Make a Great Day!


Former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, said, “People with passion can change the world.” A bold statement for sure, but perhaps you’re not looking to change the world. Perhaps you’re just looking to create a more successful business. Then does passion really matter? In short, yes – and quite a bit at that.

What is passion? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, passion is “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”

Do your team members have a passion for their work? More importantly, do you?

Consultants who study high-performance organizations and high achievers (conspicuously raising my hand) will tell you that passion and success go hand-in-hand. It’s no great secret that many folks have little to no passion for their work. They consider their work little more than a paycheck and their No. 1 goal is getting through the week to cash out and receive it.

As the above quote suggests from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi suggests, Mr. Lombardi was quite serious about passion and enthusiasm with his players. He knew that passionate, enthusiastic players would possess the magnetism to drive each other to give it their best to succeed. This same contagious “magnetic effect” is also true in the workplace and, when properly managed, can power your business to new levels of success.

Sadly, the average business typically has many more unmotivated, unenthusiastic employees. Often poor management is the root cause of the problem with uninspired managers demotivating team members with their disengaging behaviors and lack of on-the-job enthusiasm. However, a poor or weak manager should be no excuse for each employee’s personal responsibility in delivering excellence (PRIDE) on the job.

“Put Some Zip In Your Do Da!” is one of my favorite Pinnacle Performance maxims and for good reason… it is the fuel of high performance! We all have that daily “Do Da” we do, but all too often there’s little zip in it.

The fact is that positive attracts positive in all we do. A positive, upbeat attitude typically influences a similar positive response in your customers, co-workers, and everyone else you interact with. Conversely, a negative or poor attitude repels, typically influencing a similar negative response from others.

High achievers in sales or customer service demonstrate zip with their upbeat friendly tonality, never sounding bored or tired. This is especially important on phone interactions where only 30% of communication is what you say (content) and 70% is how you say it (tonality). Simply put, to engage callers (and turn more into customers) you must be engaging.

Your outward appearance also says a lot about your “Do Da.” High level politicians up to the President of the United States are coached on body language and how to present themselves to the public because we the people expect leaders to look a certain way.

Leaders (that people want to follow) and successful folks in general are not those that look like they’re carrying a heavy burden and dragging themselves along day after day. We’ve all seen those sleep-walking Sally’s at work. To quote Aerosmith, their “get up and go must have got up and went.” A sweet emotion interacting with these folks it certainly is not.

For your selling/customer-service/ life purposes, recognize that people naturally gravitate toward people who are successful and conversely avoid failure at all costs. High-achievers project zip with an energetic pep in their step, good posture and a can-do demeanor that delivers a message of confidence and success.

Test Your Passion

It’s not hard to assess your passion and/or those of your co-workers on the job. Refer back to that opening definition: “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” Is that how you feel about your work?

Passion is all about engagement. Those with true passion are “fired up” for and at their job. They are positive, look forward to their work, have high energy, and their time there seems to fly by. Those with little to no passion are negative, dread Monday mornings, bring no energy to their work, and their on-the-job time seems to crawl by as they count the minutes until they can run away from it.

Obviously, one of these folks is far more productive than the other.

It’s not about your products or service…

As I advise my many market-leading clients in the tire/auto service industry, a successful (high-achiever) employee’s passion is rarely, if ever, tires or working in a tire/auto service business for that matter. However, they must have a passion for customer service, a passion to serve, a passion to help others, and above all, a passion to succeed. This applies to any type of business.

You may be thinking, “My work is not special. I’m only a salesperson, a customer service rep, another worker bee. What do I have to be passionate about?”

How About Being the Best at What You Do?

You may not have a deep-seated personal passion for the products and/or services that your business sells, and that’s okay. You should, however, have a passion for your profession and to be the very best you can be in your role.

As a sales or customer service representative, that means having a passion for selling and helping potential customers purchase your products or services, providing the best in customer service and exceeding expectations.

If you don’t have a passion for being the best at what you do where you are currently doing it, then you’re probably in the wrong job and positioned for failure or, at best, mediocrity. In other words, if you can’t do your job with passion then you probably shouldn’t do it all.

Face the fact that you’ll never achieve the level of success you are capable of achieving without true passion – you are costing yourself and your business – and move on. For when you follow your passion, success will follow you.

Steve Ferrante

Santa Claus Is…

As you’re likely aware, there’s a large jolly fellow in a red suit coming to town soon. As usual, Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice this year and, with the rather remarkable record-keeping tracked by his trusty team of elves back at the North Pole HQ, your presents in his sleigh (or lack thereof) will reflect his character assessment. 

Not sure how you fared this year? 

A great place to start is in the mirror with a comparison of yourself against the Santa Claus profile (in image below) as published in 1912 by Edwin Osgood Grover in The Book of Santa Claus.

I believe there is a Santa Claus in all of us, some folks just need to adjust their self-focus to see him. After-all, like proper sales and customer service, true Christmas spirit is not really about us; it’s about helping and giving to others. 

Ho Ho Ho!


The occasion of Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to be thankful for what we have but being grateful should not be limited to the fourth Thursday in November.

From a business perspective, practicing an attitude of gratitude means letting customers know how much you value and appreciate their business.

Since starting Sale Away 13 years ago this month, I have asked literally thousands of sales and customer service associates in many dozens of businesses all over North America if they appreciate their customers and, predictably, I always receive the same response; “Of course we do!” Then I ask them the real question… How do your customers know?

The sad reality is quite often customers really don’t know or, more importantly, feel appreciated. Often, employees assume customers know they’re appreciated because they regularly thank them at the end of a given interaction. That’s great but true displays of customer appreciation are about much more than a token “Thanks” at the end of interactions, they are heartfelt and consistent throughout the relationship.

Your customers (and potential customers) should always feel that you truly care for their personal well-being. This begins with treating them like human-beings and being grateful, not just because they’re interested in your product or service, but rather for the relationship or opportunity to help them.

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although Thanksgiving is the time of year this sentiment is most talked about and expressed in others, true gratitude is not a seasonal affair. Your attitude of gratitude should be practiced year round for there is much to be thankful for.

Always keep in mind (and heart) that when a customer purchases a product or service from your business, even if the transaction did not involve you, the customer is indirectly paying you. For, without them, there is no paycheck – no job – no business to be had.

As the title of my Pinnacle Performance Training poster below reads.. Always Be Grateful.

Maintain and Attitude of Gratitude

It is human nature that as we settle in over time we “get used to” everything. When the company, your fellow team members, and customers become part of your daily routine it’s easy to lose the appreciation we had when these ‘good things’ were new to us. 

Of course, we don’t want to lose these things (our job, customers, etc.) to come to our senses and appreciate just how important they are! 

In order to not lose our sense of appreciation as new things become familiar to us, we must live in the moment and maintain an attitude of gratitude. This is easier said (or written about) than done. It takes a conscious effort where we mentally count our blessings and don’t allow ourselves to take the most important ‘good things’ for granted.

On the job, this takes true customer-focus.  You must not become complacent and go through the motions but rather execute with purpose and sincerity.

Of course, it’s not only what you say but what you do that makes the difference. Spontaneous “Thank You For Your Business” cards, follow-up calls to thank customers for their business and ensure they’re happy after the sale, random acts of kindness and consistent acts of exceptional service go a long way towards demonstrating genuine appreciation and gratitude.

Speaking of gratitude, I would be remiss if I didn’t Thank You for making it all the way to the end of this article. I appreciate your effort and wish you all the best for success!


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