An old business mentor of mine (he was old at the time as well as it being a long time ago) once told me a Business Principle that Ill never forget. The customer determines quality. So if you want to know how good you are (or arent) then ask the customer for feedback.
In Australia we vote with our feet. If we dont like something about someone or a product, we will rarely complain. We will instead just never use that person or their services again, and sometimes tell others not to as well. Social Media has changed the landscape now, as people are more willing to criticize through this third party medium, and do so freely to the world.
Feedback can come from a variety of places so which ones are relevant? While we can say that all of them are, the answer is simple. Its from the person who employed you. They are the one who sought you out, gave you the OK to proceed, has their credibility on the line, and will most likely be the influencer in using you again.
At the same time you should go into any presentation with a list of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to self assess. These can be through a variety of methods but heres some for you to consider below that I use successfully.
Here are 5 things to consider when receiving feedback.
1. What do the Key People of Influence (a different KPI) think of you? This is usually limited to the person that has hired you but can extend to the CEO, executives, and people in high positions in the organization. Its useful to know who they are, and if they are attending your presentation. If they are then watch their reactions carefully, and if you have the opportunity at the end ask them what they thought.
2. Play the numbers? Im a firm believer that you cant keep all of the people happy all of the time. When receiving feedback through the standard feedback form process, delete the top 10% as well as the bottom 10%. This will give you a more balanced assessment of how you went.
3. Did you connect with them? Im always on the lookout for feedback during my presentations. I like to grab their attention early, and then give them activities to measure energy and engagement levels. A hearty round of applause at the end is always nice, especially if its spontaneous.
4. How many people took away a piece of you? How many took a business card, a flier, completed your feedback form (which focuses on who would like to receive a follow up phone call), or bought your products that you had for sale.
5. How many more paid gigs did you get from it? By far and away the best business feedback for me is how many other gigs did I get from this one. 90% of my marketing strategy is done this way and guess what? Its free ha ha ha
If you have any further questions regarding feedback then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime. Any recommendations for future topics are also appreciated.
Merv Neal is a Laughter Yoga Master Trainer and the CEO of Laughter Yoga Australia and New Zealand. He has successfully owned and operated his own businesses for more than 40 years. He has created a Laughter Yoga Business Training Program, as well as the Business Mentors and Coaches Program, to help others to take Laughter Yoga to commercial organizations, and/or to create a Laughter Yoga business of their own. More information can be found at http://www.laughteryogaaustralia.org or http://www.mervneal.com