EE084 – William Buist

Tony Winyard – Health, Breathing, Sleeping, Mindset & Movement Coach

William Buist works with directors and owners to build a better business.
He has a great ability to ask the right question to unlock blocks and barriers.

Some topics discussed in this episode:
How speaking helps his business
A networking expert – he has created a few networking groups, including: “We are better connected” Facebook group.
“Networking is a Relationship building channel not a sales channel”
How networking has changed in the last couple of decades
Being prepared at events, especially for technology failures, which WILL happen
How the corona virus might change networking and business in general
The switch to working online more
Clarity, are you clear enough in your communication? How he helps his mentees find clarity within themselves
  • A client launching a new talks programme for schools – All about being prepared and being able to provide support to the whole event.
  • Redesigning the Process to make life easier for clients to get the value they were promised.
  • When a house is struck by lightning on a Saturday evening, and how he was treated by the utilities company.
  • Learning to see the value you add
  • Exceeding expectations isn’t about going the extra mile, it’s going the extra inch
  • William is never late!
  • Learning to see things from your customers point of view is hard, but vital.
The business audit lets people measure their business and work out where they need to focus on to get the best effect in their business, It’s free.
The Building Better Business Book Club – A chance to read with others and learn together, no obligation, currently free.
Favourite customer service quote is
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” (George Bernard Shaw)

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(Transcriptions are done using through a system of artificial intelligence; so every episode contains a few mistakes as AI is not yet perfect for transcribing the human voice. However, it is a very time-consuming process to go through each transcript and correct all the errors. So please accept my apologies for the number of errors, but I hope that these transcripts are useful to you.)

Tony Winyard 0:00
Exceeding expectations, Episode 84.

William Buist 0:03
Learning to see the value that you add as a business person, to your customers means you have to get to their point of view, not yours. That’s hard, but it’s vital. And that was the thing that I realised that questioning my do with equals ease. And recontextualizing I can do from my experience with giving them that insight of how their customers will see them in everything they do, that had real value. So to me, that’s the that was the shift was recognising the clarity wasn’t the thing they were worried about self doubt was

Tony Winyard 0:38
The words of William Buist, who is our guest today. And he’s going to tell us a lot more about clarity and networking and risk management and many other areas. So if you know anyone who maybe needs help with any of those areas, why not share the episode with them? leave a review for us on iTunes or Stitcher or any of the other podcast platforms and it’ll be great also if you subscribe so you can hear our episodes as they come out on a weekly basis. This is the podcast where we aim to give you ideas how you can give your customers better experiences that enable you to get better testimonials, referrals, and hopefully more money and enjoyment as well. So today’s episode of Exceeding expectations, my guest is William Buist How are you William?

William Buist 1:32
I’m very well thanks, Tony, and thank you for inviting me on.

Tony Winyard 1:36
No problem at all. How are you coping with all the madness?

William Buist 1:41
Well, it is a bit mad where we are where are we now sort of beginning of April and Coronavirus seems to have a firm hold on the UK and I’ve been working from home without really getting out for a couple of weeks now. So you can get a bit stir crazy from time to time but mostly I’m I’m kind of quite enjoying it as a change. In the way I’m working and thinking about new ways to do stuff.

Tony Winyard 2:05
You’re in the West Country aren’t you?

William Buist 2:07
Yeah, I live just on the on the Welsh borders, a couple of miles north of Chepstow.

Tony Winyard 2:13
So how is it around there?

William Buist 2:15
Oh, we’re not too bad actually, I think we’re in the part of the country that has the lowest infection rate of known infections. Of course, we don’t know exactly how many there are. And the the death rate currently is quite low here too. So fingers crossed, you know, I can stay in my house and avoid getting infected until until it’s gone, or we’ve got a vaccine or whatever we need. So I’m hopeful that it’ll be, you know, over as quickly as it can as long as we keep to the rules.

Tony Winyard 2:46
And how is it affecting your business?

William Buist 2:48
Um, well, my business is a mentoring business. So I work one to one with business owners, and it’s definitely changed it. I’ve been lucky in that the customers that I have the clients Have a knot in industries that are directly affected by Coronavirus. So they’re not in retail or in the event of business. Certainly most of them are still trying to work out how to how to manage their businesses in this curious time. And, and as a mentor to them, that’s given me some opportunities to, you know, share some of my advice and the experience that I’ve had over the years of working from home which which many of them haven’t done. So I’m, I’m no busier than I was before. I think it’s very difficult to get new clients in the current market, but I’m fortunate that I haven’t lost any either. So that’s good.

Tony Winyard 3:38
And prior to this did you do much online?

William Buist 3:42
Um, I’ve been very active online through most of my time running a business. So I’ve been involved in social media really, from the point when it first started. And I do share a lot of things online in terms of you know, insights, knowledge Skills stuff that I’ve learned over the years, really aimed at helping other businesses to build better businesses, which is the core purpose of why I why I do what I do.

Tony Winyard 4:11
And how did that all come about?

William Buist 4:13
Well, I said, isn’t it interesting I was in the insurance industry. So you know, obviously left a far more exciting career behind me somewhere. I was the chief underwriter for one of insurance companies, and in that role, did a lot of risk management work as well. And we were, I was running fairly big projects and building teams of people to deliver projects. And it kind of dawned on me that that setting up a project in a larger organisation and bringing together the team of people and getting the work done and setting up the goals and the mission and all the team values and all of those things. It’s very, like setting up a business. And so I kind of took those skills from the bank that I was working at the time. and put them into a business that was really about helping others initially, at least, you know, the prime driver was about building teams quickly collaborating quickly. And then 2008 came along, and we had the financial crisis then. And I had to pivot the business at that point, because I’ve mostly been working still in the financial services sector. And at that point, I started working with some much smaller businesses and really enjoyed the challenges they were facing, you know, very small businesses don’t have all the skills they need. They have, you know, a lot of times they’re doing things that their owners think, are not, not their core skill, and yet, they want to be excellent or they want to, you know, be the best they can be and have some insight and experience and skills to bring to bear on that. So that’s kind of very quickly. That’s my story of how I get to work today.

Tony Winyard 5:56
You said you were working mostly in the financial sector, so it sounds that from that time you diverged. Is that still the case? Now? Do you work with a lot of different industries?

William Buist 6:05
I do still have some financial services clients, but I’m also working with other businesses that are providing services to business generally. So they’re not B to C in the business to consumer, the more b2b companies. So people are in training companies, publishing houses, that kind of thing, marketing agencies, and so on.

Tony Winyard 6:28
And you do quite a bit of speaking.

William Buist 6:30
I do. And I speak about building better business. I look at that from really this part of the way that I addressed this strategic oversight of a business is to look in five key areas. So I’m posting sales skills within the business systems within the business and self particularly as a business owner. And I talked about those five areas in order to you know, again, share the knowledge amongst the business community. So I can build the better businesses they want?

Tony Winyard 7:03
What is your intention with your speaking? Is it purely to help you get more business?

William Buist 7:10
It’s been really beneficial for generating leads for the business and helping people to understand how I think, which I think is, is really important if you’re going to take on a coach or a mentor in your business, that you have a really good understanding of how they work and how they think and that that’s aligned with your values and things. And the speaking lets people see that. And, you know, I’m sure that some people in the audience think you know, I really want to work with this guy and other people in the audience have never worked with him in a million years. And that’s fine. You know, because we we can’t be we can’t be everything to everyone. We need to be the right things to the right people.

Tony Winyard 7:50
And you’re pretty knowledgeable and pretty active in the networking community aren’t you?

William Buist 7:55
I try to be I’m not I mean, I certainly try to be active. It’s kind of you to say that I’m knowledgeable. Thank you for that. I guess that’s, you know, partly is a question of having been working for other too many years.

Tony Winyard 8:12
You’ve started a few different networking groups?

William Buist 8:14
Yeah. So, I was I was actively involved with a network, called E-cademy, which is kind of like LinkedIn before LinkedIn, it started in the late 90s. So going around about a time I started my business, it’s not that far apart. And it grew quite quickly in the very early days of social networking, then the LinkedIn in the free and the Facebook’s, and the other free networks came along and they kind of very difficult for that to survive with the power that those other networks had. And so it was subsumed really into the wider social media world. But I’ve always been active in that, that arena. I’ve got a large group on Facebook called we’re better connected which is About 1000 members, just over 1000 members now. And the prime reason though is just to share a bit of knowledge and skill and experience and get to know other people. You know, it’s the more we know each other and what we stand for and what we do, the more that we can refer each other, and yet the right person to be doing the job that needs doing and by the right person, I mean, you know, the one who is going to deliver the best output and it’s coming back to the topic of your podcasts, you know, exceed the expectations of the people they work for.

Tony Winyard 9:33
With your knowledge of networking, where do you think it is people most go wrong with networking?

William Buist 9:40
I think they go into networking thinking that it’s a sales channel, and it’s to me it’s a relationship building channel. So, you know, we’ve all i’m sure been to networking events, when we could all meet them in at the moment we can’t, but I’m sure we’ve all been to them where you get somebody who kind of hogs your space and wants to tell you about the thing they have that they do that they want you to buy. And, you know, they’re talking to you in the room as if you’re the customer and I, what I think is much more effective is to talk to the other person in a networking environment about all the people they know. And think about how do you go through the people in the room to the wider network. And if they are going to be out in their network advocating you, they have to like you, they have to know you, they have to understand what you do. They have to know where where it fits where it works, and they have to want to take that message out to other people. And that’s all about relationships. It’s not about selling.

Tony Winyard 10:47
You mentioned about mentoring as well, when did the mentoring start?

William Buist 10:53
Well, that really came about I guess, from the shift that I made in 2008 when the bank crisis came along. And because I needed to pivot the business up until then I’d been still really looking at, you know, team team dynamics within organisations, and particularly project management of reasonably large projects in reasonably large companies. And it was it was after the financial crisis that I started realising that what people were really seeking out from me was what was in my head in terms of experience and knowledge and the skill of doing stuff rather than wanting me to do it for them. And so, you know, that’s, that’s when that pivot really took place.

Tony Winyard 11:45
Do you enjoy mentoring people?

William Buist 11:47
Oh, absolutely. I have so much fun, and I hope they did too. But you know, it seems to me they did too. I think there’s a you know, there’s a real joy in kind of learning together. It’s not just transfer of knowledge and experience, it’s also about thinking about context and the context of the business challenge that we’re talking about. That might be about harnessing an opportunity, you know, launching a new product and taking that to market or it might be an issue with the business that is holding it back in some way. But, you know, the opportunity to work on it together and draw on different experiences and recontextualize them is, you know, when you get to the right place, and the problems are solved, or the opportunities grasped, you know, there’s an awful lot of fun in that. And I love it.

Tony Winyard 12:36
There’s a lot of misunderstanding around the difference between mentoring and coaching.

William Buist 12:42
Yeah, I think I mean, I think they’re on a scale actually that runs sort of from from coaching at one end of the scale that I have in my head to to public consulting at the other end. So coaches are really I think, you know, all of these things have value there’s no right and wrong there’s there’s not a question. You know, if you shouldn’t have a coach, you should have a mentor or vice versa at all in different skills at different times. And I use all the techniques, consulting techniques, mentoring techniques and coaching techniques. So, to me the coaching is about exploring what an individual knows and understands about themselves through good questioning. consulting is about providing knowledge, skill and experience to an organisation or a person from your knowledge and skill and experience. Mentoring kind of sits in the middle of that it’s drawing on my experience, but it’s allowing, it works best when using coaching techniques to draw out from the other person the mentee, what exactly is underlying the issue and getting them to have clarity about that and then providing collectively mutually a way forward? And as I say, I think there’s there’s a, there is a lot of confusion. I don’t think they should be I think they’re say a spectrum of the techniques you use And where the knowledge and the skill and experience sits, you know which person it sits in, and how does it flow between them? I’m not sure if that answers it up, but that’s kind of how I view the whole thing.

Tony Winyard 14:12
Say if someone approached you about wanting maybe you to be a mentor for them. Are there certain things that you look for? And are there things that would make you not want to work with someone?

William Buist 14:25
It’s a really good question. And it comes back something I said a little bit earlier, I think, you know, the chemistry has to be right. You have to you have to kind of get on reasonably well, otherwise, the relationship won’t work. I think in coaching, there doesn’t have to be as much obvious synergy around the skills and experience of the market that the customers in because you’re questioning them about those things. They bring that knowledge. I think for a mentor, there needs to be some you know, some extra perience that is relevant to the business you’re talking about. It doesn’t have to be directly the same. So, you know, I’ve never been, for example, a publisher, but I have a client who’s a publisher. But I know enough about communication and writing and how to get messages across. I know enough about production of, you know, printing and that sort of thing that allows me to take that knowledge experience and apply it in the market. So that I think some overlaps in in Sector knowledge, important. Chemistry, you know, by far the most important thing, you know, do you get on? And are you going to respect the conversations that you have together? Both ways, you know, and this is the trust

Tony Winyard 15:46
With the clients that you’ve worked with, have they any of them have had results that they just simply weren’t expecting from working with you?

William Buist 15:53
I think probably they’ve all had results they weren’t expecting actually in many ways. It’s You know, we live in a very changing changing time right now, it makes a lot of these things very obvious that changes is affecting us quite deeply, but actually changes going on all the time anyway, just at a different level. And I think what I’ve brought to most of my clients That’s unexpected for them is that I’ve enabled them to see opportunities they would otherwise have missed. And that’s partly because I’m another pair of eyes. And it’s partly because I’m another pair of eyes that’s looking from a different mountaintop to them. So I’m not seeing things through the lens of their market. I’m seeing things through a lens of what I know and what I’ve experienced. And that sometimes lets me see things that they would just miss because they’re too close to him. And that’s where the surprises have been. And they you know, that the things that have made me go this is this is really valuable to me.

Tony Winyard 16:55
I believe you got a specific example of that.

William Buist 16:58
Well, yeah, I was recently asked to speak at an event, which was a new event, a company that was starting up a new series of talks for use in the education sector, and invited me to speak and I went along did what I always do when I’m speaking, which is, you know, picked up my bag of tools and tricks that I carry with me just in case. So I’m a real believer in redundancy, when you’re speaking, you get on a stage and if the slides don’t work, you have to be able to deliver your talk anyway. Right. And so, you know, I’ve always trying to plan for those things, and I arrived, and one of the things that one of the other speakers said is, oh, there’s no clock in here. Need a timer? Well, I had one in my bag. So you know, outcomes, the timer, that’s that problem sorted. And there were a couple of other things through the evening that I just had the right things with me, because I’ve done that kind of thing often enough to know what other people might feel Go. And I knew this was a new business. And I think that’s, you know, another thing to bear in mind the context was somebody who hadn’t run an event like this before. And I’ve been to many of them. So I just thought if I went like what would I, you know, if I was this was my event, what would I make sure I had, and where I had those things, I took them with me. And so the end result was they had a much better event because they had the timer’s they had the cables, they needed the clickers, you know, all of those things. And, you know, it’s it’s just that kind of a little bit of thinking ahead, that I think makes can make the real difference.

Tony Winyard 18:37
And so often when people are in a situation where the slides don’t work, or you know, there’s something wrong with the tech industry, they just freeze.

William Buist 18:47
I learned that lesson the hard way. did exactly that in my past, and I think you know, now I have slides with very little text on no more versus another clip. I know You’re asking me about credit later, but it’s a quote, remember from years ago, which is about a drunk, you know, you should use slides, in my opinion in the way that a drunk uses lamppost for support, not illumination. I’m paraphrasing a quote there. I can’t remember whose it is either, but maybe I’ll dig out who it was and let you have that for the show notes.

Tony Winyard 19:25
I know that you’ve got another story about it, was it redesigning the process?

William Buist 19:30
Yeah, it was really quite interesting. I was working with a client. This is last year, and they were talking about a number of challenges they had one of which was they work on a retainer basis with their clients. And so they, you know, expecting to get a regular monthly commitment from their clients and some of the clients were dropping off their product sooner than they expected. So We took a look at what was going on there. And we realised that because this was a product that involved a regular monthly conversation that was very easy for people to have a reason not to be on that conversation. And we had a look at the process they had. And what we did was to introduce a couple of extra steps that really took very little time for the company to do during the month, just to remind the client of what the next meeting was going to be when it was those kinds of things, but also to remind them of the value that we’re getting from them by referring back to something they’d expressed in the previous meeting that had been valuable. So it reinforced the value that they had, and it reinforced when the next meeting would be that did two things. One is it, no shows dropped off completely. But also that the average length of time that the customer remained the customer didn’t just go back to the level that they were expecting. It went about six months beyond But

Tony Winyard 21:02
Earlier on you were talking about networking and how you’ve been involved in it for such a long time, how has networking changed from what it was, say 20 years ago to how it is now?

William Buist 21:14
In some ways, it hasn’t changed at all. And in others, it’s changed out of all recognition. So the ways it hasn’t changed at all kind of touched on one of them, there’s still always those people who want to sell to you. And really, I’m amazed they don’t get the message, but they don’t. So they’re still around. That’s a shame really, it’s a shame for them as much as for everybody else. But I think what has changed is that there’s been a lot more focus on networking and it’s changed in the sense of, I think we’ve all got a better handle on better not perfect handle on how we can express what we do in a way that is interesting and entertaining, rather than, you know, just giving a job title. You know, I’m an I’m a lawyer, I’m an accountant, which really doesn’t tell you very much other than the market sector that somebody is in. And, you know, I think now people are much better at being able to tell a little bit of a story about who they are and who they need to speak to. That’s great. But I, you know, I think there’s a long way to go on that journey, too. There’s a lot of buzzwords still floating around, get rid of them. Nobody understands them anyways, so they don’t help. And there’s often a lot of waffle and you know, actually cutting down and being really clear about what you do. You really help those conversations to get going. And I think the other thing that that’s changed is the way that we never change. So it used to be quite formal. It’s now quite informal is a lot more networking that I see that is in a social using social media in part two to set it up. But it also is more social in the way that The meetings are organised, you know, they’re not quite so much of the everybody has, you know, 60 seconds here and it has to do this there and then we’ll have that better the meeting over here. You know, now that there’s a lot more looseness in relationship based networking than they used to be. And I think that’s a good thing.

Tony Winyard 23:19
Do you have any thoughts on how you think it might change in the next few years?

William Buist 23:23
Well, I think I think actually, the Coronavirus thing may well have an impact on that because I think it has shown people that it is possible to network remotely as well as together. I think it’s reinforced the value of making phone calls as much as or even more than sending email I mean, email at the most is getting lost in a in a tsunami of, we know how to help you work from home emails and all sorts of companies that have never known anything about it, which is entertaining. So you know, I think I’m finding because I know people will be at home, it’s easy to get hold of people We’re having more focused conversations on the phone, and obviously using some of the technology, the zooms, and things like that, that allow people to do video as well. And I think, you know, remembering that network isn’t just a group activity, it’s also a one to one to people activity. And I think we’ll see more of that and more opportunity to do that, using some of the tools that have come around. Why would you drive an hour to go and meet somebody for an x bar, one to one, when you can do it on videoconference now that everybody’s getting more comfortable with it? You know, so I think that that is where we’ll get a big change.

Tony Winyard 24:37
And I think that you hit the nail on the head there. Now people are getting more comfortable with it because a lot of people just were just really put off by that.

William Buist 24:47
Well, it felt impersonal until it had to be personal. Now it has to be personal. It doesn’t feel that way so much.

Tony Winyard 24:55
People have been forced to get used to it in a very rapid space of time. What would you say, For what you do, what what are the things that maybe people misunderstand about what it is that you do?

William Buist 25:08
And that’s a great question. And for a long time, I’ve talked to people about them. And I’ve just touched on this, them needing more clarity in their business, more clarity about how they express things. And I think people thought, I’m nice and rightly so, you know, they felt they were clear enough. And it was clear enough is a is a is a perspective thing, isn’t it? You know, are you clear enough? Well, if you’re getting the business that you need, then maybe you are being clear enough but if a lot of people are not understanding what it is you stand for what you do well enough to be able to refer you you could be missing a lot of business as well never know it. I I think that my focus on talking about clarity when people weren’t understanding my clarity about how I could add value, and in really, lack of clarity isn’t the villain In their business, but I think self doubt is people worried about Am I good enough to do what I do, you know, having that feeling that little Gremlin on the shoulder? That is telling them that? Do you have the experience to be telling people about what they need to do or you know, if you’re a marketing agency, What gives you the right to go and talk to a company 20 times your size, about how you do their marketing. And I think that’s not about clarity, that’s about self doubt. And learning to see the value that you add as a business person, to your customers means you have to get to their point of view, not yours. That’s hard, but it’s vital. And that was the thing that I realised that the questioning that I do with people that they recontextualizing I can do from my experience, was giving them that insight of how their customers would see them in everything they do, that had real value. So to me, that’s the that was the shift. recognising the clarity wasn’t the thing they were worried about self doubt was

Tony Winyard 27:06
I guess it’s natural, isn’t it? Everyone has self doubt sometimes.

William Buist 27:11
Yeah. And for some people, it’s very constraining. And, you know, they’ll they’ll make decisions based on the doubt, rather than all the evidence that is in front of them from testimonials and invoices that are paid and so on. And yet, they’ll still hold back from going after the next deal because they don’t think it’s, it’s, it’s worthy of them or something. And that’s it is natural as part of being human. And I think, you know, it’s, it’s about looking at the, the techniques, the emotional techniques, as well as physical and actual, you know, written down processes and things that can really make a difference there.

Tony Winyard 27:53
I saw a really good explanation or description of why we have that imposter syndrome recently and it was someone was saying, as children we’re, you know, everyone is much bigger than us, our parents, maybe older siblings, and we perceive everyone as knowing more about the world than we do, to be more intelligent. And so we just grow up thinking that everyone knows more than we do. And some people just never kind of shift that and it still goes into their adult thinking like that.

William Buist 28:24
Yeah, and I think that’s really true. And also, I think there’s some things in education that that make us always think about measuring ourselves against others, you know, the whole exam system, and, you know, what grade did you get? And I passed that’s important in some aspects, it does create that sense of, I need to decide if I’m, you know, am I as good as this person or better than them or worse than them and it’s, you know, to me that’s, it’s entirely the wrong measure.

Tony Winyard 28:56
Yeah. I definitely agree with that. Have you ever been on the receiving end of any good experiences that you weren’t expecting?

William Buist 29:04
Yeah, there’s one that stood out to me for years. And it was it was a, just imagine, it’s a big thunderstorm merging overhead. It’s a Saturday evening at 10 o’clock, pouring rain, there’s all of a sudden there’s an almighty bang, and all the lights go out in the house. And the house had been hit by lightning that the highest point in our house is where the electricity line comes into. That’s where the lightning had struck, and it broken the electricity line. So fortunately, telephones are on a different, you know, they have their own power. So I was able to find the electricity can I say about 10 o’clock on a Saturday night, I didn’t really expect to speak to anybody expected to leave a message. And I get the phone gets answered by a person. And I tell them that we’ve just been struck by lightning and the cables down and they asked me a few questions immediately, and I thought the questions were brilliant as well. So the first question was The powerline safe and I said, No it’s not it’s sitting sparking in a puddle and she said fine. Well, we’ll get somebody out to that now make that safe. So do you have anybody in the house that is that needs electricity for medical reasons. And do you have a decrees to which I said now I’m just trying to don’t open the Deep Freeze, but it will keep the food cold and, you know, fresh for several hours if you don’t open it, so just leave it alone. So I thought, you know, there was some really good stuff there straight away. Good advice. That was obviously you know, well rehearsed. And then she said, would you like us to come out tonight to try to fix it? And I should, actually I’m going to go to bed soon. So you know, let’s not worry about her. She said fine. We’ll be with you at eight o’clock in the morning. Sunday morning. Okay. And at eight o’clock, and I mean, eight o’clock, not 759 or 801. at eight o’clock. There’s a knock on the door. And the guys are there to fix it. They got the ladder they sorted it all out of electricity supply. On. And so that’s all great. What they then did was they came in and they said, if you’d like us to, we can just go around and check all your electronics and make sure that they’re all okay, because you could have had a power spike through them that would have blown them up and they may not be safe anymore. So we’ll test them all. And we’ll check the food in the freezer. So they did a temperature temperature probe in the freezer and made sure the food was still safe. And they checked all the televisions and things to make sure they were still safe to use. And I thought that really stood out to me as something that I was way beyond what I expected. And, you know, all sorts of odd things they’d like they took their boots off when they came into the house, they didn’t mess up the carpet, you know, so just tiny little touches. But it was 20 years ago and I’m still telling that story. And I think Yeah, to me that’s the thing about when you do exceed expectations, even only a little bit. People talk about it as we go along ever to

Tony Winyard 31:58
What does the phrase Exceeding Expectations mean to you?

William Buist 32:00
Exceeding expectations, to me, it’s not about going an extra mile, it’s about going an extra inch. It’s often the tiny little things that that make an enormous difference. I know for my customers, one of the things that they say that I see the expectations in this I have never laid. And it’s just it was built into me by my parents in their experiences that that many other people are, you know, often, you know, quarter an hour late and it’s kind of Oh, sorry, I’m late if I was going to be caught an hour late, or you will know that something has held me up beyond my control. Because I will have found you I will have got a message to you somehow. And to me, that’s the you know, the expectations of quite often got a really clear cut thing, you know, if you say we’re going to meet as we did at three o’clock, you know, so I got on this at three o’clock. It took me a few seconds to get the software to work. So you know, and in that time I’m going Oh, What’s going on? I need, I need to hurry this up, I will be like, and and that’s, you know, I think it isn’t it really isn’t about going way beyond what people expect. It’s about being everything that they do expect. And then one or two little extra things. And that’s what makes you memorable.

Tony Winyard 33:19
From what you just said, some of it is just by meeting your own expectations, then you’re going to go some way to exceeding other people’s expectations,

William Buist 33:32
I think almost inevitably, because then we set higher standards for ourselves. And we, forgive other people for stuff, but we demand ourselves almost perfection. And if actually we deliver that perfection rather than being relaxed about it, when we don’t, we will exceed our expectations. So it’s a kind of, I don’t think it’s hard to exceed expectations, but it is unusual. And because it’s unusual if you do you stand out. And if you stand up, you will get more business and you will get the rap the referrals and the commentary that goes with it.

Tony Winyard 34:07
And if it wasn’t unusual, this show wouldn’t exist! If people want to find out more about you, William where’s the best place to go?

Well one of the great things with having an unusual name, so I almost advise anybody who hasn’t gotten an unusual name to go and get one. It’s quite easy to find me, so it’s William Buist. If you search for that, you’ll find me very easily, the website is And the email is So that’s all very easy to remember once you got the spelling of the Buist bit right.

Are you the only one on Google?

William Buist 34:49
I’m not, but you have to now go a long way to find the 1950s American bodybuilder.

Tony Winyard 34:58
So people often get confused you though.

William Buist 34:59
No, not really. A couple of things that are there on the website, I think if people would like them, they’re both available free. And I think you know, add a bit of value too. There’s a business audit. So if you do run a business, and you want to get some advice and guidance on where you should focus your efforts to best effect, the audit will help you do that. Both of these are available from the homepage, you’ll find them easily enough. And I also run a book club. So if you like reading and want to read in company in the community and have a chance to talk about books you’re reading, it’s a business book club. It’s not we don’t read fiction. So just to be clear on that, then to you’ll find that too, on the website.

Tony Winyard 35:41
How does that book club work?

William Buist 35:45
We normally pick a book for this month, and then everyone would just give different views. We read a book during the month and then a few days after the end of the month, we have a zoom conference call where those people who’ve been reading It just like any other book club, really to have a discussion about what you learned from the book, what you thought was done, well, maybe some conversation about what could have been done better to. But predominantly, is it what I find with those conversations is that if I read a business book, sure, I get some ideas and thoughts out of it for my own business. When I hear what other people are taking from it for their business, it gives me another raft of ideas. So I’m getting a much richer experience from without having to do really any extra work. I’m still only reading the book once. But I’m now getting some extra insight about what it’s telling me and that’s really useful.

Tony Winyard 36:38
And how easy or difficult is it to make that choice but a book for each month?

William Buist 36:43
Well, it’s not my choice. It’s the choice of the members of the book club. So I ask them to make suggestions and then we have a poll on the suggestions that have been made and the members pick it. So if you join the book club, you’ll have a chance to influence what books we read to

Tony Winyard 37:00
So all of the books that you’ve done so far is their one that really stands out?

William Buist 37:05
Yeah, I started this session in January, not knowing that Coronavirus was going to come along and lots more people would have time to read, which is, you know, fortuitous, I guess in a way. So we’ve read three books. January, February, March, January, we read a book called “Building a story brand”, which is a marketing book written by Donald Miller. I really like that one in terms of how it helps to give clarity around the story you need to tell really good February, Nancy Duarte, her book- Resonate, and that’s a book about building great presentations. So if you’re a speaker or want to speak, it’s not about the PowerPoint. It’s about how you present from the stage to get the message across clearly. And then, last month, we read a book called Atomic Habits by a chap called James Clear. And that’s about how you build into your daily schedule, the things that you need to add to it to get the right things done, and how you Get rid of the things that you’re doing habitually, that are just a drain on your time and resources. And really you don’t want to do but you find yourself doing anyway. So all of them are in their own way. I’ve had a lot of value from and but I think Building a story brand would be my marginal winner, in terms of value to my business doesn’t mean it’ll be the right one for you, though. Just that’s a personal experience.

Tony Winyard 38:24
When I read that, I got a lot from it. And I also got a lot from Atomic Habits as well. It helped me established a few habits I’m still continuing to this day. So yeah, I really enjoyed both. I don’t know that Nancy Duarte book, I’ve heard of that. Before we go, William, is there a quotation that you particularly like?

William Buist 38:46
Certainly when we talk about working with other businesses and thinking about communication and how we we talk to each other. George Bernard Shaw said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. And I think, you know, there’s a guiding light to me that is that, you know, I may have sent an email that I think is clear, and then people give a very different answer. And you think, is that their fault? almost invariably it isn’t, most importantly, it’s mine for not being clear enough. So yeah, checking that you have communicated, checking what’s been received really high on my list of things that are worth doing, when something really important?

Tony Winyard 39:33
That is such a good quote. Because it’s so often people don’t realise that what they’ve initially communicated wasn’t as clear as they thought it was. But they often refuse to take responsibility for that. So William, it’s been it’s been a pleasure having you on I’ve really enjoyed some of the stories there. Thank you.

William Buist 39:57
My pleasure, Tony, and enjoyed being here, too. So thank you very much indeed. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

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