You don’t have to be a Starbucks employee to learn from their college tuition program.

Here are 4 things I learned:

1.  Find others who have expertise you can leverage.

In this case Starbucks found ASU and for that matter ASU found Starbucks.  They both win. Starbucks gets a huge benefit for their employees and ASU and their on-line program receives a massive amount of PR.

2.  Be willing to think outside the box and do what others aren’t doing.

Howard Schultz and Starbucks didn’t allow conventional thinking to stop them.  You might say they used conventional thinking to drive them in the opposite direction.

3.  People will always draw their own conclusions regardless of what you say.

It’s been amazing what people are saying about the Starbucks/ASU program. Much of it is not true, but they’re still saying it.

The program has a number of stipulations, which anyone would expect in something of this magnitude, yet that hasn’t stopped the media and everyone else from saying any number of other things.

4.  Never think your business only competes in a narrow space.

Starbucks is more than a place to get coffee.  They realize their business is part of the socio/economic environment, and with it comes opportunities.

Starbucks and ASU didn’t merely announce this via a notice on employee bulletin boards in the backroom.  No, they announced it in a big way to garner awareness and PR.

Think about #1 and #2 and how these two could apply to your job and what you do.

When was the last time you accessed another person’s skills?

When was the last time you thought outside the box?

I’m left wondering what would the results be if every business took either a problem or an opportunity and said they were going to apply #1 and #2 to it.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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