Archive for May, 2010

Posted in Memorable Quotes on May 10th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
Bill Cosby

Posted in Memorable Quotes on May 10th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. (by Pablo Picasso)

The Magic Word that Can Transform Your Business

Posted in Customer Service on May 10th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

A tale of two stories:

Story #1: Recently, I went to a restaurant with my family. The place was virtually empty and we were seated at a nice table. I then noticed a sign on the table that said “Reserved for parties of 6 or more. A 20 percent gratuity will automatically be added to your bill.”

As I don’t like to be told how much to tip, I pointed out to the waitress that there were only five of us and surely the sign was inapplicable. She excused herself and went and got the manager. The manager showed up . . . and asked us to move to a different table.

You gotta be kidding me. The place was empty, and they had sat us there. I asked nicely if we could just stay where we were as our coats were off and we were settled in.

No.

Story #2: My brother was having some issues with his car, so when he took it to the car wash, he specifically told three different people there to please leave the ignition on. Nevertheless, the third person ignored him, turned the car off, and then was surprise when 1) the car would not start, and 2) my brother got upset.

He asked for his $15 back.

No.

It is a wonder how some people stay in business. I understand that companies have policies and are not in the business of making exceptions. But I also know that bowing to the altar of rules can be a big mistake.

The morale of the stories is this: There is one word, one powerful, small little word that can transform any business. It can mean the difference between stagnation and growth, between mediocre and exceptional customer service, between winning and losing in business.

The word?

Yes.

Yes is powerful. Yes is positive. Yes opens possibilities. People love Yes. Customers love Yes. Customers hate no. Can we stay at this table? Yes. Can I have a refund? Yes.

Think about what Yes says about your business: It means that you are more committed to the customer than the buck. It says that you are all about making it easy.

Far too often some small business owners, and more often their employees, become what I call Nopeys. Nopey was a character from the old Gumby show whose answer to any question was “No!” We have all run across the Nopey employee. They seem to love to exert their power by telling you no, that it can’t be done, that that is not how we operate, it’s just not possible, yada yada yada.

Nopeys can be the death of your business. They alienate customers and are difficult teammates.

Sure, Yes may cost you some time and money, and yes, Yes can be a pain in the rear sometimes. But when you think about some of the great businesses, they are great because their answer is Yes:

·      Nordstrom’s is famous for saying Yes

·      Go to an Apple Store and you will see Yes in action

·      Starbucks is all about Yes

Want to transform your business and create a wild-about-you fan base? Foster a culture of Yes. Make it easy to do business with you. Be flexible. Make exceptions. Weed out your Nopeys. Get rid of the manager who makes customers change tables for no reason, the car wash guy more interested in 15 bucks than anything else.

Just say Yes!

About the Author


Steven D. Strauss is one of the world’s leading small business experts.

The senior USATODAY.com small business columnist and author of 15 books, his latest is the best-selling Small Business Bible.

Steve is also a lawyer and public speaker and speaks around the world about entrepreneurship, including a recent visit to the United Nations. He has been on CNN, CNBC, The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on MSNBC’s Your Business.

10 Things You Can Do With LinkedIn Motivational Quotes

Posted in Social Media on May 10th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Keith Millar

RECENTLY A MEMBER of professional social media network LinkedIn asked in one of the forums “what is your favorite motivational quote?” Some thousands of posts later the list has taken on Everest proportion.

Here are 10 Ideas you could apply with this exponential list that Ziggy Ziggler and James Rohan would be proud of:

1.   Publish your own book of motivational quotes and give to your clients.

2.   Create a montage of quotes in a poster and offer as a premium, or bonus with purchases.

3.   Run a poll of the Top 10 quotes posted to date.

4.   Use your favorites as the core message in a blog post you author.

5.   Use each of the best quotes as themes for your team meetings–and how lessons from this quote will build  relationships within your team or with your customers

6.   Use as the motivational theme for your actions for the week.

7.   Use as screen savers

8.   Tweet to the blogosphere.

9.   Make into flashcards and use for training sessions

10.  Use as an icebreaker at conferences where guests are given one quote and must find and pair in the room with another given the same quote.

With your imagination I am sure you could add to the list.

We would love to hear what they are?

Ouch – That’s Some Ear-Splitting Feedback!

Posted in Business Development/Sales Management & Sales on May 10th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

Funny thing, feedback.  In the sound amplification context, feedback is generally an unpleasant experience, especially for the listeners.  The high-pitched kind often causes ear pain and horrendous headaches, not to mention sending every canine within a ten mile radius howling.  The low-pitched kind makes the walls, floor, and rib cage vibrate (a lot like living in California, actually).  In any case, most of us don’t enjoy being subject to that kind of feedback.  And truthfully, I don’t think many performers like subjecting listeners to it, either, unless they are deaf, sadistic, or so absorbed in their own personal experiences that they have little awareness of the impact on the listener.

Now, let’s talk about feedback in the work sense.  Most of your workforce think of “feedback” as negative, so it’s unpleasant (positive feedback usually is considered praise, right?).  It can be downright painful, depending on how much the feedback contradicts one’s self-image.  And often, the feedback providers (bosses, co-workers, clients) don’t like giving it (again, differentiating between positive feedback = praise vs. negative feedback = criticism).  Most don’t like being the source of others’ pain and discomfort (unless they are insensitive, sadistic, unaware… see above).   Many are afraid of the recipient’s potential reaction (think dogs howling and growling or glass shattering).   Many try to get themselves through it by convincing themselves that intentions are good.  However, impact trumps intent – always.  If the recipient negatively experiences the feedback, they aren’t going to care a wit about the giver’s intentions.

This begs the question:  can feedback ever be a positive experience?  I’ve heard professional coaches and org development peeps say (okay, I may have said it myself when I was an internal OD consultant) that feedback is a “gift” and should be received as such.  I now tend to think of it more like going to the dentist: necessary for health, but not really enjoyable.  That being said, there are tricks to making feedback easier to give and to hear. Pass this on to the people managers in your organization -

  1. Stick to observations (I saw…, I heard…,  I read…) and be descriptive of the other’s behavior about which you are providing feedback.  Example:  I heard you say to your employee / co-worker that Jane isn’t pulling her weight.  Using observation helps put the feedback in the realm of reality and fact, and therefore is less likely to be taken personally.
  2. Be as specific as possible in describing what was seen, heard or read.  Example:  During the meeting with the leadership team, I saw you roll your eyes when George pushed back on your proposal for unlimited sick days.  Specificity gives a concrete behavioral example that can then be thought about and changed in the future.
  3. Avoid using heavily charged words that generally elicit negative emotions.  Examples are:  arrogant, rude, insecure, unprofessional etc.  Example:  You came across as arrogant during that presentation.  First, these are judgments, not observations.  Second, if that’s the extent of the feedback, there is absolutely nothing the recipient can do with it, other than feel badly about it and likely to not want to engage in a similar presentation anytime soon.  A behavior can be construed by others as unprofessional or arrogant, but to effect behavior change, it is critical to know what the behavior was, not just how it was perceived.
  4. Avoid euphemisms that take the place of simple description.  I was once told that I “sold beyond the close”.  Given that I’m not a sales person, I had no clue what this meant.  When I pushed for a description of specific behaviors, the giver couldn’t give them to me.  Therefore, the feedback, though well-intended, was not very useful.

There is a slew of behavioral psychology, organization psychology, and organization behavior research that discusses the ins, out, ups, downs, and roundabouts of feedback, and if the topic is of interest to you from those perspectives, I am happy to provide some references.  Most people though? They just want to give feedback in a way that inflicts as little distress and pain as possible, and employees really just want to hear feedback that is constructive and empowering.  Both are possible.  Just like it is possible to have a less-than-awful trip to the dentist.

Editor’s Note – Suzanne Rumsey is a principal consultant with Knowledge Infusion. Suzanne isn’t just any ‘ole consultant though – she’s a former HR pro turned consultant, who spent time with orgs like Boeing and Health Net where she shaped workforce planning and talent management initiatives… which means she really knows what she’s talking about and has the actual experiences under her belt to back it up and give you advice. Now that’s the kind of consultant we really like.


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