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Archive for the category “branding”

3 tips for how not to tick new potential customers off


3 tips for how not to tick new potential customers off 

There are still some sales folks around who will explosion vomit their solutions all over their potential customers followed by asking all but immediately for more business. You are exposed to this at networking events, connection requests on LinkedIn, casual meetings, etc. Sales people whom you just met are trying to immediately sell you stuff. Wow. Good luck with that approach. If I do not know you, I do not trust you – yet. Customers want to buy, but they do not want to be sold to. This is all about relationship building.

Patience and competency are needed in copious amounts in order for you to be offered an open ear. In the worst case scenario you will get a firm maybe, and in the best case you will be invited back. Deliver on your promises and here are three pointers leading you down the correct, or at least, better path to establish a trusting relationship.

  • Willingness to give before asking for anything. Honestly, do you really think that asking for favors the first time you meet someone will get you anywhere? You may luck out guilt tripping someone into giving you something, but is that sustainable in the long run? Approaching anyone with an open heart, soul, and your intellect / mind and making sure that you are willing to give your talents away helping someone else is the best way to start your networking process.
  • Invest your time smartly – but please make sure that you do spend time with your newfound friend. Only when you get to spend some significant quality time together will you really get to appreciate new folks and old alike. When people see and get to experience first-hand that you are the real deal you make a deeper connection that is trust based. That is the essence of relationship building.
  • Make sure you are genuine and sincere. Be genuinely compassionate with everybody. Compassion means that you are suffering with someone else. That is what it is all about. When you care enough to stop noticing what the real issue is that someone has, only then will you be able creating a much more genuine relationship. Listening and truly understanding where someone is coming from is essential for applying the correct technology / method to solving issues.

If you have to ask, ask for perhaps another connection within your client’s company. Your contacts owe you nothing, certainly not respect or their time. Earn their attention and trust by working hard connecting them with new people, ideas, concepts, products, and services.

Ralf

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Getting away from micro managers – learn about the antidote


Getting away from micro managers – learn about the antidote 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

There are five key elements to trust: They are sincerity, authenticity, competence, reliability and timely communication. Micro-management is very much at the opposite spectrum of these attributes. Micro managers have the hardest time with especially authenticity and sincerity. But trust is the omnipotent ingredient to leadership. Without trust there cannot be any leadership. Leading people is much more a process than a final result. Trust can only occur when a relationship has been slowly nurtured into existence by long term planning. “Trust is not deserved, it is earned” is what sales consultant and expert Jeffrey Gitomer wrote about trust in his book “Little Teal Book of Trust”. No manager can expect to be trusted just based on a title alone. On the other hand, the manager must trust learn trusting his employees first – only then his direct reports will show the propensity showing trust in a manager.

This process of learning to let go of control and therefore trusting the employee to do a great job takes time and most of all planning on the side of the manager. It is a recurring theme that runs through leadership like a fine red thread: If you want to see a change in others, you must first be willing to change yourself. This is especially true when a micro manager wants for his employees to achieve and learn new skills. It takes ample time to change people and first the manager must first make the commitment to learning just as much and to be patient with his people who probably need some time to achieve these goals. Impatience kills trust in an instant as does not trusting employees enough for placing them on a pro-active training and goal setting time table.

One certain way out of micro managing is to focus on becoming a master communicator. Mistrust leads to issues in the flow of information, because most managers with trust issues would rather keep the information to themselves and not delegate any work either. This is all poison to any organization. It takes a great sense of organizing skills for a manager to find a way out of the downward micro management spiral. Once the manager trusts himself enough to trust others weekly and perhaps even daily scheduled or impromptu meetings with staff helps breaking the mold. Organizing information should automatically trigger the thought of delegating as many day-to-day tasks to employees who either have the skill set or the responsibility to doing them anyway. This shows trust to the employee and can now reciprocate this with the manager who will be able to tend to more managerial tasks – imagine that, more time for organizing things.

Being able to lead people may be something that comes easy to some people. That does not mean average managers or even micro managers cannot improve because they were not born with these skills. Achieving the first step of trusting yourself is most important as it is the jumping board for being able to genuinely apologize for any bad decisions, which in turns provides the necessary feedback to the employees that it is ok to make mistakes. By not including team members in the cause and effect cycle, the managers will most likely promote long term distrust and thus disengage them from team and company goals. The reversal of this issue is just as easy: When making the mistake of not having involved the team in the process, apologize genuinely and timely. It will re-engage people almost in the short and long term.

Finally there is a solid case for developing a sense and company culture of trust. It comes down to the almighty financial rock bottom Dollar. In a recent Gallup poll the cost for lost productivity and employee disengagement has been around $300 billion in the United States of America alone.   Controlling people is all but impossible, but that is not true for controlling the cost and reviewing and managing the engagement and communication with them.

So the simplest way in which to create a trusting work environment is making a list of the worst traits of micro managers you know or experienced. Then start compiling strategies letting you do the opposite of that.

Ralf

1 easy step away going from hug to hope


1 easy step away going from hug to hope 

While in Manhattan NYC today we made a quick stop at the Starbucks near Union Square and one of the baristas took my breath away. She saw my daughter and I waiting in line for our food and drinks and I gave us a big smile. Then she gave us a huge hug (here is another worthy read about hugs). It was totally unprovoked, genuine and came from the bottom of her heart. I was so moved by this that my eyes started to leak a little. Here I was totally consumed with the many – too many – tasks and things to do and check off the list. Work, family, and so many other extra curricular activities had put me under a lot of stress. Success draws more and more attention and activities for sure. I just did not feel good about it at all today. And yet, this one hug pumped huge amounts of hope and energy back into me.

Despite all the political hubbub and also the many nasty things that happen every day we are a good People – there is hope and all we all need to do is showing a little of that to our fellow woman and man. Pay it forward and give someone a good old-fashioned hug. It can make a huge difference in someone’s life – it did for me. From bad day to hope that is all that it may take.

Ralf

United Airlines and how to kill your brand with bad customer service in three easy steps


United Airlines and how to kill your brand with bad customer service in three easy steps 

We supposedly live in the land of customer service. Worry-free shopping of products and services is the mantra. What really happens is most often totally horrific customer service when things do not quite go the “standard” and “normal” way. Last night United Airlines forcibly removed a passenger from a plane on flight UA 3411 trying to make room for United personnel on an overbooked plane. It was a horrific scene recorded by many on their cell phones. Just two weeks ago the same airline barred two teenagers from boarding a plane due to them wearing leggings. Then who has for instance not seen the little video clip of “United Breaks Guitars”? More than 14 million views for this little ditty all because United Airlines was particularly ignorant listening to Dave Carrol’s request for getting his guitar repaired or replaced.

United is doing everything to kill their brand’s reputation. Treat your customer as a second or third class one. Perhaps he will get the message that he is just wasting his time and will thus just go away. Killer move! They appear to have totally lost the focus as to who pays their bills. It’s the customer stupid. Is that the best an airline of this kind of magnitude can do? Top management seems to totally forget that customers choose with their clicks – and they do not need to ask for permission. They will just not show up anymore. Let’s hope they will learn their lesson well.

Ralf

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