“Mutual Benefits Agreement”

You’ve heard all there is to hear about the engaged employee, right?  How they produce nine times more than the disengaged.  How they feel their manager or supervisor cares.  How they know their opinions are important to the company.  How their turnover is lower, they call in sick fewer times, and they are on time for work?

Would you like to gain all of this from your staff?  There is a way to have all I just wrote.  It’s called the “Mutual Benefits Agreement” or what I call the MBA.

Done right, the MBA will help you effectively communicate with your staff, moving them from moderately engaged to fully.  The results are that you and your team will be more productive, your team will work in a positive environment.  Together you will have a clear ‘big picture’ of what the desired outcome is to be.  There will be less employee turnover and reduced costs in recruiting and hiring.

To gain these results you must do all the steps to the MBA and you must do them in order.  Keep in mind, the average manager will skip around and lose the effectiveness of this tool.

State the Desired Outcome:

            What gets done and when

            Specific and measurable

            Should be able to fit in the subject line of an email

Paint a ‘Big Picture’:

            Tell them what the end result should look like

            Ask them if the picture is clear to them

List the Resources:

            The tools for getting the job done

            Ask them, “What do you need to get the job done?”

            List yourself as a resource by saying, “If you need anything else, let me know.”

Set look ins:

            Times/dates to see that everything is on track

Set reasonable consequences:

            Good or bad

            Always stated last

Use these steps to avoid breakdowns in communication.  Use them, not only in face to face conversations but, use the MBA when writing a new policy or crafting an email.

My Open to the Public workshop “Effort and the Role of Leadership” will be conducted in Minneapolis, January 18th and 19th.  For $799.00 usd you will learn to get more done with and through people.  I’m limiting the group size to 30 participants so, sign-up early.   Please call or write for more details and special discounts.

Thank you.






Be of Service

What does Harley Davidson make?  Motorcycles, right?  What does Harley Davidson sell?  If you said things like, the open road, a ‘made in America’ image, or a bad boy style, you’d be right again.  What does a good realtor sell?  Brick and motar or the American dream or an investment?  Companies that excel in delivering great service don’t talk about what their products and services are, they talk about what they do, how they serve.  What problems do they solve, what goals do they help the customer reach, or what pain do they take away?  If you’re a title company and you talk about what your products and services do, you will sound like every other title company.  If you're a bank and you talk about your checking and savings accounts as what do, you are going to sound like everyother bank.  And if you only speak about what your products and services do, then the only way you can differentiate yourself from the competition is on price.  You need your entire staff to express how your services are of service.  Check your advertizing, read your marketing pieces, and listen to your staff when they describe your services, do they reflect how you can be of service?

Here's a good exercise; sitdown with your staff and brainstorm all the different ways your company 'serves' the customer.  Don't reject any idea, dig deep.  At the very least, you will have your team look closly at how their department and company serve the customer.

Hope you can join me January 18 & 19 for my "Effort & the Role of Leadership" open seminar.  Learn how to manage your time to raise the effectiveness of your team.  Write fo details. mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Ask Affirming Questions

If you ever want to read a really good book someday, read, “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.  In the author teaches that the quality of your life is related to the quality of the questions you ask yourself; if you ask bad questions you get bad answers.  He writes that our bodies are designed to look for answers to the questions we ask ourselves, some may call that DNA, some may call it God but, Maltz calls it the servo-mechanism.  If you ask yourself, “Why am I always in debt?”  Your body is going to answer, “Well, you’re maxed out on your credit cards, you only pay the minimum, and every day on your way to work you stop and get a $4.00 latte.  The bad question leads us to non-affirming answers.  Affirming questions look for the solution, they typically start out like, “How can I..?”  Or, “What can I…?”  Instead of “Why am I always in debt?”  Ask, “How can I manage my money better?”  Companies that deliver poor service and they are faced with an upset customer, ask questions like, “What’s the problem?”  Or, “What’s wrong?”  These non-affirming questions don’t look for solutions.  We need to ask affirming questions, questions that demonstrate that we’re here to help, to look for solutions.  People who deliver great service to the customer don’t ask the upset customer, “What’s the problem?” they ask “How can I help?”

Hope you can attend my, "EFFORT & the Role of Leadership" Open workshop.  Learn to apply the '7 Slight Edges' manage your time and engage your staff.  January 18-19 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  $799.00 includes materials, lunches, snacks and beverages.

Write to find out more; mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com


What does economics mean to you?  To me, economics is the skill, and it is a skill that you can learn, the skill of earning more money than you spend.  Many companies I work with are good at doing one or the other.  The very successful companies do both very well.  It’s difficult to deliver great service if you’re focus is on, not the customer but, the upcoming lease payment you’re going to have trouble making.  Ask your staff this question, “What are some costs we can cut to the benefit of the customer?”  The key words in this question are ‘to the benefit of the customer.’  Too many companies, when faced with the reality of cutting back, carelessly cut to hurt the customer.  Companies need to stop conducting business with the “earn and spend” attitude.  Remember, it’s not the money you earn that’s important, it’s the money you keep.

Hope you can attend my last webinar of the year on November 17th.  You have two time to choose from 11;00 and 3:00 central time.  This 60-minute session will give you real-world insights and applications to the ‘7 Slight Edges’ to keeping your customers.

Can’t make the date and time, no problem, for the same $97.00 you can have a recording of the session.

Please write if you need more information.




To deliver great service, title companies must make delivering great service the center of daily operations.  It’s the first thing on their mind, not the second thing.  Every action is met with the question, “How will this action benefit the customer?”  If you’re not giving your best effort it’s because you’re getting caught-up in the little things that make no difference in your level of service.  This is the time management side of delivering great customer service.  Companies that excel in delivering great service make it their top priority.

November 17th I will be conducting my “Seven Slight Edges” webinar.  $97 per connection.  If you can’t make the live session, you can have the recording for the same fee. 

January 18th -19th I will be conducting my “Effort & the Role of Leadership” Open Seminar.  This is the best time management for leaders workshop out there.  Raise your effectiveness by raising the effectiveness of your teams.

Call or write for more info on both programs.  

Mark 612-308-3065 Mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com



Delivering great service means having faith.  What do I mean by faith? Faith is belief in something we have no proof of.  We may think that standing up and shaking our customers’ hand will bring the customer back but, we really don’t have proof they come back because of that greeting.  But, companies that deliver great service knows that it does, they have faith.  Companies that lack faith take a long time to may key decisions and then will change their minds quickly when they don’t see immediate results.  Companies with faith will move forward quickly with ideas and change their minds slowly.  Faith is about measurements; you have to put up units of measurements to know you are moving towards your big picture.  If your big picture is to live a healthy life style, and you have the courage to get on a diet and exercise plan to lose 10 pounds, what will you buy at the store to help you know you’re on track, probably a bathroom scale, right?  The scale helps you keep the faith.  If you paint a vivid big picture of what service should be and you have the courage to take action on it, then you need to make sure you put up sign posts, measurements that shows you’re on track. 

Please join me November 17th at 11:am or 3:pm central time for my webinar, “The Seven Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers.”  You can choose either time slot or ask for the recording of the session.  $97.00 and you can have your entire staff particpate.




Courage to take Action

Companies that deliver great customer service have courage.  The courage to take action.  They take action on their ideas to deliver great service.  They aren’t afraid to try new and different things to show customers they are important to them.  Too many times I hear companies I work with say things like, “This is just the way our business is.”  Or, “No one else is doing that.”  these types of statements show a lack of courage, they’re rational-lies.  You need to listen to how you, your team, your co-workers are saying.  Are the comments they make reflecting a lack of courage.  Sometimes there are barriers that keep us from going forward and many times these barriers are self-imposed.  It may be the culture of the company or it may be the fear of doing something different.  Either way these barriers must be identified and dealt with.  Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, it’s going ahead despite the fear.

Mark Isaac, mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com