“Asking Affirming Questions to Keep Your Customers”

Companies that deliver great service and keep their customers ‘Ask Affirming Questions.’7Slight_Logo

If you ever want to read a really good book some day read, “Awaken the Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins. Robbins teaches us that the quality of our life is based on the questions we ask ourselves–the problem is we ask bad question.

In another great book, “Psycho—Cybernetics”, Maxwell Maltz teaches us there is something in us to help us find the Continue reading


“Gain More Referrals, Ask Affirming Questions”

question markTo get more referrals you have to ask for more referrals—it’s just that simple. Any marketing pro knows this. But, the problem is we ask for a referral in such a poor way the only answer we get from our referral source is, “Uhmm, yeah, sure, I’ll keep you in mind.”

One of the ‘7 Slight Edges’ is Ask Affirming Questions. This is a great slight edge because you can begin to apply it today and see a positive impact in your life and in your quest to gain more referrals. It’s the slight edge I get the most positive feedback about from past participants of my workshops. Continue reading

“7 Slight Edges to Owning Your Time”

1979621_547235915374618_2121933437_nYou and you alone are responsible for where your time goes. Yeah, you can blame your staff, your boss and your family but, ultimately it’s your responsibility. Knowing that it’s your responsibility is the first step, the next is owning it. If you look at time as something you own, you are more likely to take care of it, protect it and nurture it. Continue reading

“Ask Affirming Questions”

Companies that deliver great customer service Ask Affirming Questions.  If you ever want to read a really good book someday read Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.  It’s an old book but a very relevant book today.  In his book Maltz teaches us that our bodies are designed to look for the answers. That there is something in us that drives us to look for answers. Some may say it’s God, some may say it’s DNA but, Maltz calls it the ‘servo-mechanism.’  He says our bodies are designed to look for the answer to the questions we ask it.  The problem is that we ask it bad questions.

 Think about this, maybe you’ve done this, I know I have.  You’re sitting at your kitchen table and you have all those bills spread out in front of you. Maybe you’re paying by phone, maybe online or maybe the old fashion way, you’re writing out a check. And when you’re done you look into the registry and see there’s still some month left at the end of the money!  And you ask yourself that very bad question, “Why am I always in debt?”  Or, “Why can’t I get ahead?”  Or, “Why do I live check to check?”

 Our bodies are designed to look for the answers.  So, when you ask a question like, “”Why can’t I get out of debt?” Your mind is answering, “Well, your credit cards are maxed out, you only pay the minimum, and everyday on your way to work, you stop and buy a $6.00 latte. 

 When you ask yourself, “Why am I so fat?”  Your mind answers, “Well, because I’m like the average American, and sit around everyday watching four hours of television eating cheese puffs.”

 Here’s your hint, most affirming questions start out with, “How can I” or “What can I.”  So it’s not, “Why am I so fat?” it’s “How can I lead a healthy lifestyle?”  Or, “How can I eat right everyday?”

 The rephrasing leads to reframing in our minds.  We begin to look for solutions instead of looking at the problem. 

 Companies that deliver great customer service are continually asking their customers, “How can we help?”  “What can we do for you?”  “How can we do better?” 

 Companies that deliver poor service ask the upset customer questions like, “What’s wrong?”  Or, “What’s the problem?”  If you ask an upset customer, “What’s the problem?” what are you going to hear?  But if you ask, “How can I help?” what are you going to hear?

You see, sixty percent of the public will terminate a relationship with a company based on a bad customer service experience.  And the problem is they don’t tell us, they just leave.  Developing the skill to ask affirming questions in your marketing pieces, in your frontline employees, and in your customer surveys will keep the customer close and communicating.

 I believe the next big wave in customer service will be, making it easy for customers to complain. If we can get the customer talking to us we build better, more profitable, relationships.  And the way to get them communicating is by asking affirming questions.

 The first step in developing this skill is to start observing the kinds of questions you are asking. Listen to the quality of questions you are asking yourself and listen to the people around you.  Make sure you’re all asking affirming questions that look for solutions.  Remember, it’s not, “What’s the problem?”  it’s “How can I help?”

 Then, through effective coaching, get everyone practicing this powerful tool.  


“Three Ways to Deal with a Co-workers’ Negative Attitude”

“Three Ways to Deal with a Co-workers’ Negative Attitude”

 Dealing with a co-workers’ negative attitude can kill your productivity and take away all the enjoyment in your work.  You come to work at nine AM with a ‘can do’ attitude and by noon your negative cube-mate has pull you down to his level.

Here are three ideas to try that will pull the daily-downer up to your level.  While you can’t really be a pseudo-therapist, you’re not Dr. Phil, you can be an influence on their attitude by practicing these ideas.

Set the Example:  You want your co-work to come to work well-dress and professionally groom, you show up that way.  You want your teammates to come to work with a positive attitude, you come to work with a positive attitude.  You want your kids to get good grades in school, read a book in front of them.  Remember to be the change you seek.

Ask Affirming Questions: When your co-worker comes to work with another negative attitude do you ask yourself, “Why does she always come to work in a bad mood?”  Or do you ask, “What can I do to help lift her out of her bad mood?”  Do you see the difference?  The second question is affirming, it looks for a solution, non-affirming questions look at the problem.  When youi look in your checkbook registry at the end of the month, do you ask, “Why am I always in debt?”  Or do you ask, “What can I do to mange my money better?”  Don’t ask an upset customer, “What’s the problem?”  Ask instead, “How can I help?”


September 11-13 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Create a service culture, engage your employees, and grow revenues for your company. Here are a some other exciting things you will master.

How to create a service environment

How to coach the service message

Help your team understand, they can ‘create a customer’

Build candor between you and your team

Practice quality service over exceptional service

End the necessary evil of exceptional service

Keep more clients

Reduce employee turnover

Build an army of engaged employees

Build more referral sources

Develop real world applications for each of the “7 Slight Edges” 

How to manage your time like a true leader

 Keep Your Promises: If you set a good example, but fail to follow through on your promises, am I going to believe your promises?  No, because there will be a lack of trust.  Make sure you follow through on your promises, have the word mean something.  Don’t make a promise unless you are in complete control of it.

 Thank you.




What’s the Best Method to Convince a Skeptic?

The answer to the question in this blog title is simple; value their input.  You must ask the skeptic, “What do you need to reach the desired result?” 

Engaged employees produce nine more than the disengaged employee.  Something engaged employees say is that they feel their opinion matters.  The way to demonstrate to them their opinion is important is to “Ask Affirming Questions” about the project they are working on.  You need to ask, “How would you like to appoarch this task?”  “If you were in control of this project, how would you like to see it conducted?”

You need to ask questions that get them looking for ideas and solutions to achieving the desired results.

Only a week left to sign up for my open to the public seminar, “Effort & the Role of Leadership” coming on January 18th and 19th.  Discuss this and hundreds of other time management techniques. 

Please contact me for more information.

Thank you.




“7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers”

I thought you may be interested in learning about my latest recording.

This highly effective 60-minute webinar recording will provide your employees with the skills to grow revenues by keeping your customer and developing an army of referral sources. 60-minute Webinar recording of “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” is now available for purchase.

FAST – No wasted time here. Get right to the heart of the matter in a 1-hour block designed to easily fit into your busy schedule.

CONVENIENT – No airlines. No travel. No time out of the office. Listen from the comfort and convenience of your desk.

ACTIONABLE – Our conference recordings provide cost effective tactics you can start using right when the session ends.

GREAT FOR MULTIPLE LISTENERS – Use speakers attached to your computer and as many people as you want can listen participate – at no extra cost to you. A projector is suggested for the Power Point presentation. Many professionals use these sessions as a cost-effective, time-efficient means of training supervisors, managers, and staff while reinforcing key issues in a fresh, new manner that they will remember and act on.

AFFORDABLE – Priced at $97.00, it is a fraction of the cost of travel and attendance fees for other high-priced conferences or seminars. Pass the recording to all of your employees, a great value!

FACILITATOR – Mark Isaac is an author, skilled trainer and owner of Gorman Business Consultants, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm specializing in customer service and retention. For the past 24 years, he has served as an independent consultant for a broad spectrum of public and private, national, and international companies, providing insights and applications for growing your business from the inside out. Helping ALL employees understand, they can and must help ‘create a customer’ for their organization. To purchase a recording of “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” just give me the OK and I’ll send you the link to the recording.

Thank you. Mark mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com 612-308-3065

How’s Your Feedback?

The average manager and supervisor is poor at giving feedback. It may be that they were never trained, it may be that they follow how they were given feedback, it could be a number of reasons. But the effective leader understands the importance of giving feedback. They know some key factors about feedback. First, that it’s a survival skill; every leader must give feedback to ensure new policies, initiatives and procedures continue at high levels. Second, leaders know that feedback must be continual. Leaders can’t give feedback for somethings done well, they must address the bad as well. Also, especially on large projects, the leader must make sure the team stays on track. Third, feedback must be distributed to all involved. Just because a leader feels someone on their team doesn’t need feedback is no reason to overlook them. And forth, feedback must be a two-way conversation. Too many average leaders do all the talking, you must value the team members input. Watch my next two blogs on how to deliver both positive and negative feedback.

 Now available for purchase, my 60-minute webinar recording of, “The Seven Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers, Insights & Applications.” For $197.00 you can train your entire staff how they can create an environment of service for your customers.

I hope you can attend my Open to the Public workshop, “Effort & the Role of Leadership” this January 18th &19th. This is a time management workshop that specifically addresses the time issues facing today’s leaders.


Mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com 612-308-3065

“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