“Are You Efficient or Effective? Is There a Difference?”

Leaders today must be both efficient and effective to reach company and department goals, to engage employees, to retain more customers and to reduce employee turnover.

Finding someone, anyone who can be both is a rare find, it’s like finding Bigfoot.effective-communication

Most managers, usually excel at one. It may be they are efficient and great at meeting deadlines. But the problem maybe the leader uses a risk or reward style of motivation. If all is going poorly, the threat of working late. If all is going well, pizza Friday. Continue reading

“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

“7 Slight Edges to Creating a Customer Service Culture”

According to a JD Power study, companies that have a culture committed to great customer service will grow at twice the rate of their competition.

April was a milestone for me, I reached my 27th year of being in the training business. I designed and presented my first workshop in April of 1988. Where were you in April of 1988? images

In that time I have worked with companies throughout the US, up and down the Americas, back and forth to Moscow, and to West Africa. What I’ve learned in dealing with these companies is that they are committed to keeping their customers and growing from the inside out. As I worked with these companies I noticed they all did certain things to help them keep their customers, they are little things that make a big difference in the level of service they provide. I called these things “slight edges” and I saw there are seven of them.  Continue reading

“Sometimes We Have to Terminate for the Greater Good”

Twenty five years ago I was having lunch with my manager and he told me he was going to fire a coworker that day. I was new to the training business, I was a salesperson but I knew I wanted to be a facilitator. I was trying to soak up everything about management, leadership, owning a company, everything. So, I asked if I could sit in the meeting as a learning experience. My boss said, “Well, HR says I have to have a witness so, sure, you can sit in the meeting.”download (1)

That afternoon the meeting started, it was my boss, my coworker and me sitting off to the side, strictly as an observer. My manager said to my coworker, “All companies go through changes and today you’re one of those changes.” Angered by the cruel remark my coworker jumped out of his chair and attacked my boss. I stepped in between them to separate them. They were shouting and throwing punches grabbing each other clothes. Someone called the police, a fellow employee came in the office to help separate the two. It was quite a scene.

After the police escorted the terminated employee out my boss said to me, “That did not go the way I had it planned.” Really!? Continue reading

“Is Your Level of Customer Service a Hoax?”

Here in the Twin Cities there is a well-established company, that shall remain nameless, that attempts to build buyers’ confidence by offering a money back guarantee. The guarantee Economicsclearly states that, if for any reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase; the company will return your investment. They even have a line that reads, “No ifs, ands, or buts’.” Forget that the statement makes no sense. The company also brags about how they have never had to return any customers’ investment.

Well you knew this had to happen.  An international client felt they didn’t receive the kind of service they had hoped for and asked for a return of their money, and the local company said no.   Continue reading

“3 Reasons Why I call Exceptional Service the Necessary Evil”

I call exceptional service the necessary evil for a few different reasons.  First, it’s necessary, ServiceSign.29203237we have to do it, if we don’t, our competition will.  But there are three problems with exceptional service that makes it evil.

It can be duplicated.

Let me paint a picture for you.  If I own an auto repair station, and you own an auto repair shop, and you’re my competition, and you hear part of what I give my customers after doing business with me is a free car wash. Can you start washing the cars of your customers?  Sure you can.  If I hear you’re filling the gas tanks of your customers before you give the car back, can I start filling gas tanks?  Of course I can.  That’s a big problem with exceptional service; it can be duplicated.   Continue reading

“Own Your Time & Energy Mapping ”

About five years ago, I realized we don’t manage time, we own it.  It’s ours, we’re responsible for it. It’s our job to nurture it, to protect it. When we manage something, anything, we tend to use outside forces as excuses for why we mismanage it. The poor economy prevented us from managing our money. We can’t manage our weight because our busy life prevents us from exercising.

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

“Five Keys to Owning Your Time & Gaining More Referrals”

imagesAs a title professional referrals are critical to your success, it’s important that you spend the appropriate amount of time gaining referrals.  This is owning your time, doing the things that bring you closer to your goals. When you spend time on unimportant tasks—tasks that don’t bring you closer to your goals—someone else owns your time. Continue reading

“Own Your Time with These Three Tips”

547319_10200992160829791_2136443215_nYou must adapt the mindset that you own your time. It’s yours to control, to protect, and to nurture. If you don’t take ownership of your time, someone else will—you’ve heard that before and it’s true. If you don’t nurture your time—tend to it—it’ll fade away and be wasted. Owning your time requires you to protect it from the outside intruders that want to take it from you—mostly in the form of interruptions and unproductive meetings. Continue reading