INSPIRED BIZ NEWS October, 2013 Issue #128

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INSPIRED BIZ NEWS October, 2013 Issue #128

Sponsored by InspiredLiving.com for Better Health and Cleaner, Safer Living Environments

Copyright 2013 Carol A James. All rights reserved. This publication may be freely redistributed if copied in its ENTIRETY.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Promotion of the Month
  • Healthy Quote for This Issue
  • Accomplish 20 Times More by Eliminating Harmful Traditions and Establishing Helpful Ones
  • Be Good to Your Clients and They Will Stick
  • Being a Good Conversationalist at the Holiday Party
  • How to Turn Your Brilliant Business Idea into a Roaring Success
  • A Touch of Humor: Mistakes on a Resume

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INSPIRING QUOTE FOR THIS ISSUE:

“Prosperity is not just having things. It is the consciousness that attracts the things. Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just having money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.” — Eric Butterworth


ACCOMPLISH 20 TIMES MORE BY ELIMINATING HARMFUL TRADITIONS AND ESTABLISHING HELPFUL ONES
By Donald Mitchell

You are already very busy. How can you accomplish more? A good place to begin is to stop doing what tradition dictates you must do that makes your performance less effective

If you already know what harmful traditions you and your organization are following that keep you from accomplishing 20 times more, you can focus on eliminating them.

STALL ERASERS

Many people find it hard to challenge their old ways of doing business, especially when stalled by tradition. Here are some examples of how leaders have been able to erase harmful traditions:

  • Pretend to be a new management team that has been asked to turn around the problems brought about by the prior management’s complacency.
  • Take the least productive tasks you do now and delegate them to someone else who will do them well and appreciate the opportunity. Encourage
    that person to delegate her or his least productive tasks in the same way. And so on.
  • If the methods you’ve been using don’t work, begin controlled experiments to test all other ways even ways that call for reversing your direction.
  • Turn the best performer’s approach into a simple process that those with no experience can duplicate through automated promptings.
  • Make it easy and quick for customers to solve the problems they encounter. Assume customers will behave honestly if that can help speed up and ease problems. They’ll reward you with continual word-of-mouth praise and increased loyalty.

STALLBUSTERS

Identify Your Organization’s Traditions and Their Original Purposes

Most traditions start with a purpose, but others start by accident. Before changing something, you should find out if the tradition still serves some useful purpose by asking the following questions:

  • What traditions does the organization have that slow down or increase the cost of accomplishing important results?
  • What benefits do these traditions provide?
  • What values were intended to be served by the traditions?
  • What problems are created by the traditions?

Identify Empowering Traditions That Would Boost Performance

Traditions are powerful management tools for reinforcing good habits. People are more willing to abandon their own traditions when they learn that another organization’s different traditions have led to high performance.

  • What traditions do other organizations have that speed up improvements, enhance the results, and effectively reduce costs?
  • Which of these traditions are consistent with your organization’s values?
  • How could the traditions be made more consistent with and supportive of your organization’s values?
  • Which aspects of these traditions are exciting and fun for people in your organization?

Establish New Or Amended Traditions

What aspects of your organization do you want to have operating on automatic pilot for all employees? One of the best examples of automatic response is a tradition at Ritz-Carlton hotels. Whenever an employee notices or is told by a guest about a problem, he or she has the responsibility to fix the
problem immediately. That tradition ensures that guests receive quick, courteous solutions while feeling encouraged to bring problems to the staff’s attention. Higher guest satisfaction and loyalty follow from that tradition.

To create or change traditions in your organization, ask the following questions:

  • What are the three most useful traditions your organization could have?
  • How can the new traditions be established so that everyone will be delighted?
  • How can you combine elements of existing traditions with useful elements of these new traditions?
  • What has been the best way that your organization has previously launched traditions?

With your new, helpful traditions replacing the harmful ones you have now, you will soon have much more time and energy to focus on creating ways to achieve 20 times more with the same time, effort, and resources.

Copyright 2007 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved

Author Profile: Donald Mitchell is chairman of Mitchell and Company, a strategy and financial consulting firm in Weston, MA. He is coauthor of six books including The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, and The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook. Free advice on accomplishing 20
times more is available to you by registering at http://www.2000percentsolution.com Email: askdonmitchell@yahoo.com


BE GOOD TO YOUR CLIENTS AND THEY WILL STICK
By John Corcoran

Have you ever received customer service that was so bad it almost bordered on abuse? You know the kind of treatments some low-paid, uncaring, overworked, and unappreciative company reps mete out to the client: the eye rolling, the shortness on the phone, the deep sigh of the employee when the
client needs something to be explained again and again, the chip on the shoulder, and the downright rude comment that “that” (whatever “that” is) does not fall within the rep’s job description.

Being good to your clients will ensure that they will stick around; in a day and age where the Internet provides competition either by virtue of doing many tasks virtually; or by enabling vendors and service providers from across the globe to connect with eager clients from all over the world that has already forced many companies out of business, you have to be wise when it comes to client treatment. You need to understand that without your employees and your clients, you would be unable to sit in your office and keep on the lights or pay for the water bill. Thus, even the most callous customer service phobic will acknowledge the need to be good to your clients.

Doing so is actually easier than you think! For example, your service needs to be easily accessible. Make sure your phone system is up and working, have enough people to answer the telephone, and ensure that in case of messages being left, someone from your company will return the call within 24 hours. Excessive hold times and missed call backs are a first rate complaint that has sent many a potential client seeking out the competition.

Additionally, make sure that your prices are in keeping with the national average. Do not raise rates while failing to raise customer service levels. While rate increases are necessary at times, expecting your clients to stick around if they do not receive added benefits is unrealistic. Soon you will find that they will go elsewhere. Interestingly, most people do not mind paying more for a service, if they perceive that they are receiving more for their money. Failure to provide more for the requested price increase is the great gift that many television cable companies have given to satellite television providers who time and again made the cable companies the butts of their commercials and jokes.

Being good to your clientele means keeping your word: if you promise a certain level of customer service, a specific benefit, or simply an in-home appointment to take place between the hours of 8 and 12, make sure you deliver! A client will forgive a call asking to reschedule or expression serious regret at a specific benefit no longer being available and offering a comparable benefit in exchange, but no-call, no-show companies are notorious for losing clients. Be good to your clients and they will stick around!

Author Profile: John Corcoran is a retired High School Teacher in NSW, Australia. His aim is to assist others to be successful while building his own internet business.


BEING A GOOD CONVERSATIONALIST AT THE HOLIDAY PARTY
By Lydia Ramsey

Much has been written and much has been said about the art of conversation. It comes easily to some, and for others, it’s a major struggle to get a dialogue underway and to keep it flowing. In the business world, you need good conversation skills to build relationships with your prospects, clients and
colleagues. The more you know about the people you do business with, the better you can serve them. The more you understand your colleagues, the better you can work with them.

The holiday season with all its festivities — parties, receptions, luncheons and dinners — is prime time for building relationships with those who play a key role in your business success. The polished professional is one who can handle any conversation with ease. But it doesn’t always come naturally.
You have to work at it, especially when you are confronted with people you don’t know or don’t know well.

Like so much in life, good conversation is a matter of maintaining balance. It’s a blend of speaking and listening. Paying attention to what other people are saying is critical in making them feel important and in keeping a conversational flow. Never go to an event without a list of three to five things you can talk about if the going gets tough.

Even the most well intentioned business people can kill a conversation without realizing what they have done. Here a few of the classic types who have earned the title, “Conversation Killer” — a title you want to avoid.

The Griller: This is the person who read somewhere that asking questions is the secret to sustaining a dialogue. The result is a barrage of questions fired one right after the other until the person you are speaking with is completely worn down. By commenting on and repeating or paraphrasing what you are hearing, you can avoid making people feel as if they are being interrogated by the local Gestapo.

The Interrupter: This person doesn’t take the time to hear other people out and doesn’t allow them to complete their thoughts or sentences. If the other person pauses to take a breath, the Interrupter jumps in to finish the sentence or to interject his own thoughts. By constantly cutting people off, the Interrupter never learns enough about the client or colleague to build a relationship. Pauses are natural so wait until you are sure the other person has finished what he had to say before you grab the floor.

The Advisor: This conversation killer believes he is keeping the balance. He has heard what was said and is now offering his advice. The problem here is that nobody asked what he thought. Keep your opinion to yourself unless you hear, “What would you do?” or “What do you think?” If you are hearing about someone else’s problem or issue, be a good listener until invited to share your thoughts.

The One-Upper: This individual can hardly wait for you to finish your story so he can go you one better. So you had a skiing accident and broke your ankle? Well, he fell off a mountain and was in a body cast for a year. Whatever you have to say, he’ll top it.

The Know It All: This person has “been there, done that.” Think how you feel when someone utters that phrase. It’s like a bucket of cold water on what might have been a warm conversation. If the other person has been there and done that, there is nowhere left to go and nothing left to say.

Good conversation is give and take. It is a dialogue. Everybody participates by listening to what is said and replying. Sometimes it feels like work, but after all, you are trying to establish rapport, build your business and make more money. That is work. Many holiday parties feel like work, but if you put in the effort, you will reap the benefits. You will impress others with your polished professional conduct, and when the holiday season is over, your business relationships will be stronger than ever.

© 2013, Lydia Ramsey. All rights reserved. Reprints welcomed so long as article and by-line are kept intact and all links made live.

Author Profile: Lydia Ramsey is an international business etiquette expert, speaker and author based in Savannah, Georgia. She offers keynotes and seminars on professional conduct to individuals and organizations. Get through the holiday season without egg on your face by reading “Business
Etiquette for the Holidays: Building Relationships Amid The Perils of The Season” available now in PDF at http://mannersthatsell.com/catalog/business-etiquette-for-the-holidays/ and for your Kindle at
http://www.amazon.com/Business-Etiquette-Holidays-Relationships-ebook/dp/B00ELOTJOE/


HOW TO TURN YOUR BRILLIANT BUSINESS IDEA INTO A ROARING SUCCESS
By Gabriel Adams

You’ve got what you think is a brilliant business idea and you just cannot wait to start up and get going. Sounds easy too! After all, look at the many brash entrepreneurs that have

emerged triumphant in spite of diving right into a new business, without giving a second thought to market potential or any other so-called business-start-up essentials. However, for every successful story we hear about, there are plenty of dreams that lay shattered and unheard of.

So, before you get into the thick of things, guns a-blazing, there are a few things you need to think about. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that all prospective business owners should ask themselves these two core questions:

  1. What product or service does my business provide and what need does it fill?
  2. What are the potential customers for my product or service and why will they buy from me?

Do not take it for granted that people out there are just waiting for your product to hit the market. Go out there and get feedback from industry experts, business associates and other individuals. Do they think it is a brilliant idea? Would they buy your product?

Identify your target market and weigh the different factors involved, including income levels, age bracket, geographic location and size of the market you are targeting. Does your target market have the potential to grow?

Calculate your selling price taking into consideration all manufacturing and business costs as well as your profit margin. Can your target market afford to buy your product? Once you’ve got the feel of the market, go right ahead and start your business.

No matter how brilliant your idea may be, if it’s not radically new, you will always find someone else competing with you. How is your product any different from that of your competition? Assess your competition and try and determine whether this brilliant idea of yours enhances the quality of the
product or service or does not make any difference at all. Make sure your product has something different that will give it the competitive edge.

Author Profile: Please visit http://www.veryaffordablewebsite.com/ and http://www.uwsvideo.com/


A TOUCH OF HUMOR: MISTAKES ON A RESUME

These are from actual resumes:

  • “Personal: I’m married with 9 children. I don’t require prescription drugs.”
  • “I am extremely loyal to my present firm, so please don’t let them know of my immediate availability.”
  • “Qualifications: I am a man filled with passion and integrity, and I can act on short notice. I’m a class act and do not come cheap.”
  • “I intentionally omitted my salary history. I’ve made money and lost money. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. I prefer being rich.”
  • “Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping’. I have never quit a job.”
  • “Number of dependents: 40.”
  • “Marital Status: Often. Children: Various.”

RESUME BLOOPERS

  • “Here are my qualifications for you to overlook.”

REASONS FOR LEAVING THE LAST JOB:

  • “Responsibility makes me nervous.”
  • “They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 every morning. Couldn’t work under those conditions.”

REASONS FOR LEAVING MY LAST JOB:

  • “Was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches.”
  • “I was working for my mom until she decided to move.”
  • “The company made me a scapegoat – just like my three previous employers.”

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • “While I am open to the initial nature of an assignment, I am decidedly disposed that it be so oriented as to at least partially incorporate the experience enjoyed heretofore and that it be configured so as to ultimately lead to the application of more rarefied facets of financial
    management as the major sphere of responsibility.”
  • “I was proud to win the Gregg Typting Award.”SPECIAL REQUESTS & JOB OBJECTIVES:
  • “Please call me after 5:30 because I am self-employed and my employer does not know I am looking for another job.”
  • “My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I have no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.”
  • “I procrastinate – especially when the task is unpleasant.”

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES:

  • “Minor allergies to house cats and Mongolian sheep.”

PERSONAL INTERESTS:

  • “Donating blood. 14 gallons so far.”

SMALL TYPOS THAT CAN CHANGE THE MEANING:

  • “Education: College, August 1880-May 1984.”
  • “Work Experience: Dealing with customers’ conflicts that arouse.”
  • “Develop and recommend an annual operating expense fudget.”
  • “I’m a rabid typist.”
  • “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain operation.”

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