5 Steps For An Outstanding Presentation

Besides being a great presentation, I love how short and sweet this is on its own. Short is good.

I think #2 is not always possible but good to attempt to do when you can and #4 is probably my biggest challenge.

What is your takeaway from this presentation?

#2 Building Your Personal Brand Even When Your Domain Is Taken [Podcast]

Because we have to carry it throughout our lives, our names are so important to us. In real life, we may share the same name with others but online, only one person can hold that domain. So what happens when you try to register your own name and it’s taken?

SBBPodcast

In this podcast, we talk to Connie Ragen Green who found herself in that exact situation. Listen in to learn what she did about it, went on to build a super successful business with it.

Learn more from Connie through her 10K Laser Coaching Program.

How To Keep Your Stress Levels From Going Off The Rails

Stress concept - angry man with exploding head

There’s this guy named James. He runs a pretty successful business. It’s obvious James has a lot of responsibilities and is a busy man. Regardless, when you talk to him, he’s always positive, smiling and easy going.

Do you have a person like James in your life? It’s like no matter what he’s faced with in his business, he always seems to be calm and reasonable.
How do they do that and more importantly how can you?

The Eleventh Hour Should Be Spent Resting

For starters, don’t leave projects till the last minute. Some people claim that the pressure of a short deadline helps kick them in the butt. That may be true for a handful of short term smaller projects but in general, if you’re tackling anything large that affects your company for years to come. You’ll need all the time you can get.

Similarly, if you are planning a project, remember to build in some creep time. In everything you do there will always be creep time. People get sick, families pass on, computers crash, nature unleashes its fury. I always like to plan for 20% extra creep time just in case. It’s not a scientific amount. Just what works for me.

Take Care of Yourself

Eat well. By this, I don’t just mean eat good (but unhealthy) foods. This is a challenge for even the best of us. Let’s be frank, some of the most unhealthy foods are so good! Yet, our bodies are designed to function best with good fuel. You might have to change your habits. What you gain on the other hand would be much more than reduced stress.
Along with eating right comes exercise. It is rather amazing how much a mere 20 minutes of exercise can do to clear your mind – and you’ll sleep better too.

Distractions Not Allowed

Do what you can to reduce distractions like gossip and toxic people. If you have staff who are constantly negative or vicious to others it is probably best you have a good chat with them. Hire only people who fit with your company culture. This isn’t always apparent in someone so take your time it’s easier to hire well than to fire someone.
Don’t take part in any gossip – at all. As a leader it is not acceptable. If you hired well in the first place, this shouldn’t even be an issue.

Being Realistic

Are you realistic with your expectations? If you know you have company coming and have a long list of things to prepare, don’t schedule a major launch right before. It’s not fair to your visitor for them not to get your full attention.

If you or your team don’t have enough knowledge to complete the project well, consult an expert or hire contractors. It’s a good thing to learn new things but only do that when you have time on your side.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Listen to music that lifts your mood. It sounds bizarre but it works. Music can invoke powerful emotion and some swear by classical music to help them focus. No matter what your taste, if you are tackling a particularly unpleasant task, load up your music player with the music that makes you want to get up and dance.

Your music might be distracting for others who don’t share your tastes so one way is to simply put on your headphones. This is even better as it signals to others you are unavailable and can help drown out other noises.

Your Turn

What would you do now? Hopefully more than leave this page and move on to the next juicy article. Pick one – any one – of these suggestions and try it. You owe it to yourself and your family to be more relaxed and happy.

19 Bold Thoughts About Leadership

Leadership. It’s certainly not about being “The Boss”. I’d venture to say it’s more like not being the boss. Granted, you do not want to be one of the guys while at work because you are supposed to lead not have others lead you. So what is a leader and how should they behave?

Here’s an interesting slideshow with 19 thoughts on leadership for you.

Do you agree? Which resonates with you?

7 Steps to Customer Service Success for Your Brand

customer serviceIf your business offers customer service, then you should know that treating your customers kindly and with respect makes all the difference in the world to your reputation and your bottom line. There is nothing worse than a dissatisfied customer talking badly about your business and the way they were treated by you—yes you because to them

YOU are your BRAND

It doesn’t matter that you are not personally there, the people representing your company represent you. Here are some tips to help you get your customer service associates up to par.

  1. Always ACKNOWLEDGE your client/customer.  Customers walking in your place of business should always get a smile, a hello and offer of assistance.   If you’re dealing with customers via phone or email.  Make sure to follow up and acknowledge you received their message as soon as you’re able.  If you don’t have the answer or solution right away – say so – and stay in touch until you do.
  2. LISTEN.  But even more important – HEAR what they’re saying.  This is probably the most important skill you’ll ever learn and it’s good for any situation. Once you hear what the customer is really saying then take steps to address the issue.
  3. Interact with the customer. ASK QUESTIONS so you can fully understand the real need. A customer may get frustrated because they don’t understand, feel unappreciated or aren’t satisfied.  Figure out what they need and give it to them.
  4. If you don’t have the answer or solution right away. ASK FOR HELP.  Make sure the customer understands that you will get the information they need as soon as you’re able.  If you’re dealing with a customer in person then make sure your actions follow your words.  Be happy to solve their problem.  If you’re interacting via email or phone- make sure your words reflect your sincere efforts of getting the solution to the issue.  Stay in touch & keep them updated until you have a satisfactory resolution.
  5. Insure that your customer service reps are TRAINED to treat your customers right.  Give them authority to take care of matters as they come up.  Have them keep a written log of each issue along with names, contact info, problem & solution.  This can be very helpful if the customer isn’t happy with the solution.  By keeping a log you can be sure that everything possible was done to correct any problems.  It will also be a great help as you’re creating or modifying policies & procedures.
  6. NEVER ASSUME anything about a customer by the way they dress, look or act. This is so true in customer service. Every customer is important regardless of looks, and making assumptions about customers beforehand will only backfire on you, and tarnish the reputation you are striving to create.
  7. If the customer service rep you have working with you just doesn’t seem to be able to uphold your high standards of customer service, Do Not Be Afraid to REPLACE them.

Your Brand Is You! Implement high quality customer service standards to help increase the respect of your brand.

Acknowledge, Listen, Ask Questions, Ask for Help, Train Your Staff, Never Assume & Replace when necessary.  Buy following these seven principles of customer service, you will be treating your customers with the care they deserve.

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Email Marketing: Cultivating Know-Like-Trust

When people think of you and your brand you want them to do 3 things:Know Like Trust

  1. Know Who You Are/What You Do
  2. Like Who You Are/What  You Do
  3. Trust What You Say

When it comes to your brand and email marketing, personalizing your emails, auto-responders & newsletters can help you accomplish all 3 things listed above.

You want the email recipient to recognize the email is from you, like you enough to open the email right away and take action on what you’re telling them to do.

One of the ways you can make that happen is by treating your reader like someone special.  Craft your emails so they’re written directly to them.  Personalize it.  Make them believe you’re talking right to them and the stuff you’re sharing is specifically for their benefit.

Email marketing is one area of your business where you can make things personal between you and your subscribers. Done the right way, this method of marketing can mean more sales for your business.

Another way to cultivate Know-Like-Trust is to actually email your subscribers.  Your readers subscribed to your mailing list and they expect you to send them emails.  Think about this:

If you’re not sending regular emails to your list you are depriving them of the information only you can provide them.

If you email your list on a regular basis you are training them – conditioning them, if you will – to expect emails from you.  When your subject lines are compelling and the email body is interesting & entertaining then your emails will be opened.  Once your emails are opened on a regular basis, your readers will start to take action on the recommendations you make.  But the first step is to write the email.

I’d recommend sending an email to your list a minimum of three times per week. Don’t worry about feeling or acting “salesy”.  If you think about email marketing as providing information, making recommendations and sharing awesome products then you’ll do fine.

You don’t have to sell in each email, auto-responder or newsletter but you should be including a clear call to action in each email that has then DO something.

Think about what you want the reader of your email to do:

  • sign up for an auto-responder
  • buy an affiliate product you recommend
  • buy one of your products
  • leave a comment

Then make it clear to your reader what ONE action you want them to take.

Make it a priority to email your list for at least 3 times each week for the next month and report back in the comments with your results.

 

 

Small Business Branding Through Exceptional Customer Service

Value Your Customers If You Value Your Business

Have you ever walked into a store excited about your latest purchase only to leave your much coveted purchase on the counter because of the [lack of] customer service?

Remember how that made you feel?

I’d venture to say that if you were happy & excited to make your purchase when you walked in the store you walked out with a much different feeling about your choice and vowing to find the item somewhere they would actually appreciate you.

Let’s translate that to your own business.

How many people walk away from an experience with you, your site or your product unhappy because they weren’t treated they way they thought they should be?

Exemplary customer service is all about treating your clients & customers they way they feel they should be treated.  Make them feel special and appreciated and they’ll be loyal to you and your brand.

If you don’t know how people feel about their experiences with you then you must make it a point to find out.  Putting the value of your customers above everything will help you find true success. Without your customers you don’t have a business.

Now, that we’ve touched on how important your clients & customers are to your business let’s talk about the people that represent you.

They way you treat the people that help you run your business will directly reflect on how they treat the clients & customers with whom they have contact.

If you treat your “helpers” rudely or with indifference then that is how they may treat your customers.

The way people are treated by the representative of your company is a direct reflection of you.  Make sure that the people that work on behalf of your company are treated with respect and understand their value to you so that they can reflect that feeling to your clients & customers.

brand loyaltyExemplary customer service is synonymous with your brand.

Let someone have a bad experience with you and before you know it they’re sharing that bad experience via word of mouth and worse through social media.

Be respectful to each and every person that finds their way to you. It is important to be courteous and make your customers feel as if they matter – that they are valued.

People are less likely to work with or buy from a business because they have seen online or heard by word of mouth that a company provides bad customer service.  With quick access to the internet all it takes is one negative word on Twitter or Facebook about your business and you may be doomed to failure.

The key to brand loyalty is exceptional customer service. Go out of your way to show customers that you care about them whether they buy or not. Respond quickly to emails, comments, contact forms and most especially to a customer standing at your counter or cash register. They will remember that they were treated well, had their questions answered and made to feel important.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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