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Balancing Personal and Professional Effectiveness Issue 127
in this issue
  • The Top 10 Actions To Building A Stronger Sales Team In 2006
  • Margaritas or Lemonade ~ Great Customer Service Is About Small Details
  • Skills
  • Alert Supervisors To Little Known ĎAssociation-biasí Law
  • BALANCE RESOURCES
  • Dear Tricia,

    This monthís issue of Balance Resources is all about the little but very important details. The details in building a stronger sales team, the details in providing great customer service, and the details in the little known ĎAssociation-biasí Law.

    I appreciate the opportunity to share best practices in leadership, personal and professional growth, recruiting and retention.

    Thank you for your readership. Enjoy your newsletter!

    Tricia Neves
    Tricia Neves
     

    The Top 10 Actions To Building A Stronger Sales Team

    1) Clear communication. Use the KISS method- it does not have to be complicated to out line exactly what is expected of them daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

    2) Motivate your current sales team with incentives, rewards and, most importantly, acknowledgements of a job well done. In many of my interviews with dissatisfied sales professionals, they lament the fact that their achievements are not noticed nor seem to matter.

    3) Praise in public, criticize in private.

    4) Promote from within. Nothing motivates current sales team members more than knowing they, too, can be promoted when they prove themselves worthy.

    5) Be accessible. Having a manager actually listen and be available may make the difference to that sales rep as to whether they close or lose the sale.

    6) Assign mentors to new hires. A seasoned sales rep can help the new hire avoid the rookie mistakes and accelerate his/her ramp-up time.

    7) Offer training consistently throughout the year to your sales team. Always keep sharpening the saw.

    8) Have a book of the month that all read and discuss. Hundreds of excellent books exist that relate to selling and business success. (Contact me for a list of top books if you'd like).

    9) Build your bench. If you see top talent from your competitors in the field, begin a relationship with them so you can contact them when you have an opening. It's not IF you will have an opening- it's when. People get promoted, move, quit or are fired.

    10) Continue your relationship with your external recruiter. When all internal efforts are exhausted, or you need professional help hiring top talent, you'll have an ally ready to go to work for you.

    Copyright 2006 - Cindy Hazen.

    Margaritas or Lemonade ~ Great Customer Service Is About Small Details

    My family and I recently returned from a vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Traveling outside the United States gives reason for apprehension something might go wrong. Whether it is security delays, customs, the threat of terrorism, or just the inconvenience of traveling makes vacationing more difficult than ever before. Many times what could have been a great vacation gets ruined by small details.

    My wife handles all my travel and our family vacation arrangements. In this case, she used the Internet to plan our entire vacation, causing me greater apprehension something would go wrong.

    As our plane circled the airport in Los Cabo, all I could see was one small landing strip among the cacti, sand, and desert. My brain kicked into gear and began to analyze all the mistakes, bad service, or disasters awaiting us.

    To my surprise, transportation was standing by for us at the airport. The 45-minute trip to the resort was uneventful. The air-conditioning in the van worked perfectly. The driver was courteous and helpful. I was beside myself.

    The arched gateway of La Hacienda Del Mar Beach Resort greeted our arrival. The doorman took our baggage and asked one profound question: "Would you like margaritas or lemonade?" After traveling on a plane for eight hours and 45 minutes, small details become magical.

    If you own or manage a customer service business, the recipe for exceptional service boils down to the small details. Some of those details may be as simple as friendly employees, clean bathrooms, or something that adds value to the customer experience. When designing your customer service plan, consider what small details you can provide making your place of business stand out in the hearts and minds of your customers. Consider the following.

    I rarely visit art museums and galleries, but I was attracted to a small one near my hotel in San Francisco. This place was a treasure trove of paintings from both the living and the dead. There were actual originals by many of the masters, including my personal favorite--Normal Rockwell. In fact, one of my best loved works was right there in front of my eyes. It was his picture with the Boy Scout. I was overwhelmed with this place, and so impressed, I gave my business card to one of the people working there. As a result, I now get e-mails from this gallery every time they have a showing. Most businesses lose 15-20% of their customers each year because they do not keep in touch. This gallery's e-mail marketing strategy provides an easy and inexpensive way to keep itself memorable. I only wish I had the money to purchase one of those pieces of art.

    The Lost Sock, a laundromat in Richmond, VA, has added a totally new dimension to the soapy floors and broken washers normally found in most Laundromats. Every Thursday night they have an "open mike" event. About 100 guests come to wash their laundry, have a few beers, and watch their friends perform.

    A unique store located in Stone Mountain, GA, specializes only in hot sauces and spices. They include a $2.00 bill with a little red pepper-shaped sticker applied to the back of the bill with the customerís change. The sticker has their store name and phone number. Since most people donít give out $2 bills, customers usually carry them in their wallets for a long time, and show them to their friends. This bill and its accompanying sticker become a marketing campaign for the business.

    The Jordan Furniture stores, located in Massachusetts, sell more furniture per square foot than any other furniture store in the country. Everything from their zany television commercials, purple painted parking lots and the Multi-media Motion Odyssey Movie ride, commonly known as MOM, helped to build a million-dollar industry. Loading dock employees occasionally dress in tuxedos. When shoppers drive around the back to pick up their furniture, they surprise them by washing their car windows, car tires and provide free hot dogs.

    One hardware store dramatically increased its sales and improved its level of customer service by allowing employees to design their customer service strategy. The store owners wanted to design a more customer focused and bottom-up, employee-driven store, where everyone could take ownership. The end result was a task force consisting of supervisors, managers, and front-line employees who designed a pocket card with the "20 Commandments of Customer Service." Now each manager and employee carries this card with them at all times. The store is enjoying improved employee attitudes, reduced turnover, and a rising level of customer service in the store.

    Early in the 90's, the Ritz-Carton hotels increased sales by $75 million using 500,000 less man-hours by eliminating small defects and recurring problems affecting their guests. They created a form called the Internal Defect Form (IDF). Any employee noticing a deficiency or defect during the workday completes an IDF. All forms were forwarded to the hotel Quality Office for consolidation. The Quality Office tracked them and sent them to the appropriate department for action. Department managers and Quality Coaches took action to improve, repair or replace the defect.

    The important thing to remember is the small, seemingly insignificant details have a major impact on good service. Average organizations ignore or overlook minor customer inconveniences. Excellent organizations focus on the details.

    Reprint permission granted by Greg Smith, Chart Your Course International. www.chartcourse.com.

    Skills

    What skills do you already possess and which new ones will you need to learn and develop? An exercise to help you identify your present skills and the new ones you need to develop is as follows:

    1. If you could buy 10% of the earnings or productivity of another person, what qualities and skills would you look at to make your decisions?

    2. Make 2 lists-one of qualities and one for skills.

    3. Then look at your two lists and ask yourself which ones you don't already possess or cannot learn.

    Alert Supervisors To Little Known ĎAssociation-biasí Law

    By now, your supervisors know itís illegal to discriminate against someone because of his or her disability. But do they also know about a less- obvious part of the ADA that makes it illegal to discriminate against people because they have an association with a person who has a disability.

    For example, you canít refuse to hire someone because of an unfounded fear that the person will be excessively absent or unproductive because he needs to care for his disabled child. The ADAís association provision covers hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment. Other examples of discriminatory actions:

    • Firing or refusing to hire someone based on concerns that the person will acquire a condition from a family member or friend
    • Refusing to provide health insurance for an employee's family member with a disability when you generally provide health insurance for employee dependents
    • Harassing someone based on the individual's association with a person with a disability
    • Firing, refusing to hire or denying benefits to someone because of concern that the organizationís image will be hurt by an employee's association with individuals with disabilities (Example: Discriminating against an employee who provides volunteer services for AIDS patients.)

    Note: Employees will be more sensitive to association bias now that the EEOC has published a Q&A fact sheet that explains this ADA provision.

    Read a copy of it at www.eeoc.gov/facts/association_ada.html.

    BALANCE RESOURCES

    YOUR TALENT SELECTION, INTEGRATION AND RETENTION SPECIALIST

    Balance Resources is a Certified Distributor of the TriMetrix System, the most comprehensive benchmarking tool on the market today.

    Benchmark The Job
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    Assess
    Assess your candidates in the same 37 factors determined to be required for superior performance in the TriMetrix Job PlusTM with the TriMetrixTM Personal Talent Plus Report.

    Match The Talent To The Job
    The TriMetrixTM System takes the guesswork out of selecting the candidates who will perform at superior levels by matching their unique behavior, values and attributes to an unbiased benchmark of the job requirements.

    Develop Your Staff
    The TriMetrixTM System and Attribute IndexTM Assessments can be used for a number of applications such as: employee coaching and development, performance appraisals, succession planning and organization development.

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    Newsletter Manager Office: Oklahoma City, OK

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