Category Archives: attitude

Engaging Your Sales Team?

engagementroiSpring-boarding off of last week’s post from “Engagement World,” we might ask ourselves how (or if) we are engaging our sales team.

Regrettably, the data shows that only 25% of the workforce trusts organizational leadership!  Fortunately the trust level in direct supervisors is higher.

This is critically-important for sales leaders or small business owners because buying decisions are significantly impacted by the engagement level and attitude exemplified by the sales team. In fact, the data shows that well over half of all buying decisions are driven by the emotional part of the brain!

Based on findings shared by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA), three best practices for engaging your team are:

  1. Invest your time in one-on-one sessions with each sales team member – preferably done on a weekly basis at a consistently-scheduled time (i.e, “same time each week). The agenda for these one-on-one sessions should include an activity review, opportunity or pipeline discussion, strategy and planning session. The tone should be supportive.
  2. Collaboration – invest your time by making joint sales calls, both in the field and via conference calls. By “working deals” with the sales team you will not only show support, but you will also learn about marketplace preferences while adding an important layer to customer and prospect relationships
  3. Provide the team with professional development opportunities. Training and development are inextricably tied to engagement, and higher engagement levels are inextricably tied to attitude and discretionary effort.

Author Timothy R. Clark summed-it-up nicely when he said, “Highly engaged employees MAKE the customer experience. Disengaged employees BREAK it.”

Is the Customer Always Right?

highroadThe phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of London’s Selfridge’s department store.

It is frequently used by businesses to define or clarify their approach to customer service, hoping, at varying times, to convince both consumers and employees of the high levels of service and satisfaction their customers experience.

But of course, no one is “always” right, and much has been written about why the perspective that “the customer is always right” is, in fact, “wrong.” In fact, a 2014 Huffington Post article lists what author Alexander Kjerulf considers the top five reasons that customers are not always right.

Similarly, Hal Rosenbluth, founder of Rosenbluth International, a corporate travel agency, wrote a book about their approach called “Put The Customer Second – Put your people first and watch’em kick butt.”

Rosenbluth argues that when you put the employees first, they put the customers first; that when you put employees first they will be happy at work, and employees who are happy at work give better customer service.

Regardless of your position on the matter, you might consider that the key words in the well-known phrase may not actually be the words “always right.”

Instead, the key word is “customer,” because when a customer is, in fact, wrong, they will most likely stop being a customer if they are proved to be wrong in a manner that they find offensive — in a manner that brings about loss of dignity or respect.

So maybe the better questions is, what does it mean to “take the high road” when interacting with customers or, to Mr. Rosenbluth’s point, colleagues?

As speaker David Brock once said, “Being right doesn’t mean you win!”

The 5 “I’s” in Team?

The business world has begun to see the deep connection between employee engagement and customer experience, productivity and profit.

Simply stated, highly-engaged employees try harder, make a stronger discretionary effort, and tend to drive business results!

They are twice as likely to work after their shift ends, twice as likely to do something good for the company that is unexpected of them, and three times as likely to make recommendations for company improvements, according to an Employee Engagement Benchmark Study by Temkin Group.

But despite the benefits of an engaged workforce, far too many organizations struggle to engage their employees, as evidenced by the fact that only thirty-percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged.

The 5 I’s
We’re all familiar with the quote, “There’s no “I” in team.”

Playing off of this adage, Temkin Group suggests there are actually 5 “I’s” in team…  and five key ways to engage your team.

Read the full article…

Do You Believe… in You?

possibleIn an earlier post we referenced Frank Edwin “Tug” McGraw Jr., who was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher and the father of country music singer Tim McGraw. As noted in that post, he is likely best remembered for two things… recording the final out, via a strikeout, in the 1980 World Series, bringing the Philadelphia Phillies their first world championship… and his pithy quote…,

“You Gotta Believe!”

Have you ever wondered about the impact of belief, or the value of believing not only in what we do, but also in our own ability to do it?

Much has been written about these concepts, including well-known examples such as “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret.”

Here are a few more, possibly less-famous, perspectives on how our belief or conviction might enable us to achieve greater levels of success or fulfillment:

In his book, “The Power of Self-Confidence,” Brian Tracy concludes that “the foundation quality of success in every walk of life is self-confidence.”

Tracy also shares examples and case studies, and suggests, “If you had unlimited self-confidence, you would be more powerful, popular and persuasive… you would be admired, respected and sought after… recognition and responsibilities would flow to you because of people’s belief in your ability to do what it took to get the job done.”

In his article “The Greatest Principle of Human Persuasion,” author and sales expert G. Harold McLeod identifies a person’s conviction as the most persuasive component of communication. “People are persuaded more by the depth of your conviction than by the height of your logic,” he says. “…more by your own enthusiasm than any proof you can offer. Put another way, people are converted not to your way of thinking; they are persuaded more by your way of feeling, your way of believing.”

In his book “The Art of the Solo Performer,” author and musician Steve Rapson explains that at one time or another even the most seasoned artists — whether they be musicians, actors, singers or speakers — are affected by nervousness or stage-fright, and that the most effective way of overcoming the affliction involves a combination of “preparation and conviction.”

These beliefs are not only important, but also contagious!

Read the full article…