Friday, August 30, 2013

Hearty Appetite for Focus

Some people are real "foodies" where they love food so much they photograph it, talk about it, write post regarding it, and plan their days around it!
Whether you are a foodie or not, please consider you focus by food...or at least by meals!  Minimally, if you are being healthy for you, it's quite likely you are eating at least three meals a day, so think of them as: 
  • Breakfast is the focus on self and the day ahead overall (even if you are preparing meals for others, make time to focus on your attention and intentions for the day) 
  • Lunch is the focus of the resetting of your work day (whether you work from home or an office, lunch is a time to reflect on what has been accomplished, and what is still ahead for the day's results) 
  • Dinner is the focus on personal time and activities (whether you are traveling, eating alone or with others, ensure you give yourself time  to enjoy what it is that nourishes you personally)
With a hearty appetite for focus, you will have distinct portions of the day, and end it feeling as though the entire day was just a blur...and likely you will enjoy your mealtime, and your daily accomplishments even more than before!

Customer Service IS Inside Sales

"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity."
- Douglas Adams
English writer, humorist, and dramatist.
(1952 - 2001)

Too often Customer Service becomes the notion of being a "Service Rep." or a "phone person".  Really, Customer Service, when approached with gusto and expectation, is, in fact, Inside Sales!
How so?
Typically, Sales sells the first service, product, or offering, while how that client or customer is serviced after the sale is commonly a longer relationship than the original sale cycle.
It's not that Sales is not important, rather viewing and treating Customer Service Experts as your Inside Sales will elevate the role, and likely, increase the effectiveness of how they interact and take (even more) pride in their role, their actions, and their results!
Sadly, being seen as just a "Phone Rep.", or worse yet, "The Complaint Department", can minimize the importance of the position.  While I am not suggesting you should change titles (although you could!), rather positioning the role differently will have an impact with more than just them.  Noting, and appreciating the position will alter the way Sales thinks about their colleagues, as well as the way clients/customers think and feel when they make those calls to your Inside Sales Team!

Friday, August 16, 2013

F-words That Ascend, Not Offend

"We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out." - Winston Churchill
One of my favorite Lundbergisms is "practice what you preaching required", and it is my practice to attend trainings and speaker events throughout the year, just as I promote and provide learning events in my business. So, recently, clients and friends joined together to engage in some personal growth and learning of our own!
While I will not disclose the location, date or event name, you can imagine our surprise when we registered months in advance, arrived to find nothing ready, the kick-off started over 40-minutes late, and the opening comments by the host included the F-word (and I don't mean "fashionable")! Embarrassed, dismayed, and recovering from the shock and disappointment, I lead a quick discussion on how we can learn what not to do just as well as we can learn things to do. We turned it around, and even got a smile out of it. We made the most of the event, and the conversation got me thinking even more...what is it about words that can be so inspiring or so damaging...
Please know I am a far cry from perfect, and I am not a stranger to a curse word. There is a time and a place for how you want to communicate and be remembered. From that unfortunate opener, I came up with some alternatives to that oh-so-memorable F-word. These F-words, whether used out loud or as an internal guide will likely ascend you and your business and others' perceptions of you, rather than offend. The list includes:
FOCUSED - Remember to keep your client, customer, audience and team as your focus with your words. They are thinking about them, and not you, so focus on their interests. Also, stay focused on your expertise, so you can really hone it!
FRIENDLY - Rarely do business leaders get criticized for being too friendly. That approachability is what makes someone real. It is both the smile and welcome that people prefer to remember over the rushed and disinterest that too many of us have on our faces and in our body language.
FREE-THINKING - Being open to ideas and concepts that may seem different or new can keep you fresh. You may not implement everything, but by being someone who considers options, you will minimally broaden your horizons.
FORWARD-MINDED - Consider what and how actions and words impact the person, the company and you later. While I am big on being present, it is also wise to think beyond the moment and the emotions in order to think through what is about to happen. Impact often overrides intent!
FLEXIBLE - It is not only nice to show agility, rather it is almost imperative to be willing to change in our wonderfully-paced world of growth and "newness". Demonstrating an ability to shift and flow is something most of us admire and respect.
FIRM - Interestingly enough, I put Firm after Flexible. What I mean by this word and the order, is that it's terrific to be willing to collaborate and alter plans, and at the same time, to be respected, you do have to take a stand, and professionally hold your ground when you believe in something wholeheartedly.
FABULOUS - While this is one of my favorite words, being fabulous is more than a look or a one-time mention. Being fabulous is being happy for others, supportive of what is right, and willing to stand up and stand out for what you believe in while respecting others as well.
So, while this summer's traffic, heat, storms (and more) inside and outside your work or business may bring thoughts that are less than favorable, remember, there is no failure when you stay FOCUSED, FREE-THINKING, FORWARD-MINDED, FLEXIBLE, FIRM and FABULOUS!