Thursday, March 27, 2014

Respect Yourself

Yesterday I was in a meeting where we were talking about prospecting and sales. One of the men shared a story about how he called a prospect to let them know he wouldn’t be calling again as they appeared to be very busy and he’d surmised the timing was bad. They responded to this message and he was able to get a face to face meeting with them.

Another attendee mentioned that this pointed to the idea that each party needs to respect the other. In my mind, the whole process begins with respecting yourself. When you respect yourself and truly see value in what you do, you then understand that the right prospects are the ones who are going to respond to your leadership.

The salesperson should always maintain control of the process. You are the expert; you know what works best for your company and your clients. The prospect looks to you to provide them with that structure and guidance. 

Later in the day I met with a woman who shared her policy when she sits down with a new prospect. She first says what she will do for them. Then she tells them what she will need from them and that it may end up that they are not a fit for each other. She lays it all on the table at the beginning; she sets the expectation. I just loved this! She totally understands that not every prospect will be a good client. She knows her process and what works best. And she knows that she has to drive the process, not the prospective client.

Unfortunately, many salespeople do not operate this way. They have the belief that they have to follow the prospect’s lead; let the prospect control the process. Because of this they spend a lot of time trying to get ahold of people. They get stuck in the process and have a hard time moving the prospect through to a decision. How frustrating!

When you begin from a position of respect for yourself you are confident that you know what works best. You also understand that not every prospect will turn into a good client. Lastly, you know that you must control the process in order to get to the place where you either gain a sale or move on to someone else. 

Take control. Suggest a meeting time; ask how they’d like you to follow up. Here you are assuming that they want to move forward and are making the point that you expect a next meeting. Control the sales meeting by asking questions before you share information. Seriously. You can’t effectively tell someone about what you offer until you know what they need. It also gives you the opportunity to identify whether this is someone you even want to do business with.

Try it out; even if you aren’t totally comfortable with the idea. You’ll see how different it feels and how different the results can be. Remember, the goal is to do business with those people/companies who respect and appreciate you and what you do. It all starts with you respecting yourself and what you do.

Copyright© 2014 Seize This Day Coaching

Monday, March 24, 2014

Inspired People Produce Results

Keeping people engaged and involved can make a huge difference in the success of your business. Join me and my guest Jeremy Kingsley, today at 1pm ETon Accelerate Your Business Growth radio show, for an engaging conversation about  the importance of passion, engagement, and loyalty to your bottom line.

Best-selling author Jeremy Kingsley is one of the most sought after keynote speakers in the world. Since 1996 he has spoken to over 500,000 people at live events and given over 2000 keynote speeches. You may have seen Jeremy on television or online. He has been featured in/on CNBC, FOX, FOX BUSINESS, FORBES, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES, WALL STREET BUSINESS and many more large media outlets. He has endorsements from Fortune 500 companies like YUM and Whirlpool. Leadership expert Ken Blanchard has said, "Jeremy Kingsley drives home principles that all leaders need to know and apply."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Current Issue in Employment Law

Guest post by my friend Jack Malkin

       There has been a recent trend in the workplace that does not involve complaints of discrimination or harassment.  Employees are now pursuing claims for overtime under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act; and in Ohio, pursuant to ORC Section 4111.03.              

R.C. 4111.03(A) provides that an employer must pay an employee for overtime at a wage rate of one and one-half times the employee’s wage rate, for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one work week, unless the employee is exempt under Section 7 and Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”).  If an FLSA exemption applies, then the employee is not entitled to overtime pay under R.C. 4111.03(A).

Exemptions are narrowly construed against the employer. The employer must demonstrate by clear and affirmative evidence that the employee is covered by the exemption.  Because there is a presumption of non-exemption, the exemption is applied only in “‘those circumstances plainly and unmistakably within the exemption’s terms and spirit.’” The manner in which an employee spends his time is a fact question, but the issue of whether the employee’s duties fall within an exemption is a question of law. 

As an example of a typical exemption, an individual employed as an outside salesperson who is compensated by commissions is an exempt employee. R.C. 4111.03(D)(3)(d). However, an employee cannot be considered an outside salesperson unless, in performing his/her job duties, he/she is “customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.”

To successfully maintain an action for overtime under the FLSA, a plaintiff has the burden of establishing all of the following: 1) that plaintiff was non-exempt under R.C. §4111.03(A); 2) that plaintiff has in fact performed work for which he/she was improperly compensated; and 3) that the defendant employer had actual or constructive knowledge that plaintiff was working overtime hours.

Unless this “three-pronged” requirement is met, a plaintiff fails to meet his/her burden under the FLSA to maintain an overtime claim.  An employee must present sufficient evidence to establish that he/she in fact worked overtime hours and evidence that the employer had actual or constructive knowledge of any overtime.

The recent trend of pursuing claims for overtime has gained momentum because attorneys are keenly aware that in addition to actual damages for failure to compensate an employee for overtime hours, reasonable attorney fees can be awarded.  From a financial standpoint, this makes these cases attractive to those representing employees and often results in settlement to avoid large attorney fee awards.        

For more on your rights and obligations as an employer, please contact Jack for guidance and assistance. Visit Jack Malkin Attorney or call (216) 751-7708.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Open Coaching Call

Due to an emergency our previously scheduled guest will be rescheduled. Instead, we will be conducting an open coaching call. Bring your business issues and questions to this conversation, on Monday, March 10 at 1:00 pm ET on  Accelerate Your Business Growth radio show. We'll talk about all kinds of things. From sales to planning to social media to structure - bring it on!

Today's show is sponsored by Shann Vander Leek. If you're wanting to step up the professionalism of your virtual events, radio shows, book trailers or podcasts, hire Shann Vander Leek. Shann is the announcer for Accelerate Your Business Growth. She specializes in upleveling audio for clients world-wide. Visit and click on the VOICE button for testimonials and samples of Shann's voice over projects.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Plan Your Biz On One Sheet of Paper

Join me and my guest, strategic planning expert, Laura Posey, Chief Instigator at Dancing Elephants Achievement Group, on Monday, February 24th 1pm ET on  Accelerate Your Business Growth radio show,  as we talk  talk about "How To Plan Your Entire Year On One Sheet Of Paper."

It has been said that if you fail to plan... you plan to fail. In a famous college study, it was found that the 3% of people who wrote down their goals and planned how to achieve them earned more than the other 97% combined.

Laura Posey is an author, speaker and consultant for companies around the world on sales and marketing that attracts clients. She is co- author of "Six Secrets of Sales Magnets" and the soon to be available "Sales Magnetism: The Ethical Salesperson's Guide To Success." As a past top sales and management performer for a Fortune 100 company and owner of four successful small businesses, Laura knows sales.

Today's show is sponsored by Empower Excellence and Shann Vander Leek. EMPOWER Excellence of Westlake, Ohio, helps your company improve the financial wellness of your employees AND your business. 
Visit to learn more.
If you're wanting to step up the professionalism of your virtual events, radio shows, book trailers or podcasts, hire Shann Vander Leek to provide professional voiceover work. Visit and click on the VOICE button for testimonials and samples of Shann's voice over projects.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to Take a Customer from Hell to Heaven in 60 Seconds Or Less

Enjoy this guest post by John Tschohl
President, Service Quality Institute

Every company makes mistakes that could make them lose customers. I don’t care what business you are in, something will go wrong.
But the smart companies know how to recover a customer and turn them into loyal customers for life.
However, less than 2 percent of companies use service recovery techniques. That’s really bad. All companies make mistakes. All companies have things go wrong.  Many companies and most employees run for cover instead of solving the problem.
The problems are only getting worse thanks to social media. If customers aren’t happy, they’ll post the problem on Twitter and Facebook. They’ll do it fast. Then you’ll have a massive public relations problem that will take time, effort and money to fix.
Instead of handling problems quickly and efficiently, most employees pass the buck or lie!
That’s because people don’t like confrontation. Instead of saying they messed up, they might say the product was shipped.
Companies spend a fortune on marketing. But they don’t spend a dime teaching front-line employees to keep the customer from defecting.
Wouldn’t it be better to spend that money on training employees to handle problems in the first place?
The most important person is the person who has direct contact with the customer. Unhappy customers won’t call the company president. They will talk to whoever is in the store or who answers the phone. Those people need to follow the 5 Golden Rules of Customer Retention:
  1. Apologize and offer a better option. For example, you might offer expedited delivery at the company’s expense.
  2. Act quickly. You must respond to the complaint within 60 seconds. That’s when the magic happens.
  3. Take responsibility. Most employees shovel the problem off and blame everyone else. Customers know when they are being passed along the chain and they don’t like it.
  4. Empower employees to make a fast decision. Each front-line employee should be able to take action quickly. They shouldn’t have to ask for managers to get an approval or pass the buck to them. Take action.
  5. Give away something that has high value and low cost. Customers will be pleasantly surprised and delighted with your company if you not only make things right, but make things better. For example, let’s say a customer calls to complain about a new computer that has a hard drive crash in the first month. In addition to solving the problem, you might offer an extended warranty. It costs the company nothing but it has a high perceived value to the customer.
While I find it hard to find examples of companies doing this well, here are two companies that stand out from the pack:
·         Outback Steakhouse:  If there is any kind of a problem, they immediately take care of it. I once had a dirty knife with water stains. I only wanted a new knife. The waiter apologized and brought me a new knife. The manager also came over to apologize. He also offered me a free dessert that cost about eight dollars. The dessert might have cost him only a dollar but it meant everything to me. Now I tell thousands of people about my positive experience.
·         Red Box: I recently ordered a DVD movie but it wouldn’t play on my TV. I called them and quickly realized that I ordered the Blue Ray version by mistake. Blue Ray doesn’t work on my TV. Even though it was my mistake, they offered me two free rentals. What’s the cost two DVD rentals to them? Nothing. They turned me into a customer for life!
Very few firms understand that.
Companies should spend some of their money on customers. Customer retention is all about creating loyalty and a fan base. Customers will come back on more often. Their loyalty is greater when they have experienced service recovery.
That’s how you can take a customer from hell to heaven. 
John Tschohl - described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru and service strategist - presents strategic keynote speeches to companies worldwide.  He is the author of "Loyal for Life." Contact him at or

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Time Is On Your Side

Time management is a HUGE topic these days. Just about everyone struggles with it. I submit that the problem starts with how we view our responsibilities. I think we see the things we are hoping to accomplish as so big we are instantly overwhelmed. Okay, that's how we see things. The good news is that this is easy to change.

Seeing things large? Break them down. Let's explore 3 aspects of time management.
1. Priorities:
Everything can't be a priority. Or should I say, urgent. While there may be a lot of things that you want to accomplish, you can't do them all at once. And, trying to tackle them all at once contributes to your feelings of overwhelm.
a. Pick 3 (at most)
Look at all of the things you want to get done and pick 3 of them. Put the rest in the 'parking lot,' to be tackled later.
b. Break each priority into smaller steps. The smaller you can make the steps, the easier they are to accomplish. Get to start and go from there. Don't focus on the end.
c. Eliminate time suckers. Take a look at how you spend your time. Are there tasks you do that take up a lot of time; possibly more time than necessary. An example of this would be email. You don't have to check your email all day long. You don't even have to check it first thing in the day. Pick a time to check it around mid-morning, and another late afternoon.
2. Schedule
a. Put those small steps on your calendar. Stick them into open space in 30 minute increments. Just as smaller steps are easier, shorter periods of time are usually easier.
b. Create a visual representation of your progress and post it on the wall. Being able to see your progress in color makes it more real and compelling.
3. Communicate
a. One of the most important points of time management is having a monitoring system. This system keeps track of what is working, what isn't, and whether progress is being made. The answers are then communicated to all interested parties. Anyone who has an impact on the success of a company's priorities must be kept in the loop.
b. As speaking of keeping people in the loop, communicating outcomes and ideas is equally important. Even if you are a solopreneur you should be engaging in communication of these important aspects of business growth. Find someone - a coach, an accountability partner, a colleague, a friend - and have conversations with them about how things are going.
All of these ideas can keep you on track toward your business goals. They work together. Implement them and then keep track of them. Don't be afraid to tweak them if you find something that works really well or things that don't work at all. Figure out what works for you, your personality, and your business. You'll find that time really is on your side.

Copyright© 2014 Seize This Day Coaching