Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Posts Tagged ‘Business’

How to find more customer through word of mouth

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Would you like me to recommend a training company?

Okay, I can do that, I’m familiar with about 20 different companies that I’ve had contact with over the years.

So perhaps I could recommend one.

‘Why so few’ you ask?

Because I’ve discovered over the years that most of them do not practise what they preach.

I’m thinking particularly about the training companies who run customer service and sales programmes.

They will tell you all about customer relationship building, generating word of mouth, referrals and all that good stuff.

And it is good stuff, but they don’t practise it themselves.

Word of mouth

Now I know you’re thinking that this is just grumpy Alan having a whinge because I haven’t had a call back or an email reply. And after all I’m not exactly a potential client for any of these companies.

But I do know potential clients for these companies, and I do network, and have friendships with many business people.

“Word of mouth” is an extremely powerful way to find new customers or clients. (And it’s also a powerful way to lose them)

If you want positive word of mouth, then you have to do something about it.

What about you

Think of all the organisations you’ve had contact with. How many would you recommend to other people?

Every person who contacts you or your business, whether buying or selling, could recommend you to someone else.

So it makes perfect sense to treat them all with courtesy and respect. A thank you email or a thanks but no thanks reply, will only take two minutes out of your day, and may prove invaluable.

I can think of one or two organisations who have rejected my services (hard to believe – eh) but I would still recommend them to others.

That is because of their good manners and courtesy.

Gimme a job

I was listening to a young graduate on TV this morning. He has written around 1000 job applications and received replies from about 10%.

None of them have given him any feedback. (Perhaps someone needs to tell him that his CV or application letter needs some work!)

And to finish on a positive

In 2007 when I was trying to get my first book published, I sent my proposal to every publisher I could find around the world.

Rejection, rejection, rejection! But do you know what? Many of these notes of rejection, gave me some feedback or recommended another publisher I could approach.

Eventually How to Books said they would at least talk to me, and three books later…..

If you want to find more clients, and make more sales, then every connection counts.

So, do you want me to recommend a publisher?

Please sign up for my newsletter Booster Shots from the Doc

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How to Be More Productive and Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities by Using the ‘Eisenhower Box’ 

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I like this – anything to maximise the time we have.

Eisenhower had an incredible ability to sustain his productivity not just for weeks or months, but for decades. And for that reason, it is no surprise that his methods for time management, task management, and productivity have been studied by many people.

Source: How to Be More Productive and Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities by Using the ‘Eisenhower Box’ | James Clear

More Sales in Singapore in 2014

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I’m really looking forward to running new sales training workshops for a client in Singapore in Q1 of 2014.DSCF2017

Also, I’ll be running another new workshop:

How Managers Use The JAB Method To Drive Performance

I just love being in Singapore, and when I do some work there,  it’s even better!

If your sales or sales management team would like to learn some new skills or refresh some old ones; please get in touch and we can have a chat.

Send me an email and we can set up Skype or Viber or phone call.

alan@themotivationdoctor.com

+63 917 517 5191

Or contact my friends in Singapore at d’Oz International.images

7500A Beach Road, The Plaza
#08-317, Singapore 199591

http://www.d-oz.com/

 

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How Not To Waste Your Management Time

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FocusLet me ask you a simple question; what do you believe a manager’s job is all about? What is it that managers do on a day to day basis?

Now, if you’re a manager, or you probably work for one, then you’d almost certainly be able to list a whole range of actions and activities. They might include: interviewing, solving problems, dealing with customers, planning, report writing, analysing data, dealing with complaints and hopefully, leading and motivating the people who report to them.

Many managers seem to believe that, over and above these activities, the prime function of their job is to identify weaknesses in members of their team, and resolve them. In other words, they relentlessly focus on the negative aspects of an employee’s job. They do this, at worst, by criticising, and reprimanding or, at best, by coaching or training.

Too much focus on the negative

I am aware of managers that spend a great deal of their time exploring an employee’s performance looking for some perceived fault or aspect that could be improved. Parents often focus on the negative aspects of a child’s school report rather than the positive.

Too many managers are spending too much time trying to change people.

They seem to believe that if they train people, tell them what to do or even threaten them with disciplinary action or the sack, then they can get them to change.

The successful manager concentrates on developing the strengths of their team members, not trying to correct their weaknesses.

Sometimes you have to manage around a weakness, but you can’t make people what they’re not.

I’m just not musical

When I was a teenager, my father sent me for piano lessons for about three years. He was determined that I would learn to play the piano. To this day I cannot play a note. I realise now, as an adult, that I am just not musical.

Strange as it may seem, I’m not particularly interested in music. My CD collection consists of about 6 CD’s which I rarely listen to. If I had attended piano lessons for even more years then I’m sure I could have become competent. However, I would never be any good at playing the piano.

Don’t waste your time

It’s a waste of time trying to correct weaknesses that can’t be sorted. Some people just can’t build relationships with customers, others can’t work as fast as you need them to, others can’t write a report to save their life, (and ‘certain other people’ will never be able to play the piano)

Build strengths

Your most productive time as a manager will be spent focussing on strengths and how to develop these further.

If you give people feedback on what they do well; then it is often the case that there is an improvement in what they don’t do so well.

By focussing on the positives, they feel more motivated to improve the negative aspects of their performance.

So there you have it; whether in your business or personal life, focus on the positive aspects of other people, not on the negatives.

Remember: People have one thing in common; they are all different.

 

7 Ways To Be a Powerful Persuader

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I’ll always remember the first sales course I ever attended and the definition of selling that was drummed into my business couple dealbrain.

‘Selling is the art of creating a desire in the mind of a buyer and satisfying that desire so that buyer and seller benefit.’

Now that may seem a bit old fashioned for many of today’s salespeople, but I believe the principle still holds true particularly if we’re attempting to persuade another person; be it a member of our team, a colleague or a customer.

Change the mindset

If you’re going to persuade someone to change their behavior, their viewpoint, their attitude any other aspect of their business or personal life, then you’re talking about changing a mindset.

If anyone is going to change their mindset then they need to envisage benefits for them that outweigh their present circumstances or situation.

If you’re the person doing the persuading, then you need the following skills, qualities and characteristics which make you believable and credible.

1. Belief

Successful persuaders believe in themselves and what they’re talking about. After all, if you don’t believe in what you’re saying, how do you expect anyone else to?

2. Enthusiasm

I’ve known people who totally believe in what they’re saying but fail to communicate with any enthusiasm or passion. Many people find difficulty with this.

If you want to persuade someone, you’d better find a way to get enthusiastic about it.

3. Knowledge

You must know what you’re talking about, so make sure you have all the information, facts, figures and statistics to make your case.

4. Empathy

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What do you think is important to them? Consider carefully why they should accept what you’re saying.

If someone is frightened of flying, then there’s no point in telling them not to be silly and to stop behaving like a baby. You need to think about how you might feel in these circumstances and what might persuade you to change your mind; you need to outweigh the fear with benefits relevant to the individual.

5. Persistence

If you want to persuade someone, don’t give up on the first ‘no’ or rejection of what you say. Persist and persist – but do it nicely!

People wont necessarily react in a negative way to your persistence when they realise you really believe what you’re saying.

There’s a fine line between being persistent and being a nuisance.

Watch the other person’s reactions and if it looks like you’re persisting too much – stop!

6. Energy

Put energy into all your interactions with other people. Energy fuels enthusiasm; we are persuaded by people with energy.

Many TV presenters use their energy to sell us their ideas. Think of the celebrity chefs on TV persuading us to produce fabulous meals or other presenters who get us all excited about re-modelling our homes or gardens.

7. Consistency

Everything you do or say is important, everything counts. If you want to be a powerful persuader then you must be consistent. If you’re trying to persuade someone to keep their promises, then you must always keep yours.

If you say, ‘I’ll phone you back in ten minutes,’ then phone them back in nine minutes.

Conclusion

To be a powerful persuader you need many skills, qualities and characteristics. Even with them all in place, there is still no guarantee of success.

However:

People are more likely to be persuaded by people they trust, they like and have a good relationship with.

Sell yourself and change a mindset.

Excerpt from How to Manage Difficult People How to Manage Difficult People

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3 Steps to Effective Cross-Cultural Communication

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Let me tell you a quick story. Some years ago when I first visited South East Asia as a Professional Speaker, I was Two businessmen in suits shaking hands and smiling.somewhat apprehensive about how I well I would communicate with people from totally different cultures. After all, I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. It was even a challenge at times, to communicate with people 150 miles away in Aberdeen, whose culture was slightly different from mine. So how would I communicate with people on the other side of the world?

I needn’t have been concerned because the people I met and spoke to in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia were much closer to me, in communication, than I had anticipated.

We need to understand the world

In this global economy, we all have to interact with suppliers, vendors and our counterparts in other cultures. Our effectiveness as cross-cultural communicators will be determined partly, by our knowledge of other cultures. Knowledge of food, art, fashion, behavior, customs, language and religion; all of this will stand us in good stead when we communicate with others. This knowledge can be gathered from books and other media; also from closely listening to and observing the people that we interact with.

We are all human

More importantly, our effectiveness as cross-cultural communicators will be determined by our emotional intelligence and human qualities.

Many business people seem to forget that when dealing with other people, they are dealing with human beings. Whatever culture these people have been raised and reside in, they still display human characteristics such as happiness, sadness, confidence, insecurities, desire for acknowledgement and acceptance of others. They experience anger and frustration, jealousy, fear of rejection, laziness and much more.

As humans, we are predominantly driven by our emotions when making decisions; whether to buy product or service or to accept what other people say.

When dealing with others, people will allow their emotions, rather than logic, to influence them.

Step 1 – Communicate on a Human and Business level.

When you work with suppliers, vendors, staff and customers; communication happens on two levels – the Human level and the Business Level. It is always better to open any interaction, be it written or verbal, on the Human Level before doing any business. This satisfies the individual’s need for acknowledgement, courteous treatment and acceptance of their viewpoints.

This does not mean that every time you interact with a supplier, a colleague or a customer, that you launch into some personal discussion. Opening on a Human Level can only take a couple of words, however, they have to be genuine.

The Business Level is about work related issues. If you interact with other people only on the Business Level, their needs on the Human Level will not be met and may get in the way of their ability to understand and respond positively to what you say.

When other people are angry or upset, they will demonstrate strong feelings. It is important to address these feeling on a Human Level or the business aspect may be disrupted and conflict will be created. You need to deal with the other person’s feelings, and then deal with their problem. When the business part of the interaction is completed, it is important to end on the Human Level

Step 2 – Get people to like you

Much of our success in cross-cultural communication will be determined by our ability to sell ourselves to others. Whether in our personal or working lives; people will judge us by what we say and what we do.

More importantly, this will be influenced by how likable we are. Likability is about being human; it’s about displaying warmth.

Warren Buffet, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, sometimes acclaimed as the world’s greatest investor, once said:

‘I’ve walked away from some great deals because I didn’t like the people I was dealing with.’

Likability in people will also be measured by their ability to really listen and be interested in others. Likable people use your name and look as if they care. We like people who have something positive to say and don’t whinge!

Likable people empathize with our problems and accept that we may have a different view of the world from them. Likability is demonstrated by a genuine smile, good eye contact, a sense of humor and relaxed open body language.

Step 3 – Be a credible communicator

When communicating with other people, and particularly when you’re trying to persuade them, the key ingredients are credibility and believability. Your credibility will be determined by the verbal, vocal and visual elements of your message.

If the words you say aren’t confirmed by your tone of voice and how you look, you won’t be believed. People will evaluate you (an average of 11 decisions within the first six seconds) based primarily on non-verbal information. We all tend to make snap judgements about other people, and often make mistakes – we stereotype.

So don’t fall into this trap when you meet other people, or speak to them on the phone. Also, be very aware, they will make decisions about you based on your tone of voice and body language.

Low self-esteem and self-image affect body language and tone of voice. People tend to make movements and display posture which indicates a lack of confidence. The people you communicate with, will sense from your tone of voice whether you are confident and believe in what you say.

If you don’t feel confident in a particular situation, act or pretend to be confident. Walk into a room as if you own the place. Pick up the phone and speak in a clear, confident and distinct manner.

You confidence and credibility will be determined by the self-talk that goes on inside your head.

Listen to that self-talk and ask yourself – ‘Is what I’m saying allowing me to be confident, positive and credible?’ If so – great! ‘Or is it holding me back and stopping me achieve my goals?’ If this is the case – STOP IT, change the program!

By talking to yourself in a positive manner, you’ll start to feel physically better; you’ll look better, sound more confident and credible. Words have an enormous power to create change in the chemistry of your body. Your heart rate, blood pressure, muscles, nerves and breathing will all react to the words you say to yourself and this will evident to other people.

‘Who you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Make no mistake about it, if you build your knowledge of other cultures and couple that with these 3 Steps, you will become an even more effective cross-cultural communicator.

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How to get More Sales by Motivating Your Team

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Is Your Business We Focused or You Focused?

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What does it say on your website or promotional literature?Fotolia_601680_S

I was looking at some promotional literature and web sites the other day and it was interesting to note the number of times the words – ‘We’ and ‘Our’ was used in this material.

Lots of statements such as:

  • ‘We are a leading supplier of__’
  • ‘Our products do__’
  • ‘We research__’
  • ‘We have 50 years experience__’

Very rarely did I read anything that stated what these businesses did for the customer.

They were all features rich and benefits poor.

It’s not enough to tell the world how clever you are and expect them to work out how they might be able to use your product or service.

You’ve got to tell potential customers how your products or your skills and expertise bring benefits to them. Benefits such as – saving time, saving money, or making their life easier.

There needs to a lot more use of the word ‘you’ or ‘your.’

Use statements such as:

  • ‘You will save x amount of money due to the research we do__’
  • ‘Your business will reduce downtime by y amount due to what we do__’
  • ‘You will feel confident in our service due to our 50 years experience__’

Of course it goes without saying that you need evidence to back up these statements.

Think about yourself as a customer and how impressed you are with statements such as:

  • ‘We provide a quality service’
  • ‘Our company has been in business since 1832’
  • ‘We work closely with our customers’

Have a look at your promotional leaflets or your website and check if the wording is we focussed or you focussed.

 

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Developing Emotionally Intelligent Hotel Staff – New Seminar

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Dump the Jargon

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Do you know what can really embarrass a customer? Or make them feel stupid? Or just fail to help them understand? blahAnd I mean an internal as well as an external customer.

Jargon will cause all of the above to happen. And you certainly don’t want that if you want customers to use your product or service, keep coming back and recommend your business to other people. Or have happy staff and colleagues.

When you use technical terms, buzz words or acronyms, the other person may not understand. They may also feel that you are talking down to them; this makes them feel patronised and uncomfortable.

Any forms of jargon are best avoided.

Every organisation has its jargon, and yet when I ask people in a seminar to give me examples of jargon in their business, they really struggle to come up with something. And the reason for that is – they don’t know they’re using jargon!

Here are some examples of workplace jargon:

  • Land and expand
  • Blue-sky thinking
  • Think outside the box
  • The helicopter view
  • Get our ducks in a row
  • Drink our own champagne
  • End-user perspective
  • Pushing the envelope
  • Moving forward
  • Boil the ocean
  • Heavy lifting
  • Face time
  • Hammer it out
  • Cubicle farm
  • Pick the low hanging fruit

(If you want to know what any of these mean, just drop me a line)

And this list doesn’t contain any acronyms that are often used.

I do a lot of work with a large telecommunications company. Every time we have a coffee break, the participants get together and talk about work stuff. I’ve listened in on these conversations and I haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. They will say thinks like – ‘We need to do an AB1 to get a 465, and then we’ll do woppow to pull the DD12 through.’

Okay, so it’s not exactly like that, but it sounds a lot like that to me. I just hope the customers are never on the end of this!

Am I stoopid or something?

I was in the bank the other day depositing a cheque from a grateful client. The lady behind the counter took the cheque and the pay in slip and said something to me that I didn’t understand.

I said – ‘I’m sorry I don’t understand’ and she repeated herself five times before I got it.

What she was saying was – ‘This will be late for clearing.’

Now I know you’re reading this and thinking that it makes perfect sense to you.

But this lady was softly spoken and not very distinct. And because I didn’t understand the jargon, I had to ask her to repeat herself five times.

She kept saying the same thing, and didn’t seem to be able to translate it into everyday language.

She could have said something like – ‘This amount won’t be available to withdraw from your account until Monday.’ Or, ‘It will be three days before this money will available to you.’ Or something like that.

But repeating the same thing over and over again was not helpful or good for customer service.

It was slightly embarrassing for me and made me feel a bit more stupid than I really am.

Remember, every business and every industry has its own jargon; so, you’ll need to know not just general slang but also the industry specific jargon in your organisation.

So, make sure when communicating with other people, you dump the jargon and KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid!

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