Posts Tagged ‘business’

Service is the Key

October 17, 2013

It comes down to one thing. Customer service.

 

Products may seem similar, but the way a client feels is the top priority in the end. Businesses need to treat customers as friends. This simple thing sets one business apart from another.

A store or restaurant that offers a friendly hello when a customer comes in the door has started a relationship that could mean that customer comes back again and again.

We need to care about those we serve.  We need to offer them the best in quality merchandise or services and present it with a kind and courteous style.

We need to treat others as we would like to be treated.  Pretty basic, but difficult in this day of over stretched budgets and workloads.  All else does not matter if we cannot be kind and helpful.

 

Strive for excellence in service and the rest will work out.

 

 

 

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Like it or not – We Must Take Risks

June 29, 2010

Business is all about risk taking. We can dream up an idea for a product or service, but when it comes to implementing it the risk taking begins.

Investing money in the start up and deciding where and how to advertise all involves risk.  The best we can do is to research the options and make an informed decision based on that knowledge.

Ways to lower the risk.

A very important thing that many businesses forget to do is to find a way to track their successes.  We need to ask customers how they heard about us and that will help us discover  what methods of advertising are working best.

It is important to place response cues within the advertisement that will let us know which ad motivated the purchase or the call for more information.  This call to action will possibly involve a free sample, a coupon, a bonus if you act now.  This way we can track the ads success in bringing new clients.

In direct sales and cold calling we still want to keep track of the response rate and discover how to improve our presentations by surveying the clients on their feelings about the way the product or service was presented.

Brainstorm to find creative ways to reach new clients, but track the process so you can build on this success and improve your outreach.

Humor in the Workplace – Encouraging Communication

April 25, 2010

Humor Encourages Communication

Laughter helps people get closer and to connect and bond. When we laugh together we find common ground and this builds a positive work environment.

When we can poke fun at ourselves, we can make ourselves more enduring to others with self effacing humor. It helps us avoid looking arrogant or proud and we can be seen as down to earth.

In a difficult situation a bit of humor directed at ourselves can be a non-threatening way help work through a difficult situation. Humor can keep a problem or situation from intensifying and release pressure. A bit of humor can be like lifting a lid off a boiling pot and give a quick break so that the heat can be turned down and a positive solution discovered.

An example of using humor to ask others for patience is the frazzled secretary who posts the sign: “I have only two speeds, and if this one isn’t fast enough then I’m sure you’re not going to like my other.” Another is the somewhat scattered boss who places a note on his messy desk that says, “A Creative Mess is better than Tidy Idleness.” The message is clear, yet it is done with a light and playful way that is less stressful. The secretary uses a sign to poke fun at the situation she is facing daily, and the boss’s note pokes some fun at himself.

Humor in the workplace can help build a team and this is a positive benefit for any business.

10 Business Success Secrets – Part 1

April 5, 2010

By Norm Barnhart

Your mind is a big factor in your success in business. How you think can have a huge impact on this success.  Check out the following areas and see if there are ways to look at things differently or ways you can improve your results through creative solutions.

Purpose
What is your purpose for being in business? Many think that the purpose I to make some money. But if profit is the only goal the long term results can be very poor. You goal needs to be creatively getting and keeping customers. Excellence in service can keep customers and bring more in through referrals. Brian Tracy a business researcher, author and trainer says that, “Fully 50 percent of your time, efforts, and expenses should be focused on creating and keeping customers in some way.”  The benefit to your business long term comes from finding ways to innovate in the way you serve and help people.

Satisfaction
The way to measure your success is with customer satisfaction. Your ability to really satisfy your customer’s needs and wants is very important. If you can give them more than they expect and really shine with service, they will tell their friends and come back again and again. This is the key to your businesses growth and long term success.  Oh yes, and here is where your profits come in. Everyone wins.

The Value of Value

If we can add value to the customer’s experience they will see the value and return. Be on the lookout for creative ways to add value to what you do.
The Most Valuable Resource to you – The Customer!
It is said, “the Customer is King!” This royal treatment of your honored customers is job one.  Some customers can be difficult or challenging, demanding or disloyal. But we need them to maintain our businesses so we need to creatively look for ways that and our excellence in service can turn around difficult situations. Our main goal should be to creatively find ways to keep customers in a positive place where they are excited about doing business with us.

The Magic Word
The word is Contribution! Brian Tracy says that, “In life, work, and business, you will always be rewarded in direct proportion to the value of your contribution to others, as they see it.”  What can you contribute to the community, customer or to others within your own business.  Make yourself a valuable part of every field by what you contribute. In a meeting when you contribute creative ideas, you will find that you are looked to for solutions and this makes you valuable to that group.

10 Creative Success Secrets – Part Two

March 29, 2010

This is the final half of an article on business success by Norm Barnhart.

The Big Question
When you come up against a problem, or need to overcome an obstacle you need to ask the big question, “How?”  As you analyze a situation, constantly ask, “How?” How can I give better service? How can I overcome this customer’s objection? The question, “How?” also is important to moving ahead and making our business better. How can I improve my skills?  How can I achieve a business goal? The most successful people are the ones who ask themselves this question and then act on the answers that come to mind.

Creative Improvement
This world has one constant thing and that is rapid change.  We need to constantly adapt. Even better than adapting is anticipating change and making a conscious effort to continually improve ourselves and our businesses. As Pat Riley, the basketball coach, said, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”  Set aside some creative time while on a plane or during commutes. Think about places in your life and business that need improvement. Creatively find solutions and set goals for implementing them.

A Success Essential
This obvious key to success is something worth taking an extra look at. Without sales a business will wither. The smart guys at Dun & Bradstreet spent a great deal of time analyzing thousands of companies that had gone broke over many years and their stunning conclusion … drum roll please… The #1 reason for business failure was … “low sales.”  Wow, these guys are brilliant!  They even went further and dug deeper and discovered that the #1 reason for business success was . . . “high sales.”  Successful people know that time and effort to improve sales is a vital key to success. We need to discover creative methods of doing marketing and sales presentations.

The Magic Number
The key number to your business is cash flow. This cash flow is as vital to your business as oxygen is to a scuba diver. It is important to keep your business running efficiently. Remember to keep an eye on your cash flow. Do not let it get cut off or your business could be done overnight.  Try to build a reserve, and keep some funds in escrow for upcoming payments to vendors.

The Big Picture
The chief goal for your business is growth.  Make sure you have a plan for growth and energetically move toward it. Your growth comes through creatively managing current clients and discovering new ones. You should have a goal for growth; 10 percent, 20 percent, or more each year. Some companies have actually grown 50 percent or more in one year and this is not a result of luck. They planned for it and got everyone on board working toward that goal. It is measurable by the amount of profits after the cost of doing business.
Get an A for Action!

Take a few moments to analyze your Growth Plan.  You should have a growth plan for the number of new leads you draw to your business, and also have a goal for how many of those potential customers become actual clients.  Write a complete growth plan for your upcoming sales, revenue, and profits.

Having a plan for growth will help you to focus on what matters and to track positive results. Make a map for the way you want to travel ahead in your business and you will see a bright future as you sail toward success.

I enjoy tailoring my presentation to help your group achieve their sales goals in creative ways.

Please check out Inspire.aces-show.biz

Randall Munson – Creative Corporate Keynote Speaker by Norm Barnhart

March 16, 2010

Keynote Spweaker Randall Munson

Randall Munson’s creative approach has made him a unique and sought after presenter in the business world.  His main work derives from his corporate motivational speaking that has taken him around the world.  Randall covers topics such as humor in the workplace and leads seminars on techniques for improving teamwork or management skills.

Randall’s presentations for corporate groups are inspirational, as he presents practical business techniques derived from his years of work in management at I.B.M. – the computer innovator.  His warm and humorous speaking style has made him a favorite in the Fortune 500.  He is in the Speaker Excellence Hall of Fame.

Randall has been the double-header presenter with such international figures as former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner as well as with the Prime Minister of Israel, and Nobel Laureate, Shimon Peres. Not surprisingly, Randall has garnered more than 80 Gold Medals in the International Speaker Olympics, an IBM Award for Excellence, and is listed in the Who’s Who of Professional Speaking. He is the first person to be honored as a Distinguished Speaker and he has been named a Certified Speaking Professional, this is an elite group of less than 7% of the professional speakers in the world. He has been selected as one of “The World’s Greatest Business Mentors.”

Randall’s messages stem from his business experience as an IBM Program Manager and an IBM Executive Advocate, who for 20 years led IBM research and development projects with management, architecture, education, and marketing responsibilities. He also held an executive position for 5 years in the Target Corporation. He is former Vice President of Administration at Crossroads College and member of the Board of Directors of Hope International University. He is the founder and president of Creatively Speaking®.

Randall shares his insights as an author or co-author of eleven books including the best seller Create the Business Breakthrough You Want. He has published numerous articles and a monthly column in an international technology magazine. His acclaimed electronic magazine, Business Magic, is read monthly by thousands of decision makers in all 50 states and more than 70 countries around the world who want to experience the magic of Randall’s creative insights, ideas and inspirations for themselves and their businesses.

Check him out at: CreativelySpeaking.com

Risk Taking & Business Success

March 6, 2010

We are a society that admires risk takers.  We cheer on the person confidently clinging to a silver brief case While Howie Mandel waits for a phone call from a banker looking down from his corner office in a high corner of the studio.

Olympian skiers fly down hills at bone crushing speed and Brett Farve fights to the finish with bruised ribs and knees.

Risk in Business

In business we are told to push the envelope, and think outside the box. The risk takers see great success as new products and businesses are launched, yet we don’t see the trash bin out back full of half baked failures.  But a willingness to face the possibility of failure is just what it takes to come up with something new and improved.

The word improve has a root word and that is improve.  If we want to see improvement we need to experiment or be improvisational.  This skill is used by teams coming up with new product ideas or brainstormers who develop creative solutions to problems. This skill is deftly used by great public speakers and leaders who seem to be able to effortlessly think of their feet.  It is a valuable skill that can be learned and applied.

Even though we cheer on risk in others, we tend to shun risk in our own lives and work.  It seems much preferable to curl up in bed and watch Cheers or Gilligan’s Island than go out into that cold cruel world each day.

There are ways to face out fears and move forward with confidence and a positive attitude.

That confidence comes from practice and experience.  There are ways to develop this skill and we can study the lives of those who had success to learn its secrets.

One basic secret is that there will be ups and downs and that we must learn from both. No one is 100% successful in each project or endeavor. Yet there will be no success unless and attempt is made. We must step out are take a risk. Sometimes we will succeed other times come close. We can also learn from those near misses.

It took Thomas Edison over 2000 attempts to make a working light bulb. He commented after another failed attempt, “We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb.”  With each attempt, he discovered something – another way that does not work.

Thomas Edison also said, “I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000 step process.”

If you would like more information about my motivational speaker and keynote presentations, check: InspireBiz.com

Keys to a Successful Trade Show

January 28, 2010

Here are more Keys to having a Successful Trade Show. By: Norm Barnhart

Key #6 Demonstrate Adaptability: Being easy going and flexible is a skill that is hard to demonstrate. You may have a few pictures or examples of how you were able to adapt and help a client.  When planning your trade show booth consider having a folder of photos or letters of reference handy to demonstrate this if needed.

Key #7 Take Good Care of Yourself.  It is tiring to be on your feet all day doing a trade show. Don’t let it stress you out. It’s fun to meet people and talk about what you can do for them. Don’t worry about it, get a good night sleep the night before and make it fun. Take breaks.  Drink lots of water, have some healthy snacks like grapes handy for your breaks.

Key #8 Collect Contact Information and Follow Up. You want to stay in touch with the client via an occasional card or e-mail. You can gather information by having a door prize when they fill out a form or give you their card. Do not just hand them a brochure or card and hope they will get back. Also be sure to take advantage of the swiping of badges and use that information to stay in touch with potential clients.

Send a friendly reminder about your service or product a week after the trade show. Write a note that says something like, “It was nice to meet you at the XYZ Show. I hope your plans are coming along good. Please call if I can be of service.” If you have collected even more information, you can personalize it even more. Do another follow-up with a flyer and note 2 weeks later.  Your interest in them and concern for their success will continue to impress them and show your good will.

Key #9 Be A Trusted Friend and Advisor. This is your goal. Consulting and advising is much more fun than “selling” something. You can show the Trade Show attendees how your skills, relationship style and personality will come alongside and blend with theirs.  Many people make decisions based on a gut feeling. Just be yourself. Be someone they would enjoy doing business with. This is all they need from you and it is the reason you do what you do. You are the expert. People enjoy being treated with special interest.

You are someone they can consult with to make their special day memorable and pleasant. You are there to help take away the worries and stress. They can see that they can trust your judgment and skills to make their wedding the special day it needs to be. What you are selling is you.  Remember, it is hard to sell, but easy to consult.

–   Norm Barnhart is a speaker and consultant at InspireBiz.com. He is a motivational keynote speaker and trainer who helps businesses excel in service and teamwork. He is from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He also takes messages about company products or services and tailors an attention grabbing trade show routine that draws people in to the booth and conveys the message in a fun and memorable way. His eye catching illusions can make trade show presentations magical.