Posts Tagged ‘success’

The Logic of Humor as a Business Tool By Norm Barnhart

May 4, 2010

Does humor have some logical and tangible positive effects on the creative state of mind? Is there a connection between success and your attitude resulting from humor in the workplace? Let’s look at this logical and analytical manner.

Experts say that children laugh or smile an average of 400 times a day. Adults laugh or smile an average of 15 times a day. Adults are missing out on 385 laughs or smiles each day! Does this lack of laughter have a side effect? Is it good to deprive ourselves of the joy that comes from laughter? Can we have greater success in problem solving through humor?

Don’t miss out on the laughter its benefits. Cultivate your sense of humor and see the resulting success in creative solutions to problems and challenges.

Laughter can make us creative because it works out a part of the brain that enjoys discovering the unexpected. A punch line in a joke is unexpected and it triggers a reaction in the creative part of the brain that says, “ah-hah!” The more we enjoy the unexpected side of life the more we will exercise our ability to become aware of different ways to look at situations.

Looking at things from different angles is the root of creativity. Develop this gift you already have and you will make yourself an invaluable part of any team. You will be the idea person who helps the organization come up with productive solutions.

One of the humor’s biggest benefits is the ability to laugh at our failures.  Failure is a secret key to success. Thomas Edison “failed” many times as he attempted to make a practical light bulb.  He did not look at them as failures, but he felt that he was discovering thousands of ways to not make a light bulb.

Babe Ruth swung and missed many times and yet the more he swung and tried, the more often he put one out of the park! You may strike out many times, but the more you try the more successful results will come.

Humor Combats Stress

Studies have shown that people are better able to handle stress and discomfort while listening to humorous recordings than those who listened cds of non-fiction information or silence or even relaxation tapes. Laughter and comedy can break us free of stress and release the creativity in our minds. This creativity is also the problem solving and solution finding part of the mind. This is what can make us invaluable to our place of work and that is a huge factor in our success in the workplace.

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

No Script Required – Listening Skills

March 11, 2010

An essential tool for success is the ability to listen and understand.

With co-workers and associates we can save a lot of time by getting things right the first time. Listening to understand and be understood is a valuable time saver. Having keen listening skills helps in so many ways.

In sales, listening to the customer provides us with keys to what they are looking for in a product and service and this helps us to adapt our presentation or to bring out the services that our company offers to help fit their needs.  When we act as a consultant, ask questions and listen, we can give superior service and get the sale.

Shakespeare said, “all the world is a stage and we are merely players”.  On stage the actors have the benefit of a script and simply follow their lines. In real life we have no script.  We are all improvisational players as we move through our daily lives. There are a few scripted moments… “How are you?” and we respond with the usual.  Or maybe we can be creative and say something besides.. “fine.”

We can learn many helpful tools for business success from improvisation comedy teams such as Second City in Chicago. Night after night these performers are thrown into situations that they would never expect to be in and they play off what they are given. Someone in the audience may be asked to give a location for the next skit. Amazing places can be tossed out and the actors must be ready to jump forward with whatever is given. Someone may say, you are astronauts on Mars or pastry chefs on a cruise ship or 4th graders in gym class.

The key to the actor’s success is that they jump into it with courage and confidence and then let the story unwind. They react to each other and the situation. No script is available and none is required – just like life.

So he key to their success is listening to the other actors on stage. If one says, “I think I grabbed the wrong space suit.” The story will move forward in a comical way if another actor builds on that line and adds, “yeah, I must have yours as it is giving me an sub – atomic wedgie!”  Consider if the second actor did not focus, listen and respond to what the first said, he might say, “yes and doesn’t the earth look pretty from here.” He just took the scene in another direction and the audience would be confused and less amused.

In real life we need to make a conscious choice to really listen and respond to associates and clients. We must focus attention fully on others and not on what we want to say next.

This focus will lead to better understanding and less misunderstanding. Most importantly, people will feel that we genuinely care.  One of the best ways that we can show that we genuinely care is by giving our undivided attention to others by listening when they speak.

It is easier said than done, but this is a skill that can be developed by practice. Try it each time you are with someone today. Practice makes better.

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.