Create Great Experiences & They Will Come Back

Last week I took my family to try a new pizza place by our house – Blaze Pizza. When we went to pay, the cashier told us that the man at the back of the line was covering our meal and the other family in line as well. I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted and so we thanked him for his kindness. Then as I waited for our pizza I talked to our generous new friend and he shared one of the best marketing ideas I have ever heard. He is friends with the franchisee who owns the restaurant and his friend often sends him gift cards to his restaurant and asks him when he comes to buy lunch or dinner for everyone in line. The owners philosophy is, ‘if you create great experiences they will talk about it to others and they will come back.” He’s
Continue Reading

All Excuses Are Equal

Over 10 years ago we were a couple weeks away from our first child being born. I was busy growing our business and Sarah was getting everything ready at home. I started the process of recruiting a new sales rep. We had a great discussion and he seemed like this could be a good fit. The next day Sarah went into labor early and our daughter was born. The whirlwind of our first baby took over. We were at the hospital making sure mother and baby were great. Then we brought her home and were trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. It took me more than a week to get back to the sales rep I was trying to recruit. I told him that we had a baby and I was sorry for the gap in our conversations and then he very honestly said,
Continue Reading

3 Types of Influence

Whether it’s at home, at work, at play, or anywhere in between, our influence on those around us will fall into three categories: Situational Influence – People follow you because they have to. Position and authority most often determine this kind of influence. A political leader, for example, or a CEO, or a school teacher, or a traffic cop. This is the most common type of influence, based on position, title and authority. It is influence bequeathed, not personally earned, and exercising it can be done lazily because following is not a choice. When people are forced or compelled to follow you in a particular situation, the most you will ever get out of them is compliance. And as Dondi Scumaci likes to say, “Compliance will never take you where commitment can go.” If you are an influencer who has a position of authority, step back and ask yourself this
Continue Reading

Stop Giving Sales Presentations (Have Sales Conversations)

  If you are teaching, leading, selling or speaking, your purpose is to engage your audience. Above all, you want to grab their attention and get them involved. Your prospect, client, customer, employee, team member, or student has to be engaged or they won’t buy your product, act on your idea or implement your plan. Without engagement, there is no influence. In the spirit of engagement, I believe that we should move from giving sales presentations to having sales conversations. There’s a huge difference between the two. A sales presentation, by definition, is a monologue, while a sales conversation is a dialogue—it involves both parties and the emphasis is on the buyer, not the seller. I know we have all done this before. We give a sales presentation (a monologue) and then at the end we ask, “Do you have any questions?” There is nothing about that model that makes it about the audience; nothing that makes them part
Continue Reading

7 Reasons Talented People Stay

Building a thriving business is more than having a great product or unique service. The great differentiator in today’s world is your people. So finding talented people is important but keeping talented people is crucial. Talented people will always have opportunities- so how do you get them to stay? Talented employees stay because they are: 1. Paid Well 2. Appreciated 3. Listened to 4. Promoted 5. Involved in decision making 6. Mentored 7. Challenged If you look at that list – the takeaway to me is that your leadership approach will ultimately determine whether your talented people stay or leave. Remember – Partnership is The New Leadership Save
Continue Reading

Learn to Communicate Assertively

Correct communication is key to success in any type of leadership.  But often, we run into individuals who miss the mark.   A passive communicator doesn’t speak up!  They don’t allow their voice to be heard and are often overlooked.  They leave the conversation with the mindset “You’re ok, I’m not.”   An aggressive communicator will dominate communication, using body language, loud speech and intimidation to steer a conversation to suit their needs. They leave the conversation with the mindset “I’m ok, you’re not.”   Assertive communication is what we are aiming for.  An assertive communicator makes sure their voice is heard, but also all the other voices around them. They set the tone of open communication, creating a relaxing environment where real work can be accomplished. They leave the conversation with the mindset “You’re ok, I’m ok.” What’s your communication style? Passive communication often leaves us feeling unheard &
Continue Reading

4 Steps to Effective Networking

 Step 1. – Focus on the 1 you are talking to. Don’t look around the room or be distracted by your phone. Focus only on the 1 person in front of you. Step 2 – Follow the rule of 2. In an effort to make the conversation about them & not about you. Anytime they share something about themselves, ask 2 questions before you share anything about yourself.   Step 3 – Say their name 3 times. This will help you remember their name, so weave it into the conversation 3 times.   Step 4 – Do something 4 them. Find a way to connect them to someone, share an article or book they would enjoy – find a simple way to do something 4 them.
Continue Reading

Are You A Leader Who Enables or Empowers?

I believe the most important leadership role anyone has in this life is that of a parent. As a parent my ultimate goal is to raise productive, self-sufficient adults, who go on to achieve and contribute more to the world than I do. If you think about it, shouldn’t that be the goal of every business leader as well? Ralph Nader said, “The function of leaders is to produce other leaders not just other followers.” And that is the essence of a true leader – is one who not only inspires followers but empowers them to go on to be great leaders. So how do we do that? Well, let’s think about it from a parents perspective and there are three simple strategies that I think move us away from enabling and into the empowerment process. #1. Allow For Collaboration in Decision Making As a parent you need to let
Continue Reading

Four Reasons Leaders Are Readers

I was recently in the CEO’s office of a billion dollar company and on his desk were a stack of books. I asked him what he was reading and with excitement he grabbed a book and told me all about it. Then on a plane ride home, I was seated next to the Vice President of an international business and we discussed the book she was reading and her favorites she had read recently. As we are talking she said a phrase that I have heard over the years – Leaders are readers. I have also heard it said – Earners are learners. Regardless of how you say it, I have found that a great habit of the highly successful is that they are always reading and growing. There are four main reasons that leaders are readers. 1. Leaders read for Enlightenment. Books can be an amazing source of wisdom,
Continue Reading

Choose Your Words Wisely

Have you ever thought about the connotations of the words you use? Words have an innate power. Words sell and words repel. Words lead and words impede. Words heal and words kill. When I lived in Portugal and learned to speak Portuguese, the leader or our mission made a rule that we couldn’t use the word “Dificil” which means difficult. Instead he had us use the word “desefiador” which means challenging. At the time I didn’t think much about it but now I realize the genius in it. When things are difficult you feel defeated, but a challenge is something you step up to meet. The connotation of those words changed our mindset. In my house we don’t say, “I can’t” It’s a simple thing but I don’t want my kids to mentally stop themselves when they have the capacity to do it. I don’t want to allow myself to
Continue Reading