Get Better Results from Better Decisions

A business owner wanted to grow his business. He loved inventing grandiose ideas, but failed to create sustainable infrastructures to support them. For example, he wanted to hire great customer service people and staff up his technical support team. The problem was, he was unable to setup and unwilling to follow a sustainable (and legal) selection system to find people and vet them. Instead, he would entice people from larger employers to come and work for his much smaller company, falsely believing if the person worked for that big company they would naturally succeed in his growing business. Even though he was cautioned about job fit and culture fit when hiring those people, he wouldn’t listen. He even used non-qualified assessments because they were free and supported his decisions! Six months later the people left and started their own company, taking several important clients with them.

4 Ways to Acquire Better Information to Make Better Decisions

Whether you are hiring or making other business decisions, it’s important you take the time to use the right tools, listen to others and build decisions that will positively impact your business today, and tomorrow! The easy fixes do not usually produce the best sustainable results.

Stop Overthinking. There is an old adage, talking to yourself is talking to a fool. While no one wants to think of him- or herself as a fool, the challenge is, relying on your own thoughts does not provide new and valid information. And, latching onto a new idea, without talking through the pros and cons of how it would or could work in your organization, will not produce the best results either.

Take time to learn the art of brainstorming … it will save time, money and sleepless nights! Instead of pondering an issue or problem to death in your head, brainstorm possible solutions with your team, and, at this point, don’t get stopped by any of the details. Later in the decision-making process, include those off-the-wall ideas that may have more merit when looked at closer.

Slow Down the Decision Process. We live in a world where people love to make decisions in a nano-second. Unfortunately, relying on the tiniest fragments of information is not a valid or sustainable process when making decisions. Many times people that make decisions too quickly, also change their minds just as quickly, creating chaos within their business.

Take time to talk through the pros and cons of your brainstorming session(s). Pick at least five reasons something will work before disregarding it. Investigate the legalities, financial, people, current policies and procedures, and operational impacts before making any final decisions. Yes, it will take more time upfront, but usually saves beaucoup bucks. You will have more time for fun and enjoy restful nights!

Listen to Others with Differing Opinions Before Making Final Decisions. Listening to information you may not wish to hear, or feeling it requires too much effort to learn the truth, only limits your results. Whenever poor decisions are made, the underlying issue(s) never go away!

Putting frosting on mud pie and calling it a cake doesn’t change it from a mud pie!

For example, people love using non-qualified assessment tools to hire people. These tools have great face validity but do not comply with the Department of Labor regs for pre-employment use. This means they show the results of how job candidates want to be seen and how the interviewer wants to see them. This is rarely a reflection of how the candidate will really behave, think or do their work, causing a lot of mischief once they are on the payroll.

Listen as if your business’s success depends upon your doing so … because it does!

Communicate the Outcome so that Everyone Wins. Once you’ve made the final decision, it’s important to communicate the outcome, but beware of spinning it. This will only cause the underlying issue(s) to perpetuate within your company culture — slowly but surely. Next time the same or similar issue will cost more time, more money and maybe your job or company!

You want your employees, customers, vendors and business associates to authentically feel the decisions you make are fair and you’ve followed your own company values, policies and procedures, and other important data. Doing so will build good, sustainable results so that everyone wins.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 23 years; she is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com or contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at http://SeibCo.com/contact.

Managing Remote Candidates with Less Skepticism

Many companies today are expanding their applicant pool by hiring candidates to work remotely. It’s a great way to hire hard-to-find employees with specific technical skills that do not wish to move. It’s also a great way to keep current employees that are moving. The challenge is, many times work-from-home employees need better interaction skills and work discipline to ensure a high level of work product and seamless interactions. Bosses tend to be skeptical about trusting the independent employee to get the work done and stay in communication with team members in the office.

Here are 6 keys to Lessen the Skepticism

Conduct Normal Due Diligence. When hiring a new remote person, conduct full due diligence (e.g., background checks, references and employment verification). For both the new hire and the moving employee, don’t forget to talk with current and previous bosses, co-workers, customers and vendors to ensure satisfactory interactions and work quality. For new hires, use a qualified core value assessment to ascertain someone’s level of integrity and reliability to ensure things will get done in a timely manner.

Use a Job Fit Assessment. Use a qualified assessment to clarify if the person fits the primary job duties and is capable of working alone remotely. The biggest expense that is often unrealized when taking a high-producing employee and moving them, is that the structure that supported their success will dramatically change! For example, does the person have the tech skills required to be productive?  Can the sales person close a sale by themselves? Are they willing and capable to build a new network in their new community? These are only some of the critical issues to address upfront!

Ability to Work Independently. Company expectations that the employee show up and get the work done is easier to manage in an office setting. The built-in support system to readily handle customer inquiries and concerns is easier when the person is in the cubicle next door. Often overlooked, family expectations for pet, child and elder care often falls on the stay-at-home person. Talk to them upfront about the work expectations: specific work hours, interactions with others without distractions, and the ability to accomplish the work in a timely manner.

Designated Space and Confidentiality. Have them setup a separate workspace from the main living areas of their home. The computer and equipment should be for work use only and is supplied by the company! And more importantly, remember to talk about confidentiality. Confidentiality can be easily compromised when items are left out in the open, computers are not Wi-Fi protected, and computer screens can be easily seen by others.

Keep Them in the Loop. The reality is, coworkers may resent someone working from home and forget to keep them up-to-speed. Because they are not where the action is occurring, politically they will miss out on the subtle changes and expectations. As their boss, stay in direct communication and require attendance at team meetings (via video call or their physical presence). Also, weekly one-on-one conference calls can help ensure work flow, sharing of important communication and awareness of additional training that may be required.

On-site meetings. Require attendance at on-site quarterly or bi-annual meetings. This will encourage coworkers to meet one another and develop better working relationships. It’s a great opportunity for additional team training that can be harder to achieve relying solely on e-learning.

Managing people remotely as a boss requires sharpening your listening skills and developing an ability to manage results differently. Attracting and keeping top level talent makes it well worth your time!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and executive coach for over 23 years; and along the way, guided the creation of three millionaires. She is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com or contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at http://SeibCo.com/contact.

Are You Ready to be a Manager?

Many millennials believe they are ready to take the next step up in their career and become a manager. The key question is, are you ready? To be successful, it requires the effort of both you and your boss to ensure readiness and clarity of expectations.

Preparation for the Job

Developing yourself starts before you are given the job title. Your success as a manager will rely more on people and project management skills rather than technical expertise. Start now to develop these talents by taking courses and workshops. If you really want to excel, hire yourself a coach. Additionally, get involved in industry and trade associations since they offer another great way to develop these abilities.

First 90 Days on the Job

When you become a manager, it’s important you have a straight conversation with your boss about expectations and outcomes. More importantly, listen more than talk! You may believe you understand what will be required in your new role; however, being a manager will open up many new and unfamiliar challenges. Schedule weekly conversations with your boss, or more, to ensure you’re on track.

Here are some guidelines to help you:

Clarify. Get on the same page with your boss by reviewing the expectations, job description, and top three goals. This is a critical first step. Also, clarify what can realistically be accomplished in the first 90 days—and remember, your success will depend on your ability to effectively delegate and manage the work of others.

Adjust Perspective. This is the biggest challenge. While you may believe you understand the new role and unwritten expectations, that’s rarely the case. Advancing from employee to manager is like moving from the ground floor to the top floor of a three-story apartment building. The street level provides a limited view (employee). The second floor offers a broader view (manager). And the third floor provides an even wider view (executive). Adjust your mindset by being open to expanding your thoughts and perceptions of how things should be.

Listen and Learn! Find an internal mentor to help teach you what is expected as you move up the company ladder. Company politics are part of any business culture. Hire a coach that can confidentially answer your questions and strategically help you move forward with confidence and competence.

Slow Down Any Changes. Use the first 90 days to learn the terrain. Recommending changes too quickly can create unnecessary upsets. Again, listen and learn — this time from employees, peers and customers. Get their input and build on their ideas before making any modifications. One small change can impact an entire system.

Promote Communication. It’s important for you to meet with all team members, peers and upper management — one-on-one—regardless of previous relationships—to ask questions about departments, goals, expectations and any other concerns.

Second 90 Days on the Job

Remember, You’re Still Learning! Adopting this mindset for the rest of your career will help you tremendously. The challenge for many at this point is they think they have it all handled. Remember, humility will build needed relationships, while a little ego will help you get things done. Not the other way around!

Build on Relationships. Attend professional trade shows and other events to help you stay abreast of industry changes, while expanding your circle of contacts. Their expertise can come in handy when you have a challenge or need to address an issue. Internally, stay in contact with peers, talking about concerns and creating new opportunities. Continuing your weekly meetings with your mentor and boss will keep you on target as you grow into your new role.

Execute Plans and Achieve Intended Results. The goal for you is to elicit the best from others by effectively and productively working with and through them. In order for you to move upward, you need to show you can develop yourself and others, while delivering intended results.

People want to work for true leaders, and being a great manager is the perfect place to start.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and executive coach for over 23 years; and along the way, guided the creation of three millionaires. She is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com or contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at http://SeibCo.com/contact.

Your Bad Boss Style Can Get You Fired!

Many times bosses, leaders, or upwardly mobile professionals do not realize they have bad management styles and attitudes. They are unaware that these attributes get in the way of their business results. While most of their employees and co-workers hope their bad bosses will leave or be fired, there is an alternative – they can transform into a good one!

Good bosses are not born that way! They take the time and energy, and learn from the hard lessons along the way, to develop very good skills in managing people, projects, and financial responsibilities. Good bosses know that most employees quit due to bad bosses, not money. As a result, they do their best to be laser-like coaches, fearless project managers, and keep their employees happy.

Discover Your Bad Boss Traits

The following quiz will help you become aware of the “bad boss traits” you may have. Becoming conscious to how you are perceived is critical to your current and upward success.  Remember, no one expects you to be perfect. However, if you have more than a few low scores, you should consider alternative career paths.

Honestly answer the following questions using a Scale of 1 to 4:

1 = All the time

2 = More often than not

3 = Every so often

4 = Rarely

Do you:

  1. Want to be liked and are less concerned about being respected?
  2. Hold grudges?
  3. Discredit people based on their gender, race, religion, age, or weight?
  4. Ignore certain people’s on-point solutions while valuing less-appropriate solutions                                   voiced by those you like?
  5. Force your own ideas as solutions to problems?
  6. Blame others for poor results?
  7. Take credit for good results, even though you had little to do with them?
  8. Only do what you want to do and not what needs to be done?
  9. Have anger issues that you have not managed or resolved?
  10. Fail to follow-through and follow-up with employees, clients, vendors, and others?
  11. Put off what needs to be done until it’s an emergency?
  12. View golf games (and other outside activities) as more important than your business responsibilities?
  13. Value outside perceptions of your professionalism as more important than your employees’ perceptions?
  14. Justify spending money on your self-interests while overlooking the needs of the office or business?
  15. Micromanage self-reliant people?
  16. Fail to provide enough direction for those employees needing structure and guidance?
  17. Fail to roll up your sleeves and get involved in a project or crisis?
  18. Nitpick projects with untargeted or poor business questions?
  19. Lack commitment to the business or job, wishing you were doing something else?
  20. Only pursue ideas that hold interest to you at the expense of the company?
  21. Become righteous about your selection and promotion practices, discriminating based on appearance, education, current work or financial status, or gossip from others?
  22. Discriminate against employees who have real or perceived health issues, including their family members who do?
  23. Mismanage fiscal, human, and system resources?
  24. Complain about others taking earned vacations while you take at least twice as much time off?
  25. Find it more important to be part of the group instead of being their leader?

Add up your scores:

Score of Less than 35:  You may wish to consider a different occupation with no management responsibilities. The sooner, the better.

Score of 35 to 54: You may wish to consider a different occupation with no people management responsibilities or find a management position as an independent contributor. Don’t wait until you are fired or sidelined.

Score of 55 to 79:  With ongoing executive coaching, you may be able to improve your effectiveness. It depends upon your true interest and willingness to do so. Take a qualified job-fit assessment and a qualified 360-degree feedback assessment.  These will be beneficial to managing your career direction and fine-tuning your management skills.

Score of 80 to 100: Congrats! You’re a great boss. The bigger question: Would your employees truly agree? Take a qualified job-fit assessment and a qualified 360-degree feedback assessment. These will be beneficial and help you continue to be a great boss.

Contact http://SeibCo.com/contact  to get started.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly has been working with leaders as an international business advisor, executive coach and management consultant for over 23 years. Along the way, she guided the creation of three millionaires. Her trademark is her uncanny ability to help business professionals identify roadblocks and help them blast through those barriers to produce unprecedented results. Contact her for a free, confidential conversation on how to get the results you want: www.SeibCo.com/contact.

Transforming your Culture for True Growth

It’s a mystery to many leaders how company cultures are created. The truth is, they begin during the inception of the company. As employees, leaders, customers and vendors come and go, the culture is unconsciously fine-tuned by everyone.

Most leaders believe their culture is a mystery and they have no responsibility for it. What they fail to understand, they create the culture, deliberately or by default, based on their decisions and mindsets. For example, if a leader is unwilling to rock the boat to resolve any issue, this mindset naturally becomes ingrained in the culture and others will follow suit in order to keep their jobs.

Transforming your culture for true growth requires a strategically crafted vision to support and sustain the company’s new direction. And, a true leader can see the big picture, handle the small details, and engage others along the way.

Now, for the million-dollar questions, How willing are you to lead this transformational process? Or, are you simply going to allow whatever happens to happen?

Leading Transform for True Growth

Build on What Works. It requires a lot of conscious thought, strategic conversations, persistence and belief for transformation to successfully occur. Remember, it’s a process, not an event. Build on what is working by consistently building on its strengths. Perhaps more important, hire a trusted business advisor to keep you focused and vigilant when handling the status quo.  (According to a recent study,* only about 8% of executives surveyed are capable of guiding their organizations through transformation.)

Develop Strategic Insight. Set aside the time-consuming and costly common approach of repeating of the same old processes, believing they are new and different. (Note from author, after working with 100’s of companies, this is more common than you realize.) Real transformation requires questioning the elephants in the room that are ingrained in the fabric of the culture. This part can be very difficult since it requires open dialogue and real leadership – moving people out of their comfort zones. Bring in an objective and strong facilitator to lead the conversations. Stay on point and don’t delve into the blame game.

Engage Your People. For true growth, your employees must consciously and whole-heartedly support change. This can be scary for them when they don’t know what to expect. Engage at every level within your company. Remember to keep talking with your customers, vendors and communities too.

Hire the Right Team. The biggest challenge for companies is developing a team that supports the new vision. Often the old guard will not support “new” ideas. The added challenge is new employees will usually succumb to the old culture in order to be liked, accepted, and keep their jobs.  Use qualified assessments not only for hiring new employees, but to also train, coach and manage current employees. This will support the cultural changes you need to make for sustainable growth.

Make the Difficult Decisions. Many leaders base their decisions on the old mindset, forgetting the newly develop strategies. These require having conversations and looking in the new direction. Work with your trusted business advisor to talk you through the pros and cons. With focus and consistency, the culture will naturally adjust over time.

As a leader, you are responsible for your company’s culture (whether you want to or not), so create one that supports true growth.

* Study conducted by David Rooke of Harthill Consulting and William Torbert of Boston University, 2016.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 23 years; she is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com. Contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at http://SeibCo.com/contact .

There are Always Choices to be Made

Many times, we don’t feel like we have choices when things happen (as they inevitably will in life and in business). This belief is based on an expectation of how things should be. When things don’t go our way, we feel we don’t have a choice or other options. The truth is, there are always choices to be made – it requires getting out of the “I don’t have a choice” or victim mentality, and into being a responsible business owner, executive, entrepreneur and/or business leader.

A business owner was upset that one of his employees wasn’t doing the job the way he wanted to have it done. He had hired based upon his gut and the employee’s previous work experience, and failed to objectively determine job fit within his company’s culture. He believed he only had three options: fire, overlook the issue or attempt more training. Before calling his attorney, he called his business advisor, who recommended using a qualified assessment to objectively see what the real issues were. The results were insightful and he saw that the employee didn’t have the interest to do the job, and the core behaviors to do it the way the owner wanted to have it done. The business advisor next recommended rewriting the job description to focus on the person’s strengths instead of firing! Now, the business owner chooses to use qualified assessments to hire the right person the first time – saving time, money and sleepless nights!

Assess Your Choices

Believe. Adjust your mindset. There are alternatives. This is a must. If you think you can make a different choice, you can. Remember, the choice you make may not be the easiest path for you since it may require selecting different options that don’t meet your initial perception of how it should be.

Brainstorm. Consciously take time to brainstorm, in writing, at least five options. Better yet, brainstorm with your team. Select two viable options. Remember, one option may be to choose to do nothing – in the past this usually has been a default rather than a conscious decision.

Does it work? Now, drill down into each option for workability. (Include the “do nothing” option, if it’s one of the two selected.) Research and determine whether or not each choice will support the vision of your company and ROI, while creating win-win-win outcomes for customers, team members, and vendors. Select one option and put together a focused action plan. Now, move forward quickly to execute before someone gets cold feet. (Note, making choices outside the team’s comfort zone will usually create fear of the unknown. Stay in communication with your team to keep them on the same page.)

Implement. Execution of an idea or plan is never without setbacks. Instead of lamenting it was the wrong choice when a roadblock occurs, complete the “What worked?/What didn’t work?” exercise. (5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Results, http://ow.ly/4nkmFX ) This will help you to determine any new opportunities or pathways to success, or a different resolution for an ongoing issue.

Celebrate. Learn to celebrate the small as well as the bigger choices you make. This builds morale and creates a culture of success-focused ideas and actions.

Remember, life is a journey of choices. Learn how to use them to build on your business success in a positive and proactive manner.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been helping leaders uncover choices that make positive and powerful differences for over 23 years. As an international business advisor, executive coach and management consultant, she guided the creation of three millionaires and million-dollar results for over 25 companies. Contact her for a free, confidential conversation on how to get the results you want: www.SeibCo.com/contact

Do You Have What It Takes to be a Leader?

Everyone can be a leader.

The qualifying questions are:

  • Are you willing to do the work necessary and step up to be one? Or,
  • Are you waiting until someone taps you on the shoulder to begin? (Hint, it may be a long wait!)

What Does It Take?

Make a commitment. Many people say they want to achieve certain goals in their lives, yet, do not take the focused action steps necessary. For example, they wish to participate in a networking group or on a team project, but fail to show up and contribute.

  • Review your values and goals.
  • Are they consistent? For example, if you have a goal of becoming a millionaire, yet, everyday spend money for lunch, coffee and other items your actions do not support your goal.
  • Make the necessary changes one step at a time. Take one item that you are spending money on and instead invest that money.

Use qualified assessments. These tools provide incredible accuracy and insight into your leadership traits. They also provide objective awareness of how to better communicate, manage and work with others. The challenge is there’s a lot of mischief over what defines a qualified assessment. The bottom line is that a qualified assessment complies with the Department of Labor guidelines for pre-employment use. These tools have significantly higher reliability and validity, and predictive validity, than the other 3,000 tools available in the market today.

  • Select a qualified assessment and a qualified coach. (www.SeibCo.com/contact)
  • Review the results with your coach.
  • Together with your coach put together a project that will help you improve one area. (Hint: putting together a project to listen better will yield poor results. Instead, put together a customer service goal that will require you to listen in order to achieve that goal.)

Be coachable. Behind every leader is a trusted advisor/coach. (Think, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, etc.) Also, leaders usually have an industry mentor to help them stay current in their profession and industry. You need to have both to excel as a great leader. The right coach encourages you to do what you need to do, but don’t want to do, to achieve unprecedented results.

  • Select and hire a coach.
  • Select an industry mentor and ask him or her to be your mentor.
  • Put together a 13-week project and goal with your coach and share it with your mentor.
  • Do the work required to make it happen.
  • Blast through those barriers that normally stop you.

Take one day at a time. Every human being has personal baggage. In order to be a great leader, we need to unload it, be responsible for our perceptions of the incident, and have acceptance that the situation happened. Take the time now to get it resolved, one day at a time. It doesn’t get easier as time goes by – it gets harder. Failure to do so, may have you miss out on promotions or coveted opportunities, or, even become unemployed. If necessary, find a licensed therapist to get down to reality and better understand yourself.

Pick yourself up after a failure. Don’t berate yourself for mistakes or failures. Pretending you don’t have any, or are unable to apologize makes others uncomfortable following your leadership. Every great leader has made more than one mistake! The key is, they picked themselves up and resolved it. Now, not later when may be too late.

Everyone has what it takes to be a leader. The million dollar question is, are you willing to do the work to become one?

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been working with leaders as an international business advisor, executive coach and management consultant for over 23 years. Along the way, she guided the creation of three millionaires. Her trademark is her uncanny ability to help business professionals identify roadblocks and help them blast through those barriers to produce unprecedented results. Contact her for a free, confidential conversation on how to get the results you want: www.SeibCo.com/contact

Can You Prevent Costly Employee Mistakes?

One of the most important jobs as a boss is to ensure employees are given the tools they need to readily do their job well (e.g., laptops, project guidelines, workplace policies, company core values, annual goals, etc.). However, in our busy world, we fail to ensure our employees’ readiness to handle certain responsibilities. We forget they may lack experience and discretion due to limited people skills, poor planning abilities, or an inability to base their decisions for win-win-win outcomes (e.g., company, employees, customers, vendors, etc.).

This lack of managerial awareness on your part will allow for mistakes or roadblocks for everyone, including upward mobility in your career. When problems occur, they will eventually (if not immediately) devastate profitability and morale when not resolved appropriately. It’s important to address problems as they happen. Better yet, prevent them from occurring.

Prevention is Key

First and foremost, use scientifically validated assessment tools for hiring, coaching and managing your employees for success. Studies have shown employees that fit their work responsibilities have greater communication effectiveness, are more likely to know when to ask for guidance, and have an interest in ensuring their decisions are in everyone’s best interest. [Contact http://SeibCo.com/contact for more information.]

Second, ongoing training is critical. Most people benefit from ongoing training since the potential mistake or issue becomes less conceptual and they benefit from the experiential role-playing. It helps them clarify how to handle difficult situations and cautions them on what they share with others. As the boss, it’s very important to reinforce the training and set an example.

For example, the biggest problem in many companies is that everyone gossips. Unfortunately, employees can be so busy talking on their cells or with the person seated across from them, they forget people seated at the next table in a coffee shop or co-workers seated on a nearby bench in the company’s lounge are listening in. Remind everyone that certain information is not to be discussed (due to HIPPA, non-disclosure agreements for new products, employment laws, etc.). They also need to be responsible for where, when, why and how they share certain data with others (e.g., don’t forget to include a caution regarding emails, texts, and social media venues).

Third, encourage questions. Do not be fooled into assuming theft, harassment or safety violations won’t happen. When challenges happen, and they will, having prepared yourself and your employees in advance is critical. Encourage questions and provide training for different types of situations or issues, along with reviewing the expected protocols to follow. This will make a positive difference when something does happen and everyone is operating from the same page to get it resolved.

Fourth, finesse is necessary.  Empower your employees to handle basic disagreements on their own. However, when the issue is delicate, it is your job to step in and resolve it for win-win-win outcomes. Don’t put off addressing situations based upon how you feel, or your inability to make a decision. Failure to do so will create disgruntled employees and potential lawsuits. Talk out alternatives with your business coach, mentor, and/or attorney to broaden your perspective. Then, meet with a select few executives to reach a resolution.

Now you’re ready to take the actions required to prevent potentially costly mistakes and ensure win-win-win outcomes for everyone.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 23 years; she guides the creation of new solutions for a myriad of business challenges and is the author of Hire Amazing Employees (http://BizSavvyHire.com) and It’s Time to Brag! (http://Time2Brag.com). Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com and contact us!

Do Your Clients Think You Are Inaccessible?

Many of you would probably say, “Ridiculous!”

  • Does it take several phone calls to get in touch with you?
  • Does it take longer than 24 to 48 hours for you to respond to messages or emails?
  • Do you often use the excuses “I’m too busy” OR “I don’t have the time?”

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a problem. SeibCo’s Law of Poor Customer Service states: The longer it takes for you to return a call or respond to an email, the faster the issue will grow exponentially. If this continues, your customer will go to your competition and your reputation will be tarnished.

What Can You Do?

Treat your messages with reverence. They are the life blood of your business. Voice-to-voice conversations are key – don’t rely on emails or sending customers or prospects to your website for answers. Respond promptly. It’s a great way to stay in touch, build important relationships and provide additional value. Actual conversations also are a great way to up-sell and cross-sell any additional products and services they don’t realize you offer.

Believe all clients are important. Ranking clients based on their revenue to determine who you will contact first is a losing game. While a BIG client is important, so are your other ones. Keeping every client happy is important and may require you to think outside-the-box to ensure everyone’s concerns are given top priority.

Value your meetings. Continually canceling or rescheduling, not being prepared, and not taking responsibility for ensuring current and potential clients feel valued, are good excuses for them to seek out other vendors. Happy customers buy more when they feel important. Remember, actual conversations are the best way to uncover their needs.

Listen and be present during the conversation. Too often when we’re in meetings, we’re busy thinking of other things we need to do, or other conversations we need to have. 100% active listening and probing will help you uncover a real issue and your ability to resolve it to the customer’s satisfaction. This new awareness can also help you resolve other clients’ concerns and be more active in doing so.

Blitz them with great customer service. Don’t forget your customer service people need help too! We falsely assume, with devastating results, that everyone knows how to be a good representative of the company. Get into your people’s mindsets and you’ll realize they don’t know how to handle different challenges or how to behave in unusual situations. Many will not have the confidence to ask for help and will simply look for a new employer. Use a qualified customer service assessment to understand their inherent strengths and weaknesses. Train all of your people to be on the same page, and work together for the benefit of every customer.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010-2016

Do you need an objective, inside look at the behaviors and motives of yourself and others when interacting with customers? Contact Jeannette Seibly @ http://SeibCo.com/contact

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 23 years; she guides the creation of new solutions for business challenges and is the author of Hire Amazing Employees (http://BizSavvyHire.com) and It’s Time to Brag! (http://Time2Brag.com). Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com.

4 Top Attributes of Successful Sales People

Great sales people fit their jobs. They love what they do and they do it well, making a positive difference for their clients and their company.

After talking with several business owners and consultants that manage great sales people, here are the 4 top attributes they mentioned (yes, this is not a scientific study – feel free to add your own top beliefs).

  1. Listen and be present in all conversations. This is one of the most important aspects when selling your products and services. Stop multi-tasking, eliminate distractions and listen. Engage your full attention in the conversation by being present and actively listening. Trust you will know how to respond. Listen to learn and probe for additional information before offering ideas. You will be amazed by what you uncover that can help your current and prospective clients.
  2. Know your products and systems really well. Having an ongoing interest in learning about the products you are selling and how they are processed through your company is critical. Knowing the in’s and out’s help you understand how to get the best deal for your client and keep them. Because you are well aware of the legalities and other nuances of using your products and services, you can ensure your customers are buying the right product to fit their needs cost effectively. Also, this knowledge places you in a better position to facilitate upselling and cross selling of other products.
  3. Have persistence. Not everyone is ready to buy when you’re ready to sell to them. Stay in communication, send them periodic articles or other note-worthy gems is important. Show up at networking meetings and seminars, stay in touch on social media and give at charity events are also important ways to build and maintain a strong network.
  4. Develop great relationships. It’s important that you develop great relationships with your clients by becoming a resource for them to ask their questions and get the right answers. Always follow-up and follow through on what you promise. That is how you build credibility and trust before and after the sale! Learn how to brag about what you’ve done for them in a business-savvy manner – this is particularly important when cost-conscious buyers are looking to stray. (http://Time2Brag.com)

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 23 years; she guides the creation of new solutions for business challenges and is the author of Hire Amazing Employees (http://BizSavvyHire.com) and It’s Time to Brag! (http://Time2Brag.com). Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com.