Catch Sean McDonald In Action [Speaking Video]

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3 Ways To Improve Service

Great Service

Service is one of the cornerstones of an organization’s success. If your service levels stink, you’re not going to grow. Here are 3 ways to improve your company’s service levels:

Constantly and consistently demonstrate VALUE. (Yes, this section is repeated from last week’s post because it is so vital!) Remember, it’s all about answering the W.I.I.F.M. question. What’s In It For Me? If you can’t answer that question, you’re sunk. In order to “onboard” or build relationships, a lot of companies incorporate cross-selling into their business models. That’s great but only if your employees are properly trained and your value proposition (your W.I.I.F.M. answer) is strong. You must constantly and consistently show people the VALUE in what you’re talking to them about. How will it change their lives for the better? What might happen should they decide not to act? Answer those questions and you’re on your way to demonstrating VALUE.

Leverage Technology. We live in a “right now” world. There’s no way around it. Your company must endeavor to leverage technology in order to improve service. Research shows that organizations that offer the latest in technology outperform those who might be stuck in the past. Your organization needs to make sure that it is up to date with the CONSUMER’S expectations of what constitutes great technology. Make it easy by using the right technology.

Tailored Interactions. Make your interactions as personal as possible (without being pushy.) Strive to gather, analyze, and use available data to learn as much as you can about your target audience. Then, create focused and tailored experiences for them. Remember that not every product or service is appropriate for everyone. Remember that your cross-selling or up-selling efforts should revolve around BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS as opposed to selling products.

 

What are your thoughts on this article? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

ATTENTION: We’re in the midst of strategic planning season. If your organization is looking for a FACILITATOR, perhaps we could schedule a time to chat about Your Full Potential’s services. You have nothing to lose – a conversation costs nothing!

Posted in Branding, Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Coaching, Collaboration, Credit Unions, Cross-Selling, Culture, Customer Service, Decisions, Employee Development, Experiences, Gen X, Gen Y, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Lending, Loans, Management, Marketing, Millennial, Motivation, Performance, Productivity, Service, Strategic Planning, Training, Value, WIFM, WIIFM | Leave a comment

3 Ways To Build Relationships With Consumers (ONBOARDING)

Accountability 2

Organizations need 3 things to survive: new business, repeat business, and referral business. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss repeat business. How do you get consumers to come back to you after that first purchase? The secret lies in what is necessary to build relationships with people. Here are 3 ways to build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with the people who do business with you:

WOW them. Let’s face facts – if you don’t do an awesome job the first time, they’re not coming back for a second round. So you must endeavor to WOW them from the start. Yes, under-promise and over-deliver. Yes, take the transaction a step further. Yes, do more than you’re asked. Then you’ll start to reap the rewards.

Make it ridiculously easy to do business with you. If you make people jump through the proverbial hoops to do something that can be streamlined or simplified, you’re going to lose business. Consumers can’t be bothered anymore with completing a clipboard full of forms. You must simplify AND automate. This is especially true for my readers in the financial services industry. The world is going mobile. It’s no longer the future. It’s the here and now. You must make it very easy for people to find information on your website and then to ACT on that information in a seamless manner. All of the various pages on my company’s website have a “call to action” that encourages visitors to contact me. What’s your “call to action?”

Constantly and consistently demonstrate VALUE. Remember, it’s all about answering the W.I.I.F.M. question. What’s In It For Me? If you can’t answer that question, you’re sunk. In order to “onboard” or build relationships, a lot of companies incorporate cross-selling into their business models. That’s great but only if your employees are properly trained and your value proposition (your W.I.I.F.M. answer) is strong. You must constantly and consistently show people the VALUE in what you’re talking to them about. How will it change their lives for the better? What might happen should they decide not to act? Answer those questions and you’re on your way to demonstrating VALUE.

 

What are your thoughts on this article? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

ATTENTION: We’re in the midst of strategic planning season. If your organization is looking for a FACILITATOR, perhaps we could schedule a time to chat about Your Full Potential’s services. You have nothing to lose – a conversation costs nothing!

Posted in Accountability, Branding, Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Coaching, Collaboration, Credit Unions, Cross-Selling, Culture, Digital Marketing, Experiences, Gen X, Gen Y, Global Network, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Lending, Loans, Management, Marketing, Millennial, Motivation, Networking, Performance, Productivity, Strategic Planning, Training, Trust, Value, WIFM, WIIFM | Leave a comment

4 Reasons Why Great Employees Leave

Employees Leave

Organizations should always expect turnover – that’s business. The problem is that some organizations do some things so badly that the turnover involves their best and brightest employees. Here are 5 reasons why the best employees leave organizations:

They’re constantly being told “no.” Let’s face it. There are only so many times that a person can be rejected before they start to question whether or not they’re in the right place. “No” is part of business. No one is disputing that. But instead of a snap-reaction of “no,” perhaps companies can find ways to arrive at a compromise or even a “yes” from time to time.

They were lied to during the interview process. “Yes, we want to hire a change agent,” “We want you to shake things up and make them better,” “You’ll have a lot of latitude in your decision-making authority.” How many of us have heard these things only to find out once we started on the job that none of it was actually true? I’ve been through this personally and it just sucks. Great employees will not work for organizations that lie to them.

Poor Leadership. This is a big one. Great employees want to work for great leaders. They will seek out and follow great leaders. They will also shun poor leaders. If your leadership isn’t absurdly great, your best and brightest will simply leave. Count on it.

They’re not motivated or challenged enough. Great employees hate to do work that is boring or that doesn’t encourage and motivate them. Great employees want to be challenged and want to be pushed to the limits of their productivity. They want to be involved in team projects and innovation. They want to be “in the know.” They want to know that their work is important.

What are your thoughts on this article? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

ATTENTION: We’re in the midst of strategic planning season. If your organization is looking for a FACILITATOR, perhaps we could schedule a time to chat about Your Full Potential’s services. You have nothing to lose – a conversation costs nothing!

Posted in Accountability, Branding, Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Coaching, Conflict, Credit Unions, Culture, Employee Development, Employees, Experiences, Gen X, Gen Y, Goal-setting, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Millennial, Motivation, Networking, Performance, Productivity, Professional Development, Strategic Planning, Training, Trust, Value, WIFM, WIIFM | Leave a comment

4 Steps To Creating A Robust Company Culture

company-culture

An organization’s culture is an extension of its Value Proposition.  If the Value Proposition is the answer to the question, “why should anyone do business with you, ever?” then culture is the methodology that is used to come up with that answer.

You should be aiming to create a culture of fun, innovation, creativity, and inclusion.  More organizations are realizing the importance of a strong culture.  There is plenty of evidence of that.  Indeed, some of the most successful companies on the planet enjoy that level of success precisely because of the cultures they’ve created.  I think of Southwest Airlines, Zappos, and yes, even Facebook.

There are a few steps to take when creating and implementing specific culture.  These include:

Senior Buy-In – these efforts must be supported from the top-down.  If that support doesn’t exist, it’s a moot point.

Employee Buy-In – the employees must be motivated to include themselves in the culture.  If there are employees that can’t or won’t get “on the bus,” they either need to be better trained or separated from the organization.  Just a few bad apples can spoil the whole effort.

Customer Attraction – those people whom the organizations serve must be excited by the culture.  It should encourage them to do even more business and to refer others to do business.  People enjoy flying Southwest Airlines.  It’s (for the most part) a pleasant experience.  The culture there plays a large part in that attraction.  It’s a big reason why Southwest is the largest domestic carrier.  I fly other airlines all the time as well.  But I couldn’t tell you what the culture is at United or American Airlines.  Southwest makes it a point to TELL ITS CUSTOMERS all about their culture – at every possible turn.  That’s why it’s so successful!

There are 4 key tasks associated with implementing culture:

Training – employees need to learn HOW to do it YOUR way. (Think of the intense training Disney has for its employees.)

Encouragement – the employees need to be continually encouraged to play an active role and they should be rewarded in some way.

Measurement – efforts should be analyzed and measured on a continuous basis.

Revise – if changes are necessary, they should be made and implemented.

Obviously, this just scratches the surface.

What are your thoughts on culture? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

Are you looking for a FACILITATOR for your upcoming STRATEGIC PLANNING session? Check out our Strategic Planning page to learn more about our services and process.

Posted in Accountability, Branding, Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Coaching, Collaboration, Credit Unions, Cross-Selling, Culture, Digital Marketing, Employee Development, Employees, Experiences, Gen X, Gen Y, Goal-setting, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Marketing, Millennial, Motivation, Performance, Productivity, Professional Development, Strategic Planning, Training, Trust, Value, WIFM, WIIFM | Leave a comment

The Irrefutable Law of Innovation

Accountability 2

Back from my “road trip” odyssey/hiatus!! I’ve been “on the road” for much of the last month or so but I’m back in the saddle now and happy to bring you the latest blog post from Your Full Potential!

Let’s talk about innovation. We hear a lot about it. You may be innovators yourselves. Or you may work for an innovative organization. There is one irrefutable law of innovation that if enacted, will take you and your organizations to the very heights of innovation. It sounds simple enough but in reality, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

Here we go….

Make innovation part of your brand promise. Your brand is the essence of who you are and why you exist. If you really want to be known as innovative, you must make innovation part of your brand. Ask yourself if your organization is truly innovative or if you’re just giving lip service.

Do you encourage creativity or do you stifle it?

Are you hiring people with creative juices flowing through their veins?

Do you make it a point to REWARD people for innovative ideas – even if they’re not actually implemented?

Are you letting your target market know about all of the new things you’re doing? Do you even know who your target market is? (HINT: If you don’t, you’re not even close to being ready to innovate.)

Do you say “no” more than you say “yes” or “let’s give it a try”?

Do you engage in serious strategic planning? Do you create workable action plans with associated goals, timelines, measurement procedures, and accountability standards? What part does innovation play in your overall strategy?

Do you have a separate budget for innovation?

These questions are just a few of the many that you’ll need to answer if you want to be truly innovative. Don’t just say your organization is innovative. Mean what you say and be able to prove it.

Otherwise, you’re simply blowing hot air. And the world has enough of that already.

 

IT’s FINALLY HERE!!!!

 I am excited and honored to announce that my new book, What’s In It For Me? has been published!! It would mean so much to me if you, my loyal readers, would purchase a copy. It’s available in both paperback and Kindle editions and can be bought on Amazon.

Help me “break” Amazon by purchasing your copy today!!

 

Thank you all for your continued support! It means the world to me!

WIIFM Book Cover

Posted in Accountability, Budgets, Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Decisions, Employee Development, Employees, Experiences, Gen X, Gen Y, Goal-setting, goals, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Millennial, Motivation, Networking, Performance, Productivity, Professional Development, Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Training, Trust, Value, WIFM, WIIFM | Leave a comment

3 AWFUL Excuses For Not Training Your Employees

Training

“You don’t build a business. You build people – and then the people build the business.” – Zig Ziglar

The truth in that statement is so profound that I say to myself, “why don’t more business executives understand this?” I have been speaking a lot recently to executives and directors about the importance of developing employees. One of my favorite things to say is that an organization only grows as much as its people are allowed to grow.

Sometimes, I get a lot of head nods that indicate to me that at least some in the audience are agreeing with me. Then there are the dissenters that challenge me. Healthy debate, as long as it is respectful and constructive, is never a bad thing. But I must admit that I hear some pretty lame excuses from people that don’t think training or professional development are important. Here are 3:

Why should we hire consultants or trainers from the outside when we can do all of the training in-house? Not a terrible question; however, while your inside trainers are more than capable of teaching new hires the benefits of your organization’s specific products and services, they may not be as strong on the soft-skills – leadership, conflict management, project development, sales & service, etc. For stuff like that, you will benefit more from hiring an expert in those areas to come in with an objective point of view and a clean slate. This person will take an unbiased look at what is happening and will try to discover the root cause of the issue. Then, he or she can design a program to address the issue and provide solutions. Trainers from inside the organization may not be able to be unbiased and objective. Or, perhaps, they are part of the problem.

Training costs too much. Well, you get what you pay for I guess. Yes, there are costs associated with hiring professional trainers. You don’t expect us to work for free, do you? Many companies that have a great need for professional development are the same ones that haven’t kept up with the ever-changing demands of the marketplace. My point here is that some organizations really need to prioritize and realize that there are things that you must spend money on. If they don’t start to concentrate on helping the employees get better, they do so at their own peril.

If we provide all of this training, our best employees will just leave for better opportunities. Get over it. That’s the world we live in. If you are running a business, you have to accept that eventually some of your best employees will leave. And know this….if you decide against providing training and development opportunities to those same employees that you think will leave, they are already polishing their resumes and are looking to leave you anyway.

It’s time to get serious about attracting and retaining top talent. Professional development is guaranteed to help you do just that.

 

IT’S ALMOST HERE! My new book, What’s In It For Me? The Driving Force Behind Making Decisions & Better Leadership, will be available soon!!  Be on the lookout for more information.

Posted in Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Coaching, Conflict, Decisions, Employee Development, Employees, Gen X, Gen Y, Goal-setting, goals, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Millennial, Motivation, Performance, Productivity, Professional Development, Training, Value, WIFM, WIIFM | Tagged , | Leave a comment

4 Really LAME Excuses for Not Making Decisions

Offensive

“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The roads of life are paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.”

– Unknown

The most effective leaders in history have a lot of things in common. To name a few: a great work ethic, high moral and ethical standards, an understanding of the principle of accountability, the ability to assemble a team of close advisors, etc.

There are others that are sometimes overlooked. The most effective leaders aren’t afraid to make decisions. They don’t keep people in the dark regarding their decision-making process. They are transparent and forthright. Most of all, they don’t ignore the people who are expecting them to make decisions.

 Here are 4 of the lamest excuses that ineffective leaders use to avoid any semblance of making a decision.

I’m too busy – join the club! If you’re a leader, part of your job is to make decisions. So if you’re making time for all of the other stuff, you need to make time for decision-making as well. Enough said.

 The timing isn’t quite right – Human beings are imperfect. Therefore, we are unable to do anything perfectly. That includes making important decisions. If leaders continue to use this ridiculous excuse to “kick the can down the road,” what they’ll find is that the opportunity that they did have is now gone because they put it off while waiting for the “time to be right.”

It might not work – It might not. Plenty of decisions have been made and the results weren’t exactly what were expected. That’s life. That’s business. But if you want to be an outstanding leader, you must accept that part of your job is to make the decisions that you think are the right ones by analyzing the potential services or solutions, trusting your gut, and taking action. Many organizations are stagnant. They are rudderless. They merely exist. More often than not, one of the biggest reasons for these unfortunate situations is that there exists a crippling fear of doing anything different because “it might not work.” Leaders that continuously use this crazy excuse need to step aside and make room for people that aren’t afraid to take calculated risks.

We have too much going on right now – that’s a good thing! Would you rather have the alternative? It’s perfectly acceptable and necessary to prioritize tasks. However, once you’ve decided which projects are the priorities, it’s important to move on those. But what happens sometimes is that people use this lame excuse to avoid moving on anything. A lot of organizations conduct planning retreats after the summer to prepare for the next year. This is the perfect time to identify the strategic initiatives that are the priorities for the organization. Once identified and agreed upon, make sure to budget for the various action steps for each initiative. Will things “come up” that may need immediate attention? Of course! That’s why you also budget an appropriate amount of money and resources for those items. But you make every reasonable effort to not let this extra “stuff” get in the way with the existing priority list.

No more excuses! Trust your gut, rely on your experience, gather all of the pertinent information and then…..DECIDE!

 

EXCITING NEWS!!! My new book, “What’s In It For Me?” will be published shortly.  Keep an eye out for the announcement and help me “break” Amazon by purchasing a copy on the day it comes out!

 

Posted in Accountability, Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Conflict, Credit Unions, Decisions, Employees, Experiences, Gen X, Gen Y, Goal-setting, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Millennial, Motivation, Networking, Performance, Productivity, Professional Development, Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Training, Trust, Value, WIFM, WIIFM | 3 Comments