Blogs

Last month I stepped away from my desk for a short time, leaving my phone in plain sight. During my brief absence, someone stopped into the office to ask for directions and left with my phone. It took a while for me to notice it was gone, but when I did, panic set in. After searching the office from top to bottom, my sleuthing confirmed it had been stolen.

To turn this whole unsettling, inconvenient and somewhat expensive experience into a positive, I want to share with you what I learned in the process: Backup your phone regularly!

In my last blog, I discussed how to protect your family and business with life insurance. Here are two more ideas for you to build a strong safety net.

An entrepreneur’s optimism is a key factor in her success. And yet, that same optimism can sometimes lead business owners to gloss over the troubling “What if…?” questions.

Despite our attempts to control our destiny, life happens. The difference between a successful, long term business owner and financial ruin may just come down to having a financial safety net in place.

In this two part blog series, I’ll discuss three ideas to build your safety net.

A lunch with a client is never just lunch. A lot of business decisions are made over business lunches. So, what are some do’s and don’ts for a successful business lunch?

Here is a short and sweet 12-point guideline to entertaining business clients.

How to cater to your client’s personal needs

1. Make it close to your client’s place of work.
2. Make sure of any food preferences, dislikes or allergies.
3. Make reservations.
4. Confirm with both the restaurant and your client a couple of days before to remind them.

Often many businesses leave the task of organizing their  paperwork for year-end. Businesses need to have proper paperwork to complete compliance reporting and filing.

Keeping your business documents in order is not a difficult task if you follow a process.

Here are a few tips to make this a little easier:

“I get mail; therefore I am.” ~ Scott Adams

My inbox explodes every time I am away either for a conference, a speaking gig or just some ‘me’ time! Recently, when I came back to my office after attending a personal event on the weekend and then a two day conference, I found my inbox hit the 1500+ mark. Enough!

I declared “Inbox Detox” and that I would have a zero inbox. Easily said, not easily done.
Here’s what I did.

1. I Unsubscribed.

Did you know clutter in a workspace is actually a distraction to your productivity? It weighs you down, it disrupts your thinking and creates an invitation to chaos.

Here are five tips to simplify your workspace

1. Get rid of unnecessary knickknacks and office accessories. They are distractions, create clutter and reduce your focus. Bookshelves, closets, and containers are great for storage.

2. Access folders quickly by using a vertical desktop file sorter instead of stacking papers. Colour coding each folder by topic will provide a great visual for folders you access regularly.

Here’s a recap of the steps so far providing exceptional customer service:

1. Manage customer expectations in advance of your customer making a purchase. It will reduce customer upsets substantially.

2. When a customer  expresses an issue, actively listen by recapping what they have said and address their feelings.

3. Listen to the entire story following the active listening process.

Once you have actively listened to the customer (see Part 2) then you and the customer will become calmer and more open to a solution.

It is important that you allow the customer to tell his or her entire story. In most cases the problem will have occurred because the customers expectation were not met. This is where the mending needs to take place. In Part 1 of this tip, I addressed managing expectations.

When a customer expresses upset or discontent, the way they express themselves maybe alarming on receiving end. As a result what they are saying could be difficult to process.

If you are on the receiving end of an upset customer, the first thing to do is actively listen to the customer’s concerns without interrupting. They need to express themselves fully to feel heard. The listening is a powerful tool for both the customer and the person who is hearing about the issue.

Active listening involves sharing what you’ve heard without adding your own story or becoming defensive. What is important is that when you repeat it back to the customer and include a feeling guess.