7 Voice Tips for Professionalism If You Can’t Get Face Time



Face time certainly is best when making sales calls, negotiating with associates and clients or when hunting for a job.

In all such scenarios, building trust and showing confidence are paramount.

So to get what you want even when you can’t meet face-to-face, use the techniques of top-rated broadcasters and phone sales professionals. The successful pros use the same techniques.

That’s right. I speak from decades of on-air broadcasting experience. Candidly, in fact, long before my consulting practice I earned No. 1 ratings as an on-the-air broadcaster (see my bio).

Even while in college, I learned several lessons in calling prospective employers whom I telephoned to request recommendations for classes to enhance my career prospects. By using the techniques, I not only got in-person appointments but job offers, too.

After getting the gigs, I used the same techniques when I was on-the-air as a disc jockey or as a news broadcaster in radio and television. Throughout my career changes, the techniques were applicable in sales and management, too.

Here are the voice tips you need to know:

Breath support for credible authority

Learn to speak from your belly button – or diaphragm – with strong breath support.

By developing proper breath support, you will sound confident and in control with full-voice resonance.

That’s because your heart rate will slow, and your brain will get the needed oxygen for effective speaking.

Effective breath support can only come from your diaphragm. It’s a large, dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your rib cage. When it contracts, air flows into your lungs.

Speak with warmth by smiling

Not only will you come across as friendly, smiling actually tells your brain how to think creatively.

Listeners won’t consciously aware that you’re smiling, but they are more likely to respond favorably to your message.

Vary your inflection

It’s boring to listen to people who speak in a monotone. As you smile, vary your inflection. You will be better able to keep the attention of your listener.

So talk with the person as you would a lifelong friend with vocal variety and an up-and-down pitch.

Stand when talking into the phone

When you sit complacently, your brain often gets the signal that it’s time to rest. But that’s not what you want in important phone conversations.

So stand to energize your thoughts and to reach the highest-possible level of communication.

If for some reason you can’t stand, don’t rest your back against the back of your chair.

Pace the floor

You’ll find you do your best thinking when moving. It energizes you and loosens any cob webs in your brain.

Not only will your thinking-level improve, you’ll speak with more conviction which is important for building trust.

Gesture with your hands 

Use your whole body.

If you ever witness recording sessions, you’ll see that the best broadcasters make gestures as they speak into the microphone.

Gesturing enhances their speaking ability by improving voice pitch, tone and timbre.

Invest in a wireless headset

With a wireless headset, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility to stand, walk, and make gestures.

Applicable for great public speaking

And oh, by the way, most of these techniques will help you to be an effective, authoritative public speaker.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are cold-calling tips:

For Strong Sales, How and Why to Cold Call Prospects — Are you lacking in sales? Do you get enough face time with the right prospects? Here’s how and why in-person cold calls will help you make sales.

6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling — Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

You Will Overcome Cold Calling Anxiety Using 5 Strategies — One of the worst pieces of advice for business owners and salespeople is don’t cold call. That’s a very short-sighted idea. Cold calling is very effective in footwork to generate revenue.

7 Tips for Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs — As every salesperson knows, face time with B2B prospects gives you a foundation for sales success. Execution in the appointment-setting process is, of course, is key to being successful.

Increase Your Job Chances if You Have to Interview on the Phone — Face time, of course, is best if you’re interviewing for a job. However, headhunters and many companies schedule introductory telephone interviews. Pat yourself on the back. Even if it’s not an in-person meeting, a telephone interview is a good omen. The employer already thinks enough of you to schedule a discussion.

“Oh no. Don’t smile. You’ll kill me. I stop breathing when you smile.” 
-Tessa Dare


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 




Improve Employee Morale with Better Break-Room Etiquette



You’d be amazed how employee attitudes are shaped by a lousy break room – dirty dishes, spoiled food and thoughtless co-workers.

But you can enhance your employees’ morale and job satisfaction if they can enjoy sitting in a room relaxing over coffee, snacks and lunch.

Imagine how little time the best employees will want to use such a room. So you might want to consider encouraging a break-room etiquette environment.

Bear in mind you need to be pragmatic. Employees won’t want to clean the break room every day of the work week.

Ask employees to be empathetic with each other – how they’re using the break room and how it affects the feelings of their team members.

Rules or policies should be made clear so employees understand what’s expected. Depending on the size of your staff, display a friendly set of reminders for everyone to see.

More points to consider:

1. In-person employee questionnaires

Try asking employees for their opinions. That’s a great way to learn what your employees like and dislike, such as what they think is evenhanded and what they want from their peers.

Once you know their opinions, you can create and share break-room policies.

2. Noise

Many employees, who don’t have a private office, appreciate the opportunities for a mini vacation – having a place to go to relax and to get away from work.

Some are likely to enjoy having non-work conversations.

For example, your break room should provide a break from work where team members can enjoy lunch without interruptions – others coming to talk with them about work-related matters.

Ask employees to refrain from interrupting those on break, to save their questions in non-emergency situations or to send emails that can be checked after breaks.

So consider a noise policy. How about establishing your break room to be noise-free or as a spot for friendly conversation?

Space-permitting, consider areas for quiet time or for employees to chat.

You’d have to inform employees what’s expected.

3. Cleanliness

Many people might be concerned about cleanliness of their co-workers. Employees need to know what’s expected to clean up after themselves.

4. Specify responsibilities

Employees have to know expectations about getting rid of old food. They’ll need to understand what’s expected about cleaning the refrigerator and microwave.

It must be arranged equitably.

5. Food labels

Especially if you have a congenial staff that organizes pot luck celebrations or share food, ask employees to label their food they store in the break room for their own personal use.

Why? In congenial workplaces, some workers might anticipate the food is there for their taking.

But when it isn’t, employees are really chagrined when their lunches disappear. It’s a source of irritation.

6. Fresh coffee

Most employees like their coffee. But it’s annoying to visit the break room only to find an empty coffee pot.

Avoid employees having to waste their time brewing a new pot in lieu of fully enjoying their breaks.

Your etiquette guidelines should include a mention about refilling the coffee pot. Another option is to install a single-serve coffee maker.

From the Coach’s Corner, related articles for bosses and employees:

Non-financial Incentives Motivate Most Employees — Want motivated workers? Recognition for good work is appreciated by 70 percent of workers – a great motivator for high performance, according to a study by two companies.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips — In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

36 Tips: Develop Confidence to Win an Office Tug of War — For people lacking in self-confidence, winning an office tug of war is easier said than done. Unlike leaders, they unknowingly give away their power. One sign is whether you’re winning hearts and minds at work. For instance, in the event of disagreements, are you able to persuade others?

Why Executives Emphasize Communication Training for Employees — Among human resources training priorities, employee communication is often now more important than skills, say many executives. Two-thirds of executives responding to a survey say communication skills are most needed by certain employees.

What to Do If You’re Thinking about Dating a Co-Worker — Most executives probably cringe at the thought of romances blossoming among their office workers. There are good reasons why. But if you must start an office romance, here are tips to minimize damage to your career.

“Let your personality be your profit and not your punishment.”
-Amit Kalantri


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy nenetus at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Checklist for Productivity During a Flight Delay at an Airport


21 Tips for Productivity When Stranded by a Flight Delay



Ugh, it’s so frustrating to be stranded at an airport or in a hotel room from a flight delay caused by inclement weather or airline computer breakdowns.

As you’re reading this, you’re thinking delays are a huge waste of time, right?

No doubt, you can think of some things to be productive such as pulling up your work on your computer.

But you can use your time really well, if you’re prepared.

Here’s a checklist:

1. Have a personal WIFI

To be sure, you have some emailing to do or topics to surf on the Internet.

True, airports have public WIFI systems.

But the key word here, “public,” is a red flag for security reasons.

So get a personal WIFI.

You can also use your cellphone or other mobile device as a substitute, a mobile hotspot.

2. Consider new productivity apps

Create, edit, share forms, communicate with your staff in real time and perform other tasks with EZ Forms.

If you’re visually oriented, you can do all kinds of things with Inkflow.

Manage your passwords across all your devices with a single password that will delete your personal information from hackers with Keeper.

An app enabling you to save time in messaging is Mailbox.

To keep you from getting lost while looking for destinations, Wikitude can be helpful as a reality app.

3. Consider buying a tablet keyboard

If you’re a tablet user, you can make typing easier with a cheap wireless keyboard.

4. Pack your device chargers

Even more frustrating than being stuck at an airport is having your devices shut down from dead batteries. You’ll want to fully charge and pack your mobile devices before heading for the airport.

Even better, extra charged batteries can be helpful.

5. Expedite Check-in

You can save time checking in and finding your gate by signing up for airport apps, and downloading your boarding pass.

Plus, scores of airports and 19 airlines allow a government pre-check with TSA Pre✓.

6. Use a business lounge

Work in comfort at a business or first-class lounge. Amenities can actually make delays enjoyable.

7. Write a to-do list 

Being stranded is a perfect time to get and feel more organized by working on a to-do list for tasks while you’re stranded.

8. Organize for the rest of your trip

Whether you’re en route to a speaking engagement or client meeting, surely there are things you can accomplish.

9. Organize your trip expenses 

This time is ideal for organizing your receipts and business expenses.

Yes, I know a lot of people do it and I appear to be old-fashioned, but I’m not wild about putting important financial information on mobile apps unless you’re absolutely certain your smartphone is absolutely secure.

No smartphone is secure without taking strong security precautions to prevent mobile attacks.

10. Delegate or request assistance

For tasks you can’t accomplish while sitting in an airport, you can probably think of things that need to be done. So, call or email your staff or associates for help.

11. Pay attention to vexatious emails 

Whether you’re procrastinating on responding to certain emails or you’re unsure what to write, now is the perfect time to at least start drafting an email.

It’s also a good investment of your time to review your emails, organize them and to delete unwarranted emails.

12. Contemplate your overall objectives 

Instead of stressing about the inconvenience of your delay, review your big-picture situation and current business stratagems.

Review your metrics and contemplate possible changes.

13. Make fast phone calls 

If you think about it, there are probably some quick phone calls you can make. Discussions about confidential matters or important phone calls can probably wait.

14. Catch up on your reading 

Review industry news online or have helpful books or articles you can consume.

If you’re all caught up business-wise, relax by reading a good book. To totally escape while reading, my preference is a good mystery or spy thriller.

15. Avoid annoying noise with headphones

Whether you’re sitting next to someone who’s carrying on a noisy phone conversation or hyperactive children, you can cancel out the noise if you have good headphones.

16. Set your phone timer 

If you’re engrossed in your work, set a timer so you don’t waste time continually checking the time or risk missing developments about your flight.

17. Work offline 

Avoid temptations or distractions by working offline.

18. Meditate 

Sitting around an airport can be stressful. Meditation is a great way to relax and to clear your mind.

You’ll be amazed by the benefits.

19. Eat a healthy snack 

Business trips can be draining. Instead of drinking too much coffee, get some brain food or high-protein snacks for energy.

20. Rehearse your foreign language skills 

Whether you’re traveling overseas or just want to better understand other cultures, learning another language is fun and productive for your brain.

Duolingo is a well-regarded free app.

Being able to speak to foreigners in their native tongues will bring a smile to both theirs and your faces.

21. Get compensation 

If you can justify to an airline how you’ve wasted valuable time, perhaps you can get some sort of recompense. It might be possible to get part of a refund or credit for future trips. It’s worth asking about it.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Best Tips to Avoid Unnecessary Stress on Business Trips — On overseas trips, business travelers feel anxiety for a myriad of reasons. Here are 14 ways to alleviate stress.

13 Great Business Travel Tips — Jet lag, bad hotel beds, and lost luggage – just a few of the miseries of business travel. But travel is vital to manage operations, close sales and to build relationships.

6 Top Tips for Etiquette in Business Travel — If you’re into people-watching, the airport is an entertaining place to be. You’ll see all kinds of personalities. That’s especially true for the wide variety of business travelers. For successful trips, business travelers share one common trait. They need to be mindful of business etiquette.

8 Year-Round Business Tax Strategies Are Vital — Many business owners find they can plan their futures, operate their businesses more efficiently year-round, and take maximum advantage of tax savings when they file their returns. Ask your tax advisor about these 8 strategies.

8 Strategies for Business Tax Deductions on Your Vacation — Did you ever notice professional organizations hold their conventions at favorite tourist destinations? The reason? An opportunity for a vacation using some tax write-offs.

Etiquette Tips for Conducting Business in the French Culture — Not to be gauche, but compared to the U.S., conducting business in France might seem a bit quirky to you. Nevertheless, business with the French can be very profitable, if you approach it with dignity.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

– Buddha


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy khunaspix at www.freedigitalphotos.net

HR: Say the Right Things in Difficult Situations with Employees



Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person.

With under-performing employees, these are critical conversations. They can be a challenge.

Certainly, you want to get the right results. Saying things the wrong way can escalate into a lawsuit.

In difficult conversations with employees, here’s how to manage the risks:

1. Don’t procrastinate

If you have a poor-performing employee, deal with the situation as quickly as you can.

Keep in mind the employee probably anticipates that a discussion is forthcoming.

Certainly, you want to solve problems right away.

With an employee who has a poor attitude, you also might be dealing with a person who is intent on a pre-emptive strike against your company.

Avoid the appearance of being retaliatory. So prepare:  Document the need for the discussion, and why and when it’s scheduled.

2. Prepare documentation

Spend adequate time preparing documentation. There are two documents you’ll need: 1. Your talking points for you to use. 2. Paperwork to give your employee.

Initially, give the employee the paperwork – whether it’s an appraisal or memo. Give the person time to read it.

3. Include illustrations

Don’t generalize. Provide specific examples about the employee’s behavior or performance. If you’re minimizing the number of examples for now, say so.

There two reasons for providing specific examples.

You don’t want to unknowingly give ammunition to the employee for a lawsuit. On the positive side, however, you might be opening the door for the employee to improve.

4. Don’t discuss the person’s intent

Stay calm and don’t speculate. Don’t get into the person’s possible intentions or motives. That’s irrelevant and too difficult to prove, and it only gives the employee more ammunition against you.

Certainly, you want to be helpful to the person, but again don’t get into intent or motive.

To be supportive, you can say something like, “We want you to be successful.”

Don’t ask why the person is underperforming – whether it might be a physical or emotional problem – or the person’s work-life management issue.

If you do, more than likely you’ll be opening the door to an ADA disability claim.

Focus on results.

If the employee mentions a condition, disability or a religious belief, get ready for a longer discussion.

5. Don’t make any excuses

Be careful and don’t make any excuses or admissions. Certainly if the company is at-fault, the employee should not be reproached.

But don’t try to soften the blow of a criticism by saying something such as, “It’s the company’s fault as much as yours.”

Management shouldn’t take responsibility unless it’s appropriate.

6. Be careful about your verbiage

Avoid the appearance of bias. Take every precaution to be objective. That means being careful not to use words that might lead to a discrimination complaint against you.

Focus on principles, not personalities. Don’t label the person.

If you label the employee as “rigid,” you’ll be giving the person an opportunity to disingenuously claim that you’re either discriminatory on either age or on gender discrimination, or both.

7. Don’t speak with certain forms of finality

Eliminate any opportunity for the person to accuse you of making exaggerations or being untruthful. Avoid saying “always” and “never.”

Trust me, the person will come up with exceptions and will be able to point out you’re making inaccurate statements. That will spell legal trouble for you.

8. Prepare to listen

Allow the person to respond. Your employee might make valid comments.

With good fortune, the person will offer reasons for the behavior or performance. This might open the door for improvement.

Take good chronological notes as the person talks. Be very cognizant of what is said and what isn’t.

For instance, if the person doesn’t talk but later claims it was discussed in the meeting that you did something unprofessional, your notes will be instrumental in denying any legal liability.

9. Don’t engage in small talk

Don’t casually converse with the person. Be respectful, but start by mentioning it will be a difficult discussion. Then get to the points you want to cover.

Be very careful. Don’t ask about the person’s health or family.

You might be trying to do the right thing, but if you show what you intend to be empathy you’ll find yourself headed for a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

10. Outline your expectations

In addition to specifying your concerns about the person’s performance, carefully explain what you expect for the future.

This includes your objective. Hopefully, you’ll save the employee and get a strong improvement.

If not, you’ll have a documented record of the discussion.

Good luck. Do these things and you’ll minimize any legal danger.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Workplace Bullying – Tips for Victims and Bosses — Workplace issues include bullying. It’s a widespread problem for employers and employees, alike.
Here are valuable tips for both employers and workplace victims.

Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees — With difficult employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s what to do.

“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.”

-Warren Bennis


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

For More Sales, 8 Vital Mobile Marketing Tips



Put your brand where prospects and customers are likely to see it. That means leveraging mobile marketing.

For higher sales, mobile marketing is unique because you’re connecting with them on their most-used devices – smartphones and tablets.

When consumers make a purchase, it’s always based on an emotional decision. For them, tablets and especially smartphones are consumers’ most-intimate devices. Mobile marketing enhances your ability to tap into those emotions.

If you think about it, probably 80 percent of smartphone owners use apps daily. Naturally, you can send special offers and promotions customers and prospects.

For maximum impact, here are eight mobile-marketing tips:

1. Make sure your site is mobile-ready

A mobile-ready site is critical. The design is also critical.

Your mobile site must work well on all devices – smartphones, tablets, desktop and notebooks.

Otherwise, your site won’t be attractive to users.

Your site must be easy to find. Be sure to take the seven precautions for a top Google ranking.

2. Create a mobile application

Admittedly, a good mobile app is not cheap. But if you’re on a tight budget, there are precautions you can take to make your app more affordable.

Look for new app creators who are looking for business. Offer them a fair rate but also offer them site recognition and referrals.

3. Include mobile payments

You can make it easy for your customer to use your site with good mobile payment options. However, you must understand what you need.

Consider ways for maximum efficiency in costs, user-friendliness, and security.

4. Add customer service

In addition to making payments, your customers will expect good customer service. That ranges from being able to tracking their orders to asking questions.

5. Register on mobile directories

Register your site on mobile directories including Google+Local, YP and Yelp.

Include important details: Your name, products and services, a link to your site, business hours, telephone number, and your location.

6. Update your social media

Decide which social mediums are best for your business. Plan to engage your customers.

Start the engagement process by sharing informative posts and comments, and provide FAQs (frequently asked questions).

7. Text marketing

Everywhere you go, you can see people texting using a short message service (SMS). A lot of businesses including financial institutions use SMS as a security step with customers.

This means you should create an opt-in measure that will allow your customers to sign up for your marketing/sales alerts. Don’t forget rewards for customer loyalty.

Hint: People are more inclined to open your texts than emails.

8. Propose deals

While consumers still use coupons from their Sunday newspapers, those with smartphones are much more inclined to redeem SMS coupons.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more mobile tips:

11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Web Site — If you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users. The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under. Studies also show the majority of mobile aficionados use their devices to access the Internet. Such data continually changes — mobile sales and use of the Internet is consistently rising.

Strategies to Create the Best Possible Mobile Apps — Mobile apps are expected to support initiatives for a company’s return on investment. That includes competitiveness in the marketplace; efficiency; enterprise and consumer relationships; and revenue – better yet, profits would be more ideal.

How Mobile Strategies Fit Best in Cross-Channel Marketing — Businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to sell products, but the most successful know how best. They use cross-channel marketing tools.

Marketing Tips via Mobile Devices, Reviews, Coupons — Digital marketing opportunities keep growing and growing. For instance, 70 percent of consumers research product reviews while they shop in stores. Ninety percent are relying on their mobile devices as they make in-store buying decisions.

You Risk Sales If You Don’t Use This Mobile-Web Strategy — Is your mobile site actually hindering brand perception and emotional engagement? If you’re not using the right mobile strategy, you risk sales.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

-Jimmy Dean


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy nenetus at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Choice of Words Matter to Convert Prospects to Customers



Nearly all sales organizations insist their salespeople follow a specified process to persuade prospects to become customers.

Perhaps they understand and use the seven steps to higher sales, the five value perceptions that motive customers to buy and they know how to overcome sales objections.

Such strategies are designed to guide the customer through the buying process.

However, many sales organizations would have an easier route to closing sales if they understood that the choice of words matter. A great salesperson always manages the sales process.

id-100396251In this regard, a 2016 study entitled, “Language of Closers,” by CDK Global makes a lot of sense.

The firm reveals that auto shoppers are motivated to buy depending on the words used by salespeople.

CDK did an analysis of emails from 1,300 car dealers to customers.

The objective was to identify the phrases and words that persuade customers to buy cars.

With more than $2 billion in revenues, CDK Global provides information technology and digital marketing solutions to the automotive retail and adjacent industries.

“People tend to assume that positive words like ‘love’ and ‘amazing’ will be the most persuasive to potential car shoppers,” says Jason Kessler, data scientist at CDK.

“Our research found the opposite and proved that dealers who used proactive language articulating clear next steps for action in their email were the highest closers,” he explains.

“Car shoppers need to be guided through the process and the research supported using language to help them on their journey,” adds Mr. Kessler.

CDK compared the auto dealers’ email responses to online mystery shoppers – a comparison of emails of high-closing dealers to emails of low-closing dealers.

Typically, phrases such as “give me a” and “feel free” were used by the low-closing salespeople in suggesting that a shopper contact the dealer at some indeterminate time in the future.

Such phrases are nebulous because they’re unformulated and fail to encourage shoppers to act. Why? They’re too open-ended because they put the onus back on the shopper.

A great salesperson always manages the sales process.

“This research is exciting because it is so actionable,” explains Mr. Kessler. “By focusing on communication styles that shoppers prefer, dealerships can improve their effectiveness and sell more cars.”

Successful salespeople make a better use of value propositions or benefit statements. CDK confirms that that top word used by high closers is “provide,” and it was used mostly in the context of sharing information.

Additionally, vehicle descriptions, details about the buying process and quotes all help the shopper gain a better understanding so they can feel secure in taking the next step.

But low-closing salespeople use words such as “body style” and “options.” Auto dealer jargon and industry terms are not persuasive when used to answer shopper questions.

CDK’s revelations are not surprising. In my management-consulting practice, in marketing and human resources training for multiple auto dealers, I’ve found this to be true.

Another dealer word used ineffectively by salespeople is “inventory.” Salespeople were advised to use the phrase “you’ll love our great selection” as opposed to the phrase “you’ll love our inventory.”

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

Tips for Your Success with Effective Follow-up Emails — Ever wonder why you’re waiting nonstop for emails – why you’re unsuccessful after you send follow-up emails? It might be because of your approach.

Evaluate, Negotiate and Implement the Most Affordable CRM — There’s a lot to consider in order for a great return on your CRM investment. Here are four due-diligence tips.

Sales Lessons for Car Dealers and Other Retailers — Increasingly, as you might guess, moms visit Internet sites to shop for cars but want face-to-face meetings before buying. But moms say they must be able to trust before buying.

11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Web Site — If you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users. The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under. Studies also show the majority of mobile aficionados use their devices to access the Internet. Such data continually changes — mobile sales and use of the Internet is consistently rising.

Marketing Warfare to Hit Your Target Audience — Because of heavy competition, marketing has become more difficult. Consumers are suffering from consumer overload; they’re inundated with marketing messages. So use these precautions to connect with your target customers.

Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

Lewis Grizzard


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy adamr at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Finding the Right Financial Planner for Your Situation



To achieve your financial goals, it can be a good idea to hire a financial planner. There are several reasons why.

However, if you decide you want a financial planner, always remember due diligence is necessary for your financial security. That means more than checking out a person’s LinkedIn account.

There are many great financial planners but not all are honest. For instance in a well-known case, the Securities and Exchange Commission froze the assets of a financial planner in 2016 on allegations he stole millions of dollars from professional athletes.

Countless published reports indicated the planner, Ash Narayan, took $33 million from 77 clients. He allegedly forged signatures to transfer their money to Ticket Reserve, a ticket-selling company.

He was also accused of not divulging to clients that he was on Ticket Reserve’s board of directors.

So identify an ethical, knowledgeable financial planner who is ideal for you.

id-100210227-1Ask yourself four basic questions:

1. Does the planner relate to me?

You’re more unique than you think. Ambitious people come in all stages – from young Millennials and senior citizens to entrepreneurs and doctors.

So look for a financial planner who can best relate to you and is already familiar with the types of your personal challenges and the important planning strategies.

You might consider searching for an advisor by specialty at www.xyplanningnetwork.com.

Make certain you feel comfortable with the prospective planner by careful interviewing. You can learn a lot by noticing whether the planner asks a lot of pertinent questions of you and listens well to your answers.

Keep in mind the Pareto Principle – also known as the 80/20 rule. In other words, the planner should ask great questions about your situation but you should be doing 80 percent of the talking.

It’s a red flag if the planner doesn’t focus on you.

Haste makes waste.

2. Will I be getting the right services?

Evaluate your needs so you don’t pay for services you don’t need.

Not all planners who specialize in your situation are actually right for you. Why? In some ways, they might provide services not aligned for your needs.

For example, some might focus on comprehensive planning in budgeting, debt, employee benefits, estate planning, investing and insurance.

But other planners are more focused on investing than in planning.

3. How will I compensate the person?

The way a planner is compensated affects the types of recommendations, which may or may not be helpful to you.

Some planners are paid a commission to sell financial products. This means such planners are limited in what they recommend.

Other planners are fee-only. This means their income is based solely on what you pay them. Of course, this means they are more flexible in determining what’s best for you.

Then, there are fee-based advisors who would charge you a fee and make commissions on what they would sell you.

My personal preference is to choose a fee-only advisor for obvious reasons.

4. Am I double-checking the planner’s trustworthiness?

Again, you must check whether the person is best-qualified to focus on your needs and if the person has the necessary knowledge and skills to help you achieve your financial objectives.

At the minimum, research the person’s background, personality and philosophy. Start with their published comments and videos.

Next, check out the person with the Security and Exchange Commission and FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Finally, rely on your notes from your discussions and instincts regarding their interactions with you. When in doubt, don’t – don’t hire the person.

From the Coach’s Corner, here is a myriad of relevant strategies:

7 Steps to Wealth and High Net Worth — Creating wealth and enjoying high net worth doesn’t result from pure luck. It takes a certain mindset and strong action. Here are seven proven steps.

8 Financial Vows for a Young Couple’s Successful Marriage — Young people have starry eyes when they plan to marry. Certainly, they look forward to a lifelong bliss together. Unfortunately, about half of first marriages end in divorce. Often, it’s over money disagreements.

Money – Your Net Worth Matters More than What You Earn — When it comes to finance, most business owners and other individuals strive to increase their wealth to have more opportunities. The trouble with some, however, is that they focus on income and not their net worth. That means, of course, spending less than they earn.

Grow Your Business by Appearing Rich but Conserving Cash — You’ll find it easier to grow your firm if you appear to be wealthy. This will enable you to build relationships with successful entrepreneurs who will introduce you to key people and facilitate growth opportunities for you.

9 Top Money Tips to Get Out of Debt — Debt is a killer. But if you’re in debt, you’re already feeling horribly about it. So get busy with these nine strategies.

9 Secrets for Success in Real Estate Investing — Whether you want to work with investor partners or go solo, real estate investing can be a profitable business. By performing due diligence, developing a system and working hard, real estate investing works.

Haste makes waste.


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 






Stock Market — 5 Reasons to Invest … in a Financial Planner



For people in their prime earning years, ages 25-54, who are interested in investing in the market should pay off debts and then invest in stocks with money they don’t need.

Translation – that’s money not needed for a rainy day fund, down payment on a house and basic living expenses.

Candidly, I wouldn’t try to beat the market by picking the companies and industries that will succeed during the Trump Administration.

id-100451963More specifically, I’d invest 80 percent or so of such funds in an S&P 500 index fund and 20 percent in a good international fund.

By the time they retire, investors should be in easily liquefied money-market deposits or half in cash. As interest rates increase, then think about CDs.

For a highly sophisticated approach, it makes sense to pay for investment advice – but not pay for investment advice if the advisor will only periodically rebalance your portfolio.

A decent software program can accomplish this for you for less money. A lot less.

Remember the difference between two terms: Advisor and broker. There’s a big difference and it has to do with avoiding someone with a potential conflict of interest.

An advisor is an objective professional to whom you pay a flat fee who is a fiduciary – someone legally obligated to perform in your best interest in choosing bonds, stocks, real estate investment trusts and other investments.

A broker is a person who works for an investment firm. Basically, they’re salespeople who are paid a commission by selling you bonds, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds or other products.

My preference is to pick a proven, bonafide advisor who is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Personally, I wouldn’t hire someone to actively manage my financial affairs. I’d want to maintain control of my finances. But I would consider hiring an advisor for planning purposes.

Otherwise for expert help, there are five reasons to pay for expertise in financial planning:

1. Developing your investment plan

Your savings rate is the first important consideration. You have to set up a savings schedule and achieve your goal before you start investing.

Before creating a plan, the best investment advisors will ask about your objectives and your financial situation.

You’ll learn how much to save, which accounts to use and which investments to pick.

Again, be sure to pick an advisor for objective advice who isn’t married to a brokerage house. Expect to pay a one-time fee to position you for success in the years to come.

2. Behavioral-investment coaching

Like most things in life, investing involves emotion. But the importance of successful investing necessitates being disciplined and focused.

This means staying with proven principles and not haphazardly switching investments just to chase performance.

Long-term, you’d be better off emulating the approach of the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffett. He looks for long-term value in a sector he understands.

He’s stuck to his plan even during roller-coaster times.

Behavioral coaching will help you to be stable ala Mr. Buffett in order to profit from your investments.

3. Tax considerations

When it comes to taxes, you have two basic options: A) Tax-advantage accounts such as health savings accounts, IRAs and 401(k) s; and B) Taxable investment accounts.

If you put all your funds in the former, the following information doesn’t pertain to you.

In taxable-investment accounts, you don’t pay taxes on gains until you sell your stocks. The good news is that you’re taxed at a lower rate.

If your stocks pay dividends, then you’re subject to a tax, too, but it’s also at a lower rate.

Interest gains from bonds, however, are taxed as ordinary income.

Therefore, you probably will prefer to put bonds in tax-advantaged accounts while leaving stocks in your taxable-investment accounts.

All of these details is where a good financial advisor can assist you.

4. Socially responsible investments

Some investors like to invest with their social values in mind. That’s the case, for example, in renewable or green energy.

Such investors avoid oil and gas investments vis-à-vis solar or windmill-energy companies. This, of course, requires consulting a green-minded advisor.

If you go this route, be very careful. Do your due diligence. Don’t accept an advisor’s claims at face value. Ask well-thought out questions and research the person thoroughly for expertise and philosophy.

5. Retirement withdrawal strategies

It’s important to learn when and how you should plan for retirement. This can be very complex depending on the size of your portfolio.

You’d be best advised on how much money to take out of the most-logical accounts at the right time.

Three provisos to keep in mind: Your individual needs, applicable taxes and the stock-market conditions.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more financial strategies:

Money – Your Net Worth Matters More than What You Earn — When it comes to finance, most business owners and other individuals strive to increase their wealth to have more opportunities. The trouble with some, however, is that they focus on income and not their net worth. That means, of course, spending less than they earn.

7 Steps to Wealth and High Net Worth — Creating wealth and enjoying high net worth doesn’t result from pure luck. It takes a certain mindset and strong action. Here are seven proven steps.

Finance: 10 Year-End Tips for Entrepreneurs — If your business slows down in Q4, the holidays are a great to assess your year and plan for the New Year. Like wellness checkups with your doctor, it’s a good time to evaluate your financials.

Business Insurance Tips to Keep Money from Walking Away — As an entrepreneur you’ve worked long hours, scrimping, saving and planning in your fight for survival. But do you regularly take time to financially protect yourself and business?

6 Best Practices to Capitalize on a Business Loan — Whether it’s a business loan, a cash advance against your credit-card income, equipment lease or purchase or commercial mortgage loan, don’t have stars in your eyes. Be pragmatic.

Finance Your Vacation with Credit Card Travel Reward Points — If you plan well, you can finance most of your family’s vacation with travel reward points. The trick is to learn all the ways you can earn points. This entails far more than just buying airline tickets or reserving a hotel room.

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

-George S. Patton


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy Chai25182518 at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Leadership: 4 Strategies Dealing with Incompetent People



Yes, incompetent employees – whether they have difficult personalities or they simply under-perform – can be aggravating. But they don’t have to be.

For whatever reason when employees fail to perform, it’s still vital for managers to show leadership by maintaining their cool.

Why? For two reasons:

Firstly, managers should never give away their personal power by getting angry. Secondly, it isn’t always possible to fire incompetence.

So a manager must step up and show leadership – with detachment, not indifference. Yes, there is a difference.

With detachment, leaders methodically reflect on a problem with emotional intelligence. (More on this later in the Coach’s Corner.) They understand the root causes and take positive action.

However, with indifference, managers don’t act with leadership. They don’t accurately analyze the reasons for the problem. Consequently, they act with haste not with emotional sobriety.

In fact, great managers actually know how to enjoy their jobs even with difficult employees.

id-10091536So leaders know to use four techniques:

1. Communicating

The first indicator of issues is a lack of communication and missing information.

As a result, people resort to making false assumptions.

When issues manifest themselves as problems – poor sales, for example – employees point fingers.  That results in stress, tension and poor morale.

Despite being surrounded by incompetent workers, leaders know they have to act like the only adult in the room.

Leaders set parameters and procedures for communication. They give examples of how they want the employees to engage in discussions.

This usually entails meetings or one-to-one discussions with documentation. That means written follow-ups on which employees can refer later.

2. Record-keeping

For situations involving toxic workers, there are always unnecessary challenges. But they must be addressed.

The best option is always to take preventative measures – with transparency and documentation. That’s right, document everything.

3. Staying calm

While it’s true that incompetence is infuriating, leaders don’t show it.

They take precautions with plenty of rest, recreation and exercise. Should tensions rear their ugly heads, leaders do what they need to do to stay calm.

That might mean taking a break, going for a walk or talking with a sounding board.

Even leaders get to where they are because they have a role model or mentor – someone who listens, provides empathy and provides objective feedback.

They brace themselves.

Leaders always consider the big picture – the overall welfare of the company. Leaders know that emotional sobriety with mental preparation is vital for success.

They know if they’re detached, other employees rise to the occasion and deliver strong performances to offset incompetent team members.

In other words, they deliberate and they don’t make rash decisions with hurried actions.

4. Coaching

Frustrations from dealing with difficult employees coincide with many issues for management – teamwork, morale, organizational dysfunction and weak customer relationships – just to name a handful.

They’re all related to loss of profit. So, toxic employees warrant coaching tactics.

Furthermore, to effectively replace mediocrity with strong performance, leaders optimize talent by developing a coaching culture.

If your suppliers or strategic partners are dysfunctional, you can effectively deal with them. The key is to coach your vendors and strategic partners.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

How to Grow Your EI for Leadership Success — Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

Trending – the 7 Biggest Challenges for Management — In our complex Digital-Age economy with Millennials replacing baby boomers, we can draw some conclusions about developing trends. Management typically faces seven workforce challenges.

5 Top Leadership Philosophies in Business Management — From Seattle to Singapore, top managers show leadership by coaching their teams to success. They accomplish goals with five habitual philosophies.

Leadership Tips for Executing Strategy to Defeat Threats — Multiple solutions might work to triumph over a threat, but a global study in 20 sectors in 20 countries shows execution trumps strategy. Here’s how leaders execute strategy.

5 Traits of People Who Deliver Bad News Well — Are you nervous about giving bad news to others? Do you wish you were good at it? If you answer yes to either question, here are five traits of good messengers.

As Trustworthy Leaders, Great Bosses Have 5 Traits — Trust, or lack of it, is an obstacle to leadership. It’s a mega issue in America. It’s reached crisis proportions. Published polls show Americans distrust their political leaders, journalists and CEOs. So it’s obvious there are countless missed opportunities in politics, the news media and business. A Stanford professor provides solutions.

“I always tell employees: ‘The group’s benefit is more important than your personal benefit.’”

-Terry Gou


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Courtesy of imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Tips for Your Success with Effective Follow-up Emails



OK, businessperson, so you’re once again learning that an adage is true: “A watched pot never boils.” That’s especially true when hoping for positive information in business.

If you’re like many businesspeople, you’re experiencing stress waiting to hear back from clients or other associates. You’re wearing yourself out checking your inbox.

Ever wonder why you’re waiting nonstop for emails – why you’re unsuccessful after you send follow-up emails?

id-10099094So you start thinking about all the quotations about perseverance.

You’re motivated to think of excuses to send yet another follow-up email.

Wait.

First, think about how you feel when you get emails that don’t motivate you.

Many such emails are insulting because they’re annoying, right?

Here are common mistakes in sending follow-up emails:

1. “In case, my email went to your junk…”

Imagining your email recipient never saw your email is unproductive. Sending such an email is fantasy thinking.

Your intended recipient will likely think the same as you.

Worse, the person is likely to think you’re immature from being awkwardly impatient.

2. “Just following up in checking you didn’t forget…”

By sending such an email, you’re assuming there’s an irrational reason why the person hasn’t responded.

Actually, you’re insinuating the person either has amnesia or isn’t organized.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau

3. “Because my email hasn’t been working well…”

By dishonestly trying not to insult the person, you’re sending the message that your email system is inefficient.

Scheming is not a virtue. Don’t send such an email unless it’s really true.

4.Realizing you’re really busy…”

Your recipient is likely to be insulted because you’re telling the person to make you a priority. That’s gauche. Put another way, it’s insulting.

Acknowledging the person is busy, but then to become an interruption in his or her day is unproductive and isn’t likely to be received well. You’re actually being dismissive of the person.

Solution

Forget the manipulations. Fake excuses will be obvious. They make you look like a dishonest amateur.

If you want an answer, show you have patience with true business acumen. Wait five business days between communications. Send truthful emails with value propositions.

By being patient – not needy – you’re far more likely to win. So don’t give away your power by being impatient.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are tips in the art of persuasion:

Insights – Why Marketers Should Show Moderation in Digital Communication — Businesses will decrease their chances for customer loyalty and repeat business if they don’t act with more self-control in digital marketing.

25 Best Practices for Better Business Writing — If you want to accelerate your career or turbo-charge your business, one of your priorities should be good communication. Good writing is necessary in a myriad of ways, including letters, advertising copy and presentations. A lack of writing skills will hold you back or even hurt your career.

9 Tips to Connect with People after You Make Your Speech — Typically, in making a speech at a public forum, businesspeople hope to get a return on their investment — here’s how you can get a strong ROI.

Are You Hungry for Marketing Ideas to Expand Your E-mail List? — Bloggers and Web site owners can benefit from the same potpourri of strategies to attract visitors and to persuade them to join an e-mail list.

Business Etiquette Dos and Don’ts – Sending Holiday Cards — One of the best investments for your business relationships is to send holiday cards. It’s an excellent way to stay in touch and to show gratitude in your business relationships. But you must do it right.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net


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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.