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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
What difference would it make to your business if thirty days from now you were getting twice as many referrals as you are today? In this post, I’m going to tell you how to make that happen. But first, a question:
Who are you more likely to refer a friend to, someone you really like or someone who’s a jerk? The answer is obvious: You refer the person you like. And therein lies the key to doubling your referrals: Don’t be a jerk.
“That’s great news,” you say, “because we’re NOT jerks!”
Don’t be so sure. From the customer’s perspective, most businesses are. They’re self-absorbed, uncaring, and greedy.
“But we’re not like that,” you protest. “We really do care! How could people possibly think that?”
Easy. Pretend I’m your customer. Here are some common experiences I have of your business:
- Your website talks about your “Amazing!” products, services, and credentials rather than my problems.
- You talk to me in terms I don’t understand.
- You try to sell me things without finding out what I really want and need.
- I’m feeling nervous, unsure, frightened or frustrated but you don’t notice or care.
- When I call or come to your office it feels like I’m putting you out.
- You’re always trying to sell me something more.
See? Self-absorbed. Uncaring. Greedy. In other words, your business is a jerk. Sorry. No wonder you’re not getting more referrals!
What’s really going on here is that your words and actions are sending major “disconnect” messages to your customers. The three messages people need to “hear” in order to feel connected to you are, I respect you; I understand you; I care about you. But the behaviors above send the opposite messages.
Here’s a simple solution – and this is the key to doubling your referrals:
1) Think through every interaction/experience your customers have with your company.
2) For each one, ask yourself these questions:
- Are my words and actions sending the messages, respect, understand, care?
- If not, what can I do differently to send those messages?
3) Do whatever you come up with.
Evaluating your customer’s experience from the respect/understand/care perspective will transform your business. Customers will actually like you (your business) – and maybe even love you – rather than thinking you’re a jerk. Most important, they’ll start telling their friends. Voila! You’ll double your referrals – and then some!
For the next thirty days, take a good look at all the messages your business sends. Cut out any disconnects. Start sending the three connecting messages. Thirty days from now your business will be operating at a whole new level.
Tags: business communication, Communication, communication advisor, communication training, customer service, customer service training, dental communication, leadership training, patient communication
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Thursday, August 4th, 2011
One of the toughest challenges at work is dealing with a bad relationship. It could be with a co-worker, a customer, a vendor, a boss or someone else but something’s gone wrong, the relationship has gotten tense and it just seems to keep getting worse.
How can you get things back on track?
First, know that you have to do it. An ongoing situation like this can be a real problem. It’s a distraction, a big drain on your energy, and the negativity seeps into everything you do.
To fix it, step one is to have an honest discussion with the other person. Fun!
Okay, not fun. But definitely necessary. And you’ll be surprised how quickly it feels better, assuming you go at it with the right approach.
Here’s a guide to get you started:
1) Begin with an observation about the current state of the things. Keep it as objective as possible. “It seems to me we have not been working that well together.”
2) Own up to your part in it. “I want to apologize for whatever part I’ve played in that. I know I don’t always communicate as well as I could.”
3) Show respect and appreciation. “If I’ve ever given you the impression that I don’t respect you or appreciate what you do I want to apologize for that, too, because I definitely do.”
4) Share a positive vision for the future. “I would love for us to work better together and for things to feel better between us, and I definitely think both of those are possible.”
5) Invite them to comment. “I just wanted to share that with you and see if you had any thoughts or ideas for how we could improve things.”
If you have a work relationship in need of repair, beginning your conversation in this way may be all it takes to turn things around. At the very least, it will go a long way towards getting things back on track and feeling better for everyone involved.
Today’s the day! I know you can do it. I know you’re going to be happy you did.
Tags: Communication, communication advisor, communication coach, communication training, dentist communication, executive speech coach, leadership development, leadership training, patient communication
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Just a quick note to let you know about a new article of mine that just came out with some great presentation tips in it.
The cover story of the current issue of the TASBO Reporter (Texas Association of School Business Officials‘ quarterly publication) is a piece I wrote called, “Make your next school board presentation a winner.” But the tips apply equally well to anyone, especially if they need to present information their audience doesn’t want to hear. (I hope that’s not you. :-) But if it is, this should help!)
If you know someone in education – or anyone with bad news to share – please pass it on. (Click on the article title below to donwload the PDF) And as always, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you, too!
Article PDF: TASBO Article
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Ever get abrupt, bottom-line emails like this?
Hey. There was a problem with those numbers from Tuesday’s meeting. We need to get this straightened out right away. Can you send me the original files so I can take a look? Thanks. DL
This sort of cold, dry communication is very common, especially at work. And it might not seem that bad at first glance, but from my perspective, it’s a communication mistake. Here’s why:
1) It’s a disconnect. Whenever we interact with someone, if we don’t make some sort of human connection, the message it sends is, “I don’t care about you,” which is about the worst message of all for being heard.
2) It diminishes our effectiveness over the long term. Once someone suspects we don’t care about them, they deal with us in a completely different way. They’re guarded, suspicious, much less cooperative. In other words, our influence and impact go out the window. And someone without influence and impact with others is simply not going to be successful.
3) It’s the opposite of what works. In order to be heard, people first need to be open to what we have to say. “Connect, then communicate” is the key to being heard, not the other way around.
The solution? Lead with the Relationship. Meaning, talk to the other person as a person before you get into all the the details and information.
Tags: Communication, communication advisor, communication training, customer service, customer service training, leadership, leadership development, leadership training
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