Don’t Get Hijacked

Did you hear the story about the store owner who fired his Facebook Manager?

It’s not a very good story.

Shortly after the “Facebook Guy” was separated from the company, the General Manager realized their Facebook Page had been hijacked. Since all of the Admins were Managers of the page, the ex-employee had the power and ability to change the administration levels of the others and literally take over the entire page. If that doesn’t shake you up, it should.

That is exactly why Facebook has created five different levels to which an individual Admin can be assigned. Let’s review each of the five roles, how they differ and what needs to be considered when assigning Admin roles.

Insight Analysis– This level can only review the page insights and is the lowest level of permission.

Advertiser– This will most likely be the level given to third party advertisers or your internal marketing people permitting them to see insights and create ads.

Moderator– The Moderator level can do everything the first two levels are allowed to do. Additionally, they can add or delete comments as well as respond to messages as the Page. This level is recommended for most team members.

Content Creator– This level has all of the aforementioned permissions and can also create posts as the Page, edit the Page, and add Apps.

Manager– Your Manager(s) have a full set of permissions including the ability to add new administrators and set their permissions levels.

Take a moment to review and edit your Admins’ roles on your Facebook Page. When on your Page, go to your Admin Panel, click Manage, then Settings, then Admin Roles, and select the appropriate level for each of your Admins.

Don’t leave your Page and business at risk! Make sure your team is connected to your Page at the appropriate level and don’t let your Page get hijacked.

Vegas and Networking?

Walking the Strip in Las Vegas can be very interesting, especially at 3:30AM. However, I don’t know about you, but I hate the dudes in the neon shirts who try to get your attention by clapping their brochures which promote some of Vegas’s finest “massage” therapists. It is doubtful this style of promotion actually builds business. So you may be asking; “What’s this have to do with networking”? Fact is, we all have seen the “business card networker” at nearly every networking event we’ve attended. They walk up to a perfect stranger, flash their business card (much like the guys in neon shirts), and nearly force us to take it. They then mumble something that is totally unimportant and they move on to the next “victim” of their time wasting actions.

It’s pretty easy to not be “that guy!” But here are a few tips that might help you with your networking at future networking events as you try to “connect” with new folks:

Establish Your Priorities: Know exactly what you hope to get out of this particular networking event or face-to-face meeting. More importantly, be sure to help the person/people you meet to get something they are looking for. Once you help them get what they’re looking for, they will be much more open to helping you.

Have a Plan: This can truly be anything. It all depends on your brand and what you want others to know about you, your products and services, or your organization. You might want to meet 3 people with whom you want to develop a relationship, or perhaps you will want to gain support for a certain need in your business, like website development, Social Media coaching, teamwork, resume building, et cetera. Just be sure your goals are clear and you have a defined plan.

Be a Connector: Here’s a flash—-It’s not all about you! Make it a goal to introduce at least two people to each other who you think can likely help each other. They will remember you and that is quite likely one of your goals.

Focus on the Future: Dwelling in the past doesn’t help anyone. Talk about what‘s happening in the future and how both of you can help each other achieve great things. There is altogether too much negativity these days…leave it out in your car. Think possibilities!

A few other don’ts include, but are not limited to; don’t just hear…listen. Don’t sell…help. Don’t tell…ask.

Partner with a Friend: Here at The CPO Institute, we encourage Partnering in many ways. What we are talking about here is working with a friend before the networking session to set your individual priorities, plans and goals. Share them with each other, try to introduce each other to at least one perfect stranger with common goals or interests, but don’t simply hang out together. Following the event, it’s a great idea to review how things went for each other. Share who some of your best contacts where and what your follow-up strategies are.

Follow Through: All too often, people don’t follow-up on the valuable contacts they make at networking events. If you meet someone you want to generate a business relationship with, find out if they are into Social Media and which ones. Be sure to get their contact info and follow-up with a phone call, email, note, and/or friend them on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Bottom line, don’t be that guy in the neon shirt! If you want to inform people of you and your “Personal Brand” you must have a plan, help others get what they need, and work with a Partner to get the best results from a networking event and to connect with others.

Did you know you can follow TJ Wisner on his new Facebook Page…see you there!

Start Over

There are those who predict the demise of mankind at precisely 11:11AM on December 12, 2012 in accordance with the Mayan Calendar. If you subscribe to this theory, stop wasting time reading and go spend your time with family and friends. However, if you believe you and your business will continue through 2012 and beyond, you need to keep reading.
Business owners often ask me: Which social media platform will help me and my team leverage social media the most? There are many options and platforms business leaders can use to help grow their brand and build relationships with current and potential customers.
If your organization has a successful social media strategy, we hope to provide a few tips to help this strategy become more successful. If you haven’t yet created a strategy, it’s time to “Start Over.” That’s correct, start over!
Starting over? Look, there are a few small businesses which are doing a great job with their social media strategy. Our objective is to help you ROCK the social media world. But, it won’t be easy. Being social isn’t something you can, or should outsource. Start over by outlining three objectives you want to accomplish regarding your current and future customers. Do you want to enhance two way communications, increase awareness, expand coverage, or maybe recognize clients, reward employees, improve name/brand recognition? Think about it! Simply define three things you would like to improve in the area of customer relationships.
Social Media is about being social. It’s all about building relationships with your co-workers, community and customers. Starting with strategy is the best way to optimize your time and effectiveness in social media. Social media is like every other element of your business, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Contrary to what many social media experts recommend, it’s not best to jump in and “play around” with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other social media platform.
Get started, or start over, and craft a specific strategy for you social media efforts. If you’re on Facebook, please join our “Getting Social” group and tell us your three objectives.

What Kind of Team are We?

A good part of my life has been spent in the field of team building.
Not the gaggy, role playing, touchy feely kind of team building. The how do we become a more highly effective group of people, kind of team building. The kind of team building wherein everyone on the team becomes aware of and understands exactly what kind of team they should be and exactly how they are going to get there.

It never ceases to amaze me how a group of people can become more effective by simply discussing their current team effectiveness and where they believe it needs to go in an effort to achieve the teams objectives.

So here’s the challenge: Have your Board, leadership team, staff, or department discuss what things the team is doing in regards to role clarification, mission, communication and overall effectiveness. Whenever I am leading a team in this exercise, I use my “Team Continuum”  1-10 scale model and ask them to vote anonymously.  It’s probably a great idea to hire a well-seasoned team building consultant to facilitate these discussions. After the group’s votes have been tallied and the average number has been assigned, I ask them to vote on where the team should be.

The discussion on how to get where they think the team should be is always interesting, energetic, insightful, and informative. If you would like to know more about this very effective team building tool and want to help your team understand what kind of team they are, and more importantly how to become more effective, please contact me. I will be happy to discuss this with you.

Terry Wisner, is the Founder and President of The CPO Institute. Helping individuals and organizations become more highly effective.

Customer Service Starts with Fun!

After studying thousands of companies, the HR management consultancy firm, iOpener, found that there is a very strong correlation between happiness in the workplace and productivity. As Homer Simpson would say, Doh!

Their research actually found that those who were happy at work were 50 percent more productive than their least-happy colleagues. My experience in working with thousands of small businesses and dealerships has taught me that stores who provide outstanding customer service, also create a culture wherein employees have fun.

At The CPO Institute, our research tells us that there are five keys to creating a culture where people have fun. Let’s briefly look at each of these keys:

  • Buy-in- Everyone on the team buys-in to the mission, vision and goals. Moreover, there is a congruency between their personal values and those of the organization
  • Bigger Purpose- Team members understand how their actions add to the greater good of not only the company but also to the community at large.
  • Brotherhood- Encouraging a culture that provides and encourages a supportive environment where people offer and receive support whenever it’s needed.
  • Bottom-line- Each member of the team clearly understands the affect their performance and behaviors have on the bottom-line numbers of the organization.
  • Balls-People in the organization need to feel free to “tell it like it is” and are encouraged to do so. The more open and honest…the more fun exists.

A firm belief here at The CPO Institute, is that customer service is built on having a highly effective team which is focused on building relationships with their coworkers, community and customers. Having fun in the workplace, as iOpener has discovered, will make people more productive and as we have learned, will as a result, create more satisfied customers.

Whether you’re selling cars or real estate, TJ Wisner can help you and your organization. Contact The CPO Institute today and see how we can help. Call TJ directly at 810.569.5858

Trick or Treat…Which Are You? How Do You Know?

Trick or Treat?

Last Sunday night our neighborhood echoed with the sounds of children clamoring that famous Halloween question. Most of the little princesses, ninja turtles, space creatures, muscle men, rock stars and of course, hobo’s were very courteous and appreciative. However, hidden behind a very few of the costumed little creatures were evil little pranksters. As always, there is a minority that try to take the fun out of anything. Whatever the devilish behavior, stealing the smaller children’s candy, smashing pumpkins (not the musical group) and the mild acts of vandalism… it all comes from hidden behind those masked revelers.

Ask yourself this question: When it comes to dealing with our Dealership, is it a trick or a treat?

Do you and your organization hide behind the mask of good advertising and PR work, then give poor customer service once the deal is consummated? Is there a disconnect between what you say you are as a dealership and what you really are? Do the people on your team truly live by the brand or mission statement that is proudly displayed and emphsized in your advertising?

If there is a major incongruence between what the marketing and PR says about your dealership and what your customers see, hear and feel about your store, customers will quite likely feel they are being…tricked. When what you say matches your behaviors, in other words, when you walk the talk, customers are much more likely to become ambassadors and help build relationships for you and your sales and service team.

A great way to see if you are treating your customers the way you say you want to, periodically take a diagonal slice of your organization, including a few loyal customers, and perform a SWOT analysis of your dealership from the consumers point of view. Encourage open, honest input and stress the importance of accurate feedback. You might want to enlist an outside facilitator to help with this initiative. Build on your stores strengths, work on the weaknesses, leverage opportunities, and concentrate on the threats your deaerlship may be facing.

Discover what your customers think…is it a treat to buy from you or do they often feel tricked? Performing a SWOT analysis will help you find out what your customers are clamoring about.

Are you a trick or a treat?

10 Key Behaviors to Build Relationships

Based on the interactions between the newly wedded couple, I couldn’t help but place the odds of their “marital bliss” lasting more than 2 years at much less than 50/50.
Now look, I’m a relationship expert in selling…not marriage. That being said, I do believe that the same behaviors or traits that build strong relationships with co-workers, communities and customers, will also work with couples.
With the help of literally thousands of small business owners and dealership personnel, I have identified these as the top 10 behaviors that help create and maintain healthy strong relationships. These are listed in no particular order of importance:
1. Care for the other’s well-being
This actually is number one
2. Be reliable, do what you say you will do
Follow through is so important
3. Collaborate toward mutual success or “win-win”
Try to fully understand their needs and goals
4. Generate a feeling of fairness
Being fair isn’t enough…they must feel it
5. Maintain a friendly-respectful mindset
Throughout the selling cycle…be nice
6. Give and take without a “balance sheet”
But don’t “give away the store”
7. Display a genuine, but appropriate, commitment to the relationship
Think long term
8. Engender open and honest communication
Never lie or stretch the truth
9. Be empathetic…not sympathetic
Remember it’s all about them
10. Always believe “Relationships are more important than the deal”
Many people who didn’t get this…aren’t around anymore
As I watched the wedding events unfold, it was apparent that the young newlyweds didn’t “score” to well in the aforementioned behaviors. How do you rate in these relationship building attributes? How well do your sales team members score? I’ll bet your strongest sales team members embody these skills very well.
Do you think these behaviors would build strong relationships?
They do, and they lead to a healthier and less stressful life. Oh and by the way, they lead to…more sales!

Selling Tip #94- Don’t Upsell

Day 94 of 101 – Don’t upsell!!!

That’s right…don’t upsell! Nobody likes being “upsold.”

Think about how often you have “turned-off” by an overly aggressive salesperson.

Just after making my purchase decision on a new laptop computer last week, the salesperson began to “upsell” me into a $179 carrying case. When I explained that I already had a fine leather shoulder bag to carry it in, he then tried to convince me to buy a very cool backpack to carry it in. After assuring him I had no need for a carrying case, he then tried to sell me a sleeve to protect my new investment. It was clear that I needed a sleeve to protect my laptop, but by now, after his earlier attempts to “upsell” me, I was about to walk out and buy my sleeve elsewhere. However, since I was excited to get home and begin using my new piece of technology…I bought the sleeve for a mere $17.

Then we get to the register and the “Upsell” for their “Service Agreement” began.

Following the “Upsell” attempts with the carrying cases, it wasn’t difficult to say NO to the purchase of an extended warranty…even though I know I probably will need one.

Look, nobody likes being “upsold” when making a purchasing decision. Fact is, we enjoy it when a sales professional asks appropriate questions to clarify our needs, probes for understanding and offers solutions for us to choose from.

The concept of “Upselling” sounds good from the sales managers perspective because they generally make more profit on the sale, but it NEVER sounds good to the customer unless there is a significant discount on the bundled products or services.

When building solid customer relationships, sell them what they need, but never “upsell”!

Selling Tip #71- Show ‘Em!

If you have a product or service that is really exciting, don’t just send a boring brochure or worse yet an email with a link to a static web page. Send them to a video! With today’s technology, creating an on-line video can be an easy, cheap, fun way to get your product and service information to your current and potential customers. Of course you will want to spend a bit more time on your products features and relevant benefits than I do here, but this will give you an idea: Come for a short ride!

Selling Tip#3-Be Passionate!

Be passionate about the products or services you sell, the people you sell too, the company for which you are selling.

Confucius says: “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”

Is that how you feel about the sales job you have?

Do you enjoy satisfying your client’s needs? When a customer leaves with their purchase, are you 50%, 75% or 100% sure they made the best decision? If you truly don’t believe you are giving your customers the best product or services they need, it is unlikely you can be truly passionate about what you are selling. Worse yet, if you are working from a scripted selling message that you aren’t committed to, it is impossible to be, or even sound passionate.

What about your products really get you excited? Do you genuinely believe in your products? When you in fact believe your products and services make a difference in the lives of your customers, then and only then can you be fervently passionate about your job.

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