TMI-Timeline Marketing Ideas

Facebook Timeline is coming to your Fan Page soon.
DON’T PANIC!
Sure it’s a change and sure it’s going to take a bit of work, but I think the new format will be Facebook an even stronger marketing and relationship building tool.
Besides, you don’t have a choice!
Here are Ten Tips which will help you and your biz leverage the new timeline:
1) Even though Facebook strictly forbids blatant marketing on your cover pic, it’s still a great place to market. We know that 21% of the people who visit a new profile will click on the profile pic. Let’s assume it’s less than that, it’s still worth taking the time to type in a brief description of your business. Did you see that word brief? I’m talking mission/vision or brand statement or tag line. Visit mine at http://facebook.com/terry.wisner and see what I mean.
2) Let your cover pic be a welcoming visual and post your logo as your profile pic. Facebook recommends your profile pic be 180 X 180 pixels for best results.
3) Humanize your brand! Take a couple of hours and fill in a history of your biz. Tell people when and how it was founded. Share key product/services which have been added over the years. Remember, people often select a biz simply because of their years of experience.
4) Having the analytics at the top of the page serves as a good reminder how you are doing…don’t hide it.
5) Here’s a cool tip, you can move an older post to the top of your Timeline to highlight it again. Just hover over the posting, click on the little pencil in the upper-right corner, then click on “pin to the top”. It will stay there for seven days.
6) While we’re on the topic of manipulating posts, you can also change the date of a post to move it out on your timeline. Not sure why we would want to do this, unless you were to feel your more recent posts are more relevant but yet you don’t want to hide a particular post.
7) Another cool tip on posts, especially with awesome pics, hover over the post, click on the star in the upper right-hand corner and you will “highlight” that pic or post. This is especially cool if you have a product you want to feature.
8) THIS IS YOUR LANDING PAGE! No longer can you select default pages for people to land on. Make it great!
9) You can now take customer concerns and complaints “off-line” by asking them to message you directly. This has a great deal of potential.
10) Last, but certainly not least, take this opportunity to clean-up your “About” tab. Ask yourself this question: “Would I read this?”
Convert over to the new Fan Page Timeline and begin to experiment. It won’t go live until you tell it too or on March 30. Why wait? If you feel panicky, give me a call. We are offering very special Facebook Coaching and Consulting rates for the entire month of March.
Enjoy!

Advertisements

Recipe for Highly Effective Teams

All too often, companies waste their hard earned profits on team building efforts that result in little, or no, improvement in performance. If the only results the leadership wants to see are to have fun and spend some cash, then that is perfectly fine. However, if the leadership desires highly effective teams, then they will need to follow the recipe for teamwork.

As with most recipes, it is recommended you adhere to each step at first. After getting some experience, it will be safe to adjust ingredients to the team’s personal taste.

Step 1:

Pre-condition the environment for the changes in team operating principles. It is important that the environment is set just right, or the team will not reach its optimal performance. This collection of people will, from this point forward, be known as a team. The team will be expected to accomplish certain things and achieve specified results.
The environment, also known a culture, should be generously and evenly coated with leadership. The leader must set the tone for a collaborative and cooperative culture. Although there have been cases where highly effective teams exist in an environment with the boss rules with fear and intimidation, it is very rare.

Step 2:

Add equal and significant amounts of Missionand Values to the organization and each individual person on the team. It is widely known, that people cannot operate effectively if they don’t know where they are going. The more people understand the mission, the more likely they are to be effective. The more they believe and live by the values, the more likely they are to be engaged.
Add a good dose of understanding individual roles and responsibilities.
Team members must be aware of how everything they do supports the mission and how they are expected to relate to others. People on poor performing teams often do not understand how their efforts affect the overall mission.

Every individual on the team must have their own goals. They must have one or two primary and several secondary goals. When they achieve these goals, the mission will be accomplished. The individual goals should come from the person and not the boss. They can and should work together on identifying the goal, but the individual must make a personal commitment to attaining the goal. This commitment to performance will only come about, if the individual believes the changes are important to them personally.

Step 3:

Now fold in a clearly defined operating process for team members to follow. Every successful team has established rules and guidelines for members to follow. These processes should include how team members should communicate internally and externally. They should tell members how they should resolve conflict and encourage each other. Problem solving mechanisms are also included in these processes. Effective operating processes also help build the “chemistry” among the team players. This chemistry comes from every team member having the just the right amount of attitude and engagement.

An attitude of cooperation, collaboration, and compromise will go a long way in creating an effective team.

This is where a good deal of trust is folded into the mixture. Every team process is based on trust. Team members must trust the leader and each other. Team members cannot take individual credit for team accomplishments. As the old saying goes; there is no “I” in team. It is true however, that a team consists of a number of “I”ndividuals.

Step4:

Just a dash of attention must be given to the way team members interact with each other.
They must respect and assist each other if the team is expected to excel. Team members and leaders must reinforce positive team behaviors and deal with team behavioral issues. Just the right blend of people, doing the right jobs, will make for great team results. A sprinkle of attention should be directed to how team members interact with others outside the team. All too often, a highly performing team can alienate outsiders and find their mission is compromised because of external factors. A team can never be more important than the overall company mission and objectives.

Step5:

Finally, sprinkle in rewards to taste. Rewards must be appropriate for the team and it is most effective if the entire team receives the reward. The fastest way to make a good team go bad, is to select one or two team members and recognize the team efforts trough them. If everyone achieved their individual goals, then everyone should share accordingly. Ask the team members, they will tell you if it’s fair.

That is, if the environment is right in the first place.

The mix of these ingredients will make a high performance team. The secret is how to adjust the quantities of each and just the right blend for your company and group of individuals. Through years of experience with building high performance teams, Terry “TJ” Wisner, has developed an effective process to inspire leaders and teams to make the necessary changes to achieve higher levels of performance. Cook up the right recipe for highly effective teams and become more successful.

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.

Six Keys to Self-Confidence

A young lady approached me after a recent customer service seminar and expressed a need to improve her self-confidence. She believed her career prospects were limited by her personal insecurity. Furthermore, she asked if the Partnering Process would work for her. As those of you who are regular readers of this publication know, Partnering can help any two people become more successful at whatever they want to do. The good thing is that she is aware she needs to improve and has the desire to improve. So I, of course, told her to use the process and focus her plan on these keys to enhancing self-confidence.

Leave the past behind. Don’t get hung-up on past failures and disappointments. Often people rehash past failures and predict they will fail again. The question everyone needs to answer is: What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? A person cannot redo what they did yesterday, however, they can change what they will do tomorrow.

Remember the wins. As people progress towards their personal improvement goals, they need to look at the little successes and celebrate them. Obstacles will impede progress, as they are overcome, they will encourage greater confidence. It’s a good idea to keep a daily journal of accomplishments to visit when it feels like little progress has been achieved. It is experience, both good and bad, that builds confidence.

Gain knowledge. One of the best ways to bolster confidence is to equip oneself with knowledge. The more knowledge acquired… the stronger the self-confidence. Learn more about the profession you have chosen, more about your company’s
products and services, more about the people that surround you, more about your customers, and more about people in general.

Hang with the eagles. It’s probably easier to soar like an eagle when surrounded by nothing but turkeys. However, if a person spends time with people that are more confident than they are, it is quite likely they will improve their own self-confidence.
Like many folks, my scores on the golf course are better whenever I golf with players that are superior in skill. Maybe I concentrate more. Maybe I focus on my game more. Or maybe I just try harder.

Go for the low hanging fruit. When building self-confidence, look for opportunities to succeed. In the planning process, set attainable short-term goals to help boost confidence. It is important to steer away from uncertainty. For example: a person that wishes to enhance their presentation skills and overcome their fear of speaking might want to do some one-on-one presentations before trusted friends. The second step might be to join Toastmasters or enroll in a Dale Carnegie class. After developing their skills, then they may ask if they could do more presentations before customers or leadership teams.

Start each day off well. I will be the first to tell you this sounds a little ridiculous, but it works. Begin each day with positive affirmations about how confident you are becoming. And believe it! Literally look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that your self-confidence is improving. These positive declarations will reinforce the other actions you have taken to enhance your self-confidence.

The Earl of Chatham, William Pitt, in 1766 said that “confidence is a plant of slow growth.” Self-confidence cannot be attained easily or rapidly. It requires determination, a well thought-out plan, and a Partner to provide support, feedback, and encouragement. Share these six keys to enhancing self-confidence with others who may grow and improve through Partnering To Success.

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!

Automated Love!

Professional speakers and trainers tend to spend many hours using free wi-fi in sandwich and coffee shops across the land. We meet clients, write, read, and maybe most importantly, watch the interesting interactions of the people who cross our paths. One such day at the local Panera Bread, three young ladies took the table next to me and began to rave about the “awesome” white sports car one of them had recently purchased. Not only was she a proud new owner of her “first new car” but her friends were obviously envious of her new wheels as well.

Then the conversation took a very negative tone.

The young lady disgustedly proclaimed how she had just spent $36K with the local dealership where her family had done business for years, and all she got was a “bleeping” automated email. “I mean what the bleep, I spent more money than my parents did for their first house…and all I get is a “bleeping” automated email to thank me?”

As a dealership, whatever client services or relationship management software system you use…make it personal!

And that doesn’t mean merely typing in their full, given name from the contract.

“I consult and train dealerships on building strong customer relationships, do you mind if I ask you a quick question?” I said. After the typical “What’s with this guy look” she nodded and agreed to entertain the question.

“What could the dealer or sales person have done that would have made you happy?”

“They could actually show me that they care! I don’t that’s too much to ask.”

Automated love doesn’t leave customers feeling that the dealership really cares. Nothing can damage or stifle customer relations more significantly that a “personal contact” that is perceived as highly impersonal. Don’t get me wrong! Friendly reminders and the occasional educational communique can be routine and automated, but thank you notes must be personal. That’s right! Just a simple thank you note will go a long way. For those who have forgotten the lost art of handwritten thank you notes, here is a brief reminder:

Address them directly: Start off with a “Dear ….” greeting or if it’s a long-time customer you can call them by their first name if more appropriate.

Keep it simple: There is no need to get all syrupy and cutesy. Keep it simple and specific. Thank them for coming to you for their transportation needs and welcome them to the dealership “family” or make a statement that will tie-in to the dealership tag line.

Sign-off…don’t sell: Sincerely thank them again and tell them how important their relationship is to you and the dealership. Reassure them that you will be their to meet their continued needs. DON’T UPSELL or even thank them for their BUSINESS. This is all about personal relationships!

A simple thank you note would have made our first time buyer Panera Bread friend much happier. In fact, thank you notes will make everyone happier. The next time you use a “Automated Love” email “Customer Relationship Management” software system, think about the young lady in Panera Bread…how did it make her feel?

Kill the automated love! Relationship building starts with a simple thank you note. And thanks to Panera Bread for the Wi-Fi.

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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp5dU_hvSxw Come for a short ride!