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.

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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.

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?

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.

Steal Something!

One of my 101 Selling Tips on Facebook is…Steal good ideas! When you see an idea that works or influences you, adapt and apply it to your selling techniques. Whenever you are persuaded to take action or find you like any communication about another product or service take note of what motivated you to act on that stimuli. If it convinced or influenced you, ask yourself how you think it might influence your customer or clients.

Let’s face it…there are no new ideas! Everything has been done before, we just improve and modify things to suit our current set of needs. One of my Facebook friends, Marilyn Suttle, author of “Who’s Your Gladys” offered a series of daily posts of what she called “100 Days of Apprectiation” where she listed people, places, or things she truly appreciated. Sharing a list of things is not new. Showing others how to live in an appreciative mindset is not new. In fact many of the perspectives that Marilyn has shared are, in fact,  very common…Marilyn Suttle Day 69 of 100 Days of Focusing on Appreciation: Today I appreciated waking up to the sounds of birds chirping. I’ve heard them for the last few mornings. They sound so happy!” Trust me, in Michigan on the first warm morning in five months…we all appreciated the chirping outside our window.

Here’s the deal…Marilyn gave me the idea to start sharing a selling tip every day and do it for 101 days. I liked the idea and sat down on a snowy morning a few days later and made a listing of 101 tips for selling. The feedback on Facebook has been phenomenal, and yes I plan to turn it into a book. Maybe a FREE eBook!

NOTE: Remember, always honor copyrights and trademarks! This just makes sense, don’t you think?

Here’s the deal. As you strive for mastery in the selling profession, you must follow the attributes of a Chief Performance Officer. Define your Prosperity, Identify your Priorities, Develop your Plan (and steal ideas from others), Select a Partner, and Party when you succeed.

If You Want to Improve…READ!

In nearly every presentation I do, I ask the audience members to raise their hand if they have read a book that relates to their industry or field. Unfortunately, very few raise their hand.

Someone once said: “The only thing worse than a man who cannot read is a man who can read but doesn’t.”

It’s not necessary to read a book, read magazines, ezines, papers, google articles, blogs like this…just read something that relates to your professional interests. Reading is one of the best ways a person can their own Chief Performance Officer.
You can see a list of my recommended reading on the resources tab at http://TheCPOInstitute.com

What good books have you read lately? 

To Twitter or not to Twitter?

Do I  want to Twitter? How do I get the most out of Twitter? Twitter…what’s Twitter?

Using Twitter as a Social Networking tool is fun and easy. It can be a helpful tool or a waste of time.

But can it increase your performance?
Here’s how to get the most out of Twitter.

DON’T JUST DO IT! Follow these suggestions and tips.

1) Decide what you want to get from Twitter before you start.
Do you want more friends, customers, motivation, ideas, research, updates, news, weather, quotations, jokes…well you get the idea. What exactly do you hope to get from Twitter? Many people join Twitter, try it for a couple of days, then let it die. That’s because they didn’t have a clue what they wanted from it.
Be clear on your objectives for using Twitter. Tip#1: Having lots of “Followers” is not as important as having Followers that are important to you.

2) Do your research.
Let’s say you want to use Twitter for researching a specific topic. Okay, this is almost too easy! All you need to do is Google “How do I use Twitter for research?” There you will find details on how to use this valuable tool.
For example, if I wanted to see what others had to say about the new Chevy Camaro,I would enter #Camaro or Camaro into Twitter Search. Another tool I find very helpful is Tweetdeck, a free downloadable software which can beused for searching several topics at once. Tip#2: Spend a few hours at Twittip.com and explore the opportunities.

3) Call on a friend.
Find somebody you know that will mentor you on Twitter. If you have a friend that has used Twitter for some time (and they have a clue) they can be a great resource for coaching.
If you are a member of an association or group, try to find other members that utilize Twitter.
Another way to begin “Tweeting” is to get a friend or group of friends to join with you and leverage each others research, tips, followers et cetera.
Tip#3: Follow me on Twitter.com/TheCPO and follow a few of the great people I follow. Once you build 30-50 followers…ask them questions. People that Tweet are most helpful folks. Ask them, they will help.

Today saying you don’t Twitter is like people who ten years ago boasted about not using email. Get with it! Improve your performance in life and at work by staying in the know and in contact. Be Your Own Chief Performance Officer.
Like everything thing in life, this tool we call Twitter can be helpful, but “Don’t Just Do It!”