Simplicity Brings You Focus

Roundup for Weeks Ending Oct 16, 23, 30

One way to protect against being overwhelmed with information is to just focus on one of the main business areas for improvement in a given week or month or even quarter. I like to divide a business organization into 4 main parts: 1) sales, marketing & branding, 2) operations, product development & customer service, 3) finance, legal, HR & IT, and 4) management & leadership. You can even go deeper in one those areas and focus on those. simple_but_not_simpler_einstein_ii

For instance, you can focus just on sales one week, marketing the next and then branding the following week. Ask yourself: which one area do I want to focus on in my company, my work-team and my circle of influence this week for improvement?

TIP: You don’t always have to focus on your weakest area. You can also focus on one of the strongest areas. One of the best strategies for businesses is to operate around its strengths. You can always make your strongest facet even stronger and maintain that edge in the marketplace.

Here we go…

Leadership and Management

Managers: When you meet your employees, how do you structure your conversation? #awayre (How Clear Communication Contributes To Successful ProjectManagement)

How often do you ask your employees for feedback? What would happen if you did it more often? (Everything you need to know about employee pulse surveys)

Why repatriated expats often make great employees. #awayre (Are Expats and ‘Repats’ the next unicorn candidates?)

Being an a-hole is NOT a good leadership strategy! #awayre (Jerks Be Warned: You’re Never Too Busy to Be Nice)

You have a business plan even when you think you don’t have it. The question is: Have you written it down? #awayre (What a Business Plan can do for You)

Sales, Marketing, and Branding

What’s the probability of closing a sale at each how_do_you_structure_conversationstage in your sales pipeline? (Sales Pipeline Stages and Probability Percentages)

Is your customers’ perception of your company consistent across social media channels? (The Importance of Brand Consistency on SocialMedia)

Are your customers receiving conflicting messages about your company from different channels? (How to Deliver A Seamless Customer Experience Across Digital Channels)

Test: Do you think it’s important to *engage* your prospective customers? (How To Create Brand Loyalty With Your Small Business Customers)

Comprehensive yet un-fluffy (it’s a word now!) (The Ultimate Guide to Building Your PersonalBrand: The step-by-step playbook)

Does your branding drive your operations and your culture or is it only a marketing-brochure deep? #awayre (The best branding comes when you align what you SAY with what you DO)

Innovation, Operations, and Customer Service

Would your customers engage with your company more if they thought it was fun? (Optimizing Customer Retention Through Gamification)

Legal, Finance, Insurance, Taxes, HR, IT

We are nearing the end of 2016. Is it time to start getting your financial house in order? (Financial yearend: the ultimate survival guide)

Strategy

It’s not just a theory, by the way. It’s common sense and oh so true. “…while people buy quarter-inch drills, what they actually want are quarter-inch holes.” Also, this is not just you_have_a_business_plantrue in strategy but also in sales and marketing.  (The question about ‘grand strategy’ that made Tim Cook unhappy on Apple’s earnings call was based on a Harvard professor’s theory that is uncomfortable reading for Apple)

Ever wonder how Pokemon Go makes money? #awayre (Revealed: Secret Strategies of World’s Most Lucrative Apps)

But… you can always have ONE flagship product and then create variants of it. (How Malcolm Gladwell and spaghetti sauce helped me build a company)

Productivity and Mindfulness

How do you *feel* when you procrastinate? (How to Stop Procrastination and Accomplish Your Daily Goals)

I say they are more relevant now than ever. #awayre (Are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Still Relevant?)

TIP: Just because you detest office politics doesn’t mean others won’t be political with you. #awayre (Winning in Office Politics: Lessons from Game of Thrones)

Ask yourself: How can I be relaxed while in control? (How to control your business vs. having it control you)

ONE WAY to get different results is to change your habits. (Transform Your Habits)

‘Till next time,

Bhavesh.


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

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How Not to Die Before Death

Roundup: Weeks Ending August 21 and August 28, 2016

I heard this somewhere a long time ago. It has remained stuck in my head the last few years. I don’t remember who said it. All I remember is that it was on one of those motivational tape programs. So my apologies tcenter_of_your_being_confucius_IIo the original author for not being able to give him the due credit.

What I had heard was this idea of “going to the grave before going to the grave.” It’s also called dying before the actual death. Death before dying is when we stop growing. And we stop growing when we take everything that everyone tells us at its face value.

This is not to disrespect the advice we receive. There is certainly value in the wisdom of others. What I am asking is to trust your innate wisdom. The main purpose – perhaps the only purpose – of listening to others is that they trigger in us that which already knows the answers to our problems and challenges.

Remember to let the ideas presented here trigger something in you, from your own innate wisdom, that you can use in solving one of your business or professional challenges.

Sales, Marketing and Branding

“Unlike text, video is able to display sentiment quickly. And it triggers people’s emotions with less ambiguity.” Compelling reasons to use video to drive sales. (How to Drive More Sales with Online Video)

#9: Assume that people always make rational decisions. (They don’t!) (8 Ways 99% of Sales Reps Screw Up Every Single Day)

(One More) TIP: Tell a story. Better yet, tell a series of stories. Always be collecting stories that get your points across. (Power corrupts but PowerPoint corrupts absolutely)

How would you change your sales team’s behaviors based on these stats? (15 Stats You Should Know to Improve Your Sales Team)

Leadership, Strategy & Organizational Culture

Sure, but first ask yourself: Do I know how to manage flexible work (and flexible workers)? (The Business Case for Flexible Working)

HR is – and should be – changing. Yay! (Trends in HR – How to Adapt & Change)

A broader issue, if you supply products, parts, components or raw materials from others, is whether they share the values you hold dear, including, of course, not condoning slavery and forced labor. (Modern Slavery – is your supply chain at risk?)

Myth #8: Apple is going the way of Microsoft. If you are old enough to remember the era of Apple vs Microsoft or Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs, you may recall that at one point Steve Jobs conceded defeat, saying something like “Apple vs. Microsoft debate is over. Microsoft won.” That was around the time when Apple had lost the PC wars to Microsoft and Steve Jobs still had to make his comeback and relaunch the Apple we know today. In the end, Apple won, at least in terms of market capitalization. My point? History does not always repeat itself. Looking for patterns in the past events may keep us stuck in the old mindset and prevent fresh and original thinking. (Apple Is Doomed And 7 Other Myths About The Company)

Customer Service

Analytics are important but not more important than the human touch. Make sure you engage with your customers on a human level and get to know their needs before – or at least alongside – your use of analytics.(Stop Neglecting Analytics in Your Customer Engagement Strategy)

User (and client) onboarding is not a one-time event. Does your new user (and client) onboarding process go beyond the first touch? (Is Your User Onboarding Flow Too Shortsighted?) (Your User Onboarding Flow Is Too Shortsighted)

Learning and Personal Growth

Ouch!: “People with Impostor Syndrome often feel that their achievements aren’t based on merit, but sheer luck.” (Unmasking Impostor Syndrome: 7 Ways to Boost Your Confidence at Work)

Teaching soft skills – communicating and working with other humans – is even more important with generation-Y. TIP: Training does not have to be limited to a classroom. Use every on-the-job interaction you have with them as an opportunity to teach how to communicate. (Generation Y grows up: how to give today’s graduates the communication skills they need)

‘Till next time,
Bhavesh.


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

Don’t Lose Your Humanness in a Business Process

Roundup for Weeks Ending 8.1.2016 and 8.12.2016

What makes us human? When I ask the question, I am not asking you to compare us, the human species, with other species, like animals or birds. My question is more basic than that. What I am asking is what makes us alive – not dead or inert. To me, what makes us human is the life-force that courses through us all. It may be perceived as intelligence, awareness, emotions, feelings, or sensations.

experience_of_being_alive_joseph_campbellBut underneath it all is a source that’s as mysterious as it is intimate. You might say that that mysterious life-force is us.

As useful as processes are, a risk in making anything a “process” in business is that as we go about making it a process, we take the life-force out of it. We take something as human as a group of real people working together and make them a “thing” that’s inert and lifeless.While processes are important, what’s also important is to preserve the part of us that makes us human so that we are still passionate, engaged and perhaps even occasionally inspired as we work through a process.

So the question I implore you to ask yourself is: How do you – and the people who work for you – stay alive as you consider and put in practice the many tricks, tips, strategies and processes I share below that have the potential to make us feel mechanical and mechanistic?

Leadership & Management

This is not an endorsement of the product featured but the article makes a good point about communication, organization, and collaboration. However, what I do like to emphasize is that most businesses I have worked with have a tendency to jump too prematurely into “automating” work without having a manual process that works without technology. Technology can only help as a tool to aid human intelligence, not as its replacement. (How to Improve Your Collaborative Project Management)

The trick is to have a process that does not imprison and stifle but frees us up to do our best, like a cyclist who gets in a “zone” or a figure skater who performs effortlessly. (Focus on the process and get great results every time)

If you are an established business, can you still experiment with the “lean process” in launching a new product or a project? In a nutshell, a lean process allows you to get the absolute core of your product or service out to the market so you don’t fiddle around getting it 100% right the first time. I can argue both ways on this. For example, I can think of many scenarios in which it’s best to wait and get your product as “perfect” as possible before launching. Putting a house on the market is a good example. But in certain scenarios, it’s best to get the absolute minimum right and get it out there, get feedback and then release the nest iteration. Which process is a better fit for the products and services in *your* business? (How our guy Vincent applied ‘Lean Startup’ by launching his own startup)

Sales, Marketing and Branding

TIP: If you lead a team within a corporate environment, consider a social media strategy for the team. Remember to check in with the corporate so you are within their social media guidelines too. (A Beginner’s Strategy for Social Media Marketing)

Also helpful if you are an existing business launching a new product. (Branding Essentials: How To Come Up With The Best Name For Your Startup)

TIP BEHIND THESE TIPS: Think like and act as if you are a business owner. (Ten Ways Salespeople Can Crush)

I add: Interrupt the pattern. Don’t sound or look like a killer, closing, crunching [backgorund sound of a shark approaching in the movie Jaws] salesperson. In fact, do exactly the opposite of what your prospect expects a salesperson to do. (How to talk to new buyers who don’t know your business)

Productivity and Personal Development

Ask yourself: Do I care to increase my productivity? If no (nothing wrong with it!), why not? If yes, read this article. (25 Ways To Get More Done In The Workplace)

Strategy

How to model growth for two-sided marketplaces, like drivers and riders (Uber) or landlords and renters (Airbnb). Are you a business that can create (or help create, or invest in) such a marketplace in your industry? Think twice before you say “No.” (How Segment Models Growth for Two-Sided Marketplaces)

Love this: “Risk = Consequence x Likelihood.” The longer I live and the more I have to lose, the more I realize that defense is more important than offense. (Effective Risk Management Strategies – OTUS Group)

And last but not least…

A Rant on Recruiting Young Salespeople!

TIP: Always pay at least some base salary to an independent sales rep. I am approached almost daily by companies looking to hire salespeople. You will be surprised how many companies are looking for a FREE (read: commission only) salesperson. I can tell within a fraction of a second if someone is looking for a free sales rep. How? By the way they phrase the job description or how they paint a rosy picture of the “huge growth potential.” I have seen too many of these to be fooled by it.

Sorry, I won’t be referring my ambitious, hard-working, intelligent niece over to your company to toil for free. If you are not committed to the people who work for you, I guarantee that they won’t be committed to you. One way to show commitment to someone’s success is to take a chance and pay them a base salary while they learn the ropes. The only situation in which commission-only salespeople will work is for an established company with a solid product and a good reputation and following in the marketplace.

In my experience – and yours might be different – most people who are looking for free salespeople are a new company with a half-baked product suite with zero following in the marketplace. Unless you find a certifiable pro with a deep rolodex, this commission-only salesperson is bound to fail. Sure, you can get a few free leads that you can close long after the free salesperson is gone, but will you sleep well at night knowing that you built your success on the back of those who failed? [rant over] (How to Hire the Right Lead Generation Representative – Pipeliner CRM Blog)

‘Till next time,
Bhavesh.


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

Sustained Attention Breeds Deeper Learning

Weekly Roundup for Weeks Ending 7.17.2016 and 7.24.2016

Ok, we have two weeks of content to cover this time so I will keep it short. Just a reminder that what I share in these weekly roundups is a collection of articles I have shared in the preceding week (or weeks in this case) with some of my own thoughts.

Always looking for a theme in what I share, what I find in these two week’s worth of stuff is the idea of getting overwhelmed – inundated, really – with the amount of advice, content and other things tugging at more Galileo_Sun_Planets_Grapesand more of our attention. I am not into predicting the future, but I can safely say, and I think you will agree, that the amount of content we get exposed to on a daily basis will only increase, not decrease over time. So something that we all need to master is how to keep our sense of equilibrium in the midst of a deluge of information that hits us every day. To me, that tells me that it’s increasing more important that we spend more and more time with ourselves getting our priorities straight, doing what we love to do most, and ruthlessly rejecting all else. This requires that we increasing bring more and more awareness into our lives: awareness of what makes us tick, what our priorities are, and what’s most important to us.

So this week, pick out from the following resources just ONE that you can focus on, read through in entirety and perhaps commit to following up with a concrete action.

Management & Leadership

Which leadership style are you? (I came out as “Coaching.”) More importantly, is that *always* your leadership style or is it situational? (Which of These Leadership Styles is Right for You? (Decision Tree))

A myth is developing with these “leader vs manager” articles that a boss must be a leader and not a manager. A boss needs to learn how to be *both* a leader and a manager and choose the role she is required to play in a given situation. (Key Traits That Differentiate You From A Boss and A Leader)http://buff.ly/29VV0Jc

Agree whole-human-heartedly to the idea of reinvigorating the human side of HR. But I think the effort needs to go deeper than remembering and celebrating people’s birthdays. The “human element” must be made an integral part of the management process, not an after-thought. That’s the core premise of the work we do at Awayre, LLC. (How to reinvigorate the human side of human resources)

TIP: Don’t use a workflow automation tool unless you have a manual process in place for a major portion (I recommend 70%) of the work you are trying to automate. Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of the product but it is free up to 15 users and may be worth a trial. (How to Use Asana for Project Management: The Complete Guide)

Steve Jobs: “… who wants to work for a manager from whom they can’t learn anything?” But that learning does not have to be technical skills only; it could be management and leadership skills. Do you agree with Steve Jobs who implies that the only way to lead is by example? Watch the video and think for yourself. (Here’s a young Steve Jobs giving the best advice on hiring, success and failure)

To me, the real question isn’t how to *measure* employee engagement. It’s how you know that an employee is engaged in a one-on-one interaction with that employee. That’s how a customer will judge whether to work with a company. (The Importance of Employee Engagement)

Social media *can* be an essential tool in recruiting. (Social Media Goes to Work – Is It An Asset or Liability?)

A perspective on how to build a good team. (How to Build the Perfect Team: Q&A with Award-Winning Author & Business Coach Nancy Butler)

And, as with everyone else, create forward-looking agreements; review and change them with a consistent frequency. (Here’s How To Manage All Those Millennials Entering The Workforce)

Leadership & Management: On Team Building Activities

Ultimately, the Work itself is the best team-building activity. Ideally, team-building must be built into the normal day of working and doing business. If the existing team culture is dysfunctional, doing “team building activities” will only highlight the negatives as the difference between “the way the team is working” and “the way the team *should* be working” become starkly clear. (Step away from the Lego! Four reasons why ‘team building’ can damage teams)

Having said that, here are some activities you can try. TIP: Don’t start any of these games with, “we are going to play a game.” Instead, get their attention ([clapy hands] “hello, everyone…”, for example) and launch straight into the instructions and see what happens. (Awesome Team Building Games Your Team Won’t Hate)

Sales, Marketing and Branding

#6: Don’t innovate just your product and hope that the market will understand what you are offering. Innovate the whole packaging that includes your *marketing message* and your product or service. (5 Tips To Become The Innovator Of Your Industry)

Disclaimer: This is not a product endorsement by any means; I have not used this product for myself or for my clients. BUT, it brings to mind a class I have often taught on what a salesperson and her manager can put on their “dashboard” to get a real-time snapshot of how they are doing, both as a salesperson (the salesperson’s perspective) and as a sales team (the sales manager’s perspective). The five benchmarks in this article are similar to what I have found to be important. TIP: Keep track of these things the old fashioned way at first, with pencil and paper, before jumping in and spending time and money chasing down the rabbit-hole of automation tools! (Sales Performance Benchmarking 2016: How does your sales team stack up?)

I think feeling better is always better than feeling worse. Anxiety is a form of fear; feeling anxiety or fear does not help in selling. A sense of relaxed confidence – not arrogance or cockiness – is the best way to be in selling. If you do feel anxiety before a sales event, however, you may need to find a coping mechanism and maybe even leverage it. (Could Sales Anxiety Be Your Secret Weapon)

A periodic table of apps for sales and marketing teams! (The Most Powerful Apps For Sales And Marketing Teams)

Operations, Product Development & Customer Service

How do these lessons apply to *your* business, even if you are not in the online retail business? (3 Customer-Centric Lessons from Amazon)

Strategy

Contrast “Breaking Down Barriers,” “She’s Got Your Back,” “I’m with Her,” and “Stronger Together” against “Make America Great Again.” A message is the most important piece of any consequential undertaking, whether it be a political campaign or a business organization. In my experience in working with businesses, this is one piece of strategy that does not get enough attention from business owners and they suffer dearly because of it. A political campaign is a much more terminal reminder of how important it is to have a message – a narrative – that tie all its pieces together. A failure is much more public and visible in a political campaign. It may not be so in a business where it could be dying a slow and painful death and the owners will not know why unless they looked at this crucial piece of strategy: their core message. (Has Hillary finally found her voice?)

‘Til next time,
Bhavesh.


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

True Learning Happens in the Uncomfortable Unknown

Week Ending 7.10.2016

Years ago, when I was still learning how to train grown-up business people in people skills, an accomplished trainer gave me an advice. “Never make people think,” he said, “or they will hate you.” I promptly proceeded to do what I do best when people give me an advice I don’t like. I ignored him. In fact, I proceeded to design my training sessions and workshop to do exactly what he had advised me not to do – to think, and think hard. And think unconventional, If_the_Path_before_You_is_Clear_Joseph_Campbelluncomfortable thoughts. Let me tell you, I didn’t make a lot of friends and I may have lost a client or two because of my insistence on
creating scenarios in training sessions that made them feel uncomfortable. Over time, I brought into my workshops another piece of advice that this mentor of mine had given me, which was to find ways to make those sessions so engrossing that they became a form of experiential entertainment, even as they thought out of the box and did uncomfortable things.

Today, I remain a firm believer in the idea that true learning happens on the outside of our comfort zones, not inside. The thoughts that we have thought before don’t really teach us anything new at our core. The new ideas that people spoon-feed us don’t make for a transformative learning experience. They may give us some new information to add to the database of other information we have collected. But true, inside-out change does not happen when we are comfortable in our thoughts and feelings;  it happens when we are slightly uncomfortable.

In this issue of the weekly rounds up, as you digest some of the content that you may find relevant, I implore you to especially look for ideas that make you uncomfortable. Just a little bit, not a lot.

Leadership and Management

More and more of our work is what Peter Drucker called “knowledge work” with a consultative element to it. So this article may be more relevant to your work than you think… (Productivity tips for you and your consulting workforce)

True, one-on-one meetings are a cornerstone of good management. But what do you talk about when you meet with your employees one-on-one? Is your conversation about meandering trivialities and fighting fires or a part of a long-term, structural dialogue that truly engages both parties – you and her – in a meaningful way? (Cancelling One-on-One Meetings Destroys Your Productivity)

Technology has made remote working easier than ever. But we often underestimate its human aspects. (How to get “remote” right)

Sales, Marketing and Branding

Using color is important in branding. But why, oh why, is Business so blue? (Internet, Why So Blue?)

This also applies if you are an established company with little or spotty social presence. (How to Find Your Startup’s First Customers on Social Media)

Interesting angle to social media marketing. I don’t see myself doing this but you may be different – so here it goes. (Co-opertition: How To Make The Competition Your Most Leveragable Asset)

Been there, done that. I would add one more. #16: Be human, don’t get overly “professional” and scripted. Always be learning, from your mistakes, your successes, and your failures. And, most importantly, have fun! (Outbound Sales: 15 Things We Learned Quickly)

Best lessons are those that you teach yourself.As you watch these videos, just keep in mind to take none of it literally! (12 TED Talks Every Salesperson Should Watch)

If you want your salespeople to only bring you good deals and good customers, in addition to the ideas presented in this article, also develop a profile of an ideal customer and provide additional rewards to salespeople for bringing them in. (Are your salespeople closing bad deals? Here’s how to fix it!)

Legal, Insurance, Finance & Taxes (LIFT) + HR & IT

Governance, risk, and compliance: Stay out of trouble, if not jail! (25 GRC thought leaders to follow on Twitter)

How do you make sure that your IT management is not just managing IT but is a partner who helps you manage your business and your team? (What does a modern IT manager look like?)

Personal Productivity

Even a non-Excel-geek like me can pick up a tip or two. (Pimp my Excel: 10 geeky power user tools and tips)

Strategy

A better question: How to run (or build) a company that frequently reevaluates its rules. (How to run a company with (almost) no rules)

Make sure you have a pretty good answer to one question before getting too deep into using any of these tools: Who are my top-3 competitors and why? (39 Competitor Analysis Tools to Crush Your Marketing Campaigns)

Thanks for reading. Wishing you a very Happy Success,

Bhavesh.


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

Being Human Never Gets Old

Weekly Roundup Ending 6.19.2016

Here’s a roundup of everything I shared with you last week, albeit with a slightly expanded commentary. I hope you find at least one piece of information that you can take away and apply to your work or your business.

21679-a-consistent-thinker-is-a-thoughtless-person-because-he-conforms-IIThe immediate intent of what I share with you on social media is to provide actionable ideas to help your business and your workplace in a meaningful way. But the more important reason, at least from my perspective, is to get you to think about the issues you face on a daily basis in a new light and bring a fresh perspective to them.

As you might know, I share these resources with the mindset that human awareness, the life-force of our people, is what ultimately drives our business. And, of course, it all starts with managing our people right…

Leadership & Management

Radical Candor! It sounds so good in theory. The real question is how you go about being radically candid! Being radically candid, for some bosses, could become an excuse for being obnoxious and insensitive. “I was just being radically candid!” Yeah, sure. (Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss)

Why not try managing people with questions instead? Questions are the most important tool in recruiting. But they are even more important in managing people. What I like about the questions presented in this article is that they don’t just “test” the technical aspects of a candidate’s expertise but also their mindsets and attitudes. (10 Sample Marketing Job Interview Questions & Answers From HubSpot’s CMO)

I have always believed that “being human” is more valued now than it was before and will be increasingly more valued in future! (Ignore soft skills at your own risk)

Speaking of which, are you tired of kicking a*s to get your people to do things? Try some of these statements with your employees. Better yet, create your own positive reinforcement statements and test them out, combined with some questions. You may be shocked to see the results. (You Should Hear These Sayings From A Boss)

And finally, in many, if not most workflow software implementations, we put mechanical automation over (human) intelligence and awareness. This, in my opinion, is the primary reason a vast majority of software implementations become a disappointment or at least a daily struggle to get the results out of. That issue applies here somewhat. (Powerful Project Management for Regular People)

Customer Service

It’s important to please the customer, even when it’s difficult because customer retention has a compounding effect: “The longer you keep customers, the faster your business will grow.” (How to create awesome Retention Curves from Mixpanel Cohorts – what you need to know)

Here’s a good analogy: Workplace as a Performance Stage. The customer to me is the audience: They can’t always describe what they exactly want but will know when they get it. The theater director is the manager or the CEO of the business. (Today’s Workplace Is A Stage, Not An Office)

And a couple of good ideas here on how to provide consistently good customer service.  (A Quick Guide To Providing Amazing Customer Service)

Marketing & Sales

In my work with clients, I have found – and so have they – that what makes them truly unique is always there even when – especially when – they don’t think it’s there. This uniqueness comes from the fact that their business is made of people, each one of whom is a unique individual among the 7 billion on this planet. Once they see that uniqueness, they can build their brand, and sometimes rebuild their whole business, around it. (How to Embrace Uniqueness And Discover Your Secret Weapon)

The question then is: What is a brand? This article puts it well… “A brand is a promise that lives in the minds of consumers.” (Branding 101: Brand vs. BRANDING)

And to fulfill that promise we must think of new ways of reaching out to our customers or revisit the old ones.Was direct mail it ever dead? I still check my snail mail every day. (Direct Mail is Back from the Dead)

No effort to reach our prospective clients is complete without the personal touch of a human being. However, who says that effort can’t be helped by technology? A Sales Stack is a suite of sales tools built into a unified solution to help the sales process. Here’s a good collection of sales tools at every step of the selling process. (2016 Will Be The Year Of The Sales Stack)

And we can always benefit from some research to make those personal touches more meaningful. Use these wisely! (6 Advanced LinkedIn Prospecting Tactics for the Outbound Sales Rep)

Productivity & Time Management

As much as I like to accomplish and achieve things, I am always afraid that I will overdo the “productivity thing.” I think there is a level of automation where it’s an overkill. As of late, I would rather be engaged with my life than automating it. But I get it that you may be different and would like to automate at least some parts of your work or life. Here are some terrific tools to help you do that. (Automation Resources)

Or… Pick just one thing from this list to try or create one of your own productivity tricks. (Hint: Your own trick will be the best for you!) (8 Tricks For Boosting Your Productivity At Work This Week)

Strategy

And finally…”Keep your friends close, enemies closer,” as the Godfather would say. I think Nadella of Microsoft made a crafty move partnering with Salesforce while buying LinkedIn in the background. (Satya Nadella explains in a sentence the real reason he bought LinkedIn … and Salesforce should be worried)

I will be back with more ideas and insights next week.

Bhavesh.

Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.
Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved.

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View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com