Listen with Eyes Wide Open

Listen with Eyes Wide Open.   Try using your eyes to listen. It might sound funny, but the truth is your eyes communicate to clients that you are paying attention. Even in instances where you can’t greet a client aloud — perhaps you are in conversation with another client or on the phone — simple eye contacts speaks volumes.    Remember the 10-Second Rule. Even if you are busy with someone else, make eye contact with a client within 10 seconds. Simply capturing a client’s gaze will keep them from feeling ignored and likely keep them from leaving. “Smile” with your
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Spread Smiles

Spread Smiles.   Actions speak louder than words and so do smiles! When you smile at someone, it sends the message that you like them and you are happy to see them. It’s hard not to smile back when someone smiles at you. That’s because smiles are contagious.  When someone makes a gesture to you, especially a nice one, who can resist responding in kind? Have you ever been greeted at the door by a dog, almost excited out of their skin because they have missed you? It makes you feel pretty special, doesn’t it? Imagine if everyone you met throughout
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Grow Your Brand and Your Business in 10 Seconds

Grow Your Brand and Your Business in 10 Seconds We have all been standing or sitting next to someone who looks at you and says: “What do you do?” or “What business are you in?” or “Not seen you at this event before; what made you come?” This is an invitation to make a great impression. This person may need exactly what you’re in business for, or they may know someone who does. Their question gives you two choices, you can: Say something obvious, that produces an “Oh, thanks.” Or you can say something that makes them sit up and
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Improve Your Leadership with This Skills Assessment

Improve Your Leadership with This Skills Assessment Good leaders reassess their skills regularly. Whether you’re a veteran or new to leadership, spend some time exploring these questions in detail:  Who and what do I influence? Your sphere of influence isn’t defined or limited by your job title. Who asks for your advice? How do your decisions affect other people and different departments? Do people follow your example without being asked? Can I improve my people skills? Leadership is based on personal relationships. How well do you get along with people at different levels? How well do you listen to others?
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Get Ahead with These Not-So-Secret Secrets

Get Ahead with These Not-So-Secret Secrets What does it take to get ahead? Investor’s Business Daily identified these ten traits of those who seem to have the knack for turning dreams into reality:    A positive attitude. Where your mind goes, you go. If you think you’ll fail, chances are good that you will. If you believe you’ll succeed, you’re halfway home. A definitive goal. “I want to be a success” is a wish, not a goal. “I want to become a junior partner within two years”—that’s a goal. Write down exactly what you want to achieve—and an action plan
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Self-Managers Wanted: Here’s What to Look For

Self-Managers Wanted: Here’s What to Look For The “perfect” employee isn’t one who does whatever you say, but someone who knows what to do without having to be told. It’s someone who performs the job without constant prodding, someone who can manage himself or herself with a minimum of interference from you. Here’s what to look for in a self-managing employee:  Goals. Look for people who set their own objectives and push themselves to achieve them. Instead of accomplishing the bare minimum, they stretch to do a little bit more, or a little bit better, without anyone else telling them
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10 Questions to Help You Elicit the Best from Your Workforce

10 Questions to Help You Elicit the Best from Your Workforce Your success as a leader—and your organization’s success, as well—depend on your ability to get the best from your employees. You can’t expect it to come automatically, though. You have to search carefully for each person’s exceptional talents. For every person you lead, see how thoroughly you can answer the questions below: How well do you really know the employee? What can you quickly recall of the employee’s family, personal goals, hobbies, or other outside interests? What do you know specifically about his or her career goals, both short
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Seize Opportunities to Review and Retrain

Seize Opportunities to Review and Retrain Why ask why? How do you respond when a team member makes a mistake? Do you know what will happen if your immediate response is to scold an employee or punish them in some way? Next time they make a mistake instead of coming clean they might just opt to cover it up.  Don’t beat up your team members when they make an error. Instead, use the situation as an opportunity to review and even retrain. Take time to examine the system you have in place. There just might be room for improvement. There
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Encourage Peer Recognition

Encourage Peer Recognition Peer recognition brings team members together and reinforces the principles of great customer service. Have you considered awarding “Atta Boys” and “Atta Girls” to team members based on nominations from their colleagues? Zappos has several ways of honoring standout performers who best epitomize the company’s culture and spirit of customer service. Their peer rewards programs give team members the opportunity to recognize and encourage one another. An example is the “Zollars” program where team members can award one another “Zappos dollars” by filling out a form describing why their colleague is deserving of recognition. Zollars can be
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Ask “What Can I Do To Make You Happy?”

Ask “What Can I Do To Make You Happy?” Customer service is really put to the test when something goes wrong. What makes an exceptional business better than the rest is the ability to recover from these setbacks.  In the past I made an online purchase and received a package with missing parts. I immediately emailed the company’s customer service department. I got an email response from a customer service representative within the hour. “Please just let us know what you would like us to do and we will happily be of service,” the representative wrote. In other words: “What
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