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Showing posts from May, 2013

Relationship Building in Business Development: Is It Really that Critical?

If you’ve spent any time in customer service or sales, you’ve heard the benefits of connecting with your clients on a personal level.   You know it builds rapport, opens up lines of communication, and all that good warm fuzzy stuff. But is it really that valuable?   It’s difficult to gauge the effectiveness of relationship building.   There’s no exact formula for ROI.   You spend a significant amount of time and money on relationship building, but – let’s face it – you can’t easily monetize it. I don’t specialize in sales.   But I’ve listened to more than a few sales pitches.   As a media buyer, I can tell you exactly what customers are looking for – and what they’re not.   Here are some things you should know about your client’s expectations before you meet with them: Understand your customer .   Research your customer’s agency before meeting with them.   Look at their website, sign up for their emails, or maybe even use the ‘secret shopper’ technique to get to know their

Love Your Enemies: Did She Take It Too Far?

Reports just surfaced that Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in Doswell, Virginia, after numerous cemeteries declined to offer his body a final resting place. Martha Mullen, a seminary graduate who works in mental health, heard over the radio that officials could not find a cemetery willing to accept Tsarnaev's body.  She was moved by the story, recalling Jesus' command to Christians: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" - Matthew 5:44 Mullen contacted officials in Richmond and Massachusetts and quickly made arrangements to have Tsarnaev buried in nearby Doswell, where she facilitated the funeral.  After reading this news on the Washington Post , I have to admit that I was stunned for a few reasons: Doswell is close to home, about 2 hours away Why should my home state intern the body of a man who committed such horrors? How

Improving Communication: Tips You Already Know... And Need to Hear Again

You've heard it before.   Communication is the lifeblood of any relationship.   In fact, it's so integral that you really can't have a relationship without it.  I would venture to say that when the communication stops, the relationship stops. Earlier this week a friend invited me and my husband to join her small group that meets on Thursday nights.  She was so excited about the new book they just started studying in the group.  When I asked her what the book was, she eagerly grabbed the copy of " Improving Communication in Your Marriage " (Rosberg) from her kitchen counter and handed it to me. "You're gonna love this!" she said.  "It's a constant battle to prioritize communication in marriage.  This is stuff we all need to hear over and over again." I felt relieved to know I wasn't the only one in need of improvement in this area.  My friend - who has been married for 21 years - new the importance of good communicat

I'm In with the IT Crowd: 5 Reasons to Surround Yourself with People Who Are Smarter Than You

Some of the smartest people I know work in IT.  Think about it - folks who work with technology on a regular basis are just plain smart.  They seem to have an innate understanding of the way things work.  It makes me kind of jealous, actually. Think of the smartest person you know.   What does that person do?  Maybe it's not IT, but I bet you wish you knew what they know.  There's a lot to be gleaned from building relationships with people you respect for their understanding.   Here are the top 5 reasons you should surround yourself with people who are smarter than you: Elevate your knowledge base.  When you place yourself in circumstances where you'll learn new principles and ideas, you're bound to increase your understanding. Get a fresh perspective.  Have you ever outgrown your peer group?  It's actually a good thing.  You may find yourself excelling above your peers intellectually, socially, emotionally, or spiritually, because you're learni

Let the Experts Be the Experts

Last week I went to a local hair salon to get my usual trim.   The salon just opened in January and they’ve already seen huge success as they focus on top-notch customer relations.   I could go on and on about the personalized service I received – from the aromatherapy treatment to the hand massage – but that’s not the point. The point is, my stylist told me something incredibly insightful.   And we’re not talking small talk.   She had a life-sized moment of clarity to share with me.     She said: “One of the most damaging things you can do to a person is to do something for them that they are capable of doing themselves.”  Maybe that doesn’t sound groundbreaking at first glance.   But think about it.   The worst thing is doing something for someone that they can do for themselves .   Here’s why: It discredits individual achievement.   When you take away somebody’s project, you also take away their bragging rights.   Let them do the work, and get the praise. It disp

As It Turns Out, Nobody's Got It Together: 6 Reasons It's Okay to Admit Failure

We've all had those moments.  Those times when, despite your best efforts, you just fall flat on your face.  And then you dust off and pretend it never happened.  Why?  Because, for whatever reason, it seems taboo to admit it happened.   Failure is a touchy subject.  Nobody wants to admit failure.  More importantly, nobody wants to accept failure.  You have a drive within to achieve better results, and most bosses, family members, friends, and significant others affirm that drive by expecting better results from you.  They certainly don't want to accept failure, so neither should you.  Right? It's funny how society seems to have formed this image of pseudo-perfection in daily living.  We put on a good face for the company.  And the neighbors.  And the church.  And the social networks.  When it all adds up, you're left with a self-image that appears, to the general public, to be perfection.  Only you know it's a lie. Now before you think I'm going to end

A Moment of Clairety

A moment of clarity can be defined as a time when you suddenly and vividly understand the meaning of a deep truth.  It's that moment when your vision becomes unclouded and you gain unprecedented focus.  Peter Bloch said it this way: "Moments of clarity are those occasions in life when small concerns and plans that had seemed important fall away in the face of greater truths." Someone recently asked me to stop and think about my purpose.  What was I was placed on this earth to do?  Wow.  Talk about a tough question.  There could be numerous answers.  Perhaps my purpose is to sing.  I love singing.   Maybe my purpose is to be a great mom to my two little girls.  They mean the world to me. My purpose might lie in my desire to learn and teach others what I've learned.   I could also find a deep sense of purpose in my profession in higher education. Or maybe my purpose is just to encourage those around me. Then it hit me.  Like a ton of bricks.  I could