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HSCS-009 – Get Your Act Together. Challenge Bad Behavior.

It’s time to take a long, hard look at the way you come across to other people – prospects, customers, colleagues. Are you annoying? Are you missing key opportunities to close the deal?

Visit HateSomethingChangeSomething.comI get a call from someone I met at a recent networking event. (Typically when I meet someone interesting at a networking event, I follow-up within 24-48 hours with a email re-iterating our conversation and how we might be able to work together.)

Caller: “Why did you send that email to my personal email address.”
Me: “That’s the email address you gave me when we met.”
Caller: “Please resend the info to my business email address.”
Me: “Okay, please tell me the email address to use.”
Caller: “I’ll email it to you.”

Later that day I get an email from the caller’s personal email address with the business email address. *Sigh*

This week we’re talking about Getting Your Act Together. Examples of annoying things that can make you look extremely unprofessional and tick off the people you do business with.

Example #2

I got 4 calls in the last two weeks from people offering to mount a recent article about me that appeared in the business section of the local paper. The worst one sounded like this:
Me: “Hello, this is Roland. How can I help you.”
Caller: “Yeah, you were in the paper recently?”
Me: “Yes.”
Caller: “You wouldn’t want that mounted on wood, would ya?”
Me: “No, thank you.”
Caller: [Hangs up abruptly.]

The caller didn’t identify himself, his company or why I would want such a service. On the flip side of the scale, one of his competitors did an amazing job of greeting me, buttering me up about the article, how attractive the mounted article would look in my office for my prospects and customers to see.

Example #3

I got this email:
“I’ve uploaded a flyer for a workshop on estate planning for families with a special needs person. If you know anyone that might find value in this, please pass it along. On our home page, go to the Files tab on the left side.”

Perfectly fine and I appreciate that they didn’t send a massive file attachment. But how about providing a URL in the email. This particular business has their company website on a completely different domain name than the one they use for sending emails. (A completely other confusing faux pax).

Example #4

When a customer walks into your front office, what to they see? A disorganized mess? Physical obstacles that people have to maneuver around to get to you? Stupid looking things that you find cute but are hideous to the rest of us.

There was a show on A&E last fall called “We Mean Business.” Similar concept to Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Lot’s of great examples of business owners who are not thinking about the first impression made when a potential customer walks into their store.

Example #5,6,7…

  • That client who never shows up for your scheduled phone calls.
  • The guy who shows up unprepared to every single meeting.
  • The girl who misses every deliverable deadline.
  • The client who pays late.
  • The prospect who keeps asking for freebies yet has never returned the favor.
  • The soul sucking leech who can never find a positive word to say about anything and just wants to drag you down to his/her black lagoon of misery.

My challenge to to you is to start paying attention to things about you that irritate the people you meet and do business with. Get your act together, now!

Similarly, I challenge you to do something about the way other people disrespect the value of your time. Tell someone (politely of course) that you are unhappy with their bad behavior. Otherwise, you’re doomed be on the receiving end again.

Your time is too valuable to deal with nonsense. Stop the bad behavior around you so you can focus on what will make you and your business successful.

Share some examples of things you vow to become better at. Or examples of bad behavior that get under your skin.

By the way, last week I issued a “Comfort Challenge” asking everyone to try something new to promote themselves or their business. If you missed that, please listen to episode #8 and send in to tell what you are doing to improve your business.

Thanks for listening/reading!

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HSCS-002 – Set the tone (Pt2, Run your business like Gordon Ramsay)

Are you a wise guy? A wimp? Do you hide from your customers? Are you socially awkward and make those around you uncomfortable? Do you hide from confrontation? Do our employees have any respect for you? Do they outright steal from you? Can you make your own decisions or do you seek approval from those around you? Do you give a damn?

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Topic #1 – Be a leader and set the tone

CoachPart 2 of my series: Run your business like Gordon Ramsay. We’ll break down key observations on how to turn a failing business into a success. Chef Gordon Ramsay has successfully launched several restaurants and in his popular show, Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, BBC America), he helps failing business owners identify their weaknesses and implement significant positive change in the way their business is operated. Love him or hate him, his keen business skills and insistence on high standards have made him a success.

Remember when Anthony Edwards left the show ER? He passed the metaphorical basketball to Noah Wiley and told him “Set the tone.”

As the owner and leader you must set the tone. Enforce the rules. Be a boss. Yell if you have to. Don’t let your employee bully you. Send someone home if they don’t respond or respect you. Don’t be afraid to get rid of incompetent or disruptive workers.

Executive Chef, Head Chef, Vice President, Director, Manager…. Titles mean nothing if you don’t bring anything useful to the table.

It’s your money. They’re out of a job if they can’t step up and commit.

Got issues, work them out. Seek help. Get out of business. Do what ever it takes, just don’t cripple yourself and those around you.

If the lead chef can’t lead, it’s time to find another chef.

Topic #2 – An online tool you absolutely must start using today

CoachI want to talk to you about Linkedin.com. If you have a profile already, great, I’ll tell you what you need to do next to fully benefit from it. If you don’t have a profile on Linkedin, go right now and do it.

Here’s how you’ll directly benefit:

  • Get found online.
  • Publish your resume online – Present your background as you want it to be known.
  • Demonstrate your subject matter expertise.
  • Find former colleagues and reconnect with them. Email addresses change, but you should always be able to keep connected through Linkedin.
  • Don’t worry about the number of friends you have. You should focus on quality of your connections, not the quantity.
  • Every person I’m connected with:
    • I’ve met in person.
    • Had a face-to-face conversation with.
    • I believe I may have an opportunity to do business with in the future.
    • Get and give recommendations.
  • There’s a great Q&A section on all sorts of topics. Answer questions to help out fellow professionals and demonstrate your expertise.
  • Poll your contacts for opinions on ideas you have.
  • Search for people you know who might be able to introduce you to someone you want to meet.
  • You rank high in the natural search results when someone searches on your name.

If your attitude is: “But I have a Facebook (or MySpace) page.” Well, that’s great. Glad you’re out there. But truthfully, do you want prospective customers and employers looking at your family photos? Or do you want them to see what you want to be best known for professionally?

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Critical Tips To Jump Start Your Marketing Career

I was honored that a recent college graduate sought out my advice on how to get started in a career in advertising and marketing. I was tempted to advise her to run away while she still could. But we ended up talking about various tools to give her an edge over the competition. Read more

Why Projects Fail

New Media Sandbox PodcastLearn how to identify tell tale signs leading up to catastrophic project failure.

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Interview with Cliff Ravenscraft of GSPN.tv

New Media Sandbox PodcastCliff shares some great insight about how he turned a passion into reality.

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Consider How You Present Yourself To Recruiters

I posted a job description recently looking for a freelance writer for project. I clearly stated what the assignment would be, the experience requirements and asked for writing samples to be sent for consideration.

Among the replies I received:

Are you still looking for a wrtire. if sso I would like to apply and show you clips.

(Those are actual typos sent by a ‘writer.’)

Very interested. Could you tell me more about it.

It’s strange how some professionals don’t edit themselves or follow simple instructions.

I realize that sending your resume and experience into a black hole can be frustrating, especially if you do it routinely. But consider the person on the receiving end. You have just seconds to impress that person before he/she moves on.

Simply put, do what is required or don’t expect to be considered for an opportunity!

Do you have any thoughts or frustrations to share?

Stupidity or Brilliance?

A CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers uncovered these “Top 12 Odd Resume Inclusions.”

  1. Candidate included that he spent summers on his family’s yacht in Grand Cayman.
  2. Candidate attached a letter from her mother.
  3. Candidate used pale blue paper with teddy bears around the border.
  4. Candidate explained a gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for three months.
  5. Candidate specified that his availability was limited because Friday, Saturday and Sunday was “drinkin’ time.”
  6. Candidate included a picture of herself in a cheerleading uniform.
  7. Candidate drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said it was the hiring manager’s gift.
  8. Candidate’s hobbies included sitting on the levee at night watching alligators.
  9. Candidate included the fact that her sister once won a strawberry eating contest.
  10. Candidate explained that he works well nude.
  11. Candidate explained an arrest by stating, “We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig.”
  12. Candidate included family medical history.

It is important that a hiring manager not discriminate against a candidate because they included something strange in their resume.

When reading resumes like this, and subsequently interviewing candidates, it is also important to consider your corporate culture. Introducing a personality like candidate eight, who enjoys sitting on the levee at night watching alligators, may bring new life to a monotonous day at the office.

LOL. I am speechless. Were these brilliant tactics to stand out from the crowd or the result of a lack of common sense?

Fortunately (or not) the resumes that fly across my screen tend to be less colorful.
-R

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