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Lights, Camera, Action

15 December 2009 by Michael Harrison

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. During that time I have been to Alice Springs in Australias outback.For some time I have believed that immersion events, where the whole audience is immersed in a single conference theme is a more effective learning model than the traditional company or association conference where speaker after speaker rise to deliver their standard PowerPoint presentation.Financial advisory group Synchron were brave enough to try my concept at their bi-annual a... Read More...

Collect the email addresses

10 December 2009 by Michael Harrison

A friend (and client) phoned me after seeing my last post to remind me that I always tell him to be sure to collect the email addresses of customers, prospects and enquirers as well.Hes right. If you are building a business you need a constantly growing database. The email address should be part of the customers initial information record along with his/her address, telephone number and other pertinent information.Using a simple content management system (CMS), you can generate an email aut... Read More...

Web Technology and Customer Care

01 December 2009 by Michael Harrison

I was trying to find the phone number for an Australian State Government department the other day. After searching their website for about 10 minutes I found the details buried in an obscure page.If you conduct some parts of your business digitally, that is, online, you have access to additional means of ensuring customer satisfaction.On your website, be sure to include a Contact Us page that provides numerous channels of communication. Be sure to include a telephone number (preferably toll-free... Read More...

In a Wired World: Bad News Travels Fast

22 November 2009 by Michael Harrison

Customer care is at the core of any successful business. Without well-tended clients or customers, your business may survive, but its unlikely to thrive. If you intend to grow your business, customer care has to be at the top of the days agenda. Everyday.Last year I was on the organising committee for a conference that was held at a premier conference resort.  From the moment I arrived at this prestigious and pricey venue, I ran into case after case of mishaps and missed opportunities.It st... Read More...

More about Hiring, Firing and Litigation

20 November 2009 by Michael Harrison

Three more bad hiring decisions:1. Being LazyEmployers who are lazy hire the first person who looks almost suitable. If you dont want to do the job properly, then hire someone to do it for you.  Recruiters and search firms do this for a living.2. Allowing Emotions to Influence DecisionsWe buy a car by first choosing the car we want from an emotional viewpoint and then searching for logical reasons to justify the decision.Some people hire the same way.  They mak... Read More...

Hiring, Firing and Litigation

04 March 2008 by Michael Harrison

With businesses facing high rates of employee turnover, wrongful dismissal claims and sexual harassment allegations (just to name a few issues), it surprises me that more thought isnt put into hiring decisions.Here are three mistakes I see all too often.1. Not really identifying the business needs.What are the skills, experience, character, and competencies you need? More importantly what are the organisations short-and long-term needs and the effect this hiring will have upon those needs.When t... Read More...

Hotdoggity

03 March 2008 by Michael Harrison

I was reading a newspaper article about how we are headed for recession and it reminded me of the story about the man who sold hot dogs.He was a bit deaf so he didnt have a radio. He was a bit blind so he didnt read newspapers or watch television.But he sold great hot dogs.He put up signs on the highway to tell people how good they were and stood at his stall calling out, Buy a hot dog, to everyone that passed.And people bought.He increased his orders of rolls and frankfurters and bought a bigge... Read More...

Selling isn't Telling

24 February 2008 by Michael Harrison

A month ago one of my clients asked me to accompany an underperforming sales executive on a couple of calls.  My mission was to make suggestions about how this guy could improve his results.After weeks of persistent calls and follow-up, he had finally been successful in arranging a meeting with a good prospect.  If everything had gone according to plan it could have resulted in a top quality new client.Very early in the call it became apparent that it wouldnt happen.He was to... Read More...

The Accountability Factor

18 February 2008 by Michael Harrison

My observation is that many managers simply dont know how to implement change.What do you do if people dont enter information into your client contact system?  What do you do if reports are incomplete or missing all together?  Do they get fired?Everyone wants to be liked.  No one wants to be the bad-guy.  So instead of holding employees accountable, and gaining respect by demonstrating leadership, a manager may try to be everyones friend, ignore the slips and hope for respect... Read More...

Scientific Networking (part 3)

10 February 2008 by Michael Harrison

Depending on how the conversation flows I might ask one or more of:What do you enjoy most about your job?What separates you and your company from your competitors?What advice would you give someone just starting out in the stationery business?What do you see as the coming trends in the stationery business?Which methods have you found are the most effective for promoting your business?And I always ask,How would I know if someone Im talking to is a good prospect for you?My objective is to listen a... Read More...

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