Month: September 2010

September 29, 2010

The importance of customer loyalty

Cydcor_Sales_loyaltySales is an extremely competitive industry with customer loyalty being the end goal. That’s why it so important to treat each interaction with a current or potential customer as an investment in that relationship. Did you know that 87% of customer said they would stop doing business with a company after a negative experience? And of those  84% said they would share their negative experience with others. On the other hand, 58% said they would recommend you to others after a positive experience.

This is why it is so important to treat each interaction with a customer as an opportunity to create positive experiences and thus build customer loyalty. In doing so you create more opportunities not just for yourself, but for your team and company as well.

So what steps will you take this week to ensure you are building a better relationship with your customers?

September 27, 2010

Doing Things Right or Doing the Right Things?

Jerry Sanders of AMDMy son and I recently met Jerry Sanders, the founder of AMD – a computer chip manufacturer and one of the giants in the history of Silicon Valley.

Jerry was telling us that people often confuse “doing things right” with “doing the right things.”  He said it was vital to “do the right things ” as doing the wrong things right ends in failure and burnout.

Peter Drucker makes the same point in The Effective Executive.  So how do you focus on “doing the right things”?  One easy way is asking your coaches.  They have the experience and objectivity to guide you.

September 24, 2010

Crucial Conversations

Cydcor-Book-ReviewHow do you approach a touchy, but important, subject with someone at home or at work without damaging the relationship?

This has always been a challenge for me, and for most people I know.  Because we are afraid the conversation will damage the relationship we tend to avoid it or dance around the issue, which in the long-term is more damaging.

An effective conversation starts with first understanding what you are trying to accomplish with the conversation?  Do you want to show who is boss?  Win an argument?  Shame them?  Defend yourself?  Dump your uncertainty, anxiety on them?

I learned at the “Crucial Conversations” class, given by Vital Smart that the objectives of crucial conversations are to:

(1)  Get facts
(2)  Learn
(3)  Build the relationship
(4)  Get a productive result

If I focus on this and not on any emotions, anxieties, etc., it will go well. I try to avoid these conversations when I am upset or have strong emotions. It makes it about me rather than the four objectives. Is it a good time for them?  I try not to be the coach to yell at the kids in the outfield to “keep your eye on the ball” right after they drop it. They are too embarrassed and self-shaming to listen to coaching at that time.

Timing is important.

The basic outline that often works is a 3-step approach.

  1. Give the facts (no one can dispute real facts)
  2. I wonder… (express your concern)
  3. “How do you see it” (get their perspective)

I start with the belief that I do not know.  I just have a hunch.  Also, I try not to be accusatory and have a calm tone.  “Why would an intelligent, reasonable person do this” is a good mindset.

“Joe, I observed when you were talking to Cindy that you interrupted her three times in the conversation; I noticed you interrupted Juan twice when he gave his side of the story.  I am wondering if interrupting people is a reason you are struggling building your team.  What is your perspective?”

Then LISTEN.

September 17, 2010

The Effective Executive

Effective_Executive

“In human affairs, the distance between the leaders and the average is constant.  If leadership performance is high, the average will go up.  The effective [leader] knows that it is easier to raise the performance of one leader than it is to raise the performance of a whole mass.” -Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive

Peter F. Drucker is one of the top business thinkers and executive coaches of the 20th century. He believes, and I agree with him, that people need to learn business and leadership skills, that they do not come naturally to people.  It is like learning to play the piano, if you have never played, you cannot expect to sit down and play a beautiful song.  Only through hard work can you play a beautiful song.  In this book he teaches us the tools to be an ‘effective executive’.

According to Drucker we know very little about self-development.  What we do know however, is that people grow according to the demands they make on themselves.  They grow according to what they consider achievement and attainment.  If they demand little of themselves, they will remain stunted.  If they demand a good deal of themselves, they will grow to giant stature – without any more effort than is expended by the non-achievers.

From my own experience, I know this to be true, except for the part about effort.  I think it does take more effort.  For me it required time reading, thinking, discussing one’s self-improvement.  It also requires the mental energy to get out of one’s comfort zone. The best way to improve the performance of your team is to lead by example.  Your high standard of performance will raise the bar for everyone.  It is very simple.  The key is whether you have the will.

September 8, 2010

Operation Smile gets named corporate cause of the year

cydcor_Operationsmile
Cydcor names Operation Smile Corporate Cause of the Year

Today we named Operation Smile this year’s official corporate cause.  The international children’s medical charity treats facial deformities, such as cleft lips and palates, around the globe.  We are partnering with its network of independently owned and operated offices to raise funds for the organization.

This is the first time Cydcor has adopted a charitable organization of this scale – it’s a great way to exercise team building among our offices and we are proud to support an organization that improves the quality of so many lives.

We are partnering with our network of independently owned and operated Cydcor sales offices to reach a goal of$150,000 in order to support an Operation Smile medical mission, currently slated to take place in Peru.  Offices are establishing their own “smile” campaign support pages and have fundraising goals starting at$1,000 per office.  Cydcor has established its own “smile” page with a goal of $21,000 – enough to pay for 90 surgeries, each costing approximately $240.

“The need for quality cleft care is urgent; there are so many children around the world who desperately need our help,” said Dr. Bill Magee, Founder and CEO of Operation Smile. “We are grateful for the generosity of our supporters and volunteers. It is only with their help that we can continue to give new smiles and transform the lives of our patients.”

Click here to read the full release or coverage on The Daily Tell.