December 6, 2018
Often times when we think of leadership, we think of managing and delegating tasks. We think that managing is all about telling people what to do, so that profitability continues to increase for the company. However, leadership is much more than that. Nowadays, it’s as important to connect with your employees as it is to increase profitability for your company. Focusing on building strong relationships with your team will develop trust. Not only does connecting with your employees develop trust, but it also provides a space for them to listen to your ideas, say yes to them, and follow through. Additionally, they are less likely to disappoint you.
Creating warmth, understanding, and connections will allow for your employees to work better, therefore leading to profits. The question is: how would you go about creating and cultivating this atmosphere?
- You could change the dynamic of the interaction with your employees by simply smiling. This is the most authentic way to go about creating warmth and most of the time they smile back. Constantly smiling creates a warmth in the atmosphere and allows for your employees to feel comfortable.
- Ensure that you are constantly practicing active listening. It comes off as rude when you are interrupting or not letting your employees finish their thoughts. Active listening helps develop trust.
- Use positive body language to show interest and once again, warmth. Try to avoid crossing your arms and leaning back too much during meetings and interactions.
Have suggestions on ways to connect with your employees? Let us know in the comments below!
December 14, 2017
Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you’re at an office party or a networking event and you’re standing next to someone while there’s complete silence because neither of you have any idea on what to talk about? Additionally, you’re worried about how you may be portrayed to this person in your first impression or you’re worried the awkwardness will increase if you ask questions. Meanwhile, your head is thinking “How does he know the host? In what department does he work? Do we work in the same building?”
The good news is that research suggests that people who ask questions are more likeable than people who ask fewer to no questions. In fact, there was an experiment conducted at Harvard where volunteers were assigned to either ask a lot of questions or only ask a few. Once their conversation was completed, each participant rated how likeable the other person was. Through findings, researchers concluded that people who ask fewer questions weren’t as liked as the people who asked plenty more.
Of course, how and what we ask is just as important as the quantity. The Harvard research also suggests that specific follow up questions are the most effective. A good way to approach a follow up question is to:
- Ask a question
- Listen and understand the answer
- Ask a question regarding the answer
Not only does this make you more likeable, but it also shows that you are listening, which is an important trait to have no matter what you are doing. So the next time you are standing next to a person and you don’t know what to talk about, think: questions!
March 2, 2017
Business skills come down to the basic skill of communication. And what makes someone good at communication? Being a good listener. If you can show someone, whether it be your boss, employee, coworker or client, that you care about what they are saying, it will get you a long way. Here a five tips on how to become a better listener:
- Show your engagement. This includes nonverbal communication. It’s not only about what you say, but your body language as well.
- Ask questions. This will not only show the other person that you are listening and paying attention, but that you really do want to know what’s going. If you didn’t hear something, ask them to repeat.
- Acknowledge feelings. This is important, especially when you don’t necessarily agree with what they have to say.
- Keep eye contact. It shows that you are listening and engaged in what they are saying instead of being distracted by things around you.
- Just listen. By this I mean don’t interrupt, don’t rush them and don’t try to offer up a bunch of solutions. Be present in the conversation and just listen.
September 1, 2016
No matter the industry you work in first impressions are important. In those first moments of meeting someone new you are judging can I trust this person, are they competent, will we get along, etc. It is so important to understand and master the art of first impressions. Here are six tips on how to get started:
- Be on time. This can’t be stressed enough. The person you are meeting does not care about why you are late or what excuse you have, no matter how valid it may be. Being on time is the first vital step in making a good first impression.
- Put your phone down. No matter who you are talking to it’s a good idea to give them your undivided attention, but if it is someone new it is even more important. Showing them that you are interested and engaged will make them want to talk to you and continue conversation with you.
- Use active listening. This means you should nod or make small comments of acknowledgement. Ask questions. Write notes if it’s appropriate. Summarize and repeat back what is being said to you to show that you are paying attention.
- Positive body language. Make sure that your facial expression and gestures reflect the point you are trying to make. Be active in your movements, but not aggressive.
- Talk second. Let the other person take the lead in the conversation. This opens up room for you to ask more questions and it builds their trust in you.
- Do your homework. Come in prepared with a good knowledge base on the other person and/or the company. Have questions prepared and ways to link your background back to their profession or company.
May 12, 2016
When it comes to clients, we have all figured out the best ways to communicate and behave with them. What’s not always so clear is how to stay in contact with the people who have decided that now is not the best time to work with you. When running your business it’s important that you always keep yourself in the back of these customers minds, so that when it is time for them to commit you will be in the forefront. It’s important to keep track of these people or companies, and strategize how to best market yourself to them. Here are 5 tips to help foster better relationships with your potential clients.
- Social Media Engagement. A great way to stay in contact with your potential clients is through social media. In a business relationship you should connect with them on LinkedIn. To encourage a more personal relationship, feel free to add them or promote yourself using other outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a video on how connect through Facebook.
- Utilize Newsletters, Articles, and Blogs. Similar to social media, it’s important to show potential clients the type of work you do, what your expertise is in, and how your business is doing. A convenient and efficient way to do this is through the use of weekly or monthly newsletters or regular blog posts.
- Invite Them to Events. If you are hosting a business, social, or personal event for your clients, be sure to invite your prospective clients as well. This not only gives you an opportunity to talk with your prospective clients on a more personal level, but it also allows them to see the type of service and relationships you maintain with your clients.
- Make an Introduction. A great way to make a lasting impression is to think about who you may know that would be beneficial for the potential client to know as well. Maybe you had a conversation about how they wanted to expand an area of their business and you have a connect in that field. Introduce them! It will show them that you are already invested in their success.
- Check In and Be Responsive. Send them a small gift if you recently had a meeting, a holiday card if it’s that time of year, or a birthday card if you know it’s their birthday. Even simpler than that is making sure you are keeping up on your email and social media. Make sure to respond to comments, calls, or emails quickly, whether they be positive or negative.
The key to great client relationships is great communication. Keep these tips in the back of your mind as you foster your new relationships, and work to maintain old.
What are your tips for potential client relationships?
September 17, 2015
Creating a website is an intricate task. There are many elements to attend to and some might get lost in the shuffle. An important aspect to stay focused on is your homepage. This is where your clients will see how you choose to represent yourself and it may be their first impression of your business. Make it count. Here are some tips to make your homepage more successful.
- Simple Headline. The first thing clients will read when they get to your homepage is the headline. Make it strait to the point so they know they’re in the right place and you can offer them what they need.
- Don’t Get Lost. Make sure the homepage is easy to navigate and clearly allows customers to go to other parts of your site. If they can’t figure out how to get the information they need, they’ll move on to another website.
- A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words. Make sure your homepage has a picture that supports your business. Real images of you and your company are ideal. Try to avoid boring stock photos. Videos are a great way to introduce yourself to a potential client, so try creating a short video to post on your page.
- Offer Something More. Have a link to your newest blog post or a free download of your ebook. This gives people incentive to stay on your site and learn more about your expertise. Providing content gives you credibility and proves to client you know your stuff.
- Brag a Little. Your homepage is where you want to show off! Make a good impression by listing awards and recognitions your business has received. Impress your future clients immediately by putting these on your homepage.
Your website is important, but your homepage is your first impression. Make it a good one by employing these tips. You never know what a good homepage will get you.
How did you make your homepage successful?
September 3, 2015
We get 500 emails a day, but it feels more like 5,000. So why should we open your email? Well, first, you should have some relevant content. Make sure you’re not sending too many emails with nothing to offer. Once you have some content, here is how you should subject your emails:
- Leave ’em wanting more. Creating some mystery in your email subject can improve open rate. Don’t reveal too much in the subject, but make sure to give them a hint! Be too vague and you’ll be ignored.
- Short and sweet. If your subject line is too long, people won’t bother to read them. Make your subject line relatively short, but impactful. Choose action words or interesting phrases to catch attentions.
- Interrupt. Using numbers (like “4” instead of “four”) interrupt readers normal skimming and slightly catch their attentions. Try using other symbols or punctuation to get your point across.
- Make it URGENT. Displaying a sense of urgency or curiosity invites people to open emails. Try starting with a question or time limit. This increases open rate because no one don’t want to miss out.
- Emotional appeal. Try to make your subject line emotional in some way. Connect the reader to your email by personalization or localization. People are more likely to open specific emails rather than general ones.
Email marketing can be tough. When less than half of your email base ever even opens your emails, you may feel like giving up. Don’t! Just change up your email subject lines to encourage open rates!
How do you create email subject lines?
August 20, 2015
Why blend in when you can stand out? To set yourself apart from your competitors, it’s important to advertise your differences and benefits. Your customers won’t know how innovative and successful your business is if you don’t tell them. So don’t be afraid to show it off! Here are 5 ways to standout from the crowd.
- Become a thought leader. Your industry could use one more thought leader, so make sure it’s you! Publish your content on a blog and create a newsletter to get your name out there. Meaningful and relevant content go a long way.
- Raise the bar. Do some research and one-up your competition. Make your business the standard in your industry and leave the competition playing catch up. Position yourself as cutting edge.
- Go above and beyond. Going the extra mile for a client can make all the difference. Show them you care about them as an individual. They’ll take notice and recommend you to their connections.
- Focus on the experience. From the first time the client looks at your website or social media sites, to the follow up survey they take after you have done your job, it’s important to make sure the customer is having a good experience. Every time the client comes in contact with your business it affects their overall perception of you. Make sure it’s a good one.
- Make them look. Be creative with your marketing. Think outside the box when it comes to email newsletters and traditional mailers. Think about what will get their attention and put your business in their head first.
Don’t get lost in the crowd of businesses, standout! Your clients will thank you, your employees will thank you, and your industry will thank you.
How do you standout from the crowd?
August 6, 2015
You do this everyday, all the time. You’re always talking to people; when you order your coffee and when you see the mailman. You talk when you call your sister and you thank your babysitter. But most of all you talk when you’re at work. I know what you’re thinking: practice makes perfect so I’m all set. That’s not always the case. Plus there’s always room for improvement! Here are some ways to master the art of conversation.
- Start small. Don’t rush into a conversation with serious, heavy topics. Stick with the weather or another non-threatening topic. But don’t make it too obvious, small talk can be annoying.
- The customer is always right. When you’re talking to someone, try not to correct them. Even if you mean it in the best way, they’ll think you’re rude. It’s best to let it go.
- Ask questions. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, so ask questions! People love to talk about themselves, so let them! They’ll walk away feeling like they had a great conversation with you.
- Pay attention. Actually listen to what the other person is saying. This may sound obvious, but if you get caught not listening you look bad. Put your phone away and really concentrate.
- Make a connection. Relate to the other person by sharing an experience or feeling. This makes the conversation meaningful and you more likable. Find some common ground to bring you together.
- What you’re not saying. Be aware of your body language. Looking away or at your watch makes people feel like you’re not really listening. Use your hands when you talk to show enthusiasm instead of crossing your arms. You look more friendly this way.
- Know when it’s over. Listen for cues (or use them yourself!) to know when the conversation is coming to an end. Phrases like “I should let you go” or “It was great to see you” signal it’s time to get out of there. Say your goodbyes and get on your way.
With all the technology we’re used to, it can be hard to remember how to have a good conversation. Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to mastering the art of conversation!
What are your tips for mastering the art of conversation?
July 9, 2015
First things first: what is a webinar? You’ve probably heard the term, but you may be wondering what it means. According to Dictionary.com, a webinar is “a seminar or other presentation that takes place on the Internet, allowing participants in different locations to see and hear thepresenter, ask questions, and sometimes answer polls.” You can use webinars to connect with potential clients and market yourself while proving your knowledge and expertise at the same time. Here are some tips to make a successful webinar.
- Start with the topic. Try to make the event as exciting as possible. This is where you might need to get creative. Not everyone thinks the best way to spend an hour is to listen to a seminar about financial planning. So jazz it up a little. Think of an interesting title and bring a lot of energy.
- Keep them involved. Consider allowing the audience to ask questions during the webinar instead of after. Include a poll to keep the audience involved and paying attention.
- Give them homework. Make sure you end your webinar with an action that the audience should take. This will keep them involved after the session. Make sure to provide contact information for your business and the speaker.
- Promote the heck out of it. Putting on a good show is only half the battle. You don’t want to create a great webinar and have no audience. Make sure you think about how people will find out about your session. Share it on social media and email blasts along with other types of promotion.
Use these tips when creating your webinar to get the most out of your time and energy!
What are your tips for creating a webinar?