Archive for the ‘Business Growth’ Category

Being Changed

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   June 25, 2015   |   No Comments

My first day at Suzanne Evans Coaching was day 1 of the Be The Change Event in Orlando, Florida. Talk about a baptism by fire! The energy and enthusiasm was pervasive and contagious. The sessions were fantastic, the breakout sessions were illuminating, the Run, Walk, Cheer event was inspiring. But did I come away changed?

The critical thing about this event, is spelled out in the name – BE THE CHANGE. It’s very easy to go to an event and fully expect to be radically transformed, but change doesn’t work that way. There is a moment in time when change is affected in a person’s life; that moment of inspiration, of frustration or even hitting rock bottom. But that has to be just the beginning. Real change (for most) doesn’t just happen in an instant. Excellence, as they say, is a habit. A series of decisions, which over time, develop into a habit. Being the change is more than a slogan or a slick title. It’s something far more profound.bethechangeevent2015

So how effective is the event? I have seen first hand people whose lives and businesses have been transformed. They aren’t doing what they’ve always done. They’ve honed in on their “why” and are using this new focus to improve their personal and professional lives. For some of you this is old hat. You’ve been to the event and you’ve seen and experienced the change. For me, being new to the event and new to the company, it was eye-opening and inspiring (in equal measure). Part of what is fascinating is to see veterans of the 10k Club and Be the Change Event providing leadership and inspiration to newer folks. Individuals who were struggling last year, are now providing mentoring and leadership. As Brian Stark, Vice President of Coaching, says, “To every 3rd grader, a 4th grader is a hero.” You don’t have to be very high in your climb up the ladder of success to realize that there are people following in your shadow.

Take Aways

Aside from the obvious, gosh this is a high-energy group of folks, there were a few key takeaways that I gleaned from the event:

  • Don’t let fear (alone) dictate your actions – Fear can motivate, or it can debilitate. You’ve got to get past your fears: Fear of failure. Fear of not being liked. Fear of the what ifs.
  • Indecision is decision – By putting off making a decision you’re not delaying the inevitable, you’re eliminating the possible. Opportunity can be a very perishable. Competitors can seize the very opportunity you’re considering. Market conditions can rapidly change leaving you with nothing.
  • Believe you’re worthy of success – what you have to offer is worth something. You’re worthy of  being paid for your time and effort. You’re worthy of being successful, so act like it.
  • Being hated isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you – What’s worse than being hated? Being ignored. Being irrelevant. As Winston Churchill famously said, “ You have enemies? Good! That means you’ve stood for something.” Nothing breeds contempt like a little success.

What were your takeaways? I’d love to hear away your thoughts and the valuable lessons you gained from this year’s Be the Change Event.

Frank Geric, Director of Digital Marketing

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What CEO’s Don’t Want to Hear… But Should!

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   April 2, 2015   |   3 Comments

I have been a coach and consultant for many years and have worked with companies of all sizes. The larger companies would hire us as a team of consultants for a more in-depth and long-term relationship. Typically the first phase would include a discovery period where we would learn as much about the company as possible. We would learn about the company history, marketing, financial performance, sales process, manufacturing process and so on. From this process we were able to build a foundation, which we would use to construct our growth plan. One of the most powerful exercises we did was to interview a cross-section of employees representing as much of the company as possible: from executives to assembly line workers. At the very beginning we would tell the CEO what we intended to do and ask that they instruct their employees to be completely open and honest with us. We promised that we would never tell the CEO who said what, and we kept our word.

As I stated, we always told them what we were going to do and asked for their permission to move forward. This was an early indication as to what type of CEO we were dealing with and what type of relationship we could expect. I have to say that most were open and willing and asked that we hold nothing back. These companies were almost always coachable and made great progress as a result of this process. And then there were some CEO’s who didn’t want to hear any of what we found. Of course, you can guess how that turned out.

Even though we were mostly working with larger companies with dozens or hundreds of employees we would start to see a pattern develop after the first few interviews. So while you may not have a large number of employees, much of what we found will still happen, if you allow it.

Here are the Top Ten quotes we heard. They are not listed in any particular order; they are all HY-Imageimportant and they are all real!

  1. “The extent of my sales training was watching a couple of video’s and listening to another rep’s calls”
  2. “We have no system to call past clients – who knows how many sales are leaking due to no structured follow-up”
  3. “Its seems that the more you break the rules, the more you get”
  4. “There is no communication in this company. We are winging it daily. It’s crazy”
  5. “Seems like nothing is actually getting worked on; we talk a big game, but nothing is changing”
  6. “We are mediocre at best… we should have done $60 million last year…we are in our own way – that is what is stopping us”
  7. “I am left out of the goal setting process for my department”
  8. “I sometimes feel like we hire people just to fill the role that we need; we’re not making sure they can do the job first”
  9. “We constantly have meetings that go nowhere. I feel like we have meetings just to have meetings. We rarely make decisions and take actions”
  10. “My boss is OVERWHELMED, he doesn’t get things done properly OR on time”

I am going to include three bonus quotes because we heard these in almost every company but they are fundamental sales practices.

  1. “I am baffled at how we do not track our sales…”
  2. “I don’t ask for referrals”
  3. “I don’t make cold calls”

 So what type of leader are you? Would you allow an outside party to dig up the dirt in your company? Would you want to hear it? How would you react?

Lou Andruzzi, President

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Building Trust Through Social Media

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   February 12, 2015   |   1 Comment

The use of social media has been a hot topic for business marketing for years now. Businesses are still trying to figure out the secret behind getting likes on Facebook, having followers on Twitter, getting people to comment on Instagram and so on.

Not only is it important to provide your followers with current and exciting content, but you have to do so while building their trust. Building social media campaigns can be daunting at first, especially for those who believe it’s okay to post without thinking twice, but taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture can be beneficial.

When beginning your social media campaigns keep these 10 tips in mind to keep your followers on their toes, coming back for more, and most importantly feeling they can trust you…

  1. Content: This is the number one way to build your followers trust. Be sure you are providing IMG_3404your clients with products and service that will provide value to them and your market.
  2. Build influences: Sponsor leaders in your community, promote your clients or fellow co-workers. Your followers will notice that you care to help others well building your own brand.
  3. Be human: Let your employees and customers share their story with your company, if you make a mistake live up to it. People make mistakes, but it’s the way you handle your mistakes that people will remember most.
  4. Say thank you: Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the help from others. Say thank you to your newest followers and say thank you to people sharing your content. A simple thank you can go a long way in the eyes of your followers. If you miss a thank you don’t sweat it, but try and recognize the people that help you out.
  5. Size doesn’t always matter: Building trust through social media involves building relationships. In this case its okay that you don’t have 84930248 friends on Facebook or 483904 followers on Twitter, build your following slowly and develop relationships with those followers.
  6. Design of your Website and Social Media Pages: Have you ever opened a website and the design was so terrible you immediately x-ed out of the box? A similar feeling happens with social media. If someone lands on your page and notices that it’s not user friendly or that you are not active they will leave the page and you will lose credibility.
  7. 80-20 Rule: 80% of your posts should be what your audience wants to know, enjoy, and learn to make their day better. 20% of your posts should be about what you do, what your selling and how your business can benefit your clients.
  8. Quick Customer Communication: If your clients know they can reach out to you on social media and expect an answer then provide them with one! Set a time limit that you want your company to respond back within. We use the 24 hour turn around policy during the work week.
  9. Always Keep Your Promises: If you are offering a product or promising to give out some pressing information, live up to that! You will instantly loose credibility if you offer your followers something and then never follow through. If you can’t keep your promises then don’t offer them.
  10. Have fun: Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Don’t be afraid to show your personal side, share stories, and have fun with the work. Not everyone wants to see hard core business posts every day.

Now don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and begin planning your social media campaigns! Implement a little at a time and see what works best for your company. If you need some inspiration be sure to follow us on our various social media accounts!

Twitter @SuzanneEvans
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneEvansFans
Instagram @suzanneevanscoaching

 

Stephanie Coppola, Marketing Assistant 

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How to Conduct an Effective Workshop

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   January 22, 2015   |   No Comments

Every company I have ever worked with has had problems of some sort. Problems are caused by a variety of factors ranging from incompetence, weak management to growing pains. How companies react and deal with those problems determines how successful they will be. You can ignore them and hope they will work themselves out or you can take a systematic approach to eliminate them and take steps to ensure they don’t return. As the CEO or Owner, you should already know what these problems are but if you don’t, just ask your staff. Trust me, they know!

One of the most effective tools you have available to identify and correct problems is the Workshop.

An effective workshop will have you and your staff solving problems, owning the solutions, and implementing them enthusiastically.

This process is to be used anytime you have problems or issues to be resolved or improvements you need to make in your company. It gets the staff involved in the creation of the solutions and results in higher morale, enthusiasm and better and faster implementation.

1. Put up on the board the topic to be solved, i.e. “Things that are stopping our company from Growing”

2. Now ask everyone in attendance (if necessary, split into groups of 3-5 people) to write down the things they feel are stopping the company from growing. This process will get the participants owning the ideas and allows everyone to benefit from your top performers and best thinkers.Business meeting

3. Write down everyone’s idea on the whiteboard or flip chart. (You may end up with 10 to 15 after eliminating the duplicates). Discuss the items as you put them up. Clarify anything that’s not clear by asking questions. (What exactly did you mean by that? How specifically would that be done? So, what you are saying is … and so on.)

4. Get everyone to write down their top three ideas, from the list on the board, in the order of importance from 1 to 3.

5. Go around the room and ask each person (or group) for their top three choices and rating. Your goal is to find the three solutions that everyone agrees are the best.

6. Each person should now think of an assignment/task to integrate the top three ideas into the next week’s activities. Write these down. The assignment is designed to get everyone to implement the idea that week. (NEVER proceed to new tasks without first implementing.)

7. Ask for the ideas on implementation and write them on the board. Ask the group to now take the top three ideas and rank them as before. (See #4 and #5 above). Select the top three assignments and implementation strategies and give them to the group to implement.

8. Write a memo. Include the top three problems, solutions and implementation strategies (include the person responsible for any action relating to implementation). Circulate this amongst all staff and file the memo in a 3-ring binder divided by tabs for workshops in each key area.

9. Next week’s meeting: review the action and results. Discuss the newly created material: What worked, what has not and how can the various policies and procedures be improved.

10. File the memo and the notes from your review.

Lou Andruzzi, President 

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Hiring isn’t just about the resume….

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   December 18, 2014   |   No Comments

The hiring process is changing and it is definitely not a black and white process. Even the most Hell Yeah! resume and highest GPA are not going to guarantee that you are selecting the most qualified candidates.  You have to do the work on your end to make sure that you are choosing THE person that is going to best fit you and your team’s needs.

On-boarding a new team member is an investment of time, energy and money if it is being done right. The interview process is a two way street for the interviewer and the interviewee. Both of you should be asking and answering a lot of questions during this process and you should be meeting several times to ensure that it is a perfect fit for both parties. First impressions are often misleading. Take that extra time and demand the effort on their end to show you their commitment.

Think outside of the traditional process. How can you really get to know this person? One of the key points when hiring is to always remember that any one that is capable of learning can be taught skills and how to use software, but you cannot teach ????????????????????someone to have a likable personality or to have work ethic. Those are dynamics that can make or break your culture and your team environment. Challenge them to make a video to answer questions, Skype with them, give them a task list to complete that will directly pertain to their actual duties and responsibilities. This is a really good way to see their creativity and determine their dedication level for the opportunity to work with you and/or eliminate the lazy people. I absolutely loved this process of on boarding with SEC because it gave me an insight as to who I would be working with and what the standards would be. Set your expectations from the beginning and never let them lose their value.

Remember that you are going to be spending a lot of time with this person…. You had better make sure that you like them! Suzanne calls this the “Bed and Breakfast” test. If she and Melonie were ever stranded with any member of the team and were stuck in a bed and breakfast for the day with them…would they all survive? Personally…I would love to be stuck with them. Those girls know how to have a hellavah good time!

All of this hits home for me for several reasons. Six months ago I made the decision to leave a company that I had invested eleven years with to join Suzanne’s team. I was the “not-so-perfect” resume. My past work experience was mainly in operations management, sales and hospitality. Hell my actual title was Beverage Manager for a theater! Suzanne and Melonie took the time to listen to my story, my actual experience in my career and in my life. Never underestimate the power of experience. They took a risk on me based on my personality, work ethic and that I was a culture fit for their company. Every day I learn more and more. I continue to grow, reach and set new goals and I strive every day to become a greater asset to our team and to our clients. Why? Because I wanted it, I went for it and I prove myself every chance that I get.

Go out and find those people. Your team is a direct reflection of you, your company and your brand. Make sure it shines!

 

Sherry Young, Manager of Client Affairs 

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