Archive for the ‘Business Growth’ Category

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

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   April 2, 2015   |   No 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   |   No Comments

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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What Keeps You Motivated?

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   December 4, 2014   |   No Comments

During the HY Star event this past month, I remember an attendee asking Suzanne the question, “Once you achieve your goal, what keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?” I started answering the question to myself and was happy that it was a pretty similar answer to the one Suzanne gave. For me, my goals/dreams come, probably, in higher numbers than most people. I know a lot of people have the dream that they want to make ‘x’ amount of money in the next 5 years, have a family with ‘x’ kids, payoff their mortgage in this amount of time. For me, it’s always about the next video or film I’m working on, and for me, my goal is always the same – make the current project something better than the one before it. I think this particular goal translates well to almost any business or money-making endeavor one could take on. Always strive to make your next goal better than the one before it.

I’m lucky in the fact that filmmaking involves SO many different skills that there’s enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life. Now, filmmaking is a collaborative field, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn everything about it. In fact, as hopefully all of you know, the leader of anything should know everything about everything involved. So for out latest project at Hell Yeah Studios, we’ve been working on a Christmas themed video to send out to everyone. I’ve always iStock_000032377448_Smallwanted to make a holiday-themed video and now I have the chance. Our editor/studio manager David wrote an awesome script and it’s up to me to produce it. I’m confident in my editing skills, I’m confident in my lighting skills, and I’m pretty confident in my shooting skills. But for this particular project, Grinch-themed as it is, we knew we were going to have to use prosthetic makeup…otherwise the whole thing would end up being a joke and a waste of my time, personally. Prior to this, I knew NOTHING about prosthetic makeup effects. Now, having gone through the process, I know enough to pull off a basic mold of someone’s face and having custom casts made – something I’d only seen on Mythbusters which went way over my head. I’m by no means an expert, but I at least now understand the concept and the time it takes to go through this process. And this is just one example of new things that I learned on this specific shoot.

So, to answer the attendee’s question, what keeps me motivated once I’ve achieved a previous goal? I simply have a desire to know everything I possibly can about the filmmaking process. Otherwise, how can I be a leader of an entire team when it comes to producing my own films? Once you commit yourself and your life to starting a business and achieving whatever goal you set for that business, you must be ready to learn EVERYTHING there is. Don’t go into it with the mindset that you’ll just “hire someone who knows how to do that” or that will “take care of all the stuff you don’t have any interest in doing”. If you don’t know anything about it and/or don’t know how to do it yourself, how will you know how to find the person that does? How will you be able to explain the duties of that job to a new employee?

 

Matt Robinson, Hell Yeah Studios Editor

 

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