Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Setting Employee Expectations

In our previous SellWithPower Blog we talked about miscommunication. We established that many bosses (if not most) fail to clearly communicate exactly what they expect from their employees. They simply fail to tell their employees what is important to them. They fail to tell their employees what the most important tasks are they should accomplish each day. They fail to communicate.

So, here's the big question: how can managers improve? How can they do a better job of communicating their expectations with their employees?  Here are some tips to help you improve now:
  1. Determine what the most important responsibilities for each employees are. Write them down. You need to define what you want from each employee before you share that information with them.
  2. Write down specific tasks you want accomlished by each employee/each day/week/month. What are the most vital thingsthey should get done? In what order?
  3. Now that you know what is most important for each employee to accomplish, you can tell them. Meet with each employee and write down these specific responsibilities/tasks. Make sure they understand clearly what you expect of them. Encourage the employee to ask questions. Be willing to change or amend your list of responsibilities and tasks.
  4. Hold your team accountable. Ensure there are consequences (positive and negative) when a task or responsibility is completed on time (or isn't).
By following these 4 quick tips you can mitigate miscommunication between employees and management. The other factor we really didn't discuss here is setting goals with employees. You can read more about that here.

Free Leadership Training eBook - Learn management skills now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Establish Action Plans that are Attainable

Make sure that everyone establishes Action Plans that are attainable. Asking for the impossible de-motivates and dooms this management approach to failure.

In establishing Action Plans you and your employees also need to consider factors outside of the employee’s control that could impact completion of the Action Plans. For example, the company closes a very large contract that will require certain employees to reassess their priorities in order to complete the contract on schedule and within budget.

In that regard, be sure to remember Action Plan Guideline #2:

• Always focus on meeting the wants and needs of the customers.

Always remember that happy customers mean repeat business and that’s the least costly marketing initiative your company can undertake.

Richard Voreis Consulting Collaborative

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bad Customer Service: The Silent Killer

We have a new eBook available for free on It's called Bad Customer Service: The Silent Killer. It does, basically, three things:

First, the eBook argues that customer service should be re-enthroned in the modern business. Customer service is king. It is the one thing you can control in your business. You can't change your location, your brand, your products or your business plan (at least not overnight). You can control customer control it. Bad customer service is like a silent plague sweeping across businesses and employees across America. It will kill you, if you're not careful.

Second, Bad Customer Service: The Silent Killer will point out specific problems you may be having with customer service at your business. What are you doing wrong? What are the symptoms of bad customer service? How can you spot the minor problems before they consume your success and kill your company?

Third, this eBook will examine ways to fix customer service right now. It talks about management strategies for top-down customer service improvement. It discusses ways to deal with angry customers and steps for frontline employees to improve their customer service right now.

This eBook is designed to be your resource for improving customer service. So, download it (for free), share it, enjoy it. But most of all, learn from it. Use the tools found in the ebook and improve your customer service now!

ContactPoint NGA WDDA

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 2011 News & Links

  1. New Auto Glass Training: 2011 Auto Glass Technician Reference Manual and Updated courses.
  2. The National Glass Association has partnered with FMI to provide an online compensation benchmarking tool to members: Compensation Interactive
  3. New Doors and More at Association of Millwork Distributors annual exhibition.
  4. EPA offers Search Tool for Lead Certified Contractors, allowing the public to search for firms certified under the lead renovation, repair and painting rules.
  5. The Sixth and Seventh Keys to Highly Effective Selling.
  6. Join the WDDA for just $250 and start taking advantage of member programs and services.
  7. Done right, PR provides a much bigger bang for your buck than traditional advertising. Let us get the media working for you!
  8. Strategic planning for your business: Establish Specific Action Plans and Put Your Action Plan in Writing.
  9. Congratulations to Wooster Glass Co., Inc. and Floral City Glass Co on their 50th anniversary as NGA members!  View a list of anniversary members.
  10. From Glass Magazine: The good, the bad, and the suspect: Tariffs on Chinese aluminum help some, hurt others.
  11. Great Glazing high-end shower enclosures: King of the Throne and The ‘Celebrity’ Shower.
  12. Get the most out of your NGA membership! View a complete list of member benefits.
  13. Welcome new NGA members and new WDDA members!
  14. WDDA announces partnership to bring extended resources and expert analysis to benchmarking network.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Put Your Action Plan in Writing

It’s my belief that a fully effective management system should include specific, measurable and time framed employee Action Plans supporting the Top Priorities of the company as well as enhance accountability and results throughout the organization.

It’s my belief that a fully effective management system should include specific, measurable and time framed employee Action Plans supporting the Strategic Goals of the firm as well as enhance accountability and results throughout the organization.

Additionally, the written Action Plans document should be utilized in several ways in your company for the following purposes: 
  • Employee accountability for achievement of Action Plans.
  • Part of the annual Performance Appraisal process.
  • Part of the Salary Administration process.
  • Part of the Incentive Compensation process.
Do put the Action Plans in writing and make sure that both the employee and the manager have a copy.

Richard Voreis Consulting Collaborative 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Seventh Key of Highly Effective Selling

7) Get a Commitment

Getting a commitment is the actual solution to the problem. If the customer gets off the phone or leaves your place of business without a solution we have failed to accomplish our objective. (Remember they wanted to buy from you, right?)
You are wasting your time and the time of your customer if you are not willing to ask for the business. Your customers expect to be asked – they want to be asked. It’s that simple. If you have fear around asking or being rejected, get over it or get someone to help you with this final step.
FACT: Statistics show that when you ask for the business directly after giving a price, you will get the business 150% more than if you don’t ask for the business after giving the price.
So maybe that little thing called “fear of rejection” is nagging at you. How can you be sure they will say yes? Well the answer is to not be afraid of a “no”. I mean what is the worst that can happen? A “no” doesn’t mean anything about you, so don’t personalize it. Every now and again we have to play psychologist and do some role reversal. If you were the customer, looking for a product and wanting to buy, why would you say no? What are the road blocks to a yes? Without being pushy, ask some clarifying questions. What is the basic need of the customer? What are the limitations? Is there room for flexibility?

The real objection is not the price. It is making sure the customer sees the value in the price. Yes, today they can go “Google it” and find 10 other competitors that have the same product as you. But what will set you apart is your attention to the customer’s wants and needs, your knowledge about the product, your ability to build a relationship and your willingness to be assertive about the sell. Being confident in yourself will show, and it will help the customer trust in you on their way to getting their wallet.

Let’s look at the typical objections you get when the customer does not want to buy your product or service. In general, all objections turn out to be a version of the same four reasons. Though customers may call their objection by different names, they are the same basic issues with the same practical solutions. This means that the objection is something that is usually a practical, manageable situation for which we can prepare.

There are really only four basic objections. Every objection is some version of: 
  • I am not the decision maker.
  • Price is too high or more than I expected.
  • Not time yet.
    • I’ll call or check back later and let you know. (this is a “no”)
    • Just send me a quote in writing. (this is also a “no”)
  • Shopping ahead and just trying to get prices.
If they say “no” ask or acknowledge their objections. Let them know that you heard what they said. Remember, as a consultant, in order to meet their needs you need to understand their reasoning. Sometimes restating their objection is enough. Other times, you will need to probe further to find out specifically what does not work. You can do this by simply and non-defensively asking the customer, “Why?”
- Customer: “No thanks.”
- Rep: “Okay. Can I ask why?”
- Customer: “I don’t like the price.”
- Rep: “What specifically about the price don’t you like?”
In this example, the salesperson responds by acknowledging and restating the customer’s objection in the form of an open-ended question. This is the beginning of a dialog that will help you ask the necessary questions to overcome their objections or at the very least continue to build rapport that will pay off for you later.
Just remember, you get more business if you ask for the business after giving a price. So don’t be afraid to ask, the answer could give you just what you are looking for.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Auto Glass Training Now Available

The NGA has just unveiled two updated products for the auto glass industry. These authoritative resources - which covers safety, glass service, and pattern-making procedures -- are perfect for technicians, managers and CSRs.  NGA training is an indispensable study guide for technicians preparing for the AGRSS Certification Exams.  
  1. 2011 Auto Glass Technician Reference Manual. The manual is just $69.95 for NGA members ($139.90 off the non-member price). 
  2. Auto Glass Courses.  Purchase courses starting at $29.95, bundles starting at $120,  or a subscription including all Auto Glass courses starting at $350 for NGA Members. 
The updated training includes: 
  • The latest technician techniques and procedures,
  • Latest guidance covering rain sensors,
  • Deeper coverage of value-added parts,
  • Detailed information on moulding techniques,
  • Training to prepare you for AGRSS certification,
  • And more.
To order an Auto Glass Technician Reference Manual, visit  For more information, visit the NGA store:  To view the complete course catalog, or to begin purchasing courses, visit