Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

Do you hold your customers hostage? June 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 4:48 pm
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Today, I cancelled my account with a company whom, throughout our 3 year relationship, I have been delighted. I simply did not have a need for their service any longer.

Delighted until today! Today, I searched their website for their cancellation process only to find nothing, spent 20 minutes on hold with their team, received a scripted hard sale to stay, and then was put back on hold for 10 minutes before finally accomplishing my goal of ending my contract. Phew.

This company isn’t unique in its intentional strategy to make exiting difficult. This experience, however, made me consider my own company’s process for handling customers who buy less, stop buying, and / or just ebb and flow in their relationship with us.

Great companies know that customer retention is golden. However, retention by force (aka: creating an impossibly difficult way to opt out) is a great way to convert loyal, referring customers to vocal opponents at the moment that is most important – their most recent and last experience with your company.

Having a strong customer retention program is admirable. Creating transparency to changes in a buying habits so you can re-engage and create a more relevant value proposition for a customer is smart. But sometimes, companies simply want to see if the grass is greener, have a financial crunch that changes their spending habits, or want to test drive alternative solutions.

You can view this group as either ex-customers or high potential prospects. And how you treat them during their exit will determine if they will ever give you a shot again.

If you’ve taken every value-add, win-win step to retain a customer and still, one gets away, don’t replace ease of service with hassle and pleasant engagement with frustrated disconnect.

Be great even as they leave by having a process for flagging them as a high potential prospect, and begin connecting with them as such. Their respect for your company will increase, as will the likelihood that they will buy in the future and spread the good word about your service and integrity.

 

Get the Lead Out! June 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 12:46 am
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At my business, we have a wellness program called “Get the Lead Out!” This program is designed to incent our team, through financial rewards and peer pressure, to commit to an exercise program.

There are lots of reasons we sponsor this program; however, fundamentally, I have observed a strong correlation between people’s wellness habits and their performance at work and life.

How effectively do you perform when you are fatigued, stuffed full of fast food, and under stimulated? How GREAT do you feel at work when you spent the night before on the couch with a bag of chips watching M*A*S*H reruns until 12:30AM? I’d bet most people answered with a resounding “not very.”

Now, contrast this with how you feel when you are well-rested, energized, and strong? How does a great workout impact your creativity, energy, endurance, optimism, and enthusiasm? Pretty significantly, yes?
So, why do so few people develop the habit of a sustainable exercise program?

Let’s consider the gains of fitness. Strong heart, strong body, endurance, energy, strength, muscle tone, improved appearance, speed, stress reduction, stamina, alertness, happiness, endorphin high, enhanced performance, creativity, mental spryness, …. Without even completing this list, who’s in?

If someone told you that they had a magic potion, that if ingested daily, would improve your happiness, mental engagement, energy, and overall work and life results with no side effects, would you take it? Sure! Well, this “potion” is as simple as carving out 30 minutes of your day to MOVE your body, increase your heart rate, play a little, and empower your strength. Give up one sitcom per day for a lifetime of benefit. Not a bad return on your investment.

Remember… 28 days to form a habit. Choose Well!

 

What Does It Really Mean to you? June 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 7:24 pm
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How many times have you listened to someone talk about a change they want to make or a goal they want to achieve but they feel stuck, unsuccessful, or simply unmotivated? How often has this happened to you personally? If honest, most of us are probably sheepishly nodding our heads right now.

A very common reason people don’t make the positive changes they say they want to make is they didn’t invest the time connecting with how their life will be better after the change.

Here’s a little trick you can use that will significantly increase your odds of implementing powerful change, and it’s called AUTHENTIC BUY-IN.

Simply stated, this is a process of getting really committed to the goal by identifying “What’s in it for me?” You can take yourself or others through this process, and you’ll be amazed with the results. Here are the steps:

Answer the following questions with careful thought, and really focus on experiencing the emotions that come up for you. Better yet, write down your answers.
1) What do you really want? (The answer to this question is typically the REASON for the goal)
2) On a scale of 1 – 10, where are you NOW in relationship to what you really want? (The gap between where you are and a 10 represents the true potential of what you want to have /achieve. It should be viewed as opportunity versus a negative).
3) What is your current situation / approach costing you? (Spend time on this one!)
4) If you achieve a 10, what will be different in your life? What do you gain?
5) How would it feel to live / work in your desired state? (Identify the actual emotion).
6) On a scale of 1 – 10, how committed are you to moving to where you want to be?

If you’ve created buy-in, you just answered 10, and you’re ready to develop your action plan. You have identified why the change really matters to you and what the true cost of stagnation is. Finish the process by asking yourself: “What’s the most meaningful step I can take today towards your ideal state of 10?” And then do that, and ask yourself this same question tomorrow.

 

Priorities – Do You Act On Yours? June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 6:45 pm
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When we think about aligning our time and actions with our highest priorities, most of us get excited but feel lost at exactly how to shift from where we are to where we want to be. It’s easy to allow the latest fire, request, email, or minor task to distract us.

Staying true to our priorities is a conscious choice, and yet, many people claim they simply didn’t have enough time to complete their highest priorities. We all have the perfect amount of time to achieve our priorities and purpose and to honor our values – 24 hours / day.

Achieving our priorities daily requires clarity, discipline, and commitment. It is as easy as taking one “right” step today, knowing that we create our lives moment by moment in the choices we make.
Here is a simple questionnaire to give yourself.

My top 3 priorities are:
Now that I’ve identified my top three priorities, today I will spend the right amount of time on the following tasks:
Today, I commit to stop: (List something you are doing that isn’t in alignment with priorities)
Today, I commit to start: (List something new that you will do)
Today, I commit to do more of:
Today, the most important contribution I can make is: (THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION!)
The cost to me of not honoring these commitments is:
The benefit to me of honoring these commitments is:

Once you complete this, you have a written, simple plan – just for today – to close the gap between “AS IS” and “DESIRED”, and you are one step closer to living a fulfilling, productive life. Choose Well!

 

What’s Your Elevator Speech? June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 3:13 pm
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Do you believe that an opportunity may present itself at any moment? Are you ready for it? A good way to know if you are is to role play with yourself. Introduce the following scenario to yourself:

You enter an elevator and find you are standing with a potential customer for your business. You have 30 seconds to take advantage of this opportunity before he/she exits. Out loud, practice saying what you believe will most effectively engage this individual and act as step one in transforming a random opportunity into a buying customer.

How did the role play go? For most, this exercise will reveal that you could benefit from developing a meaningful and powerful “WHY YOUR COMPANY?” pitch. If you aren’t able to succinctly and impactfully tell someone what you do, why you are passionate about it, and what value your business is committed to delivering, you are likely going to miss the opportunities that present themselves to you.

Most of us believe the best marketing is word of mouth. Your business has no greater expert and fan then you. What about the word of mouth marketing you can deliver on behalf of your business?

Don’t forget to communicate your message with positive energy! People are attracted to people that make them feel energized, happy, and confident. People want to do business with people who are fired up to make a difference for them.

You don’t have to be a sales professional to be great at creating opportunities for your business. Would you buy from you?