Description: Underlying everything that works, and all that doesn’t, in our lives is communication. The difficulty with communication is that it’s so darn complicated, and yet we don’t see it as such. We believe when we speak we are communicating and it just isn’t so. Communication is the cornerstone of everything that works, or doesn’t, in an organization. It affects sales, marketing, hiring, leadership, project success, team dynamics, retention, and more.
Are there elephants in your workplace? Those obvious things that everyone recognizes but no one acknowledges and you have to walk around? When they take up residence in the workplace, elephants cause roadblocks to communication and productivity. The effect? People don’t hear your directions, don’t accept responsibility, and focus on petty issues. You expect them to be adults who do their jobs, yet you spend time explaining yourself or resolving conflict. When you chase those elephants away, you can get back to business and communicate clearly to a more receptive audience.
- How can you promote positive energy, free of office gossip and destructive backbiting in your department, team or company?
- How do you get communication to stop being a barrier and use it as a tool to move your company forward?
- Understand and learn how behavior impacts communication and causes breakdowns, or success.
- Recognize your role and responsibility in successful communication and your role in the collapses when it occurs.
- How can you turn your staff from being clock watchers without initiative and ownership to happy, efficient, focused, energized, accountable, creative, and trusting individuals?
You will learn: When clear, unambiguous communication is the norm in your company, you will see productivity rise and frustration fall on all levels. You can transform your workplace by chasing the elephants away.
When you think of improving your sales what comes to mind? Do you think you need more sales training for your team, a shift in thinking to be more customer centric, a systematic approach to the sales process? Or is building high-trust relationships on the list? Any one of these items can have a significant impact on your sales and they are all closely connected.
More than any other hire you make, you want your sales people to meet and beat your expectations. Sales people can become rock stars who positively affect your company’s bottom line. Some come to the job with a natural gift of gab and good persuasion skills, but good training can turn a competent sales person into an outstanding spokesperson for your brand. This means more than familiarizing them with your product line; it’s about helping them develop enhanced communication skills that will enable them to assess and be responsive to the needs of customers. They need to ask for up sells, referrals, and more. These add-ons to current sales, and sources for future sales, make every sales transaction worth more. This can happen if your sales people learn to identify when to probe, when to suggest, and when to ask for more. They can develop the type of lasting relationships that lead to higher order totals now, and repeat sales in the future.
- How can planning make a good sales person even better?
- How do advanced communication skills help a good sales person pick up the n nuances of a sales situation, especially when handling objections?
- What will make a potential customer stop and listen to you?
- What will make them take the next step of buying?
- How do you and your sales people identify up sell opportunities during the prospecting stage, the sales process, and or after the sale?
- How can you see other sales opportunities when you are focusing on the customer?
You will learn: A salesperson who can probe their customer’s needs and really listen to responses will become increasingly better at determining whether their client’s words and body language are saying “yes”, “no”, or “maybe”. You and your sales people are leaving money on the table if you don’t get the most out of every sale. When you really communicate with the prospect, you may discover other needs that you can also meet. The basic stages of selling — from prospecting through delivering the final product — require a thoughtful approach to communicating and building relationships with your customer.
At its most basic level, communication is a mere exchange of information. That works when you buy a gallon of milk. You say, “How much is this?” The clerk replies “$2.98”. You say, “Great, thanks, here you go”, as you pay and leave the store. In most situations, when you communicate, you want more. You need to get a better sense of a candidate you interview. You desire to understand your customer’s wants, needs, and values when you sell them your product or service face-to-face or set up a marketing plan to promote it. You want to be honest yet compassionate when working through problems with your staff. Just exchanging words won’t do the trick. You need to communicate in a way that makes your listener willing to feel comfortable enough to open up, as they say in Japan, “open their kimonos” to allow you to get beneath the surface.
- How can you move beyond superficial communication in your business and personal relationships?
- How can you get your body language in sync with your words and be more attuned to that of others?
- How can you deliver bad news or criticism without making your listener “close their kimono” and shut down communication?
- How can you encourage others to share useful information that you need to know to make good decisions?
You will learn: Good communication leads to lasting relationships. When you learn to develop trust through proper communication, you will more often get the outcome you want.
Change is often a bittersweet fact of leadership. The often frantic pace of today’s business world can be overwhelming and even anxiety-producing, yet some of our most creative ideas and innovative business solutions are born in the midst of, and in response to, change and transformation. Whether change comes from within, from the need to be more competitive, or as a result of a fractured economy, the role of leadership must be clear.
- How do leaders keep up with change and learn to drive it?
- What does significant change mean to key decision-makers within an organization?
- How do you establish trust and product effective leadership within your organization while the foundation of your business is shifting beneath you?
- How do leaders connect with shareholders, the senior leadership, and with the workforce when changes are affecting business-as-usual?
You will learn: These questions are particularly important today when more than ever, leadership must drive the change from mediocrity to excellence, from competence to cutting-edge, from unproductive to profitable. Leadership must step up; but how do you help leaders realize their expanding role? This topic lays out the role of leadership in times of change and helps them realize their potential.
Your company may seem to be doing fine by all measures: you’re profitable, your workforce and customers are happy, and you are respected in the industry. Then, zap, the economy tanks, and it’s as if all the energy is drained from the place. You lose business, and have to reduce your budget to make up for the loss in revenue. Some staff leaves and you consider letting others go, as morale plunges and stress skyrockets. As you recharge your company, you are at an ideal place to ask some tough questions about how your company functions and what could make it better. Regardless of what is happening in the business world, you can harness your internal resources to generate the power once more!
- Have you created an environment that promotes top performance?
- Do you have the right people in the right jobs?
- Have you probed key people for their ideas — and listened to their answers?
- Are there communication barriers in your organization that you have been ignoring?
- Can status quo sustain you or do you need to make changes, perhaps even radical changes?
You will learn: When hard times hit your company like a power outage, you can re-evaluate your systems, leadership, communication techniques, and customer focus and more, and come back stronger than before.
You’ve likely heard that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but leadership is often fearful of making mistakes. A lot can ride on a business decision, but fear can immobilize you, stifle innovation, and inhibit the potential that we bring to the table. When we are afraid to show leadership for fear of failing, we lose sight of the benefits and long-term value mistakes bring to the business landscape. Risk-taking leads to business success. Businesses succeed by seeking knowledge, learning from mistakes, and having the confidence to act on that growing base of information and experience in their relationships with clients, employees, and vendors.
- How can mistakes energize your business?
- How does fear impede progress when you fear making a mistake?
- How will clients, staff, vendors, and colleagues react when you take risks — and what often happens?
- How do you repair the damage when decisions misfire?
- How teaching your people how to make decisions can increase creativity.
You will learn: When you overcome the fear of making mistakes, you help your business soar. This topic helps you take flight and soar toward your full potential.