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The Other Pause that Refreshes

By Bigg Success Staff
04-07-08

Career Builders

In 1929, Coca-Cola proudly proclaimed that Coke was the pause that refreshes. In your communication tool box, you can also use a pause to refresh. 

That is, you can pause to refresh.

Pause when someone is talking to you.
When you’re having a conversation with someone, one of the most important things you can demonstrate is that you are listening attentively. After they make a point, pause before you reply to show them you’re listening carefully.

Pausing also insures that you don’t interrupt them. Perhaps they’re just catching their breath before continuing. By giving them a second or two, you’ll know if they want to add to their point or if they’ve truly completed their thought.

It also gives you time to fully digest what they said so your response will be better. For example, you may need to ask a follow-up question to clarify something you didn’t completely understand.

Pause when you are talking.
You can use pauses to your advantage when you’re doing the talking as well. Pausing gives them time to fully comprehend what you said. For example, you may see something in their body language or facial expression that suggests confusion. Follow-up to make sure they understood your message.

Sometimes, by pausing, they’ll immediately interject a question or a point. Perhaps they didn’t understand something you said. If you continue talking, they’ll be mentally trapped with the point that needs clarification, so they won’t hear you anyway. Pause to give them time to ask questions or make a point.

Pausing when you’re talking also signals that you’re not a conversation hog. You show them that you’re interested in a two-way dialog and that you value their input. 

Pausing is a useful communication tool for both sides of your conversation. Use it to build trust and make sure your message is understood. Too many people are so focused on what they’re saying or going to say that they fail to actually communicate. Pausing is refreshing!

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3 Tips To Thrive In Your Career

By Bigg Success
02-13-08

Personal Branding
 

What does your brand stand for? We’re talking about YOUR brand – YOU, Inc.

What does it mean to the world?

Your brand is a promise. It’s a promise of the value that you say you can deliver. It’s a promise to yourself of what you will be.

Brands grow when they deliver the promised value. That’s how they build trust. That’s why their customers come back time and time again.

Here are three personal branding tips that will help you thrive in your career:


Be consistent

Good brands deliver consistently. Here’s an interesting tidbit – you’re better off being consistently average (read that as mediocre) than having occasional spurts of greatness followed by spells of disappointing performance.

People base their decisions on expectations. If they don’t know what to expect, they won’t buy what you offer.

This also goes for personality. It’s hard to work with moody people. It’s okay to be moody, just don’t share it with the world! Learn to control your emotions so you present a consistent temperament.

Of course, you don’t want to be average. You want to be exceptional. That’s where the next two points come into play.

Follow-through
Good brands live up to their promises. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, do it!

This statement probably won’t surprise you – a LOT of people don’t follow-through on what they say.

Use that to your advantage. When people know they can depend on you, they’ll happily give you more and more opportunities. Everybody wants a go-to guy or gal.

Improve continually
You can only exceed someone’s expectations once. Do you believe that?

You shouldn’t.

But it’s true if you don’t continually improve yourself. When you exceed someone’s expectations today, they’ll expect that same level of performance tomorrow. So you can only MEET their expectations the second time.

Is that a blessing or a curse?

Bigg goal-getters think it’s a blessing. Because it challenges you to constantly improve yourself so you can exceed their expectations every time. It turns this thing we call work into a game. And isn’t it fun to play games?

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Do Your Customers Trust You?

Recently, the Better Business Bureau released the results their first Trust in Business Index. They found that trust in business is down and cite contributing factors such as:

  • toy recalls
  • the sub-prime mortgage crisis
  • ethical lapses in leadership
  • declining customer service

All of these things affect a company’s reputation. Stephen Covey, in his great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about “emotional bank accounts”. When we do good things, deposits are made into our emotional bank account; when we do bad things, withdrawals are made.

Trust is built as we make more deposits. Relationships are built on trust. According to BBB, the single biggest factor in earning customer trust is honesty, closely followed by dependability.

Today, we’ll look at three things that you can do to increase your customers’ trust.

  • Under-promise, then over-deliver
  • Unfortunately, we usually see the opposite. In most cases, the intentions are good. However, good intentions don’t build relationships. Good actions do. One of the keys here is to manage expectations to make sure you don’t over commit.

    On the show, George talked about a customer who wanted him to commit to something he didn’t he could do. After much prodding, he told the customer that he could lie to her now, and make her happy. But she would probably be disappointed later.

    Or she could accept what he’s saying, and be happy when he was able to do it. He asked which one she preferred. She understood.

    Tell me now and it’s an explanation. Tell me later and it’s an excuse. Customers accept explanations; nobody likes excuses. Once you have set the proper expectations, you can work to exceed them. That’s where it gets fun!

  • Follow-through
  • This is closely related to the first point, but it’s so important that we thought it deserved to be separate. Say what you’ll do, and then do what you say. We’re all so busy these days; it’s easy to make promises that we don’t keep. Don’t be one of those people! Follow-through.

    Develop a personal system that tracks your promises so you rarely “drop the ball”.

    During the show, George talked a friend who’s in sales. When he called prospects, they often told him to call back some time later. He developed a system to notify him when he should call them back. Then he called them!

    George liked this idea. He started testing sales people by agreeing to a follow-up date. A very small percentage actually did it! If someone won’t live up to their promises before they sell you something, how do you think they’ll do afterwards?

    Follow-through won’t always make you money, but it always builds trust.

  • Address the needs of your customer first, then worry about your needs.
  • On the show, Mary-Lynn talked about her sister, who recently saw some fraudulent activity on her credit card. When she called the credit card company, they tried to sell her another credit card and additional services on her current credit card.

    She explained that she didn’t care about that right now; she was stressed out that someone was using her credit card. The service representative just kept pitching her on other services.

    It’s hard to understand why anyone would design a process that way. If someone comes to you with a need, you won’t get anywhere until that need is addressed.

 

How do you build trust with your customers?
As a customer, what do you wish businesses would do?
Leave us a comment.

 

Going back to the survey, we talked about honesty and dependability, which finished first and second in building trust. In case you’re wondering, here are the next three:

#3 – safe products
#4 – value
#5 – price

There’s one more thing that we found interesting from this survey:

67% of the respondents would rather patronize a small business than a large one.

That’s good news for all you small business owners. You have an edge – consumers trust you more! And now may be a good time to start that business you’ve been dreaming about. Check out 117 10 Signs That You’re Ready To Quit Your Job And Start A Business].

Our Bigg Quote today comes from Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s.

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”

Remember that your customers will last if they feel like you put them first. Your honesty and dependability leads to their loyalty.

Next time, we’ll talk about the marshmallow test. Can you resist sweet temptations? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!