A tale (mine) of failing to make it personal

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 24, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

I’ve written many times about the importance of making communications personal. I often follow my own advice. And sometimes I don’t. Here’s a tale of a failure on my part, including what I did to attempt to rectify things. Perhaps you’ll find it a useful template (the rectifying part, not the failing part).

Why you should put more “blah blah blah” into your communications

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 17, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

I’m on a Southwest flight at the time of this writing, where employees are known for taking creative license with the more mundane aspects of the job, including on-board announcements. The flight attendant who just delivered the usual stuff prior to takeoff did something we should all do.

How a “modern” communication tool can accelerate trust

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 10, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

There’s a “modern” communication tool that’s become really popular in recent years. You’d think I’d be too old to appreciate them (although I learned from Wikipedia that they actually date back to the 80s, so maybe not). Instead, I’m enamored of them. Humor me for a moment while I share the trust-building applications of … GIFs.

Why my absolute favorite BD practice reaps big rewards

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 3, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

Think about the number of meaningful relationships you’ve had with clients over your career. There are likely hundreds. Now think about how many you’ve reached out to in the last year. Probably considerably fewer, and probably not enough—especially since they’re your best and easiest source of leads if you’re in a services business. Read on for a simple and important way around this relationship problem.

Three more reasons to forget your ABCs

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips May 28, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

Whether you’re selling a product, service, or idea, you’ve likely felt impatient at some point to get somewhere—known in conventional sales training as “closing.” That might be driven by your strong personal desire to problem-solve or be helpful, or it could be fueled by external pressure to generate a result, or both. Whatever the source, its problematic.

The case of the missing Weekly Tip

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips May 21, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

Every so often my systems and support structures fail me (or more accurately, I fail them) and a tip doesn’t get written for the week. This is one of those times.

Why you should forget your ABCs

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips May 13, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

The phrase Always Be Closing has positive connotations in some circles. It was taught for many years in the well-regarded Xerox sales system as a reminder to constantly explore customer needs. More often than not, though, “closing” draws down on trust—whether you’re selling a product, service, or idea. Here are three reasons not to do it.

Why being matter of fact can be a problem

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips May 6, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

Last week’s tip about shifting out of “order-taker” role got me thinking about a telling experience I once had with a tech support person. He fell into a classic trap, which I’m now sharing with you because it’s one we’re all vulnerable to.

Calling all shared services professionals: Are you minding your mindset?

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips April 29, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

A few tips ago I wrote about why it’s critical, as a services professional, to see your own value as more than just a trusted problem-solver. I shared the four levels of relationship as a framework to help. Recently, I’ve been revisiting a variation of that model that a colleague and I created specifically for anyone in a shared services (or internal consulting) role. It provides a way to re-think your value, and find proactive ways to consistently be seen as more than just an order taker.

An error message that packs a humorous trust punch

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips April 22, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

If you’re suffering from Spring Fever like I am, you probably can’t tolerate anything too heavy or serious right now. So, this week I’m offering up a humorous (albeit poignant) example of a trust-building way to deliver a tough message.


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