By the end of this year, there will be an estimated 5.6 billion email accounts. That helps to explain why email is the dominant medium to market and communicate. Think about how many useless emails that you receive daily. The people who you are trying to influence likely receive just as many. How do you stand out in a cacophony of claptrap? Avoid these common email mistakes identified by Hubspot:
How do you make a great first impression? You need to project warmth first and then competence and be perceived as having both writes Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy in her new book Presence. Most people erroneously believe that competence is more important than warmth. Let's face it, when a prospective customer walks into your showroom, they want to feel confident that you have the skill to design their dream bath or kitchen. However, Cuddy claims that warmth or trustworthiness is the most crucial factor in creating a positive first impression. If a prospect does not trust you, there is no chance you will win the contract regardless of how talented you might be.
What are the keys to becoming more productive? According to a recent survey of nearly 20,000 readers of HBR.org, they are:
Fifty percent of US consumers cite email as their preferred method of contact from brands, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index. What makes for an effective email from a brick and mortar retailer? It certain is not a discount coupon offer. According to the survey, open rates for discount offers declined from 20 percent in 2017 to 18 percent in 2018. What does work are informative emails.
The reason why focusing on features and benefits of products does not work is because the brain craves meaning before details, claims University of Washington School of Medicine molecular biologist John Medina. When a customer does not understand what a new kitchen or bath will do for them, how it will affect their lives and how it will make them feel every time they cross the threshold, there’s little chance that talking about the number of finishes or options available will make an impact.
Most people, given the right circumstances will do the right things, claims Dr. James Doty, a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founding director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. In a recent podcast, Dr. Doty gave new meaning of being a hero. “Being a hero doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to jump off a bridge into freezing water and pull somebody out of the water. Being a hero can simply mean recognizing a situation where somebody is at risk and making the effort to go and help them.” An act of heroism can be as simple as helping a senior citizen to cross the street or standing up to someone is who bullying a coworker or friend.
BKBG Conference Workshop Leader Derek Gaunt from the Black Swan Group, provided great guidance on how to negotiate with those you love. When you negotiate pricing or a business transaction, the consequences of failure are not as high as when you fail to reach an effective solution with a spouse, partner or child. Black Swan notes that when you are connected to someone on a deeper emotional level you naturally hold them to higher standards than you do to individuals involved in business transactions. That’s why Black Swan recommends different approaches for loved ones than team members, suppliers, contractors or other business associates.
Operating a kitchen and bath showroom is not easy. There are constant demands and the fact for many is that the “to-do” list never is completely done. You put in long hours and the demands of your position likely come at the cost of a good night’s sleep. What’s the trade off? Research shows that when leaders trade sleep to work more, they become less effective, are more hostile and have less effective relationships with team members, are less likely to inspire others and experience declining engagement rates on the teams that they manage. When you are tired, you become more impulsive, less creative and innovative and less likely to make the best decisions.
Everyone struggles to make tough decisions. Is there a process that can make tough decision making easier? The answer is yes according to management consultant Rick Houcek and he turns to Winston Churchill as his guide. Churchill is one of the most loved and loathed characters of the 20th Century. Credited with protecting England from Hitler’s onslaught in World War II, Churchill was forced to make thousands of life-death decisions. Churchill developed a process outlined in his book, Churchill on Leadership that he deemed “5 distinct truths” to make decisions:
On Monday, October 15, Sears filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, announced the shuttering of more than 140 stores and fired its CEO. None of these actions came as a surprise to anyone who has followed Sears recently. There will be many who attribute Sears’ woes to Amazon and other online etailers. That’s not the reason for Sears’ current predicament. In fact, Sears was Amazon before the Internet was even a pipe dream.