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When you think about it, “managing” your team can be a distasteful concept.

It’s built on the presumption that you have control over what they do, and are smart enough to direct their every move. Most experienced managers realize this control-and-compliance model gets just the minimum acceptable level of contribution.

And sometimes not even that.

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If you’ve ever been to a trade show or promotional event of any kind, you know what I’m talking about.  Schwag is that branded giveaway stuff to help entice you to remember a company.

Berthoud Chamber ribbon cuttingI had a Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting this week, a fantastic opportunity to meet other business owners in the community.  Definitely take advantage of opportunities like this when you join a Chamber!

As part of the business-to-business connection, it’s common to receive a “schwag bag” of goodies contributed by all the other businesses.  Well, I had an opportunity to look through the bag today, and it got me thinking about the nature of these giveaways.

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Julie has some great observations about how to get free (or super cheap) marketing impressions. Are you taking advantage of this in YOUR business?

WRITE on RED, LLC

Car dealerships have the market on low cost-per-impressions--learn how you can do the same. Have you ever driven up behind someone and noticed a car dealership decal on the back window (see image on right—the sticker is located below the back brake light)? If you live in Northern Colorado, your answer should most definitely be “yes.” Every dealership in the area must have gotten a great deal on back window decals. Or, rather, one dealership started doing it and all the others followed suit.

My husband has always been baffled by this and has even gone as far as to ask our friends who have recently purchased cars, “Did you get a discount for letting them put that sticker on your back window?” The answer is always, “No.” This response gets my husband riled up, mainly because he thinks the stickers are obnoxious. And, it always gets me thinking: how could other businesses capitalize on such an easy, and basically free, way to market?

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welcomeI was reading an excellent E-Myth article today on Hiring and Keeping Rockstar Employees.  I was fascinated by their fourth step where they recommend to Hold a Hiring Seminar.  It’s a fantastic idea, and a great way to help your prospective employees to self-select whether they will fit in to your job environment and requirements.

I’ve seen companies which have this kind of thing at a job fair or a massive “hiring day.”  Read the rest of this entry »

This article was first published in the Bolton Remote blog.

john Keogh on Flickr

Photo by john Keogh on Flickr

Most companies follow pretty much the same process for hiring:

  1. You notice that you need some work done.
  2. You write a job description.
  3. You publish that through job boards and other mechanisms.
  4. People apply for the job.
  5. You do multiple levels of filtering, ultimately talking with a few candidates in person.
  6. You make your offer to the best candidate, or if this didn’t work, go back to square one.

These are the steps we’ve been using since the industrial revolution, and you’re familiar with the two key failings Read the rest of this entry »

Amusement parkTrue confession time:  I have a real soft spot in my heart for amusement parks.  You see, I met my then-future-wife when we worked at a park for a summer in Denver.  We’ve reflected on that experience for nearly 40 years now.

So I was really interested to hear today’s episode of This American Life which was dedicated to the topic.

But this isn’t about the experience you get as a customer; what strikes me is the experience as an employee and supervisor.  Which is quite unique, let me tell you!

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The Fear of Being That Person

You don’t have to be a sleazy salesperson to get results

Carl Dierschow
choice magazine, vol. 13 no. 2

SleazyMost coaches are the primary marketing and sales engine for their own business. If you’re in a larger coaching company, you might have a separate sales force. Or if you’re an internal coach for a company, you may think much differently about the process of connecting up with clients.

The rest of us are our own marketing and sales department, which may be both the best news and the worst.

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spectrum-395351_640I’m a pretty creative guy, I guess.  Not artistic-creative, but I have a lot of business ideas I bring to the community.

People sometimes ask me where I get these ideas.  I’ve done about 900 blog posts now (on this blog and others) and that’s a lot of subjects to write about.

The honest truth?  The ideas mostly come from others.  I pay attention and notice things.

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Source: Alan Dean

Source: Alan Dean

My year is exploding.  But in a good way.

I’ve signed up for a whole bunch of workshops and presentations, in an effort to really “up my game” in delivering value to the community.  Here’s a taste:

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Customer CareYour business exists to serve customers.

I don’t care whether you have products or services, whether you deal in low price commodities or super expensive transactions.  The fact is that you don’t exist unless your customers decide to give you their valuable time and money in exchange for what you provide.

It may seem trivial, but the logical conclusion is that if you don’t serve your customers in the way they want and need, you’ll lose them.  And you’ll lose your business.

Big duh.

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