• Do you listen effectively to your staff?

    22 Oct 2018 | 12:00 am

    Christ said, "If any man has ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark 7:16 NASB). We must develop the habit of effectively listening to staff. The further removed we are from manufacturing or customer service, the more effective listeners we[…]

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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Oct 22
2018

Buy on Safe Websites

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Most of us occasionally buy a product on an unfamiliar website. We may think that it's not being run by scam artists; however, the reality is that some commerce websites are fake. They look for ways to defraud unsuspecting buyers on transactions.

A great resource is the scam advisor on this website:  https://www.scamadviser.com . All you have to do is type or cut-and-paste a website address into the appropriate box of the scam advisor.  The scam advisor will report whether the site is a high or low risk for fraud. 

The good news is that the scam advisor gives our site, www.Stevemarr.org , a “High trust - safe to use” rating.  As President Regan said, “Trust but verify.” 

Oct 18
2018

Create Customers

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Management expert Peter Drucker frequently said that the purpose of any business is to create customers. As simple and accurate as this statement is, we often miss the mark.

The challenge arises when we make decisions based on what we prefer to offer versus what our customers demand. An example is “Ken” who owns a pet store that targets healthy ingredients for animals. Ken decided to carry only expensive products. I pointed out that he could easily carry less costly products that would appeal to a wider cross-section of customers and increase sales. By my perspective Ken was too narrowly focused on the product line. He could easily maintain healthy products for pets while adding some lower-cost products. He simply would not do it. In going over a number of issues about how Ken ran his business, I believed Ken was more interested in providing what he wanted to sell rather than focusing on what customers demanded. I tried to repeat that I was not suggesting that he forgo his passion for healthy pet food.  I simply wanted to show Ken how to create more customers.

Oct 15
2018

Don’t Waste Time While Driving

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I spend time in my car that I don't like to waste. I can divide my driving into three categories:  long trips of several hours or more, 30 minute trips and trips of uneven length as I drive around town making visits to customers and prospects. I don’t want to waste my drive time.

For long trips I listen to downloaded preaching messages or business books on audio when it doesn’t interfere with my driving concentration.  When I'm not driving I'm able to take notes. Anytime I read a book, my goal is to learn one or two ideas I can implement.  I'm not looking to remember a lot of detail, but if I can utilize three ideas effectively.

Oct 11
2018

Managing Customer Expectations

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I've read that “disappointment equals expectations less reality.” If I go on a fishing trip expecting to catch 30 salmon a day but only land three, I may be disappointed. However, if I go salmon fishing expecting to catch one or no fish but bring home three, I get pretty excited. The difference is my expectation. Likewise we need to make sure that we manage our customers’ expectations appropriately to avoid future disappointment.

When I have done consulting work with clients, I endeavor to match expectations to reality from a time, cost and result framework. An example would be if I'm assisting a business owner in improving the work results of an employee, I explain that in most cases the best you're going to accomplish is a 10% to 20% gain. If this is not the results you require, then you might be better off discharging the employee sooner rather than endure the pain of a long process. I explained that rarely can a manager take a person producing D-level work and raise them to A-level.  It is more likely that you can get them to produce at a C-level.

Oct 08
2018

Do Not Fear the Day

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

An organization, Study Finds, released a report indicating that when we fear the day in front of us; our day becomes more stressful, reduces our focus, impacts our memory and decreases our productivity. The full article is here:  https://bit.ly/2LBkijS

The Lord spoke to Joshua and said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9, NIV)