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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Category >> Managing Your Staff
Nov 17
2020

Passing on the Business Culture

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Every business has a culture of some type.  The most effective businesses determine the type of culture best suited to serving their customers and teach that culture to all employees. One culture does not necessarily fit all organizations. For example, a business that serves customers with one-time transactions may not need to develop a strong relational bond with customers.  However, relationship building is critical if your goal is a long-term business interaction.

When an organization believes building strong customer relationships are crucial, effective leaders teach this principle to employees. They train their staff about how to build and maintain relationships and the importance of taking the time and effort to ensure these relationships remain in place.

Nov 05
2020

Qualifying Customers

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

My experience has taught me that most salespeople do not adequately qualify prospects. Knocking on doors, sitting in front of a prospect, writing proposals is not necessarily the most effective way of getting business. We need to engage in an orderly process to properly qualify customers.  Then, we can focus on those who are the best possible prospects.

First, determine if a customer has the finances to buy the product or service. Do this by asking the customer if they budgeted for the cost. I worked with an award-winning landscape architect who fielded calls from people wanting yard work. My client focused on projects at $40,000 and above. Customers looking for a $5,000- 10,000 job were not an effective use of time. My client simply referred them to other landscaping services. While it is important not to arbitrarily reject prospects, we need to make a reasonable determination about their ability to afford what we are selling.

Sep 28
2020

Becoming Involved in Employees’ Personal Issues

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We all have employees who come to us and share personal problems and information. My experience has taught me not to become overly involved in an employee’s personal challenges. I listen and endeavor to triage the situation when somebody is venting legitimately. For example, if a spouse has a cancer diagnosis, I allow them an opportunity to express their pain and suffering. We need to be good listeners.

There are several reasons I don’t to get involved in staff issues such as financial difficulties, marital concerns or other personal issues. I avoid this, not because I don’t care, but because when I insert myself into an employee’s problem; the situation becomes partly my problem. I don’t give investment advice because if what I suggest goes wrong, the person will likely blame me even if other ideas turned to gold.

Sep 15
2020

Becoming Involved in Employees’ Personal Issues

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We all have employees who come to us and share personal problems and information. My experience has taught me not to become overly involved in an employee’s personal challenges. I listen and endeavor to triage the situation when somebody is venting legitimately. For example, if a spouse has a cancer diagnosis, I allow them an opportunity to express their pain and suffering. We need to be good listeners.

Aug 17
2020

Managing the Easily Offended

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

At times I have conducted performance evaluations with staff.  I have been surprised when I’ve given a strong rating to somebody followed by offering areas for improvement that some individuals take exception to criticism, regardless of how valid it is.

A study by Dr. Jeremy Bernerth, Associate Professor of Management at San Diego University, writes “those with a proclivity to be offended (PTBO) make terrible employees.”

In his report Dr. Bernerth writes: “What is PTBO? According to the study, it's a state-like tendency to be sensitive to customarily innocuous societal events and traditions,’ such as ‘playing of the United States' National Anthem,’ and is the ‘tendency to view an array of events and/or traditions as offensive.’ People with high PTBO ‘are likely to feel that social events or traditions to which they take offense also violate moral or equitable standards.’"