• Do you form partnerships with your best customers?

    21 Sep 2018 | 12:00 am

    Scripture states, "Do two men walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3 NIV). A key word is to agree. Too often we believe agreement means price only. A true customer partnership includes understanding the client's needs[…]

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Category >> Leadership
Sep 03
2018

Writing Your Autobiography

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Most of us want to leave a good legacy behind. Demonstrating the power of Christ in your life is the best legacy we can leave. In addition, we may have other stories and accomplishments others may find interesting that we should pass on.

A few years ago I stumbled on some notes my uncle had written regarding my grandfather. I found an interesting story that occurred in 1910 when he left a small farming town in Aylmer, Ontario, to take a bank manager's job in Calgary.  In 1910, Calgary was still a part of what we would call the Wild West. My uncle’s notes told how my grandfather would sleep in the bank office with a .38 caliber pistol under his pillow to make sure nobody broke in to rob the safe. Years later after he moved to Detroit, he used the same pistol when he collected rent in a real estate business. 

Aug 27
2018

Opinions Are Not Facts

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

While opinions are sometimes true, they are false about as many times.  One day I may be right about something, but the next day I could be wrong.  

Once when I was driving on the highway, there was a truck going 35 in a 55 mile an hour zone. I started to grumble at the truck for driving so slowly. When I had an opportunity to pass, I could see that the problem was a car in front of the truck traveling at the low rate of speed. I had allowed my opinion to become fact. The truck didn’t cause the slow traffic; it was the result of a slow car I could not see.

We tend to be quick to treat our opinions as facts.  That’s why I've learned to use a lot of clarifying questions when working with clients. I will ask, “Why do you think that?” or “Do you have specific information to support your thinking?” 

Aug 09
2018

Taking Advice

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I was asked to review an online training program selling for $199.00. The organization asked for advice on how to improve marketing for this product. My feedback acknowledged it was an excellent product with good value for the money.  I could see how buyers would receive the training well. However, I pointed out that the marketing materials included no evidence concerning how well the product worked.

Jul 14
2018

Customers Don’t Need to Know My Problems

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I received some bad news one day and had several business issues pop up at the same time that were very frustrating. Next I had a visit with a customer I knew quite well. I was tempted to share a bit of my tail of woe.  Then, I realized that I should not share my problems with my customer unless there was a direct relationship. For example, if I had production problems that would delay a shipment; it is reasonable to let a customer know about a current problem.  Otherwise I should keep my concerns to myself.

Jul 09
2018

Keep your Talk under 20 Minutes

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We all have sat in situations where a speaker would have practically put us to sleep except for the fact that we had four or five cups of coffee. Even then our minds wander. I've been teaching, giving seminars and involved in speaking engagements long enough to know how easy it is to speak on and on.  After all, there's always more I can share. However the reality is that I lose my audience if I speak too long, and so do most speakers.

Occasionally I watch TED talks. The goal of each one is to inspire, inform and educate.  Most of the time, they hit the mark. One of the keys to the success of the TED format is that they limit the talks to 18 minutes. The TED organization did the research and found that the longest you can hold somebody's attention is 10 to 18 minutes. The organization learned it doesn't matter how effective or how dynamic or how exciting a speaker is, 18 minutes is still the maximum amount of time listeners are able to fully focus on a talk. When a speaker goes longer, the audience reaches a point of diminishing returns were the longer a speaker talks; the less listeners grasp.

In some ways I don't like this information. I'd like to stand at a podium and go on for hours presenting my “brilliant ideas.” Of course this is my ego speaking and has nothing to do with reality.