Techniques to Succeed: Resolving client reluctance

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This is Tip No. 4 in Larry Litwin’s “More ABCs of Strategic Communication: available on www dot larrylitwin dot com.

Here is a five-step process to help resolve client conflict:
• Anticipate objections.When preparing presentations or proposals, keep in mind any issues the client might raise – anything they may have said or might say now. Have a planned response.

• Listen carefully. Show your value as a problem-solver to the client by listening closely to their concerns.Never interrupt or get defensive – work with them.

• Understand the objection. If you are not 100 percent clear about the client’s objection, ask questions. Always check your understanding by restating the problem in your own words.

• Answer questions fully and honestly. Issues aren’t resolved by being evasive, by manipulating the client or by misrepresenting your intentions. Always preface answers by showing you understand that the concern is legitimate from the client’s viewpoint. After responding, confirm that you’ve dealt with the objection and that the client has no other questions.

• Be flexible.Try to resolve an objection by staying flexible in your proposals. Partner with your client to reach agreement. The more skilled you are in resolving objections, the more satisfied your clients will be.

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Techniques to Succeed: Be interview ready

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This is Tip No. 3 in Larry Litwin’s “More ABCs of Strategic Communication: available on www dot larrylitwin dot com.

According to Dawn Anthony:

Looking for a new job can be stressful, but once you get an interview, landing the job could come down to a few minor details.

• Lack of preparation – this runs the gamut from not knowing anything about the organization or the job you’re interviewing for, to arriving late and not dressing appropriately for the interview. Research the firm on the Web, learn all you can about what it does.Also, get directions ahead of time and arrive at least 15 minutes early.

• Being unprepared for difficult questions – you need to prepare for any type of question, from “Tell me what you know about our firm” to “Describe your most difficult work scenario and how you handled it.”

Think about potential questions and prepare yourself to have a response.

• Not having questions prepared for the interviewer – a good interview should be a conversation between the interviewer and the applicant. A few questions you can ask include: Why is this position open? Where are you in your hiring process? Tell me about your experience here at XYZ company?

Dawn Anthony – Director with OfficeTeam
Division of Robert Half International

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Tips to Succeed: Leaders make the best teachers

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This is Tip No. 1 in Larry Litwin’s “More ABCs of Strategic Communication: available on

According to Robert Rosner:

We’ve all heard this one: If you give a man a fish, he has no reason to learn how to fish, but if you teach him how to fish, he won’t
have to go hungry.

The point? Leaders ought to be the best teachers. For example, if an employee comes to you and gives you a problem, should you:

A. Simply offer the answer, or

B. Ask questions to determine if the employee can arrive at the solution him or herself?

The answer is a resounding “B.”

Helping an employee to solve a problem on their own, when time and circumstances allow, is, by
far, the best choice.

Forget the Golden Rule. Instead, follow The Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.” In other
words, if you really want to motivate people, ask them what will help them do a better job.

Robert Rosner, California Job Journal
Newstrack Executive Information Service • 800-334-5771

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9 Customer Retention Strategies

These tips come from Anita Zinsmeister at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. These are outstanding and I am happy to promote Dale Carnegie and share them with you. [To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

  • Word count for this issue: 530
  • Approximate time to read: About 2.1 minutes
    @ 250 words per minute

In today’s competitive business environment, it is important to focus on building stronger relationships with existing clients.  To help you in your efforts, we have compiled 9 tips that will turn your existing clients into proactive advocates for your business.

9 Tips To Help Improve Your Organization’s Customer Retention Efforts:

 1.  Ask Top Clients To Serve On Your BoardAssigning your top or most creative clients to your board will give you access to top-level thinking.  They may come up with ideas that you never thought of or did not think were important enough to implement.

2.  Before You Offer A New Product Or Service, Invite Clients To Test It (At A Discounted Price) – Clients want to have an influence on your business.  Exclusive “invitation only” programs are an excellent way to give them that ability.  As a bonus, such programs will save you time by acting as beta tests.  Client feedback will help you either fine-tune the deliverables or decide to dismiss them all together.

 3.  Connect Clients Who Share Similar InterestsIf you know a client who can fill another client’s need, put the two in touch.   You will look like a hero and foster a sense of friendship and trust in the process.

4.  Give Your Clients Added Value – Reward your clients on occasion by giving them something special, like 2-for-1 deals, dollar or percentage discounts, free or discounted design services and so on.

5.  Investigate Your Own Company – Test your customer service by hiring a third party to pose as a prospective buyer. Afterwards, ask them about their experience. Their answers will help you refine your strategies for dealing with new clients.

6.  Know Your Competition If you forget to watch your competitors, you risk falling disastrously behind.  Google your competition, visit their website and call them up as if you were a prospective buyer.  What you learn will provide you with valuable information for your business.

7.  Pay Attention To Existing ClientsMake a point every day of calling a client and asking them, “How can we improve your experience with us?”  Also, spend more time with your clients via seminar, marketing workshops or special affairs.  The more connected you are with your customer base, the more they will advocate for you.

8.  Remember The Customer Is Always Right Practicing this philosophy can be tough, especially with difficult customers.  No matter what, work on making a client happy.

 9.  Send Your Clients Articles That Will Interest Them Your clients like to know you have their best interest in mind. Make an effort to send them articles that are relevant to their business or industry.  This simple gesture will help create a much more loyal customer base.

  Executive Summary:  Word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful advertising there is.  However, it will not exist for your business unless your clients trust and believe in you.  Make sure your clients hold you in high esteem and they will not only tell people about you, but also buy from you repeatedly.  

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