Social Media Can Be A Mine Field

Social media is a great tool for marketing and staying in touch with people in far away places. Just remember that it can be fraught with danger!

SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE A MINE FIELD

One of the challenges with social media is that people can’t usually see our faces and body language. That means they only get about 40% of the message. Is that enough to ensure you aren’t misunderstood?

Mom&BrettI’ll use a personal example. I wrote a blog in January of 2012 about how great a year 2011 had been and posted it to my Facebook news feed. My reason for 2011 being so great was that in 2010, we almost lost our house, my mother died, my father had a stroke and my son died. In 2011, I had been in a new job for a year, we had managed to save our home with the help of friends and family, my other kids appeared to be getting their lives back on track after losing their brother the year before. When you compare the two, 2011 was a great year.

What I forgot about was that my nephew had died that year.

I received a call from my brother-in-law. He was furious. “How could you say that!”. My wife asked me to take down that blog because of the pain it was causing my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Although not sorry for what I said, I was sorry for how it made them feel and took the blog down.

If you are going to be active in social media, be prepared to eat some crow once in a while. I’m not saying not to be honest and say what you feel. Just be prepared that not everyone will agree with you and you might bruise some toes once in a while and have to explain yourself.

Social Media and Business

When it comes to business, the challenges are even greater. My brother-in-law might not be happy with what a I said a few years ago but he has forgiven and moved on. We are friends again. That took a couple of years!

criticismIn the case of business, prospects and clients aren’t necessarily so forgiving. I’m still married to my brother-in-law’s sister so he was forced to be near me and that gave us a chance to “kiss and make up”. Your followers and customers don’t have to. With a click of a mouse, you are unfollowed. If you are lucky, that’s all. With the power of social media, your followers, prospects and customers have a voice.

Look at Air Canada for example. There was an incident in February of 2017 where a plane had been grounded due to weather. It was midnight and passengers were told there was no food available as everything was closed. A West Jet pilot was in the same airport. He took the initiative to order pizza and came to the Air Canada passengers saying that “‘Hey … I am from WestJet and we do things differently. Who wants pizza?”. Facebook postings went nuts! Lucky for Air Canada, most of the commentary was positive for the West Jet pilot as opposed to directly negative for Air Canada.

Air Canada, to their credit, was quick to apologize and recognize the West Jet pilot for his efforts. Silence could have been deadly. Social media is a mine field. Tread carefully.

Have A Voice But Remember Words Matter

Question?By all means, have a voice. Just remember that words matter. Your readers may not have your language as their first language and are interpreting into their context. For example, “I’m going to the park” may translate to “I’m making a trip to the park” in a Latin language. If you’re lucky, your comments translate that well but not always. What if it’s something like “I beat my wife at a game of chess” and it translated to “I played a game of chess with my wife and I beat her”. If English isn’t my first language, I might be concerned you were beating your wife!

Words mean different things to different people. I highly recommend reading The Secret Language of Leadership by Steve Denning. Choose your words carefully but just as important, try to understand how your readers will interpret them.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for social media. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for opportunity. What are you thankful for today?

Are you disturbing? Disturb and Motivate!

Disturbing someone’s thought process is the best way to motivate them to make a change. This can be applied just easily to social change as it can to sales.

Disturbing to Achieve Social Change and Justice

A co-worker recently did a workshop on Bias Awareness. The purpose was to teach us how to be aware of bias that we didn’t realize we had. For example, I am Roman Catholic and was raised in a Christian environment. My mother had a love for the Christmas holiday. She passed that on to me. It’s the middle of November, my lights are up and I have started wearing my Christmas ties!

Be the positive energy in the room!During our training session, my co-worker made us aware that as a Jewish person, she had a hard time knowing what to say when someone wishes her a Merry Christmas. I would expect this creates discomfort for her. Getting dressed a couple of days later, I looked in the mirror and saw an old white guy with a dark green shirt and gold tie. Very “Christmasy”. That me wonder how it would make a non-Christian feel seeing the same image at this time of year.

Now, I don’t apologize for being Christian or demonstrating my faith. I’m not forcing my faith on anyone, just not apologizing. Wearing my Christmas tie is not much different than someone wearing a turban, sari or hijab. They tell me you adhere to certain beliefs but they don’t tell me anything about who you are.  I’m not saying not to wear identifying clothing, I’m just suggesting we be cognizant of the effect that we can have on someone else in our environment.

I just went to my co-worker and made her aware she was “disturbing”. Now I need to tell her what that means. She is disturbing because she gave some great examples of bias in the world around us and how it may affect us. Because of that, she made me think about some of my Christmas habits. They may or may not change, I haven’t decided yet, but at least she has me thinking about my bias and how I may not even realize how that affects people I care about.

I don’t know if she realizes it but, she is disturbing more than just me and I expect there will be social change and that will result in people making more just decisions. Justice.

Disturbing to Help People Buy

Creating demand for your service or product isn’t much different than disturbing patterns to achieve social change. We tend to adhere to certain norms and patterns without conscious thought. Disturb and motivate is commonly heard in the sales industry referring to causing your prospect to stop and think about your value proposition so that they may change the way they think and be open to what you are offering.

Image representing Canadian justice.For example, my wife markets LegalShield membership. One of the greatest challenges is people who don’t believe they have a need for a #LegalSavingsPlan. We are conditioned to believe lawyers or attorneys are too expensive and the legal system is really for the rich for dealing with large financial issues.

To help open the mind a bit, we might ask questions about things like children being bullied and knowing what is reasonable to expect of the educational system. Maybe it’s dealing with a wireless provider and their policies. Did you that anyone can make a policy but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will stand up in a courtroom? How would you know? Most up us wouldn’t. That’s what your legal services provider is for.

Once you disturb someone’s pre-conceived ideas, you are more likely able to motivate them to consider doing something different. This applies to sales and social alike.

So, are you disturbing? You should be!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’mean thankful for open minded people. I’m thankful for disturbing people. I’m thankful for this blog space.

What are you thankful for today?

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Pre-Handle Objections. Be Up Front.

Pre-Handle objections by addressing the elephant at the front of the room. Save yourself time and stress by being up front with whatever the biggest objections are.

Pre-Handle Objections

Image representing Canadian justice.What does Pre-Handle objections mean?

I’ll use a great example I heard at an Advanced Product Training with Legalshield this past weekend. Melissa Wilder was in town to address the Ontario market. As part of the agenda, the guest speaker usually delivers a business briefing. That’s a presentation of both the product and the opportunity. She noted that it’s common that the price is what is sitting at the front of a guest’s mind and causes distraction from the message. She actually said something similar very early in the presentation and briefly mentioned the price of the Canadian membership, clearing the air and allowing people to focus on the presentation.

Let’s imagine that you have someone convinced to come to see your service or business opportunity. You told them the meeting would be a little over an hour and that the group likes to go out for some camaraderie afterward. You agreed that you would pick them up and drive. Now, you are about to leave and bring them to the meeting. Because they are a half hour away, you call to confirm. The conversation could go one of two ways.

Option 1

Man giving thumbs down.Hi, this is John Doe. We spoke earlier this week about you coming to a business briefing. (Because, of course, you were up front about that and they already saw something about the service so there are no surprises!) Are you still able to come? Stop right there! You just gave them an out. It doesn’t really matter what the story is, they can make up just about anything.

“I’m sorry I can’t come tonight. Something has come up. Maybe next time?”

You can believe there is no next time. There is no sense of urgency. You didn’t say anything to indicate otherwise and the urgency is all yours, not theirs.

Option 2

photo agreeingHi, this is Jane Doe. We spoke earlier this week about the video I sent previously and you indicated that there were a couple of things that you might be able to use our membership for. I explained that you could learn more and have questions answered at our business briefing. The briefing takes about 45 minutes and after that you would be able to decide if you saw value in staying for further discussion and clarification. After the meeting we typically go for some fellowship and you would be welcome to join us or I would take you home.

Thanks for agreeing to come tonight. When we spoke last, we agreed that after the business briefing, it will be your decision on next steps. Does that sound about right? (As long as you have been up front and your statement is accurate, the answer can only be yes.) It’s kind of hard to say no when you use their own words.

“That’s great! I should be there in about 25 minutes.” And, don’t be late.

Be Honest and Up Front

Honesty and integrity is key in any business. I need to know what you are asking me for and what it’s going to cost me. Keep in mind that my time is worth more than my money. I don’t know about you but the only thing I hate more than a thief is a liar. So, don’t steal my time and don’t lie to me!

Use the Up Front Contract every time. Make it a habit to start every conversation by stating the up front contract that brought you to this point in time and be sure to end every conversation with your next up front contract, whether that is the next meeting, or agreement to part friends. The other thing is to be sure to listen and use language that everyone understands.

Will you always get people to agree to the next up front contract? Nope. But, that means you have both just saved a lot of time and energy, parted friends and can get on about your business.

People like to deal with people they know, like and trust. You will build more lasting relationships being honest and up front and the business you win sticks. Who knows, maybe no means not right now. Because you built a lasting relationship, you will get the future business and/or referrals.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great teachers. I’m thankful for integrity. I’m thankful for growth opportunities.

What are you thankful for today?

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Can’t or Won’t? Which is it really?

How often does somebody tell you that something can’t be done only to find out that the impossible was quite possible? There are very few things that can’t be done. In most cases, it’s just difficult and requires creative thinking and some extra effort.

We can’t…

Someone asked me about creating a survey that is not as drab and as boring as is most common. They wanted to create something more engaging. There were a few concerns. Attractive design, security and standards.

Where would the servers be? This is because of privacy issues and international law with regard to access. Stakeholders might have a concern because they  or their families may be at risk if someone were able to identify them. As North Americans we often take our life and liberty for granted.

Man giving thumbs down.We were told we can’t do what we want to do. There is a guideline on what sites should look like and it must be AODA compliant. My opinion is that what this really means is that it’s not as simple as hoped and could take some time and effort.

I suggested doing the engagement piece through a landing page which would provide some flexibility in presentation and make it more inviting to complete the survey. By doing this, the survey itself becomes quick and simple.

Everyone we asked was so focused on current policy and guidelines they don’t see the opportunity in front of them to actually make changes to facilitate true collaboration and communication. They are so focused on telling that they aren’t listening.

Or, we won’t…

Won’t do something is what most identify as can’t. For example, your family tells you there is no way to be successful in network or online marketing. In other words, you can’t be successful. You accept what they tell you and don’t make any changes in how you think or what you do. In the end you prove them right. You can’t because you won’t.

This is like the age old question about the chicken and the egg. Which came first? In the case of can’t or won’t, if you won’t then you can’t. If you will, you can!

Will You or Won’t You?

Whether you will or won’t change attitudes and behaviors determines whether you can or can’t achieve something new. The question is who will make the decision?

3D-Women-Question-02An open mind is like a parachute, if it’s closed, it won’t work. Just because someone won’t open their mind to opportunity and possibility doesn’t mean you have to crash with them. Don’t be like lemmings and follow the leader off the cliff.

Be the leader. Look and think for yourself,  release the self imposed constraints and watch how different the outcome can be!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for open minds. I’m thankful for opportunities to effect change. I’m thankful for the power of the Internet. What are you thankful for today?

Be the positive energy in the room!

Servers love conventions, NOT!

Servers hate when conventions come to town. They cringe when they see us coming. Lets do our part to change that.

SERVER PERCEPTION

A server in a restaurant or any place of business catering to the needs of conventions see:

  • Increased workload;
  • Pressure to be civil;
  • Attack of the sales people.

Restaurant ServerWhen there is a convention in town, servers are often surprised because no one let them know in advance so that they could schedule accordingly. Now there is a shortage in the kitchen and on the floor resulting in having to do more work and stay longer hours.

People attending conventions tend to have long demanding days and are more likely to be short tempered. This puts a lot more pressure on servers to hold their tongue and be civil. That’s tiring. On top of all of that, they are often insulted by salespeople criticizing their choice of occupation, unintentionally or otherwise.

 

CONVENTION ATTENDEE PERCEPTION

People attending a convention see:

  • Lack of appropriate staffing;
  • Poor inventory management;
  • Closed minded people.

Salesman with a bull hornAttendees at a convention experience restaurants and other businesses providing service to them as unorganized or unprofessional because attendees perceive a lack of appropriate staffing, poor inventory management and closed minded people.

The service providers are understaffed and unprepared because no one told them you were coming! They seem closed minded because they are working at their chosen career or business opportunity and are just excited about that as you are for yours. Did their mind appear closed because you just insulted their choice? Conventions tend to raise excitement levels and people facing you throw up shields to protect themselves without even thinking about it.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Barry ClermontI was at a convention recently and stayed a couple of extra days to enjoy that town. While out walking and enjoying the town and people on a hot day, we decided to seek shelter in a restaurant we went to for dinner the last day of convention. It’s instinctive for us to make small talk and I started by asking if the server had worked during the convention and if it had been good to them. I was shocked at the reply. The server wanted to know who to contact and ask the associates NOT to come next year! You can imagine the horror.

Our server told us that they were dreading our arrival before the convention having had previous experience with people who come making a lot of demands, try to shove the business opportunity down their throats and then leave little to no tip. I trust you know at least 15-20% is a reasonable tip. By all means more if deserved and you can afford it.

We spent a lovely couple of hours experiencing great service and wonderful conversation. We promised to share the server’s concerns with corporate management in hopes that we can make others aware of how they are seen. I’m hoping we changed that server’s perception of our company and our associates. Corporate reacted immediately with communications to the field that I hope will make a difference at all conventions going forward.

YOUR BRAND

logo for barryclermont.comRemember that you are your brand. Perception is reality. The impression you leave will either reward or haunt you for a long time to come. You also need to remember that your personal brand affects your corporate brand. That means that if you belong to a network marketing group or other company, you raise or lower their brand along with yours.

Be civil, kind and generous at all times. Behave like someone is watching over your shoulder because someone probably is. You are setting the example for others involved with your opportunity whether they are on your team or not. Show leadership.

Let’s work to change perceptions of servers everywhere!

If you have further insight to add, please use the comments section.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for our American cousins. I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful you took the time to “listen” to me think out loud.

What are you thankful for today?