Are you listening? Really?!

Some people are more natural “listeners” but listening is a learned skill. Learn empathic listening and you will find yourself more likely to be heard.

Empathic Listening

Empathic listening is with the intent to understand. Most of us listen with the intent to respond

Intent to Understand

Listen without judging.I was listening to a Stephen Covey presentation through his Insights program made available at a great price through one of our business partners. One of the series is on communication and he was bang on when discussing the importance of how we listen.

By listening with the intent to understand, we learn more about our prospect and how we can help them. I love how he used communicating with teenagers about school as an example.

When practicing listening to understand, the person talking is likely to feel safer and compelled to be more honest. It’s important to practice reflective listening during this process. Restate what they said occasionally to let them know you are really listening and trying to understand.

Ask probing questions to go deeper. Probing is different than challenging or grilling. When you probe, it should be obvious that you care about how they feel and are seeking a deeper understanding rather than trying to pull information to use for a challenge to their thoughts and ideas.

Practice safe listening!

One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say.

Intent to Respond

Most of us have a bad habit of listening to respond. Have you ever caught yourself waiting for an opening to interject? That means your focus was on your own thoughts and I have to wonder if you were really listening. I’m very guilty of this and have to work to focus on the other person and their needs. I try to look for opportunities to help and that means if I’m talking more than I’m listening, I’m not likely helping much.

Sometimes the best way to help someone is to just listen so that they can sort their thoughts.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that everyone you talk to is a prospect. Approach the relationship potential as just that, a potential relationship.

Remember that if you are a leader in your industry, people are watching. What you do is what they may duplicate. So yes, what you say or don’t say matters.

Are you listening? Really?

 

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that most MLM or Network Marketing groups spend a lot of time and effort on personal development. I’m thankful for people who keep an open mind. I’m thankful we are naturally inclined to help others.

What are you thankful for today?

Accessiblity. how accessible are you?

Accessibility is important to any business. This blog addresses a few things you need to consider when setting up your website so that more people can connect with you. We all like to think of ourselves as being accessible. Are we really?

What is accessibility?

There are many types of challenges that in past years would have been very difficult to overcome.

When I was a kid, computers didn’t exist and most people thought being accessible meant getting a wheel chair through the door. We have matured and learned there were far more barriers than just doors and desks. This discussion is about making your online presence accessible. What are some of the barriers?

  • Hearing impaired.
  • Visually impaired.
  • Colour blindness.
  • Language.

Anything that makes it difficult to access your business is a barrier!

Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test his character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

Accessibility Tips and Tools

Hearing Impaired

When you are building your web page or doing a blog, it’s very tempting and even beneficial to add video and or audio to your site. Let’s say I’m hearing impaired. Did you add something that I can see and understand? Your audio recording describing the pictures or your video recording that contains all of the important information are useless to me. You might consider adding text or at least link to a transcription if you want me to consider your business.

Visually Impaired

Did you realize that blind people often use computers and browse the web? Many use software like NV Access to read web sites and electronic documents. Keep in mind that it is rather fast and monotone.

Think carefully about your language and be very careful with fonts, colours and sizes. Stick to sans serif fonts like Verdana or Arial so that the reader doesn’t become confused. Keep the language simple. Keep in mind that simple doesn’t mean dumbed down. Don’t be insulting.

Test your stuff with NV Access!

Colour Blindness

Sorry guys but more men than women are colour blind. You need to consider font size, colour and contrast. For example, light blue on a dark blue may be hard to differentiate for someone who is colour blind. Green on white is often very difficult. By the same token, true black on white can cause problems for some. I would recommend using something like WordPress to help minimize issues. Many templates have already been tested for proper colours and contrast. Why do more work than you have too?!

University of Minnesota has a good site with great tips. Check it out!

Language

There are a few things to consider regarding language.

  • Your reader may not use english as their first language.
  • Clients and prospects may come from all walks of life and experience.
  • Tone

When it comes to English, I consider my skills rather strong. That’s the problem! It’s hard to resist being overly verbose and using superfluous words. Translation: It’s very hard to resist using too many words that aren’t needed or are too fancy.

Resources

Here are some great resources to help you make your site and documents accessible:

  1. NV Access, a program to read electronic documents and web pages.
  2. WAVE, to read your web site and identify accessibility issues.
  3. WebAIM, a site with great advice on writing clearly and simply.
  4. Colour Blind Awareness, a site with a great explanation of challenges with colour.
  5. University of Minnesota has a great site with advice on font size and colour.

I am not perfect. Far from it but writing this helps me to focus on improving accessibility for my readers. I hope that by sharing this, I can help others who don’t know where to start.

How are you doing with accessibility?

Please share if you find this helpful and I would appreciate comments if you have suggestions for improvement.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for people who care enough to share resources. I’m thankful for templates that help speed up the process. I’m thankful for GVO tools!

What are you thankful for today?

Backup solution for multiple devices including your smartphone and tablet.

 

 

Disaster Recovery: Do You GotBackup?

Disasters happen. Gotbackup can minimize the pain.

Losing Pictures

My son who is now gone. I couldn't replace this picture.

My son who is now gone.

This has probably never happened to you but I have lost years worth of precious pictures when a hard drive died.

I know, backup, backup!

Now I worry about what happens if it dies and I have forgotten to plug in my external hard drive or worse yet, the house burns down with all my computers inside. That means not only are the electronic pictures gone but the originals are lost forever. I have pictures that are almost 100 years old!

I guess I could scour family Facebook posts but the resolution would be so bad I would be lucky to get a good 3×5. That would take a lot of pictures to fill a wall.

But I #GotBackup! With Got Backup, I can reach my files from anywhere. 500GB worth of data from anywhere in the world.

Make It An Automatic Backup

Any good backup solution should be automated. In the old days, I would sell hardware solutions that required remembering to have the right tape in the machine. Yep, the machine knew if it was the wrong tape and that backup wouldn’t run. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to think about your backup? Mine is automatic now. Thinking hurts too much!
Picture of man running with a burning computer.

Access Files From Anywhere

Backup your files to an off site secure storage facility and you can recover from anywhere. Many of us have specialists do the recovery work, especially when it involves our business files. Imagine your technician being able to log into your account and recover years of accounting data that you thought was lost. CRA or IRS(Canada Revenue Agency or Internal Revenue Service) will be much happier and just having the data when they call may prevent an audit because you were able to answer their questions.

3D-Women-Question-02Imagine being at the office and realizing you needed a file that is in your documents folder on the computer at home. Not that it ever happens to me!

No problem, just log into your GotBackup site and download it! If you want to, get the package that allows you to share files with friends and co-workers. It’s just as secure as the bank. I would still password the more sensitive stuff on an individual basis.

Take a look at Got Backup. You might even make money preventing disaster!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful I learned to keep a good backup before it was too late. I’m thankful for GVO. I’m thankful for opportunity.

What are you thankful for today?

Business Building: Three will make you free, six will make you rich!

Business building can seem daunting some days but the answer is actually simple. Finding three leaders will free you, six will make you rich.

Business Building

Whether you are building a sales organization in the insurance industry or in a direct selling or MLM, the concept is much the same. You need to decide whether you will focus on just selling product or, do you find like minded people to work with you to find customers for your product or service? Don’t get me wrong, no business will survive without a solid product or service that meets the needs of enough people to be profitable. In the end, you need sellers in your organization as well.

Some are sales superstars and just enjoy being on the go all the time. Many are more excited by the hunt than the sale itself. Others are more like coaches and enjoy helping others achieve success.

While you are selling, look for the coaches and bring them into your business. Choose carefully.

Picture of man running with a burning computer.

Three Will Make You Free

This applies to those who prefer to build a sales team. Find three people who can do what you do and then teach them to duplicate what you have done.

It’s all about distribution. Think about the retail market. Where is the real money? Yes, the manufacturer or service provider makes a good profit but it’s the middle man or distributor that has the leverage to make the most.

Six Will Make You Rich

 

Man with profit bar chartMake a little off the efforts of many. This is how most chain stores make their money. They have multiple distribution centres that all contribute a little bit adding up to big dollars. Imagine if Walmart or Loblaw only had one store. You need to be like the large chain stores and have more distribution points. Leverage the efforts of others.

Three distribution points (people) will free you from a job, six will make you rich.

Coaching pays better than just selling because it leaves you more time for yourself.

What will you chose?

 

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great coaches. I’m thankful for great products and services. I’m thankful for like minded people.

What are you thankful for today?

 

Got Backup

Backup solutions can be expensive. Not having one can be even more expensive! Got Backup is the big business solution for the SMB market.

Backup Options

You can use various solutions like:

  • data cartridges that require remembering to insert them at the right time and rotate them properly. Expensive and a lot of work.
  • external hard drives that you have to remember to plug in and then what happens if someone breaks in and steals your computer equipment? What if there’s a fire?
  • secure online backup that you can reach any time from any where. Got Backup?

Picture of man running with burning computer

What is Got Backup?

Got Backup is an online solution that is automated any time you connect to the Internet. Mac or PC! Depending on the package you choose, you can back up your:

  • Desktop
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet

Up to five devices. You can reach the files from any computer or device with an Internet connection any time of day. Your files are encrypted at the same level as your bank.

Click the picture above and register to be notified when Got Backup launches. Once you register, you will be taken to a page that provides more information about the different options.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for GVO. I’m thankful my files are always backed up. I’m thankful I will never lose my pictures!

What are you thankful for today?