Archive for June, 2011

How to kick it up a notch at conferences

June 28, 2011

Last week I was the after lunch speaker at a regional manager’s conference for Weingarten Realty. The theme was “The Power of Team” and my sixty minute presentation was entitled “Extraordinary Performance: The New Norm for Tough Times”.  The challenge? Keeping people awake and engaged after the proverbial lunch time sugar high wears off.

No worries with this group…

We covered the five basic keys to improved performance for these property managers and their teams:

1. PASSION – know what motivates people. Great managers recognize the value of face to face meetings to learn how to engage  team members versus trying to manage via technology.

2. PERSISTENCE – most people give up too soon on their goals. Consistently providing more value with outstanding customer service results in success if you persevere through challenges.

3. ATTITUDE – be willing to learn new ways of working. Extraordinary performance means staying teachable, humble and grateful. Ask Gen X & Gen Y how to maximize social media and optimize SEO to grow your business.

4. PEOPLE – it takes a village to raise a child and/or achieve goals. Brainstorming with peers, networking with industry professionals and mentoring can produce creative solutions you never thought of. Build great relationships with customers and colleagues.

5. ATTENTION – stay focused. Good leadership starts with listening well. Outstanding customer service means paying attention to the changing marketplace and using technology to provide speedy responses.

Weingarten ‘s top management realized the value of bringing their regional managers together at this conference and subsequently went all out by having a grand piano for me to integrate into my presentation. To emphasize key points I played songs like ‘New York New York‘, ‘Deep in the Heart of Texas‘ and ‘Piano Man‘.  Audience members were given instruments to play along: tamborines, kazoos, marracas, flutes and bells.

Results? High kicks, high energy, mega laughs, spirits that soared and an event that left an indelible impression on attendees.

This was not your Momma’s keynote and this was not your average audience. These people are top performers by their very willingness to demonstrate the power of team and step outside their comfort zone.

We rocked. They rule!

At your next association meeting or corporate event think of ways to implement music to elevate mood, eliminate stress and increase memory retention. You’ll be amazed how a simple song can unite a team and impact learning.

Start spreading the news, la la la la la…


Way To Win Customers

June 12, 2011

Theresa Behenna

Having experienced much frustration with unreturned calls from vendors I wonder how these people stay in business. Whatever happened to common customer service? In this economy how can they afford to ignore customer calls?

I came across a blog from speaker colleague  Bruce Turkel a branding expert. He writes:

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

It’s the ability and willingness to get the work done that matters.  People don’t buy what you do, they buy who you are.

A great client of mine, not quite a billionaire yet but well on his way, was in the process of interviewing attorneys for a new project. I asked him how he determines if they’re good or not.

“We’ve already done due diligence and checked their professional prowess,” he answered. “At this point I assume they can all do the work, otherwise I wouldn’t be considering them in the first place.

“If I leave them a voice mail message and they call me within the hour, then they’re a great attorney. If I leave them a message and they call me by the end of the day then they’re a good attorney.”

“And what if they don’t call you back until the next day?” I asked.

“Then they’re not my attorney.”

This is not rocket science folks. It’s simply getting back to the basics to succeed in business. What does your customer response look like?

In this fast paced age of technology more than ever before if you snooze,  you lose.

Success Secret of Rock Stars & Billionaires

June 7, 2011

It took 17 years for me to master the piano and become a professional entertainer. It’s taken 10 years to become a good motivational speaker. The Beatles and Bill Gates each put in 10,000 worth of practice to reach the levels of excellence they did.

Overnight success is a myth.

Original author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series Jack Canfield said his book was rejected by 144 publishers before it was accepted by one. Billy Joel played piano in dives around the Bronx for years and even attempted suicide due to challenges he faced.

What’s YOUR dream? What did you do today to help realize it? How much time  have you put into reaching your goal? Persistence pays.

Extraordinary performers are ordinary people that don’t give up. They follow their passion and persevere through obstacles, adversity and tough times. They know it’s always darkest before the dawn…….but…….. the dawn always comes.