Self-Improvement

Practice Management

Be a Coach Who Inspires

It happens to everyone as they move up the ranks in management. Suddenly you find yourself in a position of managing people. Perhaps you have proved yourself to be a great team player as well as a strong individual technically. But did anyone take the time to train you in the world of management? It’s important to make sure you train your staff to help communication remain clear and avoid the possibility of lawsuits due to poor management.When you coach your staff about behavior or management style, be sure to keep compensation out of it.
Practice Management

How to Use Referrals

Reprinted with Permission from By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. It's Carl's sixteenth cold call. He's had fifteen rejections in a row. "There must be a better way," he says to himself. "I might as well be calling right out of the telephone book." As he dials, his secret hope is that he'll get either a busy signal or no answer. He wonders if there's a job that doesn't create so much emotional distress. There has to be a better way!If you're still making cold calls to get business, you undoubtedly don't enjoy it. There is a better way. Learn how to use referrals.
Community News

Better Client Service With Better People

Service is about adding great people to implement "ideas". We experience service at three levels. Unfortunately, the most common level of service is indifferent service. Service providers not looking at you, not listening to you and not caring about you exemplify indifference. In America, this level of service is too often the norm. The lowest form of service is actual rudeness. At the peak level of service, a client feels welcome. What can you do to improve the level of service in your firm? Here are a few tips:Show concern to everyone you encounter.
Practice

Reasons Clients Complain

Below are a few complaints we've heard over the years of why clients are unhappy with the service provided to them by their accountant. Employees lack a "Can-do" attitudeIf many of your employees lack a "can-do" attitude, it may be a symptom of a greater disease. Poor recruiting, training, pay or difficult working conditions can contribute to employees’ attitudes. Once you get beneath the surface of the issue, it can help you to focus on attracting the kind of people who will deliver the "can-do" spirit. Customer service training can be tremendously helpful.
Education & Careers

Regain Your Job Search Optimism With Three Easy Steps

If you’ve been in a job search for more than a few months, you already know that one of the greatest challenges is maintaining a positive attitude. Without it, going through the motions can feel as demotivating as running a race in lead boots. You begin to think "What’s the use?

Frustrations of a Rainmaker - There’s More Than One Way to Make a Splash!

By, Gale Crosley, CPAIf you’re like most rainmakers, you are happiest when the skies open up and opportunities pour down faster than you can reach out and grab them. And you are most frustrated when you see others seemingly unable to do what’s relatively effortless for you. Understanding why this occurs is the first step to eliminating frustration. But you also may wish to consider a paradigm shift that involves changing your perception of "who can make rain," breaking business-building into component parts that can be championed by many.
Practice Management

When Management is Caught in The Middle

By, Kaye Vivian, Marketing Communications ConsultantThere are moments when anyone in middle management of a firm can feel trapped between an order given by a partner and the staff likely to feel the negative impact of that order. When given such an order, who deserves support more--the boss who controls the manager's destiny with the firm or the staff who rely on and trust him/her to protect their interests? It's a difficult call. To refuse a partner's directive will create trouble with the partner. To carry it out, however, there's sure to be trouble from the staff below.

How to Improve Your Business Listening Skills

By Christopher KnightFirst, decide to improve them. Profit is a good reason, no? There is magic, power, and genius when you make a decision. You've heard me say this before, but leave your EGO at the door. You can not be a good listener, when you've got your EGO screaming how important you are, when your prospect/client could care less. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care, and they know this by whether you listen or not to them. Practice shutting up. 'nough said?

What Can You do When You Are Feeling Stuck or Unproductive?

Feeling stuck and unproductive is natural and it can be caused by overwork, lack of momentum, a bad mood, a success block, the weather and/or dozens of other factors. And, while it's helpful to understand why you're stuck and unproductive, sometimes it's just better to do one or more of the PRACTICAL things which follow!Play the Check-In game.Call a friend/colleague and say, "I'm stuck/unproductive. Can I check in with you every hour for a couple of hours until I get cranking again?" This really works! And, your friend may want to play along too!
A&A

What to Avoid in Your Business Plan

When writing a business plan here are some things to avoid: Form over substance. If it looks good but doesn't have a solid basis in fact and research, you might as well save your energy. Empty claims. If you say something is so, back it up in the next sentence with a statistic or fact or quote from a knowledgeable source that supports the claim. Rumors about the competition. If you know for sure one is going out of business you can allude to it, but avoid listing their weaknesses or hearsay.
Practice

Networking Made Simple - Develop New Business Opportunities

Networking is an important way to develop new business opportunities, yet for many professionals it's their least favorite marketing activity. These pointers can help you network better and get results. Listen, don't talk. Don't drink. This is business. Choose your opportunities. Hunt where the ducks are. Don't be generic. Rehearse a 30 second pat statement that reveals some details about who you are as a person, what you do for a living, and what your firm specializes in. Target only one person at each event and get to know them well.
Technology

Outlook Tip: Color Code Incoming E-Mail Messages

With the huge quantity of e-mail messages that arrive in the average businessperson's mailbox each day, this tip for e-mailbox organization should really come in handy. To make sure you see certain messages when they arrive, try associating colors with important senders. Color code a sender so that all messages from that sender appear in a particular color:Click the Organize button that appears on the toolbar at the top of your Outlook window, or choose Tools, Organize from the menu bar.

Good Communication Skills - A Crash Course

Good communicators can be honed as well as born. Below are some helpful tips to help you communicate more effectively.Don’t take another person’s reaction personally, even if that person lashes out at you in what seems a personal manner. Another person’s mood or response is more likely about fear or frustration than it is about you as an individual. You don’t have to have all the answers. It’s OK to say, "I don't know." If you want to find out, say so, and then share your findings. Or you may decide to work on the problem together to find the answer.

Win Your Next Job With Three Essential Interview Skills

With competition for good jobs at an all-time high, candidates who conduct their job search as a sales campaign consistently win out over those who don’t. When job seekers practice the skills of sales experts they learn to apply the strategies of a sales presentation to their job interviews. To get to the top of the candidate list, you’ll need these three essential sales skills:Pre-interview preparationFinding and using the interviewer’s “Hot Buttons”Closing on the next step of the interview process1.
Practice Management

Resolving Personality Conflicts at Work

How do you handle conflict in the workplace? Most of us do not deal with it very effectively - if we even deal with it at all.Maintaining relationships is key to resolving conflict, so if a situation is thought to be unfixable, the best advice given by experts is to figure out a way to 'remix' the situation so the two parties look at the situation differently.Here are a few tips for consideration. Think before acting.
Practice

How To Deal Effectively With Difficult Clients

By Christopher KnightLISTEN first, with sincerity. Don't assume the problem is always on their end. ENTERTAIN the possibility that the customers complaints are real, as many times they are REALLY a problem with you or your unit or company. DO NOT SAY THESE WORDS, in the heat of a difficult customer confrontation: "Our Policy Is", "I Can't", "The Computer or something outside of you failed", "They....." meaning you don't intend on taking responsibility for solving the problem. Give them your name, and tell them that you will personally handle the problem.

Setting Your Goals For a Prosperous Sales Force

By Brian Tracy Setting GoalsIn numerous conversations with top salespeople over the years, we've found that they all have one thing in common. They have taken the time to sit down and create a clear blueprint for themselves and their future lives. Even if they started the process of goal setting and personal strategic planning with a little skepticism, they eventually become true believers. Becoming a True BelieverSalespeople are amazed by the incredible power of goal setting and strategic planning.

Keys to Effective Employee Communication

Employee communication is both simple and complex. We communicate with employees each day. Sometimes directly – when we respond to questions or requests, for example. Sometimes indirectly – when we issue new policies or send out a memo. Sometimes inadvertently – when employees observe our actions. Perhaps because communication takes place so naturally, we often fail to consider the process of communication as seriously as we should.
Community News

Strategies For Communicating With Your Clients

By Sandra L. Wiley, Boomer Consulting, Inc.Congratulations! You accomplished the first step towards success in your company, you have clients! So… now what?Everyone knows that retaining current clients is MUCH easier than finding new ones, or is it? Have you put some serious thought into how you are going to keep those clients you worked so hard to get? Retention requires attention! You will only keep clients if you continually provide them with ongoing value that not only satisfies them, but bonds them to your company!
A&A

Top Ten Strategies For Client Retention

By Bea Fields of Five Star LeaderTraditional marketing strategies encourage business owners to continually grow their businesses by adding new customers. In today's competitive world of business, it is more important than ever to aim for more transactions with existing customers by using the power of customer follow-up and attention to good service. These ten tips will help you in turning your existing customers into walking billboards for your business.

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