Quick Tip to Help You Increase Your Sales

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You have heard it said that everyone likes to buy but no one wants to be sold. Make it easier for people to buy and justify their purchase with this simple concept. This strategy will help you quickly increase your sales.

 Try to never let the price/investment be the first number that comes up in the conversation.

In my business for example, it is common to get a request to see if I am available for a specific date and to inquiry about my fee. I never reply yes/no and the #. I want to make sure to set up a call so I can ask questions to get information to properly frame the way they look at investing in me speaking at their event. I want to be a true partner and not just a “rental speaker.”

I am not the low cost provider in my industry. Some meeting planners are inexperienced and will get surprised when they hear how much a seasoned professional speaker can be. Framing the conversation is essential.

By asking questions to identify their key numbers I can do that: total sales of the company last year, what % increase in sales their goal is for this year, how many and who specifically is attending and why this event is so important.

If the company did $330 million in sales last year, expect a 10% or $33 million increase in sales, it is a once a year event and their top tier sales people are attending who generate 74% of their overall sales – my fee is MINISCULE compared to that!

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11 Ways to Have the Best Summer Ever

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Aruba with my family 2004

You will never get this summer back! I am not sure how old you are, but imagine you live until 80. Do the math. How many do you have left? If you have young children, there are only so many summers before they get so independent you hardly see them.

I have great memories as a kid of the basketball camps I attended, times at my aunt’s lake place, golf with my dad, lawn dart championships in the back yard (yes they did exist, now banned), floating the Little Spokane River in tubes, family picnics with my mom’s fried chicken, and the road trips in the family station wagon to cool places in the Northwest.

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When do you know you will be successful?

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Chip at Pure Romance

When do you know you will be successful? It really depends on how you are wired internally. Some will need to do something many times before they feel they competent. Others will get that feeling much quicker – in a moment. Remember when you got promoted to a new position or took on a new challenge in the past? Typically there is some fear or doubt for awhile as you struggled to find your way. You can question your ability to succeed. Doubt breeds fear and poor performance.

 

Then one day something special happens. It could have been a difficult sale you finalized or a project you completed and your boss gave you special praise. It could have been you see your success in advance so clearly you know it will happen. One moment can change everything!

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Breaking Through the Boring Convention

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What was the highlight from the last convention you attended? Can you remember the last one? What about five years ago….ten years ago? It is rare that you can. Would you say there were too many sessions you don’t remember, too many Powerpoint slides and not enough unique experiences that really stuck and got you involved?

I can promise you that when I get the opportunity to do my Breakthrough – Breaking Barriers Experience, it is remembered five, ten or every twenty years later! I just finished my new video about the program with the help of the team at Primeau Productions. I really think it turned out terrific and wanted to share it with you and ask a favor.

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Is Health Advice from 100 Years Ago Applicable Today?

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As you will soon see, 100 year old advice is very applicable today. This is the 100th anniversary of a classic book by Col. Wm. H. Hunter – THINK. I inherited it from my Grandmother and it was one of our favorites to read. Each chapter really makes you think. It is amazing how far forward he was thinking in 1918. If you request the full version you will get the whole story about Granny and the book.

I wanted to share chapter 32 to see what Col. Hunter had to say about exercise in 1918. You will see not much has changed: sedentary lifestyle, labor saving devices, using technology to make life easier, our reliance on doctors, fad diets, lotions, potions and pills.

If you would like to get a PDF of the entire version of THINK I will send it to you for free, just email me at Chip@GetSwitchedOn.com. It will make you think. I recommend 15 minutes a night. 

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Building Commitment at Conventions and in the Office

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How effective is your team making and living their commitments? Having a culture where people hold themselves and others accountable is essential. I came across a simple yet powerful idea this week that will build commitment and accountability at your next convention and in the office.

I was chosen to customize my Get Switched On program for a large pharma company this week in NJ. They are working to have their managers drive empowerment to their front line teams.  I saw an interesting idea I had seen before. So often at the end of events or conventions there is not a clear call to action. Have a Wall of Commitment created like the one in the picture. Commitment cards are printed for everyone (quality card stock, 3×5/4×6, company logo, room for My Commitment and Why). Talk about this during the event so people can begin thinking about what they will write. Also have them choose an accountability partner to stay in contact with.

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What is UP with your USP? Are you standing out?

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I could not take my eyes off of it! The sparkle was truly exceptional and it made me think. It had been awhile since I gotten my wife a “just because” gift of any magnitude. Luckily I was in the right place! I was chosen by Hearts On Fire diamonds to open their convention in Las Vegas last week. We did an exceptional interactive experience for all 550 – my Breaking Barriers – Board Break Experience. It is one of the few interactive team-building programs for a group that large and they loved it! Here is a picture of everyone.

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What Will You Remember in Your Rocking Chair?

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How many really close friends do you have? You might think about that one day in your rocking chair. Sometimes I envy the people who still live in the hometown they grew up in and they have those long term relationships they have maintained in person. I have been gone from Spokane, to Eugene, to Minneapolis, back to Spokane, to Salt Lake City, to San Diego when I joined Tony Robbins…then almost 6 years traveling to most major cities in the US for two months at a time, to Australia, to the UK, back to San Diego, then Atlanta and now we have settled in Knoxville for the past 16 years.

Wow, I have never written that down before. Needless to say I have friends all over the place but because of the distance between me and them I do not get to see them that often. I have two friends that live in Connecticut. We have gotten together just a few times for a meal and golf the last 30 years. Both are fraternity brothers from my Chi Psi house at the University of Oregon and we were very close. But as often happens, life gets in the way of getting together.

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A Parable About What is Really Important

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I remember the first time I heard this simple parable about 15 years ago on the Pastor Steve Brown Radio show. I have used it several times with audiences over the years. I never knew the source until an exhaustive Google Search. It was adapted from is one of the most famous short stories from German writer Heinrich Böll. Post WWII he was very influential and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.

It’s one little story with many little lessons that mean many different things to all kinds of people. Even if you have read it before it is worth another review because you may be in a different stage in your life than the last time you read it.

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders.

Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of the fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.

“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.

“But…what do you do with the rest of your time?” the American asked curiously.

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Sales Motivation

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It tends to happen this time every year – a lack of sales motivation. For many of us, summer seems to be winding down because their kids, like ours in Tennessee are starting school NEXT week. Yikes that came quickly. For others whose kids go back in September you are saying what? Your kids go back in early August!

I don’t know about you but my business tends to run in cycles. The cycle of doing many events and the cycle of when the bookings for that new business comes in. That gap can be difficult to deal with even for me. Sometimes the gap is impacted by the “summer swoon” of people being on vacation and seemingly deferring decisions until “later”. Sometimes it can be the circumstances of the economy like 9-11 or the GFC (Global Financial Crises) of 2008.

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Buffalo, yes that Buffalo!

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When was the last time you had your preconceived notations about a place blown out of the water? I was hired by Ingram Micro to speak to their Apple Distributors in Buffalo, NY.  Yes that Buffalo! I had been to Buffalo before, but it was a 18 months ago in February with Davis when his travel hockey team qualified for the National Championships. It was freezing when we visited Niagara Falls.

I have always taken our kids over the years a few times a year and this time our youngest Lucas came with me. We arrived on Thursday afternoon and returned home Sunday night. Buffalo can get a bad rap and my experience from the 1000 events and hundreds of cites I have visited is that every city has something unique to offer.

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How many do you have left?

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Summer’s here, I’m for that. Got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat. Got my cold beer, I’m just glad that it’s here.” That is the opening line to a classic James Taylor song. You can listen to it here. If you’re not in a ‘summer mood’ yet,  you will be after listening to that. Virtually everyone I know seems busier than ever. Stress levels are high and summer has arrived just in time….and it will go by quickly.

I want to you challenge yourself to make this summer exceptional.

A good place to start is to sit down and brainstorm by yourself or with your family what will make it exceptional? When was the last time you did a simple search for fun things to do within a few 100 miles of where you live? You don’t have to take a long or expensive trip to have fun. TripAdvisor is an excellent resource to find ideas.

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Honey Can You Please Pass the Prozac? – Depression in America

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Honey can you please pass the Prozac? Maybe not as common as salt and pepper, but the last 20 years has seen a meteoric rise in depression and the use of anti-depressant drugs. The NY Times in 2013 reported that ONE IN TEN Americans and ONE in FOUR women in there 40’s and 50’s are taking the drugs. Are there really that many unhappy people in the USA who can not deal with these feelings on there own and need drugs (legal or illegal) in an attempt to change the way they feel? One in four…one in ten…that is really hard to comprehend. What is “depression”? When should drugs be involved? That article states the primary problem:

“Depression is being overdiagnosed on a remarkable scale.”

Real time update on this story. It is actually worse, NBC News in December 2016 reported – ONE IN SIX adults are taking anti-depressants. Usage has increased over 400% in the last 20 years and overdose deaths have quadrupled! Anti-depressants are the most prescribed drug in our country. Isn’t that amazing! It is a huge business over $13B.  We are blessed in the USA with so much abundance and reasons to be happy and optimistic. We have the richest country and have the highest rates of depression. Nigeria is desperately poor, corrupt in a legendary way, generally filthy and has a shortage of food and water. The depression rate is 0.8%, by far the lowest of all countries surveyed.

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Your ENERGY level is NOT an accident!

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Once I learned I could manage my energy level like a programable thermostat life became easier. How is your energy at work and when you get home after a full day of putting in maximum effort? How about when you roll out of bed? I like to use a simple 0 – 10 scale to gauge it. What number would you give yourself on a typical day? Seriously, what is your number? What is that compared what is possible? 

Some believe that as you “get older” you are just naturally going to put on a few pounds, have more aches and pains and slow down. It is just the way it is. THAT IS GARBAGE!!! Maybe you have been making excuses like that and accepted it. Isn’t it time to change now? When you get out of the shower do you look in the mirror and say “oh yeah” or “oh s!@#”? One of my mentors Jim Rohn used to tell me, “Disgust can be a powerful motivator!”

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Keeping Score and Personal Accountability

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Keeping score is fun! That is a belief that has served me well for my entire life. I think it started with my Dad and the way I was raised. He was a Ford dealer and from a young age I would go with him to the dealership on Saturday mornings to sweep, clean cars and a special pancake breakfast. I would make a few bucks for my efforts too!Dime Kitty crop

We started a savings account and I collected dimes in special holders to take to the bank for deposit. Anyone remember those? I still have about a dozen with Mercury dimes – these were called Dime Kitty. You saved 30 dimes per folder.

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Be Accountable for the New Year

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Starting the new year is a good time take a look at your results and to count a few numbers. Accountable means to count! This video will help you reframe your life span and look at your Health Span. My personal goal is to be healthy and vital until age 100!

When was your last blood test? I just had one for a life insurance policy and the results were terrific and validated that what have been doing works. There are some key numbers you need to be aware of before they get too out of whack to correct easily.

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Sit/Stand Desk Solution for Home Office

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sit-stand-desk-pic-1mHow much are you sitting during the day? I have been searching for a sit/stand desk solution for my home office to work with my EXISTING office set-up now since I was selected to speak at the national sales meeting for Workrite Ergonomics. They are the leader in the sit/stand desk revolution and in my research I realized I had to get a solution for my home office. I did not want a new desk, just something that would work – I found it. Their Solace product is amazing.

Research shows that SITTING not being overweight or lack of exercise is the strongest indicator of heart disease. Check out an earlier blog post that has more info – here is a short excerpt.

Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, a researcher at one the nation’s leading obesity research centers says that sitting, not weight or exercise, is a key factor in determining a person’s overall health. 

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Live with High Energy Every Day

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dreamstime_m_42465730How can you be more like a “thermostat” and less like a “thermometer”? Being able to self-regulate your energy level is an essential skill. I call it Getting Switched On –  some call it SHOWTIME and others bringing your A Game! I think you get where I am going. What are your strategies to have consistently high levels of energy, low levels of stress and excellent performance?

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How To Improve Sales

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I have been hired to be the closing speaker for Fred’s Pharmacy to help them improve sales. I will be speaking to their 650+ store managers and executive team. Their locations are typically in the southeast in towns under 10,000 population. My research has been interesting as I prepare my message. Competition is of course up as the “Dollar Stores” (Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General)  continues to expand at an aggressive rate.

Why do you shop where you do? For example, you likely have a favorite between Lowes and Home Depot given a choice? What was the moment that motivated that loyalty beyond proximity? I believe that one surprising act of service can build long term loyalty. 

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Ways to Energize Employees – First 5/Last 5

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What is your routine for the first five minutes when you arrive at your business or office? What do you do the last 5 minutes before you leave? Think about it. What do you typically do? I want you try something different for the next few weeks.  When it works keep doing it! You don’t have to be the “boss” to use it. Anyone can do it and be perceived as a more effective leader. Let’s look at what you can do to energize employees in the first 5 and last 5 minutes of the day.

20946766 - 3d illustration of leader with his followers
I know this simple way to energize your employees to start/end the day work. The First 5 and Last 5 minutes of the day set the tone of energy and motivation if you have a strategy that works. Over the last 20 years I have shared this with thousands of leaders in a wide variety of business models. It works if you have the courage to try a new strategy. It may take a few weeks to get into the grove and make it your own. Be willing to do it poorly before you do it much better.  Write a note and put it in your car to remind yourself in the morning. Put one on your computer to remind you about the last 5. You can also set alarms on your smart phone to go off twice a day.

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How to Make this Summer Count!

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Hello summer,watercolor lettering with watermelon

If you have seen me speak at an event,  you may remember I asked you to close your eyes and imagine you are 80 years old. This 80 year old you knows ALL about you. I then asked what advice that 80 year old YOU would give YOU today?

What would you tell you? It can be life changing!
About 17 years ago know after an event in Jackson, MS I asked the audience that question. A girl named Georgia Ann approached me and said her grandmother had given her some advice. I asked what did she say? She told Georgia Ann, “Child remember you might only get 80 Summers. Make them count!”

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A story about overcoming challenges in your life.

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Woman for Donna Summers post

Here is an email I got last week from Donna Summers from Gables Residential. It is shared with her permission. “I wanted to thank you again for coming to speak to our group. I was very excited for you to come back for two reasons. One, I wanted to be hear you again and I wanted my team to hear your message about overcoming challenges as I thought it was a powerful one that would impact them greatly. Two, I knew that this time I would break the board. You see, for me, not breaking the board that day many years ago was life changing. As I mentioned I had fibromyalgia for many years and my journey of healing was a long one.

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Too Many Meetings Destroy Morale and Motivation

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25154856_s

I have an event this week with a group of key directors at Yahoo. In one interview I was amazed at the number of meetings he had to attend. Some were face to face and others on virtual platforms with employees in the US, APAC and Europe at all hours of the day. He said sometimes he is going until 1 am. He mentioned how Google had gone to a NO MEETINGS ON WEDNESDAY (NMW) policy. I had not hear of that before. There are other companies like ASANA who have been doing this with success.

That got me thinking. I have been self-employed for well over 25 years and I had not spent much time thinking about having to attend too many meetings. Not having to attend many is one of the great benefits of being on your own. The best benefit is no commute to work each day!

I have interviewed thousands of business leaders in research for my events over the last twenty years. Finding a time to set an appointment “between their meetings” is always a challenge. It seems almost everybody agrees it is true, just do a simple search – “too many meetings”. The articles are everywhere complaining about it, but there are very few with advice on what to do about it. Here are some simple suggestions you can implement.

According to a survey by Office Team, 45% of senior execs responded that their teams would be more productive if their companies banned meetings for at least one day a week. The impact of too many meetings has been an expanding workweek for many professionals well beyond the 40-hour week to 50 , 60 and even 70 hours or more. Those extra hours do not always lead to greater productivity.

In Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson’s classic book The Time Trap they revealed:

“Ask any group of managers in any country in the world to list their three most time-consuming activities. Invariably, ‘meetings’ will appear among the three. I have asked this question of more than 200 groups, and in every case but three, more than three quarters of each group indicated that half their time spent in meetings is wasted.

A recent finding in a Clarizen/Harris Poll Survey said employed Americans spend over 9 hours a week on meetings and almost 50 percent of respondents would rather go to DMV or watch paint dry. The challenge is when they get in the way of people being productive, you need to take action to change it.

Meetings need to be eliminated that have no agenda or clear outcomes, are too long, no clear time parameters, endless PowerPoint slides, one way “data dumps” or a leader who runs on endlessly with material that does not impact you.

In my research I do not see many companies doing much about it. Please do not schedule a meeting to decide if you have too many meetings! The first step is to simply be open to the idea that your organization can improve their process around meetings.

Question everything about your meetings:

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Time, Money and Health – Don’t Die Young

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My wife and I were having dinner last night at a great local restaurant called Connors, amazing chicken scampi.  We were seated at the bar enjoying a nice Cabernet for happy hour. We started talking to a nice gentleman who was alone next to us. Joel was picking dinner up for he and his wife of 60 years, Mary. My wife and I wear both surprised to learn that Joel was 82 because he looked 15-20 years younger. I moved the conversation to what his strategy has bee4893657_sn to stay in such good shape.

He said he has always been active during his career as a veterinarian. He had worked out at a gym until he turned 75, but then decided to make a change. He has a current streak going of the last seven years of walking their two dogs every morning. He has not missed a day and he said part of his motivation is how excited his two dogs are to go with him.

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Get In Shape Now – Sign a Contract with YOU!

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Male Runner at Sunset 460This is the time of year many get out of the shower and look in the mirror in horror! “When did this happen. Who is that? It is a new year, I must get serious about my health  and get in shape now! Health club’s sign up about 40% of their members for the year right now and many will not being visiting that gym after a few weeks. They think they are doing something by joining the gym. That is only the first step.

Without a compelling reason to get back in shape and clear commitment of what you are willing to do to make it happen, you are setting yourself up for failure. I have been working out at the same gym, now run by Gold’s, for about 7 years. I see new people every week who had that moment of disgust in the mirror. One of my mentors Jim Rohn always said that disgust can be a powerful motivator. Watch this classic short video.

They sign up for the membership, often hire a personal trainer (which is a good idea to get a quick start) and work to get back into shape. At least they try. I rarely see any dramatic changes before they are gone. It does happen but it is rare.

There are a 168 hours in a week and they are in the gym for 4 or 5 of those with the trainer. That leaves 163 on their own making choices for themselves. Very few PT’s will go the person’s house and throw out all the crap in the pantry and refrigerator, design a meal plan to follow, clarify clear goals for losing the weight and hitting their key health numbers AND have them sign a contract to put their WORD on the line to live their workout goals.

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The Impact of First Impressions

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Motel 6 good room.png small

Motel 6 Renovated Room

Last month I spoke to over 1000 Motel 6 franchisees about the impact of first impressions on their ability to connect with guests and generate positive social media reviews . They have always been known for their brand promise: providing a clean, comfortable and affordable room at the lowest price of any national chain. Most of us have experienced staying at a Motel 6 sometime in our lives. Maybe it was recently like I did to prepare for this event or maybe it was way back when you were a kid on a cross country road trip. You want an inexpensive place to stay that you can count on no matter where you are stopping.

old room

Motel 6 Room Not Renovated

They are in the midst of a huge project to renovate all their properties. They are over half-way complete. One picture is typical of one of the renovated rooms. My reaction was, “Wow, this is a Motel 6?” Cleaner look, better lighting and fixtures and a neat polymer floor that looks just like hardwood flooring.

The other picture is the old room, with carpet and the hideous bed spreads you are afraid to touch. Quite a contrast between the two! The challenge is clear.  If you have that many locations and about half have not been renovated and perhaps not very well maintained over the years, brand consistency is a big issue. I told them, “Today our expectations are higher than ever and no matter what you paid,  you expect value for your money. It is essential that even if your property is not renovated…yet…you must still deliver on the brand promise every day.”

In the old days before social media, an unhappy guest had a hard time venting to more than a few friends, writing a letter to the company and the Better Business Bureau. Now the game has changed in a big way with social media. There are endless ways to post a bad review on all the 3rd party room booking sites like Travelocity, Trip Advisor, Expedia, YELP, Twitter and Facebook.

Google Reviews are actually tied into each Motel 6 property on their own booking site Motel6.com. There is a also a new wave of sites like ConsumerAffairs.com, PissedConsumer.com and Complaints.com. Those bad reviews live forever on line. Someone who had a bad experience is much more likely to leave a bad review than someone who had a great experience is to leave a good one.

There are no secrets! You cannot HIDE!

I coached them to never underestimate the power of FIRST IMPRESSIONS. The first LOOK is essential. As they drive on to the property you are evaluating the Motel 6 sign, lighting, parking lot stripes painted or not, landscaping, cleanliness of parking lot, glass front door clean or not, reception area, case of ’things to do’ flyers and what the person behind the counter is wearing, how they are groomed and what facial expression they have.

The first FACE they see sets the tone. When the guest enters the reception area it is showtime! It is time to switch on the energy and look like you are excited they arrived and CHOSEN to stay at your property! Guests respond to the energy of the face, the look in their eyes and eye contact.

The first WORDS are essential and how they are delivered with or without energy and enthusiasm. Do they say anything to engage first? Do they say ‘Checking in?” or may I help you? How about, ‘Welcome to Motel 6, we left the light on for you, I am glad you are here!’ said with a big smile on their face and an engaging tone of voice. The goal is to make an emotional connection with the guest immediately. Make them feel good first, then ask a basic question like, ‘Do you already have a reservation? Where are you coming in from?’ This also applies to using the phone for incoming calls or from guests on the property who call the office to report an issue.

One often overlooked items is the first SMELL! I read over 100 reviews, both good and bad and this came up over and over. The moment of truth in the hotel business is when you first open the door! At Motel 6 the old rooms have carpet and since they are the original pet friendly hotel and the demographic of the guests is more likely to smoke it is not a good combination!  The first whiff as you enter is very telling. It is make or break in a moment. With the renovated rooms it is much easier to control.

How can you apply the impact of a first impression on your business model? I suggest you take a fresh look at  your first LOOK, FACE, WORDS and SMELL. Maybe you need to hire a few people you do not know to check or a secret shopper service to give you a report. Do not settle for average. You have just a few seconds to make a great first impression and it can be very difficult to change it. You can apply this advice to most business’s and personal interactions. My oldest son just turned 16 and it is the same advice I gave him as he meets new people and enters the dating world.

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Motion creates emotion – I just don’t feel like it.

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runningDoes that sound familiar? I had someone in my audience recently say; “Chip, I know what to do to get back in shape, I just don’t feel like it! What do I do?” I told her she must first get a crystal clear, compelling, emotional, urgent reason to take action now to get back in shape. Why is it something you MUST do right now?

She said it resonated with her when I mentioned in my program that the best gift she can give her family is to take great care of herself. She needs put herself first more often. She had not been doing that for many years she said and it impacted not only her physical appearance but her energy level, stress level and the example she was setting for her kids. Those are compelling reasons!

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Confronting Brutal Facts – Make a Change

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In this “PC” world we live in sometimes people dance around the truth and what is the reality of the current situation. Most of the people I have helped make a change in their lives did it quickly. They made a TRUE decision based on confronting the brutal facts of the moment. Master Jim Rohn told me that “disgust can be a powerful motivator!” Sometimes a little self-reflection on what is really happening can lead you to that moment of disgust.

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Using Videos to Promote Your Business

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I have successfully used video to promote my services since I was sending them out on video tapes over 20 years ago. What a hassle that was! Now with the ability to create quality videos very affordably and share with potential customers for virtually nothing on the web I am so surprised how many businesses do not have a compelling video on their web site. It is EASY to do. Stop delaying if you do not have one. You can have it done quickly. Remember done is better than perfect! You can always make it better.

With the help of Primeau Productions who I have worked with for my entire career, I just completed my new demo video. I would love to get your feedback on what we put together. It will also give you some ideas how to make your video more effective. Your’s will be different than mine because of my unique business model mine is 10 minutes long. I suggest for most, the video should be under 90 seconds. Will anyone really read all the text you have on your site? 

Anyone watching should have the reaction –

“I get it. I understand what you do, who you are, why you are qualified and how you can help me.!”

Your video may simply be pictures and a voice over done with a program like PowerPoint. With the quality of the cameras on the new smart phones you can do it with that perhaps and simple video editing program like iMovie. Important to use an external microphone that hooks into your phone or video camera for great sound!

Add quality, sincere and compelling customer testimonials telling your story. Have a few short ones in your 90 second video and have a separate video(s) with longer testimonials documenting the success of working with that customer. Include before and after pictures if appropriate. Take pictures WITH the customer and you and your team who worked on the project! Use qualitative feel good stories and quantitative hard data of how successful the relationship is. Watch my demo here to get an idea what I mean.

Could you add a series of videos  like I did no my YouTube channel sharing your unique knowledge? Check out that link to see Chip’t Tip’s. How about how to use your product or service? How to install it? How to maintain it? How to easily fix common problems? How to properly learn how to use it with tutorials? Highlight uniques services you offer and why people hire you. There are endless possibilities using videos to promote your business

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Limits on cell phones and games for kids

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Our youngest Lucas just turned 11. For our other kids that milestone means you get a phone. He is of course excited and has been looking forward to it. My wife is due for an upgrade to the iPhone 6 so he will get her old phone. Lucas and I attended a 4 night course at our church on his moving to adolescence an on to middle school. At the final class tonight they shared an idea I wish we would have heard before and implemented with our older kids now 15 and 17 .

It is a Cell Phone Agreement with the child to place clear limits on usage. A simple search will produce many options for you and here is the one we are using. Both the parent and the child sign it so their is clarity up front. The goal is for them to have unlimited access and zero  restrictions by the time they leave the house. The reality is they are not ready to have unrestricted access at a young age. The same applies for tablets. What limits do you put on your children?

One key item to establish is what time the phone will be out of their hands and out of their room. Having a break – that is huge  when they are young! Some kids are getting a iPad at 3 and a phone at 5! Very important to get clarity on up front. Of course they will whine that their friends don’t have to do that! As they grow up you can adjust the agreement and they gain more freedom.

The agreement states – For now, what you do on your phone is not private. To help you make wise decisions we will have access to the following….Lucas is 11 and needs the guidance that this agreement will provide. I like that the agreement states they cannot delete their internet history or texts and they understand you will check them weekly. Make it clear they will not get in trouble for something “inappropriate” that someone sends to them. They are not responsible for what they receive.

With summer break rapidly approaching I also want to continue to be the parent to limit their time on game consoles like XBOX or PS3. What limits do you put on games? Those games are amazing on a big screen and it is easy for 30 minutes to turn into three hours. I just did a search about getting a timer to somehow limit it. I found something amazing I did not knew was an option. On the XBOX site they give simple instructions to manage access for how long each person can play per day or per week! Isn’t that fantastic! It will be much easier than keeping track of where they are and telling them to get off. You will find the information here.

I think the phones, tablets and game consoles are addictive and getting more so every year. This generation is plugged in too much and many lack basic personal relationship skills. The new virtual reality headset from Oculus is now available and as it develops it will be another game changer. The games will only get more immersive and addictive. Consider how much access your kids have to this technology and start as early as possible!

 

 

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