Three Glass Week Sessions Offer Advice on Improving Business Relationships

This morning's general session offered Glass Week attendees three humorous and entertaining speakers who talked about ways to improve relationships with customers and other business relationships.

Garrison Wynn was the day's first presenter. His session, titled "Making the Most of Difficult Situations: Changing Markets, Changing Times," offered a funny and insightful look at ways to make difficult situations better. One of his key focus areas was the importance of truly listening to other people and their ideas. By listening, he said, you can build trust.

He also described characteristics of top performers. Characteristics include being able to explain value in 20 seconds, maintaining simple and easy organizational processes, being persistent and having well-defined outcomes, building relationships with those who can position them to succeed and creating expectations while still making sure those around them feel as though they are being heard.

Sharing on how you can "create a moment of magic," Shep Hyken was the next speaker. Combining a few magic tricks with his advice, Hyken explained how we can create not just a satisfied customer, but loyal customers.

"We want long-term, loyal relationships; just satisfactory is not OK. We want more," said Hyken.

To help teach ways to do this, he used "moments of truth." These moments of truth happen any time any customer comes into contact with any aspect of your business. From these moments of truth come moments of misery, moments of magic and those experiences that are just OK. It is the moments of magic that make customers keep coming back.

"Every moment of truth is an opportunity to create a moment of magic-even if it starts out as a moment of misery." He offered 10 key points for creating these magical moments and, in turn, loyal customers:
1. Manage the first impression; this sets the tone for the interaction that follows;
2. Have knowledge and expertise of your business. "Be so good at what you do that people ask you questions about what you don't do," said Hyken;
3. Build rapport beyond just business-people love to talk about themselves and their children;
4. Be enthusiastic and excited about what you do;
5. Communication-have the ability to understand what your customer wants; ask questions and don't just assume;
6. Have no mistakes-especially mistakes due to a breakdown in communication;
7. Quality. You must have quality to back up the service you deliver;
8. Under promise and over deliver;
9. Be consistent; don't be great one day and just OK the next; and
10. Show appreciation. "Say thank you over and over again."

The morning's third presentation was lead by Tim Wackel who spoke on time management. He talked about how to get the most out of each and every day.

According to Wackel, to get more out of your day, the most important first step is to be focused-know what it is you really want. He explained that better time management is not about doing more stuff, but rather doing the right stuff. How do we do this? Start by looking at the big picture and narrowing it down. Don't start with today, but rather your life. Figure out what you want from the journey first and then work down to what needs to be done on the smaller scale.

Some of his advice included developing written goals. Goals, he said, should be SMART: specific, measurable, [have] action, [be] realistic and timely. He also said to stop trying to cram so much into everyday. He said 75 percent of what you do each day should be preparing, planning and investing into other people and yourself. The other 25 percent are those areas that are important and urgent.

Finally, he offered a look at ways to better manage each day. Tips he offered included spending 10-15 minutes each night thinking about the next day; leveraging your "prime time," or rather knowing which hours in the day you work best; having a plan for each day; and following the 20/20/20 rule for success: spend 20 minutes a day reading about what you'd like to be, such as a better sales person, manager, etc.; spend 20 minutes writing-keep a journal on what went well each day and what was challenging each day; and find 20 minutes each day for physical activity.

Break-out sessions with each of this morning's speakers will take place this afternoon, providing more detailed looks in each area.

Glass Week concludes today. Glass Week 2007 will take place January 20-24 at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota in Sarasota, Fla.

No reproduction, in print, electronic or any form without the expressed written permission of
Key Communications Inc. 540-720-5584.