Author: dhess

Persevering or Throwing In the Towel?

Question: I know my business has tremendous potential, but at the moment we’re barely breaking even, and the pressure is on (at home and elsewhere) to give it a quiet burial. How do you know when (or if) to cash in your chips and take your losses? The Answer: A good question deserves a good answer! So… maybe you should read the previous Ask BOB (just kidding). Although there is no magic formula around to answer your question, sometimes considering a bit of history can provide needed inspiration. Dale Carnegie wrote, “Most of the important things in the world...

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Question: I have several innovative ideas relating to my position, but the management always seems to find a way to nix them. What do you suggest? Consider the response a college student (with a very innovative idea) got several years ago:  “So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary; we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard,...

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Squirrel Syndrome Solutions

Question: I have been accused of failing to maintain focus in my business – and even at home. Admittedly, I do run down rabbit trails, but it often seems to be a real necessity. What’s my problem? Joanne, Kansas City, MO BOB: Yes, today I believe it is called the “squirrel syndrome.” What activity do you suppose is responsible for causing 1,600,000 auto accidents in the U.S. every year, 330,000 injuries a year, and 6,000 deaths a year – including 11 teens a day.* Would you believe texting while driving?  A 2-second distraction while driving increases your chance of...

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Don’t Forget Your Customers’ Names!

Question: Hey, Bob, I loved the start of this discussion on connecting. I struggle with remembering names. Do you have some tips for that would help? Jim, Olathe, KS BOB: Glad you asked, Jim. I do. Remembering names is a critical skill – especially your own! Seriously, everyone appreciates those who remember their name and, of course, we all want others to remember our name. A time-proven way to remember a name is to train yourself to form a mental word-picture of the name. For example, you meet a fellow named Bill Fisher. You then form a mental picture...

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Firing up Employees for Better Customer Service

Question: BOB, would you suggest an effective means of motivating my employees to connect better with our customers, suppliers and with each other? Don, Overland Park, KS                                                                                                                             BOB: Great question! Let’s talk Connectology. The science, study, and practice of making quality connections are termed Connectology. (I’m told that term was coined by our IT friends, but I’m sure they won’t mind if we borrow it.)  It is not an exaggeration to say that nothing good (or profitable) takes place in the marketplace – or anywhere else for that matter – until a quality connection takes place. In his book...

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