How Teaching Instead of Terminating Pays Off

Companies tout their ability to come up with innovative products, services and ideas for clients, but managers are far less imaginative when it comes to handling employees not working up to par. Often, the knee-jerk reaction to an underperformer is fast termination, immediately followed by an interminably slow recruitment and onboarding process. Not only does this chew up time and resources, but it can demoralize departments. Plus, if the problem wasn’t the employee but the system itself, the next hire will likely fall into the same pattern of mediocrity, exasperation, or burnout.

Most Managers Don’t Know How to Coach People. But They Can Learn

Are you successful at coaching your employees? In our years studying and working with companies on this topic, we’ve observed that when many executives say “yes,” they’re ill-equipped to answer the question. Why? For one thing, managers tend to think they’re coaching when they’re actually just telling their employees what to do. According to Sir John Whitmore, a leading figure in executive coaching, the definition of coaching is “unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.

The Decision Matrix: How to Prioritize What Matters

The decisions we spend the most time on are rarely the most important ones. Not all decisions need the same process. Sometimes, trying to impose the same process on all decisions leads to difficulty identifying which ones are most important, bogging us down and stressing us out. I remember once struggling at the intelligence agency shortly after I received a promotion. I was being asked to make too many decisions. I had no way to sort through them to figure out which ones mattered, and which ones were inconsequential.

How to Tweak Your Hiring Practices to Fit Today's Tough Job Market

Finding your dream hire is close to impossible in the current environment - and it's only going to get harder. You've probably noticed that hiring for open positions these days feels harder than it ever has before. With the unemployment rate at a historic low - it fell to 3.9 percent in July - there are more open positions than there are job seekers for only the second time in the past two decades, according to the Labor Department. The percentage of American workers who quit their jobs is also up, reaching 2.4 percent in May, the highest level in 17 years.

WIRED Magazine Looks at Silicon Valley's Interest in Collections Industry

A “wave” of tech startups, such as TrueAccord, are aiming to revolutionize the collections industry by applying machine learning and algorithms to create a kinder, gentler, collection experience for individuals, according to an article that was published by WIRED magazine. Putting aside the stereotypical descriptions of the collection agency that seem to grace any mention of the collections industry - aggressive, living nightmare, shady, sketchy, pushy collection agents -

The Single Most Effective Sales Strategy: Word of Mouth

Prospecting can be difficult. Ask any salesperson if they’re getting enough good, high-quality leads, and they are more than likely to say that they could always use more. A recent study on the state of B2B digital marketing reports that nearly half of marketers cite generating high-quality leads as their biggest challenge. The challenge isn’t getting any easier, either. With the inordinate amount of noise cluttering up our inboxes, voicemails, and overall mindshare, it’s becoming harder and harder for salespeople to break through to new prospects.

Delegation is an Art (and Here are 9 Simple Ways to Do It Better)

By delegating just 10 percent of your workload, you can grow your business more than 20 percent. Why not give it a try? When you lead others, it is important to know that there is an art to delegating. While some leaders think it takes too much of their time and attention to delegate work to their people, there's a big upside to this process. If done correctly, you will find that your staff are more productive and happier as a result. When your people know you trust them enough to delegate an important task, it boosts their motivation to get the job done.

How to Deal With a Habitually Late Paying Client

I’ve been fortunate over the last several years to have clients who usually pay on time. There’s only been two — that I can vividly remember — who have paid late consistently. Managing late invoices are a drag, and it can also be discouraging. If you put in work for a client, you would hope they would show appreciation by sending you the payment promptly. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Here’s how I deal with my habitually late payer: Bill Twice Per Month or Upfront. Early in my career I made the mistake of only billing once per month.

Five Major Ways B2B Companies Can Leverage Video Content

In 2018, you cannot deny the importance of video. Video clearly works for business to consumer (B2C) companies such as car companies, video game studios and Dollar Shave Club. But business to business (B2B) companies, whether in the accounting, insurance or content marketing fields, should make use of video content too, given that 70% of B2B researchers base some their buying decisions on watching brand videos. And if your B2B company is already using social media, it's even more integral that video should be part of your strategy since every major platform - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn - use video in some way.

Praise Your Employees: 5 Ways to Reward and Recognize

Studies show that people are far more motivated by positive reinforcement than by the fear of failure, yet many workplace cultures are still buzzing with the daily energy of “just not screwing up.” If you work in one of these offices, where employees are frequently distracted from the goals of the organization by anxiety about being called out for mistakes, what can you do? The good news is that no matter what level of leadership you currently hold, you can help to create a more positive workplace culture just by adding two words to your routine: Thank you.

The Real Reason Small Businesses Can Compete With Anyone

Smaller companies are often touted as having better customer service than their larger competitors, something I've found to be mostly true. When you have fewer clients, you can devote more time to communicating with them. Quality customer service is undoubtedly important. Still, it can be difficult to rationalize how it trumps being able to offer lower prices or a more recognizable name. Quality customer service doesn’t directly bring in more revenue, at least, according to its traditional (and therefore criminally vague) definition.

The Components of a Successful Management Training Program

Not every employee that a collection agency hires is going to be promoted. While many collection agencies look to promote from within, identifying the right candidates who might make good managers, supervisors, or even executives is not an easy job. How can a collection agency identify someone who is going to be a good leader? Someone who will be respected by the people who are now reporting up to him or her and no longer sharing smoke breaks together?

Focus on These 3 Things to Keep Competitors from Undercutting Your Business

Build up this crucial barrier against competitors by using these three tips from Harvard Business School's Mark Roberge. Starting a business is definitely tough, but many would argue keeping it competitive over a long period of time is even more challenging. That's where having a moat comes in handy. "The Moat" - also called an "economic moat" or "barrier to entry" - is the competitive advantage your company has over others in the same industry.

So, Like, How Can I, Um, Clean Up My Speech?

Our brains don’t like silence, so they fill in the gaps with words. But these “filler words” can make us sound unsure. Do this to keep your credibility. Have you ever been in a meeting and heard the speaker say something like this: “We need to, um, focus our attention, on aah, this proposal.” We often use filler words – um, aah, so, like – when we’re trying to think of the next thing to say. Our brains don’t like silence, so it fills in the gap with words.

4 Hiring Practices You Needed to Drop Yesterday (and What to Do Instead)

Today's job-seeker requires a whole new hiring strategy, and employers need to adapt. In recent years, the power in the hiring process has shifted to the job-seeker. From company career sites to employer-review platforms like Glassdoor, job-seekers have access to endless information about a company. As a result, they’re better informed and able to go about the job search in a new way. Employers? They have yet to adapt.

Diversify or Suffer the Consequences

Many industries have businesses that suffer from client concentration. The company lands a desirable client, gains more market share, picks up additional business lines, and before long, that client is generating a disproportionately large percentage of the company’s overall revenues and profits. The company is now at risk. What if the client changes things suddenly and without warning? Will your company weather this storm or will it suffer irreparable harm because of it?

6 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Up Your Sales

Identify your customers' individual needs and prove your value. Regardless of what line of business you are in, your company is unlikely to flourish if you can't drive strong sales. But where do you turn when your best tried-and-true sales methods are leaving you cold? How do you convince potential customers that your product is the one they've been looking for? Below, six entrepreneurs share their best out-of-the-box techniques to close the deal and keep clients coming back time and again.

Don’t Bet the Farm on Brainstorming

I can tell you with some precision the moment I first doubted group brainstorming. This was many moons ago. A medium sized media firm that wanted to grow much larger had engaged my consulting services. They held a company-wide powwow, flying most of the managers and yours truly to corporate headquarters in Darkest Peru. The CEO was a good speaker. He shared his vision for the company in broad strokes. He then invited us to help build on that by filling out post-it notes and placing them all over the room – grouped by category and recorded via camera phones for future use.

Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths

If you watched the Super Bowl a few months ago, you probably saw the coaches talking to each other over headsets during the game. What you didn’t know is that during the 2016 season, the NFL made major league-wide improvements to its radio frequency technology, both to prevent interference from media using the same frequency and to prevent tampering. This was a development led by John Cave, VP of football technology at the National Football League. It’s been incredibly helpful to the coaches. But it might never have been built, or at least Cave wouldn’t have built it, had it not been for his boss, Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO of the NFL.

Make it Easier for Prospective Clients to Buy

To simplify the buying process for B2B customers, sales reps should guide them through the complexities that precede a purchase. Customers and buyers have changed in the new, digital environment. B2B customers have access to more information, have to gain more buy-in internally and have a growing number of options to evaluate. By the time these customers interact with sellers, they have a slew of questions and demands. Sales organizations then respond with prompt information and answers and adjust offerings to better meet customer needs.