5 Easy Strategies to Manage the Company Rumor Mill

Don’t ignore the grapevine. Some call it the grapevine; others call it hearsay. No matter what you call it, it can be problematic and distracting yet often a source of valuable information. If you aren’t talking proactively about issues that are important to your employees, chances are that someone else is. Talk to your managers when employees are buzzing about a crisis. All organizations have a rumor mill. It’s a natural part of the employee network. 

How Little Things Can Lead to Big Results

3 Ways to Help You See and Play a Different Game, and Win. When it comes to winning at work, you have to focus on the big things. Don’t sweat the small stuff, right? Not so fast. The small stuff does matter. In fact, according to Andy Andrews, bestselling author of The Little Things, it might matter more than you could possibly imagine. “Everybody talks about the big picture,” Andy recently told me. But, he said, “every big picture that is ever created is created one brush stroke at a time.”

The Best Cybersecurity Investment You Can Make is Better Training

As the scale and complexity of the cyber threat landscape is revealed, so too is the general lack of cybersecurity readiness in organizations, even those that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on state-of-the-art technology. Investors who have flooded the cybersecurity market in search for the next software “unicorn” have yet to realize that when it comes to a risk as complex as this one, there is no panacea — certainly not one that depends on technology alone.

How to Manage High-Maintenance Employees

Every workplace has at least one or two employees who can be described as "high maintenance." These individuals take up their managers' time with problems large and small, often to the exclusion and detriment of their peers. Although high-maintenance workers may come off as insecure, arrogant or self-important, personality traits alone aren't indicators of a "needy" employee. However, there are a few concrete behaviors that may spell trouble for managers if they go unchecked:

In Praise of America’s Third-Party Debt Collectors

Despite the fear and loathing, they do ease the flow of credit. FEW cheer the rising levels of America’s household debt, which reached a record $12.7trn at the end of the first quarter. Nearly 5% of the total, or $615bn, was in some stage of delinquency. One group, however, can barely hide its glee: third-party debt-collection firms, which try to recover mostly consumer loans on behalf of creditors without the resources to chase down bad borrowers themselves.

This Sales Plan Moves the Needle on Every Success Metric

“Building a sales team is like running a kitchen that has to produce 100 chocolate cakes a week,” says Derek Draper, Co-founder and CEO of Pattern (as you'll find, he's a fan of analogies). “You hire a head or VP of sales to be your top chef, and they hire a bunch of reps to be your bakers. Only in sales, I feel like we're constantly sending people off to their work stations without a recipe or even a picture of what we want the cake to look like. If you ran a kitchen this way, it'd be a disaster.

How To Deal With Complaints From Clients, Consumers

Collection agencies spend years building a rapport with clients, developing a relationship, establishing trust, and creating a bond that tries to stand the test of time.  But that rapport can be crushed in an instant, taking nothing more than how a collection agency responds to a complaint or an inquiry from a client. A panel of operations experts spoke on the topic of how to turn complaints from clients and consumers into training opportunities. The webinar was sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning. Download a copy of the webinar recording here or listen below.

Why the CFPB’s Decision to Change Course on Debt Collection Rulemaking is a Very Big Deal

The CFPB’s decision to change course on one key aspect of its debt collection rulemaking was not only unexpected by industry and consumer advocates alike, but an important sign that the debt collection industry should not otherwise ignore. First the background. In July 2016, the CFPB issued its Outline of Proposals under Consideration for the regulation of debt collection (the “Outline”). 

How to Train Your Client Services Team to Build a Loyal Client Base

Building trusting client relationships takes time and constant interaction, and there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution.In B2B, your client is your most important asset. Not only do you rely on them to keep current operations successful, you lean on them as references to potential clients so your business can continue to thrive in the future.

What's the Fastest Way to Attract Others to You? Do Any of These 8 Things

These are sure-fire ways to build your professional relationships and increase your tribe fast. If you're in a people business of any sort (then again, who isn't?), it should be your highest priority to connect with the human side of your customers, vendors, peers, co-workers, and other stakeholders. This means having a good understanding of what makes humans tick. As you scroll further down, these techniques, for some, will stretch your social intelligence to new frontiers. For others, you will welcome it as more ammunition for your relational arsenal.

How Can You Spot Really Good Leaders? They Do Any of These 7 Things Daily

With some things in life, like exceptional leadership traits, you can't just "fake it till you make it". Can you imagine working for someone in a high-level leadership role, perhaps a CEO, and suddenly it dawns on you: This person isn't leadership caliber. Your next thought may be, How in the world did he (or she) make it this far up the ladder? It's a fair question. People are promoted into leadership roles every day who have no business belonging there.

5 Tips on How to Fire an Employee Gracefully

If you’ve ever had to fire someone, you know how difficult it is. I’m certain that most business owners would agree that dismissing an employee is a horrible experience for everyone involved. We don’t like to do it. But without weeding out unproductive employees or making necessary cuts, we can’t grow our business. Knowing how to fire an employee gracefully is the key to keeping the ship sailing smoothly.

Jeff Bezos Explains the Perfect Way to Make Risky Business Decisions

"Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in his annual letter to shareholders, released Wednesday. "If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you're probably being slow." Bezos was explaining how he goes about running the massive company Amazon has become — 341,000 employees — like a startup. 

The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards

Sometime in the late 1800s—nobody is quite sure exactly when—a man named Vilfredo Pareto was fussing about in his garden when he made a small but interesting discovery. Pareto noticed that a tiny number of pea pods in his garden produced the majority of the peas. Now, Pareto was a very mathematical fellow. He worked as an economist and one of his lasting legacies was turning economics into a science rooted in hard numbers and facts. Unlike many economists of the time, Pareto's papers and books were filled with equations. 

Why the Next Person You Hire Should be Overqualified

“Overqualified workers tend to try different things, and through the process they bring creative insights and find better ways of doing their work.” Hiring someone who is overqualified sounds like a recipe for disaster. What if they get bored and quit? Or what if they develop a bad attitude as a result of feeling above the duties of their job? Turns out you shouldn’t worry, according to new research published by the Academy of Management Journal. It found that hiring someone who is overqualified can be a win for both the employee and the employer.

Employment Related Communications - A New Frontier for TCPA Class Actions?

While most people think of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) as regulating telephone solicitations and junk faxes, a recent putative class action sought to expand the TCPA’s reach to a new frontier – employment related communications.  In Dolemba v. Kelly Services, Inc., plaintiff brought a putative class action against the defendant staffing company for alleged violations of the TCPA and the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (“ICFA”) arising from a single phone call and voice message left on plaintiff’s cellular phone.

Why AI Won't Replace (Great) Salespeople

AI and bots reduce mundane tasks and free time for relationship building, but the "human touch" is what's going to keep sales going. Recently, much has been made of the role that artificial intelligence will play in taking our jobs. From manufacturing to driving to fighting wars, AI’s ascendancy into the workforce elicits everything from celebration to consternation. Depending on who you ask, AI will save jobs, or create jobs, or will banish humans from the job market forever. While the singularity is a long way off, the anxiety has set in.

Three Overlooked Negotiation Skills Entrepreneurs Need To Master

Much has been made as of late about the art of negotiation. From politics to popular business media, entrepreneurs and business leaders are bombarded with the message that hard-line, zero-sum negotiations are the only way to go. It's sort of cathartic to watch someone in power, like President Trump, issue a "take it or leave it" ultimatum to the party with which he's negotiating.

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Agency Acting Under a “Safe Harbor” Provision of Wisconsin Statute Did Not Violate FDCPA

In an opinion issued on April 13, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that collectors acting under a safe harbor provision in a Wisconsin statute did not violate the FDCPA when they sent dunning letters requesting payment of a principal balance plus 5% interest. The case is Aker v. Americollect and Collection Associates, Ltd (Case No 16-3633, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals). The concise opinion is only 5 pages. A copy of the opinion can be found here.