Leave a voicemail that won’t be deleted

According to Jill Konrath, the sales and marketing guru, busy professionals only listen to the first 2.7 seconds of each voicemail message. I admit I’m a “voicemail deleter”. I am so quickly annoyed by rambling voicemail messages. Since I’m in a confessing mood, if you are my mother, I NEVER listen to any of your messages. Why? Because I love her dearly, but her messages never tell me anything that my caller ID hasn’t already told me….”Andrea, this is your Mom. Call me back when you get a chance.” So, the question is not how to avoid being my Mom, rather … How to leave a message that compels the receiver to listen to the message in its entirety. Here are some easy steps: #1 Give them a value proposition that is meaningful to THEM. #2 Don’t start the message with your company name unless it is one that makes people stand up and take notice. #3 Speak as you are their peer – not their buddy and not subservient to them. Do not say, “I know you are super busy”. They will say to themselves, “Yeah, I’m too busy to listen to you tell me how busy I am”. #4 Ask for the next step in your sales process (conference call, in person meeting, web-based demo, etc.). Give these tips a try and let me know how they worked for you.  I'd love to hear your tips too!

The Shoes have it! Meeting Etiquette.

The Shoes have it!  Meeting Etiquette. I’ve been reading studies about the increased productivity of walking meetings as well as a recommendation for standing meetings (meetings where all participants remain standing during the meeting).  I can assure that if I’m wearing my Manolo Blanik’s – which I refer to as my “sitting shoes” – I will be distracted through the duration of the ever so brief meeting. We are over thinking this.  Meetings are simply too frequent, too long and too unproductive.  We need to get laser focused on the intended result, set a firm end time, reiterate the action items at the close of the meeting and end every meeting 5 minutes early. Lastly, we need to hold one another accountable to complete their required action items in order to move the process forward. I have found weekly status updates via email very productive.  I also am a proponent of set meetings with the same agenda so each party knows what they need to have prepared prior to attending and they know what to expect from the meeting.

Never take your customers for granted

A while ago I arrived at the hair salon that I had been going to for years. After a quick shampoo, I was directed to the chair of my stylist - who was also the salon owner. He wasn’t nowhere in sight. A few minutes later I spotted him behind the front desk handling a business matter. Since he looked busy, I got up and strolled through the salon looking for a magazine. I proceeded to wait in his chair with wet hair until I completed the entire magazine. Just then my stylist rushed over and began cutting my hair. As he finished trimming the hair on one side of my head, he was called away again. He excused himself and scurried off. I then got myself a glass of water and walked by the front desk to check on an ETA of my missing stylist. Since no one even acknowledged my lingering, I finished my water and grabbed a hairdryer. I proceeded to dry and style my almost dry hair. My stylist grabbed me as I was walking out of the salon. He apologized for being so busy and explained that he would finish my haircut as he couldn’t afford me walking around town representing his salon with a half completed haircut. How interesting that he realized that his customer represented him every day as the walk around town. However, he failed to realize the importance or cost of losing one of those walking billboards. As I sat in traffic thinking of creative ways to hide my new “half-do”, I thought about my previous experiences at that salon. Was I always treated so poorly? Of course, not. Previously, I was warmly greeted with a

Creating your recurring revenue model

Here is a link to sound advice about how to create personal financial stabiity.  This is crucially important in uncertain financial times as we face in the US today.  I think you will like this one as Rusty always presents valuable information in an easy to digest format! Enjoy and let me know what you did to take action on this!

Pat’s volunteer experience

A big thanks to Pat, a 2 Places employee for sharing his experience from our company-wide annual volunteer day: As you know, our company's volunteer day theme this year was to assist senior citizens.  Therefore, on Friday, September 23rd I volunteered my time and services to SAGE Eldercare in Summit, New Jersey.  Please see the attached document that provides concise text of what this organization is all about. My efforts were dividing into two parts.  In the morning I assisted Daniel, an experienced driver using his own car, to provide hot lunch to fifteen seniors in the nearby town of Springfield, NJ.  These people are either shut ins, low income or unable to prepare meals for themselves.  For most of  them, the person delivering lunch to their home is the only human that they will interact with during that day.  The vast majority are extremely appreciative of the efforts of the people bringing healthy meals to them on a daily basis. It was an eye opening experience as it showed me how many people that are living near me who require food assistance. In the afternoon I worked with Priscilla at SAGE's facility to create organized food bins to store a large amount of food that the organization recently received from the general public after Hurricane Irene. This mundane project had us sort cans, bags and packages of food that had been stored helter skelter in a very unorganized manner.  Our completed effort made the director of volunteering very happy.  She now has an inventory of easy to access food that her group can quickly utilize for whatever purpose they need it for. I left SAGE feeling very good that day because I saw how my efforts provided a small, yet positive, impact on

Lessons from the masters

My first job was working at a hair salon for blue-haired old ladies when I was 14 years old.  My job included washing and folding towels, helping customers in from their cars, and carefully covering their ears and hairline with a protective layer of cotton before placing them under a dryer to roast.  Most people would think that spending the summer surrounded by women older than my grandmother while my friends were spending endless days lounging by the pool talking about boys would be sheer torture, but not me.  I found these women fascinating!  After all, they had lived! Tales of the Great Depression, Kennedy’s assassination, and the Civil Rights movement were spinning in my head every day. But it was more than that. I read about all of these landmark events in history class.  The real stories were about how these monumental events shaped their everyday lives.  I learned of victory gardens and the personal decisions to treat people with dignity in the face of danger and alienation.  I saw how someone who did without as a child appreciates all that she has some 50+ years later and is quick to share with others as others had done with her.  I saw in the eyes of these women that a dream doesn’t die with an individual person but lives within all of us.  I saw passion, resilience, conviction, and a quiet strength.  I saw teachers who were willing to accept me as their pupil and I consider myself fortunate to have had one short summer to learn from these masters. When 2 Places At 1 Time, Inc. wass celebrating its 20-year anniversary, I  paid homage to the lessons learned from the past.  To do so, I propose that

Families bear the brunt of work-life unbalance

When Americans’ work-life balance is disrupted, families bear the brunt, according to the StrategyOne 2010 survey of 1,043 Americans; however, most report that family is of greatest importance to us.  Think about your day to day life.  What responsibilities do you put off when you are short on time?  Do you find yourself having to decide whether to take your car for that much needed oil change or eat lunch?  How about the common American dinner time dilemma of opting for take-out as the only means of fitting in both a meal and time to help the children with homework?  How often do you find yourself short on time….weekly or daily?  It happens to all of us.  Although there isn’t a cure, there are several small things that you can do to lessen the frequency of these time-crunched frenzies. The first thing is to be realistic about what is really reasonable to accomplish in a given day.  Stop saying to yourself, “If only I could get my work done quicker, if I didn’t get stuck in traffic or in a line at the grocery store...”  These obstacles are out of our control and ever present in our lives.  Second, plan for the busy week ahead.  This is the very reason Rachel Ray’s new show “Cook 1 Day, Eat for 5” even exists!  If you can find a block of time, it is more efficient to shop for the entire week at once and spend 2 hours prepping the week’s ingredients.  During my 2 year olds Saturday nap, you can usually find me in the kitchen creating homemade marinades, prepping meat and chopping vegetables to be thrown into steamers or salads throughout the week.  However, the

Andrea Arena receives 2010 outstanding leadership recognition award

WASHINGTON D.C., December 15, 2010 -- Andrea Arena has been selected for the 2010 Outstanding Leadership Recognition Award by the U.S. Leaders and Entrepreneur’s Association (USLEA). The USLEA Award Program recognizes highly regarded individuals and companies throughout the country that we believe have demonstrated leadership and admirable drive in 2009. Each year, the USLEA identifies companies and individuals that have confirmed autonomy and leadership skills such as courage, determination, a will to succeed, and have earned respect through aptitude, competence, and fair and honest dealings with coworkers, customers and business relationships. Recipients of these awards lead by example, and enhance the positive image of entrepreneurs, self‐reliant individuals, and small businesses which will once again prove to be the moving engine that will allow recovery from these tough economic times. The USLEA locates outstanding leaders in various fields, with help from third‐parties and through its own extensive research, and recognizes them with these distinctive awards. The USLEA understands what leaders and entrepreneurs signify for the country, and it is their determination and drive that we are most in need of. About U.S. Leaders and Entrepreneur’s Association (USLEA) U.S. Leaders and Entrepreneur’s Association (USLEA) is a New York, N.Y. based organization funded by individuals across America who wish to share a voice for small businesses and thriving individuals that are taking risks and making individual efforts to find success through hard work and honest dealings. The purpose of USLEA is to promote small business, to provide tools, share a voice for legislation towards small business in the country, and encourage thriving individuals who deserve recognition to continue their efforts to be successful. Our mission is to support leaders and entrepreneurs across America. SOURCE: U.S. Leaders and Entrepreneur’s