JJ's Tips in this issue:

1. For JJ's New Book--Submit Coaching Problems or Success Stories
2. How To Overcome A Sales/Service Slump In A Flat or Down Economy?
3. JJ's Quotes
4. New Tele-Mentoring Program

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Need NEW COACHING BOOK Suggestions From You:
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JJ is writing a new book on coaching and mentoring. You are invited to submit problems you've encountered managing your staff, success stories and other suggestions.

What sort of coaching information would be most useful or helpful to you?

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Use the following tips as training tools.

Present the problem to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.

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SITUATION QUESTION:
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How do I get my sales and service groups to keep producing more sales and attracting new customers with their service? They've found our flat economy more challenging, frustrating and depressing than in the past, and are now in a slump. What can I do?

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SOLUTIONS:
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Even the top salespeople and service professionals hit slumps in their careers at times. These happen even during thriving economic time, but are more apt to occur during flat or down times.

Here are some tips on how to recharge your groups and yourself:

It's time to think "Out of the Box" and perhaps stop doing what you've always done the way you've always done it in the past.

Get in your customers' shoes and see if the flat economy has affected them too. Inspire the individuals in your sales and service groups to ask more questions to uncover what their customers need TODAY.

Where is their pain?

What kind of challenges are they currently facing? How are these different from the ones they experienced before the economy changed. What are their biggest concerns now? Ask how you and your company can be helpful to them.

It's important to remain positive and not let their negative answers drag you down too. Be empathetic and understanding, but don't waste time commiserating with them. What you dwell on is what you get.

Recently I was silent monitoring a call center for an outbound sales group, and I noticed a number of reps began their conversations in a cheerful and positive way, but when the customers told them about their problems of reduced budgets, and other issues, they became too sympathetic and depressed. They ended the conversations on a down note for both of them. It is our job to give them hope that better things will be forthcoming, not the reverse.

Then get your customers to brainstorm with you on possibilities that have not been thought of or tried before in the recent past. Think way beyond yourself to help them through their current needs.

Remember, no one cares how much you know (about anything) until they know how much you care (about them.)

Even if more sales aren't made immediately, your genuine desire to help them succeed through difficult times will open the door to additional sales when budget freezes are removed. You'll have gained their trust to be first in line to get their sales.

You may need to reinvent the way you do business to meet those new customer needs. It may mean creating new products, bundling services, renegotiating service contracts or creating more competitive pricing. The answers your customers give you to your questions will get you thinking out of the box
for solutions. That's often how new business and businesses are created.

Shove the Fear of the Unknown out of you heads and take that well thought-out and researched risk. Remember, the greatest risk is never to take a risk. Our businesses and ways of selling and serving will never be exactly the same again, so with your new way of thinking, start making the necessary changes.

Our people need to be an important part of this process. They must also be led with optimism, perseverance and positiveness. Coaching them and your customers through the process will help them feel that they are all an important part of the decision-making process. Their cooperation and buy in
will naturally follow.

The next (June) newsletter will have tips on how you can coach the groups and individuals out of their sales and service slumps. The down economy might have started their slump, but a number of other things could be keeping them there too.

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JJ's QUOTES:

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"No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities. Always see them, for they're always there."
-Norman Vincent Peale

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
- Helen Keller

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NEW: Tele-Mentoring Program
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Do you want to improve:

Inbound or outbound call center sales?
Customer Service?
Dealing with irate internal or external customers?
Motivation and growth of your people?
Coaching your staff?

One-on-one Tele-Mentoring (our by-phone coaching service) is now available
to business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.
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Have you had a quick Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up.)
http://www.jjlauderbaugh.com/about.html


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ABOUT JJ:
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JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM
408 866-7673 or 800 500-9656
189 Altura Vista Dr.
Los Gatos, CA 95032.

JJ works with companies that want to give world class service and with
Directors and Managers who want to grow their people. Specialties are
performance improvement, customer care, teamwork, up selling, outbound
calling, soft skills and coaching, training and consulting.

For training resources, free articles, tips and streaming video, go to our
web site at http://www.JJLauderbaugh.com

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Copyright and Reprints:
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Reprint permission is granted when the following credit appears: JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM, Lauderbaugh & Associates, Inc., 2003. Reprinted with permission from JJ's Tips, a monthly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, email jj@jjlauderbaugh.com.
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