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6 Things To Make Your Customer Service Standout

Have you ever heard the saying, “The moment you win a new customer, you begin to lose them?” There’s definite truth to this, but there are simple ways to keep your customers engaged with you, your product and company that can make them long-term partners.

Build a Personal Relationship

One of the biggest engagement factors with clients is how they feel they are perceived and treated by their service provider. So how much do you know about your clients, not only their product issues and concerns, but them personally? Ultimately, people want to deal with people, preferably people they actually like because they have a personal connection. Companies that overly automate their service communications may do this for expedience and in some instances it makes sense, but with this, some of the personalization from a human voice is lost. It doesn’t really give customers a chance to feel appreciated or understood by a fellow human being. Even though we live in a very technology-driven world, most people still prefer to hear the voice of a customer service person on the other end of the phone or to have an attentive live chat on a website.

Additionally, an inviting and friendly voice asking someone about their day shows interest and an effort to connect on the human level, and this is not only always welcome but also helps build a relationship. Also something as small as asking about their day can increase customer satisfaction and all with little effort.

Setting and Managing Expectations

Service reps often fall prey to setting unrealistic expectations because they want to tell customers what they believe they want to hear. But setting unrealistic expectations creates a false stage for what people can expect and if you don’t deliver on what was promised, you can expect to meet with resistance and hostility the next time you speak with your customer. Articulating this in clear terms is a very important responsibility for anyone working in a service capacity. Good communication and timely feedback can give your customers peace of mind, even in the instance when the solution to their problem cannot be fixed in a timely fashion. People prefer to know upfront what can and what cannot be done, but more than that, they want to know they can rely on the expertise, follow-through and sincere interest by the service provider to make inroads on the resolution… this means honest communication about the limitations of what you can do, explaining what resources you will need to bring in to fix the problem, how much time it will take, what might potentially make the resolution stall, and the timing of the subsequent communications they can expect to receive. Also, put yourself in their shoes. Think about the last time you had to call someone to help you with a product or service. Did you get off the phone feeling confident that your problem would be resolved, or that you’re just a voice on the phone with a complaint? Was the explanation of how to solve the problem reasonable or just words to end the call more quickly?

Keep in mind, following up with customers is another essential aspect of setting expectations. No one wants to feel snubbed and that their issue has fallen through a crack. Even under circumstances when the service rep assumes a problem is solved, they need to regroup with the customer to ensure that the problem has, indeed, been solved and the customer is satisfied. This is where good communication skills are called into play. When working with clients, gaining their trust and confidence can work in your favor as you assist them during the service experience. Some problems are a quick fix and others will take time to investigate and resolve. Communicating this to customers helps them to better understand what to expect and doesn’t leave them feeling in the dark.

Own Your Mistakes

One of the worse things any business can do is not accept responsibility for errors, or worse misdirect the error back to the client as something they did wrong. Customers don’t like mistakes… no one does, but when people know there is a human being on the other end who is taking ownership of the problem, it becomes a much more tolerable situation. Taking the time to forge relationships with customers means you are much more likely to be dealing with an understanding customer when inevitable issues arise. Knowing this, companies need to take the necessary steps to ensure their frontline service providers are empowered with the authority to take responsibility. For these employees that are customer-facing, being able to solve problems empathetically, and with swift and confident determination not only assures your customers that they are in competent hands, but also empowers your employees to go the extra mile… and this includes having the confidence to say, “I don’t know, but will find out,” as part of the resolution process. This response, also, requires confidence and faith in your employees to know they can do this if the problem cannot be corrected at the moment they are interacting with the customer.

Bending Over Backwards

Have you ever experienced working with a customer service rep that pulled out all the stops to help you? If you’ve been lucky, you can say, “yes,” to this. Those of us who have, know we’ve been considered a priority and our problem is the only thing that is in the spotlight to receive attention. It’s abundantly obvious when customers are made to feel important and it’s also obvious when customer service representatives are bothered or annoyed by the interruption of a customer’s request for help. Getting the brush-off when the interaction is face-to-face or being rushed off the phone is not an effective way to engender oneself with a customer. In a survey conducted by help desk software developer Help Scout, they found poor service delivery not only affects a company’s ability to satisfy their customers’ needs, but not surprisingly affects a company’s bottom line.

Respect Their Time

Time is a commodity of which we all wish we had more. In today’s world we are all called upon to do more with less and with that want our time observed and respected. In regards to service delivery, this means giving customers your undivided attention and listening to understand and not just to respond in some obligatory way. If your company is organized to deliver service via the phone, you need to be attentive to the customer on the other end of the phone and not scanning emails, or preoccupied with other work sitting on your desk. People can “sense” when their time is being wasted and may either get angry at the lack of concern or worse, the customer ends the call before their issue has been addressed and resolved. With this later action, some form of retribution may be sought out by the customer, so be prepared to deal with backlash.

Loyalty is a Two-way Street

Most consumers will stay with a brand or service provider for the long-term, if they have received the service they expect, and are consistently shown the value of their patronage with honest, personal and timely service and follow-up. (Further, they may in turn express their satisfaction by acting as a referral source for your company.) Keep in mind, it takes more than treating people as you wish to be treated, it means treating them as they wish to be treated. There is no one size fits all when it comes to working with people, but certain skills like listening to understand, remaining focused on the customer in front of you or with you via the phone, and even remaining attentive when your company website provides a chat option for service, will help you to gain the customers’ confidence in helping them resolve a problem.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and image your reaction to how you were last treated by a service provider. Providing great customer service is a skill that not everyone has, but is one that a willing and determined person can learn.

Here’s to your next great customer interaction.

photo credit: d_t_vos Week 6 via photopin (license)

#WorkTrends Recap: 2017: The Year of Selling Yourself

This week on #WorkTrends we went beyond selling products and services and looked at how 2017 can be the year of selling yourself. We are all salespeople whether you realize it or not.

Host Meghan M. Biro was joined by best-selling author and expert salesman Anthony Iannarino to discuss what people need to do to rise above the crowd at work and be a standout employee.

Anthony shared tips and ideas that you will be able to use during 2017 and beyond.

Here are a few key points he shared:

  • Selling is not a bad word. It is all about relationship and building trust
  • Selling yourself requires transparency, authenticity, and knowing what unique product only you have to offer
  • The more you care about other people, the easier it is to gain trust

Did you miss the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here: http://bit.ly/2iARN6v

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). On Jan 11 I will be joined by career coach Valerie Martinelli to discuss how women can elevate women.

Remember, the TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following our #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

Photo Credit: RecruiterMixer – Executive Recruiters Flickr via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends Preview: 2017: The Year of Selling Yourself

We’re very excited to kick off our very first TalentCulture #WorkTrends of 2017!

We have a very big show lined up that everyone will benefit from. The Year of Selling Yourself. This goes beyond selling products and services, on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, we’re going to be discussing how YOU can better sell yourself. This means focusing on what you need to do to rise above the crowd at work and be a standout employee. It also, means what each and everyone of us needs to do to find success and happiness in life.

Please join host Meghan M. Biro and her special guest sales advocate and best-selling author, Anthony Iannarino on Wednesday, January 4 at 1pm EST, as he shares tips and ideas that you will be able to use during 2017 and beyond.

2017: The Year of Selling Yourself

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Join Anthony and me on our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, Jan 4 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Why do people struggle with self-promotion?  #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: What can employees do or use to stand-out among their peers? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: How can employees showcase their skills to leadership? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. I invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and our TalentCulture G+ community. Share your questions, ideas and opinions with our awesome community any time. See you there!

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date!

Passive-Recruiting

Photo Credit: p.olesson1 Flickr via Compfight cc

Communications and Negotiations

Contrary to the belief of many, negotiations actually serve as a stepping stone to a potentially long-term, mutually beneficial alliance. Fair-minded negotiations are not the one-and-done actions played out by those who lack the skills and temperament to look beyond the moment, but are in fact, an interaction to ignite a satisfying, enduring relationship. In business it typically means that the people negotiating have come to an equitable agreement on terms for the outcome and where the “win-win situation” happens. For example, this could be product delivery, cost, quality, warrantees, and follow-up service… really anything one or more parties want to provide or to purchase. Creating relationships that are conducive to “everyone’s a winner” can be done, but is not always easy.

The Unbalanced Negotiation

The best outcome of a negotiation is when the end-result is mutually beneficial for all parties, but what happens if that is not a sentiment felt by everyone involved? You may be faced with a situation where a negotiation is, simply, not worth your time and effort. When one party’s demands create a “win-lose” scenario, it will hurt both parties in the long-run. When you concede more than you can realistically provide it may potentially diminish your ability to deliver on what you agree upon. In this instance, both you and the demanding party will lose. This can happen when a negotiator’s focus is unilateral with disregard to the other parties involved. This type of interaction should send up a red flag and alert you to the tenure of the negotiation which you can either walk away from, or re-steer to focus on what will create an equitable outcome.

Keep in mind, you have arrived prepared to discuss your points and substantiate your position. If you allow another party to dictate your negotiating posture, you’ve in essence relinquished control of your position and allowed the other party’s tactics to control the outcome. It’s fine to be flexible, and to a certain extent you should expect to be, but you need to do this without compromising your position and losing sight of what you envision to be an equitable outcome. Balanced negotiations set the stage for a win-win outcome and open the door to compromise and communication without anyone being affronted in, both, the short and long-term.

Negotiating Up

There will always be instances when negotiations are not conducted on a level playing field. We have all been in discussions with someone whose position, power or financial resources intimated or out-classed us. This is going to happen and sometimes our first experience at negotiating up begins at an early age (i.e., children negotiating for a higher allowance.) In a business situation, this doesn’t mean you should expect a negative outcome, but it does mean, you need to be better prepared and remain confident in your strategy. Research and preparation are two critical keys when presenting a solid case, but not just when negotiating up; these two practices should be present in all negotiations.

And always keep in mind, you are in the midst of a negotiation because you belong there. The value of your contributions has been recognized and you’ve been given the opportunity to put your complement of listening and speaking skills to use.

Can You Hear Me Now

The communications do not need to be hostile, but obviously opinions will differ or be contradictory in nature during conversations about how everyone can come out a winner. In large respect, this is a form of negotiation and negotiating with skill is not a science, but an art.

As with most interactions, becoming angry and loud is not as effective as remaining calm and deliberate in your delivery. Professors at Stanford University conducted a study to determine the effects of how anger can enhance or harm someone’s delivery during times of negotiation. What they found was, the presence of someone being non-temperamental, but pointed in her argument, was much more effective than when anger was used as a negotiating tactic. The feedback from the participants revealed that outbursts of anger were viewed as ineffective rather than a calculated use of language and guile. On the other hand, coming across as an automaton is not a recommended approach, either. It’s fine to show bridled emotions to tactically accentuate a point or to gain and give better understanding. Of course, timing will be a factor when using emotions as a tactic, so be sure to understand how this comes across both audibly and through your body language.

It’s Not Rocket Science

Maintaining a level-head, being confident and focusing on what you want to gain by the end of the negotiation will help you stay on track. Simple techniques such as: being prepared with facts and figures to support your comments and rebuttals, having a checklist to stay organized, compartmentalizing each of the items to be discussed to add applicable value to each discussion point at the correct time, deciding upfront what you ideally want at a minimum and what you are willing to relinquish (remember, negotiations are a give and take), as well as remaining patient, calm, and even finding humor in the discussion will help ease a potentially tough interaction.

Set Up For Sales Failure

I learn about all kinds of companies and industries as a consultant. Naturally I love seeing people create their unique company, new healthy habits, high-performing teams, and their vision. But I also find it truly fascinating when my learning includes product expertise.

However, this story isn’t about a client. It isn’t how I vicariously learned about selling cars. I spent a day trying to get a job selling cars, and I learned a lot.

  1. I learned that, unlike in most other types of jobs, sales managers in the car industry love walk-in applications. It’s a sport.
  2. I learned that you will interview repeatedly with a committee of sales managers. Game initiation…

But most important:

  1. I learned that there is a reason that car salespeople have the bad reputation they have—it’s not what you may think.

Car salespeople are screwed. The car sales model is designed for failure. The only way a car salesperson can make money is to be a relentless, persistent, unfaltering sales maniac. These are nice people in an extremely unkind job. And the car dealers have designed it that way.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The only way a car salesperson can make money is to be a relentless, sales maniac.” user=”@highperformance” hashtags=”#autosalesfailure”]

So, why did I go? Even though I am not an expert, I love selling. Let’s just put that on the table. So when I needed to raise money RIGHT NOW, I thought, why not go for the “high commission” luxury car market? After all, how hard can that be? Give me a great product with a higher price and commission, and I’ll make some money. Right?

Not so fast. Turns out that most car salespeople are making commission on profits, not sales. When you think about the $30,000 car you are buying, you might assume that the salesperson will take in a respectable 25% of that sticker price. And you might assume, as I always thought, that sales guys made $7500 plus commission on any aftermarket upsells, spiffs and warranty items. NO. Not so.

I discovered that there were two different types of dealers and sales commissions. But the average payout was about $250 to $500 per car, depending on the make and the lot.

Here is how Phillip Reed explained commissions in Edmonds.com’s Confessions of a Car Salesman:

Commissions were based on the ‘payable gross’ to the dealership and were applied in three tiers. If the payable gross was from $0 to $749, our commission was 20 percent of the profit, from $750 to $1249 the commission was 25 percent of the profit. Above $1250 the commission was 30 percent of the profit.”

P.S. That is not a lot of money.

While I was visiting dealerships, I heard talk about a draw. The highest draw I heard was $1000 per month. Some were less. Additionally, I heard repeatedly that I would be spending 40, 50, or 60 hours per week in the hustle to be successful.

In Confessions of a Car Salesman, Phillip continues:

Craig asked me questions about myself, but mainly he was there to tell me the realities of the job. He told me that I would be successful selling only 20 percent of the time. So about 80 percent of the time I would be failing.”

I must have talked to three Craigs! This is an amazing similarity. But here is the kicker from Phillip:

Now I found that I was, in fact, working on straight commission. If I sold cars I made money. If I didn’t sell, I didn’t make a penny. Maybe that’s why there were so many salespeople working here (about 85 in new and used cars). It didn’t cost the dealership extra to have a big staff.”

I had the advantage of sitting with Sales Manager Andrew at the Mercedes Benz dealer closest to my home. In his attempt to talk me out of pursuing my dream, he brought up his sales spreadsheet. What he shared was that there were 10 sales people on two shifts. Two of the guys were making a killing. They were making the highest commissions with the highest sales goal spiffs, and they had the corner on all Internet sales. (Keep in mind that when you spend the day with a guy on the lot driving all the cars and then buy online, the online guy gets the commission, not the one that helped you…)

The two top salespeople had their month’s sales total up around 18-20 units. A quick count, which I confirmed with Andrew, showed that they were close to hitting the $15,000 mark. Not bad…

On the other hand, the next three in line had sold 7-9 vehicles apiece, and unless they crested 10 over the end-of-the-month weekend coming up, they would be lucky to break $5,000 gross (before taxes and benefits). The best commissions and draws didn’t kick in until the 10-unit mark. So those guys were going to live at the lot and sweat bullets until they crested 10. The bottom 5 salespeople were hovering at 2-4 vehicles sold for the month, netting them around $2500 on average.

Dang.

I asked, “ How do you have the conversation with them that they aren’t performing well?”

[easy-tweet tweet=”Who wants to work that hard for $2500? Do you?”” user=”@highperformance” hashtags=”#salesfailure, #autosalesnightmare”]Andrew answered, “I don’t have to. They will quit. Who wants to work that hard for $2500? Do you?”

Double dang.

I don’t want to work that hard for $5000 either.

I did a search on Glassdoor for Auto sales salaries…The national average with commission is $47,000 annual earnings out the door.

This is clearly not a way to get rich. That said, if you are going to be successful at this game, you have to be unflappably good at the game. The game is set up to weed people out, to work them hard, and to spit them out.

I know that the dealers make money, although not as much as they used to. But until they change their model, it will continue to be hell to buy a car.

Here is a study of the industry done in The Economist.

Since 2013 BMW, taking Apple Stores as its model, has been installing ‘product geniuses’ in some larger showrooms, to talk potential buyers through its cars’ features without pressing them to close a sale.”

But Tesla, who returned to a direct sale model, is now being fought by dealers (RE franchises) in multiple states.

The legislation, enacted in the 1950s to protect dealers from onerous terms that carmakers were trying to impose on them, is now being used to put the brakes on Tesla.”

I am not expecting that the next time you walk onto a car lot, cringe, and say hello to your salesperson (and goodbye to your day) that you develop a softer spot for him or her. What I learned is that every car salesperson is truly hunting to eat. The game isn’t fair—it’s barely livable, and it is designed for failure. Would you ever think to create that in your organization? It is cruel and unusual punishment.

No wonder car salesmen have a bad reputation. It is built into their job description. Shame on an industry that could do so much better.

Photo credit: Bigstock

Prospecting LinkedIn For…Everything #TChat Recap

The Power of Professional Prospecting

If you’ve been working in the recruiting, workforce, HR or leadership space, you’re well aware of how LinkedIn can be used for…work. But there is more to the professional networking behemoth than sourcing and recruiting (not that it’s a slouch in that department either).

Professional prospecting, or “panning for sales gold” as I like to call it, was the subject of last night’s #TChat and our guest Viveka von Rosen had some incredibly interesting tidbits to share. The CEO of LinkedIn to Business and a published author (nab her book, LinkedIn Marketing in an Hour a Day, here) gave #TChatters inside information about how to use LinkedIn to unearth new deals and create additional opportunities from sales, leadership and yes, employment perspectives.

The Mainstays

“Dynamic LI profiles are ones tended to like a growing garden: with care & frequent watering” @DawnRasmussen is right. You get out of LinkedIn what you put into it. There are countless ways to update your LinkedIn profile and all of them add value to getting you MORE sales, more leads…more connections. So get in there!

Nearly everyone agreed that LinkedIn is a powerful tool, but the cons listed had to do with lack of visibility, frequent pulled support for favorite tools and an ever changing user experience. But in #TChat as in life, there were a whole lot more pros. Included in the list?

  • The breadth of information available on LinkedIn
  • The ability to find anyone via one’s own network
  • The third-party tools built to work with the platform (shout out to @rapportive)
  • The new and improved search UX

Stuff You Can Do

Didn’t have time to attend? Try these five-minute new tricks to make baby steps toward using LinkedIn for prospecting:

  1. Find and connect with those who have “viewed your profile”
  2. Search out people in your area
  3. Create buyer personas and make a target list and send personalized emails (you get 5 free!)
  4. Ask and answer questions in your chosen fields
  5. Join groups to get the inside track in your industry (you have up to 50!)
  6. Of course, change your profile URL to something recognizable
  7. Put keywords you think your target market or candidate will be searching
  8. Connect your Slideshare account and keep it updated

For the organization: Check out this article from our friends at Social Media Examiner on how to make the most of your company page. Jonesing for the unique #TChat interactions or want to see who said what?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Viveka von Rosen for enlightening us on LinkedIn! Check out her full site at LinkedIn to Business

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!! If you recap #TChat make sure to use this link so we can find you! 

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about authentic leadership. Todd DeWett  is going to be our radio guest, and Kevin Grossman will be our moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, March 26!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

Think you have what it takes to write for TalentCulture? Submit an application to be a contributor NOW!

Who's On Your List? Advice For Rising Stars From Yum! CEO

Written by Bob Burg

In his excellent book, Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen,” iconic Yum! Brands Chairman and CEO, David Novak explains the importance of getting inside the heads of those we wish to influence. In other words, it’s not enough for us to want or desire a goal — we must know what motivates and drives the people we wish to take along with us.

It starts with genuine interest and caring about their needs, wants, goals and desires. But even that is not enough! Why? Because the following error can render our ideas nearly useless. According to Mr. Novak:

“One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not thinking through all the people they have to lead to get where they want to go.”

He recommends that we ask ourselves who we need to affect, influence or take with us in order to be successful. As a former marketing executive, he compares this to a marketer trying to identify potential customers. And he believes that this list is absolutely essential.

When suggesting likely candidates, he casts a broad net: “your boss, your coworkers, people on your team, people from other departments whose help you’ll need — even people from outside your organization, such as shareholders, vendors, customers or business partners.”

Implications for Intrapreneurs

What does this mean for those among us who operate as “intrapreneurs” — those who work in an entrepreneurial way as employees of larger organizations? If you’re determined to make things happen as a leader (whether you have a formal title or not), but you don’t take Mr. Novak’s advice to heart, be prepared for a sudden halt in your progress.

His advice reminds me of a leadership failure or two from my past. In those situations, I’m fairly sure I persuaded those I targeted. However, my list was too short. I left out key “needed people,” and never even tried to obtain their buy-in. This wasn’t intentional; it was more a matter of not thinking things through and considering all the people whose commitment I would need. And inevitably I paid the price.

Network Relations: Connecting The Dots

Those were painful lessons, but I needed to experience them in order to grow. Or perhaps I could have avoided the pain, if Mr. Novak’s book had been available at the time. I’m not sure I would have understood without my first-hand experience as a reference point. But if there’s one thing better than learning from our own painful experience, it’s learning from someone else’s wisdom (which, most likely, was based on their own painful experience).

So, in that spirit, I encourage anyone who is on a path to intrapreneurial success to be sure and dot the I’s and cross the T’s — not just in terms of selling your vision, but in selling it to everyone who needs to be sold.

BobBurgHRHeadshotLearn More! Listen now to Bob’s 1-on-1 chat with David Novak, “Taking People With You,” where he shares numerous hard-hitting, valuable ideas from his book.

(Author Profile: Corporate speaker, Bob Burg, is coauthor of the International bestseller, “The Go-Giver.” His newest book, “Adversaries Into Allies” is scheduled for a late October release. Bob was a featured guest on #TChat events in early September, where he helped our community focus on ways that intrapreneurs can create business value within organizations. To learn more about Bob and connect with him on Social Media, visit www.burg.com.)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Who’s On Your List? Advice For Rising Stars From Yum! CEO

Written by Bob Burg

In his excellent book, Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen,” iconic Yum! Brands Chairman and CEO, David Novak explains the importance of getting inside the heads of those we wish to influence. In other words, it’s not enough for us to want or desire a goal — we must know what motivates and drives the people we wish to take along with us.

It starts with genuine interest and caring about their needs, wants, goals and desires. But even that is not enough! Why? Because the following error can render our ideas nearly useless. According to Mr. Novak:

“One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not thinking through all the people they have to lead to get where they want to go.”

He recommends that we ask ourselves who we need to affect, influence or take with us in order to be successful. As a former marketing executive, he compares this to a marketer trying to identify potential customers. And he believes that this list is absolutely essential.

When suggesting likely candidates, he casts a broad net: “your boss, your coworkers, people on your team, people from other departments whose help you’ll need — even people from outside your organization, such as shareholders, vendors, customers or business partners.”

Implications for Intrapreneurs

What does this mean for those among us who operate as “intrapreneurs” — those who work in an entrepreneurial way as employees of larger organizations? If you’re determined to make things happen as a leader (whether you have a formal title or not), but you don’t take Mr. Novak’s advice to heart, be prepared for a sudden halt in your progress.

His advice reminds me of a leadership failure or two from my past. In those situations, I’m fairly sure I persuaded those I targeted. However, my list was too short. I left out key “needed people,” and never even tried to obtain their buy-in. This wasn’t intentional; it was more a matter of not thinking things through and considering all the people whose commitment I would need. And inevitably I paid the price.

Network Relations: Connecting The Dots

Those were painful lessons, but I needed to experience them in order to grow. Or perhaps I could have avoided the pain, if Mr. Novak’s book had been available at the time. I’m not sure I would have understood without my first-hand experience as a reference point. But if there’s one thing better than learning from our own painful experience, it’s learning from someone else’s wisdom (which, most likely, was based on their own painful experience).

So, in that spirit, I encourage anyone who is on a path to intrapreneurial success to be sure and dot the I’s and cross the T’s — not just in terms of selling your vision, but in selling it to everyone who needs to be sold.

BobBurgHRHeadshotLearn More! Listen now to Bob’s 1-on-1 chat with David Novak, “Taking People With You,” where he shares numerous hard-hitting, valuable ideas from his book.

(Author Profile: Corporate speaker, Bob Burg, is coauthor of the International bestseller, “The Go-Giver.” His newest book, “Adversaries Into Allies” is scheduled for a late October release. Bob was a featured guest on #TChat events in early September, where he helped our community focus on ways that intrapreneurs can create business value within organizations. To learn more about Bob and connect with him on Social Media, visit www.burg.com.)

Image Credit: Pixabay