Good news: My partner ExecSense Webinars has just announced that it is turning two of my webinars into eBooks!

Public Speaking & Presentation Skills for Venture Capitalists

How Leading Communications Executives Are Using Internal Communications to Benefit All Aspects of Their Business

They will be available on Amazon.com (for the Kindle), Apple’s iBookstore (for iPad & iPhone), BarnesandNoble.com (for the Nook), as well as hundreds of other bookstores that sell eBooks for viewing on anyone’s computer or smartphone such as a Blackberry or Droid.

Stay tuned for details on the launch date.

Tagged with:
 

Lead generation simply isn’t as hard or scary as it looks… Oftentimes, all we have to do is ask. The result? We find that people are eager and willing to help us because they believe in us personally and respect the quality of work that we do. Sharing some tips here from NYT Best Selling Author Dr. Ivan Misner.

How many times have friends, family, and associates said, “If there’s anything I can do to help you, let me know”? How often have you said, “Well, now that you mention it, there are a few things you could do.” If you’re like most people, you aren’t prepared to accept help the moment it’s offered. You let opportunity slip by because you haven’t given enough thought to the kinds of help you need. You haven’t made the connection between specific items or services you need and the people who can supply them. But when help is offered, it’s to your advantage to be prepared and to respond by stating a specific need.

Don’t let the next opportunity for others to help slip through your fingers! Being prepared with some simple requests can make a real difference in the success of your business. Systematic referral marketing requires that you determine, as precisely as possible, the type of help you want and need. There are many ways your sources can help you promote you and your business by generating referrals. Here are 12:

  1. Provide you with referrals
    The kind of support you most want from your contacts is referrals—the names of specific individuals who need your services. They can also give prospects your name and number. As the number of referrals you receive increases, so does your potential for increasing the percentage of your business generated through referrals.
  2. Introduce you to prospects
    Your contacts can help you build new relationships faster by introducing you in person to people they think need your services. Furthermore, they can provide you with key information about the prospect. They can also tell the prospect a few things about you, your business, how the two of you met, some of the things you and the prospect have in common, and the value of your services.
  3. Arrange a meeting on your behalf
    When your contacts tell you about a person you should meet, they can help you immensely by coordinating a meeting. They can help even more by setting up and attending the meeting.
  4. Invite you to attend events
    Workshops and seminars are opportunities for you to increase your skills, knowledge, visibility, and contacts. Members of groups you don’t belong to can invite you to their events and programs. This gives you an opportunity to meet prospective sources and clients that you wouldn’t normally be in contact with.
  5. Endorse your services
    By telling others what they’ve gained from using your services in presentations or informal conversations, your sources can encourage others to use your services.
  6. Display your literature and products in their offices and homes
    If these items are displayed well—such as on a counter or bulletin board in a waiting room—visitors will ask questions or read the information. Some may take your promotional materials and display them in other places, increasing your visibility.
  7. Distribute your information
    Your contacts can help you distribute marketing materials. For example, if they publish a newsletter, they can include a flier for you or your business in it.
  8. Make an announcement
    When attending meetings or speaking to groups, your contacts can increase your visibility by announcing an event you are involved in or a new service your business provides. They can also invite you to make an announcement.
  9. Nominate you for recognition and awards
    Business professionals and community members are often recognized for outstanding service to their profession or community. If you’ve donated time or materials to a worthy cause, your contacts can nominate you for relevant service awards. You increase your visibility both by serving and by receiving the award in a public expression of thanks. Your sources can pass the word of your recognition by word of mouth or in writing.
  10. Follow up with referrals they have given you
    Your sources can contact prospects they referred to you to see how things went after your first meeting, answer their questions or concerns, and reassure them that you can be trusted. They can also give you valuable feedback that can help you close a deal with the prospect.
  11. Serve as a sponsor
    Some of your sources may be willing to fund or sponsor a program or event you are hosting. They might let you use a meeting room, lend you equipment, authorize you to use their organization’s name, or donate money or other resources.
  12. Publish information for you
    Your contacts may be able to get information about you and your business printed in publications they subscribe to and in which they have some input or influence. For example, a source who belongs to an association that publishes a newsletter might help you get an article published or persuade the editor to run a story about you.

 Keep this list with you and add to it as other needs occur to you. Knowing how to match your needs with the right sources is the key to obtaining the type of help you need. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to spot opportunities and find sources of support. You’ll also be better prepared to respond when someone says, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”

But remember—it’s a two-way street. These support activities are also things you can do to help your contacts promote their businesses and generate referrals. Helping your sources achieve their goals goes a long way toward building effective and rewarding relationships.

Finally, it’s good practice to develop a list of ways to reward referral sources for helping you. Once a referral has become a client, be sure to recognize and reward your source appropriately. Doing so encourages them to send you more referrals. Distinguish between tangible (e.g., cash) and intangible (e.g., a public “thank you”) rewards. Estimate the cost and set aside some money to pay for your recognition program. It’s important to find a unique, memorable way to say thank you and to encourage your colleagues and friends to keep sending you referrals that turn into business.

One small business owner I know sends a fine pen with a personal note of thanks to each colleague who makes a referral that leads to a sale. Another sends a gift basket and a thank you note. In either case, recognition is provided for the effort of passing the referral.

It may take a while, but if you have selected and trained your sources well and you use the system to its best advantage, you will speed up the process of turning the ever important referral into business.

Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author and Founder of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. His latest book, Truth or Delusion, can be viewed at www.TruthorDelusion.com. Dr. Misner is also the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company. He can be reached at misner@bni.com.

RainToday

 

Here is a good check-list to protect your brand. Mostly geared toward product companies, but could also be applied to professional service organizations.

Pam

1. Recognize that a product is only as good as the customer experience

First impressions count. To identify all the elements that contribute to a good customer experience, include production and customer-facing personnel in your product-development process. Then, take steps to ensure that everything is in place.

2. Attempt to anticipate and address potential problems

Before going to market, test all aspects of the product’s delivery. Defects tarnish the company’s brand, and service calls erode profit margins.

3. Provide customers with recourse in the event of a product failure

Mistakes happen. So, always provide customers access to someone who can take corrective action—ideally by phone, with 24/7 availability. Many customers will forgive product failures if they can reach an empathetic support person who remedies the situation.

It’s insufficient to refer customers to prepared “frequently asked questions.” First, company personnel often miss questions that real customers have. Second, customers regard answers that don’t squarely address their questions as defects, rather than signs of their own inadequacy.

4. Treat customers with respect

Avoid keeping customers “on hold.” Staff support lines with sufficient personnel. Many people find it particularly galling to sit on hold while they wait for someone to fix a product they bought to improve their productivity.

When call volumes are especially high, give customers the option of receiving a call back. Also, consider releasing them (and their phone lines) while researching problems or documenting cases that don’t require customer input.

5. Empower employees to take corrective action

My problem was easy to address. The issue was a mismatch between a code included with the product and the company’s database of authorized product keys. The frontline support person could have done exactly what his superior did—resolve the problem right away.

6. Set expectations

This company had sold “fear” of operating without its product, thereby contributing to an expectation that the company would resolve problems quickly. By taking 24 hours to connect customers with support personnel, the company sent a very different message.

Rather than leaving expectations to chance, let customers know how long it will take to get an initial callback. Then, tell them when they can expect a resolution to their problem.

7. Attend to your social media outposts

In the past, dissatisfied customers told 10 people about their bad experience. Today, they can inform thousands with just a few keystrokes.

When they don’t get satisfaction via normal channels, unhappy customers may turn to social media to share their disappointment. Nevertheless, companies that monitor their brands on social media can often turn a bad situation around, before it gets out of hand, if they respond quickly and offer to address the problem.

8. Follow up for continual improvement

Follow up, learn, and improve. Step one is to have a process for capturing and eliminating errors. Step two is to fix the process to avoid future problems.

One company I know classifies a shipment as “dead on arrival” if anything it’s done, or has failed to do, interferes with the customer’s experience. That organization convenes for cross-functional meetings weekly to review DOAs, delve into the root cause of the problem, and develop a course of action to ensure that the problem does not recur.

Source: Marketing Profs & Barbara Bix of BB Marketing Plus

The 2011 Ohio Society of Association Executives (OSAE) FEAR NOTHING conference is in full swing. Speaker Pam Gilchrist shares tips on managing social media. She will lead a crisis communications workshop for the group on Thursday.

 

Pamela Gilchrist, chief strategist at Gilchrist Group, will present “NO FEAR: How To Successfully Survive A Crisis” at

Professional Speaker Pamela Gilchrist To Present "NO FEAR" Crisis Communications Workshop At OSAE Conference

the 2011 Ohio Society of Association Executives (OSAE) Annual Conference and Marketplace. Her session takes place Thursday, July 28 at 1:15 p.m. at the Cincinnati Marriott North in West Chester, Ohio.

The interactive session will focus on the essentials for associations when managing a crisis — and most importantly how to plan for and avoid crises in the first place.

“You don’t build reputation during a crisis. That’s the time when you withdraw on the bank of goodwill that you’ve built up over time with your stakeholders,” Gilchrist said

Gilchrist’s Top Three Crisis Tips:
1. Regularly engage with key constituents both online and off
2. Continuously monitor your ecosystem inside and out
3. Failure to plan is planning to fail — don’t wing it

Pam Gilchrist is a professional speaker and international-award winning, Fortune 500 communications and leadership expert. As chief strategist and CEO at the Gilchrist Group™, she advises organizations on how to have more impact by focusing on breakthrough business strategies, brand identity and influencer engagement.

She has guided organizations through crises ranging from reputation to tragedy for more than 25 years and is “on call” for numerous organizations. Gilchrist is accredited (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America where she is a member of its Counselors Academy. Gilchrist also serves as operations director for the National Speakers Association Ohio Chapter and on the public relations committee for the Nothern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

The Gilchrist Group is a strategic business consulting firm specializing in business growth, executive leadership and high impact communications. The firm has special expertise in guiding organizations through times of significant growth and change.

When you want impact – choose the Gilchrist Group™.
We build businesses. gilchristgroup.com

 

Another fantastic animation from RSA Animate on Dan Pink’s discussion of the three instrinsic performance motivators. PLEASE WATCH — This is a good one!

If you like this video, please VOTE for RSA to win a Webby Award!

Does your company understand how to motivate employees?
Or are you still using the carrot and stick?

 

Cincinnati, OH – March 25, 2010 – The Gilchrist Group™, a Greater Cincinnati-based strategic business and communications consulting firm, has garnered two top industry awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Gilchrist Group was honored with a Diamond Award from PRSA’s East Central District for the launch of Otterbein Homes’ newest skilled nursing care and rehabilitation small house neighborhood – Avalon by Otterbein at Maineville in Hamilton Township. This is both the second time that Otterbein has partnered with the Gilchrist Group on a neighborhood launch and that the work has won top awards.

“Pam Gilchrist’s knowledge and communications expertise has been extremely valuable to our organization. She and her team have provided strategic guidance on media relations and issues management. We truly appreciate her expert knowledge and feel blessed having her as a trusted partner,” said Gary Horning, vice president of marketing, Otterbein Homes, Inc.

Additionally, Gilchrist Group won the “Best in Show” campaign award and a top research category award at the PRSA Cincinnati Chapter’s Blacksmith Awards. The award was given for the firm’s Communications Effectiveness Research for the Greater Cincinnati Health Council.

“Best-practice organizations build communications benchmarks into their strategic plans. Our work with the Health Council established a solid baseline for future measurement and outlined a series of recommendations to align all communications to drive member engagement and achieve strategic objectives,” said Pamela Gilchrist, MA, APR, chief strategist and CEO at the Gilchrist Group.

The Gilchrist Group conducted a communications audit, a series of in-depth interviews and teamed with R.L. Repass and Partners for development of an online survey tool. The findings of the research are guiding alignment of all communications for the Health Council. “We were extremely pleased with the outcome of the work and feel we have a solid path to move forward in our journey,” said Nancy Strassel, senior vice president at the Health Council.

“The feedback that we receive from the independent judges is validation that we continue to provide a high-level of excellence and impact to our clients,” said Gilchrist who was named 2009 PRSA Professional-of-the-Year. Independent judges from the Houston PRSA Chapter had this to say about the research: “An excellent example of how communications research should be conducted! Very thorough. Execution clearly defined and well executed. Excellent research.”

About The Gilchrist Group:
Gilchrist Group™ is a strategic business and communications consulting firm that works with organizations experiencing times of dramatic growth and change in three key areas: business strategy, executive leadership and high impact communications. By focusing on influence and engagement, the firm brings Fortune 500 expertise in areas such as: strategic road maps; next level leadership development; change management; communications research; best practice and gap analysis; go-to-market plans, and Marketing|PR|Social integration. Chief Strategist and CEO Pamela Gilchrist is also a frequently requested speaker at corporate and industry conferences. Founded in 1999 as PR~Link Public Relations, the international award-winning firm serves clients across the country in a wide-range of industries including: financial services, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, engineering, government and not-for-profit.

To learn how your organization can benefit from the firm’s strategic planning, leadership develop and high impact communications, contact Pam Gilchrist at: pgilchrist@gilchristgroup.com or call 859-431-9090.

# # #

 

Top 10 Drivers of Employee Engagement

Top 10 Drivers of Employee Engagement

Before I took a spin around the track in a race car last summer, I needed some knowledge and training that would help me navigate the track and reach the winners circle. It was critically important that I knew what to focus on and how to do it. The same holds true for leaders.

Here are the top 1o employee engagement drivers that leaders must focus on:

  1. Confidence in the organization’s future
  2. A promising future for oneself
  3. Organization supports work- life balance
  4. Contribution is valid
  5. Excited about one’s work
  6. Opportunity for growth and development
  7. Safety is a priority
  8. Leadership has communicated a motivating vision
  9. Organization’s corporate social responsibility efforts increase overall satisfaction
  10. Quality and improvement are top priorities

The four overall factors that consistently drive employee engagement are:

  • Leaders who inspire confidence in the future
  • Managers who recognize employees and emphasize quality improvement
  • Exciting work with the opportunity for growth and development
  • Organizations that demonstrate a genuine responsibility to their employees and communities

How does your organization measure up? Contact us today for a free consultation and analysis.

Source: T+D Magazine February 2011
“Exploring Leadership and Managerial Effectiveness,” a worktrends report from Kenexa  Research Institute

Media Training

In a You Tube world, are you ready to tell your story?

Today you must be an effective leader AND articulate spokesperson.

Are you: comfortable, likeable, credible, believable, effective and entertaining?

That’s what it takes to give a terrific interview.

You can become a confident prepared expert spokesperson in a day.

That’s what our training offers.

 Learn the secrets of New York City’s top trainers — without traveling to the East Coast.

Executive Media Training (EMT) focuses on experiential learning through the use of video interviews and personal instruction. It prepares leaders for successful TV, radio, print and web interviews.

This training teaches you how to do more than just survive an interview. It gives you confidence in your ability to effectively communicate – verbally and nonverbally. It arms you with the right messages and tools. And, it gives you a greater understanding of the internal workings of the media.  

During the past 25+ years, Pam Gilchrist has traveled across the country teaching 100s of leaders how to conduct successful media interviews and improve their communications skills. Our program is unique, challenging, fun and creative. It always receives constant praise and high ratings.

Here’s what others are saying: http://www.vimeo.com/10198121

 

The Gilchrist Group Garnered the Best In Show Award at tonight’s PRSA Blacksmith Awards in Cincinnati Ohio for its Communications Effectiveness Research work.

Independent judges from the Houston PRSA Chapter had this to say about the project:

  • It is evident that a lot of work went into this project.
  •  The situation analysis was clearly defined.
  • Objectives stated and execution on tactics was excellent.
  • Background material and research tools were very thorough.
  •  An excellent example of how communications research should be conducted!
  •  Very thorough. Execution clearly defined and well executed.
  • Excellent research.