Saturday, October 6, 2012

Selling Naked: The Genuine Key to Connecting

Selling Naked: The Genuine Key to Connecting

I recently started swimming regularly lately.  I had a unique experience in the ladies locker room that is truly worth sharing.  As I exited the pool, entered the locker room and began to shower.  Other ladies were already showering and were in conversation about their frustrations about their workplace.  As I continued to listen, I began to chime into their conversation as ALL were showering.  The group of ladies started to inquire about what I did for a living. 

I started sharing and these ladies wanted to know more.  We kept chatting as we all left the showers to begin to dry off.  As I opened my locker, I had my smartphone handy and my business cards.  I distributed my business card to this group and asked if they had time for quick presentation through my smart phone.  They all said YES.

Wow to my surprise, I had never until that moment presented TheBusinessMD’s services butt-naked in the flesh to other butt-naked in the flesh audience.    I did, it was well received and this is what I learned.

All of us authentically connected heart to heart as a union.  Coming together in this enthusiastic merger, these ladies received the knowing that I genuinely understood their frustration because I empathetically connected into the GAP of their frustration.  They in return clearly understood I AM a resource to provide relief.  Because I truly allowed myself to be seen and to be vulnerable, this established trust between me and my audience.  I received an invitation to share more information about TheBusinessMD at their workplace.

Being NAKED had nothing to do with the physical – it had everything to do with the emotional and energetic side of me.  Revisiting these ladies with my clothes on did not change the connection between us, by staying consistent to heart centered selling developed a new client relationship.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Indentured Servant’s Servitude

               Time to Break Free into Service

Often when we think of the term “indentured servant” we think cheap labor or being a servant to a big employer. What I am talking about is whether you work for someone else or for yourself we are often the indentured servant to servitude.

How can that be if I am self- employed? What I am talking about, you might ask – the self-employed set their own hours, dress code, policies, rates, product creation, services etc. and I agree.     

Where businesses of all sizes and of psychological makeups get themselves in trouble is in their way of thinking and their decisions that move them away from acting from a place of service into behaving from a place of servitude with their customers. 

To illustrate a real example of what I am specifically meaning, about 3 weeks ago I discovered that I forgot to pay my DIRECTV bill and my services were turned off. When I looked online to pay the bill, additional fees were added on and I wanted to talk to a live person.  When I phoned customer service, the recording said you cannot talk to a live person until you pay your bill and disconnected me. 

My first reaction was hmmmmm what a joke.  I phoned back and pressed 0 on my phone for an operator and the same message played “you cannot talk to a live person until you pay your bill” and disconnected me.  So being clever, I decided would outwit this system and a human will talk with me to explain my bill and to resolve this issue.
Yeah I was excited, I outwitted the system and I was connected to a human in a call center outside the United States.  This person said “all systems are down we cannot see your bill to review it with you.”  I let her know about the message recording that said “you cannot talk to a live person until you pay your bill” and disconnected me. She promised me if I call back in a few hours that problem would be resolved and a customer service person would be delighted to help me resolve the issue.

Guess what, I phoned back 4 hours later and received the same unfriendly recording.  Since I knew now how to outwit DIRECTV’s system to access a human, I did and was connected to a USA call center.  I explained to this human I want to pay my bill, I want further explanation of excess fees and wanted to know why I never received a bill, phone call or anything. Now surprisingly this human only explanation was this is our policy and I was disconnected.    
I phoned again and when I reached a human, I was frustrated. I asked the same questions again in a very different tonality.  I received the same unacceptable answers.  In that moment I thought to myself, I must be asking the wrong question.  So I asked this human, would you please connect me with a higher level human being that understands the concept of service.
Wow, this decision of mine to ask for what I wanted changed everything.  I was transferred to this lady named Susan.  I explained my frustration of the events that took place, asked for explanation of the bill and I asked for the DIRECTV service to be disconnected.  I was no longer interested in being a customer of a company that has wasted so much of my valuable time on paying a bill and who lacks any kind of service. 

Something magical occurred in this moment.  Something I never consciously fathomed ever happening.  Susan said “wait, wait, hold on, Christine, I am looking at your bill and the first thing I want to occur between us is for me to restore your FAITH in mankind and in our company.  As a company we have been charging you for some unnecessary fees the entire time you have been our customer.  I want to make things right with you. “
Susan had my attention and I replied “I am listening”.  Susan said “what you need is a clean slate and it is time to start over.” She asked me “when I watch the TV what do I enjoy watching” and then she said “I do not want to lose you as a customer, I value you.  I have taken away all the charges on your bill to where the bill has a credit that DIRECTV owes you and I have customized a  DIRECTV program offering that meets the TV watching preferences of your viewing needs that is half the price of what you were paying. I have taken you out of being obligated to a contract so you are FREE to stay with us as long as you like. And I am giving you all the movie stations for FREE for 6 months.  If you remember to pay your bill on time for three months in row, you will receive additional GIFTS from us.  Christine, would you stay as our customer? “

Tears of joy lightly filled my eyes and joy was filled in my heart because I never expected this to occur as it played out.  I said “yes, I am honored to stay because of you and because of your genuine service of going above and beyond anything I would have ever expected.  You treated me as a customer and let me know you actually care about me and my needs.” 
In this story, Susan was the only person I spoke with who understood real service and kept me as a customer. She really did help to restore my Faith that there are people who do digest what genuine service is.  She paid attention to what my needs were and corrected current and past mistakes on my account. The other employees I spoke with made the situation worse because they acted from a place of servitude the kept them unwilling to work outside of their comfort.

Susan on the other hand made the decision to go above and beyond – and DIRCTV kept me as their customer.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Disabling Fear

Fear is a fight or flight response which is built into the human defense system inside the brain.  Inside our brains design is the amygdala where emotional learning, stress, memories and fear conditioning take place.   The amygdala is our 911 signal that is automatically activated when we perceive something as a threat - adrenaline is released, the heart pumps faster, breathing becomes more rapid to increase the intake of oxygen, we become hyper-vigilant to the danger, etc ..  

Basically the flight or fight response prepares us to take some action – either face or escape the danger!
The emotions and tensions produced by our bodies can also be activated by our perception of numerous other threats, many of them real and many of them imaginary.  For example if you were being run down by a predator such as bear, your reflexes would kick in to do anything necessary to save yourself, right?   

When we imagine that people are criticizing us, or that we’re about to be fired from our job or our partner is cheating or lying  – if these are truly imagined threats - our bodies respond to, even though they are false and only imagined by us. When we form a belief about the state of the world around us, emotional learning takes place and is saved in the amygdala, which responds to this “belief”. Needless to say, we spend much our waking moments gathering information and making decisions about the world we experience. What we believe and accept as our truth, our bodies follow and respond to.

Those of you, that may claim to never have the direct or imagined experiences, still take in second hand experiences and learn from the wisdom of others - we tend to rely on the opinions of “authority” sources – friends, newspapers, TV, teachers, parents, etc, in forming a belief about the state of the world around us.
Stress and anxiety that we experience are natural responses to anticipated threats to our well-being. If we believe we are losing money, our home, our job, our spouse is cheating, and our kids hate us, we react with a sense of alarm and tension.

Yet on the other hand if we are expecting to win the lottery, inherit a fortune, receive a promotion at work, make a large amount of money, be happy, meet the partner of your dreams, now that is exhilarating!! We become enthusiastic and our world is a much happier place, right?    

So what we really want is more enthusiasm, more joy, more happiness, more love and less stress and fear, right?   What do we do when we feel fear, anxiety, worry, doubt and stress out? 

Allow me to redirect your mind about how you view fear.  Fear is an energy that needs direction – its waiting for you to give it instruction and guidance.  Once you learn to take a leadership position over your fear and stress- this becomes exciting – and you become aware and skilled at regulating your emotional states and energy management.  
Yes this does take practice – the better you get at it – the more fun life is -   
You have a choice – to either instruct your fears to take action in a positive enthusiastic manner or in a stressful struggle. It is all up to you –       



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Awakening the Vital Power within the Cultural Identity

Intense innovation and customer focus are the keys to an emerging organization.  Often complexity and distraction lead to increased focus on the short-term bottom-line with core-principles left on the backburner. This focus mirrors a lost sense of identity, value and vision. When the critical foundation of maintaining core-principles is lost, the result is inflexibility and stagnation instead of bold growth and cultural maturity that are necessary to continuously be dynamically resilient
Changing a mindset is never easy. Usually, a strong jolt is needed before people realize that the current way of doing things is no longer adequate. Awareness to the need for change is achieved most effectively when the culture is under pressure. This stress triggers a cultural change process.

Pain in the cultural system makes people aware of the serious consequences of maintaining existing patterns. Often, however, key players initially react to this awareness with shock and disbelief. These reactions activate defensive routines that block further movement; fear of the unknown contributes to a reluctance to identify the root cause and implement a change solution.
Hopefully, this is only a short term reaction. Once there is the recognition that the status quo cannot be maintained, the stress, fear and change is to be confronted.  There comes a point when clinging on to the status quo only creates deeper problems.
At that point, diving into the unknown is the lesser of two evils and the commitment to change begins. This may seem an insurmountable obstacle for the key players, especially if core values have become lost in a changing environment.  Yet, the vital awakening power starts from becoming aware of how the key player’s behavior impedes or promotes healthy functioning in the culture.  Unawareness or resistance to either can seriously affect performance throughout the organization.  A softer approach is recommended to develop a culture that enhances human capability through individual and organizational learning.

Top-down structural changes and policy enhancements only produce an illusion of order and control.  Power holders assume that employees will internalize the new rules they prescribe and automatically change. Cultural defensive patterns cannot be changed by only structural changes, however, because they only scratch the surface of any transformation effort Instead, considerable social interaction is needed among participants for mindset change because most behavior takes place at an unconscious level, which is not easily altered.  

Change occurs when an examination of unconscious activity in the daily work and new activities are introduced, followed by a new interpretation of the construction of shared meanings among participants at all levels of the organization.  This act instills the vital power to create a shared mindset, changed behavior, institutionalize change, and transform the organization into a renewed cultural identity of resilience.