When I started out in the hotel business, my supervisor supplied a set of small laminated cards to each neophyte manager with six critical steps useful in handling just about everything from delivering stellar service to dealing with difficult customers to disciplining employees. Even better, these little cards were easy to whip out in a pinch: if I had a challenging guest I’d just sneak in to the back office for a moment and remind myself of the next step I needed to take. Although I doubt I paid it ample attention at the time, these handy cards offered an easy (and direct) way for our management team to convey our company’s message to guests and employees consistently and effectively. This powerful little tool ratcheted up our presence in our customers’ minds, each and every time, because of the superstar service we were able to deliver.

Follow these three steps to elevate your presence to megastar status:

1. Act like a buyer: I know, in the business world, the key phrase is “act like an owner”, but if you encourage your team to focus on acting like a buyer, you’ll have it nailed. I’ve noticed an uptick recently, for example, in the number of clients who are asking for help in improving their proposals. Instead of spending time talking about their own companies, we work with our clients to shift the focus of the proposal to the buyer. The result? A polished, revamped and much-improved proposal. So turn the tables for a moment and think about what your buyers really want to know. It just may get you the job.

2. Cut through the noise: In our everyday, 24-7 world, it’s easy to get derailed. There’s so much to do that it’s easy to lose focus. Perhaps your team has had so much on their plates that it’s difficult to take time to think ahead. Or maybe the team has been in place for a long time and is, well…stuck. Think “transparency”: it’s your job to translate your company’s vision and strategy to the front line, after all. A great way to get your team unstuck is to break out the white board and try a brainstorming session, perhaps at a quarterly managers’ meeting or coffee in the afternoon.

3. Motivate ‘em: Gallup estimates that 49% of employees aren’t engaged in their jobs. If your employees have checked out, there’s no time like the present to start building and re-engaging your workforce. It’s equally important not to underestimate the power of learning development; tomorrow’s employees demand it.

For 7 critical questions to ask yourself, email me: shannon@alterconsultinggroup.com and put “7 Questions” in the title line. Be sure to visit me at: www.alterconsultinggroup.com

©2012 Shannon Alter
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