Helping Employees Put Their Best Faces (or Voices) Forward

As Stephen Covey once said, “Begin with the end in mind.” Make sure you don’t just do things mindlessly; always stop to consider:

  • WHY are you doing it? What results are you aiming for?
  • WHAT is your purpose in doing it? Make sure your employees get that their assigned tasks aren’t just so much “busy work.”

The key is to make them think in a results-oriented way before they act, so they consider the end results you want them to achieve on the team’s behalf. Help your team members to go beyond saying, “What do you want me to do?”

When our colleague Tess needed an administrative assistant, she hired Kathy, a bright, energetic young woman who’d just graduated with honors from a renowned university with a B.A. in Communications. Tess took it for granted that someone with Kathy’s education would know how to answer the office phones in an informal yet courteous manner. Theirs was a fairly casual office environment, so Tess thought Kathy could handle it. After Tess gave Kathy a quick overview on the office procedures, the phone rang. Kathy scooped up the receiver, plunged her index finger upon the glowing extension button, and barked, “Yeah, talk to me.”

Tess was aghast. After Kathy hung up, Tess managed to stay calm as she made her displeasure known. Kathy looked honestly bewildered. “But that’s what you told me to do. You said to be informal.” That was when Tess realized she needed to educate Kathy about phone courtesy and customer response. Kathy’s brash greeting could result in insulted clients — maybe even ex-clients. Once Tess explained to Kathy that “informal” doesn’t mean “unprofessional,” and showed her how the right phone protocol leaves callers with a more positive image of the company and its employees, things went far more smoothly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Articles

Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).