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Excellent People Skills Means Business Success

February 20th, 2012 by Sherry Collier

Business Relationships

If you are in business, then you ARE in the people business.  No matter what service or product you sell, ultimately this will be sold to people.  It follows that if you know how to have healthy and mutually fulfilling relationships with your client or customers, you will have more success in business.

 

I have been a professional therapist (MFT) for the past 15 years and have seen the awesome effects of learning the skills to create mutually beneficial, healthy relationships.  When each person that is a part of the relationship brings a win-win mentality to the table, all the parties are happier.

For the past 3 years, I have been coaching small business owners (such as nutritionists, therapists, crafters, archery teachers, and software creators) and I have discovered the power of teaching them how to relate to their clients and customers in ways that will attract more business, new business and create a loyal following.

All you have to do is think back to a past negative experience you had with a business.  Perhaps you were trying to purchase something online and they screwed up the order and then they were impossible to reach on the phone.  Or maybe you hired a coach and they were not really hearing your needs and gave you bad advice.  These are only two random examples but I’m sure you’ve had your own experience that sticks out like a sore thumb in your memory.

If you are a business owner, you do not want your own clients or customers to have any such negative experience with you and your business.  There are many ways to build happy, healthy client/customer relationships but I will outline three of them in this particular article.

1.  Connect – think about the point where your potential or existing client/customer will make contact with you.  It may be through a newsletter, a blog, an advertisement, a phone call after being referred by a friend.  When you put out any communication (written, visual or verbal) you must consider it from their point of view.  Are you speaking to their need and/or want?  Are you creating some means for them to communicate with you so you can understand their specific need?  Treat the first telephone call just like an “intake” that a healing professional might perform.

Ask them about their situation and why they contacted you/your business.  Find out about their current “support systems” (anything that is currently helping them with their situation).  Ask about what they have already tried that has not been effective (sometimes this is the most important information as it shows you what to avoid).  Take an interest in their lives, other people (friends, family, clients) that may be affected by their situation.  Have empathy.  Don’t rush in and try to immediately “fix” their situation, rather active listen, empathize and then . . .

2.  Communicate your solutions (services, products, packages) that will benefit their specific situation.  Be clear, be concise – show them you respect their time while making it clear that you would like to help them address their situation.  Let them ask you more questions if need be, then address these questions with simple, integrity-filled answers.  Give them examples of what you would like to do for them (with your products, services, packages . . .).

3.  Be willing to address their fears.  Don’t let any negativity on their part affect your own responses.  Be ready to to empathize with their fears and then explain to them how you can address these issues in a way that will take away as much risk as possible.  Do NOT get defensive about your products, services and packages – this will escalate any negativity and up their concerns.  Do be assertive in a compassionate and gentle way, much like a kind teacher explains a challenging math problem to a child and then encourages the child that they can conquer this problem.

These are just a few pointers to get you started with fine-tuning your business-boosting relationship skills.  There will be more to come . . . but first, I’d like to ask you what specific relationships you need help with in your business?  Do you have employees?  Do you work directly with customers or clients?  Do you have a business partner?  I would be grateful to you if you take a moment to reply (comment) to this blog article with your “people” questions.

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Anxiety: Types and Tips

February 6th, 2012 by Sherry Collier

Anxiety can be a sneaky emotion.  You can suffer from anxiety without fully realizing or understanding it.   The thing is, anxiety can interrupt success in life and in business.  When you can identify anxiety symptoms and learn how to deal with them, you can get back on the road to achieve your goals again.  In this article, I hope to specify a few different types of anxiety and give some practical tips for dealing with it.

There are several recognized types of anxiety disorders, including:

·   Panic disorder: People with this condition have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. Other symptoms of a panic attack include sweating, chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeats), and a feeling of choking, which may make the person feel like he or she is having a heart attack or “going crazy.”

·   Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): People with OCD are plagued by constant thoughts or fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions. An example is a person with an unreasonable fear of germs who constantly washes his or her hands.

·   Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event, and tend to be emotionally numb.

·  Social anxiety disorder: Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.

·   Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as snakes, heights, or flying. The level of fear usually is inappropriate to the situation and may cause the person to avoid common, everyday situations.

·  Generalized anxiety disorder: This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.

Tips:  First and foremost, if your anxiety symptoms are persistent and moderate to severe, it is important to seek professional help.  Psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed counselors (MFTs, LCSWs) are trained to diagnose and treat anxiety.

Simple things you can do to manage your anxiety include relaxation exercises, breathing exercises and using distractions (walking the dog, turning your thoughts to a task, etc.) to break thought patterns that increase anxiety.

If you would like a free relaxation audio to help you de-stress, visit my counseling website at www.creative-therapy-center.com and register for the newsletter – you’ll receive my free 11 minute relaxation audio.  Best Wishes!

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Renew Your Bigger Purpose: Recharge Your Life and Business

December 19th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

If you run your own business then you know how run down you can feel from time to time.  When the economy seems to be stacked against you and you feel like you are running on the hamster wheel of your own business, it is time for an intervention. Remember when you first started your […]

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The Path to Success: Act As If

December 13th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

We have all heard about the power of positive thinking.  “Just tell yourself you can – and you will”, they say.  But does this work on any level?  The traditional teachings of positive thinking have proven to be disappointing for some folks in certain situations.  There are some problems with the way positive thinking has […]

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Healthy Boundaries for a Healthy Life and Business: 5 Tips

November 20th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

When you create healthy boundaries in your personal life and business life, you are setting yourself up for success.  When those boundaries are blurred, you will suffer from burn-out, depression, anxiety and other unwanted side effects.  It can be challenging to set healthy boundaries when we have so many different people, tasks, and activities competing […]

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From Frazzled to Calm and Clear

November 8th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

The events of the past few days took their emotional and mental toll and I found myself feeling frazzled and lost this morning. My mind was racing with multiple to do lists. My thoughts were fuzzy and unclear about what to do next and how to find some calm and joy. Yuck! I needed to […]

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The Simple Life

October 17th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

I am in the midst of struggling with technology right now.  I’m learning new software and new systems which are completely foreign to me, so as you may imagine, I am feeling a tad overwhelmed.  In the midst of all this overwhelm I am reminded to consciously return to simplicity.  I am tempted to run […]

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Effectively Stabilize Your Emotions: Don’t Let Your Amygdala Hijack Your Brain

September 26th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

Much information has been shared in the world of psychology and personal development about how to stabilize your emotions in order to live your life more effectively.  My goal for this article is to introduce how the amygdala (in the emotional center of your brain) plays a role in your emotional life and how to […]

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Creativity is the Mother of Innovation: Five Ways to Spark Creativity

September 19th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

Innovation is the mother of great ideas, products, services, technologies and processes.  Creativity is the mother of innovation.  Knowing that we must spark creativity to keep our lives and businesses fresh and new isn’t enough.  We must act on this knowledge if we want innovation to pour forth.  Business owners often live in their head […]

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Forgive to Create Success in Life and Business

September 5th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

There are pages and pages of advice about how to succeed in life and business, but one aspect of success that rarely receives proper discussion is the act of forgiveness.  How does forgiveness lead to success in life and business you ask?  When you forgive a person or an organization for any wrong committed against […]

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