Articles from Lisa

Build Live Give Podcast

It’s an honor when someone invites me to be on their podcast. It took over a year for Paul Higgins and me to coordinate our schedules and time zones (Paul is located in Australia). Paul interviews individuals who left corporate America and now works as successful solo-preneurs.  That’s a fancy way of saying, if it has to get done, I get to do it!  Paul and I both worked at The Coca-Cola Company – and now run our own businesses. Here’s a link to the interview.  Give it a listen to learn more about my story and thoughts.... read more

The Link Between Communication and Delivering Results

Results.  It’s why you are hired and what is expected. When thinking of being a success in a role or project, I consider it in 3 parts.           What’s expected of me and by who?           How will I be measured and by who?           What’s the process of ongoing check in communication? Most of the time there is some kind of standard for all of these questions.   But what do you do when there’s not? I have taken on roles where there was just a skeleton of a description because it was a new job and I needed to establish the rest.  I began by getting a clear understanding of what the end result was that was needed….If someone in this role was considered successful, what would have been accomplished? Once I had that, I reviewed it with the key constituents that would be looking at this work – the key one being my boss!  Once there was agreement here, I would look to determine what tangible ways we could measure success. There is a balance of quantity and quality.  Just ‘doing stuff’ but going nowhere does not equal success, so you have to look further than just counting how many times you do something as the key measure of success. Here is an example.  If I am a salesperson, you may want to count the number of times I contact a customer, but that’s just a measure of activity and how I spend my time.  You need to measure my actual sales to get at delivering the goal.... read more

Social Media Golden Rule – Choose it And Use It

Social media is here to stay, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it.  So let’s begin at the beginning.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. – they are all tools.  But only tools.  Tools only have value when they are used for a purpose.  And, when you use the wrong tool for the wrong purpose, it doesn’t work out so well.  Ever tried to hammer a nail with a screwdriver?  Enough said.  Here is how I think about my goals and then selecting my tools. I have lived all over the country so my friends and family are spread out.  I like keeping up with them and knowing how they are doing.  Facebook helps me do that.  Now, when I run into people I don’t see often, I am more up to date on what’s going on in their world and we can pick up from there.  There are also people that I like to stay connected with from a business perspective and within my age group (I’m not 20 anymore), Facebook is very relevant. As a global speaker, I need to be continually networking with people in the business community.  LinkedIn is the tool I use for this.  I have a place I can share knowledge about my subject matter, and it’s a place for people find out about each other BEFORE we talk.  I can also see who we have in common.  This helps me (and them) manage our time better and make the business world a smaller place. As a world traveler (72 countries and counting) I want an outlet to share the amazing places that I... read more

How to Communicate to Be Heard…By The Boss

I was so excited to work for a senior leader in my division –  yippee!  But soon I was frustrated with my lack of access to the very leader I worked for.  I could rarely get the time I needed on their calendar.  It was soooo frustrating!  I would work with his secretary to find and book the time, but it felt like I always got bumped  by someone more important or something urgent.  And if I did get my time, it was quickly shortened to  10-15 minutes.  I was concerned about how I would keep my projects on time and consistent with his expectation. I attended a workshop on communication style differences and being the ‘good employee’ that I was, I shared what I learned with my boss when I returned.  “That’s exactly our problem” my boss proclaimed at the end of my explanation. Uh, we had a problem?  “You always want to tell me EVERYTHING, and I don’t need all the details.  I know you can do the work – I hired you and I trust you.  So do the work, and come to me with your recommendation.  If I need the detail, I’ll ask, and I know you’ll have it.  I have been shortening my time with you to make you get to the point!”  Wow, that was eye opening for me.  So we made a pact.  I adjusted my communication style to how he preferred to receive the information and he would give me the time I needed on the calendar.   But working this way, I didn’t need as much time.  If there was a topic... read more

Top Questions to Help You Understand Them

Anytime you are asking people to buy something you are asking them to change something.  And we know how we all feel about change, right? When you think about what you want in terms of asking people to change something, you can see why it may require a different approach. My sales pearl of wisdom is that people buy for their reasons, not yours.  So, instead of giving people all the reasons why they should buy (based on research marketing gave you, what other people have told you) – ask questions to find out the client’s perspective first.  Great salespeople sell solutions, not stuff.  To sell a solution you must first find the problem. Start with finding out how they feel currently about what they are using.  Are they happy with the current product/service? If not, this is the answer you are looking for! Ask questions to get an understanding of what is not meeting their expectation and listen for areas where your solution fix or improve the outcome.  Here is where you define the problem and gain an understanding of what is broken and why it is important to the customer.  Here are some examples. When this doesn’t work properly, what are the implications to you? What would an ideal solution look like? How would this work in an ideal scenario? What are you losing (profits, time, efficiency) because of your current situation? You can use what you learn to tailor your offer to what matters most to this customer. If yes, you aren’t out of the game yet – but it’s going to take some work. Find out the... read more

How to Run a Successful Meeting

OK, meetings CAN be a good thing – when they are productive and are used to gain agreement and create momentum to move things forward. If that’s true, why are most meetings a waste of time? It’s because great meetings don’t happen by chance.  They happen by planning – and most people don’t take the time to plan. That’s why when you do, you differentiate yourself and get recognized for being respectful of others time and energy. This lesson was reinforced to me when I joined an ongoing team that met once per month.  It seemed that the team was getting as much accomplished as they could.  As Franklin Covey would say, seek first to understand.  I wanted to understand the purpose and value of these meetings and then determine if there was a way to accelerate the performance of this team.    One of the first things I noticed was there wasn’t an agenda, or at least one that was followed.   Without an agenda, the meetings were all over the place.  We ended up out of time and would not have discussed the most important items.  Discussions were held over from one month to the next without resolution.  There were no notes shared after the meeting so no one took ownership of action items to move things forward.  I was only going to be with this team a year, and knew we had to make progress. I started slowly, by sending out meeting notes with what we had agreed upon and next actions that were committed to.   People that had not been in attendance were now able to catch... read more

The Tale of the $2 Clock

How much is a $2 clock worth? You remember your first job?  A friend shared shared one of his biggest life lessons from when he started his sales career. He was one of his first sales calls – a client was a new restaurant start up. The client had all their money and time invested into this new venture. The salesperson remembered all of company sales training and sold the new client on a full line of his company’s products.  He set the up the client with new equipment, some free product to get started, and promotional items to help them sell more.  During the meeting the client asked for a clock – a $2 battery operated wall clock. The salesperson forgot to order it. When the salesperson remembered and could have ordered the clock, he felt it was too late.  He felt that the equipment and promotional items (worth thousands of dollars) were more important to the client’s business and the clock had no value. Later, the salesperson went back to the restaurant to sell additional products.  He found that the client had switched to the competitor!  The salesperson asked if the equipment, service, or deliveries had fallen short of expectations. “No”, said the client, “they were all fine.”  “Then why did you leave us?”  The client replied that he never received his clock. To the salesperson, it was a $2 clock that could be purchased at any retailer.  To the client, the clock was about commitments and keeping your word. The salesperson life lesson was two-fold: Live up to and deliver on all your commitments Don’t assume the value others... read more