Friday, August 26, 2011

KeFactors Friday: Examples of Workplace Incivility

The further down this list you go, the more egregious the acts of incivility.

Frequency and noise levels of cell phone usage in office
Not returning phone calls or e-mails
Swiping someone else’s food from the breakroom fridge

“Pet peeve #1 among many is when people take someone else’s food from the fridge.”

— Dr. P. Forni, Civility Project, Johns Hopkins

Leaving shared workspaces in disarray or with supplies depleted
Leaving the fax/copier/printer jammed or depleted
Taking the last cup of coffee without making more
Using the last of any kitchen supply and not replacing it
Failing to use basic courtesies (“please,” “thank you,” etc)
Texting or checking e-mails during meetings

“Cell phones are a way of minimizing the group...[users} are telling the rest that ‘You
don’t matter and I’m very important.’”

— Dr. Joseph Miller, New School for Social Research

Using co-workers’ supplies
• Taking first without asking permission
• Not returning what was borrowed
• Returning what was borrowed in degraded condition
Interrupting conversations or disrupting meetings
Chronic tardiness
Withholding project and client info necessary to project
Using proprietary or confidential info as “social currency” for gossip
Taking credit; not sharing credit on group projects
Participating in negative speculative gossip; spreading rumors
Speaking disparagingly to a subordinate or colleague in front of others
Sending nasty, demeaning e-mails
Accusing someone of ignorance, lack of knowledge
Undermining a colleague’s work or credibility
Blaming others for actions for which they’re not culpable
Procrastinating on work that subsequently causes others to lose time or put in extra hours
Giving a co-worker the silent treatment; encouraging group to do so as well
Making unreasonable requests
Yelling and screaming at subordinates or colleagues
Name-calling, profanity, racial slurs
Hovering and badgering
Bullying behaviors: direct or indirect threats and intimidation
Shunning; “mobbing” (retaliations)
Workplace physical aggression or violence

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sales Proposals

When compiling a sales proposal for a client, do you ever wonder what you should and should not include? Australian sales guru Sue Barrett shared her top five tops on how to produce a winning sales proposal. Here are her recommendations for crafting a proposal that's top notch:

1. Ask good questions and take detailed notes in the client meeting

2. Manage expectations – verify your understanding and establish clear intentions

3. Put the client first, always

4. Demonstrate value, don’t quote a price

5. Never talk someone through a proposal

Monday, August 22, 2011

Workplace increasingly hostile, study finds

Lucy Ke's most recent KeFactors Friday was extremely timely. A recent survey on workplace civility was conducted and reported on nationwide. Below is a report from CBS which not only discusses the survey, but also provides tips on what can companies do to create a healthier work environment.

Friday, August 19, 2011

KeFactors Friday: So What's Workplace Incivility?

Incivility could be defined as a lack of regard for one another. It’s not an objective phenomenon like a car accident that can be forensically measured. Oftentimes, the way it unfolds does not involve a lot of drama.

The offense may be intentional—or not. For example, it’d be possible for the offender to deny any negative intent (“you’re being too sensitive; I was only kidding!”)…. Individuals who commit a genuine gaffe will back down and apologize with sincerity. As a leader, don’t ever fall into the trap of believing non-verbal misbehaviors are harmless. They can in fact be far more damaging, especially when used against customers. Customers offended by nonverbal misbehaviors are less likely to complain, more likely to walk away.

Incivility involves acts of omission and commission. It can be hard to record inappropriateness of behaviors, and if the offender goes unchecked, it means no standards are established for correcting future behaviors. In fact, the damages wreaked by workplace rudeness are subtle, usually lasting, and costly at all levels—to individuals, workteams, and your bottom line. Managers typically don’t want to get involved with what they perceive to be petty conflicts. Some never hear about the problems while others actually permit and encourage it, which brings me to the next point.

Discourtesy can go viral very easily, especially when it’s top-down. It’s dangerous when it’s top-down because incivility thrives on inequality. It’s dangerous because habitual offenders may be blind to their effects, or protected by access to power. By their conduct, discourteous leaders give permission for a workplace culture of incivility. Picture a plant filled with hyper-aggressive sales people. These folks bring in new revenue for the business, the specialist elite. Unless management requires civility, it’s easy for a workplace culture so reverent of aggression to forget even star performers need “the folks in the back” to help pull off results that will delight customers and generate new income.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This month's Self-Taught Sales (my free monthly e-newsletter, which you can sign up to receive here) focused on productivity.

Did you know there are various online tools available to help increase our productivity, by saving information you find online for review at a later date? Additionally, some of the platforms listed below also serve to house information in an organized and easy to access way.

Sites you may be interested in looking into include: – Instapaper is a simple tool that enables you to save web pages for reading later. – Evernote enables you to type a text note, clip a web page, snap a photo or grab a screenshot and gives you the option to organize everything and anything from your computer, phone or the web. – Dropbox enables you to store and save files including document and pictures for access on any computer or mobile device.

Good selling!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Online To-Do: August 2011

This month's recommended website is Here you can get tips, tools and fresh ideas to grow your market share. This blog series focuses on sales-lead generation and prospecting.

Friday, August 12, 2011

KeFactors Friday: The Four Ways You May Be Stabbing Yourself in the Back

The first is in customer service—the self-sabotage that involves a chronic lack of skill in responding to customer concerns, especially when clients are unhappy and complaining.

Bear in mind, every sector has its customers, whether we call them clients, patients, stakeholders, volunteers, trustees, donors, or constituents.

This also has to be expanded to include suppliers and colleagues. Why? because for many sectors, their suppliers and colleagues are also “paying customers” or internal clients who depend heavily on others within the same organization.

Too many organizations make the mistake of “making nice” with people outside their organization while totally abusing the ones adopted within; or turning supplier relationships into “master-servant” power plays rather than collaborations.

The second way in which we damage ourselves is in the area of confidentiality. Howwell can you be trusted with proprietary info belonging to your organization…your internal and external clients…and the private info belonging to your colleagues?

The third is conformity, by which I mean how well you adjust and adhere to the norms of your workplace, which also includes when and how you choose to disobey or challenge such norms for the good of the organization.

And the fourth is civility. Civility is to success and upward mobility what learning is that knowledge. It’s the social nugget in social justice, and the social underpinning to your social media plan. Nothing about your workplace — your service mottos, your strategic initiatives, your bottom line — will come to life without foundation in civility.

And it seems that we as a society are increasingly short on civility. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be discussing workplace incivility—its nature, its cost to American employers, and the socio-professional cost to you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Don't have a Gmail account? There's no better time than the present. That's because, if you haven't heard, Google+ mania has begun. Basically we are talking the new Facebook. More information about the new social media "tool" can be found in the video below and by clicking here.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I recently read an article on typestyles from Fast Company. One fun fact I learned is that Microsoft invented the typeface Arial to mimic Helvetica—but they still use Helvetica in their own logo.

More information available here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

KeFactors Friday: Understanding Opportunity: Opportunity is Seeded in Civility

It blows me away that workplace civility continues to be the mysterious, elusive unicorn.
Aside from being untenable, workplace incivility is costly—to the uncivil person most of all.

A young woman described to me her method for dealing with a preponderance of phone calls: there was never enough time in the day to return them, so a certain number were left alone.

“How do you decide who not to call back?” I asked.

“Peers, colleagues, work friends, people I know,” she shrugged. “I figure if it’s important enough to them, they’ll call me back. Besides, they know me. They know I’m not uncaring.”
I was skeptical.

How na├»ve or presumptuous to think the world pivots solely from a knowledge of you and will never fail to give you the benefit of the doubt. The only person who reigns in that category might be your mother and even she might get irate if you don’t reply.

When you do not respond, a flurry of unintended messages goes to the other person:
“I am more important than you are, and I have opted to ignore you.”
• “For reasons not made clear to you, I am avoiding you.”
• “I’m busy; it’s your job to pursue me.”

Sure, people who know you will more than likely know you are not uncaring, but a lack of response also resets their options and sends them in a different direction.

The young woman I spoke with learned that one the hard way. She’d disregarded calls from a former colleague, and was later stunned to learn this individual had changed jobs — this time to work for a larger client organization. Work from that account was awarded to one of her competitors. When they saw each other again, she said to the former colleague, “I’d have liked to have had a chance to bid on your account.”

“I called you twice,” the other replied.
“But you never told me it was for a bid.”
The acquaintance gave her a look. “Sorry.”

If you look at anything that’s ever been said about opportunity, very likely you’ll notice it comes disguised as other things—as small, trivial conversations; as problems and difficulties; as someone just asking a question or reporting a change.
I don’t care how fabulous you are: few people have time to chase you and beg you to consider working on their account. If you want new opportunities, return your calls.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lead Nurturing

Marketing Profs is a great online resource site. For those of you who are selling more than printing, here's some information from one of their email newsletters related to lead nurturing.

In a post at Marketing Interactions, Ardath Albee recalls a B2B client who thought her proposed lead-nurturing messages might be too brief. Albee begged to differ.

"[I]nundating prospects with more links and choices rather than improving the personalization, value and contagiousness of your email message is not the right answer," she explained. "The purpose of a lead nurturing email is NOT to: Be everything to everyone; get any old click; ask for a lot of time; [or] make a sale."

According to Albee, your email has about 10 seconds to answer these questions:

Do I need to know this right now?

Is this subject matter relevant to my priorities?

Will it be easy to get the information?

What is my opinion of the sender?

What do I think they want from me?

In other words, your B2B customer won't waste his time digging through your paragraphs in search of your buried hook. "The only job of your lead nurturing email is to get the prospect to take an action that shows you their interest in the subject matter of your content offer," she notes. "There's just simply not time for much else."

Albee recommends limiting such messages to 150 or—even better—100 words. And there's no need for graphics since many prospects will read your email on a mobile device. "[I]f all I see is the emptiness of graphic boxes waiting to be downloaded in a preview, I just delete," she says. "Who has the time?"

The Po!nt: Brief works. When nurturing leads, keep your message short, sweet and relevant.

Source: Marketing Interactions.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Free Book For My Followers

To My Loyal SINFS Followers:

To thank all of you for following and reading the blog, I'd like to send you a free copy of my new book "The Sales Pro's Guide to LinkedIn." The book will be available for purchase very soon through, but I have a box of advanced copies ready to ship out today. If you are listed below, please send your mailing address to Melissa Richman at

Thanks to all of you for your support.

Good Selling!

PS - For those of you who aren't followers but read SINFS regularly, I encourage you to follow the blog for future giveaways and of course for great sales tips. Additional advanced copies of the book will be given away to followers of @Linda_Bishop.

SINFS Followers

Howard C. Owen
Susan McKeen
Taleia Jones
Lynn Griffin
Ed Garavelli
Mark McCrary
Nitin Goyal
Bill Testa