Don’t Get Bullied Into It (WT630)

Don’t Get Bullied Into It (WT630)


WT 630 Don't Get Bullied Into It

Bullies don’t just exist in the schoolyard.

Bullies exist in the workplace.

Bullies exist in sales.

Don’t get bullied into it.

Ross called a number of tradespeople this week to get quotes for some work we need to do to the house before we move in.

One “lady” he spoke to was like a piranha.

She had told Ross it would be at least 12 weeks before we could expect to have the kitchen renovated.

“That’s no good to me”, said Ross. “I need it done before we can move in.”

“Well, let’s just book you in for one of our representatives to come and see your place and give you a quote”, she insisted.

Ross relented.

The representative attended the house.

He’d been to the same “bully the customer” school as the lady who booked it in.

“We could do this and we could do that”, said the representative.

“I don’t want that”, said Ross.

“Yes, you do”, said the representative. “Lots of our customers prefer it this way.”

“I don’t want that”, repeated Ross.

The conversation went on like this for 90 minutes.

At the end, Ross asked, “When can we expect to have the kitchen done?”

“We’re booked out until October (12 weeks away)”, replied the representative.

“That’s no good to me”, said Ross. “I told the lady on the phone that, as well, when she booked this in.”

“Well, let’s just make an appointment for you and your wife to come and have a look and go through the quote next week”, ignored the representative.

“Is your wife free on Tuesday afternoon?”

“I don’t know what my wife has on for Tuesday afternoon”, replied Ross.

“Well, how about Wednesday or Thursday”, the representative persisted.

Finally, Ross gave in and booked in a time for BOTH OF US to attend.

When Ross shared this information with me, I was NOT IMPRESSED.

“I’m not waiting until October”, I said to Ross. “And from what you’ve told me, he was a bully. He kept telling you what others had and what you want. I’m not interested in meeting with them.”

“Yes, you’re right. They’ve bullied their way through”, said Ross.

“Ring them up and cancel the appointment”, I directed. “Don’t get bullied into it.”

You don’t have to accept being bullied.

You don’t have to accept being told what you want and don’t want by someone who isn’t listening to you or who has ulterior motives for wanting you to go one way or the other.

It’s okay to stand up for yourself. You don’t have to be aggressive. You can simply say “No”.

You don’t have to get bullied into anything you don’t want to do.

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The Value Is In The Offer (WT617)

The Value Is In The Offer (WT617)


WT 617 The value is in the offer

This week’s thought comes as a result of an Easter catch up with a long time friend and business colleague of mine – Libby Cornish.

I don’t recall how the conversation got here, however I think it’s a great point to note, especially if you’re in business or a customer service role or you’re dedicated to your customers.

Libby said, “The value is in the offer, Shirl”.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

Libby explained with a little story, “Years ago when I had my hair salons, I used to send welcome offers to new clients and also birthday offers. When we analysed the results, only about 20% of our clients presented the birthday offer so we decided to discontinue it. I didn’t think much more about it, until one day, one of my long term clients mentioned it. ‘You don’t send the birthday offers anymore’. That’s right. Not many people took advantage of the offer so we didn’t think it was valuable to our clients. ‘I would never take up the offer’, said the client, ‘However, I used to look forward to it because it was the only acknowledgement of my birthday that I got each year’, she continued.  Ouch. You never know the value you are providing Shirl. The value is in the offer.”

I don’t know about you, but this story really resonated with me. Thank you Libby.

We used to send birthday cards to our clients. Not just any birthday cards. These were cards that were handmade by Ross and which included one of Ross’ landscape photos on the front.

Not many people mentioned them, although I did notice a stack of them on people’s bookshelves when I visited offices etc. so we discontinued sending them.

I’m wondering now about the importance of the value those cards provided.

What are you doing in your business for your clients that you are questioning whether it provides value or not?

I guess you could ask your clients or just continue to do it or even start doing something, because the value is in the offer.

And for fun, not that I am really considering it, what would happen if I stopped sending the Weekly Thought because I perceive there is no value?

P.S. The Loyal Lieutenant – How The Second-in-Command Brings The CEO’s Vision To Life. Order your copy here,

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Here’s My Problem (WT611)

Here’s My Problem (WT611)


WT 611 Here's My Problem

This week was an exciting week.

I spoke at the conference and launched my new book and I got to use some great skills I learned from another book, “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz.

We arrived at our accommodation about 8pm and checked in. We parked the car, took our bags to our room and were immediately disappointed.

“This won’t do”, I said to Ross.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because, I specifically requested a room with a lounge (sofa)”.

Dragging our bags with us, we returned to reception.

“I’m sorry. This room is unsuitable”, I told the receptionist.

“What’s wrong with it?” she asked.

“I specifically requested a lounge and there are two beds and no lounge”, I answered.

She looked at the computer and made a few mouse clicks and said, “I’m sorry, we are fully booked and we don’t have any other rooms available”.

“You’ll have to do something”, I replied. “I’m speaking at the conference tomorrow and I have to prepare tonight.”

She looked again and told us they were booked out.  I repeated that they would have to do something. She said she would get the manager. 

The manager arrived and immediately started to give me all the reasons why I couldn’t change my room. They were fully booked. The weather was bad and some rooms had water damage and and and…….

I thought I’d practise what I’d learned from the book, “Here’s my problem”, I said.

Then I proceeded to tell her that I was speaking at the conference the next day. I had specifically paid extra for a room with a lounge etc. etc.

She seemed to change her stance.

She looked up the computer and found a room. She asked the first receptionist to go to the room and see if it had a lounge.

It did.

The manager decided to move someone else and we took the room with the lounge.

I’ll never know if it was the fact that I was speaking and could have told my story to the audience the next day or the fact that I started with “Here’s my problem” or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, we secured a room with a lounge. It’s not the best room, however it does have a lounge.

Next time you get told “No”, I encourage you to calmly start with “Here’s my problem” and without emotion, explain your predicament. See how you go and please let me know.

P.S. Now that my book has officially launched, you can order your copy here,

P.P.S Dates for our next Leading Yourself and Leading Others experience have been set for May in Newcastle, NSW.   Tuesday 3rd May, Thursdays 12th, 19th and 26th May.  For more information go to

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Why Are You Coming? (WT609)

Why Are You Coming? (WT609)


WT 609 Why are you coming?

In a few weeks I’m speaking at The Complete Leader Conference hosted by Realtair and launching my book.

I called the hotel to make a reservation.

I was intrigued at the response I got.

I shared that I wanted a room for 3 nights.

“Oh, we only have a room block with a special rate for 2 nights”, said Mary.

“That’s okay. Can I stay and pay for 3 nights please? I’m also a member (of the hotel chain).”

“Yes, let me see what I can do for you,” she replied.

I gave her my details and she offered me a room and a price.

It was the basic room with the cheapest price and only included a bed and bathroom.

“I’ll be speaking at the conference, so I need a desk and some more space to prepare for my talk. Do you have anything with a lounge or similar?” I asked.

I knew they did because I had stayed there a year or two ago for the same conference.

She came back with another basic deal and price.

I felt like I had to practically beg her for something better.

In the end she gave me the price for a room that had a bathroom, a kingsize bed, a desk and a 2 seater lounge but not before she emphasised the differences in price, which for me was not a priority.

I was intrigued to see an example of how others’ values influence how they sell.

I shared this story with a client of mine, who happened to have been trained in booking hotel rooms when she worked for a chain in London many years ago.

“Wow!” she said.  “We were always trained to ask, ‘Why are you Coming?’.  The answer to that question told us which package to offer as well any opportunities to upsell.”

Exactly. If I had been asked that question and they had been trained well enough they could have sold me the most expensive package by telling me how they were going to look after me to make sure I was comfortable and able to prepare for my talk etc. as well as have enough room for my husband who will be accompanying me.

Your task this week is to notice.

Notice your values and how they impact how you sell or negotiate.

Notice other peoples’ values when you want to buy something and if you are in sales, reflect on the training your organisation provides. 

Are you asking something similar to “Why are you coming?”

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Sometimes You Just Need a Little Hand Holding (WT598)

Sometimes You Just Need a Little Hand Holding (WT598)


WT 598 Sometimes you just need hand holding

Ross and I have an understanding. From time to time when I can’t work out how to do something on the computer or any task for that matter and I get frustrated, I will ask for help in the form of “hand holding”.

What this means is that I need Ross to stand or sit beside me while I work something out.

He can be literally sitting and reading a book and not paying attention.

There is something about the energy exchange between us or some other phenomenon, but it works.

This week I needed some hand holding as I navigated a software program to add some comments to a Property Management app for a property we are currently renting.

I called the office. Morgan answered the phone.

“I can’t seem to add comments”, I explained.

“Did you click on the link in the email?” she asked.

“Yes. It doesn’t allow me to edit.”

“That’s the Preview link. The link you want is in the second email.”

“I don’t have a second email. Oh, hang on, let me check junk.”

Sure enough the second email was there in the junk box.

“Can you please hold on while I make sure it works?” I asked.

“Yes, go ahead. I’ll wait”, she answered.

I clicked on the link. It opened.

“Great, I’m in. Now let me see if I can add a comment please.”

I clicked the buttons and worked through how to make comments.

“Thank you so much Morgan, I appreciate your patience.”

Morgan didn’t know it; what she had just done for me was to hold my hand as I worked through the process.

She could have easily ended the call and left me to it and I’m so grateful for her patience.

Sometimes we just need a little “hand holding” to get through a task.

What would you do if you were Morgan? Would you find a reason to end the call or would you stay on and hold hands?

How about if you’re the one needing help? Will you put your hand up and simply ask for some hand holding?

P.S. We’ve set the dates for our next Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience for 2022. If you’re thinking about embracing change and having some support, check out Experience starts Thursday 10th February and Early Bird Discount ends 31st December (saving $1,000).

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That’s How You Do Customer Service and Sales (WT593)

That’s How You Do Customer Service and Sales (WT593)


WT 593 Customer Service

Ross and I went for a walk on our penultimate night in South Australia before heading back to Newcastle for a whirlwind 3 day drive.

As we left the motorhome I asked Ross if we needed to take an umbrella. The sky looked threatening.

“We’ll be right”, he said.

We walked the kilometre or so into the town village and came across the art gallery.

It was still open and we met the curator, Sarah. Sarah was so enthusiastic about the artwork and the artists and we ended up staying much longer than we anticipated.

Of course, when we left the gallery it started to rain.

What to do?

“Let’s keep walking up further for a bit”, I suggested.

We didn’t have to go far before we found the Adelaide Hills Wine Bar and Wolf Blass Gallery and Museum.

Since it was almost 6:00pm we walked over to take shelter out of the rain.

The Cellar Master looked like he was packing up.

“Are you closing?” we asked.

“At 6:00pm, but you’ve got time for a glass of wine if you like”, he invited us in.

He talked to us about the wine and the museum which is owned by Wolf Blass.

Wine is a passion of Ross’ so he was very interested to look around and learn all about the history of wine etc. especially as Wolf Blass was personally acquainted with Murray Tyrrell, whom Ross worked with for 10 years as a casual cellar door bar person. (I digress.)

As we sat and enjoyed the wine, we noticed a barista coffee machine and salt and pepper shakers and plates neatly arranged on shelves.

As we left we asked if they provided food.

“Yes, mostly lunch, although we’re open til 9:00pm on a Friday.”

Ross and I looked at each other.

Ross asked if we needed to make a booking.

“Yes, particularly for Friday evening”, he replied.

“That’s how you do it”, I thought.

That’s how you do customer service and sales.

He stayed back a little past closing time, made one more sale for the day, having had a quiet day with few interstate or international tourists and at the end of it, we booked in for dinner and who knows how much that will cost.

What would happen at your business?

Would you or your team simply shut the doors and say, “Sorry, we’re closing in a few minutes”, or would they demonstrate hospitality, welcome the guests and without pushing, upsell for a bigger sale?

That’s how you do customer service and sales.

Thank you Matt.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering. We missed the rain.

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