Agent Newsletter January 2016
It is Time to Stop Managing Down and Start Coaching Up!
By Bryan Dodge
- Manager: a person who has control or direction of a business, or of a part, division, or phase of it.
- Coach: a person who gives instruction or advice to elevate the performance of an individual or student.
Look at the two definitions above and think about which of those people is going to get the results needed in business today. Coaching is all about focusing on the talent of the person, and not so much about the production of the job description given when hired. Yes, businesses hire a manager to control the output of sales in order to control the outcome or production of business. However, if the focus is on enhancing the talents of hired staff, I believe the outcome will be greatly improved. Coaches focus on supplying the means to achieve, not on the fear of employees losing their jobs. It is the title of “coach” that helps to express optimism for the future with a firm walk in life.
A coach must keep hope alive from within the person. They must always strengthen their players’ belief that life’s struggles will produce a more promising future. This evolves into an intimate and supportive relationship, a relationship based not on pure authority, but on mutual participation that results in an inner renewal. The coach sees the good in you, and it is his or her job to bring the good out and place you in a position where your talent matches the task so success is almost a given. It is when you put people in positions of your needs that you are thinking like a manager, not a coach. Your job isn’t to put people in a position of your need; it is to put them in a position where they will succeed.
Business owners should be looking for that quality in a coach for their team. Coaches, study your competition. There are strategies out there that are proven in the marketplace and should be followed, just like the skills to make a three point jumper shot at the buzzer.
It is when the pressure is on that the title Coach becomes so important. A manager thinks one way and a coach thinks another. A coach says, “I asked you to be on this team because I believe in who you are as a person, not just as a player.” A manager sees what is on the outside and pushes it in. The good coach sees what is good on the inside and brings it out.
4 Tips to Getting Organized in 2016 by Fred McGuire
Here are some of my favorite ways to get/stay organized. I have found that these reduce my stress. These might help you too.
Everything has its place:
- Bills always go in the top tray at my house. We have a special place in our home where the bills are stored along with any receipts, stamps, envelopes and the checkbook. When it is time to pay bills or look for something important, it is there.
- In the same way, find the best place for everything in your home or office and keep it there. You will be less stressed looking for things when you need them.
- Determine a time to look at them and deal with them only once. Read them, then file them, or respond to them immediately. Don’t waste time re-reading an email, do it right away and forget it.
- When my personal email gets clogged I sort it by name and start erasing. It sounds harsh but must be done.
Every dollar has a name:
- This is a money-handling tip I learned from Dave Ramsey. I have created a spreadsheet which includes a list of the bills due each month and which paycheck is used to pay it. This includes all expenses including auto gas, dry-cleaning and fun. Give every dollar a name. If you want a copy of the Xcel file I use, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.
- OneNote is a simple place to organize thoughts and store information you will need later. It is FREE and syncs with your computer and smart phone. Never miss a good idea or important note again. onenote.com.
- Producteev is a simple to use project management software to tackle a bigger project. It is FREE and also syncs with your computer and smart phone. Learn more at producteev.com.
Jokes of the Day
Suffering from a bad case of the flu, the outraged patient bellowed, “Three weeks? The doctor can’t see me for three weeks? I could well be dead by then!” Calmly the voice at the other end of the line replied, “If so, would you please have your wife call to cancel the appointment?”
Small Town Emergency
The sheriff of a small town was also the town’s veterinarian. One night the phone rang, and his wife answered. An agitated voice inquired, “Is your husband there?”
“Do you require his services as a sheriff or as a vet?” the wife asked. “Both!” was the reply.
“We can’t get our dog’s mouth open, and there’s a burglar in it.”
I called UPS about an insurance claim I had filed on a package. I knew the automated voice response system wouldn’t be able to handle this issue so I immediately said, “customer service.”
It did a little beep-boop-bop computing noise, and then insisted that I first pick from its menu, none of which items bore any resemblance to insurance claims. I tried “track a package.” It recited the status, followed by “Can I help you with anything else?” I said, more insistently, “customer service,” at which it complained that that was the most recent shipping information.
Exasperated–but a bit curious–I said, “STUPID MACHINE,” and after the little computing noise, it swiftly transferred me to customer service.
CE Classes in 2016
(insert image: ce class)
This year’s 3 hour topics include:
- Framing Our Ethics
- Best Practices for Water Damage Clean-Up
- Best Practices for Mold Clean-Up
- Best Practices for Fire Clean-Up
- Claims: When Bad Things Happen to Good Homes
- Handling a Hoarding Dilemma
Each class is paired with a second one for a 3 or 6 credit hour day. To register, go to our website for the schedule and to sign-up www.svmps.com/ce-classes . See you there.
$100/Day Christmas Giveaway
Congratulations on our winners for 2015! Over $1,400 was given to people or organizations in need. Anyone that saw Fred/Patrick this holiday season or replied to the Facebook post was entered in the daily drawing. Each winner was given a $100 Visa Gift Card but not for them but rather someone they knew who needed it. Gifts were given to sick friends, Salvation Army, Place of Hope, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and much more.
Now a Word from our Customers
The following are quotes from our recent customers:
- “Attention to what needed to be done. Equipment was excellent. Service was excellent. Julian was our service tech and he did a great job. Came out over the weekend to make sure drying process was going on. Excellent job.”
- “The rep you sent was amazing and worked so hard on a tough job.”
- “Response time was very quick and they started work immediately. The technicians were very friendly and professional.”
- “Professional and courteous young men. Their dedication to service and helping us, as clients, was evident and so appreciated.”
Book to Read
Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer coming out on March 1st.
Too many companies are using yesterday’s techniques to try to satisfy today’s customer expectations. That’s why Hug Your Haters is the first truly modern book on customer service and customer experience.
The book is based on an extensive, proprietary study of how, where, and why we complain, plus case studies from businesses of all types and sizes from around the world, and more than 50 interviews.
Whether you work for a mom-and-pop store or a global brand, you do have haters — and you can’t afford to ignore them. This book will teach you how to embrace complaints, put haters to work for you, and turn bad news into good.
Holiday Giving 2015 by Patrick Winter
We had a lot of fun leading up to Christmas with our $100 a day giveaways last month. It was so much fun seeing so many of you and being able to reward many of you the weeks leading up to Christmas. It was neat hearing what many of you were going to do with the money as well, most paying in forward which was our hope. I will be sharing some of those stories.
Nikki from Bloomington was going to use her $100 gift card to go out and get toys for tots, and items for the food shelf, something she always wanted to do and now she can. Tom, Anita and Joe from Eden Prairie donated their card to make-a wish which is a great cause before the holidays. Pam from St. Louis Park was having a rough week so this came at a great time to help remind her what the holiday season is all about. Danielle and Terri from Rogers decide to give their card to the Histiocytosis Association in honor of Terri’s daughter who suffers from this. Tom from Minnetonka was going to give it to his sister who is out of work this holiday season, a very nice gesture.
Probably the story most near and dear to me was Jenny and Sara from Buffalo. They wanted to donate their card to a go-fund-me account for someone suffering from cancer. I told them that was a great idea and that I had lost my father to cancer when he was only 59. They told me they lost their father when he was only 58. Best wishes to everyone suffering from illness this holiday season.
I had so much fun with our giveaways. It was great seeing so many of you and hearing what you were going to do with you gift cards. A big thanks to our owners Trent, Kendall, and Jon for allowing us to do this. We hope to make this an annual event. I hope all of you have a fantastic 2016!
Puff Backs & Routine Fuel Oil Furnace Maintenance – Something Worth Talking with Your Insured About by Mike Erath
The majority of the furnaces found in today’s home are natural gas and propane powered units. However a considerable number of home’s are still heated using fuel oil both in urban and outlying rural areas. While the number of fuel oil furnaces is in decline they are still present in significant numbers
Fuel Oil Furnaces are unique in that the produce the most heat (most BTU’s) of any heating options on the market. However Fuel Oil Furnaces do need to be routinely maintained in order to avoid malfunctions that lead to what is known as a “Puffback” Puffbacks or backfires are specific to fuel oil furnaces that are not regularly maintained and occur when unburnt fuel oil collects overtime within the furnace and then ignites. The subsequent explosion or “Puffback” creates excessive pressures which force fuel oil soot through both the supply and return lines of the air ducts covering the inside of the home and all of the contents in fuel oil.
The fuel oil residue is not able to cleaned by a home owner and requires the involvement of a Restoration Company such as ServiceMaster.
A typical puffback can run upwards of $20,000 to return a home to pre loss conditions as the following services need to be performed:
- All exposed external surfaces need to be manually cleaned including ceilings, walls, doors, windows, cabinets, furniture.
- Repainting of home
- Replacement of carpets, furniture and window treatments maybe necessary as well
Puffbacks are preventable when the home owner has their system maintained by a licensed HVAC Contractor
We spoke to Jim Hurtis of Hurtis Heating & Air – Marathon WI and he recommended the following to properly maintain a fuel oil heating system and minimize the risk of a puffback:
- Schedule an Annual Safety and Efficiency tuneup (Hurtis Heating & Air Cost – $150)
- Maintain a full oil tank especially during the summer months to prevent condensation
- Call Your HVAC Contractor if the furnace begins making an unusual noises or fuel oil odors are present.