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Think the ‘write’ way, do the ‘write’ thing, and all will be well PDF Print E-mail
Written by Delphos   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 10:19 AM

In business, the only thing that matters is what works, says Peder Johnsen, a third-generation specialist in senior living communities.

“The people in your company who are dealing with your customers – the clerks, the caregivers, the customer service reps – are where the rubber meets the road,” says Johnsen, CEO of Concordis Senior Living,, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities.

“That’s why it’s essential for the company leaders, the men and women in the offices that are often far from the front lines, to be where the action is on a regular basis,” he says.

Concordis’ specialties include managing senior-living communities for other owners and developers, an art it has perfected, Johnsen says.

“We developed certain practices over the decades, first by building assisted-living communities and then by operating them,” he says. “These practices work in any business because they keep the leadership actively involved in what’s going well – and not – on the front lines, and provides a system for regular communication through all layers of the company.”

Johnsen offers these tips for management that produces excellent results:


• Identify the influencers in each work group. As with most businesses, senior living communities require teams of staff, from administrators to housekeepers and everyone in between. Within the various groups that make up your business, identify the key players – the people who influence others’ behavior, whether or not they hold a title or official authority. Meet with them on a regular basis so you can stay plugged in to what’s happening on the front lines.


• Identify areas that need improvement. Talk to them about systems and areas that need to be fixed, overhauled or eliminated, and about how team members are working together. They’ll often have ideas for innovations. The idea is not to look for people or problems to blame, but to work together to develop solutions and improve the team’s overall efforts.

“The information you get in speaking with these key players is invaluable,” Johnsen says. “There may be nothing at all wrong, which is great, but these meetings give you, the CEO or manager, the information you need to constantly improve. It also reinforces the message to employees that they and their ideas are valued members of the team.”


• Figure out those “wildly important goals.” You can have the best people in the field working for you, yet if they’re not specifically guided to a certain goal, they are putting their time and effort toward an end that they’re assuming is correct. CEOs and other upper-level managers have the 30,000-foot view, so it’s up to them to guide everyone beneath them.

“Short-term priorities may change slightly or drastically on a regular basis,” Johnsen says. “Your team may be self-sufficient, but their vision is limited to their daily duties. If they don’t know that a goal or objective has changed, they can’t work toward it.”


(Peder Johnsen is the CEO of Concordis Senior Living,, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities. He’s a third-generation assisted-living specialist whose grandfather and father built one of the first contemporary-style ALFs in Florida more than 30 years ago. Johnsen took over administration of two small facilities at age 18. Today, he runs the full spectrum of ALFs – from “ALF lites,” where most residents live very independent lifestyles but know assisted-living services are available if they should need them, to homes specializing in care for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is an industry leader in staff development and training, and has overseen the development, acquisition and financing of several communities.”

Please stop cold calling and get a sales life. There’s a better way. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Delphos   
Monday, April 29, 2013 2:34 PM

“That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more!” When Popeye the Sailor says that, a can of spinach appears out of nowhere, he pops it open, and downs it to gain amazing strength. From there he beats up Bluto and rescues Olive Oil.


Well, I’m grabbing my can of spinach because I can’t stands no more! I just read an article referencing the “Seven Secrets to Cold Calling Success” originally written by a chef turned financial planner.

QUESTION: Cold calling is so dead, why are salespeople still doing it?

ANSWER: Their boss makes them, or they haven’t figured out a way to make meaningful connections without being annoying.


I’ll save you the trouble of trying to find the article. Here are the seven “secrets”…

1. Plan Ahead.

2. Investigate Before You Call.

3. Seek Out a Personal Connection.

4. Get Information Before You Give It.

5. Get Out of Your Chair and in Front of a Mirror.

6. Keep Careful Records.

7. Use Referrals in Your Voice Mail Message.


HELP ME! Where are the secrets? Maybe it’s a “Where’s Waldo” game. Yeah, that’s the secret, er, I mean the ticket.


QUALIFICATION AND REQUEST: Please do not email me and drone on about how cold calling works. It doesn’t work 97-99 out of 100 times. It’s the most rejection-laden sales process in existence and the cause of more depression, low self-esteem, reluctance, avoidance, and disappointment than any other sales strategy I have ever seen (or used).


Excessive rejection from cold calling turns you into another Popeye character: Whimpy – foolishly begging for a hamburger and offering nothing in return.


This article will give you alternative smart ways to make POSITIVE connections. And be advised – they are NON-secrets. Rather, they are obvious strategies that you can easily and enjoyably employ – BUT they require work.


If there’s a secret…

• It’s to attract new customers, not provoke them.

• It’s to build value-based relationships with existing customers, not ignore them.

• It’s to be proactive in a positive way, not call and ask, “who’s in charge of…?”

• It’s to approach the process of getting new customers in a better, smarter way, because there is no worse or dumber way than cold calling.


Here’s my “eat-your-spinach” plan for you – the 7.5 “one-a-day” strategies that will earn you ten times what the cold call will produce, build your reputation, and keep your customers loyal:

1. Visit one customer a day. Talk to the people that love you and already buy from you. Find out why they do and ask them if you can record it on your smart phone. Video is best. Just a documented minute about their “why.” NOTE WELL: If you’re reluctant to do this, it’s because your relationship with the customer is weak or non-existent.

2. Have coffee with one customer a day. Start your day at 7am. Build the relationship. Talk family. Share passions and goals. Look for ways to help. Look for ways to connect again. DO NOT ASK FOR BUSINESS OR REFERRALS. Keep it social.

3. Give one referral a day. This is a revelation, and an overlooked golden opportunity to most salespeople. Think of the WOW your customer will have when you refer business to them and think of the value you’ll build at the end of a year.

4. Attend one face-to-face networking event a day. Don’t just show up. Show up prepared. Meet new people. Get involved in the group. Give a speech on the value of giving value. This will help you become known as a person of value.

5. Make a wish list of five potential customers and post a daily value message for them. Incorporate your prospects and your customers into your outreach. When you name them by name, their search will uncover YOU!

6. Get business social media savvy. Write and tag every day. Post one customer compliment a day. Post one idea every day.

7. Start a meaningful blog. Something that can give valuable information to those you seek to connect with. Start by posting the qualities of your best customers. Feature them, not you.

7.5 Wake up and write. It’s the foundation of your messaging and communication success. It’s been my personal secret for the past twenty years – and I plan to do the same for the next twenty.


The big secret is, you gotta do everything on the spinach list. That’s the “work” part. The good news is it’s all positive work. It’s career building, value building, reputation building, relationship building, sales building, attitude building, pride building, and success building work. All the things cold calling is NOT, and will never be.


Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Bluto.

Want a few more non-cold-calling ideas? Go to and enter the words WASTE OF TIME in the GitBit box.


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training, seminars, and webinars - or email him personally at

©2012 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112

The secret of lousy service and why it happens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Gitomer   
Friday, March 29, 2013 12:39 PM

QUESTION: Why does lousy service occur?
ANSWER: Lousy service happens because (big) companies don’t understand people OR training.

I am amazed at how many times someone in a service environment delivers lousy service. And it’s often not just lousy – add rude, offensive, abrasive, defensive, maddening, and most of all disappointing.

GREAT NEWS: It doesn’t have to be like that.

If I take the time to complain, which I rarely do anymore, the manager will always ask, “Did you get the name of the person?” Somehow getting the name of the person is important to the manager. But it is unimportant to me. I never get their name.

The manager is looking to blame someone. I’m looking for someone to accept responsibility. The manager is NEVER the one who takes it.

I have found poor service is a reflection of the company and its leaders, not just the person who delivered it.

What’s the sincerity level of your message? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Gitomer   
Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:13 PM

When someone tells me to “Have a nice day,” I don’t think they mean it. I think they’re just saying it as a kind of mundane, almost impolite, form of politeness. Forced nicety. Said out of habit, not sincerity. To me, it’s not just thoughtless, it’s also meaningless. Heck, half the time people don’t even look at you when they say it.

Oh, they don’t mean it as an insult. People say, “Have a nice day,” because they don’t know what else to say. Or don’t care what they say. Or they are trained to say it.
But think about it. Do they only mean THAT day? Do they want me to have a crappy tomorrow? Or they will go so far as to say, “Have a good rest of the week.” What does that mean, I’m going to have a horrible weekend? Or month? Or year? Or life?

If you are going to say something to me, or your customer, make it sincere, make it meaningful, and make it relevant. Otherwise, I mentally check you off – the same way you check people off. And the question here is, are you being checked off?

Every success revolves around one word. What’s your word? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Delphos   
Friday, February 01, 2013 6:13 PM

My friend, Andy Horner, and I were eating lunch at Chick-fil-A last Friday. My three-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, was with us.

The minute we walked in the door, we were all handed a sample of their new tortilla soup. A bit spicy, but absolutely excellent. I should note the person serving the soup was a smiling young woman who seemed both happy to see us and happy to serve us.

We placed our order, and it was ready before I got done paying. I should also note both the cashier and the food server seemed both happy and happy to serve us.

When we got to our table we had a dilemma. Our food was hot and ready to eat, but Gabrielle wanted to go to the playground. So we compromised. After she ate three pieces of chicken, she got to go on the slide. The playground is a major kid’s attraction at Chick-fil-A.
Meanwhile, as we were eating our lunch, not less than three people came by our table to offer us service of one kind or another. When is the last time that happened to you in a fast food restaurant? Never? I thought so.

These weren’t just people who asked us if we needed anything else. They were also smiling at us, chatting just a little bit, and suggesting things they might do to help, such as asking, “Would you like a refill?” or making a comment about how Gabrielle was enjoying her lunch. I should further note each person was both smiling and exceptionally sincere.

I put one of them to the test. I gave him my credit card and asked him for a small bowl of their new soup. “Right away!” he said. And two minutes later the soup arrived.

I could not tell if the people who stopped at our table were managers or janitors. It didn’t matter. They all acted exactly the same way, as if they owned the place and their life depended on our happiness and gratification (not our satisfaction, rather building loyalty).

Andy and I began to talk after Gabrielle returned for a second visit to the playground.

“What is it about this place?”

“Why are we so enthralled with it?”

“Is it the service?”

“Is the playground?”

“Is it the friendly people?”

Certainly all of the above are contributing factors to the overall ambience and experience. But we decided it’s the QUALITY OF THE FOOD! We agreed that all of these extra elements would fall short of the mark if the quality of the fast food was inferior.

What Chick-fil-A has done is add amazing services, conveniences, and happy people to a core of quality food. It sounds pretty simple, but their competitors, including the Burger King next door – which was almost empty at lunchtime – have failed to understand that quality is the attractor, not price.

Chick-fil-A’s ad campaign of “EAT MOR CHIKIN” is immortal. The fact they’re closed on Sunday, and all holidays, has created a new standard in business, not just in restaurants and not just in fast food restaurants.

They’re dedicated to family, and prove it by offering excellent benefits, total diversity, and the opportunity for their employees to spend quality time at home.

For some reason all the people at Chick-fil-A seem both happy and bright. Not just happy to serve, rather happy as people.
Whatever they do to train their people is working.

Whatever their competitors do to train their people is not working as well.

Whoever creates the menu is on the money.

Whoever creates the recipes is also on the money.

Whoever is in charge of consistent quality is really on the money.

Whatever their competitors are doing is not nearly as effective.

Many people have told me, “Chick-fil-A is the only fast food restaurant I’ll go to.” That’s a pretty powerful statement considering the fact there are hundreds of options. I cannot make the same statement because I also frequent In-N-Out Burger when I’m in California, and I have a very difficult time resisting the seasoned fries at Bojangles.

YOUR TURN. Think about this story as it relates to your business. What’s the centerpiece at your place? Is it quality? I challenge you it’s most likely not.

Most businesses focus on the ridiculousness of customer satisfaction.

Or try to sell things at the lowest price.

Or put things on sale to attract one-time buyers.

Or have weekly specials.

Or present some other message that does not focus on the central issue that has put Chick-fil-A at the top of the fast food empire: “Customers will pay more for quality, and return if the experience was great.”

If you’re focusing on experience, and your quality is not superior, you will lose to someone one cent cheaper. If, however, your focus is on superior quality, and you add superior service, or should I say superior, friendly service, you will not just dominate your market place, you will also dominate your bank account.

Want my formula for creating loyal customers? Go to, and enter the words LOYALTY FORMULA in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training, seminars, and webinars - or email him personally at

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112


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