Archive | November 2011

Seven Steps to Success

Seven Steps to Success

 1.    Self-esteem

  • Empowerment, it’s up to you
  • Complete tasks everyday

2.    Set demanding goals

  • Dare to be great
  • Dreams/Goals

3.    Attitude

  • Be careful what you ask for
  • Be in the present

4.    Establish good habits

  • Accept Accountability, NO Excuses
  • Pressure, it is self induced be prepared
  • Stress, believe in yourself

5.    Persistence

  • Just do it longer (work smarter)
  • Successful people do it more (fail, that is)
  • Poor,Hungary, Driven (PHD)

6.    Adversity

  • Life is a series of problems
  • Accept responsibility for you actions
  • Luck is created, preparation meets opportunity

7.    Dealing with success

  • It doesn’t stop when you get there
  • It is a journey without an end

“Successful Coach” – A Call Center Manager Certification Program


As a call center manager, you are faced with many challenges, which could cost your business thousands, even millions, of dollars. Most call center managers are promoted from the agent talent pool. Little, if any, manager training is provided to these newly appointed call center managers. Was this the case for you? Do you know someone who experienced this type of promotion? Would you like to improve your coaching effectiveness? Do you need to reduce your attrition, improve your employee engagement, increase your customer satisfaction, or drive revenue results more effectively? If any of these apply to you, then you need to attend “Successful Coach” – a call center manager certification program.

What would be the impact to your company’s bottom line if you reduce attrition by 30%, improved employee engagement by 25%, increased your customer satisfaction scores by 20%, and increased revenue by 15% in just the first three months following your completion of the certification program for “Successful Coach?” Would these results add $50,000 to your company’s coffers? How about $75,000 or $100,000 in improved results? How would those returns impact your paycheck? Does this sound too good to be true? How about a guarantee you will improve results! That’s right, if you don’t improve your results within three months of receiving your “Successful Coach” certification, then we will refund your tuition.

“Successful Coach” call center manager certification isn’t for everyone. This very intensive five-day curriculum requires participants to examine their coaching or manager motives, challenge their current processes, actively participate in the curriculum including completing pre-work assignments, homework assignments, coaching sessions, and complete a business case presentation. Still interested?

This call center manager certification program will be offered in Fort Lauderdale, FLfrom January 16 to 20, 2012, and Orlando, FLfrom January 30 to February 3, 2012. Classes will start promptly at 8 am and adjourn by 5 pm (Monday through Friday.)  The class is limited to 15 participants. Participants will be registered as soon as payment is received. The tuition investment is $3,750 OR SAVE 20% (Tuition investment $2,999) with the Early Bird registration by December 31, 2011. In addition, you may be able to deduct the tuition expense in 2011. Please check with your tax advisor for the appropriate deduction process. To register for the class, e-mail:

with your preferred dates and location and you will receive a Paypal invoice for the course tuition.

Here’s a summary of the curriculum:

“Successful Coach” – ACallCenterManager Certification Program

Attendees should possess a basic understanding of what a call center is, how calls flow into a center, and basic call center terminology. Course materials are in English, and attendees must possess a high level of English fluency.

·         Complete ADVanced Insights Profile (link will be sent following registration)
·         CompleteCallCenterManager Survey (link will be sent following registration)

Day 1

Chapter 1 – Introduction and Pre-work Review

  • Introductions and overview of Successful Coach
  • Review Advanced Insights Profile (AIP)
  • ReviewCallCenterManager Survey (CCMS)
  • Perform a current assessment of your call center
  • Define a call center vision statement
  • Establishing brand attributes
  • Identify and document near-term strategies for your call center

Chapter 2 – Metrics and Key Performance Indicators

  • Assess your current use of Key Performance Indicators
  • Understand the importance difference between metrics and Key Performance Indicators
  • How to classify metrics for a performance management scorecard
  • Understand each of the top call center metrics and performance indicators
    • A definition of the measure
    • Useful scorecard classifications
    • How to calculate the measure
    • How to use the metric or KPI in managing the call center
    • The relationships between key metrics
    • Establishing call center metric target values
    • Evaluating results
  • How to use metrics and KPIs to achieve call center success
    • Verify selected KPI’s are valid performance measures for your call center
    • Align key metrics with customer expectations and satisfaction
    • Create your KPI Scorecard

Day 2

Chapter 3 – Managing versus Leading

  • The role of Managing versus Leading
  • Motivation – Understanding Why Agents are Motivated and Using Values to Drive Results
  • Wearing Many Hats
  • Changing Roles from Peer to Manager

Chapter 4 – Creating Two-Way Communications

  • Describe the components necessary to clearly communicate
  • Use the two-way communication process with employees, peers, and leaders
  • Practice two-way communication
  • Formal Channels and Vehicles
  • Active listening – verbal and non-verbal
  • Questioning Techniques – open-ended v. closed-ended
  • Listening practice
  • Fine-tuning your communication skills

Chapter 5 – Feedback Process

  • Defining Feedback
  • Understanding the feedback process
  • Providing effective feedback
  • Applying the feedback process

Day 3

Chapter 6 – Coaching for Improved Performance

  • Fundamentals of coaching
  • Metrics v. Behaviors
  • How to define and prepare for a coaching session
  • Conducting the coaching session
  • Post-coaching follow-up action planning
  • Documentation
  • Performance management
  • Conducting the performance management meeting
Chapter 7 – Conflict Management
·         Understand nature of conflict and its types
·         Develop appreciation for how perspective colors conflict management
·         Identify your conflict style
·         Create tools to manage yourself in conflict
·         Using structured problem solving to resolve conflict

Day 4

Chapter 8 – Understanding Change
·         Understand the nature of change
·         Become familiar with William Bridges’ “Transition During Change” model
·         Identify and manage the four stages of transitioning during change
·         Learn and practice techniques to overcome resistance to change
·         Applying the principles and practice

Chapter 9 – The Quality Monitoring Process

  • Establish the quality requirements for your call center
  • Designing a quality monitoring form
  • Establishing quality team responsibilities and parameters
  • Performance evaluation standards
  • Implementing a coaching and feedback loop for continuous improvement
  • The calibration process
Day 5

Chapter 10 – Performance Improvement Project Planning

  • Selecting and prioritizing performance improvement projects
  • Creating a business plan
  • Proposing plans to management for approval
  • Selecting, planning, and implementing your Goal Planning Sheet
 The certification process consists of four parts:
  1. Pre-course preparatory assignments completed
  2. Class attendance
  3. Achieving a passing score on the certification exam
  4. Successful completion of coaching session observation

Class Attendance: Participants will complete a five-day instructor-led course, where they will participate in hands-on learning and group exercises under the observation of an Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc. Certified instructor. Upon successful completion of the course, the facilitator will provide the certification exam.

Registration Fees

The per student registration fee for this training and certification program is $3,750 (OR $2,999 with the 20% Early Bird Discount) and includes:

  • 5-day instructor-led training
  • All training materials
  • Course certificate of completion
  • Certification exam fees
  • Feedback following Coaching Session Certification
  • Refreshments each day

Class begins at 8:00 AM and ends at 5:00 PM each day. Business casual attire is appropriate. No jeans or sneakers please.

Any questions may be directed to or via phone at 402 707-4868.

Dave Gregory

Chief Learning Officer

Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc.

Cell 402 707-4868

How Well Do You Know Your Employees?

“The Good Manager…Knows Their Employees.”

Do you know the following information for each of your employees?

Full Name



Marital Status

Number of Children

Approximate Ages of Children

Length of Company Service

Special Interest


 Think about all your employees and answer by writing down the name of the person who fits the question asked.

Who is your oldest employee in point of age?

Who is your oldest employee in length of service?

Who is your most loyal employee?

Who can handle the largest number of different jobs?

Who is your highest skilled employee?

Who is best suited to train new employees?

Who has the best attitude?

Who has the best possibilities for promotion?

Who will make the best understudy?

Who is the best natured?

Who is the fastest worker?

Who is the most stable?

Who is the most dependable?

Who has the best attendance?

Who does the highest quality work?

Who has the fewest accidents?

Who is the most cooperative?

Who is the best liked?

Who is the most intelligent?

Who is the best all-around employee?

Have you created a folder with each employee’s information?

Customer Service Moment: Could Black Friday Ruin Your Business?

When customers walk into someone’s place of business to shop or buy something, what are they expecting?

Most people expect a courteous and helpful sales associate, to be served in a timely manner, to receive fair value, presentation of a quality product, to make the process quick and easy, and to be thanked whether you give them the business or not.

What do you get? Typically, you get a mechanical welcome, maybe someone says, “Can I help you?” Often it’s followed by telling you what they can’t do. They fail to understand that just because they’re out of an item doesn’t mean you don’t still want it or need it and will likely go to their competition to get it. All this, wrapped with a touch of rudeness.

Maybe this is a bit exaggerated. Many companies have multiple locations where the products are the same, but the service is not comparable from place to place. One may be fantastic, while another may be pathetic.

The inconsistency of people-performance will make or break a business.

Here is what will make you or anyone in a job they consider beneath them, or anyone who hates work, understand the formula for emerging into a better career:

1. Your self-esteem and self-image. How do you feel about yourself?

2. Your desire to serve. Do you believe in servant leadership?

3. Pride in your own success. Where does your motivation originate?

Companies spend millions, sometimes billions of dollars, on advertising, branding, merchandising, strategizing, and every other element of marketing that they believe will bring business success. But, if there are people involved, marketing means nothing if the people are not making a good first impression.

Try this exercise. Ask people, “How’s it going?” You’ll be surprised at the answers you receive. They may say “Just three hours to go.” Or “It’s Friday.” What kind of statement is that? What does that tell you about them as an employee, and the level of service attached to their attitude?

When you go to a hotel, a multi-million-dollar business rests on the shoulders of the front desk clerk. That’s the first impression you have. In a retail business, it’s no different. All the advertising gets you to come into the store. From there, it’s all about the retail clerk. Doctors and dentists now advertise. But it’s the person who answers the phone that gives a true reflection of what the doctor or dentist will be like.

What is your company like? Do you have people working there who hate their job? Do you have people with “attitude?” Here’s what you can do:

1. Work on your own attitude. You must think you will succeed before success is yours.

2. Set the example by being your best and doing your best.

3. Hang around with the winners, not the whiners.

The root word of “your” is YOU. Each employee has the responsibility of representing their company to their customers in a way that reflects the image and reputation needed to build or maintain a leadership position.

Anything less than “best” is not acceptable. But here’s the secret: Don’t do it for your company – do it for yourself. Develop the pride in doing your best at your job even if it’s not your career, or you use the word “just” when you describe it.

Real winners are few and far between. And making yourself one is a choice.

The first step is identifying your natural talents. The second step is using your natural talents to achieve your success. Use the link below to identify your natural talents:

Are you frustrated with your sales results? Is your team underperforming?

Is your current team costing you thousands of dollars a month in lost revenue? Maybe you are losing employees faster than you can hire and train them? Worse yet, are your customer satisfaction results lower than you can afford?

Maybe you are in need of a better approach to driving sales from your sales team.

Avoid Coaching for Results – Rather Coach Behaviors.

Often times, sales managers will find themselves asking their sales agents these types of questions:

• How many prospects did you call today?
• Where’s your call report?
• Did you sell anything today?

The result is usually a frustrated sales agent and manager. If you have found yourself in this position, then how do you avoid those feelings in the future? How do you improve revenue, increase retention, and improve customer satisfaction ALL at once?

We suggest a different approach — it’s not all about the numbers — put aside your concerns about results and focus on behaviors.

Coach behaviors and the numbers will FOLLOW!

During a seven-year scientific study involving more than 197,000 participants in 23 countries, we discovered ONLY TWO common characteristics among successful people. These characteristics are self-awareness and authenticity. In other words, successful people are aware of their natural talents and use their natural talents to achieve positive behavior change.

There are no magic bullets to improving performance. Practice, honest self assessment, and more practice are the behaviors required to achieve improved results. Continuous improvement through spaced repetitive learning is the secret to positive behavior change. Understanding your natural talents, what motivates you to use them, and how you prefer to use them completes the first requirement of self-awareness. The second requirement for sustained success is authenticity. Authenticity occurs when you consistently apply your natural talents to achieve positive behavior change.

The ADVanced Insights Profile includes The Attribute Index™, a personal assessment tool that provides information as to how a person thinks and makes decisions; the DISC Index™ which measures a person’s natural and adaptive behavioral styles; and the Values Index™ which delivers the most comprehensive understanding of a person’s value or motivational structure. Understanding what really motivates or drives a person to implement positive behavior change is a crucial part of success.

If you want to improve your sales results, reduce employee attrition, and improve customer service results, then begin by receiving your ADVanced Insights Profile. Here’s a link to complete your FREE ADVanced Insights Profile:

Any questions about the ADVanced Insights Profile may be directed to:

For more information about Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc. visit our website at:

Connect with us on LinkedIn at:

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“Metric Managing” ≠ “Goal Setting”: Why “Metric Managing” is Costing Your Call Center Millions in Lost Revenue

How many times have you heard a call center leader discuss goal setting in terms of numbers? Perhaps you’ve even passed down goals as numbers. Let’s say the center objective is to sell “X” number of widgets. Most call center managers will divide “X” by the number of agents. The “Goal Setting” for the month is done. The call center manager types it neatly on a Goal Sheet and may even design a contest to motivate the agents to achieve “the Goal”.

Sometimes, you will find call center leaders who really like to take “Goal Setting” to the next level. They will ask the agent something along these lines “How much money would you like to make next month?” Based upon the answer, this call center manager then helps the agent set a goal for X widgets to be sold which will allow the agent to earn the commissions to reach their goal.

Honestly, how many times have you seen this exercise be accepted as “Goal Setting?” Maybe you have even used this type of “Metric Managing” in the past. You might even be wondering, why all the fuss about the difference between “Metric Managing” and “Goal Setting?”

The difference between “Metric Managing” and “Goal Setting” is akin to the difference between telling someone to catch you an 8 pound fish and teaching them the technique to successful fishing. “Metric Managing” takes no real skill or extraordinary effort. The “Metric Manager” does need to possess rudimentary math skills, but we can find a 3rd grader to help with the math. True “Goal Setting” requires call center leaders to focus on the behaviors which result in real sales success. It requires a management team which understands WHY customers purchase their products or services, HOW their agents should best communicate with their customers, and WHAT the agent should say to motivate the customer to make a buying decision during the contact. Good luck finding a 3rd grader to help with behavior focused “Goal Setting.”

When call center managers rely upon “Metric Managing”, the cost to the call center could be millions of dollars in lost revenue, higher attrition levels with agents and managers, and customer dissatisfaction.

You might argue that “Metric Managing” works for some people. You’d be correct, of course. The reason “Metric Managing” sometimes works is some people are able to self-identify what behaviors they must demonstrate to reach the objectives. These people are identified in the Bell Curve as the left-siders.

The left-siders have the ability to see things most others can’t see. The Bell Curve theory suggests only about 5 to 7 percent of agents will be left-siders. That’s why “Metric Managing” will work with some people, but not the vast majority. The Bell Curve also includes groups of people we’ll call the early majority, the majority, the late majority, and the right-siders. The behaviorally focused “Goal Setting” manager will impact the left-siders, the early majority, the majority, and the late majority. The right-siders are rarely reached by anyone and they are the 5 to 7 percent of agents who need to exit your business.

Behavior focused “Goal Setting” allows positive behavior change when agents have the opportunity to recognize their natural talents and use their natural talents to achieve their goals. Interestingly, Jay Niblick, owner of InnerMetrix, Inc. and renowned author of What’s Your Genius?, identified two common traits of successful people during a seven-year scientific study conducted with 197,000 participants in 23 countries. Successful people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or any other differentiator, are the people who understand their natural talents and consistently use their talents in pursuit of their goals. Otherwise known as self-awareness and authenticity, these traits separate success from failure.

Effective managers must have the ability to help their agents become more self-aware and authentic. When mastered, this ability creates astounding results. Agents become more focused on positive behavior change. This positive behavior change results in revenue increases, improved retention, and higher customer service scores.

Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc. can help you determine if you are “Metric Managing” or “Goal Setting”. Using the diagnostic tool from InnerMetrix, Inc., the ADVanced Insight Profile, you will be able to determine WHAT natural talents you have, WHY are you motivated to use them, and HOW do you prefer to use them. You will become self-aware allowing you to achieve more authenticity. For a FREE copy of your ADVanced Insights profile use the link below:

Or contact IPS at for more information.

Selling Skills – The #1 Reason WHY people fail to meet sales objectives

What’s the number one reason most sales people fail to meet sales objectives? Many sales people will blame unreasonable objectives. Sales managers and business owners usually claim lazy sales people, the economy, or some other excuse.

This question plagues many a thinking sales leader. Is it a question of fit (product or company)? Is it that some people are just not cut out for sales? Is it a question of skill, motivation or talent?

Could it just be laziness? Is it a certain type of personality? What is it that causes so many people to fail at selling or simply just miss their sales numbers month in and month out?

Well, let me ask you this…What would you think of a professional athlete who told his coach or manager that they had made a decision not to train anymore? No more practice. They have decided to cut out all advance preparation and learning, but they are still certain of their ability to perform like a superstar on the playing field.

No doubt you’d find the whole idea quite ludicrous wouldn’t you? Well why is it any less preposterous that your sales people choose to neglect their training and capability development?

Actually, not all sales people neglect their capability development. The professional sales person never stops the growth process. As the saying goes, “the more they know, the more they know they need to know.” Unfortunately, these individuals are increasingly rare. Most sales teams are made up of sales representatives.

As Steve Young wrote in a terrific article for, “Unlike other professions such as accounting, the profession of sales is not formalized; there is no required certification process, and therefore, no criteria defining the differences between the levels of proficiency existing among those in the profession. While these two groups—reps and pros—perform many of the same functions, the differences between them account for many of the problems business owners have in growing their businesses.”

The difference between a sales rep and a Sales Professional is similar to the difference between a varsity high school football player and a National Football League player or the difference in sound quality between a Sanyo system and a Bang & Olufsen system. It’s akin to the quality between a Mercedes versus a Kia. They both will get you to the destination, but which would you rather ride in, all things being equal?

So, a sales rep may present your products and services to prospective customers, identity, qualify, follow-up on sales opportunities, and they will occasionally walk into a sale. In direct contrast, the sales professional will tackle the exact same tasks with a completely different approach and mindset.

Sure the sales rep has the same or similar sales goals as the sales professional, but the sales professional implements the sequence of events with great distinction.

Let’s take the goal of asking questions as an example.

Now, both the sales rep and the sales pro will ask sales questions. The difference between the pro and the rep is in the types of questions the pro asks. The professional asks thoughtful questions and listens intently to the response. Then they follow up the response with a further question. They end up with a far different result.

On the other hand, the sales rep will ask a question (if they ask questions at all), or a series of questions that they “have been told to ask” with the express purpose of looking for a hook to hang their presentation upon. Their focus is typically on themselves and what they need to do, whereas the professional sales person’s focus is completely on the customer.

How does the sales professional know what questions to ask? Experience? Sure that’s one element. The big reason that the pro asks different and thoughtful questions is because just like any product quality program where there is an emphasis on constant and never ending improvement, the sales pro is constantly looking for ways to improve their output or results of their questions.

Try this exercise. Ask someone on your team whom you perceive as an average sales rep, what was the last sales book they read and when, or what was the last sales tactic they learned and from where, and you’ll very quickly see why their sales are so stunted. Ask the sales pro the same question and what you will find is a hunger for knowledge.

Take sales preparation as another example. The sales professional grooms themselves with a wide breadth and in-depth knowledge about the prospect and the sales opportunities the prospect represents prior to a call. What they don’t know, they hunger to find out. When it comes to pre-call preparation, the pro will invest quality time on researching the prospect and the company. This is not a chore to be done to keep the boss happy, but rather an essential key for them to ensure a successful outcome. The professional will often even attempt to anticipate issues the prospect may raise during the call that would impact the call’s outcome.

Contrast this with the sales rep who as often as not, will show up with maybe just a quick glance through the prospects website…maybe!

For the sales rep, selling is just a numbers game. A game they hope will eventually lead to something coming from all of their “hard work!”

Here’s another good exercise. Compare the preparation done by the sales rep you believe to be a professional, to your average sales reps.

The bottom line is this. In the majority of situations, where you have a sales rep involved in a competitive selling situation, they will lose to the competition’s sales professional who is better prepared.

Selling professionally requires a vast multitude of skills and knowledge. Knowledge of people, persuasion, influence, behavior, corporate politics, psychology, buying behavior, sales process and the list goes on. Those sales people who make it their business to, as Jim Rohn would say, “Work harder on themselves than they do on the job” will win the business.

If you have a sales rep who doesn’t know how to sell the real value of what you offer, then all they can sell is your price. They must lose out to the sales pro who knows how to convert cost into real value that the customer will be able to measure. To sell value you have to possess and refine your knowledge and skills to present that value in a highly compelling way.

Constant and never ending knowledge and skill improvement is how people become top performers. Most people employed in sales, however, rarely invest the time and effort to improve their capability and knowledge, and thus, remain ill equipped to succeed consistently. Hence most fail!

What are you doing today to ensure you are fielding a professional sales team tomorrow? Did you know you can measure the characteristics demonstrated by professional sales people? It’s true. An ADVanced Insights Profile will identify the characteristics of your sales team. You will be able to see WHAT natural talents your sales team possesses, WHY they are motivated to use them, and HOW they prefer to use their natural talents.

For FREE ADVanced Insights Profiles, use this link for your sales team:

Or for more FREE information on creating a professional sales team, contact Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc. at:

Or visit us at:

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