Being a Change Leader Brian Brennan CPA
Are You Credible? Doug Daley
Small Business Financing Gary Belding
Service Aptitude John DiJulius
Ensuring Sales Skills Training Money is Well Invested Russ Mallard
Techniques for Doubling Revenue Verne Harnish
Snowmobiling & Rider Responsibility Protecting Your Home Away From Home Rosetta Bilodeau
CONTENTS Being a Change Leader - Brian Brennan CPA
Are You Credible? - Doug Daley
Small Business Financing - Gary Belding
Finding the “Right Fit” - Andy Buyting
Service Aptitude – John DiJulius
Ensuring Sales Skills Training Money is Well Invested – Russ Mallard
Techniques for Doubling Revenue - Verne Harnish
Municipal Fire Trucks and Victory Rides
Selecting the Best Shredder – Stuart Blair
Sibling Simpatico - Luke Cain
Snowmobiling & Rider Responsibility
Protecting Your Home Away From Home – Rosetta Bilodeau
401 Bishop Drive, Fredericton, NB E3C 2M6 Ph: 506-459-3000 Fax: 506-458-2088 Toll Free: 1-888-475-2246 www.caininsurance.ca Cain Insurance Risk & Business Magazine is published by Carle Publishing Inc. All content, copyright © 2013, Carle Publishing Inc.All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content in this publication, however, the publisher nor Cain Insurance will be held responsible for omissions or errors. Please address all editorial and advertising inquiries to Carle Publishing Inc., 60 Shayla Court, Fredericton, NB, E3G 0N3, Canada. Carle Publishing Inc. is not held responsible for the loss, damage or any other injury to unsolicited material (including but not limited to manuscripts, artwork, photographs and advertisements). Unsolicited material must be included with a self-addressed, overnight-delivery return envelope, postage prepaid. Carle Publishing Inc. and Cain Insurance will not give or rent your name, mailing address, or other contact information to third parties. Subscriptions are complimentary for qualified individuals.
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Carle Publishing Inc.
60 Shayla Court, Fredericton, New Brunswick E3G 0N3 Phone: (506) 238-4683 Fax: (866) 609-5674 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.carlepublishing.com
EDITOR IN CHIEF PUBLISHER CREATIVE & DIRECTION DESIGNER CONTENT COORDINATOR CONTRIBUTORS ADVERTISING COORDINATOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Andy Buyting Carle Publishing Inc. Carle Publishing Inc. John Christenson Stacey Cowperthwaite Brian Brennan CPA Doug Daley Gary Belding Andy Buyting John DiJulius Russ Mallard Verne Harnish Luke Cain Stuart Blair Andy Buyting (National) John Sheehan (Local) All images sourced from Carle Publishing Inc. or thinkstockphotos.ca unless otherwise identified.
WELCOME TO RISK & BUSINESS Fall is upon us again and Cain Insurance Services is pleased to offer our fourth edition of Risk & Business Magazine. These are exciting times for us as our business continues to grow in spite of poor economic conditions with our province. Our commercial lines sales are growing nicely and personal lines is really doing well. The addition of Mike Walton in the Benefits and Investments Business has started off very strong. As you know, the focus of our business is on Risk Management. Here are a few things you should be considering to reduce your chance of having an uninsured loss. 1. Review your Insurance and Risk Management program with your broker on an annual basis. 2. Make sure your building & contents insurance limits reflect replacement value. 3. Review your limits of liability insurance. Higher limits can be obtained for very little cost. One million dollars is no longer enough.
4. If you donâ€™t have Business Interruption Insurance you should be considering it. 5. Call Cain Insurance Services for all of your Insurance and Risk Management needs. Once again we have awarded the Don Cain Memorial Scholarship to a child of one of our customers. We are pleased to announce that Abby Price is the winner this year. Congratulations Abby. As always, enjoy Risk & Business Magazine and feel free to call us with any questions or comments. Best regards,
Luke and Dan
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WHATâ€™S HAPPENING AT CAIN! NEW WEBSITE Cain Insurance has recently launched our new website! Our website is both modern and informative. Included in the site is a short video message from Luke Cain that helps to explain Cain Insurances commitment to our clients. Another feature of the site is the Cain News. Here, users can stay up to date with online versions of the Risk and Business Magazine.The Risk Management section provides users with short video clips that can help you take the risk out of risk management. We encourage you to visit our site at caininsurance.ca
CONGRATULATIONS To Shelley Mills, Kayla Fearn and Natalie Neville who will receive their Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker designation in October. They have done an excellent job and we are very proud of their accomplishment.
WELCOME The Cain Insurance team would like to welcome our newest employee, John Sheehan. John is the new Marketing Coordinator. He has recently graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a BBA and a focus in Marketing.
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GOOD LUCK We would like to congratulate the 2013 Don Cain Memorial Scholarship recipient, Abby Price. Abby will be studying at the Atlantic College of Therapeutic Massage under the credit transfer agreement with UNB B.Sc. Kinesiology. The scholarship is awarded to one of our personal and commercial insurance customers and their children, along with employees of our commercial insurance clients and their children. Make sure you apply for the 2014 scholarship.
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Being a Change Leader H
ow many times have you heard someone around you say … “I can’t wait until things get back to normal around here”? Did you smile to yourself and think that it never has for you so why are they so optimistic? The fact is that change is constant. It is one of the few principles that you can rely on in business today. Why Change Happens Customers are the primary drivers of change. They want quality products and services at competitive prices. The more closely you listen to your customer the more likely you are to make changes to please them. It is critical to your long term success that you do this. Change Leadership Everyone in your organization has the opportunity to be a “Change Leader”. Having others follow your good examples defines you as a Change Leader. Ok, but what does that actually mean as to how we introduce and sustain change in an organization? Here are a few tips for you to consider that apply to individuals, department heads, business owners and anyone else who is involved in change in your organization: Communicate well Strong communication is essential to introducing and sustaining change initiatives that last. You as a leader must clearly understand what you want and why you want it. If you don’t understand it explicitly how clearly do you think your message will be delivered and received? You need to explain your position as if you were speaking to someone who knows nothing about your business. Using that principle ensures that you will keep your descriptions simple using very clear language to explain your position. Great – not good – communication provides a strong foundation for successful change in your organization. Involve as many people as possible Involving a variety of people in your initiatives will have many benefits. Some of these are:
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Brian Brennan CPA, MAX Potential • Sharing different perspectives seeing issues and possible solutions through the eyes of a variety of people can provide more complete and valuable input when you are searching for a new way forward. Get people from different departments together to brainstorm possible solutions to problems or improvement initiatives. You will be amazed at the results that could come from this. • WIFM (What’s in it For Me) by being involved in an initiative people will be more clear about how a change will benefit them and the organization. Some WIFM’s may include becoming a stronger and more profitable organization that retains the best employees longer and where employees enjoy above average earnings etc. A good understanding of WIFM accelerates personal engagement in change initiatives. • Team Building when people work together they often enjoy the benefits of team development. Benefits such as a greater sense of camaraderie, purpose, networking and sharing of values are common byproducts. Have you noticed that the energy produced in team environments far exceeds the drive and enthusiasm of an individual? Tap into that to maximize your success. Maintain a healthy perspective Focus on the future state and use the past only to learn lessons. Do not dwell on the past. Remember that your customer is only interested in what you will do for them today and tomorrow.
Brian Brennan CPA, CA is the owner of MAX Potential (www.maxpotential.ca), a consulting organization that has assisted many business owners with organizational performance improvement initiatives. He is also a Chair at TEC Canada (tec-canada.com). You can contact Brian at email@example.com
differently in the future. Rather than dwelling on a detailed critical analysis of what went wrong ask what can be done to ensure success in the future. It is very motivating for people to work in the continuous improvement mode rather than continuous criticism. Recognize individual needs As a leader in a change environment you must recognize that everyone has a different ability to adapt to change at an organizational and at a personal level. Appreciating that will help you cope with the early and late adopters to your initiatives. Work with that and try to move people along at a pace that is comfortable for them. Learning a bit about their personality types and how they like to be worked with will go a long way to assist you in this area.
Being an effective Change Leader is difficult. With practice and commitment you can create an environment where change is openly embraced enabling you to become a leader in your industry.
Failure needs to be regarded as an opportunity to do something
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Are you Credible?
Doug Daley, Kiers Marketing Group
aving the lowest prices won’t help if your potential client doesn’t trust you in the first place. Offering the best warranty in the world and the most convenience won’t help if your prospect does not have confidence in you or your company. You’ve got to face the glaring reality that prospects won’t call if they aren’t confident in your company’s abilities. Think of this from a marketing perspective. Entire marketing plans fall by the wayside because inattention to seemingly unimportant details undermines the prospect’s confidence, even if that confidence was earned elsewhere. Absolutely everything you do, that is called marketing, influences your credibility. This influence will be positive or negative, depending on your taste, intelligence, sensitivity, and awareness of this power. Start by thinking about the little things. When a prospective client calls or visits your business, how are they treated? (Yes, answering the phone is a marketing function.) Does your front line staff take the time to make them feel welcome or do they get cut off because a call is coming in and they don’t have time. In my former place of employment, we had a switchboard operator that handled over 600 calls a day. But no matter how busy she was, she took the time to greet the caller warmly. Callers appreciated that and it left a good first impression on them. Oh, they now use an automated switchboard and you have to press about ten buttons to find the person you are looking for. An amateur logo or video can make your company appear amateurish. Any hint of this in your marketing indicates the potential for amateurism throughout your entire company. How can people trust you to give them the very best product and services if you look like a fly-by-night business? Websites are a classic example of this. How often do you update your site? How many sites have you visited and the last newsletter or news update is two years old. Keeping it fresh means that you care about what people think and it builds trust in the prospective customer.
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Doug Daley is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Kiers Marketing Group in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Doug can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.kiers.com.
Be aware of this from the very moment you start your business, and if not then, right now. Begin the quest with the name of your company, your logo, your positioning statement, location, stationery package, brochure, business forms, interior decor, website, even the attire worn by you and your staff. It is important to take a step back and look at your business through the eyes of a client. From the time they drive into your driveway until they get their product delivered, what do they see and how are they treated? I have visited many businesses over the years and most are doing it right. Some have great looking offices, friendly capable staff and great customer service. I once visited my insurance agentâ€™s newly renovated office. The office looked great, the staff was very friendly and I felt very confident they could do the job for me. However, the staff, although very nice, kept making mistake after mistake on almost every policy I had. Then of course, I would get invoices from the parent company for a number of different things. Needless to say, although they looked part of a credible insurance organization, they were anything but. Good thing I came to my senses and found a reliable broker to deal with.
Credibility is not automatic but it is do-able. The idea is for you to establish your expertise, your integrity, your confidence, your professionalism, and therefore, your credibility. If you are just starting out in business, take the time to analyze everything you do and make sure you do it right from the start. If you are established, itâ€™s not too late to change and make it right.
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Small Business Financing $$ How. When. Where. Why. $$ P
ortions of this article were covered in the Spring 2012 issue, Put on a Bankers Face. Small business financing is often misunderstood; including a small business start up, the purchase of an existing business, securing operating credit, expansion or a refinancing. Lenders, such as conventional lending institutions (banks, credit unions, caisse popularies), federal and provincial government agencies and venture capital firms all have their lending and investment criteria. As a borrower you need to know the criteria, policies, guidelines, and restrictions. Do your homework well in advance prior to seeking financial support. According to author, Robert Kiyosaki raising capital is one of the weakest links for most entrepreneurs. Some of the financing avenues available to small business are set out below:
Equity Investment In business, “Cash is King” money is good, more money is better. When seeking loans and/or government support programs, the financial partners will want to know the level of investment from the business owner. Generally, equity should be in the range of 20-30% of the project costs including new and existing assets. If the business is undercapitalized, it will continue to face ongoing obstacles. The question was asked during a conference on raising capital, when should you be looking for new investment capital? The answer was “always.” Conventional Lending Institutions In today’s lending market, lenders want to build relationships and no longer compete simply on a better rate of interest. A new lender will want all your banking business not simply the business loan. Seeking and securing a 100% bank participation of the project costs is uniquely rare. Lenders are seeking a shared risk and shared benefit. Lenders should be considered one of the original points of entry when seeking term financing and operating credit. Every business needs to establish and maintain a good working relationship with a lender even if it is only operating a commercial bank account. When reviewing a request for financing, the lender will review the Character (the individual borrowing the financing), Credit (credit score), Capacity (ability to service the debt) and Collateral (security for loan). Sourcing a new lender when the company has experienced operating or ongoing losses is extremely difficult. The most viable option is to work with your existing lender and develop a “win win” proposal for the business and the lender. Traditionally, in small business lending, the owner will need to host a strong personal net worth and will be required to sign personally for any indebtedness. Conventional lenders are “formula based lenders” following an internal rating system. If the owner and the business fall outside the criteria, other tangible security may be required or most likely the loan request will be declined. Federal and Provincial Government. There is a matrix of financial assistance programs through the federal and provincial governments. The programs vary from the federal small business loans program to wage support programs through the provincial government. A common ailment is when companies change their business model or plan in order to qualify for the assistance, which creates a number of problems once the assistance has
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Gary Belding, Belding Business Financing Solutions
been exhausted. The programs must match the business model and plan in the long term to be of benefit. Many provinces have smaller programs for eligible business sectors such as trade assistance if the company is export ready as well as funding assistance for technical and innovation projects. These programs have ease of access with less bureaucracy. There are federal tax credits for qualifying research and development expenditures and export insurance for exporting products outside of Canada. New Brunswick has an attractive investor tax credit program which provides a personal tax credit for investing in a small business. As with most federal and provincial government programs, the business will need to apply and the request be accepted prior to commencement of the project. Venture Capital Venture capital firms have varied criteria. It is important to know the nature of their investment, such as their industry preference (information technology, manufacturing, health care, etc), limits of financing, bench mark and milestones to be achieved. As a business owner, it is important to know who are the investors, are they currently seeking investments, the level of equity, the exit strategy and time horizon. Timing of the investment can be exhausting, six months or even longer. Venture capital firms are approached by hundreds of businesses and would typically review 25 proposals and invest in 3 or 4 businesses per year. When approaching a venture capital firm, make a solid first impression.
Gary Belding has worked in both the public and private sectors for in excess of 38 years and understands the world of financing. Gary was the former Manager of Financial Programs with Business New Brunswick, the economic engine of the provincial government. Gary has the experience, knowledge and is able to navigate through the financial landscape and now operates his own business, Belding Business Financing Solutions, Your Solution for Access to Capital, www.beldingsolutions.com
the most likely form of financing for a portion of the purchase, according to most business brokers. Leasing is another form of financing which can include office equipment which reduces the need for upfront cash but should be compared closely to a purchase and associated debt servicing. Working capital can be an ongoing challenge for business start up and expansion projects. There are companies that can provide financing by way of financing accounts receivable. This is typically referred to as factoring. These companies take an assignment of quality receivables. The turnaround time tends to be much faster compared to conventional financing. This layer of financing can play a valuable role if cash flow is critical to the business and the accounts receivable margins are sufficient to warrant the assignment since the interest rates tend to be much higher and designed to be a short term form of financing.
Know Your Business â€“ Know Your Financial Partners
Other Financing Options There are a number of financing options through quasi government agencies and private organizations. Throughout Canada, there are community ventures and the business development corporations which are federally funded but act as independent private entities with a mandate to assist businesses in rural communities. There are also youth assistance programs. There are a number of private companies that are arms length from banks which offer term loans towards capital expenditures usually above $200,000. There are also private organizations that finance acquisitions of heavy machinery and equipment. When purchasing an existing business, a vendor take back (vender loan) is very common and considered RISK & BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Finding the “Right Fit”
Andy Buyting, Carle Ventures
ow many times have you hired a winner, only to discover later that it was the wrong person? Perhaps the person you hired had a very solid education, the right experience, a wonderful track record and even had terrific references, but yet for some reason they did not succeed when they joined your organization. Why is that? This is the million dollar question that I’m asked by clients daily. They ask; “Why is it that when I find the best possible person with all the experience and knowledge I’m looking for, they only succeed maybe 50% of the time at best?” Every single hiring manager I know looks for aptitude and skill set in new recruits. They look at if the candidate can “do” their job. However what most hiring managers fail to realize that in order to effectively potential employees there are two critical dimensions to consider;
1. The first is of course aptitude and skill set. 2. The second dimension and the key to an employee’s long-term success (and that of the company) is cultural fit.
onsider Two Dimensions when Finding the “Right Fit” It’s said that the biggest challenge in business today is attracting and hiring the best employees. Finding top talent can be extremely difficult to do for most hiring managers, but yet, people decisions are the most critical for the future success of your company.
X-Axis represents Aptitude & Skill Set. Y-Axis represents Cultural Fit. People must be high in both in order to be considered an “A-Performer”. As an employer, you can quite easily build a team of people who can “do” their job. However if you want to create a winning team, where the synergy is such that you get 1+1=3, then as an organization you really need to build a team who believe in and share the same cultural. Screening for Cultural Fit Every hiring manager wants to find the best employees,
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Andy Buyting is the developer of the Hiring Right Recruiting System. Andy works with organizations of all sizes to develop and successfully implement customized recruiting processes as well as coach managers on all types of HR issues. Learn more at www.AndyBuyting.com
however I see the same recruiting mistake being done in 90% of the organizations I consult with. The typical recruiting process that I see looks something like this: 1. An organization advertises for one open position. They receive 60 applicants. Because the job ad was clear on the requirements, 25 are considered qualified applicants (they have the right education and past work experience for the job). 2. Due to limited time availability, the hiring manager screens through the resumes to narrow the search down to 4 people that they will bring in for an interview. 3. They interview the 4 candidates, choose to move with reference checks on two individuals, and make their job offer. Can you spot the problem? Screening solely through resumes might give you an idea of their education and experience, however there is no possible way to screen for cultural fit based on resumes alone. So by going from 25 to 4, you eliminate 21 candidates before you even really get started. So what’s the solution? The only way you can effectively find someone who will fit your culture is to screen candidates face-to-face. You simply cannot make that decision by what’s on paper. The challenge lies in the fact that most of us don’t have three days to set aside for interviews. No problem, there are solutions to that dilemma. And it starts with breaking your screening interviews into two parts; a quick screening process followed by your in-depth interview. Let’s focus on that initial quick screening process. Most of us have had an experience where you sit down with a candidate and within minutes you know that they probably won’t fit your organization. However because you don’t want to be rude, you finish off the 1-hour interview and politely say to them; “Thank you for coming in. We’ll be in touch if we want to move things forward.” First impressions mean a lot. Most often, within minutes we can make a determination if someone might be a good fit for our organization or not. Therefore my suggestion is to orchestrate a process whereby you can meet several people quickly and efficiently. This way, you can narrow your group of 25 qualified candidates down to your top 1215 choices, instead of your top 4, ignoring the other 21.
There are three effective methods to do this, of which you only need to do one. 1. Quick Phone or Skype Interviews If you are very limited for time, I recommend at the very least that you line up a series of 8-minute phone or Skype calls. During these calls, you want to ask a few pointed questions (depending on the position) and ask the candidate why they feel they are the best qualified person for the job. By talking with them over the phone or over Skype, you will get a sense of their personality and how they talk present themselves. After a series of 12 calls, you will be much better informed on who the final 4 candidates will be who you want to bring in for an interview. 2. Quick Screening Interviews A better screening technique is the quick face-to-face interviews. Again, very quick and efficient (typically 15 minutes each), these interviews are designed to learn a bit more about the candidates and to get a sense of their personality and whether or not you feel they might be a good fit for you and your organization. 3. Group Interviews Finally, the absolute most effective (and my favorite) cultural screening interview is the group interview. This is where you line up a group of 6-8 candidates and interview them all at once for 90 minutes. If you’ve never experienced a group interview, it is fascinating. There is no better way to flush out the personalities of that many people at one time. You will very quickly observe first hand which candidates are outspoken, quiet, analytical, friendly, team player, who the natural leaders are, and so much more. By screening up to 8 people over 90 minutes, your investment of time is approximately 11 minutes per person, making it incredibly efficient. A word of caution; Group interviews are only effective when confidentiality is not a major issue. Because candidates will meet each other, the more senior the position, the less able we are to use this process. However for many frontline positions, this process works miracles. So the next time you start down your hiring process, consider using one of these three tools to meet a few more people. You never know, candidate #6 might be that perfect A-Performer for your organization.
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John DiJulius, The DiJulius Group
Service Aptitude A person’s ability to recognize opportunities to exceed customers’ expectations, regardless of the circumstances.
Major Scarcity of Service Aptitude No one is born with it; it is not innate. The vast majority of the workforce has extremely low Service Aptitude, especially when they are entering the work force after finishing school, regardless if that is high school, college, an MBA, or a trade school. As a result of poor training and paranoid management, many employees, including management, don’t have high service aptitude even after years of working. And sadly, a high percentage of seniorlevel executives continue to have low service aptitude during their careers. Why? Why is high service aptitude so rare? What dictates it, and what impacts it?
Service Aptitude = Life experiences + Past work experiences and Current work experiences Let me say that again. There are three things that shape everyone’s Service Aptitude: 1. Life Experiences 2. Past work experiences 3. Current work experiences
ompanies don’t engage emotionally with their customers—people do. If you want to create a memorable company, you have to fill your company with memorable people. The quality of your customer service, and the level of your organization’s customer service, comes down to one thing and one thing only: The Service Aptitude of every employee you have. From the CEO to the account executive, sales clerk, call center, receptionist, home office support team, and to every front-line employee or service provider -- it’s all about Service Aptitude!!! There is nothing more important in building a world-class customer experience culture than understanding what Service Aptitude is and how it is shaped in each person in your company. 16
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1. Life experiences are a significant factor in people’s service aptitude level, especially the younger workforce. Think about home environment, groups of friends, and life experiences growing up. Front-line employees’ standard of living typically does not afford them the opportunity to fly first class, stay at five-star resorts, drive a luxury automobile, and enjoy other higher-end experiences. Yet we, as managers, expect those same employees to be able to deliver world-class service to clients, guests, patients, or whomever we call our customers, who may be accustomed to these types of experiences. It doesn’t make any sense. Golden Rule is a bad customer service compass Don’t get me wrong, I love the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. However, you don’t want your front-line employees treating customers the way they want to be treated. Let’s consider my oldest son
Johnni. He is 21, a junior at The Ohio State University. Johnni is the nicest young man you could ever meet. However, if you hired him today and threw him in a customer-facing, frontline position and told him to treat customers the way he likes to be treated, you would probably see him greet people with, “Hey, wuts-up dude.” He is a typical college student, which is what they do. It’s how they like to be treated. Now give him a few weeks of soft-skill training and I guarantee you he will be one of the most genuine, hospitable employees you have. 2. Previous work experiences have just as much of an impact on a person’s Service Aptitude. Think about how small the percentage is of organizations that are truly world-class at customer service. It is safe to say less than 5% of businesses. It would make sense that most of your front-line employees have never worked for any of those 5%, or even a good service organization. Not only were they not trained on what excellent service looks like, but they were poisoned with a policy-driven iron fist that teaches them that customers are out to take advantage of businesses and must be caught and stopped. It isn’t their fault, they don’t know any better I have this sweet niece who has those qualities any business would love in an employee who interacts with customers. She smiles all the time, and is very friendly and outgoing. One day I asked her what she was doing. She said she has been working at a restaurant as a hostess/ receptionist. She explained that one of her responsibilities was to police the restrooms. I told her that the cleanliness of the restrooms was so important to the image of the restaurant. She said, “No, that’s not what I mean. My boss, the owner, says it is my job is to only let paying customers use the restrooms.” My eyes lit up. I said, “Really?” She replied, “Yes. In fact last week I saw someone who wasn’t buying anything headed to the restroom, so I ran after him and made him leave.” I was shocked! How could she think like this? I thought she would be a better employee than that! Was I wrong? I’d argue the opposite. Perhaps she was actually too good of an employee. Her boss (sadly the owner) has told her, ‘your job is to not let people take advantage of us’, and she
John DiJulius - known as The authority on World-Class Customer Experience. He is a best selling author and works with companies like The Ritz-Carlton, Starbucks, Pwc, Nestle, Norstrom, Chick-fil-A, and many more. John can be reached at email@example.com
says, “OK”! And she does what she is told, protects the business like she has been instructed. Each of us has plenty of employees currently working for us, who have worked elsewhere and have been influenced by other bosses who don’t think like world-class customer service companies and leaders do. 3. Current work experiences dictate the current state of an employee’s Service Aptitude. Nearly every company states on paper, plagues, and their website, how they have a customer-first philosophy, but how many really back that up? New employees typically get initial training on their operational processes, i.e. product knowledge, how to do the fundamentals of the job, but very little if any customer service, soft-skill training is invested upfront. Actions speak louder than words.
Blame the boss Many times when customers are frustrated, it isn’t because of a front-line employee’s neglect or incompetence, but rather the policies put into place by their bosses. They are trained to follow and enforce these policies that undermine the relationship between the customer and the employee. I hate the word “NO” and have forbidden its use in my companies; however, I have recently added another word to that list, “policy.” I cannot stand companies that hide behind policy by stating, “It is not our policy.” Change your term policy to guidelines so your employees understand that you have guidelines, but can be fearless to make exceptions when the circumstances call for it.
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Three Considerations To Ensure Sales Skills Training Dollars Are Well Invested.
Russ Mallard, Mallard & Associates Ltd.
s a visionary business leader or entrepreneur, you may be considering training your sales team, leadership team or even yourself. Will it be a wise investment or a wellintentioned expense with little or no lasting impact? There is a way to ensure that training dollars yield the return your business deserves. Consider the following three important areas before investing in training; your sales Strategy; the Structure appropriate to support the Strategy; and an evaluation of the Staff to ensure proper fit. Does your business have a well thought out Strategy to achieve its sales plan for the year ahead? Will the Strategy and tactics the team has used in the past, be sufficient to power it to the next level and keep it competitive? For example, is there a clear picture of the “ideal” client? Is the team approaching market development proactively by pursuing new relationships with “ideal “client prospects or settling for whatever business comes to them? How much growth is expected from existing customers as well from new relationships? How many new clients are required to meet or exceed the sales plan and what is the strategy to acquire them? The second consideration is the Structure required to support the Strategy. For example, does the compensation structure adequately promote the essential elements of the Strategy and offer rewards or consequences to the individual based on his or her performance or that of the team? If the team is to be trained, ensure that the compensation structure is not working against the training goals. The incentive(s) should reinforce the behaviour required to ensure new skills are used. Appropriate consequences for poor performance, delivered in a timely and consistent manner, are also very important in ensure success of the Strategy. Does the management team have a structured approach to sales pipeline development and accountability? Well trained sales people and managers interact regularly ensuring sales goals are met. The routines around coaching, mentoring and supervising help to ensure that
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Russ Mallard is an award winning trainer, the president of Mallard & Associates Ltd., and is the authorized licensee for Sandler Training in New Brunswick. Sandler Training is a global leader in sales and management training and development. To contact the Sandler Training Center nearest you, please visit www.sandler.com
the benefits of training lives on, protecting the investment. When it comes to investing in training for the Staff, are the sales people open minded to change and willing to leave their comfort zone? Some sales people are well suited for new account development, (hunting) while others are very strong at maintaining existing client relationships (farming). In hockey terms, would a coach move the top scorers to defense and put the best defenders as forwards? Be sure to recognize the strengths of your sales people and capitalize on them! Skills training is an investment often made with the expectation of a return on that investment from improved performance, increased job satisfaction or efficiencies gained through process improvement. I am asked occasionally “what happens if we train a person and he/she leaves?” My reply is “What happens if we don’t train her and she stays?” This brings us full circle to why a thoughtful review of Strategy, Structure and Staff is so important before investing in Skills training. An investment in Skills development should be focussed on the Staff most suited to receive it. The appropriate support Structure is a must because if it is out of alignment with your Strategy, a newly trained employee could potentially go work elsewhere where utilizing their new skills can benefit them personally more quickly. Your Skills training investment goes out the door with them. Above all, the primary reason for Skills training is to deliver the Strategy in the most efficient and effective way possible. Good Selling! ©2013 Sandler Training Inc.
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Five Crucial Techniques for Doubling Revenue
Verne Harnish “Growth Guy”
Dramatically Reduce Sales Cycle Time Nothing improves cash flow (CFOs are fans) and revenue more than reducing your sales cycle time. And an important technique to dramatically reducing it is to use synchronous communication throughout the sales process.
hile visiting with some of the world’s top sales and marketing thought leaders, as well as CEOs whose firms are seeing dramatic increases in revenue during this downturn, several actionable ideas have emerged which you can act on immediately.
“This starts with NEVER presenting a sales proposal to a customer without being on the phone or in person with them,” notes Dr. Victoria Medvec (negotiations expert). Emailing a proposal to a customer ahead of a meeting doesn’t give you the opportunity to react immediately to potential concerns and objections that might arise as they read through your proposal. And the more time the customer has to ponder an objection and potentially pollute their colleagues with negative reactions (or spouse if it’s a business to consumer sale), the more difficult it will be to move the sales process forward. Even if the customer is adamant about receiving a proposal ahead of a physical meeting, suggest it will save them time if you can review the proposal over the phone and that you’ll email it to them a few minutes before a scheduled phone call. What you and your sales people want is the opportunity to see, hear, or at least sense specific objections, as you review the proposal, so you can react immediately. And then you want to continue to utilize synchronous communication for the rest of the sales negotiation process. “I’ve seen this single technique reduce sales cycles from months to weeks and even to days,” concludes Medvec. Pricing with Confidence Of the four P’s of marketing, price is the only one which directly puts money in your pocket. Yet I find companies setting price with very little strategy behind their decisions. And panicked decisions about pricing in turbulent times can be costly in both the short and long run. Mark Burton, co-author of Pricing with Confidence, noted in a recent conversation, “too many firms have gotten caught flat-footed and are using price discounts in a panic to try to keep demand that is going away no matter what they do. The firms that do this are creating two very significant long-term problems. First, they are destroying the integrity of their pricing and the value of their brands. Second, they are training their customers to negotiate for every last penny thus undermining their most valuable asset – trusting customer relationships.”
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Both of these forces will make it extraordinarily difficult to bring prices back up when the economy finally does turn. In addition, it will take much longer to bring prices back up to a level that reflects the true value of the goods and services being sold. Multiple Channels “Place” is one of the other four P’s of marketing. And research by Neil Rackham, the father of modern sales and sales management techniques, reveals that companies with more sales channels trump competing firms with less. This means setting aside all the debate about protecting various territories and giving your customers as many options for purchasing your product as you can. In the end, you can’t dictate from whom and how your customers will purchase your products and services. They all have different preferences and will find competitors who give them these options. In turn, it’s up to your various sales channels to earn their right to distribute your services. If the customer wants high touch, valueadded consultative help in purchasing your product, they’ll utilize that channel. If instead, they prefer to “do-itthemselves” then give them that option as well. Half the Customers; Twice the Attention Though a repetition of Neil Rackham’s advice I shared last year, more than ever you need to identify your best customers and shower them with twice the attention. Chet Holmes, author of mega-hit The Ultimate Sales Machine, drives home this point. Holmes, who doubled sales three years in a row for nine divisions of Charlie Munger’s firm, encourages firms to focus on their Best Buyer or Best Neighborhood and then create a nurturing marketing campaign that touches these customers 10 to 15 times with educational information.
Verne is founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company, Verne has spent the past 30 years educating entrepreneurial teams. He’s the author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits which is endorsed by over 100 CEOs of mid-size companies and is published in ten languages.
It starts with doing a thorough job of researching the benefits of your product or service. For one major roofing company, Holmes’ market research firm found that a large percentage of the time a roof is replaced when it only needs repaired. In turn, greater than half of all building maintenance problems emanate from problems with the roof. Armed with this research, the company structured an educational campaign that reached out to the owners of large facilities every two weeks over a period of months, which dramatically increased warm leads for the sales team to close. Web 2.0 The third P of marketing “promotion” has taken on a new twist given the power of the web to reach customers. Given the confusing array of terminology and options, read David Meerman Scott’s best-selling book The New Rules of PR and Marketing. The title itself gives you a flavor for the array of inexpensive promotional opportunities available to a growth firm. And his book is the first to explain the options in a way I find non-tech growth company executives can understand and implement. Keep on Learning More than ever, the field of sales and marketing is undergoing a transformation while harkening back to basics that have always been critical to driving revenue. As Crosetto, CEO of Ammex, shared with me, “It’s a mystery to me why companies cut back on learning and training in down time. Now is when more focus should be put on training and capturing opportunity.” So grab a book and start innovating in your sales and marketing activities.
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Municipal Fire Trucks and Victory Rides F
or years, it has been a tradition in many municipalities to celebrate the success of local sports teams by providing a Victory Ride in a municipal fire truck down the main street of the teamâ€™s hometown. From a risk management perspective, it is recommended against the use of municipal fire trucks for celebrating local sports team victories whereby individuals are loaded into and onto a truck to parade down a street. The general opinion is that the dangers are obvious and could result in the serious injury or death of one or more passengers. Authorized personnel for emergency response, firefighting and training should only use these trucks. Furthermore, it is expected that the municipalityâ€™s use of this vehicle adhere to the manufacturerâ€™s instructions and recommendations as well as good overall fire operational protocols. If someone is injured or killed by such authorized use, not only could civil suits arise, but there could also be charges against both the driver and the municipality under the Highway Traffic Act. Also, any media attention to this type of use could negatively impact the reputation of the municipality. In addition to the possibility of injuring a passenger, the municipality owes it to its ratepayers to protect its assets to ensure that they are available for their intended purposes. Using an expensive emergency vehicle in this regard could damage some vital emergency components on the truck or cost the municipality additional funds to repair or refurbish the truck to get it emergency ready. From an insurance perspective, the automobile insurance policy follows the vehicle and although there is no specific insurance exclusion for this use, the underwriters are assuming that municipalities practice good public policy with respect to the use of their vehicles.
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In the event that an injury did occur while using a municipal vehicle, the statutory no-fault Accident Benefits coverage would follow the Priority of Payments schedule. Generally, that would mean that if an injured individual had their own automobile policy, their personal insurance policy would respond first. If a serious injury or death of a passenger occurred, and that person or their family sued the municipality, the municipal automobile liability insurance would respond. If the driver of the vehicle were injured while working for or on behalf of the municipality, WSIB would respond to his/her injuries. If the driver is charged under the Highway Traffic Act with careless driving or other charges or criminal charges were laid as a result of the use of the fire truck for this purpose, that individual could be personally liable for those charges, which may or may not be reimbursed by the municipality depending on the negotiated agreements between the municipality and their employees. There would be no insurance coverage for the defence of these types of charges. An insurance advisor cannot and will not agree to the use of a fire truck in any manner not otherwise recommended or approved by the manufacturer. The understanding is that all passengers on such a piece of equipment while it is being driven should be seated with the appropriate seat harness as per the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Even if the municipality attempts to have passengers waive their rights it is possible that automobile liability insurance would be governed under a “no-fault” basis, which means that unless a certain threshold is met (i.e. death or a serious permanent injury), one cannot sue. This would include the inability to transfer liability via a contract or waiver. Also statutory accident benefits may apply, which means that any injuries incurred would be handled by the auto insurer as determined by the priority chart (i.e. the individual’s own personal automobile policy would respond first).
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Selecting the Best Shredder W
hether you want to protect yourself or your business against identity theft, comply with document destruction legislation, or just clear up clutter around your home or office, there are several factors to consider when choosing the best shredder that fits your needs. First, start by asking yourself three simple questions: 1. Where will the shredder be located in your home or office? 2. How many people will be using the shredder throughout the day?
Stuart Blair, Covey Basics Stuart Blair is a partner in Covey Basics with locations in Fredericton and Woodstock. As a dealer for Swingline Canada Office Furniture, Covey Basics works with office managers and administrators, promoting a safe and healthy work environment in offices around the province.
most critical features contributing to a shredder’s performance – sheet capacity, shredding speed and duty cycle. Throughput tells us how much… how fast… and for how long. These characteristics will help you determine the level of productivity you should expect from your shredder. Security Your security needs depend on the confidentiality of the materials you are shredding. There are 4 main levels of security; the higher the level of security, the smaller the cut size.
3. What types of documents will be shredded? There are a wide variety of shredders on the market, so answering these questions will help narrow your options. Performance Based on your answers to these questions, you may decide you need a smaller Household unit for your home for 1 user, a small office/home office for your office that can handle more paper and support a few users or, perhaps, a large commercial machine that will be shared by multiple users within your office. While the size of the shredder you choose will depend on where the shredder will be used and by how many people, there are other technical factors that come into play that also need to be considered. For instance, all shredders have what is called a Duty Cycle or Run Time. This is the length of time a shredder can continuously shred before it needs to cool down. Duty cycles can range from 2 minutes up to over an hour, depending on the size of the shredder. How long will you need to shred each day? In addition to duty cycle, the overall performance, or throughput, of a shredder should also be considered. Throughput is a combination of the three
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A strip cut shredder, level 1, will provide basic security. Strip cut shreds are typically a 7/32” of an inch wide and as long as the document being shredded. This means that an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper will be shredded into approximately 39 particles or strips. With cross cut shredders (Level 2), paper becomes extremely difficult to assemble and read. Standard cross cut shreds are typically 5/32” x 2”. So an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper will be shredded into approximately 300 particles. That’s a significant increase from the strip cut shredder, providing you with very strong security. If you are shredding highly confidential documents and you desire an even higher level of security, then you should consider a level 3, micro-cut shredder. A standard cut size for a micro-cut shredder is 5/64”x5/16”. This means that shredding an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper with a micro-cut shredder will result in more than 3,700 particles. Government approved high-security shredders provide the highest level of protection. Created for destroying top secret and classified documents, high-security shredders have a 1/32” x 3/16” cut size. This means that shredding a 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper will result in more than 15,000 particles.
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Sibling Simpatico Brothers Dan and Luke Cain grew up around the insurance business. Their father,the late Don Cain, was an insurance adjuster in Atlantic Canada for many years. He sometimes flew to the job site in his own plane.
who is 47, six years Dan’s junior, joined the firm in 1990, shortly after graduating from university and working as an adjuster. Despite the age difference, the Cains found they had similar goals.
“Our dad would often take one of us with him,” recalls Dan. “I remember the experience of being around all the firefighters when it was a fire claim, the smoke and the hoses. It struck me as a neat trade, even then.”
“As business partners we have the same desires,” says Dan. “We want to see our business grow and be more successful.” The partnership has proved a good fit.
The brothers are now partners and co-owners of Cain Insurance Services in Fredericton, N.B., a brokerage Dan started in 1986 after working several years as an adjuster. When it comes to their own business, the Cain brothers keep their father’s professional philosophy in mind. “He was always concerned about looking after the customer,” says Luke. “Whether it was doing a good job for the insurance company or making sure people were fairly compensated. We’ve tried to make that commitment to the customer a cornerstone of our business.” The brokerage was already firmly established when Luke,
“We were brought up to be entrepreneurs,” explains Dan. “Many times we’d be sitting around the kitchen table and Dad would say, ‘I don’t care if you work on a garbage truck as long as you figure out a way to own the garbage truck.’” Dan appreciates the variety offered by the brokerage. “Helping so many different people and getting to know the way their businesses work keeps things really interesting.” Another reason to enjoy going to the office? “We’ve always had a good relationship as brothers, and it’s carried over into our business relationship as well,” says Luke. “Because of our ages we were never really affected by sibling rivalry. As a kid, I always looked up to Dan and valued his advice. I still do.” “The key to any partnership is trust and respect,” adds Dan. “But when you have a business partner who is also your brother, there’s just that extra bond in place that goes beyond trust and integrity. That bond is just beyond question.” Both believe the age difference is an asset. While they happen to share the same birthday, they have different friends and pursue different interests. Dan is a salmon fisherman involved in conservation issues with the Miramichi Salmon Association. Luke
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belongs to Ducks Unlimited, which aims to conserve the country’s wetlands. Cain Insurance supports Junior Achievement as well as a variety of local charities and sports teams in the community. The firm also publishes Risk & Business, a biannual magazine distributed to more than 15,000 businesses in the province. The brokerage offers the Don Cain Memorial Scholarship to a son or daughter of a client about to begin first-year university. Don originated a variation of the scholarship when he worked in the industry. “It was very near and dear to his heart,” says Luke. “A recognition of how important education was to him.” The brothers share that belief. Dan and wife Eileen have two children. Daughter Leah graduated with a bachelor of science degree from St. Francis Xavier University and is now working as a dietician. Son Reece is a third-year business major at the school. He intends to spend the summer working at the brokerage under the mentorship of his Uncle Luke. Luke and wife Heather also have two children. Their oldest, Ryan, 18, recently completed his first year in the bachelor of arts program at Mount Allison University, where he also plays football. Daughter Lauren, who is active in dance, will soon start her second year of high school. The matriarch of the close-knit family is Dan and Luke’s mother Pearl. At 80, she remains an active and vital part of family life. “She’s imparted a lot of good values in us over the years,” says Luke. “Dan and I have lunch with her a minimum of twice a week. She still gives us a lot of good advice.” One of Pearl’s proudest moments? About a year and a half ago, when her sons won The Chamber of Commerce Business Persons of the Year Award. “It was nice to get a pat on the back,” says Dan. “For us, it’s always been about how you treat the customer. The respect comes from treating them the way we’d like to be treated.”
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Snowmobiling & Rider Responsibilty
Accepting and practicing personal responsibility for snowmobiler’s riding behaviors’. The “Rider Responsibility” program was developed by the NBFSC, as the Province’s snowmobile Trail Manager, in conjunction with the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety (DPS). The program corresponds with amended legislation in the Off Road Vehicle Act (ORVA). The program improves the security, viability and long term sustainability of New Brunswick’s winter tourism – snowmobiling. Rider Responsibility is simply the recognition that snowmobile riders and operators have the greatest opportunity (and responsibility) to control the outcome of their activities through responsible riding practices. New Brunswick’s ORVA legislation now recognizes that riders, passengers, and operators carry the greatest responsibility for their personal safety. The ORVA legislation enacted in 2010 generally recognizes the following key points: 1 Riding a snowmobile comes with inherent risks that can only be controlled by the riders or operators of the snowmobile. 2 Riders who choose to make poor decisions in their riding habits have and will inevitably cause injuries, losses and or death to themselves or other riders or passengers. 3 The ongoing concerns of who is responsible for rider’s injuries and fatalities led to ongoing concerns of exposure to liability, by those who had little to no control over the outcomes. 4 The financial implications for the province’s snowmobile Trail Manager and volunteer snowmobile clubs was threatening the continuing viability of winter trails and the Province’s fourth tourism season – snowmobiling.
remove gross negligence, where negligence can be proven. • The NBFSC, member clubs and volunteers do their utmost to improve snowmobile trails by regularly maintaining trails with consistent trail signage and trail grooming. • The new legislative amendment will not remove protection for the thousands of private landowners who provide permission to the NBFSC’s volunteers for winter trails only. RESPONSIBLE RIDING PRACTICES: • All riders, operators and passengers should become aware of, acknowledge and practice the NBFSC’s adopted International snowmobile safety program, “Safe Riders, You make Snowmobiling Safe”. See www.NBFSC.com or www.snowmobile.org • All riders, operators and passengers should become aware of, acknowledge and practice the NBFSC’s adopted International snowmobile alcohol program, “Zero Alcohol, The Smart Choice”. See www.NBFSC.com or www.snowiasa.org • All riders, operators and passengers should become aware of, acknowledge and practice the NBFSC’s adopted Canadian environmental program, “Snowmobilers care about our Environment, Keeping Nature Beautiful”. See www.NBFSC.com or www.ccso-ccmo.ca • All riders, operators and passengers should become aware of, acknowledge and practice the NBFSC’s adopted International riding program, “Go Snowmobiling, Take a Friend”. See www. NBFSC.com or www. GoSnowmobiling.org
RESPONSIBLE RIDER FACTS: • The New Brunswick Off- Road Vehicle Act (ORVA) was amended in 2010 and is supported by new regulations filed on February 12th 2010 to subsection 7.5(2) of the ORVA (Act). • Removing the Federation, snowmobile clubs and volunteers from liability under the ORVA does not RISK & BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Protecting Your Home Away From Home Cottage Safety Tips and Considerations
Rosetta Bilodeau, Vice President Prairies, RSA Insurance
t’s perfect cottage weather now, but soon we’ll feel that chill in the air and know it’s time to start thinking about closing up the cottage. RSA, a leading property insurer, shares the following tips and considerations for making sure your home away from home is secure and ready for next summer: Closing the cottage While no one wants to think about closing the cottage for the season, there are a few things to keep in mind and to ensure your cottage weathers the winter. Inspect your roof for any damaged or loose shingles to prevent leaks, and clear overhanging branches and debris from your roof and gutters. You’ll want to cover your windows as this will deter thieves – if they can’t see it, they don’t know what’s there. Don’t leave valuables or precious mementos behind. It’s a good idea to take all food, even canned items, home for the winter as it deters little critters from setting up in your cottage. Make sure to shut off drains and plumbing and perform a winterization of your water system – no one wants to make the inaugural trip to the cottage in the spring to discover burst pipes! It’s also a good idea to block off chimneys, flues and stovepipes to ensure there are no hazardous materials in there, and that birds don’t make it their home. Make sure that any outdoor toys, such as boats and jet skis are properly stored away for the winter as well. Bedding, seat cushions, extra cottage clothes can be stored in sealed tubs or large plastic bags/wrap to keep them from getting damp or ruined during the cold and rainy seasons – especially if there is some form of weather damage to your property. Safety blanket Since cottages are often left unoccupied for long periods of time, they are more vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Also, if your cottage is in a remote area, it is more likely to suffer from greater damages in case of a fire, for example, than a property closer to the city. It’s a good idea to make friends with a neighbour, or hire a local to keep an eye on your property while you’re away and during the off season. In most cottage areas there is usually a local who will perform a routine service to check on your property – that can provide good piece of mind. Local marinas, outfitters, guiding services and general stores can be good spots to find such a person or service. If possible go with the recommendation of a trusted friend or neighbour to your cottage.
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For these reasons, it is advisable to make sure that all buildings on the property are insured including docks, guest cabins, boathouses and, in some cases, even boats. Not only does insurance give you peace of mind, it also allows you to fully enjoy your ‘home away from home’ with your loved ones season after season. Protecting against severe weather While you’re away for the season all sorts of wild and wacky weather can occur. To safeguard your cottage, make sure that you keep trees and bushes trimmed around your cottage, and remove any dead tree branches. You may want to speak with an experienced inspector to see if there are other things you can do to strengthen your roof, windows or doors to better sustain heavy winds. For example, doors with three to four hinges and a deadbolt are better able to sustain high winds. Finally, cottage owners should keep the following in mind for next year’s season. Marine Insurance Consider marine insurance: Canadians are amongst the most active boat owners in the world and yet it’s believed that only roughly 25 to 35% of those have proper marine insurance policies in place.
Next Year’s Initial inspection Carefully check your surroundings to get a sense of the kind of work that will be involved in opening your cottage. From fallen trees to cracked windows to rotten wood on the deck or docks, the long winter months may have caused some damages that could pose a threat to your safety if not repaired accordingly. It’s also important to take a look around the property and see what improvements are needed to make your cottage child-safe, for example, make sure all poisonous substances like weed killers are stored away and that all locks are secure. Test runs for 2014 Take the same risk prevention steps for your cottage that you would for your home such as checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors’ battery life and keeping a fire extinguisher on the premises. If the carbon monoxide detector is older than five years, replace it completely – the same applies to smoke alarm 10 years or older. This is especially important if you are expecting to build a fire in a wood-burning fireplace in the first few weeks or end of the season. Also test heaters, light switches, appliances, wires and outlets for any damages first, and definitely make sure the water heater’s filled to avoid burning the element.
Some boat owners may think they are adequately protected under their home insurance policy but that is rarely the case, since a typical home insurance policy often only offers coverage of up to $10,000 for boats. Having proper marine insurance ensures that a boat owner is properly protected in the event that something goes wrong. If a boat owner causes an accident that injures one of their own passengers or someone on another boat, they could be forced to pay a significant amount in compensation under the Marine Insurance Act. Or, if they inadvertently cause a fire that damages other boats in a marina, they could be on the hook for the total cost which is why most marinas now require boats docked on their premises to have insurance. Owners can be responsible for wreck removal if their boat gets stuck or sinks in a channel—an expensive procedure which can, in some cases, be in excess of the value of the boat. RISK & BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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