How to Create Interest in Your Business in Less Than 30 Seconds
You never know where you are going to meet your next customer.  It could be anywhere, the coffee shop, a department store, an elevator, etc.  These fleeting interactions are great opportunities to spread awareness of your business or product.
Since you may have a very limited window of time and attention you need to be ready with a quick explanation of what you do.  We call this an Elevator Pitch.
The purpose of an Elevator Pitch is to create clarity about what you do and to compel somebody to take immediate action on some small step.  It is not necessarily about making a complete sale.
Start by stating who you are and what you do briefly, clearly, and concisely.
Remember:  An Elevator Pitch by definition is short:  Something you would say in a very brief period of time, preferably so short you could write it on the back of a business card.
When writing your first draft imagine that you are writing what you do on the back of a business card.  Limit the description to 10-15 words.
To familiarize yourself with the benefits you provide clients, make a list of what you do and the benefits those activities create for other people.  Keep this list handy.
Ask yourself now, "What do I do to benefit others?"
Now refine your pitch even more by combining the elements.  Follow this format:
"I help others...(fill in what you do)... so that they can...(fill in benefit to others)."
An Elevator Pitch compels people to take some immediate action on some small step of the sales process.
List three different actions you might want someone to take as a result of your elevator pitch.  (Example:  appointment, survey, analysis, phone call, etc.)
Make sure you fashion your pitch with your desired outcome in mind.
It is important to honor the person with whom you are speaking by asking for permission to talk to them.  It is also critical to get them to open up to you right away.  You do all of the above by asking a few key questions.
For these questions and more on creating an elevator pitch please refer to our Powerful Sales Presentations Training Kit.
If you would like some help with the development of your Elevator Pitch please contact your local SalesPartner today.  Your first consultation is free!
Or rather misbehavior.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen this:  a manager berating and or talking down to a young (probably new and improperly trained) employee over some trite mishap that most likely doesn't have anything to do with the success of the business.   This happens most often for one or more of the following reasons:  

1.  The manager is bored.

2.  The manager is on a power trip.

3.  The manager wants to "look good" in front of others.

Do you notice a trend here?  When an employee messes up who's fault is it?  Most often the blame rests on the shoulders of the person responsible for training them, i.e. the manager.  Just as the business owner is responsible for the manager's actions.

Don't ever reprimand an employee in front of customers and staff.  This will only make you look bad and lower employee morale thus resulting in a lack of energy and respectively a loss in customer loyalty.  

If a staff member doesn't do something correctly, wait until they aren't busy and ask them to join you in private.  

Once you are in a private setting simply ask them why they did what they did.  There are really only three legitimate responses:

1.  I didn't know - Great!  This one is easy.  Simply take the time to explain what they did wrong and retrain.  Then go promptly to the person responsible for training them, pull them into private and repeat this process.  
2.  I didn't understand - OK.  Misunderstandings happen all the time.  No problem, spend some time with them and clarify the procedures.  Now this problem should not happen again.  If it does then corrective measures are warranted.
   3.  I didn't want to - Now we have a problem.  If someone cannot perform the duties that they are hired to perform for any reason (no matter how noble their intentions may be) then their services are no longer needed.  You may consider a write-up as a warning or even termination.  

Remember to be honest with yourself.  If an employee doesn't want to do something because it seems extreme or slightly immoral then they are in the right.  Ask yourself, "Would I do this?" "Is this really necessary?"

The best way to get your staff to do what you want is to lead and inspire them.  Encourage them, reward them, step into the fire with them.  If you have your staff's respect you will rarely have problems.  The best way to get respect is to extend them the same courtesy.
  For more on this topic refer to our Lead, Teach & Inspire training kit.
What is a team?  Blair Singer defines it as a group of people with complementary skills who are committed to:

    •    A common purpose and vision
    •    A set of performance goals
    •    A set of personal performance standards
    •    An approach and strategy
    •    Demonstrating a commitment by all members
    •    Exhibiting trust and trustworthiness between the players
    •    Holding all mistakes as "learning experiences" and takes the time to "debrief" what was learned in all cases

Now is a good time to ask yourself, "do I have a staff, or a team?"  Chances are good that you only have a staff.  What's the difference?  A staff works independently and requires you to prod them individually.  A team holds each other accountable for their actions and challenges one another to take their performances to the next level.

A Code of Honor is what you need to turn your staff into a team.  Create a set of rules with your staff that they all feel invested in and responsible for.  Now your team will become more motivated to work together and achieve your goals.  For help with this refer to our Code of Honor Training Kit.
Once you have established a team the key to keeping it working is trust.  Here are some elements required to build, maintain and restore trust:
    1.    Create brightness of the future or clear and beneficial goals that have an ending in sight
    2.    Maintain frequency of interaction between the members
    3.    Purposely make and keep agreements to form a track record of trustworthiness
    4.    Build and maintain rapport based upon use of language, tonality, behaviors and understanding other's points of view

This topic and many more are more thoroughly explored in the training kit.
In business, you are going to make mistakes.  If you teach your team to expect them, and even how to laugh at them, you will be giving them a lifelong skill that will make them winners, no matter what.  Note:  If you can do this with your kids they will grow up to be strategic risk takers and great problem solvers.   The key to learning from mistakes is asking the right questions.  Debriefing a situation teaches someone how to look at any situation as a learning experience, not as a tragedy.  As a leader, it isn't about correcting, advising, lecturing or even consoling.   It's about asking good questions.  It's about getting people to understand what happened and to take responsibility for learning something as a result of the experience.    Here are five important questions that you should use in any debriefing situation:
  1. What happened?  We only want facts here, not opinions.
  2. What worked?  Keep this brief and opinion free, if possible.
  3. What didn't work?  Notice the language here.  It's neither right nor wrong.  It either works or it doesn't.  You have to answer both of these questions, because they always co-exist.
  4. What did you learn?  (This is the most important question.)  Look for patterns of behavior or results, not a single isolated incident.
  5. What can you do to correct (if it was a mistake) or leverage it (if it was a win) You have to answer this question last.  Otherwise you may put something into action that could create more problems than you had to begin with.
 To learn more about debriefing your team please refer to Blair Singer's book The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins.