Customer Service, Public Speaking, and Magic: Shep Hyken’s Influences

In his interview on Smashing the Plateau yesterday, Shep Hyken detailed how strong, example-setting leadership can influence all employees to treat customers well. Here he expands on the people who have, in turn, influenced him:

1. Zig Ziglar (now deceased) and Tom Hopkins (@TomHopkinsSales):

Hyken writes, “I saw Zig and Tom at a ‘rally’ in 1983.  After they did their presentations, I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do… be a speaker.’ Tom talked about sales and Zig talked about setting goals.  I bought Tom’s book and Zig’s tapes. They changed my life and within a week I had a ten-year plan (goals) and was calling on (selling) my first potential speaking clients. 32 years later I’m still in business.”

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STP060: Creating a Vibrant Customer Service Culture With Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken has expanded the customer service practices he learned as a twelve-year-old magician into a career as a customer service expert, professional speaker and bestselling author. This week, he speaks about how crucial a healthy customer service culture is to any company, and how companies of any size can help foster a culture of positive feedback—not only through treating customers well, but by treating their own employees well.

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Social Media Mentors with Brian Honigman

On his interview on yesterday’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, Brian Honigman discussed how business and individuals can get smart about social media. As for his own social media mentors, he describes how “The list goes on and on and on! And mostly people that don’t really know that they’re a mentor or an influencer…” Here, he names a few of the people he identifies as being important to the development of his thinking about how to create an effective social media reputation:

1. Sean Gardner, Social Selling Consultant and author of The Road to Social Media Success(Twitter: @2morrowknight)

From Gardner, Honigman writes, he “learned attention to detail and how to go above and beyond when being generous to your network and clients.” In the podcast, he describes how Gardner has “really made a name for himself in helping nonprofits and small and medium-sized businesses with their social and overall digital strategy. He’s epic on Twitter in terms of the quality and value he delivers to the people that follow him. And from observing what he’s done to position himself in his business throughout his career, I’ve really understood how to better pay attention to all the little details that build upon the impression you leave with others.”

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STP059: Smart Social Media Management with Brian Honigman

Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant, freelance writer and speaker, with a highly diverse background at agencies, global brands (including Dell), and small-but-hot start-ups (like Sumall). Here, he discusses what companies need to know about social media, and why finding the right audience, and promoting your content in the right places, is just as important as producing that content in the first place.

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Marc Mathios’s Recommendations for Family Business Success

In his interview on yesterday’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, Marc Mathios discussed the challenges that come with helping to lead—with his two brothers—a third-generation, New York-based manufacturing company. Here, he provides us with two further recommendations: one that can be universally applied to any sales business, and one that he recommends particularly for family businesses.

1. Dan Sullivan (The Strategic Coach)

Mathios described how family dynamics inevitably enter into a family business’s discussions: “Everything that I brought, and my brothers have or brought from our childhood, is bought into the business. And it’s a good thing, and it’s a stressful thing at times … You just can’t get around it. It’s something that is just engrained in the way we operate together.” He praised Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach, which he says provided him and his brothers with a common, neutral language to discuss their business:

“It gave us language that we could speak to each other with—so it wasn’t my language, or my brothers’s language from an operational point of view. It was a shared language, a business language, that we could all refer to, that was kind of like sacred ground because it was a third-party language that none of us was espousing.

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STP058: Family Business Dynamics and Finding the Right Customers with Mark Mathios

Marc Mathios is the Principal of Ace Apparel, a New York-based manufacturing business founded in 1938 by Mathios’s grandfather Morris. Mathios and his brothers must be doing lots of things right: they’re beating the odds (currently at 13%!) on keeping a third-generation family business running successfully. In this interview, Mathios discusses how family dynamics can help a family business—and also how to address family dynamics when they become a difficulty.

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“A Great Example of American Entrepreneurship”: Ric Edelman’s Family Business

In his appearance on yesterday’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, Ric Edelmen spoke at length about the influence that his entrepreneur parents had on him, and how he learned about how to run a business from them. Here, in an excerpt from that interview, he tells the story of how his parents built their business, and how he learned from them “every day through osmosis”:

“Being in a family of entrepreneurs was, I think, what set the stage for me to start my own business with my wife. My mom and dad ran their businesses forever, and so you hang around at the dinner table—and mom and dad are talking business! They’re talking about the company and all the issues associated with it. They’re talking about staff, and HR issues; they’re talking about issues such as marketing strategies and business strategies, and new products, and new services, and new markets they want to get into. They’re talking about banking and finance and capital issues. They’re talking about taxes. They’re talking about competition. They’re talking about regulation. This is just natural dinner conversation, for a five-year-old. And then you go to their office during the week and on weekends, and you watch them running their business, and you watch them with their customers, and you watch them engaging…

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STP057: Ric Edelman on Communication, Learning From Failures, and the Importance of Delegation

Ric Edelman is the Chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, a business that he and his wife Jean founded twenty-seven years ago. Since then, he has been three times ranked the #1 Independent Financial Advisor in the nation by Barron’s and has published multiple books on personal finance. In this interview, he attributes his success in the financial industry partially to his lack of background on Wall Street; Edelman also has no MBA. Instead, Edelman describes how his degree in Communications set him up for success in helping ordinary consumers understand financial planning.

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Supportive Communities and Work-Life Balance: Mark Asquith’s Influences

During his interview on yesterday’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, DMSQD co-founder Mark Asquith spoke about maintaining work-life balance and not letting entrepreneurial perfectionism become a liability rather than a strength. Here, he shares the people, communities, and texts that help him keep a sense of perspective as he builds his business.

1. My wife, Lianne

“She taught me how to be more generous with both my time and my resources but she also keeps me focused on what’s REALLY important, and when the right time is to turn off the ‘business person.’ ”

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STP056: The Strengths and Liabilities of the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Managing Time and Perfectionism with Mark Asquith

Mark Asquith is a co-founder of design and digital agency DMSQD. He has described how in 2012 he burned out, a moment that led to his reassessment of his business strategies and subsequent greater success. Here, he speaks about maintaining a sense of perspective on one’s work, and how to manage time and self-expectations, so that the entrepreneurial spirit remains a strength, and doesn’t lead to burnout or wasted energy.

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