Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change, Part 1 – 8 Simple Strategies to Creating Successful Change

The challenge of overcoming employee resistance is a hurdle both small and large business owners face.As your business grows, it has to adapt to changing circumstances. Trends and tastes change, and new challenges emerge; and it’s the most flexible, adaptive businesses that survive. This evolutionary process can be painful – especially when your employees are resistant to change.

From my experience, balancing the needs of the business, and the desires of its employees, is the most common problem facing small business owners and their managers. Implementing structural change in a business has become a dreaded necessity – but it needn’t be.

Here are 8 surefire strategies to overcoming employee resistance; the most effective, efficient and productive ways to create successful change in your business.

#1. Check your attitude.

Addressing your own attitude might sound contrarian, when it’s clearly the employees who have a stubborn attitude – but as a business owner or manager, you have to first put on the mindset that the “buck stops here”.

There’s no need to be a “barker”or a “dictator”if it doesn’t suit your personality – but if employees are resisting change, their lack of cooperation is probably because you’re letting people walk all over you. Check your attitude:

abc   Are you catering to their needs?

abc   Are you caving in to their resistances?

abc   Are you managing conflict, or are you avoiding conflict?

#2. Commit to being the leader.  

If people aren’t listening to you, they’re not following you. People follow leaders.

Eleanore Roosevelt so famously said, “If you have to tell people you’re a lady; you’re not a lady.The same applies to management. If you have to tell your people to listen to you, you’re not a leader — or at least, you’re not acting like a leader.

Overcoming employee resistance starts with committing to be a strong leader.  I often discover that managers and business owners who struggle with overcoming employee resistance hold misconceptions of what a leader is. A leader is not a dictator. A leader is not barker. A leader does not need to strong arm or threaten their people to do what you need them to do.

Reframe your definition of a leader as being more of a coach. If you were the new Head Coach of a football team and you needed to develop a group of underdogs into a championship level team, ask yourself:

abc   Have you cast an exciting, clear vision of where your company (team) is going?

abc   Are you raising the bar on their effort, performance and work ethic?

abc   Are you holding each team player accountable to follow through – or are you letting them slack?

#3. Have clear player POSITIONS.  

One of the biggest hindrances to overcoming employee resistance to change is that employees were never given clear expectations to begin with.

abc   What exactly was each person hired for?

abc   What position are they playing on your team?

If they’re hired to play wide receiver, then clearly define the role of a wide receiver. Don’t confuse and frustrate your players by having them play linebacker, quarterback, defense and wide receiver all in the same game.

People’s reactions are always based on their expectations. If you’re constantly throwing new changes to their job function it’s understandable that employees would grow increasingly frustrated. After all, they’re trying to hit a constantly moving target.

Employees end up thinking “Hey, this is not what I signed up for!–and their motivation plummets.

In order to mitigate that:

#4. Have clear player EXPECTATIONS.  

If you want to stop the reaction of resistance, start by setting clear player expectations.

abc   Do you have a written job description for each player?

abc   Is the language crystal clear in objective terms rather than subjective and open to interpretation?

abc   Does it define performance that meets expectations, falls below expectations or exceeds expectations?

#5. Dont pass the buck

If you don’t have written job descriptions, avoid the temptation to allow people to define their own roles or write their own job descriptions.

Having your employees write their own job description is only valuable as a barometer to assess their expectations of their role within the business; and how they align with your expectations.

I do not recommend taking this approach to let your players write their own player positions and expectations for you. That’s your job. These are decisions that should be made by you.

Ok, now that you’ve read this far, you’re ready to dive into

Part 2 – Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change.


You can also download my handy cheat sheet on
Creating High Performing Teams Here.

QUESTION:  What additional factors have you seen contribute to employee resistance and how did you overcome it? Please share your comments and questions in the box below.

© Copyright 2018

5 Networking Tips to Generate Leads

Save Time with the Networking Tips to Generate Leads!

Networking is one of the most important marketing avenues a small business owner can take to generate leads.  According to a 2013 survey conducted by Consulting Success, 36 percent of consultants spend more time on networking than any other marketing method, and 34 percent reported that networking earned them more money than any other promotional tactic. If networking doesn’t play a big role in your bottom line, maybe it should. Here are some key networking  tips to prepare you for your next event and help you generate leads.

Networking Tip #1.  Set Achievable Goals

Set achievable goals for a networking event. You could aim to talk to almost everyone in attendance for three to five minutes, or you could attempt to meet at least seven new people. The key to generate leads from networking is to make your goals measurable: Do you plan to meet new prospects? Set a number defining how many prospects you want to meet. Do you plan on getting your business card out? Decide how many you plan to distribute, and make sure you come equipped with enough of them.

Networking Tip #2.  Know Your Audience

If you want to generate leads from networking events it begin by picking networking events where you can connect with your target audience. A good networking environment is defined by the quantity of connections you can make and their ability to extend your influence and help you generate leads.

To generate leads you need to know your audience from a marketing perspective. What business problems do they face? What solutions have they already tried? How can you offer them something new? Go with some idea of the answers to these questions and you’ll be better able to target those who can help you generate more leads.

Networking Tip #3. Rehearse Your Elevator Pitch

Before you go, prepare and rehearse a one-minute “elevator pitch,” which is a short description of who you are and what you do. A good elevator pitch should describe who you help and what you do for them. To generate leads just be sure to focus less on you and more on what you can do for prospects.

Networking Tip #4. Capture Contact Information

Most networking tips revolve around exchanging contact information, making it vital to plan your activities to achieve this goal. Forbes writer Andy Ellwood emphasizes the importance of collecting contact information instead of just giving it out. To prioritize this, he uses the tactic of deliberately giving out his last business card so he has an excuse to ask other attendees for their contact information instead.

Networking Tip #5.  Follow Up

Any actions you take at a networking event will only bear fruit if you follow up afterward. Take notes on people you meet (the back of their business card is perfect for this) and when you get back home or to the office, enter this information into your database or contact management system so you can generate leads from the cards you collected. You can then take action to keep in touch with them.

QUESTION: What do you find is the most challenging part of networking to generate leads for you? Plus, share you best networking tips in the comment box below.

Blogging to Generate Leads: A Guide to Blog Marketing

Lead generation is crucial to any business – but that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive, or difficult. Blogging to generate leads is one of the most powerful, easy and effective ways to generate leads; and these 3 methods will have you inundated with new leads in no time.

Blogging to generate leads through SEO

Search engines represent the most direct route for generating leads. Prospective customers search for businesses and products through the likes of Google and Yahoo!, and click the most relevant links – with 33% of all search traffic going to the business ranked #1 in the search engine results page. Blogging allows you to climb these rankings by filling your webpage with relevant keywords and links.

The more times you include a particular keyword in a page, the more likely that page is to appear high-up in the search engine rankings. Blogging allows you to regularly create keyword-rich pages, boosting your websites search engine visibility and directly generating leads.

Great blog content is also regularly shared; and the more people share it, the more links your website receives from other sites. This is great for lead generation for two reasons:

1. The more links your site has, the higher it will appear in search engine results. This generates leads because of your increased visibility.

2. If other websites share your blog content, your post becomes visible to a whole new target audience – generating traffic and leads as a result.

Blogging to generate leads through Social Media

Social networks, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn , allow your business to engage with thousands of potential leads. Each social network is home to industry-relevant communities – from health and fitness through to digital marketing – and every single community member represents a potential customer.

Your business can attract these leads by blogging. Social networks are built on sharing, and by making your blog a resource of problem-solving, industry relevant content, you encourage people to engage with and share your posts. If your business is blogging to generate leads in the health and fitness industry, create content that answers the common questions in that niche:

* How can I lose weight?

* How can I gain muscle?

* What’s a protein shake?

Sharing this content across social media attracts visitors that are looking to answer their questions; and by the answers, you achieve two things:

  1. You bring your visitor one step closer to purchasing a product or service.
  2. You create gratitude for your business, for providing your visitor with beneficial information.

In other words, blogging to generate leads not only creates the lead; it also sales-qualifies them.

Blogging to generate leads through email marketing

Great content is half of the puzzle; and to generate as many leads as possible with your blog marketing, you need to publish consistently and regularly. By tackling the latest industry issues, and periodically releasing new and beneficial information, you create an incentive for your visitors to regularly return to your business website. This allows you to create a blog subscription call-to-action, and build an opt-in email mailing list.

Opt-in email is a tried-and-tested lead generation technique. It allows you to communicate and engage directly with your blog readers; building trust and appreciation of your business, and encouraging visitors to become leads, and eventually customers. By sending out a monthly blog summary, you ensure that your lead is regularly benefiting from your great blog content, and as a result, they’re more likely to respond to your promotions and special offers. Best of all, you can keep track of your leads through email open rates, and continue the process of lead-nurturing with further, targeted emails.

QUESTION:  Do you regularly use keywords, social media and mailing lists alongside your blog? Have you used blogging to generate leads for your business? Let me know in the comments!

© Copyright 2016

Top 10 LinkedIn Marketing Tips

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for marketing your business, skills and experience, and an incredible way of finding new leads. These top 10 LinkedIn marketing tips are designed to dramatically boost your LinkedIn profile, and help you to develop an authoritative and effective LinkedIn presence!

10. Join Industry-Relevant Groups

If you’re hunting for leads, LinkedIn groups should be your first port of call. These groups bring together all the thought-leaders, experts and potential leads from each industry. By joining these groups, you gain access to some of the key players in your industry – perfect for marketing your services and ability.

9. Participate in Group Discussions

There’s no better way to market yourself than by proving your expertise. By responding to relevant discussions and questions, LinkedIn marketing tips like this allows you to showcase your knowledge to potential leads – and prove why you’d be the perfect business owner to work with!

8. Share third-party content

Nobody likes arrogance – and exclusively sharing your own self-promotional content is tantamount to just that. Be sure to regularly share valuable content from other people in your industry – especially articles and posts from your LinkedIn connections!

7. Endorse your connections

LinkedIn allows you to list your top skills and expertise – perfect for showcasing your professional ability, and attracting new clients. To add extra legitimacy to your skills, it helps to have people endorse you – and the best way to do this is by endorsing other people. Endorse their top-rated skills, and they’re likely to return the favor.

6. Complete 100% of your profile

Once you’ve made a connection with a potential lead, your profile is the first page they’ll see. By completing every aspect of your LinkedIn profile, you’ll be able to showcase your experience, portfolio, skills, current projects and much more. This LinkedIn marketing tip may seem like common-sense – but many people overlook it, and sell themselves short as a result.

5. Connect with people you already know

Colleagues and friends are 70% more likely to engage with your content than other people; allowing you to boost the reach and engagement of your posts quickly and easily. The more popular a post, the more traffic and leads it will generate – so take advantage of these easy LinkedIn marketing tips now!

4. Add a LinkedIn button to your website

If your website regularly receives traffic, adding a Connect button to your site can have a huge impact on your LinkedIn connections. This is one of the quickest and easiest LinkedIn marketing tips around; and it could send your connections and influence sky-high in a matter of days.

3. Write recommendations for people you know

Like endorsements, recommendations allow you to vouch for a connection’s skills. If you’ve worked with a connection, or have experience of their skills, take the time to write an honest recommendation. You’re likely to attract a reciprocal recommendation, and improve your LinkedIn reputation and marketing.

2. Optimize your profile for SEO

Your LinkedIn page ranks in search engines like any other – and by boosting its SEO, you can greatly improve your marketing efforts. Add keyword-rich phrases, outbound links and heavily promote your profile throughout your own social media networks and websites.

1. Connect with lots of potential prospects and referral partners

LinkedIn is a huge source of leads and marketing channels – but only if you’re willing to connect with people. The more connections you make, the more people you will reach with your posts and comments. You want to send connection requests to people who you have met either in person or online. Be sure to write a personalized message when you ask to connect to remind them how you know each other.

QUESTION:  What is your biggest challenge when to comes to using LinkedIn to grow your business?

For a deeper dive on learning LinkedIn for business join me for a free webinar training on:

How to Use LinkedIn to Attract More Clients in Less Than 30 Minutes a Day

Finding New Clients – 5 LinkedIn Misconceptions That Hurt You From Finding New Clients

Finding new clients

Thousands of businesses use LinkedIn to connect with new clients every single day – but for some reason, you can’t seem to imitate their success. Let’s say LinkedIn has never worked for your business, and you think that it never will.  Worst of all, you can’t figure out why.

I have the answer: the biggest barrier to LinkedIn success is your own attitude. 

Adjusting your LinkedIn Mindset

Finding new clients requires a positive attitude about LinkedIn — a belief that it can work for your business, and a willingness to find out how. To help you embrace the potential of LinkedIn, we’re going to look at some of the most common misconceptions – the limiting beliefs that are hindering your ability to find new clients. This is more than just opinion – we’re going to let statistics do the talking, and prove why you need to develop a positive LinkedIn mindset for finding new clients!

LinkedIn Misconception #1. ‘LinkedIn only works for businesses in the United States’

Most people don’t realize just how global the LinkedIn network is. LinkedIn has over 260 million users, in over 200 hundred countries – and less than a third of those users are based in the US. LinkedIn is huge in countries as diverse as China and the Netherlands, making it a viable source of clients for countries the world over. If you’re a local business, finding new clients through local groups and businesses is easy. And, if you’re international, you can target clients from virtually anywhere in the world.

LinkedIn Misconception #2. ‘Twitter and Facebook are better for generating leads’ 

LinkedIn alone accounts for over two thirds of all visits to corporate websites from social media channels. Facebook generates just 17% of these visits, and Twitter even less, at 14%. As a result, LinkedIn generates more leads for businesses than any other social network. If you aren’t active on LinkedIn, your business is missing out traffic, leads and clients.

LinkedIn Misconception #3. ‘LinkedIn has never generated any clients for me – why should it now?’

LinkedIn is a rapidly growing network, with a year-on-year increase in users of almost 40%. In other words, the odds of finding new clients increase by almost a half every single year. If you haven’t been able to generate new clients, you simply need to try a new approach – and abandoning LinkedIn altogether will cost your business more every year.

LinkedIn Misconception #4. ‘LinkedIn isn’t relevant to my industry’

Regardless of your business niche, you’ll be able to find special interest community groups on LinkedIn full of industry leaders and relevant discussions. All types of business people are active on LinkedIn – from post-graduates looking for experience and knowledge, through to CEOs of multinational companies to athletic coaches from high schools and universities and even facility directors who deal with building maintenance – so regardless of your target audience, finding new clients in your industry has never been easier.

LinkedIn Misconception #5. ’I don’t believe that you can generate leads by posting comments’

Commenting on LinkedIn discussions allows you to show your expertise, and develop relationships with potential clients. If you’re able to solve someone’s problem, they’re going to be grateful to you. They’ll view you and your business as helpful, authoritative and trust-worthy which increases their interest in working with you. Commenting is more than showing off – it’s helping people with your knowledge and thought leadership and nothing is more powerful for finding new clients.

In closing, the statistics don’t lie – LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding new clients, and if you and your business are struggling to capitalize on that, you might need to adjust your mindset.

QUESTIONS: Have any of these misconceptions stopped you from finding new clients? What other factors are still limiting your LinkedIn success? Let me know in the comments below!

Attract More Clients on LinkedIn – Sign Up for Free Webinar

Phone Prospecting Tips for Setting up Appointments

In an age when everyone is suffering from email overload it pays off to simply pick up the phone.  Of course, you probably know by now my first recommendation is to use LinkedIn to help you make connections before your even begin your phone prospecting. People are much more inclined to listen to your entire phone prospecting approach if you first build that connection online.

The key to successful phone  prospecting is planning. Using guidelines and a script on the call doesn’t have to make it sound mechanical if you’re listening to a customer and connecting with his communication style. These tips will increase your phone prospecting close rate and build your confidence in using the phone for marketing and setting up appointments.

1. Have a written out phone prospecting approach.

You might think that winging it is will make your phone prospecting approach sound more natural. On the contrary, “winging it” only leaves you with inconsistent results. It also ends up making your phone prospecting sound more confusing to the person answering your call because you inherently end up spitting out fragmented phrases you’ve used randomly in the past.

Since a confused mind says “no” be sure to take the time to write a well thought out phone prospecting approach that quickly builds rapport, asks relevant open ended questions and gives the customer enough information to accept your invitation to set up an appointment.

Make your phone prospecting calls from some place comfortable. Relax, think about successfully closing during your phone prospecting calls and have a smile on your face. Your body language comes through over the phone in subtle ways so have a positive attitude before you dial, suggest ATC Conferencing. If it’s helpful, imagine that each customer is actually sitting in front of you watching your body language.

2. Be an active listener.

When your prospects are answering those open-ended questions you’ve prepared don’t be thinking about what you will say next. When the prospect is speaking do nothing but listen to get a sense of:

•  how the person communicates
•  what the person currently needs in his or her life
•  how your product can fulfill one or more of those needs

Notice things like – does the customer seem rushed? Out of breath? How did he or she answer the phone? What background sounds can you pick up? This will give you some sense of the person you’re speaking with. Based on that, you can begin to match his or her communication style.

3. Mirror the Customer.

Match the speed and volume at which the person is speaking. Listen for the person’s choice of words, phrases and slang. Try to use them throughout the conversation. When you use the same language during your phone prospecting calls it resonates more with the customer. It makes communication easier. Use the customer’s name two or three times in the conversation as well.

4. Qualify the lead.

If this is a cold prospecting phone call, then you’ll have to qualify the person as a potential customer while you are going through your phone prospecting approach. For example, if you’re an insurance company you can use a resource such as QuoteWizard homeowners insurance leads, you’ll have a list of pre-qualified customers. You’ll still need to listen to the customer to determine where your product will fit into his needs. He may be in the market to purchase a new home, which would be a good time to switch his home insurance to your company.

5. Get the prospect involved.

One of the best ways to set up appointments during your phone prospecting is to get the customer active in the buying process, according to The Sales Hunter. Ask the customer when he thinks the best time would be to make a purchase decision. Perhaps he’s neglected to add a rider to his homeowner’s policy to cover expensive jewelry or electronics in his home and is about to leave on a month-long trip.

Ask the prospect if he or she was in the market to work with someone like yourself, what would the key decision criteria be to help them determine if you were the right fit.

6. Be sure to invite them to connect with you.

If the prospect ends up saying “no” to your invitation to set up an appointment, don’t get discouraged and toss out their phone number. “No” often means “not right now” or “I don’t understand the product well enough.” You want to leave each call with and invitation to stay connected. The best place to connect is on LinkedIn, so you’ll need to ask them for their email address to send them a connection request on LinkedIn. (which should be included in your written out prospecting phone approach).

7. Give before you get.

The number one rule of networking is also my number one phone prospecting tip — GIVE BEFORE YOU GET! What motivates a prospect to want to connect with you beyond the initial phone call is the opportunity for them to gain the type of introductions they are most interested in building.  Ask your prospect the simple question:

“In my line of work I end up meeting lots of different types of great people.                                                                                                                              What kind of strategic introductions would be most valuable for you as a _____?”

You will never know what your prospect’s biggest priorities are if you don’t ask. Finding out what is most valuable to them allows you to speak in terms of their currency — their money language. Typical answers I’ve heard range from:

•  looking for new hires in key positions
•  introductions to people who would be their target buyer
•  introductions to referral partners for them

Don’t expect you will have an immediate contact you can introduce them to. That’s why it’s smart to get their email address to send them a connection request via LinkedIn. That way, you can tell them you’re going to jot that down and keep your eyes out among your network.

Practice these 7 phone prospecting tips when you want to focus on proactively setting up appointments.

QUESTION:  What is your biggest challenge when it comes to calling those decision makers in your target market? Please share in the comment box below.