If you run a business, manage employees, or deal with suppliers, there will inevitably be times when you have to face some difficult conversations - ones that you dread, avoid or mismanage.
You may have to reprimand a staff member, pass on bad news to a supplier, or talk to a client who is proving to be trickier to deal with than you expected.
Whether you do these verbally or in writing, here are few tips on how to make these difficult conversations a little easier:
1. Avoid using personal pronouns
Stay away from using "I", "we" and "you" in the discussion. If possible, make it about the situation or events, not about the personalities involved. For example, "the business needs products that will be available nationally" might be better received than "you're not able to supply us with what we need throughout the country".
2. Avoid unnecessary adjectives
Words like "really" and "very" can sound subjective or overly dramatic, so leave them out. Telling a supplier that you're disappointed sounds more professional than "really disappointed". It's probably sufficient to say that your staff member was late, not "very late". And telling them that their dirty work car is unacceptable will do the trick; no need to call it "incredibly dirty".
3. Avoid emotion and opinion
Make the discussion about facts, not feelings. This becomes easier to do once you remove the personal pronouns. Saying "it's unacceptable that deadlines are being missed" is less personal than "you keep missing deadlines". Because there is less blame or accusation in this approach, the recipient may not take the criticism personally and may be more receptive to suggested behavioural improvements.
Of course, there may be times when you need to add in a more personal approach. But even then, stick to the facts that aren't open to interpretation.
Posted 11 April 2018 | 0 comments
Excerpt from Mashable:
“The hashtag’s widespread use began with Twitter but has extended to other social media platforms. In 2007, developer Chris Messina proposed, in a tweet, that Twitter begin grouping topics using the hash symbol. Twitter initially rejected the idea. But in October 2007, citizen journalists began using the hashtag #SanDiegoFire, at Messina’s suggestion, to tweet updates on a series of forest fires in San Diego. The practice of hashtagging took off; now users and brands employ hashtags to cover serious political events (#Cairo) and entertainment topics (#MileyCyrus) alike.”
For some advice on how to use the hashtag effectively on your social sites, have a read of our article “All you need is love … and a few good hashtags”.
Posted 4 December 2017 | 0 comments
Every touch point with your customers is a marketing opportunity.
Recently I unsubscribed to a couple of email newsletters, and these were two different confirmation pages that I was taken to.
As you can see, one was quite humorous with a personal touch.
Their message: "We already miss how close we used to be. How about a second chance?"
They even let me know how I could continue to keep up-to-date with their info even if I didn’t want to receive their newsletters.
The other left me cold and feeling unloved.
Their message: "Your subscription preference has been processed and your information has been successfully updated in our database."
This was clearly a missed marketing opportunity. There was no branding, no apology, no other contact information. I won’t even remember who they were in a week’s time.
Remember, every contact with your customers or clients – even the unsubscribed ones – is an opportunity to spread your branding love.
Posted 14 July 2017 | 0 comments
It’s hard to imagine a world before Google.
Yet, if like me, you were born before the 1990s, then chances are you used to say things like, “I don’t know, let’s look that up”. You possibly had a dictionary or a set of encyclopaedias in your house. You may have even had a library card!
I was watching Back to the Future III with my children recently, when a certain phrase made me pause and back up the movie to double check what I had heard. There’s a scene where a despondent Doc Brown says, "Clara was one in a million... One in a billion... One in a googolplex... The woman of my dreams, and I've lost her for all time."
A googolplex! What the heck is that?
Some of you may know that the Google headquarters are referred to as the Googleplex.
But it turns out that a googol is a real word, and it means the number 10 raised to the 100th power. Picture a 1 followed by 100 zeroes.
That’s a pretty large number.
So yeah, Clara was a rare gem.
Now remember, this movie was made in 1990. Google started as a PhD research project in 1996, eventually incorporated in 1998 – almost a decade after Doc uttered those lines.
It turns out that Google takes its name from an alternate spelling of the word googol. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin picked the word to signify that the search engine was intended to provide large quantities of information. And inc
So, there you have it. Back to the Future was influencing our future in ways we hadn’t even yet realised.
Posted 18 May 2017 | 0 comments
Hung over from all the holiday hoohah? Wondering what to do next to cut through all the clutter of the new year/new promises excitement that is all over social media?
Start simply ... look at what has and hasn't worked in the past. Then take a look at where your customers are. Go there. Don't over-complicate it.
Have a read of this earlier article that summarises the steps to take to get your marketing for the new year off to a good start.
Posted 10 January 2017 | 0 comments
Did you know you may qualify for a subsidy for our services?
Maple Marketing is proud to be an approved business service provider within the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) Regional Business Partner Network.
What does this mean for our clients? You might qualify for a subsidy for services you purchase through their “Capability Development Voucher programme”.
To find out more, visit https://app.regionalbusinesspartners.co.nz/MarketPlace/Provider/1433
Posted 25 November 2016 | 0 comments
Still trying to figure out how to attract more customers?
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
This piece of advice has been around for a while, but it’s still just as relevant as it was when Simon Sinek first wrote and spoke about it in 2009.
As we approach the end of the year (what, already?!), it’s a good time to re-visit your purpose, your beliefs, why your organization exists. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?
Have another look at Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” TED talk : http://bitly.com/startwithwhy
Or read the transcript here: http://bit.ly/startwithwhytranscript
What's your "why"?
Posted 7 October 2016 | 0 comments
I always like to see companies use trained professionals when it comes to branding and design.
However, there is a time and a place for a tiny bit of DIY in your design work. For example, there is a lot you can do yourself when it comes to email marketing, newsletters, LeadPages, and social media.
So for this kind of DIY, here is a great tool I've been introduced to recently - Adobe Colour.
It allows you to create colour palettes with complementary tones.
Use one of their existing palettes, create your own from scratch, or upload an image (logo or photo) to match. Genius!
Posted 26 February 2016 | 0 comments
Every once in a while business advice appears in the most unexpected places. For me recently, it was on the dirt bike track.
It was my first time trying the sport (something I've wanted to do for years!), so needless to say, I was a tad nervous.
The beginner track had a few hills, lumps and tricky turns. But for me, the most challenging part was a flat section that had several ruts and indentations from being ridden over so many times. I kept trying to align my front and back tires perfectly and I was afraid of riding off to the side, on the grass (duh, just because it's a dirt bike, that doesn't mean you have to stay on the dirt).
I therefore kept losing my balance and having little spin out, freak out moments. I managed to stay upright and moving, but I wasn't taking the cleanest lines.
After doing the loop this way about 10 times, I decided to finally change tactics. It was time to employ the "don't look, just gun it" approach. So the next time around, I did just that. I looked off into the distance, squeezed that throttle like a giddy girl, and lo and behold ... I flew threw that patch without a single wobble.
I was ecstatic! I would have fist pumped, but you know, I needed both hands on the handlebars.
With this new sense of accomplishment and excitement, I was able to enjoy the rest of my time out on the course with a new sense of confidence and courage.
On the long drive home I kept thinking about it. That one little patch of ruts and trenches taught me a few things about business and life in general:
I'm afraid I've become slightly addicted to the sport already, so I'll be back for the more challenging course.
Posted 12 November 2015 | 0 comments
Do you do prize draws, raffles or other competitions for your business where you need to pick a name out of a hat … but in a virtual or online way?
I’ve found a few tools that enable you to do this, but I am curious – what is everyone using for this type of thing? Let me know in the comments below please.
Some require you to register and log in.
Some allow you to simply draw a name on the spot, without registering. There are a lot, but a few that came up first in my search results include:
And then there are even more available to download as apps on to your phone. Again, the ones that came up first in my search were “Draw Names From a Hat" and “Names in a Hat”.
Have you used any of these? Or any others? I'd love to know what everyone is using ... feel free to comment below.
Posted 4 August 2015 | 0 comments