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Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success

April 3, 2007

In this issue...
Point to Ponder
The Seven 'Be-Attitudes' of Good Service
Success Library
Last minute notes and thoughts
Thanks for reading

Point to Ponder

One more step...

I heard once that "Success is measured in inches, not miles." Often the difference between 'winners' and 'also rans' is a single step. In Olympic track events the winner can be a single step, a portion of a second, ahead of the second place competitor. Vince Lombardi is reputed to have said, "Inches make champions."

This works in business, leadership, sales, and career races as well. At times we lead by being a step ahead of our competition. At times we lead by taking one more step that differentiates us from those who cry, "ME too!" At times we lead by taking one more step that brings us in contact with that client who needs what we have to offer and, as yet, has not had the opportunity to hear our story. Take one more step...

In sales this is certainly true. Often it is taking that next step to make one more call, one more follow up or sales letter, that makes the difference. It is taking one more step in the direction of your dreams to capture and create the future you desire. It is taking one more decisive step that allows you to pull away from the pack and win the business. The same is true in leadership.

An amazing friend gave me a collection of sayings. She knows I find this kind of thing intriguing. One of them, by an unknown author is entitled: 

"One Step Further"

Do more than exist: live.

Do more than touch: feel.

Do more than look: observe.

Do more than read: absorb.

Do more than hear: listen.

Do more than listen: understand.

Do more than think: reflect.

Do more than just talk: say something.

Made sense to me. This sage advice certainly works in leadership, sales, or business and can have an profound impact on your ability to compete and win. So few of your competitors do more than what is required. They could take the next step, but often they don't. When things are slow and the sales are stagnant, make one more call, take one more step. Take it today... pick up that phone and book the appointment or touch base with a current or past customer. Remember, out of sight is often out of the running and sometimes out of business. When your team is tired, share one more moment of encouragement with them to take the next step. Take one more step to guide them.

Works in life too. When you have people you love and trust, take one more step to spend time with them. When you are tired and perhaps experience a detour or encounter a pot hole in the road of life, take one more step. When you have a dream and want to see it become a reality, take one more step. When you have desires and passions that need expression, take one more step. Sign up for that course, read a new book, listen to a new CD, get a massage, or book that cruise. Reward or spoil yourself.

One last thought.

Do more than live: make a 'leveraged' difference with your life.

© 2007 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey

PS: Check out our new fun site: My Personal NEW Year - a more effective way to celebrate your birthday. Happens that I will be celebrating mine on the 18th, so join with me and celebrate the greatness within yourself.


The Seven 'Be-Attitudes' of Good Service

By Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey

Customer Service is one of the foundations for any enduring business, leadership, career, or sales success.

  • It depends on more than just a ‘catchy slogan’ to engage the minds and hearts of everyone on your team.
  • It takes personal leadership and demonstrated, ongoing commitment on the part of owners, leadership, and managers to show, employees and clients alike, the ‘true essence’ of Customer Service.

Customer Service is not just 'a part' of your business. Customer service 'is' your business!

This rings true whether you are in retail, service, or management. A small change in focus can result in a substantial change in productivity and profitability. A small change in action can result in a substantial change in referrals and repeat business.

A few guiding service principles might be helpful. Here are my 7 'Be-Attitudes.' I hope they will be of assistance in modeling and sharing the importance of customer service all year.

1. Be professional -- put the customer first. Present yourself, your company or your association in a professional manner. A professional is always looking for ways to help the client and to make their life easier, better, by offering products or services that work to benefit their clients.

2. Be polite -- wouldn't you expect to be given consideration and respect? Remember to give your clients the same courtesy, regardless of the kind of day you may be having.

3. Be prompt -- do your best to not keep customers waiting. If you promise something, do everything you can to deliver on time, or call and let the customer know exactly what time to expect it. Try not to keep a customer waiting on the phone or in your store either.

4. Be proud -- you are an expert, a solutions provider, a co-partner to your clients. Be proud of your expertise and ability to help your customers.

5. Be personal -- remember your customers are individuals. Don’t you hate it when people treat you like just another number? Make a commitment to treat every customer as an individual -- it will make him or her feel special. They are!

6. Be persistent -- good service isn't just given on the first encounter. Be persistent in your efforts to serve and solve their problems. If your customer has a problem with your service or product, it is essential to persist to make sure they are satisfied, or the problem is rectified to their needs.

7. Be patient -- some customers need a little more time or assistance to make their selection. Taking the time, especially with our seniors or children is the true sign of a customer service professional.

These 7 'Be-Attitudes' of customer service will not guarantee you success in sales or business. However, not applying them will surely guarantee failure. They will give you one of the foundations for success in building a career or business that will still be here in the future to actively and profitably serve your clientele. They will also give you a guideline to lead by example and to train those to whom you entrust your business - your staff!

© Copyright 2007 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey,

Visit for more articles on this theme


Success Library

Each month I have the privilege to suggest a few additions for your success library. These would be a good investment. Don't forget to visit the Executive Summaries ® page as well. Some great reading if your time is short. I've been subscribing for nearly 4 years and found it invaluable in gleaning knowledge. Often, I have ordered the books to delve deeper after reading a summary.

Leading with Character by John Sosik

Alignment by Robert Kaplan and David Norton

How to sell at margins higher than your competitors by Lawrence Steinmetz and William Brooks


Last minute notes and thoughts

March madness

March 3rd, Successfully launched our Secret Selling Tips biweekly, web-based sales success program. It is currently being read by over 2500 selling professionals across Canada. We hope to see that number multiplied substantially over the next year. (If you know anyone in sales or sales management, invite them to visit the site.)

March 15th: Edmonton's Business Link hosted me for a session on Speaking for Success which was webcast to 23 locations across Alberta, Sask. and the North West Territories.

March 16th: Shared a few words of encouragement with 70 plus Alfalfa growers in Legal before heading to Calgary.

March has been a very creative month with new articles, websites, new promo's, video clips, audio clips and more. My mind and fingers got some Expect April will continue along this long-term, strategic, creative path.

Was able to attend both Alberta CAPS Chapter meetings this month. CAPS National President Sid Ridgley (one of our Quantum Success authors) spoke in Calgary. He challenged everyone to look for and create power partnerships. Awesome idea... nice to be reminded... as that is part of what drives both the Quantum Success and Alberta Speakers projects.  

Speaking of power partners: I invite you to check out Vitrak Creative Services newly redesigned site... Irene has been invaluable in helping me revamp and launch my various web sites and adventures. She has just revamped her site... I think it is pretty cool. But please, don't all approach her about creating or redoing yours immediately. She takes on clients selectively as her time is limited at the present. She invests her time wisely and ensures she is able to fully serve those on her client list.

We also launched a French version, Trucs de Ventes Secrets (March 31st) to support one of our clients who has 11 retail stores in Quebec. Still working out some of the kinks and figuring out how to price SST subscriptions for individual sales people... but it is up and working and responses have been positive.

April arrives with success (and a light dusting of snow)

Publication for CAPS' Speaking for Impact, Spring issue was delayed so our first cooperative advertisement will be out this month. Visit to see who the players are on this amazing ad-venture.  One of the Secret of Success is the willingness to work together for 'leveraged' impact.

Looking at creating other power teams along this line... one on Leaders might be in the works. Am also exploring creating another one with fellow Toastmasters' Accredited Speakers, of which there are less than 60 world wide.

Schedule permitting, I am planning on attending both Alberta CAPS Chapter meetings again this month. Great speakers monthly at both of them. Visit: (Edmonton April 14) or (Calgary April 21st) Victoria Labalme does an amazing session. Enjoyed her in Vancouver. for more information.

We are working on concept, design, and pre-launch organization of Secret Leadership Tips. Our objective is to have it available for subscription sign ups by the end of the month. As well, am working on our first pocket sized mini-motivational book to support our initiative.

April 17th and 18th: will be leading a two day, council/staff visioning/goal setting retreat for Thorhild County. Nice to be engaged to help close to home, as I live in Thorhild County... smile.

The 18th is  'MY PERSONAL NEW YEAR'. Interesting, this idea is catching some interest. Heard from one of our subscribers about a friend who was celebrating a birthday, who mentioned she was celebrating her personal new year. It is also a time to reflect on the blessings and the special people in my life. Looking back, I have been blessed in deed, for which I am very grateful; thank you all. Too many to name here, but I hope you know who you

Working on the concept and construction of our Secret Selling Tips' Million Dollar - Retail Sales - Hall of Fame for launch later this month. Want to recognize those top performers as well as encourage others to strive for this goalin the next year.

Working on pre-promotion and teasers for a special program in Chicago May 26th. I will have the privilege of introducing 13 top North American furniture, appliance and electronics retailers to the Secret (Selling and Leadership) Tips at the invitation of a client whose sales team across Canada get Selling Tips every two weeks. Will be in Saskatoon late morning of April 27th and Regina April 27-29. Hope to connect with some fellow Toastmasters and CAPS members on my travels. I have the privilege of being an honorary founding member of CAPS Saskatewan, so it would be great to say hello.  


Grand & Toy has developed a great idea. They are doing a series of in-store promotions, with individual speakers in 11 cities across Canada, to reach out to potential customers.  I am fortunate to be presenting the two early morning (7:30AM) Alberta sessions in Edmonton (Secret Selling Tips on May 2nd) and Calgary (Creating Time to Sell, Lead or Manage: on May 30th). They will be marketing in advance as well as in store signage and emails to current and potential customers. Great idea!

Launch of year three of this e-zine coming next month. Wow!

PS: Another road trip coming up... smile


Thanks for reading

Remember effective service wins tennis matches, but more importantly it wins business and trust.


Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you for your conference, meeting or training event. For more information about customized keynotes, professional/personal leadership training and coaching, seminars/retreats, please visit or call our Creative Office at: (780) 736-0009

Ask about a customized conference, coaching or training package to suit your specific career, company or organizational needs.


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