All Posts By

Jonathan Briggs

Someone is always listening… Or at least we should behave that way.

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Today I was enjoying a flight of three Pinot Noirs at the lovely Terrace Tasting Room at Disney’s California Adventure. While I enjoyed my wine, I had the opportunity to listen to one relatively outspoken employee who’s conversation was less than professional. While I sipped, he talked about converting his second bedroom to a poker room with a go go pole in it. Then he said

in this day and age I think women would say that there is a lot more to go go dancing than just stripping.

He then told an African American co-worker about the time of slavery and what kind of movie he would direct to show The Man what slavery was all about. Most of his reference to historic knowledge was based of facts from movies, which unfortunately is not the medium from which we should learn.
These moments remind me as a manager to be diligent in being a consistent and physical part of my business. While this employee thinks that I’m out of ear shot, or doesn’t care if I can hear him, the fact remains that we should all behave in a way that the manager or customer is always there. It is therefore our job as managers to make sure that we are present, and have the ability to keep an eye on our crews. As an employee it is often difficult to deal with overbearing managers, but when you are managed efficiently you know both how you are expected to work and yet not be micro managed. We need to make sure that we do not allow the kind of environment where an employee would say to a customer

if I could synchronize when the managers show up, I could set up a poker game.

Don’t let employees gamble on your business. Be there.


Saying “Are you sure?” Is not an effective sales strategy

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Just now I was at a #chase bank to make a simple deposit. The line was a little bit longer than normal and moving a little bit slowly. In an attempt to make those of us standing in line feel more comfortable, one of the managers came over and asked us all if we would like a sucker while we waited in line. The first guest in front of me said sure why not? When she came to me I said no thank you. She then said my favorite phrase in sales “are you sure?”

All too often in sales so many of us revert to an easy phrase like “are you sure” to try and close a deal. While this person was not trying to make a sale they were certainly trying to make us more comfortable. And asking a question like that, doesn’t necessarily make us any more comfortable at all. It’s important for us all to remember that staying on top of our sales mentality is important at all times. Remember that sales is a huge part of customer service, and customer service a huge part of sales.

We all need another pair of eyes!

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No matter who you are, or who I am, we all need another set of eyes. When it comes to our businesses and our customer relationships, there is almost always something else to learn, gain or grow. My goal is to provide any insights I see in my daily life as I interact with people in their place of work. Hopefully it will grow into a large body of experiential training for all of us. Please comment, interact and have fun. Tell me I’m wrong, or agree. Discourse is how we all get better!

Talent + good business = success

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I just left another local business here in downtown Redlands California. The owner of the business basically told me that he really loves his product, but when it comes to business, he struggles. The good news for him is that he has a long list of clients that have existed in his business for decades. While he is successful because of his client list, many businesses do not have that backup. They look to good marketing strategies, good business practices, and excellent employees in order to bring the business in the door. I believe that what makes a great business great is that it has a talented person at the helm. So often a chef is the talent behind a great restaurant, or a talented merchandiser is behind a great clothing store. One of the major reasons that these businesses have a tendency to fail, is because the talent overshadows peoples experience in business. I believe that talented people should start businesses, but that they also need somebody to help them actually run their company. When people are able to pair their talent with good business practices, they actually have a shot at being great! That is something that I endeavor to do as a business consultant. I want to be able to help talented people realize financial security through their talent by helping them sort out the nuts and bolts of actually running a company. The idea isn’t that a business consultant needs to stick around forever, but that they are there to help you refine the way that you do business, or the way that you use your talent. The local merchant from my experience today said, “I love [my product]… But when it comes to business on the fish out of water.” That is what we are here for. We want to help you make money in your particular area of expertise by letting us use our expertise.