Karen Susman's Next Level Tools

Edition of 6/18/2003


Karen Susman's June Next Level Tools per your request:Service and Speaking Tips

This month's Next Level Tools includes articles on Value Added Service and on Presentation Skills.

Newsletter Vol. 2, #`6

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Karen Susman's
Tools to Take You to the Next Level
Issue 6 - June 18, 2003
Publisher: Karen Susman
(c)Karen Susman and Associates

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I. Value Added Service: You've heard of value-added service, where you give customers more than they expected. I call this L.S.E. - a Little Something Extra. As Ron Popeil, the infomercial king, says after every offer, "But wait, there's more." Then, he throws in an extra chopping blade, cook book or doodad.

When did you last get value-added service? We are used to being frustrated with and resigned to bad service. We're often treated like it's a big bother for people in the service arena (and who isn't?) to take our money.

I spend a lot of time in hotels. The service isn't bad; it's just vanilla. Sometimes service comes at a price. Recently, I stayed in a hotel that was connected to the convention center where I was speaking. The presentation room was down elevators, around corridors, up escalators and across zip codes from my hotel room. I had several large boxes to tote. The hotel charged me $23 (plus tip) to have a bellman walk my boxes and me to the meeting room.

Here are three examples of hotel service providers doing a Little Something Extra. They come compliments of the Holiday Inn in Columbia, Missouri.

Example #1: I was eating dinner in the coffee shop. A man in a tuxedo came in the restaurant wheeling a baby-filled stroller. I flagged him down on his third lap to ask him what was going on. He said the baby's parents were having a romantic dinner for two in the hotel's upscale, four-star restaurant. He was giving them time alone. First, there aren't many communities where you'd trust a stranger to wheel your baby out of sight. Secondly, there aren't many restaurants that realize they aren't in the food business. They are in the experience business. The stroller-wheeling server ensured that the couple had a four-star experience. If the couple wanted a McDonald's experience, they would have gone to McDonalds.

Example #2 came when I tried to ship a heavy box of speaking stuff back to my office from the hotel. I wasn't in a rush to get the box, so I requested slow and cheap ground service. The staff person, Joe, told me he could only ship it overnight rate (very pricey). As I rushed out of the hotel on my way to the airport, I implored Joe to get me the cheapest rate possible. By the time I got to the airport, there was a message for me that Joe had found a way to ship my box for $28 instead of the overnight rate of $90. Joe had no motivation to do a little something extra for me. I was gone from the property. He knew I'd have to accept the high price if push came to shove. He could have done nothing. Instead, he made my request happen and then called to put my mind at ease (and let me know he was one swell guy.) Joe was authorized to think, to take initiative and to treat a customer like a guest in his home.

Example #3 came when I went outside the Holiday Inn to catch the airport shuttle. The shuttle never showed. I frantically told Sarah the front desk clerk of my dilemma and need to catch my flight. Sarah, who also was authorized to think and make decisions, flagged down someone to take her place. She told me to meet her out front. She careened around the corner in her metallic blue, '89 Corolla. Sarah stuffed my luggage in her trunk. She stuffed me in the front seat and off we went.

In your business, find ways to give your customers a L.S.E. that show you think, act and care. Add more humanity and less policy to your customer interactions. Your customers will sing your praises and give you the best kind of advertising. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing. Take my word for it, if you're ever in Columbia, Missouri, stay at the Holiday Inn. That's where all the rock stars stay.

II. Speaking Tips

James Gray, a communications skills coach in Toronto, wrote a helpful article in the June 11, 2003 Toronto Globe. Two tips I especially like suggested that, first, if you are using PowerPoint, don't start your PowerPoint presentation until after you have established rapport with your audience. You want to connect and build credibility. Then start your slides. Gray suggests you end your remarks without slides. Use personal interaction instead. Remember, you, not the PowerPoint, are the message.

Secondly, Gray suggests you start out speaking slowly instead of rapid fire. If you are speaking fast and furiously, the audience can't get to know and trust you. They will miss the framework in which you will be delivering your message. Keep your sentences short and simple. Pause, smile, make eye contact. Think of yourself as a tour guide. You don't want to leave your tour group (audience) panting as they try to keep up with you.

III. What's New!

Update! www.karensusman.com will be updated in the next week. There's a new article on how to participate on a panel. You won't nod off when you read the article on overcoming sleep deprivation. The recipe for Mint Brownies is sinfully good and a Susman family favorite. Order the smile generator, guidebooks and other success resources there, too.

New Tool for People Who Want To Be More Exciting Speakers

Best Practices Special Report: 53 Ways To Involve Your Audience. Do you have a presentation coming up? Don't talk at your audience. If you want them to hang on your every word, absorb your message and take action, you have to get them involved and interacting. Even if you are giving a technical presentation, you need to involve your audience. Maybe especially if you are giving a technical presentation. Use these ideas to help you stand out in your next presentation. Order at www.karensusman.com. Just $7.

New Service

Get networking results. Leverage every opportunity. Overcome stage fright, quickly organize your remarks, grab your audience, use dynamic visuals, handle questions, connect with your audience and more. Tap Karen's 23 years' experience training high achievers to be power presenters. Online coaching and phone coaching. Ask for information: Karen@karensusman.com or 1-888-678-8818

Where is Karen and What She is Talking About:

Building Community Involvement: National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, Tampa
Networking Skills: Greater Golden Chamber of Commerce, Golden
Humor: International Association of Business Communicators, Denver
Networking: International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Columbus
Humor:Chicago, Commercial Law League
Building Community Involvement: Denver, Denver Regional Council of Governments
Networking Skills: American Records Management Association, Boston
Life Balance: International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Columbus
Life Balance: Minnesota Municipal Clerks, Alexandria, Minnesota
Humor: Buffalo, New York Municipal Clerks
Presentation Skills and Humor: Columbia, Missouri Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers
Networking Skills: Toronto, International Association of Business Communicators
Building Streams of Income, Colorado Authors' League, Boulder
Humor: Colorado Health Care Association, Denver
Humor: Alumni Association of University of Colorado at Denver Executive MBA's
Stress Management: American Association of Bioanalysts, Broomfield, CO
Building Involvement, IABC Sub Saharan Region, South Africa

If you like solid content laced with laughter, bring Karen to your organization. Go to www.karensusman.com to see how.

Visit www.karensusman.com. Twenty new daily tips to bring you success. Plus the best soup you ever slurped.

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Next month: The Power of Storytelling and Lasagna Marketing: How to Layer Your Visibility.

Karen Susman
Speaker --> Trainer --> Author --> Presentation Skills Coach
Karen Susman and Associates
3352 S. Magnolia St.
Denver, CO 80224
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