Your Business Lifeline… the Telephone!

If you run any business, especially a dental or discretionary healthcare practice, here’s some staggering statistics you should know about:

  • The average conversion rates of new patient phone calls in the US and Canada are only 34%.
  • The percentage of calls that go unanswered in a dental office is between 40-50%.
  • Out of those missed calls, 80% will choose not to leave a voicemail.
  • If they do leave a voicemail, you have approximately 5 minutes to return the call before the patient moves on and calls another office.
  • Mondays and Fridays have with the highest number of new patient callers.
  • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm are the busiest call times for new patient callers.

This information comes from a company who has recorded and analyzed calls for hundreds of dental practices in the US and Canada over the last several years. As we looked at their data to help us improve our SuperStar Telephone Training program… we were stunned.

If you assume the average dental patient represents about $1200-$1500 in revenue to a practice in the first year alone, then do the math. It’s a lot of missed opportunities, for the practice and for the patients.

So how do you fix it? Try these tips to improve your conversion and patient service perception:

  1. Ongoing training: Make your training a regular commitment. It’s not a one-and-done kind of process. Pre-schedule time to give and support telephone training in your practice.
  2. Easy to learn: Make your process easy to understand and to implement. Don’t give your people 20 steps to a great new patient phone call. We’ve simplified our process down to 4 easy steps so it’s easy to teach and remember.
  3. Tools: Give them the tools to guide them. Make a call intake sheet that mirrors your training process so your team is always guided to be their very best. (If you’d like a free copy of ours, just send an email to and ask for the complimentary VIP Intake Form… it’s completely customizable!)
  4. Know Your Numbers: Monitor your incoming calls and conversions to appointments. You should be converting between 50-90% of all calls coming into the practice (depending on how patients find you). Set specific and reasonable goals for improvement with your team.
  5. Test for training: Consider a call monitoring and/or mystery shopper service to help analyze when you’re missing calls, how calls are handled, and where you have training gaps and opportunities for growth.
  6. Expand your telephone hours: Consider companies who offer well-trained, live administrators to answer your calls during peak times when your practice is closed or unable to answer calls. (We can recommend some, if you need a referral.)

New patient callers are the lifeblood of your business. You’ve invested a lot of time and money to get them to call you whether that’s through a well-designed website or social media presence, direct external marketing, or through amazing patient service that has gained you a strong reputation and a high number of direct referrals. What a shame to waste these precious opportunities to help the very people you’ve spent a lifetime learning to help! Don’t take it for granted that because you handed a telephone to someone, they know what to do with it. Get them the training and support they need. They and your patients will thank you for it.

Our skilled LionSpeak training team is standing by and ready to help if you need us!

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Hot Tea and Full Cups

And just like that… it’s December. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Funny how time seemed to drag to a near stop before the holidays when we were children, and now it just seems to be an unstoppable train on a downhill track, picking up speed with every year that passes.

One of my favorite wintertime pleasures is wrapping my hands around a steaming cup of hot tea… morning, noon, or night. I love trying new flavors and types of teas, but mostly I relish the instant calm that seems to immediately pour through me when I take that first refreshing sip, inhale that blissful scent, and feel that deep warmth from the hot liquid seep into my bones. Ahhh.

And speaking of cups of hot tea, I have a little fable for you this week:

Imagine you’re holding a cup of tea when all of a sudden someone comes along and bumps into your arm, causing you to spill it everywhere.

Why did you spill your tea? You might say, “Because he bumped into me!”

Wrong answer.

You spilled tea because tea was in your cup when your arm was bumped. Had there been coffee in your cup, you would have spilled coffee.

Whatever is in your cup is what will spill out when you are bumped, rattled, or jarred. Just as in life. When life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is sitting inside you will come spilling out. It’s easy to fake it in the good times, when everything is going well. But, when life goes wrong and you are rattled, angry, scared, disappointed, or treated unjustly… before you even know it, what you’ve been filling your cup with on a daily basis will come spilling out all over everyone and everything around you.

So, ask yourself, “What’s in my cup?” If I were bumped today, what would automatically come spilling out?

Would it be anger, frustration, bitterness, fear, scarcity, insecurity, jealousy, and pride? Or would it be joy, gratefulness, peace, humility, tolerance, patience, and love?

Life gives us an empty cup. WE choose how we will fill it and what we will fill it with. It matters that we are intentional about what goes into our cup on a daily basis, especially on the small, uneventful days of our lives because when the big, eventful days are suddenly upon us… we’ll be better with a full, positive, loving, and secure cup from which to pour.

This week, as we fill our morning cups with our favorite hot beverage, let’s be equally intentional about filling our emotional cups with heaping portions of gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation and kindness, gentleness and love for others.

And then… may our cups runneth over.

“I am building a fire. And every day I train, I add more fuel.
Then, at just the right moment, I light the match.”

Mia Hamm

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Music Monday: My Thanksgiving

I’m invoking author’s privilege and publishing Music Monday a few weeks weeks later in the month in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday… because I have the perfect song: Don Henley’s, My Thanksgiving.

What we like in music is such a personal choice, but, in my humble opinion, Don Henley is one of the greatest songwriters of our time. I’ve contended for years that his songs are like poetry put to music. This one is no exception.

There is much to recommend in this song, but one of my favorite parts is the bridge which says, “Have you noticed that an angry man, can only get so far, until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be, with the way things are?”

We all wish for so many things in our lives. It’s the substance of our dreams and aspirations; however, if we spend all of our time wishing for what we want in the future, what should be, or ought to be… we will likely feel very dissatisfied with our present. Thanksgiving is a day that reminds us that, no matter what we’ve achieved in our lives to date, there will always be someone who has attained more than us and always some with much less. Always. Gratitude for what is, right where we are, is the great leveler. It helps us to stop the comparisons and rejoice in what we have right now. The Thanksgiving holiday can allow us to feel full and satisfied in more ways than one.

So, this week, join me in appreciating and identifying with Don Henley’s lyric:

“I’ve got great expectations,
I’ve got family and friends,
I’ve got satisfying work,
I’ve got a back that bends,
For every breath, for every day of living…
This is my Thanksgiving.”

In addition to our Don Henley performance video, I’d also like to share this short but sweet perspective video, which so beautifully encapsulates this idea of true thanksgiving. Enjoy as you head into this holiday season with family and friends. All of us here at LionSpeak are wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving holiday celebrated around a table of delicious food and even more delicious loved ones.

Don Henley – My Thanksgiving

“A lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of ’em ain’t no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line
I always thought you were a friend of mine

Sometimes I think about you
I wonder how you’re doing now
And what you’re going through

The last time I saw you
We were playing with fire
We were loaded with passion
And a burning desire
For every breath, for every day of living
And this is my Thanksgiving

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation
Too many blessings, too little appreciation
And I know that kind of notion…well, it just ain’t cool
So send me back to Sunday school
Because I’m tired of waiting for reasons to arrive
It’s too long we’ve been living
These unexamined lives

I’ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I’ve got satisfying work
I’ve got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

Have you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be
With the way things are

Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best life from a burning bridge

And I don’t mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I’m welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving”

This week, while we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, please enjoy a recycle 
of one of our most popular MMS’s from several years ago.  Our new
subscribers will enjoy Katherine’s story and the lessons she took  from the
experience.  And to all of our MMS readers who have been loyal
subscribers from the beginning… you’ll remember why we love 
seeing the world of business and life through the eyes of The Lioness.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie

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Transform Your Meetings With Questions

coffee morning meetingA few years ago, I observed the most “by-the-book”, point-perfect morning meeting in a client office I had ever seen in all my years of consulting. Everyone was there on time with big smiles, bright “Good Morning’s!” and upbeat attitudes all around. Every patient chart had been reviewed the day before using the chart checklist I had given them. They also utilized the Morning Meeting Flowchart I had given them to keep the meeting on track and complete.

In the meeting, they discussed several patients who had pending, uncompleted treatment as well as a new patient with a tooth that was bothering him. One of the newest members of the team even shared that one of the day’s hygiene patients, Sherrie, was her manicurist. She relayed that on a recent visit to the salon the patient had raved about how happy she was with the teeth whitening procedure she had done at their office and the team member suggested giving the woman some business cards, practice brochures, and encouraging her to send referrals.

They were superstars! I was so impressed. And then, the morning unfolded.

The patients came into hygiene without anyone discussing the pending treatment before the doctor came in to do her exam. The new patient was greeted at the front office, in the operatory by the assistant and the dentist with the same basic question: “Why are you here?” And the worst of all… Sherrie came and went without any cards, brochures, or ever being asked to send referrals.

What happened? How had such a spot-on morning meeting resulted in no real, tangible actions?

It was in that afternoon training session that these three critical questions came to me:

1) What?
2) So What?
3) Now What?

Business seminar“What?” They had answered this question brilliantly. But it was the follow-up “So What?” and “Now What?” questions that would have made all the difference.

So What that the new patient had a toothache? Now What do we do with that information?

So What the manicurist was ecstatic about her white teeth and was in such a perfect position to send referrals to the practice? Now What will we do with that information and who will do it?

No one wants to take the time to compile great information or generate great ideas only to have it reported but never result in anyone doing anything with it.

What? So What? Now What? These are the questions that will transform your morning meetings, monthly team meetings, review of practice statistics, and even your one-on-one employee conversations from simply a report of raw facts and basic information to real decisions about what, when, how, and who will actually do something with that information.

So this week, don’t just “report” … ask the questions that make the facts mean something and affect the changes for which you are hoping.

This week, we recycled one of our most popular MMS’s
from several years ago. Our new subscribers will enjoy Katherine’s story
and the lessons she took from the experience. And to all of our MMS readers
who have been loyal subscribers from the beginning… you’ll remember why we
love seeing the world of business and life through the eyes of The Lioness.

“Who we are and what we will become is determined by the
questions that
animate us, and by those we refuse to ask. Your questions are
your quest. As you ask, so shall you be.

~ Sam Keen, Philosopher

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Hands Up and Hang On!

One thing about roller coasters… once it starts, you’re along for the ride, like it or not. Once you’re strapped in, how you handle the ups and downs, fear and excitement, twists and turns will ultimately determine how much you enjoy the ride.

If you stand on the ground and look at a roller coaster from a distance, you can see that the coaster starts out slowly climbing its first hill going up and up and up until it reaches a peak and then, after a short moment of stillness, it plunges back down toward the bottom before it levels out and begins the climb back up for round two. It’s a thrill on a theme park roller coaster. It’s often terrifying on the roller coaster of life.

What if you’d never ridden a roller coaster and had no idea that as you started your rapid descent toward the bottom you were not going to actually hit the ground and you were not going to die? But, it could certainly feel that way until you got the hang of it.

Often, I see people in my business and life who are experiencing some kind of trauma, stress, anxiety, downturn, or roadblock and they feel like they are headed toward certain disaster and permanent failure. It’s rarely true. They are simply on the free-fall portion of the roller coaster ride of business and life.

When I coach business leaders and professionals who find themselves in the freefall, I remind them that if they didn’t know how the roller coaster works, they’d want to jump off and never get back on. But, if they knew that they would eventually return to the upward trajectory, they’d hold on and ride it out.

The only reason to ride a roller coaster is for the thrill of the ride, up and down. And, the best way to enjoy it is to know that you will survive the freefalls and find yourself once again on the rise upward. You’ll always have a much better experience when you don’t hold on too tight or squeeze your eyes too much. When you relax into the flow of the ride, confident in your ultimate safe landing, you will enjoy the thrill and joy of the full experience.

This week, remember that when you find yourself in a free fall, when you can’t get your footing and you feel scared, anxious, lost, or any other negative emotion… just hold on. Don’t jump off. Your coaster will turn and head back up at some point. Relax, trust, and know that this is what you strapped in for… the whole ride. Scream, laugh, cry, smile, cringe and feel whatever emotions you’re faced with. But whatever you do, throw your hands up and enjoy the ride!

“Roller coasters would be so dull without their strange mysterious tracks.
I guess our destiny tends to like this idea a lot.”

~~Yash Goenka

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Part Two: Demonstrating Empathy

Last week, I shared about a conversation I had with a man at dinner. This man trains Oncology Residents and, while he is truly impressed with the dedication, talent, and level of clinical and scientific education his recent students possess, he lamented the poor level of skill his students exhibit in their ability to connect, relate, and communicate effectively with their patients. He feels strongly that, these days, empathy is under-valued and under-taught in our medical education system.

In last week’s stretch, I shared how important the skill of empathy is and how to motivate your team members to improve their level of empathy.

This week I want to talk about what this looks like in practice.

So how do we do it? How do we show empathy?

Empathy is often confused with sympathy, but they are very different. Sympathy is the feeling of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. Generally, empathy is defined as “The act of correctly acknowledging the emotional state of another without experiencing that state oneself.” Empathy in a healthcare setting is defined as a) the ability to understand a patient’s situation, perspective, and feelings, b) to communicate that understanding and check it’s accuracy, and 3) to act on that understanding in a helpful, therapeutic way. In other words, we feel sympathy, but we demonstrate empathy.

Being effective at empathy requires two things: empathetic understanding and empathetic action. Both are essential to understanding a patient’s condition, level of understanding, motivations and desires, as well as higher levels of patient compliance.

This week, to demonstrate more empathy with your patients whether on the telephone or in person, focus on these things:

1)Be truly present.
Listen deeply. Make ongoing eye contact. Soften your facial expression. Smile.

2)Shift to neutral.
Check and challenge your own prejudices, stereotypes, and judgements. Everyone, no matter how different they are from us, deserves respect and wants to be understood.

3)Get personal.
In a good way. Jot down a few personal details to remember. Ask about how they are doing, not just medically. When people feel known, they feel better.

4)Question and clarify.
Ask clarifying questions to get clarity on their situation, expectations, and concerns. Repeat back what you heard and ask if you got it right. What else would they add?

5)Support them.
Your patients are feeling a wide range of emotions, not only about the reason for this visit, but just life in general. They’re in pain. They had to arrange for someone to babysit their kids. They are living paycheck to paycheck. They are worried about a scary diagnosis. Whatever it is, meet them where they are. Remind them that its normal to feel the way they do or to have lots of questions. They more you understand where they’re coming from, the deeper you can connect.

6)Pay attention.
Watch for non-verbal clues. They are harder to fake than words. Picking their nails, avoiding eye contact, slouching toward the door can be signs that someone is not “fine”… even if they say they are.

Empathy is not a soft skill. It’s the foundation of our work and essential to what we do. You and your team can learn to offer it better and to make it a standard by which you operate. It is quite simple really. It just involves the golden rule to treat others the way you would want to be treated. But, it requires you to see people as people, not just patients.

Watch this video with your team. Discuss ways you could improve your level of empathy with patients… and with each other. Remember, patient outcomes improve and team burnout decreases. A true win/win.

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Part One: The Healing Power of Empathy

Last week, I spoke on Courageous Conversations on the Smiles at Sea cruise to the Bahamas. I’m not much of a cruiser myself, but I confess that it’s not a terrible day at the office either. At dinner one night, I discussed the concept of empathy and patient communication with a PhD pharmacist who works in Oncology and teaches Residents.
While he is truly impressed with the dedication, talent, and level of clinical and scientific education his recent students possess, he lamented the poor level of skill his students exhibit in their ability to connect, relate, and communicate effectively with their patients. He feels strongly that, these days, empathy is under-valued and under-taught in our medical education system.

He spoke of the intense education he had received years ago from his professors who were adamant about the importance of developing an empathetic, patient, and kind bedside manner. He recalled being pulled out of a treatment or hospital room by his instructor and read the “riot act” about how to “lift his head up out of his clinical notes, lab reports, and medical jargon and converse with understanding, ask careful questions, and demonstrate empathy both physically and verbally. Even though these new students had apparently not received the same education, he found himself pulling them out of patient situations to educate in the moment and sending them back in to try again with a new awareness of the role they play in the patient experience.

But it turns out, communicating with empathy isn’t just helpful in improving the patient experience. Numerous studies show that it also improves actual patient outcomes, both short- and long-term. Equally important, some of the same studies show that it simultaneously improves the overall job satisfaction of the healthcare providers themselves and drastically lowers burnout rates. We also know it can be trained and taught.

After teaching communication skills in healthcare and business for over 25 years, I’ve come to understand that most people view empathy as a soft skill. They shouldn’t. Because it isn’t. Empathy should not be optional… just something we do, if we have the time. In healthcare, it should be a requirement and part of your expectations and ongoing training.
Here’s the rub. We all want to be empathetic. It’s the intention of most professionals. When I ask professionals in business (doctors, hygienists, business owners, managers, administrators) if they feel they are empathetic and communicate their empathy well… most give me a resounding, “Yes!” And then I observe them with very different results. In the training world, we call this conscious incompetence.

So, how do you motivate someone, especially a clinician, who already feels they are a great, empathetic communicator with a terrific bedside manner to get training on empathy and communication? You show them exit interviews of patients whom they thought loved them. Cleveland Clinic did just that.

They canvassed patients specifically about their experience of these skills and invited clinicians who were scored low by patients to take specific training to improve. After watching the patient interviews, they came to the training. Cleveland Clinic brought in clinicians who had the highest scores in the country to teach those who didn’t… and it worked. Evaluating 1500 clinicians post training, they found that validated empathy scores went up and professional burnout across the board went down. Patients said they felt more engaged, cared for, better known, and clearer about next steps.

Look. It’s not easy to be a doctor, nurse, assistant, hygienist, dentist in healthcare today. There are so many details to get right- coding, documentation, HR, HIPPA, OSHA, rapidly changing technology and treatments, and scores and scores of patients with complicated insurances who are increasingly well educated and demanding. We’ve essentially taken people who were, for the most part, drawn to the industry because they wanted to help, heal, and connect with people, and we’ve turned them into note takers, insurance specialists, typists, and data entry pros. If we want them to practice more empathetically, we have to make empathy a top priority, provide the training, measure the results, and get creative about making space in the system to allow for the actual conversations and concentration it will take to pull off this big, bold objective.

In next week’s MMS, I’ll discuss specific steps you can take to improve the empathy your team delivers in their communications with patients and one another. Don’t miss it!

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Making Business Easy

I love shopping on Amazon and I adore using Netflix for my movies and shows. I’m a frequent Uber patron and a huge fan of CLEAR to scoot past security lines at major airports. I hardly ever actually go to the bank anymore because of the ease and convenience of Chase Bill Pay and Deposit by Phone. All of these rank high on my list of companies that make it super easy to do business with them.

Just like you, I’m a pretty busy gal. I appreciate the precious minutes, and sometimes even the hours, that are saved by a company who offers a quick and effortless way to make purchases, return items, process repetitive tasks, and make or change appointments.

So why then did it take me almost three days to get my son in to see a dentist in Austin, Texas when he needed a root canal? I’m serious. Almost three days!

He had been diagnosed as needing a root canal by a clinic that did not do endodontics but “we’re happy to extract it” for him. Yikes! When your mother works in the industry, this was a wholly unacceptable answer. I told him I could help and would canvas my dental colleagues to find a reputable dentist who could care for him quickly.

It was mid-week and a quick Facebook shout-out to my friends in the industry yielded about a dozen terrific recommendations, though only a few did endodontics. But, as I made my way down the list of recommended offices, I was astounded at the amount of calls that went straight to voicemail, gave me a busy signal, or were redirected to an answering service. One just rang and rang until I finally hung up. Callbacks for the messages I left were slow to be returned. Some took days. When they were answered, I experienced enormously long hold times most with music or messages that were annoying to listen to in between the static. I spoke to many administrators who were unsure how to answer my questions about treatment, cost, payment options, or even location and directions.

I finally made an appointment for him at an office that told me they accepted Care Credit and was fairly close to his home. About an hour later, I received a call from the same office informing me that in fact they did not do root canals or take Care Credit. What?

Teaching telephone skills is a big part of my business. As a matter of fact, LionSpeak is known for it’s unscripted, consistently extraordinary coaching programs for dental, healthcare, and veterinary professionals. We have a robust mystery shopper program and my team and I speak on the subject at dozens of venues every year. You would think I would be aware of the “state of the industry” in regard to telephone skills. Boy, did I get an updated education!

Because I personally have a fabulous dental office where I have been a patient for over 15 years, I haven’t called dental offices as a potential new patient myself in a really long time. I was ready to make an appointment. I was able to pay the bill or help my son qualify for financing. He could come in at almost any time. He was in pain and highly motivated to feel better. I was highly motivated to help him save his first molar. Does a potential new patient get any better than this? And yet… most of them made it sooo hard to give my business to them.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. I eventually found my way to a terrific office where not only was the initial phone call handled well but the appointments and procedures were efficient, effective, and very well delivered. Austin loved his experience and has definitely found his new dental home.

Another great outcome was that this experience assured me there is still a deep demand and need for the client-focused coaching that LionSpeak delivers. It reminded me of how important that first impression is and prompted me to take a hard look at our own process at my company for engaging with a new or prospective client.

I want to make it a no-brainer and hassle-free experience for people to do business with LionSpeak. Just like the offices I called, we aren’t perfect and we don’t always get it right. But, this experience caused me to recommit to be diligent about the experience from start to finish for our clients.

I hope this week, you’ll do the same. Ask your team and even your patients what the experience has been like and what could make it better. Get creative and determined about finding ways to expand your availability and make your services easier to find, engage with, and raved about to others.

And, if you’re looking for a great dentist in Austin, Texas… I’ve already done the legwork for you!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This week we are recycling a favorite MMS. Our new subscribers will enjoy
Katherine’s story and the lessons she took from the experience. And to all of our
MMS readers who have been loyal subscribers from the beginning… you’ll remember why we love seeing the world of business and life through the eyes of The Lioness.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Generally, every customer wants a product or service that solves their problem,
is worth their money, and is delivered with amazing customer service
~Fabrizio Moreira

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Director of First Impressions

Many large companies are creating positions called a Director of First Impressions. As a matter of fact, you can find many job openings on Zip Recruiter with salaries hovering around 40K+ per year. Their job is to design, implement, and maintain ongoing quality control for the first interactions their clients will have when interacting with their company, services, and products whether online, on the initial phone call, or in person.

But what about small businesses? Could anything be more important for a small business than getting this right since it will largely determine how many new clients they attract, convert, and retain? And yet, how many could afford a full-time position to assure this level of experience?

I have a radical thought… What if I told you that you already have them on your payroll? You often mistake them for a “receptionist.” Whoever you have hired to answer your phone, greet clients when they arrive, and keep an eye on your online presence… is unofficially your Director of First Impressions. Here’s my idea: Why not make it official?

It would need to come with a clear job description, extensive training, and supporting tools. The duties would include the ability to be unwaveringly warm and welcoming, expertly skilled in converting all kinds of new client phone calls and fastidious about the cleanliness and progressiveness of the reception and new client areas.

But the job description of a “Director” of any department would always include ongoing evaluation, quality control, and improvement duties as well. This position might include:

  • regularly evaluating your online and in-office image;
  • listening to and evaluating new client and other phone calls;
  • interviewing random new clients about their experience;
  • routinely inspecting the parking lot, signage, sidewalks, hallways, reception areas, and new client areas from the client’s perspective;
  • creating and delivering new client orientation kits and/or gifts;
  • developing and implementing referral programs;
  • and being absolutely determined to create an initial experience that would be unmatched by any of your competitors by suggesting and implementing the best ideas for improvement to the team.

There is much more that could be included in this position description but elevating your frontline workers to Directors of First Impressions with strong direction, proper training, and clear expectations could transform their jobs, your client experience, and ultimately your bottom-line results.

“A stunning first impression was not the same thing as love at first sight.
But surely it was an invitation to consider the matter.”
~~Lois McMaster Bujold

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Music Monday: Things Worth Fighting For

A recent Facebook post really resonated with me. It said:

I once asked a very successful woman to share her secret with me. She smiled and said:
“I started succeeding when I started leaving small fights for small fighters.
I stopped fighting those who gossiped about me.
I stopped fighting with my in-laws.
I stopped fighting for attention.
I stopped fighting to meet people’s expectation of me.
I stopped fighting for my rights with inconsiderate people.
I stopped fighting to please everyone.
I stopped fighting to prove they were wrong about me.
I left such fights for those who have nothing else to fight.
And I started fighting for my vision, my dreams, my ideas and my destiny.
The day I gave up on small fights is the day I started becoming successful & so much more content.”

Here’s what I know for sure: What we focus on, grows. What we give our attention to, expands. What we think about, we create. Our brightest visions, biggest dreams, best ideas, and powerful destiny requires all the energy and attention we can muster. When we spend any time and energy on what other’s think or say about us, especially in a negative way, we are squandering our precious resources and beckoning into our experience the very things we don’t want … all while delaying the things we do.

I’m not talking about being secretly angry or passive aggressive about these things. I’m suggesting that we try to truly let go of heavy, negative energy and redirect it toward your strengths, gifts, blessings, and future possibilities.

This week leave the small fights for the small fighters. Redirect your attention toward fighting hard for your own dreams, ideas, and goals. That is when you will become successful and be so much more content.

And for our Music Monday selection (always the first Monday of every month), I’ve selected the classic three-song medley from Barbra Streisand’s return concert in 1994, I’m Still Here / Everybody Says Don’t / Don’t Rain on my Parade which feels like the perfect fit.

As long as you’re still here, even if everybody says, “Don’t”… never allow them to bring around the clouds or rain on your parade!

Barbra Streisand – Medley
I’m Still Here/Everybody Says Don’t/Don’t Rain On My Parade

Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all and, my dear
I’m still here
Gold statue sometimes
Sometimes a kick-in-the-rear, but I’m here
Now one day you’re hailed for blazing trails
Next you’re nailed for fingernails
Either they cheer or they jeer, but I’m here

I’ve heard them say song writing, acting, producing
What makes her think that she can? Or better yet song writing, acting, producing
What does she think, she’s a man?
One day a Tony, Tuesday you’re top of the Bill
So I’m here
Wednesday you’re phony, Thursday you’re over the hill
But I’m here

Now I’ve kept my clothes and kept me space
I’ve kept my nose to spite my face
Still once you say you won’t
Keep your place loud and clear
Once you announce you’re directing all you hear is

Everybody says don’t, everybody says don’t
Everybody says don’t, it isn’t right
Don’t, it isn’t nice
Everybody says don’t, everybody says

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade
Don’t tell me not to fly, I’ve simply got to, If someone takes a spill
It’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade

I’ll march my band out, I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn’t make it
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a-comin’
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a-drummin’
Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade

I’m gonna live and live now
Get what I want, I know how
One roll for the whole shebang
One throw that bell will go clang
Eye on the target and wham
One shot, one gun shot and bam
Hey, look at me world, here I am

I’ll march my band out, I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn’t make it
Get ready for me life, ’cause I’m a-comin’
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a-drummin’
Nobody, no, nobody, is gonna rain on my parade

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