R e b e c c a   M o r g a n ' s
Insights & Information
February/March 2008

Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC
Certified Speaking Professional
Certified Management Consultant

Developing your key talent for strategic growth

Grow Your Key Talent

Latest Blog Articles

The following short articles were recently posted to my blog "Grow Your Key Talent."

  • Less-than-festive holiday lunch service
  • Exemplary service starts at the top

In the News!

  • The Singapore newspaper The Straits Times published three of my articles in Decemberand January. The articles were "Dealing with Angry Customers," "Talk to MeLater,"and "Fine Tune Your Telephone Skills and Etiquette."
  • Stacey Freed of Remodeling Magazine interviewed me for their March issue on understanding and selling to different communication styles.
  • Paul Signorelli attended my session, "Innovative Interventions" for the ASTD Mt.Diablo Chapter and wrote a report on what I shared.
  • My article "The Paschalis Factor" is featured on the Web site 1001 Ways to Wow Your Customers.
  • The Mindful Network published "Creating Your Own Paradise."
  • The CEO Refresher published "The Power of Our Words."

Calming Upset Customers

Find out more about how to calm down your upset customers with professionalism, either through live training, thebook , or video-based learning.
Get a Deal if I'm Working Near You!

You can save money by piggybacking with my other clients. If you want to explore what I could do to help your people be more effective, contact me ASAP so I can work you into my travel schedule.

Or get several companies together, or gift your clients with a presentation for their teams.

March 18 San Bruno, CA

March 31-April 9 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
April 10 Singapore: Public workshop "CalmingUpset Customers"
April 14 Singapore: Public workshop "Telephone Courtesy"
April 21 Singapore (tentative)

July 11-13 Wash., DC
Aug. 2-5 New York City
Aug. 6-10 Lake Placid
Aug. 23-Sept. 7 SE Asia
Sept. 22 Vancouver

Professional Selling

Could your sales force use new or refined skills to close more sales? Professional Selling: Practical Secrets for Successful SalesP has been used as the corporate sales trainng guide for many companies. Discover more info on live presentations or the book.

Give Us a Call!

We're always happy to brainstorm with you.

Customer Service and Sales Observations from India and Singapore
I spent all of January in Singapore and India, so got to observe lots of good and bad sales and service techniques. Two of the weeks were vacationing in India with a group of 17 North American women, and two were working in Singapore. (I delivered ten presentations in 8 days. Luckily, the audiences were enthusiastic about our sessions together so gave me lots of energy.

(Read more about my Singapore sessions.)

When I wrote Calming Upset Customers and Professional Selling: Practical Secrets for Successful Sales I had no idea I'd be observing customer service and sales techniques internationally years later.

In the following articles are some of my observations about how people in these countries approach their businesses.

(If you have any interest in seeing my photos from my trip, including the Taj at sunrise, click here.)

Sales Techniques Learned from Indian Shopkeepers

In Agra, our group descended the stairs into the marble shop where ten men sat on the floor before us. We seated ourselves on the long bench to observe their craft. Sam, the shopkeeper and guide, walked us through the making of the intricate marble tabletops, boxes, and plates inlaid with semi-precious stones. This same art work adorns the Taj Mahal.

We watched transfixed as the younger men -- often sons of the older men -- sanded ant-sized pieces of malachite, turquoise, onyx, abalone, cornelian, lapis, jade, mother of pearl and coral into the correct shapes. The master craftsman chiseled out the marble into which these minuscule pieces would be glued in place to create the ornate designs.

Naively, we didn't realize the sales process had begun.

(Read Sam's centuries-old sales techniques and how you might adapt them to your needs to be persuasive.)

Soaring Customer Service

The last of my 10 presentations in Singapore was for 90 cabin crew of Singapore Airlines. I'd flownfrom SFO to Singapore as well as to and from India on SingaporeAirlines, so had scrutinized the staff and their service. I had plenty of examples to sprinkle in my presentation on Calming Upset Customers.

The good news was, almost all of my examples were positive. I didn'tsee any employee ignoring a passenger, nor acting inappropriately. The only criticism I saw in all my interactions was one for management.

(Read that one criticism and an analysis of what Singapore Air did right that you could adapt to your organization.)."

Lessons from Asian Executives on Effective Complaint Handling

Universal Network Intelligence asked me to facilitate a two-day seminar in Singapore on Effective Complaint Handling for 30 executives from China, India, Brunei, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Knowing that many of these executives would have a wealth of experience, I encouraged them to share with each other. Which they did generously.

Read more

Could Your Organization Benefit from a Consideration Campaign?

Some years ago, the Singapore government launched a consideration campaign encouraging Singaporeans to be considerate to each other. It seems to have worked pretty well. There is no shoving or cutting in lines, people say "excuse me," and generally they are polite, even on busy streets.

When I asked my seminar attendees to list some pet peeves for an exercise we were doing, one man said, "People who don't yield their seats on the bus or MRT (subway) to the elderly or pregnant." Interesting. I hadn't heard that complaint in the many years I'd been using that exercise. But I thought it was indicative of the consideration campaign. It obviously got to him.

Might your organization benefit from a consideration campaign? The outcome might be more compassion for, patience with, and politeness to each other as well as your customers. Which will improve retention of both.

Snapshots from India

Juxtapositions - Men outside small, roadside stands in primitive villages of mud huts chatted on their cell phones as cow patties dried on nearby roofs to later be used for fuel. The juxtaposition of the 21st-Century technology alongside eons-old practices was startling.

Using your head - A woman in a beautiful saffron-colored sari, working on a construction site, held an inch-thick woven pad on her head. A co-worker then placed a 30-pound rock on it for her to carry to the masons.

Shanti - chianti - whatever - We are besieged by hawkers at every turn. To get rid of them, we were told to say "shanti," from the Sanskrit for peace, as a way of telling them to go away.

I had trouble remembering the word. One day, frustrated by the relentlessness of these boys, I searched for the word to dismiss them. I emphatically said, "Chianti!" When that didn't work, "Shiraz." So instead of telling them "peace," I yelled wine names at them!

Got Internet? - India is the largest tech-support country in the world, yet the Internet worked intermittently at our 4-star hotel in the center of town. I was unable to get my email for 3 days as each time I tried the server was down. At another resort when we asked at the front des k for the Internet password we were told it wasn't working. When asked why, the clerk said the only man who knew the password didn't come in to work and he had no phone!

In one city, the nearby Internet cafe was a man selling connection time on his personal computer. In another Internet cafe I was surprised that the lights went out at 1:00 p.m. When I asked the owner, he said the electricity went out every day fro m 1:00 to 4:00, but I was welcome to continue to use the connection -- in the dark -- until his battery backup ran out.

Camel corral - Camel wranglers tied up their animals outside roadside diners into a makeshift camel corral. It reminded me of how cowboys secured their horses outside saloons in the wild west. But horses weren't as gaily decorated - nor do they spit.I saw one camel shepherd leading his herd of two tied behind his bicycle.

Transportation is different - On the 4-lane divided highway, our 30-person, air-conditioned coach shared the road with ox-, horse-, donkey-, man-, and camel-led carts. Bicycle-powered rickshaws were joined by motorcycles, tractors, commercial trucks, passenger cars and Vespas. The 2 lanes in our direction were often splayed into 3, 4, or 5 lanes. In town, 3-wheeled, motorcycle-powered rickshaws called tut-tuts wove between other vehicles missing them by only inches.

This email was sent to rebecca@rebeccamorgan.com, by rebecca@rebeccamorgan.com
Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC | 1440 Newport Ave. | San Jos=E9 | CA | 95125