What My DiSC Profile Taught Me About Myself

By Kevin Drolet

Recently, I retook my DiSC Profile test. It’s been over 12 years since my last one and my hopes weren’t too high. In the past, profile tests like DiSC have made me curious but also seemed like too much work to apply in real life. I remember the last time I took the assessment, it was only briefly gone over by the trainer. Our group had a laugh at finding out “who we really were” but didn’t go much deeper than that. My manager even hid his because he didn’t want us to learn how different his behavioral styles were inside and outside of work. In reality, we laughed a bit too much when this test really could have improved our team's communication. Including and especially my manager’s communication challenges!

This time the experience was not the same. To go through the profile was like stepping out of myself and looking back into how “Kevin” behaves. So much of it was dead on the mark it was scary. Granted it wasn’t perfect, but having this kind of honest feedback was eye-opening. Feedback is something we crave as growing professionals but rarely get. Here is what happened from looking at my reflection in the DiSC reality mirror.

I changed. After many years of success in sales and digital marketing, starting my own successful digital media company, raising a child and dedicating myself to consistent martial arts - I had changed my behavioral style. While I had thought of myself one way - I had really transformed into another behavioral style. Thinking that I was communicating as a S (Supportive style), which tends to be calm and steady, when really I was more of a D (Dominate style), someone that can be more blunt and to the point. These are totally opposite and I can immediately think of several examples where I got myself into trouble.

I had to let go. Understanding how I thought about myself and how others perceive me was illuminating. Let’s face it, our ego and self-identity is important but when in a sales situation it’s all about the other person. By highlighting where I had some challenges in my communication style, I’m able to adapt and adjust.

It reminded me of a recent experience when my agency client called me to say the client we were doing work for didn’t appreciate my tone in a meeting. In fact, the client was really mad and I was in jeopardy of losing an account. In the meeting, I told a truth about the shortcomings of the client’s website and acquisition strategy. I thought I had been the supportive “S” in that meeting - helpful calm and providing good information. In fact, I was a high D, insisting they change their silly ways and stop wasting money. To make matter worse I didn’t understand the behavioral styles of the clients - including know what would set them off. I was lucky enough to be able to apologize and my agency client forgave me.

Using the right key to open the right lock. This is the most powerful lesson I learned through DiSC training. We all have different personalities and views of the world. When looking at it through the eyes of DiSC, you are able to identify and understand someone else’s perspective and communicate to them so they will best receive that information. Let’s face it, the golden rule is dead. You don’t need to treat others how you want to be treated but instead how THEY want to be treated.

Remember, there is no “right” profile. Instead what is right is the better we understand ourselves and understand each other, the better we communicate and have successful conversations, relationships, and clients. That’s why we use a powerful tool called CrystalKnows. It allows us to identify and understand someone’s DiSC type before we go to a meeting or send that email. With templates customized by personality, powerful insights to help plan your meetings and tools to clarify your communication, CrystalKnows takes our DiSC communication to a whole new level. Start your free trial today.


The Impact of Values on Small Business

Value Statements, mission statements, retreats, and branding exercises are often considered luxuries that small business owners will simply slide off of their radar. After all, there are so many more important things to do, right?!?

The short answer is, yes. There are many important things to do. Until there is a crisis, conflict….or even a client interaction. Then, this collective verbalization of what is important to us, what we strive for, and what we can expect from our leaders and peers becomes the foundation for success.

There are always metrics that are analytically trackable: sales, financials, all the numbers, right? But when it comes to measuring the alignment of organizational values in a small business what are you supposed to look for?

Here it comes….feelings.

OH, YOU KNOW HOW I LOVE TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS!

Check in with your team, and at different times:

To understand the adoption of values in your business it’s critical to check in with your team and learn if what you thought would be important about your values is resonating with them. As a leader, when you set the values for your org you set them through one filter - yours. But your values, have no guarantee of aligning with the person across the table. When we asked our new admin, who had been with us for about 90 days, Song said, “The concept of professional love was completely new to me. very few of my past employers have been as kind and invested in me and my goals in life, not just professionally but personally as well.”

Wow. After 90 days one of our team members knew that we cared about her as a whole person. Professional Love. Check.

When we asked another team member how he was impacted, Ben’s response was, “I am excited about the creativity that I have experienced with how @revenue works with clients. Developing ways to creatively collaborate with clients fuels innovation and brings excitement to the marketing strategies that we provide.”
This felt like a completely different view of the same question, but it gave us an understanding of how he was absorbing what we thought we were communicating clearly.

Having those conversations and getting feedback gives you a place to open yourself to getting better. Speaking better. Professionally loving them better. So what is the impact of those values? They are a measuring stick for the leadership of your organization and an opportunity to openly communicate over more than just ‘is the task complete?'.

The deeper the understanding and engagement your team has around your values sets the tone for how they care for and communicate with your clients. Give them something to believe in...and then believe in them.

We would love it if you would share your organization’s values with us! Visit us on Facebook or LinkedIn and share your vision - we are all ears!


Sales Sabotage: How Internal Communication is Hurting Your Bottom Line

In an ideal world, your sales and marketing teams would be best friends. Sadly, they don’t always see eye to eye--sometimes, they go head to head. The truth is, only 8% of companies report a strong alignment between their sales and marketing departments (source).

What’s the deal with this disconnect? As we discussed previously, sales and marketing can benefit and learn a lot from each other when they’re in sync. Heck, they both have the same goal--to drive revenue! Let’s take a look at just how disjointed these two efforts are, and what we can do to turn the situation around.

LEADS:

Did you know that sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads (source)? WHAT!?!? It’s true--half the hard-earned leads sent their way are going to waste.

Do you wanna guess what the team is doing instead? About 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting (source) Not only are they tossing aside the leads marketing is providing them, but they are wasting time on bad leads!

So if sales is only taking 50% of your leads, and wasting 50% of their time, that’s 100% failure. The sales team has reasons for passing on those leads--instead of ignoring the problem or guessing why, the marketing side should ask them what they want and need. Why aren’t they using these leads? What about these leads doesn’t appeal? How can you shift your strategy to ensure you are providing more qualified prospects into the pipeline? Making that shift means way more to the bottom line.

CONTENT:

We can’t lay the blame solely at the feet of the sales teams. Marketers could stand to make some changes to improve their impact.. Approximately 60-70% of B2B content created is never used. In many cases, this is because the topic is irrelevant to the buyer audience (source). Isn’t that just great? Writing for the sake of writing. If you are wondering why your content isn’t getting any traction, consider bringing in the sales team. They talk to your customers all the time and know exactly what their challenges and pains are. Make sure to address those and craft compelling and valuable content.

And let’s face it, content is still king. 47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (source). Be sure to engage your sales team so you're putting the right 3-5 pieces in front of them.

TOOLS:

If it seems that sales and marketing teams are speaking a different language, sometimes it’s because they are. All too often, marketing reporting and systems aren’t in line with sales processes and leads, and each team uses applications, tools and processes the other is unfamiliar with. In fact, B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies eats up 10% or more of revenue per year (source). I bet you don’t spend 10% of your revenue on tools.

To get on the same page, consider bringing together both departments to your results meetings. When the marketing team learns where the sales are coming from, and sales learns about what’s working in the market, both parties produce better results. Don’t let the communication gap go on, because it’s only going to be more critical that you are in lockstep. By 2020, B2B buyers won’t contact vendors until 80% of the way through a purchasing decision. That’s going to put more and more pressure on the marketing team to reach, engage and convert more qualified buyers.

If your sales and marketing teams keep butting heads, it’s time to bring in outside help. Contact @revenue to look at both your sales process and marketing strategy to align everyone's efforts and create the revenue you deserve.


Tools for Business Development

If you have any responsibility for developing business, you know how time-consuming and taxing it can be. Following up after events, the back and forth it takes to schedule meetings and keeping track of it all can leave your schedule packed and your energy drained. Let’s face it, this is a full-time job for some, but busy business owners have a multitude of other responsibilities. That’s why @revenue is here to give you the best tools in the industry to make your business development efforts not only work more efficiently but also to work more effectively! Check out a couple of our favorites that we have tried, tested and proven to be the best for busy business owners.

EatNGage.
Looking to really wow prospects or find a good excuse to get in front of them? How about you buy them lunch! EatNGage offers an efficient all-inclusive engagement platform that will schedule lunch with your prospects… virtually. Food is delivered and your meeting is done through web conferencing so no one has to leave their desks. You save tons of travel time and your leads have a great new reason to take that meeting. Plus EatNGage offers automated reminders, build in video conferencing and email tracking.

Insightly.
We all know that relationships are the key to business success but how do you manage them all? Enter your Customer Relationship Manager, and for the @revenue team, that means Insightly! Never miss a birthday, followup or forgotten lead with this robust CRM. Build deeper customer relationships and grow your business faster with this all-inclusive tool to organize, document and track your communication. With a handy Gmail plugin and a robust mobile application, Insightly keeps you connected and informed however you work.

Grammarly.
Nothing is worse than when you make a simple grammar mistake in your email. It can mean the difference between getting the appointment and the cold shoulder. More than spell check, Grammarly uses context to ensure that even your typos get the extra eyes they need. Make sure every email and piece of writing is perfect and worth a response.

Mix Max.
The newest tool the @revenue team has adopted is already cutting our correspondence time in HALF! With MixMax you are able to quickly schedule meetings, track your email activity, design followup automations and use templates all at your fingertips. It is every salesperson dream as it not only has a ton of cool features, but it also works right in your Gmail.

Remember all these slick tools and fancy apps won’t help if you aren’t able to build solid relationships. If you are still looking for more business development skills, come to join @reveue at our next Executive Brief. Learn how to strengthen your business development efforts with our relationship-focused sales process.


3 Reasons YOU Should be on Stage

There you are,  sitting in yet another conference listening to a speaker review something that you have heard 100 times before and all you can think is, ‘Good GRIEF!’ (I assume you watched the Peanuts as a child, too), ‘I have so much more powerful information to share, things that would actually give this audience some REAL value!’ Well...let me give you 3 reasons why you should get yourself together and get on the next stage.

**Please do NOT remove the current speaker from stage - let’s find you one of your own!**

  1. The more you have a microphone in your hand the more of an expert you are.

Listen, the raw truth is that no one is going to call you an expert until you say it first. There is no ‘authority fairy’ that is just waiting for you to reach a magical point of experience, education or innovation to give you your set of wings. You have to take the leap.

On a physiological level, the simple appearance of being on stage (in front of a room speaking with authority) creates a subconscious understanding that you have information to give and that you are an authority. The more often you are seen on a screen, stage or in print the more people know and begin trust you. As you start that relationship, with 10 or 2,000 people at a time, you have an opportunity to connect with them much more quickly and deeply when it is time for the next step.

  1.   The Bloom Effect

In this content-heavy world, we are all looking for opportunities to create effective blogs, articles, videos, newsletters, and on and on. With one speaking engagement, you can use that single event to spread your marketing message wide.

  • Post on your site
  • Write your speech and a blog at the same time
  • Video your speech and create 5-7 short burst videos
  • Spread through your social media
  • Engage with other organization’s social media, website, event programs
  • Cross promote with other speakers at the event
  • Etc.
  1. Be the Change

If you are not in business to change the world and make it a better place, this is not for you. For those of you that have the vision, that truly believe that what you do has a major impact on your client’s lives, you need to plant the seed. Our organization is focused on changing the lives of SMBs through providing them with the profit they need to care for their families, invest in their communities and create abundance for others. If that is truly what we are here to do and we keep it under wraps, we have failed tremendously.

This is why we take stages with a message of professional love. We tell the stories that give people a reason to care. We create empathy, provide tools to foster change and lift others up around us. If you were to apply those ideas to your business and look at your impact through a community if not worldwide filter, what would your keynote speech be?

Not sure where to start? Let’s find some time to chat...who knows, the next ‘chat’ you have might be on stage!  

marie@atrevenue.com


Ensure 2018 Measures Up: What to watch, do and look for in your marketing

 

With all the time, energy and money that goes into marketing, it’s critical you know what you are getting out of it. The team at @revenue put together our top tips and notes to ensure your 2018 marketing plan is measuring up.

Social Media

Successful social media is so much more than how many people like or follow you. The success is in building a community who interacts, shares and ultimately, buys. How do you know you're building a community?

  1. Go beyond vanity metrics (page views, number of followers). They may feel great, but the point of social media is to be SOCIAL!
  2. Carve out time in your calendar to engage and connect with those in your community. The more you engage, the more engagement you can expect from them.
  3. Monitor the actions people take on your content and the conversations people are having with you and one another. Leverage free tools like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram for Business and LinkedIn post analytics to find more meaning in your measurement.

You can't just post articles and content, you have to connect and engage to be the most effective on social media. Connect with Sue Koch to identify the best ways to build your audience, respect your tribe and make sure to have fun with it for your needs!

 

Email

Email metrics are widely available through your email service provider, but there are a couple of key things to keep your eye on. Ensure your email is as effective as possible by measuring, optimizing and improving key elements.

  1. Make sure your emails are getting read by monitoring your open rate. Try testing subject lines and your from line to optimize visibility. It doesn’t hurt to throw in an emoji here and there! ????
  2. Your next level of engagement are your clickers. All of your emails should have very specific calls to action that will engage your audience brings them that much closer to a sale. Be sure to make your email clickable by linking images, headlines and large buttons. The more options they have to click, the more clicks you get.
  3. Less common than clicking, some recipients will actually reply to your marketing email! This is much less frequent than just clicking but provides the highest level of engagement. Be sure to respond quickly and take advantage of the outreach.

You don't need the fanciest, most advanced email servicer to make a big impact in your marketing campaign. Talk with Megan Robinson today to effectively engage, connect, and rank your email list!

 

Search Engine Optimization  

Getting on Google search's first page is the name of the game. We measure SEO success by our keyword rankings (the higher the better), volume of targeted traffic (the more the better), and the number of conversions on the site.  

  1. SEO success is ultimately measured by how well your website ranks for specific keywords. Make sure you are looking for consistent improvement month over month and maintain your position.
  2. Although ranking well is important, we do it to get more website traffic. Be sure to monitor the traffic you receive and the quality of it. Is your bounce rate increasing? Is your time on the site getting shorter? Make sure that the traffic you are getting is of high quality.
  3. We not only want to rank well and get quality traffic to the site, but we also want to make sure that traffic is converting. Whether making a purchase, filling out a contact form or picking up the phone and making a call, visitor conversion is the ultimate goal and indicator of SEO success.

 

Networking

Effective networking is every bit as critical to your success as a solid digital presence. If you are sitting in your office relying solely on your website to fill your pipeline you will have a lot of really good opportunities to organize your office supplies! But how do you quantify effective networking? It takes some elbow grease but when you have an additional 30-50% of your leads coming from the relationships that you've built, you will be singing a different tune!

  1. Identify organizations that cater to your specific verticals or sizes of business. Associations should be a part of your research, not just Chambers of Commerce or high priced networking opportunities.
  2. Try it, track it, change it. You must have a system (CRM, spreadsheet or other) that allows you to track what your investment in the networking is. This includes travel time, time at events, follow up time, etc. Use your hourly rate to calculate your total investment and after 6 months compare that to the anticipated value of leads received. Check this number every six months.
  3. Keep in mind that Strategic Partners (those that can refer you LOTS of business) are often as valuable if not more than just one lead. These are the folks that you build deeper, long-term relationships with, invest your time and track the results. You will get a stronger ROI and create a more significant network than just hoping to get leads from events.

If you aren't tracking your results from networking, you are simply socializing. Make sure that you give your effort the proper value!

 


Oh you don't do 'business cards'? Greeeeat.

 

If you have been out networking lately, you may have come across a new kind of networker. The ultra-cool, tech-savvy business professional that no longer involves themselves with the incumbrances of archaic tools such as...the business card.

Typically, you will get a response like, “Oh, yeah, I don’t DO business cards, but I will find you on LinkedIn” or my favorite (and yes, this is a true story) “If people want to find me, they’ll find me. Just remember who I am and search for me”. I kid you not. Allow me to share with you why this is not only an ineffective business practice but is, for all intents and purposes, blatant poor manners.

If you are at an event where business building is the purpose, others have come with the intention of connecting with you, engaging with you, (if you are in the right group) finding ways to connect you and following up with you. Not having a business card forces that other person to either find a place to make a note on how to find you or who they wanted to connect you with. This is a person that WANTS to be of service to you, to help you, or to send you business...why make them work for it?

If you are going to connect to them via LinkedIn, that only creates more work for you. Typically, the connection starts with a connection request and then an IM and then eventually it moves into an email or phone conversation. If you have a card, that person not only has a physical representation of your brand but a way to reach out to you without having to search all over the place or wait for you to connect with them. In networking, effective follow up is the name of the game, and your lack of card starts you out with a disability.  

In the professional networking world, brand and first impressions are EVERYTHING. They are the first step in establishing trust, integrity, and professionalism. It’s such a small investment that has such a huge payoff. Once that card is in someone else’s hand it also allows you to track things like:

  • Do they follow up like they said that they would?
  • Do they remember what I do and does my card give them enough info to remember?
  • How many cards am I going through vs. how many people am I truly connecting with?

Being able to effectively measure your efforts is key to business building, and if all it takes is a solid business card, isn’t it worth it?

Need help with your networking strategies, brand or a new business card? We’d be happy to help!  marie@atrevneue.com


The Power of Polish: Making the most out of 7 seconds

Those of you that know me know that I never show up underdressed. I wonder if you know why I take care in my appearance?  Let me create a little business case for you….

When I started my entrepreneurial career I was young, and I mean young young. That special age where you think you know everything and that at 30 you will be a real grown up. That’s where I started. Since I already knew everything, it was easy, right?  Um, not so much. I very quickly stepped into a public role as the leader of eWomenNetwork and needed to not only sell to but confidently lead, a group of women that were 20+ my seniors and provide them with true value.

If I had walked on stage with a side ponytail or the most up-to-date fashion atrocity, it would have skewed their view of me for many, many months, and I would have to earn that credibility back. Not happening. I had sales to close. At that age, it sometimes felt like more of a costume, but I was ok with playing a role until I achieved the goal. Your appearance is how others decide to view you as a person, which they do, within the first seven seconds of meeting you.

What does your appearance say about you? Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Professionalism

  • Motivation

  • Experience

  • Attention to Detail

  • How you Represent your Brand

  • Trust

  • Like-Mindedness

So often we see business owners and employees that haven’t taken the time to put themselves together in a way that will not only help them open doors but help them close sales. A few years ago, one of my legal clients had a gorgeous baby face, not a wrinkle in sight. Before she went to court, she would pull her hair back into a simple high ponytail. How would you feel about a lawyer that looked like she was still in college? Not great was the answer for a lot of her clients. All it took was a different hairstyle to allow her to elevate her image to the professional kick-butt lawyer that she truly was! It simply took a little polish.

For the next week, I would like you to try a little experiment. Every morning, before you leave the house, take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask these three questions:

  1. Do I look like my brand (personal or business)?

  2. Is this a great fit for the meetings I have today?

  3. Does this convey my professionalism, my intent and my level of experience?

If the answer is always ‘uhhhhh maybe?’, it might be time to start putting together what your personal brand needs to be.

For questions or more information contact me at Marie@atrevenue.com


Is Business Networking Obsolete? Not If You Follow These 5 Commandments

Blair Nicole (Business 2 Community) featured our co-founder Jim Rosas in her article on effective networking.

“Do you think face to face business networking is something best left in the stone ages? If so, you’re probably missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with potential partners, influencers, and even customers. After all, no amount of digital marketing compares to eye contact and a firm handshake.

The problem is that most people go about business networking completely wrong, and in some cases, create a bad name for themselves in the process. But business networking done right can truly set apart novice business owners from seasoned hustlers.

Here are five commandments from expert business networkers, to help you go from schmo to pro in no time.” Continue reading on Business2Community.com

Are you getting the most from your networking efforts? Attend our monthly Executive Brief.


Facilitating Powerful Networking Events

Facilitating Powerful Networking Events

After facilitating high-level networking groups for a decade, I must say, I LOVE THEM. Why, because I control the environment to ensure success. That might sound arrogant or "controlling" but it's not, it's what's needed.

A few tips about running great networking events are:

1. Facilitate your own so you can set the tone.

I run lunches that have 8 members that come every month.
Each member commits, on a contract, to be there every month with a decision maker level or deeply networked guest. We spend 1.5 hours in a highly structured but fun environment getting to know one another's business. And before I close the lunch, I ask EVERY attendee to publicly announce with whom they can help and how.

I've personally generated Hundreds of Thousands of dollars from these events over the years.

2. Host as few drinking events as you can.

I always tell my clients that they need to understand, "networking is work. It's not net-drinking, it's networking!" These events rarely result in a return on the investment of time and effort. If you’re going to have one, host it as a party more than a networking event.

Having said that, a nice structured dinner and wine event from time to time is always nice for those clients/contacts that will appreciate them.

3. Be picky about who attends.

There is not always strength in numbers. I recommend “purposeful networking”. Think about who you want to invite and then scrub your network to find purposeful guests. This is an instant winner for your attendees and sets you apart as a force in the networking world.


 

A few tips when attending an event.

4. Have a plan before the event.

With whom do you want to spend time? Recruiters, business owners, accountants, etc. Be purposeful about how you execute your plan by focusing your time on the right people that you can help and that can help you.

5. Go to give.

Don't go with the mindset of "I'm going to find business today". Instead, go with a determination to enhance others networks by making strong connections. This mentality will set you apart from many at the event. And I guarantee, if you go with that mindset, business will come and you will not be disappointed.

6. Understand that networking is not a leads group.

Many people attend events with skewed expectations. Networking is about identifying strong likable people to whom you want to open your network and who want to reciprocate for you. This can take a follow-up call, a personal 1:1 meeting and a concerted effort to identify and introduce people to one another. Expecting to get business by dealing out 50 business cards will only set you up to frown upon networking. It doesn’t work!

7. Don't give up too easily.

Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment, disappointment often leads to giving up. If you plan to join a group, be picky. Once you find one that makes sense, make a commitment to give it all you have for a year.

8. Offer solutions, don't point fingers.

We've all been to bad events. If you have a suggestion to make one better, talk to the facilitator. If they are real networkers, they will appreciate the input. If not, go build your own with best practices.

9. Track your Return on Investment.

I recommend to my clients and I insist for my members to track the ROI. Return on Investment or Results, Outcome, Impact. Sometimes connections add value in other ways than the bottom line. They find you a new office space, a deal on furniture or travel, etc. ROI may not be just dollars.  But if you add up your financial investment in a group, the time you spend, measured at a reasonable rate and then you run the numbers for a year, you BETTER be getting an ROI. If not, stop it, and find something that works. Like starting your own group and then running it like a machine.

As you can probably tell, I am deeply passionate about networking and the powerful impact that it can have. Being a coach and the co-founder of @revenue, www.atRevenue.com, I’m happy to talk more about my passion for making networking work for you.