NAEO Newslinks-February 2010
February 2010

Betty Bouchie

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

While perusing the eBook "Beyond E-learning,” I found the following quote:

"...knowledge cannot really be managed. It is exchanged, brokered, facilitated, shared, and leveraged.”

Now, what does that make me think of? Of course, the best place I have ever found to exchange, broker, facilitate, share and leverage knowledge is the NAEO conference. It is a storehouse of so many pieces of information and so many people all wiling to share, facilitate and exchange knowledge. The early registration deadline is quickly approaching. Come, enjoy, absorb, learn.

And if you get a chance, peruse the book, too.

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Be Inspired

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."

- Alvin Toffler

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Something to Smile About...
Daily Survival Kit

Today, I am giving you a Daily Survival Kitto help you each day...

Toothpick... to remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.

Rubber band... to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it can be worked out.

Band-Aid... to remind you to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else's.

Eraser... to remind you everyone makes mistakes. That's okay, we learn by our errors.

Candy Kiss... to remind you everyone needs a hug or a compliment every day.

Mint... to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family and me.

Bubble Gum... to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.

Pencil... to remind you to list your blessings every day.

Tea Bag... to remind you to take time to relax daily and go over that list of blessings.

This is what makes life worth living every minute, every day.

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NAEO 2010: Roadmap to Success
by Marci Imes

March 21-25, 2010
Newport Beach Marriott
Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach Looks Forward to Seeing You!

In addition to the fantastic NAEO conference that will energize you and your business, you may want to set aside some time to see a bit of Newport Beach and nearby Huntington Beach too, just beyond the resort property. There is so much to see and do nearby – literally something for everyone!

From swimming to surfing, sandcastle building to chasing birds, everyone can have a field day at the beaches here. Family friendly, the beach is close to parking so access is easy. On the Newport Pier – and on the Huntington Beach Pier, just 10 minutes up Pacific Coast highway – you’ll find casual dining opportunities, bars, pubs, gift shops, tattoo parlors, and more.

A favorite beach to enjoy is 32nd Street. A paved bike and walking path meanders along the Pacific Ocean, providing a fun way to enjoy the fabulous views and get some sunshine on your shoulders.

An incredible outdoor shopping experience awaits those who enjoy the sport – Fashion Island is Orange County's premier open-air shopping center featuring more than 200 specialty stores, 40 restaurants and two cinemas set among tree-lined paseos, sparkling fountains, koi ponds, waterfalls, and beautifully landscaped plazas. And the best part…it is a short walk from the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa.

For those seeking fun under the sun in a small community atmosphere, take a trip to Balboa Island, just 15 minutes from Newport Beach, and enjoy a frozen chocolate covered banana, some outrageously delicious seafood or some great Chinese food that will satisfy your hunger. Funky boutiques and art galleries are plentiful and the area features cottages and castles along the bejeweled streets named after stones: Agate, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire.

If you find that the green is calling your name, there are numerous nearby golf courses – and two of them come highly recommended by our friends at the Marriott. If difficulty is no object, Anahiem Hills Golf Course offers a challenge along with beautiful views. If you prefer a more natural landscape, the Aliso Golf Course might be the ticket. Pelican Hill is also a favorite, with stunning vistas and wide fairways.

A trip to California just wouldn’t be complete without taking up a water sport! Surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle-board rentals and lessons are available nearby.

And last, but certainly not least, both Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are about 30-45 minutes away, depending on traffic

If the stimulation of the Conference proves to be just too much, and you feel the need to de-stress and unwind, consider a lovely massage or facial at Pure Blu, the on-site spa. Treatments include eucalyptus steam rooms, dry saunas, salt water whirlpool Jacuzzis, and refreshing cold water foot baths. Access to the fitness center and a private spa lap pool are yours to enjoy.

As you can see, there really is something for everyone. Now, make sure you have your tickets purchased, hotel reservations made, and send in that conference registration. Then, it’s just a matter of counting the days…

Wondering if a trip to Newport Beach for the Annual Conference is worth it?

Here are just a few words about NAEO's last annual conference in Cancun...

Chris Jagel, Around the Clock Telemessaging Corp.
Cancun was great! As a long-standing NAEO member who hasn't attended a NAEO conference in several years, I have a renewed realization of the value of attending the conference. Not only was it a nice change to get away from the New England winter, but more importantly it provided a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and to make new friends in the industry. The networking and idea sharing with others in the industry will pay dividends for our business for years into the future. The time and expense for the conference is likely some of the best spent business dollars all year. In order to maximize the benefits of NAEO membership, I do believe the annual conference is mandatory. See you in Newport Beach!

Deborah Wohlt, Monroe Telephone Answering Service
It [NAEO Cancun] was the best conference I've been to yet outside of an [ATSI] Owner's Forum. There were so many good ideas contributed by attendees my head is bursting. I made new friends and got to know old ones better. My hat's off to everyone who worked to make it such a success.

Casey Smit, RE: Messaging Solutions, Inc.
Those of you not at the convention really missed something. John Ratliff's keynote address was right on the money. Not only was it from a member (which added relevance for all of us) but his message had the power to transform the way we manage our businesses. A new standard has been established and it will create the culture that we have all been looking for. The price of admission was worth the opening act; way to go John! Thank you.

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A New Twist on Workshops at the NAEO Annual Conference
by Kelli Harrigan

We are trying something new this year! We have had tremendous success with both our Supervisor Seminars, in the past co-located with GLTSA, and our IS Workshops, previously held at our conference and co-located with ATSI. This year, we decided to co-locate both options along with our conference to give everyone the best of all worlds!

We have three options for you to make sure that you and your staff get the most out of this new opportunity…

  1. Register for the Annual Conference and included in your registration fee is the ability to choose which of these excellent workshop opportunities you would like to attend – either the Supervisor Workshop or the IS Workshop (basic plus advanced).
  2. Register for the conference and BOTH workshops (Supervisor and IS) for only $199 in addition to your conference registration fee.
  3. Bring along staff to attend just a workshop with no conference registration for only $199 per person per workshop (Supervisor or IS).

So what will these workshops include for you and your staff?
The Supervisor Workshop will run all day Sunday, March 21, 9am-5pm, and finish up Monday morning 9am-12:30pm. This is a hands-on workshop designed to help you get the most out of your Infinity system and build up the skill sets of your employees. The training will focus on:

  • Using Infinity to Manage Your Staff - you will learn how to effectively monitor and manage your agents’ customer service skills and further improve their call handling abilities and agent efficiencies by utilizing features and settings within Voice Logger, Web Portal and Infinity Supervisor Monitor Window.
  • Utilizing the enhanced settings within Infinity Telephone Agent to allow your agents to better self-manage their efficiencies, while allowing them to see a global view of your call center.
  • Managing and troubleshooting your Ultracomm and Infinity Supervisor Scheduler.

This workshop promises to help improve efficiency and customer service satisfaction within your call center. This workshop is one no supervisor should miss!

The IS Workshop will run on Wednesday, March 24, 9am-11:15am and 1:30pm-5:30pm, and then finish up on Thursday morning, 8:30am-12pm. This year's IS training workshop promises to be a hands-on educational experience that every programmer should attend! We will build an account in IS from "scratch,” starting with the basics and then moving into more advanced programming techniques.

Using a "new” TAS account, we’ll start by flow-charting the script and then building an account in IS together. We will incorporate numerous features and ideas to efficiently process messages, including IS Info Pages with shared fields, IS Directory, IS scripting, Web Links, If, List and Case Branching, Auto Dialing Capabilities, Expression Builder, Custom Message Summaries, and more! This intensive workshop promises to help any IS programmer improve his/her skills – no matter whether you are new to IS or an advanced programmer. Don’t forget to bring your laptop to get the most out of this hands-on experience!

Conference Speaker Bios

What do you get when you put Joe, Deb, Greg, Kevin, Gerald, Sharon, Matt, Kelli, Cameron, Gary, Susan, Jody, Janet, Jason, Chris, Michael, Emily, Kevin, Jake, Lisa, Gary, Cindy, Julie, Trisha, Tessie, Jim and Maryann in a blender? You get a Road Map to Success! Check them out!

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Flight Information

Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that airfares have dropped recently (at least compared to what I saw a couple of weeks ago). I was doing some checking on tickets to Newport Beach and for many of us, it will be less than $300 for a ticket! Here are some of the fares I came up with, just to give you an idea. This is not exactly a scientific study – just noodling around on to see what kind of fares are out there right now...

All of these are flights into John Wayne Airport (SNA), which is about 10 minutes from the hotel; fares may be cheaper going into LAX, but then you'll have to rent a car or take a shuttle down from LA to Newport Beach (about a 45 minute ride I think)...

Hartford CT$337
New York (LGA)$274

Can't wait to see you all in Newport Beach! Conference is less than two months away!

Kelli Harrigan
NAEO Conference Chair

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Are You Passive, Average, or Proactive?
by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

Read the scenarios below and ask yourself – which type am I?

# 1. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): "Tell you what – I've decided not to take the Blue Widget."
Answer from a PASSIVE person: "OK, thanks."
Customer feels nothing.

# 2. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): "Tell you what – I've decided not to take the Blue Widget."
Answer from an AVERAGE person: "You sure?"
Customer feels slighted.

# 3. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): "Tell you what – I've decided not to take the Blue Widget."

Answer from a PROACTIVE person: "Wow! Sorry to hear that. Are you aware there's a Widget maker that goes with it at a discounted price? You'll have several uses for it. Why not keep it? You'll love it."
Customer feels great and buys the Widget and the Widget maker.

See the difference? Now, which one are you?

Fact: There is nothing wrong with any of these types. We need them all in this busy world. However, we need certain types to be proactive.

Passive - Telephone Doctor's definition is: A passive person receives information and does nothing with it. The dictionary's definition is: Receiving or subjected to an action without responding or initiating an action in return: the mind viewed as a passive receptacle for sensory experience. (Our definition is just simpler!)

Passive does not mean a person is bad or shouldn't be helping customers. It simply means they're passive, not active. Are there passive sales people? Of course there are. The thing about being passive is most people don't like to be called that.

Passive individuals receive information and do nothing with it. Happens all the time. You go into the grocery store. You hand the checker your check. Which has YOUR NAME on it. The checker asks you for identification sometimes. And then does whatever it is they do, hands you back your ID, and says, "Thank you." No other words are exchanged. Even though he had your name, it was never used.

This person is passive. Passive individuals receive information and do nothing with it. The checker had your name. Twice. Once on the check and once on the ID.

But again, it's not a bad thing. From my experience, those who are in the PASSIVE mode and are put into sales are, in truth, uncomfortable. Not bad, just uncomfortable. They're not at ease telling others what is best for them.

So if you have PASSIVE individuals on your sales team, talk with them; be sure they're happy. Be sure they're comfortable in their job. My bet is they're probably not quite there yet.

Average - It's a fact. It is easier to get an average person to be proactive than it is to get a passive person up to average. It just is.

Let's see what the dictionary says about average: average, medium, mediocre, fair, middling, indifferent, tolerable.

Fact: There is a MASS of average folks out there. Millions of them. And I don't want to be one of them. Not sure about you, but I made a decision a long time ago that I didn't want to be average. I didn't want to be in the mass of mediocrity. Again, average folks aren't bad. They're fine, upstanding citizens. But they're average; like a lot of people. And they don't stand out to be remembered. If you're in sales, you want to be remembered.

Average individuals receive information and honestly try to do something with what they receive. It's just that they don't seem to be able to get over the hurdle. Average folks say a lot of words like: "wow" and "gee, that's so interesting." Telephone Doctor calls those "agreement statements," when they really don't know what to say. So you can see they're not bad, just not effective.

Not sure about you, but those words that define average are nothing I'd like to be called. Yet day after day millions of people – including sales people – go about their business being average. And yes, average people make sales. They do. And sometimes they even 'fall' into a large order. In truth, it's usually not something that they're responsible for doing. The sale just fell into their laps.

Average people go about their business being sort of happy with themselves when they could be so much more. Sad. I know some average folks I'd love to take under my wing to help them be slightly more proactive.

Proactive - Ah yes, it's the proactive people in this world who make things happen. They find the sales. They are detectives. They ask more questions, look a little deeper and always double check to be sure. Very few proactive people take "NO" as an acceptable answer (or a final one).

Proactive individuals are exceptional. They are naturally inquisitive. They know it can be done. Proactive people love sales. They eat, sleep and drink sales. They love to talk sales, think sales, and do sales. The sale is never boring to a proactive person.

A proactive sales person isn't necessarily a workaholic. He or she enjoys vacations. (Even relax on them.) But back at work, they have the ability to turn "on." Normally upbeat and happy, proactive sales people seldom wallow in negativity or self-pity. They're somehow able to turn that negative into a positive.

Proactive people find a way to get it done. They know "it can be done." They make one more call, research a little more thoroughly, answer one more question, write up one more sale and never run out of questions to ask.

Proactive people think for their clients. They have solutions. They enjoy solving problems for their clients. They enjoy success.

So again I ask, "Which one are you?"

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