Category: Newsletter

April 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter April 2020 Issue 172

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2020 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this April 2020 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Office
  2. Thoughts from Others
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Pulling through

In writing this issue, I debated on totally avoiding the COVID-19 topic to give us all a break. But I can’t. There are too many business-continuation tips to share. Included are tips from my own 26-year work-from-home experience, ideas generated from my clients and industry business leaders, and resources to stay connected and informed.

Work from home

  • Communicating daily schedules is critical. Use a month-at-a glance dry-erase or paper calendar in a central location. If more than two in the household, consider each person having his or her own calendar. List business calls, schooling schedules, mealtimes, chores and meal prep responsibilities. Planning, posting, and communicating will help avoid miscommunication, resentment, and “I didn’t know…”
  • Parents juggling their own work and their children’s schooling should share all responsibilities. Establish new house rules to share household work. It’s only fair.
  • Get dressed for work. This is important psychologically and for unexpected virtual meetings. If you wouldn’t wear it at the office (ball caps, ultra-comfy casual or social clothes) then don’t wear it working from home.
  • Create your own private space that is free from noise and disruption. Creativity may be required. Decide whether you want to share that you are working from a bathroom!
  • Use your alarm settings to stay on track with your schedule that now includes work and home responsibilities. Be as responsible to your family in keeping your time agreements as you are with your business associates. Let your colleagues and clients know your timing. You can always call back or reschedule. Everyone will understand that these are unique times.
  • Limit news to two times a day. No matter your source of information, the media strategy remains “if it bleeds, it leads.” Don’t get sucked in.
  • Restrict personal calls and connections. Friends and family may not think you are working since you are at home. Let those people know when you are available for personal chats (other than emergencies).

Client relationships

On March 26, I watched an informative panel discussion hosted by Insurance Business America called Coronavirus: Keeping Broker’s Business Running. Joel Cavaness, President of Risk Placement Services, Inc. said this about client relationships. “This time is critical. It is how we will be judged in the future.” Well said. Agents, carriers, and brokers all have a commitment to reach out to their respective clients to show caring, demonstrate professionalism, and validate why they have been selected as trusted advisor or insurance wholesaler or company.

Work with your team to create a list of what clients and partners to connect with. Create a detailed action plan of who, when, and how to best personally reach out. Some organizations will need contact at multiple levels. Do not put this off. The next couple of weeks are vital connection times.

I’m impressed with all the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram posts I’m seeing from my clients and connections. Keep up the great work!

Coworker connections

Connecteam is a great low-cost, one-stop resource to keep remote workers connected.  The link will take you to a great article on remote team-building games. When I read the list of activities, I realize how little we know about those we spend hours and hours with under one roof. What an opportunity to broaden the number of people we connect with and deepen the relationships we already have!

Leadership from the top

Crisis breeds fear and uncertainty. Those feelings can be quieted when top leaders (owners, presidents, and regional executives) communicate directly and frequently using a variety of communication methods. Here are some ideas.

  • Video briefings and updates to employees to relay information. Weekly or more frequently if needed. Keep people informed!
  • Coffee chats using two-way communication platforms. Smaller groups allow for all to participate to ask questions, share concerns, and success stories. Have people sign up for specific times. Ask for questions in advance. Mix up team members.
  • Daily morning e-mail motivational messages. Yes, daily. Feeling isolated is a huge change for office workers. Occasional work-from-home days are a break. This is not. This is our new reality. Send e-mails that relay confidence in your team. “You can do it” stories and quotes. Employee, client, partner feel-good and success stories. Solicit that information from your managers. This is also an opportunity to share your human side that employees who don’t work directly with you may never see. What are you grateful for? Share photos. How are you handling the challenges in your changed life? What are you and your family watching or binging? What Museums or National Parks are you virtually visiting? Recipes to share? Take-out meals you enjoy? Games you are playing? Zoom book clubs, wine and cheese parties? Convey how you really are in this together.

Stay informed

 Here are three daily resources I’m finding invaluable to stay abreast of industry news, employment issues and new laws, and advice for agents on how best to work with policyholders.

Insurance Business America – free subscription

Society for Human Resources – annual membership fee is $219.00

Agency Performance Partners – Kelly Donahue-Piro is providing terrific daily video blogs for agents. Start with the blog on March 24 and watch them all. The blog posted on March 29 provides scripts for insurance teams when talking with insureds. Free subscription.

I hope this list provides new ideas or helps you generate your own.

Remember that your number one job is to STAY HEALTHY!

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  1. Thoughts from Others

The Guest House by Sufi Mystic Rumi (13th Century)

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

I hope you are finding more time to cook and bake! Impress your family with this fast and easy one-pan Pear Cobbler.  Older children can easily make it on their own. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s the comfort food we all can use right now!

Many of us are using this time to clean, clean, clean! John and I have been using my cousin’s reusable cloth towel product called Rakot75. Use it, rinse it, wash it, and reuse it. It’s soft and does not scratch surfaces. It does a great job polishing our granite counters and stainless steel appliances.

Check out the story of how Josmo’s Café came into being and dozens of other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Take a mental health break. Grab a cup of soothing chamomile tea and watch flowers bloom in this 4-minute time-lapse video.

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of April is Boiling Eggs.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live and subject to change….
  • Agency Management CIC, Charlotte, NC – May 13-14, 2020
  • Agency Management CIC, Wichita, KS – June 16-17, 2020

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2020 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

March 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter March 2020 Issue 171

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2020 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this March 2020 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Road
  2. Thoughts from the Office
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from the Road

Got empathy?

I was on a very short flight from Houston to Austin hoping to catch a brief nap. That was not to be. Even before the young woman sat down beside me in the DMS (dreaded middle seat), I could feel her positive energy and kindness. With a big smile, Maram introduced herself as a healthcare professional and an advocate for empathy. “In fact,” she said, “my friends call me the empathy princess.” (#empathyprincess)

Maram pulled a button from her bag and gifted it to me. It says EMPATHY – Embracing Mindful Possibilities Allowing Trusting Heartful Yielding. We chatted throughout the flight. On her Twitter feed @MaramMPH, she has posted thoughtful reminders not just for the healthcare field. The key to empathy is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. Reach out to people because asking someone how they are doing is priceless during hardships. Always be mindful and put yourself in people’s shoes. If we are too focused on ourselves, what room do we have for empathy?

Maram had one request of me when we said our goodbyes. “Empathy. Pass it on.”

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Parting ways

My client, an agency owner I’ll call James, called me with a dilemma. He had an employee who repeatedly was not meeting performance and production expectations even after many conversations and coaching. James knew nothing was going to change and he needed to take action. However, it was complicated. They were longtime friends and traveled in the same social circles. James asked if I could help him figure out how to sever the business relationship and remain friends.

Fortunately, the agency has a strong culture with written vision, mission, and value statements. I told James that having those documents to refer to along with specifics of the employee’s actual results would help de-personalize the conversation. James should keep the conversation focused on the agency goals and the strategies and actions needed by all employees to achieve them. After stating this, I recommended to James that he be quiet and give the employee time to respond.

That is what James did. James told me he was surprised by the employee’s response. His friend thanked him for taking the initiative to end his employment! He told James, “I didn’t want to let you down. I’ve been trying to make it work, but this isn’t for me. I didn’t have the courage to tell you.”

Moral of the story 1. A company benefits from clarity and transparency on its vision and goals. It sets the foundation of performance expectations to more easily deal with issues that run contrary.

Moral of the story 2. Accept that ending relationships is part of life. To help navigate changes that need to happen, read the book by Dr. Henry Cloud titled Necessary Endings or watch his  terrific 47-minute video on the topic. Dr. Cloud’s approach and advice will help better understand why making tough decisions is crucial and provide guidance to act decisively and responsibly.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Add me to the list of people you know who follow gluten-free eating. It’s a diet that’s easy to follow these days with both ready-made food choices and gluten-free ingredients. This recipe for Gluten-free Cheesecake was a huge hit with our guests. In fact, we all decided the crust was even better using the gluten-free graham crackers! Enjoy!

Check out the story of how Josmo’s Café came into being and dozens of other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of March is Spring Forward.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live
  • WSIA Underwriting Summit – Palm Desert, CA – February 29-March 4, 2020
  • Agency Management CIC, Wichita, KS – March 17-18, 2020
  • Agency Management CIC, Charlotte, NC – May 13-14, 2020

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2020 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

February 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter February 2020 Issue 170

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2020 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this February 2020 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Office
  2. Thoughts from Others
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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Please note my new office phone number. 828-478-5929

The robocallers have won! I’ve had to disconnect my toll-free number since receiving countless robocalls a day making my voicemail inoperable. I apologize for the inconvenience.

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Unleash the power of lists

I don’t know what I would do without lists! I have business travel lists, vacation travel lists, client proposal check lists, presentation supply lists, and client conversation checklists. Making a list to use and reuse conserves brain power, saves time, avoids overlooking something, assures accuracy, and builds confidence so that the undertaking will be competently completed.

Here’s a suggestion for lists you may have not considered. Lists that will help grow your business. Consider these ten ideas.

  1. List five reasons people should do business with you.
  2. List five ways you are different from your competition.
  3. List five sources to find new prospects.
  4. List five sales objections you often hear.
  5. List five responses to those sales objections.
  6. List five ways to stay visible with value to your clients and prospects.
  7. List five ways to follow up after you get the business.
  8. List five ways to follow up after you lose a sale.
  9. List five ways you have helped your clients solve a problem.
  10. List five clients who are willing to be a reference or provide a testimonial.

Create individual lists, share them with your team of both client interface and support people, and exchange ideas. Using collective effort, formulate both individual and organizational strategies to grow your revenues in 2020.

Happy list making!

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  1. Thoughts from Others

Seth Godin’s daily blog (7500+ so far) has started my day for more years than I can remember. He is a brilliant thinker, best-selling and prolific author (Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, Linchpin) and a trailblazer in marketing and sales practices.

This blog from January 5, 2020 I found particularly thought-provoking.

Toward Resilience

Apart <—> Connected
Hierarchy <—> Lattice
Them <—> Us
Winning <—> Interacting
Brittle <—> Flexible
Just in time <—> Slack
Excluded <—> Included
Willful <—> Perceptive
Fearful <—> Honest
Static <—> Bandwidth
Facts <—> Stories
Barriers <—> Bridges
Final <—> First
Shadows <—> Light
Consumption <—> Sustainability
Retribution <—> Justice
Once <—> Again

Resilient systems are far more effective and efficient. It’s easier to paddle a canoe on a calm lake, and the interactions and stability that come from predictable systems more than pay for the extraordinary effort needed to build and maintain them.

Here’s another one I have kept for years called Anchoring can sink you.

Consider subscribing to Seth’s Blog to continually open your mind to new ways of thinking.

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Service Selling is what writes and retains business! In-house group learning during regular staff meetings is a great way to keep service selling strategies at the forefront of your agents, CSRs, and underwriters’ minds. My tried and true books Selling from the Inside and Great Service Sells as well as Service Selling Supercharge – 52 four-minute podcasts – will introduce new ideas and get conversation flowing. Information on content and ordering available in our learning store.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts is our recipe this month. I’m grateful that John does not care for spaghetti squash so there is more for me to enjoy! I use the microwave cooking method described in the recipe to save cooking time. It’s a nice winter side dish to accompany chicken or pork. Enjoy!

Check out the story of how Josmo’s Café came into being and dozens of other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of February is Loving Dirty Socks.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live
  • Private clients – Phoenix, AZ – January 27-February 7, 2020
  • WSIA Underwriting Summit – Palm Desert, CA – February 29-March 4, 2020
  • Private client – agency operations review – Blue Ridge, GA – March 9-12, 2020
  • Agency Management CIC, Wichita, KS – March 16-18, 2020

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2020 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

January 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter January 2020 Issue 169

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2020 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this January 2020 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Office
  2. Thoughts from Others
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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Please note my new office phone number. 828-478-5929

The robocallers have won! I’ve had to disconnect my toll-free number since receiving countless robocalls a day making my voicemail inoperable. I apologize for the inconvenience.

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

How to build an emotionally healthy workplace

During a break when teaching an Agency Management CIC class, a young man, Jeff, approached me. He was visibly anxious. Jeff told me that before he left the office that morning to attend the class, his manager told him that he had bet another manager that he would fail the exam. “What!?” I exclaimed in disbelief. I took a breath and told Jeff that after he passed the exam, he may want to consider looking for a new job.

Toxic workplaces are either intentional as Jeff experienced or unintentional because leaders are distant or unapproachable. The individual, the team, and clients all suffer. Here are five tips for leaders to build and sustain an emotionally healthy work environment.

  1. “You can do it!” With those four words, managers can boost self-confidence to achieve positive outcomes. Follow up words of support by sharing ways you or others have overcome similar challenges or fears and ask, “What can I do to help?”
  2. Personally connect. Managers and their direct reports both benefit from weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one meetings. These conversations should differ from discussions about specific work issues by focusing on the bigger picture. Things to talk about may include an inquiry about life outside of work, takeaways on a recent success, asking about the biggest client or account challenge right now, updates on past discussion items, and the manager asking, “Is there anything I should be aware of?”
  3. When providing feedback, comment on the work, not the person. Accolades or constructive feedback need to specifically address what has been done well or what can be improved. “(Our client) was impressed with the response time and (your solution) to her issue.” “Our workday starts at 8:30. Each person needs to be at his/her desk and up and running at that time.”
  4. Frequent communication from owners and top leaders is what employees want and need. Attitude and engagement are strengthened when leaders hold monthly state-of the-office meetings. The agenda should include a review of results compared to goals, employee changes, external partner news, technology updates, and success stories.
  5. Tear down silos between departments. Provide opportunities for employees and leadership to have fun and get better acquainted. See my 17 Terrific Tips to Create Office Fun for some team-building ideas.

Wishing you all a happy and emotionally healthy 2020!

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  1. Thoughts from Others

To kick off the new decade, I’m re-publishing my favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson piece The Meaning of Success. It’s a framed poster I have hanging in my dressing area as a continual reminder of what’s important.

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Onion Marmalade is our recipe this month. Make your winter meals more special with this savory and slightly hot relish. It tastes great with pork, chicken, sausages, or even mashed potatoes. Make it a day ahead. It keeps for a few more days if it lasts that long!  Enjoy!

Check out the story of how Josmo’s Café came into being and dozens of other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of January is How little we need.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live
  • Private client – Pittsburgh, PA – January 13-15, 2020
  • Private clients – Phoenix, AZ – January 27-February 7, 2020
  • WSIA Underwriting Summit – Palm Desert, CA – February 29-March 4, 2020
  • Agency Management CIC, Wichita, KS – March 16-18, 2020

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Please note my new office phone number. 828-478-5929

The robocallers have won! I’ve had to disconnect my toll-free number since receiving countless robocalls a day making my voicemail inoperable. I apologize for the inconvenience.

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2020 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

December 2019

Strategies for Success Newsletter December 2019 Issue 168

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2019 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this December 2019 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Office
  2. Thoughts from Home
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Making it personal

I laughed out loud when I read this out-of-office message.

“I am out of office today (Friday, October 11) “enjoying” some PTO.  In reality, I’m attempting to help my sister pick out a wedding dress. I doubt she will actually listen to anything I have to say, but I guess that’s just what sisters do!

I do not plan to be on my phone during this precious life moment and will not be checking my work emails. So if you need immediate assistance, please contact our fun and helpful Marketing Department by emailing —- or by calling 888—-.

I will return back to action on Monday, October 14.”

I couldn’t wait to connect with Taylor to find out how the shopping experience went! The next week when Taylor was “back to action” we e-mailed back and forth on the business at hand with a personal exchange thrown in. “How did go?” I asked. “Dress shopping was a success – we found “the one” for her! And it was the one I picked out which was a complete shock to the system!”

Underwriters and inside agents frequently ask me how to build personal relationships when most communication is through online applications, e-mail, or text. Taylor’s humorous message of personal sharing is a perfect example of achieving a memorable connection. It succeeds in strengthening a business relationship by simply conveying an upbeat and relatable personal experience.

Moral of the story. You can personalize relationships through online conversations. Share a bit of yourself at appropriate times and you will help build a mutual friendly and approachable relationship.

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Home safety

I heard John calmly say, “Get the fire extinguisher.” He was turning on the space heater in our outdoor Josmo’s Cafe. I quickly grabbed the closest one in the garage. I looked at the gauge. It read “empty”. Oh boy. Luckily, we didn’t need it at that alarming moment. Dinner was delayed a bit as we checked the two other fire extinguishers we have around the house. I’m embarrassed to say that none were in working condition.

John’s priority the next morning was to buy new ones. Mine was to figure out how to safely dispose of the spent ones. Just one call to our local fire department answered my question. I was told that disposing of old fire extinguishers is a service they provide if I could drop them off. Great news.

Home safety reminder. Check your fire extinguishers. If you don’t have any, buy a couple. It’s also a good time to check to see that your smoke detectors are working.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

The beautiful and delicious Lemon Cream Cheese Danish is just in time to make your holiday entertaining easier. John and I explored magnificent Montana in October after I taught an Agency Management CIC class in Billings. Our last stop was in Dillon, MT in the heart of cattle, elk, and antelope country to visit travel friends. The weather was already biting cold, so Vickie made us this Danish as part of a comfort food brunch. I know you will enjoy it!

Check out the story of how Josmo’s Café came into being and dozens of other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Enjoy this feel good and inspiring New York Times interview with Tom Hanks who stars as Mister Rogers in the new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of December is What state are you in?

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live
  • Private client – Pittsburgh, PA – January 13-15, 2020
  • Private clients – Phoenix, AZ – January 27-February 7, 2020
  • Agency Management CIC, Wichita, KS – March 16-18, 2020

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2019 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

November 2019

Strategies for Success Newsletter November 2019 Issue 167

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2019 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.
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In this November 2019 issue:

  1. Thoughts from Home
  2. Have you read….?
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Did you tell me that could be a problem?

We bought a boat this summer and needed a boat lift. The boat lift company came highly recommended by friends. Our friends suggested that if we find a used lift we could save quite a bit of money.

Jason, the owner of the boat lift company, gave us written quotes on new and used lifts. We chose the used lift. Jason confirmed it would work fine for our use.

Two months after the lift was installed, the lift started to squeak LOUDLY when the lake water had any movement. Suffice it to say, the lift squeaked much of the time greatly interfering with the tranquil environment lake living should help achieve.

We called Jason and told him about the problem. “That’s what happens when you buy a used lift,” he said. Huh? “Did you tell us that?” I politely asked thinking that I missed a disclaimer on the used lift quote. Jason said he doesn’t provide a checklist of things that can go wrong when you buy a used lift. I laughed and told him that we would have bought a new lift if we knew this was going to a problem!

In our insurance world, that’s like selling the cheapest policy because the client says, “we want a lower price” and failing to tell the insured the deductibles are higher, the values are understated, and the liability limits are too low.

Moral of the story. When providing product alternatives, be certain the client clearly understands – put it in writing – the differences and risks in each choice.

Story update. Jason is determined to fix our used lift and has made two different adjustments. So far, the second fix is working.

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  1. Have you read….?

Malcolm Gladwell, my favorite pop-culture author (The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers), gets very heavy in his new book Talking to Strangers – What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know.  He delves deep into police misconduct, campus rape, financial fraud, and suicide. His approach remains consistent with his other books telling well researched, compelling stories that educate and challenge our thinking.

Gladwell reminds us how easy it is to misread people and situations.

Hitler fooled many a world leader, including Neville Chamberlain, in believing he was a good man. Bernie Madoff conned 37,000 people to invest in his genius strategies and created the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State football coach who sexually abused boys, lived under the radar for years because he was such a kind and generous man.

Gladwell probes into the unfortunate tale of Amanda Knox, the college student unjustly accused, convicted, and imprisoned for almost four years for the murder of her roommate in Italy and all that went wrong for her.

The most compelling piece for me was the tragedy of Sandra Bland who killed herself in a Texas prison three days after being arrested during a dubious traffic stop. Examining her life and what led up to the incident combined with the training and expectations of the police officer, Gladwell looks at police brutality through a different lens.

Talking to Strangers encourages us to probe, question, and dig deeper before we judge. Book clubs will find the material ripe for fervent conversation.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Autumn is the perfect season for a scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake.  This recipe combines tart Granny Smith apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, sour cream, and yogurt making it a moist and perfect cake. I served it to guests for dessert with vanilla ice cream, then John enjoyed it as a coffee cake (even more moist) the next morning. The recipe was requested by all!  Enjoy!

Check out the story of how Josmo’s Café came into being and dozens of other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of November is Don’t Shop Hungry.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live
  • Private client – 2020 Strategic Planning – Minneapolis, MN – November 11-13, 2019

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2019 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

October 2019

Strategies for Success Newsletter October 2019 Issue 166

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2019 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this October 2019 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Office
  2. Thoughts from Home
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

One of my favorite features on my iPhone is voice mail transcription. Sometimes it’s just easier to read the message than to listen to it. A recent voice mail message was from a colleague, Rick, who is a low talker (thank you Seinfeld!). At the start of the transcription these words were in parentheses – “lack of confidence.” What a surprise to see an appraisal of his communication! Since I know Rick, I don’t believe he lacks confidence, so I certainly found it interesting that voice interpretation technology labeled his message that way.

What do your voice mail messages say about you? Confident or uncertain? Warm or insincere? Enthusiastic or bored? Rushed or patient?

Always be prepared to leave a voice mail message. When you do leave a message, pay attention to your volume, pace, pitch, and tone to reflect the feeling you want to convey.

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One more Thought from the Office this month….

How exciting that one of our very own insurance industry experts, Steve Anderson, has written an exceptional book that will help propel any business to a higher level! The Bezos Letters 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon provides a roadmap based on Jeff Bezos strategies of risk and growth. Steve examines Bezos’ letters to shareholders to reveal the brilliant concepts that have made Amazon the most innovative and successful business of all time.

In Steve’s practical and easy-to-read book, business owners can put the Amazon success model into play in their organizations. Check out the book’s website TheBezosLetters.com to receive great bonus material when you order your copy.

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Unexpected inspiration

It was my annual back-to-school shopping day at South Park mall in Charlotte with Quincey, my cousin’s 15-year old daughter. We hit H&M first, then Old Navy, then lunch at the Cheesecake Factory where we met up with John and Nathan, Quincey’s brother, who have their own regular stops for the day.

Standing in the checkout line at Old Navy I knew the hip young man with a great head of natural dreadlock hair was unique. He was happy, smiling, animated, and engaging with the customers. Luckily, he was available when it was our turn.

Our three-minute connection was inspiring. I complimented Jeremy on his upbeat attitude. He said to us “you’ve got to love what you’re doing at the moment.” How true!

Jeremy took another minute to tell us that his other life is about speaking to groups “to help others realize the choices they make yesterday are what control their tomorrows.” True again!

Jeremy’s attitude and outlook proves something else worth remembering. Each encounter we have is an opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of another.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

In the mood for an old-fashioned cookie like my mother used to make, I made some Snickerdoodles. What’s there not to like? A light sugar cookie covered in cinnamon and sugar. Perfect with an early autumn hot mug of apple cider or chamomile tea. Enjoy!

Check out other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of October is Hold on, then let go.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live
  • NAMIC – Communication + Marketing Workshop – Communicating Effectively with Agents and Selling Your Ideas to Leadership – Chicago, IL October 7-9, 2019
  • Agency Management CIC – Strategic Planning and Talent Acquisition – Billings, MT – October 22, 2019

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2019 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

September 2019

Strategies for Success Newsletter September 2019 Issue 165

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2019 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this September 2019 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Office
  2. Thoughts from the Road
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Why people buy

I’m not sure if John and I decided the 18-inch tall owl decoy to keep squirrels off our deck wasn’t working any longer or we just grew tired of looking at it. No matter, it was going to Goodwill.

I was in the drive-through drop-off donation line at Goodwill unloading the owl from my car when the woman in the car behind me said, “Wow, an owl!  Would you mind if I took your owl? I’ll pay you for it.” I looked at her then looked at the owl. Suddenly, I wanted to keep it! Because someone saw value in it, I wanted it too. I quickly came to my senses. I did give it to her and didn’t take any money for it. That experience got me thinking of what motivates people to buy.

  1. We are influenced by others. That’s why we are interested in others’ experience and views. Amazingly, we trust people we don’t even know when we read online reviews.
  2. We are influenced by proof. Facts and data provide analytical rationale for buying decisions.
  3. We are influenced by ease and convenience. We like to save time and energy when we can.
  4. We like to feel our business is appreciated and valued.

How does this apply to your business? Of these four, each buyer has a primary trigger. Identify the client’s motivator and you can best give the client what he or she needs. Here’s a quick cheat sheet.

  • Buyers who are influenced by others need to hear testimonials and success stories.
  • Analytical buyers need proof sources.
  • Easy-of-doing-business people need fast and direct ways to get things done.
  • People who need to feel valued should hear words that support that during each step of the buying experience.

Take time to assess and identify each of your clients’ buying triggers for greater success in writing and retaining business.

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  1. Thoughts from the Road

Summer vacation travel may have wrapped up, but don’t let that stop you from continuing to arm-chair travel to interesting places.

I wish I could remember who told me about the terrific travel blog www.thediscoverer.com so I could thank them! The creators write that their blog is to “change the way we discover the world. We wanted to inspire people to explore Earth’s most incredible destinations whether that means grabbing a suitcase and heading out on a new journey or simply reading a story about an exotic location while curled up at home.” In only two years, this blog has 4.5 million subscribers. Each week I am transported to marvelous destinations, see amazing photographs, and learn about our extraordinary world. Here are links to a few of my favorite posts. Enjoy!

The coolest museum in each state

15 European sites for history buffs

25 architectural wonders you have to see once

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  1. Josmo’s Café

One-pan Moroccan Spiced Chicken is a fragrant, flavorful and easy-to-make dish. After we served it for a dinner party everyone wanted the recipe. That’s success! Enjoy!

Check out other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of September is Volume control.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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Consulting and coaching services

If you’ve noticed that my business travel schedule has slowed down over the past year, it (happily) has! My phone consulting and coaching practice continues to expand to serve my clients on a more frequent and personal basis.

Here are recent examples of ways I’ve assisted my clients remotely to advance organizational change, professional development, and bottom-line profit:

  • Create and clarify strategic growth plans and execution strategy
  • Staff assessments to identify roadblocks, challenges, and development opportunities
  • Manager development and coaching
  • Update position responsibilities and job descriptions
  • Improve hiring practices
  • Revise reporting structure to optimize talent and efficiencies

Owners and managers, if you are seeking experienced guidance to fast-forward your organization’s goals, please get in touch with me to set a phone call time to discuss.

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  1. Emily Live
  • Agency Management CIC – Strategic Planning and Talent Acquisition – Billings, MT – October 22, 2019
  • NAMIC – Communication + Marketing Workshop – Communicating Effectively with Agents and Selling Your Ideas to Leadership – Chicago, IL October 7-9, 2019

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2019 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

August 2019

Strategies for Success Newsletter August 2019 Issue 164

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2019 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this August 2019 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Road
  2. Thoughts from the Office
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from the Road

What a treasure John and I discovered in Alexandria, VA!  The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Museum was built in the 1920’s by more than two million American Freemasons. It is a memorial, a museum, an active Masonic temple, a library, and a performing arts center. Our tour guide and the many exhibit rooms taught us things we didn’t know about the father of our country including his strong commitment to Masonic principles.

We learned that George Washington wrote a document at the age of 14 called the Rules of Civility. He wrote 110 rules. You can get your free copy from the Museum website. Here are three of my favorite rules.

Rule 43. Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain, for the contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.

Rule 52. In your Apparel, be Modest and endeavor to accommodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration; Keep to the Fashion of your equals, such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.

Rule 110. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

I hope your summer travels have been as enjoyable and educational as ours have!

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Continuing the theme of civility, here are some suggestions to be a person others want to work with.

  1. Leave your private life at the door. Don’t reveal too much information about your personal life to coworkers. Save it for family and close friends.
  2. Be a model for the behavior you want your coworkers to have. Timeliness, accuracy, and courtesy are just a few.
  3. Watch your talking style. Keep your voice low so as not to disrupt others. Speak only as loud as necessary to be heard by the other party. Never swear. It is unprofessional and offensive.
  4. Don’t waste coworkers’ time. Be conscious of taking someone’s time unnecessarily whether it’s work related or personal.
  5. Learn your job and use the authority you have been given. Avoid asking others questions you should know the answers to yourself.
  6. Say please and thank you.
  7. Smile at people when you pass in the hall.

Excerpt from my 17 Terrific Tips to be a Great Coworker. The full list and more 17 Terrific Tips columns are on the website.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Our 4th of July out-of-town guests decided my Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Coconut Topping is the best bread I make. It is moist, sweet, and delicious. Enjoy!

Check out other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of August is Watch what you self-validate.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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Consulting and coaching services

If you’ve noticed that my business travel schedule has slowed down over the past year, it (happily) has! My phone consulting and coaching practice continues to expand to serve my clients on a more frequent and personal basis.

Here are recent examples of ways I’ve assisted my clients remotely to advance organizational change, professional development, and bottom-line profit:

  • Create and clarify strategic growth plans and execution strategy
  • Staff assessments to identify roadblocks, challenges, and development opportunities
  • Manager development and coaching
  • Update position responsibilities and job descriptions
  • Improve hiring practices
  • Revise reporting structure to optimize talent and efficiencies

Owners and managers, if you are seeking experienced guidance to fast-forward your organization’s goals, please get in touch with me to set a phone call time to discuss.

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  1. Emily Live
  • Agency Management CIC – Strategic Planning and Talent Acquisition – Billings, MT – October 22, 2019
  • NAMIC – Communication + Marketing Workshop – Communicating Effectively with Agents and Selling Your Ideas to Leadership – Chicago, IL October 7-9, 2019

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2019 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

July 2019

Strategies for Success Newsletter July 2019 Issue 163
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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2019 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this July 2019 issue:

  1. Thoughts from the Road
  2. Thoughts from the Office
  3. Josmo’s Cafe
  4. Stay Energized
  5. Emily Live

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  1. Thoughts from the Road

Working with aliens

Robert, working at the ticket desk at the Roswell NM UFO Alien Museum, greeted John and me as if we were long-lost friends. His smile and warmth radiated his joy of life, people and his job. His expression begged us to ask, “How did you come to work here?”  Robert told us he’d been working at the museum for two years. He had visited the museum from his home in upstate New York several years prior as a tourist and fell in love with the area and the museum. He returned home committed to finding a way to move to Roswell and work at the museum. “It was my dream and it’s now fulfilled. I’m living my dream life and my dream job.”

Our general ticket purchase turned into a private tour of this icon of American culture. During Robert’s lively and passionate tour, it became obvious as to what happens when you truly love what you do. Because Robert was interested in his job, he learned everything he could about the subject. Because he cared about his customers having a good experience, he shared his enthusiasm and his knowledge. Because he was committed to both the business success of the museum and the community, he was expert about things beyond his four walls.

Moral to the story: We all have a choice as to how we do our jobs. Some simply show up. Others have something to show for it.

Summer rerun – originally published October 2009

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Do you have a minute?

Interruptions are a fact of office life.  Text messages light up your phone, phones ring, e-mail and instant messages appear, and people invade. We can put the phone on Do Not Disturb (DND), silent the technological noise, but it can be difficult to address the human interrupter. Here are five tips to take charge of personal intrusions.

  1. Two ideas to manage the question, “Do you have a minute?” Say no, but yes. Reply “I do, but not just now. I’m finishing a project for Sue. Can I give you a call (or stop by your office) in about thirty minutes when I can give you my full attention?”  Another strategy is to say “I do, sort of. Can we talk while I refill my coffee cup?”
  2. Interrupters who can’t get to the point.  Nicely interrupt back and ask, “What exactly can I help you with?”
  3. Perpetual interrupters. The cause of the constant intrusion must be determined. Is it a training issue? Work performance issue? Someone not understanding his or her level of authority? If you’re a supervisor with this intrusion, identify the cause and implement corrective action. If you’re the coworker affected by this, speak with your supervisor about what’s going on and how it’s impacting your work.
  4. Doorway telephone stalkers. It can be most annoying to have people lurking to get in front of you. Consider keeping a note handy to raise for the stalker to read.  The note should say, “I’ll call you when I’m off the phone.”
  5. Keep a clock in your office visible to both you and your visitors. A quick, noticeable glance at the clock when time is up will send your interrupter a clear signal.

Be professional, be nice, practice what you preach, and you’ll find extra minutes in your day by appropriately handling interruptions.

Summer rerun – originally published March 2006.

I have a follow up to the June 2019 newsletter item about The 5 Languages of Love. Thank you, Connie Carpenter who wrote to tell me about another good book by the same author called The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Summertime means salad season! I know we’ve kicked off summer at Josmo’s Café when we have served John’s delicious Marinated Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad and my very favorite Pickled Summer Squash. This is great to have on hand when you don’t know what to do with all that crookneck yellow squash!

Check out other Josmo’s Cafe recipes on our website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of July is Choose the inside cabin.

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

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  1. Emily Live
  • Agency Management CIC – Strategic Planning and Talent Acquisition – Billings, MT – October 22, 2019

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Please share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content when proper credit is included.

Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information, contact emily@sellingstrategies.com.

© 2019 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.