Category: <span>Newsletter</span>

February 2021

Strategies for Success Newsletter February 2021 Issue 182

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2021 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this February 2021 issue:

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

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  1. Thoughts from Home

You’re doing my job

John and I split the laundry duties. I have the easy part. Sheets and towels. John launders all the clothes. His schedule is every seven to ten days, so we are never short of clean clothes. Over the holidays, we got off schedule on many things and spent more time lounging around. All of my favorite comfy sweats were dirty.

I love my morning quiet time and get up 30-60 minutes before John. I went through the laundry basket and pulled out all of our sweats to wash in one load. John got up and heard the washing machine. He asked what I was washing. “All of our sweats,” I replied. He looked hurt and said to me, “You’re doing my job. I would have done them today.”

Moral of the story. We may think we’re helping out by doing a person’s job without asking about it. Instead, the message we give is that we don’t have the confidence in the person to get the job done. This is true at work and at home. Show respect and trust by letting others do the work they are assigned to do.

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

How hard are you really working?

Rate yourself. On a scale of one to five, one being low and five being high, what number would you give yourself for working proactively, efficiently, and accurately to accomplish what needs to be done every day in your job and grow your organization?

What I hear from the dozen managers I coach regularly is that there are too many employees who are doing the bare minimum in their jobs. They are showing up and completing required tasks. What’s not being done is showing initiative to do better or to be better. This is troubling.

Insurance professionals are fortunate to be in an essential industry. Obviously, that doesn’t mean our jobs are secure since our insureds aren’t so fortunate and our economics reflect theirs. Consider both me-thinking and we-thinking reasons to work at level five every day.

  1. You own your reputation. Consider how your coworkers and clients view your work ethic and standards.
  2. You own all the knowledge you gain both from job experience and structured educational offerings.
  3. You own your relationships. Each contact you make has the potential to be a long-term trusted colleague.
  4. Your organization needs level five performance from each person to profitably operate and grow.
  5. Your coworkers need you to perform at level five so they can do their jobs at level five.
  6. Your clients count on you and pay you to work at level five.

Our up-ended work world will be here for a while longer. Stop the excuses for not giving 100% at work. Learn about your company’s business goals. Review your job description and performance review. Embrace and become skilled for what is needed in the virtual world to be an exceptional level-five employee. If you don’t, you are wasting valuable time to advance your career and your organization.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Extended lockdown means more time to find fabulous recipes. We have two winter recipes for you this month. Both will make the house smell wonderful and your tastebuds will thank you! Steelhead Trout Bake with Dijon Mustard and Sheet Pan Vinegar Chicken. Happy winter eating!

Looking for more great recipes? We have over 100 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website.

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute for February may shift your mindset. It’s titled Against the Tide.

Speaking of altering your perspective, the 2004 movie What the Bleep Do We Know? did that for me. Part documentary and part dramatization, we follow Amanda (Marlee Matlin) on her journey from chaotic self-destructive thinking to realizing the power she holds within to positively change her life. Worth watching especially during the long cold month of February.

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

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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.

© 2021 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

January 2021

Strategies for Success Newsletter January 2021 Issue 181

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Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
www.sellingstrategies.com
Copyright 2021 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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In this January 2021 issue:

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

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  1. Thoughts from the Road

It helps to ask questions

I was walking with a neighbor on a beautiful fall Saturday. A man in a car with a South Carolina license plate stopped us. “Excuse me. Can you tell me how to get to I-77? Even with my GPS, I seem to have gotten lost.” I piped up first and gave the man directions. He repeated them back to us to be sure he understood. Then Pam, my neighbor, asked, “Where are you going?” The man said he was going to Lake Norman State Park. Pam told him there is a faster and easier way to get there. Would he be interested in having those directions? Of course he was! Yea Pam!

Moral of the story. Before directly answering a question, clarify the question you have been asked. With more knowledge, you may have a better solution to the question.

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

It’s always about the money – is it?

Pandemic homestay motivated us to buy a new mattress. Like most buyers, John and I did our homework. We checked Consumer Reports on retailers, manufacturers, warranties, and buyer reviews before we chose one of the dozens of mattress stores in the area. We were ready!

We visited the mattress store on a Tuesday morning knowing it would be a slow time. It was. The manager, Mark, was the only person working. We had the place to ourselves. Laughably, they had totally different mattresses and options than we had researched! Now we had to rely on a mattress salesman and whatever info we can find using our phones.

We tested mattresses, we listened to all the options, we asked questions, and we answered questions. There’s a lot to consider on an item where you spend a third of your time. Like any good salesperson, Mark was upselling the mattress we were interested in. For only so much more, we can have all these whiz-bang features. Not interested. Not interested. Not interested. In fact, he offered so much, we were in overwhelm. I told Mark we needed to do more research and we’d be back. You could see his wheels turning. Don’t let them leave! We were almost out the door. “Wait,” he said. “I know it’s about the cost.”

Not once had we mentioned money. I told him it wasn’t about the money, we were in overwhelm. “It’s always about the money,” he said. “I’ll make you a deal.”  He did. He reduced the price 25% on the fancy model we originally weren’t interested in, threw in delivery and taking the old mattress away. We ended up paying about what we expected for a no-frills mattress.

We love the mattress. We really like the fancy features we hadn’t intended to buy. Was Mark right that it’s always about the money? I don’t think so. Mark is the one that made it about the money.

Moral of the story. If the salesperson is fixated on the price, then the sale is about the money. What do you focus on when talking with your customers?

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  1. Josmo’s Café

We discovered a new sensational cocktail Disaronno Amaretto Bourbon Sour over the holidays that rivals our famous Josmo’s Cosmo. A word of caution. It goes down very easily and packs quite a punch!

Speaking of great drinks… Bloody Mary fans, the absolute BEST Bloody Mary Mix is Nan’s Naughty and Nice. It also makes a delicious seasoning in chili, tacos, and sloppy joes. Recipes are on the site. Shipping is free. Headquartered in Wisconsin, owned by my good friend Peggy Hansen, it was Peggy’s mother Nan who developed the Bloody Mary mix recipe. Check out their Facebook page to see all the great places Nan’s appears including a Williams Sonoma Bloody Mary gift box this Christmas.

Whoops on the Eggnog Cookie recipe last month! I neglected to list the amount of vanilla on the ingredient list. Corrected recipe is now posted.

We have over 100 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website. Many great dishes and sweets to make and enjoy!

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute for January is Embrace the Mystery. A fitting kick-off for 2021!

Armchair travel time. We are still months away from safe vacation travel. In the meantime, enjoy these spectacular photos from all 50 states. Discover places in your state you have never seen.

Did you know the Bee Gees composed over 1000 songs and had 20 number one hits over five decades? Learn more about the talented Gibb brothers on the HBO documentary How Do You Mend A Broken Heart. John and I really enjoyed it. Watch a few great clips on the link.

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

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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.

© 2021 Emily Huling Selling Strategies All rights reserved.

December 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter December 2020 Issue 180

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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 December 2020 issue:

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

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Finishing touches

Bob, owner of Stumpy’s Tree Service, has been taking care of our wooded property for 25 years. Large jobs and small jobs, Bob is expert in what he does. Bob is reliable. He shows up on time to do a job estimate and on schedule when it’s time to begin the work. His pricing is more than fair even during storm damage times when others charge more. There are probably other tree services in the area who can boast the same. However, I’ve never found a reason to give them a try. Why? Bob sets himself apart with his finishing touches.

Bob is diligent about double checking the quality of the completed work. If he notices something else that needs to be addressed, he lets us know and gives us an estimate.  Bob and his crew do an excellent job removing tree debris and cleaning up the area where the work is done. Then they go the extra mile and clean up a bit beyond. When leaving us, Bob tells us how much he appreciates our business.

After every job, Bob sends a hand-written thank you note with his business card enclosed. He personalizes the card by signing Bob and Nicole, his wife. That tiny personal touch has helped build our relationship when I often ask about Nicole and the rest of his family.

Finishing touches. It’s what people remember. Finishing touches build trust and strong relationships. It’s what makes your customers not look anywhere else for the services you provide.

What finishing touches are you using with your clients?

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

How to build rapport while wearing a mask

The September issue of Harvard Business Review had an article by Dustin York containing the best advice I’ve read about conducting effective business while wearing a mask. One of the tips is to practice your mask voice. Using the acronym PAVE, York identifies four key elements: Pause, Accentuate, Volume, and Emotion. Here’s the link to the whole article.

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Our November newsletter featured a story about a client from 2001 who reconnected with me about my book Selling in a Hard Market. We received many orders. Thank you!

If you are interested in having your agents, underwriters, or marketing teams learn and apply the book’s 27 tips, please visit our product information page for a list of the tips and how to order books for your team.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Holiday baking is big in the Josmo’s Café kitchen. John is the baker for his mother’s Rum Cake recipe. It is the best of all the rum cakes we’ve tried. Eggnog Cookies are now a tradition for holiday baking thanks to a client of mine who shared her family recipe with me a few years ago. An added bonus – house smells heavenly while baking!

Gifts from your kitchen are always popular. I continue to make my most popular Strawberry Bread and Zucchini Bread for gift giving. Both recipes are listed in the Josmo’s Café Sweet Treats section.

We have over 100 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website. Many great dishes and sweets to make and enjoy!

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  1. Stay Energized

Please visit our Energizer Minute archives page to enjoy a past podcast this month. New Energizer Minutes will resume in January.

Andrea Bocelli’s new album Believe was released in November. He and Alison Krause sing a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. Ed Sheeran fans will enjoy his 2017 duet with this incredible Italian tenor singing Sheeran’s emotionally-packed song Perfect (Dancing in the Dark).

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

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  1. Emily Live update

John and I are still at home following recommended precautions to stay healthy. As one of my sensible clients said to me, “We are canceling all of our gatherings this holiday season to be sure we are all able to be together next year.”

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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.

November 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter November 2020 Issue 178

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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 November 2020 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

Selling in a Hard Market

The voice mail message I heard was this. “Emily, in 2002 you spoke to the underwriting teams at my MGA about how to sell in a hard market. Almost 20 years later, here we are again! I just found your Selling in a Hard Market book that you gave us. I’d like to get some copies for my underwriters. Will you please give me a call?”

After our fun catch-up conversation, Jim said, “All of the 27 tips in your book still apply. Even more so I think. We’ve gotten so impersonal in how we do business. We need to get back to getting to know our customers, building long-term relationships, offering options, and following up, just to name a few things we can improve.” I gave Jim some suggestions on how to use the book with his remote team to discuss, learn and apply the 27 principles.

Before we hung up Jim asked me if race car driver Matt Kenseth was still my neighbor. “No, he’s not,” I said. “How did you remember that?” I asked. Jim told me that I had seen a picture of Matt in his office during my visit. I later sent him a picture of Matt that he had autographed. “That’s the story you need to share with your underwriters about selling in a hard market,” I told Jim. “When we do something personally meaningful for a person we are remembered even after 18 years!”

Interested in having your agents, underwriters, or marketing teams learn and apply Selling in Hard Market tips? We still have small supply of books. Review our product information page for a list of the tips and how to order books for your team.

FYI. For a news analysis of the current commercial insurance hard market, the most recent issue of  Insurance Business America Magazine published an interesting article on Page 6 called Up, Up and Away.

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Five Lessons from Jigsaw Puzzles

Pre-pandemic, John and I had never done a jigsaw puzzle together. After doing one given to us by a friend, we are hooked! We’ve identified five advantages of working together on puzzles that can be applied to collaborative projects in both home and business life.

  1. Appreciate each other for having a different approach. John tackles the puzzle by the shape of the pieces while my method is to piece the puzzle by color. It makes us a great team.
  2. It helps to look at the puzzle from different sides. What is not apparent in one view, becomes recognizable by looking at it from another angle.
  3. If you’re at standstill, leave it and come back later. A fresh look reveals something previously missed.
  4. Refer to the big puzzle picture included in the box. Use all available resources when provided. Why make something harder than it needs to be?
  5. Give each other frequent high fives. It feels good to be acknowledged for good work.

What shared home or work projects are you working on that could benefit with jigsaw-puzzle thinking?

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  1. Josmo’s Café

As cooler weather rolls in, my Crock-Pot and Instant Pot are working overtime. Instant Pot Beef Stew and Crock-Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks are two previously-published favorite recipes of ours. On the crock pot recipe, I substituted boneless chicken thighs and shredded it after cooking. We ate it over baked potatoes for dinner with a salad and used the leftovers to make shredded chicken sandwiches. Yummy!

We have 100 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website. Many great dishes and sweets to make and enjoy!

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast this month about Washing Dishes may just change your mindset about household chores.

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

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  1. Emily Live in November – Thankful for being safe and healthy at home.

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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.

October 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter October 2020 Issue 178

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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 October 2020 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

To improve or not improve? That is the question.

“I don’t want to improve.”

That’s what Bill, our good friend and golfing buddy, told us when we asked him why he won’t take lessons to improve his pitching and chipping. Bill is a terrific golfer. Drives the ball long and accurately and makes amazing putts. His inconsistency close to the green costs him many strokes during a round. So why doesn’t Bill want to improve his short game and his score? Too much pressure he told us. He doesn’t want to set higher expectations for himself that would make a leisure-time activity feel like work.

I see his point. We don’t need to excel in everything we set out to do. It does add pressure. When you’re doing something solo and nothing major is at stake, you can choose not to improve. No harm done. However, as part of a (business) team with responsibility to clients, coworkers, partners, the success of the business that employs you, self-improvement is not optional.

Approach self-improvement on both a macro and micro level. Macro is long-term career advancement initiatives and having a three to five-year plan. Micro improvements are doable daily actions that build personal performance, reputation, knowledge, and relationships.

Resources for both macro and micro self-improvement are countless these days. Create and track your personal plans to assure immediate satisfaction and long-term success.

Did you miss my Thoughts from the Office Zoomed Out in the September 2020 newsletter? Many thanks to the readers who wrote to tell me it was spot on and being shared!

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Ouch!

Have you been dropping things, running into things, and just feeling more physically unbalanced since pandemic stay-at-home started? I have been! My mishaps included hitting dishes on the granite counter while loading the dishwasher, running into the edge of the dining room table that has been in the same place for 30 years, and misjudging the distance of the car door from my body when closing it. Bummer, ouch, and ouch. What a relief to read an article in The Atlantic by Amanda Mull called “Everyone I know keeps breaking things” to assure me that I am not alone.

Surprisingly, stress and anxiety are not the main cause of our increased accidents. The primary source is our loss of spatial awareness. Dr. Gerald Voelbel, an occupational-therapy professor at NYU, describes spatial awareness as our “ability to accurately perceive where your body is in relation to the things in the world around it.” By spending more time in a too-familiar environment (our home), we are not as careful as when we are in the outside world when we pay more attention to unfamiliar surroundings.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for what we are experiencing, and it looks like we will continue to be in our home environment a lot for the foreseeable future. Be careful, have bandages, ice packs and aspirin on hand. If you find a good deal on breakable household items, it may be wise to stock up!

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  1. Josmo’s Café

October kicks off increased apple and pumpkin baking month at Josmo’s Café!

I created a new super moist Apple Cinnamon Cake recipe, John’s favorite combination, by combining several of our favorite apple cake recipes. Make it a day before serving to enhance flavor and moistness. It’s a great coffee cake or top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a terrific dessert.

Josmo’s Café fans, don’t forget about our most requested dessert of the season Frosted Pumpkin Cake Squares. I had to go to three stores before I found canned pumpkin so shop ahead if you plan on making it.

We have 100 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website. Many great dishes and sweets to make and enjoy!

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute this month is called Compared to What?

Take a bird break! The summer photography awards issue of Audubon magazine is a keeper! Not only are the photos spectacular, a number of resources to educate and entertain us are provided. A few to check out are: Zooniverse, a research site for everyday people to participate and contribute to bird science; learn to identify bird songs with Birding by Ear lessons; watch the movies Hummingbirds on Amazon Prime and Dancing with the Birds on Netflix.

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

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  1. Emily Live – Enjoying our beautiful North Carolina autumn!

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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.

September 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter September 2020 Issue 177

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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 September 2020 issue:

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

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  1. Thoughts from Home

A parable worth repeating

A man and a woman have been married for nearly fifty years. Although they love each other in every way, the wife has one thing she resents about her husband which she never has confronted.

For their entire marriage, the man has always given his wife the heel of every loaf of bread. Whether it was a sandwich, garlic bread, or bread fresh from the oven, he always made sure she got the heel of bread.

One day, exasperated, she finally exclaimed as he was passing her the heel of bread, “Why can’t I ever have the soft middle of the bread? I hate the heel. I’ve only eaten it all these years to make you happy. Why can’t you ever take the heel to show you love me?”

“I’ve always given it to you,” the man said softly, “because it’s my favorite part.”

Moral of the story. It’s risky to assume that what others do is intentionally selfish or hurtful. Don’t let your emotions fester. Speak up and talk things through.

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

Zoomed Out

We have another health crisis that is getting little attention. Video fatigue. People are telling me they are exhausted being on video calls all day long.

I have started declining video chats for conversations that can (and did) take place quite successfully by using the phone, document or screen sharing, or webinars with participation features.

Face it, it’s stressful to be watched, watch yourself, worry about personal appearance, connection or equipment issues, lighting, background, surprise visual interruptions, and so on.

I hear a variety of comments from my clients who strongly believe video meetings are necessary for all connections. “How do I know they are paying attention if I can’t see them?”  “My team needs to see each other.” “I want to view expression and body language.” “I can’t believe people are complaining about getting dressed for work.” “No one cares what others look like if it’s an internal meeting. They can come as they are.”

Video chat has earned its place in supporting business relationships and success. However, if burnout is occurring, it’s time to be selective about the use of it. Here are some guidelines I use to determine which engagement tool (phone, webinar, video chat) would be best.

  1. For a group meeting, what’s the agenda and expectation? Presentation only, education, or discussion? Make a decision accordingly.
  2. If you are seeking interaction, have you given participants topics in advance in preparation to share their thoughts?
  3. Is it a conversation between two or three people to brainstorm, problem solve, or discuss a specific issue? Would a phone and shared documents be all that is needed?
  4. Client conversations – what does the client prefer? You may need to explain the options, what you recommend, and why.
  5. Client meeting that would otherwise be in-person plus a need to manage multiple remote contacts and reference materials. Video chat recommended.

There is a lot of pressure adjusting to new work and home routines. Anything an employer can do to relieve further stress will help the team, their families, your clients, and your business.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Our fig trees have been overflowing this year from lots of rain and southern summer heat. After making countless batches of my yummy Fig Orange Jam, I needed to branch out. I discovered this Fig Preserves Cake recipe so I could use my homemade fig jam. Win-win! Make the cake a day ahead to enhance both flavor and moistness. It is delicious!

Last month’s featured recipe, Peach Sorbet from Canned Peaches was a huge hit with readers. One Josmo’s Café fan wrote to tell me he made a variation of the recipe using canned pears, pear vodka, and vanilla ice cream and it was scrumptious. We will be making it soon!

We have over 90 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website. Many great dishes and sweets to make and enjoy!

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  1. Stay Energized

If you find yourself making excuses for not getting things done, you may benefit from listening to our Energizer Minute this month called No Excuses.

Are you in emoji overload? There is a reason! 92% of online users use emojis daily. Learn 29 more facts about emojis at  Zoominfo.com. Need help interpreting emojis? Check out emojipedia.org.

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

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  1. Emily Live – Enjoying all my time in North Carolina.

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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.

August 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter August 2020 Issue 176

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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 August 2020 issue:

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

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Outfoxing the raccoons

One of the positive perks for me of stay-at-home orders was the opportunity to have a nice herb garden in the limited sunny area we have in our yard. In three 24-inch planters, I planted basil, oregano, chives, flat-leaf parsley, curly parsley, and sweet mint. With plenty of sun, water, and Miracle Grow, the plants were flourishing. I was looking forward to making pesto, grilled vegetables with fresh herbs, frittatas, and with the sweet mint, lots of Mojitos.

The morning I planned to make the pesto, I went to the garden with scissors in hand to cut the basil. “Oh NO!” I screamed. There was not a leaf or stem of an Italian herb left! Surprisingly, the sweet mint was untouched. We laughed that the raccoons had Italian tastes and at least we still had Mojitos to look forward to! Our excitement was short-lived when the next morning we found every bit of the sweet mint eaten. We had a good laugh that the raccoon had digestive issues from eating Italian and discovered on a Google search that mint relieves indigestion.

I wanted to replant, but we weren’t sure John could successfully fence an area that would keep out the raccoons. We started adding up the outlay of herb replacement, fencing materials, time, and questionable success as to whether we could keep the raccoons out. Sweet husband that he is, he was willing to give it a go. We set off to Lowe’s.

On the ride I had an aha moment! How about a dog crate? In no time flat, I found a 30” x 42” double door dog crate. My plastic planters would fit perfectly in this locked cage.

Fast-forward 6 weeks. My herbs are thriving in the dog crate. I’ve made two huge batches of pesto, getting through all my herb-based recipes and sharing plenty with neighbors. The Mojitos are as good as always!

The solution to our herbs and raccoon drama has given us food for thought. When the season is over, we now have a dog crate for a 71-90-pound dog. I do love collies!

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

What’s on your bookshelf?

Recently asked what books helped shape my four-decade career, I had no hesitation in naming the three books that set the course of not only my business values and practices, but my life.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was written by Stephen Covey in 1989. The subtitle, Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, accurately describes why Covey’s principles have developed countless proactive, successful, and responsible individuals. It’s an in-depth read. Be prepared to highlight, bookmark, and make notes.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a 1997 book I learned about from O magazine in 2001 when Oprah interviewed Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen was so wowed by the book and its positive message, she mentioned it to Oprah. After Oprah read it and recommended it to about 10 million people, it became a bestseller. I love the book and have gifted it to countless people.

The Go-Giver, a 2007 book by Bob Burg and John David Mann, is written as a parable and easy to read. Those that follow the authors’ Five Laws of Stratospheric Success will achieve just that. Of the five laws, the one that speaks to my heart is The Law of Influence. It states, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” The series of books now includes specific go-giver strategies for sales, leadership, and influencer.

Reading any of these books will have a profound impact on your life.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Peaches again! Who knew that an ordinary can of peaches in heavy syrup would make the best Peach Sorbet in just 10 minutes? Published in the June New York Times cooking section, the recipe was created in 1996 by Melanie Bernard from Bon Appetit magazine who was tasked with finding new uses for canned food. The recipe has made a resurgence during the pandemic. John improved it by adding vanilla ice cream and peach schnapps before freezing. M’m M’m good!

We have over 90 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website. Many great dishes and sweets to make and enjoy!

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for August focuses on learning. Earn Your MPA.

Are you on your B-list of at-home entertainment choices and looking for something new and creative? Netflix has a series of terrific short films (the longest is 11 minutes) from around the world called Homemade. Another interesting series I’m enjoying is The Last Dance, the Netflix docuseries of Michael Jordan’s career and the Bulls organization.

The Holderness Family videos continue to keep me laughing and laughing and laughing! There is good reason they have 547,000 YouTube subscribers!

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

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  1. Emily Live – Happily in North Carolina.

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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.

July 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter July 2020 Issue 175

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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 July 2020 issue:

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

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  1. Thoughts from Home

A lesson from animal crackers

Lisa, our good friend and next-door neighbor, was babysitting her three-year-old granddaughter, Austyn. They had been grocery shopping. When I saw them come home I made a mad dash over to visit that darling child. In her tiny hands, Austyn held a big bag of animal crackers, her reward for being good on their excursion. After eating her prize for about ten minutes, Lisa said, “Austyn, that’s enough,” and reached over to take the bag of cookies. Austyn looked quizzically at her Nana then at the nearly full bag and said with certainty, “I’m not done.”

Austyn’s not alone in being overwhelmed when too much is on her plate – both literally and figuratively. We all eat less when plates and portions are smaller. Snack-bag size servings give us a beginning and an end that we can see and count. The same holds true in our work world. Eliminating that overwhelmed feeling of endless items on a to-do list or in work folders enables us to concentrate more clearly on the task at hand and accomplish more.

What can you do to create bite-size portions at home or at work that will help better manage your mind and body?

Originally published September 2011

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  1. Did you know….?

Solution to stinky and sticky

John is going to be embarrassed again. But when something has been irritating a person his whole life and an amazing remedy is found, I can’t help but think someone else may be able to benefit from the information.

John is allergic to traditional underarm deodorant. He’s tried countless traditional products and homeopathic remedies, but nothing has been able to eliminate the rash and itching that he experiences – until now!

Joe and Terry Graedon, the hosts and authors of People’s Pharmacy, recommend applying milk of magnesia with a cotton ball instead of deodorant when a person can’t tolerate aluminum-based antiperspirants. John was skeptical, but it worked! (And continues to work 10 years later!)

Please let me know if this information helps you or someone you know so John knows sharing his personal hygiene problem was worth it!

Originally published March 2010

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  1. Josmo’s Café

Living in the south, we embrace peach season. July is peak season for the best South Carolina peaches. Only an hour from our home on Interstate 85 in Gaffney, SC stands a 135-foot tall water tower shaped like a peach. It’s a giant steel and concrete structure called a Peachoid. It is quite the tourist attraction!

Our favorite Fresh Peach Cake is moist, dense, and sweet. It’s one of those cakes that gets better every day. Leave it to Ina Garten to create the perfect recipe! Eat with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll be in summertime heaven.

We have over 90 recipes on our Josmo’s Café page on the website. Many great dishes and sweets to make and enjoy!

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  1. Stay Energized

Our Energizer Minute podcast for June to stay sane is Chinese Finger Puzzles.

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

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  1. Emily Live – Still safely working from home!

Connection update

WFH/WFA (anywhere) – My only business phone number will be my current cell phone number which is 704-516-5114. Connect with me by phone or video conference.

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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.

June 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter June 2020 Issue 174

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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 June 2020 issue:

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

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Connection update

WFH/WFA (anywhere) – My only business phone number will be my current cell phone number which is 704-516-5114. Connect with me by phone or video conference.

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  1. Thoughts from the Office

In sales? Now what?

In mid-March, we were suddenly enveloped in fear, uncertainty, and inconvenience. My advice to those in sales was to hold off soliciting new business. I suggested the focus be on connecting with, helping, and taking care of current clients. That was appropriate advice given the circumstances. Ten weeks later, we have arrived at a new norm with new opportunities. It’s time to get back to growing your business! Five strategies to make that happen are:

  1. Check your mindset. Is your mental state scarcity or abundance? The scarcity mindset may look like playing it safe, worrying about the future, and believing others are in dire straits and won’t be interested in what you have to offer. That attitude will decimate your career. Successful salespeople have a mindset that sees both possibility and opportunity in every connection. It’s curiosity and creativity that fuel the confidence that you make a positive difference in the lives of others. And you do!
  2. Research and assess how consumer behaviors and buying trends are changing. How does this change your sales process?
  3. Deliver your value proposition to all you encounter. What is your value proposition? Is it time to redefine it?
  4. Rethink who is on your prospect list. Pay attention to business trends, fading businesses, emerging businesses, and existing clients who are reinventing and expanding their businesses.
  5. PROVE yourself. Problem solver. Relationship builder. Open to buyer needs and budget challenges. Be Visible using a variety of communication channels. Educate by using your knowledge and expertise to help buyers make the right decisions.

Based on my observation of these changing business times, here are classes of businesses showing great growth potential. Construction, landscaping, home improvement and repair, commercial and residential cleaning both service and suppliers, grocery stores and specialty food stores, online-only retailers, leisure and recreational goods including gardening, camping, all types of recreational vehicles, boats, fitness equipment, meal preparation and food home delivery services.

A final reminder. A client recently told me of a new commercial account they wrote. The current agent failed to do an account review which would have revealed a changed business warranting classification and payroll adjustments resulting in a lower premium. Two takeaways. It’s critical to take care of your existing clients so they don’t have reason to leave. Those seeking new business have opportunities when an agent is sleeping on the job. When you do both of those things, your continued success is assured!

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  1. Thoughts from Home

A masked smile

When you wear a mask and smile, does anyone see it?

I’ve been asking myself that question for the past few weeks as we reenter the world – masked. Extrovert that I am, I smile at people I don’t know. Most of the time, I get a big smile in return. It’s one of the joys in my life. There’s an old saying, “If you meet someone without a smile, give them yours.”

So how am I dealing with this new reality? I’m still smiling at people with my mask on. A broader smile since I need to be sure it shows in my eyes. I nod to acknowledge folks. I say hello or excuse me as before even though it sounds mumbled.

Slowly, people are getting accustomed to going about their business with a mask on. Let’s not let that visible barrier prevent us from being friendly and connecting with others. In fact, we need that emotional connection now more than ever.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

It’s time for summer salads! Our State, our wonderful North Carolina magazine, published the recipe Lemony Pea and Mint Salad in the April issue. It’s fabulous! I use the fresh mint I grow in my herb garden. (That is until the raccoon devoured all of my herbs! I have replanted and my herb planters are now sitting inside a large dog crate with extra locks!)

Don’t forget our other great summer sides to enjoy including Baked Vidalia Onions and Pickled Summer Squash. Both are big hits with our Josmo’s Café guests!

Gluten-free eaters, I want to tell you about two great store-bought cookies I found that are as good as the real things! If you miss the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, try Goodie Girl Mint Cookies. Looking for a crisp ginger snap cookie? I discovered Mi-Del Ginger Snaps. I hope you can find them in your store since they are popular!

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

Feel good videos for your coffee break today.

I badly miss going to the theater, so I was thrilled to get my musical fix compliments of James Corden, Emily Blunt, and Lin Manuel Miranda. 22 Musicals in 12 Minutes. It’s delightful! I’ve watched it numerous times!

Two great laugh-out-loud pandemic videos to watch are The Holderness Family’s Training for Real Life and from imomsohard I Appreciate Teachers So Hard.

Our Energizer Minute podcast for June to stay sane is Seek Help.

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

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  1. Emily Live – Still working from home!

Connection update

WFH/WFA (anywhere) – My only business phone number will be my current cell phone number which is 704-516-5114. Connect with me by phone or video conference.

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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.

May 2020

Strategies for Success Newsletter May 2020 Issue 173

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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 May 2020 issue:

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

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  1. Thoughts from the Road

Timeless leadership lessons

It feels like a lifetime ago, but it’s only been eight weeks since John and I saw the remarkable four-star General Colin Powell (Ret.) speak at the WSIA Underwriting Summit in beautiful Palm Desert, CA. In a moderated question and answer format, General Powell shared a handful of stories from his life in public service. Son of Jamaican immigrants and raised in the South Bronx, his decorated military career spanned 35 years. General Powell served under four presidents including Ronald Reagan as National Security Advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and as Secretary of State for George W. Bush.

I had three takeaways from General Powell’s insightful comments.

  1. President George H.W. Bush governed his administration by trusting the expertise and advice of his cabinet and their direct reports. By listening to all sides of the issues, President Bush created a safe environment so the experts discussing important issues felt free to express contrary opinions. This approach enabled President Bush to make thoughtful and educated decisions based on all views. Do you listen to all sides of an issue before making a decision?
  1. President Ronald Reagan empowered his cabinet and administrative staff with the authority specific to their experience and talents. He expected his staff to use their authority and not trouble him with “their problems.” By trusting his leadership team and staff, President Reagan promoted a culture of respect and accountability. Do you grant authority and empower people to use it?

General Powell said these two leadership approaches guided him in his future leadership roles.

  1. General Powell’s closing comments reflected on the future. “The future is our youth,” he said. He encouraged us to do whatever possible to lead, mentor, educate, and develop young people. No matter what your position is, what are you doing to help develop the next generation of professionals?

Listening to all sides of an issue, granting authority and empowering people to use it, and developing future professionals are necessary and doable whether we work together in an office or use online platforms to communicate. Great leadership has no boundaries.

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  1. Thoughts from Home

Old-fashioned (online) fun

Golly gee, wilikers! It’s Mayberry month on MeTV! Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, and Gomer are very special to me. I enjoyed the original The Andy Griffith Show that aired from 1960-1968. There were a total of 249 half-hour episodes during eight seasons. My favorite episode is The Pickle Story from season two. Andy and Barney try to help Aunt Bee break Clara Johnson’s 11-year blue ribbon winning streak at the annual fair. In the end, it’s the guys honesty and integrity that triumphs. The result is total hilarity.

As luck would have it, Mt. Airy, NC, Andy Griffith’s hometown and the inspiration for Mayberry, is only 80 miles up Interstate 77 from my home in Terrell. Our out-of-town guests love to visit Mt. Airy so we visit Mayberry often. It never gets old. The police car, Wally’s Service Station, Mayberry Courthouse, and Snappy Lunch are popular stops.

Our favorite place is The Andy Griffith Museum which was founded in 2009 by Andy’s childhood friend. During a January visit we stayed almost two hours walking through sets, seeing props and watching clips of the show and Andy Griffith’s movies. Once a month, Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn) visits the museum to talk to visitors.

The attractions are all closed now, of course. Until you can visit, here’s a touching 5-minute video of Brad Paisley and Andy Griffith from 2009 singing Brad’s song Waitin’ on a Woman.

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  1. Josmo’s Café

I hit the jackpot googling crock pot chicken recipes. Our favorite so far of the many that I selected is Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks. So easy. I had all six ingredients on hand. I’m sure you will have them as well. An additional bonus was that the house smelled heavenly for the four hours it cooked. 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

How does she do it? Kelly Donahue-Piro of Agency Performance Partners continues to provide free terrific daily video blogs for insurance professionals. Start with the blog on March 24 and watch them all. In addition to the informative and skill-building blogs, Kelly provides 3 Tips that educate or amuse and a Pay It Forward plan. Kelly can Zoom into your office meetings live or with her video blog. Thank you, Kelly for providing daily inspiration and business advice to get us through this stranger-than-fiction time!

I love watching birds! Our bird feeder has lots of activity this spring. The hummingbird feeder will be hung this weekend. When I can’t sit out on our screen porch and watch them live, I visit the Audubon site to view incredible videos and photos from around the world. Take a break and do some bird watching now.

Speaking of birds, our Energizer Minute podcast for the month of May is Don’t Feed the Pigeons.

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

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  1. Emily Live – Only at my local grocery store and post office and wearing a mask.

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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.