February 2016

February 2016

Strategies for Success Newsletter February 2016 Issue 122


Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies


Copyright 2016 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.



To view this newsletter as a pretty webpage, please click here.


In this February 2016 issue:

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




  1. Emily’s Mailbag


Dear Emily,


I’m a new manager. I have an account manager who has been with us about six months. He is not doing the job. Some of the problems include lackadaisical attitude, recurring errors, no attention to detail, and attendance problems. Coworkers notice and are talking about it.  I don’t know where to begin. Help!




New and Overwhelmed


Dear Overwhelmed,


You’re off to a good start by identifying the issues to address with your employee. The next steps are:


  • Get your facts together. Facts are only what you observe and uncover, not what others tell you.  Dig into the employee’s client files to audit work quality, accuracy, and documentation, check suspense items, review outgoing and incoming e-mail messages, observe and document specific attendance issues and client complaints. Be specific as to names of accounts, procedures not followed, deadlines and service standards not being met.  Put your findings in categories so your communication is clear and concise.
  • Set up a time to meet in a private meeting room at a table.  I recommend avoiding either of your offices which can be distracting.
  • Tip to remember during the entire conversation. Avoid using the word “you” when describing what’s being done incorrectly. “You” can be interpreted as accusatory and create defensiveness. Instead say “I audited some files and found….” “The company expects employees to adhere to our office schedule. They are 8:30 to 5:00 and an hour for lunch.” “Our clients expect us to meet specific service standards. They are….” “Let’s review your position responsibilities. I want to be certain everything is understood.”
  • Ask the employee if there are any questions about what the expectations are. Any training issues that would help improve job performance to meet expectations. Be certain the employee is given every chance to learn and correct performance issues.
  • To conclude, briefly summarize what’s been discussed. Let the employee know you expect to see improvement in those areas and what the next steps, such as training, work status reports, and file audits will be.
  • Schedule to meet with the employee in one week to discuss progress.
  • Document the personnel file.
  • If improvements haven’t been made after an agreed upon corrective action period, speak with the HR department to learn about the procedures your company follows in these situations.


One last bit of advice. It could be that expectations have not been clear and accountability has never been discussed. Be positive in your approach and actions to give the employee an opportunity to turn things around.




  1. Thoughts from Home


“No one makes you feel inferior without your consent.”  Eleanor Roosevelt


How many times have you obsessed over what somebody has said or how he or she reacted?  To be run by others’ opinions, feedback, remarks, approval or disapproval is self-destructive behavior.  Yet for some reason, many people allow others to determine their satisfaction and success. Here are some examples.


  • Your boss doesn’t acknowledge your extraordinary efforts to keep a client happy, so you secretly vow never to work that diligently again.
  • You blame your inability to meet your sales goals on your sales manager’s lack of understanding the “real-world.”
  • Your spouse doesn’t notice that you’re losing weight and you decide it must not really matter to him or her, so you stop your diet and exercise program.


Who is being hurt when we negatively react to how we think others should respond? We are. Not only do anger and resentment drain energy from us, we sabotage ourselves by not sticking to our plan to achieve our personal goals.


Don’t allow others to influence how you feel about yourself or the choices you make.  Only your opinion should determine the quality and happiness of your life.


Originally published in September 2006 newsletter.




  1. Josmo’s Cafe


It’s crock pot season! I’ve been subscribing to Family Circle magazine for years. It’s fun to leaf through while sipping a cup of coffee and eating a biscotti.  I always find a recipe that sounds good enough to try. Braised Tuscan Beef is the newest addition to my crock pot recipe collection. Only five ingredients and no pre-cooking anything. We love it!

Check out other Josmo’s Cafe recipes. The choice for the month appears at the top of the page and also in its proper category. We hope this will help you find that recipe you read, liked, and can’t seem to locate!


Please let us know how you like our recipes. We love hearing from you!




Service Selling Supercharge on CD is coming in March!


Hard to believe the 52 episodes of Supercharge delivered weekly to your inbox is wrapping up! Hundreds of agents listened, learned, and discussed topics to strengthen client loyalty and write more business – in just four minutes a week!


Many subscribers requested CDs of this material to keep as part of their service team’s continued development. They are being duplicated now. We will let you know when the CDs are available for purchase.




Planning your 2016 membership, agent, or employee events? 


2016 Convention and Meeting Topics are available! Improve teamwork, advance management skills, increase producer sales, enhance customer service, and fast forward career success. My guarantee – participants will be energized, inspired, and will learn strategies to improve performance and results.


For information about availability and fees, please get in touch.


  1. Stay Energized!


February Energizer Minute – Lesson from a pillow case  – Get supercharged with Energizer Minutes – one-to-two-minute audio stories told by yours truly to energize, invigorate, and inspire!

Next up in the 17 Terrific Tips Series! 17 Terrific Tips to Be a Great Co-worker. Coming to your inbox in February.

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



  1. Emily Live
  • Private client consulting – Fargo, ND – February 21-26, 2016
  • NAPSLO Mid-Year Leadership Conference – Scottsdale, AZ – Feb 29 – March 2, 2016
  • NAMIC Commercial Lines Seminar – Overcoming Resistance to Sales and Building Your Personal Career Brand – Chicago, IL – March 3, 2016
  • NetVU Annual Conference – Service That Sells: Frontline to Bottomline – San Antonio, TX – March 5, 2016
  • Assure Alliance Annual Convention, Greenville, SC – March 14, 2016
  • Private client consulting – Montvale, NJ – April 11-14, 2016
  • NAMIC Underwriting Webinars – Underwriters: Sell is Not a Four-Letter Word – April 18 and April 25, 2016
  • Agency Management CIC, Richmond, VA – June 1-3, 2016
  • Agency Management CIC, Anaheim, CA – June 8-10, 2016
  • Agency Management CIC, Fargo, ND – August 24-26, 2016
  • Agency Management CIC, Kansas City, MO – September 21-23, 2016



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


© 2016 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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