You can add a personal touch to your customer service when you use postcards or greeting cards to reach out to your customers. They make your customers feel valued, and in an increasingly digital world, your brand stands out when you send a card or gift through the postal system.
Look for One of A Kind Cards
If you are sending a card, make it something special. Skip the cheap, blank notecards, and don’t go for bland. You want to send a card that your customers will pin to their bulletin board or share on social media. You want a special card. Once your customer knows it is not junk mail.
One place where you can find unique and original cards is Etsy. There are hundreds of hand-made greeting cards that you can search for on the site. You can even have one custom designed for your customer if you want.
Try Send Out Cards
Another option that you may want to consider is Send Out Cards. This is a website where you can select a greeting card you like and have it sent to your new customers. It works similarly to stock photo sites in that you buy credits for a certain amount of money. You use your credits to purchase cards and upload your signature, so it looks like you signed the card. Then it’s sent out like a regular letter to your customer.
Send Out Cards will let you keep a contacts database to send birthday cards to your customers. But it’s not just for birthdays—there are plenty of holiday-themed cards to choose from, too. Whether your clients celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, you’re sure to find a card that’s right for them. Using postcards and Send OutCards makes it easy for your business to use.
Use Reminders to Make Personal Connections
Your new client just mentioned she’s expecting a little one in six months. Pause to add this info to your calendar and set a reminder ahead of time. You can put something simple like, “Jane’s baby is due in June. Send a card.”
Sites like Send Out Cards, have a gift area that’s perfect when you want to add something special to your card. You can send your customers a treat like a fantastic brownie or tasty fudge. Of course, you can opt for a non-food item if you prefer. You can include a gift like a necklace, a toy plush, a beautiful scarf, or any number of genuine products.
Sending out cards to your customers is a small personal touchthat will delight them. It shows that you care not only about their business but also their lives. When your customers feel you care, they are excited to work with you.
Today’s article will teach you 21 different ways to become a better leader. I think you will really enjoy reading this article. It will teach you so many different ways on how to be a better leader. Because if you’re going to be a business owner, you also need to be a great leader. Right?
Being a better leader can be simplified down to ‘always thinking of more ways to listen and help’. It is also about modeling strong, positive leadership through example.
Being a Great Leader
Here are twenty-one ways to up your game as a positive leader.
Get Out There and Make Connections
The best leaders are insatiable at learning and improving every area of their lives. Part of this involves just getting out there and networking. Talk to peers and competitors, to find out what’s important to them nowadays. Go to conferences and symposiums and talk to experts. Want to ask someone a question? If you are close enough to have their phone number, just phone and ask!
Some of the best leaders are also introverts. It’s tough cold-calling or putting yourself out there if you’re one too—but thesuccessful introvert leaders all say the same thing: You just have to do it. (And that it does get easier!)
Weak leaders shame-and-blame. Strong leaders hone in on specific problems and look for solutions. And they’re especially good at thinking up ‘third alternatives’ or out-of-the-box fixes that far exceed the standard solutions.
Strong leaders not only look for solutions, but they are also the first to take action on them and implement them. Leaders will find out the best people for specific tasks while others are still discussing possibilities. Leaders will fix plumbing leaks, find caterers at the last minute while others are bewailing a cooking disaster, and generally build up a “get-‘er-done” mentality.
And that includes getting it done for your people!
Don’t Be a Weak Leader
Ask for Help
Part of being solution-oriented and action-oriented is knowing when to admit you need help when to ask for help – and then doing so! A good leader never hesitates to say, “Can you show me how to do this?” or, “Will you explain this to me, please?”
That’s because a great leader knows his or her own worth but is immune to the ego.
Leaders and excuses don’t go together. A strong leader never hesitates to admit when he or she is wrong about something.
Be a Lifelong Learner
Great leaders are voracious learners. They read books, as well as search the net. They are not afraid to go to the source and ask the experts. They listen to podcasts in their cars; go to seminars and workshops; find out how things work and know exactly who to call on for a myriad of needs or situations.
This type of curiosity is a great habit to develop—and it will keep you ahead of your competition and help you come up with concrete or decisive answers when others are still dithering.
Do Some Research
Do Your Homework
Effective leaders will take the time to do the research. And if they commission other people to do the research for them, they take the time to go over the results and make sure they understand all implications.
Use Mentors and Coaches
Great leaders never think of themselves as the top of the heap: There is always someone else they admire, follow, model themselves after, or consult. And they’re not afraid to admit it or shout out to their mentors, either.
Think back over your life: Who was your inspiration? Your mentor? If you’ve let them drop by the wayside, use this as a reminder to reconnect and keep up that valuable connection.
Nothing will endear you to your community more than approachability … especially if you protect yourself by making sure you also have clear boundaries around access.
If people feel you are approachable, they also feel that you care about them. You’ll never be the dreaded “tyrant boss” or coach, and by setting times and ways for contact, it ensures that contact occurs in a controlled manner and doesn’t burn you out.
Do you Have Skills?
Actively Develop Your Communication Skills
Great leaders have great communication skills. They use these to convey visions, inspire people, negotiate a positive way through conflicts, and above all, they are great listeners. But they also actively develop these skills. They know that most people aren’t born with them, and they will go out of their way to acquire the best communications skills they can.
Use ‘We’ instead of ‘I’
When you use ‘I’ statements within a leadership role, you subconsciously set yourself on a pedestal. Are you focusing on tasks and goals to accomplish, including your team by saying ‘we’ and giving them ownership of the task and goal?
When you do say ‘I’ make sure it’s paired with statements such as appreciation or gratitude statements, or include as many ‘you’ and ‘we’ statements as ‘I’ ones.
Everybody Needs Somebody
Learn to Read Beyond What’s Spoken
Another top leader super-skill: ‘Reading’ people. This means not just listening to what’s said, but being able to accurately interpret other clues, such as tone, body language, and facial expressions. Effective leaders don’t let such things slipstream over them. They are able to instantly recognize when someone is dubious about something they’re in the middle of agreeing to, or being evasive under expressions of confidence—and get to the heart of the matter in a positive and reassuring way.
Give Your Team the Right Tools
One of the easiest ways to enable and encourage your team to not only do a great job but enjoy and be inspired by the process is to give them the right tools. Don’t skimp on this: Giving your contractor or team member the pro version of the right tool will increase productivity and speed up the creation process.
And your team members will really appreciate your support.
Be Aware of Your Own Body Language, Too
Don’t just focus on the body language of the people you are speaking to. Check your own body language, too! Do you look people you are speaking to in the eyes? Are you smiling and focusing on radiating a positive attitude? Are you lethargic, animated—or too animated? Are you practice “open” body language (angling toward your guest, for example, not crossing your arms or legs; or using wide-arm gestures that include the audience and bring them in).
Have you previously even thought of what your own body language says?
Are You Creating the Best Experience?
Develop an Engaging Speaking Style
Record yourself speaking on more than one occasion; both informally and formally (e.g. when giving a speech or running through a podcast or webinar script). Play these practice runs back and listen.
Do you put yourself to sleep or do you do the opposite, and chatter so fast that you sound like a squirrel after espresso? Do you practice good breathing, so that your voice is resonant, not squeaky or ‘thin’? Are you fall back too frequently on meaningless phrases like ‘basically’? Do you repeat clichés and specific words too often? Are you hemming and hawing and stumbling?
Above all, is your voice real, authentic, clear, and warm?
Analyze your own voice objectively. Listen for all these things, decide where and how you need to improve and do it!
Make a Habit of Being Goal-Oriented
The best leaders zero in on whatever goal they’re working on and move toward it without distraction.
Learn to cut out tangents and irrelevancies, and focus on your goals, be they huge or small; the ‘big picture’ or a detail. Learn not to allow yourself to be distracted into reactive mode, and get your team members effortlessly back on track.
I AM The BOSS!
Don’t Be a Boss: Be a Leader!
A boss suffers from pedestal thinking: She thinks of her team members as minions instead of fellow professionals.
A leader doesn’t regard herself as the center of the universe: She shares the spotlight, the problems, and the praise with her team.
She gives credit, not takes it: A leader steps back to let her team shine. A leader helps people grow and is remembered as an inspiration in years to come.
Be Prepared to Be a Decision Maker and Take Risks
Great leaders do something else that sets them apart from other professionals: After they have done the research, analyzed the facts, and brainstormed with their teams, they:
This is because they have taught themselves not to fear failure. Great leaders know that sometimes projects or ideas fall short.
But they also know that avoiding decision-making and never taking a chance is the real failure!
Listen for the ‘Wee Small Voice’
Great leaders are also not afraid to question themselves and their assumptions. They learn to be aware of that niggling inner voice that tells one that something isn’t right; or simply leads to a hint of nervousness or fear.
Experienced leaders question this ‘wee small voice’ immediately on becoming aware of it. They get to the ‘why’ behind the doubt or fear and face it head-on. Then they take action to eliminate potential problems that might have been causing the fear. They never let fear rule them or hide in sabotage.
Be Proactive—not Reactive
It’s easy—especially when you are an online entrepreneur—to slip into reactive mode, and end up feeling like a chicken running around with its head cut off: Especially when you have many irons in the fire and people depending on you. But be sure to make time for things that matter (like your health and personal life), and be as proactive as you can. Plan things ahead of time. Delegate.
And once you’ve done all that, learn how to let things go.
Make Time for the Things That Matter
Great leaders do their best to avoid burnout. They know they are human, just like everyone else. And they make sure they recharge their batteries with strong, healthy self-care—and they nurture important personal relationships. You should know that they carry the same respect they show in the workplace back home.
Take Care of Yourself
So, develop a healthy self-care routine:
Meditate or pray
Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible
Drink at least six glasses of water daily
Cut down on carbs and alcohol
Cut down on other bad habits that can sabotage your health (such as smoking, inactivity)
Take time to notice all your blessings
Do something fun
Focus on your family
Give back to your local community or charities you believe in
Read entertaining books and listen to fun podcasts, as well as business ones
Get a hobby
Get a good night’s sleep every night
Do even half of the above, and you’ll find yourself more alert, more focused—and you’ll have more fun being the leader you were meant to be!
There are some things we can do in all our relationships to build and maintain strong bonds. This is true because, underneath all our differences, likes, dislikes, and biases, we are all human beings who desire social connections. So, how do you go about building business relationships?
Let me count the ways.
The tips below should be used in all your business building relationships to form bonds that will stand the test of time.
1) Be appreciative
This might mean different things in different relationships, but the overarching sentiment is the same. When they do something kind for you or take the time to support you when you need it, be appreciative – acknowledge their care and concern.
2) Spend time together
It can be hard to find time to get together when we are all so busy, but it’s important for all business relationships. If necessary, set up a standing appointment so that it just automatically happens. This makes sure it happens because you will get used to scheduling other things around it.
3) Communicate honestly
Sometimes you may be tempted to bend the truth to avoid conflict, but building business relationships will be much healthier overall if honesty is held in high regard. It’s possible, to be honest without being brutal. Choose your words carefully and be as diplomatic as possible, while still sharing your feelings openly and honestly.
4) Forgive faults
Forgive them for their eccentricities and annoying habits, and also forgive yourself for any mistakes you make. We all have faults and shortcomings that we bring with us into any relationship. Sometimes to keep the relationship strong, we need to just come to the conclusion that their presence in our lives is more important than the little habits that drive us crazy.
5) Support them
Intermingled between all the good times, there will surely be times when the other person could use a helping hand. Whether it’s helping them move, taking them dinner when a loved one has passed or being a sounding board for a difficult decision, any relationship worth having requires some TLC. And the other person deserves it, just as you do when you need it from them.
6) Do unto others
It’s just a good idea to always live by the Golden Rule, but it’s especially true in relationships that are important to us. If you wonder if something you might do is likely to upset them, chances are it’s better to talk to them about it first. Wouldn’t you want them to do the same for you? It’s better to err on the side of caution.