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Hi, I'm Jeph. I love helping people make smarter business decisions. I help companies stand out. I consult, speak, facilitate and do project work on new marketing strategies (word-of-mouth, customer service, and social media). My consulting company is JephMaystruck.com Research & Consulting. The marketing industry is changing very rapidly and the only way to stay on top of it is by a philosophy of continuous learning. Do you have an information strategy? Are you learning faster than the world is changing? If not, we should talk. Learn more here: http://jephmaystruck.com/marketing-strategy/ Follow me @JephMaystruck

Act Before You Think

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I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s not a typo, this post is titled act before you think. We have all heard the original saying stating the opposite but I think in some situations you must act before you think or else your thoughts will influence your actions in a negative way.

Have you have had to make a bad phone call, I mean the one you loath to make but have to?  Ever scheduled a meeting with someone you didn’t want to and felt completely awkward the entire time leading up to the meeting to find out that it wasn’t that bad after all?  Personally I hate these moments, talking to people I don’t know isn’t easy, especially if my mind is trying to think about every conceivable outcome.  So what do I do?  I don’t think about it, I believe I excel in these situations if I’m not thinking about it and just do it.

When we step outside our comfort zone it can be very scary, you don’t know what to expect, your hands are clammy, you get gassy and your thoughts are racing.  But nine times out of ten it isn’t half as bad
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The Future of Exercising?

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The gym I go to has stationary bikes with TV screens build in them and handle bars that you actually use to steer.  You can ride around a boring track or play the dragon coin game, the future of stationary biking.  The bike has gears like a normal bike and it steers like a normal bike but you peddle around a small village collecting coins and dragons, unlike a normal bike.  This is the closest I have ever come to having fun while exercising.  I hate exercising.

Someone out there understood that biking can be rather boring so why not throw in a little game to pass the time, albeit not a sophisticated game but enough to peek my interest.  It got me thinking, why do I dread going to this insufferable place to sweat my heart out day in, day out with no end in sight?  Why can’t exercising be fun?  And don’t just tell me Pilates is fun or that class my Mom goes to is “fun” exercise, no its not, not to me anyway.

The first computerized exercise bike was developed in the late 1960′s and since then all we’ve done is make the seats a
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Don’t be an Asshole

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There is a man who lives in my city, I’ve seen him around for quite some time now but anytime I say hello or talk to him it’s like he doesn’t have the time of day and saying hello to me is a burden.  He’s an asshole.  I questioned my friend that knows him much better than I do and he said the same thing, “Yup, definitely an asshole.”  So it’s confirmed, he is in fact an asshole.  Maybe he doesn’t mean to (highly unlikely), maybe I come off the same way to him (I’m a smiler so highly unlikely) so why does he do it?   I think some people are just not happy people, they don’t want to meet anyone else, they’re satisfied with their friend circle and yes maybe saying a cheery HI, HOW ARE YA!?!? to me is a burden.

But wait, there is a silver lining to my cloudy relationship with this asshole.  Recently I heard he started his own company.  HIS OWN COMPANY?  An asshole trying to make it as a business owner?  I had to see for myself and low and behold when I checked online he did start a company.  Personally I
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mmmmmm Your Company Looks Good

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Want your company to look good?  Want people to look up to your brand? Want people to say, “Wow, what a sexy brand!” Unless you are Richard Branson, you’re company’s brand isn’t that sexy.  Don’t fret there is a solution.

At a recent Chamber of Commerce presentation I was attending, there was a small committee waiting to greet me immediately as I walked in.  This wasn’t your regular Wal-mart greeter, far from it.  Later I found out it was the DirectWest Street team, four great looking individuals begging to show me something on my phone, how could I resist?  I learned how to do a local search on my phones browser, useful for a person like me or anyone that doesn’t carry a phone book on their hip.  The interesting part is I’ve seen this service offered on a billboard before but never tried it out, until that day.

Involving your brand with young, beautiful people is a great way to better the brands perception, you can’t help but smile when talking to these folks.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink he talks about how good looking people are easier to talk to and much easier remembered, our first impression of
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The Cute Teller

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Ever go to the grocery store and someone goes out of his or her way to help you?  Your favorite pub has that one server that is simply amazing paired with that irresistible smile?  Finally, does your bank have a cute teller?

These perceived small aspects of your business have a much larger positive affect than you think.  The three examples above all have something in common; they make the customer happy.  A happy customer is a repeat customer and an ambassador for your brand.  Think about it, if you like a server at a certain restaurant chances are you will return, why?  Because they made you feel great and that’s worth talking about, the definition of being remarkable.

This doesn’t happen regularly and it’s difficult to ask out of your staff but you can encourage it.  When someone goes above and beyond to help someone, show then that you appreciate it.  Encourage your staff to pay attention to detail, after all they don’t have to dress as nice as they do, do they?  There will always be some people who leverage their own assets to create a positive affect on their organization, it’s up to you to spot
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Defying All Logic

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Sasktel, one of our local telecommunication companies introduced a new feature they called ebill.   I’m sure you already took a stab at what “ebill” is, an online way to look at your monthly statements thus saving postage, paper and the company money in the long term.  Great idea right?

It was a great idea until two months down the road my ebill account had been deactivated.  Deactivated?  Why?  What reasoning did they go through to come to the conclusion that after 35 days of access to this online account they would need to deactivate it?

The first time I gave them the benefit of the doubt, maybe it was a security issue.  I called and asked for them to reactivate my ebill account, they did and when I checked, it said “Expires in 35 days”.  WHY?  This defies all logic.  Researching further I found that I need an “activation” code to activate my account, an activation code? I just got off the phone with the help desk guy and he didn’t think to tip me off about this activation code I’m going to need?  I know it’s not his fault, someone has made a process that defies all logic.
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