Approachable Management: Say What You See

PICTURE THIS: You receive word that one of your employees might have screwed up.

Naturally, your job is to get to the bottom the situation.

So, you invite her into your office. You close the door and she takes a seat.

As you sit down, you can already identify an aura of defensiveness in the air. Maybe even a little guilt.

So. What’s your approach?

FOUR WORDS: Say what you see.

That means observe, don’t accuse.
Or else she won’t open up to you.

That means insinuate; don’t impose.
Or else she’ll feel even more defensive.

That means describe; don’t prescribe.
Or else she’ll think you’re trying to “fix” her.

Here are three hypothetical examples:

DON’T SAY: “Your third quarter sales were the lowest at our entire branch!”
DO SAY: “It looks like your third quarter sales were lower than normal.”

DON’T SAY: “Why do you come in 15 minutes late EVERY day?”
DO SAY: “I noticed on your time card that you’ve been clocking in at about 8:15 lately.”

DON’T SAY: “Way to piss off the people who pay our bills, dumbass!”
DO SAY: “I see that one of our customers gave you a pretty hostile evaluation.”

See, by objectively “saying what you see,” your words empower the employee in three ways:

1. They enable her to respond.
2. They allow her to clarify the situation.
3. They let her take ownership of the problem.

So, next time you need to approach one of your employees about a mistake they’ve made, remember to use language that is:

o Objective
o Non-judgmental
o Non-comparison based
o Emotionally unreactive
o A statement of observation
o An impartial piece of feedback
o Non-challenging to someone’s character or attitude

Say what you see.

That way, maybe your employees will help you see it better!

What’s your secret for staying objective when approaching employees?

For a list called “79 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask,” send an email to and I’ll take care of ya!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

SEE SCOTT LIVE TOMORROW! Come to the St. Louis Business Expo and learn how to enable people to buy!

AND, get a free copy of Scott’s new book, The Approachable Salesperson!

Writing is the Basis of All Wealth, Part 2

1. You start by posting a few dozen articles (better yet, a few HUNDRED articles!) on your website, blog or on
2. Thousands of people will read and share them.
3. Which will boost your Google rankings.
4. Which will make YOU the easy-to-find, obvious expert on your niche topic.
5. Which will cause media outlets to contact you for interviews (since Google is how they find their experts.)
6. Then, your media appearances can then be leveraged into your marketing materials, i.e., “Featured on 20/20!” or “Quoted in The Wall Street Journal!
7. Which will boost your credibility.
8. Which will support a higher fee.
9. Which will increase your bank account.

Writing is the basis of all wealth.

Read part one and part three of this series!

What did you write today?

For the #1 way to overcome writer’s thinker’s block, send an email to and I’ll help you unblock yourself!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Tired of selling? Come to the St. Louis Business Expo and learn how to enable people to buy!

See Scott LIVE and a get a free copy of his new book, The Approachability Salesperson!

How to Kill Two Stones with One Bird, Part 2

I don’t believe in luck.

Even when I did the piece for 20/20, I explained my philosophy on the subject:

1. Luck is about being in the right place at the right time – so, therefore, be in a LOT of places.

2. L.U.C.K is an acronym for “Working Your Ass Off”

3. Luck is about leverage.

Today, I’d like to talk about #3.

As you’ve read before, I’m a big believer in killing two stones with one bird.

And in my experience, the ULTIMATE “Leverage Question” goes a little like this:

Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?

Let’s explore a few examples:

Now that you have A NEW WEBSITE, what else does this make possible?

o How about a valid reason to follow up with all of your prospects?
o Or a new place to send people who want to find out more about you?
o Maybe a new pool of customers you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach?

Now that you have THIS NEW BOOK, what else does this make possible?

o Perhaps an “entrée” into a particular niche?
o Maybe an increase in your fee?
o Or an amendment to your bio that includes the title, “Author”?

Now that you have 500 BLOG POSTS, what else does this make possible?

o How about compiling them into an ebook?
o Or maybe even a REAL book?
o Perhaps a “Top 10 Posts of All Time”?

Now that you’re WORKING WITH AN INDUSTRY LEADER, what else does this make possible?

o Maybe credibility to work with its competitors?
o Or clout to work with anyone in the same industry?
o How about using their testimonial to beef up your credentials?

Now that you were FEATURED ON THE NEWS, what else does this make possible?

o One of those “AS SEEN ON” stickers for your front door?
o Perhaps an “in” with similar stations?
o Maybe a reason to send an email every single person you know?

Now that you WON THAT FANCY AWARD, what else does this make possible?

o Charging a premium?
o How about a plaque for the lobby?
o Maybe a reason to be more selective with your customers?

Now that you have (x), what else does this make possible?

For a list called “61 Leverage Questions to Kill Two Stones with One Bird,” send an email to and I’ll hook you up!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Come to the St. Louis Business Expo!

See Scott LIVE and a get a free copy of his new book with admission! See ya next Tuesday…

The Approachability Trilogy, Book 1


I just returned from Atlanta, where I delivered the keynote speech at Aspect Software’s 2008 Customer Experience Conference.

We had a blast!

Call center managers from around the world gathered to learn, brainstorm and talk about how to better serve their callers.

Also, yesterday was the official (public) debut of my new book:

The Approachable Frontline: 17 Daily Practices for Delivering Unforgettable Service.

This book is part of a series called The Approachability Trilogy, which also includes…

The Approachable Salesperson: 22 Daily Practices for Enabling Customers to Buy.
The Approachable Manager: 25 Daily Practices for Getting Employees to Come to You

…both of which are being released in the next few weeks!

AND, HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: I’m offering bulk discounts on all three of these books!

So, if you’d like to purchase a case for your staff, office or entire company (big smile) send an email to and we’ll talk 😉

Want a free copy of my new book?

Come see me in a rare, public performance next week in St. Louis! Details below…

Come to the St. Louis Business Expo!

See Scott LIVE and a get a free copy of his new book with admission! See ya next Tuesday…

NametagTV: Overly Approachable Service

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Which company do you think “over does it” when it comes to service?

Share your examples here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Afraid to bend the rules a little?

Tune in to for an interactive learning experience!

Stick yourself out there!

10 Ways to Reverse the Momentum of an Overly Aggressive or Hostile Person

FACT: You will encounter challenging people.

They might come in the form of strangers.
They might come in the form of customers.
They might EVEN come in the form of colleagues or friends!

They will try to overpower you.
They will try to intimidate you.
They will try to get a rise out of you.

They will make blunt or rude comments.
They will ask pointed or threatening questions.
They will attempt to activate your defensiveness.

And you will have a choice.

To either REACT:

By getting upset, overly emotional or defensive.

Which is exactly what they want.

Because deep down, they know that’s the only way they can beat you.


By reversing their momentum.

Which is the exact opposite of what they’re expecting.

Because deep down, they know that if you refuse to take ownership of their emotions, they’re toast.

Kind of like the playground bully, whose ONLY power comes from other kids’ fear of him.

So, next time you face a challenging person, remember:

The key is to relax.
The key is to lower the temperature of the situation.
The key is to remain emotionally unreactive, yet still invested in the conversation.

IN SHORT: If you want to reverse someone’s momentum, it’s all about patience and language.

Today we’re going to explore a list of 10 Phrases That Payses to positively change the dynamic of a conversation with an overly aggressive or hostile person:

1. You’re right. This phrase allows you to enter into another person’s reality. It shows an open mindedness to different opinions and redirects the conversation into a productive direction.

It also acknowledges someone else’s unique point of view. Ultimately, these four results are empathetic and help diffuse emotionally charged individuals.

2. You may be right. Similar to the above example, this phrase diffuses the energy behind someone’s attack AND avoids threatening the attacker. And by giving an impression of active agreement, not passive acquiescence, it avoids adding fuel to the fire.

What’s more, “You may be right” validates a particular part of someone’s argument. Which doesn’t mean you TOTALLY agree with her. But, it does make it easier for the other person to hear your side of the story by way of reciprocation.

3. I agree with you. Similarly, this phrase “agrees with thy adversary quickly,” as the old scripture suggests. It builds common ground on a point of mutual agreement and aligns you with the other person. That way, you’re both on the same side.

Which is how resistance dissipates. Which makes moving toward a solution flow a LOT smoother.

4. Why is that so important to you? This gem is especially effective when someone shoots down EVERY idea you suggest. It identifies a person’s motives and challenges them to honesty examine their emotions, which, if they’ve lashed out at you, probably isn’t something they’ve done yet.

5. Why do you want to know so badly? Similarly, this phrase helps uncover the motivations of someone who seems bit too persistent. Maybe even bordering on pushy.

For example, if a person you’ve just met asks you LOTS of probing questions on the same topic, or constantly asks you the same question over and over again, maybe it’s time to step back and ask why.

6. You must be having a really bad day. Unexpected and empathetic. Demonstrates concern, especially with an irate customer. Also, this phrase assures that you don’t take ownership of the other person’s problem. This ultimately allows them to cool off and approach their situation in a calm, collected manner.

7. I forgive you. When someone is flustered, running late or apologizing profusely, using these three words is almost like a magic tonic. Especially when it’s with a stranger.

See, the peaceful, tender and caring energy of “I forgive you” is incredibly powerful. And observing the way people respond when you say, “I forgive you” is a GREAT mini-lesson in momentum reversal.

8. Thank you. When someone brings a problem or complaint to your attention, make sure the first words out of your mouth are “Thank you,” and not “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry” is negative and self-blaming, and people say it WAY too often. Especially when they’ve done nothing wrong. Now, responding by thanking someone doesn’t mean you’re evading responsibility. If an apology is in order, say it. Just don’t LEAD with it. Instead, after you’ve thanked (aka, honored) the upset person, only THEN say, “I apologize,” or “I’m sorry. You deserve better.”

9. I respect your opinion of my work. My all-time favorite. Perfect for artists and creative professionals. See, if everybody loves your brand, you’re doing something wrong! Likewise, if everybody loves your idea, it’s probably not that good of an idea. So, next time someone expresses a dislike for your work – especially in an attempt to fluster, insult or embarrass you – do three things.

First, pause.
Second, breathe and smile.
Third, tell the person, “I respect your opinion of my work.”

Take it from someone whose work has been made fun of A LOT. I can (almost) guarantee you people will NEVER see THAT one coming! And as a result, you’ll not only leave them with nowhere to go; but you’ll project an attitude of open mindedness and acceptance. Jerks.

10. Silence. Lastly, sometimes the best way to reverse the momentum of an overly aggressive or hostile person is to say nothing at all. To just shut up and let them vent. See, in many cases, that’s all they WANTED: someone to listen to them. To honor them. Or, in some cases, that’s all they NEEDED: someone to serve as a sounding board so they could hear how absurd their words actually were!

In either case, not responding (at all) to someone’s aggression lowers the temperature of the conversation and allows that person to compose himself.

NOTE: Silence is an extremely challenging approach for both parties. See, we live in a hyperspeed; A.D.D. culture where time is money and “the meter is running.” That’s one reason people are so afraid of silence. At the same time, however, that’s ALSO why silence can be so powerful.

– – –

Whichever of the Phrases That Payses you choose to use, remember your mantra: Respond; don’t react.

Combine that foundation with an attitude of patience and calmness, and you’ll be able to reverse the momentum of an overly aggressive or hostile person!

Of course, that’s only (my) short list. What about YOU?

What Phrases That Payses work when you’re trying to reverse the momentum of someone?

Share your examples here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

How are you branding YOUR service?

Tune in to The Frontline on

Watch video lessons delivering memorable unforgettable service!

Writing is the Basis of All Wealth, Part 1

The more you write, the more material you have for your blog.
The more you blog, the more people will link to you.
The more people link to you, the greater your web presence becomes.
The greater your web presence becomes, the larger your WOM asset grows.
The larger your WOM asset grows, the more Google likes you.
The more Google likes you, the better your organic search rankings become.
The better your organic search rankings, the more mindshare you can create.
The more mindshare you create, the more you become That Guy.
The more you become That Guy; the more customers come to YOU pre-qualified.
The more customers that come to you pre-qualified, the lower your average sales cycle.
The lower your average sales cycle, the lower your marketing and client acquisition costs.
The lower your marketing and client acquisition costs, the more profit you can turn.

Writing is the basis of all wealth.

Read part two and part three and of this series!

What did you write today?

For the #1 way to overcome writer’s thinker’s block, send an email to and I’ll help you unblock yourself!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

I’m not a consultant. Nor a Coach. However, you CAN rent my brain!

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who (actually) listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs. Rent Scott’s Brain today!

65 Things I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me When I Started My Company

1. A successful speech is a group effort.
2. Activity isn’t progress.
3. Ask yourself how YOU can do it before asking how it’s already been done.
4. Be confident but uncertain.
5. Be gentle and non-critical of yourself.
6. Build credibility into everything you do.
7. Discard evaluative tendencies.
8. Don’t advertise your importance.
9. Don’t be stopped by not knowing HOW.
10. Don’t count on your audience to connect the dots.
11. Don’t fall in love with your own ideas.
12. Don’t reach for ready-made replies.
13. Don’t talk so goddamn much.
14. Don’t talk the energy out of your idea or else there will be nothing left for action.
15. Don’t waste your time playing to the wrong crowd.
16. Doubt is healthy.
17. Emulate, don’t imitate.
18. Every day is the answer.
19. Everything you do should lead to something else you do.
20. Everything you write MUST have a response mechanism.
21. Fear the known.
22. Find a way to catalyze your discontent.
23. Find out if this is an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used.
24. Formulas are reductive. Stick with practices.
25. Get the other person to learn it on their own.
26. Get the other person to say it on their own.
27. Get their email.
28. Give people new eyes, not new landscapes.
29. Good art is never finished.
30. Ideas are your major source of income.
31. If all you’re doing is speaking, you don’t have a business.
32. If all you’re doing is speaking, you have no audience outside of your audience.
33. If they want you, they’ll find you.
34. If you make it an issue, you give other people permission to make it an issue.
35. Know the patterns of your ignorance.
36. Notice your patterns of energy investment.
37. Patience. It’s only a matter of time. They’ll come when they’re ready for you.
38. Pinpoint your value and work backwards.
39. Publicists are full of BS.
40. Punch people in the face. Make it really, really clear.
41. Recognize threats to your ownership.
42. Refuse to define yourself by others’ assessments.
43. See more by striving less.
44. Seeking destroys the journey.
45. Seven words: “I respect your opinion of my work.”
46. Shut up and listen.
47. Something isn’t always better than nothing.
48. State your fee confidently and shut up. He who talks next loses.
49. Stop trying to win over complete strangers who don’t know how to value you yet.
50. The loudest person in the room is usually the weakest person in the room.
51. The map is not the territory.
52. The media doesn’t care about you.
53. The more time you’ve been given to talk, the less you should actually speak.
54. The number of eyeballs isn’t as important as WHOSE eyeballs.
55. The purpose is found in the process
56. The question isn’t IF they should use you, it’s HOW they should use you.
57. Wait for the right time to prove people wrong.
58. Wearing glasses makes you look smarter.
59. When you do an interview, you’re NOT there to answer their questions.
60. Writing is the answer to everything.
61. You don’t always have to organize everything.
62. You don’t need to apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.
63. You don’t need to be the expert. Only the PERCEIVED expert.
64. You don’t need to justify your existence to anyone.
65. Your calendar is your inventory.

What things do you wish someone would’ve told you when you started YOUR company?

Post your lists here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are your customers proud to be your customers?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on!

Watch video lessons on creating new customers fans!

Don’t be stopped by not knowing HOW

An entrepreneur (by definition) is someone who takes risks.

So, she can’t let a little thing like “knowing how” stand in her way.

“How” is dangerous.
“How” is a dream destroyer.
“How” is the difference between talkers and doers.

And too many ideas, projects and movements have fallen off the face of the Earth because somebody was stopped by not knowing how.

LESSON LEARNED: Focus (first) on the WHAT, and the HOW will eventually appear.

Be clear about the results and flexible about the process. Here’s why:

The “WHAT” can be defined right away.
But the “HOW” takes time, patience and persistence.

The “WHAT” can lead to immediate action.
But the “HOW” may take weeks, even months to get started.

The “WHAT” can lay groundwork for the “HOW” to materialize.
But the “HOW” won’t come to fruition without first identifying the “WHAT.”

So, if you have a great new idea and (still) aren’t sure how to execute it, relax.

Because all that matters (at least, right now) is that you just get started.

That you take the first step. That you do something. ANYTHING!

After all, ideas are free; only execution is priceless.

So, consider these practices to help you focus on the “WHAT.” That way the “HOW” will eventually come to fruition.

1. START with lists. The moment you get a new idea, the first thing you need to do is make it into a list. Listing is the simplest, quickest and most efficient way to capture your idea before it flies away to “But You Never Wrote Me Down Land.”

And, the human brain is a self-organizing machine. So, listing subconsciously creates patterns, groups and “piles” of material that seem to come together on their own. This will help you explore the “WHAT” to its fullest extent. I suggest spending a few hours taking a mental dump, creating lists like:

o What My Idea Is
o What My Idea Isn’t
o Where This Idea Came From
o Why I Want to Do This Project
o Who the Customer Is
o What the Value Proposition Is
o How My Idea Is Unique
o Who I Need to Talk To about This Idea
o Goals of This Idea
o Potential Benefits of This Idea
o Resources/Items I Need to Obtain to Move Forward
o Barriers or Challenges
o What This Idea (Could) Become
o What I Want This Idea to Become
o Strengths of This Idea
o Weaknesses of This Idea
o Dangers of This Idea

List until you’ve got nothing left to list. Empty your mind! Update, edit and revisit your lists regularly. Ultimately, this practice will objectify AND clarify your thoughts, thus bringing you closer to discovering the “HOW.”

2. CONTINUE with resources. Odds are, there’s somebody out there who’s done something similar to your idea. Your goal is to connect WITH, and glean lessons FROM that person.

So, here’s your approach:

o FIRST, spend some time googling around. See what else and who else is out there. Keep a record of your findings.

o SECOND, create (yet another) list. Find 5-7 other entrepreneurs whose ideas mirror your own. Think of them as potential resources.

o THIRD, send each of them a short email. Introduce yourself and congratulate them on their success. Then, briefly explain why you’ve reached out. Summarize your new idea in one or two sentences. Ask if they’d be willing to have coffee or chat on the phone for 15 minutes. Respect their boundaries by working with their schedule and/or offering to compensate them for their time.

o FOURTH, shut up and listen. During your conversation, ask penetrating questions like:

o What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
o What’s the stupidest thing I could do with this idea?
o What three things have most contributed to your success?
o What was the turning point in your execution of this idea?
o What mistakes do people in situations like this usually make?

o FIFTH, take copious notes. Find out what they’ve learned and where they’ve screwed up. Keep all of your research, resources and notes together in an easily accessible folder, along with your lists from the first exercise.

o SIXTH, follow up. Send your new friend(s) a follow up email to thank them for their time. Make it your goal to meet with one of these resources once a month. Without being too annoying, occasionally keep them updated on your progress. And continue to run your “WHAT” ideas by them as you discover more of your “HOW.”

3. PERSIST with education. OK! You’ve made some lists and picked some brains. Great progress on the “WHAT.” By now, the “HOW” should be starting to show its ugly little mug.

Which means it’s time to get shanks out.

A.K.A., you need to be willing to suck in the beginning.

Please take a moment and re-read that last sentence.

Yes, It comes with the territory. Whether you’re a storeowner, children’s author or a professional service provider, you’ve got to get the shanks out.

And you do so through education.

Several examples:

That means … daring to do it badly.
Which might mean making an idiot of yourself.

FOR EXAMPLE: Even Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock bombed in front of audiences in the beginning.

That means … spending time paying your dues.
Which might mean fighting your attitude of instant gratification.

FOR EXAMPLE: Accept the fact that you might not get any web traffic for six months.

That means … seeking progress, not perfection.
Which might mean asking for feedback to find out where you suck.

FOR EXAMPLE: Ask customers to offer honest feedback, even if it hurts.

That means … creating work that isn’t very good.
Which might mean throwing a lot of stuff away.

FOR EXAMPLE: Wouldn’t you want to go to the driving range to hit a bucket of balls before playing your first round of the season?

As you can see, persisting with education is the hardest, longest and most enduring part of discovering your “HOW.”

It takes the most patience.
It takes hard AND smart AND long work.
It takes stepping out of your comfort zone.

But that’s exactly why it works.

In fact, that’s why ALL of these practices work.

And I only know this because I’ve done them (and continue to do them) as I trudge forward through my own entrepreneurial hurdles.

Just like you.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur who’s become stuck by not knowing how, remember these three practices:

START with lists.
CONTINUE with resources.
PERSIST with education.

And just concentrate on the WHAT.

No-how will eventually lead to know-how 😉

When you aren’t sure about the “HOW,” what’s your first move?

Share your first move here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Not sure how to approach your new idea?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on!

Watch video lessons on taking the first step!

NametagTV: Satisfied, Loyal or Insistent?

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Or, click here for the original link to this video on

Are your customers satisfied, loyal or insistent?

Think about a company you INSIST upon doing business with. Share three reasons why here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Still watching training videos from 1986?

Tune in to for an interactive learning experience!

Stick yourself out there!

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