What Not to Say-The Importance of Human Relation Skills

Excellent technical skills are a must for any business.  Outstanding verbal skills are also, as they influence customer service, sales, team effectiveness, efficiency, and turnover.  If you say the wrong thing, or say something the wrong way, you risk losing customers and prospect opportunities.  You jeopardize effective communication with everybody.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, you are also in the business of interacting with people.  This requires developing and managing both new and ongoing relationships.  You must have a good understanding of persuasion and influence.  In other words, you need to know how to get the outcomes you really want by using the power of your words.

There is a very thin line in any dialogue between being tactful and persuasive and not being understood or being confrontational.  Which do you think leads to positive outcomes?

I have listed a few things to be aware of saying or not saying.  I have also explained the “why” for you.

With a few small changes you will find yourself getting much better results!   Continue reading

Time Management Problems? They Are Not What You Think!

I can’t even count how many people have told me they have time management problems. But time management problems are not really time management problems.  They are GOAL CLARIFICATION problems.  When you are clear on your goals, you know how you should be spending your time.


Michael Gerber (author of The E Myth) talks about the difference between thinking of time with a small “t” as opposed to Time with a capital “T”.


“Time” is simply another word for your life” he says.  You can spend your Time any way that you like.


Many people haven’t thought through how they really want to spend their though. In other words, they have no clearly defined written personal or professional goals. Continue reading

Is it Work or are you Productive?

Do you remember the physics definition of “Work”?  Basically, it’s moving ‘X’ pounds ‘Y’ distance.


This definition alone won’t create change.  Neither will the next definition but they are important to know and understand.


Managerial Talent can be defined as the behavior exhibited by a manager which increases the amount of productive, results-oriented, and profitable behavior on the part of others in the organization on a daily basis.


This definition assumes that the productive behavior is known.  Let’s tie these together…

If you pushed on one of the walls of your office for a whole work day and it didn’t move, did you work?  Of course not!  Energy expended doesn’t matter.  The question is: what did I accomplish?


If I was responsible for delivering newspapers and I drove around all day but didn’t deliver a single one, was I productive?  I was busy!  But not productive, right?  The productive behavior is the delivery of the newspapers.


A key takeaway is never confuse motion with progress and activity with results.  Continue reading

Presenting is Not Just Presenting

Now is your chance…Don’t blow it!

The sales process has been building up until now for this opportunity to gain a new client!  Here is a concept which will increase your chances of getting the sale more often.

Presenting is not just presenting!  So what is it?

This is about keeping the probable purchaser engaged, talking, asking, and answering questions.

Continue questioning around confirming and clarifying your probable purchasers needs and wants and you will continue to build rapport and credibility.  You will also be helping your client buy from you.


Questioning here will help your probable purchasers create urgency and value for themselves by focusing on the personal impact of their wants and needs and what they stand to gain or lose. By doing this, you will be far more likely to get a positive decision. Continue reading

It’s Not Always About Price

When professional sellers tell me they have lost sales to price, it’s like hearing nails raking down a chalkboard. Especially if it has happened over and over.

Some people only buy on price.  That’s reality.  It is possible  to minimize the number of people just buying on price though.  Here is what to do…

Price is a part of every buying decision.  It can be less of a factor though, if the goals of the first three steps of the selling process are met:   Continue reading

“The More You Get out of this Book, the More You’ll Get out of Life!”

These are the very first words I found when opening Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.  I have never seen a book promise that much less be able to deliver.   Yet it managed to deliver on that promise.

This book is filled with easy to apply principles of human relations which, from experience,  will improve your communication skills, increase your ability to persuade others,  give you  more harmonious interactions, help you get what you want,  and overall will change your life.  Applying these principles will certainly give you an edge if you are in customer service, sales, management, or leadership.

If you have never read this book, you should do so immediately.  If you have read it before and it’s been a while, read it again.  I’m on my 15th time (give or take…I actually lost count!)  I look at it as an owner’s manual on human relations and life in general.

You can start to see how you can gain an edge just by looking at the section headers of the book:

  1. Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  2. Six Ways to Make People Like You
  3. How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  4. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

If you don’t want to improve in these areas, you need an immediate injection of empathy in your thyroid.

Carnegie sums up the lesson of each chapter “In a Nutshell.”  To whet your whistle, I’ve listed the lessons below.  Continue reading

You’re Fired!

You most likely remember Donald Trump’s famous line from The Apprentice: “You’re Fired!”


Although those words are something nobody ever wants to hear, it can be a positive experience.


“Litwak, You’re wacked!” you might be saying.  I’ll show you how to make it positive.  It just takes some thought.


Start by firing yourself.  That’s right.  YOU’RE FIRED!


Now you have to hire your replacement.  The question that makes this work is: Continue reading

What Raving Fans Are Saying

Here are some comments from my seminar today-”The # 1 Most Effective Method of Increasing Cash Flow- Turn More Prospects Into Clients”

“Informative, interactive, and to the point.”

“I absolutely enjoyed your program!  New today- the principle of ‘Gaining Commitment.’  That phrase alone will change the way I approach clients and team members!”

“Great refresher.  Well presented, reminding me again what I need to be consistently doing.”

“Great as always!  Strong content I can put into practice.” 

‘”These concepts are EXACTLY what needs to be brought to my organization!”

“Howard has such a clear and precise way of presenting and providing valuable, but not overwhelming content.  I am ready to implement the key pieces of knowledge I’ve learned today!”

“Excellent.  Precise.  I enjoyed your choice of words and how well you interacted with the audience.”

‘”There were many AH HA! moments.  This was a great and necessary refresher.”

“The presentation was awesome!  I love the ‘gaining commitment’ from the beginning concept.  This is a new way of looking at things I will definitely use!”


Watch for video of today’s workshop coming soon!  Here is a list of other workshop topics I can customize for your organization’s needs.







Best Year Ever

I had my best year ever in 2013.

There is a message here, this isn’t meant to be bragging.

Did you have a great year, or your best year ever? If so, do you know why?   I have a saying: If something is working for you, do more of it!  If something isn’t working for you, stop doing it!  (By working for you, I mean leading you closer to your goals.)

I’ve taken a close look at all of my activities over the last year.  I know what produced the results I wanted.  I’ll do a lot more of those activities this year.   I now also know what didn’t work.  I’ll stop doing those things.   The cool thing is that this automatically increases productivity!  You can do the same thing.   By knowing what created your success, you can most likely create success over and over.

If you can’t say that you had a great year, if you were just kind of “stuck”, why?  Knowing why you failed to achieve what you wanted is more valuable than succeeding and not knowing why.  Let’s call this “productive failure.”

Did you have clearly defined goals?  This is the first area I would look.  If you didn’t, make sure you add goal setting and achievement to your new disciplines for the year.

A few other areas I would kind of poke around for answers if I were you would be:

Was your thinking success oriented? Were you thinking the right kinds of things?  The “I can’s” and “I will’s”.  Or was your thinking “I cant” and “This is hard.”

Did you prioritize your actions?

Were your behaviors conducive to carrying out your plan?  

Were there any habits holding you back?

Was there any skills and knowledge which if you had, would have helped you achieve more?

Was there a lack of resources which would have helped?

If you had a great year, make sure you leverage the “why” to have another great year in 2014.  That’s 100% what I plan to do.  I now have a proven to work model to just plug back into.  And I can with a clear conscience drop a bunch of activities which turned out to be unproductive.  I’ll innovate and test some new activities to replace them.  The goal is to have my next “best year ever” for 2014.  And then a never ending string of “best year” evers.  Now there is a future that excites me!

If you want to have a “best year” ever in 2014, make sure you spend some thinking on the above questions. Then plan and execute on making the changes that are necessary.  You might need some outside help.  I might be a great option here… along with a commitment to excellence and change.



I Need an Organizational Chart? Of Course!

“The way people are organized in a business enterprise can have a critical impact on overall operating effectiveness, efficiency,

and in turn, bottom line profitability.”  Eric Flamholtz

“Why do I need an organizational chart?” I was asked by a Company President.  ”We only have 10 people!”

“Well, that’s true.”  I replied.  ”Let me ask you a few questions though, as way of an explanation.  How serious are you about getting back in control of your business?”

“I’m serious about change.  Is that the answer you were looking for?  We can’t keep going the way we are going.   I’m overwhelmed keeping up with everything.” was the reply.

“I get it.” I said.  ”Have you thought about what the company needs to look like to consistently meet the needs of your customer better than anybody else?  Have you thought about what the business would look like if it was really hitting on all cylinders?

“No.” the Company President answered.  ” I’m putting out fires all day long and doing the work that needs to get done. I don’t have time to do anything else.”

“I get that too.” I said.  I continued,  ”Are standards and responsibilities clearly defined for each role, not just each person?  And are the accountabilities clear as well?  These make sure everybody is doing what they are supposed to be doing in order to best serve your customers, both internally and externally.”

“Well, kind of, sort of”  was the answer.  ”I have it mostly in my head.  Except not to the extent you just described.”

This is the reason you feel like you are losing control and overwhelmed”  I wanted to scream!

Continue reading