Monday, August 25, 2014

GROW UR BIZ - HIRE ME

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com
Years ago, when I hired people, it was an interesting experience, sometimes.  I remember knowing within seconds if I would hire someone just because they had a negative demeanor or they were sharing their sob story.  Once, I was hiring an Executive Director for a statewide organization.  He came to the interview dressed to impress but there was something missing.  I asked him, “Why do you want to work here?”  His response was puzzling.  He said he wanted to work there so he could bring his children to work and learn how to be a better parent.  Noble, maybe, but not the right answer.  I knew right then and there he was not the right match for the job.  I thought he might say, “I would be an asset to you company or have a stellar record in fundraising, or I can increase your membership by 20% in the first year.”  NOPE, it was all about him.  Easy to identify if you look for it.  According to Jeff W., there are three qualities people most enjoy when working with colleagues,  They want someone....
  1. who dreams big
  2. who gets stuff done
  3. and knows how to have fun
I’m all in!  I might go one step further and say that these three attributes would also lead to a great team player.  So the lessons we learned as children haven’t changed.  In order to play nice in the sand box, it helps to be able to dream about building something unique, you gotta get it done in order to see your dream come true and it’s fun building it.  
Some advice when you want to GET HIRED - show your ability to play well in the sand box, let the interviewer know you will get it done and be sure to show your fun side.  If you don’t, you may miss your opportunity to build a SAND CASTLE! 
Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks
  
Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog.Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com  Like Carol 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Growing UR Biz in 2014 -Bossy Boss

Ok, it’s time to get real. Am I the only one who experiences ridiculously poor customer service? Help me! I’m starting to feel like I’m targeted for POOR, and I mean POOR, customer service. The research says it’s rampant, so why is it continuing and who’s to blame.

I’m, once again, minding my own business, went for a take out breakfast and the boss even called me “sweetie”. I think it was really “tip” sweetie! So, this very polite guy shows up at the counter with two pieces of bread, He said, “Excuse me, but I ordered toast and this bread is not toasted.” The BOSS said, “It’s toasted.” The customer said, “No it’s not.” The BOSS said, “Yes it is.” The customer said, “Look at this bread, it is not toasted.” The BOSS stormed off and said, “I’ll get your toast.” In the meantime a waitress shows up, clearly knows the customer and they start chatting. Obviously, a regular. OMG, he’s a regular! A few minutes later the toast shows up, it’s really toasted, on the verge of black. The customer says loudly, “The BOSS has an attitude!” The waitress comes over and looks at the customer with empathy. He now storms off and proceeds to a table in another area and tells no less than 10 people that the BOSS has an attitude and I’m sick of his #@%$.

WHY? Because people reflect what is going on in their personal life. They don’t know how to separate personal from professional. I will never believe that the issue that made him argue with the customer was TOAST!

5 Bossy Boss Lessons

1. Mr. Boss, you need to set an example for your staff, no matter what.

2. Mr. Boss, whatever is going on in your life, don’t bring it to work.

3. Mr. Boss, the customer is always right, please, don’t argue about “toast”

4. Mr. Boss, you’re ruining your company’s reputation one piece of toast at a time.

5. Mr. Boss, if you can’t stand the heat, get away from the toaster!

I’m just saying, if I were you and I wanted to build my business, or GROW UR BIZ, customer service would be on the top on my list. When I was viewing this ridiculous drama, I was thinking, they sound like two teenagers arguing over TOAST. Oh please!! My message to the BOSSY BOSS, just toast the bread!

Don’t ruin your morning

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalkshttps://www.facebook.com/pages/CarolCoaches/194664211990 https://www.facebook.com/Caroltalkscom

Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog. Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country. Carol’s creative leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com Like Carol on Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches! Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Unsecured Energy Lending Specialist

EnergyLoan® Consumer Lender
AFC First Financial Corporation, a Lehigh Valley, PA based private financial institution which specializes in consumer lending and program management for residential energy efficiency projects nationwide is looking for a talented, detail-oriented and upbeat person for the position of Energy Lending Specialist (Consumer Lending).
The ideal candidate has solid experience in process, production and customer service and who has demonstrated success in working in a team environment processing and closing consumer loans and/or residential mortgage loans.
The primary goal is to deliver an exceptional service experience to contractors and consumers in a consistent and timely fashion.
AFC First, founded in 1947, is the administrator of state and utility energy efficiency programs nationwide, in partnership with over 6,000 contractors. Programs include Pennsylvania’s Keystone Home Energy Loan Program, Efficiency Maine, Illinois Energy Loan, Connecticut Solar Lease Program and the national EnergyLoan and HUD PowerSaver programs. It is a team-oriented, collaborative company environment with direct access to executive management. 
Job Description:
This position is a key part of AFC First’s EnergyLoan operations team and reports to the Vice President of Production. The primary goal is to effectively process and underwrite unsecured consumer loans for energy efficiency home improvements, providing accurate decisions and an exceptional level of service to consumers and contractors.
Principal Duties Include:
·         Responsible for origination, processing and closing of unsecured consumer loans in an automated environment. Works as part of a team handling contractor, sponsor and customer relationships.
·         Ability to work as part of a team, to build and maintain a culture of exceptional customer service, handle production flow within established deadlines and work to error-free quality standards.
·         Responsible for meeting established loan processing timelines and quality targets. Maintain high volume and quality in loan production. Review and analyze the effectiveness of the programs, recommend change as needed and works as part of the implementation team.
·         Work with the Senior Credit Officer to ensure that loan decisions are within established credit matrices appropriate to the loan type.
·         Effectively communicate lending status and decisions with consumers and contractors, providing friendly, knowledgeable and extraordinary service to all parties. Accurately maintain all records in loan processing database in a timely fashion, efficiently process applications and produce accurate and correct documents.
·         Ensure compliance for all lending procedures including bank and/or regulatory procedures, policies, requirements, laws, rules, and/or regulations. Ensures compliance with company policies and procedures, and makes suggestions for improvements to procedures.
·         Ensure that all interactions with customers, sponsors and contractors meet world class customer service standards.
·         Other duties as assigned as part of a dynamic and growing company with a reputation for integrity and excellence since 1947.
This position is a key part of the AFC team. You will work closely with senior management and be involved in the product planning and implementation processes. The position is based at AFC First’s headquarters in the AFC First Energy Center on Brookside Road in West Allentown/Lower Macungie Township.
Technical Skills and Experience:
·         Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent.
·         Minimum three-five years experience in consumer lending, with knowledge of consumer lending laws and regulations
·         Exceptional commitment to world-class customer service
·         Strong verbal and written communication skills
·         Exceptional interpersonal, organizational and teamwork skills
·         Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
·         Ability to use standard Microsoft Office applications and an ability to quickly learn new IT platforms and technology
·         Available to work regular hours Monday through Friday, plus additional hours as necessary
Full-time, salaried position. Compensation DOE.
Please forward resume to William Walsh, Vice President of Production at wwalsh@afcfirst.com.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Grow UR Biz - To Fest or Not to Fest

To fest or not to fest.  This week is Musikfest. I’ve never missed one, ever, 31 years of fun, food, and,most of all, more music in one week than you could ever imagine, I try to go everyday.  When my children were young we would pack a cooler and literally stay all day 11am to 11pm.  Traveling from platz to platz, we looked at the value of exposing them to so many kinds of music.  This genius idea has changed how the Lehigh Valley is viewed and today millions of people travel from all over the country to experience Musikfest.  

Did you know that the festival has a clean team?  A close friend of mine used to be on it, they empty the trash, wipe the tables, and make every attempt to make the festival a great environment for you and your family. If you walk down the streets in Bethlehem early in the morning the streets are pristine after a night of music.  

How about your business? Do you pay any attention to cleanliness?  Many of your customers are watching.  Here are some things I’ve noticed over the years that aren’t so pristine.

Bathrooms - a mess or not clean
Employees with food on their clothes
Sloppy waiting room
Towels not washed in decades
Stagnant smell when you walk in 
Dead bugs in the window sills
Employees who look disheveled

And, my new all time favorite, a food handler with rubber gloves on texting on a dirty phone, there must be a law against that!  LOL - Keep cleanliness on the top of your list.  When customers knock on your door they do pay attention to the environment and might just say the next time, “I’d rather pay someone who cares takes the time an energy to care.”

The question - to fest or not to fest, there is still time left to enjoy the sweet smell of roasted almonds, the amazing taste of Aw Shucks corn, mango shrimp or maybe a front row seat at the best music in town.  If you go, make sure you thank the Street Clean Team for helping to keep the Lehigh Valley clean!

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks
  
Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog.Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country. Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545tellkids@aol.com  Like Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Friday, August 1, 2014

GROW UR BIZ - Embarrassed, Shocked and Humiliated

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

While on vacation, I stopped with friends into a wonderful little local restaurant They serve clams, burgers, over the top chicken salad with grapes and, of coursethe staple at the beach CRABCAKES!  It was crowded and we were patiently looking forward to a fun lunch together.  The ice tea arrived and  the waiter indicated our food would be here soon..  The anticipated orders started to arrive.  I ordered a caesar salad with the chicken salad on top.  He delivered a bowl of lettuce with caesar dressing on the side.  Still patient!  I said, "Excuse me, I ordered chicken salad." He replied, "I'll get it right away."  Seriously, it arrived in 10 seconds. It was delicious so I was willing to overlook the issues.  We all chipped in for lunch and my friend said he would charge it.  He handed the credit card and a few minutes later the waiter came back to announce “your credit card was declined.... “TWICE”!  EMBARRASSING -- SHOCKING -- HUMILIATING -- especially when you have excellent credit.  He got on the phone with the credit card company and his number was in a bank of stolen numbers and they shut down the card immediately after confirming the other charges.  
How could the waiter have handled this situation better?  
1.   He could have said “must be something wrong with the strip on your card, it’s not going through”
2.   He could have gone to his side of the table and told him quietly, we were so busy talking we could not have noticed
3.   He could have thrown the blame on the credit card machine and given him the benefit of the doubt
4.   He could have just said “I’m sorry, but there must be a mistake the card would not go through 
5.   He could have softened the blow with a little more TLC!
Thank goodness, credit card companies are saving us from card theft, however, they could have called my friend first and told him this was happening instead of shutting down the card without notice.  I've heard the customer is always right, well, I actually believe that and live by it.  The next time your customer has an issue, give them the benefit of the doubt or you might be the one who is embarrassed, shocked and humiliated.