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These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on November 11,
1998. All rights reserved.
Be Assertive: Marge Smith
How many times have you nodded in agreement to something
you never truly agreed with? Or said "yes" when it should
have been "no?" How many times have you wished you had been
more assertive? It happens too often, says Marge Smith, who
speak about "Assertiveness Skills for Business Success" at
the YWCA Business/Professional Women’s Breakfast Series on Wednesday,
November 18, at 7:45 a.m. at the Nassau Club, 6 Mercer Street. Cost:
$20. Call 609-252-2006 to register.
A consultant to business and nonprofits, Smith teaches at the Mercer
County College and has a home-based business, Princeton Association
for Training and Development, which offers workshops on communication
skills, decision making, and problem solving for corporations.
Not being assertive enough to say "no" to the lesser
could get you into awkward situations, says Smith. "But when you
say `no’ you should be clear that you are not rejecting the person,
but just the request," she adds.
Assertiveness is very different from being aggressive, says Smith.
"Assertiveness improves relationships, while aggressiveness
them. Being assertive does not necessarily mean getting what you want.
You respect others and you respect your own needs. You treat people
as equal. Aggressiveness, on the other hand, is an I-win-you-lose
attitude. You may win, but the results may be short term. The other
person may get even when he gets the chance. Being non-assertive is
the opposite of being aggressive. It is an I-lose-you-win attitude
and a non-assertive person is always angry or pitying himself."
Assertive behavior can be developed, says Smith. Some behaviors
with assertiveness are:
of resolving them.
thoughts. Praise should be given when appropriate and many people
find that difficult to do, says Smith.
should know how to say "thank-you" to compliments and not
simply brush them off.
in education at Columbia University. She was executive director of
the Princeton YWCA for seven years. Under her leadership the YWCA
grew from 8,000 to 14,000 members, the eighth largest in the nation.
Some people tend to be assertive in certain areas but not in others.
"You might be assertive at work but not with family and
says Smith, who feels that women especially have trouble with being
assertive and sometimes go to extremes to please people and make
"Whether at work or at home being assertive will make a real
in our lives," Smith says.
— Teena Chandy
A group of people are learning about cross selling
how to overcome objections and when to go for the close. It sounds
like a Zig Ziglar sales rally, but it’s actually bank employees
about sales culture. Financial institutions are becoming more
in helping you find investment vehicles for your money and are
their employees to make the right moves.
Learn what it takes to create a sales culture within a bank from
R. Kaminski, vice president of business development at HLR Federal
Credit Union in Nutley, who speaks at the Financial Institutions
Association (FIMA) Wednesday, November 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30
a.m. at the JFK Conference Center in Edison. Admission is free. Call
973-785-9200, ext. 326.
Establishing a sales culture within the bank means that everyone in
the bank from the CEO on down is personally committed to creating
new revenue opportunities. No one is immune, "even the accounting
and IT personnel are expected to make referrals," says Kaminski.
"Banking is a different process because of the changes over the
past 15 years. Competition has become very acute and financial
for the first time are finding themselves competing against other
financial institutions that are very sales oriented."
For smaller financial institutions with a smaller universe, it’s vital
that they increase revenue from existing customers and retain these
customers. "The way a sales culture benefits the institution is
that in order to maintain a customer base, you’ve got to get the
to have as many products as you possibly can — the greater the
number of products, the more likely they are to stay with you,"
Employee attitude is the starting point. "You have to sit down
and take a look at the culture in the institution and determine what
it is specifically. Is it operations oriented, service oriented?
got to canvas your people to get a feel for how they feel about sales
as a whole," says Kaminski. After that you need to 1.) put into
place a sales tracking system, 2.) institute basic sales training
and 3.) establish a sales incentive program that allows employees
to earn up to an additional 25 percent of their salary.
Success is measured in terms of a cross-sell ratio, the number of
bank products and services sold to a customer per sales contact. At
HLR, the loan portfolio went from a cross-sell ratio of about 1.3
to about 2.
As can be expected, some employees may not leap at the chance to join
the new sales culture. "If you have an institution that has never
emphasized sales before and has been basically operations or service
oriented, it can be very difficult to do. The employees will say `well
gee, you didn’t hire me to sell’," says Kaminski. "Primarily
because they have to change the total culture within the institution,
and that’s a very difficult thing to do, it’s not something that you
can do overnight or in one or two years. It’s a continuing process
and can take up to six years to accomplish. Most institutions try
to work with existing personnel, but sometimes very hard decisions
about people have to be made."
Kaminski started in banking while he was still attending college,
working nights in the transit department (check processing) at First
Pennsylvania Bank. After graduation from St. Joseph’s University in
Philadelphia in 1964 with a BA in psychology and economics, Kaminski
entered a management training program at Germantown Savings Bank.
Kaminski’s background includes tours as financial sales manager of
the northeast region of Travelers Express Company.
Kaminski admits that sometimes smaller institutions are reluctant
to change "because they have a smaller number of employees and
they are concerned about upsetting the apple cart because they are
niche institutions dealing with a specific group."
Kaminski contends that there is confusion about what is sales and
what is marketing. "Marketing is the creation of awareness among
your customers about your products and services. Sales converts that
awareness into the purchase of a product or service."
— Jeff Lippincott
If your business is going downhill, your family life
is in shambles, or your career prospects look bleak, it could be
your house is facing the wrong way or you have placed the wrong things
in the wrong places. Knocking down a few walls or moving your
around could make a big difference. Or at least that is what a feng
shui practitioner will tell you.
Feng shui (pronounced fung shuway) literally means wind and water
and dates back more than 7,000 years. This ancient philosophy revolves
around arranging one’s life with the forces of the universe. The
also refer to it as the art of placement. Feng shui attempts to
and manipulate life energy called "ch’i," which exists
in the universe, to find harmony and balance in one’s personal
Cathy L. Nissley, who has been involved with advanced feng shui
courses and is preparing to be a feng shui practitioner, will share
her experiences at the Central Jersey Women’s Network meeting on
November 17, at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn. Cost: $30. Call
A high concentration of ch’i allows the environment to function and
produces good feng shui. A beneficial concentration of ch’i also
emotions and attitudes, says Nissley. The eight areas of influence
where feng shui can be applied are knowledge and education; health,
wealth and prosperity; recognition and fame; nurturing and creativity;
relationships; helpful people and networking; and career prospects.
The feng shui practitioner asks what area needs improvement and
to enhance the flow of energy to that point.
This can be done by spatial arrangements, use of interior design,
and the use of color and sounds. It also involves common sense and
intuition, adds Nissley. "It may not be possible to eliminate
everything that may be considered bad feng shui, like the slope of
the roof or the angle of the room. In such cases you do things to
counter balance the effects of bad feng shui." The Black Hat Sect
school of feng shui, the most widely practiced in the United States
since the 1970s, uses the "bagua," a tool which analyzes the
room based on the room’s main entrance.
Nissley grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Drexel
University, Class of ’75, with a BS in design and merchandising. She
has her own marketing communications and consulting firm, CIC Creative
Inc. based in Newtown, Pennsylvania. A life-long interest in the
harmony and serenity of the Far East led her to the study and practice
of martial arts, feng shui, T’ai Chi, and Oriental art and
Feng shui essentially means tugging at one fringe of the universe
so everything else falls into place, says Nissley. "It is an
to send out messages to the universe. The universe is very logical
and literal and the messages sent out should be clear." Symbols
are a very important part of feng shui. A live plant, an aquarium,
three Chinese coins on a red string, are some energy drawing symbols,
says Nissley. So bring that goldfish into your office. It just might
be what you needed to do to land that big business account.
— Teena Chandy
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