2012 November | Jan Copley Atticus Blog
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Jan Copley
Certified Practice Advisor
Atticus, Inc.

530 South Lake Avenue, Suite 250
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 696-3145
(626) 421-6747 (fax)

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Thanksgiving 2012

November 21, 2012

Filed under: Current Events — @ 2:41 pm

It’s Thanksgiving again. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. I like it that we use the day to mark the start of a season of good cheer. I also very much like the concept of the holiday — to give thanks for what we have.

As it turns out, it looks —at least according to a couple of recent articles in the Los Angeles Times — that gratitude — and the happiness and peace of mind that comes from it — may help you build a successful business. According to one article, “The Benefits of Gratitude,” “if we developed the discipline to be consciously grateful on a regular basis, research shows we’d be happier and suffer less depression and stress.”

And, according to a second article, “Happiness May Bring You More Money, Study Says,” gratitude, and the happiness you derive from it, might mean that you’ll make more money. Of course, this is inside out from the accepted notion that more money will make you happier!

It sounds as if encouraging my clients and readers to celebrate Thanksgiving — and to take the message of the day seriously — may very well be good coaching on my part.

So, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let’s think of it as a start to the best year ever for each of us.

Stupid Networking Mistakes – Part Two

November 16, 2012

Filed under: Networking — @ 8:00 am

In my previous blog posting, I wrote about being subjected to a serious network mistake: brazenly asking for business. It’s unfortunate, but at the same meeting, I was exposed to another networking technique that served to annoy me and drive me away from working with that person.

Mistake No. 2: Talking Too Much. After I disentangled myself from the woman who told me I should send my clients to her, I spotted another woman with a badge that indicated she works with a senior living facility in the area. I walked over, introduced myself, and told the woman I had had a couple of clients who were very satisfied with the care their parents received through that facility. Nice of me, right?

The woman thanked me for passing on the compliment, but then she made a serious networking mistake: she wouldn’t stop talking. She launched into a long exposition about the superior way her facility cares for people, and then about the planned Christmas party, and then about how she would invite me to the party, and then how I should bring younger family members to the party. She didn’t see my eyes glaze over because I really wasn’t interested in any of this, and she wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise (and I did have a couple of questions for her). She finally shut up when I pointed out that our youngest family member lives in South Carolina and isn’t likely to travel to Southern California to attend the party.

So, the end result of all of her talking was that she offended me. It prevented me from starting the kind of relationship I need to know, like and trust her. I still think the facility has value, but if I were to refer any clients to it, it would certainly be through a different marketing person.

Please let me know how this helps you!

Stupid Networking Mistakes – Part One

November 14, 2012

Filed under: Networking — @ 8:16 pm

I just got back from the monthly meeting of the Fiduciary Round Table of the San Gabriel Valley. It’s a nice organization composed of private fiduciaries, home healthcare service professionals, financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, appraisers — people that help other people in fiduciary or semi-fiduciary capacities. I’ve been a member for fourteen years now, and it’s been a source of business, and also a source of help for my clients.

Of course, one of the reasons everyone attends the meetings is to network to generate business. This morning was no different. But, I was subjected to two serious networking mistakes, and I thought I’d blog about them.

Mistake No. 1: Brazenness is Offensive. After I walked into the meeting room, a woman I didn’t know marched up to me, handed me her card, and said, “Hi, my name is Jane Doe. I’m a private fiduciary. Send your clients to me.”

Now, really, why in heaven’s name would I want to do that? What this person succeeded in doing was offending me with our very first contact! I don’t know her; I don’t know if she’s any good at what she does; and I’m not going to trust my clients’ care to a total stranger, especially one with bad manners like that! Rather than building a relationship, this woman made sure that I will never send work her way.

Don’t make this woman’s mistake. People refer work to other people they know, like and trust. This takes time. So, be patient. Don’t bludgeon someone with your requests for business; rather, get to know the person, learn about his/her concerns, and build a relationship. Only then will you be in a position to work together.

Please let me know how this helps you!

Meetings You Need to Have – Part 2

November 2, 2012

Filed under: Meetings — @ 8:00 am

In my previous posting, I wrote about the importance of meeting with yourself every Monday morning so you can focus on what you need to do over the next week, as well as your long-term goals.

There’s a second meeting you need to have: a weekly conference with your team. After all, your team members cannot help you unless they know (1) what’s going on and (2) what needs to be done.

So, after you’ve met with yourself, meet with your team. I suggest the following items for your agenda.

    1. Everyone’s wins for the past week.

    2. New client retentions, including interesting information about the clients. This is important so (1) your team has a personal interest in the new clients and (2) they are aware of any sensitive issues that might come up.

    3. Reviewing the calendar for the next two weeks to see what’s scheduled and what people need to do.

    4. Reviewing work in process. This helps to prioritize what needs to be done, avoid work getting stale, and reduce bottlenecks.

    5. Going over any outstanding management issues, including progress reports on long-term goals.

    6. Discussing what we used to call “training tidbits.” This can be anything that helps people do their jobs; it might be as simple as talking about a newly-discovered keystroke in your word processing software.

    7. Soliciting suggestions for improvement (in anything).

It took me awhile to develop team meetings that worked. However, once we successfully implemented our Monday morning meetings, I found the meetings served to create a real team culture in the office, reduce conflict, get my employees emotionally invested in the business, and move my practice forward. In other words, our weekly meetings were essential.

Please let me know how this helps you!