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May, 2016
Welcome to YOUR newly designed and re-formatted Results Report.
TAKE ACTION. For on the clock of life or watch of winners THE key word is NOW!
Strategies and ideas for life and business, to help you maximize results!
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"Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them." 
- Vaibhav Shah
"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it." 
- Estée Lauder
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
- Wayne Gretzky

QUESTION: Jeff, what's the best way to have my team "buy-in" to the value of growing our business, by delivering great customer service?


Folks often think "service" is about phony smiles and clever slogans. It's not. It's actually a profitable competitive differentiator.

Yet it's hard for people to embrace and deliver super service, unless they can first personalize and internalize its significance. So here's a simple, yet powerful exercise I conduct with clients.

Have your team tell you "stories" by answering these five questions:

1. Where or with whom, have they had a GREAT customer service experience...once or repeatedly?

2. As a result of that experience(s), how long have they been a customer? How much have they spent in the past? How much are they likely to spend in the future?

3. Where or with whom, have they had a BAD customer service experience?

4. As a result of that experience, how much are they likely NOT to spend in the future?

5. By answering these questions, what lessons have they learned and suggestions can they make, to help drive your customer loyalty, revenue and profits?

To jumpstart your creative possibilities, I too, will share a story! It's a story with a happy ending. Yet it could have easily been labeled, "Losing While Cruising!"

My family and I, several years ago, had the good fortune to cruise the Caribbean.

When we received our luggage, we noticed my wife Sheryl's duffle bag had a burn hole, caused by either a cigarette or a cigar. The hole burned through the bag and even burned two of Sheryl's bras. (Insert your own joke here!)

Not a major problem. We simply called Guest Relations and Sheryl filed a claim-report. The bag, (less than six months old) was returned patched. The bras couldn't be saved!

We were also told via a voice-mail message, the maximum compensation for the damages would only be $40.

This didn't seem fair. So I headed to Guest Relations to solve this easy one in-person.

The first person I chatted with, was pleasant, but repeatedly said, "There's nothing I can do." I politely asked, "Then who can help me?"

He returned with his supervisor.

I calmly explained this "duffle dilemma." The supervisor, was disinterested and apathetic. Even annoyed and perturbed. He tersely stated, "If you want additional monetary damages, contact corporate when you get home."

I politely explained, I didn't want to gobble-up time to solve this upon my return. It was an easy problem to fix now. Again, he urged me to, "Contact corporate." And then added, "How do I even know, what you're telling me is the truth? You can't believe the things I hear. And most guests lie."

Whoaa! I calmly, yet firmly replied, "You've questioned my integrity, bad choice. Our conversation is over. I'd like to chat with the ship's hotel director."

Unapologetic, he answered, "He's very busy. Call him later, to make an appointment."

I replied, "I'd prefer to chat with him now."

A few minutes later, I was escorted into the back office. I was expecting to meet the ship's hotel director. Instead, I met the Chief Purser. I quickly sensed she was the right person, to solve this minor problem.

I was right. She was friendly, attentive, courteous and professional. Plus, fun! That's a powerful combination.

I told her what happened, where it likely happened, (i.e., at the port when bags were picked up) and what I thought was a fair solution. She assured me, later in the day, she'd leave a voice-mail with an update/resolution.

Sure enough, after our return from St. Maarten, she said the "resolution credit" had been changed.

This isn't a "happy ending" because of the new credit, it's "happy" because of the Chief Purser's attitude, demeanor and execution.

She knows the "real value" of a cruise isn't in the state-room, entertainment or food and beverage. It's in each guest's experience with the ship's people.


listen attentively

 if you make a mistake, own it

 apologize quickly

smile, be friendly

 realize most customers are honest, reasonable people, yet on rare occasions, some might try to take advantage, if so, they're the exceptions

 hasty generalizations, usually produce the wrong results

 pay close attention to a customer's words, attitude, body language and eye contact, (it's pretty easy to tell, who's honest and who ain't)

 never falsely accuse, (indirectly or directly) a customer of being a liar

 if you sense a customer is fibbing, and you choose to "catch 'em" so, with polite questions, not overt statements

 seek customer input, about what's a fair solution

 never view customers as intrusions

 realize what's really at stake, it's not the cost of a damage claim, it's the potential lost revenue from a dissatisfied customer or disgruntled family that might never "buy" from you again AND tell others about how they were falsely accused, so their friends and family won't "shop" there either

Thankfully, my family and I, are neither dissatisfied or disgruntled. So I'll finish, the same way I started. This is a story with a happy ending.

Yet, that became possible, because one person, knew what to do. And how to do it.

Never think, a dedicated, smart, caring person, can't make a difference. Every day, it's these kinds of folks, who create opportunity and drive results.

Now, you too, should go make a difference!


Several years ago, I had a speaking engagement at the Ritz-Carlton in Maui. As I turned the corner and entered the lobby, I noticed another guest about fifty feet in front of me. He wasn't facing me, yet merely from the back, I immediately knew who it was.

It wasn't his gait. Or attire. It was his hair! That unmistakable mane. So I bellowed, "McKain!" He immediately turned, smiled and exclaimed, "Blackman!"

Scott McKain and I have been friends a long time. He's a fellow broadcast brother, Hall of Fame speaker and prolific author. His latest bestseller is, Create Distinction: What To Do When 'Great' Isn't Good Enough To Grow Your Business.

While Scott and I could easily chat about music, media or his passion for professional wrestling, thought you'd really dig his insights, on how to grow your business.

Jeff Blackman: How does any individual or company create distinction, to consistently become the preferred choice in a volatile marketplace?

Scott McKain: This is the most critical question in business today: How can a customer tell the difference between us and the competition? If there is no difference, then one has to be created in order to become a customer, and unfortunately, it's usually price.

My research for the book, Create Distinction, taught me there are four basic cornerstones to creating distinctinction.

1. Clarity: You can't differentiate what you can't define, so you have to become crystal clear about your advantages.

2. Creativity: You have to have something unique about your product or service.

3. Communication: In many cases today, customers are not seeking information. They've already Googled everything they desire to know. What they seek is insight, and distinctive organizations and professionals are able to communicate an insightful narrative.

4. Customer experience focus: It's becoming obsessed over what is the experience of the customer when doing business with you and your organization.

JB: So how does one create the ultimate customer experience? And how is it measured?

SM: The Ultimate Customer Experience is really a three step approach. First, it's asking yourself, "What if everything went exactly right?" Make a list. Second, examine the list and ask, "What steps do we need to execute to make it work out this way for customers?" Finally, get serious and ask, "Are there any roadblocks, such as outdated policies or procedures we need to eliminate?"

There are many ways to measure, from Net Promoter scores to other analysis, but here's the one I like best: retention. Are your customers coming back for more? If so, you must be doing something right.

JB: What’s foremost on the minds of the businesspeople you meet?

SM: Most business professionals want to know what it takes to stand out from the competition. It's tougher to do that than ever before, yet more important as well. If customers cannot tell a difference between you and the competition, why wouldn't they just buy elsewhere?

JB: What's the single most important element in: Leadership communication? Customer communication?

SM: The most important and overlooked factor is, customers, both internal and external, already possess abundant information.  

It used to be, we looked to the leader or sales pro, to provide us the facts and figures we desired. Now, almost every bit of information we want is a few clicks away. Therefore, leaders and salespeople have to deliver insightful narratives that help decision-makers make sense of the overwhelming data they can access.

JB: You often say, "All business is show business." How so?

SM: The purpose of any business is to profitably create experiences so compelling to the customer, that loyalty becomes assured. What segment of the economy is better at creating compelling experiences than the entertainment industry? We can learn much from their examples of creating interest, turning prospects into customers, extending and expanding the sale, and generating loyalty.

JB: How and why, does culture trump strategy?

SM: Strategy is what you want the organization or team to do. Culture is what the organization or team does when you're not looking. The organization with the superior culture will always be more productive and distinctive than the organization with a good strategy.

JB: What do you know, we don't know, yet must know!

SM: Distinction is the ultimate disruption. We hear so much about being disruptive, yet true distinction always disrupts the marketplace. Don't focus on being disruptive, focus on creating distinction.

JB: What role does personal responsibility vs. company responsibility play in one's success?

SM: I've said for MANY years, companies don't get better, managers get better. Sales don't improve, sales professionals improve. There's really no such thing as "company responsibility," it's a collective association of individual professionals doing the right thing.

To discover more ways, to do the right things, please take a peek at

Your cup of inspiration,   reflection and laughter!
I've always liked the Italian saying, "La dolce vita." For it means, the sweet life! And that's an apt description of the European adventure recently completed by our youngest daughter, Amanda. Her four-month "study" abroad semester ended on May 14th. Am not sure how much "studying" Amanda actually did, yet she sure learned a lot. She became a student of life.
For as Miriam Beard once said, "Certainly travel is more than seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."
And oh, how Amanda lived! She was based in Rome, living with three roommates in Prati, a short walk from Vatican City. And I think Amanda can identify, within a five mile radius of her apartment, every cafe, bar, restaurant, boutique, shoe store or ideal spot to score thick, rich, unforgettable gelato!
Of the sixteen weekends Amanda was in Europe, only TWO were spent in Rome. Her passport and backpack logged lots of miles to other Italian regions or European cities; Milan, the Amalfi Coast, Florence, Barcelona, Dublin, Budapest, Interlaken, Athens, Santorini, Amsterdam, etc.
One of her Roman weekends was spent with my wife and I. It was a kick to walk and see Rome through Amanda's eyes. And earlier, the three of us also bopped around Prague in the Czech Republic. Here, we're seen at the John Lennon Wall.
And Amanda transformed a Prague dessert delicacy, (cylindrical deep-fried dough, slathered with chocolate, that she named Trittuhleedoos) into a "tele-photo lens"—to capture this pastry pic of my wife!
Welcome home sweet child. Continue to live, la dolce vita.


On May 13th, my Dad celebrated his 89th birthday. To some, he's the world's most-published CPA/Lawyer. To me and my family, he's simply; Irv, Dad, Papa or Grampsie. Since a young age, Dad was focused on achievement. In this old newspaper clipping from the Rogers Park News, he proudly poses with the "shiny new bicycle" he earned…from delivering their newspapers.

Happy birthday Dad. I love you!



Strange things I've actually overheard:

What he meant to say: You can even have all three choices, it's a variety.

What he actually said: "You can even have all three choices, it's varietized."

What she meant to say: It's important that we converse.

What she actually said: "It's important that we conversate."

What she meant to say: My son is a talented young author, he's taking a course in expository writing.

What she actually said: "My son is a talented young author, he's taking a course in suppository writing."



For a bonus dose of inspiration and knowledge, please take a peek at our latest blog post:

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To make a submission when you see or hear something funny, quirky or offbeat, please send it to: [email protected]



If you're in the United States and celebrating Memorial Day on May 30th, be sure to salute and thank a veteran!

MEET JEFF |Jeff helps you win BIG in today's competitive marketplace. His high-energy and high-content messages deliver immediate take-home value, growth and results for you and your team. Whether he works with you once in a dynamic keynote or once-a-month in an ongoing coaching and learning-system, he helps you drive relationships, revenue, profits, results and rewards. Jeff is singularly focused on helping you achieve and surpass your desired outcomes. And you're even protected by Jeff's incredible No-Risk Assurance.
RIGHT FOLKS, RIGHT RESULTS |What's driving current or prospective members of your team? Your salespeople? Service 
                                                    pros? And leaders? What causes them to produce, lead or loaf? What motivates them to attain, or not attain, new levels of success? What direction are they headed? Where do you want their journey to go? How valuable would it be, if you had the answers to these questions? Well now you can!
AUDIO EXCERPTS | Listen to powerful excerpts from Jeff's audio growth tools, CDs or interviews. | LISTEN NOW
"We engaged Jeff as our keynote speaker at our annual national sales event. We're embarking upon a challenging time in our history, and Jeff's assignment was designed to resonate and inspire. Jeff was by far, the most engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking speaker we've ever had. So much so, elements of his presentation are still reverberating, (weeks later), around our organizational communication chain, at all levels. Thanks Jeff for a job well done!"
Michael J. Kelley President & COO
Glantz Holdings, Inc. March, 2016

"From the moment we met Jeff, he was interested in knowing our business at a fundamental level. He spent multiple sessions with our team, learning our merger challenges, interviewing customers and suppliers, and tailoring his "change" message. He then set our conference tone with a fantastic kick-off. I highly recommend Jeff to anyone looking to launch a new initiative or jump-start their organization with new energy and direction. We value his hard work and preparation and were thrilled with his presentation."

Paul Dean Executive Vice President
LBM Advantage February, 2016
"My firm, a commercial insurance program management company, engaged Jeff as a sales training advisor in June, 2014. He helped us design a customized training and reinforcement system. In addition to his people skills, Jeff is consistently prepared for meetings and has excellent follow-up with our team and even 1:1 counsel. We're extremely pleased with our significant improvement and results. That's why we have an ongoing relationship with Jeff, and I enthusiastically recommend him."
Chris Randall CEO
Ultra Risk Advisors Bellevue, WA & Atlanta
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