The Profit Specialist blog covers problems and solutions for your business.


An "eye-opening" exercise for our bank WebEx class

Kirk Draut - Monday, November 18, 2013

During a recent Profit Specialist webinar for a large bank, we had groups participating in New York, California, Florida, and Illinois.  The group was a cross section of Bank Managers, Operations, Tellers, Human Resources, Data Processing, and Customer Services.  Towards the end of the session, after the class went through The Profit Specialist® Program, we challenged the group with a case study where there was an issue with an ATM unauthorized use by a customer.  At the outset, the participants saw the situation as relatively clear in its solutions.  However, the more the groups talked, they realized the incredible number of departments who had to get involved in resolving the situation and, more importantly, the cost in dollars and employee time.  

They then attached the departments to the financial drivers that were impacted as well as the impact on the bottom line of the bank.  As one participant said, “This is an eye-opening exercise – by getting it down to the numbers, we realize how every decision and action has financial consequences.”

Allowing  employees  to see how their everyday actions and decisions affect the financial outcomes of a company is at the heart of The Profit Specialist® program; suddenly and clearly they can see  how their everyday activities play an integral part in the success of the business and the commitment of shareholders.

Jane Aarthun – Pifer, Director of Project Implementation and WebEx Project Manager

How does the IT group add value to business?

Kirk Draut - Monday, November 18, 2013

On August 28th Gery Garrity conducted a Nationwide Insurance simulation for 40 cross functional leaders from IT, Claims, Finance, Legal, HR, and Operations.

During the seminar, we had the cross functional teams come up with Profit Improvement Ideas on how they impact the Nationwide profits. 

Below is some feedback from the Nationwide corporate  participants: 
  • Very useful and engaging.  I imagine it would be great for those unfamiliar with these concepts. 
  • Great way to condense a complex topic and show how you can make an impact. 
  • Great class – learned a great deal. 
  • Very glad – useful information. 
  • Difficult subject matter, delivered in a fun and informative way!
  • Informative class with good interaction between participants and instructor. 
  • As someone that supports NF, it is interesting to get insight on P&L. 
  • Learned about insurance industry. 
  • Valuable information in an easy way to learn it. 
  • Simulation helped to better understand impact of various metrics on P&L. 
  • Game board was very effective.  Also sitting with finance folks helped. 
  • Gave me the language to understand the concepts reported by the Sr. Leaders. 
Kevin Cochran, Regional Sales Manager

How Effective are You in Making the Link from Content to Context?

Kirk Draut - Tuesday, November 12, 2013
There’s a Dilbert cartoon in which Dilbert tells a coworker that he’s panicked about the presentation he’s scheduled to give the next day.  The coworker tells him to relax – what’s the worst that could happen?  Dilbert replies “Well, I could embarrass myself in a career-ending way.”  The coworker agrees.

In The Profit Specialist® we talk about the importance of having your Content (products, company, service) link to the customer’s Context – the issues that are important to them (profitability, inefficiencies, downtime, labor costs, etc.).  The first step is to make the link.  This is critical – it shows that you understand your customer’s business, and how you can make a positive impact.  The second step is to make sure that how you make the link is effective.  

How you make that link is what we cover in Value Presentation Skills.  The “how” is everything from the visuals you use – PowerPoint, handouts, a flip book,  to how you present yourself – your confidence, your conviction, your connection to the people you’re talking with.  Feedback from the workshop participants is valuable, but most participants say the most eye-opening  part of the session is watching  their videotaped presentations and talking about them  in  one-on-one coaching sessions with the facilitator.  As a facilitator, I agree – watching their progress in the workshop is the most  rewarding part of the workshop for me, too!

Ann Marie Buydos, Senior Implementation Director

Is your sales force engaged?

Kirk Draut - Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Think of the possibilities if your salespeople were truly committed to your current senior management’s strategies and vision.  In a recent study done by a well known consulting firm, the following was uncovered:

“Organizations that have highly engaged and enabled employees generate higher revenue growth (in fact 4.5 times the revenue growth of companies with low levels of 
engagement and enablement), higher customer satisfaction, better individual productivity, and higher retention rates.”

I'm sure you are saying, how do we engage them? We have found in working with large companies in a myriad of industries that to engage them you have to help them understand business finance. Only a basic understanding of finance is needed; they do not have to be financial experts. With that said, by understanding business finance they will be able to do an analysis of their customers which can uncover all kinds of new opportunities and uses for your products and services. The business understanding and analysis will also allow your sales team to conduct ongoing business discussions which will aid in your prospects and customers looking at your sales team more as partners and industry experts. 

Lastly, the new business and customer knowledge will provide the data to build customer business cases which will re-enforce to your customers why they are working with your company and what return they are receiving, as well as, showing potential clients the ROI to working with your company.

Rob Fitler, Regional Sales Manager