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Business Is About Customers - 35 Service Tips on Keeping Them

Business Is About Customers – 35 Service Tips on Keeping Them

By: Jim Fannin

There is no business until goods or services are sold. Customers and clients do the buying.

Procuring customers takes time and retaining them takes even more.

With repeat customers spending at least 50% more than new customers, they’re worth keeping. Look at your prospects and customers as future and current partners. You help them make money and save money. Now…they don’t mind letting you have a little money.

Show a person how to make money and he doesn’t mind letting you make money

If you’re just starting a new business, then use all of the pertinent service tips below on your first customer and never look back. If you’ve been in business awhile, identify tips to be added and renew customer service with enthusiasm and an eye for long-term retention.

Here are 35 tips on keeping customers and clients happy, satisfied and loyal.

  1. Customers 1st: This must be emblazoned in the minds of every person in your company. Nothing matters but what the customer thinks and feels about your product or service. Customers must be in every work conversation. They are the point of it all. Period.
  1. Reduce customer risk. Customers take risks when they leave one seller or vendor for another. They are constantly reviewing and comparing. No one wants to change. There’s a risk factor. They may be giving up service for price or vice versa. Ask questions and swiftly ascertain if they’re happy with the service you’re providing. Fight daily for their loyalty.
  2. Avoid closing. We’re “opening,” not closing relationships. Remove this archaic mindset. You can get the sale without high pressure when you approach the customer with their short-term and long-term needs in mind. It’s NOT about you!
  1. Know achievements and accomplishments. Recognize their accolades, tributes, and honors orally. Also, send them a handwritten (old school) note and or email memorializing their accomplishments.
  1. Observe the “see-ables.” Observe all mementos, plaques, pictures and other “see-ables” in their office. These customer “see-ables” were placed there strategically so they can be seen. In the first 90-seconds in their office, visually take in all that’s there. Comment on them.
  1. Listen proactively. Read their body language and hear their voice inflections and tonality. Body language speaks louder than their words. Eighty percent of what’s said is nonverbal. Fully engage in what’s said. Avoid interrupting. Never talk over them. The more they talk and the less you do, the better your results. Pay attention to what your customer is telling you without being distracted. Full engagement!
  2. Honor customers by name. Say their name with a smile and enthusiasm. If “Bob” the customer asks how you are, then reply, “I’m awesome Bob!” Be genuine and authentic in greeting them as a person and NOT as a $ on your tally sheet. Sprinkle their name within all conversations.
  3. Acknowledge family. Where and when feasible, ask about their family. Learn their names. Ask about their accomplishments. Know your customer.
  1. Treat customers like friends. Use conversational tone at all times. Write emails that are simple, short and to the point. Be blunt, but remain professional.
  1. Surprise customers The unexpected positives from you will always be welcome.
  2. Network customers. Introduce your customers to others that might help them increase their income or decrease their expenses. This value-added service helps turn customers into long-time partners.
  1. Thank customers. “Thank you” is still powerful and can be unforgettable. The steakhouse chain of Eddie Merlot’s sends a handwritten “Thank you” postcard from the server to their diners. Buy a pair of shoes from a Nordstrom’s retail store and a handwritten “Thank you” arrives in the mail from your sales person. Pretty cool.
  2. Break bread. Spending breakfast, lunch or dinner with a customer can provide an insight into the mindset of your guest. Arrive early and have the restaurant manager take your credit card information in advance of the meal. Pay for the meal.
  1. Use event marketing. Spending time with a customer on the golf course captures five hours or more of quality, bonding time. Talk little business. Get to know them. Watching a sporting event or concert with a customer is another worthwhile activity when you’ll spend valuable time to bond and know them better.
  2. Know your customers. Understand and acknowledge the importance of the key dates in their business and personal life.
  • End of each month for business
  • End of each quarter
  • End of their fiscal year
  • Birthday
  • Company anniversary
  • Marriage anniversary
  • Corporate milestones
  • Children’s birthdays
  1. Identify the best: Treat all customers great, except go out of your way to give extra treatment to your top customers. Proactively treat your best customers with white glove care. Anticipate their needs. Spend time understanding each of their dreams, desires and timelines. These are your valued, long-term partners in success. They need to feel this is true.
  2. Update customer data: Customer profiles change and you need to keep all information current. This is simple, but someone needs to be responsible and held accountable for this procedure. This task is never-ending.
  3. Keep customer profiles: Organize customers according to their demands, specific requirements and needs. Ask great questions and memorialize their answers to serve them better. Adjust your service as the customer adjusts their needs.
  4. Be fastidious: Pay attention to detail. Make sure every document they see is grammatically correct. Be on time with all deliveries. Call in advance and let them know who is coming and when. Never be late. Double and triple check details.
  5. Communicate frequently: Positive, repetitious contact with your customers will place your name, brand, product or service in indelible ink on the inside of their mind. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.
  1. Reward loyalty. Repeat customers are the backbone of any business. When they are satisfied, your product and or service become their own. “This is my steakhouse” or “This is my trainer” they think and feel. Reward this loyalty with timely gifts (birthday, holidays, etc.,), private events, special discounts and other perks for being your customer. Because of their loyalty and trust, they will spend more money with you and recommend you to everyone they know.
  2. When’s their renewal date? Waiting to the last minute to contact customers about their renewal says you only care about the renewal and not the product or service provided. It also showcases your lack of organization.
  1. Know dreams, wants, and needs. When you are privileged to know the dreams, wants, and needs of your customer, they have allowed you to have this info. They let you in. They took a risk. Keep this knowledge sacred by doing everything to help them manifest these desires.
  2. Avoid discussing competitors (yours or theirs). There can be value in learning about competitors, but it’s NOT worth the risk discussing it with customers. Stay focused on your customer’s dreams, wants, needs and desires. Period.
  3. Stay out of the past. Go into the past only for evaluation and analysis. After your assessment, you can better serve your customer.
  4. Stay engaged in moment. Look customers in eye long enough to ascertain eye color within the first 90-seconds you greet them. Then have this mindset. “There’s no place I’d rather be than where I am right now.”
  5. Intuition rules. When your gut says call them, pick up the phone. Intuition delivers real time information that your conscious mind does not possess. Listen and boldly act.
  6. Ask bold questions. By being upfront and straightforward you will better garner their true feelings about your service or product.
  7. Talk up, not down. Speak highly about your company and co-workers or not at all. Never bash your company. Putting your company down in any way or form is taboo. It says you have no loyalty and you will eventually do the same to your customers.
  8. Accept complaints. This is an opportunity to overcome challenges and show them you care about their results. Do not interrupt when they are venting. Like a palm tree in a hurricane, absorb the wrath and speak when they are through. Look them in the eye. Acknowledge their feelings. Solve their challenge.
  9. Be the go-to person. If a customer challenge arises, then your name and face rapidly surfaces with immediate confidence that you will find a swift solution. Be on speed-dial. Be known as the go-to person!
  10. Think only positive thoughts. Customers can pick up your vibes. That’s good news and bad news. Send no labeling, negative thoughts. None.
  11. Act like a partner. Help them reach a place they’ve never been, enhance what they already have, and eliminate what they don’t want.
  12. Visualize their success. Your customers are only as good as what they think about you and your service when you’re not there. Send out the good vibe by picturing their success. See them saving money with your product or service. See them making money with what you bring to the table. Every day write customer names on a sheet of paper and visualize what each wants. See your customers as successful. Period. This has been done daily for 16,425 days in a row (45 years) and counting. Not one day off. Even on a silence day, this exercise is completed.

Be in the Zone!

Jim Fannin is America’s ZoneCoach®. He is a best selling author, platform speaker, peak performance and executive coach. His client list reads like a who’s who list featuring celebrity actors, directors and entertainers, as well as 26 MLB All-Stars, 7 world’s top 10 tennis players, scores of PGA stars, NBA All-Stars, NFL All-Pros and Olympic Gold Medalists. In addition, Jim has coached executives from 350 of the Fortune 500. Check out his new book, The Blueprint: A Proven Plan for Successful Living. Find Jim at

© copyright. All rights reserved. Jim Fannin Brands, Inc. 2018

How to Be a Hall Of Famer

How to Be a Hall Of Famer

By: Jim Fannin

Yes. This is a 54-year old statue of me as an eleven year-old Little Leaguer with dreams of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It was then I became aware of this shrine of 306 Hall of Fame members (68 members are still living). These men are the greatest baseball players ever. I’ve wanted to go to this museum in Cooperstown, New York for over 50 years. Finally, I’ll visit the Hall for the first time as an honored guest of my client Frank Thomas. I’m feeling like a kid again.

What is greatness? How does one become a Hall of Fame member? Physical and mental talent is needed. That’s for sure! However, there were thousands of men with exceptional talent that never graced this shrine of excellence. Thousands more with amazing prowess and skill will fail to be honored as an all-time great. Is there a formula for greatness?

I’ve learned that greatness is reaching a high daily standard over a long period of time. The differential between one’s best and worst performances must be small. Any long period of inferiority will surely mar one’s chances of being one of the all-time greats.
What is your standard of performance? This is a minimum requirement for a satisfactory performance. What would you call a standard day?

Most professions and all sports have metrics to measure performance. A salesperson can measure closing ratios and a golfer can measure greens in regulation to showcase how each measures up to the rest of the performers in their field. You know when your performances are poor and inferior. You know when you are in the Zone and your performance is over the top. It is your daily standard, however, that is the true measure of your greatness.

Attitude plays the most significant role in reaching your high daily standard. How you react when things don’t go your way dictates reaching this minimum requirement for a solid performance. The mental balance of self-discipline, concentration, optimism, relaxation and enjoyment is crucial for reaching this performance state.
Too many times my clients try to reach their ultimate state of performance. This “try” factor gets in their way every time. Allowing for the Zone to arrive is the key. Reaching your minimum standard is paramount.
This past weekend professional golfer Rory McIlroy won the British Open. In his press conference he mentioned it was “the process” that helped him win his third major title. By having solid mental and physical routines before, during and after a performance one can more readily reach a daily standard. Do you have these routines in place in your life?

Frank Thomas had a series of routines that he enjoyed during his illustrious baseball career. Even before he entered the on-deck circle, prior to his next at bat, his routines were being checked off. These routines of mental and physical preparation kept him confident and always ready to reach a solid performance.
Inspect your life and see what routines are in place. Do you have morning routines before work? Do you have routines before any management, school, sales, sports or other performance? Do they help you get off to a solid start? Do you have routines of adjustment if something goes wrong? Do you have routines after you are finished? What routines do you have before you go to sleep?

Frank Thomas had great routines that he adjusted throughout his career. His self-awareness and visualization skills were both utilized to help him prepare, adjust and evaluate every performance. Why not you?
As I embark on my Cooperstown journey, the Hall of Fame members that I’ll meet all have one thing in common. They reached a high daily standard over a long period of time. I look forward to saluting them and their achievements.

The six newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame will take their permanent place in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 27, highlighting four days of celebratory events and programs for baseball fans of all ages, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend this July 25-28.
The Induction Ceremony will feature six Baseball Writers’ Association of America electees. They are Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and my client Frank Thomas. They will be enshrined at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 27 at the Clark Sports Center – with the Induction Ceremony shown live on MLB Network.

Thomas, who was named on 83.7 percent of all ballots cast, hit 521 home runs over 19 seasons in the big leagues, batting .301 while driving in 1,704 runs. Thomas won back-to-back American League Most Valuable Player Awards in 1993-94, led the AL in on-base percentage four times and captured the 1997 AL batting title. The five-time All-Star posted seven straight seasons (1991-97) with at least a .300 batting average, 100 RBI, 100 walks and 20 home runs, the longest such stretch in big league history. Thomas, named on 478 ballots in his first year on the ballot, is the first player elected to the Hall of Fame who played the majority of his games as a designated hitter. I was there every step of the way. As Frank makes his way to the podium to deliver his acceptance speech, I’ll be the one in the audience with a tear in his eye. It seems surreal. Over 20 years ago I asked Frank Thomas the same question I’ve asked over 1500 professional athlete clients, “What do you want and why am I here?” Only three have said, “Hall of Fame.” This Sunday, our journey will be complete and my childhood dream will be realized.

I leave for Cooperstown tomorrow. Dreams come true.

Word of the Week: Prowess (noun). skill or expertise in a particular activity or field. “She has great prowess as a salesperson.”

Fanninism: “Greatness is reaching a high daily standard over a long period of time.”

Zone Fact: Trying and definitely over-trying will repel the Zone as opposed to letting the Zone come to you.

Marriage & the Holidays

Marriage & the Holidays

Remember when you committed yourself to the person of your dreams? Remember when you tied the knot of harmonious bliss? Remember when you gave yourself mentally, physically and spiritually to your significant other? Not only is your relationship important in your life, it is vital for your overall wellbeing.

Each year that passes in a marital relationship will bring either positive deposits or negative withdrawals in the harmonious bank account of WE. How’s your account balance?

During the upcoming weeks and days the Bermuda Triangle of stress can and possibly will wrap its arms around your marriage. These are the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. They are supposed to be joyful, spiritual and happy for all. The reality, however, has our family and friends, alcohol, excessive food, gifts with eventual bills culminating into a potentially stressful time of the year. Throw in the breadwinner(s) scrambling to meet year-end quotas and the stress-o-meter can go off the chart.

How do you prevent a major withdrawal in love, harmony, togetherness, bliss and happiness?

Here’s a short list to increase the five intangibles that create a great marriage.

  1. Self-discipline: With “free will” re-commit to the small tasks of partnership that lead to well-defined goals and ultimately a shared life vision of togetherness. What tasks or unsolicited acts of kindness can you do for your mate? What can you do to insure your significant other is not carrying the burden of organization for the holidays? Do you have a fair and agreed upon budget for the rest of the year? Are your travels, parties, dinners all planned and agreed upon? It’s time to get the marriage disciplined. Get prepared!
  2. Concentration: Focus more energy on your spouse. Stop taking things for granted. Lock-in on non-verbal cues from your mate. Notice any signs of stress and act on it swiftly to alleviate it. Say “No” to unnecessary parties and last minute invites that the other might find stressful.
  1. Optimism: Love conquers all. That’s right! When chaos of the holidays rears it ugly head, remember that love conquers all. Say “I love you” more than ever during this potentially stressful stretch of days. Believe and expect a smooth holiday transition into next year. See what you want. Avoid thinking about what you don’t want. That includes family squabbles, excessive bills and fatigue from shopping, traveling and over-indulging.
  2. Relaxation: Slow down the game starting now and through the New Year. Take your time and breathe. Plan shopping early to avoid worry, anxiety and unnecessary stress. Jaw unhinged when the in-laws arrive.
  3. Enjoyment: I love being with her/him. I love this time of year. I love giving as much, if not more, than receiving. Keep the smiles coming. No complaining. No victim of circumstance, condition or situation. Enjoy the family even if Uncle Earl says some things that are out of line or just plain rude. That’s just Uncle Earl!

Balance these five intangibles and your relationship will be ready to withstand anything the end of the year will bring. Make up your mind that “nothing” will pull your relationship apart. Nothing. No people. No bills. No chaos. No fatigue. No family members. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Love conquers all.

Get ready for an awesome holiday season. Live every day like it’s your last. Most of all, treat your significant other as the life partner you coveted when you walked to the altar and said your vows. For better or worse, have a great, festive time of the year. It’s time to get your marriage in the Zone.

Carrots, Eggs, and Coffee

Carrots, Eggs, and Coffee

By: Jim Fannin

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.

Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.

She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity –boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. ” When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN? I hope you enjoyed this and it made you think. It sure has for me. I want to be the coffee bean.

5 Tips to Eliminate Holiday Stress

5 Tips to Eliminate Holiday Stress

By Jim Fannin

The holidays are here! I hope you’re enjoying this season with great energy and spirit. For many this time of year is filled with happiness and joy while creating everlasting memories. For others this season can be filled with stress, worry, anxiety and even depression.

There are three trigger points that combine to raise stress levels at this time of year:

  • Physical Demands.  You may be working longer hours in order to finish your business year strong…The kids are on break from school…You may be traveling over the holidays…Staying up late with relatives and friends can and will wreak havoc on sleep…You’re rushing to multiple holiday parties…You’re throwing your own holiday gatherings…And of course, you’re last minute shopping!
  • Finances.  Spending during the month of December increases due to all of the parties, get-togethers, family gatherings, travel, and shopping…Dread of paying January bills can arrive.
  • Relationships.  You may have relatives coming to stay with you…The long hours at work are taking away from your quality time with your family…You may have lost a loved one in the past during the holidays, making this time of year difficult on you…You may have experienced a recent break-up or divorce and now you’re feeling lonely.

These are all stressors that have an enormous potential to build up and strip you of the joy you’d like to experience during this time.

Here are 5 tips to maintain a sense of balance and simplicity during the remainder of 2016.

  1. Be healthy. Be aware of staying hydrated…Maintain a balanced discipline with what you eat (especially with all the parties and family gatherings)…Eat slowly…Commit to a minimum of 3 hours of exercise a week. This releases tension and bottled-up negative stress.
  1. Say NO. Commit to promises you know you can keep.  This will eliminate future guilt or worry. It’s ok to say NO. If someone asks, “Are you going to the Johnson’s party?” Answer without excuses or explanations, “No…we have a commitment.”  Keep it simple.
  1. Take a breather. Add small breaks throughout your day…Divide your day into quarters by adding 10-15 minute breaks in the morning, lunch and afternoon. During the week take a bath or a long shower to clear your mind…Use the Reboot tool at any time to clear your mind of chaotic thinking…A few moments of quiet will help keep you at your best.
  1. Remember: Perfection is not mandatory during the holidays.  Chill out and don’t sweat the small stuff.
    This is a time to put differences aside and not harbor ill will. Give the gift of forgiveness and you’ll be graced with a boost of positivity for yourself.
  1. Be present. Adopt the mantra of “There’s no place I’d rather be than here right now.”

This can be an awesome time of year!   Make it happen.  It’s totally up to you. Fully engage with the people you love.  Be mindful of everyone’s mood and demeanor.    Get all you meet and greet in the Zone.  It’s contagious, so spread the positivity of this “purposeful calm” mindset.

Anatomy of A Great Team

Anatomy of A Great Team

By Jim Fannin

Great teams have one thing in common.  Every player shares the same vision of team destiny.  This vision is indelible etched into the subconscious mind of each performer.  The vision wakes them up in the morning and puts them to bed at night.  They know why they go to practice and why they need to take care of themselves physically, mentally and technically.  Each practice and game is one step closer to the vision turning into reality.

In 1997 I coached nine players on the Cleveland Indians.  From spring training to the 7th game of the World Series I observed the common thread that connected each player.

In the clubhouse in all 162 regular season games you would hear no gossip.  There was no envy or jealousy.  I witnessed no racism, prejudice or malice.  There were no rumors or assumption thinking.  And I never heard one player second-guess management.  In fact, I never heard anyone discuss the opposition.  It was as if the competition did not exist.

What I did see and hear was 25 men preparing themselves physically, mentally and technically to the best of their ability each and every day.

There was a discipline of the ’97 Indians that was born from the self-discipline of each man.  In a way, every player was selfish in his own preparation.  They came to work at different times, dressed in street clothes differently and spoke with different accents and from different heritages.  Yet their shared vision molded this motley crew into one force and one winning unit.  Everyone on the team knew his role and respected the role of the others.

The team was committed to winning.  Through discipline they learned how to manufacture runs and how to stop runs from scoring.  They collectively thought less than most teams.  By eliminating all negatives they could now just focus on executing basics within very simple tactics and strategies.

You could feel the energy once the game commenced.  It was the fusion of 25 players and several coaches locked mentally in the moment.  Each player was only concerned about the execution of the fundamentals of the game.  And the sum total was greater than all of the parts.  It was synergy at work.  It was the Zone.  Energy of 25 men engaged in the moment.  You could feel it.  The crowd could feel it.  And the opposition could feel it.

This Indians team had confidence.  They not only believed in themselves individually but they had an expectation that the others on the team would get the hit or make the play.  Each man was cheered and encouraged by his teammates. When adversity would rear its ugly head the collective force would not waiver.  The players remained stoic in defeat and matter-of-fact when they won.  And with each game you could feel their belief and expectancy of each other improve.

As in every great team there is a nucleus of players that are the glue that binds a team.  The Indians were no different.   From Matt Williams, Jack McDowell, Orel Hershiser, Jim Thome, Charles Nagy, Sandy Alomar, David Justice, Manny Ramirez and Omar Visquel you could count on them reaching a high daily standard.  You just knew it.  They were prepared before every game.  They made adjustments at the plate and on the mound during the game.  And they evaluated their performance each night and moved on by burying the past with only the lessons to be learned going forward into tomorrow.

The team was relaxed.  They were free from worry in every situation.  And they exuded passion and enjoyment with every passing day.  Yes they were serious about their craft but they still laughed ever day.  Twenty-five men could be seen playing a game they loved.  You could feel the energy.  And so could the competition.

There are many teams out of balance.  The ones that are too disciplined become anal and rigid.  They can choke under too much pressure.  Some teams don’t have the confidence. They lack the swagger that can overcome adversity.  Some teams are too loose.  This lack of discipline becomes their Achilles heel.

It is this daily balance of Self-discipline, Concentration, Optimism, Relaxation and Enjoyment that fuses individual players into the wrecking ball force of a great team.  In 1997 the Cleveland Indians played baseball in the Zone.  Their team formula can and will be replicated with the S.C.O.R.E.® Success System.

Yes. Teams can get in the Zone.

Be in the Zone!

Jim Fannin is America’s ZoneCoach®. He is a best selling author, platform speaker, peak performance and executive coach. His client list reads like a who’s who list featuring celebrity actors, directors and entertainers, as well as 26 MLB All-Stars, 7 world’s top 10 tennis players, scores of PGA stars, NBA All-Stars, NFL All-Pros and Olympic Gold Medalists.  In addition, Jim has coached executives from 350 of the

Be Fully Engaged

Be Fully Engaged

By: Jim Fannin

Roger Tambellini is a true champion.  He is a great father. He loves his kids. He is aware of their moods and mannerisms. Roger Tambellini is a great husband.  He has a loving, compassionate relationship with his wife. He is aware of her feelings and thoughts. Roger Tambellini is a great golfer. In fact, he is a professional on the Nationwide Tour.  He is a champion with three wins to his credit.  He is aware of the vast nuances of performing at a high level.

But is Roger Tambellini fully aware?

I met Roger in Mason, Ohio to watch him play in the Chiquita Classic.  We sat at breakfast before the event and I told him to shut his eyes.  With his eyes closed I asked him what color were the flowers on the table directly in front of him.  His response, “I don’t know. What flowers?”  With eyes wide open he finally looked at the beautiful red flowers that were no more than 18 inches away.

Be aware.  Be fully engaged in the moment.

Most of us spend our waking hours with 80% of our thoughts in either the past or the future.  We’re busy.  We have a full plate of tasks to devour.  We’re pre-occupied with many things that don’t matter.  We allow external thoughts from others to infiltrate our minds.  Chaos thinking is the order of the day for most.

Roger Tambellini met me again for breakfast before he teed off for the first round.   As we sat and talked I asked him to shut his eyes.  He said, “Oh no…I forgot to look at the flowers.”  So Roger what are their color? I asked.  He replied, “I don’t know.”  This particular day they were yellow.

Be aware.  Be fully engaged in the moment.

When you fully lock in the moment with heightened awareness, there are many positives that arrive.  First, it will be tougher to delve into the past.  Of course the Zone mindset does not reside there.  Second, going into the future will be greatly diminished.  Only go there for tactics and strategies based on the circumstances and conditions of the moment.  Lastly, by staying in the present you’ll be nicer to yourself and your game.  Champions do this well.

On the second day of the Chiquita Classic, I had to travel to another city.  I would miss seeing Roger play.  Here’s what he texted just before he teed off.  No words.  Just…

Roger Tambellini birdied his first four holes after fully engaging in the moment before he played.  With this present tense mindset in place, he went on to post a solid 66 for the day. Roger Tambellini is aware. He is fully engaged. He is in the moment with kids, wife, golf and life.

Be aware.  Be fully engaged in the moment.

How to Conduct A Zone Meeting - 12 Ways to Maximize Results

How to Conduct A Zone Meeting – 12 Ways to Maximize Results

By Jim Fannin

How many meetings have you attended in your life? How many times have you thought, “What a waste of time!” Most people have approximately 10-30 meetings every week. From an algebra class, sales meeting, e-mail exchange, sporting event, conference call or major presentation, we have meetings all of the time. They last from a few minutes to hours. Most meetings are NOT Zone meetings.

Have you ever presented or attended a Zone meeting? These “purposeful calm” meetings get everyone fully engaged. They are dynamic and highly fruitful. All participants are present to leverage the power of collective thought. Each person is locked in the moment. Each person is there to contribute to the whole. Solutions rise to the surface. Clarity reigns supreme. No one is looking at their text messages or reading their emails. All eyes and ears are on the person that is addressing the group at any given time. Everyone is attentive to the task at hand.

A Zone meeting occurs when each person is disciplined, focused, confident, relaxed and passionate about his or her participation and contribution to the outcome of the meeting. As the facilitator, this is your responsibility. You will be held accountable and you have the authority to make it happen. Zone meetings go by quickly. They are highly productive with little to no wasted time. Every participant leaves with the appropriate call to action or inaction. These are the meetings that catapult a

group, family, company or team from mediocrity to greatness. Zone meetings make a significant difference.

Many daily meetings conducted throughout the world are thrown together at the last minute. Sometimes this is necessary. However, a little preparation will make a major difference in reaching your meetings goals. Here is a proven Zone meeting formula that contains a short list of tips and tools to help make the encounter productive and worthwhile.

  1. Identify the purpose. The first question is “What’s the purpose of the meeting? Why do we need a meeting? Is the meeting to present or learn new information? Is it for solving a challenge or a group of challenges? What’s the point of the meeting?
  1. Who needs to attend and why? Know who must attend this meeting. Know what each participant needs to think and consequently do when the meeting begins. More importantly, know what you want them to think and do when the meeting If you are giving a keynote address ask yourself, “What do I want these people to think about my presentation when they are finally alone in their thoughts?”
  1. Know your audience. To achieve a Zone state some people need visual support while others may need data to Everyone learns in a different way. What support material, if any, is needed? What presentation material will fully engage the audience? What do the participants need to bring or prepare? If the meeting is long, provide water and snacks to fuel the attendees to the end.
  1. Schedule a time Open-ended meetings with no time limit can easily get off track and end in fatigue, chaos and disappointment. Less is typically more.

If you are the presenter, announce the duration of the meeting upfront. Setting a hard stoppage in advance will bring closure to most meetings. This will help you stay on track and avoid wasted time. Someone in the group needs to manage the time. Going over the time allotted in a meeting puts undue stress on everyone involved. Stay on topic and keep your schedule.

  1. Prepare an agenda or outline. With the purpose of the meeting in mind, use the S.C.O.R.E.® Success System’s “B2A Principle™” of reverse engineering the meeting by working Know what you want the participants to think when the meeting is over. Know how you will close. If possible, prepare a call to action for the individuals or the group. Have no more than five major points to discuss or review. Less is more productive. Know how you want to begin the meeting. By preparing from B to A you can insure the meeting culminates with solid purpose.
  1. Anticipate obstacles or challenges. If everyone already knows and agrees then the meeting was probably not needed. A memorandum would suffice. Be ready for the There will be different viewpoints and feelings. Each person will arrive with a different knowledge base of the situation, condition or circumstance. It’s possible this particular meeting will not resolve the challenge. There may be an impasse. More information may be required to facilitate a call to action and a follow-up meeting. Be ready!
  1. Arm yourself with swift, 90-Second Ruletools to combat any challenges. Be prepared to adjust the meeting.
  • Change your behavior or the group’s behavior. This can be accomplished by adjusting your tempo, tone or body
  • Re-structure the situation. Approach the goal of the meeting in a different Change tactics or strategy. This can be accomplished by asking the appropriate question to the group or an individual.
  • Be silent and Be calm while you are silent. Let other people make their point. Avoid interrupting. Listen, learn and adapt or adjust if needed.
  • Have a 360° Think and feel from each participant’s view. This will assist you in engaging with all attendees and influencing the overall meeting.
  • Lead the group back to the Stay or track and stick to the agenda. Control the meeting.
  1. Dress-rehearse the With the B2A Principle™ in place, now you can walk the walk and talk the talk, as if you’ve already succeeded in conducting a great, Zone meeting. Never have a meeting you haven’t already had in your mind. Visualize solutions and or actions required to accomplish the agenda. Visualize facilitating the purpose of the meeting.
  1. Review the agenda one more Easy enough. This needs less than 90- seconds.
  1. Conduct a C.O.R.E.® Check. This self-awareness, 90-Second Rule™ tool is quick and to the point. Your awareness will solve most challenges 90% of the time. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Am I self-disciplined? Am I ready to do this? If yes, move If no, then stop and get organized.
  • Am I ready to concentrate? Am I here in the moment? Am I present? If yes, move on. If no, then stop and get in the here and now.
  • Am I optimistic? Am I confident? If yes, move If no, then raise your chin, stand up tall and say a positive affirmation like, “I am ready for this” or “I am the facilitator” or “I am a champion.”
  • Am I relaxed? Is my breathing under control with deep, slow breaths? If yes, move on. If no, then stop and focus on your breathing. Having only 6-8 breaths per minute will swiftly calm you down.
  • Am I ready to enjoy the meeting? If yes, move If no, then stop and get ready to have some fun? Smile even at the challenges that might arise? Find some rhythm in your step as you approach the meeting. I’ve skipped in a suit before a large presentation just to get my enjoyment up.
  1. Clear the Launch. This is the same as the Re-Boot™ Just before the meeting, take 90-seconds to clear your mind. Shut your eyes, unhinge your jaw and see in your mind a blank screen. After 90-seconds open your eyes and walk into the meeting as the best prepared person possible.
  1. Open the meeting like a champion. Begin full engagement with direct eye contact as soon as you enter the room. Look, act and feel confident. After small talk subsides and the room is ready for you, state the purpose of the meeting and begin your Zone meeting.

Having better and fewer meetings will make your workplace and or your team setting more productive. Once all of the meeting participants attract the Zone mindset then imagination, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking will reign supreme. The collective dynamic of individual thought will create a group tsunami of positivity. Solutions will blanket all challenges. Positive results will happen.

Communication is the key to advancing an idea, resolving a conflict and or organizing a cohesive team of excellence. The Zone meeting is the best way to meet these objectives.

Take your group to a place they can’t go by themselves. Forge the group dynamic. As a Zoniac™ influencer of thought, get your meeting in the Zone!

P.S. For questions, suggestions or anything else, contact Jim at

© Copyright. Jim Fannin Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2020. The 90-Second RuleÔ, S.C.O.R.E.®, ZoneCoach®, and Be in the Zone!™ are federally registered to Jim Fannin Brands, Inc.

Jim Fannin is America’s ZoneCoach®. He is a best-selling author, platform speaker, and peak performance, life and executive coach. His client list reads like a who’s who list featuring celebrity actors, directors and entertainers, as well as 28 MLB All-Stars, 7 world’s top 10 tennis players, scores of PGA stars, NBA All-Stars, NFL All-Pros and Olympic Gold Medalists. In addition, Jim has coached executives from 350 of the Fortune 500. Check out his latest book, The Blueprint: A Proven Plan for Successful Living. Find Jim at

It’s Mental Spring Cleaning Time! Throw Out The Negatives in Your Life. Here’s How.

It’s Mental Spring Cleaning Time! Throw Out The Negatives in Your Life. Here’s How.

By: Jim Fannin

It’s officially springtime! Corporate taxes and personal taxes will soon be paid, if not already. School spring break has finished or just about to start. Baseball season opens next week and the Chicago Cubs will begin in 1st place. Your golf game is soon out of hibernation and the Masters is just around the (Amen) corner. The NBA play-offs are shaping up. The NCAA Final Four will be decided soon. Most NFL teams are juggling their rosters for next fall. The first quarter at work is closing and your Q2 results are going to rock! And the weather is getting much, much better.

Now it’s time for a new, awesome you!

Spring-cleaning is here and it is NOT limited to your physical closets and junk drawers. It’s time to clean the clutter from your mind. More than thirty percent (30%) of your thoughts are waste. Many of these thoughts can actually sabotage your goals and dreams. These unnecessary, extra thoughts can weigh you down, while they shackle your imagination. They restrict your freedom. These thoughts occur at sporadic uninvited times and they attract negative emotions that wreak havoc on your life. Some of these useless thoughts can linger for weeks, months and even years. It’s time to clear them from your performance pathway like debris from the sidewalk.

First, recognize why these extra thoughts have arrived on the screen of space in your mind. Ask yourself the following 10 questions:

  1. Do I have too many goals that lack the discipline of planning?
  2. Do I make negative comparisons to other people?
  3. Do I have failures that still haunt me?
  4. Do I have too little time and too much to do?
  5. Do I wait for circumstances and conditions to change before I can act?
  6. Do I rely too much on other people?
  7. Do I have too much concern for what other people think?
  8. Do I associate with negative people?
  9. Do I put me last and think more about other people than myself?
  10. Do I have too little confidence?

Any YES answer to these questions can be the cause for feelings of impatience, frustration, low confidence, worry, anxiety, anger, jealousy, sadness, apathy, misery, despair, low self-esteem or depression. Yikes!

Get mentally organized: Think less so you can produce more.

To accomplish this you will need the following short list of Forget-Ables, See-Ables, Do-Ables and Be-Ables.

Forget-Ables: These are people, places and things that you DO NOT need to dwell on. Forget about it (Do Italian accent here!).

Forget about…

  • The negative past. Quit replaying every negative scenario that has occurred. Learn from the first replay of the past and then move on. Next! This is your new battle cry. Forget about it!
  • Negative people. Make these people positive, eliminate them entirely from your life, avoid them at all costs or immunize yourself from their negativity. Forget about it!
  • What he or she said. Dwelling on this is futile. Everyone has an agenda and some have agendas they don’t even know about. Trying to figure all this out is a waste, unless you’re embarking on a psychology career. Forget about it!
  • Assumption thinking. “She’ll probable want me to host this. She always does.” Why go here? Why try to predict the unpredictable? Why ponder the imponderable, unquantifiable, inestimable, incalculable, immeasurable, and the virtual unknown? This should make anyone tired. Forget about it!
  • Being perfect. Are you approaching life like you’re planning your wedding? I know the devil is in the details. However, life is more fun when there is some spontaneity. Wing it sometimes. My favorite vacations had no itinerary. Mistakes? Being perfect? Forget about it!

See-Ables: Spring-cleaning from a physical sense will help you mentally. Organize and clean the areas of your life that you visually see each and every day. Coming home to a made bed is so much better that a room that is disheveled. You know this. Delegate these tasks or roll up your sleeves and get to work. Do it. You’ll feel so much better.

Organize, clean and keep clean your…

  • Bathroom area
  • Closet
  • Bedroom
  • Garage
  • Car (inside and out)
  • Office desk

Organized See-Ables will mentally set you free and give you the feeling of discipline and power over the stuff in your life.

Do-Ables: Do these things for more control over your life.

  • Have “National Silence Month.” For the next month declare a moratorium on too much thought. Proclaim the month as “National Silence Month.” Speak less. Add silence to each day. When questions are asked of you, be silent for a few seconds before responding. Hold your opinions longer. Talking over other people is forbidden. Abandon the need to talk on your cell phone. Only make calls that are 100% necessary.
  • One goal. Choose one well-defined, major goal that you will reach within next 30-days. Once completed, select another goal to be completed by the end of the next month. Make these goals measurable. Hold yourself accountable.
  • Reduce speaking. Tomorrow (after reading this) reduce your speaking by 50%. Make this “Observation Day.” Observe your surroundings. Notice the season changing. Stay off the phone as much as you can. Watch for positive people. Identify negative people. Do not judge them…just be aware.
  • Dine alone. Eat several meals alone each week (if possible). Hanging out with your best friend YOU is a good thing. These meals are for pondering and positive thinking. Take your time. Put your fork down between bites. Dining alone without negative thinking will invigorate and liberate you.
  • Walk alone everyday. Smile to yourself regarding your power of silence as you briskly walk around the block or through the woods. Take a stroll in silence with your best friend.
  • Prepare every week. Every Sunday night get ready for your greatest week ever. Positive mental imagery and overall dress rehearsal are the purpose. See it, as it will be. However, this is NOT a to-do list with laundry pick-up and haircut. Prepare the big (macro) things that matter. Get ready for AWESOME!
  • Practice extreme positivity. This is the mindset of the champion. Eradicate negative self-talk. No judge. No victim. Avoid using shoulda’, coulda’, and woulda’ statements. This Do-able of extreme positivity is crucial for success.

Be-Ables: This list is powerful. If personal re-invention is needed, then conjure up your inner “Edison.”

  • Be confident. Keep your chin up with nothing but positives, no matter what happens or occurs. Be the most confident person anyone knows. Think about what you think about. This Be-Able challenge is Do-Able.
  • Be “cool.” Immediately relax when confrontation or disappointment arrives. Take 90-seconds or less to be “cool” and calm before you react. Breathe several deep breaths before speaking or acting.
  • Be focused. Take pride in accomplishing one thing at a time. Lock-in on what you need to deliver and do it. See it to the conclusion. A golfer never sees the bunkers and other hazards until he or she takes their eyes off the flag. Put on your blinders and get it done.
  • Be disciplined. Operate with a simple plan with corresponding strategy and tactics. Commit to it. Prepare back-ups if your main plan goes awry.
  • Be happy. Act the part by showcasing your passion, enthusiasm, and excitement in all you do. Smile inside and your body language will follow your lead. Soon those around you will reflect this back to you. Allow your inner awesomeness to surface. Think about this statement. “There’s no place I’d rather be than where I am right now.” This has served my clients well for four decades.
  • Be yourself. This is a must. Stop hiding your wild side that’s all tucked away in your mental attic. Let go a little. Sing and dance for no reason if that’s how you feel. Allow your “genuine” self to surface.

The best in the world think less and produce more. Spring is here! It’s time to throw out what you don’t need. Get busy with your Forget-Ables, See-Ables, Do-Ables and Be-Ables.

Be in the Zone,

Forget-Ables, See-Ables, Do-Ables and Be-Ables are registered trademarks of Jim Fannin Brands, Inc. All rights reserved. 2023

The Link Method tm -The Secret Success Key

The Link Method tm -The Secret Success Key

By Jim Fannin

How do you set personal records? How do you stay the course when there are so many distractions? How do you juggle all that life throws your way? How can you shorten the road to success?

There is a secret tool peak performers have used to be successful. It keeps you on course to a positive end result. It’s called the Link Methodä.

Most of us visualize before we want something to happen. However, there is another way to use visualization that has served my clients for over 40 years. This simple, 90-Second Rule technique has saved hours of waste and helped link performances together into a chain of success.

During my tennis teaching days I would spend 60-70 long hours per week on the court giving lessons to client after client. My mission was simple: Help all I taught reach his or her full potential. One lesson would leave and another was waiting to begin. Because I had so many clients, it was easy to forget what I worked on the previous week with each person. In order to create continuity in the lessons and produce the best tennis player possible, I discovered this simple technique.

After every tennis lesson, I invested 90-seconds (sometimes less) to visualize (in movie format) next week’s lesson for the departing client. In addition, I visualized him or her as the best tennis player they could be. 90-seconds. Done. And then I would clear my head (Re-Boot) and begin my next lesson. One week later my subconscious mind would pull from my memory exactly where I left off. Without missing a beat this lesson flow eventually unlocked their potential.

How can this 90-Second Ruletool be applied to your life?

  • After every phone call, visualize the next phone call or interaction with the same person. See it positive.
  • After every meeting, visualize the actions desired in finished state. See the next meeting with the results in hand.
  • With your clients or customers, see their next move as successful with it leading to their desired outcome. 90-seconds is all it takes.
  • With your children, see them successful within 90-seconds of reprimanding or punishing them.
  • Within 90-seconds of an argument, see peace and harmony in your mind.

Add 90-seconds to the end of every performance. It is this small amount of time that connects the dots to setting records and manifesting life visions.

After swiftly evaluating or analyzing your last performance, close the door on it. Now wield the 90-Second Rule“Link Method” as follows:

  • Be in the moment.
  • Relax your jaw, eyes and entire face.
  • Reduce your breathing to 6-8 breaths per minute. This requires longer inhales and exhales. After some practice, this only takes a few seconds.
  • Start your mental movie. Approximately 83% of all people visualize, as if they’re looking through their eyes in real life. Approximately 15% of visualizers see in their mind’s eye, as if they are looking down upon a movie set, typically from the right side. Approximately 2% see no images in their mind’s eye. The first two ways work the same. The last way also works although you physically don’t see anything (thinking it will still program your subconscious). Which way do you visualize?
  • The key to impactful visualization is to incorporate ALL of your senses with the imaginary mental movie. In addition to visual, this includes adding sound, taste, touch and smell to your mini-movie.
  • When you are in public, it is essential that you are not aware of what others may be doing or thinking. Be locked in the moment. Full engagement. This may take practice. Many can visualize with their eyes wide open. However, most require the eyes to be shut for them to be effective. Orel Hershiser, one of the great MLB pitchers, has used the “Link” tool after an opposing hitter belted a home run against him. He shut his eyes on the mound during the game and pictured striking him out as the opposing player was literally rounding the bases for home plate. The next time Orel faced him, he struck him out!

Why does this 90-Second Rule technique work?

It works because your subconscious mind does NOT know the difference between fantasy and reality. Proof of this occurs when you awake from a nightmare. Startled and shaken, you awake with dilated eyes, increased heart rate, shortness of breath and perspiration dripping from your brow. The mental movie playing in your mind while in a deep sleep seemed so real that your body reacted to it as if it were so. This is the only reason visualization works.

Your subconscious mind does NOT know the difference between fantasy and reality.

Connect your performances together with the Link Method that has been used successfully in the NFL, MLB, MLS, NBA, ATP Tour, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, every amateur sport, as well as Fortune 500 boardrooms and grade school, junior high, high school, and college classrooms globally.

Each performance is a stepping-stone to success. Envision your successful, next step before you take it.

Be in the Zone!

P.S. For questions, suggestions or anything else, contact Jim at

© Copyright ZoneCoach, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020. The 90-Second RuleÔ, S.C.O.R.E.®, ZoneCoach®, and Be in the Zone!are federally registered to ZoneCoach, LLC.

Jim Fannin is America’s ZoneCoach®. He is a best-selling author, platform speaker, and peak performance, life, sports and executive coach. His client list reads like a who’s who list featuring celebrity actors, directors and entertainers, as well as 28 MLB All-Stars, 7 world’s top 10 tennis players, scores of PGA stars, NBA All-Stars, NFL All-Pros and Olympic Gold Medalists. In addition, Jim has coached executives from 350 of the Fortune 500. Check out his latest book, The Blueprint: A Proven Plan for Successful Living. Find Jim at