3 Ways Negative Feedback Can Help Your Business


Did you know that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising and that approximately 20 – 50% of purchases are the result of a word-of-mouth recommendation? Do you rely on the advice and opinions of others when making a purchasing decision? I know I personally do.

How does all of this relate to your business and your customers? What happens when someone leaves a negative review in a public place — such as social media, your website, or Yelp? Before you panic and become extremely flustered, check out my list below to discover how a negative review can actually positively impact your business.

  1. Use a negative review as a chance to shine. Always thank customers for positive reviews, and address any negative reviews, stat. Put your customer service hat on and respond to comments publicly. This will give the dissatisfied customer a solution to their feedback, and others will be able to see the positive support and interaction you provide your customers. Check out this post for a list of 6 tips for providing exceptional social customer service.
  2. Negative reviews can help buyers make a better purchase decision. Not every “bad” review is bashing your business. Many individuals leave feedback sharing how the product didn’t have certain features or perform how they had hoped it would, etc. For example: a review on a purse may state that the customer greatly disliked the item because it had a zipper closure when they were hoping it would have a snap closure; the customer obviously wasn’t satisfied, but potential customers may find the review helpful as they may actually prefer the product as is. By being able to sort through reviews and create their own list of pros and cons of your product/service, individuals can better understand exactly what your business offers and set clearer expectations in their mind.
  3. A negative review can eliminate the “too good to be true” notion. Many people think that if something is too good to be true, then it probably is. Some businesses go to extremes to delete or hide negative reviews — don’t do the same. Choose to display all reviews—both good and bad—to show current and future customers that you are extremely transparent and truly care about their thoughts, criticism, and feedback. It’s how you deal with negativity that really matters, so refer back to step 1. Displaying negative reviews that are rectified can help to build trust among consumers.

There you have it —3 ways that negative reviews can actually help—not hurt—your business. Shift your mindset away from the idea that a negative review can be detrimental to your business and instead to listen to your customers, learn from any mistakes, make improvements to your products/services/processes and provide the best possible customer service to combat any negativity.

Good luck!


What Makes Up a ‘Good’ Salesperson?

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I’m not claiming to be an expert by any means when it comes to sales; in fact, I’ve only been in my role as a Solution Sales Specialist with StaffStat for 8 months. But you don’t have to be working in sales to recognize what makes up a ‘good’ salesperson. Some people may say that it’s the ability to change the minds of others, some may say it’s their ability to grab the attention of those passing by or those that they’re reaching out to, others may say that great salespeople are measured by the number of sales that they’ve made since starting their career. To some, those may be the three main reasons that salespeople succeed. But what have they done to get there? Do they continue to harass and annoy those who have said no or not expressed an interest? Did they lie to their prospects in order to ‘trap’ them and make the sale? Did they make promises that they weren’t able to keep?

As I already said, I’m not an expert when it comes to sales, but over the past 8 months I’ve come to learn some of what makes up a good salesperson from my own experiences connecting with people and being on the receiving end of personal sales calls. Today I’d like to share with you three main things that I’ve come to believe help make up a good salesperson:

  1. Think outside of the box.

 Since working in sales I’ve learned that no two situations are going to be the same, no two sales’ pipelines are going to look the same, and the needs of each customer are going to be very different on a case-by-case basis. If I treated every situation the same, I doubt I’d get very far. It’s important to think outside of the box in order to do what’s best and easiest for your customer. If doing everything online doesn’t work for them even though it works for everyone else, arrange a trip to visit them at their location. If you normally only offer monthly or annual payment plans, consider 6-month contracts or a contract that takes them to the end of their fiscal year. Whatever you can do to make the process easier for your customer will make them appreciate what you’re doing for them so much more and, in turn, will make them appreciate the product or service that much more as well.

  1. Do what you say you’ll do.

There are very few things worse than being told that you can rely or count on someone and having them drop the ball on their end. As a salesperson, it’s important that you gain and retain the trust of everyone that you speak with – prospects, leads and customers alike. If you’re making promises that you can’t keep, it won’t go unnoticed. I could rhyme off countless times that I’ve ordered packages online with a ‘guaranteed’ 2-day delivery, only to receive it 5-7 days after I completed the order. I could also tell you the names of the companies who failed to keep their promises, even though it might have happened months ago. As soon as you lose trust with your prospects, leads and customers, it takes quite some time to gain it back and you don’t want your product/service/company to be known for that.

If I can give a little piece of advice when it comes to doing what you’ll say you’ll do, and this is something that we like to do here at StaffStat whenever possible, is under promise and over deliver.

  1. Love your product.

It’s pretty obvious when you come into contact with someone who doesn’t love their job and the work that they do. In my opinion, one of the most important things that all salespeople should possess is a love for whatever it is that they’re selling. I’ve learned to love StaffStat because I know the system inside and out (I know exactly what it can and cannot do), I know that it can be utilized by anyone due to its simplicity and ease of use, and I’ve seen the positive impact that it has had and that it continues to have in the organizations that we deal with.

If the salesperson doesn’t love and believe in what they’re selling, why would anyone else?



What It’s Like Being in Business With My Sister

fullsizerender-2One of the questions Rachael and I get asked most often is what it is like working with our sister. People ask a range of sibling related questions: “who is older?”, “are you twins?”, “do you always get along?”, and so on. While Rachael and I are relatively new to business, family run business is something we have always been exposed to through our parents. With this combined experience, these are a few of the considerations we have taken, and observations I have made:

  • Skills matter most: While it may seem like Rachael and I are a pair out of convenience, it’s not true at all. Our individual talents and strengths are actually quite different and complementary! With my background in nursing, and Rachael’s background in business, we very naturally gravitate to different areas. Besides the obvious, there are other aspects of business where our natural skills have expressed themselves over the past several months; Rachael for example is very natural in customer service while I gravitate more intrinsically toward hiring and training. Recognizing and allowing for this has been such an energy saver. While developing new skills (especially the ones that don’t come easily!) is important, having a business partner that complements your existing skills, while bringing new ones into the partnership, is synergy at its finest! Rachael and I do share many sisterly qualities, but recognizing and nurturing our differences is serving us, and our business, very well!
  • Sometimes we’re not family: Anyone with siblings can appreciate that sometimes in our closest relationships familiarity can inhibit consideration. Looking back to August, when the idea of ‘Plan A Nipissing’ was vague and abstract, this was the first conversation Rachael and I had. We recognized that in order for our partnership to be successful, we would need to respect each other constantly, not allowing ourselves to take the liberties siblings often allow themselves out of frustration or tiredness. Rachael and I have been diligent in treating each other with the respect you would naturally afford a co-worker. While it may seem obvious or simple, this has been a newly learnt behaviour, and a complete game changer in many ways.
  • Partners since birth: One of the biggest benefits of knowing my ‘business partner’ intimately has been the ability to have truly honest conversations. While boundaries must be created and respected, being sisters also means that Rachael and I have been working together for our whole lives. In this, we are comfortable being a sounding board for each other’s ‘rough draft’ ideas. We constantly discuss ways to make our business better and more efficient. I think that being comfortable initiating conversations about unpolished ideas, knowing that 8/10 times the idea may go nowhere, has benefited us greatly!

If you are considering entering into a business partnership with a loved one I would encourage an honest assessment of the following: are your natural talents different and complementary? Are you both committed to maintaining respect for the other, especially when it is not easy? And, are you prepared to both give and receive feedback in terms of an honest sounding board? So far, these have been the major contributors to our successful and enjoyable business sister-ship! Oh, and in case you too are wondering: I am older, we are not twins (but people ask often!), and we almost always get along – we are sisters after all! 😉





She-E-Oh Unplugged Part 2/3

FullSizeRender.jpgAs I sit in the shade of a Palm tree in sunny Varadero, I’m completely thrown off. It’s strange, nothing to discuss, no problems to resolve, no customers to call upon. It’s our last day here and we’ve made some friends, we’ve lived the Cuban nightlife, we’ve had a really great time. Nonetheless, I’ll be the first to admit that my mind has wandered, more than once to home, to our team, to the company. I can’t say that I’m surprised. I do however know that there are definitive benefits to the “turning it off mode” that I’m currently experiencing and here are the top 5:
1. Self-Care: I represent an amazing company. The one question I keep reminding myself of as I do my best to relax is: what good are you to a fast moving and growing company like StaffStat if you’re tired? If I lack energy, so do my conversations with customers. If I lack motivation, so does my team. It boils down to this: how I feel affects everything; customer service, sales and operations. Feeling “tired” isn’t an option and this time away has provided me with the much needed rest my body’s been craving!
2. Reconnecting: It’s been a long time since I’ve just sat there with my husband and talked about ‘nothing’. It usually always comes back to business, the kids or the household. Just walking around Varedero, holding hands and talking about the weather was a nice and welcome change of pace for both of us.
3. Being in the moment: I mentioned in my previous blog that we’re part of a society that spends more time looking down at our phones than we do looking at the person sitting across from us at the table. During our short stay in Cuba, I’ve opted to leave my phone in the safe. Other than Spotify playing music for us every now and again, it’s been powered off. It made for an albeit different week but a great one. We had our GoPro and that was the only thing we brought along. We went to clubs, saw some live bands and we had a posh dinner in town. I’ll admit that I thought to myself on each of those occasions that “this would look amazing on Instagram”. I shut that down and admired the view, the presentation of the food and the bands without a phone in my hands AND I survived!
4. It’s worth it: I don’t give myself many opportunities to turn it off. Weekends, after hours… I’m always thinking, strategizing and plotting the next call. In this case, I forced myself to not think of the one thing that’s always on my mind. It was hard but it felt good. Scratch that… it felt strange but in the end, I know that it’s what I needed.
5. It was necessary: April, for our Team, is a month that requires tons of energy. We attend 2 conferences where we lay eyes on every single customer and  prospect we’ve been connecting with over the course of the year. When I say we need to “bring it”, that’s an understatement. It’s essential for each one of us to feel great and have the energy to have clever and meaningful conversations. That’s hard to do when you’re running on empty. The timing of this trip was purposeful. It was meant to allow me to power off because I know that in 3 short weeks I’ll be required to power on in a huge way!
When you represent a company, it’s easy to trade in your well being for growth and success. Of course, you want nothing more than to see your product or service thrive. If this past week in Cuba has taught me anything it’s that it’s possible to have the best of both worlds and that unplugging every now and again is actually an investment, in me and that translates to an investment in the company I represent.

6 Pieces of Advice for New Grads

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With college and university acceptance letters being sent out, I thought that as a recent(ish) college/university grad it would be appropriate to share some advice that I learned along the way.

  1. Think of your post-secondary education as an investment. Everyone always wants to have the “ultimate college experience”, which is perfectly fine and attainable, just remember why you’re spending large amounts of money. Your education is an investment into your future; you can still have fun, but be sure to maintain balance.
  2. Be prepared for lifelong learning. It’s true – learning does not stop when you have your diploma in hand. At the same time, realize that your education just lays the groundwork. There were a few times in college/university that I was truly overwhelmed. I wish I would have realized back then that it wasn’t the end of the world. Starting my career helped me build on the knowledge I had gained, strengthen concepts I struggled with, and learn invaluable lessons that I could not have learned in my 5 years of post-secondary. Don’t get discouraged when something doesn’t land—seek clarification and keep pushing through. You may never use a certain concept ever again in your professional life, or you may have opportunities to actually apply it and better understand it.
  3. There are no stupid questions. If you have a question, be sure to ask it.  It may be nerve-wracking to blurt out a question in front of 20 – 200 people, but do it anyways. If you’re really uncomfortable send off an email to your professor or make arrangements to see them after class. You never know — the question you’re too afraid to ask may end up on your next test.
  4. Find out what works best for you. Some people study better in groups or pairs, and some are better off studying on their own. Some people need to study using cue cards, while others prefer to replay audio from lectures. Try out different methods and figure out what works well for you.
  5. Take advantage of placements. If your program offers placements, whether voluntary or mandatory, commit to completing one. Choose an area that interests you, research the employer before you jump in, and make the most of your time there. Some placements may lead to employment upon graduation. At the very least, you’ll be able to build upon your skills, learn new things and get a feel for the environment you excel and enjoy working in.
  6. There may be pit stops when travelling from Point A to Point B. Don’t start your education with the notion that you’re going to attend class, graduate and land your dream job. Keep your mind open. You may be presented with many options you weren’t expecting and therefore are forced to travel down a different path; embrace it. When I initially graduated from college, I decided to further my education at university for a year because I just wasn’t ready—and that’s completely okay. I learned new things, moved out on my own for the first time and made many great friends. These are all experiences that I would never trade. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I sent out resumes to a wide variety of jobs and felt like I was “settling”. I decided to keep pursuing my education. In doing so, I learned exactly what I wanted to do and completed a placement at Plan A/StaffStat. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses and was offered employment doing what I love. The point is this: don’t concern yourself with what everyone else is doing. As cliché as it sounds, do what you love and enjoy the journey.


What I Learned About the Ambivert Salesperson


Soon it will be one year that I was asked to join the sales team at StaffStat. I was instantly intrigued by the idea and knew I wanted to sell but I wasn’t sure of my ability in a sales capacity. I knew I loved StaffStat and if I was in a position that allowed me to make a decision to purchase it, I would do it without batting an eye. But now I need to convince the world that our product is a must-have!

What I struggled with was my ‘visual representation’ of a salesperson. I thought, to be good at sales, one must have a boisterous personality, aggressive and pushy nature; all of which I am not. I have since learned that the very opposite is true. I have learned that just being myself is enough, and of course it is because people relate to REAL people!

I came across a couple of articles that caught my eye as it captured two relatable topics: Ambivert personality, because ambivert is the personality category I fall into, and sales because this is my current role. Ambivert is described as a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features. When I read these articles, it confirmed to me that my ‘ambivert’ personality can give me an edge in my role and there is no need to be anything other than me. Here’s what I have learned about ambiverts and sales:

Listen. Ambiverts are active listeners, which comes in handy when questioning prospects about their pain points and providing a solution. By listening intuitively and relating to the customer or prospect, we appear less aggressive or over-confident making it easier for others to engage in conversation.

Understand and Relate. Ambiverts rate high for emotional intelligence allowing them to easily relate and understand the thoughts and feelings of others. The ambivert will adjust their behaviour and demeanor based on the vibes they receive from those they are interacting with. An ambivert will identify with the needs of their prospect or customer and immediately seek solutions that relate.

Flexible. The ambivert can adapt to situations and balance in the middle of introverted and extroverted behaviour; knowing when to ‘turn it on’ (workplace happy hour) and when to ‘turn it off’ (an important meeting). Therefore, adapting to social situations, picking up on social cues and interacting with others will all lead to gaining the trust of others.

I certainly fall into this category of personality traits. However, I am not entirely special nor alone in this category, from what I have read, ambiverts make up 68% of the population, which means most people can be successful at selling if they tune into their ambivert nature!




Embrace Optimism!


The world of entrepreneurship is exhilarating.  When you’re bringing great ideas to life with a team of like-minded, creative and energetic people, you bet it’s going to be a wild ride!   Unfortunately it’s a guarantee that there will be stumbling blocks along the way.  What gets me and my team up the mountain is that we have extraordinary levels of positive energy in our office.  Optimism is powerful and we’ve used it to turn even our biggest problems into innovative solutions.

I like to BRING the positivity everywhere I go.  To help myself stay as positive as possible I employ the following approaches:

  • Look for the plus side of every unfortunate circumstance. My business bestie once told me: “things don’t happen to you, they happen for you”. It has stuck with me since so instead of dwelling on things that go wrong I try to find the good out of every situation. It’s all about perspective and when you make the commitment to seek out the learning you’ll be surprised at what you can uncover!
  • Give yourself time to dream. Save some space in your mind to envision the future. What do you want to accomplish?  Where do you want to bring your team?  What ideas do you have brewing in your head?   If I didn’t take the time to dream there would be nothing to get excited about.  Dream big and see how enthusiastic you get!
  • Be thankful, all of the time. I mean truly, deeply, thankful. Life is truly wonderful when you’re appreciative. Practicing gratitude all of the time keeps your outlook positive.
  • Get fit! I have to be honest, I hate cardio. But give me the chance to walk with somebody who shares my passion for start-ups and solutions and I don’t even know I am doing it. Find something you like and just do it, once and for all, get moving.  See how excited you’ll get to start your day.
  • Optimism breeds more optimism. A side effect of hanging out with people who are perpetually optimistic is more optimism. Spend less time with negative people and focus on surrounding yourself with optimistic people and watch how energized you become.
  • Face your problems head on. The more you do it the easier it becomes to do. The benefit is if you don’t have to think about problems there won’t be anything to steal your optimistic energy! Not to mention it will make some room for those dreams I was talking about.
  • Two words: energy coaching. Having an outlet for the bumps that happens also makes way for optimism. We’re all human and it’s impossible to be optimistic 24/7 but it is possible to have an outlet for the negative so YOU can focus on the positive!

Optimism is like perfume.  You can’t spray it on yourself without getting it on everybody around you.   I say spray liberally, work on yourself and see how everybody around you reaps the rewards!

Happy Monday!