Monthly Archives: October 2012

Info Exchange – Dreamforce Conference Durkin’s Strategies for Hiring SUPER Agents

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions


Our information exchange this week highlights the presentation by Loyalty Factor President, Dianne Durkin at the recent Dreamforce Conference.  

Strategies for Hiring and Retaining Today’s Super Agents

Dianne Durkin, President and Founder of Loyalty Factor, was recently a speaker at Dreamforce. She joined an elite group of individuals including Sir Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Colin Powell and Richard Immelt. The title of Ms Durkin’s presentation was “Strategies for Hiring and Retaining Today’s Superagents“. Ms Durkin highlighted the key to hiring excellent people is magnetic leadership, which is also the title of her newest book.


In Magnetic Leadership she says “It’s time to get R.E.A.L.” The R stands for recruiting the right people in the right place at the right time and to retain them. E is engage, empower and enrich employees in the right environment for increased earnings. A is appreciate and acknowledge people’s efforts with genuine and appropriate recognition and rewards. L is leadership that leads with trust, respect, and builds loyalty.


As Ms Durkin stated, “magnetic leaders energize the inner powers of their organization despite the outer pressures.”


The presentation itself focused on hiring people that have energy, passion and belief and encouraging them to bring their brains to work. As Ms Durkin stated, when you ask individuals what makes people successful in their organization, one would get the following responses:

  • Flexibility
  • Passion
  • Enthusiasm
  • Independent Learner
  • Multitasker
  • Out-of-the-box thinking

To uncover these talents within an individual requires a questioning strategy which will help understand the candidate’s needs, fears, and how they operate under pressure. A questioning strategy also establishes rapport and can help identify the other person’s beliefs and values.


Ms. Durkin outlined the questioning strategy that will get at these core issues. To learn more, contact Dianne Durkin at or 603.334.3401.


In summary, Ms. Durkin stated recruiting the right talent is the engine of the modern organization. Once you have that right talent, engagement is the mystery ingredient that will transform that engine’s performance and profitability.


Engagement Process: Ask, Listen & Engage

We are now going to talk about the Engagement Process, exploring each step in more depth.

1. Ask, Listen & Engage

Avoid the dynamic of sending down the solution from on high.  We have all been there when the “grown-ups” (aka, senior management) come back from a retreat and then spread the gospel to the “kids,” aka, the employees.  The message is that management is telling employees what to do instead of involving employees in the process.


When you ask and listen, you understand the current status, and then you can engage your employees in the process for improvement.  How do you ask and listen?


Here are just a few ways to get the dialogue started:


  • In-depth employee observation, not unlike traditional anthropological research.
  • Employee focus groups.
  • One-on-one employee interviews.
  • Company task force.
  • Companywide survey.
  • Interviews with outside stakeholders and industry observers.


What to ask?  Here are six key questions I think every company should ask its employees:


1.  What is the present level of pride in and commitment to this organization?


2.  What are the top three strengths of the organization?


3.  What are the top three areas needing improvement within the organization?


4.  What do you personally need to better contribute to the overall growth, profitability and customer satisfaction levels of the organization?


5.  If you could give one message to senior management, what would it be?


6.  What one thing would you recommend we should stop doing as a company?


Questions are the secret weapon. With this process, people feel listened to, they feel their input is valued, most importantly, it creates momentum for improvement. You will be amazed at the suggestions you receive, especially from the front line.


Out next installement on the Engagement Process will be Step 2. Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement.


Info Exchange – Dreamforce Conference Jeff Immelt

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions


Our information exchange this week highlights the presentation by Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE at the recent Dreamforce Conference.  

Dreamforce Conference: GE CEO, Jeff Immelt

Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, spoke at the recent Dreamforce conference and had a number of thoughts on leadership, as well as what is important in building a company for the future.


Below are his leadership tips:


1. Be purposeful about what you are there to do. Clearly understand what is the added value and purpose that you add to the world.


2. Always work on what is important. So many times we get caught up in daily activities and forget the important parts of our jobs.


3. Adaptability is key in this global economy. Things can change on a moment’s notice and we need to be ready for these changes.


4. Form teams, work as a team, and treat everyone within the organization well.


5. Always be prepared for the unexpected.


Building a Company of the Future

According to Jeff, infrastructure creates jobs and we need to educate our children for the jobs of the future. In addition he spoke about tone. Jeff was very clear about one point: When delivering a speech or trying to make a point, tone is most important. You can polarize an audience just based upon the tone.
Questions he suggests you ask:

  • Did that speech motivate me?

For example, when delivering a speech on creating new jobs, “Did that speech motivate you to create new jobs in your particular factory?” It is all about the tone and how you present your particular ideas.


Dianne Durkin, our Founder and President, was privileged to also speak at the 80,000 attendee Dreamforce Conference. Her presentation comments will be the highlight of our next Info Exchange. 


For a strategy on how to give your organization a competitive advantage, contact Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401. Loyalty Factor has helped numerous organizations grow beyond expectations by embracing the above disciplines.

Engage, Empower and Enrich Employees for Increased Earnings

With these types of results talked about in our last entry, with regards to the huge costs of a disengaged workforce, The importance of engagement cannot be understated.


How can you engage your people?


1. Ask & Listen.

Avoid the dynamic of sending down a solution from up high. When you ask and listen, you understand the current status of the situation, and you can engage employees in a process for improvement.


2. Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement

If you try to do everything, nothing will get done properly. It is all about laser focusing on key areas for improvement and developing a strategy to address them. The message is very clear: Clearly articulate your vision  and strategy, and help individuals understand how their work contributes to achieve it.


Simplicity for understanding is key.


3. Communicate the Plan to Address the Identified Major Business Improvements

In communicating to employees, make sure you are looking at the communication from their perspective. It is not enough to put the message out. People need to understand it.


4. Build a Team Infrastructure to Develop Business Solutions

Setting up cross functional teams of 6-8 individuals to solve a major business issue brings different skills to the table. The result? You have a better chance of addressing the issues more successfully.


5. Communicate the Improvements that Will be Implemented   

You cannot over communicate. With all the information overload in our lives, it takes a lot of communication for us to breakthrough to our employees. Tell them, tell them what you told them, and tell that to them again.


6. Implement for Improvements    

To announce plans and follow it with no action is a clear message that nothing is happening. It is one of those things that makes employees cynical because it happens so often.


7. Measure Results     

What gets measured, gets done. Measurement is commitment to look at what is working and what is not, and puts an organization on the track of continuous improvement.


Engaged and empowered employees are more productive and efficient in their efforts and provide innovative ideas to solve major business issues.

Contact the Loyalty Factor Team today to learn about how you can benefit from our Strategic Assessment and Alignment  process! We look forward to hearing from you.  




Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.