The IBP Educator 
 Driving Your Sales - Driving Your Profits - Building Your Team
                       An Innovative Business Partners, Inc. Publication
IBP Issue #13 August 9, 2010
In This Issue
IBP Cue Cards
New Software
Enter Our Contest
Change Orders
Customer Service

The Champions of Extreme Customer Service!

The search for the Extreme Customer Service® Champion™ for the third quarter of 2010 is underway.

If you witness or experience an example of Extreme Customer Service® document the story and send it our way. They just might join Edith Mungovan who was the first quarter champion! Five independent judges will select the winner who will receive $200 in cash and will automatically be entered into the Championship for 2010.

Both the person and the company will be recognized for their great work!
Innovative Business Partners Inc.
PO Box 60523
Worcester, MA 01606

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IBP Products

New IBP Cue Cards

Cue Cards


I noticed that after I conducted my Extreme Customer Service® workshops, people would take my quotes and use them as screen savers, place them on their bulletin boards and even use posted notes at their desks.


They use them as a constant reminder of how important it is to provide Extreme Customer Service® to both their internal customers (their co-workers) and their external customers (their clients).


So I decided to take quotes from my workshops and create a set of 52 Extreme Customer Service® Cue Cards®, one for each week of the year. As you can see they come with a desk top holder so they are easy to display.


We have also created cue card sets from my Team Building for Success™ and my Creative Sales and Marketing™workshops.


If you would like a brochure and order form, you can contact me below.


For Brochure and Order Form 
 Have you ever had to do a presentation and wish you had free teleprompter software?
I use the ZAPromote Lite version and it is free!
If you have any interest in our coaching services, workshops or seminars, contact us at 
or contact Joe

IBP Resource Center


IBP Contest

Who were the winners of the 2010 Amazing Race program?

For a chance to win a $25.00 card  submit your entry below:

John Gilligan
 Yale University

John correctly identified current land speed record by  wheeled vehicle as 763 Mile Per Hour!


World Speed Record 

Enjoy your $25.00 Lowes Gift Card.


New IBP Workshops!
Estimating & Sales
 Proposals Workshops!
Financial Training for Executives Workshops!
Security Project
Management Workshops!
Dear Joseph Clouatre,


It was a combination of the "Amazing Race" and a good deed done.


I have spent the majority of my life racing anything that has a motor attached to it. This includes, oval track cars, drag cars, rally cars, demolition cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, quads and yes even a lawnmower.

For many years, I wanted to participate in a SCCA GTA Rally. The GTA stands for Games,Travel and Adventure. There are two of them in New England each year; one on the Cape and the other in CT. If you have watched the Amazing Race on television, then I do not have to explain how a GTA rally works.


Anyone can participate; you only need two people, a legal street car and a boat load of maps! GPS and Internet access are grounds for disqualification. So I enlisted the help of my navigator, Andrew, from my rally car and signed up "Team 55". Not knowing what to expect, we headed to Southington, CT for the Hurdle 2010 GTA Rally this past Saturday. The next thing I know I am running through state parks looking for clues, stopping anyone and everyone on the street for help to solve each of the 16 challenges for the day.

I don't want to take all your time, but I would like to share one story.

We had solved six or seven challenges and were in pretty good shape considering we were rookies. The next instruction was to travel to North Brandford, CT and determine in what year the reservoir was built. We arrived in the small town and this became our toughest challenge. Remember, no Internet!  We took each road that lead to the reservoir to see if there was a plaque at one of the gate entrances. No. We then went to the fire department. No luck there. Next to the town common to read all the plaques. No help. Then to the  library, historical society, town hall.  They were all closed.

We were now running out of time. They tell you to spend no more than thirty minutes on each challenge. Although you will be penalized for not completing the task, it is even worse if you are late returning to the end point of the rally.
I then decided to stop at a gas station in the center of the town to see if they had a post card, flyer or booklet on the town that might give us the date. I was searching high and low in the store, when I heard a young couple in a heated discussion with the cashier. They had run out of gas in their car and wanted to buy two gallon jugs of water. They wanted to empty the water out and fill them with gas to put in the car. The cashier explained they could not do that because it is illegal to use that kind of plastic containers for gasoline. After a few minutes, the young couple placed the water back into the cooler and the girl said, "now what are we going to do?" I looked at them and said, "Follow me." As we walked outside the store I asked them if they knew what year the reservoir was built and they sort of looked at me like "Who is this guy." After I saw the look on their faces, I said "Never mind" and asked them to follow me to my truck. Once we reached my truck, I opened the back and gave them a bright red five gallon gas can. They were so excited, they could not thank me enough and asked me what they owed me. I told them they owed me nothing and to just pass along the favor to someone else in the future.
They asked me to meet them at their car down the road, but I explained I was on a mission. Back in the truck, Andrew and I decided we could not spend any more time on this challenge. So we headed out of town towards the next challenge. Just as we turned to leave town, I noticed a new town hall out of the corner of my eye and mentioned it to Andrew. As he looked back, he noticed a blue plaque in front of the town hall. I turned the truck around. On the plaque was the information we had been searching for; the reservoir was built in 1933! We had our answer and, with smiles on our faces, we headed on to the next challenge.
We finished the rally that evening. When the results came in Andrew and I finished 5th, which meant we received a trophy. This was not bad for our first time. We had a great time. If you want to try this, e-mail me.
Joe DriverAndrew Navigator 
                 Joe - Driver                           Andrew - Navigator


As always, I thank you for your support.
Until next time,
Joseph E. Clouatre
Chief Creativity Officer

       Would you like Joe to speak at your next meeting, workshop or conference?

Change orders from both sides of the fence!


The topic of change orders and budgets has been brought up numerous times over the past several weeks, so I figured I would share my thoughts. With my background as an end-user, I would first like to share my thoughts from that perspective. When you want to fund a project, the process for approval is often times long and challenging.  Most of the time this occurs during the company's budget process. If they are on a Jan. 1 cycle, this process will probably start in September. As an integrator you should know when this occurs.


The end user will need to submit a price for the project in the budget package. After serious consideration, review and justification, the project will need to be signed off by several people. This might include senior management, finance, purchasing, IT and perhaps facilities.


After this lengthy process and the project is approved, the end-user can go out to bid and select an integrator who meets their budget requirements.

Many times, as the project moves along, the integrator will approach the end user with change orders. Maybe they missed this or that. Maybe they are looking for more hours or upgrades in equipment. This is what some people refer to as "Death by Change Orders". The problem occurs when the end user does not have the money for the change orders. It is not like they have a little money tree growing in their office. Remember the process that it took to get the original funds approved. They have what was approved in the budget and it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to raise additional funds. I have seen situations where this can be almost career ending for the security director.
Ok, how about change orders from the perspective of the integrator. The contractor goes through the same process to create a budget for the project. It is submitted and reviewed by engineering, sales management, operations and many times the owner. The project starts and now the request for changes start. I do not mean changes because the contractor forgot equipment in the bid or didn't allow for enough hours. I am talking about change orders where the customer asks things like, "Can you locate the cameras at the other end of the room or building?" "Can you make the monitor a little larger?" "I wanted that on the wall not the desk, you must have a  wall mount to do that." These are changes that are made on the fly and change the scope of the work. As with the end user's budget, the contractor only has limitd funds in their budget for the project.
Change orders can be a source of frustration and can cause tension between both parties. I have always found that if the customer can find a reputable contractor to help them with the budget number, the better the budget number will be and more accurate the bid specification will be. Also, the more comprehensive the contractor's bid document is, there is less need for change orders.
Remember, you are a team and neither person wants surprises after the project starts!

 If you have topics to discuss e-mail me here.

Customer Service - "Hello this is Rusty"


Last week, I required tech support service so I contacted my provider. They quickly transferred me to tech support.

When the tech support person answered the phone, he said "This is Rusty". Well it did not sound like any Rusty I have ever heard. In fact, the only Rusty I have ever heard of is Nascar Legend Rusty Wallace. Could this be Rusty Wallace? After a few minutes, I knew that this Rusty was not going to be easy to communicate with because of a language barrier. Then began my very painful process began to explain my problem. Several times he placed me on hold to consult with another technician and in the end he was unable to help me.
During our conversation, I suggested more than once, that I thought I knew what the problem was, but he just stuck to his script. It took me a while after my conversation with Rusty, but eventually I was able to figure the problem out on my own with some Internet help and corrected the software issue.
On the opposite side of the coin, if you have a CHASE SAPPHIRE credit card, you have great customer service available to you and not just for issues involving your credit card. I am talking about all types of support. What is really nice is that when they answer the phone they state their first and last name and the US city in which they are working in. In fact, at the time of this writing, 6:15pm Sunday, I just tried again, to make sure, and I spoke to a nice gentleman in Orlando, FL. Now that is very refreshing!
I just wanted to share my thoughts on good and bad customer service!
Thanks for taking the time to read our newsletter. We value your input and suggestions. If there are any topics that you would like covered, just let us know. Please feel free to pass our newsletter along to anyone you feel might enjoy it.
In gratitude,

Joseph E. Clouatre
Innovative Business Partners, Inc.
Innovative Business Partners, Inc.
 CEO Coaching 
Strategic Planning - Organizational Development - Personal Coaching
     Restructuring & Downsizing - Sales/Marketing Plans and Budgets 
Extreme Customer Service (R) - Creative Sales and Marketing(TM)
Effective Time Management - Team Building for Success(TM)
How to Select and Negotiate with Security Integrators(TM)  
Motivational Speaking  
How Cancer Changed My LIfe and My Career(TM)
Capitalizing on Opportunities (TM)
Joseph E. Clouatre
Chief Rain Maker