The IBP Educator 


 Driving Your Sales - Driving Your Profits - Building Your Team


                       An Innovative Business Partners, Inc. Publication

IBP Issue #8

April 28, 2010


The Champions of Extreme Customer Service!


The search for the Extreme Customer Service® Champion™ for the second 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!


Email Us



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 


IBP on the road!

 If you would like to catch IBP on the road, Joe will be speaking at the following events:



WCAC Annual Meeting 

June 4, 2010

Worcester State College

Worcester, MA



If you have any interest in our coaching services, workshops or seminars, contact us at 

or contact Joe


IBP Resource Center



IBP Contest


How many men have walked on the moon 4,8 or 12? 

Man on the Moon


For a chance to win a $30.00  Dunkin Donuts Card  submit your entry below:




John Gilligan
 Yale University


John  correctly identified John Lennon's middle name as "Winston" which was later changed to "Ono". Enjoy your Dunkin Donuts gift card!

Dear Joseph Clouatre,

It was 1am and we were in a SCCA Road Rally in the mountains of northern Vermont. Although the rally car was running great, we were totally lost and off course. Just imagine the time being 1am and you are lost and in subzero temperatures. I was driving our rally car with my trusty navigator, Andrew, strapped into the seat next to me. We were flying along the dirt roads, not knowing where we were or where we were going, but I was determined to get there in a hurry. It was only a few minutes earlier that we had run into three other rally cars that were stopped. They were as lost and confused as we were. After a brief exchange of words expressing our vexation, we were on our way.


As I was driving along at a brisk speed, out of the corner of my left eye, I thought I noticed the marker we had been looking for. Knowing that we had to make up time, without hesitation, I turned the wheel to the left and never lifted off the gas pedal. All I had to do is cross this short snow covered area and we would be home free. Well, it turned out that the snow covered area was a six foot ditch in disguise.


With the sound of a cannon going off, the car slammed into the ditch and the front end of the race car bounced straight up in the air like a shuttle leaving the launch pad. The car stalled and the silence was deafening. I asked Andrew if he was ok and he said yes. I restarted the car and checked all the instruments. To my surprise, mechanically the car was fine but it took us a while to get out of the ditch.


I couldn't help thinking about my philosophy of 90% planning and 10% implementation. I teach workshops and drill home the importance of planning. There I was with my navigator and his instruments to my right, but do you think that I would take a minute to stop, evaluate the next move and plan the execution? No, I just implemented my move with 0% planning. If I had only taken a minute to plan, we would not have to spend the following weeks replacing the front end of the race car.


We finished the rally at about 2:30am. The good news is that we did not come in last. The bad news is that we have a lot of work to do because of my lack of planning. So the next time you have an idea or new project, make sure you take the appropriate time to think it through and plan for your success.


Email Me 


       before rally           After

                "Before"                                "After"                                 


Until next time,




Joseph E. Clouatre

Chief Creativity Officer   


IBP Website 


       Extreme Customer Service Workshops

                    Creative Sales and Marketing Workshops

                                     Team Building for Success Workshops



I was speaking with a client recently about incentives and the topic of gross profits came up. It was a few years ago that I convinced my client to base incentives and bonuses on gross profits. Previously the bonuses were based on gross sales. He was very thankful that he had made the switch. This story is not unique to this client. Over the past three years, I have convinced most of my clients to implement this concept.


Too many business owners are focused on the top line and lose sight of the bottom line. If you ask them what their goals are, they will reply 5 million, 15 million, 20 million or 100 million in sales. At one point in my career, I fell into the same trap. There were many breakeven years because the sales were going up, but the profits were not following the same trend. I often said to myself that this will be another investment year because we are getting ready to move to the next level.


One day, as dawn broke over the horizon, I abandoned the top line philosophy to focus on the bottom line. I found that if I focused on the gross profit and my operating expenses, I could make a lot more money without doing any additional work. When I changed the sales staff's commissions and incentives so that they were based on gross profit the results were wonderful. The gross profits went up and the bottom line profit followed.


This meant that we sold less and made more money. Because we had less work to perform, it allowed us to do a better job for our customers because our resources were not stretched as much as they once were. Some owners have a policy of targeting low bids and then it becomes quantity vs. quality. That is not an arena in which I chose to compete.


When everyone in the company is aware and focused on gross profit it becomes very powerful. If you are focused on gross profit, congratulations. If you are not, this might be a good time to review your compensation and bonus plans.



Team Building for Success


Building your team - locating the hidden talent!


Do you know what the talent level and expertise is for each of your employees? Too often, managers and business owners do not have any idea. In many cases, they have talented employees within their organizations that remain un-noticed.


When was the last time you sat down with your employees and talked about their ambitions and their past experiences with other companies? I was working with a company recently and we tried hiring sales staff outside the company with little success. I happened to be conducting in-house training for this client, when I stumbled upon some great employees that could fit the sales role like a glove. Based on their previous experience and their current experience within the company, they would make an ideal candidate.


So, before you go out and spend $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 with head hunters and recruiters, take an employee to lunch. It might be the best move you could ever make!


Learn From Your Customers


Listen to your customers - it will be priceless!


How many hours are spent in meetings developing new products, applications and services for customers? You assemble a team or group and they start the brainstorming process. It can take several months, but you are finally ready to launch the new service or product. After all the hype and fanfare you determine that it is not selling or meeting your projections. To try and unravel the mystery, you talk with a few customers to see why they are not buying the product or service. Many times the answer is quite simple. It is a very nice feature or product to have, but they are not willing to pay for it. I have seen this situation time and time again. Companies spend thousands of hours and boat loads of money bringing a new product or service to market and it fails.


Because of my Total Quality Management and Quality Circle background, I have always made a point to listen to my customers. In fact, many of my customers served on my President's Advisory Council and we went away for two days per year and they helped us become a better company. Instead of it being the last step in the process, reaching out to the customers was the first step. When we had a new idea, I wanted to know if customers would actually buy it before we invested time and money into developing the new product and service. The council was priceless in many areas. If you listen to your customers, they will make you a stronger and more profitable company. One of the services I offer to clients today is quality survey calls to their customers. There is gold in almost every call. Companies are just not listening to their customers. So don't wait, set up an advisory council or somehow reach out to your customers. You will be glad you did.


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 Managment - 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