Course Descriptions (General)

The Neuroscience of Customer Service

(1-3 hours)

Recent developments in neuroscience have revealed a host of fascinating explanations for why people do what they do and react the way they do.  This lecture weaves together the advances and research findings of this unique new science with the nuances and best practices in customer service.

Understanding the science behind what often seems like irrational or counterintuitive behavior gives any customer service person or any manager an opportunity to vastly increase their effectiveness.  When someone understands why a person is reacting or behaving a certain way, it’s much easier to modify the response.

In a lively, entertaining and enlightening presentation, Fred shows us ourselves and the surprising ways that our brains are working behind the scenes.  Then the audience learns how to best apply this new knowledge to be more effective in their day-to-day interactions with customers, as well as everyone else in their lives.

Learning Objectives:

  • How the brain stores information and why it retains certain memories and alters or eliminates others;
  • The neuroscience behind most consumer reactions, and how to capitalize on them in creative ways;
  • How companies can mistakenly create a customer pathway that runs counter to what human nature and neuroscience dictates for the ideal result;
  • Practical solutions to redesign the business or to train team members to make a remarkable customer experience every time, based on scientific insights.

Audiences: entrepreneurs, managers, CEOs, salespeople, customer service personnel.


Becoming Remarkable

(1-3 hours)

In the modern world, your actions are remarkable whether you like it or not.  In other words, someone is making remarks about you–positive or negative–into a public domain that is searchable, sharable, likable, and undetectable.

With that in mind, creating a positive remarkable customer experience is paramount for any business. And it can be done in minute ways that make large differences. This course goes deep into the importance of both first and last impressions, and the damage that can be done if they’re not handled properly.

The lecture goes into specific examples in both large businesses like Uber and Apple, and smaller ones like florists and restaurants, where customer service people, salespeople and managers lose customers by the simplest of mistakes and misjudgments.  It delves into the psychology behind the customer reaction, and the often irrationality that must be dealt with.  Companies who ignore these errors are ripe for disruption.

Much of the solution involves the proper company culture and hiring and training processes, but also the mindset and attitude of the individuals doing the day to day work as well as the leaders.

Finally, Fred dives into solutions, either in redesigning the business model, moving the less appealing aspects of the interaction to a point earlier in the transaction, or adding creative experiences to end on a positive note.  He also covers the impact on social media and review sites when this last moment is handled properly and when it’s not.

This is a course every business can benefit from, whether it’s a start-up, a thriving business looking to increase customer retention, or a mature business in redesign.  The modern world can be generous or unforgiving, and it’s all a matter of a conscious approach to becoming remarkable in every transaction.

Learning Objectives:

  • Why the last impression is even more powerful than the first one in a service transaction, and how to maximize both ends of the customer experience;
  • The neuroscience behind consumer reaction, and how to capitalize on it in creative ways;
  • Novel approaches to team building, establishing a powerful culture, and inspiring team members;
  • How companies fail in their design or training to address this challenge head on, and the impact it has on the bottom line;
  • Practical solutions to redesign the business or to train team members to make a remarkable customer experience every time.

Audiences: entrepreneurs, managers, CEOs, salespeople, customer service personnel.

An Entrepreneur’s Journey

(1-3 hours)

Think your business is hard? Fred sold dentistry for 32 years–a service that cost money, hurts, and takes your time, all just to get back to even. Starting during the 80’s recession with only $25,000 of working capital, Fred and his best friend built a company to $45 million in revenue with a nationally recognized brand, 1-800-DENTIST.

Along the way they battled dental societies who tried to outlaw their business, survived bad partnership deals, the Internet crash of 2000, and the ever-diminishing effectiveness of broadcast media.

You’ll also learn their pathway through the travails of private equity and eventually being acquired by a Fortune 100 company in 2015.  And why it’s important to become “the useless fool” in your business.

In that time, Fred built an extraordinary culture that sustained itself through the highs and lows of business and economic cycles, and learned powerful lessons that any entrepreneur could benefit from. It’s a story of persistence, creativity and survivable mistakes. And he and his partner are still best friends.

Takeaways include:

  • The essential steps to building and sustaining a powerful corporate culture;
  • The five biggest mistakes made when bringing in outside investors;
  • How to recognize weaknesses in your business model as the marketplace changes.

Audiences: Entrepreneurs, Executives, Managers

Becoming Bolder

(1-2 hours)

Boldness is a true superpower. It can make the impossible possible. It can win hearts, sway minds, take a person from a poor son of a single mother to president of the United States, make a black woman the most popular talk-show host in history, and can take a group of Irish 17-year-olds and launch a 40-year career as a rock band. It can change the course of a person’s life, and it can change the world.

Boldness is a gift.  But it’s not something your gifted with, or born with. In other words, boldness is not innate. Despite what many people believe, it’s not genetic, a mutation a chosen few are blessed with. Boldness can be learned. You can develop it. Refine it. Expand it to whatever level you choose. Harness it for your own good, and perhaps the good of the world. I know, because I learned it. I taught myself to become bolder, and I can teach you.

  • Did you ever walk into a party where you didn’t know anyone and leave an hour later without talking to a single person?
  • Did you ever miss the chance to tell someone how interested you were in them?
  • Did you ever avoid doing something that would have been fun, or exciting, or satisfying, because you were afraid you might embarrass yourself?
  • Did you ever hesitate to ask for something that you really wanted, and then watch someone else ask and get it, like a promotion?
  • Did you ever miss closing a sale because you were too hesitant to ask for the money?

I’ve done all of those, and more.

These things don’t happen to bold people. Which is why I say that boldness is a superpower. What exactly do I mean by that? I mean that compared to average human beings, bold individuals seize life in remarkable, almost unbelievable ways. They run for governor, they marry the person of their dreams, they are the life of the party.  They succeed in business, in careers, in love, and they generally have a really good time. Most of all, they don’t miss out on opportunities, and so they don’t have a head full of regrets.

This is not a motivational talk. This is a practical, step-by-step approach to increasing your self-confidence, based on my own experiences and my own successes, as well as my observations of people who have overcome shyness or a lack of confidence to achieve great things, even if those great things are sometimes simply to be happy, fulfilled, or at peace.

The course provides five simple steps to take you from wherever you are, however shy you are, whatever confidence level you lack, to as bold and confident as you want to be in any situation. And it will happen faster than you think, as little as 90 days from now. I call it the PRIDE Method. It is based on neuroscience and human nature, and it’s what took me from being painfully shy to someone who can speak comfortably in front of an audience of 5,000 people.

All that matters is that you’re tired of being hesitant, lacking confidence, that you’re sick of missing opportunities, missing relationships, missing out on life.  Quite simply, a bolder life is a better life. And that better life can be yours, starting right now.

Takeaways include:

  • How boldness is programmed out of most people at an early age;
  • Insights to shift your mindset and develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your emotional barriers;
  • The PRIDE Method, a step-by-step system to steadily increase your confidence and boldness to unimagined levels;
  • Simple exercises to develop boldness gradually and steadily on a daily basis;
  • The hidden gifts and rewards to living a bolder life.

Audiences: Anyone who wants more confidence, more success, and less regrets in life.