“Don‘t Squat with Your Spurs On and Other Things we do to Sabotage Our Success”

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“Don‘t Squat with Your Spurs On and Other Things we do to Sabotage Our Success”

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Sometimes we do stupid things even when we know they’re stupid!

I love “Old Cowboy Wisdom,” even though I’m not a cowboy. How many times have you done something so stupid you wondered why you were doing it?

These day’s businesses still think they are in control of what the consumers think and do. It’s just not so.

Consumers are in control and more empowered than ever. They are creating their own experiences wherever they go and are demanding something unique no matter what the venue. They expect every retailer, not just major ones, to create an emotional experience for them every time they show up. Consumers want to be cool according to their standards of “cool.”

Last night, I went to our new Whole Foods Supermarket. It’s only been open for a month, and it’s still nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” by some of the locals. To compete as a supermarket you really have to work hard. Not only do you have to have great food and prices, but you have to come up with things no one has thought of. (I think I mentioned that Hannaford Brothers Supermarket had a gym within the store.) I wasn’t very impressed except for the produce department. The vegetables were arranged as if they were smiling from the shelves. That alone made them look like they should be more expensive. As I was checking out the clerk noticed there was no price on my candy bar. I explained I would go back and get one with the price on it. She said it wasn’t necessary I could have it for free! I told her I didn’t want it for free, but she insisted. Just because they made a mistake (or had they?) it should be free? To me this wasn’t terribly smart.

  1. Think you’re not  allowed to make mistakes; if you give it away to the customer, you must have high enough margins to let it go by. Smart customers get that. If you’re dumb, how long will you stay in business? This isn’t Whole Foods.
  2. Finish your sales presentation telling the  customer “To have a nice day.” Really, this is another overused expression.
  3. Think that you shouldn’t have amazing events that make customers want to come back “again and again.” I was surprised to see they had Rip Esselstyn author of “Engine 2 Diet” talking about how to eat healthy by eating green and was signing books. There wasn’t a seat in the house, and he must have sold 100 books at $27.00 a book. He was also hawking his two-day  seminars. Don’t think there’re many vegetarians, think again.
  4. Greet each customer the same way with some canned presentation. You and I both know that customers are very distinct  and want to be treated like they’re special. Spend time talking about different ways to greet your customers. Treat everyone as if you’re dying to get to know them.
  5. Never follow-up with your customers. If you believe once they’re gone,   they’re gone,  and then  you’ll be left with few customers. The customer in front of you night be linked to your next customer.
  6. Don’t update your technology.  Do you think that paying for high-speed internet  is something you don’t need? Not having it is just frustrating.
  7. Don’t think you need to train your new staff? If you’re still pairing them with your  old geezers, you’re ruining your business. Infuse new staff with wonderful ideas and a glowing picture of where your company is going.
  8. Are you throwing away your customer surveys? These should be taken seriously, and random customer should be called for more information. My dentist receptionist made me wait 45 minutes to pay my bill. Instead of paying the bill I left them a note that said my time was as important as theirs. They called me at least four times before I spoke with them.
  9. Let all your calls go into your voice mail. I called the continuing education division of the schools today to find out about a particular class. I called at nine this morning and never got any kind of return message.   I actually called two departments. Isn’t this how they make money? Doesn’t anyone answer their phone?

There’s no such thing as business as usual; only business the way the customer wants it.

Lisbeth has been a coach and business consultant for over 20 years. To schedule a call with her or have her speak with your staff, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. http://blog.timesunion.com/success/author/lisbethcalandrino/.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:55+00:00August 8th, 2014|Blog, Success|2 Comments

About the Author:

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning trainer, entrepreneur, and blogger and has spent over twenty years developing custom tailored marketing and customer service programs for businesses. Her recently published book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 Sizzling Ways to Heat up Your Business and Ignite Your Sales defines the steps necessary to build a competitive advantage and turn great companies into unforgettable or red hot companies. Lisbeth admits that much of her knowledge came from her Italian grandfather who despite very little formal education and a limited English vocabulary, managed to became both successful and wealthy. Lisbeth has wonderful stories about Grandpa DiBiagio’s and her time spent learning how to managing Grandpa’s fruit stand. Because of Lisbeth’s experience as a business owner, having been the managing partner and owner of 7 furniture and carpet stores for 14 years, she is able to bring her extensive business knowledge and experience to all of her clients. Lisbeth’s awards include executive of the year award from the International Executive Association, Albany chapter (a business networking group) and first place honors in an international marketing contest for alternative medicine. A two time cancer survivor, she has spoken extensively about her experiences of cancer, offering words of comfort and inspiration. As an activist, Lisbeth has initiated and contributed to many charitable causes. She has worked with at-risk youth, spoken out against injustice and advocated to and helped to build resources for women. As a presenter, Lisbeth Calandrino is highly motivational, information-rich, and very entertaining. Her acute business sense, contagious enthusiasm, positive energy and fun sense of humor make her a dynamic presenter. Lisbeth is a member of New York, Historic Albany Foundation, educational director of Business Referrals Networking Group and member of the board of directors of the Animal Protective Foundation of Scotia, New York.

2 Comments

  1. Lorraine Martin August 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Went to Starbucks today for a decaf coffe at 1:55. They told me they don’t brew decaf after noon. They would make it on the clover machine…and it would cost 53 cents more. I wanted a coffe so I paid it. Then she said we could have made you a cafe Americano..also more than brewed coffee, but less than I paid. Then she handed me my receipt and said, “it’s a treat receipt, you can come back after 2 o’clock and get the coffee for $2!”
    I say, why didn’t you tell me to wait until 2? She says because you need the receipt to get it at that price. YIKKKEES.

  2. Lisbeth Calandrino August 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Boy doesn’t that stink. Why no decaf in the afternoon? And to charge you 53 cents more..Why not just give it to you free? Boy this sure looks like “sitting on your spurs.Thanks, Lorraine.

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