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What’s the New Luxury? I Might Not be a New Car

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Monkey bars for fun and agility.

It used to be we knew you were rich because you got a new car. Forget the car, everyone is wearing some type of Fitbit that measures heart rate, steps walked and hours slept. It doesn’t look like anyone is wearing a ‘real’ watch. I would like to but it seems silly to have two devices that tell time.

I was so excited to get my Fitbit I looked at it every hour. I don’t sleep very well so gauging my sleep is important to me and my doctor. I’m sure eventually your Fitbit or whatever you’re wearing will measure your blood pressure too. Men and women go to spas and get messages.

When my Yoga class is finished, people don’t run out, they stay and talk about their workout and fitness program.  The people share something that we all have in common, that’s good health. One of the triathlon runners was talking about how his left heel was bothering him, another former runner was suggesting he use marijuana oil on it, and I’m talking about how stiff I was in Yoga after lifting weights yesterday. Our ages range from 40-70; a combination of men and women.  All of us are involved with our health and how we need to push ourselves. The harder you work, the more you’re respected. No one has time for those that don’t push themselves. It’s the new ‘good old boys club’ with plenty of women.

What about the Men’s Health Urbanathlon? “Men Only”,  racing and monkey bars. All this is designed to test your strength

Men’s Health Urbanathlon

and agility.

Jack Ma, Chairman and Founder of Alibaba, spoke at Alibaba’s Gateway ’17 summit in Detroit; his summation, we want to be healthy and happy no matter who we are or how old. It’s obvious at the YMCA; it looks like people are getting older. This provides an opportunity for businesses of any kind to cash in. This is a new way to get new customers and doesn’t cost anything. This is also a marketing tool.

Yesterday I spoke with an 85 year old woman who runs 5 miles every day. She seriously told me the cold weather bothers fanny and she doesn’t know why. It doesn’t interfere with her running but she has concerns. My grandmother at 85 barely got up from in front of the television. She wasn’t doing any running unless it was after a cow that had jumped the fence! Wow how things have changed.

Trends come and go but the health trend looks like it will have a long life and become more complicated. We not only want to live longer but we want to be in good health while we’re doing it. A hundred years ago, being rich meant you were fat and being poor meant you were painfully thin. Now being fat means you’re unhealthy and thin is in.

What does this all mean to your business? Staying up with the trends makes you attractive to a certain type of customer. It’s often time the more affluent ones who can take advantage of lifestyle developments. Who isn’t looking for the consumer with more money?

Why not tie into these movements with healthy cooking classes, don’t forget the ‘farm to table’ movement and fresh produce. Why not have a farmer’s market outside your business that will entice loyal consumers who enjoy weekly shopping at their favorite outdoor markets. A yoga, Tai Chi or Zumba class would be fun for you to hold at your business. It will not only excite your customers but also your staff. It will help them stay healthy as well as connect with possible new customers.

You can connect on-line with Meetup groups that are willing to come into your business, conduct your classes, cook or lecture on health. Working less might not be an option but becoming healthier while working may be.

From Lisbeth’s new upcoming revised book, “Red Hot Customer Service,” due out in January 2018. For ideas on how  your business can attract “the new consumer, ” call 518.495.5380 or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By | November 11th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Magnetically Attract the Best Customers by Becoming a Community Hub

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Attract customers by becoming a community hub

“Is Amazon coming for you?”

On November 9th I will be the guest expert on FCNews Marketing Mastery Webinar.

Amazon has created huge disruption in retail by making it easy to buy virtually anything on line, and they are now expanding into brick-and-mortar.

 

Box stores have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising to create brand awareness. It may seem hopeless but it isn’t.

As a small retailer, you have advantages the big boys don’t. By using the right strategies you can out maneuver the big players and run circles around them. I will be revealing a powerful strategy to outmaneuver the big companies, and attract a LOT more customers during the upcoming fCNews webinar called:

“HOW TO TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS INTO A COMMUNITY HUB”

For more info and to sign up: http://marketingmasterywebinar.com/Lisbeth

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What Gifts can you Give Your Customers That will Keep on Giving?

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KindnessKB.org

KindnessKB.org

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are over. Now what? Are you planning your next sale? It’s time for more than a sales; it’s time to give your customer something special. Of course you can thank them for your business but that’s not very personal. Thanking them for your business is a good thing; how you say it is another thing.

What do you think they would say if  you asked what type of gifts they would like? Would they want cheaper prices or more sales?  A  recent European study by Qualtrics and Engage Business Media could provide some clues as to what customers might consider ‘good gifts’ or the best type of gifts. 

The article points to actually getting more personal with the customer. Sound strange? It’s hard to build a relationship on cheaper prices. Letting someone know you care about them is a very important gift. What we’re talking about is improving your customer service. The better you treat me the more I know you care about me and my business.

You can send them a personal note telling them how important they are to you what you are willing to do to improve your relationship.

Here are three things they suggest; they are:

The Gift of Confidence

Knowing that you can be trusted and will be there to give them the advice they need. There are no guarantees in life for anything but being there when times get tough is a great gift. Are you up on your product knowledge and story policies?

The Gift of Time

Are you always busy? We all get bogged down and run out of time but how can you make time for your customers? Always try and answer your phone if possible; if not call back within the same day. If you can be available to your customers when they need you, it’s a huge gift.

The Gift of Quick

Hat’s off to those who pick up their  phones instead of sending everything to voice mail. When you send my message to voice mail, I just want to call someone else. By the way, this is what your customer does. Voice mail is the good and bad news for all of us.

Thanking them for their business is important but what does that really mean? In order to do business they have to trust and like you; how about thanking them for their trust? 

Do you need to make ‘more time?’ Does your team need more training in time management? If so call Lisbeth and discuss what you need.

 

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By | December 19th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Let Failure Motivate You to Success

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Thanks to Guthrie Chamber for the photo.

Thanks to Guthrie Chamber for the photo.

Don’t we all have awful days? You know, the dreaded day  you fail. Failure can scare the wits out of most of us.

You know the day when you thought you were going to make that huge sale and then it disappeared?  You go over it again and again in your mind asking yourself, “What did I do wrong?”

You ask yourself,  what should I have said that I didn’t? You spend the whole day ruminating about what happened and where you went wrong.

You know it doesn’t help right? It doesn’t help because you only have one side of the story, your side. You have no idea what was going on with the customer even though you think you do. You feel  paralyzed.

Failure can actually be a trigger to motivate you to success. Scary right?

the-beatles Think about the Beetles, they were told in 1962 that Decca records didn’t like their sound. Decca was one of the biggest labels at the time—they must know best right? And then there was Stephen King who was told that no one wanted to see a science fiction movie that  was depressing! Somehow Stephen found his place.

How can you make it work? Here are some ideas:

  1. acceptAccept what just happened, it’s part of life. It only happens to those who step outside their little comfort zone. Those who want something different and are willing to accept an occasional set back. When I was a kid, my next door neighbor was very good at predicting the summer weather. I wanted every day to be hot so I could go swimming.I can remember how disappointed I was when it rained. Sam always said to me, “There will always be another day for you. If you try long enough, you will get what you want.” I have never forgotten that advice. It came from a man who spent 10 long years in the New York Hospital for the Incurables in 1935 with a collapsed spine. In 1958 he bought his first house in the country despite his disability.
  2. Wanting things to be different doesn’t change anything! Looking to change the past is a depressive strategy. Nothing ever changes in the past no matter how hard you wish for it. Wallowing in it never makes it better. I have a friend who is never happy. It doesn’t matter what she’s doing, she’s unhappy. She only goes to work and the grocery store. When her boyfriend visits, they only go out to the grocery store! They never go to a museum, a play or just a walk in the park. No wonder she’s depressed.
  3. Revise your plan of action. If the plan you have isn’t working, figure out how you might tweak it. Don’t get rid of it entirely, just determine what changes you need to make and do it. What the heck, it’s only time. Remember what Sam said.

 

i_have_not_failed-8-21According to Charles Manz in his  book,  “The Power of Failure,” Manz says that failure  is very often a misconception about the difference between what exists and goes unnoticed (such as growth and learning) when  we fall short of reaching a goal and what is realized later (longer term success). In other words, failure is no longer fatal! Consider failure just a challenge in life.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses rethink their failures to success for over twenty years. To have her help your team, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By | September 18th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

5 Reasons Why Dropping Your Prices is a Bad Idea

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Thanks to Preston D. Lee for image.

Thanks to Preston D. Lee for image.

Do  you think dropping prices are a bad idea?Long term it can be a really bad idea.

I was at a tag sale the other day and asked the woman if she considered  $1.00 for a $3.00 Christmas tree. “

“ I paid $50.00 for that wreath; she yelled; $3.00 is highway robbery. I can’t give it to you for a $1.00!” There are lots of things wrong with this scenario, the first thing is if you think your price is too low to start with why would you price it so cheap? And if you price it cheap, why would you be offended when someone tries to ask for a bigger discount?”

How’s this one; another friend told me she was selling at really low prices so she could get known in the business world. Hmn, known for what?

The biggest problem with this transaction is she doesn’t have any idea how to mark her merchandise or how to sell it. Does this happen to you?

It’s likely that none of my readers are working at a tag sale, but this is a good way to start a conversation about dropping prices.

If you don’t think your product is worth your price you will have a problem selling it.

  1. The most obvious problem is that dropping prices give you less profit. If you continue to drop prices, you will start to believe that your products aren’t worth your ‘asking price.’ The more you believe it’s true, the less likely you are to get your asking price. Giving something away doesn’t take much skill, working hard to get your price makes you a true salesperson.
  2. Dropping prices gets you bad referrals. Cheap customers are easy to get; what’s not easy is to get a customer who will pay your price and send you a great referral.  It’s worth it to understand your products and their value.
  3. Self-esteem is hard to get in life. According to Psychology Today by Neal Burton, self-confidence essentially means to trust and have faith in oneself. It is our certainty as to our judgement, ability, and so on—in short, our certainty as to our aptitude to engage with the world. Why would you take this away from yourself? For more on self-esteem, check out this article in Psychology Today.
  4. How will you stay in business by haphazardly dropping prices? I say ‘haphazardly’ because most businesses don’t have a system for dropping prices. In other words, they don’t have their merchandise marked up enough so that dropping prices  won’t hurt their margins.  They drop prices because they need the money.
  5. Dropping prices can bring in customers, give you cash flow and build traffic short term. Long term, you’re creating a very slippery slope. The customer takes her lead from you. Unless he/she has recently bought the same product, it’s doubtful they understand  pricing in general.

Remember just because the customer says the price is high it doesn’t mean they won’t buy your product. It’s likely they are testing you to see if you understand your own pricing!

Why drop your prices when you don’t need to? Need more help on on getting your prices? How about a webinar on pricing for your company? Call Lisbeth at 518.495.5380.

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By | August 15th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Are You Paying Attention to Sold Customers?

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Can you make your customers loyal?

Can you make your customers loyal?

Businesses work  hard and spend considerable dollars getting new  customers, and yet few work hard to keep them. Out of sight out of mind?

Salespeople spend time building relationships to get the sale and then forget the customer. They have good intentions during the sale, then what happens?

Do they think they should only contact the customer when they need to sell them?

I would hate to think they don’t care since sold customers are the most valuable product a company has.

Here’s how customers can work for you:

 

  1. Sold customers can do free advertising for you and help you get new business. If you don’t’ stay in touch with them they won’t remember who you are. They also won’t know what to say if you don’t stay in touch. You must continually remind them that you’re worth remembering. It doesn’t mean you have to hound them with more product, you just need to stay in touch.
  2. Customers will build your brand. Think of all the other businesses they purchase from and all the advertising they are subject to. If they remember you, it’s likely they will tell a friend why they should buy from you. The better your press the more likely you will get referrals. The value of your brand will be increased..
  3. Previous customers can market to new customers. If they  already know and trust you why wouldn’t you want them out telling everyone they know. . This is ‘word of mouth’ marketing. In order for a customer to use their ‘word of mouth’ they need to know what to say. This is why  sending email messages to your sold customer’s works.
  4. If you show your gratitude, you will stand out from the rest. Why not take 20 or 30 of your sold customers and send them a note telling them how much you value their business. When was the last time you get a not from a salespeople? Salespeople are often told to send thank you notes after the sale and that’s the last time the customer hears from them.
  5. Treat your customers as valued friends. Unless you breach your friendship, it will be a long term relationship. If your customers feel valued, they will always want to help out.

 

Staying in touch doesn’t mean you’re pushy. Notes to your customers should be helpful and friendly. If you stay in touch, when the customer needs something she will call you.

Sold customers matter.

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By | July 16th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

How to Thank People so it Really Matters

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Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

In May 2016, I received a call from Rochelle M. Howard, Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints. Prior to her phone call, I had no idea who she was or what her agency did.

Her request was a quote on 30 tests from the BEST Inventory, Communication Tests. These are short inventories, simple to administer and based on William M. Marston’s, Ned Herrmann’s, and James Brewer’s work measuring the dominant patterns of behavior in individuals.I have used them over the years.

I was flabbergasted and asked how she found me. She said that the owners of BEST Instruments had referred me. How super I thought. All of those conversations I had with the owner had given me something I never though about–a customer. I liked the owner very much and spent considerable time on learning how to administer and interpret the tests as well as just chatting. It actually never occurred to me that she might be in a position to refer me or my work.

 

Remember to thank people is a very important skill. Social media makes it possible to ‘like’ organizations and businesses that are important to us as well. Although people appreciate a business like, it is still very impersonal. If you do like a page, write a personal note about why you like the page–that will help.  Her are a few more ideas for ‘upping’ your like quotient.

 

  1. Get to know your suppliers and people that are in a position to refer your business. Remember they have other customers who reach out to them and may ask for help. You might be the person to supply this help. If you get a referral don’t forget to thank them publically for their help and brag about their products.
  2. Don’t forget to get referrals from as many customers as possible. Some of your customers have more clout—don’t forget to us them. In this case I happened to have done volunteer communication testing for a high level government agency close to my home. They gave me a terrific testimonial that I know helped me get the job in Washington.
  3. Be as personal as possible. Thank people publicly and privately. A phone call for you can mean the difference, even if the favor doesn’t bring any immediate results. Just remembering to pass your name along to a potential customer, or bragging about you while sitting with a group of stranger’s matters. A third party endorsement is better than anything you can say about yourself.
  4. Get to know people who hire you; their likes and dislikes. If they like to cook or like a favorite dessert or tea, send it to them! The gifts don’t have to be expensive. You just need to go out of your way and give someone something special. If you’re a house guest send something wonderful to the host or bring something with you. It’s often easier after because you have a better idea about their likes.
  5. Keep a ‘gift notebook’ of people you want to thank. Sometimes we forget the most important people in our lives.
  6. Ask how you can help. If someone does something for you call and ask if there’s a way to repay the favor.
  7. Encourage people you know who do a good job. Everyone loves encouragement and few do it. Even big kids need encouragement.
  8. Social media is a good way to thank people but go beyond the like. Make a comment to them, send them a message and tell them thank you. Are you grateful? Say it if it’s so. It goes straight to the heart.
  9. Send an old fashion thank you note. They mean a great deal event in 2016. Don’t ask someone else to do it for you!
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By | July 5th, 2016|Blog, Building a Brand|0 Comments

How’s Your Emotional Intelligence?

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Thank you Talent Smart for image.

Thank you Talent Smart for image.

In 1996 Daniel Goleman stunned the world in 1996 by popularizing Emotional Intelligence or EQ. or EI.  Basically it means being able to identify and manage your own emotions.  It’s been said the ability to understand and manage your own emotions is the real key to success. emotions. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are driven by our emotions.

Want to know about your emotional intelligence? Click this free link to test your emotional intelligence.

Here’s the link to lifehack.org for a few reminders of how to improve our emotional intelligence.

Enjoy. Lisbeth

 

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By | June 17th, 2016|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments

Do you Chase Luck Away From Your Life?

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As a kid I searched and searched for a four leaf clover. I never found one. I asked my dad how could I be lucky if I couldn't find one. His reply, "You can make your own luck; it's all around you!."

As a kid I searched and searched for a four leaf clover. I never found one. I asked my dad how could I be lucky if I couldn’t find one. His reply, “You can make your own luck; it’s all around you!

One of my friends recently found her lucky numbers through a reading done by a person who practices YOGIC Numerology.  This is a described technology which helps us better understand ourselves and the experiences in our life through numbers.  I asked her what she thought of the reading and she said it was very true.

It made me think, what type of luck do I believe in?Do I have a lucky charm or a pet rock? Salespeople often talk about their ‘lucky shirts.’

Why do we believe in luck and what does it really mean to our success?

Here’s my take on feeling lucky; I know I’m lucky. I equate ‘luck with opportunities,’ and I see them all around me. It’s when I stop looking that my luck disappears. People always say to me, “You have the most interesting things happen to you. I know they don’t just happen, I am forever ‘looking.

 

There are several different types of luck, according to Psychology Today. How we feel about luck can drive the

outcome of our lives. Should you believe in luck? According to what I read I think we should. I am a firm believer  in

luck and making my own. It’s said that believing in luck can drive your motivation forward.

 

According to Business Psychologist, Cragin Dowden, “Believing in luck appears to impact people’s drive for success. People who saw their luck as stable tended to have a significantly higher drive to succeed than those who viewed it as transitory. The research also found that part of the relationship between luck and achievement was attributable to the fact that people who possessed stable luck beliefs also felt they had more control. This makes sense: If you feel luck is stable, and within your sphere of influence, you are much more likely to persevere towards our goals. However, if you see luck as an essentially random phenomenon, you may wonder, “What’s the point?” This skepticism can effectively undermine your desire to push on.
Former Wall Street Journal and Fortune writer Erik Calonius points to a fascinating study by a psychologist Richard Wiseman. Wiseman surveyed a bunch of people to find out who considered themselves lucky or unlucky, then performed a very interesting test:

Weisman  gave both the “lucky” and the “unlucky” people a newspaper and asked them to look through it and tell him how many photographs were inside. He found that on average the unlucky people took two minutes to count all the photographs, whereas the lucky ones determined the number in a few seconds.

How could the “lucky” people do this? “Because they found a message on the second page that read, “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” So why didn’t the unlucky people see it? Because they were so intent on counting all the photographs that they missed the message.”

So what does this mean?

Could it be that lucky people are more relaxed and open, and see always see opportunities around them? In my recent article for the Albany Times Union, “Is your New Success Around the Corner?” I sited a recent conversation I had with a store owner who’s business was forced to relocate. Moving actually doubled his business. My research shows me that people who are open for new ideas are always looking for possibilities.

It appears that it doesn’t matter what you believe in you just need to believe. Particularly if you want something new to  happen in your life.When we put on ‘blinders’ we don’t see what’s available round us.

Do you need some ‘luck?” Contact Lisbeth who will help you look for the opportunities surrounding your life.

 

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By | May 30th, 2016|Blog|4 Comments

Take it From Me; if You Don’t Risk Something, Nothing will Happen

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The simple man says, "take the risk." Josh Wight in Business, Life.

The simple man says, “take the risk.” Josh Wight in Business, Life.

I was having a meeting with Bethany Gonyea while she was talking about her baby, “The Albany Peace Project.” This is a long term risk but it’s what she lives for.

She was discussing it with a passion that I haven’t seen or felt in a long time. Her face was bright; her smile was real, and her enthusiasm was amazing. I began to think, do I have that feeling? I know for years I was passionate about working; it didn’t matter what I was doing, and I enjoy accomplishing things. I’m not becoming more discriminatory, achieving doesn’t get it anymore. In fact, many things feel like diversions; diversions from my real self.

Have you ever felt that way? Going through the ‘have to-do lists of life and not feeling the same sense of accomplishment? Is it likely that our ideas and things that make us happy have changed? Noticing that time is flying by, and I want to spend as much as I can do things that really give me pleasure. I used to fill over with blog material and looked forward to writing. These days it seems to be more difficult. Actually, I think my focus has changed. Topics about life seem to be more fulfilling than writing about business. Then I think that life, and business are really one in the same.  To be successful in business you must have good life skills. The first one is a passion for whatever you’re doing.

I know am asking myself, what about life is exciting, what do I need to experience? I need an adventure.

Is an adventure a different country, learn a new skill, take a course? I think it’s all of those.

I’m noticing I haven’t been acting on my ‘hunches.’ A hunch is just one of those things that come from your unconscious mind; it means taking a risk.

Why am I not taking risks? Actually, I don’t feel comfortable, unless I’m taking them—maybe that’s what’s wrong. Am I afraid of rejection? I guess it depends on the risk. By the way, if you’re interested in why we’re so worried about rejection and what to do about it, look for my article in Floor Covering News in two weeks, “How About Using Psychology and “Rejection Therapy’” to Overcome Salespeople’s Fear of Closing the Sale.” The fear of rejection goes way beyond sales.

I’m back to my premise; I need an adventure. Stay tuned and thanks to all of you who send me notes and have been following me for years. It’s nice to know you’re out there!

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By | May 22nd, 2016|Blog|2 Comments