Violence has become a Disruptive Trend for Your Consumer

Share This:

For several years, I have done work for a talent agency that provides live event, trade show staffing, field marketing & more. These live events are usually in large box stores where I get to demonstrate various products—the real reason I do these events are because I get to talk with customers and employees and get paid.

This past Sunday I worked demonstrating cell phone plans. I would say 4 out of 10 customers were looking for cell phones for their 5 and six year olds. When I asked why, I was told it was a way to keep in touch with their child in case something happened in their school. When I went to school it was a place to get away from your parents and hang out with friends; now it’s considered unsafe.  Consumers don’t often share their real concerns with salespeople, but these concerns come straight from the heart. This is a rare glimpse into what is foremost on the consumers’ mind, and it comes straight from their heart. Usually, what is motivating a buying consumer is not so obvious; it reminds me of what happened after 9/11.  While the Flagg Code may not be enforceable by law, many citizens think wearing the stars and stripes is offensive. After 9/11 companies couldn’t make enough flags; flags were everywhere and clothing with flags and flag designs was all over. It was one way to show our patriotism.

Young children getting cell phones.

It would appear that as a nation, many people are being motivated by fear. They are fearful for themselves and their kids. I must admit I would be fearful if I were sending children every day to school. I would speculate that this fear translates into other areas where kids congregate. Does this also carry over to movie theaters, churches and retail stores?

Are we as a nation motivated by fear? I took a self-defense course and am more cautious in place where there are lots of people.

Whenever possible, explain to your customers what you are doing to secure their safety.

  1. I suggest you focus on services that make consumers feel safe. If you are delivering a service to a consumer’s home, your delivery people should have several items of identification, i.e. a uniform and a picture id. In addition, warrantees on your products that protect the customer and provide repair services.
  2. Is your parking lot clear of trees and other obstructions? Is it clearly lit with security cameras? You might consider having your employees walking your customers to their cars.
  3. 24-hour security cameras aren’t let expensive and should be around the perimeter of your building and in your warehouse. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 11 percent of property crimes occur in parking lots or garages, and over 7 percent of violent crimes occur there.
  4. Chip card security is the latest standard in credit card security. This standard (called EMV®,) includes a small microchip in the credit card that protects buyers against fraudulent transactions. These cards are really hard to clone. Chip readers have been used in Europe for 10 years.
  5. My friend handles networking for a large community agency. He does training weekly and tells everyone to never download certain messages. Once a month he sends out a ‘trial balloon’,’ and he says at least ¼ of the employees download it! He has them change passwords monthly. I have a company that I do business with that has you change your account password every six months even if you don’t use the site! What a pain that is.
  6. Take steps to protect their customers’ credit card numbers, addresses, and other sensitive details at your web site. You may want to develop your own security package in addition to one that you purchase.

This is a time of uncertainty, do whatever it takes to make your customers feel secure.

Need strategic planning for your business? Reach Lisbeth at 518-495-5380 or email her at

#violenceandchildren, #violenceandguns, #societyscared,#disruptivetrends



Share This:
By | 2018-03-08T22:09:56+00:00 March 8th, 2018|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments


Share This:

“Want to Take a Leap?” Elle Gibson

It’s great knowing everything isn’t it? Sure it is, you’ve spent your whole life becoming the expert.


Once you feel you’ve mastered something, like being the expert on your job or in a sport, it gives you a good feeling. People call you for advice and want your ‘opinion.’ Did you ever think that being an expert isn’t all it’s cut out to be? Are you getting  tired of the phone calls?

Did you ever think that being an expert has a downside?  I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to become an expert on certain things. In my mind, if I’m not an expert, why would you hire me?

(The NLRB delivers a big kick in the pants to employers)


When we become experts, we develop patterns of behaviors that make life easier. Patterns we can replay whenever we need to. We rely on them to guide us so that we always get the same results.

I suggested to my friend that we drove a different way to the mall. Not only did she get upset, she got damn angry with me.

“I like everything the same she said, I’m trying to simplify my life and not have any surprises that will throw me off track.”

In my mind, that meant the track to boredom; I didn’t say anything, I kept driving. Just to give you some more insight, she takes a lot of antidepressant medications; I don’t have to tell you why do I?

What would happen if you practiced trying to be a non-expert? Suppose I told you it would make you more creative, less ‘stuck’ and possibly happier—what would you think?

I was listening to an interesting podcast on Masters of Scale, hosted by LinkedIn C0-Founder and Greylock Partner, Reid Hoffman. Those of you that have spoken to me know I’m ‘enamored’ to “Masters of Scale” and it’s how motivate myself. The podcasts are all centered on people that have taken major leaps to try something new. Their leaps are based on ‘hunches,’ or ‘where the world is going,’ and then getting on a new bandwagon. Most of the people are experts in something but are bored being experts and knowing everything. They are looking for a new bandwagon.



I’m no different than you; I’ve spent 20 years becoming the expert. I’m finding it isn’t what it’s cut out to be.


Being the expert is a great skill; it means we don’t need to re-learn every time we encounter something or someone we don’t know. We have developed patterns of behavior which we can re-play whenever we need to. We rely on our previous patterns of behavior to guide us, which often means we experience the same results.

We spend our whole lives trying to become experts on what we do and what we know. We see ourselves and strive at being the ‘best’ in their profession.


When you continually hone your skills, you shut out everything else that threatens them. Consider the salesperson who thinks if he knows everything about (let’s say carpet) he doesn’t want to hear about any other products or what’s happening in the ‘tile’ side of things. He’s also not interested in learning new sales tips or anything about ‘customer touch points.’ All he knows is everything that happens in the store with customers, he has it ‘down pat.’




You really don’t need all the money in the world; you just need to test ‘not being the expert.’ Try a sport you’re not good at, listen to a different podcast, learn a new language. Put yourself in an uncomfortable place—not to worry, you can always go back to the safe “expert” place.

“Don’t just sit idle, learn something new everyday”

Visit to get a copy of the transcript of this broadcast.

#gettingmotivated #learningsomethingnew #takingaleap #learningnewthings #learning #Mastersofscale #beingtheexpert #founderofLinkedIn #Greylockpartner #TakealeapElleGibson #womenoflife

Share This:
By | 2018-01-15T18:04:45+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Blog, Motivation, Sales, Sales strategies, Your Brain|0 Comments

Friendsgiving: An Opportunity to Build Connections–Brought to you by the Millenniums

Share This:

Friendsgiving has been lurking around since 2007; it’s now becoming well-known name and likely a new holiday. It reclaims a holiday for people who, during the Thanksgiving season, can’t get to family; don’t want to be with family and those that don’t have family. In my neighborhood, we’ve called them, for lack of a better word, Thanksgiving orphans. It doesn’t take away from the traditional holiday; it adds a new dimension to it. It underscores the value of friends.

I must admit I was getting tired of going to my relatives. They served the same-old foods, nothing for the vegetarian except vegetables with no imagination or too much cheese.  My other aunt used to make a complete vegetarian dinner along with the turkey, for the vegetarians next door.  I didn’t realize you could eat anything but turkey on Thanksgiving Day. There were the relatives who drank far too much and told the same-old stories over and over. There were also the ones I just didn’t like.

We are happy to have a new description of something very cool and started by the Millenniums. In 2007, the term ‘Friendsgiving’ made the Urban dictionary. This is a great way to connect with this customer. In my book, “50 Ways to Bring Customers into Your Store,” I talk about holding events and raising money for charities.


The other day I asked my neighbors where they were going; they said a Friendsgiving party and would be back for Thanksgiving. I gave them a big smile; I was in the know!

In order to connect with your customers, you’ve got to know where they are and what they’re doing. If you’re not part of something, how will you know? Friendsgiving is not a way to forget Thanksgiving; it’s a way to add something new. Friendsgiving legitimizes something we’ve known all along—friends matter. It’s also a new way to celebrate and create a tradition.

Friends are important, no matter what your age. They make you feel better, can improve yourself-esteem and have an overall positive effect on your life. I have one friend whom I speak with almost every night; sometimes we just discuss what movies are playing.  As you age, you can expect to lose friends. My dad told me to start hanging around with younger people, this way I wouldn’t be losing friends every year!

The Millenniums are breaking the rules, how they shop, what they buy and what matters to them. They are very connected to their friends and are willing to put effort into building these relationships. According to statistics, this group is also the most connected to real ‘giving.’

I’ve been holding Friendsgiving for years; I’m glad it has a name! Enjoy  your holiday whatever its name!

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build customer relationships for over 20 years. To consult with her, call 518.495.5380 or email


Share This:

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

Share This:

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

Share This:
By | 2017-11-11T20:30:15+00:00 November 11th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Magnetically Attract the Best Customers by Becoming a Community Hub

Share This:

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:


For more info and to sign up:

Share This:

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

Share This:

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.


Share This:
By | 2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00 December 19th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Let Failure Motivate You to Success

Share This:


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

Share This:
By | 2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00 September 18th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

5 Reasons Why Dropping Your Prices is a Bad Idea

Share This:
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.

Share This:
By | 2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00 August 15th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Are You Paying Attention to Sold Customers?

Share This:
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.

Share This:
By | 2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00 July 16th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

How to Thank People so it Really Matters

Share This:
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!
Share This:
By | 2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00 July 5th, 2016|Blog, Building a Brand|0 Comments