Does it Matter if Your Salespeople are Loveable?

What makes a salesperson lovable?

What makes a salesperson lovable?

You probably know how to buy the right products and what time of the  year customers are likely to buy. You probably even run ads to drive customers into your business and think you’re good at it. But what about your salespeople? Are they lovable?

If so, why are these things happening in your business?

Sales people are complaining about prices. “We could sell more if your prices were as low as our competitors.”

They don’t really push for the sales, or call customers back. “I don’t want to turn customers off.”

“I can’t reach that quota; we don’t have enough customers.”

“Why don’t you advertise more?”

Our competitors are stealing our customers. “How can they give stuff away?”

So who is leading your crew? The only people in command are your managers.  Managers need to know what problems their salespeople face and then train them to overcome these problems or hire someone. Why do so many take the easy way out and think that product knowledge is the answer to all of their company problems?

One thing l know hasn’t changed; customers still fall in love with people not products. Despite this fact, businesses spend little on making their sales force “loveable” and confident.

Seven  to make your salespeople more ‘loveable and confident.’

The better people feel about themselves, the better they will be at their jobs. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you won’t learn and will lack in confidence. Find out what’s really bothering your salespeople and come up with the answers.

Train in areas that are causing the most problems. Not sure about overcoming objections? Train it and get your best salespeople to share their secrets.

Help them love what they do. Provide an atmosphere of support and learning. If people feel like they’re achieving, it’s likely they will love what they do.

Teach them how to use their time wisely. Some activities will bring in customers, and some things are just a waste of time. Sending notes to customers has high values, playing Candy Crush probably doesn’t.

Set a good example, or play ‘follow the leader.’ Managers need to be focused, supportive and always thinking how they can help people feel  fulfilled. Being positive and achieving goes a long way.

Encourage creativity; everyone has their own brand of creativity. Find ways to make it happen in all of your staff. There are fun games that encourage people to think differently. Once you play the game, tie the results back to their jobs.

Discuss the price of success. Success is not something that just happens. It takes years of preparation and learning.  While you’re making this happen, other things need to be put aside. Everyone will have to decide what’s most important.

Malcolm Gladwell  talks about the 10,000 hours to become an overnight success.

Being happy with you is the first step in being  lovable.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build “lovable” relationships with their staff and their customers for over 20 years. To have her speak at your business or  develop a training program for your managers and staff–reach her at Or call/text at 518-495-5380.

By |July 21st, 2015|Blog, Sales, Success|0 Comments

Why you Can’t get What you Want

Not getting what you want can be a blessing.

Not getting what you want can be a blessing.

We really are a society, of ‘I want what I want now.’ I spent most of my younger life wanting something. One year it was a new car or another car, and then it was more clothes and a different color hair. At one point, I had four cars in various states of restoration.

Yes, I wanted something but I never knew what it was. I was attracted to ‘bright shiny objects’ and wanted everything. It never stopped; I had to have every color lipstick and shoe.

At this point, I can own up to the facts—I was trying to be more desirable.  One day, I realized that I was being taken on a ‘proverbial ride.’ Not only that, but my credit card bills were mounting, and my bank accounts weren’t growing. I was adding to everyone’s success but my own! I was being seduced by marketing geniuses and my own need to cover up my insecurities.

I was looking outside myself for the answers to my life. It has taken me many years to realize that what’s important to me not anyone else. Why do I care what others’ think about me?

The point is I believe you can get what you want if you know what it is. As I listen to people talk about their next new car, when there’s a perfectly good one in the garage, I ponder whether they’re wondering why they need a new one. Think about the millions spent on advertising that tries to make us feel like a new soft drink will make us smarter and a new car will make us sexier. (One of my friends told me he felt sexy in his new car. This is a sad commentary on how he views himself.)

So what’s the solution?

Before you run out of money and need a second or third job, stop and think about what you’re trying to accomplish with your buying.  Take a good look in the mirror and do a self-inventory. Ask yourself, who am I looking at?

Stop being afraid of who you are. Eckhart Tolle tells his own story of depression and discontent in his first spiritual teaching, The Power of Now. He could no longer live with himself. And in his repetition, he then asked, “Who the ‘I’ is and who is ‘myself’?” These are powerful questions.

Bring your conversations to reality. How many times have you thought you would like to do change careers but are afraid of what your spouse might think? Maybe you’re worried that it doesn’t’ pay as well as the job you have now.

I’m starting to realize I’m passed the point of trying to please everyone in my life. Of course there are still those I love and want to please but I don’t think a new car will do it.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses for over 25 years get what they really want’—more customers. To schedule a call or have her speak at your business, reach her at

By |July 14th, 2015|Blog, Building a Brand, general, Motivation|0 Comments

Can You Get Your Children to Join the Family Business?

Jacqueline Tabbah Assistant Vice President at International Stoneworks, Inc.

Jacqueline Tabbah
Assistant Vice President at International Stoneworks, Inc.

It’s not unusual for parents to want their children to join them in the family business.  Some of these parents get their wish.  Others don’t. According to, only 30% of family businesses in America will be passing the reigns to the next generation, even though close to 70% would like to keep their business in the family.

In 2015, Kennesaw State University’s Cox Family Enterprise Center andEY’s Global Family Business Center of Excellence sheds light on one of the biggest keys to longstanding companies’ everlasting success: They are able to efficiently hand control of the company to the next generation, a task easier said than done. 

When Jacqueline Tabbah Turano graduated from college, her father asked her to work with him at International Stoneworks, Inc., the business he started 33 years ago.  Although she appreciated his offer and didn’t want to disappoint him, the family business wasn’t where she wished to work. She had a degree in public relations, and she wanted a job in her field.

This was in 2008, a really bad time in the job market.  Jackie had a hard time finding a job, so she signed on as an unpaid intern in a public relations firm.  Before long, she realized that she really didn’t like it.  It was too fast-paced.  Everyone seemed to be out for themselves.

While looking for a new job, Jackie accepted her father’s offer to fill in as a receptionist in his business.  Much to her surprise, she realized she really liked working there and decided to stay on.

During the two years, she worked as a receptionist; Jackie filed lots of papers and answered loads of phone calls. She also learned to do estimates and went on business trips to understand the different aspects of the family business.  Her father never pushed her to do any of this.  She understood the importance of knowing a little about everything related to the family business.

When she noticed that the company’s website was outdated and wasn’t connected to any social media, she not only updated it but took the initiative to link it to Facebook and LinkedIn.  Her on-line shopping cart has become a big hit with customers.

Jacqueline is currently an Assistant Vice President. When asked if she could see herself taking over the reins of the family business Jacqueline told me that she definitely isn’t ready now and won’t be for a really long time. She still has a lot to learn.  International Stoneworks, Inc. is her father’s life’s work. She wouldn’t want him to leave until he felt the time was right. At that time, she would be proud to take over what he has created.

Is Jacqueline treated differently than the other employees?  She told me that she does her best to be friendly with the other employees and not to walk around as the boss.

What happens when she makes a mistake?  It all depends on the financial magnitude of the mistake.  The last time something happened, she felt that her father was far less upset than she was.

“You will even make some mistakes twice,” he told her, “Stop kicking yourself.”


What advice does Jacqueline have for others when it comes to working in their family businesses?

“Don’t do it unless you have a genuine interest in the business,” she said, “Don’t breeze in and out.  This is part of your family.”

Guest Post by: BJ Rosenfeld, M.A., M.S   America’s Favorite Family Relationship Expert Specializing in Parents and Adult Children. 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build marketing and sales strategies for over 20 years. To schedule her to speak at your business, reach her at Lisbeth resides in Historic Hudson Park in Albany, New York.

By |June 28th, 2015|Blog, Family Business|0 Comments

Does Motivation Have Anything to do With Success?


Motivational Matrix, Dr. Jim Taylor

People talk about ‘getting motivated’ but how does that relate to their success?  I always thought that motivation was the key to success but now I’m not sure. I think the equation is much more complicated. Motivation is only a small part of being successful.  Have you ever said, “I feel really motivated to get some work done,” and then gone to take a nap?

Motivation or the desire to get things done is one of the first steps to success. The bottom line is it takes hard work to get it done. I’m not talking about the work that you do every day, i.e. going to your job,  putting gas in your car,   and cleaning the house, etc. I’m talking about what you do after that stuff is done. Success will come when you’re focusing on that special dream or goal. It could be losing weight or getting fit. They require your ability to ‘get it done’ no matter how you’re feeling.

Writing for Psychology Today, Dr. Jim Taylor defines motivation as “being able to work hard in the face of obstacles, boredom, fatigue, stress, and the desire to do other things.” Each person has a different motivation that drives them toward success. Dr. Taylor illustrates this with the motivation matrix, which breaks down motivation along two dimensions: external vs. internal and negative vs. positive. Each combination—internal-positive, external-positive, internal-negative and external-negative—can provide sufficient motivation to net you success.

The carrot or the stick?

The carrot or the stick?

Does your style of motivation work?

Will it give you the drive, planning skills and sacrifice you will need to stay the course?

Will it give you the ability to work when you’re sick?

What about turning off the Golf Channel?

Are you able to say no to a party invitation because your ‘work of success’ isn’t finished?

What will you say to your friends when the call you a ‘workaholic?’

Can you sacrifice that special brownie your girlfriend made so you can stay on your diet?

Does giving up one day mean giving up forever?

Confronting the obstacles before you get started is one way to help keep you on track. We’ve all fallen off the ‘success wagon’ but the smart ones get right back up.


Lisbeth has been teaching businesses how to improve their customer service and the customer experience for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush, New York. 

By |June 22nd, 2015|Blog, Motivation, Success|0 Comments

Does Anger Bother You?

1012_cup4I worked with a woman who left half a brownie in the fridge for weeks and then went back expecting it to be there.  Once she saw it wasn’t there she went crazy. She keep saying, “I need a brownie fix, where is it?” (We were told to date our food and that if it was still there after two weeks, it would be trashed.) The other day I was looking for a piece of candy that I put into the freezer last year—yes last year! I would have killed for the candy.

While doing some training on anger for a business group, I told them about the cupcake. At first, they just looked at me but by the end of the session, they were   saying to each other, “I think you’re in dire need of a cupcake!” My hunch is that’s their new mantra. If nothing else they’ll l probably not hear anything the person says after they begin to think “cupcake.”

Anger is a complex emotion.  It is upsetting to many people who have been brought up not to express their anger or displeasure. Anger is considered a secondary emotion; in other words, it is covering up a primary emotion. This could be scared, humiliation, or fear to name a few. Anger is used to create distance between people. Anger can also be considered an act of violence; it can be painful and hurtful. So what should you do with an angry person or customer?

  1. It has nothing to do with you. It is a weapon being used against you. Its purpose is to scare and immobilize you. Remember you are never the cause of the anger; check out this article from Psychology Today.
  2. Take anger seriously. Take a deep breath and think, why are they in dire need of a cupcake, what happened to make them so fearful?
  3. Listen to the complaints or accusations and breathe. The worst thing you can do is tense up so much you can’t think.
  4. Consider, what is the underlying scare? Are they afraid they’re losing face, feeling stupid, scared or humiliated?
  5. If possible, side with them and state, “I understand why you would be angry about what happened; it would bother me too.” That doesn’t mean you’re giving in, you’re showing empathy.
  6. Give them enough room to let them run out of gas. Continue saying you understand. When they’ve finally calmed down, define the problem in logical terms.
  7. If it’s a black-and-white situation, hold your ground. If you have room to compromise, give it a shot.

Anger can be frightening. If you can let the person continue until they run out of steam, it will be easier to deal with them. If you need to, amuse yourself with the cupcake scenario.

Have problems with your business? Lisbeth will be happy to speak with you. Call her at 518-495-5380.

By |June 15th, 2015|Blog, dealing with angry customers|0 Comments

Hi, Lisbeth Calandrino with a Message for the Success of Your Business

Telling it like it is!

Why not tell it like it is?

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest expert on FCNews’ Marketing Mastery Webinar, along with my friend and fellow columnist, Jim Augustus Armstrong! Some of you may not know that both Jim and I write for Floor Covering News. I write a column called Lisbiz Strategies. It has lots of great information for your business. Jim has been hosting these webinars and I was lucky to be one of his guests. You know I love sharing ideas with all of you.

During this webinar I revealed strategies that were instrumental in my success in flooring and furniture retail, and how ANY dealer can use these strategies in ANY market to dramatically increase their revenue and profits.  As a flooring and furniture retailer for over 14 years, I had a lot of wins and made plenty of mistakes. If you want to succeed, you know you’ve got to try something new. I”ve taken a lot of my wins and included them in my webinar. If you missed it, you’ve got another chance to listen.

Don’t wait!

Here are just a few of the topics I covered…

  • A gigantic mistake made by most dealers that costs them (literally) millions of dollars over the course of their career.
  • Why a happy customer won’t tell anyone about your business or refer you.
  • A strategy that is far more effective for closing sales than good salesmanship!
  • How to use social media to totally eliminate cold-calling!
  • Why 68% of customers leave you for your competitor, never to return.  (It’s not because of bad service.)
  • One thing you MUST be doing if you want to prosper in the 21st century in flooring retail.  (Get this wrong and you’ll most likely stagnate, or possibly go out of business altogether.)
  • And much more!


Here’s the great news… we recorded the webinar, so if you missed it you can still watch the replay.

HOWEVER…the reply will only be online and available until June 15th.  Don’t put this off because after June 15th the webinar will be history.
For instant access to the replay, visit


To Your Success,

Lisbeth Calandrino

By |June 1st, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

4 Key Factors that Will Help Determine Your Business Success

Business success is determined by your customer.

Business success is determined by your customer.

Do you really know what your customers think about you?

I’ve asked many business owners about their competitive advantage. They tell me they have great salespeople, installers, a beautiful showroom and super customer service. This is often in contrast to what the customers have written on line where their ratings are two out of five stars!

Why does this happen? Businesses think they’re in touch with their customers, but they really aren’t. If a customer says something unflattering about them, they usually dismiss it. “We could never please that customer, “is what they say.

If you’re not connecting with your customers, you’re doing a disservice to your business. If you don’t know what they like, how can they brag about you? Yes, you need them to brag about you. Consider that 65% of customers make decisions about where to shop and ultimately buy based on recommendations from their friends. Often the friends are social media friends they’ve never met!

Here  are four factors that you should consider:

Understand your marketplace. Are you located in the right place to attract your customer? Can you describe common traits about your customers? If you can’t, how can you attract more of them?

Know what products your customers like and buy more of them. If your customers are high end, why is your showroom stocked with so many cheap, uninteresting products? Being “all things for all people” just confuses both customers and salespeople.  Customers don’t have much time to shop so why bore them with things they don’t want?

Get the right business partners. Do you carry everyone’s products because the prices are good? Find  partners that are looking out for yor profitability  and your customers. They should also understand your marketplace and help you distinguish yourself from the competition.

Plan for the changing marketplace.  Businesses are heading down the tail end of the richest generation—the Baby Boomers. They fueled the marketplace with plenty of money and a desire for buying new things. As they age, their needs have changed. They are being replaced by a generation with different ideas about the world and seem to value “experiences” over certain things. (Electronics are one category they crave.)

You might not be able to be ahead of change, but you can certainly keep up.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a strategic thinker who has been helping businesses improve their bottom line for over 20 years. To schedule a conference or have her speak at an event, reach her at She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Abany, New York with her cat Rainyday.

By |May 19th, 2015|Blog, Marketing, Success, The Millenniums|0 Comments

Mother’s Don’t Want Much; Just to be Valued as People

Moms will always be moms.

Moms will always be moms.

Being a mom is complicated. When children are babies, the role is simple. They need to be taken care of and loved. As they get older, they need space to be able to become independent. Sometimes these roles are in conflict. It’s hard to see children as getting older; they always look like the tiny human that bought such joy to your life.

As my mom grew older, I realized she didn’t seem to cook or clean as much as she used to. When I offered to help cook or clean, she was very adamant with her “No.” My mom had always been very independent, going to work when it wasn’t fashionable. My dad thought people would think she was working because he couldn’t support her. She went to work so she would be able to buy her own car and eventually collect social security. She was just smart. By the way, I asked my mother about cooking and cleaning—she said she didn’t feel like it, and I shouldn’t worry.

When I was in the carpet business, we would roll out the red carpet on Mother’s Day and give away roses to all the moms that stopped in. Of course our mom was at the store, all dressed up and wearing her corsage. Everyone loved this event.

So often I hear about children who disapprove of their mom marrying again—how could she fall in love or want another relationship. Why worry? The worst thing that might happen is she enjoys the remaining years of her life.

Why did I care so much? Did I think my mother was getting old? If I cleaned and cooked for her would that mean she wasn’t aging? Was I trying to head off the inevitable or pretend it wouldn’t happen? If we asked, she still made the best eggplant and stuffed artichokes. She said she didn’t eat that much because she wasn’t interested in gaining weight.

As I age, I realize how important it is to be independent. I spend a lot of time at the gym; I know keeping physical fit is the key to many things. I also I realize at one point I won’t want to clean this big house. When people offer to help me clean my house, I’ll know it’s time to move on.

When I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day many years ago, she wanted a pair of Reebok bright, pink sneakers so she could continue to exercise. Today it makes me smile and I realize I’m not that much different than her.

I heard a survey today about what mom’s want the most for mother’s day—help around the house. They probably want the yard racked or putting the air conditioner in the window. Taking your mom out to dinner is also tops on the list. . You remember all the things you didn’t want to do when you lived at home. Smile.

Lisbeth has been teaching businesses how to improve their customer service and the customer experience for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush, New York. 

By |May 10th, 2015|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments

Do Customers Always Buy on Price? 3 Ways to get out of the Rat Race

priceMost everyone has heard the story about the two industrious brothers who set out to make a fortune by buying watermelons for a buck each and selling them for ten dollars a dozen. They set up their stand alongside the road and business was going gangbusters. While counting their money, they came up a little short. They finally figured it out; they needed a bigger truck.” Believe it or not, the story has been around since 1900 when Paul Nathan, wrote a book called “How to Make Money in the Printing Business.”

Research shows that price is virtually never the primary reason someone buys something. It’s also usually not the second reason—maybe the third. With the prices of smart phones these days you know. what I’m talking about. Most of us have a feeling that a higher price is equated with quality and value. Even if you shop the discounters, such as Marshalls and TJ Max, if you’re like me you wonder—are these prices really good? Often the products are last year’s merchandise and a little behind the style. Check in this time next year for today’s styles.

When times are tight, businesses have a tendency to cut their price. A business doesn’t cut wages when it lowers prices so wages as a percentage of sales goes up and sales go up because of lower prices. These two factors spell disaster long term.

Statistics tell us that price is infinitely more important to salespeople than customers. If a salesperson is concerned about price, they tell their customers, they think their prices are too high and invite the customer to beat them up on price.
Of course price matters. If you don’t talk about it to your customer, what are you communicating? It says you’re scared and don’t think your merchandise is worth what you’re selling it for. Until you can discuss price with confidence and credibility, you’re in trouble. Words like regular price, list price, best price, and lowest price, you are clearly implying that the price is negotiable. Your eye movements can also invite the customer to beat you up on price. When you say a price, you don’t believe, you almost always break off eye contact and look down.
1. All things being equal, do customers buy on price? Says who? Don’t fall into believing this trash. You can probably remember the time you paid full ticket for something and were really happy. Maybe it’s that new Apple Watch. Check out why people are buying them.
2. It’s your job to explain to the customer that not everything is equal and why the customer should pay you more. This brings us back to value, what extra things does your customer want? Can you give these things to them? Do these things make your company different? These are things you learned in your first selling class right?
3. Things are never equal, really. Coffee isn’t coffee or is it? My hunch is a lot of coffee is the same, but you would never know it. From Starbucks to Dunkin’ Donuts to your “home-town town coffee roaster,” each has you believing you should pay their price.

Maybe the glass on your front door is cleaner?

Adopted from “How to Sell at Prices Higher than your Competitor, ” Lawrence L. Steinmetz.

Lisbeth has been teaching businesses how to improve their customer service and the customer experience for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush, New York. 


An Update on What Value Means to Your Business

What makes you different and what is it worth?

What makes you different and what is it worth?

Everyone talks about value but what does it really mean? Simply put, it means going above and beyond what is expected. For instance, giving out cookies and hot chocolate during the holidays in your business can be considered added value. Cookies add to the festivities and are unexpected by the customers. Will all customers think they are added value? Probably not the people who are on a diet or don’t eat chocolate chips. Value added is a marketing and sales strategy for your business. It helps customers remember you, build repeat and referral business and build differentiation.

Before you can deliver, you have to know your customers, and what they expect. Yes, customers want to be treated with courtesy, feel that prices are fair for the marketplace and expect your place of business to be inviting. If you can’t deliver what’s expected, how can you go above and beyond and deliver the “added value?”

Once you know who they are, then you can go forward trying to figure out what you can do that they would like.

So added value is something the customer gets and finds delightful. Imagine giving your customers a beautiful winter blanket on a beastly hot summer day. The blanket is worsted wool, with horse blanket fringe as well as being soft and warm. Delivered in the summer, it isn’t valued, in fact, becomes a problem. You might say, “I wouldn’t care when I got the blanket, it’s so magnificent. “ Despite your excitement, many of your customers would not be feeling the same. So treating the customers using your standards may not be adding any value nor getting any points from your customers.

Instead of thinking what’s of value to you, find out what’s of value to your customers. For any of this to work, it must be determined within the context of your customers.  Of course, we all have fixed budgets, but we still have to look at the customer’s criteria. I go into the gym daily. It has become an important part of my health plan. One of the things, besides all the people I know is the coffee that is served free of charge in the lobby. It makes a huge difference to me; it’s always fresh and somehow signals the end of a good workout. So it’s a big deal to me; no, it’s not rational but value isn’t rational.

I know they make a big deal about wiping down the equipment after it’s used in the gym. (They consider this huge value.) Frankly, this doesn’t really matter to me; I know the best thing I can do is go home and change my clothes. I’ve been told the gym is one of the dirtiest places in the world so I don’t think a simple wipe down will help.

In all of our lives, it’s the simple things that make our own world special.