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Does Motivation Have Anything to do With Success?

HardWork_MotivationMatrix

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 Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush, New York. 

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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.

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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 www.JimArmstrongEvent.com/FCN2

 

To Your Success,

Lisbeth Calandrino

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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 Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Abany, New York with her cat Rainyday.

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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 Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush, New York. 

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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 Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush, New York. 

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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.

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If you Can’t Change it, How do you Know When to Give it up?

Where are you in your plan?

Where are you in your plan?

I just returned from Coverings; the largest stone and tile show held yearly in the United States. One of my topics was about the millenniums, how to hire and how to motivate them. There is much ado about them; for a group of business owners, the most upsetting information is their apparent lack of wanting to stay in the same job forever. A gentleman said he was disturbed because of his biggest need for installers. A position that takes years to train and would it be in vain? He wanted to know how what could he do to make them stay. He was extremely annoyed at the circumstances and wanted it to change.

I started thinking, what we can do when faced by a situation that is unlikely to change in our favor? Is there a value in forcing the situation?

I asked what he thought his choices might be. I was trying to see if he thought that it might be time to change or expand his business, so he wouldn’t be as dependent on this “disappearing” employee.  In my mind, the problem was taking on a new perspective. Would this mean he should close his business? Instead, I asked if he thought there might be some changes that would have to be made in his business to accommodate this shift. His reply was, “I just need more installers.”

When a shift happens in your life, what does it take to be able to stay still with the uncertainty of a situation until you can come up with alternatives? Sometimes you must live through the situation and actually grieve the impending loss before you can move on. Possibly you should talk with someone you trust who has more information or experience than you.

Not wanting to deal with reality often gets in the way of us seeing situations clearly. To become empowered, we must face fear head on so it has no power to frighten us. When we finally give up being led by fear can we examine the alternatives and make the best choice possible.

There’s no way to control the future; there is only the strength and our willingness to stay present and let the fear dissipate.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses grow and become more profitable through sales and customer service training for the past 25 years. To schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York with her cat Rainyday. If not out training, she can be found at the YMCA gym in East Greenbush.

 

 

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Innovative Ways for the Flooring Retailer (or anyone) to Become a “Marketeer”

The world has changed, have you?

The world has changed, have you?

You know what it’s like; you’re getting plenty of leads, but no one is following up.

At first, just a few go by, but then they start to stack up. You’re also aware that the sales staff isn’t following up on customers who have come into the store and haven’t made a purchase.

Every business needs fresh customers, but what about those who are good leads or have already been in your store?

If you’re working harder at getting new customers than keeping old ones, you’re spending a lot of money on marketing. Think about it this way; every time a customer comes back or sends a referral, the average marketing dollar spent per customer goes down. Furthermore, a good salesperson will be cultivating customers who have bought before or paying attention to “hot leads.” The competent sales associate knows these are easier to sell.

No matter how you’re gathering your leads, they’re valuable if you’re following up and closing them. If you’re not doing either, it’s like throwing money out the window.

If this sounds like your business, the best thing you can do is start capturing customers’ home addresses and email addresses. Stop entering “Cash” on your invoice where it says, “name and address.” After all, if you don’t have customers and good will, what do you have?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently said the only way to steer customers to your business is to help them cut down on their buying choices. One way to do this is to send them small bites of information that is both educational and fun so you ultimately become their trusted adviser. An article on “Tips for finding the right flooring retailer” can help influence a fresh lead or referral to walk into your store.

The smart dealers realize that being high tech is not something for the future—it’s here now. I recently spoke with Cary Cass, general manager of Dolphin Carpet and Tile, headquartered in Miami, Fla. With over 30 years in the business and a member of the NFA (National Flooring Alliance), Dolphin is utilizing many online tools to help the customer stay connected.

We realize that once a customer is in our store, we have an opportunity to both sell them and build a customer for life. Our interactive on-line design center makes it easy for the customer to build a profile of her likes and store her choices with us. We’re also testing software that will automatically contact our customers with timely offers and useful tips. It may sound trite, but its not up to the customer to remember us; it’s our job to be memorable. This is not something we have the time or expertise to do by ourselves.

Being consistent with customer communications is the key. “White House, Black Market” a women’s clothing store targeting consumers age 25 and older, does an excellent job of staying in touch with the customer. By receiving their emails, post cards and phone calls, I feel like we’re old friends. I feel guilty not going in to look at their new styles. I know the communications are automated, but they’re still fun, informative and useful.

follow your customersMichael Vernon, president of followyourcustomer.com, gave me this advice:

The goal of any business is to build relationships with customers. In the article, Why the Zero Moments of Truth Matter More than Ever, Google points out there are endless opportunities a business has to ‘touch’ the consumer. The key is to get her to like you because people buy from people they like. To build top-of-mind awareness, these must be sent least 12 to 18 times a year. If they dont, the customer will go to the competitor. Our system will customize your message and automatically keep in touch for you.

Customers have many choices; why not be their first one?

isbeth 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 Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush.

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Does Anyone Care You’re Saying? 4 Ways to be a Better Listener

ListeningI don’t know about you, but I like to talk. I don’t know if it’s being a speaker, I doubt that, but I can talk about everything and nothing for hours. I think I’m funny, but I’m not sure if that’s the way to build rapport. What feels worse than trying to talk with someone while they’re texting or playing an online game?

As a child, I stopped being friendly at about 4. At which point my mother told me what I would have to do if I was going to make friends. My dad was very funny, and everyone liked him; I guess that’s how I thought it could be. I didn’t realize it then, but there was more to it. My dad was very empathetic too.

Just because we listen doesn’t really mean we heard anything. These day’s people act like they’re listening, but we know everyone is multitasking. It’s doubtful they heard what you said.

How can you listen?

distraction

  1. Don’t distract yourself. Put your phone and the rest of the devices away. This is not the time to check your email or Facebook message. Listening and connecting is an art. Being a good listener is a way for you to really connect with customers and your friends.
  2. Don’t top the speaker’s story. Isn’t it awful when you’re telling someone what happened and without taking a breath, they “up you one better?” If you went to the doctor, they’ve been to two. If you’re going on vacation to New Orleans, they’ll tell you they once lived there and what’s wrong with the place. This is what we call the “me too” habit. Whatever you’ve done; I’ve done it as well and probably better.
  3. Try not to interrupt. I say “try” because when I’m on the telephone I can’t seem to judge when to pause. I’m not sure if I can’t hear, or it’s the connection.
  4. Stop trying to find problems to fix. Are you listening only enough to find a problem to fix?

Don’t be afraid to give your listening skills an overhaul. Like anything else, it takes practice and more practice.

Without customer service, a customer doesn’t have any customers,  good sales don’t necessarily bring back customers, but good customer service does.”

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 Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush.

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By |April 6th, 2015|beliefs, Blog, Customer Retention Strategies|0 Comments