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Does Asking for Help Show Your Power?

You're only as smart as the people you surround yourself with.

You’re only as smart as the people you surround yourself with.

How many times do you ask for help for do you think you should do everything yourself? I’m one of those who pride myself on being able to do most things. That was until yesterday when my car had a major problem, and it will take two days to get the part. I’m getting ready to go on vacation and have lots of last minute things to do, plus I can’t get to the gym. While I was walking home from the garage, I started thinking about my plight. There was an event I wanted to attend, and I was without transportation. I realized I don’t mind helping others, but I don’t like asking for help.

lifeIf I can do it, myself does that make me smart? On the other side, if I can’t do it, does that make me stupid? It probably doesn’t do either one, but we make up our own definitions. If I let you do it for me, does that make me stupid, and you’re smart? Do I take away from my own smartness if I allow you to do it for me?

Now that I’ve listed the downside of asking, what about the upside to asking for help? Why wouldn’t I want you to be smart? I pride myself in having intelligent friends so why not let them be who they are?

By allowing your friends to help, I am empowering both of us to show our value.

It felt funny to ask for a ride to the event, a ride to pick up cat litter and a ride to go to lunch. No one hesitated to help, in fact; they seemed to enjoy it.

Why does the opposite of strength have to be weakness? Understanding the strengths of others just allows me to know them better and what that person brings to the table. I get to value the diversity of my friends and also know what I can depend on them for. I have a friend who is afraid to drive out of the neighborhood. Because of her scare, her world is shrinking.  I have often felt she was weak, according to my standards, but I realize on many other levels; she is very strong. I just need not to judge her by my standards and realize what gifts she has to offer.

If you own your own business, everyone has a part to play. When you do their job for them, you actually steal their education. Are we also stealing their self-respect?

I never realized I would learn so much from not having a car!

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping business owners get smarter for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak to your employees, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York, with her cat Rainyday.

 

 

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By |February 28th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

If You’re Not Following Your Customer Who Is?

It makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your customers.

It makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your customers.

Everyone knows they should be following up on sold customers but how many do? It’s not just sold customers; what about customers who have been in your business and haven’t decided to purchase? Maybe you made one phone call and then got busy. We talk about managing the customer’s experience; how can you do it if you’re not in touch with the customer? You must stay in touch with your customers if they are to remember and refer you.

It’s not that we don’t want to do it, we just get busy. Salespeople have a tendency to be motivated by “shiny objects” called new customers.  It’s the hunt. Can I close them, how much money they will give me, this is exciting.

It's pretense.

It’s pretense.

In actuality the new customer is all about “smoke and mirrors.” No one knows anything about them and that seems to be the allure. What about the customer who purchased twenty thousand dollars of tile from you three months ago? At one point they were the “allure” and now they’re among the missing. You might be tired of hearing this but 90%, it’s gone up from 80% two years ago, of your customers come from referrals. It’s the customer who you said “Thank you so much to,” and then shoved out the door. You promised yourself you would send them a thank you note, remember their birthday and swore you would call them. But then the “shiny object” came through the door and you were off and running.

The customer can’t refer you unless the remember you. While they are tethered to their tablet and cell phone you are the last thing on their mind. If it matters to you, make it a priority.

What about the customer whose home you measured but never closed? After you got over the fact that they dumped you again you ran after the next new customer. Maybe they didn’t dump you after all but if you don’t follow up how will you know. Another lost opportunity.

goldI’m telling you, the gold is in the sold customers. But, what are you doing about it?

Greg Incardona from Followyourcustomer.com and I had the opportunity to have an interview with Dave Foster about sold customers.  If you would like to do a better job with this, listen to our  audio  interview with Dave Foster. http://bit.ly/18eZd7c.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been consulting with businesses for the past twenty years about sales and customer service. If you would like her to speak at your business or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York with her cat Rainyday.

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Nike Offers Personal Training in Store

Run, Train, Live

Run, Train, Live

I just read this article and thought I should share it with you. Why has it taken  so long for Nike, or anyone else, to add this concept. “It’s called, try it and buy it.” Notice the new slogan: Run, Train, Live.

I know everyone thought JC Penney was crazy when the offered Yoga in their stores but the concept was solid. It was the execution that was a little off base. This article is from Chain Store Age and thought it was worth the space on my blog.

New YorkFitness buffs can shop and also get in a workout at Nike’s new women’s store at Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, California. The 6,000-sq-ft. plus space combines the best of the company’s women’s products with an in-store fitness studio. The glass- and wood-paneled studio, the first for Nike in a U.S. retail location, features free group or personal fitness training sessions. It also enable customers to try out training and running footwear and apparel. The store offers an array of specialized services, weekly programming and special events. In-store services include run analysis, bra fitting, footwear trials and pant hemming. Programming includes the Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Training Club and yoga classes. “Our women’s business has never been stronger and this new store is the ultimate expression of our commitment to women who run, train and live the look of sport and fitness throughout their day,” stated Amy Montagne, VP, general manager of Nike Women. I suggest that businesses hold monthly events for their customers but few rarely do. What better way then to show your customer you care then sharing something special with them? Nike is building communities with their customers.

February Heart Month

February Heart Month

February is Heart Month which offers so many ways to engage your customers. It’s about building a competitive advantage PAST your products. It takes more than products to build a competitive advantage. Products are everywhere; the  key is to present your products in an atmosphere that makes them interesting. This is what Nike is doing. Here are three  ideas:

  1. Ask yourself, how many times in my customer’s lifetime will they need my products? If you’re selling homes, it may be very few. Maybe that’s the reason why realtors forget who you are after the sale. If you’re good at what you do, why wouldn’t your customer refer you to someone else? 90% of your business is now referrals; it’s up from 80% two years ago!
  2. Talk with your customers,  what charities do they support and ask if you can help with a fund raiser. This is a great opportunity to bring in other vendors and access their data bases. If your vendors can bring in new customers to see your business, you’ve won the game. Raising money for a charity will also help you be remembered.
  3. This is the age of transparency: don’t worry about how silly or ridiculous your event is. Who knows it might turn into a reality show!
  4. If you need information on how to run and event; let me know and I’ll send you a copy of my book, “50 Events you can Hold to Bring in More Customers.”

I  would  love you to tell me about your event. Lisbeth Calandrino has been a Coach-sultant for the past 20 years helping businesses engage their employees and building strategies to impact their bottom line. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park in Albany, New York with her cat Rainyday. When not training, she can be found at the gym. Reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.   

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Tongue in Cheek Brand Building with Kim Kardasian and Jenna Bush Hagar

The Kardasians, "Naughty and nice."

The Kardasians, “Naughty and nice.”

People are always writing about brand building. I’ve been watching the GoDaddy  “almost made it to the Super Bowl commercial “and wondered if GoDaddy was just trying to be cute; to “whom” might be your question, but it makes us remember them. The commercial makes me wonder what type of brand’s GoDaddy.  Are they smart, cute, outrageous, uncaring or just stupid? Personally I think they are all of them.

And then there’s Kim Kardasian with her “shelf.” This is who she is.

I know her clothes don’t really sell at Sears; they’re a cross between “hooker and nice” but don’t fit real well. I did buy a pair of white, silk short that I really like. Every time I wear them I think of Kim. Crazy huh? My friend Shelia Carmody , who’s a great marketer, watches ‘The Kardasians.’ I thought she was crazy and then I started watching it. It’s a brand builder’s dream; where do you start? Do you create what you want or is it there to start with? How about a little of both.

I remember when I was blogging for the Costumer I found out that Kim uses Ben Nye stage makeup. “True Reflection”  is her perfume and in WalMart. Kim has become the spokesperson for all things “naughty and nice.” And her GoDaddy commercial, cute!

Let’s go Jenna Bush Hagar. I bring her up because I like the Today Show and enjoy Jenna’s no-nonsense approach. Jenna’s background would indicate that she is well-bred, has an interest in making the world better and a bit of a dare devil.

The “Today Show” is building Jenna’s brand. She has become the exercise guru, has become Today’s  first Lifestyle and Fitness Correspondent.  If you go to the site she has become the guru of all things good for your body.

Building a personal brand isn’t as hard as you think. According to the experts, you must display your core values, be personable, always be at your best, be open and honest and a few other things. (Jenna  was only a college student when she had those drinking indiscretions—that just makes her more real.)

Jenna, at 5 foot 8 inches,  was  a guest trainer on the “Biggest Loser.” What I like best about her is that she’s not a wimp, painfully straight forward  and seemingly not afraid to take a chance.   She is growing into her own soul. She has done her matronly part and become a mom and no doubt  soon  will  hiking the entire length of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail with Margaret Laura ‘Mila’ Hager strapped to her back.

Everything you do is building your brand.

Not long ago I made a vacuum cleaner commercial for Capital Vacuums. It was fun and I’m very happy in front of the camera. From the gym to the grocery store to the Good Will Store; people seem excited that I’m on the television. Somehow that makes me a different person; it gives me discounts and people want to take their photo with me! I can’t believe it. In a short time, I’m on the “brand bandwagon!”

I can’t wait to hear the stories about me and my one minute of fame.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a sales and marketing consultant for over 20 years. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York, with her cat Rainyday. To schedule training or have her speak to your staff, connect at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |January 29th, 2015|Blog, Building a Brand|0 Comments

“Undercover Boss” Uncovers Bad Leadership

Discovers some inept bosses.

Discovers some inept bosses.

After watching season after season of “Undercover Boss” I’m thinking we need  a show called “Undercover Employees.” They could find out what their bosses are doing.

“Undercover Boss” is  an American reality television series, based on the British series of the same name and producted by Studio Lambert in both countries. Just as the title suggests, the boss goes undercover to see what his entry-level employees are doing.

Two things that seem glaring; there is little customer service training and “bosses” don’t know what’s going on in their businesses. In fact, most of the bosses are amazed at what’s going on!

I was watching the “Undercover Boss” last week and was disturbed by the boss’s decisions. He was very generous with the employees he worked with, giving them large sums of money. The problem, as I see it, is that people were getting money to help with their “troubled lives” but weren’t asked to “better themselves” or attend schools, so they could obtain leadership positions.

My hunch is the people will spend their money, have great vacations or new toys but what will they have learned? I believe that people will be more apt to change is there are some conditions to these generous gifts. In fact, I feel so strongly about it. I sent a letter to the “Undercover Boss” and sent some customer service books.  I don’t know if I’ll get an  answer, but maybe the letter with my suggestions will get read! My biggest gripe, where in the  business  world do people get free handouts with no “strings attached?” And what’s the point if the gift isn’t connected with your business?

One great thing about the program is that bosses get to understand their employee struggles and help them grow. One of the best ways to help them grow is to provide opportunities for them to advance within the organization. Promoting good employees is essential to their learning.

In order for a business to perform adequately the “boss” must  be able to communicate with his employees.

There must be a way for the boss to know what their employees are doing without spying on them. This reminds me of mystery shopping; another task that I think is ridiculous. If you think, you’re employees are not acting appropriately they probably aren’t. This problem usually starts when a company doesn’t have a suitable training and accountability program. Teaching and training is one thing, if you don’t hold people accountable for what’s expected to don’t waste the training program. CEO’s must create a business model that is in line with the customer’s and employee needs.

Everything goes back to customer service and how customers are being treated. Front line employees are the ones who need the training and usually get the least amount. Because they’re not seen as the ones who “bring in the money,” they typically don’t get best training.

So far, 100% of the companies have leaders who have no idea of what’s going on in their businesses. How sad.

Many of the problems could be avoided if the leader spent time reading employee evaluations and staying in touch with their businesses.  No matter what business you have, the only thing that makes it work is the customers. The first customer of any business is the employees.

Lisbeth has been coaching business for over 25 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, she can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park in Albany, New York, with her cat Rainyday.

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By |January 25th, 2015|Blog, Customer Satisfaction, Training|4 Comments

“The Real Sale Begins When the Customer Gives you Testimonial”

The customer only cares about three things: me, myself, and I.

The customer only cares about three things: me, myself, and I.

I was talking with John Gregory, owner of Capital Vacuums, in Albany, New York. John has been in the  vacuum cleaner business for most of his life; he started by selling vacuums door-to-door. He insists the key to business is by giving customers a positive experience through “added value.” I asked John if he would share his ideas with us.

 

“When I was knocking on doors, cold calling I came up with procedures to follow. Once you learn them you develop good habits that make your job more exciting and profitable. One of the habits I want everyone to learn is to call our customers after the sale.”

 

Happy customersJohn’s theory of business is simple, add value and make the customer happy.

 

“If the customer isn’t happy with the product/service/experience we need to know it.   If they’re  happy with the product/service/experience we need them to tell the world by giving us an online review.”

 

Retail is a game that both the customer and the store have to win. If the customer is happy, everyone is happy. In the end the business will get more referrals and sales.

 

An online reviews seals the deal!

An online reviews seals the deal!

It used to be we thought when the customer paid us, they were satisfied. Now, we don’t consider the transaction over until we get a review online or a “like” on Facebook. Since I know that 90% of my business is from referrals, the real payoff is the customer’s review. It’s a satisfying   feeling to know that my team can provide an experience worthy of a good review.

 

Years ago we had to ask the customer for referrals. We would ask them for a list of names or ask them to go out of their way to tell their friends and family about their experience with us. No matter how good the experience was the chances of that customer sharing it with friends/family were pretty slim. Most likely, the customer would soon forget about it. Now they can do it with a “click of the mouse,” or by hitting “send” on their phone. It’s amazing!

 

Think about how powerful that is. If we’ve met and surpassed the customers’ expectations, they can put it on the Internet for everyone to see. It’s just as easy for someone to spread the bad word about our business if they aren’t  happy. If they tell us first, we can fix it before they tell anyone else. Businesses need to be proactive.

 

Remember, business is built on value not on price. If you build it on price, you may not be in business very long. You must be able to define value if you’re going to deliver it. Here’s John’s take on value:

 

  • Building value can be as simple as explaining all the features & benefits of your product or service to the customer.

 

 

  • Building value can be as simple as engaging in real conversation with the customer, finding out their needs and conveying/painting a picture/ getting a customer to visualize using your product or service.

 

  • Building value is making sure the customer sees how the product or service will make their life easier or better. The idea is to make the value exceed the price. Make your product or service worth more than what you’re asking!

 

  • Building value can be throwing in something extra with their purchase. It can be as simple as a pen, mug or vacuum bag. It’s a present and we all like presents.

 

  • Building value can be an extended warranty, maybe a service plan.

 

Whatever value you give the customer it should be given to the customer as a present. Who doesn’t want a present? For your present, visit John and his staff at Capital Vacuum, 1593 Central Avenue, Albany, New York. http://www.capitalvacuums.com/

Lisbeth has been coaching for over 20 years. To consult with her or have her speak with your sales team, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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Price Doesn’t Matter, To Whom?

Don't be fooled, it matters to everyone.

Don’t be fooled, it matters to everyone.

There seems to be a fallacy afoot that there is a group of people who are not concerned about price. Rubbish I say. Anyone with a lot of money didn’t get wealthy by making foolish choices. You only keep money by not making bad deals.

This doesn’t mean that every customer should be shown the cheapest goods you have. The other day I was in a flooring store, and the salesperson was waiting on one of her “special customers. The customer apparently has money and spends it.  The owner called the salesperson aside and suggested she be careful with her pricing. He was afraid she would turn him off my showing him the more expensive goods. I heard her say, “His wife likes nice things, and he doesn’t deny her anything. Besides, who wants to look at the junk?” As far as I’m concerned, case closed. I asked the owner about it afterward, and he had a completely different take on it.

“I’m afraid if we show them expensive merchandise they will think we’re after all their money!” It’s amazing what people think.

In my opinion, the problem is that salespeople are not sure how to handle  customer reactions. Everyone has their own ideas about what turns someone off.  It can be a look, a hesitation or just not responding to a question. At this stage in our lives, we should know that it’s pretty impossible to tell what anyone is thinking unless you know them very well. And if you watch any of the crime shows, you know that’s not that accurate.

Why wouldn’t you want to show your best products, the ones you are most proud of?  You know, the products that are unique and worth every penny of their price.

I was at the Lexus dealer having an antenna installed. I wandered to the sales showroom and told the salesperson I was looking for a preowned, older Lexus convertible. It didn’t take him more than a minute to show me a new one. I repeated I wanted a used one but that didn’t stop him. He said I might want to look at the features of a new one, so I would have something to compare. He was right, it made me stop in think; do I want to do without the heated seats.  I pretended like I didn’t care but he obviously had some good training.

Like the produce in Walmart, if I hadn’t been somewhere else, I wouldn’t have a basis of comparison.

My suggestion is to have products in every price point that are really valuable for the money. Ultimately the customer will be in charge of the final decision.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing coaching and sales training for over 20 years. Like her dad, she went to the retail school of “hard knocks,” learning by doing. She retired after 14 years of being part of a retail chain of flooring and furniture stores in the Northeast. She is convinced the best salespeople have very little to say; instead they know the right questions to get the customer to think. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York with her cat Rainyday.

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By |January 13th, 2015|Blog|3 Comments

Want to Get Noticed? Get a Job in Target

Whether you’re in the market to sell yourself or your business you will have to build your brand. Your brand is what makes you unique—it’s what makes you.

Mark Zuckerberg in his "hoodie."

Mark Zuckerberg in his “hoodie.”

When I mention “hoodie” who do you think of? Could it be Mark Zuckerberg? He took hoodie to another level.

Don't forget clean underwear.

Don’t forget clean underwear.

My mom used to say, “Your reputation is all you have.” In those days it means a “good” reputation. These days I’m not sure if it has to be good. You just need a reputation!

Alex from Target,  no longer unknown.

Alex from Target, no longer unknown.

Building your brand isn’t easy. There’s lots of competition and everyday there’s a new unknown who’s become famous.  Last week, Alex was a 16 year old cashier at Target, overnight he became a celebrity with 300,000 followers on Twitter. Someone snapped a photo of him, and it went viral. He says he still doesn’t ’ know what has happened but there’s the buzz that it was a PR stunt from Target. It doesn’t matter, 30 days ago he was an unknown, know he is being represented by Shahidi, who is guiding him on next steps. We now have a brand called “Alex.” Alex was wearing a red Target shirt; I don’t think it was the shirt that made him famous. It was probably his innocent good looks. Here’re some ideas for building your own brand.

No matter what you do, you need your own personal brand to be remembered. If you’re in the sales business, you need customers to remember who you are. I remember I had a salesperson that was known as “the really tall, good looking salesperson.” He was 6 feet tall and definitely good looking. It got him lots of repeat business.

Here are some ideas for building your brand.

"A ship is safe in the harbor but that's not where it belongs."

“A ship is safe in the harbor but that’s not where it belongs.”

Be bold. Take a shot, don’t be afraid to be you and stand out. Your boldness may be your clothes, your hobby or your blog. It might be your haircut. Blogs have made many people famous.

Look like yourself.

Look like yourself.

Look good. Just because you’re running to the post office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up. My mom used to say, “Put on your lipstick, you never know who you’re going to meet.” This was the upgrade from my grandmother who said, “Don’t forget to wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”

Practice random acts of kindness.

Practice random acts of kindness.

Practice “random acts of kindness.” We always remember people who are nice to others. It never hurts to be kind.

Recognize opportunities.

Recognize opportunities.

Get known for working hard and doing an excellent job. This will also make you feel good about yourself.

Have fun.

Have fun.

Be fun, don’t take everything so seriously. I was lucky enough to work with Madeline Kahn in the 50’s. We were both college students working in a hotel in the Catskills; she was a singer and I was a waitress. In the afternoons, she used to dress up as Greta Garbo; a famous vamp from the 20’s and lounged around the pool.

Madeline Kahn, "Blazing Saddles."

Madeline Kahn, “Blazing Saddles.”

One day, the owner came out and yelled at her, “His line, Madeline; you have to get serious if you’re going to be a star!”

If you’ve ever seen “Blazing Saddles” you know she was silly and became a star.

Listen up.

Listen up.

Listen to others. A good listen that isn’t critical is always remembered. You don’t have to be a social worker; you just need a kind ear.

Albert Einstein said he wasn't smart, he was curious.

Albert Einstein said he wasn’t smart, he was curious.

See yourself as entrepreneurial. Being entrepreneurial with interesting ideas will always help your brand.

Take a chance.

Take a chance.

As Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and way what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a business consultant for over 20 years. To speak with her about your business or have her train your employees, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park with her cat, Rainyday.

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Retail Lessons I Learned From My Grandfather’s Farm

ApplesI learned my retail lessons from my grandfather. He told me the price customers would pay for the apples depended upon how they looked; the shiny ones would bring the most money; he was right.   I watched as customers picked through the apples, smelling and admiring the polished ones. It was at this point I realized how important merchandising was. Wow, less number one; pretty things sell.

It wasn’t long before I was busily shining up the more attractive apples. The ones with the worm holes went for the least; I told grandpa we were losing money. Grandpa smiled and said it was good I was paying attention and it was important to price the shiny ones so they covered the price of  “less desirable “ apples.

This was lesson number two: make sure you understand how to price your merchandise.

How do customers determine the price they will pay?

Yesterday I was speaking with a flooring manufacturer about his products. He spent at least 15 minutes telling me how his products were made and what they were made of. Frankly I zoned out after about 5 minutes and stopped listening. The only thing that’s interested me was whether the product would look right in my kitchen. Unfortunately he never asked me what I call “the customer’s conditions of satisfaction.”

Customers will only pay your price if the product works for them; no matter what you’re selling. Once you know what they want it’s your job to help them justify why it’s a good investment.

Want to know what customers will pay for? Ask them and they will tell you. If possible talk with customers who have defected from your business. These are customers that were  only yours but have disappeared. They will have a wealth of information for you.  Once you know what they want, you can tell them what makes your products better.

Find out what why your customers have changed suppliers. When was the last time you talked with customers who no longer buy from you? They will tell you why they’ve moved on and why they like your competitors better. The big mistake is to think you “know” why. Typically, the answer will be the competitor’s price was lower. Unless you have a third party interview your lost customer, this is what you will hear. It’s just easier for the customer to tell you your price was higher.

Shop your competitors, buy from them and experience their service. There’s nothing more eye opening than becoming your competitor’s customer. I had a “big box” store measure my house for flooring; the installer came with his IPad and within 5 minutes showed me the layout and what it would cost. I called the local retailer and he was drawing my kitchen on the back of a napkin! We did that in the 70’s and it wasn’t acceptable then!

Installing products should be a “custom art.” “Custom anything” always demands more money; it takes time and means that is being crafted for the customer. I come from the floor covering industry and very few. If it were my business, I would talk about “custom installation” and nicely correct the customer every time she mention the term “installation.”

Talk about what makes you different, can you offer “white glove service?” I recently bought furniture from California that took 4 months to get delivered. The company sent me photos of the “wrapped furniture” and told me what to expect upon delivery.

I was told to take a picture of the furniture when it arrived and after it was unpacked. They also suggested I purchase their “white glove service.” It meant two people would unload the furniture and unpack it for me. I had never heard of “white glove delivery service” but thought I should give it a try. When the truck arrived the delivery man was wearing white gloves but apologized for the dust on them but he was changing them to unload my furniture. I was astonished and the delivery man took it all very seriously.

The real key is the customer determines the value of your products. It’s up to you to build the value and test it with your customers. The more value, the more they will pay.

Increasing your bottom line depends on how your customers see you and your product. This is a good conversation to have with all of your employees. You can ask them, where they think customers’ see the value.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales/customer service training for over 20 years. She is happy to discuss your situation and how she might help your business. She can be reached at 518-495-5380 or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Albany, New York

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8 Incredible Lessons I’ve Learned From My Cat

cat in business suitI’m always amazed when people say cats aren’t as smart as dogs or cats are “sneaky.” I would question both of these statements if they made sense, but since they don’t, I’ll continue. Cats don’t seem to be valued like dogs. They are often left behind when someone moves or thrown out to fend for themselves. Despite being mistreated, they can forget and forge ahead, oftentimes alone. They are among the most charming of the earthly creatures.
I think I would rather have a cat than a dog as a business partner. For starters, a cat will always let you know where you stand. Additionally:
1. Cats know enough to cover up their trails. I never knew any cats that didn’t know how important it was to keep their “business” covered up. They will continue to dig until it is either covered or they’ve thrown it into another room. They don’t leave things around that will incriminate them or get them in trouble.
2. They are masters at follow-through. If you can’t find something, most likely, the cat knows where it is and will eventually find it for you. They don’t forget where things are; they know how to hide things from everyone but themselves. They stay with the task – even if it’s endlessly chasing an elusive laser dot.
3. Cats have more patience than the rest of the world. My cats can watch a fly on the wall from 5 feet below until they find the right time to pounce. They don’t get rattled and know the value of a good stakeout.
4. When they want something, they’ll let you know. One thing about cats: Being subtle isn’t their MO. If they want to sit on your lap, they will let you know, and if there’s a keyboard in the way, it will have to go. If they love you, they’ll let you know. I remember when I traveled a lot; my favorite cat got in my suitcase and left her mark in front of me. She wasn’t sick, but it was obvious she didn’t like me leaving and needed more love.
5. They know enough to hold a grudge. If you mistreat cats, they will never forget it. They would rather move out and fend for themselves than stay with an abuser.
6. Cats respect intelligence. It has nothing to do with age; it has to do with who has decided to be in charge and make it happen. They often change roles, but only if it’s to their advantage. The treats go first to the cat in charge no matter who you give them to.
7. Cats know the people who love them. Cats have favorites and will let you know. I have a cat who loves one of my friends. When my friend comes over and calls the cat’s name, the cat comes from out of nowhere to get pet.
8. Cats know enough to take naps when they’re tired. They know the value of a good snooze and the importance of conserving energy for the tough stuff. They don’t get cranky or get moody; they just go to sleep.

Never underestimate any earthly creature.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been coaching businesses and training for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak to your team, reach her at 518.495-5380 or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |December 16th, 2014|beliefs, Blog, Motivation|2 Comments