The Millenniums

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5 Reasons why it Matters that you Accept Where you are in Life

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It's hard to like someone you don't desire. -Laura Marling.

It’s hard to like someone you don’t desire. -Laura Marling.

I spent a couple of days with my friends in Long Island. There were lots of conversations about what others were doing and how our lives could be better. There was one common theme that kept repeating itself. There are many people whose lives are better because of what they have.)

So does money make us happy? The consensus was that money makes life easier which lessens the stress. Ultimately you will be happier. It seems simple doesn’t it?

To go along with this is the “I wish I had, why didn’t I and I should have” statements?

Today I had lunch with another friend, here’s what we decided.

“We are where we are because of the choices we’ve made in life.” Yes there are a few missed opportunities but basically we’ve made our own lives. We all have food, a place to live, a car to drive and mostly good health.  The bit problem seems to be accepting where we are. Here’s why it’s important.

  1. You don’t give yourself credit for what you’ve done. Miracles haven’t made your life what it so give yourself a pat on the back for what you’ve done.
  2. You can’t change the choices you’ve made. It is an excellent idea to review your choices and decide which ones were good and which ones weren’t so hot.
  3. You can’t grow or get better unless you accept who you are. We are only as smart as we give ourselves credit for. Why is it? We focus on things we haven’t done?
  4. You can’t “pretend” your way through life, although many do. My friend is finishing college and is telling me how much she is going to make. With all due respect, her two-year degree is not that demanding, and I know she’s into a rude awakening. Better to deal with “what is” rather than “what you would like it to be.”
  5. Work as hard as you can with what you have. Learn things daily, read, and find ways to get smarter. While coming from the gym I asked one of my “gym” friends, how he was feeling. He said he was annoyed that he wasn’t feeling better. I actually joined in with that I was also annoyed. Another friend chimed in with, “Hey we’re every working out; that’s better than most people our age!”

Accepting who you gives  you the ability to live with yourself. There are so many people who beat themselves up daily, as well as others who love them, for not being more. We can only be what we are at this moment. If we want the next moments to be unusual, we will have to make different choices. Some of these choices are difficult because we don’t know what they will bring.

Nothing new has every changed by doing the same thing over again. Einstein called doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results was a form of insanity.

None of us want to think of ourselves as insane.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:51+00:00October 11th, 2015|beliefs, Blog, The Millenniums|0 Comments

9 Ways to Handle Pricing Before you Make it a Problem

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Are you shooting yourself in the foot with your pricing? Thanks to Mike Myatt for photo.

Are you shooting yourself in the foot with your pricing? Thanks to Mike Myatt for photo.

Everyone has their own take on pricing; some ideas are better than others.

This week I produced a  training video with  Tony J. LaGreca, president of Edmar Floorcare. His product is a vacuum that cleans deep pile carpet. One of the features of the vacuum is a sonic bar that vibrates at 200 per second. Tony pointed out I could say 12,000 per minute and that big numbers are better. I started thinking, numbers do matter.

 

Here’s my take on numbers.

 

  1. Customers like big numbers when they’re in their favor. Instead of telling the customer that the sale price on the $100 item is $40.00 why not tell them it’s 60% off? The bottom line is the same but 60% has a bigger punch.

 

  1. Always remember to explain to the customer how much they’ve saved rather than how much they spent. They can continue to justify their purchase for the next year.

 

  1. Everyone is looking for a savings or discount; this is why Marshalls and T.J. Max do such great business. The Goodwill is so busy they are now opening a boutique style shop. At least 1/3 of the Millenniums shop at Goodwill. So if they’re your customer, don’t forget they want to save money and are looking to save a buck. Check out the stats on the Millenniums.

 

  1. Let’s not forget the concept of “Lagniappe” something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure. This expression thought of as New Orleans based, means giving the customer a tiny gift to tell them how much you care. It also helps soften the price; especially if the item is expensive. Think about serving coffee, bottled water or popcorn to make the customer feel welcome. Most retailers have a “kid’s corner” so the mother can shop. Ikea even has baby food in the fridge as well as a “Manland” baby sitting service with pinball machines and video games.

 

 

  1. If a  customer asks why you don’t carry the imposter  say you don’t think it’s a good product or it’s  worth the money. That will stop them in their tracks.

 

  1. When customers say, “I’ll be back,” ask them what they think about your prices. What do you have to lose? Pay attention to their answers and don’t justify your prices. Just listen. You can then ask the customer if you could explain why your prices are higher.

 

  1. Watch social media and see what your customers are saying about pricing in general. Are they talking about paying supermarket prices or the price of gas?

 

  1. Try different price points and test them on various products. Do customers like the $10.99 concept or is $11.00 okay? It was a big problem when JC Penney changed theirs to whole numbers.

 

  1. Connect with your customers on an emotional level, get to know them. The more you know about them and their buying habits the less likely you are to drop your prices.

 

The smartest thing you can do is not assume that price is the problem. Understand your products and the value you provide for your customers.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build retail marketing and sales strategies for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com .

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:52+00:00August 24th, 2015|Blog, Sales, Selling on price, The Millenniums|0 Comments

4 Key Factors that Will Help Determine Your Business Success

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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 |2017-03-03T12:06:52+00:00May 19th, 2015|Blog, Marketing, Success, The Millenniums|0 Comments

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

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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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Who Are The Millenniums? They’re You’re New Customers and Your New Employees!

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Our new employee and consumer.

Dave Foster owner of Talkfloor Radio asked if I would talk about marketing and the new consumer, known as the Millenniums. Dave hosts a daily radio show which focuses on the floor covering industry and related topics. I’ve sent you a link to part one of the interview.

I chose to look at the group as both employees and customers.Soon enough the group called the Millenniums; ages 18-35 will comprise 36% of our workforce.  (This is a link to the Millenniums and the “oldies” working together).Consider that by the year 2020; this group will be  nearly half of our workers. As with every generation, let’s face it, they’re different. However, this group stands out from generations of the past. This group is  the most educated and culturally diverse of any generation. They are  self-motivated and have their  personal agenda. They aren’t as influenced by their elders and have “minds of their own.” This can be frightened to a generation that expects everyone to follow the rules.

Education has become more important than ever.   

According to Jeremy Kingsley, leadership expert and author of ‘Inspired People Produce Results‘, millennial workers are more likely to look for meaning and impact on their work and aren’t satisfied simply punching a clock. Helping them understand their role in a larger plan gives them a clearer sense of purpose. ”It makes them feel valued, which in turn boost’s productivity,” says Kingsley.

Businesses have always felt that a good employee above all else, is dedicated to their employee and the best way to motivate an employee is with money and other perks. However, a recent study by the Pew Research Center in 2010 found that Millenniums place a higher priority on helping people in need (21%) than having a high-paying career (15%). This means businesses must rethink their training programs and their new employees. It sounds like businesses “carrot and stick” approach may be going out the window. Maybe it’s time for businesses to examine their values.

So what is a business to do?

 

According to a 2012 survey by staffing agency Adecco Adecco, 68% of recent graduates identified good opportunities for growth and development as one of their top professional priorities. “Most in this group are hungry and want to advance,” says Kingsley. “If you do not provide development, it’s like a slap in the face.” Assigning stretch projects, bringing in speakers or sending employees to leadership conferences will be especially helpful for those millennial workers interested in learning and growing their skills.

When I was growing up, my dad wasn’t available for any of my school functions. He worked 12-14-hour  construction and came home to eat and sleep. To support his family, this was expected. The Millenniums are telling us they are willing to make sacrifices for their families.

This is a new generation with fresh expectations and concerns about our world. Businesses are always wondering what they can teach their employees. It appears; there is much to be learned from our new generation of workers and consumers. It looks like things that will make the world a better place for all of us.  

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a speaker and trainer for the past twenty years. She helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:59+00:00December 26th, 2013|Blog, The Millenniums|0 Comments