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Join Us Again for THE Floorcovering Industry EVENT of The Year!

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Every year I look forward to attending SURFACES. I groan a little thinking about all the walking I have to do but I pretty much have that solved. I now carry an extra pair of flats in my computer bag! After about four hours, I change my shoes and that seems to help. For many of us, this is the time to meet old friends and be mesmerized by all the beauty of our industry. Yes, it’s like a fashion show for flooring.

It’s the time to catch up on color and design trends as well as new products. As a speaker and trainer, I’m always looking for something to write about or something to engage my mind. I try to attend as many of the education seminars as possible. I’m particularly fond of the installation events. Product is the product, but the installers are the ones who turn them into something spectacular.

Having been in the industry for decades, you would think it’s almost impossible to find something new. Fortunately, it’s not true; it’s all there for you to see. The International Surface Event- SURFACES| StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas |TileExpo 2016 will feature a week of comprehensive education and training taught by the brightest minds in the industry; a world-class trade show floor filled with the latest products & services from vendors committed to supporting the industry & the key networking opportunities that have come to set The
International Surface Event apart.

Remember SURFACES is a four-day event being held from 19th January to the 22nd January 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, United States Of America. This event showcases product from the Architecture & Designing industry. Get plenty of sleep before you get here, four days really isn’t enough time to take it all in.

Are you looking to get more customers and keep those margins up? This year I’m doing two seminars as well as two bonus ‘short ones’ in the Social Media Lounge. The use of social media and email marketing continues to offer new ways to build and maintain our customer base. Someone said to me why don’t you just recycle something you wrote years ago; I laughed. Can you imagine talking about “My Space?”

The new “electronic word of mouth” (eWoM) continues to expand and challenge our brains. Like you, I fight my way through the maze of ideas to come up with what’s best for my customers. Not all traditional marketing is outdated but paring it with new electronic tools can make it sing.

Find me at:

TU25, Tuesday, January 19.
“TURN THE TIDE: CREATE NEW STREAMS OF CUSTOMERS FOR YOUR BUSINESS,” 3:50-5:20pm, Islander H, North Convention Center-Lower Level.

WE01, Wednesday, January 20.
“PRICE MATTERS TO EVERYONE, WHY PRETEND IT DOESN’T?”, 8:00-9:30am, Islander, Islander A, North Convention Center-Lower Level.

Get a free book! To the first 5 people who bring this article to either of my seminars. “50 EVENTS to Drive Traffic to Your Store.”

Prepare to IGNITE your senses, your knowledge and your business at TISE 2016! For more information click on this link, http://www.tisewest.com/.

Lisbeth Calandrino, speaker, Associate Publisher and Director of Social Media, Fabulous Floors
Magazine, http://fabulousfloorsmagazine.com/, http://lisbethcalandrino.com/.

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By | January 8th, 2016|Blog, Training|0 Comments

“Undercover Boss” Uncovers Bad Leadership

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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|5 Comments

Are Communication Skills Much Ado About Nothing?

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COMMUNICATIONI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject: “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.” In other words, rapport is when we get each other. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong. According to Sravanthi Reddy G.,  selling is a two way communication relationship and involves talking and listening.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory: a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn. I use BEST Instruments because it’s simple and very revealing.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself, you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over. Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales and customer service training for over 20 years. To book a consultation or have her speak to your group, contact her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or 518-495-5380. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York,  with her cat Rainyday.

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By | November 18th, 2014|Blog, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Success, Training|0 Comments

5 Ways To Get Your Salespeople Connected To Customers

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connecting-with-customer-service-advisorI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

 “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.”

In other words, rapport is when we ‘get each other’. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. Building rapport is part of customer service and the customer experience.

In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory – a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way. The one I like the best comes from BEST Instruments. It is short but conveys lots of information.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over.

To schedule Lisbeth to speak to your employees or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Join Me In Calhoun, Georgia for Mohawk’s Comprehensive Flooring Sales Training

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Mohawk University

  • Are you wondering how the internet and social media have changed the sales process?
  • Have you noticed that it takes longer for the customer to buy?
  • Are you wondering what has changed about customer service and why customers are more difficult?

The 4 day Comprehensive Flooring Sales Training  is Mohawk University’s most popular course held in Calhoun, GA. This course identifies and covers the key topics that every retail salesperson should understand. Topics such as product knowledge,  sales,  measuring and color training. Take advantage of the opportunity to train your salespeople on all of the keys to successful selling in the retail flooring industry.

“I’m excited to be part of this program. I will be presenting an update on the sales-process and how the internet is affecting the sales process. Space is limited to 35 people. This is just a last minute shout out so if you’re interested you should register now.”

Class Includes: four nights’ stay, transportation to/from the Atlanta Airport and to/from class, lunch daily and dinner for three nights.

February 25-28, 2014 Calhoun, GA

Register Now

For more information call:

Destiny Spears
Residential Marketing/Mohawk University
Business Development Associate
Ph: 1-800-241-4494 x 42420
Fax: 1-706-624-2420
Email: destiny_spears@mohawkind.com

Lisbeth Calandrino has been providing sales and customer service training to the floor covering industry for over 25 years. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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By | February 17th, 2014|Training|0 Comments

Want Your Business To Survive? Invest In Today

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Invest in your peopleIn order for your business to survive, you must be smarter than ever.  In order to make it you must protect the present while building for the future.

You must also never look back.

How will you know which tactics are good for today and also good for tomorrow? Here are a few things that you might consider.

Invest in things that will give you a return. While you might interpret that to mean “products”, I’m actually talking about employees. Employees are a business’s biggest expenditure and often get the least amount of attention. If employees were your building, would you always try to keep them shiny and new, in good repair and well taken care of? Probably. So, invest in your employees.

Unhappy employees will leave. A friend of mine quit a very good-paying job because she didn’t feel satisfied. She doesn’t have a lot of cash stashed away but she felt she had to leave. She loved everyone and they loved her–she just wasn’t happy. I started thinking–why not ask your employees how  they feel about their jobs? Are they  fulfilled? Maybe this isn’t something we think about but why wait until your best employee leaves and only then try and fix it?

As the world keeps changing both your business and your employees will have to change. It’s one thing to have an antiquated building and it’s another thing to have an antiquated employee. Give me the building anytime. It’s likely that many of your employees have additional responsibilities, but are they properly trained for them?

Lastly, reducing employee turnover is important. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, the average turnover cost of an  $8 an hour employee is $3500. This is a pretty expensive $8 an hour employee. Spending $1000 a year per employee on training begins to look like a bargain.

Business owners have often said, “my employee isn’t that good but I never know what I’ll get.” My answer: you can always get another lousy employee. The trick is to get a good one.

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By | May 28th, 2012|Blog, Training|0 Comments