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4 01, 2019

How to Sell Today’s Internet Savvy Customer

By |2019-01-04T15:56:29-05:00January 4th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand, Building relationships, Selling today's customer|Tags: , |0 Comments

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Selling today’s Internet-savvy customer isn’t difficult, it’s different. If you’re planning on selling them, you will have to get on target. It’s not changing, it’s changed!

Do you remember 11 years ago? Eleven years ago, Facebook was still competing with MySpace for traffic. Amazon was known primarily for selling books, and the iPhone was just released. When you think about it, it’s another world; a very old world.

We are all customers, and we’ve all changed. How we shop is completely different. Remember when merchants were insulted because people were talking on their phones and walking through their stores? Now we rarely look twice at them; it’s just the way things are. Although my dermatologist has a sign in the office that reads, “If you need to use your cell phone don’t use it here!” It feels a little harsh, but the office is really quiet.

So what does this mean to those of use that connect with today’s customers? We need to understand the customer’s journey and what tools they have in their toolbox. Salespeople still need to know how to sell, have the determination and a good personal presence. The ability to communicate with the customer is more important than ever. Building rapport has never been a more useful skill. Salespeople they need to understand ‘how they buy’ so they can be part of the customer’s world.

The Internet plays a huge part in today’s purchase so if you’re not connected and still don’t think it’s important; you’re not only behind you are in another world. I have several friends who don’t text, their reasoning, “It’s not warm and fuzzy.” What it really means is they have a ‘flip phone’ and writing text can take you into next year! They ask me why I don’t leave phone messages, and I tell them it’s not very efficient, and I don’t want to spend the day playing phone tag!

Not sure of the customer’s journey, ask the customer how they get information and how they buy. Examine your own journey and incorporate into your sales pitch. Here’s one idea that will get you on the right road; before you waste the customer’s time looking at all of your products, ask them if they’ve been to your website and looked at products. Ask if they’ve seen anything they like and would they like to look at it ‘in person.’ Turn on your computer or iPad and bring up the products they like. You can also ask what other sites they’ve been to and what products they’ve seen.

Want to know more about this topic?

I will be conducting three seminars for Mohawk Industries at the Loews Hotel, 455 N. Park Dr., Chicago, IL on January 16, 17th.

The three seminars are: “How to Sell to today’s Internet Savvy Customer, 10 Ways to Attract and Keep Talented Employees, * Ways to Use Technology to Grow Your Business.” To sign up for these seminars, call your local Mohawk Industries Representative.

Thanks to Usabilla for the image and the Customer Experience Winners.

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7 08, 2018

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO TURN YOUR HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS

By |2018-08-10T15:49:58-05:00August 7th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand, Competitive Advantage, Customer Service, general|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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More and more, we see a phenomenon expanding in the economy: skilled workers opting to stay at home and choosing to do contractual jobs over the internet. They take on employers based on task-specific contracts, going through several employees one after another. Sometimes, they even juggle several employees at once. They hand in excellent work, the arrangement expires, and they go on to the next contract.

This is the gig economy.

If making, hacking, and creating on the side isn’t enough for you, you may be thinking of taking your hobby legit. However, turning a hobby into a business isn’t just a matter of scaling up. Whether you’re selling creations, ideas, or services, here are three things you need to cut it in the business world.

A Platform
It doesn’t matter how awesome your products or services are if you don’t have a way to sell them. To monetize your hobby, you need a way to get the word out.

One option is selling through established marketplaces, including Etsy and Tindie. These platforms offer the benefit of already existing, so all you have to do is upload your information and list your items. However, with so many makers, crafters and DIYers using these marketplaces, it can be hard to stand out and find customers.

If you’re serious about your business, create an e-commerce website to list your wares. You can drive traffic and gain customers by marketing your business through social media, attending Maker Faires, and networking with your local maker community. Traditional marketing channels not doing it for you? Read Neil Patel’s guide to growth hacking for creative ways to expand your business.

Collaboration
Working from home has its limits. While a home office is great for focusing and cranking out work, it’s not the most creative environment. For exposure to new technologies and fresh ideas, seek a workspace you share with other makers.

Not only does co-working offices and maker spaces provide a place to work, but also these collaborative workspaces host events where you can learn, socialize and hear from leaders in the field. Make the right connection at a networking event and you can land yourself a partner for your newest project or an investor with a passion for your work. Collaborative workspaces expand your social capital and provide access to tools and technology that you might not be able to afford on your own.

To find a maker space in your area, check out the directory at Make.

Financial Savvy
The difference between a hobby and a business isn’t in how much time you commit to the pursuit. Rather, it’s all about how you handle the finances.

If you’re considered a business by the IRS, your business expenses are fully deductible. However, businesses have to check a few boxes, such as keeping financial records, paying estimated taxes and generating profit. You can learn more about the business-hobby distinction at The Simple Dollar.

You’ll need to keep financial records such as business expenses and income, receipts, invoices and inventory logs. How you maintain these records is up to you. While many small-business owners turn to software solutions like QuickBooks, when you’re first starting out, basic spreadsheets may be sufficient. However, some tech solutions are worth the effort.

Two apps that every new freelancer, side-gigger, or small-business owner should have in their pocket are a receipt-tracking app, and an invoicing app. A receipt app collects receipts in one place using pictures, so you’re not sorting through stacks of faded, crumpled receipts at tax time. An invoice app lets you send invoices right from your phone, so you can keep your business running on the go. More importantly, it makes it easy to see which invoices are outstanding so you don’t forget to get paid!

Turning a hobby into a successful enterprise is every maker’s dream. However, running a successful business requires more than passion and a great idea. If you want to see your dreams come to fruition, you need to pay just as much attention to these behind-the-scenes details as you do to the main attraction.

Article by Lucy Reed, lucy_reed@gigmine.co>The Gig Mine, http://gigmine.co/.

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20 06, 2018

Wow, I Have Really Been Off my Game!

By |2018-06-20T10:05:00-05:00June 20th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand, Building relationships, Motivation and change|Tags: , |Comments Off on Wow, I Have Really Been Off my Game!

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I really owe you my dear reader, an apology. I haven’t posted since April 2018. What have I been doing? You know life isn’t supposed to get in the way of your business, but mine sure has. Like many of you, every so often we reach a crossroads in our life. Where am I and what should I do next? I know I love all of you, your notes and your phone calls so I don’t want to leave you. I want to make it more interesting. I’ve put together a bunch more for you! By the way, I’ve started sending new weekly emails through Followyourcustomer–I am adding you to the list. You can opt out if you don’t like them.

I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

Many of you know I spend a lot of time at the gym—Yoga, Pilates and lifting weights. I also meditate. This helps me stay centered and clear out my thought process. I also attend lots of movies; they give me different ideas.

I am working on a series of online video training programs; when they are ready for release,  you will be the first to know. I am also intending to do a weekly show, WHITEBOARD WEDNESDAY, A FIVE MINUTE TIP AND TRICKS SERIES. I’m intending to make everything fun and would love your thoughts and ideas on what you would like.

Thank you so much for sticking with me; for some of you it has been almost 10 years! I started blogging on July 25, 2008! Maybe I should recycle some of them? Actually I like one called “Overcoming Objections: What about the Ones you Can’t Overcome?” I will find it for you.

Here are some photos of the garden, it’s been a rough year for one of my kitties, Rainyday. He has a terminal disease but he is still making the most of life.

Again I thank  you for bringing me into your life.

Hugs, Lisbeth

Lisbeth has been a motivational speaker and trainer for over 20 years. Her book “Red Hot Customer Service” was voted one of the top customer service books. Look for her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To book a consultation, call her at 518.495-5380, EST, or email her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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29 10, 2017

Magnetically Attract the Best Customers by Becoming a Community Hub

By |2017-10-29T21:18:29-05:00October 29th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand, Building relationships, Building your business, webinar|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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Attract customers by becoming a community hub

“Is Amazon coming for you?”

On November 9th I will be the guest expert on FCNews Marketing Mastery Webinar.

Amazon has created huge disruption in retail by making it easy to buy virtually anything on line, and they are now expanding into brick-and-mortar.

 

Box stores have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising to create brand awareness. It may seem hopeless but it isn’t.

As a small retailer, you have advantages the big boys don’t. By using the right strategies you can out maneuver the big players and run circles around them. I will be revealing a powerful strategy to outmaneuver the big companies, and attract a LOT more customers during the upcoming fCNews webinar called:

“HOW TO TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS INTO A COMMUNITY HUB”

For more info and to sign up: http://marketingmasterywebinar.com/Lisbeth

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5 07, 2016

How to Thank People so it Really Matters

By |2017-03-03T12:06:48-05:00July 5th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

In May 2016, I received a call from Rochelle M. Howard, Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints. Prior to her phone call, I had no idea who she was or what her agency did.

Her request was a quote on 30 tests from the BEST Inventory, Communication Tests. These are short inventories, simple to administer and based on William M. Marston’s, Ned Herrmann’s, and James Brewer’s work measuring the dominant patterns of behavior in individuals.I have used them over the years.

I was flabbergasted and asked how she found me. She said that the owners of BEST Instruments had referred me. How super I thought. All of those conversations I had with the owner had given me something I never though about–a customer. I liked the owner very much and spent considerable time on learning how to administer and interpret the tests as well as just chatting. It actually never occurred to me that she might be in a position to refer me or my work.

 

Remember to thank people is a very important skill. Social media makes it possible to ‘like’ organizations and businesses that are important to us as well. Although people appreciate a business like, it is still very impersonal. If you do like a page, write a personal note about why you like the page–that will help.  Her are a few more ideas for ‘upping’ your like quotient.

 

  1. Get to know your suppliers and people that are in a position to refer your business. Remember they have other customers who reach out to them and may ask for help. You might be the person to supply this help. If you get a referral don’t forget to thank them publically for their help and brag about their products.
  2. Don’t forget to get referrals from as many customers as possible. Some of your customers have more clout—don’t forget to us them. In this case I happened to have done volunteer communication testing for a high level government agency close to my home. They gave me a terrific testimonial that I know helped me get the job in Washington.
  3. Be as personal as possible. Thank people publicly and privately. A phone call for you can mean the difference, even if the favor doesn’t bring any immediate results. Just remembering to pass your name along to a potential customer, or bragging about you while sitting with a group of stranger’s matters. A third party endorsement is better than anything you can say about yourself.
  4. Get to know people who hire you; their likes and dislikes. If they like to cook or like a favorite dessert or tea, send it to them! The gifts don’t have to be expensive. You just need to go out of your way and give someone something special. If you’re a house guest send something wonderful to the host or bring something with you. It’s often easier after because you have a better idea about their likes.
  5. Keep a ‘gift notebook’ of people you want to thank. Sometimes we forget the most important people in our lives.
  6. Ask how you can help. If someone does something for you call and ask if there’s a way to repay the favor.
  7. Encourage people you know who do a good job. Everyone loves encouragement and few do it. Even big kids need encouragement.
  8. Social media is a good way to thank people but go beyond the like. Make a comment to them, send them a message and tell them thank you. Are you grateful? Say it if it’s so. It goes straight to the heart.
  9. Send an old fashion thank you note. They mean a great deal event in 2016. Don’t ask someone else to do it for you!
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