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29 10, 2015

How Much Does Your Excitement Matter to the Customer?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:49-05:00October 29th, 2015|Categories: Advertising, Blog, Building relationships, fun|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Eat more oatmeal!

Eat more oatmeal! Today is National Oatmeal Day.

A smile and excitement are worth quite a bit if today was any indication of it.

Today was “National Oatmeal Day” so the Quaker representatives were handing out fee oatmeal in NYC Penn. Station.   It was interesting watching the response they were getting from consumers. . Some of the reps. were very enthusiastic, smiling and making a big deal about the day. Others didn’t smile and just tried to get people to take the oatmeal.  The ones that were smiling and excited were getting people to take two; the ones who didn’t smile literally “couldn’t give the oatmeal away.”

I kept thinking back to something I say in sales training. “Remember whatever you have it’s catching to the customer.” The person with the highest or lowest energy will shift it to the other one. If you’re excited, it’s catching, if you’re miserable, it’s catching. It was incredible how obvious it was today.

I took the oatmeal with a smile on my face. I also took a good look at it and read the ingredients. The woman’s excitements made me curious and want to know more. Hey, not a big thing; we’re just talking oatmeal now!

I consider NYC the place for looking and shopping. I had an appointment in the city but instead of taking a cab, I choose to walk the 1.4 miles. (Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea in heels.)  I went into several stores to watch salespeople and look around.

Desigual is fun.

Desigual is fun.

My favorite store is Desigual out of Spain. The clothes are very arty and super different. The people, who work there is darling, just like the store. They laugh with the customers and talk about how you have to be careful how many of their prints you wear together, or you’ll look like a clown! I left laughing and energized. They truly have an energized brand.

 

For me NYC is energizing. There are many different types of people, interesting fashions and the most helpful that I know. I left my phone on my car seat and had to keep asking directions to my destination. I choose to ask many people to see what type of reception I would get. People took out their phones to look for directions, some walked with me to make sure I was heading the right way.

We all need to reenergize. Some of us get it from alone time and others from other people.  Getting refueled is about connecting with yourself and who you are. Get out of the house and go to the movies, get to the gym.  I enjoy being around people who have lots of energy because I feel lifted. In fact, it will carry me thought many days of work. I also love when I can share my energy with others. Energy goes both ways.

If you get a free moment, check out your energy and the people around you. Are you in a major slump? People can energize you as well as deplete you of your energy. Take a minute and think about yourself.

Remember what the flight attendant says, “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.”

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13 09, 2015

Is it Your Obligation to be Happy?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:52-05:00September 13th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Change, fun, Motivation|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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Who should make you happy?

As I was leaving my Pilates class today, a friend and I started to talk about life. We were sharing how much we love Lois’s Sunday Pilates class at the Y and how motivated we felt after class. Lois is not only a good teacher; she has what we call, “a great soul.” Life is important to her.

My friend said she felt she had an “obligation to be positive and enjoy life.” I laughed and said, “That sounds like another job and I don’t know if I want one.” We laughed and she went further.

“I think about the present and don’t go to the future. This way, I always invest in whatever the moment brings. I want my children to understand how important the present is. What do you think,” she asked?

First I shared the story about my next door neighbor who was absent at our “porch” get together last night.  When someone asked where he was, his wife said he was sulking because he had a birthday the next day.  Apparently he had a melt down and went to bed.  I thought, Is that a luxury or a disease?

(Wow, what a great conversation we are having in the “Y” parking lot. This will make today worth remembering. )

I, like many, often fight to live in the present. It’s easy to think ahead to next week; friends I’m going to see or my Sunday Pilates class.  If you reflect on it, today is the day you looked forward to last week. I told her if I don’t stay with today, it has very little meaning. It’s like devaluing the day, and I forget to put my effort into enjoying the day and making it wonderful. Isn’t it a terrible way to use up a precious day?

We all know what it’s like to lose someone we love or something that was important to us. If we invest in the present, we will know we’ve loved the best we can and something great is bound to come out of it. We just have to make it happen.

It doesn’t matter how simple or magnificent the day is; it may be just enjoying the rain.

If we’re lucky, today will come so why not make it the best day ever? When you think about it, life is just a series of experiences linked together by our thoughts about them. Like a string of pearls, they surround our being.

Let’s focus on having them free rather than strangle us. Okay, she did say let’s go kayaking after one of our classes. Just having the conversation was good; we do need things to look forward too.

If you do the best you can for today, you’ll never be disappointed in yourself.

Thanks to Kristin Appenbrink for the motivational poster.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a business coach for over twenty years. She helps business build strategies to their success. To schedule a consultation with her, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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27 04, 2014

Want to Improve Your Bottom Line? Hold Events in Your Store

By |2017-03-03T12:06:55-05:00April 27th, 2014|Categories: Advertising, Blog, Customer Service, fun, Managing the Customer Experience, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

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Proven ideas to drive customers to your business.

I was speaking with a friend of mind that owns a culinary store. “It must have been a tough winter, with all the snow,” I said.

“It was a great winter she said. We started holding cooking classes, and we were swamped.”

I mention her success because holding events has   always been a winner. No matter what your retail store, thoughtful promotions will attract new customers and thank your old ones. Holding events also creates a “buzz” that will have your neighbors paying attention. It doesn’t have to cost much money. It just takes some thoughtful promotions; don’t be  afraid to go all out. The more people you can bring in the better. The purpose of an event is to get people into your store and get to know them. Since 85% of your business is probably referrals, you don’t want customers to forget you.

Anything you do that pleases the customer improves your customer service. The more interesting the customer experience the more the customer will remember you. Customers have so many places to hide online that reaching them  has never been more difficult.

Making people feel special is cheap. Don’t you love getting an invitation to an event even if you can’t attend? It means that someone is thinking about you.

We’re all looking for things to do that aren’t expensive.

Events don’t have to be related to your products. For many retailers not promoting their products seems to be frightening. They’re afraid if they don’t talk about their products, they will lose customers. Actually just having fun with your customers is a way to build relationships. Even though we know it’s a good way to build sales, retailers seem reluctant to hold them.

My advice, “Get over it.”

  1. You shouldn’t spend a lot of money. Having lots of balloons will create a party atmosphere and putting your event on your social media will get the word out. It’s not necessary to advertise in the local newspaper unless you have extra dough. These days social media can do it all for you.
  2. You don’t need a big space. Hold your event during your off season. During the holidays, their is lots of competition for your customer’s attention. With the summer coming, this is a perfect time to have a garden seminar in your parking lot. If you’re a risk taker, have a barbecue at your house. Several years ago, I had a fund-raiser at my house, and it was fun and people just loved coming to my home.
  3. Customer appreciation day always works. David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Montana, holds a customer appreciation in October before the holidays. He also gives reduced prices at his events for Christmas shopping. (Click on the link for information on how to hold a customer appreciation day. )
  4. Have you held an Anniversary party? Why not celebrate your business and share it with your customers.
  5. How about a special “guest” appearance? Every town has local celebrities. Some even have worldwide celebrities. Maybe you can have them make a special appearance. If you can involve a local not-for-profit, you will have a better chance of getting a celebrity to  your business. I remember when we raised money for the special needs program  in our neighborhood; we didn’t have any problems getting Yankee great Phil Razzioto to make an appearance! It was so exciting.

Holding events is the way to bring in customer and build relationships. If you need ideas for events, check out my recently published book, “50 Events to drive Traffic to Your Store.” It will soon be on my website and on Amazon.

Are you attending “Coverings” this coming week? If so, stop into my seminar on “How to Use Events to Grow Your Business” on Friday May 2, 2014, at 9:30-11 A.M.

Lisbeth has been a retail consultant for over 20 years. She specializes in improving customer service and building sales strategies that drive traffic. To have her speak at your store, she can be reached at 518-495-538-.

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9 11, 2010

Do You Know Where You’re Going?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:12-05:00November 9th, 2010|Categories: Blog, Blogging, Building a Brand, Change, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Economy, fun, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Success|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |3 Comments

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Take a riskI hope this article is timely for you; it is for me.  For many of us the  economy is still moping along and we’re trying to figure out what to do next. Consumers are changing their buying habits, myself included. Friends are downsizing their lifestyles and examining their life choices. The recession may be over, but the landscape has changed.  In many ways it’s unfamiliar; at least it is to me.   I’m in a different place too. It’s not a bad place, it’s just a different place and different doesn’t always feel right–especially in the beginning.

Change is good. Well, change is interesting but it’s more interesting if it’s happening to you rather than me. In my case, I find when it’s time  for a change I put more hours in at the health club! Somehow I know it’s a safe place for my mind and my body. I feel less stressed after my workout and  feel I’ve done something good for me.

Each of us is building new roads, repairing our highways and hopefully avoiding serious pitfalls.  I’m convinced that sharing this journey with positive friends who have good intentions will make our journey more pleasant and safe. It’s time to re-cultivate your the garden and  get rid of the weeds that might be choking you from making new decisions. Sometimes, these weeds come in surprising forms–forms we call “friends.”

Just as I’m writing this article, I received this from Kevin Clancey a Realtor in Albany, New York from his Monday Morning Mojo:

The biggest obstacle to creating a wonderful life is self-limiting beliefs. A self-limiting belief is an idea you have that you are limited in some way, in terms of time, talent, intelligence, money, ability, or opportunity. Brian Tracy

At times we all have limiting beliefs, and there’s nothing to fear except fear itself and fear can be defined with the acronym “false evidence appearing real”. So, now what, where do you begin? It’s time for you to become your own coach, a good coach.

Speaking of coaches, one of my guests on Red Hot Customer Service Show was John Stahl from The Growth Coach of New York  serving business owners throughout the Northeast. John talks about limiting beliefs. Of course, beliefs simplify our lives but limiting beleifs dis-empower and hold us back. John talks about “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable” while making changes. If you’re talking about business challenges, Johns says the biggest challenge is between the ears of the business owner. I think this is a problem that many of us share.

Coach Vincent Lombardi once said that the difference between a good coach and a bad coach is the good coach always knew what the end would look like. If you don’t know where your want to go, how will you get there? If you get wherever “there” is, how will you know it’s the right place? In Warren Bennis’s book, “View from the Top“, he examines ninety leaders and found that one of key strategies was “attention through vision.”

What’s vision you ask? Vision can be a simple act or a thought; what do I really want out of life?

What makes me happy?

What are my dreams, my goals or my purpose? What would I like more of in my life?

I know I want more time at the lake.

Sometimes visions are statement for the future, a destination that you want to achieve. Last year I joined Toastmasters. I have competed in several events and recently joined the advanced Toastmasters Group. My goal is to continue to advance my speaking craft–I love speaking. The club gives me the opportunity to test new topics, get feedback and make changes. It’s a way to continually focus on something that’s important in my life.

Your vision may be simple. If you are invested in the outcome and feel ownership over your vision, then the happiness is in the journey– the appreciation of the uniqueness of the components it takes to get there.

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23 10, 2010

You Never Know Where A “Cat-astropic” Event Can Lead

By |2017-03-03T12:07:12-05:00October 23rd, 2010|Categories: Advertising, beliefs, Blog, Building a Brand, Change, Competitive Advantage, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Entrepreneurs, fun, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Cats don't kill people (or dogs) guns doIt was reported that two kittens, Snowyday and Winter somehow dented the bell on a $5000.00 bass trombone.

Trouble in river city.

How did they do it? They probably used a  a chair. The owner, Anthony Giles, a professional trombone player, felt dented, just like the bell but unexpected events often lead us to new discoveries and new ideas.

Did  Edison really sit on the light bulb to create its unique shape? The best brass repair guy was called in New York City. Everyone knows  The Brasslab, Chuck Alexander, the master of Red Hot Customer Service. The “bone” was packed up for its trip to New York City.

An immediate diagnosis indicated that the bell needed to stay for  repair. This is not good. So, the trombone player, Anthony Giles went searching through through his “spare bells” and came up with a 10 year old  bell which turned out to be a better fit for his playing. I’m told that, as a musician, you’re always looking for ways to improve; By accident he had found one.

I think the kittens are not only off the hook but may