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1 06, 2012

Is it Possible We Think Too Much?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:06-05:00June 1st, 2012|Categories: Blog, Motivation|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

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Is thinking good?A friend of mine said that I thought a lot. I didn’t ask what he meant I just thought everyone did. Maybe they don’t .

Could it be that most people don’t think?  Spending time thinking is one of the great past times of life, isn’t it?

I had a therapist who once said you can’t get chocolate milk from a turnip field. Now, she was talking about relationships — but the rest of life is like that too.

Think about business; it doesn’t happen from your living room or your showroom. It comes from you thinking about it and then making it happen. Wondering how everyone is getting business won’t help you unless you go talk to them and find out what they know that you don’t. Relationships don’t happen in your living room either.

Thinking everyone knows more than you won’t help either.  Don’t you remember friends from your school who were smarter than you and didn’t become much? I have a better story about Jim Deitz; I’ve changed his name to protect him from all of us trying to find him. Remember when they asked you in high school what you wanted to be when you grew up? Well, Jim said he didn’t want to work and wasn’t planning to. That didn’t make him very popular with the girls or the teachers. Well, the short of the long story is he didn’t work, or at least not like the rest of us, and he became a millionaire.  Winning was his plan and he bought lottery tickets every day. It was his plan for 10 years. It looks like he thought about it.

What motivates us? Could it be thinking? Here’s a good blog post from the Harvard Business Review about motivation.

Maybe it’s better you think alone. And sure as heck, don’t discuss your hair-brained schemes with others. What’s hair-brained to one is a fortune to another? When I was breaking up with a boyfriend some time ago he reminded me of my hair-brained schemes; somehow he forgot I was supporting myself with those schemes!  A scheme to one is a plan to another.

Remember Mark Victor Hansen, and Chicken Soup for the Soul? As the rumor goes, his book was turned down 63 times before it was published.  So he went out and asked all those who contributed stories to his book to commit to buying a bunch of books prior to publication. By the time he was done, he had enough prior sales that he was into his second publication! What publisher wouldn’t want that deal?

I took a class on book publishing and the first thing the instructor said was, if you have a following it doesn’t matter how bad the book is — they’ll buy it because it’s yours.

Don’t ask what other people think, who cares what they think? Could it be we spend too much time worrying about what other people think and not enough about what we think? As they say in North Dakota, and recently in Alaska, “you betcha.”

Excuse me while I go back and think some more. I’m not sure about what but I’m sure I’ll find something.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service and sales training. Need a speaker? She can be reached at redhotcustomerservice@nycap.rr.com. Lis is also the co-author of CONTAGIOUS OPTIMISM!  Learn more at www.contagiousoptimism.net (publisher: Viva Editions).  

 

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6 02, 2011

Stop Insulting Your Customers

By |2017-03-03T12:07:11-05:00February 6th, 2011|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , |7 Comments

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cartoon with fuzzy image, drinking hot chocolate and sitting outside in front of a wood fire. Every customer service post says: “treat the customer the way you want to be treated.”

Have you read the newspaper lately or watched the news?  Maybe I watch too much TV but there are lots of nuts out there. Remember the last time you got bad customer service? Is it possible that the server was treating you the way he  wanted to be treated? I doubt it. He probably wasn’t paying attention which is even worse than poor service.  Remember 96% of customers who leave a business leave because of  indifference.

Don’t we treat people the way we want to be treated? We’re nice to some and not so nice to others. It’s a fact of life, not a great fact but it’s what people do. Some people don’t have very high standards.

Treating customers they way they want to be treated is what great customer service is all about. Call it the Nordstom way, call it “going out of your way”  but it’s giving the customer more than they ever thought they could get. Nordstom’s first rule, hire nice people. Their theory, “we can teach people to sell but we can’t teach them to be nice.” It sure is hard to teach people to be nice.

I was in my friend’s shoe store the other day when a sad looking woman came in and asked if my friend was throwing out any shoes; she didn’t care about the size she had lost everything in a fire. It was hard to understand her,  you could tell she  wasn’t from the United States.

My friend took the woman and her two children by the hand and without hesitation found each  several pairs of shoes. The woman said she had no money but could cook for my friend and bring her a special dish from her country  in a couple of weeks. I watched as the woman left with shoes and my  friend with no money. I said to her “you just gave away a day’s profit”, to which she replied, “what does it matter, winter is coming and they need shoes.”

A few weeks later the grateful woman delivered a wonderful meal to my friend’s house and now they’re good friends. In my mind,  this is the best of customer service. Of course we can’t always afford to do this but there are times when it’s the right thing to do. My friend has struggled with her business; the profit she makes goes into inventory. I don’t know how often she  has paid herself but  when you meet her you know she’s a special human being.  She’s just nice and never forgets what you like and your shoe size.

Last year for my birthday she sent me the most wonderful pair of boots that I knew she couldn’t afford.  I tried to give them back but she said Mama Lisbeth, you’ve given me inspiration to go on and I know I can make it. By the way as I write this my friend Celestine from Shoe Fetish continues to do shoe parties across the country. Check her out on Facebook.

To me this is the ultimate in treating customers the way they want to be treated; I felt inspired. I know a business can’t survive this way, but it’s nice to make someone else feel good. There’s also something to be said for Pay It Forward; if you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you rent it.

As Celestine juggles school,  family and her shoe store she finds time to meet people; it looks like the right people. She was on the Wendy Williams Show last week. I can’t wait to see the show, you go  girl!

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28 08, 2010

Change Is Good?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:13-05:00August 28th, 2010|Categories: Blog, fun|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

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As much as I talk about making changes it’s hard for me too. I started my blog on type pad three years ago and built my blog page over the years. It has been my opening page on Internet Explorer and I love opening to the blog. I loved looking at the page, adding new pieces and hoping for comments. For a year I’ve been fighting moving my blog to my web site, why, I’m not sure. Maybe it was the end of something I liked and the beginning of something I didn’t know I would like.

I’ve been afraid you wouldn’t like it that makes sense because you are my readers. Do I know if you’ll like it, of course I don’t? I know that it makes it easier for you to leave comments and for us to communicate. Isn’t that the way it should be?

I think I’m experiencing what many of you have experienced; it’s working, why should I change it? Things need to be fresh and new; would you continue to read a magazine if the cover never changed? Of course you wouldn’t but I’ve not changed my cover in years.  Like the rest of the world I like to be comfortable but being comfortable can keep you from being successful.

Successful people are always uncomfortable, learning new things and taking risks. Today’s risk can be tomorrow’s success but you will never know unless you try.

The way to keep young is to embrace change and the newness that the world has to offer. will keep you from being successful.

Embrace new technology (in my case more video) and say you love it. You know you can talk yourself into it? I often hear people say, I’m just not comfortable with it; when I get comfortable I’ll do it. With the way the world is changing, you may not have time to get comfortable you may just have to do it. Nike is still right!

I need to find better ways to connect with you; I’m going to try new things for my blog. I’m going to get out more and take photos and video of the world. I have to trips planned to watch customers in the act of shopping and buying. A not very undercover spy!

The path to change does not have to be alone. There are so many talented people who can help you through the change—and you know it’s more fun with others. I recently brought a group of friends to talk about how we might help each other to get more business. Everyone sees it different and embracing our differences is what makes the world go round.

So look for more changes, a new web look, new products, tips, newsletters and whatever else you want. I get emails from many of you weekly asking for new ideas. Even stuff that works gets boring. I’ve heard the expression, you could die of boredom; I don’t know what that would be like but we’ll have none of that. What about your ideas? Share what’s making your day, share what you’ve discovered and what has given you that Ahha moment. Got a great idea, let me know and let’s work it into a blog.

I love this quote from Harrison Ford: We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. 

 

 

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