Communication Category

How Much Does Your Excitement Matter to the Customer?

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

A smile and excitement are worth quite a bit if my experience in New York City was any indication of it.

During my recent visit to NYC I was in Penn. Station. It so happened it was “National Oatmeal Day” so the Quaker representatives were handing out free oatmeal. 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.

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.”

Lisbeth Calandrino
Fabulous Floors
Associate Publisher & Director of Consumer Research
lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

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The Power of Follow Up in Action

Friday, April 17th, 2015

I received a referral from a fan of my work in early January regarding the possibility of me speaking at her association’s annual meeting this December in New Orleans. This happens each week and I never take an introduction for granted and always do my best to follow up.

There’s a picture I show in many of my keynotes that demonstrates why follow up is of huge importance in the sales process. I can easily say that my own experience and with many clients that a lot of sales occur after the third or fourth contact with a prospect. What I’m about to share with you, helps prove this out.

Here’s a list below showing my follow up over the last two and half months with the association President whom I was referred to regarding speaking at their annual event in New Orleans and the end result:

1. Mid-January I sent the association president a follow up email
2. A week later I left a voicemail
3. A few weeks go by and I check back in with the person that sent me the referral
4. She sends a second email to the association President
5. I leave a voicemail a week later as he’s traveling
6. Speak with key contact when I call main number who handles the event, who next asks me to email her information after I explain the context of the referral
7. I email her details and am told to check back in within a couple of weeks as the President is traveling
8. I call as instructed and she mentions that she showed him my information that day
9. A few more days go by and I get an email from the association President to set up an exploratory phone call
10. We get on the phone a few days later
11. He asks for more details and a week to show his Board so they can make a decision
12. I email him the requested items after our phone call
13. Last week he emails me and says we are a go to speak this December in New Orleans!

I share this recent story for one central reason: people are busy and effective follow up does pay off. While I wish it was easier and people would get right back to me, this is often not the case. They move at their pace and in their time frame, not ours.

So, your homework: go back through your files and notes to see who you need to follow up with and pick up the phone or send off a quick email today.

Tony Rubleski
Mind Capture
616-638-3912
www.mindcapturegroup.com

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Email Marketing is Not Dead

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

KyleLacy2015
For those of you living under a rock, our friends at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud released their annual State of Marketing report in January where they surveyed thousands of marketers (5,000 to be exact). All the questions asked dealt with uncovering top marketing priorities for this year, and the report includes a large section on email marketing, which — in case you were wondering — is still very much relevant.

For the majority of marketers, email remains an integral touchpoint along the customer journey — 73% agree that email marketing is core to their business. In fact, comparing this year’s survey to last year’s, the importance of email actually rose — 60% of marketers said that email is a critical enabler of products and services in 2015 compared to 42% of marketers in 2014.

There are many factors contributing to the increase in acknowledgement and success in email. The increase in the quality of content production and the continued optimization of marketing automation could be two big ones. However, I believe it’s the increased popularity of smartphones that ultimately points to the overwhelming increase in the value of email marketing. The smartphone offers consumers a constant inbox in the consumer/customer’s pocket. We used to be connected at home and at work. Now we are connected everywhere.

What can we learn from over 5,000 global marketers? For starters, email is not dead. The continued investment in email marketing continues to be an extremely important contributor to the success of any marketing campaign.

Kyle Lacy
Head of Marketing Strategy at OpenView
@kyleplacy

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“Undercover Boss” Uncovers Bad Leadership

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

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 if 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 your 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’s 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 Calandrino
Fabulous Floors
Associate Publisher & Director of Consumer Research
lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

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