Archive for Customer Service Skills
Advertisement Ideas: Do You Have Plans?
I am always amazed when I ask a business owner what their marketing plan is and they say I don’t really have on. I am amazed because when you begin a business you must be prepared to advertise and market your business. Once you make your plan and you implement the plan you also have to evaluate the plan. So many business owners are missing opportunities and leaving money on the table because of their failure to plan. I recently encountered a business who hired a sign spinner to direct people to their location but did not have a physical sign visible from the parking lot on the building and wondered why the foot traffic was not as much as he anticipated. If you are going to effectively market your brick and mortar business you must make proper signage a priority so people can find you. In all you do in your business especially when it comes to marketing you must plan your work, work your plan, and make adjustments along the way. In my 25 years of working with businesses I have seen many owners who did not plan and as a result did not succeed. As you open your business daily ask yourself what will I do today to let people know who I am and what I do and why they should do business with me today.
When you open up your business daily ask yourself how am I going to build brand awareness and how will I increase revenue. In today’s evolving market where the consumer is more and more educated you need to have a plan for them to do business with you instead of with your competitor. It is when you create brand awareness and stay on top of the consumers mind that you increase your revenue. The more you know about your target audience and the area you do business in the more successful you will be. The key is to stay one step ahead of everyone else so that when people here your name they do business with you instead of with your competitor. Having brand awareness and good visibility in the market place is crucial to driving business. There are many elements to plan for in order to be profitable in business.
Advertisement Ideas: Building Revenue!!!
If you are in business the first thing you should be concentrating is in building revenue. Everyday you should be engaged in income producing activities for your business. Each aspect of your marketing strategy should include how the marketing will positively impact the revenue while increasing your brand awareness. I have worked with many companies over the last 30 years and many have had general managers and owners who did not see the importance of marketing with a goal to increase their revenue. I have seen many businesses over the years fail or lose money because they were not willing to invest in activities that would produce income down the line. Sometimes the initial outlay for a promotion may seem exorbitant but in the long run it will produce revenue while building brand awareness so that you attract more customers and as a result increase your market share.
In all of the business classes and seminars that I have attended this is a recurring theme. The idea is to understand that marketing is an investment in your business. The key is to spend your money wisely so that it leads to an increase in revenue. In my over 30 years of working for businesses I have seen those willing to spend money and invest succeed while also witnessing those who would not spend money or spent money incorrectly and failed. When spending money you must look at what you want the money you are spending do for you. You must have a plan that will create a return on your investment over time.
If you are to build revenue you must have a plan and you must work that plan. Before you even open your doors and build out your business you must know the demographics of the area, how many competitors there are in the area, and what the sales of comparable businesses around the area are doing to see if there will be enough residual support to support your business. If you are to build revenue you must know who your client/customer is and where your customer/client is and the buying habits of your client/customer. This is where have a promotional budget and plan comes in handy. Sometimes as you work your plan you need to make adjustments along the way so as to achieve the ultimate goal of building revenue. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Constant Communication Is The Key!!!
If you are a regular reader if this blog you know my commitment to The American Cancer Society Relay For Life and my many successes. In 2016 I was involved with The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton and raised $1688.05, http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jdogg4 is my donation page for this relay. I also was involved in The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Sunrise and raised $1235.35, http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jdogg3 is my donation page for this relay. My secret to my successful fundraising was that every day I communicated and shared my story with people as to why I relay and asked for donations. In going out into the community I was able to share Relay and where the money goes and the positive impact with others. I was able to recruit a team for The Boca Raton Relay that raised $155. I share this with you to stress the importance of communication. In you business it is important to be out there in the community sharing who you are, what you do, and why people should do business with you. Over the years I have found that the facts they sell but the stories they sell. In building relationships and communicating with people on a regular basis you will have success. The more people you share with the more people know about you and the more money you can raise or the more sales you will have.
I was bit surprised when a People Lead and a Community Representative from The American Cancer Society told me that teams would not be contacted over the summer. I thought wow this goes against every rule of engagement that exists. I have always been one to plan the work and work the plan and keep the already existing participants informed as it is proven your best client/customer or participant is someone who already exists in your data base and by keeping in constant contact and making them feel appreciated they will continue to do business with you or support your organization. When you communicate on a regular basis people feel as though they are part of your business or organization and will support you. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: There Must Be 50 Ways To Drive Traffic!!!
As I listened to Simon and Garfunkel’s 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover I started to think about 50 ways to drive traffic to your business. The following is a list of 10 effective ways that I have found to drive traffic to brick and mortar businesses.
1: Slip in strategic marketing – Know who you want to attract and what they are tuned into and then market accordingly. A Good example of this is Sinbad Sports who just opened a second store in The Tower Shops in Davie to compliment their location at The Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL. As they were getting the store stocked with inventory they put in motion two autograph signings so as to drive traffic to the store.
They have posted these on their website, on their social media pages, had hard copies made up to physically hand out in the community, sent these to those on their email list. The key is to have a plan to drive traffic to your business.
2: Advertise in as many places as possible to reach your target audience – Come up with ideas that will create a buzz about your business with the proper promotion.
Everyone loves balloons and everyone loves to get a prize so why not pick up a helium tank and 50 balloons and before you blow each one up put a special offer in each one like a $5 gift certificate, a 30% off coupon, or a free item. You then require people to spend a minimum amount and they then qualify to pop one of the balloons and can collect their prize. You would include this in all your social media, print media, electronic media, and on all in-house advertising. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Don’t Be In A Rush To Close!!!
How many times have you been working and it has been approaching time to close up and go home and you could wait to leave? Many times we are is such a rush to get out and go home that we leave money on the table and instead of turning a customer on and having them buy something we turn them off. I have found that as long as you have a retail operation you can not be in a rush to close. This came to fruition yesterday (4/30/2016) when I was finishing up an 11 hour day at Celebrity Sports located at 1825 N.Pine Island Road in Plantation. I had been posting specials being run during the moving sale all day on Facebook on The Celebrity Sports Page but sales were lacking. At about 9:45 PM a family came in and started to look around and like many potential buyers asked how much something was. In this case it was The Dwayne Wade signed Jersey that normally sells for $999. I told the customer it is normally $999 but because we are moving I could sell it to him for $750. I went back to interacting with his kids and he came over and said If I can do it for $725 he would take it. I called my manager to get approval and the manager said yes. I sold the piece did all the paperwork and as they were leaving his son saw The Dwayne Wade Finals Jersey Swatch Piece it wasn’t in the system so I called the manager who told me it is normally $99 but I could sell it for $65. I told the customer he said I’ll take it. In not rushing the customer and staying open about 15 minutes later than normal I sold $790 worth of merchandise. I share this with you so the next time you are dreading working a long shift and rushing to close that you stay a bit longer as you never know when that browser will become a buyer. As the customer was leaving he asked about any Marino Items we may have as his business partner has a birthday coming up. As a result of not being in a rush to close I not only made 2 nice sales I am confident that I will have future sales.
Even though Celebrity Sports is moving from its current location and having a moving sale I have learned that it is important to be nice to everyone even those who are only taking pictures and browsing as you never know what will lead to a sale. In not rushing to close and taking time to know who is walking into your retail establishment you will begin to drive more business as people will begin to speak highly of your business and bring you future business. Though you can not live on be backs and empty promises you must not be in a rush to close. I have learned over the last several months that it is important to create a good feeling for everyone who comes into the store, calls you on the phone, or stops by your booth at a special event. I have learned that whether in the store or representing the store at a special event that is imperative to stay till the end and sometimes work past closing if necessary.
As Celebrity Sports transitions and moves to a new location I hope the lessons I have shared here will translate to your business and show you that it is important to market, deliver outstanding customer service, and not be in a rush to close. Look for other lessons learned from Celebrity Sports like the importance of networking, paying it forward, using social media, having a great tagline and creating urgency. remember to be consistent in your message and not to rush to close and you will have success.
Advertisement Ideas: Stand Up And Succeed!!!
This week I had a challenge as a so-called business professional took umbrage to the fact that I was using LinkedIn to ask for support of The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton. He replied that no one cared about my cause or my opinion. I then did a reply to the 11 people in the conversation including this gentleman and I use that term loosely as he turned out to be anything but a gentleman. He wrote back saying he didn’t have time for my bullshit. It was at that point I called and told him all he had to do was remove himself from the conversation instead of saying okay he got very angered calling me an idiot, an asshole and telling me to go fuck myself. I told him sorry he felt that way and I would do as he requested and lose his number. I did my best to rectify the situation he complained to LinkedIn who has restricted my account and as I write this I am appealing the decision. It was at this point I decided to let go and let GOD and to continue to stand up for what I believed in and to move forward in my efforts to plant the seeds of hope and healing for cancer patients, their friends, and their families. By standing up and continuing to speak out and advocate for people touched by cancer and raising funds for research, education, advocacy, and services I have raised $935.83 for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton, which will be held on April 16, 2016 at Omni Middle School from 5 PM – 11 PM. By standing up and speaking out I finished with $1235.35 raised for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Sunrise which was held on April 1, 2016. I am very passionate about helping those touched by cancer due to the fact that I have lost so many to cancer including my mother who was called home to GOD on July 5. 2012.
In responding to people and explaining your reasoning in a kind way you will create a respectful dialogue where everyone feels good about the outcome. You never know how your response will impact your business. Think about it if the gentleman who replied in a disparaging way would have simply stated thank you for reaching out to me however I share a different viewpoint than you do and will not be donating to your cause. I wish you much luck in your efforts. In the future if you or anyone else needs my services please visit my website and connect with me how he could have tapped into the connections that I have and perhaps obtained more clients. Now do you really think that I am going to even think about him and his company. He probably doesn’t care as he made it clear that he doesn’t want and doesn’t believe he needs my help. It is his loss because I have stood up for many businesses even when they have said no and sent people to them. Remember that every interaction you have can lead to building your brand and increasing your client base so do your best to be nice to everyone even if you disagree with them.
Think about it if you made someone feel bad they are going to tell people about the negative interaction they had. I have always taught that one oh crap ruins a thousand at a boys so I do my best to show respect to people and to check my ego at the door for the day I think I know everything is the day I begin to loose everything. In all that we do be it soliciting for donations, advertising our business, or attending networking events we must look at how are we making people feel and how are we responding to them.
One does not have to be mean spirited and try to tear one down they simply need to be kind and learn to move on as some will, some won’t, so what, some waiting next. The gentleman who responded negatively most likely will have some experiences that are not pleasant because karma is the greatest equalizer. He most likely will not change and it is not my job to change him it is my job to stand up, speak out, and shine my light and illuminate the world by being of service and value to others. I would recommend that before you respond negatively to anyone that you look at The Four Agreements. Stay Positive!!!
The next time you are unsure of what to do when communicating with someone remember these four agreements. It is when we are kind that we strengthen our business.
Advertisement Ideas: I Like It In Top!!!
I have always believed that it is important to be proactive in all you do and to be on top of events that can positively impact your business. If you are to get to the top in your chosen field you must stay up with the current events that affect that field. As the regular readers of this blog know I work with Celebrity Sports, The Ultimate Gift Store, located at 1825 N. Pine Island Road in Plantation, FL. We sell sports and non-sports memorabilia. We rely heavily on walk in traffic and our Facebook promotions to make sales. Each day I look for something industry related that we can capitalize on so as to create a buzz about the store and drive traffic. Today Peyton Manning is announcing his retirement thus I took pictures of some of The Peyton Manning Memorabilia and began to post it on our Facebook Page and on my personal Facebook Page. I am working on convincing the manager and owner to put up a website as I was very surprised that it today’s market where more and more people are going to the internet to look for goods and services that they did not have one. In order to get to the top in your industry and get a nice piece of the monetary pie you must keep up with technology. If you are to reach your desired target audience and be on the top you must be ahead of everyone else and do things that are unique and different. If you are going to drive business to you it is imperative to have innovative advertisement ideas and promote them. I had come up with an idea to put 50 balloons around the store and when some spent at least $25 have them pick a balloon to pop and inside would be some type of award such as a 10% discount or a FREE Wax Pack. I suggested we put out fliers in the community, send out emails, and promote this concept. I was told no we don’t have customers and nothing is working by my manager. I have always believed that to be the best you must stay a step ahead of everyone else and say yes to new innovative marketing ideas. If you are going to be on top you must have a vision and a strategy to get to the top.
If you create traffic you will have a chance to be of service and value to those who walk through your doors and as a result you have it all and be on top in your industry. In delivering outstanding customer service and understanding what value you deliver you will see your sales increase. I have this method I greet the customer with in 10 seconds of them entering the store, I ask questions, I show them some items and then I allow the to look around. In doing this I have been successful in every retail position that I have ever held. When I first started working retail I worked for The Oaktree Men’s Clothing Store and within 3 weeks I became the top sales person in the country. I was asked how I did this by the regional manager. My answer was I set goals and I took action to exceed those goals, one way to make sure I interacted with every customer and gave them a great shopping experience. As I continued to do this word got around that Jonathan at Oaktree is the man to see if you need men’s clothing. I left Oaktree and went to work for Merle Harmon’s Fan Fair, which specialized in sports apparel and collectibles. I took the store from a $400 a day store to a $2500 a day store. I was asked how and I simply said I went out and told people about the store and invited them to shop. When they came to shop again I made sure they had a good experience. The key to being on top is to make sure you are sharing your business with others and insuring that they have a good experience. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Assert Your Talents!!!
I have often stated that when you can find a good mix between spirituality and business you will be rewarded. It is when you use your talents for good that you begin to be rewarded. In coming from a spiritual base you will have those who will not understand you and will do all they can to block you from success. In business when you begin to conduct yourself driven by spiritual laws you will see that not only does your business life improve your personal life also improves. It is when you use your talents that you are prospered. So many people have talents that they do not assert because of coming from a place of lack instead of a place of abundance. I witness daily so many talented people who can be doing better financially if they would only realize that they have a talent that the world wants. I have seen so many people work from fear that they never thrive and are in the same place today as they were a year ago. I have observed many businesses go out of business because they didn’t use their talents to better themselves and others.
One of my talents is the ability to speak to total strangers and engage them in conversation. I have been able to use this talent now going on 17 years for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Sometimes my fearless approach brings on some complaints because people don’t know my story and many don’t want to hear my story or many don’t understand that using my talent in this manner works for me. I ask you how many people have you shared your business with today, how have you promoted your talent, how have you built value. In using my talent over the last 16 years in this manner I have been able to raise over $35,000 for The American Cancer Society. In the course of doing this I have managed to have my fair share of complaints because when you do things differently others will not understand. There are those that say I am too over the top or that this is not the way to fundraise. I always look to see how they are using their talents and improving their personal, professional, and spiritual lives. I then take a deep breath and realize that they haven’t come to the understanding that it is okay to assert your talents. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Slow Down and Do Things Differently!!!
As I watched John Kasich speak about finishing #2 in New Hampshire and heard him talk about slowing down I couldn’t help but think how many business people are going so fast that they are missing out on opportunities. As he completed his speech and challenged the audience to slow down and get to know people I immediately though what a novel idea especially for those involved in retail. When I work in the store Celebrity Sports in Plantation, FL I make it a point to greet every customer and to engage with them so that I can get to know them understanding that even if they do not buy something on that day they may come back and buy an item because they will remember how they were treated. In all of my retail positions I have held I have subscribed to the idea that everyone who walks through the door can be of service and value in some way so take time to help everyone. I also have this attitude when some one calls me as I answer my phone hello this is Jonathan JDOGG Lederman how can I be of service and value to you. I have found that by slowing down and doing things a bit differently that I have had success. When I was hired in March of 1988 at Oaktree I made it a point to treat everyone with respect who entered the store. As a result I became the top salesman in the country for this men’s clothing store. I went from Oaktree to Meryl Harmon’s Fan Fair and I took sales from $400 a day to over $2500 per day simply by getting to know people and making everyone feel special. Over the years I have used this same philosophy of slowing down and doing things differently in my fundraising activities and a s a result I have been successful. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Always Make Time!!!
Today’s entry is inspired by Ah Snagg CPA located at 460 N. University Drive in Lauderhill whose phone number is 954-749-9722 as he taught the lesson of how not to treat someone when they are cold calling. I walked in unannounced as I often do when out collecting donations for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. I saw he was with a client so I apologized for interrupting and asked if I could leave a flier about Relay For Life and he immediately got irate called me rude said he couldn’t help and that he was with a client. I fully understood this and thanked him for his time. he continued to go on and tell me that the work I was doing was meaningless and then threatened to call the police. I understand I interrupted his flow of business however I was polite. All he saw was someone in jeans and a tee shirt and a ball cap and didn’t realize that I could have been of service and value to him. This encounter really got me to thinking about how many so-called professionals are struggling because of making judgments and not giving people time. I have always said that I may be a solicitor today however in the future I could be a client or be someone who recommends potential clients to you. Ask yourself what type of feeling am I leaving when I interact with others and how is that interaction affecting my business.
In business today it is imperative to understand the importance of making people feel good and leaving them with what I call a warm fuzzy about their encounter with you. When Ah Snagg said my work was meaningless this upset me and I thought wow I won’t be recommending him to any of my business associates. I had a great idea about how he could have helped The American Cancer Society and also strengthened his brand. It was a simply host a FREE Workshop on Charitable Giving for the volunteers. As a result of doing the workshop he may have picked up a few clients. I guess Ah Snagg didn’t realize that he had an opportunity to tap into volunteers simply by making time and being kind. Instead everyone who reads this entry will now think twice before they do business with him. The important thing to remember is to be kind to everyone for the people you see on the way up will be the same people you see on the way down. I would recommend that Ah Snagg and all those who aren’t making time for people grab a copy of Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements and apply the principles.
In adopting these four agreements you will see a dramatic change in your ability to make time for people and your image in the community. How many times have you ignored someone who came into your business or your office because of the way they looked or the way they were dressed. How many times did you lose out on opportunities that would have enhanced your image because you were quick to judge. Read More→