Archive for Enhancing The Customer Experience
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: 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: 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: You Can’t Please Everyone!!!
I have come to learn that you could take what you believe to be great actions and achieve excellent results but that you will still have people who complain. Such was the case recently when I went to Legends on a Friday Night to collect donations for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life.I asked the GM for permission to go table to table and ask the patrons he said yes and I ended up collecting $34 in about a 30 minutes. I found out today that some patrons complained and that the owner called The American Cancer Society to complain that this hurt his business. I was told I should have arranged to set up a table and allow patrons to come to me. I explained that on that night it was a spur of the moment to go and collect. I can understand that the owner would be upset as a few customers complained. What he didn’t see was how many people showed appreciation and the one women who was helped because I gave her the 1-800-acs-2345 number for her to call to get support as her husband was recently diagnosed with cancer. What the executive director and event lead didn’t see was that many people now have brochures and may support relay. I learned a long time ago that your actions are not going to please everyone and that some will, some won’t, so what, some waiting, next.
In being authentic and not being afraid to speak my mind and take action I have managed to raise the ire of some people while I have also been able to motivate and inspire others. I have learned that when you do thing on your terms and your way you are not going to please everyone. This is why when I work with clients I ask them to define their niche market as not everyone will be your customer. As you do things and take action you are going to have some people who have nothing better to do than to complain.In the business sector today there is a tendency to focus on the complaints as the trend is to complain instead of to praise. I was at Starbucks one day and they are a National Corporate Partner with The American Cancer Society and one lady complained to the manager about me having my canister on my table. The manager said I can not have the canister on my table any more. I found this odd as I am a regular customer and the lady that complained hasn’t been back since that day. What has happened and what is wrong with the corporate and non-profit sector is that they have begun to major in the minor and try to please everyone and as a result are leaving money on the table. 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→
Advertisement Ideas: Turning Browsers Into Buyers!!!
If you have worked in retail you have heard oh I am just looking. When I hear this I ask what are you looking for? By doing this I get an idea if the customer is truly interested or is wasting my time. In not asking yes or no questions you open up the dialogue and thus you increase your chance of turning a browser into a buyer. I work with Celebrity Sports in Plantation, FL and I believe that everyone who walks into the store can be made into a customer. When I am in the store I make it a point to start conversations that will lead me to show the customer something that will peak their interest and as a result they will make a purchase. In knowing the merchandise and being able to show the customer what we have increase the opportunity to turn them from a browser to a buyer.
When I graduated from Hofstra University in 1987 I went to work for The Oaktree Men’s Clothing Store in Boca Raton, FL as a management trainee. With in 3 weeks I was the #1 salesperson in the country for this division of Edison Brothers Stores. I was asked by The Regional Vice President How I managed to be #1 in the country in a short period of time. I simply replied I turned the browsers into buyers. He then asked how did I do that. I said I greeted everyone within 5-10 seconds of coming into the store and asking them what brought them to Oaktree today. In doing so I began to build relationships with customers who then became regular customers. I remember a businessman from Chicago came in and was seeking casual wear for meetings he was attending and I helped him and he said he came into town every 3-5 weeks. I told him stop in when you are here and see our new arrivals. It turned out that he did just that and on average spent $300 with me. In getting to know your customers you can turn them from browsers to buyers.
I am asked by people all the time JDOGG what of you do not have a brick and mortar business and you aren’t selling tangible items then how do you turn browsers into buyers? My answer is by having a service that they seek and building their trust after all people like to work with people they know, like, and trust. If you have a website make sure you have a page where they can book your services and pay for them ahead of time. If you have merchandise like CDS, DVD’S. Books, and other materials make sure they can order hem and pay for them. In having a strong call to action you will be able to turn browsers into buyers.
Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time networking and we find ourselves dealing with many browsers. The question is how do we turn these browsers into buyers. The answer is to have something they desire, something that solves a problem, something that is relevant and resonating. It is important to follow-up with everyone who you get a business card from within 24-48 hours with a clear and consistent message that has a strong call to action at the end. I strongly suggest setting up a one on one and finding out what they are looking for and letting them know how you can be of service and value to them.
As many of you that read this blog you know I host a TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on WRPBiTV. I invite many people to be on the show and give them the option of buying a fully edited clip of their appearance on my show for $200, which is a great deal to have a very useful tool to turn browsers into buyers. I explain the value of having the clip and how it can be used on their website, across social media platforms, and in all their marketing materials. I have found that those who purchase the clip and use it effectively increase their brand awareness and their cash flow. I have seen many of the people who came into the studio as browsers become buyers because my producer and I explain the value and how if they follow our suggestions they will have some success. I do not sell everyone the clip and I understand not everyone will be a buyer. The key is to have the mindset to always be closing in order to turn browsers into buyers.
Use your platforms to turn browsers into buyers!!! Stay Positive!!!
Advertisement Ideas: Stop Being A Grinch!!!
This article was inspired by some of the interactions I had this week while I was out collecting donations for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Sunrise, FL. I was out promoting the donation page, http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jdogg3, and taking donations on the spot. As I approached businesses to donate many were very open and receptive and I collected $65 bring my total to $442 toward a goal of raising $100, however there were several businesses that I felt were being very Grinch like in the way they treated me. This had me thinking how many clients/customers are they losing because of their Grinch like attitude. I actually told one business owner from Robert’s Barber Shop that he was being a Grinch as he said what is it people don’t want to work which really struck a nerve with me as I was collecting to give the gift of hope and healing to cancer patients and their families. I tried to explain this but he wasn’t comprehending and kept trying to disparage my credibility. I did everything to reassure the man that the money he donated is not for me but for those touched by cancer and will be used for research, education, advocacy, and services. I left thinking wow what a Grinch. I understand that business people are hit up all the time for donations and there are many scams out there and you must be skeptical, however you must also realize that there are many legitimate people like myself out there collecting and that we may be soliciting today we could be a customer tomorrow and we just might recommend you to our contacts if you are not a Grinch.
I came across another Grinch at The Boost Mobile Store in The Welleby Plaza in Sunrise. Again I went in to ask for a donation and the gentleman was very upset and stated how I had the nerve to interrupt him while he was trying to do business. I apologized for interrupting his business and I did my best to explain that I was doing a good deed and that I could help hos business. He wanted no part of me and told me to leave his F-ing store. I stood by the door for a while just to egg him on and see how far he would go. he threatened to call the cops and I said go ahead. He then came at me and when it seemed he was going to get physical I left. I know I pushed it a bit far, however I have learned that if you believe strongly in what you are doing it will resonate with many people and you will find success. I have come to learn that there are many Grinch’s out there and the best we can do when encounter them is to simply ask them not to be a Grinch. Maybe they will realize that their Grinch like attitude is the cause of their lack of success and they will change. I have come to realize that all I can do is make them aware and then let it go. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: The Full Monty!!!
Today’s post was inspired by The Show, The Full Monty, where the cast is definitely maximum exposed. As I reflected on the idea of maximum exposure I realized just how many business people are under exposed with their marketing and media relations and how many do not even have a strategic marketing plan. It is important to put yourself out there and remember that you are your brand and how important it is to figuratively give people The Full Monty. It is imperative that you continuously are out in the community promoting yourself and the products or services you offer and how you are different from others doing what you do. It is also a priority to show people how you are of service and value and why they should be doing business with you. Many people go into business and they do not have a written plan about their marketing and media relations and then wonder why they are not being as successful as the envisioned. If you are going to exceed in business you need to have a plan and work your plan.
Advertisement Ideas: The Full Monty Formula!!!
Know who you want to do business with and know where they get their information and what other businesses they frequent. In knowing where your audience is it will make it easier for you to build your following.
Set up a budget to print and distribute collateral material. Have a budget to do on-line marketing. Have a budget to do video marketing. Remember that marketing is not an expense it is an investment.
There are may things that happen in your business that are newsworthy so having a strategy to get the information out to the news outlets that your target audience is watching, reading, and listening to will play a major role in strengthening your brand and increasing your revenue. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas:Is Your Brand Memorable?
When one sees this logo they immediately know it is Mercedes-Benz and it represents quality and class. I for one have stated that when I amass enough money to get one I will not buy one but instead I will buy a practical vehicle and donate the difference to charities for after all you can not take the Mercedes with you when GOD decides to call you home. I use Mercedes-Benz as an illustration as to how important the idea of having a memorable brand is. Think about it there are certain brands that have stood the test of time by making sure they were in the consumers face on a daily basis with a consistent message. Ask yourself if you are creating a memorable brand?
Advertisement Ideas: Some Memorable Brands!!!
When you ask most people about hamburgers they will mention one of these three as these have become the top 3 recognizable fast food restaurants in the world. Much of this is due to extensive marketing to drive people to these businesses because of the perceived value despite the fact that their food can kill you. I personally prefer Five Guys which does a good job with the use of testimonials in their restaurants. Five Guys is also not the most healthy choice but it is better that the three recognizable brands here.
Another thing that makes Five Guys memorable is the fact that they have differentiated themselves in the market place by creating an image that people have come to know that represents quality and good service. If you were to open up a hamburger place ask yourself how would I create a memorable brand? the answer is simple by flooding the market place with literature about the restaurant and giving the consumer a reason to come and buy your burgers. When you are creating a memorable brand you must determine your desired target audience, create a marketing program that will put you on top of the consumer’s mind, and you must have something that differentiates you from everyone else in your chosen industry.
These are 3 recognizable people in The Personal Development Field. If you are someone who is into personal development you most likely will be able to identify them. They have all created their own identity and have enticed many people to follow their teachings. They share a few things in common they have used strategic promotion to garner interest, they have become their own brand, they taped into their passion and found a way to monetize their passion and create a message that is relevant, entertaining, and resonating with their desired audience. When asked who their target demographic was they were able to give a precise answer this is important to know because you are not going to attract everyone. They also have surrounded themselves with a team of people to handle their marketing and public relations. They have built billion dollar businesses by having a plan and working their plan and never giving up. Read More→