Archive for the 'Client News:' Category


Friday, December 29th, 2017

Constant Customer Contact


In any business nothing is more important than the customer. This needs to be demonstrated. You hear people say, “Were you able to find everything alright?” and, “Okay, let me know if you need anything else.” It’s about “customer touches;” how many, how gentle and how often.

The first obvious “touch” is on the sales floor, in a Pro-Active, No-Pressure manner. Be helpful but not pushy. Ask safe-to-answer questions that will help you guide the customer to the right item, and then give the information needed to make an intelligent buying decision.


Buyer or not, your next opportunity is as the customer is leaving. Your last impression is as important as the first one. Hopefully you have obtained this person’s e-mail address by now, if not; get it now, as it opens up the world going forward to additional sales for you.

Another sign of caring is following up on your service performance. This isn’t always easy to get because most people don’t want to get somebody in trouble. Well, if you have someone giving poor service, that person is already in trouble, but may not know it.

Bad news and stories of poor performance travel fast. If your customer has a problem; you have a problem too, and if you know about it you can most likely do something about it, both now and in the future as well. But, how do you get the unhappy customer to open up to you ? Or, better yet the happy customer to tell you about it.


We have a long time client with high-end jewelry stores in the Chicago area. Ownership is in the 2nd generation, so you know they are doing something right. The store is James & Sons Fine Jewelers.  I had an e-mail communication today with one of the sons. The tag line on Jim’s e-mail signature jumped out at me. I e-mailed him immediately asking for permission to share it with you. His reply was, “Go for it.” So, here it is:


Do you see why I found this so impressive? Your thoughts? 

Rapport - Client Expansion

Sunday, May 29th, 2016


Luxurious Designer Furniture

“I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity.
Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it.”

-Coco Chanel

I’m proud to be the first to receive these images of the all new, exclusive, FormItalia Gallery by Rapport International Furniture.
Scroll down and dream.


















“Thank You For Visiting Us; Keep Scrolling to See What my Brother Steen and I Have in our Vancouver BC Store.”
-Peter Skkaning







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Alex And Ani Hawaii

Thursday, April 28th, 2016


April 28/2016
With six successful Alex And Ani stores in the Las Vegas area, it was exciting to see people gather at Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu to witness the opening of their 7th, and 1st Hawaii store.
A more formal evening Grand Opening will be on May 25th at 6 PM. Everyone is invited.


Mr. Energizer
Our congratulations go out to Brett Seitman, who along with Donny Borsack have spearheaded the rapid growth of this company.



Hawaiian Blessing
As is customary in Hawaii, a Hawaiian Kahu was on hand to bless the store and its staff.


In addition to the complete line of fine Alex And Ani merchandise, the Hawaii stores will be the ONLY place to buy this very special Hawaiian Aloha piece.


Brain Trust
Marketing guru Dave Erdman and I were honored to be on hand to congratulate Brett and his team. We look forward to participating in the future success of Alex And Ani in Hawaii.

Questions and Answers

Saturday, July 11th, 2015


Team Surf-n-Sea - Haleiwa, Hawaii
I have been doing Success Rallies in this store for about 20 years now. We meet on a Monday evening after the store closes. In spite of the fact that they have either been working or perhaps surfing all day, they consistently show up excited to listen and learn ways to be better. They take more notes than I normally see being taken at other rallies, and Joe Green, the owner usually has the longest list of notes.


Ask Me:
For our July 2015 Rally everyone was asked to bring one question for me to answer. They did, and it was great. I was amazed at the number of questions submitted and the fact that very few were repeats. While some of the questions were pertinent (and even confidential) to their store only, several others could be asked in any retail store and therefore are share worthy.

How can one handle conflict between employees without the need to involve management?

Conflicts among salespeople are common, perhaps too common, especially when commissions are involved. Keep in mind that the commission on any one sale is NEVER as important as your relationship with your co-worker. If you find yourself in conflict, talk it out keeping in mind that everything you do is for the customer. Think WHAT, not WHO when issues arise.

Would it be beneficial to pay more attention to sales-per-hour than total sales?

This is a question that got overlooked, but the salesperson sought me out at the end of the rally to ask it. I was impressed by that. I explained that the Morning Report does show sales-per-hour, and many of our customers choose to incentivize there, as compared to total sales. The biggest determining factor is how many part-time salespeople there are. When there is a large percentage of part-timers, sales-per-hour is a good way to go as it levels the playing field.

How can I motivate other employees to get more involved, like keeping busy when not with customers?

Although managing your co-workers is not your main job, a friendly reminder that there is something else that he or she could be doing at the moment would be okay. Constantly remind each other that this is a team effort and it takes everyone’s involvement to reach and exceed store goals. This is also why you have bonuses based on sales over-goal.

Do you have any tips on how to identify a thief?

Thieves in a retail store are pretty good at blending in and looking normal. More important than identifying a thief is preventing him or her from stealing. The best deterrent to theft is an alert, aware salesperson. When you see a customer without merchandise in-hand, approach and ask the key questions, “Do you live close by? Have you been in our store before? How much do you know about us?” In other words, start selling. The thief will be dissapointed and leave; the prospective customer will buy.

When a cashier asks someone that I worked with, “Did anyone help you today?” and the customer say’s, “No” or gives my co-worker’s name, is that something I can dispute later? Or, should I just accept what the customer says?

The best solution to this problem is prevention. Be sure that your name-tag is easily visible, and make it easy for the cashier to know that you worked with this customer. Introduce the customer to the cashier saying, “Mary here will ring that up for you, and I will still be in the store if you think of something else you need.” Keep in mind that merely greeting a customer at some point does not entitle you to ownership. And should the customer give the cashier someone else’s name, there’s a good chance that other person made a stronger impact than you did. Learn from that and move on. Disputes after the fact tear down teamwork; avoid them.

When you are faced with a disagreeable customer that comes across as angry, yet is a buyer, how do you go about giving the information he or she needs to make an intelligent buying decision without seeming rude or pushy? Or, does it really matter since they are a 100% buyer?

The answer to this in one word is, “Sensitivity.” Keep in mind that the customer is always right, and is not being paid to behave in any particular way; you are.

What should be done to most efficiently sell when two salespeople are competing for a customer’s attention?

Two salespeople should NOT be “competing” for a customer’s attention. Never butt-in on a salesperson that is with a customer. The only time two salespeople should be talking to the same customer is when one of them has invited the other in to assist.

How do you motivate everyone to re-stock on their down time not leaving their assigned area?

A “gentle” nudge by anyone should be sufficient. It is important for everyone to be professional and keep their priorities in order. The customer is the #1 priority. Other tasks should be done when not with customers.

Should you follow through and push for the sale when the customer won’t take your advice on the product?

Remember that he customer is always right, and the minute you try to sell something that your customer does not like, there is something else that he or she does not like; YOU!

What do you do when attempting to sell when there is an obvious language barrier without looking foolish, yet still giving the customers the attention they need?

People on vacation are usually able to communicate adequately in the language used where they are visiting. They do fine in restaurants, hotels, airplanes and in taxis, but when in retail stores their “language barrier” can become the ideal tool needed to avoid a salesperson doing his or her job. Don’t let that happen. Just speak slowly, point and use body language.

How do you get a co-worker to calm down, not be so intense on the sales floor, and to stop butting in on your sales? Salespeople will ask others for help if they need it! Please stop!

As mentioned in an earlier question, no-one should ever “But in” on another salesperson’s sale. That being said, we do appreciate intensity and excitement on the sales floor, but it must be controlled. If out of control, it becomes a management issue. And, yes you should invite another salesperson into the sale when you are not doing well with that customer, or has more knowledge than you about the product you are showing.

How can we discourage other employees from stealing other people’s sales?  (In a positive way)

“Stealing” is a very harsh word, and I doubt if very much of that actually goes on. Stealing” would be someone going into the point-of-sale system and changing the sale from your name to his or hers. We do however have salespeople that will step in and take over when a customer has been abandoned; that is not stealing. Simply greeting a customer does not give you ownership. If you are truly working with a customer it should be obvious, and it is very unlikely that anyone would be able to take it away from you. 

What should employees say to customers that say that they can get a surf lesson (or something else) cheaper down the street?

Anytime price is presented as an objection, ask, “Is the price your only concern?” Chances are it is not. Find out what is. If it is, simply say, “Our prices are based on experienced and quality instructors and while the price may be a bit higher, our customers are pleased in the long run.”

How do you deal with rude customers?

First of all, never get rude back. Then, keep the main rule in mind that the customer is always right, and is not being paid to be polite to you. After that, keep smiling and “Kill them with kindness.” Don’t take it personal.

What are some good ways to add-on and to keep our customers coming back for more.

A person at the register is 7x more likely to buy something else than the next person coming in the store is to buy anything. Keep this in mind and then ask yourself those three key questions when you see the money.

1.Who is my customer?
2. What is he or she already buying and why?
3. What else do I have that MIGHT serve this customer?

Then pro-actively suggest that item saying, “Oh by the way…”
And to keep them coming back, be sure to capture their e-mail addresses and stay in touch as the year goes by.
Remember Joe Girard’s Law of 250. “Whenever something significant happens in a persons life, as many as 250 other people are likely to hear about it.” Purchasing something from your store is a significant event.

Can you use small talk to open up dialogue about a certain item?

Small talk is not suggested, since it may not not be perceived as sincere, and most likely isn’t. The customer did not come into the store to tell you how he or she is doing today or to talk about the weather. At this point it is best to simply give the customer one statement of fact about the item being looked at, then shut up and get a response.

What do you like to do?

In addition to exercising, my favorite activity is thinking and looking for ways to help my clients enjoy more success.

I enjoy answering questions and would welcome yours. Because I keep myself busy, the best way to communicate with me is via e-mail. I’m easy to reach and return every e-mail I get. Find me at