Leaving Hawaii is never really “easy” for me, but I do look forward to seeing many of our great clients on this 11 day tour.
Maybe I can even drop in and see you along the way. If you want me to do that, send an e-mail and I will try to work it in.
As it stands I will be in Phoenix, El Paso, Dallas, Denver, Albuquerque and Temecula.
Just click HERE to see where I am today. I will update this blog post as I go along. Tune in daily and it will be just like going along with me.
UPDATE: The End
Oscar’s By the Lake
My mainland tour finished up on a high note with two Brighton Rallies in Temecula, California; both were held at the scenic Pat and Oscar’s by the Lake Restaurant.
Brighton Bags on Display
There is always something distinctive about a gathering of Brighton salespeople.
And there is always plenty to eat. This was the evening rally with all kinds of pizza.
As always, Craig Pettitt was a great host, and I appreciated his kindly worded introduction.
At most functions the front row is the last to fill up, but not with Brighton. These people are always anxious to learn something new, and the closer to the front the better.
It was so cool to see printed out copies of the Morning Report brought to the rally and the salespeople eager to see who yesterday’s STARS were. That’s what it’s all about.
Stand Out Visitor
Bob Main from La Masters Fine Jewelry was my guest this morning. I’m sure he found his surroundings to be “just fine”.
I’m always delighted to be surrounded by Brighton saleswomen. Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
What A Guy!
Craig is always willing to go the “extra mile” for his salespeople. Today that included jump starting the car for his salespeople from Palm Desert that left the lights on in their car. It must have ben dark when they left home.
Speaking of home… I am headed there tomorrow… Paradise Awaits Me… That being said, this has been a great trip, and I wish to say, “Mahalo” to all of you that I saw along the way. -Ron
When I was sitting at my desk in Honolulu putting together the pieces to this puzzle; arranging rally dates, flights and hotels, I came across Express Jet as an option to go from Albuquerque to Ontario. It didn’t seem possible that they were the only one offering a non-stop flight, at half the price of the others. I booked it with a lot of apprehension; it seemed too good to be true.
I even went to their counter in Albuquerque the day before my flight just to be sure they were real. Not only did they look real, but I found a pleasant (extremely pleasant) employee at the counter who assured me that they were real. I told her that they looked great on the web site and it feels good here. She said, “People love us”.
I got there early this morning, as is my practice. I found two more pleasant people at the counter, and although they had the computer check in capability they were happy to check me in personaly, with smiles the whole time. I went to the gate, still wondering what the deal is here. I kept thinking, “There must be a catch somewhere”.
I looked out the window, and not only was there really a jet there, but it looked pretty cool.
I saw a young gate attendant taking care of a customer in a friendly manner. I stood there a bit astonished for a while just watching, and wondering, “Where have these guys been all my life?” I bought a cup of coffee and took a seat in the lounge to await the flight. To my astonishment, when the gate attendant finished with his customer he walked over to me and said, “I saw you standing there sir, is there something I can do for you?” Am I dreaming here! I told him that I am already checked in. He said, “Can I see your ticket please?” When I handed it to him he said, “The seat you are in is at the bulkhead, and there won’t be any under seat room. We are not full today, so if you like I can give you two seats side by side just a couple rows back so that you can have a lot of room”. I said, “Are you serious?” He said, “Sure, I wouldn’t be able to do this tomorrow though; we are full”. I asked, “Can I take this cup of coffee aboard?”, and he said, “Yes”. As we boarded he invited us to pick up a set of ear buds if we wanted to listen to satellite radio while in flight.
Nice AND Sincere
Once on board I encountered a flight attendant with real charm and personality. While her safety announcements were the same words as I hear on other airlines, there was life in her voice.
She kept bringing food options, carrots, cookies, peanuts, and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We were invited to take all we wanted.
With all of the lousy airliner news (and service) these days; bankruptcies’, shut downs, cutbacks in services, and added costs for luggage, I found Express Jet to be a breath of fresh air, When traveling city to city on the mainland they will be my airline of choice, regardless of the price and schedules.
And then, I wake up to this e-mail that came by way of my web site:
countryName: United States
choose: Word of mouth
comments: this email goes out to Ron Martin…I just wanted to write to say that i saw ur blog…and it was truely great. Is wonderful that someone truely appreciates all our hard work!! We strive to be the best and most caring. Not to mention cheaper nonstop flights…im hoping and praying that we keep expanding…then we will be unstopable! lol kidding…but really..thanku for your sweet words about the job i do…I truely appreciate it…And I hope to see you on another flight real soon…
WOW - Mahalo Heather! I am now more impressed than ever…
Avila AlbuquerqueMy tour is winding down, with two more Success Rallies today for Avila Retail in Albuquerque.
World Peace AdvocateAfter my rally today Avila Retail owner John Avila challenged everyone to get behind something bigger than he or she is today. John’s personal project is World Peace and he suggested that a good place to start is by having a peaceful coexistence among the 160 or so Avila Retail employees. His talk was very inspiring.Bob Shank, Avila Albuquerque General Manager and Teresa Curl, VP of Retail hosted us for a manager’s luncheon between rallies.
Magic Box On my way out of the airport I saw this Avila Retail employee demonstrating the “Magic box”. When doing this, always be on the lookout for someone watching you (like I was) and be ready to drop the box and sell - Sell -Sell.
PF Chang’s We recapped a great week of rallies for Avila by having dinner at PF Chang’s with John and Kathleen Avila, Teresa Curl, Bob Shank, Bill Pollock (of Relios) and yours truly.
I am off to Temecula in the morning… stay tuned…
4/21 Relios Albuquerque
Paula Chows Down
The executive planning session at Relios in Albuquerque began with a “light lunch” and great conversation at Sadie’s.
Master Mind Session
Following lunch we got down to business and discussed all sorts of exciting things happening at Relios.
While walking through the Relios factory at the end of the day, I was really attracted to this fabulous new American Buffalo pendant.
Relios owner Bill Pollock was excited to learn about Google Gadgets.
Bill was even more excited to see a UPS truck filling up with finished jewelry on the way to hundreds of jewelry stores across the country.
Another “Full Load”
Bill and I recapped a full day while dining at the unique Casa Vieja restaurant outside of town in Corrales.
4/20 - The Mooney Experience
Brick Thompson started dreaming about owning a Mooney Ovation 4 seated airplane when he was 12 years old. This little beauty is the fastest single engine, non turbo plane made. After 25 years of dreaming, studying, working and thinking about success he has the money to get his own Mooney.
I had some free time this morning, so when Brick asked me if I wanted to see his airplane, I said, “For sure”. As he pulled it out into the sunshine, he asked me, “Do you want to go for a ride?” My answer was an excited, “Oh yeah, let’s go!”
I have had many employees in my time, but often describe Brick as the only “1″ I ever had. This means that I only had to tell him one time to do anything, and I could consider it done. I was reminded of this as he began his complete inspection of the airplane. I’m sure someone told him that he should do that; once. He flies this plane to work three or four days a week, and to his favorite kite surfing spots with his family when he can.
Consequently I had no reservations about literally putting my life into Brick’s hands as I enthusiastically climbed into the plane.
When describing my 9-Step Reminder Card and the Sale City Express, I often times give the example of professional airline pilots going over the checklist before taking off, even though they may have flown that plane for 20 years or more. In the private flying sector I would bet that not all pilots bother to do that. After all, no one is looking.
Step 1… Step 2…
I felt inspired to get out my own check list to review the 9-steps before my next Success rally.
After going through the checklist, Brick got on the radio and checked out the wind conditions and announced his take off plans to alert any other planes in the area that we were taking off. He then twisted this little knob on the dashboard, the engines revved up, and down the runway we went.
I put in a lot of flight hours both in Hawaii and on the mainland, but the take off is never as enjoyable as this was.
Up and Away
It seemed like just a matter of seconds before we were screaming down the runway at about 125 miles per hour and leaving the ground.
I had a full on view from my “co-pilot” seat.
While I was enjoying the scenery I sensed that Brick’s attention was on what he was doing the entire time.
At one point Brick said, “We have another plane in front of and below us.” I looked down and said, “I can’t see it”, and brick said, “Right there”, pointing to one of the many gauges on the dash board. I never did see it.
Houses and Lakes
All I could see was the many houses and lakes below us.
Brick pointed out the mountains in the distance and said that if it wasn’t so windy we could fly up over the Rockies and see some real scenery. Besides that, I had a flight to catch to Albuquerque and time didn’t allow for that, but next time…
In spite of the winds, Brick made a smooth landing and rolled his baby back into the garage, I mean “hangar”. We then got in the car and headed for Denver International so that I could catch a boring flight on a big jet to Albuquerque.
Upon entering Denver International Airport the loudspeakers were blasting away, telling us that the security level has been raised to orange, so we should expect delays going through security. I thought, “What else is new?” Going through security for me is never a pleasant experience. I often get the “long hair treatment”. I hear, “Bag Check”, and they go through my luggage. I always pack my dirty undies on the top. That sometimes keeps them from digging deeper and finding the extra bottle of shampoo that I am smuggling in. I often remind them that this isn’t the sixties and that Bin Laden’s buddies don’t have long hair; long beards maybe, but not pony tails.
Hurry - Hurry and WAIT!
After the ordeal of security we have to climb into a train, packed like cattle, and then go back up another escalator to the gates. No one wants to miss a flight, so it’s rush time; push and shove, and then wait at the gate listening to loud speakers at full volume blasting out orders for boarding the plane.
I prefer to fly first class, but when I wind up on Southwest airlines there is no such thing, and I seem to always be in the “B-30 group”, which means sitting in the back and struggling for a place to put my carry on bag. Thank God for the iPhone. Trying to use a computer in those seats is murder and when the person in front of you chooses to put the seat back; forget it!
I wonder how much Brick would charge to run me around on these trips.
So much for complaining; the good news is that business should be booming in Albuquerque. I couldn’t help but wonder where all of these people are going. One thing for sure, they are going to the airport, so Avila Retail better show some good numbers today.
Mentorship the Da Max
Tom O’Gwynn ranks up there with my father when it comes to people I have learned from over the years. This is the guy who introduced me to retail in 1981. We worked hand in hand to build Crater Enterprises into a highly successful chain of jewelry stores. In the five years that I worked with Tom I treasured the moments that I was able to spend with him. I look back on our weekly lunches as career molding events.
Tom has lived in Denver for many years since selling Crater Enterprises. I have been here many times in those years and for one reason or another we were unable to get together. We had dinner tonight and will again tomorrow. We see things the same way; we learn from each other; that’s the best form of friendship.
Leid in Denver
It was a real surprise to show up for the Denver Avila Success Rally and get “leid” at the door.
It was also a warm feeling looking out on so many leis in the room. If it was not for the 45 degree temperature outside I might have thought I was back in Hawaii.
This tour is far from over… stay tuned…
4/18 6:30 AM
The airport at Love Field in Dallas is much less hectic than the one at Dallas Fort Worth, BUT I was warned that it might take me an hour to get here, so I reserved the hotel limo and wound up getting here in 20 minutes; 2 hours before my flight.
Larger Table Please
With all that time to spare, and two rallies to do as soon as I arrive in Denver I decided to “fuel up” at the airport. As the restaraunt hostess guided me to a tiny 2-top table, I said, “Could I have that larger one back in the corner so I can work on my computer?” She said, “No, that’s for three or four only, take this one”, and pointed to this six-top. Go Figure…
Southwest Spirit Dallas
Store manager Brandon is all set to promote Mother’s Day shopping. It’s only 23 days away.
Team Southwest Spirit was willing to sit and listen to me for two hours in spite of four Texas tornados forming between the store and their homes. I did my best to make it worthwhile.
I’m hoping for good weather in the morning; I leave here for Denver at 6 AM.
Big in Texas
It’s true that everything is Big in Texas. That becomes immediately apparent upon arrival at the Gaylord Texan; my home for two nights.
On the way to breakfast (big one) this morning I saw this sign. I immediately had the thought that my client from the past, Tom Leppert; now the mayor of Dallas just may be among the guests. I decided to go in for a closer look (Big Mistake).
As I looked at all of the men dressed in pretty much the same suits, I couldn’t help but think, “I sure don’t miss this”. While trying to figure out if one of them was Tom, a very classy young lady asked if she could help me. Interesting, she wasn’t asking that of anyone else. I told her that I was looking for a friend, Tom Leppert, who is the Dallas mayor. She abruptly said, “He is not here, and you shouldn’t get any closer”. I wanted to ask, “Why, is that look contagious?” I bit my tongue instead. I sent e-mail to Tom telling him that I am in town. Anyone care to place a bet as to if I will hear back from him?
I asked myself, “Wow; do I look that much different?” I then asked a passer by to take this picture. In looking at it I realized that I sure do, and quite honestly am quite happy about that. It’s Easy!
Stay tuned for tonight’s Success Rally with the Relios; SouthWest Spirit Store here in the Texan. Yes, I will dress up (some) for that.
BAI – Big and Impressive
The Copenhagen Furniture and Accessories store makes a strong impression on anyone driving down North Mesa Street in El Paso. They have a complete line of contemporary furniture by all of the major brands. This was the location for my Success Rally this morning.
SBP – Small But Powerful
I had a terrific time with the sales team from Copenhagen El Paso. A total of seven salespeople handle an extremely large amount of business. They were very enthusiastic and anxious to learn more in order to be even better than they already are.
Anthony – Sales Manager
Anthony has a 10 year history with Copenhagen. In this photo he is helping salesperson, Julia locate an order for a customer.
The store owner Flemming Carlsen has had this store in the El Paso market for 29 years. He handles all of the buying, and oversees the running this large business. I was honored to spend some one-on-one time with Flemming today. I always learn a lot when I get to talk with experienced people like this.
The warehouse team is also compact, yet they manage to control, assemble, ship and deliver a large amount of furniture to many cities in the US as well as in nearby Mexico.
I am typing this while high in the sky aboard an American Airlines jet heading to Dallas, Texas.
I arrived at the Phoenix airport a little after midnight on the 14th. It was nice, but pretty quiet.
Mosaic and Talking Hands
These are just two of the many stores Avila has at the Phoenix Airport.
Reach For It
The stores are nice, but my focus was on the excitable salespeople I had in two different rallies today.
Zoran Does It
Zoran, a Phoenix local, hung around after the rally to share his recent 9-Step experience. He has mastered the system in the stores and is using it so well that his bosses asked him to make a role playing presentation to company executives as well as John and Kathleen Avila. He pulled it off beautifully because that’s what he does with customers. We chatted for quite a while. I found him to be a pretty special person.
At the end of the day I met with Phoenix General Manager Guy Burrell and we brainstormed ideas for my next visit. I then hopped on a plane to El Paso, Texas for a rally in the morning with Copenhagen Imports. Stay tuned… This is just getting started.
Warm Up Rally
4/13 - I kicked off the tour right here in Hawaii last night with the great staff at Blue Hawaii Lifestyle at Ala Moana Shopping Center.
Blue Hawaii Life Style founder and owner Michael Zhang introduced me and we had a wonderful two hour long rally. That’s a bit longer than normal, but this is a new store and I was seeing most of these people for the first time, so there was a lot to cover. The store features made in Hawaii bath and beauty products and gifts as well as a full service coffee and juice bar.