Job “Too Well” Done

January 5th, 2018

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But With it, a Big Reward

The year was 1960. I was in the Air Force stationed ay Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado. I had a very part-time job selling lawn mowers at JC Penny’s.

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“I Can Do That For You” 

A man came in, I demonstrated  the latest power mower. He asked if I would assemble it. I asked my supervisor and he said, “No, he has to take it in the box.” I told the customer that and he said, “Forget it.” I told him if he were to take the box home, that I would come to his house after work and assemble it for him. DONE DEAL! I did, and he was thrilled. The next day I was fired for putting the company at risk. My boss said, “If you or he had been hurt on his premises, the company could be held libel.”

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REALLY?

I called my customer and asked him to call my boss and assure him that all is good. He said, “I’ll do better than that” and he hired me on the spot to be his night supervisor of a blue print shop he had at Buckley, Air National Guard Base. My hours were half my Air Force hours with twice the pay.   

Goal Power

December 31st, 2017

 It’s That Time Again;

New Year; New Conditions, New Opportunities and New Goals. Below are some thoughts on the power of a goal set right. 

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It’s Only a Game
How many people would watch or play in a sporting event if there were no goals and was no scorekeeping? NONE!
One of the most influential books I have read is The Game of Work by Charles Coonradt. Charles makes the point that people will work harder at play than they will at work without tiring. When work is fun people will get into it. You make work fun when competition and scorekeeping are involved.

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Goals:
The key elements are goals and goal tracking. People must know where they want to go, believe they can get there, and know how they are doing along the way. As easy as goal setting sounds, a few critical mistakes can actually make the whole thing backfire. The two goals that won’t work for you are, “Too High” or “Too Low.” A goal seen as unrealistic is not motivational, and one that is too low isn’t challenging. I consider the ideal goal to be, “A little out of sight, but NEVER  out of reach.” Some think that simply setting a goal will bring about its fruition. unfortunately it isn’t that easy. Like anything else worthwhile there’s some work involved.  The first step in the process is analysis to be certain the goal is doable, then comes action and follow up.

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Buy-In
There are basically two types of goals; externally and self imposed. If you are imposing the goal, be sure that the person or persons expected to reach it agree that he or she can. This is where the work is involved. Doing it right can be time consuming and inconvenient, but worth it. To spare this work I have seen companies set their goals by way of a formula, such as, “Last year’s sales plus 10%.” This process is a good starting point, but it doesn’t take into consideration “Unforeseen, extenuating circumstances” that make this year much different. For example, last year you had construction going on that hurt sales, but that’s not the case this year. A “formulated goal” would likely be too low. A little time spent negotiating allows you to hold people accountable as the month goes by.

CPC

December 29th, 2017

Constant Customer Contact

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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.

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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.

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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:

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

The Magic Number

December 26th, 2017

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It’s a New Year, and the best time to start some new success habits, or renew some forgotten ones. As a retailer, there is no habit more important than knowing where you are and where you should be.

It’s Magical
By definition, the “Magic Number” is the total amount sales that you must average from today until the end of the month to assure hitting your goal.
It’s indeed magical in that (assuming you set a SMART goal) it’s small enough at the start of the month that you know you can do it. And, when you reach and exceed the “Magic Number” you will see that is lower tomorrow therefore making it even easier.
On the flip side however, should you sell less than the “Magic Number” today, it will be larger in the morning, thereby offering you a “wake up call” early enough in the month to accomplish it.

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FORMULA:
The formula to determine your “Magic Number” today is: “Your Goal minus your Accumulated Sales for the Month Divided by the Number of Days Left in the Month to Sell.”
GOAL-SALES to DATE/# of DAYS LEFT
This is not Rocket Science; anyone can do that simple arithmetic. Unfortunately many people tend to forgive a bad day, figuring that there’s still time left in the month to make up for it. While there’s some truth to that, the fewer days you have left, the higher the number and stress level will be.
The key is to develop a sense of urgency early on, thus eliminating the stress at the end or even worse missing your goal.

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IT’S EASY!
If you are fortunate enough to be receiving our Morning Report that formula is built into it and will show you your “Magic Number” updated daily. This acts as a road map to hit your goal.
If you are not receiving the Morning Report CLICK HERE see how you can, and all that it does in addition to this.

Keeping Score

December 22nd, 2017

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In Sports
In sports there are scoreboards They motivate the players to a higher level of performance by creating awareness and competition. They let the players know where they are going. When falling behind, they alert them in time to make the changes needed in time to win the game.

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In Transportation
In transportation there are dashboards in cars and airplane cockpits. They let the drivers and pilots know where they are going and how fast. They act as alarm systems to alert drivers and pilots when something isn’t going right in time to prevent a crash or accident.

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In Business:
Scoreboards and dashboards are important in business as well. They let the people in the company know if they are making money or losing money. They let the owners know if they are going to stay in business or not. Ideally the alarms would sound before it’s too late to make changes.

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Too Late:
But, too often a dangerous trend is noticed too late or not at all, and a crash occurs. Unlike the dashboards in planes and cars, there are unseen variables. In the car the dials work exactly the same regardless who drivers are. Not so in business. Spreadsheets are often times looked at when the month is over leaving no time for a correction in behavior or change of direction. And of course there are those who wouldn’t know what to do about it, so not seeing it is in some way comforting.

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Here Comes the Sun
Actually, there’s no more comforting feeling than waking up in the morning fully aware of everything that has happened right up through closing last night all with little or no effort on your part. We can help you with that: CLICK HERE:

6 Musts to Make a Sale:

December 13th, 2017

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There are six things that must happen for you to make a sale. Leave any one of these out and your customer will leave empty handed.

They Are:

1.) The customer MUST come into the store. 

This is not to say that you cannot sell via your website or over the phone to a past customer, but generally speaking customers need to be able to touch it, sit on it, lay on it and more.

2.) The customer MUST find something that he or she likes.

The salesperson hasn’t been born yet that can sell things to people that they don’t like, need or want. Too many try to however.

3.) The customer MUST have the money.

You may have a customer that comes into the store, find the perfect piece of furniture, but has no way to pay for it. And if you try hard enough to sell that piece to that customer you will successfully sell the customer on leaving the store to never return.

4.) The customer MUST be willing to spend the money.

Having the money may not be enough. There may be something else the customer would prefer to spend that money on.

5.) The customer must trust the company.

If this is a customer that you have already done satisfactory business with in the past, this trust may already exist. If not, it needs to be established BEFORE you start “SELLING.”

6.) The customer MUST like the salesperson.

This is a big one since most people don’t like salespeople to begin with. This is why so many come into your store with their “guard up” and announce, “I’m just looking.”

DO the MATH

November 23rd, 2017

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It’s a Formula 

R is Results. Everyone wants more results. To get more results bring either the A or the B up and the Results will go up as well. You cannot change the results any other way. 

“A” represents your ATTITUDE. Your attitude effects your results at any given moment, day, week, month or year. And your entire life is a result of your days, weeks, months and years strung together.

“B” represents your behavior. Unless YOU control YOUR behavior  in a systematic manner, it will go up and down as a result of your feelings and judgements as you go through your days, weeks, months and years.

The key to ongoing, improving results in any area of your life is to identify ideal behavior and make that a habit by way of repetition. Anything you do over and over gets easier and easier to do. Your mind doesn’t always recognize the difference between good behavior from poor behavior, consequently some people get very, very good at some very, very bad things.

Don’t let the weather, economy, traffic or other people who might want to commiserate with you about those things, or their problems get in the way of you getting what you want.

Remember that there two types of people; those who get what they want and those that take what they get. It’s not Rocket Science, but it is scientific.  

What’s R2A2?

November 15th, 2017

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THEY KNOW!

When I ask, “What’s R2A2?” at my Surf-n-Sea Success Rally, everyone knows the answer.  Do you? 

I discovered this formula reading THINK AND GROW RICH while “snowed in” about 1962 in a Buffalo, New York motel. Where were you? 

Author Napoleon Hill  discovered the formula while interviewing successful people during the Great Depression at the request of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie’s empire was not showing any losses while businesses around him were crumbling. People were losing their homes, jobs and cars. Carnegie did not understand why he wasn’t feeling the pinch himself, and if it was something he was doing that they weren’t, he wanted to find out what it was and share the wealth. R2A2 is one of the two biggest things that I took away from reading this book that snowy February day in Buffalo.

The philosophy is that whenever ANYTHING pops up on your screen of life, think, R2A2; Recognize, Relate, Assimilate and Apply.

-RECOGNIZE the principle at play. RELATE that principle back to your own business and or life. ASSIMILATE what you have observed. Take it on board, absorb it and make it yours. APPLY what you  have learned.

When you habitually practice R2A2 thinking, you will learn and grow from every experience; good or bad. Get a “rotten customer, think “R2A2.” Get a great customer think “R2A2.

I often refer to the movie “MR. 3000″ as an example of this. While the movie is about a baseball player, (Bernie Mac) you do not need to be a baseball fan to enjoy this movie. And if you think, “R2A2″ at the end, you will learn a valuable lesson. I challenge you, watch the movie and then tell me what the principle was, and how YOU can benefit from it.

Handsome Charlie

November 11th, 2017

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I met “Handsome Charlie” when I moved to Waikiki in 1981 and needed a key made. We talked about his real estate successes for hours.

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As I was leaving he handed me this little red Chinese envelope with a crispy $20 bill on the inside.

He said, “This will bring you good luck. If you never spend this money you will never need any money.” I didn’t and I haven’t.

I have carried this in my pocket since that day, and whenever tempted to spend it, I thought about him.

I made it a point to visit him as much as I could. He had a little chair in front of his store and when I saw him in it I would stop to chat.

One day flowers were in the place of the chair and his precious Lock Doctor was closed. I didn’t want to stop.

I drive by his old store several times a week. The flowers are still there, but “The Handsome One” has gone on.

Paradigms

November 10th, 2017

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It’s About How YOU See Things

Webster defines a paradigm as, “a typical example or pattern of something; a model.”

A “faulty paradigm” can stifle action, and it’s action that makes things happen.

When heading down the road to success, it’s good to remember that everyone has paradigms about many different things.

Sometimes a “paradigm shift“ is needed. Here’s a great example of that.

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I live in a pet friendly building in downtown Honolulu. One day I got in the elevator and a huge local man stepped in along with his huge pit bull, which was muzzled. Everyone in the elevator stepped back and stayed quiet. Once we arrived at our floor, and were out of earshot, my wife gave me an earful about that man and his dog. “It’s not that dog’s fault that he’s mean. It’s that man’s fault for the way the dog has been treated.” Of course I agreed. This was the scene every time we saw the man and his muzzled dog. Then one day I was in the elevator when the man and his dog stepped in. There was no muzzle on the  dog, and people stepped as far back into the elevator as possible. I cautiously asked him, “Why isn’t your dog muzzled today?”

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He said, “Oh she doesn’t need a muzzle, she’s the sweetest dog in the world. Her name is Angel, I saved her from a dog fighting ring out in Waianae when she was a little puppy, go ahead and pet her.” I did, and sweet she was. I asked him, “So, what’s with the muzzle?  He said, “The resident manager asked me to muzzle her because some of the residents are afraid of her.”

When my wife came home I told her this story, and now she loves that man. She had a paradigm shift. She learned that things weren’t what she thought based on the information she had.

Customers come into stores with preconceived paradigms about salespeople and vice-versa. It’s the salesperson’s job to create a paradigm shift with sincere attention to the customer, and without pressure. That’s a fine line at times.

    NOTE: Dogs in the photos are actually stand-ins forAngel.