A Chance to Give Back

Last week we shared a bunch of ideas for holiday marketing. One of the things on my mind this week is that we have a great opportunity to give back to our community.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to give back to my community. I raised funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for 15 years. This year, my dad was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, so I have been raising money for chemo bags to give out to patients going through chemo. Recently, I started volunteering and helping with the fundraising and social media of a school here in Jakarta that is providing education to asylum seekers and refugees.

It was when I was the party and front of house manager at iT’Z that I realized we, as a huge organization, had the power to make a big change in others and in our community. So, we started “iT’Z For a Good Cause” and worked with various organizations in order to give back. One year we donated over $11,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The Incredible Birthday Party Project

One of the organizations in our industry that has done an amazing job is The Incredible Birthday Party Project. The Incredible Birthday Party Project was started by Incredible Mo’s and gives birthday parties to families in need. We know that kids only have one fifth birthday and to be able to make that an amazing and memorable experience is huge.

The reality is that there are children who never get to celebrate their birthday with a party. Watch this amazing video about Jessica, who was able to have her first birthday party at the age of 18 because of The Incredible Birthday Party Project. It’s amazing how the company has spread the word and invited other centers to join in on the project.

The holidays are one of the biggest donation times of the year. Organizations plan huge holiday donation drives and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is #GivingTuesday, the biggest giving day of the year.

Be apart of something!

People always want to be a part of something. Being able to give back to organizations is a great way to be part of a community. How awesome would it be for your center to partner with an organization in your community? You don’t have to start an entire campaign, but you can be involved. Here are some ideas of how you can partner and encourage others to give back.

  • Plan a fundraising night – It’s fun and easy! Plan a night and encourage people to come in your center and give a portion of the day’s sales back to the organization.
  • Create a special package – You can run this for a night or run it for an entire month. Create a special package that includes food, drinks, and fun and give a portion of each package sold to the organization
  • Match Grant – The organization will do a lot of fundraising. Why not match it? Set the amount you will match and if they fundraise that on their own, you will match that amount.
  • #GivingTuesday – Show your support for a local organization. Have your team members bring in donations for the organization, let guests know you are collecting donations, and use social media to let your fans know you are supporting the organization and collecting donations. Encourage them to donate to them, too
  • Go Big! Host a bowling tournament or big event at your center.

There are so many things you can do to be part of your community. I hope this will inspire you to do something this holiday season or even throughout the year. If you do, we would love to hear about it and see your pictures, too!

It’s Not About You

not about youI love working with our coaching clients and watching them grow their business. It never gets old seeing someone learn new sales techniques, or observing them develop great connections and closing more and more sales.

Last week, while working with one of our amazing coaching clients, one of the salespeople asked me what marketing material they should take when going on an outside sales call. I answered, “Just a business card and a notebook.” They were amazed, and followed up by asking why they wouldn’t need marketing material. The answer is simple, if you go into a business with flyers, you have already made it about you – not about them.

How many times have you gone into a business with your notebook full of marketing materials or a handful of flyers? And then did your prospect say, “Well just leave us your information and I will look it over.”  We then end up spending hours calling and emailing (that is, IF we were lucky enough to get their contact information), trying to see if they are interested in what we were selling. We lose control of the sale when we bring flyers, again, because our flyers are about us.

The number one rule of selling is, “Find out what the customer wants, and sell them that.” When we go into someone’s office with a product on our mind for them, we’re not qualifying, we’re setting up for the ‘pitch.’  Sure, marketing material can be great, but it isn’t the first thing we need to present when we go into a business to speak to someone face to face.

Instead, I recommend that you take notes when you are onsite, and ask for one of their business cards when you are trying to find out who the decision maker is. When you get back into your vehicle at the end of your meeting, jot down any information you might need for your next step while it’s fresh in your mind. It is easy after that to go back into your center and get that information into your CRM or database for future reference.

Just the other day, I spoke with a proprietor who told me that one of the best promotions his center had ever run happened when his managers went out with no flyers– just business cards. I also think business people are more open and less guarded when you don’t walk in with a handful of marketing materials. People are more likely to speak to you, the person standing before them, when there aren’t flashy flyers standing between you!

I hope that you’ll try this, and that you’ll let me know if it works and makes your day of sales so much more fun and productive. I think it will.

Because We Care

because we careI just read Seth Godin’s blog entitled, “Companies don’t care about you.”  He talked about companies not being run by people who care, because “caring is unpredictable, hard to command and regulate, and sometimes expensive in the short term.”  He ends with the very poignant statement, “what a shame.”

It is sad to me to think that the ‘norm’ has become an unfeeling world, filled with companies and people who don’t care about others. And you know what–it may be shame, but I don’t really think we can generalize people like that; and what’s more, I don’t accept it.  I find that there are so many examples in our world of people who care, and I’m honored to meet more people like that all the time.  It’s their stories I want to tell, and their behavior I want to emulate, because I do care.

I was sitting next to a lady this week who overheard me talking about leadership to one of my colleagues. After I hung up, she asked me what I do, so I explained about what we do at TrainerTainment.  She talked to me about leadership and how important working together and teamwork is at work. Of course I agreed. She followed by telling me about her role as a cardiac nurse. She had been in a floor meeting recently and the ‘big bosses’ from the upper floors came down and asked her team, “How is it that you all work so well together?  What is it that has you so in tune with each other?” They replied, “That’s easy; it’s because we care.  If one of us receives a call on one of our patients, it’s like we all hear the call.  If one of use loses a patient, we all do.  We care-about our patients and about each other.”  I’m so humbled when I meet people in the medical profession who literally save lives every day, and to hear their ‘why’ is so motivating.

That nurse really made a difference in my day.  When I thought about the team they must have, and how they work together, I really got inspired about their purpose.  And then, the following day, in our quarterly TrainerTainment planning meeting, we spent some time refining some language around our core purpose-who we are.  Our team brainstormed ideas.  “We’re fun training, serious results, we’re solutions driven, we’re intentional learners,” you know all of those things we value.  But really, at the core, we are in service.  We get up every morning and think, “How can I be in service to my family, my team, my clients, and my community?” For me personally, it’s about trying to make a difference for someone today, because I refuse to accept that the world has to be a place where making a difference is too expensive to put enough effort into. I won’t shake my head and say “what a shame.”

So for our team and those we serve, when a client calls one of us, they call us all.  When one faces a challenge, we all do.  When we or one of our clients feels success, we all celebrate together.  Why? Because we care – about each other and about you.  What about your team? Do you care, and how do you show the people you serve?

It Really is the Little Things

I LEARNED IT WATCHING YOU (1)It is my habit to swing through Starbucks in the wee hours of the morning. I get up around 5:00-5:30, read my daily devotional, and then go to the gym. Some mornings I work out for about an hour and others (like today) only about 30 minutes. And then I do what I really want to do and swing by Starbucks.

I always order a “Triple Grande Skinny Caramel Latte”. But this morning I decided on a Venti-Non-Fat-2-Splenda-Coffee. I’m not sure why I went rogue. It must be the conservative in me that realized the coffee was half the price of the latte!

Nonetheless, when I got up to the drive through, the kind gal that works the window said, “Something different this morning…I typed in triple grand skinny caramel latte!” We both laughed. She shared that she was trying to drink soy herself instead of milk. We wished each other a good day and I drove off.

I have to tell you, I was inspired and surprised at how good it made me feel that she knows me (just by my voice). It seems so silly, I’m sure. I got to thinking about how easy it is to wow others. It’s all about making them feel special.

How many of your guest’s names do you know by sight? How many are you willing to learn per day? The things that are transformative are the little things. I belong to an amazing CEO group and at the beginning of the year our Chair shared these two links with the group. We were so inspired by the Sparring Mind article and able to then put the little things in perspective with the second website, Tiny Habits, that we used much of this information to coach our sales clients with setting goals for the New Year.

As we end the first quarter, I encourage you to the click the links and check out both websites. 2015 can be the year that you break through. 2015 can be the year that you realize the kind of success with your family, your business, your job, and even the life that you deserve.

You know what I believe? I believe that we do the big things. The big things are the “must do” things. It’s the little things that make the difference. Success is built on the foundation of doing the little things consistently and doing them well.

I’ll leave you with this thought:  In the sales process we are fanatics about connecting first with others, qualifying their needs (being curious about them before we talk about us), then we present our stuff, and finally we ask for their business (close). At TrainerTainment we call that the CQPC of selling. Each of those components, done in that order is just one little thing followed by another. If you want to get great at selling, than get focused on doing each of these little things in this order – over and over again whether you’re at the counter, on the phone, or at a function.

AND why don’t you get committed to learning the names of five new people every day and then use their name the next time you see them. A perfect example would be when someone approaches your front counter, you learn and use their name because they paid with the credit card, and then when they leave your facility you say, “Hey Beth, thanks for coming in today…I’ll see you tomorrow!” Try it – transform your life and theirs.

I’m So Proud of You

someone is proud of youI’ve been a grown-up for a long time, and it occurred to me just the other day that I still want to know that my parents are proud of me. For the record, my parents have been gone a long time–and yet I want to know.

I picked the phone up this week and started calling my own children to make sure they know how proud I am of them. Amanda said, “Mom, I know you are my biggest fan; it’s almost ridiculous!” We laughed about it.

I got to thinking about my TrainerTainment team and all of the clients that we serve, and wondered how often I actually slow down enough to tell them how proud I am of them. I decided that it’s probably not often enough.

I looked up the word proud in the dictionary and here’s what I found:

Very happy and pleased because of something you have done, something you own, someone you know or are related to, etc.: feeling pride: causing someone to feel very happy and pleased : causing a feeling of pride

As I look at these words, I understand better why I’m such a crier. That happy, pleased feeling usually wells up in the form of tears for me. Our son, Jordan, is a musician, and I’m the luckiest mom in the world because I get to go see him at the theater. I never care about the play. I’m that proud mom in the audience that is overjoyed to experience the talent of this young man in the band.

Leslie, my oldest has joined an improvisational comedy group. This past Saturday, Dad and I got to go see her on the stage. It was GREAT. She was the best ones up there (of course I sound like her mom and I’m right!). It was so fun to watch her have fun.

Last week, Trainertainment held our 2.5 day sales seminar in Rockwall, TX. I was able to be in the room with such inspiring talent. It’s a proud moment for me when I get to watch Sherry in action–she’s a great trainer. AND our students were amazing. We had two attendees go out and implement the sales strategies that they learned on Wednesday and Thursday which resulted in BIG closed sales on Friday morning.  It was a PROUD moment indeed watching them “bubble over” with excitement as they put their learning in to practice right away. I was very happy and pleased!”

So, on this Friday morning, I want you to know that someone out there is very proud of you. AND you should be proud of you. AND you might want to take the time today to let those who you are proud of know that you are proud of them.  It matters.
By the way, for those of you that are part of my family, my friend life, and my work life, I want you to know I am so proud of you and I’m so proud to be able to be a part of your life.

Uh-Wait Just A Minute

I wait a minutehad the weirdest shopping experience this week. I stopped at Staples to pick up a couple of things on Sunday. As an side, I love the office supply store the same way some women love Macy’s. I rounded up my items and proceeded to check out. There was quite a line with only one register open. No worries though, I was not in a hurry.

I patiently waited my turn, and then exchanged minimal pleasantries with the “guest service” gal that was running the register. She seemed a little distracted but she was moving the line efficiently.

AND then it happened.

She scanned my items. I scanned my credit card and then looked up at what she was doing. It was weird. She had her head down and was typing away, but I couldn’t really see her hands. It was then that I noticed that in the middle of my financial transaction she was taking time to respond to a text or an email on her phone.

It was a clever move really. Until she backed away, I didn’t see her phone that lay flat on surface beside the point of sale. Once she finished whatever she was doing, she went through the motions of finishing my transaction.

She looked me in the eye and thanked me; and as I stared back I thought, “You’d be fired if I were the manager”. I got to the door and thought how in the world does she think that’s OK? I got to the car and thought, I have to go back and tell her. It wouldn’t be the first time I had shared with someone how I thought their service could have been better.

I am not sure how I managed to contain my inner-guest service warrior. But I did this time. I just think that if people had any idea the impact that we have on each other we would be a little more focused on what’s important at the time. I mean really, was the text or email that she had to send so important that it couldn’t wait until she was completely finished with my transaction. Come on now, she’s handling cash. I hardly ever look at my receipt but you can bet I did then. How easy would it be to make a mistake? Her head was clearly somewhere else. I got to thinking about her efficiency and how quickly she was able to do her job. I suspect she and her boss think she’s a great employee.

In my mind, there’s a big difference between just pushing people through the line and providing great service. The difference in this situation is so subtle and maybe I’m just being too picky but HEY, could you wait just a minute until your are finished with me to do whatever is so much more important while you are at work?

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