What it takes to keep a client

One of our elderly gentlemen readers called the other day to complain. Our Pet Editor, Scoop, writes a joke column in our newspapers, the Lexington County Chronicle and The Lake Murray Fish Wrapper.
Scoop (and his editor) find these jokes everywhere but mostly online. Some are a bit salty, which we don’t use. Nor do we use the ones too vanilla to be funny. But humor is always a matter of one’s taste.
This gentleman wanted to cancel his subscription due to what he considered an off-color joke that he did not want to have to explain to his teenage grandson.
If his grandson is anything like the teenagers we know, he may be able to better explain it and even salter jokes to Grandpa.
Katie, our subscription manager, apologized and did everything she could on the phone to assure him we will watch it.
She even went back and read the joke he referred to and found no offensive content.
We wrote him a letter explaining that, being a dog, Scoop does not always anticipate what may offend humans and gets carried away with his sense of humor.
We promised to keep an eye on Scoop and offered the reader a free subscription.
Katie handled the situation well.
How well do your people handle complaints? How do you know?

For a complimentary copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Speed up your business’s slow times

You’ve undoubtedly seen a few of the ads for Starbucks Afternoon Made. This is an attempt to generate more traffic, sales and revenue after lunch, their slowest time.
Starbucks is offering iced drinks, strawberry acais, caramel frappuccinos and other tantalizing afternoon concoctions to lure the morning crowd back after lunch.
Starbucks does a booming business in the morning for obvious reasons. What happens after lunch is another story.
We aren’t like Europeans who, with the exception of Germans, work nothing like Americans do. They sip coffee all day in sidewalk cafes and places like Starbucks.
I know that’s a sweeping generality and some Europeans actually work for a living.
Yet the European coffee houses were the inspiration for the Starbucks chain.
Starbucks is not alone. Think of lawn services, pool installers and others whose business is seasonal. Many have come up with other products and services they can offer in their slow times, be it weeks or months.
Even power companies encourage you to use non-peak hours by offering what they call “discounted” rates. Actually, they charge you a premium for peak hour use.
What are the slow times in your business? What might you offer to stimulate more business during those times?
For a complimentary digital copy of “Mastering the Master Mind” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Find opportunities in every challenge

In our Master Mind group, we teach that every challenge has at least one opportunity in it. Lazy people complain.

Smart ones find and exploit the opportunity.The recent Supreme Court sales tax ruling in an excellent example. On a challenge by small internet retailers, the court ruled states have a right to charge sales taxes on anything sold online to their residents.

Local governments are losing millions in sales tax revenue they would have normally received if the purchase had been made in a store in their state or community. Charging internet retailers a sales tax, government agencies argued, leveled the playing field for their local businesses and helped pay for government services such as law enforcement, fire protection, etc.

Small retailers argued they can not keep up with differing tax laws in so many states. It would put them out of business.

Big retailers such as Amazon have already figured out how to do it and are paying taxes on purchases from all 50 states.There is the opportunity.

Amazon is undoubtedly working on a sales tax service it can offer small retailers at an affordable price and for a profit.

What challenges are you and your industry facing? How can you turn that them into opportunities – at a profit?

For a complimentary digital copy of “Mastering the Master Mind” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

It’s all about the customer’s experience

Having enjoyed Bananas Foster and other fattening fare at Brennan’s in New Orleans, we can attest to Ella Brennan’s skills.
Mrs. Brennan invented the “celebrity chef” in nurturing Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, two Food Network stars.
But she held their egos in check and concentrated on making her family’s restaurants memorable for 5-star food and fun.
“A restaurant is not a church, where you have to be quiet and kneel,” she said.
She wanted every meal to be boisterous.
Any pretensions were punctured by jazz bands swaying between the tables and 25-cent martinis at lunch. She wouldn’t let her waiters put on airs and the menu described French dishes in plain English.
Long before other restaurants saw the need for national reputations, Ms. Brennan cultivated friendships with journalists. She once helped scrub a lodging for visiting reporters. They rewarded her with glowing reviews. The Chicago Tribune called her the “doyenne of brunch.”
She scoured newspapers for stories about other industries that might contain lessons for her restaurants and held weekly brainstorming sessions with her staff.
I tell you all this because you need to become the Ella Brennan of your business.
Take her ideas and run with them.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Mastering the Master Mind” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com