June 30, 2014

Thank You – Part 2

I wrote the first blog posting entitled “Thank You” on November 11, 2012. It primarily dealt with thanking all those people that you know, but probably don’t know, who have touched your life in some manner. These are veterans, public servants, teachers, and all the rest of those folks who never think twice about their service to the rest of us.

How about those other people who we call upon each and every day for some information or service or advice? What about the barista at our favorite coffee shop or the grocery checkout person? Do you have a favorite mechanic or your postal delivery person? How about the bus driver who you see every day or the security person in your office building? All these people deserve a thank you for what they do regularly.

Sure, you may say that what they do is their job, for which they get paid, but we should think about how our day would be without them. These people make our days better, and our thoughts brighter, and our smiles bigger. They are the cogs in the workings of our lives. They deserve our thanks, and we can make their lives better just by giving them our thanks even though what they do is part of their occupation or job.

Recently someone asked me for some information about another acquaintance of mine. The request was in the form of an email, and my reply to their email was how I provided the information to them. (I always attempt to reply to all requests within 24 hours, and if I have missed something from any of you, I apologize and hope you send me the request again, chastising me.)

When I replied, furnishing the information that was requested, I stated that the data was what I had, but I also offered that it might not be current. I did not receive an additional email telling me that the information was correct or not, nor did I get a thank you for my response. Did the person get my reply (sometimes our emails go astray), was the data correct, or was it helpful? I do not know, but it would be nice for my benefit.

If this had been a request for directions while walking on a sidewalk, I would have expected a “thank you” at the end of the discussion.  If it was during a telephone call, a “thank you” would have been included. Why not after an email exchange? How about at the end of an exchange via texting? Is electronic communications different from normal conversation?

Common courtesy should tell us that we need to thank others for what they do for us, no matter what the situation. How do we feel when someone fails to thank us for a simple act that makes their day better? We should always act in the manner that we would want others to act towards us. We should always include in our daily actions those behaviors that would be better than “good enough”.

Thanking others for what their job description includes should be a matter of normal activity. Who knows what good karma will bring back to us when we just thank people for what they do? Putting forth good karma will result in prosperity and better days for you; it is a matter of fact and reality. Try it and see.


Who knows what will happen if the practice of good karma spreads to everyone else? Maybe our world will be better for all of us. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

June 22, 2014

Common Sense - Part 2

A follow up to last week’s blog posting on Common Sense is appropriate. If common sense was more common, then there would not be a need for people like me to write blogs on Appreciation Marketing. But it is not common at all, no matter what we say and do. Therefore, here we are again discussing something which we all should know, and practice. Common sense should be much more common than it is.

This past week, I was returning a purchase to a major retailer of bed, bath, and kitchen accessories. While waiting in line I overheard the sales person talking with a lady from California who was making a purchase at the register. This sales person was proclaiming her belief that no one should live in California, that it was too expensive, too hot, and too full of strange and undesirable residents.

This diatribe continued for over 5 minutes, and the customer who was on the receiving end became very uncomfortable. The person in line behind me looked at me with a look of amazement on his face, as we both could not believe what we were hearing. Finally, the sales person finalized the sale, and the customer left. I completed my return and also left, thinking that I was smart to keep my mouth shut.

What I heard and watched was marketing, and it was very poor marketing. Marketing is everything that we do every minute of every day, from the time we wake up until we close our eyes at night. If we have done our marketing correctly, it will continue to work even after we go to sleep. Marketing can make our businesses succeed, or it can help them fail. Which should we prefer?

This sales person does not realize that the customer in question was putting money into her pocket by purchasing something from her employer. She does not realize that the customer should have set her purchase down and not paid for the item, leaving it on the counter. She also doesn’t realize that the customer will probably tell her friends and others about this negative experience, probably naming the retailer in question.

In addition, the sales person does not realize that her dissertation was heard by myself and several others, all of who might be influenced by her behavior in our future purchasing of products. Furthermore, all of the persons who overheard her comments may well tell other people about the event and her comments. I am including the situation in this blog, not naming the store, but I have told the story to several others who have figured out who the retailer is.

We all must understand that our marketing is more than what we publish to the public. It includes everything that we do, what we say, and all of our actions during our day. It is about how we treat others, whether they are customers or prospects or just the public in general. Common sense should make us understand what types of actions we should engage in and the ramifications, good or bad, of all of them.


Treating our customers, prospects, and everyone else like we would want to be treated is just good common sense. When we don’t, it is bad marketing and will lead to business problems later. Making it easy and enjoyable for customers to do business with us will bring prosperity. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

June 15, 2014

Common Sense

Often in discussions of successful businesses, the question of common sense enters the conversation. These discussions always raise the question of why business owners cannot just use common sense in the operation of their businesses especially since some of the more intelligent practices would seem to be no more than common sense.

As business owners we are always being “pitched” by the “experts” with their methods that are the next best version of whatever we need to be successful. Some of these proposals are reruns of methods that have been successful over the years and are proven over many applications in various businesses. These methods, or approaches, have a track record of success and are nothing new in their basics.

On the other hand, there are always the proposals that appear so new that they may be seen as radical. While it is always possible for a business owner to attempt to apply strategy that may be new or radical, one should do their homework and research new approaches so that surprises are not commonplace. The application of some common sense should be in the forefront of decision making and in the application of any idea.

As always, the business owner who attempts to try anything new must be willing to shift gears and undo their decision if necessary. There is nothing incorrect in trying a new, or even radical, approach to anything. Continuing to follow a path that is clearly not working would be as wrong as never trying any approach other than the one that fostered a problem in the first place.

So how does a business owner “discover” the methods that they should apply to their business that will be successful? While there is no guaranteed method of business, or even of researching various proposals of operation, common sense can lead us to our decisions. There are various actions that we just know will result in wrong or right results. We must use our common sense in business leadership.

We have all had various experiences in our business as well as our personal lives. We have gained knowledge and information that should be utilized in our business operations in the future. Failing to utilize that knowledge and information is a waste of our experience and may doom our business success. To do otherwise would be refusing to apply common sense.

Looking at your business from the viewpoint of the customer, or even from the viewpoint of the employee, should be one of the basics of your operation. Treating your customers, and employees, as you would want to be treated is a fundamental of successful business. Deciding on business operational methods based on these basics of decision making always reflects good common sense.

Reach out to your networking partners and ask for their advice, on business operational questions and on what methods to try for different results. Your partners may have more common sense than you do. Perhaps you need an “expert” to help you see these common sense approaches to business operation, but a networking partner might be able to guide you also.


Making it easy for customers to do business with us is just good common sense. We should look for other common sense based methods of operation. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

June 8, 2014

Frustration

All of us find ourselves plagued every now and then by frustration. It is not unique to anyone or to any endeavor. It does not matter who we are or what we do, frustration will visit us and annoy us as we try to operate our businesses or just live our lives.

It may be the prospect who doesn’t see that whatever we are marketing is the ideal product or service for their needs. It may be the person who we want to get to know better and then later we discover that they are not who we believed them to be. It may be the employee or associate who doesn’t understand that we don’t agree with how they believe our business should operate.

Frustration finds us all sooner or later, so how do we deal with it and how do we not allow it to ruin our lives, both personal and in business?

First, and foremost, we must realize that everything that we attempt will not always work out as we planned. That’s just a part of life. We must allow for the fact that our prospects, clients, employees, and others are human, subject to human failings or misunderstandings.

When frustration arrives, we must look carefully at what happened and reorganize our efforts and try again. Maybe we need to explain ourselves in greater or better detail. Maybe we need to have more patience with others. Maybe we are attempting to perform a task that just shouldn’t or cannot be completed as we hoped. Every situation is different, and we must sometimes take different approaches to handle those situations.

Will every prospect become a client, of course not? Will every employee or associate see or understand our vision of how our business should operate? That will never happen. We must learn that we will be victims of frustration, recognize it for what it is, and deal with it. Do any of us believe that we are the only person who gets frustrated?

Second, we must never allow our frustration to warp our level of customer service or relations. The frustration of one prospect who doesn’t agree with our proposals to make their life better must not lessen our positive approach to anyone else, unless we can make our marketing better for all. Do not allow frustration to show to others or become the grumpy sales person. Remain the upbeat, positive marketing consultant.

Finally, discuss your frustration with a trusted partner, someone with whom you have a mutually beneficial relationship. That type of relationship will prevent the other person from believing that you are weak or stupid. They should just realize that a friend, a partner, needs someone to listen and perhaps help find a solution to a situation. Often, allowing yourself to vent your frustration with a friend is all you need.

Frustration will be a part of all our lives, and it will take many forms. Learn to recognize it for what it is and what it is not. It is temporary, and we can deal with it. It should not be permanent and should not damage our lives any more than we allow it to do so. Deal with it and move on to a better life, building success through your networking partnerships with positive, supportive relationships.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Need someone to whom you can vent your frustration and don’t have a networking partner to call? I will answer my phone or return your voicemail promptly.

June 1, 2014

Employees

When you think of the most valuable assets of your business, do you think of your employees? If you do, great; if you don’t, shame on you. Your employees are vital to the success of your business. Doesn’t it make sense to make them feel as appreciated as much as all your customers do?

Employees may be the first contact that a prospect has with your business and can either make or break a successful transition from prospect to customer. Your employees must “buy into” the vision that you have for your business, and they must believe that their part in the operation of your business is important to its continued success. They must know that they are appreciated for their efforts.

Employees should believe that their contributions are welcome, valued, and respected by their superiors. If you are the direct manager of your staff, you must show your appreciation directly to your employees for their work. If there are levels of management between you and your staff, you must still show your appreciation, but you must be sure that your subordinate managers do the same.

Words are very important in this appreciation effort, but they must be matched by actions. You should look for occasions to show appreciation and respect, immediately taking advantage of each occasion. Your subordinate managers should also be rewarded for their efforts in addition to showing that they appreciate their staff also.

The fact that everyone likes to be noticed and thanked for what they do provides opportunity to promote better employee-employer morale and a happier environment for all involved. Environments where everyone is happier and feeling appreciated are where new ideas are born and businesses thrive. Appreciate your employees, and they will go the extra step in being worthwhile assets in your business.

Of course, appreciation for your employees must include the business owner. You must appreciate yourself for what you do and accomplish. Rewarding yourself for your efforts should not take a backseat to the daily workings of your business. You must take a moment and “smell the roses” once in a while, celebrating what you have accomplished.

A business includes a team of personnel, either employees or contractors or associates. No matter what the titles, we do not operate alone. That knowledge allows all of us to continue in the face of adversity and enjoy the benefits of success. Remember that no one operates alone, even the sole proprietor. We all have help from somewhere; sometimes it comes from our customers, but often it is from our networking partners.

Appreciation Marketing applies equally to customers and employees. It is a corporate culture that brings success if practiced throughout the structure of any business. It must be practiced by all levels of management and staff, and rewards all levels with continued success. Remember all your employees as well as your clients. Then, do not forget to appreciate the efforts of yourself and enjoy that appreciation.


Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Appreciation Marketing is a culture that impacts businesses of all sizes and levels of management to achieve success. Employee appreciation, like customer appreciation, can make your business operate like you wanted it to do so. Make it your mantra and your culture. It will pay off for everyone with continued success.