Aug. 3/10; Volume 30/Number 4 By Lisbeth Calandrino Some would have you believe that email marketing is dead and has been replaced by social media, but this is not so. According to McKinsey & Co., an American management and consulting firm, email marketing is 40 times more efficient than Facebook and Twitter combined. The real problem seems to be obtaining customers’ email addresses. Instead of just asking for their email addresses,
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July 6/13; Volume 30/Number 2 By Lisbeth Calandrino I never knew what the expression “Fate is fickle” meant until now. There are employers out there who don’t want to train their employees out of fear they might be lured away by their competitors offering a better salary. But what about an extraordinarily talented employee who can actually grow your business? A friend of mine was recently fired for having a side
June 8/15, 2015; Volume 30/Number 1 By Lisbeth Calandrino The headline for this column refers to the tagline of DSW, the high-end discount/off-price shoe store. In the last few years, several well known discount stores have disappeared, but it appears this market is starting to grow again, this time with different players as Macy’s and Kohl’s are both testing new venues. Why have an off-price store? “For brands, the discount
April 13/20, 2015; Volume 29/Number 1 By Lisbeth Calandrino Retailers have asked what to do when customers come into their businesses and only want to speak with the owner. As I sit down to write, “The Apprentice” is on television and Donald Trump is introducing his family. No one apologizes for their ages or interferes with their ideas. But in the real world, customers seem to always want to speak
April 27/May 4, 2015; Volume 29/Number 2 By Lisbeth Calandrino If you’ve come to know me over the years, you know I come from the “soft side” of the industry. When I was in the flooring and furniture business years ago, tile and difficult surface installers were hard to come by in upstate New York, where I’m based. Rather than deal with the problem or look at the trends, we
May 11/18, 2015; Volume 29/Number 3 By Lisbeth Calandrino Over the last year I have been working with FollowYourCustomer.com, an automated marketing system that is programmed to “touch” your customers as many times as you would like. I’ve received several calls on the subject, and it seems everyone wants to know how many touches there should be in a successful marketing plan. The answer is it depends on how much
May 25/June 1, 2015; Volume 29/Number 4 By Lisbeth Calandrino Why do businesses put so much time and effort into training salespeople and not managers? It seems as soon as salespeople really hit their numbers, they get a promotion to sales manager. This is often the kiss of death because good salespeople don’t usually make good sales managers. In fact, they are notorious for being bad managers. Why? Managing is
March 30/April 6, 2015; Volume 28/Number 20 By Lisbeth Calandrino You know what it’s like—you’re getting plenty of leads but no one is following up. At first just a few go by, but then they start to stack up. You’re also aware that your staff isn’t following up on customers who have come into the store but haven’t made purchases. Every business needs fresh customers, but what about those who
March 30/April 6, 2015; Volume 28/Number 20 By Lisbeth Calandrino You know what it’s like—you’re getting plenty of leads but no one is following up. At first, just a few go by, but then they start to stack up. You’re also aware that your staff isn’t following up on customers who have come into the store but haven’t made a purchase. Every business needs fresh customers, but what about those who
March 2/9, 2015; Volume 28/Number 18 By Lisbeth Calandrino I see the need for social media has finally caught up with many stores. Today on my Twitter feed, I saw three posts that had the same blog headline and content. Last week, two of my Mary Kay sellers sent out the exact same newsletter with the same products. I called one of them and explained I didn’t think it was
February 16/23, 2015; Volume 28/Number 17 By Lisbeth Calandrino If you’re like me, you went home from Surfaces with all kinds of great ideas. I was caught up in the grind, got the flu and here I am. But it’s not too late to review what you wrote down. We call this follow-up and accountability, the two most important concepts in business. We want everyone in our businesses to pay
February 2/9, 2015; Volume 28/Number 16 By Lisbeth Calandrino I know there is someone out there saying, “It’s not that easy; there is no ‘one size fits all.’” I disagree. There are simple ways to get personal with anyone. Most people want to be noticed and treated like they are special. If you are always thinking about your customers you can’t go wrong. Instead, many of us think about ourselves
January 19/26, 2015; Volume 28/Number 15 By Lisbeth Calandrino Approximately 85% of all businesses involve some kind of service, so why do they have only one customer service department? Often when businesses tell me they need customer service training they rarely mean the entire organization. According to an American Express survey, 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses. It seems
January 5/12, 2015; Volume 28/Number 14 By Lisbeth Calandrino Gone are the days when sales reps only had to know their products. Their job was simple: convince the customer their products were the best, and the customer bought. Today the job has changed; the rep has to be tuned into the No. 1 issue, which is how to get customers into the store. Without customers, there’s no business for anyone.
December 22/29, 2014; Volume 28/Number 13 By Lisbeth Calandrino For years all the shots were called by the owner or leader of a company. But in recent years social media has changed what is perceived as leadership. Instead of influence being vertical, it has become horizontal. In other words, if your employees are connecting with consumers through social media, they will have more influence. Anyone can have a voice within