Archive for the ‘Performance’ Category

A Desire to Serve & It Shows!

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“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”  Henry Ford

A Desire to Serve

I had breakfast with a friend of mine last week at a 50-year-old restaurant near downtown Fort Worth. That establishment may have the BEST example of a business that exudes a real “culture of service”I’ve ever seen. Was it a five-star place? NO. Look it up. The Ol’ South Pancake House. It’s what you would think, except bigger!

They had lots of seats and plenty of staff. When we arrived, they found us a table (booth) as quickly as possible. There was a slight wait, but the host was so pleasant. She seemed glad to see us. Neither of us had ever been to this location, but honestly, it felt like we were part of the family.

Once seated, we were greeted by the BEST server I’ve ever had. The only way I can describe Jennifer is that she was genuinely joyful to serve our breakfast. She smiled. She verbalized how happy she was we were there. She was interested in us having the best thing for breakfast based on dietary needs and desire.

Get Your Staff Enthusiastic

Listen, I don’t know how to tell you to help your staff get enthusiastic about the choices your guests make, but I can tell you as a guest, I LOVE it! The word that comes to mind about this server is authentic. She wasn’t faking it. She was happy and joyful. She had a genuine desire to serve, and it showed.

Maybe that’s the interview question we need to ask prospective or current employees. “How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to serving others, with 1 being I’m a help yourself kind of person and 10 representing a burning desire to serve others?” Then I would ask for an example of a time when they exhibited that kind of service.

A Spirit of Service

Back to Jennifer. She was friendly and tuned into the fact that my friend and I were going to visit a while. She never interrupted inappropriately yet tended to our every need. At one point during breakfast, my friend said, “Jennifer makes me want to ask her for one more thing just so she’ll come back to the table!” I’m telling you this woman was gifted with a “service spirit.” I know that may sound “woo-woo,” but it was just awesome!

We got to looking around, and you know what, the place was full of Jennifers. Every server was fully engaged when they were with a table. We even noticed a cranky couple at a table near us. Their server seemed to make it her mission to lighten up this meal for Mr. and Mrs. Cranky. It worked.

I think it may have had something to do with the fact that when she delivered breakfast, she did so with an enthusiastic, “Incoming!” and served them eggs and bacon in a royal sweeping style. You had to laugh. You have to get happy even when you are cranky! It’s bacon and eggs for crying out loud, and to me, it looks super important to the folks at the Ol’ South Pancake House for it to be a meaningful and fun part of each of their customer’s day. That’s a culture. They all believe what they are doing is important and they are consistently delivering service at a level I haven’t seen in a while! It was so honest and genuine.

Jennifer, if you see this…..I mean it, YOU are the best server I’ve ever had.

Wouldn’t it be cool for your guest service people to get tagged with that message?

Your “Give a Darn” Meter

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Ever lose your “Give a Darn”? Wonder where to find your staff’s, your husband’s, or your waiter’s “Give a Darn”?

I tell you, this might be the most significant “aha” of the month for me. There’s a great quote that goes like this: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Give a Darn

I think that quote speaks to “Giving a darn.”  We’ve all walked up to a counter or looked for a service person only to be given that snarky ‘I’ll get to you when I can’ attitude. Or worse, you get the feeling you’re bothering them. Those folks don’t give a darn! I often wonder why people who are miserable at their job keep working at that job. I guess it’s not that easy except that if you give a darn, I’ve found that misery usually takes a back seat to the job at hand.

Listen, I think caring about what you do and how you serve others creates a way to enjoy your job, your family, your friends, and your life. I guess that sounds pretty grandiose but honestly if you can’t care if you can’t find a way to “give a darn,” why bother? Do something else!

Can it be that simple? I think so. Here are two really easy examples. If the redemption counter employee’s “give a darn” is high, then the counter is always stocked. There’s never any concern that things will look bare. If the folks who work in the sales office genuinely operate in a high “give a darn” zone, then they automatically pick up the phone and say, “Thank you for calling. This is Beth. How may I serve you?” AND they mean it! It’s easy. It’s natural. It’s fun.

When Things Matter

When things matter, and you really care about why, what, and how you do what you do, it’s easy to enjoy your work, your family, your friends, and your life!

Make it a great week and hey, think about how to get your “give a darn” in the red zone!

Get your Give a Darn Meter in the Red Zone!


Connection and Relationship Building Lead to Sales

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Selling is hard. Okay, maybe not hard, but it is difficult, especially if you are missing certain steps in the selling process.

I know many of you probably think that since I worked for TrainerTainment and ran a million dollar a year party program that I am a sales person. Well, yes I can sell, but it is not a strong skillset. Being a party manager meant I had an amazing team with the skills to sell. I was there to help, guide, and train them on what they needed to do to be successful.

Last year I decided to have a home-based business selling  jewelry from Stella & Dot. It is a multi-level marketing company selling amazing jewelry. I did it for a few reasons. One, I wanted to pay for my travels around the world and two, I wanted to see if I could sell or not.  I want to share with you what I have learned this past year.

The biggest thing I have learned about selling is that connection may be its most important part. I know, the close is really important, too, but if you don’t connect, you will never get to the close.

Being halfway across the world, I have to do 100% of my selling online, which has not been an easy task. Connecting online is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Sure, it’s easy to get people to like photos and comment on what they love, but true connection is building a relationship and building that relationship takes a real conversation.

When I was home last summer I was able to sell in person. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was when I was standing face-to-face with the client. I wasn’t talking about our product, but talking about them –  their family and who they are. I could develop a sense of what they like and then connect them with a particular product. The difference between online and in-person selling was amazing. I sold more!

Selling online has shown me that yes, you use social media to make connections with people, but once you have made that connection you need to deepen it and turn it into a relationship. I know from experience that many sales people in centers are trying to connect, build relationships, and sell by sitting in the center using social media or just making phone calls. They don’t spend time out of the center every day going business to business. You have to go out, make a connection, and build a relationship. If you want to expand your business and take your sales to the next level, get out of the center on a daily basis and connecting with people, face to face.

I challenge you. Spend at least an hour outside the center every day. Start small, visiting five new businesses a day. Go to a shopping center. You’ll easily get five. Build on that five and shoot for ten after a few weeks. I promise when your connections grow, your number of events will grow!

Do you show appreciation?

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NYCTomorrow is Employee Appreciation Day. I know, to some it may feel like this is just another Hallmark day to celebrate, but did you know that studies show that “recognition” was one of the main things employees wanted in order to produce great work? I mean, we all want a little appreciation now and then, right?

If you are always showing your team members how much you appreciate them, you may not have to do anything big tomorrow, but if this is an area to work on, tomorrow is a great day to start.

Appreciation doesn’t always have to come in the form of cash. Here are a few ways you can show appreciation to your team members, not just tomorrow, but any time.
1. Tell them!

It’s amazing how just telling your team members they are appreciated can go a long way. Be specific. Tell them you appreciate they are always on time to work so you never have to worry about their position being covered. You appreciate them always coming to work with a positive attitude. Once they know you see those things, they’ll know have a true appreciation for them.

2. Have food in the break room.

Let me tell you, my team members loved it when I would bring food! We were a pizza buffet so I had to stay away from that but it could be so simple: cupcakes, cookies, cake, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, really, any food. They didn’t have to eat center food or go out and pay for their own food. It’s fun, easy, and trust me, they’ll love it!

3. Have some fun!

Do something fun during the day. Do a fun drawing every half hour or hour for gift cards. You don’t have to purchase the gift cards. Get out in your community and trade. You are not the only one trying to show a little employee appreciation!

4. Create a wall of fame.

How fun would it be for team members to walk into their shift and see their face on the wall? Have a team member of the week. I love going to Jason’s Deli and seeing their team member of the week on the wall with information about them. It’s amazing how much we don’t know about each other. Reward them with a gift card or a small bonus, say $50.

5. Create center bucks.

Ours were called Buddy bucks after our mascot. All managers and supervisors could give them out when they saw a team member do something above and beyond. Team members could even ask managers to give them out when they saw something extraordinary. At the end of each quarter, team members redeemed their bucks from a selection of prizes. It gives them great incentive and is an instant reward for something they did that was great.

6. Send to training and conference. 

Team members love to learn and this is a great way to let them know you are invested in them and their success. Not only do they feel appreciated, you are getting a huge return on your investment, too.

7. Swap a task with a team member.

Step in one day and run the register or work the snack bar counter for an hour. Ask your team member to walk the floor and look as if they were the owner/gm. Tell them to tell other team members how they are doing and show their appreciation to their peers.

8. Create a team member newsletter.

Create a newsletter you can give or email to team members each month. Recognize the employee of the month. Let the staff know how the center is doing and what’s coming up in the future. Have team members contribute as well.

9. Recognize your team on social media.

Your team members make your center and it’s great to give them recognition. Snap photos of them with their birthday parties, operating rides, or helping out a child. Let your fans see and recognize them, too.

10. Plan a team member appreciation party. 

I know, we are in the business of making money but why not close down on a Thursday night, have a pot luck (you provide the main course they bring sides and dessert) and let your team members have fun!

Hope this will give you some ideas about how to show appreciation for your team members. We would love to hear how you show your appreciation! Want some more fun and easy ideas? Check out our Pinterest board!

FIRST-Connect with Others

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Without connection, there is very little potential for a relationship.It’s interesting to be someplace where you can’t read or understand a single word someone else is saying.

I was having lunch at a restaurant in Sweden surrounded by people from the local business community. There was a lot of chatter and I noticed how everyone seemed to be enjoying each other. I, on the other hand, felt completely isolated and unconnected. I couldn’t understand a single word.

I had no idea what I ordered for lunch. The food was good but I could not shake the disconcerting feeling that came from the low hum of the unrecognizable conversation going on around me.

I can’t say it was uncomfortable. Just isolating….like I didn’t belong. That made me think of the powerful need most of us have for connection with others. All of a sudden I was struck with the fact that the TrainerTainment Sales Process is what it is because it works!

There’s a reason why we call it a process:

  1. C – CONNECT
  2. Q – qualify
  3. P – present (sell)
  4. C – close

Connect is first for a reason. Without connection, there is very little potential for a relationship. With no connection, you don’t have the right to ask a single question. You certainly do not need to “show up & throw up” your pitch all over someone you aren’t connected to. That’s just rude. Without connection, you are isolated from your potential customer and them from you. It is exactly like you can’t and are NOT speaking each other’s language. You must walk through the process of getting connected to another human being before you can begin to sell them anything.

If you saw our Tuesday Tip, you caught me in the moment following an incoming sales call. The sales rep failed to connect or qualify me at all! Jump over to our Facebook fan page. I promise it’s a fun couple of minutes to catch me in the aftermath of visiting with a sales person who has given me reason to learn and teach more!

I also want to invite you to join us for our next webinar on Feb 11th where we’ll be helping you with the approach to use when you are reaching out to people to build new business for your center.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll intentionally practice the art of connecting this weekend. It makes a big difference!