Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Employees / Managers should shop at [Your] Company

10. Spend your money where you make it, reinvest in your future.

9. A chance to see the store through a customer’s perspective.

8. Sends a message of confidence when customers see you shop.

7. Sends a message of teamwork to your fellow employees.

6. Can you say “Job Security”?

5. It is convenient, saves time, travel, and gas.

4. You know what the deals are!

3. What better way to increase sales?

2. It’s great to shop where everyone
knows your name.

And the Number One reason is:
The best employees deserve the best quality products and services, [Your] Company. --- Show, Know, and Live The Brand!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Communicating to Our Customers: Drop the Acronyms and Industry Speak!

Did you ever answer a customer's question and receive a very confused
look from them in return?

A few years back a customer asked me why we were out of a particular item.
My answer was, “I know that we “surveyed” that item, but I think it was either “scratched” or on “allocation.”

The customer gave me the same look I gave the young doctor when he told me that my “diastolic” number was fine but he was concerned about my “systolic” number.
The point is we need to communicate to our customers on their terms. Many of us in retail use words like “discontinued”, “selector error”, “focus item” “shipper” "drop-ship" ... just to name a few...and acronyms like "OOS" "CSS" "POS" ...what do these mean to our customers? Nothing!
Knowledgeable employees are one thing but the ability to successfully communicate and have your customers understand is another. This presents an excellent opportunity to “raise the bar” in customer communications and delivering your brand promise.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Be Seen...Be Trusted...Be Profitable

Three steps to building your “brand” …no shortcuts here.

The other day I had a conversation with a gentleman that recently launched his own independent carpet cleaning business. He was so upset because he spent over $600 in advertising and received zero business from the ad. His mistake: trying to jump from visibility to profitability without building customer confidence, i.e. building trust in his “brand.”

Why do we know that FED EX will deliver overnight?…because they have walked the talk for years…we trust them!

You can talk the talk through advertising…more importantly, you must walk the talk by building customer confidence…then and only then will you be able to walk the walk of a profitable business.

For more information on building a sustainable / profitable business, contact Bob Gambone
412-491-7317, or email

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inviting Your Customers to Return, the Missing Link in Service

Companies that boast good customer service in most cases are missing one very important component that could really raise the bar…
…Invite your customers to return.

The next time you visit a retailer, restaurant or any business that serves the ultimate consumer, pay close attention to the final words you hear. 90% will offer a thank you, 5% will say nothing and only about 5% will thank you and ask that you to return in the near future.

Step back, listen and observe…are you inviting your customers to return? Asking your customers to come back can be a huge point of difference for your business. You will need to practice this until it becomes a habit. Say something like, “Thank you and please come back and see us again real soon, mention 'Joe' when you return.” (one way you can measure the process)

Do you remember the TV show that ended with… “Y’all come back now, Ya hear!”
.... and millions of viewers did and still do!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Great Players Win Games, Great Teams Win Superbowls

***This is a true story as told to me by my father many times over the years. Edited for privacy....the powerful message remains.***
Dad, you were the original Business Life and Leadership Coach. I know you are up there…this one is for you.
John was an inventor of a product that is used by every retail business throughout the entire world. He played football with my Dad in high school, work with him for a short time and they became lifetime business associates.

When John was getting ready to launch his product, my Dad met with him to discuss his strategy.

“Who is on your team, John?”
“What team, I don’t need a team… I have over 35 companies out there ready to buy.”
“What’s your strategy, you know, your game plan?”
“Sell!, Sell!, Sell!...simple as that.”
“Do you have a test market area?”
“So, let's look at it this way…you are ready to kickoff, you have never practiced, your fans are filling the stands in anticipation, and you have no team behind you? plays to run?"
“Hey, I thought you were my friend… not my coach!” ... John’s last words as the meeting and their friendship ended.

Good news and bad news followed.

The bad news: John’s product took off like crazy, but he ran into continuous problems with his patent, branding issues, competition, tax issues, quality of product, etc…until he finally went bankrupt.

The good news: years later John invented a process that is used in almost every vending machine in the United States. John went back to my Dad, not to beg for his friendship, to ask him to be his coach.

My Dad, a pure coach at heart, provided John with support. John formed a team by purchasing the products and services of professionals, referred to him by my Dad, and this time built a successful sustainable business that was passed on to the next generation.

---If you are an entrepreneur and in the early stages of starting your business, please contact me for more information on building a foundation for your company.---

Bob Gambone, Business Life and Leadership Coach / Consultant
Find me on LinkedIn.