Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year, New Opportunities.

From my 1980's archives-


q  Daily / weekly planner…get yourself organized (calendars, charts, files).
q  Business plan; plan your work and work your plan.
q  Things you have let go… Procrastination ends now!
q  Personal growth and health. If you are not having fun….that’s your fault.
q  Know where you ended the year; sales/gross/budget and move forward, set goals.
q  Training; in your absence does someone know what to do? Are you being aggressive about getting yourself trained…success does not come to you, you must go get it!
q  Team communication/meetings, share the knowledge, and create a sense of ownership. Meet one on one with employees, what are their future plans?
q  Customers /Clients, get out of your shell and talk to them, if this is new to you, call one a day.
q  Recognition…  “Reward want you want repeated”.
q  You set the standard; You are on a stage.  “Attitudes are Contagious”.
q  Be a LEADER, not just a manager. “Call it a problem & it will BE one, Call it an opportunity, and you will HAVE one.”
q  “The customer may not always be right , but they are still the customer” Ray B.
q  Think like a customer: present a professional image, smile and eye contact, seek out customer contact, solve customer problems, use proper body language, thank every customer.
q  “…you’re only as good as your last solution.”  “we learn from yesterdays we live for tomorrows”.


Friday, December 13, 2013

A Christmas Eve Story

***Reposting from 2010***

It was 5:00 pm Christmas Eve 1989, and I was locking the front door of the supermarket where I was Store Manager.

Over the years, I had made it a tradition for me to be the "closer" of the store on Christmas Eve.

Inside the store, my employees were rushing around counting their register tills, sweeping the floor, and generally preparing the store for closing down, so they all could rush home to their families for Christmas.

At approximately 5:30pm, I heard someone tapping on the front door.

“I just got off work and I need to shop for my family", the gentleman on the other side of the glass door shouted.

“Sorry, we are closed.” I answered.

“Please, I really need to shop and you are the only grocery store open.”

In the background several of my employees yelled out to me… “Mr. Gambone, I hope you don’t let him in, we all want to go home.”

I turned to my office manager and said , “Cindy, I feel bad for this guy…will you stick around with me until we get him checked out.”

She looked at me with a frown, “Well, I hope he only needs a few things, OK.”

We let him in…he was very gracious, grabbed a buggy and started to shop.

“I’ll only take a few minutes,” he said.

Then all of a sudden, he turned around and looked at Cindy and me in desperation… “Shit!..I’m sorry for swearing, but I left my wallet in my overalls at work….I can’t believe this!!!”

He abandoned the buggy and started walking towards the front door to leave.

Cindy looked at me and said… “Well, I guess we can leave now.”

“Hold on!” I said… “Sir, you pick up what you need and come back the day after Christmas and pay us.”

Cindy looked at me as if I was crazy. The gentleman was overjoyed and continued to shop.

When he completed his shopping, Cindy and I checked him out and bagged his groceries. He purchased lots of milk, cereal, bread and basic groceries along with some gift-wrap and children’s toys.

We wished him a Merry Christmas as he left and Cindy and I locked up and went home to our families.

...............the gentleman never returned...................

Yes, I took some heat from my boss when he found out…but that’s okay. I knew in my heart that it was right thing to do at the time.

It is moments like this is my life when I am reminded of the words a mentor of mine once shared with me early in my career...“The good you do, will come back to you.” Lou Z.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may you and your family have a glorious New Year.

Bob Gambone, The Pecan Pie Guy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lou, The Nabisco Guy

...A Holiday Memory...

Lou, The Nabisco Guy, never used selling strategies …Lou had a culture of “selling.”

I was 23 years old when I first met Lou. He was the region’s number one salesman for Nabisco from 1974 to 1985.

One day I was eating lunch with Lou and asked,

“Lou, so what do you do, to be so good at selling?....can you share some tips?”

Lou replied, shaking his head and smiling, “Bob there is really no magical tips, but I do have five core beliefs about selling.”

1.) Love and believe in your product.
2.) People like to buy, but not to be sold to.
3.) I never sell anything, I solve people’s problems.
4.) Never talk yourself out of a sale.
5.) and….Never close a sale, open an opportunity.

Lou died in 1985 from a heart attack at the early age of 63.

Lou’s culture of selling has lived on. Those who adopt it become very successful.

To be the best, you need to have more than just strategies, you first need a culture, a core belief.

Dr.Ivan Misner, New York Times best selling author and founder of BNI (Business Network International) says it best, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Around the holidays,  when I enjoy my favorite Nabisco crackers,  I always think of Lou…
Lou, The Nabisco Guy.