Monday, February 22, 2010

You know you're a WAHM

You know you're a WAHM when your 3 year old uses her play cell phone to call Dr. Caruth and Von Anthony Salon. (Two of my current clients.)

Do you have a "You know you're a WAHM" story to share? Email it to me for consideration:

lori at lbpublicrelations dot com.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Container Store co-founder shares secret shopping encounters

"How are you doing today?" and "Can I help you find anything?"

Along with Garrett Boone, co-founder of the Container Store, I find these questions VAPID! And CRINGE WORTHY!

Cheryl Hall of the Dallas Morning News wrote about Boone's "mystery shopping spree."

Any business owner who services customers can learn from his experiment.

He spent time looking carefully at items that interested me. He gave sales associates "every opportunity to connect."

Only two clerks connected with him and that is where he spent the most money.

The others used the VAPID, "How are you doing today sir?"

This is also from the article:
"Garrett Boone went mystery shopping, he called himself "Inspector MID." That's Container Store code for "Man in the Desert" selling.

Here's how Boone explains MID:

"A man lost in the desert for weeks stumbles across an oasis and is offered a glass of water. But if you stop to think, you probably realize he also needs food, a place to sleep, a phone to call his family, a pair of shoes and a hat and umbrella to screen the sun's rays.

"When a customer comes looking for shoe storage, most retailers help her find a shoe rack – that glass of water. We know she needs a complete solution for her entire closet.

"Man in the Desert selling teaches our salespeople to become so immersed in the customer's needs that we complete their solution instinctively."

Besides water, what else do your customers need?

Engage your customers in conversation. Read the full article to learn how.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Working With a Coach

As you may remember, I recently partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger.

Working with a Coach

By Mary M. Byers

I took the plunge and hired a coach late last year. She’s been a fabulous addition to my team and is worth every penny. Here’s how I’m benefiting:

Accountability: At the end of each session, we identify 3-5 activities for me to complete by our next session. I don’t want to disappointment my coach or embarrass myself so I find I’m highly motivated to get my “homework” done each month.

Advice: I’m able to outline my thoughts and then ask for her advice. Though she doesn’t always say, “This is what I think you should do...” she is always able to ask pertinent questions to help me come to a decision I’m comfortable with.

Expertise: My coach has small business acumen and more importantly to me, is an expert in online marketing, something that intimidates me. I have a lot of questions about how to implement my online marketing ideas and she’s a great resource for getting the answers I need. When I’m stuck, she reminds me that I don’t have to know how to do everything and that between us, we can find the resources to implement even the craziest ideas.

Companionship: Let’s face it, being a solo-preneur can be a lonely endeavor. My coach gives me someone to bounce ideas off of as well as the comfort of having someone along on the journey with me. Knowing someone else is rooting for me encourages me to continue to strive for excellence.

If you’re looking to help your business reach new heights in 2010, consider hiring a coach. Doing so is a great way to stretch yourself and grow your business.

Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing to Mary’s free blog at Interested in more articles like this? Join the blog ring here.