volume 1 :: november issue :: 2010
featured offer p2 :: savvy article p3 :: savvy girls p4 :: savvy case study pp5+6 marketing article p7 :: social media article p8 :: savvy tip p9
Fun ways to express your gratitude. page 3
helping you integrate savvy marketing with social media Ahhh…the season of giving. A time of peace, love, and overwhelming advertising! This issue of The Savvy is all about appreciation for the people in your life who make your business successful–your customers, your vendors, and the folks who support you in other ways through marketing, coaching, and more!
November. It’s amazing that we’re already at this point on the annual calendar, about to launch into what is normally a hectic, sometimes stressful holiday season!
There are so many easy ways to say thanks to those who make our lives and businesses what they are, and this month we share several thoughtful and easy ways to let your We know you appreciate your family, clients, and vendors know customers, advisors, and vendors. how much you appreciate their role But how do you demonstrate that in your life in our article on page 5. appreciation? The holiday season is a prime time to show how you feel, I think the biggest challenge we face but usually the focus is directed at in saying thanks is this: just slowing your customers and not toward the down long enough to remember “others” who make your business that everyone likes to be noticed, run smoothly and successfully: recognized, and appreciated. those who ensure your products show up on time, give you gems Cassie’s and my hope for ourselves, of advice that result in business and for you, is that all of us can stop growth, and support you in a wide for a few moments throughout the range of tasks. hustle and bustle that lies ahead and remember to actively seek out This edition is full of tips, ways to express our gratitude. suggestions, and ideas for how to thank the people in your life Enjoy the pre-holiday quiet and who affect the day-to-day of your then get ready to be fully business. Have more ideas to share? alive and thankful this Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook! holiday season! Happy Thanksgiving!
photo by Candy Rice.
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in business by Candy Rice
Fun ways to express your gratitude.
I’ve been watching episodes of the TV show Undercover Boss over the past 2 weeks, and while the endings usually leave me less than impressed by the CEOs’ methods of expressing their gratitude to the employees who make the company great, one commonality in the show, regardless of type of business, has really stood out to me. Each employee inevitably expresses some form of this statement: “It just feels so good to know that they noticed how hard I’m working!” Even if the company reward is lame (as many of them are, in my opinion...most are little more than charitable write-offs for the company), the affected employee seems to find more gratification in just knowing that the boss noticed their sacrifice and effort. Why do we let ourselves get so busy that we forget to stop and say “Thank you!” or “Good job!” to the ones around us, whether our special someones, our families, our employees, co-workers, business partners, clients, vendors, even our friends? I’d like to encourage all of us to take some time this month to remember who and what we’re thankful for. Do you have a spouse or partner who gives you unerring support as you seek to start or grow your business? Take some time to demonstrate how much that support means to you.
Do you have clients who continue to return to your shop, or your virtual location time and again to buy from you? Find a way to thank them without pitching some new sale or discount. Make it all about them! Ways to say thanks: • Send a handwritten thank you on nice stationery. Be specific about what you’re thankful for. • Send an online gift card...it’ll arrive instantly via email. • Drop off baked goods with a nice note. • Send a goodie basket from Harry & David or an Edible Arrangement. • Create an original piece of art, frame it, and give it as a visual thank you. • Take him/her/them out to lunch...your treat! • Give a Starbucks gift card (or a gift card to any other restaurant). • Express your gratitude for the person in front of his/her peers where s/he can overhear your words. • Send a single flower with a thank you note. Or send a whole bouquet! • Give some time off...paid, of course! I believe the two keys to successful, meaningful expressions of thanks are: 1. Think about what would make the person most happy to hear/receive. This may take a moment of thought, and even a quick, fact-finding phone call to someone who knows that person really well.
2. Make the gift or expression of thanks appropriate so that it doesn’t embarrass the recipient. In other words, don’t buy a yacht for the client who helped you plan that the menu for your open house event! :) In conclusion, I’d like to share with you something I read recently that I intend to start doing myself. I hope you will, too! It’s a clever idea from business expert Andrea Nierenberg, which she calls the “Power of Three.” In her words: “Every day take 15 minutes at the beginning or end of the day and write three short goodwill notes: one to a prospect, one to a client and one to a friend. Just say ‘Hi,’ send an article, or say thanks—just make it specific. When you do this, at the end of the week you’ll have made 15 goodwill contacts, and at the end of the year, 750. Think of the ‘business seeds’ you’ll have planted. Some of this could germinate into additional business.” Imagine what this can do to restore a focus on gratitude, much less what it can do for your business! I’m going to give it a shot... how about you? Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve given you just a few ideas for saying thanks...want to share your favorite way to express your gratitude? Write them on our Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/ collectivesavvy!
give thanks and share some love via your social media.
insert some savvy.
Savvy Case Study
Aleweb Social Marketing, LLC, Sherman, Connecticut One business owner’s reality: A case study on the need for coaching background in business processes and her need to close the sales loop, Tara recognized that his coaching might allow her for to develop a sales system that would greatly increase her close rate. Tara and her coach immediately established a system of their own. They have been meeting for an hour a week, every week for the past four months. Tara believes that having a coach has empowered her to fine tune her sales process, as well as gotten her further along in that process than she would be if she were learning it on her own.
This month, The Savvy is all about giving thanks to the people in your life who positively influence your business. One of the things we’ve heard from business contacts lately is that the single most important person in their business life is their business coach. The other thing we’ve heard is how many people feel they need some kind of coaching for their business. So join those together and what do we have? The perfect topic for this month’s case study!
Her take is that in small biz, you because you wear a particular hat d passion lies, and it requires extra t
Skip Reardon’s Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Business Coach
We spoke with Tara Alemany of Aleweb Social Marketing LLC regarding her coaching experience. Like many folks in this economy, Tara found herself unemployed last year and trying to determine a new direction in her professional life. With an extensive yet somewhat varied background that included technical writing, business process analysis and small business ownership, she was struggling to pigeonhole herself into the typical job postings she was reviewing.
A coach won’t do the work for you, but here’s how a coach can help launch you (and your business) to the next level: 1. A coach can be a confidant. 2. A coach can help you see your blind spots. 3. A coach can provide objective feedback. 4. A coach provides another set of eyes. 5. A coach can keep you accountable. 6. A coach can be a sounding board. 7. A coach can be another source of creative ideas. 8. A coach can help you create your vision. 9. A coach can help celebrate your successes and be a source of strength when you fail. 10. A coach can help you process life.
After some job and soul searching, Tara decided to open Aleweb Social Marketing in early 2010 specifically to help small business owners transition strategically into social media. The challenge that Tara faced was not growing her social media knowledge–she had spent months studying up on social media, using “guinea pigs” for professional practice and generally preparing herself for this business–but rather sales and closing the loop in the sales cycle. Tara attended a seminar put on by the chamber of commerce in her area. The speaker was a franchise owner from Action Coach and a former GE employee. She liked what she experienced, but her company was not a good fit for the demographic the Action Coach owner was seeking. However, the experience got her thinking and when another coaching opportunity presented itself, she decided to take the leap. Tara reconnected with a realtor she had known on a professional level. He had since moved into the realm of sales coaching. Because of her
When asked what one gets out of some thoughtful and thought-provok first question about using a coach w own: “Do we really want to spend get where we already are in someth
Source: Skip Reardon, from sixdisciplines.com
Results of a Survey of 210 coaching clients conducted by the International Coach Federation:
business coaching, Tara provided king answers. Her response to my was to fire back a question of her the time learning on our own to hing we aren’t passionate about?”
wear a “gazillion hats.” But just does not mean that is where your time and effort to learn a skillset you are not excited about. In a small business, that can really take its toll! We talked about what she would say to someone considering investing in business coaching. Her suggestion was this: start first with your greatest pain point–take the thing that you enjoy least in your business and consider coaching or outsourcing. “When you leverage someone else’s knowledge and expertise, it gives you the freedom to focus on the parts of the business you do enjoy instead of struggling through the parts you have to know, but don’t really want to,” she said. Tara believes that coaching has allowed her to get a better handle on her business so that when moving forward and making business decisions, there are no missing pieces to her business puzzle.
We believe that when it comes to identifying the right coach for you, it is essential that you resonate and connect with the person you are considering, and Tara agrees. If you have any resistance in your relationship, you will resist their coaching. She recommends that in advance of hiring a coach, set a brief coffee meeting. Her theory is that this will help you determine whether you resonate and if so, then move forward. If not, there are always more coaches out there! Tara also offered some additional advice and considerations. She pointed out that when you are a small business oftentimes you feel alone in doing business, especially if you are a soloprenuer. Coaching and networking can generate a referral source for you by connecting you to a larger community. She recommends taking steps to keep from feeling isolated. And if someone is offering you coaching, take advantage of it every chance you can! Tara is seeing great results from her coaching experience and thinks she will continue to seek coaching in some capacity throughout the life of her business. Her belief is that there are things in business that never go away and that may not come naturally to you, but coaching will allow you to get that stuff done so you can focus on growing your business. In her opinion, that is the real benefit of using a coach.
Candy’s note: We agree, and would suggest that business owners go one step further and get coaching for areas of their business that they actually LIKE AND ARE GOOD AT, as well! Why not take advantage of the insight an outside expert can offer? by Cassie
Highlights: + 70% believed business coaching is “very valuable.” + 50% confide in their coach as much as their best friend, spouse or therapist + 12% confide in their coach more than anyone else. Some of the other outcomes: + 62.4% smarter goal-setting + 60.5% more balanced life + 57.1% lower stress levels + 52.4% more self-confidence + 43.3% improvement in quality of life + 25.7% more income 197 of the 210 surveyed were employed professionals. All had a formal, on-going relationship with a coach with an average duration of 9 months. Over 80% of the respondents had undergraduate degrees and over a third had Master’s degrees or higher. Business coaching isn’t just for people who have no grasp on what they are doing. It’s effective for anyone who wants to better manage their professional and personal life. People don’t just use business coaching to make more money. They use it to improve the overall quality of their life. They learn time management skills, stress reduction techniques, acquire financial education and more. All of which help them to improve their business. Thus, while those who are without coaches may feel as though they are operating at an acceptable level, it is only a matter of time before their competition outshines them.
Marketing Article Thanksgiving Season a Reminder to Give Thanks at Work, Too Excerpt of an article by Joan Lloyd at www.joanlloyd.com
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. No glitz, no presents to buy and a meaningful purpose—to give thanks for everything we have as individuals and as citizens. Here are some little ways that you can celebrate the holiday. Thank your employees when they put in a little discretionary effort. Your employee didn’t have to work through her lunch hour or bend over backwards to help that customer. You get what you notice and what you measure. Noticing and thanking employees creates more of the same, good effort. I’ll bet you spend plenty of time chasing poor performers—documenting belowstandard work, disciplining problem employees, checking attendance records—yet wouldn’t it make more sense to take just a few seconds to thank your good employees and compliment them on all the good things they do? When examining exit interviews, it always makes me sad to see the number of comments departing employees make
about not feeling valued. It’s common to see things such as: “My boss never thanked me or noticed anything I did.” “My boss only noticed my work when I made a mistake.” It takes so much money and time to recruit and train an employee, why ignore their contribution? Thank your best customers for their business. Sometimes we take our loyal customers for granted and spend more time chasing new business than adding value to the business we have. Tell your favorite customers why you enjoy working with them. Some businesses now send Thanksgiving cards, rather than Christmas cards. Not only does it convey a nice message, it avoids the issue of political correctness. Thank those employees who have stayed with you through thick and thin. Tell them how much their loyalty means to you and how much value they add to the business. Sometimes we pay more attention to our new employees… orientation, training, giving them growth opportunities—sometimes even paying them more. Don’t forget the people who are the backbone of the enterprise. There is a tendency to focus on the employees who are hard to find and keep. Companies create incentives such as signing bonuses, retention bonuses, and special on-the-job training programs, for these folks. Meanwhile, the Steady Eddy’s show up every day and deliver a solid performance. Don’t forget them. Thank your vendors. Instead of treating them like “sales people,” let them know how they contribute to your success. If you treat them like a valued partner, they will be more inclined to help you... read the rest >>
“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” ”
“Gratitude is a q ualit y similar to electricit y: it must be produced and discharged and used up i n order to exist at all.” -William Faulkner
Social Media Article Five Ways to Say “Thank You” Excerpt of an article by John Haydon at www.johnhaydon.com
1. There is no app to say thank you I’m not that good at predicting the future, but one thing I know for sure is this: There will never be an app that says thank you. You can’t select sincerity from a drop-down menu. It has to come from you. You have to go through whatever you need to go through to get to the most sincere place you can in your heart. Don’t worry about what to say–let your words become servants of your sincerity.
“Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.” -Estonian Proverb
2. It’s “Thank you” not “Thank I” When you say thanks, say it in the second person, not the first. Your fans are the ones receiving the appreciation, so speak to them, and not about you (they can hear stories about you some other time).
“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” -G.B. Sternt
3. Don’t name names If you’re thanking 4,000 fans, mentioning the contributions of a few specific fans might make others feel left out, and not appreciated. Best to send those on the short list a private message of thanks. 4. Use video If a picture says a thousand words, video says a million. And saying thank you requires you to communicate how you feel, which can always use a million words. Plus, taking the time (and the courage) to make a video will prove your sincere. 5. Go back to number 1 The power of a sincere thanks has no limits. Everything else is secondary.
Savvy Tip Say Thanks to the Ones You Love (or at least appreciate) Saying “thank you” is easy. Physically demonstrating your appreciation is also easy, yet few people actually take the time to do it. By putting the effort in to show how much you appreciate a person or a business, it makes them feel good, it makes you feel good and it makes your business relationships stronger. Here are some fun, festive ways to express your appreciation–but remember, nothing takes the place of a handwritten note! 1. Send a gift. Big or small, people appreciate them all! Can’t make the big game? Pass on your ticket to the person who made your day. Have an extra pass to the newest show in town? Give it to the vendor you know will love it. But the key is to make your effort genuine and thoughtful in order to show your appreciation! 2. Use social media to say “thank you.” Visit your customer’s or
vendor’s Facebook page, tweet about how much you appreciate them, or create a video. Take a little time, make an effort and be thoughtful about what you do. Because of that, it gets noted. 3. Host a “Thank You” party. Include your vendors, your connectors, your supporters and your staff. Make it about and for them because you appreciate them so! 4. Give them a break. Let them know how much you appreciate all they do for you and ask what you can do in return! You might be surprised at the answer–and how much it can mean that you simply asked the question. 5. Make a conscious effort to give referrals. If you like what they do for you, pass the word along! Make sure the recipient knows how much you appreciate the person or company you are referring–word of mouth is the best “thank you” that you can give!
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