Posted 1 day, 13 hours ago @ Kirt Manecke
With summer here, and the challenging economy, the job market for teens is more competitive than ever. A study from the Employment Policies Institute shows the teen unemployment rate at a staggeringly high 24.1 percent.
To have a better chance at a job, teens need to be extra creative to show employers they have what it takes. Restaurants, retail shops, resorts, and small businesses often look for employees who can serve their customers in a professional manner.
I offer these five simple yet critical people skills teens need to show employers they have what it takes.
1. You smile when approaching customers.
2. You make eye contact when talking with people.
3. You speak clearly, politely and with enthusiasm.
4. You are a good listener.
5. Your appearance reflects positively on your employer.
My new book, Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service Service (www.SmiletheBook.com), gives teens the confidence and tools they need to succeed. Although each job has specific requirements, people skills are easy to learn. Smile takes 60 minutes or less to read. I recommend taking the book in an interview as an edge in winning a job.
The book is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Gold Award honoring excellence in family friendly products. Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service is available for $15.99 here.
Posted 3 days, 3 hours ago @ Kirt Manecke
Thanks to our remarkable volunteers and donors, we met our goal and raised $675.00 during VegFest for lifesaving gall bladder surgery for one badly abused bear (view blog post “VegFest 2013: Signing books, Saving bears” for more information). The funds were donated to Animals Asia, an international nonprofit working to end horrific bear bile farming.
I was proud to sponsor the booth. The booth fee was $125.00 and the return on investment in raising $675.00 (in ONE day!) to save a bear trapped in a situation similar to Jasper is well worth it. The total $675.00 raised was donated to Animals Asia as I covered the booth fee from my book sales fund.
Two copies of Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service were donated to VegFest for a door prize, and to the VegMichigan board to help train their volunteers in service, customer engagement, sales and fundraising to help them continue to do great work with VegFest.
I held a book signing in the booth directly adjacent to our Animals Asia booth. I went back and forth helping customers, whether they wanted to buy a book, or help save bears.
About Animals Asia
Animals Asia focuses on three major programs: Ending bear bile farming, improving cat and dog welfare, and ending cruelty in zoos and safari parks. I’m proud to be the volunteer Chair of the Animals Asia Michigan Volunteer Group to help Animals Asia increase visibility and fundraise. Learn more about Animals Asia here.
Posted 1 week, 2 days ago @ Kirt Manecke
My poster says it all! Click here to learn more about Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service and how you can use my book to quickly and easily train your staff and make more money.
Posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago @ Kirt Manecke
Purchase autographed copies of my book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service from 5pm-9pm during the Highland Business2Business Expo put on by the wonderful Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to meeting you!
Location: LaFontaine Automotive
4000 Highland Road (M-59)
Also, be sure to support my local dealers where you can also purchase autographed copies of my book: Casa De Amici gift shop inside Colasanti’s Market, Highland, MI; Main Street Art, downtown Milford, MI
Posted 3 weeks, 3 days ago @ Kirt Manecke
I’ll be signing and selling my new book at Casa De Amici gift shop, inside Colasanti’s Market in Highland, MI this Saturday, May 4, 11am-4pm. Come out and get an autographed copy of Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service.
Smile makes a great graduation gift for young people graduating from high school or college, or getting out of the military, to help prepare them for their career.
Address and Contact
468 South Milford Road
Highland, MI 48357
You’ll definitely want to check out all the wonderful items at Casa de Amici. The store is filled with fabulous home furnishings, accessories, and garden items.
The store also carries women’s accessories such as handbags and jewelry, baby gifts. Owner Mary Kabisa is available to help with all of your designing needs.
Stop in, say hi, buy an autographed copy of Smile and do some shopping. You will LOVE this store! We look forward to meeting you.
April 22nd, 2013 @ Kirt Manecke
I’m officially launching my new book in beautiful downtown Milford, MI this Thursday evening, April 25, at Main Street Art. Buy an autographed copy of my award-winning book, Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service, 5pm – 9pm during Ladies Night Out.
Main Street Art
432 N Main Street
Downtown Milford, MI
Smile Makes a Great Graduation Gift
A Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Winner honoring excellence, Smile makes a perfect graduation gift too. Smile teaches young people valuable people skills. Graduates can use the book to help prepare for a job, or to get a head start in their business career.
Smile is an Investment
Buy Smile for yourself to improve your people skills, for someone you know who would love help improving their customer service, sales or donations, or for your favorite business or retailer! Free bookmarks too.
I hope to see you!
April 16th, 2013 @ Kirt Manecke
I’m sponsoring the Animals Asia Michigan Volunteer Group booth at at VegFest in Novi, Michigan this Sunday, April 21, to help end horrific bear bile farming and to raise money to rescue more bears from hideous bear bile farms. Animals Asia is also working to end cat and dog torture/eating, improve lives of animals in captivity (zoos, etc.), and end abuse of animals in circuses and zoos. Stop by our booth and learn how you can help!
I’ll be signing and selling my new book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service in the booth directly adjacent. Autographed copies of my book will be available for sale. Free bookmarks too!
Sunday, April 21, 2013
11am – 5pm EST
Suburban Collection Showplace
46100 Grand River Ave.
Novi, Michigan 48374
Hope to see you there!
April 7th, 2013 @ Kirt Manecke
The one best piece of professional advice I ever got was from my late Uncle Gene. My uncle, Gene Balogh, was a professional speaker and salesman who traveled across the country giving seminars teaching the construction industry how to sell.
I work in sales and he always reminded me, “You have to ask for the sale.” When I became passionate about helping good causes raise funds, he’d say, “You have to ask for the donation.”
His excellent advice transformed my work. I never missed an opportunity to ask for the sale or donation. Because of that, my sales and fundraising results skyrocketed.
It’s normal to have some fear when it comes to fundraising. Whether you’re new to fundraising or you’ve been at it for years, it can be easy to feel like you might be bothering a prospect or pushing something on them.
Instead of thinking of what you’re doing as fundraising, think of it as helping people invest in what they care about. After all, if they were not interested, they wouldn’t be talking with you in the first place.
Imagine how grateful you feel when you’re looking to invest in a good cause and find someone who’s helpful and knowledgeable – that’s all a good fundraiser is!
You’re doing the person a disservice if you don’t help them invest in what they care about. If you don’t ask for the donation, they’ll likely just go somewhere else to donate, or not donate at all.
Remember, the person has come to you to solve a concern. First, be clear on what your customer cares about. Then make a definitive recommendation – ask for the donation.
1. Ask probing questions to learn more about your customer’s concerns, wants, and needs.
2. Listen attentively to the answers you receive.
3. Guide your customer to the best solution.
4. Ask for the donation.
When you’re ready to make a recommendation, use these words to set up what you’re about to say: “Based on what you’re telling me, I’d recommend…” This creates a direct link between your customer’s need and the level of giving or specific program you’re suggesting.
What It Looks Like
You: “Based on what you’re telling me, it sounds like you care about children and would like to invest in a good cause and program that is helping kids go to college. Is that correct?”
Customer: “Yes, that’s right.”
You: “In that case, I’d recommend our Back to College program. It helps kids who otherwise could not afford to go to college attend a good college, graduate, build a career and become responsible citizens.”
Customer: “Yeah – that sounds great.”
You: “Our Back to College program has all the features you mentioned you wanted – a bachelors degree program, career assistance…” (Listing the features the customer asked for that the program you’re recommending has.)
Customer: “It does seem perfect.”
You: “Would you like to donate $500.00 to our Back to College program?” (Asking for the donation.)
As you prepare to recommend a product or donation level to your customer, don’t be afraid of rejection or of hearing the word “No.” Don’t be afraid to say, “Would you like to donate?” or “Would you like to join?”.
Would You Like to Join?
This concept of asking for the donation is extremely important. Years ago, as development director for a nonprofit organization, I worked an annual weekend trade show. The organization had worked this show before but had never received a single donation. I decided to use the show as a test to see the difference asking for the donation could make.
First thing Saturday morning a man walked up to our table and I spoke with him about our mission. He asked me the cost of membership and I told him it was $30. He turned away and I thought to myself, “This must be what happens all the time. This is why they haven’t received any donations – they’ve never asked for the donation!”
The man had already started to walk away when I politely called out, “Would you like to join?” He turned around immediately, pulled out his wallet, and handed me his credit card – just like that! He went on to become an annual donor and increased his gift each year. That weekend I received a total of 16 donations, about one an hour, just by asking for the sale.
One final bit of advice – “Fake it till you make it,” as the famous saying goes. Don’t be afraid to ask for donation, even if you may not feel ready. If you truly understand your customer’s problem and your own programs and services, you are the perfect person to guide them toward what they need.
As the famous fundraising axiom goes: “Why did you give?” “Because I was asked.”
My Best Advice
The single best piece of advice I can give for people working at nonprofits is to ask for the donation, every time. This of course is after you have asked questions, listened, and guided your prospect to the best solution, assuming your nonprofit offers the solution they are seeking. (For a major gift you want to ask when the time is right and that may be months down the road, after you have created a strong relationship with your prospect and after the prospect has given at lower giving levels or expressed interest and you have prepared and done your homework).
We miss one hundred percent of the sales we don’t ask for.
Zig Ziglar, Author, Salesperson, and Motivational Speaker
April 2nd, 2013 @ Kirt Manecke
Amy Gresock, CEO and Founder of My Busy Butterfly L.L.C. in Brighton, Michigan has over 25 years of experience providing excellent customer service. She believes one thing is certain: people do matter and they want and deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, no matter their age. Visit Amy’s website here.
Amy became a Flight Attendant with American Airlines and earned the coveted Flight Attendant of the Year award in 1995 for outstanding service. She retired from American Airlines in 2002.
She gained experience working with “sensational seniors” and it became apparent to Amy that remaining independent was a #1 priority for many seniors. Sometimes just a little help now and then was all that was needed. It was from this need that My Busy Butterfly, L.L.C. was born.
Throughout her many careers, Amy’s core values and beliefs remained: a positive attitude is everything, be honest, be on-time, act professional and polite, have fun, but mostly be passionate about whatever you do whenever you are doing it.
I’m proud Amy is using my book, Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service, as a big part of her training program for new “butterflies”.
“As Owner and CEO of My Busy Butterfly, LLC – An Errands and Concierge Company, it is of utmost importance that my Butterflies provide superior service that goes above and beyond to all our delightful clients. Therefore, Smile! is a huge part of my training program because it not only reminds and prepares, but helps them succeed while out in the field. Thank you, Kirt, for this great little but mighty gem!” says Amy.
Whether you need your dog walked, errands run, or help with other tasks, Amy is a delight and offers friendly, down to earth, exceptional customer service. I should know-I’m a very satisfied customer too! Learn more about Amy and My Busy Butterfly, LLC here.
March 24th, 2013 @ Kirt Manecke
Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold winner! Parents, educators, librarians and retailers look for the Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence seal of approval when selecting quality materials for children and families.
An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling author, Priscilla Dunstan, creator of the Dunstan Baby Language; Patricia Rossi, host of NBC’s Manners Minute; Dr. Letitia S. Wright, D.C., host of the Wright Place™ TV Show; and Catherine Witcher, M.Ed., special needs expert and founder of Precision Education, Inc.
MCA judges are bound by a strict code of ethics which ensures expert and objective analysis free from any manufacturer association. The evaluation process uses a propriety methodology in which entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost.
To be considered for an award, each entrant submits five identical samples of a product. Entries are matched to judges in the MCA database. Judges perform a thorough analysis and submit a detailed assessment.
Results are compiled and submitted to the MCA Executive Committee for final approval. The end result is a list of the best in family-friendly media, products and services that parents and educators can feel confident in using.