MEET THE AUTHOR
Kirt Manecke is an Amazon best-selling and award-winning author and sales, marketing, fundraising, and business development specialist. Kirt is an expert at surprising and delighting customers.
Kirt's books are used by Neiman Marcus, BancorpSouth, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Ron Jon Surf Shop, and many others. These books and online course are crash courses - concise, quick, and easy to read to help you generate immediate results. Kirt's books have won 11 awards, including the coveted Teachers' Choice Awards, and Mom's Choice Gold Awards. Kirt spent nine months meeting with teens for his award-winning book on job skills and social skills for teens,
Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must Know People Skill for Today’s Wired World.
THE ESSENTIAL 60-MINUTE CRASH COURSE
Kirt wrote the award-winning book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service to promote and teach the simple premise that good service is good business – that if you treat your customers well, you will be rewarded in return. A crash course – it’s quick and easy to implement.
"We have started an “evidence” book full of positive customer feedback. Since we read Smile as a team, our evidence book has exploded."
—Thad Szott, Thad Szott Auto Group, Highland, MI
HOW THE AWARD-WINNING SMILE BOOK CAME TO BE
Kirt Manecke’s passion for customer service and sales began years ago, when he co-founded an award-winning start-up – Surf's Up - a specialty retail business in Michigan. Having worked at other businesses during college, Kirt wanted his own company to be different and better; to train its employees in ways that would result in more sales and profits.
Kirt developed an extensive and innovative six-week customer service and sales training program for new employees, where they were introduced to proven techniques and had to pass a test before joining the sales team. The program worked. Kirt watched as confidence – and customer satisfaction and sales – soared.
The tenets taught in this first training program provided the basis of his award-winning book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service.
Kirt took Surf's Up from a start-up to a beloved award-winning specialty retail business. Known through the Midwest for excellent, friendly customer service and a vast selection of high quality merchandise, Surf's Up won West Bloomfield's Most Beautiful Store Award.
Through Kirt's leadership and customer service and sales training, Surf's Up became the leading Midwest dealer for brands such as Oakley, O'Neill, Burton Snowboards, Thule, Rollerblade and others.
When Kirt opened Surf's Up, with a large competing dealer directly across the street, and another competitor down the street, all leading manufactures' lines were tied up. Kirt knew that by delivering excellent customer service and delighting one customer at a time, Surf's Up would eventually flourish. Soon his two competitors in the area went out of business, leaving Kirt's business open to take on all leading lines.
Going in-depth with merchandise to ensure in-stock products, customer delight, life-time repeat customers, and referrals, along with training employees to become experts in every product carried along with the competitor's products, was Surf's Up's competitive advantage. Kirt's strategy via in-stock inventory, excellent customer service, friendly, helpful, trained expert salespeople, and genuine suggestive selling, was to:
- Increase the average sale per customer
- Increase units per purchase
- Increase number of customer visits
- Increase conversions
- Increase sales per square feet
Kirt accomplished this by making sure every customer was treated like a friend. Surf's Up became the premiere destination in the Midwest for windsurfers, snowboards, accessories and gear along with women's swimwear.
INCREASING SALES FOR A NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
Kirt is a former salesman and publicist for New York Times Best-Selling author Carl R. Sams. Kirt expanded sales nationwide through numerous media placements, friendly consultative selling and long-term relationship building. Through tenacious, strategic new business development and relationship building, he earned DVD movie product placements on PBS stations nationwide to increase brand awareness and product sales.
TURBOCHARGING ONE NONPROFIT
As executive director of a northern Michigan nonprofit land conservancy, Kirt increased membership tenfold and land protection 400% in just three years using many of the methods in Smile. He taught the staff and volunteers how to make a great first impression by answering the phone properly, mailing thank you notes the same day donations are received, greeting people properly, along with many other customer service and sales skills.
Kirt is an expert fundraiser, raising tens of thousands of dollars from corporate sponsors, individual donors, along with over $200,000.00 in foundation grants in just three years. Kirt created monthly giving, major donor, and Legacy Circle annual major donor programs, along with corporate sponsorship cause marketing advertisement programs with companies such as Weyerhaeuser and others.
Kirt created a special meeting for large landowners, which brought out major land owners such as the late Lou Groen, inventor of the Fillet of Fish Sandwich and owner of 43 McDonald's restaurants in Ohio.
Protecting over 3,000 acres of land, he also revamped the nonprofits overall branding and marketing communications and PR strategy to attract a wider, more sophisticated audience, increasing donations by more than 1,000% along with securing over 100 press placements per year.
Kirt is passionate about getting Smile in the hands of nonprofit staff and volunteers to help them delight donors, raise more money faster and make a greater impact.
SMILE & SUCCEED FOR TEENS BOOK, ONLINE COURSE
Smile & Succeed for Teens is Kirt's newest book, and online course. It's super short and easy and fun to read, perfect for a teen's short attention span.
It's based on Kirt's award-winning book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service with the addition of a multitude of fun and informative illustrations and captions, a chapter on how to interview and get a job, a chapter on volunteering effectively, and a section on overcoming stress.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT KIRT'S BOOKS?
These books are SUPER SHORT. Kirt's books are crash courses - concise, quick and easy to read with no wasted words to help you generate immediate results.
You can read the books on a short airplane ride. Here's what one reviewer said:
"Quick and easy! Great book and is a quick read. It covers a lot of the basics that are overlooked. I highly recommend it."
ENDORSED BY TEMPLE GRANDIN
Temple Grandin, world-renowned autism spokesperson and professor at Colorado State University, called Kirt the same day she read his book Smile & Succeed for Teens. Temple urged Kirt to use her testimonial to get his book out to all teens and young adults to lower the unemployment rate:
"Smile & Succeed for Teens is a fantastic resource to help teens be successful at work."
--TEMPLE GRANDIN, Author, Thinking in Pictures, The Autistic Brain, TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World
VOLUNTEERING, GIVING BACK
Kirt is a member of the Rotary Club of Northville. He is also a volunteer judge at DECA conferences.
He is happy to help others succeed in careers. Kirt donates books to nonprofit organizations such as JVS, Common Ground, and Sanctum House, along with donating books for silent auctions and animal sanctuary gift shops.
A former owner of a public relations company, he volunteers his time, PR and fundraising skills to help groups saving natural lands, and working to end animal cruelty.
Kirt volunteers with the Arc of Appalachia land conservancy in southern OH, and the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance. Kirt created the website www.TellOnePerson.com to inform people about roadside zoos (Tiger King, etc.) and abusive tiger and lion cub petting and to guide them to accredited sanctuaries where animals are rescues and animal welfare is the top priority.
1% of the sales of Kirt's books are donated to animal welfare.
BOOSTING NONPROFIT IMPACT
The biggest reasons donors stop donating money to a charity are poor customer service and failing to receive a thank you note. Kirt's books ensure nonprofits deliver amazing customer service.
Kirt's book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service is featured in Animal Sheltering Magazine from the Humane Society in the article "Going the Extra Smile: To save more animals, remember the little things".
Kirt's advice has also been featured in Saving Land Magazine from the Land Trust Alliance in the article "Turbocharge Your Land Trust".
HIRE KIRT: CONSULTING
Need help with self-publishing, marketing and selling your book, customer service, PR or nonprofit fundraising? Kirt is available for consulting.