You know who makes the best customer service experts? Bartenders. I had the opportunity to interview entrepreneur Stella Collington on my radio show, Million $ Party Girl Talk. She spent 20 years as a professional bartender before taking the leap to join the ranks of entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams, as a Diamond Independent Business Partner with Rastelli Direct. When describing how she stumbled upon her purpose and passion, Stella’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. Rastelli’s foods have literally been in front of her for almost half her life, but she didn’t really “see” them until she went to an event, Rastelli’s distributor business launch, seeking a business opportunity for her boyfriend (not herself). Stella was going to stay for a few minutes, just long enough to drop off his information. Instead she left with a new business that spoke to her heart.
Her vision is to Stellavate (I love that) everyone’s life by providing quality farm to family food, so you can have more time to Stellabrate your life. 20 years behind the bar taught Stella how to be a great listener and excel at customer service. She doesn’t sell, she serves. Stella’s passion even shows up in the name of her website: eatpaylove.com.
As Stella puts it, the fortune is in the follow up! Here’s some of her tips excerpted from my interview:
Lynn: Most sales, and opportunities, are lost from the lack of follow up. What are your top customer service tips?
Stella: Follow up can be daunting and causes great F.E.A.R (False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.) in many business people. Does this sound like your business? But, there is a fortune to be had! I have a system I follow and it keeps it simple, yet effective.
TOP 3 TIPS
· Contact your connection 24-48 hours after the initial meeting. Remember key words of the conversation by being a GREAT listener. People love to know you actually HEARD what they had to say. It can be business or personal…the key is to keep the conversation about them.
· Ask your clients their preferred method of contact. (e.g. phone call/text, email, social media). If you’re wondering why your contact is not calling you back it might just be because they prefer a text.
· Set APPOINTMENTS to follow up and qualify your leads. Your time and their time are valuable.
When was the last time a business called you after the sale? Rarely, if ever. Continued service after the purchase is very important. It’s one way you can stand out from the crowd.
Make sure you always thank your clients. I have a consumable product so it’s very important for me to make sure it has arrived safe and sound. Once I have been assured I will let my client know I will be back in touch once they have used the product. Good time for that appointment.
The back office of my website provides all the information I need to track purchases from the initial purchase to delivery and is a very valuable tool. Use the resources that are available to you and, if you don’t have them, there’s an app for that.
I question my clients about their needs by asking about their family size, products interests, budget, etc. Serving also means making sure my service is a value for them. By learning who my clients are I can follow up on a regular basis built around their needs and schedules.
We are all so busy with life these days…a valued service that offers convenience, time management and saving money is priceless!
“One unhappy customer is one too many.”
Lynn Bardowski is a 22 year entrepreneur, best selling author, national speaker and business coach. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, follow her blog, milliondollarpartygirl.
You’ve been invited to a networking event. You are excited. You know this is what you need. This event is going to help catapult your business to a new level. You are going to meet people who can support you and connect you with the people who need your service/product.
It’s the day of the event, and you are feeling a little nervous. Butterflies in the stomach, you feel like somebody put lead weights in your shoes! What is all of this? You are a successful business person, who loves what you do.
It is the dreaded condition known as “Network-itis”, and you my friend are not alone in suffering from this condition. The good news is that this is a curable condition. It is easily remedied. Why? Because you already know, you have got to “network to get work”
Here are some “cure-alls” to getting rid of Network-itis once and for all.
1. Take small steps. Rome wasn’t conquered in a day and either will your networking skills.
2. Go with a friend or fellow business acquaintance. There is strength in numbers, and walking into a room where you know no one can be a little intimidating. Walk in with a friend, (but don’t hang on to that friend, remember you are here to meet new people).
3. Be Prepared. Business cards? Check. Looking good. Check. Have your 60 second personal commercial ready. Practice it in front of a mirror, to your significant other, your best girlfriend. After 16 years of public speaking I still practice what I am going to say in my car on the way to an event. And yes, people look at me twice. But I don’t care. I am going to go in there and look like I know what I am doing, (even if I am not so sure!)
4. Extend a hand and a smile. You will be amazed what these two simple gestures will do for you in confidence and your business. You are not the only one who has Network-itis. People will remember you for your kindness
5. Be true to who you are. This I know is easier said than done. It will take practice. But when you are true to yourself, people appreciate the honesty that comes with that presence.
You still may not be comfortable with networking but with the above tips, it should help ease the pain. So, whether you like it or not, force yourself to get out there and network, you’ll be glad you did and your business will thank you for it.
Robin Tracey, known as the "You got to Network to Get Work" Guru, is a national speaker, 16 year solo-preneur and
Co-Founder of Interconnections for Women networking group. For tips and tricks on how to get your "network" on go to www.interconnectionsforwomen.org
Hear Robin's inspiring story and expert networking tips on Million $ Party Girl Talk Radio
Interview: Lynn Bardowski, Author of Success Secrets of a Million $ Party Girl
republished with permission from BusinessInfoGuide.com
Success Secrets of a Million $ Party Girl
What is your book about?
My book, Success Secrets of a Million $ Party Girl (release date July 12, 2012), shares my 10 Secrets of Success. It’s a guide book for all women entrepreneurs who want to learn how I overcame fear, failure and mommy guilt to create a vision that inspired a multi million dollar business.
What inspired you to write your book?
As a solo-preneur we tend to live in our bubble. I was working from home, doing what I do, and didn’t realize it was such a big deal until I started networking with other women entrepreneurs. When it came up in conversation that I was generating $3 million+ in sales consistently for a good portion of my 22 years in business, their jaws dropped.
Women started asking me for business and marketing advice and I realized my story could have a big impact on the world. I did some research and found out that less than 2% of women entrepreneurs reach 1 Million in annual revenue. It was my turn to be shocked. I knew I had to share my story.
The Lynn Bardowski Interview
The Milion Dollar Party Girl shares her
glowing success with the candle biz and more!
Meet Lynn Bardowski, known as the Million $ Party Girl, a 22 year Million $ revenue generating Entrepreneur and Visionista!