Random Ramblings

Does anybody answer their phone anymore? I called half a dozen prospects for a sales opportunity and no one called me back. I don’t understand how someone will take the time to send in a CV and then not call back. If they can’t call back, then they will never be able to do the job properly.

So I received a piece of mail marked “urgent matter”. It was sent to my old address and the new owner called and said it looks important so you should come over and pick it up. I drive over to find its from the Canadian Red Cross and it’s a fundraising letter indicating that if I donate $35 to this particular campaign, there would be a $105 ddonation made. I have been in the ad business for 38 years. DO NOT send a marketing piece designed to scare people. The net result of this troublesome type of marketing was to get me to call the head office of the Canadian Red Cross. And guess what, nobody called me back.

Life is a series of obstacles and challenges punctuated sporadically with momentary moments of happiness. Don’t let the world dim your light. There are a lot of naysayers out there and their goal is to bring you down to their level of unhappiness. Rise above. When two unhappy people meet, they commiserate. I was playing poker last night and I high fived another player after a good hand. The guy in between us said get your hand out of my face. Wow. Are you having a bad day? He was miserable. You could feel a negative vibration.

For the last 6 months I decided to talk to everyone that came in close contact with. Whether it’s in a restaurant, a bank line up, a poker game. And guess what? The results are amazing. I have created new business opportunities, made new friends and generally had very positive outcomes. It’s not hard but it will pay off.

Positive Customer Service Stories

The problem with customer service today is simple. The front lines are not empowered to make simple decisions on behalf of the customer. However, the ones that break the rules, are the ones who become successful. Have you ever heard a customer service person reference “our policy”. Whenever that happens they are focused on the company and not on the customer.

Here are some positive customer service experiences. I walk into Best Buy with a laptop that I bought a couple of months ago. The volume control is not functioning and you can hardly hear it a maximum volume. The young manager comes over and I tell him the story. He mentions a warranty as well as the fact that it is defective. So I said then I guess that I will be getting a new laptop? And I did. Now that’s customer service Extraordinaire.

Another positive story is my recent visit to Baton Rouge St Johns in the West Island. The key to a successful restaurant is one simple thing – the people. It sounds obvious, but it is always taken for granted. The waiters and waitresses are the ones who interact with customers, not the chef or the owner. Our waitress, Big Daddy Leish, has a presence about her that is very much based on The Law of Vibration.

Every touch point is positive. Every touch point is clear.

She understands people and as such knows when to lean in and when to back away. And she knows the menu and its twists. She represents the brand and exemplifies the brand promise of Baton Rouge.

Remember, marketing is all about three things

  1. Relations
  2. Stories
  3. Magic

Random Saturday Morning Thoughts

Enough said about that picture, it’s beautiful but not every one loves the colder temperatures. As a matter of fact, a small portion of the population suffers from SAD – seasonal affective disorder.

On another subject, I would suggest that you never give up on your dreams. You see dreams are goals with wings. A goal is something that you can accomplish by establishing objectives, strategies and tactics. Anything is doable if you decide that you want it. If a political candidate decides that they will win the election, they can and will. If someone decides that they want true love, they will find it. And if you want to build a business, you can. Intention coupled with inspiration and hard work is an unbeatable combination. If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. But you can’t sit at home all day and watch Oprah and expect to become a millionaire. You have to work hard. The flaw in THE SECRET is that you can’t wish yourself into being successful, you have to go out and get it

And make sure that you are having fun, otherwise why bother? We take things too seriously in 2019. Everyone is stressed and worried even when they don’t have anything to worry about. Relax. One of my salespeople came into my office the other day and told me how stressed she was. I said if you were a brain surgeon driving into work to perform brain surgery you can be anxious. But we are just selling radio advertising. No one is going to die in the production of your radio canpaign.

So I am giving away my dog today. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I felt compelled to speak. He is a wonderful poodle but he is more than I can handle. I have a hernia and when he pulls, it hurts. I am gone weekdays from 8am – 5pm. Sometimes I travel to Toronto on business so he spends an idordinate amount of time at the dog sitter. So I made the tough decision that he would be better off with a young family, with the mother at home, in a fenced back yard and another dog friend to play with. They are coming to see him and take him at 1pm. He will be fine, I’m just not sure how I wil feel.

Emmanuella

There’s a unique feeling when you walk into the campaign offices of Emmanuella Lambropoulos. It’s not like a typical office filled with political veterans and campaign junkies. It’s actually quite the opposite; filled with energy, youth, enthusiasm and hope for the future. A hope that has dissipated with the cynicism of politics.

Emmanuella is the hero of her own story. She is a political neophyte who won a stunning nomination to replace Stephan Dion as the federal Liberal member of parliament in St. Laurent. A 26 year old high school teacher virtually unknown to politics beat a former provincial cabinet minister. Emmanuella and her team couldn’t hold back their surpsise at beating a woman who was considered to be the Liberal party favourite, Yolande James.

“I’m really shocked. I didn’t give up. Door to door. As soon as I knew that I wanted this I worked really hard. ” And subsequently she won the election. How? Simple.

  1. Desire
  2. Commitment
  3. Relentlessness
  4. Hard work
  5. Positive visualization

Emmanuella decided that she was going to emerge triumphant, and she did. Imagine putting your mind to something and then seeing it materialize. But that’s how every new product or idea is born. With a burning desire to succeed and with the express purpose of helping others.

The Most Reverend Deacon James Thompson, or as I call him, ” dad ” He left us in 2006 and I tell everyone that he was the finest human being to ever walk the face of the earth. And he taught me one simple life mission, “help others” What’s the connection? ” Simple. Similar missions between my father and Emmanuella. She fights for the underdog. As a matter of fact, her campaign manager, Pina Frangella, said that she will be an advocate for

  • Racial issues
  • Anti – semitism
  • The environment
  • Youth issues
  • Seniors issues

Emmanuella was successful because she knocked on doors evey single day leading up to the election in 2017. She was the only candidate to live in the riding; she grew up in St, Laurent, worked in St. Laurent and the cashier at the local Jean Coutu could not stop ranting and raving about her.

Emmanuella’s father Tom said that her campaign started out with just him and her. From humble beginnings come great things. “Our goal was to hit the road and get memberships. We weren’t really seen by the press; we were invisible.” Her mom, Matina said that our headquarters was grandma’s living room.

So I attended my first volunteer meeting on Thursday night. Emmanuella spoke to her team. She is poised, intelligent, and passionate. I was excited to reach out to the population of St. Laurent and really connect with the peope. It was awesome. From the long time senior Liberal to the young new voter to the handful of undecided. I was invigorated and also thrilled to see that 90% of the calls that I made were voters who loved Emmanuella. And of course the one young dude who told me that “it was none of my business” All’s fair in love and war.

So what does the future look like in St. Laurent. In simple terms, bright and in more specific terms , positive. Emmanuella is an individual who truly cares. An individual who will work hatd for her community. An individual who will fight for the rights of the underdogs. An individual who lives, breathes and loves St. Laurent.

Emmanuella.

Random Thoughts

In the world of advertising, you have 7 seconds to grab a consumers attention. This works.

The first story is indicative of why businesses are failing. I used to live in St Lazare and ordered pizza from Bravo. Recently moved to Rigaud and called last night. I gave them my address and they took the order. However, they called back a few minutes later and said they don’t deliver to Rigaud, only Hudson.

This is the distance from the Hudson border to my house.

This was the brilliant decision not to bring the food by 650m.

This is the brilliant customer service.

The sad thing is that I will never patronize the business again.

Let’s say that I went once a month for the last years. Do the math. Average lifetime value of cutomer – $6,000.

Was it worth not crossing the imaginary border?. Absolutely not. What a horrendous decison. And how many people will I tell this story to?

Bad customer service is pandemic. And policies and rules juat serve to make it worse. Just check out the worst customer service in Canada – National Bank. I just switched to TD. What an enormous difference.

TDs …

  1. Cutting edge with phone apps
  2. Customer service is impeccable
  3. I have a tremendous bank manger and a solid team with expertise ranging from mortgages, small business and personal investments.
  4. They are available and great to deal with
  5. Open Sundays and better weekday hours
  6. Positive attitudes
  7. Young and refreshing
  8. Smart
  9. You are made to feel at home
  10. Online tools which enable you to understand your buying patterns

Too bad they don’t taste good.

This is a picture of the finest man to ever walk the face earth. After retirement from the Steel Company, he went to school and became a deacon in the Catholic church. During his tenure, The Most Reverend Deacon James Thompson baptized over 500 babies and helped countless people. I say to people that he was perfect and they respond impossible. Well, he was.

The boys of summer. Enjoy the day. For more info on sales, visit wwww.theshysalesguy.com or http://www.mangocommunications.ca

Todd Galganov

I had the privilege of meeting Todd Galganov in my radio office yesterday. Todd is the father of Jesse Galganov who mysteriously disappeared in Peru in 2017. Todd is a magnanimous gentleman who cares deeply about his son. But he also cares about other young people travelling abroad. As such, he has launched a website as a tribute to Jesse entitled http://www.jesseprotected.com

The site is designed to focus on missing persons – prevention, awareness and support. The mission statement is as follows:

Our Mission is to provide awareness, prevention & support to families and individuals who want to be protected in various ways as mentioned.

Our goal is once you leave your premises and go wherever you have knowledge and a safety kit and a support team behind you.

Our support will be with checklists, badges, stickers, and clothing as well as links to government sites for any dangers where you maybe going.

In essence, we are trying to prevent the tragedy which befell my son, Jesse and our family hopefully doesn’t repeat itself.

We are “The Company with a Heart”.

My son wanted to save and protect lives. We hope to fulfill his goal of wanting to pursue a profession that saves lives and lengthens life spans.

God willing we shall make a difference.

God bless you and come on our journey.

Amen!

The website is fascinating because it includes travel advice and advisories as well as a safety, emergency amd and preparation checklist. There is also an education fund in honour of Jesse that will support children in the community. And Jesse safety kit products including a GPS unit and the suggestion of downloading a geolocation app for your phone.


Todd is going through this difficult process by focusing his energy on helping others; a noble mission. I believe he finds solace in wanting to make sure that this does not happen to any other family. He is a fine human being and we as a community have to step up to the plate and support him. It’s not only our moral obligation; it’s the right thing to do.

Customer Service Extraordinaire

There is good and bad customer service, but the best customer service is when a retailer fixes a problem on behalf of the client. I recently purchased a table and 4 chairs from Structube which is one of my favorite stores. Structube features modern furniture at affordable prices with stylish designs.

The store managaer, Alicia as well as the assistant manager, Gloria, took care of my dilemma. I realized that the table and chairs would not fit in my new small house. So, I decided to return them to the store. Unfortunately, I was away for a week and only returned the items several weeks after purchase. When I returned the items, the store manager informed me thay she could not take them back due to their 7 day return policy. Despite my disappointment, she was only doing her job and adhering to the company policy.

The main problem with customer service is that employeed are not empowered to make decisions of their own accord. And that is the reason why policies are a mistake. The only policy that should exist can be summed up in two words, customer first.

I worked at Mount Royal Commemorative Services as Director of Sales and Marketing. The Executive Director once asked me to prepare a customer service manuaĺ. At the meeting to launch the manual several weeks later, I sat down with the team and gave everyone a single sheet of paper that said ” families first ” and that’s all we needed. Make all your customer service decisions based on this premise and you will never go wrong.

In sum, Alicia and Gloria were just doing their job. And they did it very well. I commend them in the way they handled the situation. But they were handcuffed by company policy. They should have had the power to do what the head office decided to to which was to refund my money. I had to go through a lengthy process to reach a conclusion that we could have easily reached. So, empower your employees to make the right decision. They are on the front lines and inherently know what to do. Just do the right thing and you will never go wrong.

At the end of the day, I will continue to be a Structube customer and I will continue to be an evangelist for Structube. A much better role than the opposite, And instead of getting my money back, I purchased a smaller table for about the same price as my small table and chairs. Everybody won.

For more information on customer service, visit http://www.customerservicesucks.ca

Finnegan

So I recently adopted a dog from a elderly lady who was going into a senior residence. I was looking for a small, older, non-shedder, but Tyler came along and captured my heart. But I changed his name because Tyler is not really a dog’s name, in my humble opinion, and he reminded me of my goldendoodle Finnegan. And poodles are very smart and do not shed.

So after a couple of days, I realize that the concept of proper behavior is lost on Finn. He spent most of the first few days humping, pawing, jumping and basically driving me crazy. I have had 6 dogs in my like – Kelly, Brandy, Kelsey, Nikki, Finnegan and Finnegan #2. But I was lost on what to do in terms of getting his wild behavior under control.

Until this guy came along. Graham Smith of Bark Busters. I knew Graham back in the day as he owned a successful advertising agency and I am in the radio business. We worked together on the famous Felix and Norton account. Graham told me that within 5 minutes of his arrival, Finnegan would be a new dog. I said to myself ” ya right “. But what Graham said was absolutely true. And I was in shock. His theory is based on the fact that dogs are descendants of wolves and as such, he studied the behavior patterns of wolves. Wolves are pack animals and have to ascertain who is the leader of the pack. Dogs will try and establish that leadership role unless you take control. We also discussed food, walks and other behaviors. Two hours and I learned more about dogs than I had known for 60 years.

If you have a dog, I promise that Graham and Bark Busters can make a world of difference. Call Graham at 866 418 4584 or http://www.barkbusters.ca

Enjoy the video and have a great day.

Hang in There

Everyone is fighting a battle. Some have a tougher battle than others. But the good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train. With time, anti-depressants, cognitive therapy, support of family and friends, there is hope.

As a matter of fact, according to the National Association of Mental Illness, 1 in 5 North Americans suffer from depression. The numbers are substantial, however, the good news is that anti-depressants are effective 85% of the time. Approximately 60% of people respond favorably to them within a 2 month period.

It’s hard to have patience but it is a neccesity to heal. I ran a support group for 10 years and experienced a lot of positive outcomes. However, there were some sad stories as well. One member of our group hanged himself in his garage. Another called me and said he had a knife in his hand and was going to stab himself. I kept him on the phone until I got to his house and took the knife.

The reason I share my stories of depression is in the hopes of helping others. There is nothing to be afraid of. We have to fight the stigma and the more we talk about this phenomen, the better off the world will be. The other ohphenomenon that converns me is homelessness. The vast majority of homeless people suffer from mental illness. The next time you see a homeless person, stop, look them in the eyes and treat them like an equal. I give every homeless person I see a $20 bill. Some people say they will use it to buy drugs or alcohol. Not my concern. Give to give and never judge.