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  • December 28, 2016 11:54 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    Would you like to know who the first person to teach me about customer service was?

    My mother.

    I grew up in the 1960's in New York City in a brownstone, so we didn't have a management company (or a concierge) to help us when we needed something. So I often came home from school and would find the strangest people in our house. One day I found my mother and our mailman in the basement looking at our boiler. Another day, my mother convinced the doorman from down the street to leave his post so that he could climb a very high ladder and change a light bulb. My mother had the most uncanny knack for getting people to do things for her!

    How did she do it? 

    Watch out now ... her method is so offbeat that it will blow your mind ...

    Click here to keep reading... https://katharinegiovanni.com/the-key-to-it-all/

  • December 01, 2016 12:46 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    I went into a McDonald’s yesterday and said, ‘I’d like some fries.’ The girl at the counter said, ‘Would you like some fries with that?'” – Jay Leno

    I think Jay Leno is onto something with the above statement. People just don’t listen anymore. Why is that?  You order one thing and get another. You call a company and ask for a certain person, and you get an entirely different extension. Not a good way to run a business!

    I was chatting with a client of mine recently ...

    Click here to keep reading... https://katharinegiovanni.com/do-you-want-fries-with-that/

  • November 17, 2016 10:49 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    A client of mine told me a very interesting story. Apparently, one of her family members had purchased a whole bunch of butterfly wings and was storing them in their attic.

    Butterfly wings? Really?

    (No, I do not make these things up.)

    Click here to keep reading... https://katharinegiovanni.com/youre-selling-what/

  • November 03, 2016 10:37 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    I’ve been an entrepreneur now for over 20 years, and along the way I’ve bumped my head, scraped my knees and picked up a few things. Just because I learned these things the hard way doesn’t mean that you have to!

    So here are my top 8 tips for entrepreneurs …

    Never ever assume! Anything. Ever.

    Why? Mostly because when you assume something, things go wrong. You assume the client will call you back, and they don’t. You assume that your vendor will show up on time, and he doesn’t. Whenever I coach a new client about their business, I will pound them with “what if” questions. For example…

    “What if your vendor doesn’t show?” I’ll ask.

    “That will never happen. I know this guy.” They usually answer.

    “Well, what if it does? what’s your plan?”

    “That won’t happen. He’s my brother’s friend … I know it will be fine.”

    “Well, what if I told you that there is a 1% chance that it does, are you willing to take the risk?”

    As I said, don’t assume. Have a plan. Always check, double check and have a “plan B” ready just in case.

    Testimonials – Overwhelm your clients with testimonials!

    Put them everywhere! On your website, in your business proposals, absolutely everywhere! They are solid and convincing proof that your services work.

    Honesty – Be completely and totally honest.

    Don’t lie or mislead your clients … always tell them the truth. Going above and beyond for your clients is important, especially as they can make or break you. Meaning, they can refer you out to a dozen friends or slam you on Twitter and Yelp.

    Meeting The Client’s Needs – Meet your client’s objections right from the beginning!

    You know what they’re thinking right? They’re thinking that they don’t have enough money to use your services, or they don’t have the time, don’t need it … the list goes on and on. Answer these questions first.

    Customer Service – Always, and I do mean ALWAYS give them over the top customer service.

    It is the number one way you can grow your business … treat them like you wish to be treated and it will come back to you tenfold. People might not remember what you said, but they’ll never ever forget how you made them feel.


    You can have a thriving business as long as you stay positive and ignore the doubters. Trust your intuition and follow its guidance. It knows where the clients are! Don’t ignore it, don’t over-think it, and most of all don’t talk yourself out of it!

    Persistence, Determination and Patience

    To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be persistent, patient and determined. It’s that “I’m not going to give up” attitude that will keep you going in spite of setbacks.

    So what if you do fail? You keep going. I’ve failed hundreds of times and yes IT HURT! The key is that I got up again because I knew that if I kept trying, I would get there. That’s where patience comes in. Look at it this way … if you are driving from your house to the mall, you know you’ll get there eventually. You might run into traffic along the way, or possibly need to take a different route, or you might get into an accident … but you will get to the mall. Perhaps not when you wanted to, but you’ll get there! That’s what running a business is like. You need to have the confidence and the mental fortitude to know that you’ll create a successful business, and yes …. YOU DESERVE IT! I can’t tell you how many women I’ve coached who believe that deep down inside they don’t deserve to be prosperous and happy. Yes you do!

    Lastly, you’ll need an extremely HIGH tolerance to pain!

    For the exact reasons I just listed above. Not every month will be profitable, nor will the road be without bumps, hills, mountains and potholes. It happens. Life happens! Just don’t give up. When something (or someone) knocks you flat on your “you know what” … get up! Don’t stay down there. Instead, look at what is working in your company and toss out what is not. Change your direction, company name, services, pricing and try again.

    So how do you become a successful entrepreneur?

    You do whatever it takes.

    Thomas Edison once said “I haven’t failed 1000 times, I’ve successfully discovered 1000 ways that don’t work.”

    copyright 2016 by Katharine C. Giovanni. All rights reserved.

  • November 03, 2016 10:33 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    I get asked all the time how to find your target market. More specifically, most people want to know what the most lucrative target market is.

    Doesn't everyone?

    Some might answer by saying that the big money is in corporate. Others might tell you to open up an exclusive boutique-type company. Everyone has a different opinion on this … start small, start big, target VIP’s, target groups ... the list goes on and on and on.

    Here's my answer ...

    I genuinely believe that you’ll make the most money doing what you are best at.

    Here's another question I get asked ... why does one person make a lot of money in a particular niche while another does not?

    Mostly because that person absolutely loves what they do and they’re naturally good at it. They have a passion for it that comes from deep inside of them. They are persistent and determined and never ever give up their dream. No matter what.

    Listen, here’s how you’ll know you’re in the right niche …

    You love what you do so much that you would do it for free. It doesn’t feel like work because you enjoy it so much. Plus you find the work really easy. Of course it’s easy to you, it’s your gift. You were born to do it. It’s like playing the piano. Everyone can learn to play, but only a few are naturals and really good at it.

    Years ago, before we started up Triangle Concierge, my husband Ron and I decided to start a business. We were both tired of working for corporate America and wanted to start our own little company. So we started to think about what we could do. Back then, Ron’s mother worked in a bakery in Hoboken NJ making Hoboken’s famous bread. Using her recipe, we thought we could open up a bread business, install a brick oven and make the bread. So we went to my father, who was an entrepreneur, and asked him what he thought about our idea. His answer was this …

    "What do you know about baking bread?" He asked me.

    "Well nothing" I replied.

    "Now tell me what you do know."

    "I'm actually a great meeting planner" (I was in the meeting/event industry for 15 years).

    He then leveled me a look and said simply … "do what you know."

    A few months later we opened up our first business ... Meeting Planning Plus.

    So do what you know. What industry are you coming out of?  Can you offer your new company services back to that industry?  When you first thought of opening up a business, where did your thoughts instinctively go?  Go there now. Trust your instincts as they are usually right. Don't let your brain talk you out of something your heart is telling you to do. Do some market research and find out what the needs are in your area.

    Then be willing to change. Go where your intuition takes you. We started out as Meeting Planners. We ended up as International Concierge and Front Line Staff Trainers. So it goes without saying here that somewhere along the way we were willing to change. When we hit the proverbial wall and the sales stopped, we didn’t just pack up our toys and go home. We looked at our operation and kept what was working and tossed the rest. We changed our name, redesigned our services, and tried again (and again and again, but that's another story). Never give up.

    So how do you find your niche?

    Look into your heart for the answer. It knows the way you should go. Trust that feeling and go!

    You totally GOT this!

    Katharine C. Giovanni

  • November 03, 2016 10:32 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    Today’s topic? Competition.

    I can’t tell you how many phone calls we get about this topic. It’s number one on everyone’s list … who is the competition? How do I beat them? They’re going to take all the clients!!!

    NOT TRUE. Plenty of business out there for everyone folks.

    Let’s take a look at the realtors in your town. How many are there? I’ll bet you five dollars that none of them are stepping on each other’s toes and that there is plenty of business for them all. One company couldn’t possibly handle all the business in one town … they would be overwhelmed and would soon be out of business. Trust me on this one … this has happened to a few clients of mine. They were one of the only concierge in town and advertised their business … and WHAM! It worked!! However, they soon became overwhelmed with all the business and had to close down for a few months while they re-organized. Clearly one company can’t possibly handle all the business.

    Here’s another way to look at it … what would McDonalds be if Burger King hadn’t come on the scene??

    Wendy’s? Taco Bell?

    Think they spend their time sending each other hate mail?? I was first! You can’t set up your restaurant! It was my idea!!!

    See my point? PLENTY of business for everyone. One town can certainly handle more than one company offering the same basic services with no problem at all.

    I think competition is good for the soul. It forces us to do better and offer a better product. I also firmly believe in building relationships and working together towards the common good. Working together will get us farther than working apart.

    And yes … I practice what I preach. I’ve actually trained a few of my competitors (although I’ll admit I didn’t know it at the time) and have even given them some referrals. Should I get mad every time someone publishes another book on the Concierge industry? No … because it’s a big world out there and there is plenty of business for everyone. I think the more books out there on the subject, the better!

    My advice to everyone is to bless your competition, shake their hand and welcome them to the neighborhood. Say positive things about them and build a relationship with them. Don’t judge them for what they do or not do. Instead, greet them warmly and let them be.

    Now why would I want to do that? You might be thinking as you read this.

    Good question … one reason might be that it’s the last thing they’ll expect you to do. It will certainly shock them for a minute!

    The real reason is this … there is a universal principle that states what you put out into the world will bounce back at you like a boomerang. I know that you’ve all heard this one. Well, if you put out honesty, integrity, love and respect … they will bounce right back at you and will only make your business better and more prosperous. If you put out jealousy, anger, fear and hatred then please learn to duck because it’s coming right back at you. Treat your competition as you yourself would like to be treated.

    Love will always get you farther than hate.

    Copyright © 2016 by Katharine C. Giovanni

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