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  • August 13, 2018 3:17 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    By Katharine Giovanni

    Want to know the secret of growing your business? The REAL secret? Change your words.  I’m serious, change your words and you will change your life.  

    Let me give you an example …

    I got a call recently from a woman who wanted to know if she could make any money starting a concierge business. After speaking with her for a while I started to notice phrases like “I think I can” and “not sure if this will work or not” and “I’ve never owned a business before and I’m a bit scared.” 

    Let’s compare that phone call to another one I received. This time it was from a woman who was just laid off from her job. Unlike the first caller, I heard phrases like “I am going to be your next success story!” and “I know this is going to work.” During her coaching session she asked dozens of questions and greeted each answer with enthusiasm and some ideas of her own. By the end of the session, the confidence she had in herself and her abilities was clear and I knew without a doubt that her business would flourish. 

    Words are important. KNOW that you can do this and have absolutely no doubts about it. The first caller doubted her abilities and doubted that she could make money doing this. It stands to reason that if she doubts she’ll make money doing this then most likely she won’t.  The second caller had no doubts and simply knew that it would work.

    YOU GOT THIS!


  • July 06, 2018 11:37 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    Going to the grocery store used to be a social event. We knew all the clerks and regularly chatted with the butchers behind the cases. They knew our name and we knew theirs. Even when other grocery stores opened in our neighborhood, we kept going back because it felt like home to us.

    One day a few months ago, my husband and I walked into our favorite grocery store for our weekly shop and didn’t see any of their regular employees. When we asked what happened to everyone, we were told that corporate moved them all to other stores.

    New faces greeted us with smiles and a rehearsed greeting that had little warmth. You knew they didn’t care. The magic was gone. Indifference had replaced the warm and friendly attitude we had come to expect.

    Click here to read the rest of the article

  • June 26, 2018 3:59 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    by Katharine Giovanni

    Always leave people better than you found them.

    A few years ago I was in Las Vegas on my way home from teaching a seminar. When I got to the airport, I found out that my flight had been delayed which caused a bunch of us to miss our connecting flights. Ah well! I tend to be calm about these sorts of things because there really is no use getting mad about it. In fact, I was cracking jokes to the woman in back of me to lighten the mood a bit.

    The gentleman in front of me, however, was different. He was so mad that I could almost see steam coming out of his ears. He was yelling and screaming at this poor young girl behind the counter. It wasn’t her fault that our flight was delayed, but he didn’t seem to care about that. He spent about 10 minutes banging the counter with his hand and yelling at her in loud tones, and then stormed off. As I watched him go, I wondered why on earth would you yell at the person who has the power to get you home?

    Since I was next in line, I walked up to her counter and immediately noticed that she was doing everything in her power to stop herself from crying in front of me. She was so distraught that her hands were shaking! My heart melted. So I put my bags down and looked her right in the eyes. I then told her to take as much time as she needed to get herself together because I was sure her supervisor wasn’t going to let her go on a break. I then started to gently talk to her while she wiped her eyes and took a few deep breaths.

    We chatted about the man and his situation for a few minutes until she had calmed down. I got her to laugh about it and she was able to move forward. She then put me on a flight and I headed towards my gate. As I walked towards security, I looked down at the ticket and was stunned when I saw that she had given me a seat in first class! Plus there was a certificate that bought me dinner in the airport.

    As I’ve said many many times … what you put out in this world, you’ll get back. Treat people like you yourself would like to be treated. That’s the true key to it all.


  • May 30, 2018 3:12 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    The number 1 media tip you have to hear

    by Katharine Giovanni

    A few years ago, a reporter interviewed me for a story he was writing for the Associated Press. After the interview was over, we chatted for a few minutes and out of the blue he asked me the following question...

    "Mrs. Giovanni, I need your advice about something"

    Since reporters generally don't ask me that (combined with the fact that he had just told me he graduated from college the previous year and this was his first job) my radar was immediately up. So I answered "sure what's up?"

    He then told me a story...

    A few days before our interview, the young man interviewed a concierge and asked them what the strangest thing they have ever done for a client was. The concierge told them they owned a few limousines and could get their clients any recreational drug they wanted. They then told the reporter "of course that's off the record right?"

    "So I have a problem. Technically, if you want it off the record you have to say it before the sentence, not after. So I could use it if I wanted to. I already told my boss about the interview and he wants to run it. I really don't want to write it because it will hurt your industry. Plus, I really don't want to give that guy any free press because he doesn't deserve it. What should I do?"

    A reporter with ethics! I LOVED this kid!!!! He was warm, friendly and genuinely wanted to help. So we chatted for about 20 minutes and I advised him to go with his heart. Of course, I also agreed that it would seriously hurt our industry if he ran the story.

    For the next month I patiently waited for the story to come out. I went to their website and ran internet searches to see if his article had come out. 

    Nothing. I'm pleased to report that he stood his ground and never printed it.

    So the moral of the story? NOTHING is off the record! If you say it, there is a good chance they'll print it so be careful. I would also only provide services that are legal, moral and ethical.

    One more thing... many reporters will ask for your funniest story in the concierge industry. That's fine, just don't give your client's name. Just say "a celebrity client of mine once asked me to... " Confidentiality is the hallmark of the concierge industry and should never ever be broken.

    About the Author: Katharine Giovanni is one of the world’s leading corporate concierge, front desk and customer service trainers, and is considered by many to be one of the original founders of the independent concierge industry.


  • April 27, 2018 12:21 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    By ICLMNet Member Kelly Gerard

    When I tell someone that I'm a runner, they inevitably ask me if I've run a marathon. It seems that both runners and non-runners alike feel that the pinnacle of running is "The Marathon." The perception seems to be that you're not a real runner unless you've run some ridiculous distance, endured black toe nails, blisters, extensive chaffing and an injury. I am a runner. I love to run. I would run every day if I could. But I will not run a marathon and I can't figure out why that should be my greatest achievement as a runner.

    The iconic Boston Marathon has just wrapped up. For the past 3 months I watched growing numbers of runners on the side of the road trudging away in the ice, cold and snow. When the signed up they kissed their partners and kids goodbye for the grueling 18 week training. These are the runners that are out on the road with their headlamps and hydration belts at 5am in the pitch black. You'll see them in sleet, snow and rain. Nothing can stop them from getting in their long run. Their existence is a faint memory to friends and family. No thanks. Maybe I'm a fair weather runner but I don't want to start making running un-fun. Twenty miles in the sleet? No thanks. Value pack of Glide to contain the blisters? I'll pass. Losing a toenail when flip-flop season is right around the corner would be tragic. Give me a 5K any day. How about one every weekend? My goal is to crush it in these races. And guess what my recovery will be like? I'll be feeling back to my old self as soon as the barista at Starbucks finishes making my Grande Almond Latte.

    Let's not cut ourselves short for "only" running a 5K. The 5K rocks! We don't need to torture our bodies, neglect our families and make running un-fun just because there is a perception that you're only a “real runner” if you run marathons. You are a runner in my book if you run two miles around your neighborhood or if you run an ultra through Death Valley.

    Now is the time to find a local 5K and feel great about it! You don’t have to spend 18 weeks training. You just have to lace up your sneakers and get yourself to the start line. Usually your local 5K races support a great cause so you can feel great about completing a 5K and giving back to your community.

    I’d love to hear what your race goals! Please reach out and tell me your story.

    Find your race by downloading the free Kukimbe app available on the App Store and Google Play.

    www.kukimbe.com



  • March 27, 2018 3:37 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    A few years ago I was in Las Vegas on my way home from a speaking gig. When I got to the airport, I found out that my flight had been delayed which caused a bunch of us to miss our connecting flights. I tend to be calm about these sorts of things because there really is no use getting mad about it. In fact, I was cracking jokes to the woman in back of me to lighten the mood a bit.

    The gentleman in front of me, however, was so mad that I could almost see steam coming out of his ears. The yelling and screaming was so loud everyone in line was now staring at him. The woman at the desk was doing her best to calm him down, but nothing she said appeased him. He spent about 10 minutes banging the counter with his hand and yelling at her. Eventually he stormed off. As I watched him go, I wondered why on earth would you yell at the person who has the power to get you home?

    Click here to read more

  • March 16, 2018 1:16 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    Here are my top 10 favorite tips for exhibiting at a trade show ... good luck!


    1. Make your booth/table stand out. I would certainly have a nice tablecloth and skirt around the table. Personally, I like to put the table in back of me so that I can welcome people and talk to them. I always buy fresh flowers and some high-end candy that I'll put in a nice dish for people to take. Put an effort into your booth design, I promise you that it will make all the difference.

    2. Dress nicely and wear really comfortable shoes. Those 5 inch heels that look great on you? You’ll hate them after standing for 8 hours. If you are going to stand on concrete, bring a small rug. It will really help your legs!

    3. Make sure everyone has a name tag.

    4. Get plenty of sleep the night before, and don’t forget to eat before you get to the show. The number one rule I have at trade shows is that you never ever eat in your booth. I suggest you take turns taking breaks. Go get something to eat and drink and walk around the show and look at the other booths. Talk to people. Then go back to your booth refreshed.

    5. Be really friendly to absolutely everyone. Shake people’s hands and smile! Never sit down while you are at your booth. I know that’s hard, but when I do trade shows I stand the entire time, shake people’s hands and talk to as many people as I can. If you walk by a booth where they are sitting and looking bored, would YOU stop?

    6. Have a nice sign on your table that has your company name on it in a font that is large enough to read from several feet away. I would also have a large supply of flyers/brochures/business cards for people to take with them.

    7. People love winning something! Have a raffle and give away something great. Make sure your logo is on it (or your business card). Have a nice dish on the table and ask people to leave their business card (they do not have to be present to win).

    8. You might consider giving attendees an inexpensive item. Things that can be used long after the show is over are great. I have some great plastic luggage tags that I got at a conference years ago that I still use to this very day.

    9. Market via social media to let everyone know that you’ll be at the show!

    10. Don’t forget to follow up on all the leads you got at the show. Email everyone a nice thank you note thanking them for stopping by your booth.

    Good luck!

    Katharine

  • March 08, 2018 9:58 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    Studies across the globe show that kindness impacts profits in a very positive way. A good front line impacts your bottom line. Watch Katharine's latest video where she talks about this very subject and offers three tips...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpiT8pDdTOo


  • January 27, 2018 6:38 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    I was sitting here thinking about what questions I get asked the most. Here are the most common…

    • How do I get more customers?
    • How do I reach more customers?
    • Do I use Social Media?
    • How about Facebook ads?
    • Should I get out in community and utilize network events or volunteer for events in community to get name out?
    • How about partnering up with other businesses to offer each other’s service and grow our businesses together?

    There are many different ways of reaching potential customers, but the most important thing to remember here is that you have to work at it every single day in some form or another.

    How do you know which one will work? You don’t. You have to test it and see which one is the best for your particular market. Most businesses don’t test, they just go out and hope what they are doing is working. Larger companies do test, so they know what works and what doesn’t.

    You also really need to know your clients. Do they go to Facebook or LinkedIn? Do they belong to the Chamber of Commerce? Where do they go on the internet? What functions do they attend in your town? Where THEY go YOU go.

    Marketing, networking and social media is not a one or two time shot. It’s an ongoing process. You really have to be in front of potential customers 5, 10, 15 times before they actually “see’ you. You have to keep at it because people are overwhelmed with marketing and ads, so they have to see you a few times before they notice you.

    Know your customers, know your market, and know what will fill the voids in your market. There is no easy way to get business, it comes from hard work that pushes you to be the best.

    Have a great day everyone!

    Ron


  • January 25, 2018 5:16 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    Years ago my husband and I decided to update our dated backyard, so we interviewed a few landscapers. We found the first landscaper at a garden expo in Raleigh. We chatted with him for quite a while at the show and genuinely liked what he said to us. His brochure looked great so we thought he would do a great job. When he came to the house, however, he asked very few questions and wrote very little down.

    After a few weeks went by, he finally emailed his drawing, which a 10 year old could have done. He gave us absolutely no information on what plants he would plant or how much it would cost. Horrible. We never called him back.

    Click here to read the rest of the article

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