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December 2013
Volume 15 Issue 1

Article of the Month
Loyalty between vendors and retailers
Tom Shay

How do you feel when one of your customers decides to spend their money with another business? Especially when it is because of price? Where is the loyalty?

Let's turn the table and look at the loyalty between a business and vendor. Starting with a personal experience, we are going to look at what the relationship can and should be.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.
Book of the Month
Getting to Yes
by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

Would you say that there has been a lot more conflict you have had to deal with in the past few years?

Could you use having some additional skills to help you negotiate personal and business disputes?

This is not about beating someone in a deal, but coming to a mutually acceptable agreement. If this is something you think you could use, this would be a great book to read at the end of the year.

Click on Book Referral to see a list of books that would make great reading for any small business owner.

e-retailer conversations

Hey, we are blogging, tweeting, facebooking and invite your participation.

And you can follow my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook.
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Profits Plus
P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
33731 USA
(727) 464-2182 Voice
(727) 898-3179 Fax

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You call your staff what?

A question that I frequently ask of groups of business owners is about their experiences in doing business with other businesses.

'When you spend money with another business, do you think about the experience you had so that you would ask yourself how that experience compares to the experience people have as they do business with you?'

This past week I made a trip to the nearby grocery store.  Among the items I was looking for was mulling spices so that I could make some delicious apple cider.

After the traditional wandering around the store looking for the product, I stopped to ask a person that was stocking shelves. As I asked about the product, the response was, 'I don't think so'.

I asked them to check with someone to confirm the answer. A second person said, 'no', and I asked if they knew what mulling spice was. The second person thought it was the potpourri that was placed in a bowl for the fragrance.

These two went to a third person who also did not know what the product was but was sure the store did not stock it.

When I pressed for someone that did know what the store stocked, I was taken to a grocery manager who took me to the spice section. She described the container and looked over all the products before stating they apparently had stopped stocking it.

The neat part was when she pulled her cell phone from her pocket, did a search for mulling spices and then told me what I needed to buy to make my own mulling spices.

The experience caused me to think why the first three were so quick to dismiss a customer that was wanting to spend money.

I then thought about the job title of the first three; they were shelf stock staff. What I see is a business that has failed to get the job title correct.

An acronym I learned many years ago from Bill Sharp was 'ACES'. It stands for Around Customers Everybody Sells.

In any business, the first responsibility of every employee is to take care of customers. Applying it to my business, I remember a situation where we would hire a new employee and begin their 'training'.

When I counted the number of hours we spent in this 'training', I found the majority of the hours were spent teaching them how to do things like paperwork and other functions that a customer would have no interest in.

We then moved to eliminate as many functions as possible that did not directly connect a staff person and the customer.  All of the time was then redirected to how we wanted our staff to take care of customers.

The lesson? Everyone should have a first job title of customer service; the second job title can be the busy work that is done when we are not doing the first job.


We are planning to invite you to join us for one more e-retailer conversation in 2013.

Joining Bill Kendy and me will be Michael Kalscheur of Castle Wealth. There will be a pair of announcements sent out during the week of the e-retailer conversation. If you subscribe to this newsletter, you will be getting an invitation.

We are going to discuss your business and how your business is a part of your retirement plans. Perhaps there is a next generation that will be taking over the business. It may be an employee or a partner that is buying the business. Maybe you are going to put the business on the market or simply close it.

With all the options available to you, there is a need for someone with Michael's expertise. And that is why we have invited him to visit.

Want to listen to a previous edition of e-retailer conversations? Want to hear what Gene Sower had to say about social media or what Mike McCormick had to sat about your financial statements?

Follow this link to hear most of the conversations from the past five years.

E-ret@iler conversations


Thanks to all for reading our newsletter over the years. The first issue was December 1999. There were no pictures or links; only information that I had found to share with you.

It is truly my pleasure to speak with you by way of this newsletter, and the monthly e-retailer conversations.

Internet Tip of The Month

Is it margin or markup?

My experience is that too many people use these words interchangeably.

This is more than just using the correct word. The way the math is done is different and the answer is very different.

With giving a detailed explanation at this point, let me invite you to take a few numbers from your business and 'experiment' to see what big difference there is between margin and markup.

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

Got a New Year resolution?

Count on it. There is going to be a lot of stories on this topic in the media during the last week of December.  'What is your New Year resolution?'

How can your business get the media to give you some free exposure?

Try having your own contest for your customers, inviting them to share with you their New Year resolution. Offer prizes for winners in a number of categories; most creative, least likely to achieve, most likely to achieve, and any other categories you can dream up.

First be sure to let your customers know that you are doing this, and then make sure the media knows about your unique contest for your customers. It gives the media the opportunity to report a local twist to what is usually a national story.  
You can find more ideas like this in our promotions books. You can order your copy by clicking on the link below; each book is only $9.95 plus postage.



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Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179