Attitude

Rhonda HiltbrandWork is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun. ~Colleen C. Barrett

I was thinking about the face of businesses.  Many times, the person we deal with in business is not the owner…but the employee who has become the “face of the business” for the consumer at that moment.  It is important to be a happy face with a great attitude that shines through.

I have no less than six grocery stores a mile from my home.  Sometimes I check myself out, but not always.  Of the six stores, one has wonderful items, but two particularly grumpy checkout ladies.  When I say, “Good morning! How are you, today?”  I get the rundown on how miserable their life is working at that store.  I always listen and say that I hope things improve.  I also mentally shake myself off when I leave the store and get myself in a happier state of mind.

The other stores have the most cheerful people working there.  One particularly hires older adults, and many have health issues (no, they don’t talk about their health, but one has an oxygen tank attached so…), but they are as cheerful as they can be.  You leave their presence and the store feeling great and uplifted.

Service advisors have the power to make the customers they deal with leave the shop feeling great and uplifted.  Always be that person!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Gratitude

Rhonda HiltbrandTo speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~Johannes A. Gaertner

I have been hearing a lot about gratitude lately on the news and reading about it in articles.  When people are stressed and feeling anxious, they are always advised to write down what they are grateful for…to count their blessings.

Many of us gather together on Thanksgiving with family and friends and take a moment to count our blessings at that time.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to be mindful of our blessings every single day?  It would make us a more positive people.

I want all of you to know that I am very thankful for you.  You have all been a blessing to me professionally and personally.  I am grateful for my suppliers who enable me to have the business that I do.  I am thankful for my employees and know I would be nothing without them. I am thankful for family and friends who surround me with their love and support.

I hope each of you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Automotive Service Advisor – Doing Your Part

Rhonda Hiltbrand“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf

If you are the service advisor but not the owner (I know some of you wear both hats) you are still very responsible for the success of the business you work for!  You are the front line.  Your role is extremely important!

You need to come to the job each day with energy, intelligence and a desire to meet the needs of each and every customer and at the same time, grow the bottom line of the shop you work for.  See how very important you are?

If you feel you are lacking in this area, or have lost your zeal the past year, make this your year to shine!  What can help?

  • Stay current with training.
  • Meet with others in your profession and exchange ideas.
  • Set goals for yourself with an attainable deadline to accomplish them.

Wishing you all the best in 2018!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Looking for The Positive in a Negative World

Rhonda HiltbrandBusiness owners and/or service advisors often must set the tone for their business day.  If you are in the front-line servicing customers, you deal with all sorts of personalities.  Some days, you may feel a bit stressed and anxious and you aren’t exactly sure why.  I got to thinking about this recently when I was having a conversation with someone about how to deal with negative people.  They were wondering why people in general seem so negative lately.

We concluded that people could subconsciously become negative due to many factors; like waking up to the news on the alarm clock/radio each day.  The news is rarely good in those few minutes, and one’s head starts to be filled with negative vibes then and there.  What can you do to make life better for these negative folks you deal with?  You have to try to be the positive force.  It isn’t always easy but greet each one with a smile and hopefully your good attitude will spread and push out the bad attitude. Smile when you talk on the telephone, too.  It really does make a difference.

I also find counting my blessings helps me feel positive and I have much to be thankful for, including all of you.  I appreciate you more than I can say!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Stay positive!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing

 


The Tale of the Hot Dog Vendor

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Early to bed, early to rise, work like [#%!] and advertise.” – Ted Turner

Over the years there have been similar versions of this tale.  It is one of my favorites.  From time to time I get asked to share it again, so here it is!

The Hot Dog Vendor

There was a hot dog vendor who sold the very best hot dogs by the side of the road. His business was booming, people loved his hot dogs, and his business steadily increased month after month. The man loved his business and believed in the need to provide great food at a great price.

This man was so busy advertising and selling his hot dogs and making lots of money, that he didn’t even have time to read the newspaper or listen to the radio. Consequently, he never heard a word about the potential economic slowdown. He just continued to offer his delicious hot dogs and his customers bought them. He kept advertising and selling, and they kept buying.

Then one day his college educated son told him that an economic downturn was surely coming. His son told him that people wouldn’t have enough money to buy his hot dogs. The successful hot dog vendor believed this, so on his son’s advice, he cut back on his advertising. Additionally, he started ordering less supplies and product, because after all, people would be cutting back soon.

He even went so far as to take down many of the billboards that led to his roadside stand. And sure enough, people stopped coming to him. People stopped buying his hot dogs, and he eventually went broke.

Then he thought to himself. “How smart my son is in predicting this.”

Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy advertising!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Can You Be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence?

rhonda…Stephen Hawking suggests that “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race” to Elon Musk saying that “If I had to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably artificial intelligence.”

I must admit to you all that I am a Star Trek fan. My favorites are Star Trek, Next Generation and Star Trek, Voyager.  When it comes to artificial intelligence interacting with humans I always picture Data and The Doctor.  I know a lot of Sci Fi shows (and even these showed the dark side of AI on an episode or two) have the AI’s wiping out humanity, unhappy at how they had been treated.

My inbox is full lately on the subject of AI. My Smartbriefs articles are all about AI and what it can do for businesses.  It has been seen as the way to get back good customer service.  I have been thinking a lot about that lately and think to myself…what a shame that customer service has become so poor that we need to create an artificial type.

I had the point driven home to me when I was exceptionally tired last week and in a moment of weakness drove through and ordered a diet coke.  (I try to just have my morning coffee and then water the rest of the day).  The person handed me a dripping cup.  I asked that it be wiped off please (who wants that on their clothes and in the cup holder?).  They did and I left and when I went to take a drink the lid came off, getting me wet anyway.  At that moment, I thought that an AI being couldn’t do any worse and perhaps could do a whole lot better!

The news was saying that in ten years banks will no longer have tellers as they will be replaced with AI.  I find that very sad. Other businesses are also preparing to replace humans with kiosks and other forms of AI.

Next time you are out and about notice the type of customer service you are receiving.  Then ask yourself if you are giving the best possible customer service to your customers.  It is something to consider.  I am sure no one wants to feel they can be replaced by AI.

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Never Be Too “Busy” to Help the Customer

Most-Important-Visitor

Rhonda HiltbrandThis week I went, as usual, to our local farmer’s market.  They have many unique items, a wonderful array of Amish goods and local homemade items. I was at the deli counter and asked for a pound of shaved ham.  The counter person kept slicing and putting it up on the scale until it was short one quarter pound.  She sighed deeply and said if I must have a pound she would have to open a new package.  I was shocked at the attitude but said, “No, that is okay. I’ll try to get by with this amount.”

I think she then realized what she had done and asked me what I was going to use it for.  I told her and we chatted a bit about recipes and such and then she asked if I needed anything else.  Before I could answer she said, “I know, the rest of your order of ham!”  I told her it was okay and took my package and went about my shopping.

She was an employee at this small business and in my opinion basically cheated her employer out of a full sale (and this is always wrong no matter if it is a big box store or small independent) but I felt especially bad for this employer as it is a small, independent business and every sale counts!

I then thought about the Facebook post I had put on our News Works page (the one above) and thought…how very true!

Have a great month and treat those customers well!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Why We Suggest a Little Humor (and Sometimes a Lot!)

Rhonda HiltbrandHumor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. ~Mark Twain

My mother has been gradually declining in health for four years.  She was 81 years old and today February 7th) the daily nurse came to my parent’s home and left some literature about what to expect during these final days of her life.  My sister and I were there, and of course, we were all feeling sad. (Mom passed around midnight).

Our dear Pastor Roberts came by and we discussed the funeral plans and he wanted some of my Mom’s history (where her and Dad met, where they got married and other facts) and Dad answered and told some stories.  The Pastor then asked us all to go to Mom’s beside where he prayed a beautiful, uplifting prayer.  He then asked us to join him in the living room.

Dad, my sister and I listened to him as he shared an experience he had as a chaplain for Hospice (he was a Hospice Chaplain for 30 years during much of his time as a pastor).  He went to a patient’s room that he had known for some time, and her two daughters were there.  He said he would like to pray with their Mom.  They said that was okay but that she had been totally unresponsive for two weeks.  He knelt and gently told the patient that he would like to pray with her, not expecting a response, when she said, “Okay, just keep it brief!”  He fell over and her daughters were shocked!  Those were the last words she spoke before she died.

We laughed, knowing that pastors frequently get teased about long sermons and prayers!  He spoke at her funeral and said that this woman told him exactly what she expected at her funeral.  The daughters started laughing thinking about it and when Reverend Roberts shared the story with those attending the funeral, they all laughed.

I know my Dad, sister and I felt so much better after he shared this with us.  It has been a very serious time in our lives, one which no one can ever really be prepared for, yet when he left our day had been brightened and our energy renewed!

We know some of our customers simply want “very serious” all the time and that is fine.  Our customers who allow us to include humor know it helps in so many ways, because humor transcends your audience. Do what works best for you, of course, but this is just an example of how humor always has a place! We shared this story with the funeral director as we finalized the plans for Mom and he enjoyed it as well. It got us through the tough times.

Hope you all have a great week!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing

PS:  Don’t forget about our referral program for 2017!  If you refer a shop to us and they become a customer, we will give you the following for free:

Newsletters – 250 free with your order or

Postcards – 500 free with your order

This special is good all year long!


Are Your Team Members On The Same Page As You?

Rhonda HiltbrandThe trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. ~Bill Copeland

I have always been a very goal-oriented person. Every year I have a financial goal that I set for my company.  I was so excited as we went into December because we were on target to meet and exceed that goal.  Then things seemed to fall apart!  I won’t go into detail but I will say if not all your team members are on the same page as you, you may struggle to meet your goals.  We missed our goal by a small amount, but I am still in mourning over that!  It simply should not have happened! I know…I need to get over it and move on and make it happen this year!

  • Shop owners, have you set a goal for 2017? Is your team aware of it?  Do you feel they are on the “same page” as you?
  • Service advisors, do you know the goal for 2017 and are you working towards it?

I look forward to working with you in 2017 and let’s make it a great year!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing

PS:  Here is a special offer for all our customers!  If you refer a shop to us and they become a customer, we will give you the following for free:

            Newsletters – 250 free with your order or

            Postcards – 500 free with your order

This special is good all year long!


Thanks For A Wonderful Year!

Thanks for a wonderful year! All of us at News Works Marketing wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year!

I ran across these little “B’s” of wisdom and thought I would share it with you to wrap up the year!

B hopeful, B happy, B cheerful, B kind,
B busy of body, B modest of mind,
B earnest, B truthful, B firm and B fair…
B watchful, B ready, B open, B frank,
B manly to all men, whatever B their rank;
B just and B generous, B honest, B wise…
B temperate, B steadfast, to anger B slow.
B thoughtful, B thankful, whate’er may B tide…
B pleasant, B patient, B fervent to all,
B best if you can, but B humble withal.
B prompt and B dutiful, still B polite;
B reverent, B quiet, and B sure and B right…
B grateful, B cautious of those who B tray.
B tender, B loving, B good and B nign,
B loved thou shalt B, and all else B thine.
~”A Swarm of Bees,” The British Bee Journal, and Bee Keeper’s Adviser, 1882 February 1st

Talk to you in 2017!

Rhonda Hiltbrand

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing