Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank You And Happy New Year!!

Thank you for a wonderful 2010!! Our business grew dramatically in 2010 and we thank you!! We appreciate your confidence in our services and we look forward to an even better 2011 for all of us.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Green Valley Floral Is A Treat - Go Treat Yourself, Even If You Only Look, It Is Worth The Time!

If any of you reading this have not been to Green Valley Floral, 4160-A Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield, CA, you are missing a real treat. I have seen a lot of gift shops and florist shops, but never before have I seen one that is so fascinating and engaging. I don't just mean interesting--I mean fascinating. The variety of items is astounding and all are high quality and personally chosen by the master eyes and taste of the owner, Peggy Nethery. Above is a photo slide show of just a small selection of the wonderful gift ideas and accessories that adorn her beautiful shop.

Give yourself a treat, go to her website, and see more slide shows and many more photos. Oh, by the way, they sell flowers too.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

'Tis The Time For Procrastinatin' - An Old Tireish Sayin'

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
~C. Northcote Parkinson, 1958

"To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing."
~Eva Young

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."
~Don Marquis

There seems to be more procrastination going on in December than any other month, particularly the last two weeks of the month. The only other time that even comes close is just before taxes are due around the middle of April. Is it because we are so busy with other things? Naw. It's that we don't want to think about it. We have other things on our mind. Even if it is something we need, our need is a relative thing.
I have loved the quote from C Northcote Parkinson that work expands to fill the time allotted for it. Give it more time, and it just absorbs it with no end. We just love putting the thinking about something off. But why?
I have a theory. It is because we don't know what to do. Here's an interesting quote that helps with this: "A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure." -- Lee Segall. More choices, more thinking, more unsureness, more discussion, more procrastination, claiming to want more information to make a decision. But, I find that what it really comes down to is an unwillingness to make a decision. What I have found about decisions in my wisdom years is that they are freeing and exhilarating! They make the earth move! They release all anguish and turmoil and it doesn't even matter if it may even not be the "right" decision, but it is the act of deciding that is so wonderful.
If we can accept that decision making is freeing and creates movement, then procrastination is like a drain clog, stopping up the sink. It keeps filling up until you can't fill it up anymore, then you are forced to make a decision at a time and circumstance that is far less enjoyable. Making decisions quickly is like keeping that drain open and running freely.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Basecamp Customer Video: R.BIRD

This is a video of a product from a company called 37 Signals called BaseCamp. Upward Trend uses this product and we love it. It is an inexpensive and effective way to keep track of activities with clients. Check out this an a number of other products at

Monday, December 27, 2010

Steve Case: Twitter Sceptic To Power User

Steve Case, co-founder of America Online, talks about his conversion from Twitter skeptic to power user with almost 350,000 followers. He originally found the social network "silly," but soon realized it could be used as a powerful tool for sharing useful information.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

STRATEGY: Kindness is Free

Tom Peters uses the example of patient satisfaction at hospitals to highlight the importance of kindness. Find out more at

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Du Ya Creates "The Bone" T-Shirt For KSAN/FM 107.7 The Bone

Here's a bit of father and son sharing of the newest offering for Du Ya. This T-Shirt was designed for the crew at KSAN/FM San Francisco, 107.7 Radio The Bone. Get yours at our eBay store or our website, It's only been online for a day and they've already sold several! Check out the other T-shirts, women's intimates and sweat shirts.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Owner Peggy Nethery Talks About Green Valley Floral

Peggy Nethery, owner of Green Valley Floral talks about her business and what her passion is about it. She also talks about the wide selection of quality gift items she stocks, and much more. It includes a little tour of her shop. This video was shot in October 2010.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kevin Snedeker Talks About Racks, Hitches, and Customer Service

Kevin Snedeker, owner of Vaca Valley Truck and SUV talks about his business and some of the different products he sells. He talks also about how some products are seasonal. In addition, he talks about his brand of customer service.

Visit Vaca Valley Truck & SUV's website at Call them at 707-447-9905.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kevin Snedeker On Tonneau Covers and Tool Boxes

Kevin Snedeker, owner of Vaca Valley Truck & SUV talks about Tonneau Covers and Tool Boxes and why he has such a large selection to choose from.

Vaca Valley Truck & SUV is located at 1240 Callen Street, Vacaville, CA 95688. The phone number is 707-447-9905. Kevin is a hands-on owner, so you will be able to talk to him directly. His website is

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Folsom Lake Ford Is Newest Trend Setter Package Client

Upward Trend is pleased to announce that Folsom Lake Ford of Folsom, CA has become the latest Trend Setter Package Client. Upward Trend will be building a separate website for their large Fleet and Commercial Department which includes Government Division, Mobility Division and Commercial Truck Division. Also as part of this package, we will be doing a blog, facebook, twitter, and other social networking, a monthly HTML newsletter, video, and more.

Dan Raimondi, Fleet Director, whose staff is larger than some dealership sales department staffs, said that he looked forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. We agree completely. Thank you, Dan for giving us the opportunity to serve you!

Welcome aboard, Folsom Lake Ford. You will be hearing a lot more about this group of people in the coming weeks and months.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Top 10 Tips for Small Business

Entrepreneurs discuss tips to help business get started and growing. Tips include getting a mentor, testing the idea and more.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Innovation Keynote Speaker Jeremy Gutsche - 30 Minute Speech

Innovation keynote speaker Jeremy Gutsche is an innovation expert, futurist, trends expert, founder of and "one of North America's most requested keynote speakers." In this innovation keynote speech, Jeremy is speaking for 3,000 Meetings Professional International members sampling his: strategy, marketing and innovation keynote speech, Exploiting Chaos.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Ultimate Customer Service Story Is Inspiring

Maria Garcia turned Ross Shafer into an unpaid spokesperson for this room service associate and the Marriott Hotels when she went 30 seconds out of her way. This is funny and important. Find Ross:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amazing Customer Service Ideas

Customer Service expert, author and keynote speaker Scott McKain - to hear more of Scott's great ideas find him here

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Convinces Is Conviction

"What convinces is conviction.
Believe in the argument you're advancing.
If you don't, you're as good as dead.
The other person will sense that something isn't there,
and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical
or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you."

-- Lyndon B Johnson

Believing in what you do is the single most important quality and your belief shows in many ways even without speaking it.

When I was first learning about sales and sales management in the auto business in the 1970s, I listened to tapes and read books from Zig Ziglar. I'll never forget as we was telling how he advised a salesperson in how to succeed in the company he was involved in. He sold cookware. He asked the salesperson if he owned the cookware and when he answered no, Zig told him that without owning and using the product, convincing others would be a serious challenge.

When I started in the auto business, I made sure to own the product as soon as I could, and I think it made a huge difference. As a sales manager, I talked about that often to my staff. A lot of car sales people would think that because of their knowledge of the business that it would be in their best interests to own a used vehicle and avoid the initial depreciation of a new vehicle, but if they never bought a new vehicle they wouldn't be able to relate to that special feeling that only comes from buying a brand new automobile. While I was in the auto business I bought about 15 brand new vehicles and a couple of used ones. I wanted to make sure that I led by example, but more than this, I loved that feeling of owning a brand new vehicle and so it was very easy for me to sell a new vehicle to others.

I've seen a sales person work at a Chevy dealership, making their living selling new and used vehicles. Then, I would see them go out and buy a brand new Honda. That act speaks to their conviction, or lack of it. What does that say to potential clients if they found that out? In this example, the best thing to do for this person is to go sell Honda products. This way their conviction will match their behavior.

Nothing convinces like conviction.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Seth Priebatsch: The Game Layer On Top Of The World

About this talk

By now, we're used to letting Facebook and Twitter capture our social lives on the web -- building a "social layer" on top of the real world. At TEDxBoston, Seth Priebatsch looks at the next layer in progress: the "game layer," a pervasive net of behavior-steering game dynamics that will reshape education and commerce.


About Seth Priebatsch

"Proud Princeton dropout" Seth Priebatsch runs SCVNGR, a mobile start-up trying to build the game layer on top of the world

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Success Redefined


What is success?

If I were to line 100 people up, and ask them all what success is, I may very well get 100 different answers. Here’s what Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary has to say success is: 1. Outcome. Result. 2a. degree or measure of succeeding, 2b a favorable termination of a venture; specifically the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. 3. one that succeeds. It also defines succeed as to prosper, thrive, flourish; to attain or be attaining a desired end.

Success is. . .

Success is something I’ve talked about, written about, fretted about, and wondered about all my adult life, and yet what it is, I’m not completely sure I knew. However, I now believe I know a little about that word that speaks so many things to so many different people. In this learning, I have decided to redefine the word success. Here is my all encompassing, and extremely simple definition: Success is getting or doing what you want. I think that says it very well and at the same time gives all the flexibility in the world to have it apply to everyone.

Success is positive

So, now with this new simple definition of success, anyone and everyone can now readily and often as they wish succeed, and thereby call themselves a success, take joy in the most meaningful accomplishment, and feel good. Feeling good is something that I am confident that each and every one of us wants. Some people go about getting it in very strange ways, but I still believe that this is the main goal. We all want to feel good. Getting or doing what you want would feel good, so we could even shorten new definition of success to two words: feeling good.

How others view success

In all of the business books I’ve read, seminars I’ve attended and the like, the word success has long been associated with wealth, the attainment of wealth, and generally related to money and getting more of it. Those who get the money in certain quantity succeed, while those who don’t yet have it do not succeed until they get it. In this, success is more a journey toward something that is hard to come by, and is only achieved by a small number of dedicated, focused people.

Goals and limitations

In addition, I’ve seen it also related to achieving a specified numeric goal where success is not possible for everyone, but only those who “succeed” at hitting or exceeding the goal. It might be a certain number of sales, certain dollar numbers attained, a certain score in a game, one more touchdown than the other team, first in line at the Wal-Mart Black Friday sale event, or millions of other ways in which we have money or numeric goals given us or we take on ourselves for some reason. The reason we take them on is to feel good by achieving them, but we only feel good if we achieve them and this is not possible for everyone, so again, success is a limited and elusive thing.

Success and failure

Where the word success has been used in my experience, though it may not have been said directly as such, failure is the only result in not achieving success. Of course, failure has always had a negative feel to it and our simple definition of success begs us to redefine failure as well. Failure, then, is simply not getting or doing what you want, or more directly, failure is getting what you don’t want. And in the way that I’ve always associated failure in the past, the vast majority has to fail because success has always been so hard and so limiting. No more.

What you think matters most

My goal in sharing this about success is to offer you hope of another and far better way to view success. Since in the past in my own experience success is so hard and so limiting and failure is something that happens much more often, this new definition of success as getting or doing what you want can completely change your outlook on performance. Because you and I live in a world where people put goals on us and where we also make choice from our past experience, we may need to keep this new definition to ourselves, but that is the most important and beneficial place to keep it. What you think matters most.

The new judgment

So, take this new definition and call yourself a success when you want to and let everyone else have their own rules. Since it is about how you feel more than anything else, choose to feel good and you are automatically a success. Whatever you are doing, do what you love to do and you cannot help but feel good and thereby have and be a success again. You can be successful all day long every day if you want to. No more will you be ruled by the outside ruler-makers—you are the ruler of your thinking now! Just feel good, and you rule.

You alone get to choose

You alone get to choose your success by feeling good by doing what you want, and getting what you want, and more easily by just choosing to feel good. Based on this, you can look at a tree and be successful. You can feel love for your spouse or child and be successful. You can take extra care of that customer at work and be successful. You can spread joy among your coworkers and be successful. You can do your best regardless of the numbers and be successful. You can get fired and be successful. You can get promoted and be successful. It doesn’t matter what it is that you do, it only matters how you feel about it while doing it. If you feel good, you are successful at it regardless of what any other may think about your performance. It is never about them, it is only about you and how you feel. And, yes, I said get fired and be successful. I got fired once and it was one of the best days of my life. Seriously. It was a massive success because of how I felt about it, and it was a massive success which has led me to what I do now!

Success is contagious

The question may surface about what will happen with the world of number-crunchers and goal-setters who are demanding specific performance numbers from us? Will my new definition be at odds with them? Interesting questions, and I will answer them with a question or two: if we feel good and are doing what we love, is it possible to do that poorly at the same time? I think not. If I create my own loving definition of success and feel successful because I feel good and am doing what I want to do, wouldn’t that attitude and demeanor become contagious since I believe that inside, we all want to feel good? I say, let them set all the goals they want, while we choose to feel good about what we are doing and let those natural results speak for themselves. Whether it hits their mark or misses it is not important in the scheme of things, but our feeling good is. In fact, just imagine a sales organization or any other business where everyone is feeling good and doing what they love. The service level would be off the chart! Customer loyalty would soar! Employee morale would be at the highest levels! In short, the organization would ROCK! In fact, I don’t think there is any other possible result. Let it begin with you, so. . .

Go forth and succeed

Now that you have a new and better definition of success, you can now go forth and succeed virtually EVERY day. Yes. Every day! Go practice and have fun. You get to choose. Now everyone can be a success as well. No more living by the success rules of others where only a select group win and everyone else loses, you can now be a success any time you choose. Wear it like a crown and feel the sheer joy of being a success. You deserve it. You are feeling good and you are a success!

--Terry Minion

Monday, November 29, 2010

Melinda French Gates: What Nonprofits Can Learn From Coca-Cola

About this talk

At TEDxChange, Melinda Gates makes a provocative case for nonprofits taking a cue from corporations such as Coca-Cola, whose plugged-in, global network of marketers and distributors ensures that every remote village wants -- and can get -- a Coke. Why shouldn't this work for condoms, sanitation, vaccinations too?

About Melinda French Gates

Melinda French Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

See more great talks at

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dan Cobley: What Physics Taught Me About Marketing

About this talk

Physics and marketing don't seem to have much in common, but Dan Cobley is passionate about both. He brings these unlikely bedfellows together using Newton's second law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the scientific method and the second law of thermodynamics to explain the fundamental theories of branding.

About Dan Cobley

Dan Cobley is a marketing director at Google, where he connects customers and businesses, helping both navigate digital space to find what they need.

See more great talks at

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Toni Newman - Catalyst for Strategic Innovation

Toni Newman - Catalyst for Strategic Innovation: What if being better just isn't good enough anymore? What if the only real competitive advantage that any of us have left in the marketplace is not just to be better, but to be better and different?

"Innovation that Works" is about being different; different in a way that creates more value for your customers, different in a way that creates more value for your employees, different in a way that takes the ideas you have and turns them into the results that you want.

For more resources and information or to book Toni Newman for your next event, visit:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn't Happen At Work

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Upward Trend's Trend Setter Package Moves The Internet Needle Consistently, Effectively, and Inexpensively! Part 3

Continuing from Part 1 and Part 2 regarding Upward Trend's Trend Setter Package of services:

Today, I will continue the detail of our services. Yesterday, I covered the website, blog and CANi, or constant and never-ending improvement. Now, I'll move on to the rest of the package of services.

Social Media. It's all the rage and getting ever more popular and ever more complex. Facebook is the biggest success story and everyone wants to be on it. What started as a way for college people to stay in touch has become a favorite spot for businesses. So, we take advantage of that popularity and flexibility and have all of our clients in facebook. We set up a business page for fans that is attached to a personal page. That is the basics, but there are many more opportunities on facebook. Again, we use it as a tool to help spread the word in a easy going way.

On facebook, we do most of the work for our clients (as with all of our services) and help get fans and friends, use applications to enhance productivity and generally create influence and show our client's personality. This is a great place to combine business and a bit of fun too.

The next social media site we use on all our clients is Twitter. Generally anything posted to facebook, in turn gets posted to twitter, and we regularly expand followers and followed contacts.

Another social site that is very popular is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is generally used for communication with other business-minded people. I call it the facebook for business people. In this we have posts shared with facebook and twitter, and create a company page as well as personal page, expand information and increase connections (friends) every month.

There are other social media sites that we use from time to time including Tumblr. There are so many out there that we haven't even looked at them all, but we make sure and use the most popular to be as effective as we can be.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization. We do a number of things in this area including updating various databases and directories around the Internet that have high search rankings to make sure that the information is up to date and correct. Some of these are Manta, MerchantCircle, Google Maps, Other Maps from other search engines, and more. We do a little on this regularly. In addition, we update website meta tags and analyze other search engine enhancing methodologies. Most people don't even know these things exist and so many times they have incorrect information.

Video. We just expanded into video in October, 2010 as part of our CANi, constant and never-ending improvement. Why? Video is hot, hot, hot. We set up a YouTube account for each client and produce videos to be posted on YouTube and then onto their websites, blogs, facebook and so on. These are not high budget videos, but are very effective and we have a lot of plans on how we are going to move the needle with video. In addition, we will be offering professional video services through an associate vendor when our clients want to do TV commercials, or other higher quality, more complicated video productions.

Consulting services. In addition and at no extra charge, we offer individual consulting services to each client to help them grow their business as part of our service. We have a great deal of experience in sales, and sales management, as well as other aspects of business, so we help guide our clients as they desire us to toward achieving their goals.

80/20 Rule. We have learned to use the 80/20 rule. We do 80% of the work, our client gets to do 20%. We have realized by experience that we haven't yet met a client who isn't already very busy, and often even overloaded with things to do. Even if they had time, they probably wouldn't ever get around to doing the services we offer. Yet, it is their business, not ours, so they have to help us a little bit, and to direct us a little bit and we will take care of everything else. It's as close to having your marketing system on autopilot there is. Matter of fact, in many cases, we do more than 80%. Our clients seem to like the 80/20 rule. We do too because it keeps us on our toes and in business!

No long-term contracts. I hate long-term contracts like they have on cell phones and the like. Nobody on our team likes them. In fact, I don't know anyone who does except the cell phone companies. In fact, we don't even have a contact at all. We have an agreement. Our clients can stop whenever they want to for whatever reason they want to and we only ask (not demand) a 30-day notice. But, here's the deal: if they stop, we stop. We believe that once a client gets a taste for the over-the-top service that we provide for such a low cost, and yet is so effective at putting signs all over the Internet, they will never want to leave. Why would they? Every month, we update all of these services that I've been writing about. Every month, many times per month, there are more and more signs, more and more hits to their sites, more and more influence being generated, every month their marketing is expanding. The yellow thing doesn't do that, nor is there any other marketing that we have seen that comes close to the value of the Trend Setter Package.

Give Terry a call at 707-434-9967, or Ryan at 707-480-0959. We would love to have you as a Trend Setter Client expanding your influence on the Internet.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Upward Trend's Trend Setter Package Moves The Internet Needle Consistently, Effectively, and Inexpensively! Part 2

Continuing from part 1 in yesterday's post regarding the Trend Setter Package of services from Upward Trend:

Today, I want to go into a bit more detail of the Trend Setter Package items and how they work, and how they work together to create synergy on the Internet.

The first item is a solid website. This is an information storehouse for detailed information that people can access easily and includes contact information, history and much more. We call this the foundation of the Trend Setter Package. Some of our clients may need an eCommerce website to sell online with a shopping cart, and in some rare cases, there are clients who want both.

We initially build the website and get it running and then we continually update and expand it monthly, sometimes adding pages, other times filling in, but it is always growing and alive so to speak, rather than static and dead. How many have been to a website that says, "last updated September, 2009" or some such. It is obvious, the site was built and abandoned. Your website is far too important a tool to ignore, or leave alone. It deserves to grow and expand and become more on an ongoing basis, and this is what we do. In some cases, we even create whole new redesigns for our clients every few years to keep it current and relevant.

Sometimes, we don't initially build a website for our clients as they have a very effective one, and in that case, we make suggestions of changes, additions, and other suggestions to make the existing website work together with the rest of the package.

Here's a key to our website services. We build all of our websites online, using online tools and programs and we know we've chosen the best out there because we have tried so many to test them. There are numerous advantages to this approach. One came from what many people told us: that they had so much trouble trying to get updates done and communication issues with the website builder. They had the website on their computer and so were at the mercy of the builder to get things done. Because we use online methods, we can update a website anywhere in the world that we can access the Internet, any time, and day. We make updates extremely quickly and this make life better for everyone.

The second item is the ever popular blog. That is a funny slang word, or made-up word that is short for weblog, but that's where they funny ends because this is a seriously powerful and effective tool for your Internet presence. In fact, we think it is the single most powerful tool in our package of services, if and when it has current, relevant and frequent posts. That's the part that we excel in.

A blog is effectively a website, but different than a typical website in that it is linear. Each new post pushes the previous post down. Many blogs now can have several pages as well to look more like a typical website and, indeed, many businesses use blogs as websites. We don't think that is as effective as it could be to have them as separate tools.

The blog would have periodic "posts" that would include text, links, video, audio, photos, slideshows, and more. They work best with text mixed in with non-text items, such as video, photos and the like. Each post is typically on the subject of what a business is about, but can also deviate from that idea and include something just for fun. This, then becomes a great place to show some personality of the business or person, and to show things liked and appreciated. We don't recommend talking about things unwanted, but a lot of blogs do that--just now ours. Keep it moving forward is our recommendation.

We use the blog as a tool to help in Internet searches. For example, each and every blog post has its own URL, so it is a searchable and findable page on the sea of the Internet. People can find you on any page you've ever published, leading them to your information in case they would like more information. In addition, we use blog posts as a tool to post to other areas on the Internet.

The more posts, the better, the better the posts, the better, and all aimed at influencing Internet searches and helping people find your products and services. Our Trend Setter Package has several levels of posting from 5-7 posts per month to daily or more than daily posts. The more posts, the faster the needle moves, and the cost is based on the level of time spent finding, and creating posts. For example, one client had just a few posts per month and was getting about 200-300 hits per month to the site. They opted to upgrade to daily posts and within six months, now have 50,000 hits per month and growing exponentially. Think of it this way: Daily posts, or about 30 per month times six months equals 180 posts approximately. That is 180 separate pages of information leading people to your products and services. At six posts per month, that would be 36 posts in the same amount of time, and though the needle is moving, it just isn't moving nearly as quickly or as effectively.

The quality of the services we offer is the same for all of our clients. Any difference is just in frequency or time spent, and so the variable cost of our services is based on our clients goals, not ours. Regardless of the package speed chosen, we give the same excellent quality.

CANi. This name stands for Constant and Never-Ending Improvement. This is what we offer all of our clients. Every day we are working to exceed our clients expectations by continually improving, and expanding our services. We never rest. Our goal is to help you grow your business and we are always finding better and more effective ways to do this at even a lower cost. We dramatically lowered our prices when we went to the Trend Setter Package. We figured that it would be so much more effective to pay a smaller monthly amount and get services each and every month, throughout the month to help grow the business, rather than a one-time event at a much higher cost. Based on the response so far, our clients agree with that concept.

More on the Trend Setter Package tomorrow. . .

Monday, November 22, 2010

Upward Trend's Trend Setter Package Moves The Internet Needle Consistently, Effectively, and Inexpensively! Part 1

Upward Trend's Trend Setter Package that was just announced after several months of testing in April of 2010, is selling at a very rapid pace, and with good reason. This package of services gets people and businesses found on the ever expanding and complex Internet and even more important than this is that it builds influence across a wide area on the Internet.

We used to sell websites, but that just didn't do the job. You see, our company goal has always been and will always be to help you grow your business. When we would build a website, people would check that off their list and move on. Consequently, the website would just be a static piece floating out in the Internet soup all by itself floating further and further away into oblivion. It takes more than a one shot website. What we found is that we couldn't achieve our prime directive of helping you grow your business that way. We had other services, but people weren't taking advantage of them generally.

Then we had an idea: To make our services so affordable that virtually every business could have them, and to make sure that they get found in the Internet soup, and to make sure that they stay found and even expand their influence on the Internet. So, we took a chance and tried it out on a couple of clients as well as some of our own products, and the groundwork was done for us to kick off our Trend Setter Package of services beginning in April, 2010.

No longer do we sell websites by themselves, or newsletters by themselves, or any stand alone product. Now our services come in a package, all of them beneficial to every imaginable customer. Here are the basic package services:

  • An excellent and effective website
  • A blog. This is the most important part of our package.
  • Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
  • SEO Search Engine Optimization to help you get found more easily.
  • A monthly HTML email newsletter to communicate with your clients.
  • Video. This was just added in October, 2010.
  • Consulting services
Some options to satisfy certain clients might include one or more of these items:
  • e-Commerce website to sell online with a shopping cart.
  • eBay store. We have over 6 years experience in this area.
  • MySpace for musicians.
We engineer the package of services for each individual client and their goals and needs. Most small businesses utilize the basic package above. Others want more help. We can be flexible up to an including full-time dedicated personnel working exclusively on your Internet properties and expansion.

Here's the really good news: It works. It is effective. It moves the needle and it creates influence. And, it is incredibly inexpensive for what services are rendered. Now, virtually any business can afford to have a large presence on the Internet.

Part 2 tomorrow. . .

Saturday, November 20, 2010

UTMS Client, Kevin Snedeker of Vaca Valley Truck & SUV Talks About His Business

Kevin Snedeker of Vaca Valley Truck & SUV talks about his business and how he came to own his own shop and much more. Kevin has a wealth of experience in his industry and is one of the nicest people to listen to. We will have more from Kevin very soon. Visit Kevin's website at or call him at 707-447-9905.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feel Good And Spread Feeling Good And Change Lives. Mostly Your Own!

"Years ago my mother used to say to me; she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be," - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

-- Elwood P Dowd

"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor,
and I'm happy to state I've finally won out over it."

-- Elwood P Dowd

"An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven,
spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought,
and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather."

-- Washington Irving 

I love movies. It is my favorite sport. A few days ago, I watched Harvey with Jimmy Stewart again, and it is such a loveable movie. I pulled these two quotes above from Jimmy's character, Elwood P Dowd. And, I agree with Elwood totally. I recommend pleasant as well.

One of the most pleasant things that we can do for one another is to find things about the other to give compliments about. It need not be elaborate, just something that you notice that you are sincere about.

Just a few years ago, I began looking at every individual that comes into my view and thinking to myself about something that I liked about them. Maybe it was that they looked like they were in really good physical shape like they worked out regularly, and I would make a comment about that, or ask them a question such as, 'how do you get your stomach so flat?' This, of course, is a compliment in a question, and it gets them talking about that aspect of themselves and helps them feel really good about themselves. It is powerfully healing.

Maybe it is a blouse or shirt that looks great, their hair looks super or they have such a beautiful smile. Any of those things are wonderful to them. Maybe it is how sharply dressed someone is, or the shine on their shoes, the healthy glow of their skin, or the awesome car they are driving. You name it, there is something to find in every one, every day that you could compliment them about.

As I began looking for things and also began stating those things aloud, even taking the chance of blowing it, each and every time, you can just watch that person light up. I even say it to my wife every day in some way. Whether she is dressed up or dressed down, I always find something to compliment her on.

All of this has created a change in me where I find that I like and appreciate virtually every person. Those that I may struggle with a bit because of my past judgmental attitudes, I now have a quote that I remember and play in my head often by Abe Lincoln: "I don't like that man. I'll have to get to know him better." I am finding this to be true--getting to know someone is the way to liking them.

If I could have just one power, it would not be to have all the money I want, it would be to have the eyes of Jesus of Nazareth and see the real people underneath the flesh and bones and attitudes--to see them as they really are inside. Not all the things they've done wrong, but the magic that is each of us in spirit and personality when unencumbered. I'm working on it, and dare I say, making just a bit of progress. What fun and what joy!

Pleasantville Is A Good Place To Be.

Spread Some Joy Today--Start today. Look at everyone you see today, but in a different way than usual. Don't compare yourself to them, but look for something that you like about them today. As you see that thing, make sure and tell them. Just walk right up and say it. The second one is easier, then easier, and then you will be changing lives daily with nothing but a little sincere praise. How awesome is that?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Excellent Opportunity To Help Matt Garcia Foundation By Just Driving A Car Or Truck

For 4 hours tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16th between 10am and 2pm, Fairfield Auto Village will be offering $20 per test drive of any vehicle on their lot to be donated to the Matt Garcia Foundation. Bring your friends and help earn some money to help a great foundation that helps a lot of young people. At the same time, there will be a BBQ, so plan on coming for lunch! Fairfield Auto Village has new Chevrolet, Subaru, Commercial Trucks and a good selection of used vehicles too. I'm sure there is something you've been wanting to drive around the block! The more people that take a test drive, the more money goes to the Matt Garcia Foundation. It doesn't get any easier than that! Come on down tomorrow between 10am and 2pm. See you there!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Living Well - A Fulfilling Life - Interview With Dr John D Demartini About New Book

Listen as Dr Demartini talks to Fox News about living a fulfilling and purposeful life. Some points he addresses are: 1. Clarify what you would love to dedicate your life to; 2. Clearly communicate your vision to others; 3. Dissolve the emotions that can distract you from your purpose; 4. Develop a master plan to create the life you would truly love - not what someone else thinks it should be.

For more information on Demartini Products and Seminars please visit

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jack Canfield: The Success Principles - Excellent Book!

I highly recommend this book, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. It is a wonderful and helpful tool and is the kind of book you can read straight through, or skip around as you desire. Each success principle is about a page or two long and each insight valuable and useful.

From YouTube: When Jack Canfield talks about perseverance, he speaks from experience. His best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series was rejected by over 144 publishers before going on to sell over 100 million copies. He's been a teacher, facilitator, and psychotherapist. His seminars and trainings have touched millions of individuals from welfare recipients to corporate leaders.

How what you think makes you weak or strong

Seven key areas in creating a personal vision

Two simple questions that accelerate the achievement of your goals

How to change the outcome of any event, simply by changing your response to it

The Rule of Five for achieving your "breakthrough goal"

Jack canfield is uniquely qualified to coach you on success. He's devoted more than 30 years to uncovering universal principles for achieving extraordinary outcomes. In this fast-paced, entertaining and powerful program, Jack will share his latest breakthrough principles and detail how you, too, can use them to rapidly achieve your goals in your career, your finances and your personal life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

John C Maxwell Clip On His Book, The 360 Degree Leader - An Important Book!

I include this clip of John C Maxwell talking about his book, The 360 Degree Leader. Consider getting this book regardless or your position, and even, especially for those who feel they are not in a leadership position. Of all the books I read, John C Maxwell is among the best and most influential in my business thinking.

From YouTube: As a cutting edge entrepreneur, best selling author, and dynamic speaker on leadership and business management, Dr. John C. Maxwell has cultivated an extensive following among the most highly respected and influential business leaders across the globe. Dr. John C. Maxwell is committed to developing leaders of excellence and integrity by providing the finest resources and training for personal and professional growth.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mary Jane Is Upward Trend's Newest Client. Check Out Her New Music Video!

Mary Jane is Upward Trend's newest Trend Setter Package client. Check out her latest music video above. You can see more on here YouTube page, and her MySpace page.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who Needs That Personal Development Mumbo Jumbo? Your Business!

"The most important question to ask on the job is not "What am I getting?"
The most important question to ask is "What am I becoming?""

"If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you.
If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you.
Whatever good things we build, end up building us."

-- Jim Rohn

Who needs that personal development mumbo jumbo? My business! And My Life! So goes one, so goes the other in my opinion. Think about the top quote by Jim Rohn. When I change the question slightly as if I am asking the business, not a person, then, it might read like this: The most important question to ask my business is not what is it earning, how much is it making, how big is it? The most important question to ask is how is it serving, how does it benefit and therefore, what is it becoming?

Since my business is an extension of me, it can only grow as I grow. It can only be more if I am more. It can only be successful if I am successful. It can only be a leader if I am a leader. And so on. If I don't read new books, study my field, expand my awareness, my business will reflect that. How much I grow is how much my business can grow. Seriously.

Some people seem to think they can separate the two. That is really easy to see on Facebook. Some people I've noticed think they can be one thing on their personal page and a business person on their business page. Foolish thought. I've seen people who run a business on Facebook who are speaking like a 15 year old, saying f***ing this, and f***ing that, demonstrating their anger about anything and everything, and pretty much talking a fool to the world. That speaks directly to your business because you and your business are one. Is that the way you would talk to valuable clients? I hope not. Then putting it on Facebook is the same thing as talking to those valuable clients and perhaps some of them are even your friends on Facebook. Not cool.

I need to be as transparent as I can be when I publish on any venue, but more important than my public face is the face I see in the mirror every day. I need to be as consistent there as I can be elsewhere. What I mean is the person that I am inside will always show on the outside. Being okay with those is critical. Being unhappy, angry or despondent personally, will end up showing in the business and my public life as well eventually.

So, who needs that personal development mumbo jumbo? Every business owner and every person too.

For me to be better than I am tomorrow than I am today is a theme that would work perfectly in my business and for that to happen, I must expand and become more, then in turn, my business will follow suit.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"I Hate Wal-Mart! But Why Is Judy Here? And Joan? And Martha?"

"If you think you are too small to be effective,
you have never been in bed with a mosquito."

-- Betty Reese

Wal-Mart just opened a brand new Super Store about 2 miles from my house after several years of jumping through every hoop the naysayers could possible throw up. Wal-Mart bashing has become a popular discussion in communities all over the country. They state that Wal-Mart is coming in and killing all the little businesses, strategically targeting them for destruction. They are made to sound like the Death Star in Star Wars and the Evil Empire coming in and destroying helpless planets just for the fun of it and because they are so big and smart and powerful--and evil . . .

I laugh when I hear this dribble because that's exactly what it is. I say, if you want to kill Wal-Mart it is incredibly simple and easy to do and there is only one way to do it and it doesn't require a Jedi and the Force to get the job done. Here it is: SST. Stop Shopping There. Or, how about, DWITFD. Don't walk in the front door. Wal-Mart is so easy to kill. Just don't buy from them. They'll be dead in just a few months when their cash runs dry. But, that's not what happens, is it? No, people bash Wal-Mart with their mouth, and then show up and spend money in their store complaining all the way. That's what I said, it's dribble.

So what about the small, little, poor thing, old downtown style kind of business that is being shut down by this monster? Be a mosquito, is one way. Better yet, the best answer is to change with the times and be relevant to what consumers want. That's what Wal-Mart is doing and they do it so well. Grow your business with your unique niche and make it special. That's the best answer. Have a great reason, product, service and whatever that people want and will help spread the word about.

Now, this Wal-Mart Super Store that just opened carries food and not even a quarter of a mile down the street is a regional chain supermarket that has been there for many, many years. Will they survive the onslaught of the big, bad Wal-Mart? Not if they stay the way they are I predict. Therein lies the biggest lesson I've learned from watching Wal-Mart: they are constantly changing and improving. So, why not just copy that strategy. Sure, their prices are falling every day. They work with their vendors to achieve great buys and then they buy in great quantities. You can too. Just focus on your niche and don't try to be Wal-Mart's current size, but take their strategy to heart. They weren't always big and they had that same philosophy when they were a dinky little one store operation. So learn from them.

Learn from them. Read Sam Walton: Made In America by Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. You want to know their strategy? It's in there. They have some pretty awesome business ideas and they are easy to copy, so pick some and copy them.

K-Mart is dead, but Wal-Mart didn't kill them. They committed suicide. So it is with all these little businesses that are supposed to be driven out by the giant Wal-Mart. I'm sure they were barely holding on as it was. Most were already dead and Wal-Mart just blew and they fell over. There's no need to go that route. Learn from them and soar! Learn their strategies and apply them to your business and dial your business up. Change. Be relevant to the times and to what consumers want and need. You cannot do the same things and expect a different result.

I love Wal-Mart and the whole idea of what they do. Sure, they are trying to be the biggest and best they can be and they are expanding all over the world. Their strategies work well. That's the best reason to get excited about them and learn from them rather than bash them. Besides, while you're in Wal-Mart shopping to save some money, say hi to Judy, Joan and Martha. They might look a little guilty when they see you, but deep down they love Wal-Mart too.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

All Size Carpet Flooring Center & Carpet Cleaning Is Latest Trend Setter Package Client

All Size Carpet Flooring Center & Carpet Cleaning is our latest Trend Setter Package client. All Size has been a client since 2009, and now they have opted to take advantage of our Trend Setter Package of services. We will be redesigning their website, adding a blog, social networking, monthly newsletter and video services. All these great services are included in our package and so inexpensive that every business can afford it.

Need carpet cleaning or new flooring? All Size specializes also in carpet remnants, so you can really save money that way. Call Colleen at 707-448-3300. She will take excellent care of you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

"The We Don't Do That List" And How It Affects The Outcome

I've had an eBay store since 2004 and in that time have purchased several hundred things on eBay in addition to selling many thousands of items. When I search for something and see the listing, it has always been funny to read the "fine print" (although it is usually in all capital letters, with colored lettering, exclamation marks, etc.) of what I call "The We Don't Do That List."

As an example, I would look at a guitar, and it says they don't ship except to the 48 contiguous United States, shipping insurance required (not included, but required), if you have less than 10 feedback, your bid will be cancelled, payment is due within 48 hours of the end of the auction, shipping is by one carrier only, and the list goes on at great length on some of them. It makes the list of things they will do so much shorter!

When I see these, I ask myself why in the world I would even want to do business with this person at all? It suggests to me there will be a series of problems. So, I move on and avoid them entirely.

I see this kind of thing in many local retail businesses too. They may even have signs all around stating what those things they don't do are. No checks is a funny one. I get the idea, but in today's world, you can cash the checks immediately and give the customer the check back.

Taking your car into a repair shop can be an eye opener if you read the "we don't do this" list. They're not responsible for this and that and this and that, the legalese is oozing with wonderful bliss of the lack of liability. If one were to actually read all of that, you may never take your car there again.

When you limit what you will do, you limit the potential outcome. If you don't take checks, credit cards, that limits the number of sales automatically. If you are only open certain hours, you are limiting the potential outcome. Every do not do is a limit to the outcome. It's sort of like a backwards funnel.

Consider not listing these do not do things. Consider doing instead. Consider expanding the bottom line by being more of service rather than less.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Sales Job And How To Succeed At It.

"The biggest mistake that you can make is to
believe that you are working for somebody else.
Job security is gone.
The driving force of a career must come from the individual.
Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!"

-- Earl Nightingale
Not only have I been in this position, but I've had the opportunity to see many hundreds of salespeople in the auto business at work. As a sales manager for over 25 years in the auto business, I've also had the opportunity to hire a lot of sales people. There's a saying in the auto business that they have a revolving door for salespeople for they are coming and going so frequently. It certainly is true in many dealerships, but certainly not all. Though there is a general trend among dealers, there are those dealers who see things very differently and are intent on building a solid, long-term sales staff, who operate with great autonomy. These are the differences between a job and a career.
I could fill one or more books on this subject, but I want to address one aspect of the sales person here: choosing to succeed, rather than hoping to succeed. That difference is everything.
This I know for certain: the auto business can be a very good career, but it can be a very lousy job. Those that come into it thinking they've found themselves a good job, will find otherwise. Those that decide to choose to succeed by making and executing a good plan will find themselves an excellent career.
So, let's pretend that someone is interested in the auto business and they claim they want to succeed at it. Here's what I would advise them to do:
  • Treat it as if you are in business for yourself. I think that until you make that decision, everything will be hard and frustrating. Once this decision is made, it becomes much easier. The reason is that the things that will frustrate the worker are many and the owner, few. It's all a matter of what you put your attention on. The really good news about treating it as if you're in business for yourself is that the dealer is putting up all the money! What a deal that is!
  • Avoid hanging out with the other sales people unless they are lifting you up with their enthusiasm and positive attitudes. That is probably unlikely, so not listening to them complain will help you immensely.
  • Study sales. Study your product. Never stop. I would advise you to read at least 2-3 books per month for the rest of your career. Get audiobooks if you prefer that way, but get the books. Learn everything you can learn about what you do and how you can do it better. Attend seminars. Listen to tapes or CD's from seminars. Study psychology, philosophy, and positive thinking. The last item will change your life!
  • Have a sales system. You can use Ace of Sales by Jeffrey Gitomer, ACT, or others. The dealership may have their they want you to use, but you still need to have your own. Don't worry. Soon enough you will have your own personal secretary to do all that for you. Plan for that person now. I'm serious. Sublet everything that keeps you away from what you do best and that will be talking to people about making a purchase.
  • Live by your system. Go the extra five miles. Don't rely on the dealership to do it all for you. Many dealerships only want to take it so far, but you are in business for yourself and you want to go all the way. That includes thank you cards, holiday cards, appreciation cards, newsletters and so on.
  • Get Internet Savvy. Develop your own blog like this one, get hooked up with facebook, twitter and other social media sites that can help you communicate with people 24/7. Upward Trend can help you with all of that, or you can do it yourself, but do it.
  •  Keep track and pay attention. How will you know when you improve? Keep some good statistics on your sales and sales efforts.
  • Join networking clubs and become an active member because you like what they do. If you just join to network, it will be obvious and won't work very well, but if you join for other reasons, it will pay off big for you. Find one or more organizations that you like. If the dealership is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, as most are, then go to the mixers and other events when you can and make yourself known. There are a lot of organizations that can help you succeed.
  • Learn to prospect. Make a deal with the dealership to let you do prospecting and when you begin succeeding at it, get them to allow you to have your own schedule without any floor time, so you can have a life and a career. If there is one thing the auto business is known which helps cause the revolving door, it is unreasonable work schedules. Make a goal to be off the floor as fast as you possibly can and never, ever look back. If there's one thing I hate about retail businesses of any kind, it is standing around waiting for someone to come in. What a waste of time for a career person. Let the job people have that job.
  • Follow up with everyone in one way or another, whether it is telephone, email, newsletter, whatever. Adopt the old time Chevrolet saying from the 1940's: "Never forget a customer and never let a customer forget you!" It is wonderful advice.
  • Do everything you can to support the dealership you serve and support yourself at the same time. If you sell Chevy's, don't go buy a Honda. That is blasphemy and it works against you. If you don't believe in your own product enough to own it yourself, you're fooling yourself trying to sell it. Love your product, or go sell the one you love.
  • Make it fun. If you're not doing it with joy, it won't last very long. Find ways to have fun with it and enjoy what you do.
  • Be grateful. The dealer is putting up millions of dollars for you to use almost free to make a great living. Become grateful for everything that comes into your life regardless of what it is. I tell you straight up, this will be the single most important thing that you do.
Here's some parting thoughts. The dealership will not be crazy enough to mess with a sales person who excels in sales. They will make concessions instead. They don't want to lose you. That is the exact partnership scenario you want. You want them to treat you like a valuable partner and you them.

This plan will put you on a sure success path in auto sales, or any other sales for that matter.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quality And Who's Looking. . .

"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."

-- Henry Ford

I've seen a lot of quotes about quality and excellence and none quite like Henry Ford put it. What this quote means to me, may not mean this to others, but it means to me that you don't produce quality for the customer, but because that is created because that is how you want to produce a thing. In other words, you don't do it for others, but for yourself and others just happen to benefit. When I think about this quote that way, it is so, so powerful to me.

Many companies hype quality and use it like a slogan. It's just smoke and mirrors much of the time. They aren't doing it for themselves, they are doing it to get attention, as in advertising, promoting, blowing hot air. A company is so much better to produce quality as a personal or company desire than for any other reason.

I think it makes all the difference.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Leadership Thoughts

"If there is anything I would like to be remembered for,
it is that I helped people understand that leadership is
helping other people grow and succeed.
To repeat myself, leadership is not just about you.
It's about them."

-- Jack Welch

"The five most important words a leader can speak are: "I'm proud of you."
The four most important are: "What is your opinion?"
The three most important are: "If you please."
The two most important are: "Thank you."
And the most important single word of all is: "You."

-- Denis Waitley

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chip Conley , Peak Leadership Coaching

Chip Conley speaks about The Peak Concept based on Abraham Maslows iconic Hierarchy of Needs theory.

Upward Trend highly recommends the book and audiobook, Peak by Chip Conley.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Success With People Formula: A + E = E

"I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men
the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best
that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement."

-- Charles Schwab

Having so many years of managing sales teams, I've tried many different methods. None is even near as successful as it is stated in the quote above: to appreciate and encourage. It is by far the most successful approach to sales success that exists in my opinion.

In my first sales manager position back in 1975, I was 25 years old and the youngest person on my sales staff was 34 and the oldest was 64, and I had worked with all of them at the same dealership as a salesman. Talk about a tough crowd. . . there is no way I could be tough with them because they would just laugh in my face, so I had to find better ways of succeeding in dealing with them in my new position as their direct supervisor. I learned to appreciate their differences, their specific talents and their personalities. I learned how to encourage. It's interesting that someone will respond to encouragement where they would never respond to the slightest criticism when you've worked with them for a few years already. So, if it works in that situation, it will work in every situation.

It was years later at a different dealership, that I started getting cocky and perhaps even arrogant. I started trying typical auto business sales management techniques. It was mostly focused on what they were doing wrong or poorly and what they should be doing to change that. Over and over I gave those talks until one day in the middle of one, one of my friends in the room stood up and tore me apart. I knew better what I had lost my way in thinking that all these other dealerships were doing it better. Truth is they weren't. That last talk was the last of that "put down" strategy, and I returned to the "lift up" strategy that worked so well, and I've never gone back.

As a result of this mentality when it comes to sales management, I've heard several sales people that I had the pleasure of working with in the past say that they would work for me anytime, anywhere. That is a really good feeling. I know they don't mean that literally, but it certainly is a vote of confidence and respect that I appreciate very much.

If I could be so bold as to give advice to every business, it is to treat all of your team with appreciation and encouragement. It will bring out the best in people. Even when you have to change people out of your team because they do not perform well in what they were hired to do, the mutual respect and appreciation for the person remains and the change is accepted in that way most of the time. Of all of the things that I have learned in sales management, this is absolutely the most powerful and effective. It is team building. It is great team building.

Success with people formula: Appreciation + Encouragement = Enthusiasm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leadership Is. . .

"Leadership is not so much about technique
and methods as it is about opening the heart.

Leadership is about inspiration--of oneself and of others.

Great leadership is about human experieinces, not processes.

Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that
comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others.

It is an attitude, not a routine."

-- Lance Secretan

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sometimes The Most Basic Things Can Make The Difference

I get my hair cut at a hairdresser establishment. They have around 10-12 hairdressers. I usually go early in the morning, so it is only busy then if there is a wedding scheduled and the wedding party is getting ready for the day. I'm in the shampoo room getting my hair washed out and the phone is ringing, ringing, ringing. I tell my friend, why do you let it ring and ring? She says because we are with clients. Good reason. . . or not?

I said, "you know it is interesting in that I tried calling here to get you and no one answered the phone. It went to voice mail." She says, "that is typical." I say, "how much business do you think this place is losing as a result of no one answering the phone?" She says, "I don't know." That's the right answer: I don't know how much business we are losing as a result of not answering the phone.

Sometimes the most basic things can make a difference.

I wonder what could happen if the phone was answered.

She says that sometimes they answer it, but they think their clients wouldn't like it if they were going back and forth answering the phone.

She is absolutely right. They wouldn't. I know that I wouldn't.

I suggest that they get someone to purposely answer the phone and do other tasks when the phone isn't ringing to help make things run smoothly. She says, the owner doesn't want to hire someone.

Sometimes, the most basic things can make a difference.

Having all the independent hairdressers leave their client, answer the phone, find out they are looking for someone else, rapidly and perhaps even slightly in a hurry try to take a message and get back to the client, is not a good way to get this job done.

I ask, "why even have a phone that rings?" I'm serious. Why not turn the ringer off and let every call go to voice mail?

I wonder. . . how much business is going somewhere else because the phone is not answered? There is an assumption, I'm sure that everyone who calls will leave a voice mail and wait patiently for a return call. That is a powerfully large assumption in a I-want-it-now world. So how much is being lost? There is no way in creation to know.

Sometimes the Most Basic Things Can Make The Difference.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Guiding Light Is A Basic Ingredient Of Success

"The first basic ingredient of leadership is a guiding vision.
The leader has a clear idea of what he wants to do--professionally
and personally--and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failures."

-- Warren Bennis

This quote holds clear meaning to me now, having been in business for myself for some years now. Now I think that of all the things that are critical to success of an enterprise, it is having a guiding vision--not just of the company or business enterprise, but personally. Jim Rohn, a person I have studied for many years said it well, "Of all the things that can have an effect on your future, I believe personal growth is the greatest. We can talk about sales growth, profit growth, asset growth, but all of this probably will not happen without personal growth."

I'm way down the road in looking at our company, while cognizant of what is happening today. I see where it may go, where I may want to go. I say want, because I am not hung up on firm destinations, for I have learned that better destinations can be found by being flexible about the outcome. Enjoying the journey then becomes the most logical and effective daily habit.

Indeed, the vision should be enhanced by others too. A company is not one person generally, so more people can add more input and it can be amazing how that affects the travel. Or, it may just affect your own thinking that they has you leading the company in a new direction.

I am reading business books all the time and have for many years. It's not that I'm trying to figure out how to do business. I already know a good deal about that, but I am trying to be open to new ideas, new twists, old ideas renewed from the X-files--in other words: inspiration! There is nothing so special as inspiration in business, or in personal life for that matter. It is a joyous experience and I want it as often as possible. Besides, it moves me forward pretty steadily.

So, personal growth is a key element in my thinking. I remember one of Jim Rohn's quotes, where he asks, "how may years do you want your child to be in the third grade?" His answer was of course, one. But, I look at that and people I've seen who spent many years in a certain grade, or place by avoiding personal development. Business owners can be that way too. They go into business all excited and grow the thing in their first year, and then perhaps they repeat that over and over for the next ten years.

How about looking at it this way: How would you feel if you found out that your doctor graduated medical school and then never read a book afterward? He just kept doing the same things over and over again. You would probably being looking for a doctor who wanted to keep learning, right?

I see the vision thing and the learning thing tied so closely together that it is so hard to tell one from the other.

Want to try some books to help re-energize your vision? I highly recommend these:

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, any book by Seth Godin, and any book by Jeffrey Gitomer, and especially Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless. If you want more titles, let me know and I'll be happy to get you a list.