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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in small business

Is transparency the best policy?

Posted by on in Making it personal

Bit of a serious subject this week.

 

Honesty. Transparency.

 

How far do you go with your customers in being honest?

Or even with associates, other business owners you mix with, members of your networking groups?

Do you tell your customer that actually it wasn’t the printer that fouled up, it was you?

Do you confide in your networking associate that things are tight right now, and business is not great?

 

As a Christian, I have always battled this. Particularly in corporate life.

I hate lying, hate it. It means I can’t trust that person. If I lie, they can’t trust me.

 

Time for a story…

b2ap3_thumbnail_British_Gas_logo.pngI was the assistant to the Regional Customer Accounting Manager of British Gas. The most irate customers were forwarded to him, and I was the gatekeeper. My job was to deal with it so he didn’t have to get involved, or could just write off the problem (btw, he was probably the best boss I have ever had).

Do I lie to the customer and tell them it was a computer error, a meter misfiring, or do I tell them that actually some guy, down in Customer Service, completely fouled up your account and should be fired on the spot?!

 

But that also goes against my other principles – not ‘dissing’ on folk. My desire is build people up, encourage them and give them grace. Not to blame or point the finger. We all make mistakes.

 

So, it comes down to a dilemma.

And the same issues arrive as a business owner.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_full-giraffe-only.jpgHere, at GP, we have taken the philosophy to be transparent.

We CHOOSE to work in our home (just like my pal Richard Branson) and we are real about that.

We CHOOSE to own up to our failures and not give excuses even if we lose business.

We CHOOSE to be honest and real with our clients, not always trying to get the biggest buck, but what is right for them.

 

And then some things are just left silent. You often don’t need to say anything.

 

What do you think? Love to hear your comments – either way – just keep it clean people, keep it clean!

 

 

Penelope is a Creative Marketing Strategist and Speaker with a huge heart for others and a desire to laugh often! Book her today to speak at your business or organization.

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GET INVOLVED!

Posted by on in Marketing

 

A client, Bob, said to me the other day: “Oh, no, I don’t want to get involved.

 

Involved with what?

 

I am not talking about people's personal affairs (although I think that occasionally we should get involved).

No, I am talking about business groups, charities, chambers, city life.

They could… no, they WILL grow your business.

 

Why? 

Because you make connections. Either with your future customer or someone that can lead you to your future customer.

There is usually business development and training thrown in.

 

What kind of groups are there out there? 

Here are just a few genres and ideas:

 

Networking Groups.  BNI, RBN, LeTip, etc are great networking groups. Places to give and receive referrals and grow your business with other like-minded people. You have to be very committed but the payback is worth it. (http://www.bni.com/)

 b2ap3_thumbnail_download-1.jpg

Chamber of Commerce. They are not as intense as a BNI, but a great place to get to know local people (advise joining one close to your office or home). I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Irvine Chamber of Commerce and now serve on the board at the RSM Chamber of Commerce. Love the family feel at our chamber and the local knowledge. http://rsmchamber.com/   http://www.irvinechamber.com/

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Women's (and Men's) groups. For example the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO - https://www.nawbo-oc.org/) is a great organization that encourages and builds women’s businesses. Highly recommend them along with other similar enterprises.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_NAWBO-Logo.jpg

Charities and Non Profits. Great place to connect with like-minded folk and make connections. Remember a lot of your business will come from your more ‘social’ side. And, the added bonus to this group, is that you are giving back to the community.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_17THBEACH_116636f.jpg

Global Groups. Some of the groups above can be seen around the world, but others are focusing on  trade or the globalization of companies.  I belong to an organization called the British American Business Council OC (BABC - http://babcoc.com/) Amazing people who do business together  and have the most marvelous social events. In May there is an event on the Queen Mary with the Chef to the Royal Family. You should all come! 

 b2ap3_thumbnail_images-1.jpg

NO EXCUSES! Don’t tell me you don’t have time, or don’t like getting up early, or are too shy. Do you want to increase the profitability of your business? Then … GET INVOLVED!

 

 

To get your marketing plan, call Penelope at 1 855 472 3776 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Spit it out!

Posted by on in Training

7 tips on speaking

 

Time for a story

Recently listened to someone speak at a business event and my insides were dying.

The speech was:

Monotone

Lots of um’s and ah’s

All factual

No humor

Basically … boring.

Sorry, but it was.

 

People say to me, “well, it’s easy for you, you are an actor.”

Yes, true. I have been acting since I was young (see bio at bottom of page), but there are still skills and tricks I needed to learn (and still do) to hone my public speaking. 

 

And you can too.

Anyone can.

Here are just seven tips on speaking (there are a ton more).

 

1.    Humor

b2ap3_thumbnail_128px-Felix_Cat-Haha.svg.pngUse humor either about yourself or with the audience. People relax and ENJOY the talk.

 

2.    Audience

Speaking of audience, make sure you research your crowd beforehand. Are they all high end CEO’s, moms with little ones or all in the same industry as you?

 

3.    Stories

Examples and stories are so important. Giving these draws your audience in and allows them to ‘get’ it.

 

4.    Simple

Don’t get too bogged down in details. They can learn that from you later.

 

5.    Enthuasism

Get passionate. Inflect your voice. There is nothing more infectious and memorable than someone who is excited about what they are talking about.

 

6.    Eye contact

Look at your audience in the eyes, even if they are far away. This shows you care and you are strong. If that intimidates you, look just above their eyes at their forehead (little acting trick!).

 

7.    Get help

b2ap3_thumbnail_Life_belt.jpg

There are a ton of professionals out there that can help. One of my favorites is Toastmasters  (http://www.toastmasters.org/) who have groups around the country – inexpensive and very helpful. (You can also call me as this is my absolute joy to coach people in their speaking – it’s like directing a show!)

 

Finally, there is another skill that desperately needs to be taught - the elevator pitch or the one liner about what you do.  You will have to wait for a future blog on that one!

ps. Interesting article:  http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20150223-secrets-of-the-perfect-speech

 

Penelope has been an actor since she was 7yrs in the UK. Mostly on Stage, but some TV/Film. She owned ‘Poppins Party & Drama Company’ teaching acting to children and adults, as well as directing shows, children’s entertainer and speaker.  She speaks on various business topics including marketing, social media, personal branding as well as more personal topics such as marriage and parenting.

CALL PENELOPE TODAY for a personal Speech Coaching Session or book her to speak at your next event!

Get 25% off a Speech Coaching Session.

Promo code MAR30. 

Pictures courtesy of: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Felix_Cat-Haha_(transp).png     https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Life_belt.jpg

 

 

 

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