The Weekly – Why Bite About It?

When you Get Bit – Or bite – Fix it Fast.

My little, old dog Stewart seems to forget past tussles. He has had at least four major altercations with my big, young dog Clayton in the last three years.

As dogs, they fight, they bite and then they move on (Though the vet bills are mounting…)

Do you do that as a business owner?

What I mean is, do you remember or forget past tussles? Past slights or rudeness?

Recently a man I know mentioned that he and a group of very interested wine drinkers/buyers rented a bus and went tasting to add to their extensive cellars. They had already been to 3 wineries and there was something like $3500 in wine in the van already when they stopped at a new place.

Apparently, they were not treated very well and no one bought any wine. A tussle, a big loss for the winery but not the end of the story. This man wanted to alert the winery owner about what had happened in hopes to help them. He sent an email explaining what happened.

This is the key place where there could have simply been a bite to forget about.

Instead, the winery owner came back and justified the poor treatment, basically said, “I don’t believe you, or I don’t care to improve” and then he might have forgotten about it, but the man I was talking to hadn’t.

If it had been as simple as my dogs, both would have moved on, instead, the wine buyer felt like he got bit twice. Once when the group was treated poorly and a second time through email denial.

You know the rest, he sent that less-than-stellar response to the rest of the group and they will share it around other bottles of wine with other buyers and what happens to the rude winery is probably not hard to figure out.

Lesson to remember. No matter who bites who, no matter what happens, making things right in the end is the beginning of good things. Not making things right (sometimes as simple as an apology) will be a bite that will come around and no doubt bite you again.

Blessings, Shawna

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The Weekly – Ask a Better Question, here’s how

Engaging with your clients is about asking

Easter is this Sunday and this is another opportunity to know your customers better, engage with them more and learn something that can help you.

It begins with a question and I’m going to give you a couple to use. I would love to hear about your results.

When you ask an open-ended question the things you learn about your customers is priceless.

So here are a couple of questions that will do several things.

  1. They will engage at a deeper level
  2. You can find out who your customer is and what they believe
  3. You may find a tradition or experience you want to do

Here you go:

How do you celebrate Easter?

What do you love most about the Easter holiday?

What is your favorite Easter memory?

Pick the one that resonates most with you, or use them all and uncover which one most people respond to best.

Depending on how they answer, you will collect valuable information about who your customers are and what they value.

They may share something that you want to try, and they will no doubt give you an opening to suggest something you provide that will fit into their thinking.

Let me know how it goes!

Happy Easter and I wish you also wonderful new beginnings.

Blessings,
Shawna

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The Weekly – What are You Still Hurt About?

Did you know there is Healing through Heeling…

It turns out that my Papillion, Stewart, failed the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen trail, twice in his youth.

Years ago, when I brought him home my family was going through some hard times. We had two young boys and through the turmoil I fear they were less than gentle with Stewart and he developed an aversion to being touched or picked up, though he is a very loving and cuddly dog now.

You can probably already guess that even though he did all the steps and challenges perfectly, he failed the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test because regardless of how well behaved he was, he wouldn’t let the judge touch him. I was heartbroken, especially because the group I was with all passed and there were many other dogs much less well-behaved that made it through.

More training, more time and yet, he failed again.

So I decided it was okay for him and me to simply live life well and not worry about it. I work with the same group of dog handlers still and what I didn’t realize is that whenever Good Citizen came up I would quip about my dog being a bad citizen, or that we were failures. I did it jokingly and it’s been over 9 years ago now so it’s been a running joke for a long time.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, during our monthly meetup, Sandy, the trainer, who isn’t a trainer for this, suggested that since some of the members were going for the Good Citizen certificate wouldn’t it be fun if all of us participated in going through all the challenges?

I quipped as usual, “Even the bad citizen?”   

She led everyone through all the steps – and even when I suggested I hold one of the student dogs, she hushed me saying, “You go too and leave Stewart here.” So I did.

Imagine my surprise when after it was all over, Sandy said proudly, “It’s my honor to award Stewart the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Certificate!” He and I were being judged the whole time and several of the others in the group were in on it to make sure it was done officially.

Stewart could have cared less – then or now, but I have found some healing in the heeling. And isn’t that what having pets is all about?

Lesson: Is there someone in your world who could use some extra healing? Maybe a simple bit of heeling will do the trick, reach out, ask. It turns out, that everything does matter.

Here to serve,
Blessings, Shawna

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Do you want a little help with your goals and routines? Executive Coaching may be the ticket! Click here to schedule a complimentary session with Shawna to discuss your goals.

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The Weekly – A Wee Bit of the Irish… 1 way to add a bit of the green

Are You Ready for St. Patrick’s Day?

Is every holiday a time to promote?

That’s like asking, is every day a day to sell? Ha!

So St. Patrick’s day is this weekend – what is 1 thing you can do to add more green to your business?

You probably have more ideas than the one I’m going to share – I would love to hear them, but if nothing else, why not give a discount to any person or pet that sports some green?

Or, if not a discount, why not have something special to give to those in green? A treat, a little extra service perhaps?

Even though it’s not a major holiday, no one takes it off work, right? It’s still fun to recognize that some people feel pride in their Irishness.

Here’s some information that will make you and your business memorable on March 17th.

Why do people wear green on St. Patrick’s day?

Wearing green shirts and leprechaun costumes on St. Patrick’s Day are traditions that started in the 17th century, when people wore green ribbons and shamrocks on March 17 to honor Ireland’s patron saint.

And this is something else to share with your customers about St. Patrick’s Day:

St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick died on March 17, 461. And he wasn’t even Irish!

Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary given credit with converting Ireland to Christianity in the AD 400s. It is believed he was born around 375AD in Scotland.

And to make it even more special – here’s an Irish Blessing for you –

May your neighbors respect you,

Trouble neglect you,

The angels protect you,

And heaven accept you.

May the luck of the Irish be with you and your business this St. Patrick’s Day!

Blessings, Shawna

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Pet Women Weekly – Red, White and Booze

Dear Pet Lover,

What’s Your Tradition?

 

Yesterday, on the 4th of July you would have found me in a camp chair alongside the road in St. Paul, Oregon for a good old fashioned small town parade. You can’t get more American than that in my mind.

Horses, farm machinery, all the rodeo queens from every county and hot rod cars. I might have shed a tear, but then, I’m kinda sentimental and sleep deprived.

 I called this post, Red White & Booze because this holiday, like many, is a fun time to have a little pick me up in the coffee (or so they tell me – I don’t drink coffee) and the beer booths open just as you realize how hot the day has gotten.

 I’ve never seen anyone get out of hand in this small town holiday, and that’s not the point, but I think there is also something interesting about how often holidays and drinking go together and what lessons  we can glean for our businesses.

 It’s a hot day so a cold beer seems not only appropriate, but refreshing. A hot toddy around the winter holidays is just the ticket too. And happy hours are everywhere right?

 Now if you’ve incorporated a “yappy” hour into your business I bet it’s working well – or maybe not – did you actually add alcohol for the pet peeps?

 There is something a little controversial about this topic, especially for those who don’t drink, but if we take all the judgment away – the reason people drink is because they are feeling free, or loose, or happy.

 Oh why not, the thinking goes, a beer sounds great!  How about an elephant ear, corn dog or caramel corn! And after one beer it feels like other purchases are just as smart.

 So, what are you doing to help your pet people feel that sense of release, of fun, of holiday, every day?

 Please send me your ideas and what is working. You inspire me every time!

 If you could focus your efforts on the “FEELING” that people get when they interact with you, then who knows, maybe every day would be a  holiday for your bottom line! Wouldn’t that make you cry for joy?

 Blessings,
Shawna

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