Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New Site Release!

Posted: July 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

As I have been working away I have recently launched a new website www.nickersontowing.com

Slowly but surely it is coming along to offer Towing Services & Recovery in Traverse City, MI and surrounding areas including Northern Michigan, State Wide & out of state towing.

Light Duty Recovery, Medium Duty Recovery, Heavy Duty & specialized towing services.

To learn more about Nickerson Towing you can visit them by going to their About Us Page and learning more!

Nickerson Towing and Recovery Traverse City Michigan


Past experiences can help us learn from our own mistakes to ensure we do it the proper way next time, regardless if it is a procedure, account follow up etc.  But when you learn from your managers mistakes in the past this can help develop and mold yourself to be a future & or better manager for your team.

I had the luxury of experiencing the most horrible manager I had ever worked for; however I look at it as the best experience ever to help myself as a manager & to not repeat their mistakes.

When running a dealership; managers are to help assist, educate, guide, encourage & help their sales team to become strong & effective reps to sell more cars. What do you do when they are not there to help you move into the right direction….Wing It? Many sales reps find themselves doing just that.

Managers that lack those essential skills are the ones that are afraid if they teach they will be the one replaced with that team member.

I look back and see that this actually happened to that specific manager.  He sure did enjoy watching his YouTube Videos at the desk tower while a sales rep is waiting to get help with closing a deal. Mocking the staff was his big thing. I am not sure how you can mock a team that is working their butts off to make numbers & yes money for him too.

Never had I thrown him under the bus to the owner, which drove him nuts while the owner was in my office with the door closed, he would walk back and forth repeatedly to see if I was still talking to him. Jabbing me with questions after the owner left the office.  Was it right to do that? No but I still stood strong to evaluate him and how I can learn from his mistakes.

That may sound a bit strange however if you actually take a moment to review, observe & quietly critique the manager in your own mind as it can help mold you into the manager you may not realize you are or can be.

Lack of leadership can be a learning tool for you & creating a strong team.

What can you do as a manager to help strengthen your team?

  1. Work with your team! Getting into the field with your team can show your staff you are not afraid of getting dirty.  Jumping in the trenches will show them you are willing to do anything for them as a manager.
  2. Guide your team! Providing the best of guidance is helpful to prevent from making the same mistake twice.  Role play and be patient. Every single person is not the same in learning skills. Being patient will pay off in the long run.
  3. NEVER EVER MOCK YOUR TEAM! Making mocking or crude remarks in front of your team about their team members can provide mixed feelings. Your team does think in the back of their mind “Dang what is he/ she saying about me?” It’s not high school anymore… It’s grown up time! Speak highly of their team members in front of your team.
  4. Teamwork before Play. Yes I know clips of videos can be fun while sitting in front of your computer but ones which are totally irrelevant to the dealership needs to not happen.  If your sales team member is standing there with a customer and you dinking around, yikes, you need a recheck on your priorities.  Jumping to your sales team and assisting their customers will show not just your team but your customers your actions of “Customers come first”

I see many people trying to take management jobs but once they get it they don’t realize the work that is needed & skillsets required to be a successful manager.  Your attitude can only take you so far. Observe first and learn before taking the next step. You will be thankful you did!

 

All opinions are solely based upon the author only: Jennifer Schrader


We live in a viral world of opinions based upon what the consumer’s see, what we want & best or horrible experiences. As consumers we express our views by posting reviews through many social networking channels. Social Media has helped us take the next step to share with friends, family & networking buddies the self proclaimed experience we had received regardless if its service, purchasing a new car, favorite pizza places and so on.

All we are doing is looking out for others & suggesting other resources of business’s or excellent services.  I myself am an avid consumer and will push the limit to ensure the employees, regardless of where I am at, to see if they truly know their job to help better themselves for the next customer that comes in.  New employees I give them a bit of a break however always say to them “You are new but let’s make this fun”. You would be surely surprised how much of a positive reaction the long line waiting behind you turns as they now know the employee is new & everyone deserves a break. We had to start somewhere, right? Turn negative into positive.

Ok enough about that part now let’s get into the Nitty-Gritty of things here based upon my article & what sparked me to go this far.

As mentioned consumers have the right to speak what is on their mind based upon their experience with a particular establishment from pricing, quality, customer service and so forth. Putting out a review helps not just relieve your mind & to share your thoughts however to provide a heads up to the next customer that walks in the establishments door & what they might expect.

After posting the review, do you expect to receive a message specifically from the establishment or business family member? You may be surprised what you might get. There are many businesses that won’t reply however businesses with excellent reputation management will but ones that don’t have excellent reputation management will not put the business’s reputation first however their own personal feelings which can be a cause of destruction  & an epic failure to the reputation of the establishment.

During a holiday I can understand business’s, especially locally owned family business’s, always look forward to a holiday to help with revenue however cost is a major factoring role when it comes us ordinary middle class families. We purchased an order from a local eatery, which was classified as the best in town (based on reviews!). Keep in mind my family didn’t have it personally delivered as we were on the bay & it made more sense to take the jog over that way to pick up the purchase. The average cost for 2 large pizzas 2 toppings & an order or breadsticks run about $35. The cost for this local eatery was $53.00. Yikes! Trust me I would surely expect to have glitter shooting out at me for that cost however no glitter, no confetti & no balloons. The pizza’s were mediocre& average, which again I understand everyone is rushing to push out orders, quality of taste but surely nothing to really brag about.

After the adventurous holiday & are declined stomachs that were saturated with pizza sauce I take myself to the trusty ole laptop to express my opinion due to cost & quality of the pizza. Facebook is my first step as I was surely not going to go too far or placing a review on Google etc., I wanted to inform my friends & family that if they are looking for an affordable eatery, pizzeria, don’t go there due to cost. I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the pizza & cost. Again Facebook is a great network of informing consumers this is how I feel.

Shortly thereafter responses started to flood in regarding the cost along with a few other pizzerias within the vicinity that were outrageously priced & suggesting of others to go to due to a lower cost. So it surely just wasn’t my experience but others as well. No worries, I got my opinion out and I felt better throughout the day……

UNTIL………!

I received a personal message on Facebook, must have been a family member as I take it, and it goes like this: (This has been retrieved from my inbox & only edited due to the inappropriate cuss word used)

“If you dont like the prices, dont order! Why dont you see how many times ” my familys” pizza joint has been voted best in tc. There is no price gouging or anything like that. Every thing is fresh or home made. So talk all the sh*t you want, and enjoy your time on the can after some jets or a nice 5 dollar hot and ready.”

How would you feel if you received a message like this from a business that has taken every review personally? This type of horrible reputation management = FAILURE is in the horizon if this individual takes over business matters.

Is this RIGHT or WRONG?

I am a strong believer in making sure consumers are taken care of regardless of their opinion if it is Negative or Positive. Businesses with an excellent reputation management responding positively would be the best way to go about putting the business’s reputation first & personal feelings on the backburner.

WRONG WAY: Responding to a review based upon service, cost & quality in a negative way can surely show how business’s taken on issues that revolve around their reputation regardless if you know them or not. If we responded this way for every negative review received we wouldn’t be able to walk as it compares to placing a thorn in the arch of your foot for each response.

RIGHT WAY: Responding to a negative review in a positive manner can ensure B2B (Back to Back) business from the consumer that posted the negative review to even pushing the consumer to place back on the review of how the business resolved your concern or issue. A business owner should respond to the review in this manner:

  • We do appreciate your response on your feelings per your review of the cost of our pizza & breadsticks. Please take a moment to understand that all of our products we use for our pizzas are homemade & fresh as this is why our cost is a bit more than our average competitors. We hope this helps resolve the understanding of why our cost is a bit more however we want to make sure you see our quality & why. Please come on in and ask for **NAME** and we will be more than happy to offer you a free order of breadsticks with your next order.

OR

  • Thank you for your response in regards to the review on our business due to your concern of cost. We are not sure if you are away all of our pizzas and ingredients are homemade right here in the kitchen. This does result in more cost however we want to ensure our consumers are taking in quality & healthy ingredients with our pizzas and variety of other menu selections. We want to ensure that we stand up to our reputation with our being voted the best pizzeria in our local area. Please contact us at xxxxxx@email.com or call me directly at 555-555-5555 to speak further on how we can help you help us.

Before you respond personally to a review of your business or your family business please be sure to hear out the consumer before nailing them harshly as this can result in not just losing 1 customer however many more that follow their opinions and suggestions.

I myself along with my family & close friends will never do business with this eatery again unfortunately not until I receive the pizza box that has glitter, balloons & confetti shoot out at me. Then maybe I will reconsider.

Have you been attacked by a review or opinion?

How would you handle a response from a business owner or a family member of the business?

 

 

All opinions are solely based up on the author only: Jennifer Schrader 


There is not a day that goes by without hearing “Social Media, Social Media, Fan Pages etc”. There is nothing bad about it however there are ways you can take social media to the next level by giving it an extra kick for your business regardless of how well you know social media.

Business’s either large or small can rely on their friends, family, new customers & encouraging current customers to share your Fan Page. This surely does help with getting your name out there for your Fan Page however let’s take it a step further.  There is a time when you will exhaust your options of your current fans to share your page to get those extra “Likes”.  But what do you do when that happens?

By following these simple tips you & your business can give your social media efforts an extra kick.

Promo..? What Promo..?

Setting up a promotion is one thing however taking advantage of what that promotion actually offers is another.  For example you run a “Best Photo Contest” for your local area. Don’t just rely on posting it on your Fan Page! List all the photography studios, camera repair or sales shops, publishing department within the school, local mall pin-up boards etc. to notify them of this promotion contest you are running for your business and send them information on it so they can post it within their business for consumers to see the contest. Placing this effort you can really make an impact with your local businesses and you would be surprised they will become your “Fan”…!

Cheap…. NOOOOOOO!!

Free oil changes are nice or certain services at a discount however in reality it is very rare that the individual that won a contest is going to really take advantage of that offering let alone join the contest & become a Fan of your Fan page for your business.  As stated in an example above for the promotional contest offering a prize relevant to the promotional contest you are holding.  A top prize can be either a new camera, $150 off a camera, Free photo session, free photo lessons etc. I think you get the point.  These prizes can be a great way of getting more engagement from new fans & also help spread the word more effectively.

Involvement..? It only takes minimal efforts on your part!

Staying involved with your community can make a large impact locally & internally.  Food drives, charity contributions, Scholarship programs, raising money for awareness, raising funds for school supplies or scholarships.  Reaching out to these local businesses can make a large difference in spreading the word about your business’s efforts to create an impact that will be long lasting.

Communicating with local business’s regardless if they are in the same field of service & or products, is a way of working together to spread the word of your business while they do the same for you.

Social media doesn’t just work with an account set up and limited fans, it works with efforts in being involved with all necessary business relations.  Remember great offerings, creates great shares, creates great feed back!

What’s there to lose?

All views and opinions are solely based by the author only. Jennifer Schrader


There is not a day that goes by without hearing “Social Media, Social Media, Fan Pages etc”. There is nothing bad about it however there are ways you can take social media to the next level by giving it an extra kick for your business regardless of how well you know social media.

Business’s either large or small can rely on their friends, family, new customers & encouraging current customers to share your Fan Page. This surely does help with getting your name out there for your Fan Page however let’s take it a step further.  There is a time when you will exhaust your options of your current fans to share your page to get those extra “Likes”.  But what do you do when that happens?

By following these simple tips you & your business can give your social media efforts an extra kick.

Promo..? What Promo..?

Setting up a promotion is one thing however taking advantage of what that promotion actually offers is another.  For example you run a “Best Photo Contest” for your local area. Don’t just rely on posting it on your Fan Page! List all the photography studios, camera repair or sales shops, publishing department within the school, local mall pin-up boards etc. to notify them of this promotion contest you are running for your business and send them information on it so they can post it within their business for consumers to see the contest. Placing this effort you can really make an impact with your local businesses and you would be surprised they will become your “Fan”…!

Cheap…. NOOOOOOO!!

Free oil changes are nice or certain services at a discount however in reality it is very rare that the individual that won a contest is going to really take advantage of that offering let alone join the contest & become a Fan of your Fan page for your business.  As stated in an example above for the promotional contest offering a prize relevant to the promotional contest you are holding.  A top prize can be either a new camera, $150 off a camera, Free photo session, free photo lessons etc. I think you get the point.  These prizes can be a great way of getting more engagement from new fans & also help spread the word more effectively.

Involvement..? It only takes minimal efforts on your part!

Staying involved with your community can make a large impact locally & internally.  Food drives, charity contributions, Scholarship programs, raising money for awareness, raising funds for school supplies or scholarships.  Reaching out to these local businesses can make a large difference in spreading the word about your business’s efforts to create an impact that will be long lasting.

Communicating with local business’s regardless if they are in the same field of service & or products, is a way of working together to spread the word of your business while they do the same for you.

Social media doesn’t just work with an account set up and limited fans, it works with efforts in being involved with all necessary business relations.  Remember great offerings, creates great shares, creates great feed back!

What’s there to lose?

All views and opinions are solely based by the author only. Jennifer Schrader



Have you taken the time to monitor who actually is on top of your content for your website? What I mean is the actual images/ banners that are placed on your website for weekly & monthly advertising / marketing.

Many website vendors nationwide provide the ability now for the dealer / client to control the uploading of the images as to what it was in the past.  Having this ability gives you the option to be creative and helps keep your consumer informed on a daily basis.

I would say, I am confident in saying this figure, 80% of dealers will not upload images weekly let alone monthly. You have the ability; why not take advantage of it? Most of the responses are “I am not creative, I don’t know where to start, I have a hard enough time trying to turn the computer on & such”. Don’t worry; you are focused on selling, closing deals and running a productive team within your dealership.

Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of being creative with your website.

Hiring External or Internal: There are many graphic designers around now since we have went digital. It may be more costly having an internal graphic artist however there are freelance graphic artist / designers that charge just for the job. Having fresh & enticing banners / advertisements can help your online audience be more engaged and informed of your promotions & offerings. Why keep the gate up?

Software: There are cheap & free programs out there that can help you if you want to challenge yourself and be creative the way you want to.  There is a program I have used which is very, very inexpensive and it is called SnagIt. You can go to www.snagit.com and it will even offer you a Free Trial! Very easy to use and fun! Or you can go all out and grab up Adobe Photoshop which I have moved over too and it is a bit more complicated but there are many guides & tutorials online that can help you with creating an effective banner or advertisement for your website.

Be on top of it! That is the tricky part. Keeping consistent with adding different promotions / advertisements weekly or monthly on your website is very effective.  Your Branding / Franchise offers specials each month don’t they? Why not keep your online consumers informed? Be different from the other guy down the street. If you are looking the same each and every day, month in and month out; your competition has their advantage of you already!

Engage with your team: Getting your team involved at meetings and asking for ideas or suggestions is a big help. They will feel they are being involved with marketing for your dealership which will then boost their confidence & they will know what is going on all around.  I see it too many times when the team has no clue of the promotion or advertisement that is being currently ran. Keep them informed & involved. You would be surprised as one of your team members may have those creative skills with graphic design!

Be Creative! It is not hard when you refuse to be creative.  Just think of the items that capture your attention or TV commercials that pop out at you. The human mind is more attracted to, I will say this, Cheesy or Corky advertisements.  They grab our attention more than the corporate look and feel.  Reaching out to those clients in a fun, entertaining, happy way will create more engagement and involvement with your online audience. Just try it, you will be surprised on their reaction.

Images? Where? Google Images provides a large variety of images however to have them be royalty free you can get high quality images for very little money (which you can use repeatedly) at www.dreamstime.com I have been using this company for over 2 years & get many of my images as they are a lot let expensive to buy credits there than any other I have come across. 

I hope this information helps with taking advantage of the flexibility you have on your website advertising.  If your website vendor doesn’t provide the ability to change images or banners, you may want to have a little chat with them since you are the ones selling to your audience.

All views & opinions are solely based by the author Jennifer Schrader

jennifergene@hotmail.com (231) 360-0730