Friday, February 20, 2009

Raving Fans - Best Referral Ever!

As a Marketing Solutions Consultant I work with businesses to help them build relationships with their clients and prospects for a source of endless referrals. It's always great to have satisfied customers, but when they are 'Raving Fans' like my friend Charlie, it let's me know I am offering a wonderful service. I think this is one of the best endorsements I have ever received for the greeting card service.

Here is what Charlie has to say......

All my life I have known the importance of writing thank-you notes, birthday cards, sympathy cards, congratulatory notes and other items of common courtesy successful people in business and people I admired had always been doing. I just hated doing it…the picking of the card, writing the note by hand, my handwriting and spelling are terrible. I would always angst over the process. The card would never look as good as I would have liked. Additionally, because I hated it so much and I would procrastinate so long it was an embarrassment to send the card so long after the event or gift was received that I just never did. What a disappointment - for me and, for the person who deserved better treatment and consideration from me.

Annette introduced us to send out cards and I thought, “What a novel concept”. I could pick out the card, write my comments and send out the card, all from the comfort of my own home, using my computer – with spell check – and customize the font. This would be great!

So we signed-up…and procrastinated. Now we had to learn a new computer program. What had we done? We would never use this thing. What had we been thinking?

Still, in the back of my mind, I knew we needed to expand our relationships and our business. This would be a great way to accomplish our objective.

Over the Christmas – New Year Holiday I broke into the program and gave it a try. I sent out 45 cards wishing business acquaintances, customers and family personalized Happy New Year cards. The process took me about two hours and I was wonderfully relieved. Our cards arrived 3-4 days later. People loved them. The program was easy to use. What had I been waiting for? Next I sent a customized thank you note to our 5 year old great niece for a signed print she gave us for Christmas. It took about ten minutes and it was beautiful. I sent out another special thank you note to our sister-in-law in Texas. She had painted a special watercolor portrait of our three dogs we had lost due to old age last year. This is a special gift which deserved a special thank you. I had that completed and in the mail within another ten minutes.

My brother-in-law sends out, via email, a monthly birthday, anniversary, date of passing reminder that includes everyone in the family.

I received January’s on December 30. The personalized, beautiful cards with my heartfelt sentiments were out and in the mail within about 25 min. I didn’t have to go to the post office. I didn’t lick a single envelope. And I didn’t have to go to the store and search out the perfect card - which for me was never available. One of the best parts is once the person’s name is entered, until they move, I’ll never have to remember the date or write their address ever again. The program takes care of all of that for me. This product is the coolest thing since sliced bread.

My wife and I made a business call on a new potential client Monday of this week and Monday night at 7:30 pm our thank you for your time, nice to meet you card, personalized - with their name in it - was in the mail. I did all of it from my laptop and the cost was less than if I bought the card at Wal-Mart.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you! You have just solved one of my age-old problems. The product is beautiful, simple to use, and something I’m proud to send out to anyone. If I can’t find a card that works for me in the more than 13,000 available then I can create my own. I wish I had had the use of this ever since I was about five years old. At least I have it now.

You folks are wonderful…thanks for sharing this with us Annette! You are our Hero.




Gotta Eat!

The Office Deli...Innovative Vending Solutions

Charlie, I think You ARE MY Hero! Thank YOU!

In gratitude,
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The History of Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Every February, across the country, cards, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day -- and it's patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Special thanks to American Greetings

Send someone a H.U.G. – Heartfelt Unexpected Greeting
compliments of Painted Lady Greeting Cards

Send a free Valentines Day Card

“Helping You and Your Business Look Good”

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ten Things to do to build Your Network which increases Your Net Worth.

This past week was International Networking week. I thought I would pass along these tips for networking.

1. Brand Yourself – By Name, Business, Tag Line, Appearance, etc. Be consistent in all your material.

2. Have a 30 Second Infomercial - Your Elevator speech – Be able to tell someone what you do that peeks their interest and makes them ask questions and want to hear more.

3. Noticeable Business Cards – If someone doesn’t comment on your business cards after handing out 5 of them – You need new business cards. (And even if you do order them from Vista, add a little something so you don’t have the Vista logo on the back.)

4. Get a website – (You can always buy your own name as a URL) And have something on it that is useful information. Useful information, tips, lists, etc. So you can refer them to your website to get the information.

5. Say what you do and Do what you Say – Deliver and give Exceptional Customer Service. Be passionate about and stand behind what you sell or get another line of work.

6. Keep in touch with people – Email, Snail mail, Drop by, Just Because, birthday, anniversary, etc. Any good real estate agent is taught to ‘touch’ their warm market at least 10 times per year – why – because Everyone knows somebody that will be buying or selling real estate. This same principal can be applied to any business.

7. Show up – Network – Follow up – Brian Tracy recommends being a member of at least 5 networking groups, 2 closed, 2 open, and 1 volunteer. Remember it takes people seeing and hearing you 7 to 8 times before they remember you and what you do.

8. Take advantage of Free stuff – Submit articles to papers, magazines, and websites. Look for places to leave your business cards, flyers, brochures, etc. Comment on internet forums. Have a blog. Join and participate in on-line social networks, i.e. FaceBook, LinkedIn, Ning sites, etc. and set up and post to Twitter.

9. Let people know how to reach you. When you call someone, unless it’s your mother, leave a phone number and repeat it twice. When you email someone, include a signature line with a phone number.

10. Be a referral source. The ‘Go To’ Person. Who do you know? Givers Gain. Be a referral partner. When you meet someone, be thinking about who you know you that you could introduce them to. Zip Ziglar says that if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.

In BNI we are taught V+C=P – Visibility builds Credibility which leads to Profitability.

Happy Networking!


Virtual Assistant specializing in Relationship Marketing
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What’s Up in February -

The most noted holidays in February are Ground Hog Day, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, but there are a few more. As I did my search on, there were a couple of events that I was quite surprised that were not listed on the calendar; International Networking Week, Feb. 2 – 6, and National Wear Red Day, Friday, Feb. 6. If you search through my blogs you will find a blog on National Wear Red Day.

I like all the fun days like Bob Marley Day. I could use some sun, fun, and relaxation, which is what I think about when I hear reggae. In fact I turned on my CD player yesterday as I was cleaning the shelf it sits on and guess what. To my surprise and delight there were raggae CD in the player already. I finished my chores to the sounds of reggae. Let’s hope that General Beauregard Lee, our resident Groundhog for Georgia, doesn’t see his shadow tomorrow. I’m ready for some sunshine and warmer days.

Another fun one is Mardi Gras. I love New Orleans. Would love to visit again. Love the town, the food, the fun. I haven’t been back to New Orleans since Katrina. I’ll have to add that to my bucket list.

Oh and another one that’s not on the list, Race Week, for those that follow NASCAR. Race Week starts Feb. 8 with the running of the 51st Daytona 500 on February 15. I’ve been to a few of those. Need to add that to my bucket list also. I would like to go back again someday, but I think I like the July race there better. February’s weather is unpredictable and is usually to cold for me. I remember in all the years we went to Daytona, there was only one year that I actually got to wear shorts and a t-shirt. I had to go buy some because I had quite packing them.

So here is February’s list. Hope you enjoy and find something to celebrate and send a H.U.G., Heartfelt Unexpected Greeting, to someone.
February-2 Groundhog Day

February-2 National Change your Windshield Wipers Day

February-6 Patient Recognition Day
Bob Marley Day in Jamaica
February-7 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February-8 Boy Scout Day
February-12 Lincoln's Birthday
Darwin Day
February-14 St. Valentine`s Day

February-17 National Public Science Day
February-21 Random Acts of Kindness Day
International Mother Language Day
February-22 George Washington's Birthday
World Thinking Day

February-24 Carnival / Mardi Gras

Month Observances
Occasion Link
AMD \ Low Vision Awareness Month Prevent Blindness America

African American History Month Associated Publishers Inc. of America
American Hearth Month American Heart Association

American History Month National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution

Canned Food Month Canned Food Info Council of America
National Cat Health Month American Veterinary Medical Association
National Cherry Month Cherry Marketing Institute of America
National Children's Dental Health Month American Dental Association

National Embroidery Month Stitches Magazine of America

National Pet Oral Health Care Month Pet Dental

National Snack Food Month Snack Food Association

National Weddings Month Assoc. of Bridal Consultants of America
Potato Lovers Month National Potato Board of America
Responsible Pet Owner Month A.S.P.C.A.

Prevent a Litter Month Humane Society of the United States

Pet Dental Month American Veterinary Medical Association

National Wild Bird-Feeding Month National Bird-Feeding Society

First Week
Occasion Link
National Patient Recognition Week n/a

First Full Week
Occasion Link
Pride in Food Services Week Dietary Managers Assoc.

National Consumer Protection Week Consumer Confidential

Second Week
Occasion Link
National Crime Prevention Week National Exchange Club of America
Cardiac Rehabilitation Week American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Third Week
Occasion Link
Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week National Highway Traffic Safety Admin.

Pay Your Bills Week American Collectors Assoc.

You'll probably be seeing a lot more blogs from me in the next couple of weeks as I recuperate from my surgery which is scheduled for Wednesday. I have a lot of musings to catch up on.

Celebrate Experience!

Celebrate Happiness!

Celebrate Life!

Celebrate You!

In gratitude,

Who needs to hear from you?

Gifts, Greeting Cards, and Promotional Products

"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"


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