Friday, June 12, 2009

Customer Service

Well this story isn't about Mary Kay, it is about Customer Service but I think it really shows what going above and beyond with our service will bring - (ps,if you need some entertainment, you have to read the pt post from yesterday - they had a MK visitor, it is quite amusing!)

Ducks Quack,Eagles Soar
received from Randy Skagen and Todd Montgomery from Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa

No one can make you serve customers well. That's because great service is a choice.

Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab Driver that proved this point.
He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey .

He handed me a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement?'
Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:
Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed That the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.'
I said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.'Wally smiled and said, 'No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.'
Almost stuttering, Harvey said, 'I'll take a Diet Coke.' Handing him his drink, Wally said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.'

As they were pulling away, Wally handed me another laminated card. 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'
And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

'Tell me, Wally,' Harvey asked the driver, "Have you always served customers like this?'

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror, "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of
my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.
He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck, be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.''

'That hit me right between the eyes,' said Wally. 'Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'

'I take it that has paid off for you,' Harvey said.

'It sure has,' Wally replied. 'My first year as an Eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.'

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.


  1. lol I'll have to see what's shakin at PT then. There seems to be a lot of buffoonery online lately...The Great Flounce at Shakesville, the utter snake pit that is the comment section at Feministing...takes a lot of popcorn to wade through all the quacking lemme tell you.

  2. Buh. I just read it.

    That girl has been nothing but polite and they're basically crapping all over her. SIGH. OK, look. She explained why she's making money. She lives in a highly populated area where people have enough money to buy good makeup. She is a people person. She made money *before* she spent money.

    Not everyone has the right environment or the right personality for sales. Have you noticed there are certain areas where a restaurant will go up and do booming business, and other areas that keep changing hands and every business that buys the building fails within a year? Location and availability of customers is a big deal. AND, once you have that, then you must also be a good salesperson, a people person, and financially savvy. If you don't have all those ingredients, the cake won't rise.

    I had an area very sparse in terms of customers and even more sparse in terms of customers with spare money, and I am not a people person at all. I tanked. End of story. I like to acquire and use makeup rather than sell it.

    You sell makeup. I buy makeup. It works.

    The girl who posted on PT today can just keep on selling like she has been, bringing in the cash, and good for her for being strong in sales.

  3. In all fairness Miranda there are a couple of people on that thread that were nice to her but you are right for the most part she is being shot down. I think they would have more credibility if they wished her well.

  4. So true Miranda, some people will work one hundred times harder than someone else and still not have the better results.

    I know a director near me really, really works "hard", always booking, calling, running, etc... I feel guilty often because I feel if I worked near as hard as she did I would be a Top director, and I know I don't do near what she does and earn a heck of alot more than she does.

    I just seem to have a knack for things. I seem to have little trouble booking, my bookings hold, my sale are good, my customers etremely loyal,I get tons of referrals, and I only offer the opportunity to clients that I really think are interested. I am very relaxed and laid back about things and if someone isn't interested, no big deal.

  5. MK4me I think your customer service attitude is part of why you do well. Not only that because you dont bug people they think they are missing something, along with the trust factor. People dont mind giving you referrals because they know you are not going to hound them.

  6. Job hunters flock to Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware
    Juanita Cousins, Associated Press

    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    (06-13) 04:00 PDT Nashville --

    Armies of new Avon ladies, Mary Kay reps and Tupperware sellers are advancing on living rooms across the country, their ranks full of professionals forced to take a second job amid the recession.

    Becke Alexander, sales manager for Avon Products Inc. in New York, hears each week from laid-off bankers and stay-at-home moms, but also gainfully employed people worried how long they'll stay that way. All of them are willing to knock on doors, host parties or do whatever else it takes to peddle some makeup.

    " 'I need money.' That's what I've been hearing since about November," Alexander said. "There are no hobby seekers coming here. It's people with a legitimate need."

    Job cuts, shrinking bonuses and scaled-back hours have pushed more people than ever to become direct sales representatives, a phenomenon industry experts say they've seen before.

    In the 1990-91 recession, the number of direct sellers increased 8 percent to 5.1 million Americans. In the 2001 recession, the work force increased to 12.2 million.

    And while 2008 figures are not yet available, in 2007 an estimated 15 million people nationwide were in direct sales. About 58 percent of them became reps as a second job, according to the Direct Selling Association, a trade group that represents 200 U.S. companies.

    When money began getting tight in Nicole Robinson's household in Garland, Texas, the full-time pharmaceutical sales rep signed up to host Mary Kay parties and give facials, working just six hours to make about $600 a week.

    "Costs aren't going down and opportunities are tightening up. Raises and bonuses aren't as big. And I didn't want to ever be in a situation where we were in jeopardy," said Robinson, who joined Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc. in September.

    Business declined at the international cell phone company her husband works for, she said, and they wanted to continue their moderate lifestyle and contribute to their children's college funds.

    "We were looking for a plan B for our family to make additional income," she said. "We really didn't want to participate in the recession."

    Rhonda Shasteen, chief marketing director for Mary Kay, said the Addison, Texas, company saw traffic on its Web site increase by 108 percent in March, when it began airing TV ads to attract new sales reps.

    The sales force grew 22 percent from January to March, compared with the same period last year.

    Tupperware Brands of Orland said it's making more money and has more people selling its products, spokeswoman Nora Alonso said.

    Direct sales reps can earn commissions between 25 to 50 percent of retail sales, and some companies will also pay for recruiting a new salesperson.

    Companies that are members of the Direct Selling Association are required to refund at least 90 percent of costs to sales representatives who get stuck with products.

    During stronger economies, people usually take on direct sales jobs so they can have money for leisure spending, said Larry Chonko, business ethics professor at The University of Texas at Arlington.

    "Times are tough, as we know, and there is an absolute need for extra income," Chonko said. "Direct sales is not recession-proof, but it is the kind of business that even in a recession you can make success of it."

    This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

  7. Great story.

    I LOVE Dr. Wayne Dyer. His newest book, Excuses Begone! is on my to-purchase list. I saw part of his lecture on PBS last week, and it's amazing.

  8. If I could get Mr. Gothboy to read a book called Excuses Begone I would be in hog heaven!!!


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