Memory Monday #1

Yesterday saw Michelle diving through our photography archives (fancy word for old hard drives) looking for a photo to use in the blog that was posted on her personal blog. 

There were so many wonderful memories in there, both personal and professional moments, that we’ve decided they need to come out and be shared. After all, it is the past and our experiences that shape the people we’ve become.

Looking into the vaults of our memories serves several purposes:

  • to remind us of the past
  • to inspire us to take action moving forward
  • to relive magic moments and just get that general feel good vibe that stays with us through the day
  • To give us a giggle at some of the hairstyles and clothes!

So, we’re initiating Memory Monday and this is the first entry.

Camino 2013

This particular photo today, is from a magical experience walking the Camino. There’s a whole series of blogs on the trip here.

We hope you’ll enjoy the journey down memory lane with us. If you’ve got comments, we’d love you to post them here – especially if you have been a part of the journey 🙂

Michelle & Yvonne

PS If you’re interested in registering for our next Dragon Sister adventure – just drop us a note and we’ll pop you on our mailing list.

4 Reasons Why You Should Always RSVP – apart from being good manners!

Don’t you just love the feeling of slicing open an envelope and carefully sliding out a personalise invitation with your name on it? Even better if it’s vellum, gilt-edged or embossed with a crest!20160225_141748-1

Even after all these years, and countless invitations, I still love that moment as the sharp opener slices clean the envelope to reveal its contents. Those little moments of using my letter opener are becoming rarer and rarer.

Have you noticed an increased propensity for invitations to arrive by email?

Even wedding invitations turn up via email! You can call me old-fashioned. I know electronic is better for the planet and more cost efficient, but in my book, you can’t beat paper.

The days of snail mail envelopes are almost gone. Perhaps, in the not too distant future, they will be entirely obsolete.

Anyway, I digress. No matter how an invitation arrives, it nearly always has RSVP on it (répondez s’il vous plait) and a date to reply by. Of course electronic invitations can get trapped in your spam filter or the junk mail box, so you’re often none the wiser till it’s too late!

Responding is just plain good manners.

Yep! I can remember my grandmother always used to insist on Basildon Bond stationary to write RSVP’s and thank you notes. But, aside from not wanting to appear rude, there are other less obvious reasons why you should always RSVP.

#1 – Someone has thought enough about you to place you on their guest list. They want you at their event.

Give them the courtesy of knowing you appreciate being thought of. That’s the RSVP.

#2 – When we look at the business scenario – invitations are a way of saying “Hey, we value you. We’d like your company”. You’re being invited, you’ll be giving or gaining something from your presence at the event. Hopefully, you’ll do both!

Your RSVP, whether you’re accepting or declining, means you respect the business relationship.

#3 – If you repeatedly fail to respond, you could well find yourself scrubbed off the database permanently. When that happens, if you’re in business, it means the networking opportunities become more limited.

#4 – When you RSVP promptly (by the due date at the latest), you’re showing that you respect deadlines and value the organisers time.

Your appropriately timed RSVP is affirming that you’re a responsible and reliable person to deal with.

When sending a RSVP, if you need to decline, there is no need to go into any detail about why you are declining. A simple ‘regretfully unable to attend’ is usually sufficient.

If you are in the public eye or a position of seniority, you may well find yourself flooded with invitations. Just because you’re invited does not mean you have to accept. It’s perfectly okay to decide what you will and won’t attend. Just make sure you RSVP to every single invitation that arrives with RSVP on it!

The easiest way not to forget is to do it immediately, or at the very least make a diary date and flag so you don’t miss it. It’s all too easy to forget when you get busy with the hustle and bustle of everyday living.

Michelle

P.S. Emily Post has this to say on RSVP’s

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.

 

 

The 4 Top Reasons Referrals Are Essential To Your Business

Have you noticed that with the growth of the internet, the popularity of Facebook and online forums, establishing a good referral system seems to have slipped down the ladder in terms of business prospecting activities?

It’s my experience that some traditional methods, like a referral system in business, still very much have a place in todays business world.

When was the last time you went to a restaurant because a friend kept on raving how great the food or the service was? I bet it was pretty recently. In fact, just today, I went to brunch at a new place because a couple of friends recommended it.

Have you ever asked a family member/friend to recommend a reliable plumber/electrician to take care of your dripping taps or broken fans? I do this on a regular basis because good tradies are hard to find! Similarly, doctors, dentists, web designers, accountants and a myriad of other professionals.

If you’re like me, then you probably like to give your business to, and place your trust in, someone that comes recommended by somebody you know and trust.

Referrals are essential for your business

  1. Customer acquisition costs are a bare minimum.

Your happy customers are doing the marketing for you. Of course, this only happens if you give good service and are attentive to your customers needs. This means going above and beyond what is expected.

Satisfied customers are more than likely to bring in more customers to your business.

  1. Customer retention rate is higher.

If people are happy with your services, they are most likely to keep doing business with you. It is important to maintain contact and listen to customer feedback.

  1. The market place is generally crowded. This makes getting your message to stand out from the crowd difficult.
  1. Conversion rates are higher. A prospect introduced to your business by someone they trust is far more likely to convert into a new client/customer.

Knowing when and how to spot a potential referral opportunity is a good way to kick-start your referral system into gear. When a happy, satisfied customer comes along and gives good feedback, grab the opportunity to ask the customer to spread the good about your business.

Conducting after-sale interactions lets your customers know they are valued and not everything ends immediately after the sale/job is done.

If you haven’t got a system in place, it’s not too late to start! Keep your eyes open and you’ll be surprised at how easy it really is.

I’d love you to share your feedback on how you handle referrals and what systems you are using.

Michelle

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.