Day 181 of the year: Say Aloha to June!

When today ends, half of the year is gone: Have you been successful with ‘ÅŒpala ‘ole this month, clearing away the clutter so you can focus better in the next six months?

Personally it was a very ambitious goal for me, and I’ll be continuing my own efforts through the summer, so don’t be surprised if the ‘ÅŒpala ‘ole mantra is one you hear me repeating again.

However it is June 30th, so drum roll please:
The Top 5 Talking Story Posts tabulated by your visits this month were these:

Why GTD reminds me of the 7 Habits. You can call this one, Rosa goes on another book journey”

Investment Banking at the Prescott Starbucks. An idea that deserves to be viral. It’s too bad not all bloggers use trackbacks, for this one really amazed me with the amount of coverage it got elsewhere in Blogsville. In particular, the ones who added to it with their own ideas were Dane and Richard.

How to Prepare Yourself for Reading. This one was a result of the coaching I did at an entrepreneurs retreat on the island of Molokai this month.

3by3 on Motivation, Responsibility and Accountability.
On Kuleana, the Hawaiian value of responsibility in Managing with Aloha.

‘ÅŒpala ‘ole and your Personal Productivity. This one was the invitation to the MWA3P project. And yes, for some who emailed me during my trip, you can still sign up if you like.

Also worthy of mention,this post was in a tie with How to Prepare Yourself for Reading in getting the most comment conversation, and if you only read it when first posted you may want to click back in:
It was the post on Stephen Covey’s most recent book, The 8th Habit, and as a result we welcomed author Tom Ehrenfeld to our Ho‘ohana Community!
Not ready for greatness, still working on the effectiveness part.

You know, looking back over the month we really covered a lot of stuff despite all the time I was away. Besides the heavy hitters above, we learned how to say “Happy Birthday” in Hawaiian, we put our minds to work on A Riddle, we coached ourselves to be better customers, we got inspired by Kalani’s story, we had some learning fun with drawing pictures, doodling and diagrams, we talked story a bit on trust and keeping promises, and we kicked our personal productivity efforts into high gear with the MWA3P project. And what inspired it all: Our June Ho‘ohana, ‘ÅŒpala ‘ole.

Whew. No wonder this month felt like such a doozy – it was!

And then there was my Arizona travelogue ” from Say Aloha to Prescott with me to Do it right, or don’t do it at all. As I shared with Ken in an email exchange today, I love the privilege of traveling for the opportunities it presents in seeing new ideas in new places. Being in business, even vacation time with the family causes me to see things through a certain lens, and I love the mindfulness and observation skills that business gives us by a kind of osmosis. The world has a lot to offer: we just have to be open to it.

Thanks so much for being here this month with me.

Warmth and caring are words describing ”

The global connections one can make thanks to the internet.

Who would’ve thought?

Who would’ve thought that “warmth” and “caring” would be the words that first come to mind to describe four days’ worth of messages via the sleek, cool, calculating, electronic wonder of the internet?

Who would’ve thought that a machine crunching data would become a vehicle of communication magic?

Who would’ve thought that aloha could be felt and experienced so globally by people who have never personally met each other?

We did.

I just got home late this evening having been away since June 16th. A great time, both for vacation with family and for business alone (more coaching nirvana! I love my life!) yet a much longer stretch than normal for me. When I re-docked my laptop after four days unexpectedly offline I was warmed up so deliciously by the emails waiting for me from many of you, most saying something like, “Rosa, where are you? All okay? Just want to let you know I’m thinking about you. Post again soon, would ya?”

Mahalo nui for your thoughtfulness and your aloha. I’ve much catching up to do, and if you have written me or commented here I will respond as soon as I can.

My aloha to all of you, my warm and caring Ho‘ohana Community. It is good to be home with you, and I’ll post more soon.

Do it right, or don’t do it at all.

I just read Scott’s latest Starbucks tribute, coincidentally fresh back from my most recent hop into the rental car to find some decent coffee. Now in Phoenix, we’ve switched to an AAA 5-Diamond hotel, are in a room that normally goes for $380 per night (we got a ‘sweet deal’ ) and we can’t get a well brewed cup of joe. We don’t even need specialty espresso drinks, just regular good-tasting black coffee. It’s not in our room, and it’s not in their breakfast restaurant.

Newsflash to all hoteliers: I will pay your obscene prices for a cup of coffee when it is good and I needn’t go through a lot of extra trouble to get it.

I’m not divulging the name of the hotel because we did get a good deal in other ways and I don’t want to appear ungrateful, but also because I travel a lot and this happens all the time. Unfortunately this hotel is the norm and not the exception.  It has become my habit to case out the surrounding area of a hotel to find the nearest coffee purveyor because it’s sadly so predictable. As I commented on Scott’s post:

I wish hoteliers everywhere would understand how important coffee — good coffee — is to people: We’ve hit the road nearly every morning to find a Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or another coffee-focused purveyor to find coffee that tastes decent. Luckily there are a lot of them to choose from, but I keep thinking about the lost opportunities at the places we’re at.

It also causes you to wonder what else they simply don’t get.

True, I’m a businesswoman who makes her living in coaching others to manage well and provide exceptional service at the same time. However I am still your customer, and I do believe that most consumers have the same expectations I do. We all need pretty simple things, however we want them done well. Otherwise, you shouldn’t bother at all: not having it is better than offering it poorly.

It’s become pretty standard now for most hotels (including this one) to offer you a complimentary coffee and tea service in-room — one with poor quality coffee that only serves to illustrate how badly they do it, and annoy you into realizing how much you want it right.

The only place I’ve ever taken advantage of it and been satisfied is at the Four Season’s Resort Hualalai, because there, in addition to the coffee-maker they provide a coffee grinder and jar of whole bean Kona Coffee you can grind yourself as strong as you want. Yes, it costs them a little bit more, however what a great return they get on their investment: I recommend them to everyone.

Just because of the coffee?

Because just like the coffee, they get most everything else right too.


Art of the Sale Redux

In April we talked story about the Art of the Sale, and I couldn’t help but think about it today as we spent our day in Scottsdale shopping. With the heat outside fluctuating between 108 and 111 degrees, parting with our dollars indoors became much more attractive.

As a result, I have two more things to add to our Art of the Sale discussions and tips:

  1. Being nice is a competitive advantage. Treat your customers with aloha and they are more inclined to buy from you.
  2. When you have a customer who is primed and ready to buy, for goodness sake, be helpful and SELL!

Put them together, and we’re back to Bottom-Line Aloha!

So here’s what happened today:

My daughter has been on a long-standing, exhaustive search for the perfect pair of sunglasses. We walked into a sunglass shop today and she walked directly to a display as if magnetized to it, tried on a $195 pair of Gucci shades and fell in love. She was ready to buy, but she asked the clerk to check for another pair because there was a long scratch on one lens.

Zilch. No back-stock. No discount offered for floor models, in fact “our store policy is we never sell damaged goods, no matter what.” Okay. My daughter was ready to drop $200, yet no effort was made to find her another comparable pair, or order another from Gucci.

Having decided to stay indoors and out of the heat, and with just short of a week’s sightseeing in Arizona thoroughly done, our search continued for those glasses: It became this Scottsdale scavenger hunt for us.

At the first store, we had written down the Gucci product number to help store clerks in each new place we looked, and we had quite a few options — if you haven’t been here, Scottsdale is quite the shopping mecca. If they sold Gucci, we’d give them the stock number: Another huge hint that we were ready to BUY. I was amazed how time after time so-called sales people would look it up, find out they didn’t have it, yet make no attempt whatsoever to suggest something else. In fact, we were getting the sense that we annoyed most of them, asking for something they didn’t have.

By the time we reached location number 5 and had the same thing happen (yes 5 times!) my daughter, who’d saved up for this trip and had more than that $200 in her pocket, decided that she no longer wanted to “spend my money with people who aren’t very nice.”

I’d been wondering how so many retailers packed into Scottsdale can make enough money to have their businesses be profitable. If they don’t learn the Art of the Sale, they won’t be.

Related Post:

‘Apelila Ho‘ohana: Bottom-Line Aloha, the Art of the Sale