181 – June 30
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”—Dale Carnegie
More money too, I might add. I often window-shopped at the little boutique in Pacific Palisades called Stephanie’s. She had the most beautiful clothes on display! But the prices were a little higher than I was used to, and I was afraid they didn’t fit into my budget. So, with a sigh, I passed by.
Then, one day, I was at a Chamber of Commerce networking mixer, and the door prize was 20 percent off merchandise at Stephanie’s. Oh, I wanted to win that prize! And when Ted Silverberg, the Allstate Insurance agent, reached his hand in the basket to pull out the winner’s business card, I focused all my winning concentration on him. Yes, yes—I won!
I ran right down to Stephanie’s the next day and started browsing through all the fine things. Which item should I buy? The beautiful black leather belt with the special gold buckle? Or the fine rust-colored mohair sweater with pearl buttons? Stephanie watched me for a little and then walked over to where I stood, fingering all the beautiful merchandise. “Are you looking for something in particular?” she asked with a smile.
“No,” I said, “but it seems I like everything you have! I just won the discount certificate at the Chamber mixer and I have a question.”
“Is the discount good for only one item or for everything I buy today?”
Stephanie’s eyes sparkled as she gave me the perfect entrepreneur’s answer: “Everything you buy today!”
Now Stephanie really went to work. She got a pad of paper and a pen, sat me down and started asking questions about my wardrobe and my lifestyle. She asked me to describe my favorite outfits, what I did for work and what I did for fun. She asked me if I owned a black skirt, a black blazer or cowboy boots. She made notes as I answered her questions, and after her pad was full, she jumped up and started putting outfits together for me, all the while giving me ideas of how to use the items she showed me with things I already owned at home. This was true service! I felt cared about, listened to, and well served.
I spent $1,200 that day—and many thousands more in the years since.
Make buying from you a pleasure. Make seeing you a pleasure. Make hearing your voice on the phone a pleasure. Make everything about being with you a pleasure.
“I provide extraordinary service and reap rich rewards!”
Today’s guest blog is by my friend, Janet Cargill, who is a fabulous image consultant. She also is a strong advocate of dressing with a smile!
Compliments, Chatting and Connections
When I feel happy, it spills out all over. Those of you who know me, know that I love to chat!
I love connecting with people. Sometimes, it is just to exchange a smile or a nod as I pass someone on the street. Compulsive? Perhaps. Fun, fascinating, rewarding? Most definitely. If you have not yet tried it, I highly recommend the practice!
One of my favorite things to do is to pay someone a totally unexpected compliment, right out of the blue. It is so much fun to surprise someone with a “You look so lovely today” or “Thank you for bagging, you did such a nice job.” I’m always rewarded with a big smile and a “Thank you!” Sometimes it turns out that we take a little time to chat. Other times, we just exchange some wonderful positive energy — a lovely deposit to our emotional bank accounts.
I have come to listen to my intuitive “time to chat” sense even when it might seem inappropriate. Recently, I was edging down a crowded aisle of a plane. I could hear sighs of exasperation as progress down the isle became clogged to a standstill as it always seems to do. Never one to simply look straight ahead, I was enjoying the sea of faces of those already comfortably settled. Then I noticed an elderly lady sitting all alone.
Because of what I do, I always notice someone who has taken some time to look nice and put together.
I stopped, looked at the Very Nice Lady, put my hand on her shoulder and said, “I can’t help but notice how really lovely you look; it is always such a pleasure to see such a charming, attractive woman.”
She looked up at me, a bit startled, then her eyes sparkled and with a big smile, she responded, “Why, my dear, no one has told me that in more years than I care to remember! Thank you so much.”
The atmosphere on the plane actually changed. The passengers around the Very Nice Lady began to smile, too, including my impatient aisle-mates. Everyone just seemed in a bit less of a hurry. I put that little exchange into my Favorite Moments file.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
A simple compliment — most especially to the lovely person that greets us in the mirror every day — a kind word, a genuine expression of thanks, even for a small service, creates an invitation to pay it forward. You and I will never know how our compliment will become transformed throughout the days, weeks or months, passed along from person to person, finally to be received by someone in great need at the exact time an extra dose of kindness or encouragement was called for.
As I celebrate my personal new year ( my 70th Birthday)I will be especially attuned to paying compliments. Join me as we expand this economy of kindliness!
Janet Cargill is an image consultant, author and motivational speaker known for her lively manner and disarming wit. As a seasoned traveler in the world of style, her ultimate goal is to help women feel good about themselves, both inside and out. Janet owns her own image consulting and speaking business, J. Cargill Image Consulting. She is a member of The National Speakers Association and is also The author of the popular book, “Look DAMN Good — At Your Age, With Your Body and On Your Budget”. www.jcargill.com