Lakeland retailers were at work well before their shops opened yesterday, meeting at Bramble Ridge Golf CourseÂ for the inagural event of the Lakeland Chamber’s Retail aCCess program. Â After indulging inÂ Chef Paulie‘s superb omelet bar, attendees were treated to an informative and inspiring presentation from Mary Kay National Sales Director, Bett Vernon. Â
Bett’s 24 years as an entrepeneur provided her insights into creating customer communities and persevering. Â She likened ourÂ current economic situation to aÂ deep winter storm back home in South Dakota. Â Even on the darkest of days, she knew that, early or late, the Spring would come. Â She encouraged us to use exceptional customer service to set us apart from our competition and turn our customers into a salesforce. Â Without undue optimism, Bett painted a hopeful picture for those willing to put their customers’ needs above their own.
My portion of the program was intended to show that the internet can be used to deepenÂ personal interactions with customers instead of substituting for them. Â I went over how companies can use blogs, twitter, facebook, and other social networking applications to enhance their customers’ experience. Â I even snuck in a picture of Chef Paulie at the omelet bar!
Many thanks to Jennifer at the Verizon Wireless store at 4120 S. Florida Ave. Â for providing us with internet access.
Staff Picks and Additional Reading:
Bett recommended subscribing to SUCCESS Magazine, published by Darren Hardy.
Matthew recommends you read “Tribes” by Seth Godin.
Amy recommends “Word of Mouth Marketing” byÂ Andy Sernovitz.