Black Bean Chips – Salsa De Verde Is Big Business

When we sit down to dinner at our house, there’s just something about the conversation. Recently my son-in-law came up with the brilliant idea of opening a restaurant. He’s an Army cook, so that wasn’t a big stretch for him, but the concept was flying right over my head, until he shared that he wanted me to help run it.

Ping… I’m awake now.

What? Me run a restaurant? Okay, it’s not a huge leap, I did it before. But seriously? Now?

Okay… breathe. What’s on the menu?

My recent ventures into glutton free eating raised a giant red flag and the world stopped turning, then he said, “We could do a specialized menu for people who have stopped eating junk food. Limited portions, good food with real flavor but glutton free?”

Bea Kuntz suggested a sustainable restaurant on Sit and Sip, her Facebook group where foodies discuss… um, food. Bea is the gardeness at Sage Hill Farms, a fresh produce and herb garden in middle Tennessee. The thought definitely struck a chord with me. I love Bea’s teas. They’re an amazing addition to our diets and we all sip them eagerly in the mornings, as the fog lifts and life becomes busy again.

Sustainable menus in a restaurant that specializes in glutton free recipes. This could be a real deal. How about it? What do you think?

The next words out of his mouth sent me reeling for paper and pen, I had to take notes. Not only did the menu for our restaurant begin to take shape, but the process of putting it all together morphed into a planning session. While we chattered, he pulled out a bowl of fresh Salsa de Verde and we nibbled on glutton free black bean chips and salsa as we discussed the options of building a restaurant based on healthy food in healthy portions – reasonably priced, healthy portions, even.

These concepts came out pretty fast:

  • Create a sustainable menu that appeals to most age groups
  • Provide healthy, attractive children’s options on plastic dinnerware
  • Design a light, bright, appealing logo that says “food” in healthy proportions
  • Flavor has to be a BIG part of the package
  • Increase personal awareness of diet, nutrients and sustainable food sources
  • Magnify healthy options while keeping traditional flavor opportunities
  • Make sure it’s not only healthy but tastes great too!

The easy methods of starting a business were pretty much ironed out in that first discussion. The hard parts will be ironed out over the next several months as he’s deployed and returns to live his dream via a family restaurant where he’ll be manning the chef’s table with his mother-in-law. How fun!

Auto Sales Success Increased Commissions Through Business Thank You Cards

High income car sales people know that consistent value added contact results in higher commissions. Joe Girard, listed as the greatest salesman in the world by Guinness World Records, proposed a rule suggesting each person you meet knows approximately 250 other people. Translation, each time you sell a car, if managed properly, you will have access to the roughly 250 people your new customer knows. You will have access, that is, if you farm the opportunity.

Joe Verde, trainer, coach, and mentor, states that every one of your sold customers knows someone who will be purchasing a vehicle in the next ninety days. Translation, if you had a hundred sold customers, that would be a hundred opportunities over the next 90 days. Imagine if you had a thousand customers!

Unfortunately, the majority of car sales people miss these opportunities. First, most fail to train their customers to contact them when they hear someone is in the market for a vehicle. Second, they fail to keep their name fresh in their customer’s mind.

Business thank you cards, followed by a regularly scheduled sequence of business greeting cards, is a strength of auto and RV sales professionals. It is essential to note that true sales professionals rarely use electronic greeting cards. E-cards often end up in the receiver’s spam folder. And, unlike paper greeting cards, E-cards fail to demonstrate any sincere time investment in their creation.

How should a business thank you card be created?
1. It must be a paper card,
2. It must include a personal note from the sender,
3. It should be posted with a real stamp,
4. Proper etiquette for a business thank you card is to show you are sincere,
5. Do not sell in a business thank you card. Saying thank you, or happy birthday, or Merry Christmas, and asking for a referral is poor taste.

Cultivating repeat customers, and their referrals, is a process that starts right at time of delivery. While doing the orientation, make it a point to explain to your new customer that as a commission sales professional referrals are important. Ask them to call you each time they hear someone mention about purchasing a vehicle. Be sure to give them several business cards and hint that you will be following up from time-to-time, especially on special occasions. That clears the way for your business thank you cards.

Bob Burg, in his book Endless Referrals, wrote “The pros, the champions, the ones who are determined to succeed, do the little things right consistently.” He emphasizes that personal notes, like business thank you cards, are a way of establishing yourself and your credibility.

Similarly, David Fry, author of the Small Business Marketing Bible, describes a system for getting more referrals using a hands free follow up process. What is important is that he demonstrates how it engenders a deep relationship with customers. The nugget is that the system requires very little effort. Write me for a link. Take a few minutes and see just how important regular follow up is to your business growth and income.

Remember: Nothing happens until someone sells something.
Sales Champions Make It Happen!

Relocating to Palos Verdes and the South Bay Part 1 – The Beach Cities

The U.S. Air Force relocated me and my family five times in less than ten years. So if you are looking at relocating I understand your challenge. But if you are relocating to the South Bay area of Greater Los Angeles, that challenge comes with significant opportunities. I am writing this series of articles to address those opportunities for your relocating family.

In this, Part 1, we will explore what we call the Beach Cities. Those cities are, in order, driving south down the coast from Los Angeles International Airport: El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Torrance. Each city has its own special vibe that makes it distinct for both visitors and residents. So let’s take look at each of the cities in turn.

El Segundo:

This relatively unknown city borders the south side of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX.) It has a small but vibrant downtown area that gives it a bit of a small-town feel. Named after the second Atlantic Richfield Refinery, the school system receives generous funding. My older son graduated from El Segundo High School, which is one of the most beautiful high schools in Los Angeles and often used as a location for movies and television. Advantages of this city include shopping, employment (Aerospace, Oil Industry, and other numerous businesses), and convenience to LAX and Freeways.

Manhattan Beach:

This city prides itself on its “beach vibe.” Because of rising real estate prices, it has also become a mecca for modern architecture. A world class pier stretches into the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean at the end of Manhattan Beach Blvd. If you are looking for a city that is both modern and has a genuine California surfing community-this is it. Buy a board, take lessons, and enjoy. If you relocate here, you may never want to leave.

Hermosa Beach:

A bit more of an intimate surfing city; the big attraction of Hermosa Beach is nightlife! Several clubs and fine restaurants along Hermosa Avenue offer a wide range of live music and fine dining. The host of the Tonight Show often practices his monologue at the Comedy Club here. My favorite club boasts top blues bands and tasty Cajun cooking. Surf in the morning, relax in the afternoon, and hit the clubs at night.

Redondo Beach:

Some think of this city as the big secret of the South Bay. Even with its semicircular pier, yacht harbor, and sun drenched beaches it still retains a restful atmosphere. My sister raised her family here. Boating, fishing, surfing, diving, good restaurants, what more could you ask for?

Torrance:

The stretch of beach between Redondo and Palos Verdes is prized by surfers and sunbathers alike. Overlooked by a towering bluff, it offers an intimate stretch of sand that feels isolated but has a great view up the coast to Malibu. Torrance is a city that offers the greatest diversity of living. Everything from hillside homes with expanding views of Los Angeles, the mountains, and ocean to small close knit neighborhoods. Add to this a top notch school system, and you have a great place to raise kids.

In my next installment I will detail the cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.