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Welcome to ICLMA's blog!  Please come back often as this is where we'll post information about the association and other industry related news.

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  • 19 Mar 2014 3:15 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)

     

    By Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

    Here it is in a nutshell … with all due respect … if you post a logo on your website that states you are a member of an association, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, or the like, then it goes without saying here that you probably should be an actual member.

    Why?

    You are misleading your potential clients by telling them you are a member of an organization when you are not.

    I’ve been doing some research for a new edition of one of my books, and have been visiting people’s websites to see what new changes and trends are out there. While on a website, I often click on the logo they display to see if they are a member, or to find out more about the company.

    Imagine my surprise when I discovered many websites I visited are misleading people!!!

    Here’s what happened when I clicked on the logo they displayed …

    • It lead me nowhere. Literally. The association was no longer in business.
    • It lead me to an association, but their logo had changed.
    • It lead me to a company, but when I searched their online directory I didn’t find them

    “Well, while I agree with you Katharine, no one really checks these things, so it doesn’t matter”

    REALLY?

    If I am going to hire you to do something for me, I guarantee you I’ll visit your website and will check on your credentials. Call me crazy, but I actually prefer working with companies who are actual members of chambers and associations, and who have taken the time (and money) to be professionally trained. If I find out that you are misleading me, then I’ll simply go to a competitor who actually DOES have these credentials.

    The sad thing here is that you won’t know it happened!!!

    So you’re losing hundreds (or thousands) of dollars from a potential client who quietly scrolled to another company when they discovered that the links and logos (your credentials) on your website were false. It doesn’t matter if you simply “forgot” to update it … the result is the same. They will hire your competition.

    If you are telling people that you are honest and ethical and will do a great job for them, then I highly recommend that you be honest and ethical on your website. If you are NOT planning on renewing your dues with an organization, that’s fine, then simply remove the logo!

    So let me get this straight … you want me to hire you because you have an awesome service or product, but you won’t tell me your name or what experience you have, and you’re telling me that you belong to associations when you don’t. Some of you don’t even tell me what city you are located in!!!!

    Would YOU hire them?

    Exactly my point.

    Here’s another quick tip … I also read people’s bio’s and “about us” pages, and what I found wasn’t pretty. While most had the page on their site, many gave me very general information about their company. They didn’t tell me what the owner’s name was, nor did they post what actual experience they had. I highly recommend you post your name, title, and a brief biography that tells me why I should hire you.

    Until next time!

    Katharine Giovanni

    About the Author: Katharine is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and the world’s leading concierge trainer and consultant. She is the founder of both Triangle International and the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association (ICLMA) as well as the author of several business and motivational books. Visit her websites at www.KatharineGiovanni.com and www.TriangleInternational.com

    copyright © 2014 by Katharine C. Giovanni

  • 23 Jan 2014 1:31 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)
    Want more exposure for your business? Advertise in ICLMA's classified!!!! Our directory is the MOST POPULAR on the internet ... so catch the public's eye and attract more clients!!!! http://www.iclma.org/Classified
  • 23 Jan 2014 1:22 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)

    Slow Down!

    by Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

    I received a voice mail from a client the other day, and she said her name and phone number so fast that I had to listen to it three times before I could get the number!  Later, I received yet another voice mail and he must have been on his cell phone because the line cracked right when he was saying his name and number. Luckily I had called this particular client before so I was able to reach him.

    In light of this, I thought I would offer you all a few telephone tips …

    1. Please say your name and phone number twice!  First at the beginning, and then again at the very end. Please do not assume that the person you are calling can recognize your voice!  They may, and then again they may not. I’ve received dozens of calls where the caller just starts speaking and never tells me who they are.
    2. Speak slowly … this is not a race!  I know you’ve memorized your number and can rattle it off fast, but that doesn’t help me when I have to listen to the message a few times before I can get the number.  Plus, if you left me a long message and gave the phone number at the end then I have to listen to that long message over and over again!  Can’t tell you how annoying that is.
    3. If you don’t hear back from the person within a reasonable amount of time, let’s say 24 to 48 hours, then call them back. It could be that they couldn’t understand your voice mail and were unable to return the call.
    4. Return all telephone calls and emails within 24 hours or less!  Good customer service is the number one way to grow your business.

    Until next time everyone!

     

    About the Author:  Katharine Giovanni is a two-time award-winning author, motivational speaker and the world’s leading concierge trainer and consultant. She is the founder of both Triangle International and ICLMA as well as the author of several business and motivational books. Please visit her websites at www.triangleinternational.com; www.katharinegiovanni.com and www.ICLMA.org

     

  • 13 Dec 2013 12:42 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)


    I had the dubious pleasure this week of visiting a big department store two days in a row.

    The first day, I parked in a space and noticed that the parking lot was full. As I got out of the car, I sighed because I knew what I would find inside. Stressed out people living in their “all about me” world.

    As I walked around the store, I was amazed at how rude people were. By the time I was finished shopping, I was mentally and physically exhausted.

    On the second day, I pulled into the parking lot and decided that I would test a theory of mine, so I mentally decided that today I was going to see helpful and nice people all around the store. I EXPECTED to have a positive experience!

    Guess what?

    That’s exactly what happened. I saw friendly people with smiles on their faces, sales people willing to help, and children smiling. Of course, I ran into the occasional grumpy person but all in all it was a MUCH better experience than the day before.

    The moral?  For the most part, in business and life, you will see exactly what you EXPECT to see. If you EXPECT to see stressed, angry and negative people that’s what you’re going to find. So when you shop this year, go out into the world expecting to find positivity and peace!

    With that being said … let’s do a reality check here.

    With the joys of the holidays comes the stress. Stress from family, shopping, holiday parties, and on and on it goes. There just isn't enough time in the day! It’s going to happen. You’re going to have an off moment or day. It’s ok to not be ok!  Just don’t stay there too long.

    So ... here are three tips that might help you not be as frantic this year ...

    1.  Don’t stress out about what you don’t have.

    Be thankful for what you do have!  One of the things that I do during the holidays is I make a gratitude list. A little list of things I am grateful for. It’s amazing how great it will make you feel. Focus on the positive parts of your life!  Focus on what you do have!!

    2.  Remember to keep it simple! 

    Don’t overbook yourself. You don’t have to attend every party and buy presents for all your neighbors. However, if you're reading this and thinking "actually, yes I do" then try and keep it as simple as possible. It's the KISS method ... Keep It Simple Stupid        ;-)

    3.  Have a good sense of humor!!!

    Long lines at the mall, strange relatives you only see once a year … all things that might set off your stress button. Try and keep a good sense of humor about it all. Laugh about it!!! You know Aunt Martha is coming, you know how she’s going to behave … laugh!!!  Then when you see her in person, give her a great big bear hug and a smile. At the very least her reaction will make you roar with laughter!!!

    Have a happy, healthy and wonderful holiday everyone!!

    Katharine


    Katharine is a two-time award-winning author, motivational speaker and the world’s leading concierge trainer and consultant. She is the founder of both Triangle International and the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association (ICLMA) as well as the author of several business and motivational books. You can visit her at her websites: www.triangleinternational.com and www.KatharineGiovanni.com

  • 05 Nov 2013 1:08 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)


    I have a FANTASTIC announcement to make ... it is with the greatest pleasure that I can officially announce that Jackie Farley is ICLMA's BRAND NEW Chairwoman of the Board!!!! Jackie joined the association in 2005 when she started her successful concierge business Wise Women Concierge, and has been on the Board of Directors since 2007.

    Jackie is also an extremely talented motivational speaker and Adjunct Professor in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Please join me in welcoming Jackie as ICLMA's brand new Chair!!!
  • 18 Oct 2013 4:17 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)

    It was a sunny morning in the fall of 1999 when I decided to start an association for independent concierge. It didn’t matter to me that there were only a few dozen scattered around the world, I thought that we needed a place where we could exchange ideas and help each other grow. So I put a little group of determined concierge together and we formed ICLMA.

     

    It is now 14 years later and our little industry is not so little anymore. In fact, it’s a billion dollar worldwide industry!  Years ago people didn’t know what a concierge was, nor could they spell or pronounce it.  Today the industry reaches across the globe and is helping millions of people daily.  

     

    That being said, as of December 31, 2013 I will be officially retiring from ICLMA. It is with gratitude that I look back on everything we accomplished. I am both honored and humbled that I was able to be a part of it.

     

    Now please know I am not going far!  I'm writing a brand new book (due out next year) and will be embarking on a new speaking career. I'll be watching your progress with interest, however, and I will come back from time to time to see how you all are doing (as I will still have a seat on the board as Founder). I am certain you will all help ICLMA grow to incredible heights!

     

    So my last blog for ICLMA will be in December. Not to worry though as I'm leaving you in very capable hands. Mindy will be here to take the association far into the future!  

     

    If my legacy to you was time spent building this industry up and creating this association, your legacy to me is one of friendship, faith, and an abiding passion for concierge! I'm embarking on a new journey, a new beginning, a new lease on life!  I have enjoyed the last 14 years with all of you very much, and I will always remember them fondly.

     

    With warmest regards,


    Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

    ICLMA Founder 

     

      

    If you want to see where I am going, or be a part of my journey, please visit https://www.facebook.com/PositiveLifeSeries or you can subscribe to my website at www.katharinegiovanni.com

  • 23 Sep 2013 1:31 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)
    I am THRILLED to announce the addition of a GREAT article in the ICLMA members library ... "The Top *5* Best Practices for the Independent Concierge... Live the Life!" by Joyce Bryant, CCS.

    Another GREAT benefit to being an ICLMA member!!!

    Why not join ICLMA now and visit our library?

  • 18 Sep 2013 10:38 AM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)
    (This article was originally posted in my Concierge Blog. I am re-posting it here as I thought you would all find it helpful)

    Hello everyone!

    What many of you don’t know is that I have quietly been designing and maintaining ICLMA's website as well as my personal sites (www.triangleinternational.com; www.katharinegiovanni.com) for years now. I taught myself website design in 1995 because we didn’t have enough money to hire someone to do it for us. Since there was so little information on it back then, my only resource to learn how to do a website was to read the Microsoft word “help” file. Took a few weeks, but our website finally went up in late 1995. That was 18 years ago.

    Needless to say, I’ve learned a few things since those early days and thought I would give you a few tips this week on what you should (and shouldn’t) include.

    Here are a few tips that have worked well for me over the years…

    Give people a reason to come back!

    Don’t just put up a website and then never edit it again. A website is a living and breathing thing that needs to change!  This way they don’t forget you!

    • Perhaps add a calendar of special events around town
    • List shows/events you can get tickets to
    • Create a blog!
    • Add some articles or a resource directory with helpful links and information

    Use the new technologies that come along and give clients a reason to come back and again and again.

    Your ABOUT US page

    One of my biggest pet peeves is the “about us” page. I can’t tell you how many sites I have visited only have two or three general sentences telling me about their company. When I hire someone, I always go to their site and read about them. I want to read about the business owners and find out how much experience they have. If there is a picture of the owner, even better!  If I see no information about the owner or the company, I often wonder what they are hiding and why.  Do I hire them? Not very often.

    Client testimonials

    Put them everywhere!  On each page of your website and on your company brochure. Get as many testimonials as you can! The more specific, the more convincing. In short, deliver proof that you are who you say you are.

    Sincerity sells!

    Don’t offer fluff, mislead, or lie to your clients. Tell them the truth!!! Honesty and integrity is the hallmark of the concierge.

    Address your client’s objections within the copy of your website

    • I don’t have enough time.
    • I don’t have enough money.
    • It won’t work for me.
    • I don’t believe you.
    • I don’t need it.

    Tell me where you are located!

    I understand that you want privacy. Trust me I get it. However, I can’t tell you how many websites I have visited that don’t have their location on it!  All I get is the company name, telephone number, an email address or contact us box and that’s it!  If I do a Google search on a company in Raleigh NC for example, and I type in “Raleigh Concierge” … if you don’t have the words “Raleigh, NC” somewhere on your website, the search engines will not pull it up. So you’ll lose a LOT of local business. At the very least put your city/state/country somewhere on your site.

    I do hope these short tips helped you!

    Until next time!

    Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

    ICLMA Founder & Chairman

  • 19 Aug 2013 2:10 PM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)

    One of my favorite quotes was written by Thomas Edison. In it he said ..

    "I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work."

    So my message this month is to NEVER EVER give up! 

    Business not doing as well as you would like?
    Do you have health challenges?
    Relationship problems?

    It's ok to not be ok once in a while. Just don't stay there.

    GET UP!

    Try again.

    Change your pricing, change your services, change your diet ... just change and try again!

    I don't believe in failure because if failure causes me to go in a new direction that turns into success ... have I really failed?

    So be positive people!  YOU CAN DO IT!

    Until next month,

    Katharine


  • 17 Jul 2013 11:22 AM | Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS (Administrator)

     

    1.  Anything you wear should be clean, neat, and wrinkle-free. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable.

    2.  Stand up straight and smile!!! An outstanding concierge is warm, friendly and approachable. Quite simply they are nice to people.

    3.  Keep your nervous habits under control. Nervous habits such as biting your nails, twisting your hair, and bouncing your knee up and down rapidly can ruin your professional image, so do the best you can to get those under control. Person­ally, if I’m talking to someone and his or her knee is twitching like a machine gun, I tend to pay attention to the knee and not what the person is saying. It’s distracting.

    4.  Please do NOT chew gum. Nothing ruins a professional im­age more than someone snapping their gum while they’re talking to you.

    5.  Be clean and fresh but don’t overdo it.  If I can smell you before you enter the room, then you’re wearing too much.

    Until next month!

    Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS


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