International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Network

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The International Concierge & Lifestyle Management Network

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  • December 29, 2017 2:08 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    For anyone who follows me on Social Media, I like to post “good news” facts and articles to combat all the negativity I see on my feeds. So, to end the year on a positive note, here are 20 good things that happened in 2017…

    1. Honey bee populations have increased by 27%

    2. Scientists have found a way to rebreed sections of the great barrier reef.

    3. HIV/AIDS is no longer the leading cause of death in Africa.

    4. Global hunger has dropped by 27% since 2000.

    5. Scientists think they might be able to reverse Alzheimer's memory loss.

    Please click here to read the rest of the article

  • December 20, 2017 12:34 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    “Thanks for answering me back!”

    Sadly, I actually get this reply back a LOT as I am very quick to answer my emails. I am also lightening fast at answering texts. Even if I can’t answer right away (I might be in a meeting), I reply with a quick “I got it and will get back to you by __) as soon as I can. I send them something so they know I saw their message. They feel valued. Voice mails? I try and answer within one business day or sooner if I can.

    Why do I do this? First, it’s good customer service. Second, it makes me money as I have actually gotten speaking and consulting gigs because I respond so fast!

    Unfortunately, I seem to be abnormal in today’s world as most people don’t practice this.

    Click here to read more

  • October 26, 2017 11:31 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    A reporter has left you a voice mail ... what do you do?

    Answer the message immediately. In fact, you should answer it within the hour or sooner. Reporters always have a deadline they have to meet and often are calling you at the last possible second. I can't tell you how many reporters have called me saying "sorry this is so last minute, but my deadline is in an hour." Remember, the number one way to sell your business is through the media.

    Second, nothing is ever "off the record" ... NOTHING. So if you don't want it printed, don't say it. For example, a few years ago a reporter interviewed me for a story he was doing. After the interview was over, we chatted for a few minutes and out of the blue he asked me the following question …


    Click here to read the article

  • September 06, 2017 10:22 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    What many of you don't know is that I have quietly been designing and maintaining our numerous websites for years now. I taught myself website design years ago 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, believe it or not  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 around 1995. 

    Needless to say, I've learned a few things since those early days. Here are a few tips that have worked well for me over the years...

    Keep your website up-to-date.

    If visitors notice that your content isn’t up-to-date, then you lose credibility and quite possibly a valuable client! You should visit your website every week and add copy, articles, images and the like. I also suggest you remove any information that might be obsolete.  At the very least please make sure that your copyright date is in the current year and your blog has current articles in it.  

    Click here to read more

    What many of you don't know is that I have quietly been designing and maintaining our numerous websites for years now. I taught myself website design years ago 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, believe it or not  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 around 1995. 

    Needless to say, I've learned a few things since those early days. Here are a few tips that have worked well for me over the years...

    Keep your website up-to-date.

    If visitors notice that your content isn’t up-to-date, then you lose credibility and quite possibly a valuable client! You should visit your website every week and add copy, articles, images and the like. I also suggest you remove any information that might be obsolete.  

    At the very least please make sure that your copyright date is in the current year and your blog has current articles in it.  

    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 that 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.

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

    Some good ones include...
    • 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.
    Write a short paragraph addressing these concerns and any others you come up with. 

    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.

    Until next time!

  • August 08, 2017 10:36 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    I’ve received quite a few scam emails recently. One in particular wanted to hire us to do dozens of things for them. This scam (called the Nigerian Advanced Fee Scam), places a legitimate order for services from your company. All of a sudden they get desperate and need everything immediately! So you go out and purchase everything they require and ship it to them. Of course they promise many more services from you. The bank draft they send to you, or the credit card they give you, bounces of course.

    That being said, I thought it might be helpful to post a few tips on how you can spot these emails …

    First and most important ... if they ask you if you take credit cards IT'S A SCAM! Everyone on the planet accepts credit cards.

    Was the email really written by the person who sent it? If I send an email, my automatic signature with our logo is clearly displayed at the bottom. You’ll never receive an email from me unless it’s there.

    Look at the return address. Scammers tend to use the free email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail. Plus, their contact information is never at the bottom of the email. In fact, you won't see it at all.

    Is the email filled with grammar and spelling errors? If it is, most likely it’s a scam. Many scammers don’t speak English very well, let alone write it, so they tend to make a lot of mistakes. People in the business world never send an email out with errors. We also do not use a lot of exclamation points like this !!!!!! I use exclamation points but usually only one.

    Is the email written in all uppercase letters? Or all lowercase with no punctuation? It’s a scam!

    Is it from a guy name Chad who will be "in country"? The words "in country" are a HUGE tip off.

    Do I have to really tell you that if they want to wire you money (so please email me your bank account number) … DON’T!

    If they tell you “this is not a hoax” … it probably is.

    Don’t click on the link … or the file that is attached … ever!!! If you know them and are not expecting anything from this person, just shoot them a quick email asking if they just sent you a file.

    If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. It’s a scam. I’ll bet you anything that you did not win millions of dollars from the lottery in the United Kingdom.

    If they ask for any type of personal information, don’t give it. A legitimate company will not email you requesting this information.

    If you get an email from a department store or business that you frequently use with a coupon code, don't trust it. Open up a new page on your browser, buy the item and paste the code there.

    If you receive a scam and would like to report it, here are a few links for you …

    https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx - the Internet Fraud Complaint Center. A partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center

    Forward the email to Spam@uce.gov … the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

    Report the scam to Consumer Fraud Reporting ... https://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/reporting.php

    Good luck!

    Katharine Giovanni

    (To read more about Mrs. Giovanni, please visit her website at www.KatharineGiovanni.com)

  • July 20, 2017 11:53 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    I was doing a search on companies the other day, specifically concierge companies, when I noticed something very odd. Most of the websites I found didn't give me any information about the owner of the company! The "about us" section was generic and had no names in it. There were no biographies, no list of staff ... nothing.

    I don't know about you, but I like to know who I am doing business with. I like to read about the history of a company, and when I call them, I also like to have a name to ask for.

    I completely understand that many of you might wish to remain anonymous for security reasons. I get that. I also understand that security issues might be why I can't find where you are located any where on your website. At least give me the city and state!

    That all being said, I have both good news and bad news.

    The good news is that hiding your name and company location will indeed help keep you secure in today's world.

    The bad news is that it might cost you customers.

    Hiding your name and company location might cause people to wonder why you are doing this. They might suspect that you have no experience, or worse that you have a something to hide. When I run across these websites, I wonder about their experience. Do I hire them? No.

    At the very least, I humbly suggest that you put your name and title on the website. You don't have to have a long biography, a short one will suffice.

    You also don't need to list your full address, just give me the city/state where you are located. I might not know that 212 is New York City, so to find out where you are I'll have to do an internet search on your area code. I've done this search many times over the years, but your clients won't. They'll just click off and go to your competitor.

    Here are a few more tips…

    Test your site on several browsers - Don't assume. That's my top tip for everything in regards to business. Never assume anything. For example, don't assume that since your website looks great on Chrome, it will look great on Firefox as well. It might not. I suggest you load it into several browsers. I also suggest that you make it "mobile" friendly so people can view it on their smart phones.

    Make sure your website is up to date! I found dozens of websites that looked like they hadn't been updated in months. Several had old logos on them that linked to companies/associations that are now out-of-business. If I noticed, then you can be sure a client will and that will cost you business. Telling the client that you belong to an association that no longer exists is not a good business practice and you might lose the client.

    The really bad news here is that you don't know how many clients you've already lost because they won't email you!!!!

    So if you are wondering where the clients are, I would go take a look at your website first.

    Until next time,

    Katharine


  • June 28, 2017 11:18 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    I had to go for a CAT scan a while back (I’m a breast cancer survivor so I get scanned regularly), and I often strike up a conversation with the hospital staff while I’m there. Being a concierge and front desk trainer, it’s become a habit to talk to people I stumble across during the day. If I can help just one person, it makes my day! 

    When we arrived, my husband and I parked in the lot of the hospital, walked into the reception area, signed in, and quietly sat down to wait for them to call my name. Ron has been a pillar of strength through this cancer nightmare and has been solidly by my side for every appointment, surgery and treatment. Five years later and he STILL comes with me to appointments. When they called my name, I walked over to the woman behind the first door so I could be registered for the test.

    “Good morning Mrs. Giovanni” she said brightly as I walked through the glass door.

    Is it a GOOD thing that everyone here knows me by name? I wondered as I sat down.

    “Are you the one who taught me to say ‘it was my pleasure‘ a few months ago?” she immediately asked me.

    “Yes, yes I am” I said to her smiling.

    “Oh, I’m so glad I’m the one checking you in today! I’ve been wanting to thank you for weeks now. I’ve been saying that ever since I saw you and the response has been amazing. Patients and staff are not only treating me better and with more respect, but I’m getting so much positive feedback! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. My supervisor loves it and said I might get moved up!”

    Click here to continue reading (plus there is a video on this page)

  • June 22, 2017 4:54 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    How would you answer Disney's famous question "what time is the 3 o'clock parade? Watch Katharine's video blog for the answer...


  • June 01, 2017 2:21 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    So many people have asked me about crazy concierge stories over the years, I finally decided to write them all down. Names and places have been removed to protect the innocent! Enjoy! 

    I’ve been teaching people how to be a concierge for 20 years now, and as a result I have collected some truly strange stories! Some are from independent concierge companies, others are from hotel and residential concierge.

    Concierge around the world are asked to do weird stuff all the time. Some are asked to purchase elaborate gifts, others might be asked to find rare animals like albino peacocks. Another friend of mine had to regularly feed a client’s chickens, while one concierge had to bail a client out of jail. If you search the internet for strange concierge and hotel stories, you’ll find tons of them. All part of the job for a concierge! As long as its legal, moral and ethical a concierge will do it.

    To protect everyone’s privacy, I am not going to reveal any names or cities. Although a few stories walk the line and might be rated R, they are all fun to read. 

    Want to read the stories?  Click here: https://katharinegiovanni.com/18-crazy-concierge-stories-wont-believe-asked/

  • May 22, 2017 2:48 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    If you would like to work for a concierge, or wish to start your own concierge business, then read on!  I've gathered some great resources to help you on your way. 

    Looking for a job as a concierge in a hotel or property?

    Here are some resources....
    You can also contact local concierge and hotels directly.

    Looking to work FOR an independent concierge company? 

    I suggest that you first look in our directory to see what companies are located within your city. 

    If you don't find any, then simply Google them by typing in your city name followed by the word concierge. For example, you could search for companies within Chicago by using the word "Chicago Concierge" and see who pops up!  Then just contact the companies.

    Want to start your own concierge company? 

    I can help. Just visit my website at www.KatharineGiovanni.com and click on "for entrepreneurs". You can also buy my book "The Concierge Manual". 

    Looking to train your concierge staff?  

    I love training!  Visit my website at www.katharinegiovanni.com to see what programs I offer.

    Good luck!

    Katharine


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