iclmnet

The International Concierge & Lifestyle Management Network

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  • 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


  • May 12, 2017 1:16 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    Do you have your contact information on the emails that you send to people?

    No?

    You could be losing clients if you don't.

    I got an email just yesterday from someone who wanted to do business with me again. I knew this person so it was a legitimate email. What threw me wasn't what he said in the message. It was the fact that he didn't have any contact information at the end. No telephone, no website ... nothing! Just his name.

    If I'm going to take your email seriously, I have three house rules that I live by.

    First, if you don't have formal contact information at the end of your email, I'm going to assume you are spam and will delete you. At the very least, you should have your name, company, website and telephone number. I also have links to my social media pages in mine. I have set it up to automatically go on each and every email that I send out.

    Second, I check people out and will visit their website to see who they are. If you don't give it to me, then it's a safe bet that I'm not going to use your company.

    Third, if you don't address me by my real name I'm going to delete you. You get extra points for spelling it correctly. Please don't write to me as "Dear Giowell Group" because that tells me that you didn't take the time to look me up on my website and you have no idea what we do. I will usually just hit the delete key.

    I tell everyone to write your emails like you would a formal old-fashioned letter. With an opening and closing. Although I frequently use "with joy and peace" I have also used "sincerely", "kind regards" and "warm regards" depending on who I am writing. I always add a "thank you" as well. Your contact information should be at the bottom. Most people are on a tight schedule with tons to do and don't have the time to go and search out your website. So give them a tiny bit of information in your email! 

    Have a great week!

    Katharine

  • April 07, 2017 11:21 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


  • April 03, 2017 3:29 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    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 of a particular organization, 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 led me nowhere. Literally. The association was no longer in business.
    • It led me to an association, but their logo had changed.
    • It led 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!

    Lack of information will also scare them away. Allow me to explain.

    Your website is telling 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!  How can I hire you if I don't know what city you're 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

    (Katharine is Founder and Chief Happiness Officer of ICLMNet. She is a concierge & front desk staff trainer and consultant as well as a best-selling three time award-winning author. For more information please visit www.katharinegiovanni.com)


  • March 24, 2017 11:47 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)



    Think you can keep it hidden at work? Watch this demonstration.

  • March 24, 2017 11:46 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    Do you just go to social media and post your stuff and then click off? Just posting “your” stuff might get you a few clients, but engaging with your followers will help you more. People enjoy working with their friends, so allowing them to get to know you will get you farther faster. Also, if all you post is about you and what you sell, then people will get bored fast and they will either ignore you or unfollow you.

    My top tip? You have to be present! Read people’s posts, make a comment or two, share their articles, and “like” their stuff occasionally. Wish them a happy birthday!

    I spend at least 15 -20 minutes in the morning and another 15-20 in the afternoon on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Of course I put up my own content, but I also share other people’s posts, make comments and generally try and be present. Social media is a two-way street … you have to give in order to get.

    I also have a love/hate relationship with automating my posts. While it does indeed save you a lot of time, many people will judge you for not taking the time to post them yourself. Right now that’s me you see out there, I only use automation for late-night messages that I want people in other time zones to see.

    Until next time!

    Katharine


  • February 27, 2017 12:58 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


  • February 20, 2017 12:08 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)



    By Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

    1. Do a business plan. It really doesn’t matter how short or long it is, nor does it have to be fancy with colored charts. However, you really should do one so that you know where you are going, what you are doing and how you’re going to get there.

    2. Business cards and website. This can all be done on a shoestring with today’s software, but having them is a vital part of a business.  You can obtain some terrific free business cards by visiting www.vistaprint.com, and you can do a website pretty inexpensively as well. If you don't want to do it yourself (many people use Wordpress), here are a few links to some "instant" website creation sites where you can have a site up in minutes via www.godaddy.com or www.intuit.com.

    3. Get some business liability insurance! Please don’t start a business without it. You can also join this group (ICLMNet) as we have a list of insurance companies in our member's library. 

    4. Legal Documents – contracts, agreements, etc… Get this right the first time and you won’t have to put out fires in the future. You’ll need both client contracts as well as vendor agreements.

    5. Do NOT quit your job, go out and rent an office, buy or rent furniture and hire employees.  THINK ABOUT IT FIRST!  First and foremost, you need to be able to feed your family and pay your bills so make sure that you have either enough money saved to last you at least 6 months, possibly even a year worth set aside or you have some other form of steady income flowing into your household.

    6. Find a target market!  There are so many niches for this business that you might be tempted to do them all when you first open up. However, I strongly suggest that you choose one or two niche markets and go after them first. Do them well and then you can choose a few more. If they don’t do well after six months (or they tank completely), then you have hundreds of other niches to choose from! Choose a new niche and then re-focus, re-work your business and then re-launch!  The key here is to never ever give up!!!  Some niches around the country include hospitals, small/medium/large companies, condominiums, shopping malls, airports, office buildings, neighborhoods, individuals, colleges/universities, country clubs, senior market and more. I could go on and on there are so many out there!

    7. Market, market, market … join your local chamber of commerce, networking groups … get out there and shake people’s hands and tell them what you do!  Talk it up everywhere you go. Attend as many expos and receptions that you can!  I think face-to-face marketing is key when starting up a business … so talk it up people!!

    8. Social media … Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn … a GREAT way to grow your business and gain trust without spending a dime.

    9. Be warm, friendly, approachable and extremely courteous 100% of the time. This is the key to being a great concierge!  People may not remember what you did for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel and how you treated them. Customer Service is the hallmark of the concierge industry … over-the-top unbelievable customer service. I think everyone should build a customer service plan. You should talk about every day, not just once in a while! It’s a way of life and something that you practice every minute of your life and in every facet of your business.

    10. Join ICLMNet - I also suggest that you join this group as it will show the general public that you are a legitimate company. Scam companies do NOT join professional groups.

    Lastly, Keep your focus on where you are going … and not on what is hitting the fan at any particular moment. KNOW that you can do this!!  See the future that you want, daydream about it and see yourself being there!!!


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