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When Customer Engagement Matters Most

Customer Engagement

While building strong relationships with your customers is always the fuel that drives your business, there are times when customer engagement matters most.

Those times, are when things go wrong.

Lets face it my friends, bad stuff happens in life, and in our business. 

Sickness, death, bankruptcy, failures… even bad weather.

Just about anything can go wrong at any time. 

And it often does.

My True Story

I’m going to tell you a true story to show you how you might handle things like this.

It was, Thursday, the day before Valentines Day. 

David (hubby) and I went out to dinner to beat the Valentines Day crowd, and avoid the harsh blizzard that was forecast for Friday night. 

I overheard a waitress complaining about the blizzard because Valentines Day is a big day in the restaurant business. 

When I heard several others on the staff complaining with the owner about the blizzard that seemed destined to destroy their Friday night crowd, I just couldn’t help myself. 

I went over to the huddled staff and said to them “hey… bad things happen!  What are you going to do to take action on this?”

The response was meek. “We’ll probably have to close early.”

As for the lost business… well, that’s just the way it was going to be.

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Now, my business hat is always on, and I’m never shy about speaking up.

I asked them if they thought that a lot of customers might show up earlier in the day in order to beat the storm. 

They thought not, since reservations were required.

So I asked how many reservations were for during they day, and they told me practically none.  They were all for Friday night.

Then I asked if they had taken the phone numbers of all the people who had made reservations. 

Good news… they had.

Donna To The Rescue

“OK… You” (I pointed to the most flustered gal, who was the day manager).

“Get on the phone right now and explain to each customer that the weather is going to be bad Friday night.

But… you want to save their Valentines Day!

So, you’re giving them a free appetizer or drink if they change their reservation to Thursday night or for Friday afternoon.”

The staff looked at me like I was crazy.

A momentary silence ensued.

David was rolling his eyes…

There she goes, again!

The staff  huddled with the manager, and the owner joined them.

Oh, did I mention that I was in a Japanese Hibachi restaurant?

Yea… their back and forth discussion about my suggestion was not in English, lol.

So I had no idea what they were saying.

Then a beautiful young woman came to me and asked me why I came up with this brainstorm.


He He… there I go again with my business hat on.


I replied to her…

When things go wrong you have to take action.  Every time something bad happens, make it work in your favor.  Don’t hide from your customers, engage them.  Tell them the problem and ask them to partner with you to bring about a solution

I continued…

“In this case, you stand to lose your big holiday crowd, but also… your customers stand to miss out on their big night out. 

So not only do you have a problem, they do too. 

By simply moving their reservations up a few hours, you can

  • solve your problem,
  • solve your customer’s problem,
  • and even come away looking like a hero by throwing in a free drink or appetizer. 

You will have used this calamity as an opportunity to build engagement with your customers.

And you’ll earn their loyalty and repeat business on top of it.”

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“How do you know all this?” she asked. 

I went into my spiel about how I am an internet marketer.

I told her bad and unexpected things happen all the time. 

When they do, I have to get out of my comfort box and take action in order to keep my business moving in the right direction, always considering my relationship with my clients and customers first and foremost…

Always engaging them and making them part of the solution.

Now, she sat down with us and wanted to know more. 

She said something in Japanese and within a few minutes we received some yummy apps we hadn’t ordered and also a fresh round of hot Sake (the real payoff!).

 

Customer Engagement Payoff

Now it is your turn:  Guess what happened next?  

Hands up… 

Well, she thanked me as her staff was busily re-scheduling the reservations. 

And at the end of it all, she tore up our dinner bill. 

She even asked me, as we chatted, if I’d run her Facebook page for her, to help her improve her business.

I had to say no. 

I explained that I’m already overbooked with coaching clients and production deadlines for products we’re working on, so I really couldn’t. 

But we shook hands, and I promised to be back again soon.

And I will be.

Great food!

Great Sake!

But most of all, really nice people who work hard to engage their customers and reward them for their loyalty.

The Moral Of The Story For Us Bloggers

As a blogger, always have your business hat on. 

If you have been at it a while, you see opportunities everywhere. 

You also know, though, that Bad Stuff Happens. 

When it does, you don’t give up your business, you don’t jump at yet another shiny object. 

Instead, you face it head on and solve the problem. 

That’s called “growth” as opposed to starting all over again… and again and again and again.

“Bad Stuff” may take you off your game for a day or so, but you are still running a business.

You are responsible to fix problems as they occur, not just start a new business because you’ve run into an obstacle or unexpected set-back.

That’s kind of like selling your house or getting a new apartment every time the floor gets dirty.

So that’s my story, my friends.

When things go wrong, that’s when customer engagement matters most.

Your Blog Is A Sales Funnel

The restaurant folks were so pleased, and so was I.

Customer Engagement BenefitsAs for David, I think I blew the romantic side of the dinner, but hey, he understands me.

He told me “nice job” and slipped me a quick Mona Lisa smile.

Or maybe he just had a bit too much sake?

What’s your take on this?

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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122 Responses to When Customer Engagement Matters Most

  1. Brenda Lee
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    Oh Donna, you were their hero!

    That is truly admirable of you to speak up and try to help them out. I know they definitely appreciated your advice, as I do to when I read your articles. Never at a loss for wisdom my friend. I’m sure the sake put a little heat in the pants. 😉

    B
    Brenda Lee recently posted..Sometimes That New Path You Follow Leads You Right Back To Where You BeganMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Bren,

      I just think I’m a busy body sometimes, but I cannot stand by seeing an opportunity lost. I felt so bad for the staff. They are top notch and the habachi chefs are artists. I couldn’t not but in because I just love this restaurant!

      Ahhh The sake was fine!

      Thanks for coming by,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  2. Sylviane Nuccio
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    That’s a superb post and I love it.

    I had to laugh when you said that David was rolling his eyes. Poor David. Knowing you guys a bit, I know that is much more reserved than you, so I could totally see that as if I had been there. 🙂

    It’s interesting how people who are actually in business, are not even used to think out of the box, maybe that’s why so many businesses are barely making it instead of thriving as they should.

    Your suggestion was really good and sure made them think.

    How much we’ll be able to accomplish by taking action rather than just sit and cry in a corner.

    I’m sure they won’t ever forget you!

    Bravo! Great job, Donna.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Should You Have A Pop-up Opting Form On Your Blog?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 16, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      So glad you enjoyed this post. Know us, you know how conservative David is you could just imagine him rolling his eyes.

      But when I seen this staff fearful about loosing profits for one of the biggest days of their year, I just had to jump in and open my big mouth he he he.

      Well a good deed never goes undone.

      You are so correct when you mention that may businesses are not used to thinking out of the box. In today’s economy that’s what we need to lean on in business.

      I just had to use this particular example of how we need to take action, even when we hit a road block.

      I know they won’t forget me…he he he

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  3. Barbara Charles
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Your article had me rolling on the floor laughing! Hys-terical! And so you! But I find what you said to be the truth. It’s about thinking outside the box…but the difference there was ‘that’ was not an ordinary situation where someone would think of. The people who run restaurants are old school. I’d go as far to say that practically no restaurant owner (maybe besides Chef Ramsey) would have thought of that.

    That’s why marketing is so important. Running a restaurant is different than running a business. That’s why they find marketing consultants. So it’s no surprise that they thought it was a great idea.

    It is incredibly hard to ‘think outside the box’ when your goal is something else like ‘just running the restaurant.’ You and I and some others are ‘in training’ or have been ‘in training’ through our internet marketing and we have to ‘think’ outside the box most of the time and we are in a constant state of change in order to go with the flow as Google changes stuff or something happens that effects our blogs.

    It’s all about change. But what you’ve done now is given this young lady a glimmer into what can be done and she will now always think ‘outside’ the box. It was a great lesson for her and a great lesson for us.

    Great read Donna! You are, as always, awesome!

    Barbara
    Barbara Charles recently posted..The Three Laws Of BloggingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 16, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

      Hi Barbara,

      I’m so glad this had given you a good laugh! I’m sure you can imagine me and David sitting there for V day and I go start chatting with the wait staff. David is very quiet and I’m the big mouth as you know well.

      Yes, we are used to thinking out of the box so it comes easy for us. This particular restaurant didn’t, but thank goodness they took action. They would have lost so much money depended on if they didn’t contact their customers.

      I’ve been there many times and they are go-givers, comping us on this or that every time we visit. So I knew they could think out of the box.

      Since marketing has become part of my being, I see the world in a new light. I’m always putting my nose into businesses that are of line. Some take a suggestion, some just shake their heads giving excuses.

      The best thing is I got their wheels spinning to get themselves online and build an email list so that they can get their eager customers to open it and look for a free app, or something else to pull more business in.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  4. Don Purdum
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What a fantastic and AMAZING story. Good for you! I get you completely and can think of times I did the same thing as my wonderful wife Nicole looked on with horror and then thanked me later, lol…

    You’re so right, bad things happen, but if we think it through and use experience and instincts good things can happen; oh and did I mention being an optimist and having a positive can-do attitude!

    Just the week, after a full year of coaching two clients they decided they needed a break. I completely get it! They put in a massive amount of work and their business is radially changed!

    But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt my checkbook, lol… It does big time.

    However, I’m not going to sit here for one minute and commiserate with misery!!!!

    I have an ebook I’m going to release within the next few weeks and I have a few major opportunities with SEMrush, some major US Business Journals and some other speaking engagement plans coming up potentially in Philadelphia as well..

    I can wine about what I don’t have or I can work for what I want.

    Personally, I’m jacked-up EXCITED!!!

    As I wrap up the book the initial title I can up with is “The Shift – Making the Transition from Mass Marketing to Personalized Marketing… (and Earning More Customers Than Ever Before!)”

    So, heads up and here we go. Time to figure out a new and maybe better way to monetize different parts of my business.

    Hey, I’m just taking your counsel! lol…

    Have a great week Donna!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..If You Want Blog Readers and Sales, Give Blog Readers and SalesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 16, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Hi Don,

      How did I know you would resonate with this blog? he he he… I know you do a lot of work with off line businesses. I can’t wait for your book to come out because a change is much needed in our society.

      There is a huge shift in marketing, especially off line businesses. I had my share with some, teaching someone in the company all the latest poop on how to get online and increase their business. All the while pounding it into their heads that it takes time. Some are actually doing well.

      I see businesses for the younger generation using Twitter because that’s where they hang out. I also have seen some growth in a woman’s shop in my town that was pretty dead in the off season…but now turned around by having an email list and throwing special events like midnight shopping or wine and cheese parties as their customers come in and buy buy buy. I’m a consultant and a loyal customer. lol.

      I know you are on a roll and will do fantastic. Your are jacked-up and should be. This is exciting!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  5. Annie
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    This is such an inspiring story! It can be so difficult for many of us (myself included) to put ourselves out there like this. But by putting yourself out there you fixed a problem for someone you don’t even know. Imagine if you had sat there and said nothing? I hope I can be brave like you and speak up and offer a solution to someone next time the opportunity presents itself. Thank you!
    Annie recently posted..Do This next Time You Feel OverwhelmedMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      Hi Annie,

      Opportunities are all around us Annie. It doesn’t take much bravery, but keeping an eye open and offering help. If you seen a person fall down, you would probably try to pick them up right?

      Same goes here. As long as you know you can fix a problem for someone you encounter, you might as well jump in. Hey what do you have to loose? They an say no. Who cares? At least you have done your duty to help another human being.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  6. Deborah Tutnauer
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    Oh Donna!

    I was cheering you on as I read this post, and smiling all the way. Isn’t so wonderful and amazing that we see possibility where others see hardship? You did this so well!! I’ll bet not only did you help them save Valentine’s day, I’ll bet you shifted their perception of how to deal with challenges like this forever into the future!

    In the talk I’m giving at Westminster College School of Entrepreneurship in March, the gist of my entire presentation is that entrepreneurs and business owners must think with a possibility hat on. They must see challenges and opportunities, and road blocks and directional sign posts. The truth is that things go wrong somewhat all the time. If “wrong” is the label we give to situations that challenge us, then “wrong” is what we see. But if we change the label and perception – if we in fact expect that we will regularly confront non-idea scenarios in our business, then we will have the ability and openness to be as creative as you were for your Japanese restaurant!

    I loved this story Donna!
    Thanks for sharing it!
    Warmly,
    Deborah
    Deborah Tutnauer recently posted..Look Who’s Talking!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      I may have saved the day…but I did get a good reward..sake!!! It is all about perception. Once you are an entrepreneur, you see the world differently. All through my day I can see how with a little change, people can overcome obstacles.

      In this little story, it was amazing to see those folks turn from despair of loosing money they depended on for one of the best days of the year for them, to hopefulness. As we ate, we heard the woman calling. Whenever she reached someone, they were thrilled to change their plans. And also happy to get a complimentary appetizer!

      After a few minutes, the woman came over to us to thank us…giving us more sake and food.

      It is a story whereby we all have things that do go “wrong” in our lives…it’s a given. But it takes a good mindset to think out of the box and turn what can be a disaster into a profitable circumstance.

      I like the talk you are giving to Westminster College School of Entrepreneurship in March, showing them how to think with a possibility hat on. It is the base of being an entrepreneur.

      Keep on going girl…you are helping to change the world!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  7. Lea Bullen
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Wow, that’s really incredible. Nice of you to help them out like that.

    I’m like you, I’m always trying to solve the problem. I spend little time sulking in the negative aspects, always trying to see if there is something I can do to turn it around.

    ~Lea
    Lea Bullen recently posted..6 Basic Rules to Live a Truly Fulfilling LifeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Lea,

      Although it is great to lend a hand to others, we do have to do it for ourselves first. In order to help, we have to help ourselves constantly especially in this business!

      Many thanks for stopping by,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  8. Andrew Warner
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Awesome post and story.

    I really liked how you jumped on the ball and turned that “negative” situation into a real positive for them.

    You’re absolutely right. Bad things happen from tie to time that we have absolutely no control over … it’s up to us to try to turn it into a good situation by making adjustments … or do nothing.

    You, my friend, are a real business person. Excellent story and advice you gave them as well.

    – Andrew
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    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Lea,

      Although it is great to lend a hand to others, we do have to do it for ourselves first. In order to help, we have to help ourselves constantly especially in this business!

      Many thanks for stopping by,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 10:18 am #

      Hi Andrew,

      Glad you liked my little story. I wanted to write it to illustrate that stuff happens all the time. We all need to have a plan “B” as I call it.

      Sometimes the most fruitful experiences in business I have had was when something blocked my journey.

      As the old saying goes: “Where there’s a will there’s a way!”

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      Glad you liked the story. Yes, things happen from time to time because it just is part of life. Some we have no control over so we can decide to do nothing, and let it stop us in our tracks, OR… we can find a way around it and make it a good ting.

      Thanks so much,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  9. James McAllister
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi Donna!

    What an awesome story! I don’t want to go too off-track with my comment but it reminded me of a thread I saw on a marketing forum the other night.

    There was a guy who told us that he learned more about business in a few months of actually running one and working with other business owners than he did getting his MBA in college. Now you know I recently decided to drop out of college, but I did take a couple of business classes before I made that decision. What I’ve found in my experience is that it’s almost all theory and nothing practical.

    When you’re forced to run a real business where your actions actually influence your profitability, that’s where I’ve found you learn your real valuable lessons. If you make a mistake, you suffer a real loss and probably won’t make that mistake again. If someone like you comes along and introduces an actionable idea, I’m willing to bet they’re going to do the same thing the next time a similar issue arises.

    Now this may be a bold statement but my experience with college has shown me that people are supposed to abide by what the textbook tells you rather than think outside of the box and come up with your own ideas and solutions. They try to force a one-size-fits-all approach on you, even though that will never work on the real world.

    Now, being the loud-mouth I am, I was quick to speak up and criticize the curriculum. My first college essay was called, “Why Everything You’ve Learned In This Class Is Wrong” because the course did not teach you how to write and engage people, it taught you how to impress a college professor. The students told me that it opened their eyes. The professor gave me a D and I nearly failed the class.

    Business classes were the same way. I was discouraged from challenging the material because I was young and “did not know what I was talking about.” This was coming a professor who obviously couldn’t run a business because they were sitting in a college class teaching the subject instead of pursuing it.

    Anyway, to my point. I think as business degrees become even more abundant than they are today, employers will start looking more towards other factors when it comes to making hiring decisions. Instead of hiring somebody because they have their MBA, they’ll hire people like you who can think outside of the box and come up with their own solutions to things. They will hire people who can prove they can run a business rather than academicians who were able to memorize sections of a textbook.

    Because when the answer to a problem is to give up and close shop rather than embrace it and come up with a REAL solution, they do not seem like the right person for the job.
    Just my two cents.

    Thanks Donna for the great story, one of the most entertaining blog posts I’ve read in a while!
    – James
    James McAllister recently posted..Bloggers: Nothing Wrong With Charging For Your WorkMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      Hi James,

      Thanks once again for adding such value to this conversation. Personally, I thing college now a days is not necessary. Unless one wants to be a nurse, or some kind of practitioner.

      I know a head of a company that will never hire an MBA because of just that…they do not think out of the box. This person I do know well has run many start up businesses. When he first started, It was MBA’s all the way and when a huge company purchased his little business, it was a big flop. All because no one thought out of the box. Since then, he has start up and sold 4 more businesses at a great profit.

      I love what you have shared about your time in school. I kept thinking of my husband David. He has an M.ed. from Columbia. Also several other masters in communication, psychology, etc.

      That was back in the day when college meant something. But the truth be known, he never got hired because he thought out of the box too much. Each time he was hired as a teacher, he taught in a different way and eventually was asked to leave he he he.

      He then went on to be a writer for many years. He wrote encyclopedias to health books as a ghost writer. Now, hes burnt out and he and I are into marketing. What fun!

      When I look at the employment ratio as it fizzles down, one must have a “back door” as I call it. If someone does want to go to college, be a robot as I call it, that’s fine and well. But as soon as they toss their hat in the air at graduation, the chances are slim that they will get employment.

      That’s where plan “B” comes in. I do think that the educational system needs to be teaching entrepreneurship in high school so kids can make a good decision. But hey, college is one of the best businesses in town.

      They have convinced so many people that they need it and they get the big bucks that mommy and daddy pay. I could rant, but I digress!

      So glad you brought up this topic because you can learn more in 6 months online that 6 years in college.

      And that is my two cents!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  10. Sherryl Perry
    Twitter:
    February 16, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Donna,

    I love this story. i know we’ve only met online but i so can picture you doing this!

    I can also picture your husband quietly sitting back and letting you do your thing. That is such a testament to the strong marriage that you two have. It’s a collaboration that works. 🙂

    You really turned that situation into a win-win. You helped a small business and walked away feeling good about it too. Plus, you had a wonderful story to share with us. Kudos!

    i’m so glad I chose today to drop by (after seeing your post shared on Facebook)!

    ~Sherryl
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..What SEO Tools Do You Use? #FridayFindsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      Hi Sherryl,

      Glad you stopped by. I just had to share this story so that I could illustrate that problems always exist. Especially when it comes to owning our own business. I thought it would be an entertaining analogy of what we, as marketers and bloggers need to do when we hit a road block.

      Life happens….we need to be strong enough to keep our business running no matter what.

      I’m glad this share brought a picture in your mind. Yes, we do have a strong marriage and business partnership. I appreciate that each and every day.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  11. Atish Ranjan February 17, 2015 at 12:39 am #

    Fantastic story Donna. You did great out there! Its good to speak out when things are going worse. The best thing is you helped them with your business experience. That even helped you get a client there as they offered you to handle their Fb page however you said NO.

    You are correct that opportunities are everywhere!

    Nice one Donna! Hope you had great Valentines with David.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..How to Optimize URLs for Humans and Search Engines?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 11:12 am #

      Hi Atish,

      Yes there are opportunities everywhere and although I had to pass on handling their Facebook account because I have my hands full right now.

      The moral of the story is that as business owners ourselves, there is always a solution to the problem. We can never just shut down, but go around the problem and keep going on with business as usual.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  12. Harleena Singh
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 1:04 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Lol…I loved this post and I was just about imagining how David must be feeling 🙂

    I guess being Valentine’s Day and knowing you, he’d be loving you all the more for your ways. And you are SO right in all that you mentioned, and being there to help out with the reservations.

    I am so much like you, perhaps not thinking from the business point of view, but I have a similar habit of suggesting ways to make things better and make them work, especially when they aren’t! I guess thinking positive even when things are down is how I like to think, and by doing so, the other person sees new hope, they see a new light, and a better way of working things out for themselves, just as the restaurant people did.

    There are opportunities all around us, we just need to see them with our eyes and remain alert to be there at the right time. Help those who are in need, anytime and every time, that’s just what we love doing too, though I hear people say that you shouldn’t suggest when no one asks for it. But I feel, why not? You never know how it could help another person, and if not required, they needn’t take it – but you at least played your part and suggested what you felt was best for them or their business – that is your Karma, isn’t it?

    Of course, you deserved your free dinner after all that you did, and you both look so good together. Hope you had a great V-Day too! Thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..How To Better A Relationship With AnyoneMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 11:19 am #

      Hi Harleena,

      I do believe that when we are always thinking in that business point of view coupled with that go-giving mindset, we can make a difference in someone’s life. If a person says that we shouldn’t suggest when no one asks, I feel the same as you. Why Not? They could always shrug their shoulders and walk away…nothing to loose when helping another.

      Indeed, opportunities are all around us. I could have picked up a small job too from them, but my hands are full at the moment. I have to keep on track with my business, but I got a free dinner out of it. The people were happy and all is well.

      David does know me so well that I am sure he expected me to go over to them and put my two cents in he he he. But I know he loves me for that.

      This is not only a lesson for business people, that when things go wrong, we can always find a way to correct them. It is more than that. It is about humanity. People are always in our path and if we see another human being that needs a helping hand, why not give it?

      Thanks Harleena for your wonderful input on this

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  13. Enstine Muki
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 1:07 am #

    OMG did I just read this? It’s 07:02 am here and I’m being blessed with a wonderful success story – yeah it is a success story my friend.

    Internet Marketing does not only help in making money. It helps marketers learn more. I just love the way you dealt with them and here your got free food ,) nyamnyam!

    I’m sure they will come looking for you. Did you leave your address or something?
    Enstine Muki recently posted..CMS Commander Review ~ Manage Multiple WordPress sites in one Dashboard!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 11:27 am #

      Hi Enstine,

      Yes, a success story that I had to share to show others that when things go wrong, we can always find a way to fix it. We cannot give up…but rather keep on going and find different ways to keep our business going.

      As a marketer, my marketing hat is always on. I see things everywhere and I do but in lol. I could have had a gig with them, but I did have to pass because I am too busy right now. However I did pass it on to someone else and connected the two.

      We are all out here together and we must always remember that. Taking action is always a good thing wherever we go.

      And hey, a free dinner is always welcomed…they are pretty pricey lol.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  14. Dennis Seymour
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 1:55 am #

    I love the story Donna!!!

    Too bad you had to turn them down but you are at a point now that you can do that and you should.

    But what you did, that certainly must’ve felt good. Ive sometimes been in situations like that where I can step in but I never did because it’s “troublesome” for me…only to think afterwards that I missed a good chance to help. I guess ill have to try doing that when the next opportunity comes up!

    Hope you got a great romantic dinner at home though! 🙂
    Dennis Seymour recently posted..Get More Customers by Following a Digital Marketing PlanMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Dennis,

      So great to know you loved this story I shared. It illustrates what we can do as marketers for our own business when things go wrong.

      Yes, I did have to turn them down but farmed out that FB and social media they wanted to another person.

      If you find this “troublesome” to step out of your box and then feel afterwards that you missed a good chance to help, think of this the next time it comes your way.

      What do you have to loose? People can say No and that is fine. But at least you tried.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  15. Nanda Rahmanius
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 3:35 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Very inspiring!!
    I like the way you deal with the problem. And I also like the advice you give in solving the problem. Indeed, we should not run away from problems. We have to deal with it, and that’s what we call “growing.” It is great words, Donna. 🙂

    I learned a lot from this story. Your words of wisdom can resolve one problem before another problems occur. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this great story, Donna.
    Nice share, indeed!

    ~Nanda
    Nanda Rahmanius recently posted..4 Top WordPress Plugins to Make Your Website Mobile FriendlyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Nanda,

      We all have problems that come up. If we just let them lie and not do anything about them we are in deep trouble. This is why we need to expect them and deal with them head on. Yes, I like the way you call it “growing” because it is.

      Every time we encounter a problem, and we take action to fix it, we do grow. Thanks for learning from this little story.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  16. Merle Gibbins
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 8:45 am #

    Love your story Donna and yes can imagine how your husband was reacting but he obviously knows you just want to help people. It just goes to show how if you help someone you will always get a reward and yours was when they tore up the bill. I admire you for all that you do and wish you all the success you deserve.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

      Hi Merle,

      Lending a hand is always worthwhile. In business, when we encounter something that seems like it is going to put us in a dead end, we must find our way around it.

      In this example, the Restaurant would have lost a huge amount of money, but instead, turned things around.

      Hey, a good free meal in that place is a great thing!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  17. Julia Pastore
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    Hi Donna,

    First of all LOVE the story! You’ve always had an uncanny ability to turn a negative into a positive. And I think it’s the Brooklyn in ya that accounts for the networking swagger! Haha. Jk.

    I’m happy to hear you helped this business, as I am a fan of them too! And hey-next time you go, tell them I could help them with their social media management if they (and you) want! Ha!

    Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story…now I’m ready for my grueling long day of promotions work after braving it through our mini blizzard here in NYC!

    Warm regards,

    Julia
    http://www.juliapastore.com

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

      Hi Julia,

      Ha Ha…Yes I do think it is that Brooklyn in me that gives me that swagger! I know how you work and guess who I hooked them up with ((wink))

      I do know how you can get out there and do the same thing I did…you surpass me in this kind of situation. I’ve seen you in action.

      In business that you have been doing, I do know that you are always raising your hand up to make it better.

      Keep up the good work.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  18. William Earl Amis, Jr. III
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Donna, knowing and feeling the love!

    You surprised them with your ability to love challenges. Just take a moment to breath and then listen to what their challenge is. You visioned how it would benefit people and the business. Keeping interaction focused.

    Helping them walk through their challenge with a benefit as the end result. That just made their day and appreciation was automatic. You and Dave enjoyed also in the amazing way you faced their challenge.

    Great lesson learned. Thank you Donna for giving us a part out of your life.
    William Earl Amis, Jr. III recently posted..Handle Your Own Business!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      Hi William,

      Aww thank you for such a sweet reply. All things done from love is a great way to live. How could I, a marketer, sit and eat while I seen these people ready to loose one of the best days in the restaurant business.

      I just had to but in…Thank goodness they were receptive. The day was saved for them! I love and admire the great art of the Habachi Chefs. They are uplifting my spirit all the time I go there.

      I guess when I think of it, it was the best Valentine’s Day dinner I ever had. Not that it ended up being free, but because there was an exchange of people working together.

      And this…a lesson for us all because it takes all of us to work together in order to run any business.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

      • William Earl Amis, Jr. III
        Twitter:
        February 21, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

        I have been sharing this amazing story with so many of my contacts, globally. It is a perfect example of how we should always look for an opportunity to just help others. No matter if there would be a benefit to ourselves.

        When we give ourselves, experiences to others naturally. It will always bring more support our way. That is just the nature of how good brings good. Never mind hidden agendas. That just doesn’t fit right with my spirit.

        Thank you Donna for being a person we all can learn from. Your general good nature is felt through all you shares. It just leaves me in awe!
        William Earl Amis, Jr. III recently posted..Handle Your Own Business!My Profile

        • Donna Merrill
          Twitter:
          February 22, 2015 at 11:49 am #

          Thanks so much William,

          Giving without intent of receiving has to be part of our nature. If not, it can be learned.

          What happens when you see someone fall down in front of you while walking? We go over to help them up. Others may walk by, but it is never my concern.

          You bring out a point that “that is just the nature of how good brings good” and that my dear friend is so true.

          If we, ourselves are living in that spirit, we don’t hold back in any situation that we know we can make better. No fear of rejection, because we just put it out there and the person can take it or leave it.

          When it comes down to it all William, we have to ask ourselves … why are we here? The answer is to love. It is so simple. Living that way brings us peace and harmony.

          Thanks for coming on back … I am so happy that we are connected.

          -Donna
          Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  19. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Donna to the rescue as David sat there rolling his eyes. Bet he didn’t expect to get a free meal out of that one did he!

    Bravo Donna, you are right on. Bad things happen, life gets in the way, the weather causes havoc on your special day. We either learn to go with it, work around it or sulk. Me personally, I prefer to work around it if at all possible and you just taught those people how to step it up and make their customers happy.

    Dang, I don’t have an excuse like your weather to come to the rescue here in Houston. LOL!!! I’m sure though that I’ll come up with something at some point in time whether it’s an offline issue or online. Thanks for teaching us Donna to always be on our toes because you never know when your marketing knowledge is needed. 😉

    Bravo Donna, bravo!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..An Open Letter To Bloggers Who Have Lost Their WayMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      If you were sitting with us, I know you would have done the same thing. It is just who you are. We have knowledge and have to own up to it wherever we go. You are that kind of person.

      I could just imagine you and I sitting there for dinner. We would have stayed all night and danced with the Habachi Chef! he he he

      But, it is just an example of how we run our business. We lend a hand when we can and keep on teaching.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  20. Marquita Herald
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    Good for you Donna and I’m not at all surprised that you jumped in there to save the day! You’ve made such a good point about the importance of flexibility and keeping an open mind to creatively solve problems – because they are gonna happen no matter how well we plan.

    I remember once when the Island was put on tsunami (tidal wave) warning and everyone at sea level was told to evacuate. The hotel I worked for was above the danger level – just – but we still had to evacuate the guests from their rooms. The hourly employees were sent home to their families and management took over. We got everyone into our huge ballroom and threw a “Tsunami Party.” Hey we live Hawaii so lots of us play music or dance hula, so we entertained the guests until the all clear was sounded. But then they were hungry and everything was closed. So once again we jumped in and the chefs fired up the kitchen and the rest of us waited tables. The line was really long so a couple of the managers stayed outside to play music. We were making this up as we went, but it was an amazing experience! After the last guest was fed and we closed the restaurant we all went to the general manager’s apartment and literally collapsed on the floor, couch, chairs, where ever there was a place to catch an hour of sleep before regrouping for a new day!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Do We REALLY Need a Holiday to Remind Us to Be Kind?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story of yours. If we live our lives with awareness and open eyes, we can pitch in and help so many.

      It must have been such an exciting time to lift spirits up with a tsunami approaching. It is life threatening and you turned it into a party!

      What a perfect example of a hotel giving people good service! And of course you and the others who kept on giving.

      If we could all live that way, it would be wonderful.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  21. Corina Ramos
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You saved the day! I think that was very awesome of you to offer your suggestions to them. It’s true what you said about bloggers always having their business hat on. I find myself doing the same thing. I was at a mom and pop bakery and while they were boxing up my cupcakes I was thinking of ways to market their place and even visited their Facebook page. 🙂

    There have been times I’m talking to friends who have all this talent and I end up talking to them about marketing their business. My husband gives me the same “here she goes again” look too. LOL.

    Thanks for sharing this great advice with us. It’s true that bad stuff is going to happen so we have to be ready willing and able to step outside of our comfort zone and do what we need to do get through it.

    Great post as usual Donna! I love your videos :).
    Corina Ramos recently posted..The New Honey Bunches of Oats Bake at Home Snackers Rock!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      Hi Corina,

      Funny how we think once we are blogging and marketing. I am sure that after you visited their FB page, you could go back and give them some suggestions. Even Twitter suggestions or Instagram….Who knows what can grow from that.

      I see so many talented friends of mine that could have a lucrative business, but I’ll suggest it only once. If they are interested I’ll show them the way. Sadly most are not because they are stuck with a different mindset.

      Glad you enjoyed and resonated with this post.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  22. Brittany Bullen
    Twitter:
    February 18, 2015 at 2:15 am #

    Donna,

    You are too funny. You crack me up, lady! I can just imagine you walking right up to those ladies and telling them what’s what! Hahaha except you missed one important detail. You should have told her my company could manage her Facebook page! We do that kind of stuff all day long and I’ve got an army of bloggers just chomping at the bit for that type of work. So next time you go out for some Hibachi deliciousness, you think of me, okay?

    In the meantime, you’ll be pleased (although considering your premonition not surprised) to know that NerdyGirl Writers just landed a HUGE copywriting contract with a really successful nonprofit and things are really starting to take off. I’ve had to hire a live-in domestic assistant just so I can get a few hours to really focus and get things done. It’s amazing and I can’t believe how blessed I feel.

    Oh, and P.S., I’m so thrilled you’re willing to speak at the event this fall. Can’t wait to get that itinerary published and ready to go.

    So much to do! Good times.
    Brittany
    Brittany Bullen recently posted..21 Seemingly Harmless Things That Will Destroy You, Your Marriage and Your ChildrenMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Brittany,

      Well Congratulations are in order for you girl. So happy that you landed that huge copywriting contract.

      Yes, it was a funny story and I did farm out the Facebook part to a gal I know that is close to me and needs money badly. I hooked them up and just had to walk away because I’m on another journey.

      However, I do always have you in mind for those things my friend. I have been coming across people to have things done for them. But I do screen them before I send them over. Some just talk…you know how that is. ((wink))

      I am so looking forward to speaking at the event in the fall. It is going to be a blast!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  23. Mi Muba
    Twitter:
    February 18, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    Hi Donna

    You are a perfect businessperson and there is no doubt about; not just because of your awesomeness as an online entrepreneur but they way to define a problem and then brings it best solution.

    Readers’ engagement is an option when something goes wrong but never thought its application at retail level as the restaurant did it for you. Obviously they did it after carefully listening to your words.

    Yes, you are right a blogger is 24/7 blogger either she works four hours a day or ten hours but she needs to have in her mind what to do when and how to provide best to her customers.

    Readers’ engagement in blogging begins with error 404 and after reading this post I will soon renovate my error 404 page by providing maximum to those who were thrown away on it by bad permalink or wrong internal links.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this really a wonderful post.

    Have a nice rest of the week.
    Mi Muba recently posted..How to never fail in blogging with these 11 tips for success?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      Thank you for our kind words. As we are bloggers and marketers, it becomes part of our personality. We start seeing opportunities everywhere. From online to offline.

      In life, things happen all the time, even things we cannot control like the weather or a power outage. But we must see that as an opportunity to take action in a different way.

      To me, life teaches me many things when stuff happens. I cannot sit and brew about it, but rather learn a new way to get around it.

      Just like the restaurant. I seen a big problem for them. My heart couldn’t bear seeing these people loose money on one of the most important days in that business. I just had to jump out of my chair and pitch in. My marketing hat is always on.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  24. Neamat Tawadrous
    Twitter:
    February 18, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Awesome story!! I enjoyed it so much and as I was reading it, I was picturing you with your business hat on offering the solution to the restaurant staff and David rolling his eyes saying: “Come on now!!. We are supposed to have a Valentine dinner not a coaching session” LOL !! Great Problem Solver, that shows how a true entrepreneur you are.

    Indeed, things do get in the way and we have to think outside the box. These things are what make us grow in our business, and we have to work around them, change what we can and manage what we can’t.

    Thanks Donna for a great lesson!! You hit the mark!! Awesome!!

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..The Golden Rule Guide For Leadership!!!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 18, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      So glad you got the picture in your mind of David and I he he he. But he does understand and the most romantic part was that we did help someone. Doesn’t get better than that!

      I had to share this story to illustrate how we, as marketers and bloggers need to think out of the box. So much so, that it becomes part of our life. We start seeing things every where. Sometimes we can offer a suggestion, and sometimes not.

      The best thing was I could have gotten business out of this, but had to turn it down and farm it out to someone else…another great feeling.

      But when they tore up the bill, I think my husband was proud of me lol.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  25. sherman smith February 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Engaging your customers and attacking the problems will definitely keep you out of a repetitive cycle that a lot of home business entrepreneurs fall into!

    I noticed this with me when i was in network marketing because i was following the “next best plan” which really didn’t get me anywhere. I wasn’t willing to attack the problems at hand! So i got into this cycle of getting into the next best thing since slice bread 😉

    But yes, you are different right. When you attack your problems and open yourself up to other options that are out there, then that’s a great sign of growth. And you know what else? it feels great when you can resolve those issues without bailing on them to find something that seems to be easier!

    In this case, it’s great to engage your customers! When you can solve your customers problems as well as your own at the same time, then you find out how loyal they will be to you!

    Donna, I definitely tip my hat off to you for making those suggestions! You are definitely the epitome of what a success business person is!
    sherman smith recently posted..How To Write Eye-Catching Traffic Generating Blog Post HeadlinesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      Years ago I was doing the same thing going from one thing to another. I tired of that one very quickly lol. Made the decision to keep on my own path no matter what people were telling me. Then I found out I was hanging around the wrong crowd….

      So I started to hang out with other marketers, product creators, and people that were making strides in business. Thank God I learned this lesson.

      So now, I wear a marketing hat. It has become so much a part of me that I see opportunities everywhere even when I’m out and about…

      This is why I just had to share this little story – to illustrate to others not to bounce around, or give up. But instead, to choose something and stick to it, no matter what!

      Life happens and we need to have that business swag to get over things.

      Thanks for tipping your hat!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

      • Sherman Smith February 22, 2015 at 12:55 am #

        Hey Donna,

        I was in the same shoes. It felt like the movie ‘Groundhog’s Day” with Bill Murry. And yes doing the same routine gets tired fast.

        So one thing that you do that resonates well with you is doing your own thing and network with person or are already on the path you want to be on.

        Yes you want to choose something and stick with it. Sometimes it happens instantly while other times that choice of action tends to grow on your, like blogging did for me.

        But definitely, that business swag is going to keep us going when life happens!
        Sherman Smith recently posted..8 Copywriting Formulas To Engage Your Blog AudienceMy Profile

        • Donna Merrill
          Twitter:
          February 22, 2015 at 11:52 am #

          Hi Sherman,

          Ahh you bring out a great point here. Sometimes the choice of action tends to grow like blogging did for you.

          Indeed, we cannot just stay in limbo..we must go with changes and keep growing. That leads us to other things that we do. I too started changing from blogging to production.

          We are on one path that leads us to many others. As long as it is congruent, we are fine.

          And for sure, that business swag will keep us going when life happens.

          -Donna
          Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  26. Siphosith
    Twitter:
    February 18, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    Wow Donna you are more than adventurous you mean you jumped into their business just like that? I would not have done anything, I would think they would say its none of your business. After reading the whole story I am so inspired by it, and willing to go out and do things way out of my comfort zone. I can see how the doors opened for you after the whole incident, if you were looking for more clients you had found one right there. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Siphosith recently posted..What are Private Label Rights?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi Siphosith,

      Well, they could have said none of my business and that would be OK for me, because if I have something to give, they could take it or leave it….doesn’t bother me one bit!

      I’m so glad you after reading this it inspired you to get out of your comfort zone. That means I’m doing my job lol.

      Yes, I could have picked up a new client, but farmed out that to someone I know. When we have our marketing hats on, the opportunities in life are always there.

      Through conversations out and about I have picked up a few clients. A hair dresser who is in our little town, not far from Boston is now getting more clients taking a one hour drive to see her.

      A clothing store, where it does great during the vacation season, but looses money during three to four months out of the year in the cold season. Now they have a mailing list….they have “special offers” parties, etc. Yes..I do pick up some gigs just because I cannot see people loose out.

      And many times they tell me to bug off but I don’t care, I’m doing it from my heart. 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  27. Andrea Hewett
    Twitter:
    February 19, 2015 at 12:20 am #

    Donna,

    What a great and inspiring story! It is always a feel good moment when you help someone and I bet you had some warm fuzzies after this experience (and not just because of the sake!)

    In all seriousness it though, this was a great lesson in finding the good in things and reaching out to help your fellow man by sharing your wisdom and experiences. It was almost like a blog come to life as that is hopefully what we put into our blogs… Personal experiences that help others improve their businesses!

    I’m sure those employees and owner appreciated your advice and willingness to share as much as we all do for you sharing this story. I think you made an excellent point when you brought up that people get so caught up in the problems and bad experiences that they forget to look for solutions.

    I also think that engaging your customers is the only selling point that you need. I am not one for hard-sell so I tend to focus on what the customer needs and, in my experience, if you wait for them to have a problem or come to you…it’s a lot more difficult and costly to find a solution.

    Thank you once again for sharing this post, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Sincerely,

    Andrea
    Andrea Hewett recently posted..Updates to Facebook that will boost Your Brand Awareness Strategy!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

      Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for coming over to my blog. This story I shared was to enlighten folks that all you need to do is give. We give information on our blogs, share on social media and have the mindset of the go-giver.

      As marketers, we sell more in depth products to help people out. But we do wear that “marketing hat” as I call it. Once immersed into marketing, it becomes so much a part of us, we see the world that way lol.

      Sitting in this restaurant, watching the anxiety of the people there about to loose one of the best days they depend on, just touched my heart. I had to say something because in my mind I had the answer to the problem and just shared it. Yes..a warm fuzzy feeling came over me as I seen the anxiety turn into triumph for these folks.

      Problems will always be there. It is up to us to either dwell in them and be at a stand still, or figure out a way around it.

      I’m spot on with you that engaging customers is the only selling point that we need. I think I write more to my email list than I do anywhere else. I too am not one for the hard-sell. I have my eyes and ears open to see what problems are out there, and then give a solution.

      If people like me, they will find me and work with me. If they don’t, there are a bazillion others out there they can resonate with.

      This was the principle I learned many years ago with my off line business. People thought I was crazy because I never advertized. But word of mouth is a strong thing! A lasting one. And people came to me. Even the local newspapers came to me to do an interview. Radio stations, etc.

      It is just how I love to work.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  28. Ryan Biddulph
    Twitter:
    February 19, 2015 at 2:05 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What was your consultant fee? Or was it just the delish adds to your meal 😉

    Love this!

    When resistance arises you can flow through it or give up entirely. Me, I like to surrender, meaning, I don’t give UP, I give IN, and I go with the flow by working with the resistance. Like here in Bali the internet connection is solid but goes in and out sometimes, meaning it makes sense to do more writing offline, and to spend a bit less time online, spinning my wheels.

    You saw the opp, and ran with it, for the Hibachi House and heck for you too since acting on creative ideas increases your creativity.

    Well done Donna!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..How I Attracted the Best House Sitting Job on Earth (and How You Can Too)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      He He..no fee at all, just a human connection. Seeing those wonderful folks sand and anxious thinking that they will loose so much on one of the best days of the year for them, touched my heart. I had the answer to the problem, so I got up and just started talking to them. It just happened lol.

      I can relate with that internet connection. We have been beaten down with several blizzards this year and lost our connection. No worries…I took that time to write like a maniac too.

      Stuff always happens, and the essence here is that we just have to roll with it.

      But I did appreciate it when they tore the check up. This place is expensive!

      Win Win all around!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  29. Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:
    February 19, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    Hey Donna, Way to think out of the box my friend! What a great idea although with all the years of being in the restaurant business I have found that people tend to go out more when the weather is nasty.. Weird but true… so we always prepared for a crowd on holidays..

    Sounds like you and David had a great meal.. Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Can You Really Make Money Online From The Comfort Of Your Home?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 19, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      Even though the weather was bad, it was a blizzard warning and no one was going to be on the road. Except road warriors lol.

      It was a wonderful experience and it just goes to show that no matter what happens in life, we can always make it work!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  30. Sue Price
    Twitter:
    February 19, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I adore this post and the story. I can totally imagine you doing this and good on you. I am also glad they acted on your advice.

    I see ways people could improve their business or customer service all the time but mostly I do not speak. I am going to take your lead from now on.

    Stuff happens in every business outside our control and it is the most important thing to make sure our customers are looked after. I imagine if they had not got on the phone and taken on your suggestion they may have had cancellations the next day.

    I can imagine David but I am sure he knows you well enough to go with it. Great you got a free meal too,. as I was reading I was expecting that to happen.

    Thanks for an entertaining story with a lesson.

    Sue
    Sue Price recently posted..Kalatu Blog – ENv3My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 20, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      Hi Sue,

      With all your experience I’m sure that if you ran into someone having a problem you of all people would know that solution. Give it a try if you like. It’s that warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping another.

      Yes stuff happens all the time. Sometimes we have no control over a situation. But it is up to us to make the decision of what to do. Let it push us down? or…. find a way to overcome that problem.

      Decision making is part of business. And we, as business owners need to know that there will ALWAYS be something that life throws at us. We need to work on our mindsets and create that “hard shell” as business owners and see it that way.

      Glad you enjoyed the story!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  31. Nikshep
    Twitter:
    February 20, 2015 at 2:06 am #

    Woo, loved your action orientation Donna! 😀 way to go!

    And you are so right! A lot of people are action averse so rather than facing any customer engagement issues head on, they rather avoid or delegate it to someone else.

    Just a few such instances and customers lose all confidence. Even in organizations, both internal and external engagement remains a challenge!

    Thanks for sharing this great post! Have a nice weekend 🙂

    Cheers,
    Nik
    Nikshep recently posted..Rejection Diaries – My First EncounterMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 20, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      Hi Nik,

      Thanks..You are spot on that many people won’t take action, or will delegate it to someone else. It is up to us to take responsibility for customer engagement.

      Engagement is the key no matter what circumstances arise. We, as business owners have to live up to each and every challenge!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  32. ikechi
    Twitter:
    February 20, 2015 at 3:04 am #

    Hi Donna

    Super business woman. I love to read stories about problems that is solved with out-of-the-box ideas. You are right that when we are faced with problems, we tend to complain rather than take action.

    I guess David would understand his business guru wife so it was all part of the occasion. I agree that we should always put our business hat on in every situation. Mine is on from this very moment.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome story. Have a nice day.
    ikechi recently posted..A Young Girl’s Little Cabbage Seedling Makes The Difference in a CommunityMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 20, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Ikechi,

      So good to know you enjoyed my story that illustrates how we need to keep our business hat on all the time. It is part of who we are.

      When we see another person online or offline having a problem, lend a hand. Whatever knowledge we have, it doesn’t take much to reach out and help someone when we see them.

      I live out of the box lol. David did understand me taking charge he he he…as he sipped on Saki. I seen in his expression a look of love in his eyes. Now that to me is romantic!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  33. Aurelie Chazal
    Twitter:
    February 20, 2015 at 4:41 am #

    Hi Donna,

    That’s an amazing story and the perfect example of why customer is not as easy as most people think. I think that one of the most underrated skills in customer service is creative problem solving. I believe there’s always a solution but the hard part is to step outside the box and come up with a creative fix.

    I remember when I had a problem with Mailchimp and was surprised by how their customer service team fixed it. The problem was that I couldn’t change the order of auto-responder emails in one of my automated email chains. Turns out they had a technical issue with that but instead of just telling me “sorry that’s impossible”, the person I chatted with told me I could duplicate my campaign and I’ll be able to tweak the order of emails then. Sure, it wasn’t optimal but it worked and that’s all I needed.

    I think most people focus too much on looking for the exact thing customers asked for and just eliminate all alternatives. There are often many solutions to a problem and I love how you said it’s all about working with your customers to find the best solution together.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 20, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      Hi Aurelie,

      You raise an important topic here with your experience with Mailchimp. I am sure after the great customer service they had given you, it made you feel like a loyal customer.

      Things do go wrong, especially in technology. When doing business with them, they will have hiccups. So much so, that they cannot even get in touch with us sometimes. As long as we call them, and they help us out, we become loyal to them.

      Customer service is one thing we need to all be passionate about. If we have a problem, and we can always count on that! We have to reach out to our customers and fix it.

      There will always be solutions to a problem, but we need to have an open mind and a calm emotional response to handle it. We can never let it push us around!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  34. Lawrence Bousquet
    Twitter:
    February 20, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Great article Donna, As a new blogger but also as one who has jumped around a bit to shiny objects these messages hit home. No matter what you do pay attention to your customers. They are after all the ones who allow you to do what ever it is you’re doing.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Lawrence,

      So true. One has to pay more attention to their customers than anything else. So great to connect with you. I love connecting with new bloggers and thank you for the message you sent me on Facebook!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  35. Miriam Slozberg
    Twitter:
    February 20, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    Wow Donna a major kudos to you for putting yourself out there when a lot of people would not have even had the guts to do what you did. Customer engagement is the most important thing as that is the very thing that builds trust and relationships.
    Miriam Slozberg recently posted..An Overview of Gratitude with Lisa E. PappMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

      Hi Miriam,

      Guess I do have a big mouth hugh? But what else could I do. It was like watching someone slip and fall and not helping to pick the person up.

      Yes customer engagement is the most important thing we can do.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  36. Andrea Ansari
    Twitter:
    February 20, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    Hey Donna, thanks for sharing your entertaining story with us. Japanese food, yummy! 🙂
    Andrea Ansari recently posted..[Case Study] How To Get Super High Email Open Rates!My Profile

  37. Joan Harrington
    Twitter:
    February 20, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    Hello Donna 🙂

    What a great story! I love the way you just came up with a solution that would benefit everyone 🙂 Nice job girl!

    Now I need to take my cue from you and take advantage of the situations just like that…..cause like you said as a blogger, you always have to be aware of things around you and be able to offer solutions to people’s pressing problems, as we should!

    Nice post!

    I always learn so much from you!

    Thank you 🙂
    Joan Harrington recently posted..4 Copywriting Formulas from the MastersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Joan,

      The more we learn and apply, the more we have to give to others. Keeping our eyes open is key. I kind of happens naturally. The only thing that we can do is to offer a helping hand, off line or on line.

      People can take it or leave it. It is all about giving. And as William Amis replied: Good attracts Good!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  38. Dylann Andre February 21, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    The bloggers should always think of the reader and what’s on their mind. It’s definitely hard but that what matters most. I learned and many great ideas here. I will share this to my friends who are bloggers. Great post!
    Dylann Andre recently posted..5 Retail Marketing IdeasMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 11:59 am #

      Hi Dylann,

      Indeed, bloggers have to always think of the reader and what’s on their mind. In doing so, we can always give an answer to a question they may have.

      Thanks so much for sharing,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  39. Monna Ellithorpe
    Twitter:
    February 21, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What a great story. I have GOT to get back in your VIP Club ASAP. I don’t think I would have thought of that solution for the restaurant. I have to learn to think “differently” like you do. I already do sometimes, but I know I can learn so much more from you and David.

    Have a great weekend.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..Is There Money Hidden In Your Computer?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      Take your time and finish what you are doing girl. You can always jump back in the VIP club anytime! You are now focusing on a project and need to keep your blinders on there. You know as a VIP member (which in my book you still are anyway) you can always give us a shout out.

      When it comes to “thinking differently” it does take some work and some time. I think I mentioned it to you before, but in case I didn’t I suggest you read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” because that will change your mindset on money and how it all works.

      I hope this finds you in a profitable time as you work on that venture of yours.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  40. Emi February 21, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Absolutely love your story, and %100 agree that
    this is the best time to engage with your customers.
    Love the Japanese food too 🙂

    Have a fantastic weekend!
    Emi
    Emi recently posted..How To Protect My Blog From ScammersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

      Hi Emi,

      Thanks for stopping by. Aha..you love Japanese food? It is my favorite..but not raw fish. That’s where I draw the line lol.

      I’m a big fan of seaweed, and the seaweed salad there makes me “perk up” as soon as I eat it.

      I can talk about Japanese food forever and all the health benefits..but I digress,

      We all have to step out of our box and lend a hand. Once we live this kind of lifestyle and sharing what we know wherever we are, good things always follow.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  41. Lillian De Jesus
    Twitter:
    February 21, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    DONNA!

    I am cracking up here. WOW! You are one awesome lady boss girl. You saved the day for both parties. That was beautiful. You’ve reminded me – Always have your business hat on no matter where you are.

    LOVE IT!

    Thanks,
    Lillian
    Lillian De Jesus recently posted..How To Create Free Ebook Downloads & PDF Worksheets Using CanvaMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      Hi Lillian,

      Absolutely….Always wear that business hat no matter where you are! I cannot tell you how many times, I have ran into off line businesses and seen how they could grow by being online.

      When I do ask them if they are online, they shrug and say no. The the conversation begins. Sometimes I’ll teach one of the people the How To’s. And sometimes they just won’t bother.

      Doesn’t matter to me, but it never hurts to start a conversation and never be salesy about it.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  42. David Merrill 101
    Twitter:
    February 21, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

    I love this story, Donna, and I was even there.

    It’s always fun to see how you can turn an ordinary event into an opportunity. When everyone around you just said “oh, well, there’s nothing we can do about this,” you stepped up and told them they could re-write the script.

    They were pretty amazed that night.

    I’m pretty amazed every day.

    I love working with you, almost as much as I love living with you.

    Thanks for putting this story out here. I think your readers learn a lot from these kinds of posts.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Should I Have An Autoresponder On My Blog?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Hey David.

      OK…now I have tears in my eyes as I see this lovely surprise on my blog. It was a pretty amazing night.

      Oh how sweet of you to tell me here you are pretty amazed every day. I am amazed by you since the day we met almost 25 years ago.

      The bond we share of love has always carried over to our businesses over the years.

      As we celebrated Valentines day and your Birthday….I found it very romantic when I got up and started chatting and you had that look of admiration in your eyes. You always do…That’s romantic! And it sure beats the hell out of candy and flowers lol.

      I, as well have that deep admiration for you my love. I see you in your office across the hall working with all that tech stuff, and talking to many marketers and admire your intelligence and good nature.

      Every day is an adventure with you!

      All my love,

      -Donna

      PS..OK folks so now you know how David and I keep going on..It is that deep love and caring we have for each other.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  43. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    Twitter:
    February 21, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

    Donna,

    Wonderful story. You have learned so much about engaging your online customers. it is fun to read your blogs because they are carefully constructed with business in mind without selling.

    I did have an incident this past week. A very special opportunity to interview the American love Guru, so named because she had appeared in February on ABC’s The Bachelor to help the bachelor and his date create intimacy.

    That morning I had an early appointment and planned to be back with plenty of time for the call. But that appointment took much longer than expected. And then the bridge seemed to be stuck (I live across the street from the ocean and there is a bridge we have to cross to get to my street). So I had to drive a distance away to a different bridge and then drive back on the ocean road.

    Finally I made it back with about 15 minutes to spare. But when I started the show, the guest did not show up. So I talked for awhile about creating love and I ended the show. The guest had called my cell phone (which I had turned off). I called her back and we agreed to do the show 15 minutes later, as soon as I could get a new web page ready, schedule the radio show and call her back. It was done. And the show went on. Then I wrote a new blog post with the correct link to the replay and I fixed the link in most of my social media.

    The crisis was averted and the show is now online, archived on blogtalkradio.com/drericag.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Intimacy Pact – How Have You Created Yours?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

      Hi Erica,

      Thank you for sharing your story here that adds value to this post! Oh those days when time seems to work against us!

      But you successfully turned it around. “The show must go on!” and you had to juggle a bit but now it is all done. Phew…oh those moments.

      But we all have them and can clear them up when we are persistent and have a positive attitude that it can work!

      Thanks for sharing how you turned a would be crisis into a winning show!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  44. Julieanne van Zyl February 22, 2015 at 5:28 am #

    Great story Donna, you must be popular wherever you go! I love the way you turned someone else’s problem around, and gave them solutions. You’ve shown exactly how it helps to focus on solutions and not the actual problem.
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Billy Joel and MeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      Hi Julieane,

      When a problem comes up and we focus on it, we are at a standstill. It can even effect us emotionally.

      But they do come up and it is the way we handle them that makes a difference. We have to focus on solutions around the problem.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  45. Jacs Henderson
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    Oh how I laughed… “David Rolled his eyes…”!!!!

    Brilliant post Donna, and how fantastic that you stood up and spoke to the staff that night!

    I completely agree that when things go wrong you have to take action. but how much better when you can see the problem before it happens as in this case and take measures to minimise risk to your business,

    [ boy, was it their lucky night you were there to show them that lesson!! ]

    and, probably more importantly to assist your customers to achieve their romantic dinner… I bet many of them hadn’t even thought ahead about the weather, and would have been disappointed with the disruption.

    It is important as bloggers to look for opportunities, and troubleshoot.

    But also I would like to say Donna, that moment when you stood up to speak with the first staff member was a ripple moment….. look how that action created such a change in the way they operated, which would in turn affect every customer they contacted, which would affect every valentines couple booked in.. etc etc

    I am a great believer in creating a wave of kindness, awareness and opportunity to others to change the feel of their world and I loved this example of just that 🙂

    You are an amazing lady Donna!

    Jacs
    Jacs Henderson recently posted..Shop With Jacs!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

      Hi Jacs,

      Thank you for your lovely input and I’m glad this made you laugh…

      I like the way you pointed out the “ripple effect” because I didn’t think of that one. Oh boy now I’m so happy. Just think…one change could effect so many for their special dinner. I was focused on the owners…Although they were speaking Japanese, I knew they were anxious.

      Jumping in was the only thing I could do. I never thought of the ripple effect that became the cause. Oh boy…so many people on that special night waiting to out to dinner. Maybe one was going to propose? Maybe there was a re-kindling of love? The wheels are spinning in my head now.

      That’s the thing about just giving without expectation. You never know how many lives you can touch and make it better.

      I too am a believer of creating waves of kindness. It is not as effective in our words as it is in our actions.

      Now off to do a cartwheel lol.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  46. Joy Healey
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What a great example – sorry David’s Valentine’s Night took an unexpected turn, but I see from his comment above that he admires and loves you for the way you are, and your business sense.

    In my early computing days I was taught “If you can’t fix it, feature it” – so for instance if there was a blob on the screen and we couldn’t get rid of it, we’d turn it into a customer logo, or something. I still try to apply that to my everyday life.

    Your example was a far better use of the principle.

    Have a great week, Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..Business Network Group ReviewMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      I’m glad you read David’s comment. It is our idea of being romantic. Two geeks lol.

      I find that phrase very interesting that you shared. When it comes down to it all, it is not what we say, as much as we do. And that kind of sharing gives others the incentive to do more for themselves.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  47. Nathan Ambrose
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    Hi Donna.

    That was a great story. I love reading real-life practical things like this. It showed how your experience could solve problems that mere theory cannot.

    It reminds me of the need to see life like that at all times. Sometimes it’s easy, but not always so when it comes to business. However, addressing and solving problems is the way forward.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Nathan.
    Nathan Ambrose recently posted..Does My Blog Look Big in This?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 23, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Nathan,

      Sometimes I do like to make a point using real life stories to share with my readers. Not only for entertainment, but the moral of the story is to realize that “life happens” with our business.

      When we keep that in mind, it is easier to overcome problems when things do go wrong.

      The last thing I ever want to see is people giving up.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  48. Jenni Ryan
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

    Hi Donna

    What an amazing story.

    I am sure you made their day and their week by offering them such solid business advice.

    Good for you.
    Jenni Ryan recently posted..Success in Network MarketingMy Profile

  49. Mary Sloane
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Way to go Donna. That was really thinking outside the box. and it shows you really care! You could have sat idly by and let them have a problem but you took the trouble to help them find a solution! My hat is off to you lady!
    Mary Sloane recently posted..300 FREE Tools to Hack Your Online LifeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Mary,

      It was like someone falling in front of you. The initial response we have is to help them get back on their feet. Same goes here.

      The moral of the story is that things will happen to us in our business, and we need to be ready to never let it stop us.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  50. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    I love this story and it sounds Typical Donna to me 🙂
    Your inner child is good active and I can imagine David’s eye rolling 🙂
    Great Idea to help this restaurant and you got nicely rewarded.
    Always teacher and marketer it shows you do what you love ,it can’t get better. 🙂
    Thank you
    Erika

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Erika,

      Ha Ha you know me well “typical Donna” 🙂

      Your comment is wonderful, thank you. Yes, always the marketer! David knows that well and he found it romantic in the end. So did I when he gave me that look, after all was said and done like he was so proud of me.

      I want him always to be proud of me….More than doing my hair and getting dressed, but what I do.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  51. Lesly Federici
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    LOVE this Donna…
    You offered them a new way of thinking .. and your suggestions were right on.. and you know, you left a lasting memory, made new connections, and you just never know what will come of that… awesome.. good karma
    Lesly Federici recently posted..Guys Let’s Conquer ThisMy Profile

  52. Leanne Chesser
    Twitter:
    February 23, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Wow, Donna! What an amazing story. I love how you came up with that solution and how you didn’t hold back sharing it. There was a huge ripple effect in many directions.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted..When is Purpose NOT Your Purpose?My Profile

  53. Beth Hewitt
    Twitter:
    February 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    What a wonderful story, I have a feeling you’ll be using this as an example over and over. I have to say I am similar, I can’t help but take charge in situations like. This was a great way to provide customer service that was over and above what was expected and I bet those Valentines dates will be turning up next year and also making recommendations because of the service that they have provided.

    As for David, I think it might have been the Sake 🙂

    Beth
    Beth Hewitt recently posted..MeditationMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

      Hi Beth,

      I just had to share this example of what we did because life always happens. When it comes to our lives and business, there will ALWAYS be things that will stop us in our tracks.

      We need to have that mindset that where there’s a will there’s a way and never let anything stop us from our journey.

      It was quite romantic for us because as marketers, it was a romantic moment for both of us. Yea..we are a little strange lol.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  54. Carol Amato
    Twitter:
    February 25, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    Way to go, Donna!

    You did a fantastic job helping them out! I can completely relate to always having your marketing hat on – so do I and so does my husband because he’s been an entrepreneur since the age of 12! LOL

    Great that you relayed your everyday life story to share the lesson in customer engagement, with good takeaways for everyone.

    I couldn’t agree more! 🙂 There is always lemonade to be made when life hands you lemons. I’m a “glass is half-FULL” type of gal, so it’s easy for me to spot a negative to turn it into a positive.

    You did a phenomenal deed for them, and see – they felt the need to reciprocate, which is icing on the ‘sake’ lol

    Loved it! Now you’ve got me hungry for Japanese food!

    Have a lovely day.
    ˜Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted..Attract and Influence Readers with Case StudiesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      Glad you enjoyed the story I shared which goes to show keep that marketing hat on all the time! I wanted to illustrate how we can turn those lemons life throws at us to lemonade.

      I think I’ve reached some due to the comments above. I know you are the kind of person that would do the same thing.

      Yes the icing on the sake was a good thing!

      Now go to your Japanese restaurant and have some fun.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  55. Irish Carter
    Twitter:
    February 25, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    Great post Donna. I loved it. This was probably my favorite one I have read here so far. Very inspiring. I love how you went in for dinner and wasn’t afraid to put your workhat on for that business. What is really awesome is you tossed out a problem/conflict session for the owners and staff to see. Hopefully they will work that into business planning in the future.

    I will be honest Donna and many times I hear things in the public going on and stay quiet. I think I do that because unless I am some where locally specifically doing the work, I tend to think that others don’t want the imput but you have changed my thinking of this. I have to stop being that gal who doesn’t step out of her comfort zone locally. Well done on the educational teaching here. I think I might squeeze in a community activity or two when I am out and about locally …..LOL

    Kudos to David for being such a great sport while you were rockin your wonderfulness. What a trooper.

    Have a great week.

    Irish
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    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 28, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      Hi Irish,

      I’m so glad this inspired you to get out of your box. You never know when you can help someone and even turn it into a business prospect.

      I do it all the time lol. I just cannot keep my big mouth shut! I did acquire some gigs while out and about when I’m in a boutique, a hair salon and so on.

      I had to pass this one on to someone because I’m lazer focused right now preparing a launch. But hey, what goes around comes around right?

      And if you are coming out of your box…the worst that could happen is the person would say no. So what the heck do you care? 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  56. Nisha Pandey
    Twitter:
    February 26, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    It is amazing to see how you turned the situation to your favor.

    As a blogger there can nothing better than this. Understanding the problem and engaging your target audience can truly be the best fix to messed up situation.

    Thanks so much for the great post. It is really inspiring one.

    Have a nice day!
    Nisha Pandey recently posted..How to Transform your LinkedIn Post into a “Potent” Marketing Tool?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Nisha,

      As bloggers and marketers we must always be thinking and having our eyes open for opportunities to help others. We can be out in a restaurant or online. It doesn’t matter as long as we step forward and lend a hand to help.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Should Bloggers Give Away Their Best Information?My Profile

  57. Andy Lockhart
    Twitter:
    March 8, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    Donna

    Great story, they must have thought you were a crazy lady to start 🙂

    But you are right things happen and you just have to get on with it, move on and be positive.

    Andy
    Andy Lockhart recently posted..What do You Know About Pinterest?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      March 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Andy,

      Yep, at first they did think I was a crazy lady and maybe I am lol. Because of my mindset, I can be either of help or annoying. Thing is, I don’t really care at all.

      In this instance, it all worked out just fine!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..3 Ways To Pump Up Your BlogMy Profile

  58. Shivkumar
    Twitter:
    March 8, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Hii Donna,

    Nice! inspiring story to continue business going on.
    This is called presence of mind which you have shown there. Great! A new lesson to learn from this article.

    Thanks for sharing this story!

    >SK Lohar
    Shivkumar recently posted..Use Virtual memory to Speed up your Computer PerformanceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      March 8, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      Hi Shivkumar,

      So good to know you were inspired by this story. Indeed, it is presence of mind which I have illustrated here.

      As long as we have that mindset, we can jump right in and help others.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..3 Ways To Pump Up Your BlogMy Profile

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