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Steve Wynn Shares His Ultimate Competitive Edge

A few years ago, Steve Wynn, the successful, Vegas casino operator, shared one of his most successful business secrets at a Tony Robbins business mastery event.

He began with a simple observation about people – anything that brings immediate gratification will be repeated. The most powerful human gratification is making someone feel good about themselves. As Wynn stated, “if you can make someone feel good about themselves they will love you for it, they will be loyal to you.”

Once he realized this principle, he wanted to apply it to his hotels and casinos. So a few years ago, he sent all 900 supervisors to get trained in England on storytelling. Why?

A bit of back story first.

All Wynn properties conduct something called the pre-shift meeting at the start of every shift, within each department. Just before the restaurant opens, the maitre d meets with the waiters and has a 10 minute session.

Similarly, the chef will have a pre-shift meeting with his cooking staff.

Housekeepers on each floor meet with their supervisors.

After the storytelling training in England, these huddles began with the supervisor asking for a story of something special that happened with a guest. At one of these huddles, a bell man shared the story of an older couple who had arrived from California.

As their luggage was being unloaded the bellman asked them to check and see if all the bags were there. The woman let yelled in surprise “Oh Mike, I forgot the medicine bag.”

She cried “Oh my God Mike your insulin! I left it on the front hall table when we got in the car! Oh my God! What are we gonna do? We have to go back! I’ll call the airport!”

Right then the bellman tells her “Just a minute ma’am. Where do you live?”

“Pacific Palisades, California”

“Is there anyone at your house?”

“Yes, our housekeeper, she’s there.”

“I have a brother that lives in Encino. I can give him a call, he can go over your house, and pick up the bag and we’ll manage to get it here for you. When do you need the medicine?”

It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. She said by 7 a.m. He says, “Don’t you worry. If you can get that lady on the phone and tell her that Basilio Mendez is coming and to give him the medicine.”

She couldn’t believe it and said, “you can do that?”

“yes ma’am” Mendez assured her.

She calls and tells the housekeeper that Basilio is coming to get the medicine bag and to let him have it.

Mendez immediately sees his supervisor, explains to him the situation and jumps into a car. He drives five hours to his brother’s house, picks up the bag, turns around and gets back to Las Vegas. At the hotel, he hands it to the bellman on duty and tells him to make sure to get it to room so and so by 7 a.m.

Everyone in the pre-shift meeting says “wow that’s great Mendez!” The story is soon featured in the employee intranet. Mendez’ picture is posted in the back of the house. His story is all over the staff dining room, where everybody is reading about this bellman. Mendez is now a local hero and he feels great because of the recognition he gets from his peers.

Steve Wynn found the key to making a single employee’s interaction with a guest feel instantly gratifying and increasing his self-esteem. Now every employee in the hotel is looking for a story. Which in turn, is providing his guests with exceptional experiences!

You can bet that Wynn Casinos and Hotels has high repeat visits and customer loyalty. And one more thing – Wynn Hotels also has a loyalty program.

Want to make your customers feel special and offer them rewards through a loyalty program?

Offer rewards via RewardCamp. Sign up for a free trial.

How To Solve Hard E-commerce Problems And Love The Process

Few months ago I was hiring a developer and was reviewing his website. He had a simple tagline that said:

“Break large tasks into small ones, if it’s still complex, repeat.”

I have used this maxim to solve all kinds of problems – big and small, in my business. Let’s use this approach to solve an e-commerce problem. How about e-commerce sales? E-commerce sales can be broken down to three challenges:

  1. Getting traffic
  2. Converting the traffic into new orders
  3. Converting the new orders into repeat orders

Now, let’s focus on the ‘Getting traffic’ component and break it down further. There are many channels for getting traffic. After some research you’ll notice that most traffic boils down to one of these three strategies:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Paid Ads
  3. Social Media

I find it best to focus on one problem at a time. Let’s say that we decide to go with SEO since it doesn’t require money to be spent upfront. SEO could be broken down to the following components:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Homepage optimization
  3. Product page optimization
  4. Category optimization

You get the idea. You keep breaking down each component until it loses complexity. Until it becomes simple. And then you solve that simple task.

The beauty of this approach is that it helps me tackle complex and overwhelming problems.

The second benefit of this approach is that it makes the journey enjoyable. I feel a sense of accomplishment solving each small piece, instead of waiting till the end, when the entire project has been completed. This simple maxim has been a game changer for me.

If you are trying to solve the problem of converting your new orders into repeat orders, then you are in the right place. The solution is to run a loyalty program with a customer friendly rewards app like RewardCamp.

Sign up for a free trial at www.rewardcamp.com

He Made $250,000 Selling Jewelry on Uber

Gavin Escolar immigrated from the Philippines to San Francisco to sell jewelry but he was struggling. Business was slow and he became an Uber driver to make ends meet. Some of his Uber customers would ask for a business card when they learned about his jewelry business. Then it hit him. He had a captive audience during each ride.

So he began tucking brochures into the back seat sleeves. He hung jewelry pieces from the rearview mirror. He even carried some samples in the glove compartment to show the more inquisitive riders. These were great conversation starters.

Soon he was selling enough jewelry from driving Uber that he bought three cars and hired drivers to drive for him. He trained these drivers on his tactful sales techniques, where to pick up passengers that are likely to buy and how to engage with them.

It freed up his time to design new jewelry. Gavin pulled in $250,000 in sales last year.

He is very tactful about his sales process. He never brings up the jewelry business to his customers. He engages them only if they start a conversation. Often the passengers will notice the brochure or the jewelry and engage him.
For most of his rides, Gavin barely says a word. And when he does engage with them about jewelry, it’s about his customers. He asks questions to understand their needs and desires. By being tactful and respectful, Gavin is able to keep his Uber ratings high and also sell tons of jewelry.

Every platform has it’s own unique tactics that can lead to success. Using the wrong tactics can backfire. Here’s an annoyed Uber rider who had a different experience than Gavin’s riders:

“As a passenger I’ve had a driver aggressively try to push a MLM scheme on to me. Don’t do this, I was uninterested and tried exiting the conversation many times but had a long ride to the airport dealing with it. I gave him one star because he took advantage of the situation that I clearly wanted nothing to do with. So don’t be that guy.”

Another great platform to grow your sales is your existing customer base. But again, you have to use the right tactics. Offering rewards to your customers via a customer-friendly rewards app like RewardCamp is a great way to convert new buyers into repeat customers.

Sign up for a free trial at www.rewardcamp.com

Filling Your E-commerce Pond For Tomorrow’s Profits

Few weekends ago I watched a ton of YouTube videos on how to build a pond. One of those videos had a big business lesson. The videos are made by a guy in Michigan building his dream country home in a large rural property with several hundred acres. He has already built a country home with a three car garage. Now he’s creating a large fishing lake and some smaller ponds to attract deer (he’s a hunter).

This one video is about him building one of these deer ponds. It’s a two person job but he was doing it alone. First he filled a 250 gallon bucket with water. Then he towed the water bucket, pump, a plastic liner and other supplies out to the woods.

Once at the pond site, he laid down the plastic liner (the soil at this location is too porous to hold water). Then he hooked up several pipes, setup the pump and started pumping water into the pond. He had to go back and forth, fill up the large bucket several times to fill the entire pond. It was a lot of work and took him the entire day. He was wiped out by the end. Then he said something that stood out to me:

“I don’t know about you but I’m working for October and November right now. And maybe December and January. You know, if you want good deer hunting and you gripe about how you wish your’s was better wherever you are at, these are the kinds of things you need to do. It’s not easy work, I’m gonna tell you that.”

The part that hit me was “I’m working for October and November right now.” This idea of working hard for the future instead of just for today, is an important factor in business success. It is especially true in e-commerce, where it’s tempting to focus only on today’s problems and opportunities.

But to consistently grow your business, you gotta focus on tomorrow. And sometimes you won’t even get the chance. A new competitor, a hacking incident, supplier going out of business, a warehouse fire, could suddenly impact your business.

One of the best “working for October and November” actions you can take is to start building repeat business and customer loyalty. RewardCamp makes it very easy for you. In just 23 minutes, you can setup a rewards program that will convert your new buyers into loyal customers.

Get started today with a free trial of RewardCamp at www.rewardcamp.com

“All My Competitors Are Undercutting Me Massively”

Here’s a sad tale I came across in one of the e-commerce forums:

“I sell private label products, and I know for a fact the majority of sellers in my niche, in my country, are using the same supplier as I am. However, I can’t understand how they are able to sell for so low and still turn a profit. The only thing that I can think of is they’re buying much larger quantities than myself and therefore getting a much better price.”

This is one of the most maddening aspects of the e-commerce business: dealing with all the price-cutting and competition. Anyone – your customer, your supplier, your employee can become a competitor overnight. After setting up shop, the first thing they do is to cut prices.

All of a sudden, your conversion suffers, the orders stop coming in, and your customers are buying from the competition. It’s painful and frustrating.

It’s tempting to respond with lower your prices but that’s just a race to the bottom. Very few can win the low-price game. Instead, the more profitable to option is build customer loyalty. It can inoculate your customers from the competition. The fastest way to build customer loyalty is to offer rewards through RewardCamp.

Sign up for a free trial at www.rewardcamp.com

They Left In A Panic

A group of engineering professors were invited to fly in a plane. After being seated, they were informed the plane was built by their students. All but one of the professors got up and left in a panic.

The lone professor who was calmly seated, was asked: “Why did you stay put?”

“I have plenty of confidence in my students. Knowing them, I can assure you, this piece of shit plane will never even start.”

Moral of the story? It pays to know your target, whether they are students or customers. Retailers who take the time to know their customers, get more of them.

RewardCamp helps you get to know your best customers. It even helps you get to know former best customers – those who used to shop a lot from you and then stopped. It can help you bring these former customers back using the “lost customer reactivation” feature.

Signup for a free trial at www.rewardcamp.com

How to Win Against Bigger E-commerce Rivals

One day the Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman was having lunch with a colleague named Frederic Hoffman. This was during world war two and they were working on the Manhattan project.

During the conversation, Feynman learned that both had worked for rival companies earlier in their careers. Feynman worked for the smaller competitor in New York while Hoffman had worked for the significantly bigger rival in London. In fact, both were working on competing versions of the same product and Feynman was intrigued about the progress the rival company had made with their product. So he asked Hoffman how it went.

“It was going along pretty well, but we had our problems.”

“Oh?”

“They were developed further along than we were.”

“How could you tell?”

“They were advertising all the time in Modern Plastics with full-page advertisements showing all the things they could do.”

“Did you have any stuff from them?”

“No, but you could tell from the advertisements that they were way ahead of what we could do.”

“How many chemists did you have working in the lab?”

“We had six chemists working?”

“How many chemists do you think they had?”

“I would guess they must have had twenty-five or fifty chemists… how could we compete with them?”

That’s when Feynman confided in him that his employer in New York had only one chemist. In fact, the New York rival had a staff of four, which included the owner. However, the New York company got lucky by hiring young Feynman and gave him the freedom to experiment and improve their product.

It’s possible to win against bigger competitors by hiring the right people and giving them the freedom to do their jobs.

Another great way to compete is to converting your new shoppers into repeat customers. RewardCamp is great for that. Sign up for a trial at www.rewardcamp.com

A River of E-commerce Shit

What makes a man crawl through a river of shit?

That’s what happens in my favorite movie – Shawshank Redemption. It’s the story of a prison escape, of friendship and of working on a goal for a long time. The movie’s main character is a banker named Andy Dufresne sent to prison for murder. During his early years in prison, Andy is regularly beaten and raped.

For years Andy had been working on a secret, escape plan. On the night of his escape, Andy crawled through the prison’s sewer system, covered in shit and wriggled his way to freedom. Several months after Andy’s escape, his best friend in prison, a man named Red is reminiscing about Andy and says these words.

“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright.”

Building an e-commerce business is sometimes like Andy’s escape plan. We work on it for years. Sometimes things go wrong.

  • Suppliers burn us.
  • A trusted employee leaves.
  • Cash flow gets tight.
  • Competitors lower prices.

Times like that it can feel like crawling through a river of shit. And I try to remember Red’s words:

“Some birds are not meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright.”

And we keep building our business.

One of the ways to build your business is to convert new buyers into repeat customers. A rewards program powered by RewardCamp helps you to do that.

Sign up for a free, 30 day trial at www.rewardcamp.com

Nervous and Trembling

I’m reading ‘Surely Your Joking Mr. Feynman’ an autobiography of the Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. As a young man, Feynman redid many Physics experiments to build a strong understanding of the foundations. This focus on the basics consistently helped him throughout his life.

When Feynman was a grad student at Princeton, his adviser asked him to give a technical talk. The talk was a topic that attracted the heavy weights of the scientific world. Among the people who were planning to attend included:

  • Albert Einstein.
  • Henry Norris Russell, the top astronomer of the time.
  • John von Neumann, a giant in the field of mathematics and computer science.
  • Wolfgang Pauli, a Nobel-prize winning physicist.

Feynman became nervous at the prospect of presenting to such an audience of heavy weights. He told his adviser about his fears. The adviser comforted him by saying that he’d be there to answer any questions from the audience. The day of the talk came and all these extremely smart scientists were filing into the lecture hall. As they were reviewing the handouts, Feynman’s hands began trembling from nervousness.

Feynamn wasn’t sure he could make it through the lecture. But then something happened that Feynman described as a miracle.

“Then a miracle occurred, as it has occurred again and again in my life, and it’s very lucky for me: the moment I start to think about the physics, and have to concentrate on what I’m explaining, nothing else occupies my mind – I’m completely immune to being nervous. So after I started to go, I just didn’t know who was in the room. I was only explaining this idea, that’s all.”

Feynman’s success in overcoming his nervousness had another reason. It was his habit of developing a solid understanding of the basics. That solid understanding of the basics gave him a comfort in focusing on far more complex topics. The physics replaced the nervousness.

Building a strong foundation in the basics not only works in physics but also in e-commerce. Here at RewardCamp we focus on the basics too.

How?

By focusing on rewarding customers for only one behavior – buying again from you. Not on writing reviews. Not on social media sharing. But only for ordering again.

Another basic idea we focus on is making it easy for your customers to earn and use their rewards.

And the results speak for themselves. We have over 90% loyalty rate with our retailers. Our retailers easily increase their repeat order revenue by over 100% and some have increased by as much as 350%.

Increase your revenue and customer loyalty by using RewardCamp free for 30 days at www.rewardcamp.com

Fried Chicken Can’t Build Customer Loyalty

Last week a friend of mine was visiting from Austin, Texas. We decided to meet for dinner at this Korean fried chicken joint in the East Village.

I get their early to get a table and can’t remember if they accept credit cards. So I ask and get a strange answer. They don’t accept credit cards on weekends but do on weekdays. Which doesn’t make any sense. At any rate, dinner was good. My friend gives me the latest scoop from Austin, Texas (I went to college there).

Later that evening, on my way home, I decide to check out this other Korean restaurant the next time.

So here’s the point. Most loyalty and rewards programs are like that Korean restaurant. They make things hard and confusing for customers. They’ll require customers to jump through hoops to earn and use rewards. Instead of building customer loyalty, they do the opposite – convince customers to leave.

Here at RewardCamp, we focus on the total opposite – to make it easy for your customers. For example, RewardCamp doesn’t require your customers to separately register. It doesn’t require them to redeem their points (it’s done for them). It doesn’t issue difficult to use rewards like coupon codes or gift certificates.

RewardCamp makes it easy for your customers to earn and use their rewards. When customers are using rewards, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when they return to buy again and again from you. So simple!

Grow your revenue by trying RewardCamp free for 30 days at www.rewardcamp.com.