Style & Substance Secrets
The resource for business professionals to improve credibility, relationships and bottom line, through image, etiquette, dining and social skills advice.
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- Fine Dining at the IHOP
Dear Joanne & Terry Q & A:
- Business Dress
- Table Manners
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About Style for Success
Joanne Blake & Terry Pithers can help your organization and your people improve their personal image and social skills to build credibility and inspire stronger business relationships.
Specializing in business dress, demeanor & dining, we add enjoyable, unique, profitable content to your training, conferences, retreats and in-house seminars.
Joanne and I spent a week in Tampa, Florida attending our image consultants conference this year. We needed to combine some pleasure with business so we just had to rent a convertible to explore the attractions and restaurants in the area.
We had some pretty fine dining there, everything from Cuban sandwiches to exotic seafood. But our most notable meal in Florida actually occurred at a pancake house. (Click here to see Joanne and our convertible at restaurant)
When it comes to the dining experience the personal attitude of the server can make or break any meal. Joanne shared this story with our friend and fellow speaker Nelson Scott. Nelson featured the story in his newsletter and we have included it here.
Nelson Scott's Article
This month’s example of service excellence is courtesy of a speaker colleague Joanne Blake.
While in Tampa Bay, Florida for the annual convention of the Association of Image Consultants International in May, Joanne and husband/business partner Terry Pithers visited a nearby IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant for breakfast.
Shortly after the manager had shown them to their booth, their server appeared with a greeting that soothed their flagging air-traveler spirits. “Hi, my name is Chris and I’m going to take care of you.”
Soothing the spirit
And take care of them he did. With warm chat and efficiency he made them feel like they were guests in his own home. When they asked to share a large order, Chris returned with their order, two-full size plates, and cutlery. No need to scrape part of the order onto a small side plate.
Gesturing toward a carafe on the table, he told his guests that when they needed more coffee all they had to do was remove the lid. “I’ll come running,” he promised. And always with a smile he did.
I think therefore I care
After they had paid for their meal, Chris asked them if they would like a coffee to go. When Joanne and Terry declined because it was such a hot day, Chris gave them two travel cups with iced water instead.
As they were leaving, the couple spoke to the manager to let him know how pleased they had been with the experience. When Terry asked if they had customer service training, “Yes” he replied “but we also care about people.”
Let's go to the hop
Given the quality of the service, it is hardly surprising that Joanne and Terry returned to the same restaurant a few days later. When they asked for Chris, they learned that he had taken the day off to care for his ill mother. Another server was assigned to take their order.
“I heard about your experience with Chris,” she reported. “My name is Constance, but since he is not here, today I will be Christine and I will take as good care of you as Chris did.”
And so she did.
“It sets the tone for the whole day and even our attitude toward Tampa and the IHOP company when you have such a positive experience,” Joanne says, reflecting on their visits to IHOP.
Article provided by Nelson Scott
A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers. Learn more by visiting www.seaconsultingonline.com or email email@example.com.
Note from Joanne:
Terry, who had more free time at the conference than I did, not only got out kayaking for a day (Click here to see Terry kayaking with the alligators) but he actually went back to that IHOP twice more. Yes, he likes pancakes but it also relates to what we teach in our seminars - people like to do business with those that they know, like and trust.
So what about you, are you building relationships with your clients, having conversations with them, learning who they are and what they like? Do you give them that “I'm going to take care of you” feeling?
Because if you do, these days that's going to make you stand out, and they'll be telling their friends and business associates glowing stories about you.
Have a great summer and many fine dining experiences!
Q&A - Business Etiquette, Dress & Table Manners Advice
Q: Sandal Scandal?
I kind of like the new trend in sandals – I think they’re called gladiators. Can I wear them to the office?
- Gwen in Rome
Women in creative industries have a lot more leeway when it comes to wearing the latest in fashions and foot wear to work. The rest of us need to be more cautious. You want to stand out for the right reasons. (Click here to see examples of gladiators)
Women in more 'serious’ professions are best leaving the espadrilles and gladiators (also referred to as goddess sandals) for the weekend. Your credibility is better enhanced wearing peep toe pumps, sling backs or wedges for the summer. (click here for sex-in-the-city example)
Style-For-Success Tip for any woman (or man) when wearing sandals:
Any footwear that wraps and ties around the ankle or calf will visually shorten and widen the leg (the dreaded horizontal line).
So if you like these kind of sandals but have shorter than average proportions (legs), try to choose colours that blend with your skin tone so you don’t create any strong horizontal lines.
(If you think Russell Crowe looked good in gladiator sandals, click here to see what Terry might look like in gladiators.)
Note from Terry:
I'm going to ignore the comment on that last link.
Speaking of links,
many HR professionals have been asking for a reprint of our
Here is the link to that article.
Q: Big Mouth Yawn?
I often people watch in airports and I can't believe how many people, many wearing business suits, who yawn without covering their mouth. Even in restaurants I'm seeing it more and more. Is this is some sort of epidemic? Don't they know how boorish they look?
- Counting Cavities at JFK
Isn't people watching more fun than the zoo? Maybe the reason we yawn more is because we are all so busy these days and yawning seems to be contagious. Just writing about it makes me want to yawn. But you're right about that being no reason not to cover your mouth.
(Click here to see someone who needs a catnap badly)
The correct etiquette is you should always cover your mouth when you yawn. Notice I underlined always because the only way to ensure you get into the habit of covering your mouth is if you always do it.
That means doing it even when no one else is around. Otherwise you're going to forget and that brings us to the reasons why you should cover your mouth.
Improve your business/social dining skills online without yawning.
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If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. You are like a pebble thrown into water; you become wet on the surface, but are never part of the water.
August Public Seminars in Calgary
Downtown Calgary Chamber of Commerce - Enmax Ballroom
Image Is Your Business Tool ~ Luncheon Keynote
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Presented in partnership with Progress Seminars
Dress For Success ~ How to Look Like You Mean Business (Keynote Luncheon and Workshop combined)
Presented in partnership with Progress Seminars
Click here for more details and registration
Note: The limited-seating afternoon workshop is for women who want to finetune their professional dress for credibility and career success.
Early Bird Bonus Offer!
A $79 value free to early birds.
Joanne at the Coast
Joanne was out to the west coast twice in June presenting Looking the Part and Savvy Networking for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC (ICABC) and Protocol for Building Business Relationships for The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC).
One of the reasons Joanne enjoys working with Accountants and Engineers is that they look at image and etiquette pragmatically as valuable business tools.
Terry the Kid Rides Again
Terry's cowboy alter-ego keynoted for Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs' AGM in June. If Ain't Broke, Fix It Anyway was a hit. The audience and he had fun as he motivated with his humorous presentation on change and positive outlook.
Waterton/Glacier Park Here We Come
Joanne and Terry will be taking some R&R hiking and kayaking/flyfishing for a week the end of July. (Yes the image/etiquette consultants love the great outdoors, but guess which one kayaks and fishes)
Hope you have a great summer vacation too!
Looking for entertaining and empowering presentations with a difference for your next conference or retreat?
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