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Excellence is Contagious. Pass it on.

by channelmaven on March 4, 2015

Excellence is contagious. Pass it on.

We first met Bobby Stuckey at his impeccable food and wine venue, Frasca, located on quaint Pearl Street in Channel Maven’s hometown of Boulder, Colorado.

Kitchen - Julia Vandenoever

The most interesting thing about Bobby is not that he’s an award winning Master Sommelier and restaurateur. (And by ‘award-winning’ we mean 2013 James Beard Award and 2015 Sommelier of the Year.) The most interesting thing about Bobby is how he continues to inspire us.

The secret ingredient:

Frasca has some of the best Northern Italian food you’ll ever eat. It’s nothing short of amazing and the wine is, of course, out of this world. But it’s more than just ‘the usual’ fine dining experience that makes Frasca a standout.

Carne di Cervo - Julia Vandenoever

So, what is it?

You know ‘the thing’ that elevates fine dining a couple more notches? The food is amazing and the wine is phenomenal (all to be expected) but there’s an added something… a feeling.

Almost like you’re watching a performance from your table or maybe you’re part of the performance, a main character instead of an audience member. The front of house team works seamlessly together to provide the best experience you’ll never be able to describe… a feeling.

Staff Class- Julia Vandenoever

Bobby calls it being a ‘Hospitalian.’ Not just showing hospitality, but actually consciously creating elevated feelings in us. And by “us”, we mean everyone he meets. All of the people who work at Frasca are Hospitalians. But, what does that mean in practice?

First of all, it’s a team effort and Bobby adamantly describes it exactly that way. Yes, he has won awards but when you talk to him, he’s the first to say, “it’s not me, it’s the team.” The authenticity with which he makes that statement is palatable and punctuated by his own confession:

“My journey through life is being a Hospitalian and I fulfill my journey by being a Sommelier.”

So what is “it” exactly? What is that feeling we can’t describe? According to Bobby, it’s the continual practice of looking outward and being really humble… it’s not something you can read about and apply it to life, life applies it to you by giving you opportunities to turn people’s mood around with authenticity and intention.

 

Spaghetti - Broken Arrow Ranch Quail and Swiss Chard - Joe Friend

 

Last November, Bobby gave a Ted Talk about hospitality. It’s worth watching and might just change your life for the better. We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with him to share our own Hospitalian experiences we have with our clients and ask him a few questions.

Here’s what we learned:

1. Being a Hospitalian is not trained into people.

It’s not something you can learn from reading a book, it’s a team effort, and it’s a conscious choice for everyone on staff. They all help each other stay on track. This explains why they seem to glide around the room, executing hospitality in unison. It also explains why your waitperson is not the only one who tends to your dinning experience. And Bobby says the back of the house is just as involved even though you may never see them.

2. Positivity is a required trait.

Job interviews can be deceiving because people are on their best behavior. Bobby uses expressed positivity and their ability to fit with the team as indicators of success. “I will hire someone with spirit who will fit in over someone with years of experience who won’t.” (Bobby also mentioned reading an article from Harvard about how positivity makes us smarter.)

3. It’s ok to elevate people to being a customer.

That’s what Bobby calls it when they let someone go. Being a Hospitalian is easier for some than others, and that’s ok. So when someone doesn’t work out or adopt the practice, it’s acceptable to ‘elevate them to customer status.’ Just in putting it that way, you can see how Bobby talks the talk and walks the walk.

 Frico Pop - Julia Vandenover

It was an honor and a privilege to spend time with Bobby Stuckey. We’re grateful to have a label for our actions with our own customers because we strive for the same principles in our business. In our last team meeting, here’s what we said about being a Hospitalian:

Hospatalian-1

Hospatalian-2

Hospatalian-3

Hospatalian-4

Excellence is Contagious. Pass it on. 

Photo Credit: Julia Vandenoever
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Channel Maven Consulting is 6!!

by channelmaven on March 2, 2015

Yesterday on March 1st we celebrated our 6th birthday!  A huge thank you to all of you for the support and encouragement over the years.  We strive to continue driving more engagement and business through your channel programs and we know we couldn’t do it without all of you!

ThankyouBirthday

 

Photo Credit: www.bellacupcakecouture.com
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The Social Media Rally Station™ Gets a Makeover!

by channelmaven on February 12, 2015

In the past at Partner Summits or IT events, the Social Media Rally Station™  offered attendees complementary headshots and consultations to update their professional social profiles. For our third year at VMware PEX we wanted to change things up a bit.  To meet attendees current needs and continue to improve their marketing efforts, we added two new exciting consulting offerings to help Partners and attendees drive social content and track their competitors on social.

So how does it work?

Step 1: Attendees check in with our Coordinator

Welcoming Partners into the Social Media Rally Station™ is our coordinator. After assessing the attendee’s needs the coordinator sends them to the photographer or ideal consultant.

 Claire-PEX

Step 2:  Their professional headshot is taken

In a few short minutes Partners receive a complimentary photo shoot that could cost up to $1,000 elsewhere. Steve takes multiple shots and the Partner chooses their favorite photo that is then prepared and emailed in less than 72 hours. This professional headshot can be used in a number of ways: social media profiles, press releases, webinars, company website, and more!

steve-pex

Step 3:  One-2-One Stop

This original component of the Social Media Rally Station™ helps Partners use social to drive demand. The Partner logged into their personal LinkedIn profile and is consulted on ways to take their social and online profiles to the next level and start engaging their audience. The consultant, an expert on all things social, evaluates the Partner’s presence across all social platforms and each Partner leaves with a Channel Maven checklist reiterating everything discussed during the consultation.

carson-pex

Step 4:  Partners Create Social Content

Partners meet with a Social Media Rally Station™ consultant who evaluates their marketing objectives and helps them master content creation. Our consultants help identify their target audience through targeted questions and Partners walk away with their prospect’s pain points defined and outlined for a related blog post, video script and/or case study.

 jenn-pex

 

Step 5:  Channel Maven Social Intelligence

This year we also gave Partners an opportunity to see where they stack up against competition through Channel Maven Social Intelligence™ reports. We analyze how they compare with their competition on all social platforms and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. These reports help our consultants provide suggestions and recommendations for where and how Partners can improve their online presence. The report shows Partners how many social media posts they have compared to their competitors and how their posts compare on engagement and reach.  The search engine optimization (SEO) component of the report gives insights on keywords, meta descriptions and other factors that we use to help improve their search engine rankings.

SI-pex

Partners can do all stops or just one. Whatever the Partner needs help with, the Social Media Rally Station™ is there to help!  VMware PEX was another successful Social Media Rally Station™ for the books and the new format was a big hit. We had a great turn out of Partners and already see a number of them practicing pointers they received from our consultations. A huge thank you to VMware for inviting Channel Maven Consulting to participate in this wonderful event for a third year in a row. We look forward to sharing the new offerings with more Partners in the future, and continue to look for ways we can reinvent our Social Media Rally Station™.

 SMRS-Pex

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2015 Channel Marketing Trends and Predictions

by channelmaven on February 4, 2015

New Year’s predictions are fun. But what’s the best part? Looking at future possibilities through the eyes of others or looking back at last year’s thoughts in hindsight?

Happy New Year 2015

We say both! And each year we wait, with anticipation, for the release of Channel Marketer Report’s Channel Marketing trends and predictions for that very reason. It’s fun!

2014’s predictions included:

  • An increase in social media engagement and social selling
  • Vendors would create social communities and content for Partners
  • Vendor provided content, content and more content both written and visual
  • Email automation and syndicated web content would be on the rise
  • Significant uptick in the number of hybrid service providers

Sure enough, many of those predictions were spot on.  More on-premise Partners moved to the cloud or at least a cloud model and social is well past “trend” status and even some are past “how do I do it status” and moving into “how do I help my Partners do it.”

So what’s in store for 2015?

Read the full article here if you wish, but in a nutshell the over arching themes are:

  • An increase in automation tools and Vendor supplied Partner marketing platforms
  • Bigger focus on ROI
  • More local level marketing
  • Integrated tactics across all marketing channels

Of course we’re always interested in hearing other perspectives. What do you think will trend in the Channel this year and why?

*photo credit: Channel Marketer Report

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