Thursday, March 12, 2015

S.A.Y. What is in your heart

Some of you have poked me in the last month asking why I am not blogging as frequently. Well, truth be told I have again been suffering with a back issue, which makes it oh so painful to sit, stand, walk or even lie down.

So besides being a touch grouchy, my working and sitting have concurrently waned, making me less likely to write. 

For this I apologize and have taken action to get my pesky and incredibly painful disk fixed tomorrow Vis a Vis back surgery.

However, I must write this blog to you today because it is the only time of the year that I ask you for money.

I want to tell you about a group of kids in an organization called S.A.Y. (Stuttering Association For The Young) who are among 70 million people who stutter on a daily basis, including 5% OF ALL CHILDREN ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Young people who stutter often face unimaginable fear, pain and cruelty from a world that doesn't seem to understand them.

Over time they recoil from the world, silencing themselves to hide their stutter, embarrassment and shame. Young people who stutter may also feel incredibly isolated and alone and many face daily teasing, ridicule and bullying.

Since 2001, SAY has offered comprehensive innovative programs that address the physical, social and emotional impacts of stuttering.

Our Mission is to empower young people who stutter and inspire the world to treat them with respect and compassion so they can achieve their dreams.Our Vision is to live in a world where every voice matters.

The Need.  This year alone SAY will award over $400,000 in financial aid to families in need. To date, NO child has been turned away due to a family’s inability to pay.

Your support helps SAY continue this important legacy. Won’t you be a part of the solution and make sure that every child, everywhere, has a voice.

On April 27th, 2015, we will be hosting our 13th annual benefit gala at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in NYC, NY. 

For more information about this event please visit or email

If you cannot make the event, please visit and click the button that says “DONATE.”

My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your support

Best regards                                                                                                  Fred Kaplowitz,                                                                           A Stutterer

Monday, March 2, 2015

...Because every customer counts, that's why!

Gregg, one of my loyal subscribers, sent this letter to me a while back and I filed it under “future blog ideas”, which I promptly merged with another file, and until recently, had no idea where it was. 

Here is his original letter, the company’s response to him and a little narrative on what it all means, at least to me, by yours truly.

“Hi Fred,

Recently I wanted (actually along with two friends) to purchase a Montblanc Pen for a friend of mine (ours) that was turning 70.

Hard to believe that you can't purchase a Montblanc pen in the greater St. Louis area.

Anyway below is the response I received after I went to their web site and filled out their request for service.

After years of being in sales it is refreshing to receive a response like this one.
Makes you want to buy an expensive pen doesn't it?


Here is their response.

          Dear Gregg,

Thank you for your interest in purchasing a Montblanc.

We recommend that you call our Customer Service Department at
800-995-4810, from here one of our highly trained customer service
representatives would be honored to assisting you in locating the perfect
Montblanc piece to suit your needs. We can help you select an item, place
your order, provide confirmation and have your order ship directly to you.
they are all very pleasant to work with and will assist you as much as
They can. From here you can learn more about engraving and gift wrapping
services as well.
We also have over 30 boutiques throughout the United States and Canada
where you can visit and they will be happy to ship it directly to you.

Please visit our boutique locator at for the location
nearest you. The boutiques offer engraving and gift wrapping services as
     I hope this information is of assistance to you.
Sincerely,Miriam Messer                                                                   MONTBLANC North America                                                                           Customer Service
     Phone: 800 - 995 4810
     Email: Service@Montblanc.Com
     Internet: www.Montblanc.Com                   

Now I don’t know about you, but when a high end retailer goes the extra mile, I almost don’t feel violated for paying substantially more for his product.

However; as a marketer and a producer of content, note their “word- smithing” (which I underlined in the letter) consisting of such phrases as:
·        “highly trained customer service”,
·        “will be honored to work with you”,
·        “assisting”,
·        “providing information”
·        “happy to ship”

Nowhere in their tight little letter does it say: “C’mon in, pick one out and we’ll be happy to sell it to you. Oh yes, free shipping too.”

Now I guess if you were selling a less prestigious brand of wrist watches, you might have that approach and a completely different image.

But when you’re fighting for market share in a smaller, yet more affluent market, you need to take your shots carefully, adroitly and with great precision because every customer counts

So how are you treating your brand?