Join us for a special presentation - The Design Directory of Window Treatments & Studio

If you have read Jackie Von Tobel’s blog, Jackie Blue Home http://www.jackiebluehome.blogspot.com or heard her recent interview on The Skirted Roundtable http://skirtedroundtable.blogspot.com/2010/02/interior-designer-author-fabric.html you may be interested in learning more about how her designs are used in STUDIO graphic design software.

You are cordially invited to attend a FREE, 30 minute webinar sponsored by Minutes Matter Solutions on Thursday, March 4 at 1 PM Eastern. Studio translates the gorgeous draperies, cornices and valances from Jackie’s book, The Design Directory of Window Treatments, into elevation renderings filled with fabrics, colors, and textures. These complete designs can also be broken apart quickly and mixed and matched for an infinite variety of styles. Inspire your imagination with new ideas for treating your clients' windows - watch how easy it is to drag and drop these beautifully illustrated images and create drawings that your clients will want to show their friends.

To register for this free event, please click here:



Jeffrey Gitomer Presents FREE Live Webinar

As I was doing my morning reading, I was shocked to see that Jeffrey was inviting everyone to attend his first LIVE webinar for FREE Thursday, February 25th from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. PST (12 Noon Eastern) . He loves the interaction he receives from a live face-to-face audience, but he jumped on this unheard of, unprecedented opportunity. The reason for that statement is that Nevada State Bank has hired him to speak to their current business customers as well as potential customers on How to Strengthen Your Business in These Economics Times. Nevada State Bank offers full online banking capabilities so they are not limited to local customers. They have banking customers all over the United States. Jeffrey was super impressed that they are spending this much time and money on their customers. As you know, Jeffrey believes in giving exemplary customer service, which in return creates loyal customers.

Note: Jeffrey mentioned he has spent double his normal time preparing for this event. However, he did not mention an attendee limit. If you would like to attend, I recommend that you sign up now. I have already reserved my seat! For those of you that decide to join me for this event, come back here and share your thoughts.


Gmail and Google's Buzz

Click on image to enlarge

Google just introduced Buzz, its newest development in the world of social media. Last year, I registered for a Google account and signed up for a Gmail email account. I never realized that having a Google account would include so many fabulous features! For instance, connected to my Gmail account is my Google calendar, Google Documents, Reader, and more. Gmail even allows me to send from my other email addresses, notice in the screen shot that I am sending the email from my debbie@minutesmatter.com address. I also installed WiseStamp, which is an add-on in Firefox that allows me to add a personalized signature stamp and include all my social media icons. Google Docs includes online documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You can even upload an Excel spreadsheet or a PDF document. We are still exploring the endless possibilities that these online tools can provide for our company. Currently, my design firm is using an online spreadsheet to enter data for a large design project. Because one of our designers is not always in the office, we realized that it would be beneficial if she could do research from her computer and still have access to current data regarding the project. When files and documents are online, you can access them from any computer. Of course, I installed the Gmail App on my iPhone so that I can access the information from my phone as well. We can also designate specific folders that we would like to share with clients. I will be sharing a lot more information regarding sharing documents online in the upcoming months. Look for my posts about the benefits of Working in the Clouds or Cloud Computing.

But now, let's get back to Buzz. Buzz operates similarly to Facebook and Twitter. The best part is that it's embedded right into Gmail; you don't have to launch another application. Imagine how easy it would be to click on Buzz to post an idea or ask a question, while you're reading email. Buzz was launched last week and the response has been tremendous.

If you already have a Gmail account you're ready to start Buzzing.


Studio Coaching Programs!

I am so excited to be the instructor for the brand new Minutes Matter Studio Coaching programs. In early 2004 (six years ago!!) I downloaded the first trial version of Studio 1.0 and immediately fell in love. I didn't even wait the thirty days to purchase it, and just went to work learning all I could about how to use it. Since August of that year I have been hosting the Studio webinars to teach others about how to make this software work for their businesses, and each month I am delighted and gratified by how many new "converts" we have, especially those who are new to computers and had to learn the basics about using a mouse, file saving and copying and pasting before they could delve into designing. Studio truly is fun to use, and easy to learn, once you commit to spending some time practicing.

Now we have the opportunity to share in depth all the tools and features which make the renderings come alive. For new users, we have the Novice Level, so that we can go slowly and make sure that each designer "gets it" before going on to build on what they've learned. For more experienced users, who've mastered the basics, we can explore all the tips and techniques that will help them create renderings which their clients will love so much they'll show their friends. And nothing is better than word of mouth!

During and after every Getting Started with Studio webinar we get questions about how to add an outdoor scene, draw shadows and highlights, make the fabric look realistic, import accessories and furnishings, work in perspective, and add those special touches which amaze clients. With the Coaching Program we'll be able to share all these secrets to making your presentation the most professional it can be.

Those who know me from the Drapery & Design Professional Network forums know how much I enjoy sharing and teaching. I am really looking forward to working with Studio designers who are ready to take their businesses to the next level by offering a specialized service which will set them apart from their competitors.

Not sure which level you should take? If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at

Click here to register now for the Novice Level!
Click here to register now for the Advanced Level!


How Well Does Your Company Serve?

In Jeffrey Gitomer's email today, he reminds all business owners how important it is to put customer service at the top of our priority list. Exemplary customer service is the best way to ensure that your clients are happy and your business continues to flourish. The fact is customer service requires effort on a consistent basis and it cannot be left to chance. Many businesses tend to forget how even mediocre customer service can produce devastating results. Take some time to reflect and determine what areas in your business you can improve to achieve a better relationship with your clients.

Below is a partial excerpt from Jeffrey's email:

  • Start friendly NO MATTER how they act or talk.
  • Get off your high (pc) horse.
  • Don’t worry about how you feel – worry about how they feel.
  • Ask them how you can help them the most.
  • Help them with whatever they need.
  • Don't tell them what you can't do, tell them what you can do.
  • Get them to agree that the solution you offer, or answer they need, is the one they are expecting, and the one they are pleased with (not “satisfied” with).
  • Engage them personally during the conversation.
  • Make CERTAIN customers are happy as a result of the call.
  • Follow through on your promises with action and communication.
Read the entire article and subscribe to Jeffrey's weekly ezine Sales Caffeine.