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Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service Review by Erica Beyea

Kirt Manecke
Solid Press, LLC
P.O. Box 145
Milford, MI 48381

There’s an old adage that states “Your walk talks, and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.” It is said that sixty to sixty-five percent of all communication is non-verbal. Every one of us often finds our self in a position of communicating to others, either on a business, ministry, or personal level. If we wish our communication to be effective, then we must learn better methods. It would be better to give a good first impression, than to have to go back and correct a bad perception.

This short book, Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service, seeks to instill in its readers an education of decency, common sense, and good people skills. At 106 pages long,  Smile sells for $15.99 and is meant to be easily read in about an hour. The sections, chapters, and pages are organized, and written in a font that is easy on the eyes.

The author, Kirt Manecke, is a businessman with over thirty years of experience in sales, marketing, fundraising, and business development. Not only that, he is a customer who knows what he likes, and has drawn from a vast array of experience to put together a program to help businesses succeed in customer satisfaction. For the businesses or employees who may not be able to afford the time or expense to attend his six week long training program, he boiled that training down into the five chapters that make up this book.

While Smile is targeting retail businesses to improve their customer satisfaction, the principles written about are applicable to many different venues, including hospitality trades, community services, non-profit organizations, and ministries. Basically, anyone who wants to improve their skills of communicating with the general public should embrace the principles written about in this book.

Smile is organized into five basic chapters: The Top Ten (How to make your customers smile and buy!), Keep Them Smiling (More top customer service techniques), Sell More (More secrets to successful selling), When There’s A Problem (Turning problems into success stories), and Go The Extra Mile (Create a customer for life). Each chapter lists several main points, each lasting a page or two. The short pages make it ideal to not only read the entire book in one day, but they are also conducive to reviewing a page or two on a regular basis, to remain sharp and focused on the key points.

While Smile would definitely help a business man or sales clerk to improve their bottom line, I found the greatest value of the book was in teaching the finer points of non-verbal communication that are so sadly lacking in our society today. It is rare to meet a person who will look you in the eye, smile, and be focused enough to engage whole heartedly in the conversation. Few young people are taught these principles, and our electronics-heavy society definitely discourages their use. Let’s face it; a person does not have to remember to smile when they are texting or emailing! I believe that the principles taught in this book are necessary not only in business or sales, but in daily living! Young people who are preparing to go on job or college interviews could definitely benefit from reading this book and putting its principles into practice. Ministers (and church members) would definitely be more effective in their ministries if they could improve their people skills with this book. Imagine walking into a church where people looked you in the eye, smiled, and engaged you in meaningful conversation! That would be a church where people would want to stay and get involved!

Personally, I found this book to be a tremendous help. Not only am I a pastor’s wife, with an invested interest in helping people, but our family also recently had the privilege of starting a small business. I feel that the principles gleaned from this book will be very helpful in both areas! I have already assigned this book to be read by my two homeschooled high schoolers, allowing them the opportunity to learn more effective communication skills. If there was one thing I could improve upon, I would like to have a version of Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service written directly to ministers and non-profits, as some of the principles of sales are not as applicable to their mission. Also, it is important for those who are fundraising for non-profits to be genuine, and not just rely on a canned presentation or great social skills to garner the donations they are looking for. The highlight of this book is definitely the first chapter, listing the top ten skills necessary for good customer service. What a great experience I would have if every business I stepped into embraced the customer service principles in this book! What a wonderful world it would be if every person I met wore a big smile!

Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2013