GAME OVER (guess who won?)

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The type of people who win at life, never change:

  • Those of us who are unafraid of not belonging to a group.
  • Those of us who celebrate rugged individualism.
  • Those of us who lead and don’t rule.
  • Those of us who are keenly aware of sowing and reaping.
  • Those of us that set goals.
  • Those of us that have contingency plans, yet rarely need them.
  • Those of us who would rather be on the giving side of charity than the receiving side and make a point to be.
  • Those of us who tithe.
  • Those of us who reject the pretense of anyone who hasn’t walked the walk on which we are embarking.
  • Those of us willing to share our life-learnings with those who are ready to learn.

There is nothing new under the sun and the rules of winning are constant and evergreen. Don’t reinvent the wheels of success; only refine them and improve upon them. Even as they are, they will serve us well.

For more information about winning at life, please visit me at:

www.PaulEdgewater.com
Thank you!

Smiles Make Money!

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When I was a teenager, I worked at a telemarketing company setting up appointments with homeowners for thermal window presentations. We were each given a very small cubical, a phone, a few torn-out pages of the reverse directory phone book and instructed to call everyone up and down each street until someone said “yes.” One of the tools they gave us was a mirror mounted directly in front of us, so we could see our facial expressions as we spoke with people. Underneath the mirror, there was a small sign that said “smile and dial,” because people can hear a smile in your voice. Try this with your friends. Speak on the phone with a smile and then without. Have them tell when you smile. Invariably they will guess correctly. Remember, our clients are aware of our smiles too!
It’s been said that a smile only has value after you give it away to someone else. That’s not just touchy-feely, tittle-tattle either; there is a plethora of hard, scientific data to back that up with facts.
A 2001 study from Jörn P.W Scharlemann shows that a smile increases trust amongst people by 10%. A 1991 study by Hinsz & Tomhave shows that when you smile, you get reciprocal smiles from 50% of people (pretty good odds!). A 1978 study by Tidd, Kathi L.; Lockard, Joan S., titled the “Monetary significance of the affiliative smile: A case for reciprocal altruism.” showed that service staff earned significantly more than their slack-faced, bovine-like peers. If you’re not sold yet, a 1952 study by Abel & Kruger suggests that smiling people outlived their forlorn friends by an average of 7 years!
The eyes are also powerful communication tools. More than that, our eyes tell people if our smile is genuine or not. A smile that just engages the mouth is forced. A smile that includes the eyes is genuine. These genuine smiles are called a “Duchenne” smiles, named after a 19th-century neurologist from France who figured all this stuff out. Also, make sure when you smile, that you proudly display your crow’s feet–we all them! It’ll show the world that you are indeed happy to see them and that you have been smiling a long, long time!
Let’s begin each day with a big smile and wear it all the way to the bank!

Copyright 2017/Paul Edgewater/All Rights Reserved

www.PaulEdgewater.com

 

Keep Going!

1My good friend and coach, Dave LaRue, shared a phenomenon with me that is common to many achievers:

“That worked so I well, I stopped doing it!”

At first blush, the statement seems whimsical or quaint, but it’s exceedingly profound. The lesson is consistency. Don’t let your drive to succeed be modulated like the AC/Heat on a thermostat (on and off and on and off, etc.). If something works, keep doing it and don’t stop doing it. Too many of us close the deal, lose some weight, achieve the goal, get the girl (or guy) and then stop doing the things that made us achieve those things. If we want to keep closing deals, keep the weight off, achieve more goals and keep the girl (or guy), we have to keep doing what got us those things in the first place, or they go away. Jim Rohn reminded us years ago, that if we don’t use something, we lose it. Disuse equals loss; every time. Personal development means growth and in order to grow, we can never go back to what we did in the past if it didn’t serve us. But if it worked, by all means, keep doing it and keep finding new ways to improve upon it!
For more information on Dave LaRue and his philosophy, click here:
https://www.thecommaclub.com
For more information on me, click here: http://www.pauledgewater.com

Thanks for reading!

Turn Gate Keepers Into Welcoming Parties

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Here’s a great way to get past the ‘gatekeeper’ at any business when paying them a visit in person.

Assume that the very first person you see when you enter the place of business is either the owner, manager or the one in charge. Even if it’s completely obvious to you that this person may ‘just’ be the receptionist, or an employee, never ask this person if you can “see the owner or manager, etc.” We do this for two reasons:

  1. No matter what they look like, they very well could be the owner, manager, or the one in charge and you’ll be doing a lot of damage to your case for not recognizing that. Even if the person is in overalls and changing a lightbulb, they could be the main contact. If we ask this person something like, “is the owner in?” they will not be happy to have to tell us that they are indeed the owner. Always assume you’re speaking to the key contact and they will appreciate that you made this assumption.
  2. If you really are just speaking to an employee of the key contact, invariably they will get a ‘kick’ that you thought they were the owner or manager, etc. They will respond with something like “I wish” with a big, broad smile. But in the back of their mind, you have created a bond with this person; you thought they were special and they will like you for it. You have recognized this person’s potential for growth and greater things. If this person is a receptionist or a secretary, they will very likely let their guard down for you when it comes time for follow up visits and the like; they won’t be a gatekeeper anymore; they will be a welcoming committee.

Try this the next time you call on a prospect and you’ll see a marked improvement in how you are received at businesses you visit.

Note: this works on the phone too!! When someone picks up the phone, ask: “You’re the owner, right?” You’ll be pleasantly surprised how well this works!

The Nightmare Of “Living The Dream” Copyright 2015 Paul Edgewater All Rights Reserved

Living The Dream

When I travel to the Midwest, there is a great little green canteen where I get breakfast and/or lunch near my office in Chicago. There is a vivacious young lady who works there who answers with “living the dream” when asked “how are you today?” I sense a touch of good-natured snark in her voice when she says those words as I know a bit about her and her goals from our conversations. She is a very happy and good-natured person; she loves her job and is currently attending school to pursue her goals. The future is hers to make as she envisions it. Indeed I believe she is living the dream; her dream. Of the people I hear using this contemporary colloquialism, she actually means it in its positive connotation. She is the exception to the rule. Almost everyone else I encounter who says “living the dream,” is usually trapped in a self-imposed situation that they don’t like. Example; I recently had a drink at a bar where a very cantankerous young man snapped back at me with “living the dream” when I asked how he was doing. It was obvious from his tonality and mental state that he was hating life and what he was doing–or not doing–with it. “Living the dream” is sadly more often a nightmare for most people who wantonly throw those words out into the ether and don’t know that they could indeed be living the dream if they just decided to do so. I find this troubling.

I have to stop myself when I ponder young people’s jargon. I’ve been blessed to be alive for almost 50 years now and I’ve learned almost everything I know the hard way. Had the catch phrase “living the dream” existed when I was young, there is a very high likelihood that I would’ve used it too. When we are young, we have a tendency towards cynicism. Moreover, when some old-timer would tell me a thing or two, I always thought I knew better. Factoring this equation, I know that if you’re my age or older, I’m preaching to the choir. However, if you are a young person hungry to acquire some wisdom without falling on your face in the process, please read on.

Life is like a vacation; it has been designed to be amazing but it’s always too short. At the beginning of a vacation, we have a list of things to do and in spite of our best efforts, it’s over before we know it and we find there isn’t time for our list of to-dos as we pack our bags to go back to our ‘real lives.’ How I wish that when I was young, someone told me how short life was in a way that made me actually believe it. I really had no idea. Fast forward to now; there is so much I still yearn to do. So many dreams to experience. So many lives to touch. It pains me to have to confront the reality that I don’t have the time to even scratch the surface anymore and only choose the goals and dreams I know I still have time for and the ability to achieve. I’m feeling keenly aware of the fleeting nature of life lately and I find the more I express gratitude for it, the faster time slips through my fingers. It’s paradoxical recompense for taking pause to appreciate life’s blessings. That is a phenomenon I wasn’t expecting. and it compelled me to write this blog.

Whatever it is that makes your soul sing, do it now. Do it with gusto and dedication. Be true to your soul. So even if you have to take a job you don’t love, or do something you don’t like on the way to your goals, know that it’s a small price to pay. Remember success is a journey and not a destination, so when someone askes how you’re doing, you can answer them sincerely with “I’m living the dream” and mean it with every fiber of your being, like my friend at the green canteen.

Thank you

Branded, Specialty and Promotional Marketing Vehicles

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Part 1

Putting your company logo and messaging on your fleet (even if your fleet comprises of just one vehicle), is one of the most cost effective opportunities to promote your products and/or services. You might say that branded vehicles run in my DNA. My great-grandfather William Theodore, born 101 years before me in 1865, was apprenticed as a spice blender. He grew into a traveling salesman in south central New York State for Newell & Truesdell, purveyors of wholesale groceries and “Yankee Notions” in the last century. His service vehicle, a Model T Ford panel truck, was emblazoned with the logo: “New & True.” Where a lot of earlier branding seems “quaint” and outmoded now, his Ford Model T retains its dash and presents an unforgettable sight even today. The photo here is circa 1916.

Wouldn’t you think that by now, almost a century later, everyone would have learned that this is one of the most cost-effective methods of advertising based on ROI ever devised? They haven’t. Thousands and thousands of company vehicles traveling the highways are utterly blank or without a dash of branding of any kind. What a shame and what a wasted opportunity, especially when considering that mobile media advertising offers the lowest cost-per-impression of any major advertising medium.

Research by the American Trucking association, reveals that wrapped or branded vehicles get an average of 138 visual impressions per mile. That gives your brand, company or cause, first hand exposure to about 16 million potential customers a year—per vehicle. Additionally, a study by the ad agency, RYP & Becker Group, reveals some truly exciting data. 97% of survey respondents recalled the copy and creative of the wrapped vehicle. 98% thought the wrapped vehicles created a positive image for the advertiser. Finally, 96% thought vehicle graphics had far more impact than billboards. I hope you are convinced and are now planning on branding your fleet (even if it’s just one vehicle, or your personal car), and if your fleet is already branded, let’s take this opportunity as far as we can.

To stand out in this era of sensory overload, we must do something beyond the ordinary to survive and thrive in our modern business climate. Nowadays, no one is going to tell their friends about a truck with magnetic logos stuck on the doors. Logos on the side of your vehicles are a good start, but they’re not going to be enough. There are many other ways to take vehicle branding further. Following are some options you may want to consider. Harvey MacKay, in his timeless tome, “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive,” makes the wise suggestion of putting your company logo on the roof of your vehicle (in addition to the sides and back). He wrote that almost 25 years ago, yet today, countless side-branded-only vehicles roll down streets and roads all over the world, with mute, blank roofs staring back at all those executives in high rise offices (or any office above the 2nd or 3rd floor, for that matter). We can take a cue from some service vehicles like police cruisers and ambulances, as we’ll often see messaging on their roofs.

Ambulances also put their messaging on the leading edge of their hoods—with the copy in reverse—so that we can read the messaging in our rearview mirrors when they are behind us. This reverse messaging on the hood is a great place to put your website address (check with local restrictions on this tactic, as some municipalities have archaic laws against reverse copy on the hood of any vehicles except ambulances). Putting your messaging on the back of your fleet is also crucial. It’s worth noting, this is the best surface on your vehicles where you can have detailed information about your goods or services, as this is the only surface that can be viewed for a prolonged period of time by other motorists when vehicles are on the move. Anyone following your vehicles can potentially follow them as long as they’d like. They don’t have to pass you until they have read your messaging (so keep it really interesting).

To recap:

· Messaging on the doors (or anywhere on the side). Utilize logos and minimal copy here (7 words-max). Have your creative do most of the talking on these surfaces.

· Messaging on the roof or top surface of the hood/trunk. Make it big and bold here. Something that can be read from a high floor in a tall building. This means large fonts and few words (5 words max).

· Messaging on the leading edge of the hood in reverse (keep it simple; website only, for instance). Again, check your local ordinances.

· Messaging on the rear. Go into more detail here and keep it interesting, compelling and creative. Something akin to, “You’re following the leader in (insert your product or service and note features and benefits). Call us today and we’ll put you in front of your competition.” Make sure your phone number, website, social media links and QR codes are prominently displayed here.

Please comment and check back for Part 2 soon! Thanks!

Acquired Immunity To Viral Marketing Part 2

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(Bee sure to read Part 1 first: https://edgewaterblog.com/2014/07/01/acquired-immunity-to-viral-marketing-part-1/)

Recently, one of our V.I.Bees, Geoff, had a refreshing and extremely clever idea for a new marketing moniker. He called it “Pollination Marketing.” That his idea succinctly complimented the name of our organization, made it all the more appealing to us (everyone at our company, http://www.BusyBeePromotions.com, is referred to as a “Bee”). Alas, a little research in the availability of the domain was unfortunately an object lesson on the phenomena of universal consciousness; someone had beaten us to the punch; someone is sitting on it. If it’s not too late to make a long story short, had Geoff’s brainchild been applied to our business model, the idea was that we would send our ‘Bees’ out into the market place with ‘pollen’ in the form of samples, talking points, tchotchkes & literature. The ‘Bees’ pollinate the consumer with this information and create new customers that would then bloom the world over. Cool, huh? It gets better; not only do the worker Bees go out and spread the word about our clients (or Busy Bee for that matter), they return to the hive (our office) with new ‘pollen’ from cross-pollinating/cross-promoting with contacts they have encountered in their travels in the form of collected literature, photos, business cards, quotes from the public, specific metrics and other anecdotal information that we relay back to our clients for joint venture opportunities and to incorporate into our ever-evolving business model. As far as I was concerned, it was a honey of an idea. 

At Busy Bee Promotions, we do indeed create a buzz for our clients. It’s a great descriptor of our service, it’s brand appropriate and we can live with it far into the foreseeable future. Much more importantly though, it’s appropriate for our clients and is an activity that their customers and clients won’t run for cover from either because it doesn’t connote something negative like “viral,” so everyone wins.

Perhaps this is a good time to step back from what we are selling for a moment and revisit why we are selling it. If we as consumers like a product, service or cause that we believe in, we have to ask ourselves; “how did I become aware of this?” “Did someone disrupt me?” “Did someone virally market me?” If we ourselves came upon a product or service that we like by more traditional means of data transference and brand awareness activities, let’s give our potential customers the same opportunity to reach the same conclusion—in the same manner that we did about what we are selling. It’s the best way to show respect for those who will be parting with their hard-earned money when purchasing our goods and services.

In a world where euphony is the norm, our profession has decided to invert euphony. It’s baffling and it’s a problem. The ‘opportunity’ to address this ‘issue’ is a ‘challenge’ that we in our industry all need to be up for, or eventually, our clients will avoid us like the plague.

To recap:

• Be honest and frank with your target consumer. Don’t try to bamboozle them into opting in to your product or service by cloaking your intentions in euphony. There is nothing wrong with closing a deal and charging a fee for service; it’s the free enterprise system and we need make no apologies for engaging in it.

  • While it’s acceptable and encouraged to use euphony (in serious personal matters, for instance), it should be discouraged in business vernacular. It’s a waste of time and disperses the focus needed to accomplish goals and resolve problems.

  • Come up with a creative way to describe how you’re marketing your product, service or cause (i.e. “pollination marketing”/ “creating a buzz”). Make it brand appropriate for your product/service and it’ll be something that’ll grow with your organization and not have to be reinvented ad nauseam as consumers won’t become resistant to it. 

Thanks for reading!