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! u o y Thank A special thank you to our hardworking Ambassadors! Without your support and many volunteered hours MainStreetChamber HoustonBay would be lost! We value and appreciate your contributions!
The Power of the Smile Number two in my Key Take Away Points for Small Business Success is “Keep smiling. Even when times get tough, a smile can take you a long way.” My mother had the best ever present smile that I know of and I seemed to have picked it up. It is so natural to me and much more enjoyable than a sad face or no expression at all. It has really helped me in the world of business and it can do likewise for you. Look at what a smile does: Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.
– George Elliott Smile, it’s free therapy.
– Douglas Horton A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.
– Tom Wilson
A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.
– William Hazlitt
I’d like to share with you two examples of how a smile turned upside down situations, right side up for me. As a teenager I sold Watkins Product door to door in Bakersfield, California. Watkins Products consisted of spices, extracts, cosmetics, cleaning products, etc. Bakersfield is in Central California with temperatures consistently in the 90’s and 100’s in the summer. I found out if I knocked on 100 doors a day
I would do really well and life was good for a teenage salesmen working summers and earning enough to support myself for the upcoming school year. However, as all sales folks know, you sometimes endure a number of rejections before getting a sale. This one hot summer day was one of those dry spells for sales. I had been pounding on doors for hours and not making a single sale. This was in the late 1960’s, so a good sale was $25 worth of products. I wrapped up the afternoon, disappointed in the lack of results and went home for the dinner break before going out in the evening to catch customers who weren’t home during the day. I received a call from the Watkins distributor during dinner saying that he had received a call from one of the ladies I had called on that afternoon and she said “I wasn’t really ready to buy anything, but that young man smiled so big and enthusiastic and nice that I decided to do my Christmas shopping early.” She gave my distributor a $250 order for me to deliver the next day! Also, that sale must have been inspiring as my evening sales sessions that day reaped great results also making it a great day after all, due to a simple smile! Now let’s fast forward to a time when I was in my 30’s and we had developed a dental practice management system known as Quality Systems, Inc. (QSI) We had taken the company public a year earlier and as the VP of Sales and Marketing, I was responsible for sales of course and had to deliver the sales we projected. I had a $250,000 system sale pending and was meeting with a prospect in New York who was one of the most ornery, difficult customers in the history of difficult Continued on Next Page
Grant Sadler, President
Group Management Services
The Power of the Smile customers and he wore that fact like a badge of honor. Even with that, over time I had developed a good rapport with him in the sales process and we were down to the closing details, which required a meeting with some of our technical staff and his operations staff. For kicks I also invited another executive from our company to join us in the process, which I fully expected to culminate with a sale and a nice dinner to follow. Well, he and my associate somehow got into a heated debate and all hell broke loose with a long series of name calling and the like, ending in a very tense moment after a long battle of wills and gamesmanship. One could see this sale evaporating right in front of us. At a moment where all parties took a breath and there was a very awkward silence I smiled a big smile and said, “Well, I think it’s going really well so far, anything else to discuss before we sign the contract.” After another long awkward silence the buyer said “Oh, hell, give me that contract so I can sign it and tell your associate to lighten up and smile a little.” We got the sale, the buyer got his system and kept on adding purchases and upgrades during his considerable growth for the next decade and he was one of our most staunch, outspoken and active supporters of the company. A smile requires fewer muscles than a frown and generates a much better result. People spend thousands of dollars to learn how to sell themselves, products and services, which can be helpful, but remember a smile may take you much further and it costs a lot less, nothing. Put on a smile (your money maker) today and KEEP SMILIN’!
Atlas, Value, Scarcity and a New Economy With her masterpiece “Atlas Shrugged” Ayn Rand became a major paradigm shifter by challenging our beliefs about the value of money, wealth and production, and helped to lead us into the embrace of a new economy. Her character Francisco d”Aconia overhears a party attendee remark on the belief that money is the root of all evil. This seemingly harmless remark leads Francisco into a 10 page spoken manifesto which begins with “So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?” This is the basis of trade and economy and we are always attempting to create value in the market place. Seth Godin says that economies are always based on scarcity hence the term “economize”. Think about that for a moment, there is no premium on what is abundant, on what is easily and often within reach. So in this digitally abundant world where music seems readily available, info is abundant and free, what then is valuable and scarce? Trust and connection are both valuable and very scarce. In his best-selling book “The Speed of Trust” Stephen M.R. Covey says that while trust has traditionally been seen as a soft social grace, it can become a real hard edged economic driver. I agree, up
until 10 years ago all of the literature on selling and business had been about the art and skill of the transaction…the deal. Which forced us into selling with discounts, added value propositions, unique selling propositions (usp) which are all artificial manipulations. Today the consumers, and that includes business to business relationships, are savvy to and weary of those manipulations. Again what is at a premium is real connection and trust. That is what will drive in the market place. So my question to you is, in your world, in your market place who are you really connected to? Who do you trust? More importantly, who trusts you? Who really knows you? Who is connected to you? Take stock of that list and understand for better or worse that list is your network! Are you earning trust and connection everyday by making deposits in strategic relationships? Are you attempting to be transparent and genuine in all your transactions? Or are you afraid to let go of the old school; manipulations? As Seth Godin says “Burning through your assets”. Think networking is just another social activity? Think again! Intentionally building your network is one of the single most critical activities you can engage in as a business owner, sales person or manager. In fact when you get your network built you will have created the most powerful economic driver your business can have and that is indeed scarce. So what’s it going to be? Are you going to fall back on what is known and easy or are you going to carve out your place and help lead us into a new abundant economy by dealing in what is truly scarce? Go Build Value!
Bertrand McHenry President / Owner
Referral Institute Houston
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Networking Comes Full-Circle Years ago, a mentor explained, when you meet people you may not develop a long lasting relationship but at some time in the future your paths will cross again and you may have another opportunity to develop a long lasting relationship. I am living proof that this is true. Let me explain, this past week Steve Levine, the publisher of Small Business Today Magazine suggested that I should call Craig Klein, the CEO of SalesNexus. I called Craig and we agreed to meet a few days later. Upon arriving at Craigâ€™s office we greeted each other with a handshake and a feeling of familiarity swept through. I knew I met this gentleman before, but the feeling was not just one of recognition but a feeling we had a relationship of some type in the past. But, when? Where? During our conversation Craig asked if I ever owned a mortgage company. I answered that my brother and I did in fact own a mortgage company years ago. Then, the revelation, Craig recalled that when SalesNexus first started, our mortgage company was part of the beta test for SalesNexus. As our meeting concluded, I have a great feeling that SalesNexus and MainStreetChamber will be able to bring both SalesNexus and MainStreetChamber members another tool to help our members grow their business and drive revenues to all. When we are networking and building relationships, we never know how long it will take for the relationship to come full circle.
The moral of this report is that if you stay out there, networking and building relationships, the opportunity to do business within your circles of influence will grow and come full circle.
Give first and expect nothing in return works if you truly believe!
Dirk Cummins, President of MainStreetChamber Dirk is an advocate of the MainStreetChamber philosophy of â€œGive First and Expect Nothing In Returnâ€?. Dirk, a serial entrepreneur, reaches out to small businesses every day to help them grow their business by creating revenue where none existed before.
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