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Hello, and welcome to my blog! I'd like to thank all of those who have supported my efforts in making this website. If you want to truly support me, then please follow my blog. Let me know you were here:D I make it a point to respond to all messages asap! Thanks again for your continuing support:)

Monday, May 28, 2012

The chopping block theory...

If you've ever had the "pleasure" of having to catch and slaughter your own food, you've probably noticed that animals do not like to be taken to slaughter. Understandably so. Who likes putting their neck on a chopping block, and letting someone chop off their head? A rather uncomfortable thought, but please don't leave just yet. There's a point to this...

We humans, being the highest level of primate, have also developed an aversion for putting ourselves in danger. We tend to avoid the possible embarrassment of having to take risks. We like to be safe and comfortable. We like structure, and to seem like we know everything. We don't like the discomfort of trying something new. The problem is, if we avoid discomfort, we stay the same.

There has to be a certain level of fear for us to be called "brave." How can you be called courageous if you don't have to face some kind of demon along the way? To stare yourself down, and make yourself do something you never thought you could do. That's courage. Part of that is putting yourself on the line, and taking responsibility. For whatever it is you put your signature on. Take responsibility. Sometimes, just starting something is a sign of a courageous spirit. Of leadership. Accountability.

You make yourself vulnerable to your critics. You also set yourself apart, and have to run ahead of the pack, where you could get picked off first. You are the biggest threat. You are also the biggest asset. And everyone can see it. It is who you are. Your neck is out in front, ahead of everyone else.

"Stick your neck out every once in a while. It may get chopped off, but that's not very likely. Chances are, you will reach the finish line first."

Thanks for stopping by...CC

Thursday, May 17, 2012

B2C marketing and appointments...

Getting the first appointment

The first appointment is the most crucial. It's a compliment to you if your customer says yes to you scheduling an appointment with them. Think about it this way. If someone asked you to schedule an appointment with them so they could sell you some stuff, would you really want to schedule an "appointment" to do that? I know I sure wouldn't. So if that client says yes, they are really doing you a favor. Make sure you show your appreciation in every way you can.

The art of appointment making

Rule #1: Make sure it's a good appointment. Make sure you are prepared. Over deliver on expectations, because if it turns out to be a bad appointment, i.e., you wasted your client's time, they will never schedule another appointment with you again. They may not say that outright, but they don't need to. I am telling you for them. Great appointments get more referrals, and repeat business. But make sure they're great. With appointments, it's all or nothing. Either you make them amazing, or don't do them at all.

Remind them twice

If you have already talked to your client, and scheduled an appointment with them, you need to make sure to send them a reminder. People forget. They have a lot going on, so you need to send it to them in writing. An official reminder card with the date and time, along with a personalized note to let them know you're looking forward to seeing them. But that's not enough. You need to call to remind them again. That way they are held accountable for showing up, and you are accountable for keeping the appointment with them.

Fitting them into the mix

I've found that my busy schedule can only handle up to two high quality appointments a day. And I mean amazing customer service appointments. I don't want to give mediocre service, and I want to make sure I really pay attention to my guests. Two is the max with all the other stuff I am doing at the same time. If you're doing inside sales, you already have a lot going on.

Take time to think ahead about how busy you could possibly be, and realize that your appointment is expecting your undivided attention. I allow up to two hours for a service appointment. Some of them take even longer. One quality appointment is way better than three that were just okay. It's worth it, though, when you think ahead. If you have it planned out before that client even walks in, you've already set yourself up for a successful appointment. And remember, if that appointment is great, you're almost guaranteed more referrals...the main point of doing appointments in the first place.

Thanks for stopping by...CC

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What's a resume?

Fast forward fifty years into the future, and this is what you might hear.

Blogging is the new resume

Sure, resumes are important. They're lists of our professional accomplishments and education. They're important. But are they good indicators of whether a potential employee will fit into your company's culture and values? Or if they are mentally stable? Sorry, no. But if you happen to read the blog of a potential employee, you can uncover so much about the person and their mentality. About their work ethic, and sense of responsibility. About how they get along with others. How they drive themselves. You get a look into their personality. Their likes and dislikes. Sometimes we will reveal so much more about ourselves in our writing. You really get to know the person's mind.

And that's what matters

Yes, we have to have the right skills. If we've accomplished great things, that's a big indicator of possible success in the future. If we happen to continue having the discipline we had before. We need to have a certain level of education and expertise. All of these things are important. But what's even more important is what you'll find at the very core of who a person is. Their courage. Their thought process. Their determination to succeed. And if they're honest about who they are in their writing, you'll find everything you need to know.

Thanks for stopping by...CC

There's always a reason...

Not to try.

"My resume is not good enough."

"I am not educated enough."

"I don't have enough experience."

"My (insert whatever lame excuse I can come up with here), is not enough."

"If I take online classes, there's no learning in that."

"If I go for what I want, I could get badly disappointed, even devastated."

"If  I get up and speak in front of people, they could see that I'm nervous."

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. They admire you for trying.

And when you constantly make excuses for not trying, essentially, what you're saying is, "I am not enough." You couldn't be more wrong. You have everything you need to handle whatever comes your way, otherwise it wouldn't be happening to you.

Thanks for stopping by...CC

Friday, May 4, 2012

My 10 best...

Posts, that is

Recently, my blog's been getting a lot more exposure, for which I am truly grateful. It means a lot to me that I've reached my targeted audience. That more people know who I am, are reading my posts, and showing their support.

There was a time, though, when no one knew who I was, and I started this free blog, expecting no one to read it. I just worked on it out of love for what I do, and hoped it would reach someone who could appreciate it. I put up my best work during that time when I was anonymous. Posts I'm most proud of to this day.

Every time I write a new one, it goes up in the ranks, and my best posts are becoming more and more hidden in the archives. I don't want them to become buried by new posts that aren't nearly as good. So I put together my own personal top 10 list. This is how I personally feel about my own work. Readers have ranked them, now I'm going to rank them myself. Enjoy!

 1) Client relationships are like...
 2) There is no magic formula
 3) Marginalized
 4) The not so dreaded CRM
 5) Easing the pain: CRM epic part 2
 6) Funnel Vision
 7) The key to unlocking your client's heart
 8) The purpose of blogging
 9)  Being your own leader
10) Customer service "wow" factor

Thanks for all the support from my new colleagues, who are just now getting to know me. And a special thanks to those who befriended me before anyone knew who I was. I will never forget everything you did to help me.~Cara

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The one thing that's missing...

Sincerity: definition~The quality or condition of being sincere; genuineness, honesty, and freedom from duplicity.

I don't know what's been happening to me lately, but I think my b.s. meter has been on high alert. I just have no tolerance for it. It's just one of those things you can sense, without anyone telling you. They don't have to say they're phonies, you can just see it. And I HATE that! I am not usually an open-hearted person, but I think people can tell I'm genuine. I think they can tell I care about them. And I can't stand when someone pretends to care, but they really don't. Why bother? Everyone can see you're a fake when your sales pitch is so rehearsed that you don't even make room for actual conversation. When you have a plastered on smile, you don't think anyone notices? They do.

I am not trying to be difficult here, no way. Some of this might even be directed at myself. I am one of my worst critics, and I can be merciless toward myself. So please don't think I'm just calling anyone out without being able to see my own flaws. They are blaring for the world to see, trust me. But I'm okay with that. Flaws can actually make a person more likable. I have so much more respect for someone who has to courage to be human, and to see themselves as they are. Not to sugar coat things. To be genuine and vulnerable. To me, that takes the most courage. To be someone who people can approach, to really let them know you, knowing you could get just as easily hurt as you are praised. That's the only way I know how to be.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now. It's just that I've realized something lately. I've noticed a difference in my own results, after making a few changes. I decided I'm not going to be so obsessive about numbers being met, and that I'm going to measure my success by how many clients I make happy today. That's all. And I've figured out how I'll do it. By treating them like friends and family. By trying to see things as they would, and by making it a point to care. Not that I haven't already been doing that. I have. But the results will show with the amount of care that I give them. They will automatically want to buy more. So I don't need to worry about it. No amount of education or experience can teach you how to have empathy, and to be real. That has to come from the heart of you.

Thanks for stopping by...CC