Work SMART er, Not Harder

Many of us grew up hearing the phrase Work smarter, not harder, which is a concept of thinking about things before you actually take action. In construction they say, measure twice, cut once. In arguments they say, think before you speak. Throughout business and throughout life, the wiser among us have been trying to impart this wisdom. And with 2021 now HERE, let’s take the time to strategize where we are individually, as a team, as a company and as a world. So how do we set these SMART Goals?

SMART is an acronym. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Be Specific with Goals

SMART Goals

What do you truly want to accomplish, specifically? Like writing a mission statement for your company or putting a title on a paper, this is the Title of your goal. To assist you in  formulating these specific goals, let’s think about it in terms of these six questions.

 

  1. Who should be involved to achieve these goals? This is especially important if your whole team is involved.
  2. When do you want to complete these goals? More about this under ‘Time-Bound‘, but it’s prudent to have a broad timeframe before you get to the next steps.
  3. What are you hoping to accomplish? Be detailed and specific.
  4. What problems may arise? Identifying potential hazards can really help determine if a goal is even possible.
  5. Where will this take place? If location is an important piece of the puzzle
  6. Why are you doing this? What’s the purpose of the goal? If you’re self-employed, the answer will probably be to drive the business forward. But try to make this a more-specific objective. For example, ‘to grow profits by 5% each month’ or ‘to add 5 new leads each week’.

 

 

Set Measurable Goals

Measuring Goals Graph

It’s important to have measurable goals, so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to keep your focus, meet deadlines, and feel the excitement of progressing closer and closer to achieving those goals.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s the quantity?
  • How do I know when it is accomplished?

The question of ‘Is this measurable’ is important because it defines the goal as something you can, in fact, complete. This keeps abstract or undefinable goals out, and helps you to streamline your goals more efficiently. For example, saying ‘My goal is to be stronger,’ is a good goal to have, but how do you measure that? Making sure the goal is measurable is saying, ‘I want to be stronger based on how much weight I can lift. So, I want to be able to bench press 200 lbs.’

Make Achievable Goals

Achievability is found between dreams and reality

We need to be SMART. Achievable goals focus on what you can do to make it attainable and whether these goals are even possible. (I shouldn’t set my goal of becoming Mr. Universe right now, I don’t even have any visible muscle yet.) The goal is meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement so don’t overset the bar. Think about how to accomplish the goal and if you have the tools/skills needed. If you don’t currently possess those tools/skills, consider what it would take to attain them and whether attaining them is possible within your set timeframe.

Ask yourself:

  • How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as physical ability, mental awareness and financial factors?
  • How can I accomplish this goal? (Make a plan and stick to the plan, diverting only when absolutely necessary.)

 

Set Relevant Goals

Relevance locally and worldwideThis piece is about making sure that these goals matter to you or your company, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals currently being pursued. We all need support and accountability in achieving our goals, but it’s important to retain control of them. And in the case of team goals, make sure that the plans drive everyone forward, and that each person remains responsible for achieving their particular goals. Relevant Goals help us focus on SMART more than any other part of the equation.

A relevant goal answers “YES” to these 5 questions:

  1. Is this goal worthwhile?
  2. Is this the right time?
  3. Does this match our other efforts/needs/vision?
  4. Am I the right person to reach this goal?
  5. Is this goal applicable in the current socio-economic climate/environment?

 

Set Time-bound Goals

Calendar based ClockAnyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, then you will be setting yourself up to fail. Providing a target deadline is imperative. Ask specific questions about the deadline and what can be accomplished within that time frame. If the goal is going to take three months to complete; define what should be achieved at fifty percent completion of the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.

Set time-bound goals by answering these questions:

  • When is the Deadline?
  • What can you accomplish within six months of now?
  • How far can you get within six weeks of now?
  • What can I do today?

Using these SMART tools for goal setting you, as an individual and your company as a team can be better prepared. Set goals. See results. Look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

 

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Moving Forward to a Brighter Tomorrow

When I think about a life motto or mantra, I always come back to the idea that we should view life through the lens of ‘getting better every day!’ That’s why the end of every blog incorporates the idea of ‘looking forward to a brighter tomorrow!’ Today is only twenty-four hours and this week was only seven days. If one hour, or one day, or one week ruined us, then we have got to pick ourselves up and remind ourselves to keep moving forward. Martin Luther King Jr. said “If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Where are you Right Now?

Take an inventory of where you are right now. Are you in a rut with work? Is your relationship with a spouse or loved one shaky? Have you fallen out with a best friend or family member? It could be one or all of these things. What happened? Taking the time to think about the situation after the ember has cooled a little will give you a greater understanding of you and your choices and actions as you look introspectively at your own life. Don’t dwell on what someone did to you or how they hurt you. Instead, when something like this happens, focus on the only piece of the situation you have control over and responsibility of, how you acted and how you responded.

Too many times, even the coolest heads get heated in an emotional discussion or situation. Think about what you did… now decide if what you did requires an apology. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t, but it is VITAL that you figure that out. Next, you need to think about how you responded, even if you thought it was only inward. Were you angry? Offended? Were you hurt?

This is a harder spot, because I am asking you to look inwardly and determine if that was warranted. If you say, ‘no’, then that is something you can apologize for. If you say, ‘yes it was warranted’, then I would encourage you to look harder and remove any ‘pride’ that you may be harnessing. You still say, ‘yes it was warranted’, then you do not need to apologize unless your heart tells you to.

“Looking inside yourself is a practice that we as people need to do on a much more frequent basis. It would rid the world of most ‘Karens’ and put us on the path to a brighter tomorrow.”

Where do you Want to Be?

Once you realize where you are, there are only two paths. You either move in the direction which will take you forward, or you don’t. There is no reason to overcomplicate life. Teachers and philosophers and heads of religion have used the simplicity concept for thousands of years because they knew a simple path was the easiest to follow. So don’t complicate it. Either, you choose to move in the direction of what you want to obtain, or you don’t.

Gym goers make a mental choice to fight for what they want. Doctors and Lawyers make an active choice to study hard for what they want. Business women and men make personal sacrifices for where they want to be. Moms and dads make hard choices for where they want their families to end up. If you aren’t where you want to be, there is no magic potion or genie to make it happen. But where there is willpower, there will always be a way.

Or you decide that it isn’t worth the energy and settle for staying where you are and remaining who you are in this moment. You need to recognize that this is also a choice. The world is not laying out your path and then guiding you down it. YOU are laying out your own path and leading yourself down it. It is YOU who is in control of your destiny and of your future. You decide on your own Brighter Tomorrow!

 

What will it Cost to Get There?

“Everything!” It will cost you everything to get where you want to be because the process will not bring the old you along. The process will leave your past there and create a new self. We can not move forward without also becoming a new person in the process. I’m not saying you’ll be completely different, because you will still have many of your attributes as you grow. I am saying you will be refined. Bad habits will be chiseled away like a sculptor chiseling the stone. Like melting gold so that you can scoop away the impurities, you are refined. And so, when you choose to be different than you are, you will always come out better on the other side. Then, repeat the process.

And when you feel lost and the darkness of doubt and fear are overwhelming you, take courage. You are not alone. There are people here who want to see you succeed. The tunnel gets darkest before the light at the end comes into view. So, in the words of Dory, “Just keep swimming.” Keep swimming until you reach the other side. Swim until you find the current that will boost you forward or the school of fish that will join you in the journey, even if only for a short time. Just keep moving towards your goal of a ‘New You’!

And together, in 2021 and beyond, let us work on ourselves as we look forward to a brighter tomorrow!

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Hearts of Gold

A Word for the Season of Giving

Too often, we are fed all of the bad news and very little of the good. But it’s the good news that makes us smile. The good news is what makes life worth living. Renewed faith in humanity and restored purity in a society that feels overwhelmingly dark. So here are a few short stories of people across our country who acted in kindness from Hearts of pure Gold!

A Wish Spent For Others

Picture of Javier Amos and FamilyJavier Amos was nine years old when he was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia. As they do, the “Make A Wish” foundation reached out to grant Javier his. Most children want to take a trip or be greeted and hang out with their favorite celebrity or Superhero. Javier, did not ask for that. Instead, he wished for a Pizza Party for his entire Elementary School! 

The whole school, one Friday afternoon, gathered to form a tunnel of appreciation to Javier’s gesture of kindness. Jo Evenson, who heads “Make A Wish” in South Dakota, attended the event, and he said he had never seen anything like it before. Javier had his own honorary procession through a tunnel of his peers and teachers shouting happy words of thanks and encouragement. The school ate pizza and played on jump houses and jungle gyms for the last two-hours of their educational day, before going home in their school buses. 

Most children would have asked for something for themselves, but it takes a true “Heart of Gold” to ask for something that benefits everyone else. Javier Amos is now eleven years old and in remission. 

For More click Here.

Christmas in September

Mrs Allen holding Brody in front of a decorated houseThe Allen family was given the worst kind of news imaginable.  Brody, their two year old son, was given mere weeks to live due to brain cancer. This was September, and his parents knew he would never make it to his favorite holiday—Christmas. So the couple decided to begin decorating their yard and home like they would for Christmas, giving Brody one last ‘winter wonderland’. Brody helped his mother decorate the tree and they supervised his father as he strung the lights on the porch and overhangs, hung the wreaths and set up the light-up decorations in the yard. Heartbroken, his family choked back their own emotion to make sure this was the best ‘Christmas’ their son could ever ask for. 

Soon, to the Allens’ surprise, the neighbors began to decorate as well. (Revealing their true Hearts of Gold) Every home got involved stringing lights and setting up trees and other outdoor decorations. Eventually the entire neighborhood was decorated. From rooftop inflatables to fake snow sprinkled across the lawns, Christmas had come in September for Brody. As parents, you do what you can, but the neighbors going over and beyond made this boy’s last holiday a special one. 

Brody Allen lost his fight with brain cancer less than a month later, 2 weeks before Halloween. But his story and the love that his neighbors showed will live on in us. Christmas doesn’t have to be one month out of the year.

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An Angel. An Icon.

Dolly PartonAn icon. A legend. A performer. An Angel. Dolly Parton is all of those things and more. She has done good for those around her out of love, more so than most of the world. Her name should be written in the stars with other ‘Angels’ like Mother Theresa and Lottie Moon and all of the Saints. She gives and gives and finds ways to make that giving go further!

In 2016, a wildfire ravaged the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Hundreds of citizens were left homeless, displaced and without the essential needs to survive. Dolly immediately launched the ‘My People Fund’, promising to give families like these $1,000 per month stipend until the catastrophe could be sorted out. Dolly called on other artists to help raise money by doing concerts and events. Through these efforts they raised nearly $10 million caring for the needs of 1,500 families and nearly 5,000 individuals. The foundation also partnered with the Mountain Tough Recovery Team to give another $3 million in additional support through the months that followed. 

Lives were saved and hearts were warmed through that dark, cold winter, because Dolly Parton exemplifies those with Hearts of Gold. And she continues to do God’s Work in this world… 

For More click Here.

A Real Life Super Hero

Chris Evans with Child in the Seattle HospitalA real life Superhero, Chris Evans played Captain America on the big screen for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in his day to day life he is just as much a Superhero for the people. From rescuing a dog on a movie set to making virtual calls to young people to encourage their own acts of kindness, Chris Evans goes far beyond his call of duty.  

Most memorable, however, was a few years ago when Evans teamed with co-star Chris Pratt who played Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy, to visit a children’s hospital in Seattle. They went in full Superhero costumes, Chris Evans even sported his shield. Needless to say, the kids were over-the-moon excited for the visitors who certainly sparked their spirits that day. 

On Twitter, Chris posted a picture of him with one of the children he visited. Writing, “AMAZING day at @seattlechildren w @prattprattpratt. Met some TRUE super heroes! Feeling inspired, blessed, touched. Thank you w all my heart.” His Ex-girlfriend, Jenny Slate, said it best, “… if you could paint his heart, it would probably be golden.” And that’s something coming from an ex. Yet another example of celebrities with hearts of gold!

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Cameron Lyle in his Hospital Bed Smiling

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Cameron Lyle, college sophomore at the University of New Hampshire, was hanging out with his friends in the cafeteria when a few players from the football team playfully jested with him to sign up at the ‘Be The Match’ station for Bone Marrow Donorship. As most Sophomores would, he was easily pressured into the simple task and with a cheek swab and a signature, he was an official donor. 

Throughout his next two years of college, Lyle made a name for himself in Track and Field taking home silver medal after silver medal and positioning himself to really ‘go for the gold’ his Senior year. Poised to take the gold in shot put at the conference championships in May, Lyle readied himself for victory. And then he got the phone call. He was a match.

“When I got the phone call, I was so shocked,” said Lyle. “I totally forgot I even signed up a couple of years before. Even then, I did not think I would be a match. The odds are so ridiculous.”

A Single Moment Shows a Man’s True Colors

Additional testing took place to confirm he was a definite match, and when it was discovered that he was, they immediately set him up for surgery. But there was an issue. The surgery was set for April 25th, just one short month before the conference championships. 

Bone marrow transplants are no walk in the park. They are intense, especially the one he was having done, and if he went through with it, he would have to sit out of the championships as well as the rest of his Senior season of sports. Terrified to tell his coach he took a breath and just spat it out. He found that his coach was much more supportive than Lyle could have imagined. His coach told him, “If you have the chance to save a life, do whatever it takes.”

Lyle’s choice did just that. He saved the life of a 28 year old man who had been diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia a few days before Christmas in 2012. The man was a father of nineteen-month-old daughter and was set to be married. But it was not only one life that was changed. After the donation, he was given the NCAA Award of Valor which brought streams of news media to the cause. Registration to the National Marrow Donor program tripled so that those who need Bone Marrow transplants might find their match too. 

Cameron is proof that we can all be donors, whether of blood or bone or simple kindness. We can all have hearts of gold!

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A Call to Activate your Heart of Gold

So what is the difference between these people and us? Is it that, within their chest, there actually IS a heart made of gold? No. We all have the potential to be good, even GREAT. The only defining difference is that these people DID. They chose to act in kindness. They did things that were within their power to accomplish, but that would also make the highest impact. So don’t forget, this Christmas especially, to look around at the needs of others and find the ways to best ‘activate’ your own heart of gold. We are all in this together, as we look forward to a brighter tomorrow!

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The Ghost of a “Me-My” Future

The Ghost of a ‘Me -My’ Future

In the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, we recount the story of a wealthy banker, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. I always loved this story and the many retellings of the story as time passed because the theme and relevance in life is so broad and yet so very specific for what I need to hear each Holiday Season. So, I’d like to take a look at this story piece by piece and expound on some of the thoughts I have, reading the classic in 2020.

 

Stave 1

The story begins by setting the tone with Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve all those years ago. He shows us his character, revealed in how he treats others who can do nothing for him in return. He lives a Me-My lifestyle where nothing matters except for what pleases him and what will profit him in the end. Disgusted by the thought, he refuses an invitation for dinner with his nephew, Fred, the son of his late sister. He turns away a pair of gentlemen who are asking for a donation to provide food and heating for the poor. The old miser grudgingly allows his underpaid and overworked banking clerk, Bob Cratchit, Christmas Day off with pay, only because this conformed to the social custom of the day. He looked at himself and made business decisions and life choices based on the Me-My lifestyle. 

Stave 2

That evening he was visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley, who told Scrooge of his fate after his death nearly seven years earlier. He spoke of his own ‘Me-My’ Lifestyle and told Scrooge that after death he was doomed to roam the Earth, tangled in chains attached to money chests he could never open because of a lifetime of greed and selfishness. Marley tells Scrooge that he regrets ignoring the needs of his fellowmen in life, but alas, it is too late to ever make amends for his Me-My lifestyle. He then pleads to Scrooge, his still living friend, to change the way he treats others or he, too, may face the same fate. He warns that the three Spirits of Christmas will come to visit him that evening.

And so they did, beginning with the Ghost of Christmas Past, who took Ebenezzer on a journey through time where he was forced to watch and remember his lonely childhood, his only familiar relationship which was with his now deceased sister, Fran and a Christmas party hosted by his first employer, Mr. Fezziwig, who treated him like family when no one else did. 

Intermission

I’d like to pause there and remind us all to look at where we came from. Someone had to care for us when we were children. They had to provide for us when we couldn’t do so ourselves. When we started making our own choices, we had people who cared about us who guided us and inspired us and taught us so that we could become better. Most of us were born into the middle or lower class. Our parents fought to give us a better life than they had when they were growing up, and now we fight for better futures for our kids and grandkids. One day, when we are old and frail, we will rely on others to take care of us once more. We have been and will be cared for, so why do we not care for others likewise?

This is especially true with families. These are the people that you have spent the most time with and know better than anyone else. They should be the easiest to love and care for, and yet, many of us find them the easiest to overlook and neglect. Right there, in your own family tree people are hurting as they battle unseen demons and unspoken feelings. Yet, we do not see it. We do not hear those cries for help. Hearing this, I hope you will be more cognizant of what’s happening in your own home because it is building block number one. 

Now that you’re thinking about it, I want you to pick a family member and text or call them today to tell them you appreciate what they’ve done for you and how you are better because of it. 

Stave 3

The second spirit arrived soon after Scrooge was returned to his bed. The Ghost of Christmas Present whisked him away again to a common market place with a bustling crowd who were buying the ingredients for Christmas dinner. Then, across the way, the Ghost pulled him to a Christmas celebration in a lighthouse. Then, transported again, they visited his nephew Fred’s Christmas festivities. And finally, to Bob Cratchit’s family dinner. Scrooge noted Bob’s youngest son, Tim (‘Tiny’ Tim) who seemed happy though, to the best that Scrooge could tell, seriously ill. The Ghost tells Ebenezer that ‘Tiny’ Tim will die soon because of complications of the sickness. 

This brings us to a second important point, the Me-My lifestyle keeps owners and managers from true greatness. I have had the pleasure of working for some of the kindest and most caring administrators. They were attuned to the needs of their employees. They did all they could to meet those needs whether that meant giving them time off when there was no more PTO or sending them a ‘Thank You’ card or calling them when they found out a family member was sick or hurting. Remember Ebenezzer Scrooge’s disdain for letting Bob have Christmas Day off? He did so because that was what was ‘Socially Acceptable’. We should go over and beyond, because investing in our employees is investing in our future. So, take time and look at the people who you serve as a direct supervisor for. Get them Holiday Cards of your choosing and write a personal note. Not just “Thanks” but a heartfelt note to let them know what they mean to you and to your company.

Stave 4

The final spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Future, would be the last to visit Mr. Scrooge that evening, and he would show Ebeneezer a single Christmas Day in the future. This Ghost was eerily silent. It revealed a funeral for a disliked man attended only by local businessmen who were solely there for the food. The possessions of the deceased man were stolen away to be sold. No one showed even an inkling of compassion for the dead. Seeking to find out where he would end up, Ebenezzer asked the Spirit to show him his future. Down the way, they saw Scrooge’s house, but the Ghost pointed elsewhere. To a graveyard near a church where Ebeneezer unwittingly approached a tombstone and found his own name written upon it. 

Scrooge pledged in the end, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!” And so he did, and we should all follow his lead. 

We should give up this ‘Me-My’ lifestyle. Strive to live less of the miser life that Ebeneezer lived at first. Live more of a gracious, compassionate life like the one he took up in the end. Because, in the end of the story, he changed the lives of Fred and his family. He transformed the life of Bob, ‘Tiny’ Tim and all of the Cratchits. Scrooge changed the lives of the meat salesman and the beggars he passed on Christmas Day. Ebenezer Scrooge embraced that ‘holiday spirit’ not just in December, but all throughout the year. 

Salutation

Hoping your Holiday Season is filled with love given to you and bestowed upon others from you. May you receive and give gifts in like kindness with a grateful heart. May it be a season filled with quality time for family and friends. From our staff at Custom Equipment Company to you and yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May 2021 be our best year yet! Remember, that what you are today directly impacts the person you will become. Let us be ‘people focused’, as we look forward to a brighter tomorrow!

 

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The Ghost of Mayhem Present

The Ghost of Mayhem Present

Navigating the Chaos of the World Today

“Smile past the mayhem because it can not hold you forever.”

The year 2020 will be remembered as a whirlwind that wreaked havoc on the world! A global pandemic, like the modern world has never seen, was and is still a major part of where we are as a society. It has affected all of our companies in one way or another. For many small businesses, we have been hanging on by a thread, just hoping this nightmare would pass. And, honestly, that’s been true for many of the big businesses as well. But it is a present and persistent virus that we have had to adapt and change to combat against. 

You’ve Made it this Far!

Take a moment and pat yourselves on the back if you were a part of one of those companies that tightened down the hatches and pushed through what I hope was the worst of the 2020 Mayhem. I spoke to managers and owners who thought, back in April, that they were finished as a company. Even with promises of Government loans and local subsidies they were sure they would be filing for bankruptcy by the end of 2020. But with some innovation and wit, many found new ways to safely provide for the needs of their customers. They looked in the face of death and boldly said, “Not Today!”

What are Other Companies Doing!

A cycling company in NC quickly realized that they had the means and technology to cut fabrics in such a way that they began to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE in the form of Facial Coverings). They made 26,000 on the initial run and still had a backlog for orders. Across the United States, breweries and distilleries began producing hand sanitizers to meet the growing demand for cleaning agents. Gyms began to do virtual classes so that members could workout from home. Even some smaller movie theater venues moved to viewing outside transforming their parking lots into drive-in experiences. These companies deserve a round of applause.

The Ghost of Mayhem Present would have liked to scare us off or beat us down, and for some, it succeeded. For the innovative companies that started thinking outside of the box, life didn’t cease. Instead, they made the best of this pandemic, and they made what was ‘present’ a thing of the past. Though the Covid-19 outbreak was the overarching cause of the shutdowns and closures, and even with reports of a vaccine building, companies need to, now more than ever, double down on a marketing strategy to get themselves back on their feet!

Marketing is for Leads!

“The sales team owns the sales funnel. But as a B2B marketer, you feed the top of their funnel”. 

The words of Doug Kessler, co-founder of the business-to-business (B2B) marketing services, Velocity, hit the nail on 

the head. Just like a newly formed company trying to get onto its feet for the first time, we NEED a dedicated marketing strategy to get us to our feet yet again. This is a task that many business owners dread as it is a reminder of the hard work they and their teams initially put into building the customer base they had grown over the last many years. But it is vital once again, to reclaim those customers as the world slowly, but surely, begins to open back up again.

So what are you doing with your marketing strategy? At Custom Equipment Company in Charleston, we are evaluating our entire company and revamping the marketing that has made us successful for so many years. People stopped walking in the front door, and so now we have to find them in a different way. That piece of the strategy involves video conferences and virtual self-tours of the facility.

It has required us to take a deeper look at how Social Media can assist us in reaching the appropriate markets. The current mayhem also revealed how emails can be the new rack cards. It has inspired us to hire an in-house Marketing Director to design new and revitalized content. They produce new print and even capture new graphics. Most importantly, it required us to take a long look at our customer’s needs and how we could meet those needs. Meet them without compromising health and safety for us and for them. 

Be New! Be Bold!

And hey, there is no time better than the present to revamp and transform the company you are, to the company you need to be! (Look for our January blogs where we discuss what CEC will blossom into in 2021!) Don’t let your sales, leads and prospects dry up because you refused to dig a well. Yeah, it takes effort and energy and possibly a leap of faith on a new employee or 

marketing company, but if we want to succeed, it will require something NEW and BOLD. Don’t let the Ghost of Mayhem Present derail your future!

Hopefully, we can all take from this what was expressed by Chuck Swindoll. “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it”. We couldn’t control what happened because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Our response when catastrophes strike and our business is jeopardized is in our control . Be innovative and think outside the box, and if you can’t, surround yourself by others who can. Let’s join in making marketing a part of our success story as we look forward to a brighter tomorrow! 

 

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The Ghost of Salesmen Past

 

 

The Ghost of Salesmen Past

A look at Selling and how to Improve our Methods

 

In a world filled with digital and social media, many of the ‘old ways’ of selling have fallen to the wayside. The percentage of sales made from door-to-door visits has become almost nil. Cold calling is a thing of the past. And in-person sales have begun to plummet as clients become more and more accustomed to finding their needs through online portals. Furthermore, online selling has tripled since the on-set of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Momentum that, in my opinion, will not slow down until the next evolution of the internet occurs. All of this in mind, what parts of the old selling methods should we leave to die in the past. And which ones should we pull forward to the present?

Well, I think it’s obvious which parts need to be left in the grave. It’s the archaic methodology of selling, or the ‘how’ we sell that should be left to Rest In Peace. People, especially in the United States, don’t like strangers coming to their door. That is unless they are bearing food from a favored nearby restaurant. Recognizing this, we have to adapt to meeting people where they want to be met. So don’t waste marketing dollars on door-to-door or cold calls because those are Ghosts of Salesmen Past, and need to be left as ghosts.

What we should take from the past, however, is the connection to our customers. You see, even though people seem, from the outside, like they don’t want interpersonal relationships with anyone except  their close friends and family, people desire to be known and acknowledged by others, even strangers. That’s why Social Media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn allow people to ‘Like’ posts and ‘follow’ users. It’s acknowledgement. People want to be seen and known, and seeing that, we should continue to get to know our customers on a more intimate level. Like the salespeople of old once did, we should know them by name. We should know their hobbies and their families and their traditions, because though we let the method die we need to hold on to the reason the method worked in the first place. Connection.

So what should we do to revamp the way we do sales as we seek to connect with our customers? Well, the answers to that question are infinite, but here are a few that we can chew on for today.

Form Customer Relationships

First, we need to have a system in place to create and maintain a good customer relationship. I know some people disagree with which customers deserve that kind of time and commitment and I won’t argue those sides here, but as a salesperson, administrator or owner, you need to be doing some kind of interpersonal connecting with customers to keep that bridge between them and your company strong. Patricia Fripp is an American Author and Sales Presentation Skills Trainer. She said “To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship”. To her point, even if you don’t make the sale, make a friend. When people realize that you see them as more than a number or a statistic they stop and pay attention. At that point, you’ll have already formed a strong foundation to start from. 

Mary Kay Ash was the founder of the Mary Kay Cosmetic line. She once said, “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important’. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life”. ‘Make me feel important,’ is a selling technique that has dissipated in our fast paced world, but it is what sets good salespeople apart from GREAT salespeople. Connection.

Reallocate Efforts

Second, I would suggest reallocating those door-to-door and cold call efforts in more effective ways for the times. E-blasts and Social Media posts are the best way to do this in today’s culture. I would suggest two emails a month so that you don’t overwhelm your subscribers, but you still keep them engaged. We do ours at the beginning and the middle of the month. The second part of that is writing blogs, just like this one, that is designed for customers and other viewers who want to know more about what you do and stand for. Those emails should give good information and resources that are relevant to your industry. They should draw your customers and should draw them back to your website. These blogs should be interesting, just long enough to catch Google’s eye but not so wordy that you lose the attention of the reader. Connection.

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Utilize Resources

Lastly, use the internet and apps that are here to make your life easier! Marcus Sheridan, author of ‘They Ask, You Answer’ wrote,  “In today’s business environment, a company’s website is the key to their entire business”. This statement is so true because our world is engulfed in the internet. Sometimes, having no connection to the internet is worse than having no electricity! And your website is like your brick and mortar for anyone under the age of sixty. A place for them to ‘come’ where their needs can be met. They should be able to speak to a representative, see what you offer by browsing your ‘catalog’, be able to get to know your sales staff and management, and even discover more about your company’s history and growth. After typing all of that I realize, it’s better than your brick and mortar! 

And that doesn’t even touch on the millions of avenues available through mobile devices and other internet inspired functions.  – If you are in the business of selling and you don’t have an online store, you are missing out on sales.

– If you are a restaurant and you don’t use delivery apps, you are missing out on sales.

– If you aren’t utilizing the most prominent avenues to generate sales for yourself or your company, you are missing out on sales. Make these modern avenues work for you!

So let us let go of the Ghosts of Salesmen Past, or Salespeople as it were, and let’s become Salespeople of Today. Let’s bring that same high energy and enthusiasm to selling in the 21st century! Get out there and connect to people in such a way that they want to seek you out. That they want to buy your product. That they want to work with you. Join me in making sales personal again, as we look forward to a brighter tomorrow!  

 

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Rotational Molded Pallet

Rotational Molded Pallet

Rotational Molded Pallet

Production Process

Rotational molding, rotomolding, or rotocasting is a production process to form hollow parts of limitless size. This is a cost-effective method to produce large plastic parts. Resins are added into a mold that’s heated and rotated slowly, both vertically and horizontally. The simultaneous heating and rotation distributes and fuses the resin on the inner surfaces of the mold. The result is a product that contains seamless parts with a uniform wall thickness with more material in corners to absorb shocks and stresses where they occur most.

Rotational molding has had a place in industry since the 1940’s. The materials prior to 1961 were limited to vinyl plastisols in liquid form and were used primarily in the manufacture of novelty items such as artificial fruit, mannequins, children’s toys, and hollow display items. What is new in rotational molding in recent years relates not to plastisols but to powdered resins of about 35 mesh which have triggered improvements in equipment design and the overall technology, making this technique among the major plastics processing methods of today.

Decades Later

In 1961, the first polyolefin powder, a low-density polyethylene, was publicly demonstrated to the rotational molding industry. Polyetheylenes remain one of the most popular materials for rotomolding, because of the process ability, broad range of properties, and low cost. Major thermoplastic raw material suppliers have investigated specially formulated powders for rotational molding, including polypropylene, nylons, polycarbonate, rigid polyvinyl chloride and others. These powders can be foamed or reinforced with fiberglass. In addition to the raw material suppliers, many rotational molders also have used custom grinding services or have their own in-plant grinding capabilities which have also enlarged the material selection for this process.

Added Sanitation

Maximize sanitary food handling practices at your plant with the industry’s most hygienic plastic pallet design – Rotational Molded Pallet. Some of these pallets even have features built-in for an added layer of protection. This fights against bacteria harboring and abuse inside plants and operations associated with the FDA. Most pallets come equipped with an impact resistant double-wall HDPE construction. This feature delivers the industry’s highest useful-life-to-cost ratio, so you can be assured optimum sanitary service for years to come. Easy to clean, lightweight for operators and highly durable.

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