Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sales Without Selling - Part 2 - The Right Passion, ahem, Person

Let's review what was covered before going further. The previous entry covered how the best sales is done without the customer ever knowing they were being sold. "Smell this perfume", "taste this appetizer", "try this cleaner": All ways to sell (if done properly) without selling. Bonus points if you can do it with nothing ever being said.

But how in the world do you get a team of people who can do that on a regular basis?

With a lot of patience, practice, research, and, yeah, time. Not to say that you'll be sailing the glistening seas of sales nirvana immediately following, but it will get you on the right path.

Hiring is a pretty complex process. Here I thought you read a resume, discussed it, interviewed, and either hired or passed on that person. Sure, now add lots of other steps in-between.

When we thought of how we wanted our Connection Development Agents to approach community businesses, we quickly realized that we talk about our offerings not as sales people, but as passionate citizens. So anyone working for us has to have the passion too.

And that, you cannot train.

So, is the resume check sufficient? Nope. For now, let's skip over the skills and qualifications assessment (which we perform differently as well) to what we can call step one:
  • Do they have the vision, the passion?
  • Are they open to learning about sustainability and community improvement?
  • How does that passion appear when talking to someone they just met?
Yes, that is step one. We are a social enterprise, and everyone involved must truly care for it to succeed. A sales person visiting a retail establishment is not what we want, nor can ever use.

A passionate member of the community aiming to help another resident in building a more sustainable world isn't selling. They're making a difference.

And that's not easy to explain in a "Help Wanted" ad.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"GREEN" Is The New Black

This is a guest post by one of our Gold Certification Level members, Organic Catering & Events.

We love to throw a party! There is the food, the cocktails, the friends, the music, and décor.  So much fun.  The one thing we don’t like is the waste.  As a caterer and event planner in South Florida, I became more concerned with that waste. 
As we enter into the season of entertaining, the good news is that with a bit of creativity and a little know-how, you can have a fun festive affair, without it taking a toll on the environment.
Some tips for this season:
  1. Supplies: Think like Grandma- Use the Good Stuff- break out the china, crystal and linens. If the event requires disposables look into the new lines of bamboo and plant starch plates, cups, utensils and napkins, they are biodegradable from a continual renewable supply with little negative impact on the environment.
  2. Food: Leave behind your global thinking this time and think local.  Shipping ingredients from other parts of the world requires a tremendous amount of fuel.   Look to your local farmers market or CSA- Community Supported Agriculture.  The food will be fresher, taste better and generally more cost effective.
  3. Décor: Be resourceful.  Use things you already have in a new and different way.  Use a potted plant orchid or fresh herb, wrap the pot in a cloth napkin and display on a glass block or cake stand for the center of each table.  Afterwards, plant in garden and reap the rewards.
  4. Drinks: Simplify here and take advantage of local or seasonal ingredients by serving a signature cocktail and just some select wines and sparkling waters for your event. My favorite this year is our “Florida Snowball Martini” a mix of coconut waters, vodka a triple sec. Fun, Festive and Memorable. Keeping it stylish and unique without the waste.
For more info on how to have a green party or event and other eco-friendly food, drinks and entertaining tips call or email or 954-568-2383
Always in Good Taste,
Chef Marci Boland

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How Will You Change the World (Steve Jobs, in memoriam)

Yesterday evening, we learned incredibly sad news...Steve Jobs has passed away.  He fought gallantly with pancreatic cancer and thrived on borrowed time for many years, bringing joy and his unmatched passion to his family and the world.
The story of his life will be told, and retold, in every media outlet, each aiming for a unique way to honor his life and accomplishments.  For they are wide-ranging.  Under his leadership, the world developed a relationship with digital music players, phones that acted more like science fiction, and slabs of glass that expanded on this idea exponentially.  But that’s not doing his contributions justice any more than saying that Einstein came up with an equation.  For entirely different reasons, the world is notably better following their presence.
He saw the world differently, in some ways, how it should be, others, how it could be.  He changed not only how people interact with technology, but developed it in such a way that those intimidated could approach it with confidence.  Art and engineering, together.  Complexity encircled by simplicity.
He’s been called the greatest CEO of all time, and it’s surely a valid statement, considering Apple is the most valuable company on the planet.  It’s certainly one of the most influential.  So what can we learn from his legacy?
That one idea can make a difference.  That boundless passion can shape an industry.  That putting your heart and soul into what you believe can change the world.  "Stay hungry.  Stay foolish."
Many years ago, Apple released a new marketing campaign entitled “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”.  It struck such a chord with people everywhere that it can still be found on every Mac.  Take a close look at that letter being written on the icon for TextEdit and you’ll see.  Art and form, together.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
Are the ones who do.
So, how will you change the world?