Worcester County Businesses

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Italian Meatball Soup

Sautee in 2 T. Olive oil:  1 cup chopped onions, 1 cup diced celery, 1 cup sliced carrot, 1 cup chopped ham, 1 T. chopped garlic

Add and simmer: 2 boxes Swanson chicken broth, 2 tsp dried oregano (or 2 T fresh), 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1 bay leaf

Drop in about 3 dozen mini meatballs, uncooked (from your favorite recipe)

About 5 minutes prior to serving: Stir in 1 can drained canolini beans, 2 cups fresh chopped spinach, handful of chopped fresh parsley

Remove from heat and stir in 2 eggs beaten with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Enjoy!


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Welcome to Sunapee View Bed and Breakfast, where there is a wonderful view every season here at the B&B!

The view of Mt. Sunapee


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I can’t even begin to tell you how many sales reps I come across who complain about how cheap their boss/company is!

This time of year its “We don’t send holiday cards my company won’t finance that” or “I can’t expense those cookies I want to drop off for my client so I don’t”

Year round its . . .

They won’t pay for books, magazines, cd’s that make me smarter

They won’t pay to send me to a seminar

The list goes on and on and the bottom line is that the sales rep clings to the concept of the company not funding these things as a reason not to engage in them!

Two thoughts for you . . .

First, stop complaining because I’m with you 100%. I’m not a big fan of cheap people and people who invest in things and not people. But . . .

Now what?

Do we allow that to hold your personal development hostage? Or worse yet . . .

Do we allow that to be an excuse for you to “dis” your clients?

Here’s a thought (and pardon me if I’m being a bit direct)

You invest in strange companies through your 401k don’t ya?

Why wouldn’t you consider these things an investment. Better yet . . .

An investment in YOU!

The sad thing is that if you don’t get that philosophy, perhaps someone else does and in turn . . .

Shows your client a little more love than you are willing to.

Then see how far playing the “My boss is a cheap sob” card will get you.

Oh, and if this stuff really bothers you, and you can’t get passed it.

Align yourself with a company that gets it but . . .

Make sure you’re willing to put some skin in the game too!

This soapbox moment has been brought to you by the fine folks at Sales Playbook purveyors of ridiculous sales chops!

That is all!


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The most successful sales reps that I have worked with aren’t using a stand alone phone strategy.

Yep, its time to go there and you can unclench your fist because I have no intention of stirring up the cold calling is dead debate. I feel it has a place in an overall sales mix.

When I say “sales mix”, I mean a well balanced, well orchestrated sales campaign inclusive of any combination of

Phone, email, snail mail, creative door openers, networking, social networking, social networking mixers, drop offs, door knocking, referrals etc.

I’m also talking about content such as:

Articles (ones you have written and brand agnostic ones you pass along), blog posts, podcasts, Linkedin group discussions (starting and contributing) E-Books and white papers. Events based content such as webinars, lunch and learns etc.

Before we continue, we need to understand something. Everyone has their own preferred method of communication and if we cling to any one method, we might be limiting our results.

Utilizing a well thought out mix also helps you to demonstrate your creativity and keep you from getting burnt out and mechanical.

So how does one do get to all this “Sales Mix” stuff?

Presenting The 1-7-30-4-2-1 Plan

Note: I have blatantly ripped off this concept from Ann Handley & C.C.Chapman’s awesome new book Content Rules and have modified it for sales!

1 = Daily

What activities in your sales mix will you do on a daily basis?

Do you feel phone work is a daily thing or do you feel more productive having a day or two each week for outbound calls?

How about your social networking activity? You should be keeping up your appearances and demonstrating your expertise. No? Million dollar question; is this a scheduled event for you or does it happen if it happens? When it does happen, do you sort of “egg timer” it to keep you from clinging to a safe activity?

How about your status update? How about commenting on someone else’s status updates? This needs to be done daily!

Don’t forget Twitter. What’s your plan to show up there daily? Do you have a few tips thought out? Are you giving thought to your message or are you going all seat of your pants on us?

Here’s a crazy one: Your goal each day is to find a way to make a client look like a rock star. Don’t ever hit your pillow at night without having your plan for that set for the next day!

While your racing to that appointment how about jotting down the names of the businesses you pass on your way?

When you run an appointment, how about a T Formation which is simply knocking on the doors to the right, to the left and across the street.

7 = Weekly

What activities in your sales mix will you do weekly?

Could you dedicate some time (off hours) each week to sending out some thank you cards or how about hand addressing and sending some mailers, requests for info etc.? Already do this? Do you have it scheduled?

If you write a blog, how many blog posts will you write each week? Do you think out your message in advance or do you write when it comes to you. Oh, and you can’t just show up once in a while, you need to train your readers to visit you regularly.

One absolute must in your weekly activity list is to take 5 of your online relationships and move them to real time (phone, meet for coffee etc)

Something else to think about . . . make sure you play matchmaker each week by introducing people who need to know each other in your network. Don’t just give me an AMEN broseph, do it!

30 = Monthly

Every 4-6 weeks you need to be sending a resource out to your entire network (client base too) that keeps you on the radar screen and continues to prove your value. I love the term “brand agnostic” meaning, not just the things that tout your wares.

Depending on your style, you may want to call back certain prospects every 4-6 weeks, others you will have on a quarterly frequency. Have you ever thought about how often to call or do you just haphazardly schedule a follow up call in your CRM and race to the next call?

If you are on the 4-6 week frequency, have you thought about your message or do you say the same thing time after time? If you are doing the same thing over and over and at predictable times, perhaps you are conditioning them to say no.

How about something creative every 4-6 weeks? Are you changing it up? Trying different things?

Are you calling your clients to “check in” . . . that was a trap by the way. Don’t ever call a client to “check in”  . . . it’s lame! Instead call them with an idea, a thought based on something you see going on in their world. Bonus points if you tie it to something you found in your meticulous pre call planning. Did I mention never call to “check in”?

How about hosting a Social Mixer?

4= Quarterly

What types of activities should you be doing quarterly?

Perhaps you could type up a quick down and dirty E-Book to demonstrate your personal expertise?

How about a Lunch and Learn at your business?

Webinar?

When was the last time you got someone out for lunch and while we’re at it, don’t forget the dudes/dudettes in your office who help you look like a rock star.

Are you in a position to give a speech somewhere?

2 = Twice A Year

How about hosting your own networking event or Tweetup?

How about inviting clients and prospects to a networking event?

How about calling all those people who told you “NO” at some point during the year? Things change dude!

1= Annually

Is there an event your company could host for your clients?

Is there something you could time each year around certain holidays?

Is there a way for you to contribute to one of your client’s annual events?

So here’s the deal folks. This is in no way complete nor is it the definitive plan for all. Its merely a guideline to get you thinking so you can

1)    Give your cold call some company. I’m thinking it might be lonely.

2)    Get your activity on some type of plan instead of going with what feels right when that contact alert pops up in your CRM.

Today you are cordially invited to mix it up!

Go get ‘em!


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It was this time last year that I was sitting in the Paul Castain World Headquarters (my recliner) listening to that song “We Need A Little Christmas”.  It made me think of these 50 Random Thoughts For The Holidays with the goal of bringing you a smile and a dose of perspective.

And just for the heck of it, I even made it into a handy dandy PDF for you. Click here dude!

Please pass this along and let’s spread a little holiday cheer!

1. Go Elf yourself http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/?cmpid=jj_hp
2. Why not listen to some commercial free (almost) Christmas music here http://accuradio.com/holidays
3. Commit to laughing your hiney off at least once a day. Once you do that, make sure you help others do the same! Methinks we are taking ourselves way too seriously!
4. Don’t listen to that damn “Christmas Shoes” song. If you do and someone walks in on you tell them its your allergies!
5. Forgive someone.
6. Be a kid again. I won’t tell anyone!
7. Understand that other than the “5 Golden Rings” in The 12 Days of Christmas, someone basically cleaned out their attic and was trying to unload junk. I mean what am I supposed to do with a bunch of Lords a leaping? Screw it; just put it over there next to the swans a swimming, Jackass!
8. Sing along to a holiday song. Rinse and repeat!
9. Take a co worker out to lunch or coffee . . . just because.
10. Between now and year end include messages of hope and inspiration in your status updates.
11. Grab a hot chocolate and look at some Christmas lights.
12. Say a prayer for someone.
13. Give someone a few extra minutes of your time.
14. Take at least one opportunity to bite your tongue.
15. Over tip someone who deserves it.
16. Listen to the Ave Maria and then acknowledge a truly beautiful song!
17. Fellow New Yorkers: Let’s have a “bird free” holiday season. If each of us refrains from middle finger usage at least once, it will reduce the other person’s urge to “return the bird” and total “bird” usage will drop by 10 billion.
18. Understand that laughing at the song “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” is sick. Would you really laugh if your Grandmother got run over by a reindeer? What’s next? Grandpa got his nuts caught in a turbine?
19. Forgive your parents already. Like they didn’t forgive you for dopey stuff you did?
20. Evict negativity from your life. Seek out good. Its there . . . I promise!
21. Give someone the gift of your undivided attention.
22. Watch this important clip and then tell me who was the better dude. Heatmeiser or Snowmeiser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yon2YuXssvo I will tell you all straight up that I laughed so hard I cried with my Mom the first time I saw this!
23. Tell a loved one how much they mean to you. Unfortunately, there’s an expiration date on this crazy thing we call life! And if by chance you lost that person . . . find a way to honor them!
24. Read the lyrics to “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” and then prepare for a good cry when I tell you what inspired that poem. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s son was killed in the American Civil War and it was his way of expressing despair, anger and questioning his faith in the process. Kind of makes your complaint about having to stop by Aunt Sadies on Christmas look like baby sh*t next to his tragedy, huh? Here are the lyrics, get your Kleenex. http://www.worldofchristmas.net/christmas-carols/heard-the-bells.html
25. Plan a family night.
26. Find something inspirational and then pass it to your network because quite frankly, we all need a shot in the arm from time to time.
27. Encourage someone. Its free.
28. Answer this question: What am I most grateful for? Take inventory and count your many blessings.
29. Stop striving for Norman Rockwell Christmas moments. Understand that the beauty of his art was in capturing the chaos and even celebrating it. Might be a lesson in that crazy thought.
30. Donate some food to your local food pantry. They get hit hard this time of year.
31. Change the words to one of your favorite holiday songs. Personally, I like singing “Walking in my winter underwear” to the tune of “Walking in a winter wonderland”. I’ve even changed lyrics to things I could never share here. But I will hint that it involved a threesome and leave it at that.
32. Commit to wearing your spirit on your sleeve!
33. If you have stepped away from your faith . . . step back. By the way, I did and I was a fool for thinking I would travel my life’s journey without it! I’ll spare you the sermon, but I feel much better after my spiritual homecoming!
34. Listen to the lyrics of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and then ask yourself What’s the deal with that Figgy Pudding and who the hell do they think they are threatening us that “We won’t go until we get some” I wish the person who wrote that song would have stepped back to realize that people are willing to get indignant over a Baileys or a hot chocolate, but a figgy pudding? Don’t have any, but help yourself to those Lords a leapin over there instead skipper!
35. Sing a duet of “Baby its cold outside” and then realize that the atrocity that just occurred with your singing is precisely why you both need to keep working your day jobs.
36. Stay away from the news. Take it in bite sized pieces. They make mega bucks with negativity . . . you don’t!
37. Find a way to create a memory and then visit that memory often! Someday you will refer to today as “The good old days” Make it count!
38. 101 Christmas Videos can be viewed online by clicking here
39. Go on a date with your spouse. Conquering the world needs to happen on the home front too.
40. Avoid any instance where you will be accused of “donning gay apparel” And don’t let the SOB soften that statement with some “Fa la la la la” jibberish. Talk about dropping a bomb and then changing the subject.
41. Go to a tree lighting, a children’s Christmas concert to get that hometown vibe going!
42. When you find yourself in an exceptionally good mood, don’t ever let anyone take your joy away from you.
43. Find a way to make someone look like a rock star today, just because.
44. Mend a fence. Lose your ego and repeat after me “Sorry” Try it and you will lighten your load.
45. Catch up with someone you lost touch with.
46. There are 11 towns in the US named “Santa Claus”. I’m only sharing that because I set the bar too damn high in telling you I had 50 things. What was I thinking?
47. Let someone know they inspired you!
48. Try to do some of your holiday shopping at a “Mom and Pop”. It’s a great way to stimulate your local economy.
49. Christmas Shoes Part II: If someone walks in on you tearing up, tell them you are going to be taking the place of Paula Abdul on American Idol and you were just practicing!
50. Watch It’s A Wonderful Life and then acknowledge that it truly is!

I hope in some crazy way this has brought you a smile, a tear and a renewed sense of holiday spirit!

Don’t forget to download these random holiday thoughts here


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So how ya doing in the personal branding department?

What are you doing to build this incredible brand called “You”?

You see, when it comes to personal branding, most will agree its an important topic but the million dollar question quickly becomes “How does one create a compelling personal brand?”

In this week’s podcast, we are going to explore 5 areas for you to own in your personal branding journey.

Note: You will want to stop this podcast from time to time and ponder some of the questions I present and you will definitely want to write down your answers and my suggestions in your journal.

1) How to create clarity with regard to your “main thing”

2) If people truly buy difference, how do you articulate yours?

3) Understand that the landscape of b2b and b2c has evolved to b2b2b and b2c2c in other words . . . consumers and businesses now want to talk with each other. I offer a 3 part question to help you own the concept that your brand must be able to sustain the inevitable “talking behind your back”.

4) Understanding the 6 Judgments that your personal brand must be able to survive.

5) The concept of an ongoing “courtship” with your audience.

I have some great content lined up for you if you will scroll down and have a listen. Now if you are not in the mood to further your growth this weekend, no worries. My suggestion would be to download this podcast on I-Tunes and allow me to be your educational companion during your drive time this week!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Related Post: A 2 Year Journey To Brand Me


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This is Part 2 of a 2 part guest post from Nigel Edelshain.

In yesterday’s post I suggested we, as sales professionals need to change up our game in 2011. We need to grab hold of the opportunity to use the new tools out there (social media and Sales 2.0) to “level the playing field.”

Yesterday I asked “what’s your brand”? I asked if the way to build you sales pipeline might NOT be more cold calls (at least in the traditional manner) and I noted the need to be more prepared for sales calls than ever before.

But there’s more. There’s more we need to change in order to keep up with Customer 2.0:

Say You Just Don’t Happen to Get In

What?! They did NOT invite you in for a meeting. Unbelievable! Well not really. Let’s be honest this is the normal case not the unusual, especially if you are dealing with new accounts. So what’s your “nurturing” process? What do you do with all the target names and accounts where you approach them and you DON’T get in?

In a very lucky world all you need to do here is hand these names off to your amazing team in the marketing department and they nurture these contacts with excellent content until they are “sales ready leads” and pass them back to you like fresh croissant straight from the oven. But…If this is not the case, you will need to be very organized and disciplined to run your own “nurturing” effort. After all the research suggests as much as 77% of the people who might buy from you eventually won’t buy now, they will buy later. Which means if you want to 3 x your long term revenue you better nurture everyone that did not buy now.

You’ll need content for this. So you will need Marketing to step up here or you will get into the content development business yourself. (Yes, I do believe sales people can blog successfully). One smart move with content is to use content from other people – there are many legitimate ways to do this in the blogging world we now live in.

Are Your Bases Really Covered?

What happens if you do get a meeting and you unearth a real opportunity? Do you rush back to the office and write up a proposal as fast as possible? Then keep following up?

Research from Marketing Sherpa over the last several years shows that for a technology product of k ticket price being sold into a large company (1,000 employees +) that the number of people involved in buying is…21. Yes, 21.

So if you’re just selling to one person you’re taking a big risk. You have 20 other people that can nix your deal. Do you know who they are? Do you know their role in the decision process? Again you have more tools than ever before to research people. With just a name and a company you can look people up on Linkedin and Twitter and find often find their complete background and even what they are currently interested in.

Do you Expand or Just Land?

Money left on the table. Or it seems that way to me. So many companies have the situation where they are doing business with an account but only in one area.

What’s your account strategy? How hard have you tried to go from division A to division B? Yes, it’s a lot like prospecting but it’s easier than cracking into a new account. You have the ideal reference story – a story from within the prospects’ own company.

Your Biggest Asset

Let’s get seriously selfish for a moment. You know what the most asked question is on sales job interviews: “what is your Rolodex?” — or versions thereof. Employers in big and small companies alike ask this question almost without fail in sales job interviews.

Want to increase your personal value as a sales professional. Want to be a linchpin? Want to be able to name your price for hiring you? Then you need a “golden Rolodex”. Keep in mind recent research from IBM values each additional relationship in your Rolodex as worth 8 (i.e. 100 relationships are worth k to you.)

So what are you doing to improve your Rolodex? Do you have a “people plan”? Do you have a plan for which people you need to know to give you that killer Rolodex? What are you doing to get to know those people? Not pitch them but approach them in the mindset of helping of adding value. Not for closing a deal this month but for establishing a relationship that will bear fruit next quarter, next year or the year after.

Linchpin or Cog?

Hope this has given you some food for thought. Our customer is changing rapidly. My mission is to “shine a light on that” and urge you to join the movement of sales people that are committed to adapting to that and prospering in this new sales environment.

As Seth Godin says we’re already in a work world where you can choose to be a “linchpin” (invaluable employee) or a “cog” (easily replaced employee). It’s my strong belief that sales people that don’t pick up these new ways of meeting Customer 2.0 on their terms will be “cogs” but those that do adapt will be invaluable linchpins.

Nigel Edelshain (aka “Mr. Sales 2.0”) is launching the Social Selling Bootcamp in February.

I’d like to highly recommend this camp to you. As you know, I don’t usually do this but I’ve been one of the contributors of content so I have first hand knowledge and I’m very confident that Nigel is on to something important here.

The camp is all about aligning our selling to the new ways customers behave.  It’s about how we can use the new tools like social media and Web 2.0 to sell the way our customers want to buy. From what I’ve seen of the camp’s content and the format of delivery (highly interactive) the sales people coming out of this camp are going to have a serious edge in 2011.

The two-day workshop will take place on Feb 16 & 17 at Newark Airport, NJ so you can easily fly in.

Nigel’s offering a big discount to get you TO TAKE ACTION: a serious 40% off if you sign up by Dec 31. There’s also a 100% unconditional money back guarantee.

http://www.sales2.com/social-selling-bootcamp.html

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in this just playing matchmaker!


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I have had the pleasure of working with the wonderful Michelle Tuccillo of Pink Monkey Events on many occasions. She and her “monkeys” are so professional and low-key. Pink Monkey creates beautiful, elegant events and always quickly, calmly, and intelligently solves problems.
I’ve witnessed how helpful Michelle and her staff are, first hand. Not only will she be there making sure the card table, centerpieces and details are perfect, but she will help brides bustle their dress and relax for 5 minutes when she can tell they need a breather.
Michelle is straightforward and knows how to meet the high expectations of NYC brides. She also is super efficient and realistic when it comes to managing vendors and day-of-schedules. I LOVE Pink Monkey and Michelle and hope if any of you couples out there need a wedding planner, you will consider her :) !
PinkMonkey

Pink Monkey Events
38 West 73rd St. Suite B
New York, New York 10023

www.PinkMonkeyEvents.com

Michelle Tuccillo – Founder and Creative Director Responds….

1. What is your event planning philosophy or motto you follow when planning an event?
Never a problem; always a solution.
There’s a solution for every problem that will arise and we always resolve the issue at hand while wearing a smile.

2. Where do you go, what do you do for creative inspiration?

The city has so much inspiration in itself but our biggest creative inspirations come from our clients. We become very involved in our clients lives and learn what’s important to them. The fun part is brainstorming with on how to incorporate these intimate tidbits into their special event.
3. What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without?
Our custom Pink Monkey super kit, of course!. There isn’t anything that we can’t do with this kit. We have everything from light bulbs to glue guns. Besides what can’t be fixed with a glue gun? It’s an essential for those last minute fixes.

4. Favorite part of your job?
Seeing our clients reactions to all the special little things that we incorporated to make there night unforgettable. And at the end of the evening hearing that everything was better then they ever had imagined!

5. Your website tells the cute story of how you came up with your business name, how are your three dogs?
Dakota the eldest is still being mischievous and getting into trouble.

Harley with her big brown eyes can do no wrong. One look at her and you forget what she did.
And what can I say about Paco the chunky little Chihuahua. he’s still a mama’s boy.
The one thing they all have in common is they love being the center of attention at Pink Monkey Events.

An elegant wedding with a chic & breezy atmosphere at Trump National Golf Club in NJ. I LOVE the photo of the flower girl and daughter of the Bride & Groom. Scroll down and you’ll see which photo I’m talking about :) !

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This will probably be the only time that you will see traditional Chinese wedding garb during a ceremony at a Jewish Synagogue! Both the bride and the groom held onto their own culture while honoring their spouse’s traditions. A beautifully balanced celebration in a modern loft space in the Meatpacking District totally put together by the amazing Michelle Tuccillo of Pink Monkey Events. We got to take a few awesome photos at The Highline, after the wedding.

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