Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Naomi!

Good day to all. This would have been Naomi Grace Tyrell's 10th birthday.  It was a day to pay it forward with random acts of kindness.
Naomi was such a special child and now can soar and walk through the gardens of God without any pain or limitation.

May we each  live our days on earth giving back to others and showing grace to our fellow man.

Peace and again Happy Birthday to Naomi and all who appreciate and love life to the fullest and even to our enemies and those that have fallen away from our hearts.

I wrote this poem several years back and it is worth a revisit since it captures Naomi so well.

Upon the eternal sky of heaven, God has woven into place stars and planets and made the moon and earth.
Upon the earth, mankind has been placed amongst the animals and each other.
Throughout life, God is at his loom weaving.
Weaving stories of people's lives and people's dreams.

Looking out a window, we see a broken dream at first. To have and to nourish a healthy daughter.
Dreams dashed to the rocks.
an interruption to the continuance of peace.

Yet a look closer to this picture, we see a family drawn closer to prayer and to the Word of God and His people.
A witness to the world=
A shining Beacon of hope to those with Neiman Picks.
A welcome mat for Christ to stand upon.
To gather His flock in dependence upon Him.

Being in the midst of this world is not easy. It is hard to see those who lack since I am one of those too.
But it is great to see how God provides. God sustains. Nourishes Souls.

The potter spins this clay upon the wheel. Making a pattern for Naomi and her family. Best suited for their use and ours as well.

May God bless us all as we look at her. Seeing her hands and feet and her soul and all her organs that God has knit together.
Not one little stitch out of place.

And now God has called her home.  A place to dwell on those streets of Gold so that His world will be more complete.

Let her butterfly spirit invade our world to bring it peace and joy and love. May His presence and her love dwell in each one of us today and forever more.

And today we celebrate what would have been her 10th birthday and the world is a better place because you visited it, Naomi Grace Tyrell.
The world misses you!!  
Keep dancing on those streets of gold.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Kindred souls

I watched the documentary, Nim, on the attempt to communicate with chimpanzees. It is difficult to communicate between the two species.  Even though chimps and humans may have similar emotions.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Let's have that sizzle: a primer on sales.

Sales. It is that dreaded word sometimes. Yet after these few moments, I hope to have you think otherwise.

Rewind the clock of time and go back to your childhood, that time when you were a student and had multiple opportunities to sell.
Remember that case of chocolate bars that you received or that case of light bulbs or catalog of magazines or seeds to sell.
Your assignment was to go door to door and to friends and family and sell these treasures.  What I enjoyed during those moments was waiting at the door and seeing the reaction of those who would open the door and be able to do something totally different than my everyday school life. I got to be a semi professional salesman early on in my life.

When I was in the midst of this early sales career of my life, what drove me was the incentives of selling so many boxes of candy or lightbulbs.  Then I could come home with a nice watch or plaque.

When my niece was visiting us in Maine, we went to the Portland Childrens Museum and there was a general store. Abby went in there and stood at the cash register and rang items through the scanner.
Several of our family stood there as she rang up our order and gave us our total.
What this incident taught me is that sales is a little bit about play and taking on a role early on in our lives.

Growing up requires that you monitor all of the senses that go through your mind.  Ever stand in front of that cereal aisle and see the vast array of choices of products to buy. It can be overwhelming at times.
Boxes upon boxes of cereal.. differentiated by the slightest of margins. Whether it is the design on the box of a cover, the prize that may be inside that box or the terrific taste that one experiences each time one eats it.
My favorite cereal is the Frosted Mini Wheats.  I love the small bite size consistency and when covered with milk, it has a good crunch with just the right amount of sweetness.  And it can be tempting to bite into throughout the day straight from the box itself.

Even as a child, sales is a lot about play.  It involves chasing down the business owners and often being told that they are not at home during the moment.  It involves a little bit of that hide and seek as you try to not spill the entire contents of your bean bag until you are right in front of them.
It can be also like that game of twister and as the dial is spun, one can get into some rather uncomfortable positions.
Or that dreaded game of the towers of Jenga where one has to be careful not to pull out that key block of support.

General Electric had a popular slogan of "We bring things to life."
In essence, what this is is the use of our imaginations.

Much of the world is understanding our perceptions and needs.  A lot of what a salesperson does is unveiling what our true needs are at the time.  It is like going to a show and seeing magic performed.
We can not always tell at the amount what is going to happen but it often involves pulling something out of the hat and seeing the rabbit emerge from who knows where.

When I was young, I saw an advertisement for a gum that burst with flavor when it was bit into. I went to the store later on during the week and purchased the packet of gum. When I got home and unwrapped the package, I bit into the gum and no burst occurred. I tried during the next 5 bites and no massive burst happened.

There is a famous saying in sales and that is "don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle."  A lot of this can be reflected in the features and benefits of the products which we sell.  A feature is an aspect of the product that we sell and the benefit is what happens when the product hits the hands of the consumer and it becomes their own.

When I kept debating back and forth with my friends on which computer should I buy, it all centered on whether I would get an Apple or a Dell. Then I had to decide on the memory I would need, the accessories that i would want. Then during the Easter of 2003, a friend of mine, Paul Crisci, had an old HP computer that he did not need. It got me into the modern era with the internet. It was almost like an Edsel, a lemon. A very old clunker of a machine. It crashed every few hours and took a little while to get back up to speed. I did a lot of work on that machine from my blog and learning how to use the internet.  Then one day, I had enough. I browsed through the web pages for Apple and one day while at the Fitness Edge, I looked at the Apple Page and I saw just what I wanted. A 24 inch refurbished I Mac Machine!!! Just the ticket to modernization!!!  It was at that split second I knew what I wanted.

From taking a look at some of these motives and slogans, we can see that

During my career, I have been indirectly involved in sales.  When I worked at Schrier Brothers, my first interaction with sales was when Mark Schissler had me take down one of his orders. He gave me about 40 items of products from White and Brown bags to boxes and pallets of foil and Solo cups.
I was new at the time and just knew their names. As the years passed, I got to touch some of the products and see where there were on the pallets in the warehouse.

Many times I dove under the desk or into the filing cabinet and located the products that needed to be sold.
One of our star salesmen, Stew Reitzfeld, consistently earned top performing honors with his sales. Often in the office, I overheard our staff of Susan and Michelle and Kathy stating, "We are helping Stew look good. Through my conversations with them, it took their knowing the customer's needs as well and working with our buyers and vendors to make sure that the delivery process went well.

Sales often has to deal with the process of having the right fit.