Peggy’s Pointers

Networking: 30-Second Commercial for Consultants and Service Industries

August 25th, 2014 by

If you are a consultant or sell a service like IT services or financial services, describing what you do for a living in a 30-second commercial is sometimes difficult.  Finding the right words to explain, in laymen’s terms, the service you provide can be challenging.

For example, if  you say, “I am a Business Coach.” This does not give me enough information to “get it.” What do you really do?

If you say, “We help companies cut their expenses and increase their bottom line.” This statement not does not provide enough information to clearly understand what you do or how I might be able to help you with a warm referral.

Why? Because no matter what you or I sell, we all help our clients cut costs so they can make more money.

The Key Step to developing an effective 30-second commercial is to:

Give an example of how you have helped a client.

For example: The HR Director at Smith Insurance Company was having 1-2 issues (name them off) with their employees. Then explain 1-2 solutions that you recommended or were implemented.

Keep in mind the main purpose of a 30-Second Commercial is to be able to relay in common terms: who is your target market; what product or service you offer; and why you can solve the problem–your value proposition.

Therefore, if you are a consultant or provide some type of service, always include detailed descriptions of:

    • how you have identified a problem;
    • developed a strategy of remediation; and,
    • been successful in the implementation.

Finally get in front of the mirror, your dog or cat; practice-practice-practice; and time yourself. After all, a 30-second commercial is not a dissertation…it’s only 30-seconds.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2014

National Speakers Association – Certificate of Completion 2014 Speakers Academy

June 15th, 2014 by

For the last year I have been attending the Speakers Academy of the National Speakers Association.  This has been a wonderful experience to sit among so many mentors in the public speaking arena and to learn everything that I can to grow my speaking business.  The wealth of knowledge that the North Texas Chapter has is phenomenal.

It’s really exciting when folks willingly give of their time and expertise to coach and train the pups in the industry.

Thank you to our Co-Deans,  Stu Schlackman and Dave Hill for your dedication to making this a wonderful experience for all of us.  Finally a special thank you to my mentor, Julie Alexander, for your coaching throughout the year.

Kudos to all of my fellow grads and best of wishes to all.

Speaker Business 026

Certificate Speakers Academy/National Speakers Association Speaker Business 003

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2014

Sales: Face-to-face interaction

June 3rd, 2014 by

“Rapport is not developed over the telephone.  Face-to-face interaction develops long-term business relationships.” Byrd Baggett.

In sales, building and developing long-term relationships are critical to growing your business.  Consequently this statement about face-to-face interaction by Baggett back in 1997 is still so very relevant today to your success not only in sales but also in life.

With everyone using electronic devices to communicate these days, our society is becoming a group of people who do not know how to carry on an intelligent conversation with another person.

In an article by Virginia Acacio, “The Benefits of Face-to-Face Communications” she talks about the fact that when we communicate directly with one another, issues get handled and decisions made much faster than trying to exchange a multitude of emails or texts.  There are some things that simply can’t be relayed accurately, accomplished over the telephone or through an email or text.

Further, Acacio, discusses the merits of being able to determine the non-verbal communication that goes on when you are face-to-face.  Obviously you can’t discern much of anything unless you get in front of a client or prospect.  “It’s said that over 90% of how we communicate is through nonverbal cues like gestures and facial expressions.”

Recently a friend of mine was talking about her pre-teen son who had a friend over to their home for a visit.  They were both sitting on the sofa texting to each other!  I was absolutely amazed at this behavior.

What can we do to turn this around?

We have a responsibility to teach our young people to put down their electronic devices and engage one-on-one with one another.  We must teach them that being face-to-face, carrying on a conversation is still the most effective way to build and develop strong relationships.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2014

Excerpts taken from: “The Pocket Power Book of Performance” by Byrd Baggett ; Article by Virginia Acacio, “The Benefits of Face-to-Face Communication” (




Sales: How consistent are you?

May 26th, 2014 by

Peggy’s Pointer on Business:  Definition of Consistency is “the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time.”

Think about professional athletes – most of them are not superstars like Michael Jordan but they achieve their professional status by performing at a high level of consistently over and over.

What successes have you had over the past years?  Figure out by looking at your last year to see where you have been the most consistent and how that has worked for you.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2014

Salesperson: Likability or Credibility–which do you want?

May 21st, 2014 by

Likability or Credibility:  As a salesperson, do you want to be liked or do you want to be considered credible?

Many sales gurus say that people only buy from those they like.  I’ll be the first to say, I want others to like me.  However, the litmus test for all of us as salespeople is not likability but is credibility.

Just a few pointers that I expect to convey to my prospects and clients:

    • To be considered credible and believable
    • To be regarded as trustworthy
    • To be viewed as an expert in my industry
    • To be relied upon for the knowledge of my products and services to solve a particular application or problem
    • To be recommended to others
    • To be a partner, not just a vendor

If we fail pass the test in any of these areas the likelihood of our making the sale is usually slim to none.

Only when we are perceived as creditable, believable, and trustworthy will we “have THE EDGE !”

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2014



Customer Service: It’s the People that Make it Good!

May 8th, 2014 by

Outstanding customer service is at the core of every company.  In order to earn repeat business, companies must be willing to go the extra mile to deliver exceptional service.

Companies like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines and Apple are well known for being trailblazers in providing excellent customer service.

However, it is not the company that delivers the service but the people within the organization—the Customer Service Representative—Joe Bob and Mary Jane.

So what does it take to deliver excellent customer service?  There is one rep that I have had the distinct pleasure to work with at one of my vendors for many years.  She is the best that I’ve ever seen at customer service.  I would like to share my observations what makes her so accomplished:

    • Outgoing and personable.
    • Levelheaded under pressure.
    • Attentive to detail.
    • Willing to do whatever it takes to make the sale.
    • Knows the product line and available substitutes.
    • Keeps abreast of inventory levels.
    • Takes responsibility of making decisions on the fly.
    • Adept at working the corporate system.
    • Uses every opportunity available to learn about new product offerings.
    • “No” is not part of her vocabulary but “let’s see what I can do” is.
    • Thinks outside the box for solutions.
    • Sometimes seen as a rebel however always keeps the best interest of the client in mind.
    • Helps the client save time and money.

Many of these attributes are learned skills that can be taught.  However, this gal truly has the mindset of a servant–dedicated and willing to be a problem solver and insure the needs of her clients are met every time.

If your customer service representatives can embrace these skills and learn to serve the client, you will see sales increase because clients will come back again and again.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2014

Networking: He simply doesn’t “Get It!”

April 10th, 2014 by

“I don’t visit networking groups because they always have people there who sell the exact same products that I offer,” he said. 

This was a statement that a friend of mine made me recently when we were talking about networking and how we can be more effective in our efforts.  I was stunned because he simply doesn’t “get it.!”

The primary purpose of attending any networking event or trade association event is the opportunity to grow your business.  However, growing your business does not always mean making a sale.

As a matter of fact, a networking event is not a place to sell but to “make connections.”

I use networking events as a means to:

    • meet potential vendors
    • seek connections to those who have expertise in areas that I don’t have 

I also use networking to:

    • learn how I can help others
    • provide mentoring or coaching to others

When you attend any type of networking, trade association or civic group, rethink why you are there.  It’s not about selling.  It’s about making connections and then seizing opportunities.

Peggy P. Edge © 2014


Success: Envision Your Success – Are you aiming high enough?

April 6th, 2014 by

Recently I was sitting in a seminar and the speaker was talking about success.  He asked us if we envision our success.  I was reminded of the time in 1971 when I made the decision that I would pursue my college degree.

As I reflect on my own personal successes, instantly I start to think about my education.  I am the only one in my family who finished high school or graduated from college.

Back in 1971, my boss sent me to a motivation seminar.  The speaker asked, “What are you going to be in 4 years from now?  You could be just 4 years older. Or, you could be 4 years older plus have completed your college degree.”

Right there, that day, I made the decision to go to college.  I knew in my heart that it might take more than 4 years.  That was ok but I knew that I knew I would accomplish that feat no matter how long it took me.

At the time I was 22 years old, married with a 5 year old child.  I had gotten married 6 days after turning 16, became a mother a month before I turned 17 and had dropped out of high school.

When I heard that man speak that day, I had at least managed to get my GED as well as having taken 6 hours of college credit.  However, I had a full time job and could not really see how on earth I could make this happen.

My husband and I immediately started putting the wheels in motion for both of us to quit our jobs and attend school full time.  I would be working on my bachelor’s degree and he would be going for his doctorate.  We both graduated in the summer of 1976.

As I was listening to the speaker a couple of months ago talk about envisioning my success, I was reminded of that statement about what I will be in 4 years from now.

A couple of years ago, I started speaking publicly on business networking. After much prompting from several friends who are in the business, I began to envision what that would look like as a full time business.  Consequently I started preparing myself by signing up for the National Speaker’s Association’s Charbonneau Academy last September.

This is a time in my life where so many of our friends are retiring and constantly asking me when I am going to do the same.  My response, “Nooooo! I don’t have time to retire!  I have too much yet to do.  Besides, I do not know how to knit nor am I interested to learn how.”

I want to encourage you that no matter how old you are or how impossible it may seem to be to make a change in your life whether it is personal or professional…go for it and don’t look back.

Conceive it. Envision it. Do it.  There is absolutely nothing that you can’t accomplish if you set your heart and mind like flint.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2014


Networking: Fear of Networking

March 13th, 2014 by

How is it that most sales people have no problems cold calling yet many break out in a sweat when they attend networking functions?

For 16 years in the industrial packaging business, I have worked strictly off of a referral basis–never cold calling.  I rely solely upon my networking partners for “warm referrals.”

To be successful at networking, here are a few pointers that will help build confidence:

  1. Create a Plan / a Roadmap–as any good business person will tell you, you must have some sort of plan established so that you know where you are going.
  2. Outline an agenda for each meeting – Decide beforehand 2-3 key things that you want to accomplish at each event.
  3. Craft 3-4 interchangeable commercials – once you have drafted several different commercials, practice, practice, and practice!

To overcome the fear of networking, get prepared, have a plan of attack and then make connections–seize opportunities.

Peggy P. Edge. (c) 2014

Value Proposition: What is your Value Proposition in the Eye of Your Clients?

March 10th, 2014 by

What is your Value Proposition in the Eye of your Client?

I asked a client one time, “Kyle, why do you do business with me?”  His response was, “Those wonderful Gourmet Chocolate-Chip Brownies that you bring me every Christmas.”

Yes, those Gourmet Chocolate-Chip Brownies are scrumptious.  An 80 year old friend of mine bakes these for me each year.  Usually around July, several of my clients begin to ask, “When are you going to bring us more brownies?”  I have to remind them it isn’t Christmas yet!

Much has been written about Value Proposition and how you must offer so much more than your competition in order to retain business.  However, do you know from your client’s prospective the Value Proposition that you provide?

Besides tempting clients with brownies each year, here are several additional tips that you can use to engage clients and prospects to learn more about them and how to better be of service:

    • Industry – Keep abreast of their industry and discuss trends and happenings with them.  Follow them on the internet through all of their social media; subscribe to their industry magazines; join their trade associations.
    • Competition – Vet their competition through websites or available trade association information.  Discuss what they are doing in comparison to their closest competition.
    • Future of Company and Client – Periodically engage them in conversation as to what direction the company as a whole is going but also seek to find out about own their future plans.  Are they looking to move up in the organization or on to better opportunities?
    • Extras – Be willing to offer products and services that your competition either doesn’t offer or doesn’t want to offer.  Over the years, I have provided my clients with many products outside of my core product offerings simply because they said they would buy it if I could provide.
    • Partner – Figure out a means of partnering with your clients.
    • Resource – Be the “go-to” person when your client needs a warm referral for products or services outside of your wheelhouse.
    • Personal Values – How well do you know your client and what is important to them–their values and personal likes/dislikes?

Providing a real value to your clients comes in many forms.  Don’t be afraid to simply ask how you can help them grow their business.

Peggy P. Edge © 2014