Peggy’s Pointers

Core Strengths – do you know what yours are?

November 11th, 2013 by

Recently I took the Clifton Strengthsfinder(tm) test to determine what my core strengths are.  This test is absolutely amazing in that it can pinpoint who I am and what I’m all about.

I have known for years that I’d rather eat barbed wire than do anything related to accounting.  Although in my business, quite often I am required to look at the bottom-line numbers of my company, however, this is the least favorite thing on my “to-do” list.

Give me a widget to sell; sign me up to work the booth at a trade show; show me a new product that solves some problem and let my creative juices start to figure out ideas on how to market and I’m in my element.

So why was I so surprised at what the test results showed?  Well blow me over I don’t know.  What I do know is that I doubt there is anyone who knows me even slightly will disagree as to what the test results revealed about who I am.

The test results labels me is a “Passionistas” ™!  Ok, what does that really mean?  The formal or technical answers are:

    • Purpose driven–intrinsically motivated by my passion.
    • Warm, approachable and externally-focused.
    • Love leading others to action.
    • Personal and organizational mission statements are important to me.
    • Critical that I use my talents daily and love what I am doing.
    • Team-oriented–add gusto to any group!

What does this really mean in real down-to-earth terms:

    • I love to have fun.  If it ain’t fun, let’s find something else that is!  This why my friends refer to me as “Wild Woman”!
    • I make friends easily.  Well why not, I can clearly say, I never meet a stranger.  After all, Momma said I would talk to a sign post!
    • I explain things in story form.  Did you know that when I was 9 years old, …..happened to me and so, on and so on.
    • I want everyone in the room, on the block, in the building to come to the party.  We can’t leave anyone out.  Being an only child made me this way.  I had to go find friends because I didn’t have brothers or sisters to play with.  Now you know…I was deprived.  That’s why I married someone who is the oldest of 15 kids!  Really!
    • I am full of ideas.  Well that explains my sewing room with a zillion projects in various stages of completion.  Yes, that is because about the time I come up with one idea to make something pretty, I will start thinking of 5 other things I could make in the next hour.

So you see, if they had just asked me about me rather than me having to take a test to find out who I am, I could have told them all about me!

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2013


ROI – Business Networking

November 11th, 2013 by

What you see is what you get!  How many times do we apply this little statement to things we do or think?  Yet when it comes to Business Networking, do you really know what you are getting out of your networking efforts?  It’s not all about $$/cents.

A few of Peggy’s Pointers on networking could net really great results:

  • Have clear cut goals for your networking activities.
  • Set aside time to develop the connections you make at events so that they become relationships, not just someone on a list of people you know.
  • Work on your 30-second commercial so that others will know exactly what you do and how they might help you.
  • Create a core of strategic partners in synergistic fields that can be your “go-to” person when you need to make referrals.
  • Be willing to serve others.  Networking is about giving first and the rewards will come back to you.
  • Be professional at all times.  Remember the saying that people make up their minds about you within the first 5 minutes after an introduction.  Make sure you dress the part and act the part of whatever it is that you do for a living.
  • Be attentive and listen for opportunities.
  • Remember networking events are the place to make connections, not sell your products and services.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2013

Fourth of July

July 4th, 2013 by

Today is the 4th of July.  Give thanks that we live in a country where all possibilities of success are there for the discovery.

I have been reading a book:  “Amazing Women of the Civil War” by Webb Garrison.  This is a compilation of stories about women on both the North and South describing their involvement to the cause.

What strikes me as so amazing is that none of these women are portrayed as a Scarlet O’Hara.  Instead they were all very talented, some highly educated, others simply wanted to be involved and contribute to their beliefs.

Some were spies like Sarah Edmonds, aka Frank Thompson who dressed as a man in order to serve in the Michigan Infantry.  Elizabeth Van Lew developed a spy ring, a decipher system, and smuggled messages out of Richmond in hollow eggs.  Many women disguised themselves as men in order to be with and fight alongside their husbands and sons.  Anna Ella Carroll was a politician, pamphleteer, and lobbyist.  She was an adviser to Lincoln and his cabinet.  Even the wives of Lincoln and Davis as well as Grant and Lee played very important roles alongside their husbands.  In other words, they were not shrinking violets by any stretch of the imagination.

Growing up in Texas I do not recall discussions in any of my history classes, even in college, about the accomplishments of women during war time in this country.  We did hear about Harriet Tubman of the Civil War and Rosie the Riveter during WWII and of course, Betsy Ross sewing the American Flag.  However, when you read about some of these ladies of the Civil War it makes me think, where are all of the stories about our other women of war?

Each and every one of us can make a difference in this country.  We have to stand up for what we believe is the right.  We have been given this right by the fighting and sacrifice of our men and women before us.

So today let’s give thank for this fabulous, wonderful, and amazing country we live in.   We are strong!  We are powerful!  We are determined!  We are America!

Peggy’s Pointers on Business: What is Your Consistency Level?

June 28th, 2013 by

Consistency –  “ 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.

How consistent are you at what you do best?  When you figure this out, it will be “your Edge over your competition.  Therefore, examine your successes; create an action plan to do more of this; then, go for it!

Peggy P. Edge © 2013

Peggy’s Pointers on Sales – Asking Clients for Advice

May 24th, 2013 by

When was the last time you ask one of your clients for his wisdom or knowledge?

Having been in professional sales for 30+ years, I have seen my share of “hot-shot salesmen” who are constantly in sales mode.  They drive up and down the street with one thing in mind…sell something to someone at all costs.

However, a really good salesman knows that they have to look and act like they don’t really need a sale.  How can they do this?

* Ask your client for his wisdom or knowledge.

* Ask…what has been your experience with xyz?

* Ask…how has this helped you profit?

* Ask…how have you successfully used …….?

Remember these are not necessarily questions about your products and services but about life experiences, hobbies, etc.  Use probing questions to get to know your client and how they think.

A sale is not about exchanging goods and services for dollars but it is about building a relationship…creating partners.  When you do this you will have established yourself as a professional in the eyes of your client.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2013

Peggy’s Pointers – GateKeepers and How to get Past

May 2nd, 2013 by

How do you to Get Past the GateKeeper?

Gatekeeper - picture

Being in sales for over 30 years I’ve had my fair share of cold calling and furthermore my fair share of trying to get past the GateKeeper…that person who holds the keys to the door to the most important person on my call list for the day.

The most interesting conversation with a GateKeeper I’ve ever had involved me walking into a company one day and asking the receptionist who I would need to talk to who purchased their packaging products.  The lady said, “Well that would be Joe Bob.”  So I asked, “Would it be possible to visit with him today?”  Her response was, “Do you have an appointment?”

Now I had just walked in cold off of the street and asked her who I would need to speak with regarding my products.  She had told me who it was.  I know I must have been speechless and had a “deer-in-the-headlight” look about me as well as the question mark on my face as to “duh” if I don’t who I need to talk to, then how on earth would I possibly already have an appointment with them?

Bless her little heart, she was so programmed to give that “canned” answer that she had no clue what she had said.  But being the wild crazy redhead that I am, I said, “I’m not sure but I don’t think so!  Would you check for me?”

Here are just a few pointers on getting thru:

*  Remember it is their job to keep the gate closed.

*  Act like you are senior to them….not superior to them.  For example, if they think you are someone of importance or someone who the boss would want to see then there is more likely of a chance you will get into to see him.  This doesn’t mean that you should ever act as if you are above them.  There is a fine line in the difference.

*  They have a wealth of knowledge about the person you are trying to see.  Your job is to use your wits and charm to find out what you need to know that they know.

*  Never, ever pre-sell to them.  In other words, if they ask what it is that you want to speak to Joe Bob about, keep it brief.  Do not go into sales pitch mode.

*  Learn to ask for folks on a first name basis.  Don’t ask for Mr. Jones, ask for Joe Bob.

*  If Joe Bob is on the phone, just say, I’ll wait a few minutes to see if he is available.  Quite often people will see you if they know you have had to wait on them for some reason.  This tip works for either an in-person cold call or a phone call.

*  Always, always, always, be thankful before and after.  Most especially after you have met with Joe Bob as you are leaving the premises, make sure that you find Lucy Jane and thank her for helping you today.

These are just a few techniques that I’ve used over the years.  By all means they are not all inclusive but you might be able to use one or two of these tips to help you get your “Edge Over Your Competition.”

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2013.  All rights reserved.



What is your Edge over your Competition?

April 15th, 2013 by

If you can’t put a Square Peg in a Round Hole, then what is your EDGE over your competition?

Square Peg

Too many times sales organization try to emulate what their competition is doing. They create products and services that are “me too” and that dilutes your ability to be unique, special, innovative, i.e., different.

I sell products that are highly standardized. As a matter of fact, my clients can purchase many of the brands that I sell elsewhere.

So what makes me different? What is my “Edge” over my competition? It is my red hair, my wild and crazy personality; it is the Brownies that I have made for my clients each year during the holidays.

Brownies! Seriously, that is what one client told me several years ago. I asked, “Kyle, why do you do business with me?” He said, “It’s those wonderful brownies that you bring me every Christmas.”

Usually around July, he and some of my other guys will start in on me by asking, “Isn’t it about time for some of those Brownies?” I answer, “It ain’t Christmas yet!”

In the marketplace, when all things appear to be equal, there are just a few little details that can make you stand out and shine to your clients. So share with me, what is your Edge?

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2013

Professionalism in the Market Place

April 15th, 2013 by

I have been asked to speak to the Nursing students at a local college.  I look forward to sharing my 30+ years of war stories in sales with these young people.

Most likely they will roll their eyes at some of my fuddy-duddy ideas of being a professional in the marketplace.  However, some rules never go out of style like, dressing for success not dressing to your own desire–pants-on-the-ground, pink hair, body piercings, etc.

Every industry has prescribed guidelines for what is professional in their market.  Before you go to that first interview you should be aware that you will be meeting someone who is going to make a judgment about you and your character within the first 5 seconds you walk into the room.

Recently a young friend of mine interviewed for a job at a major telecommunications manufacturer here in the DFW area.  Prior to her interview, she was told by the agency that she was working with that she would not be allowed to carry a cell phone into the facility—it must be left in the car.  Oh my, what would she do if someone needed to call her during that time?  Well, duh, they would just have to leave a message.

Yes, some corporations do not allow personal cell phones in the office.  Can you imagine 8 hours of not being in touch with your friends?

I think very few young people coming out of high school and college these days have a sense of what it takes to be successful in a job.  I’m not trying to negative here just realistic.

The bottom line is that if you want to be considered as a professional, you must first look and act the part.




Business Networking – Do you know your ROI?

April 10th, 2013 by

Have you calculated your actual ROI on your Business Networking activities?  If not, why not?

  • Periodically you should figure out exactly what it is costing you in not only hard dollars but soft costs to attend any networking function.
  • Hard Costs include:  Membership Dues, Chapter Dues, etc.
  • Soft Costs include:  Drive time, Meeting time, and any time that you spend outside of the actual event having a 1-1 with either synergy partners or prospective clients.

Ask yourself, am I getting out of this group or activity exactly what I planned or expected?  If not, it might be time to make a change.  Look for other networking groups that more appropriately helps you attain your ultimate sales goals.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2013

Networking: Crafting an Effective 30-Second Commercial

April 3rd, 2013 by


Do you know how to craft an effective 30-second commercial?  Most commercials that you hear at networking events really do not give you a clear idea of what that person is all about.

Some of the key elements of a well-crafted 30-second commercial will:

  • Paint a verbal picture.
  • Establishes you as an expert in your field.
  • Profiles you and your company.

The standard 30-second commercial goes something like this:

Hello, I’m Lucy Jane and I’m an Account Rep with Joe Bob’s Freight Company. We are looking for prospective clients who ship anything. We have the best rates in town and provide excellent service.

Blah! Blah! Blah!

Using the 3 elements listed above here is how Lucy might re-phrase her commercial:

When was the last time that you had an order to ship and the freight company damaged it? It was returned by the customer and you lost money?

For the past 25 years, Joe Bob’s Freight Service has been rated in the top 5 out of 25 delivery service organizations in the region by the East Texas Business Journal based upon our excellent dependability, reliability and expedient services.

Today I’m looking for an introduction to Jimmy Joe, Operations Manager at Ralph’s Refrigeration Corporation.

My name is Lucy Jane and I’m the Regional Sales Manager for Joe Bob’s Freight Service.

When you are more detailed with explaining your target market, being more precise on the product and/or service you provide, and describe your value proposition thoroughly, your commercial will be more effective.

Source:  “5 Key Steps to Effective Business Networking” – Peggy P. Edge © 2012.