Posted by: Pat Cluett | April 9, 2014

MPI Toronto Chapter Awards Gala

MPI Toronto Chapter Awards Gala

Posted by: Pat Cluett | August 19, 2013

Cold Calling and the importance of research

It is not often that I get cold called much less on my personal cell phone so I was a little taken aback when I received a phone call today. And, due to my surprise, the caller fumbled through the call and missed some critical steps.

Here are some very basic suggestions for anyone in a telemarketing or telephone sales role:

1) Do your research

Before you even think about picking up the phone, take some time to research your prospect. Google their name, take a look at their LinkedIn profile, and know what company it is that they work for.

2) Introduce yourself

Start off my giving your name, the company that you represent and the reason for your phone call.

3) Get permission to continue the call

Ask a simple question “Is now a good time for you?”

4) Qualify to see if there is a need or an interest prior to moving into your ‘sales pitch’

If the prospect does not have a need for your product or service, then there is no need to continue the call.

5) Take notes

If the prospect has no potential, then they need to be removed from your call list. Record notes in a central database and if you are not the keeper of the list, then let the keeper know to remove this person from the list. There is nothing more annoying than being called again and again about something that you have no need for.

6) Adapt the conversation based on who you are calling

If you are a supplier and cold calling another supplier, then make that connection immediately. You might also let the person know where you got his/her name so that you can find some common ground to begin the sales process.

**

These are simple things. My caller today did not even take step 1 and had no idea who I was or what I did. I was a name on a list and she was going through the motions. It is too bad her employer did not take the time to go through the basics before slapping a list in front of her and telling her to ‘go for it’.

Take the time to prepare for your next round of cold calls. Don’t just go through the motions … take time every day to make a new connection! Care enough to be a catalyst for change! Cold calling is an art … add in colour and flair through research!

Good Luck!

Posted by: Pat Cluett | June 16, 2013

Refresh your wardrobe!

Summer is almost here and I find myself searching through my wardrobe for something new, something colourful, and something comfortable.

The wet and cold weather has resulted in many of my winter pieces remaining in the closet along with the spring/summer pieces.  I am having trouble deciding what to wear as the day can go from cold and rainy to sunny and warm in less than 30 minutes.  And, there is the air conditioning factor to consider.

Time to put the winter pieces away (I hope) and get out the dresses and skirts that I love.   A few new additions and I am ready for the summer.   Are you?

If not, check out the Jones New York sale at the Bay or save 30% on Nygard fashions at nygard.com!

Refresh your wardrobe and you can refresh your life a little!  Here’s to the start of summer … enjoy!!!

Posted by: Pat Cluett | May 6, 2013

Count Your Blessings

I have had an incredible journey this past month. In times like this, you find out who your friends are … truly.

For every one of you that has reached out to me to offer support, provide me with a lead, refer me to others, or just simply to lend me an ear … thank you.  I am grateful and blessed.

Tonight, my thoughts and prayers are with my Mom, the pillar. My best qualities come from her example … strength, perseverance, loyalty, enthusiasm, and dedication. Thanks Mom for continuing to be a role model for me and my children. We are blessed to have you. May your recovery be quick and pain-free.

I encourage you to take a moment each day and ‘count your blessings’! You will be surprised to learn how many you have, and how you can count more every day you remember to ‘count’.

Thank you and Carpe Diem!

Posted by: Pat Cluett | April 22, 2013

Event Planning Etiquette

I wrote this piece three years ago when serving on the Communications Committee for the MPI Toronto Chapter.  I never did submit it but when reading through it, found it contained some good advice that still holds true.

**

I spoke to several suppliers and planners when contemplating this topic and some commented that this was a ‘difficult topic’ so I approached it by asking these questions.

What can a planner do right to entice me to attend their event?   What can a supplier do right?   And what is the expectation of the attendee?

Here are some comments and suggestions received from the field:

For Event Planners:

-Do give attendees 4 to 6 weeks notice on event date and location

-Do provide for different methods of registration in order to meet the needs of all attendees (some still are not comfortable with on-line registration and payment)

-Do ask about the best way to communicate with that person – phone call or e-mail preferred

-Do provide an immediate confirmation of registration

–In the case of booth space, ensure that an on-line system does not allow for overbooking of booth types so that registrants get the type of booth registered for (some interviewees cited CSAE Ottawa’s 2010 Tete a Tete event where the on-line system allowed for overbooking of their most sought after booth space, therefore making confirmation of space booked, impossible, until they sorted out the over booking situation)

-Do remind attendees registered one or two days prior to the event and provide clear concise driving / public transportation directions

-Do provide sustenance (food and beverage) and scheduled breaks allowing for a more engaged audience

-Do follow up afterward for feedback and suggestions to improve future events

For Attendees:

-Do show up on time – at least 10 minutes before the start of the event

-Do come prepared to work and concentrate only on this event for the day

-Do leave your blackberry, smart phone device at home, or ensure that it is turned off and put away before event starts (put your “out of office” e-mail on and leave your job for the day – those e-mails will be there tonight or even tomorrow and you can respond then)

-Do give speakers and trainers your un-divided attention and participate when asked to

-Do complete the post event survey – your opinion matters

-Elementary classroom rules still apply – don’t talk or chew gum in class

It is all about “listening” and “learning” and incorporating simple etiquette and ethics in our every day lives whether planning or attending events.  Consideration and kindness go a long way and then remember that when received, you need to PAY IT FORWARD!

Posted by: Pat Cluett | April 21, 2013

Reflections

It has been one week since I decided to resign from a job that represented the best and the worst of times in my 25 year career.

On one hand, I was representing some very well known hotels that were easy to sell.  I had the flexibility to work from home a few days a week and be here when my children returned home from school.  I worked with a wonderful group of people up in Caledon and had settled in nicely with the country inn atmosphere that was reminiscent of home for me.

On the other hand, I worked for a company practicing old school sales routines and practices and found myself at odds with these philosophies.   My ‘service before sales’ approach to my job was met with hostility and disdain.  My concentration on finding new business instead of working on old leads was not appreciated nor understood and I found myself being reprimanded for doing something that has in the past been embraced by my employers.

It was a ‘no-win’ situation for me and I discovered that all those warnings I had received were one hundred percent valid and accurate.  I am one more person in a long string of industry professionals that has come and gone and know that the revolving door will continue to turn as long as the company continues to do what they have always done.

I approach the next chapter resolved to put the past behind me and choose the next path more carefully and thoughtfully.   Thank you to those people who have supported me in this journey to be the best me that I can be.

Posted by: Pat Cluett | September 17, 2012

Hoteliers – Have you embraced Social Media

Hoteliers – Have you embraced Social Media

Posted by: Pat Cluett | August 13, 2012

The Link between Quietness and Productivity

The Link between Quietness and Productivity

Posted by: Pat Cluett | August 13, 2012

Hate Making Small Talk?

Hate Making Small Talk – 5 questions that will help stimulate conversation!

Posted by: Pat Cluett | June 14, 2012

Before Breakfast Success Strategies

Before Breakfast Success Strategies

Thanks to Shelly Patrick for sharing this article.  What does your perfect morning look like?

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