Networking at Walmart

Networking at Walmart? Sounds strange of course. Yet it really does work. Walmart or any other store for that matter.

I have a very good friend who moved across the country. Her home here became a rent house and the last renter up and left behind a big mess. I’m organizing the repairs, paint, new carpet, etc. Anyway I need to run some errands in the truck. It won’t start. I let it sit on the battery recharger. Won’t start. Try to jump start from another car, won’t start. I’ve got other things to do with my time. I want the truck running so I can get the work started and finished and her house rented, and my time back. Battery cables are old and so is the charger, my husband replaces both, jump starts. Walmart is still open and if I hurry I can get the battery replaced. I head on over.

Twenty minutes later I’m out of there, what luck! But during that time amazing things happen. I bump into an old friend, talk, back to the waiting room. Then I get an offer to buy my truck. (Sorry, not for sale). I’m also told about a job opening.

Truck fixed and I’m on the road. So nice to hear it start.

Now twenty minutes isn’t very long, but others are waiting too. Smile, start conversations, or others will start one with me. Either way works. Several of us are in the waiting room, complete strangers. But we don’t just sit there invisible to each other, we talk.

“What are you waiting for?”

“Truck won’t start, battery dead!”

“What kind of truck?”

“An old Dodge Dakota, long bed”

“I’ve been looking for one of those, would you consider selling it?”

“Nope, it is handy to have a truck around when you need one, esp. the long bed. Right now I’m having work done on a friend’s house, need the truck.”

“… so you are fixing up a friend’s house, I know someone who is looking for help, they need someone who can paint, repair. We have benefits. . . Can you pass on the word?

“Sure! I’ll give him a call on my cell while we wait.”

And as I leave, because the truck was ready:

“Is that your truck? Just what I need, are you sure you don’t want to sell it? Here if you ever change your mind, give me a call!”

Believe it or not, I have sold a vehicle at Walmart before, an old Suburban to one of the department managers, it never made it to the Thrifty Nickel. I’m sure I could have sold that truck too, but not today. Not bad use of time, much better than playing phone tag.

Try this experiment sometime. Next time you are at the store, see how many smiles you can collect. Instead of being in a mad rush, take your time and smile at others. Open your mouth, start conversations, esp in the checkout line. Won’t you rather make a new friend while waiting, and believe it or not, sometimes those lines can move much too quick, I need to start grabbing names and numbers of the interesting ones.

At the mall one day, a lady came up and gave me a great big hug. I must know her, couldn’t remember at first. She had my name and is very happy to see me. She looks familar. I feel stupid, yet as she walks away, it hits me, the lady I met in the park last week, another great networking place. You’d be amazed at the connections you can make there, esp if you have little ones with you.

Where ever you go, if they are people, you can network, build relationships. A skill I’m still working on, esp. the name thing, I need to be in the habit of taking notes afterwards. Now put me in a crowd of people, and I seem to close up, go into hermit mode, fixing that, a work in progress.


Jott Yourself a Note, Jott to your Blog

A fun no cost service I bumped into online that you might want to check out. Jott.

Ever need to write yourself a note? Talk faster than you write? Out and about and you get an idea you don’t want to forget? Pick up your cell phone, call Jott (or speak jott if your cell phone has voice recognition). Record yourself a message up to 30 seconds long, and it will be transcribed and emailed to you.

Now if your blog is set up with a post to email you can Jott to your blog using cell phones.


Does Your Marketing Message Connect?

or What do Secrets, Squid and Geese have to do with it?

I enjoy being outdoors, and can often be found walking near the duck pond. There are several geese who enjoy the park. No matter which direction one of the geese goes in, the others all follow, looking for the choicest breadcrumbs, corn.

Now one goose really got my attention. I was sitting on a park bench with my daughter, when the goose snuck up behind, stuck his head between the seat and back of the park bench and let out the loudest honk! Talk about flying off the park bench. Yep he was loud and got our attention, but did we share our crumbs with him?

Think about it. How is your sales page connecting with prospective clients? When they land on your page how does it make them feel? What is your marketing message? How does it fit with your marketing campaign? Do you even have a campaign?
Do they get what you are all about, or is it same old, same old, salesy marketing pitch?

“We’ve got all the secrets!!!!”
“We have the answers you want!”
“Join and our experts will spill their guts for you!”


On how many pages do you find such words? Like the pack of geese, copying each others’ messages, all going after those same choice breadcrumbs. And how can something be THE SECRET, when everyone else is also promoting the same secrets? What kind of secret is that? And I don’t really want to see your guts all over my computer screen. Don’t be so loud I jump off that park bench. One more pet peeve, about those who are building a list of subscribers, if I was going to sign up for your seminar, I would have, you know I didn’t sign up, so don’t send me an email titled “Did we lose your registration?”.

It is always great to have a marketing and copyrighting specialist around. I learn much from Dina Giolitto. We were discussing the sales copy on a website I’d shared with her. And being the expert than she is, she immediately saw some ways the marketing message could be improved. Dina can go into details and fine tune any marketing message. It all boils down to how to put a new spin on your message and set yourself apart from all the other marketers.

To illustrate the point Dina continued:

Seth Godin’s project spread like wildfire because he spun the same old thing in a different way. Another company offering lots of bandwidth for you to upload your stuff, spread their link around and make advertising revenue. Yes. And yet he put a social spin on it with the charity thing. And he did something as goofy as put a squid as his mascot and call your page a “lens”
– this is “different” to people – you’re the expert again, yes, sure. But nobody else out there has a “lens” or one that is so “hooked up” to RSS and all, and nobody else gives you “points” for linking to other people’s lenses (note that also benefits Seth’s page rank) – genius, really. Something different.

Run out of ideas, does your mesage sound like everyone else, check with Dina, her creative mind if full of ideas.

Thanks Dina,