Hello Tumblr Family
It is Friday July 25, 2014 at 7:13 am
Well, I know it has been a long time since my last post. I said in my last post that the upcoming posts will be all about the customer. I have been financing my business by selling booklets in which the content is page 1 (post #1 of 101 posts) of my blog. I wanted to take a little break from the selling to let you see how this aspect (financing) of the business is working out.
The young lady’s name is Shakana and in my book she is a star. I spoke to her on Wednesday July 23, 2014. Why is she a star? Good question. Is it because she has a Winning smile? Well, yes of course. Maybe it is because she is a good looking young lady? Most certainly.
But the beauty that stands out to me, above all these physical qualities is the heartfelt beautiful quality of empathy. She heard my story, put herself in my shoes and reacted the way that she would want someone to react to her if she was in that situation. In Bible terms she “Loved your neighbor as yourself”.
She heard that I was financing my business by selling my “From Unemployed To CEO” booklet and was more than happy to support the business by purchasing a booklet. Thank you Shakina.
Here are a few pictures of some of the early first supporters of the business. Thank you all. Lowell.
In the upcoming posts I will show some of the pictures of the businesses that have helped me in this blog and business.
There are two other sets of people that have helped me in this business. There are those that have contributed money or purchased a booklet and deliberately told me not to take a picture of themselves. Yesterday, when I was at Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant the gentleman said not to photograph him but just photograph the business. When I was in Cohen’s Vision Center, the owner said to photograph the business and not to take a picture of him. Today, when I was talking to the owner of the hardware store, he also said to photograph the business and not him. Yesterday when I was at the meat store the owner purchased the booklet he said to photograph the business.
The other set of people that support the business are the people that do not want or need a photograph of anything or anyone but they just want to contribute to a worthy cause. Long story short…They just want to help. God bless you all.
I sincerely thank all of you from my heart. It is very humbling to make a sale. It is easier to make a digital photograph and produce a digital booklet by adding some fancy words and arranging it is an appealing visual layout. That is nice. But it does not tell the whole story.
The true story is when you are out there in the public presenting yourself and representing your business. It is very lonely and a potentially discouraging thing to do. Why would someone subject oneself to such torture? Because you believe in your idea.
This is why you have to really think hard about whether you love the business that you are trying to start. If your heart is not in it, it is easy to take the rejection factor and give up. Many people do. For every one person that says “yes”, there are ten people that say “no”. They might say no in a nice way like ” The manager is not in” or “we are not making money ourselves”. The overwhelming majority or rejection gets right to the point and simply says “no”. And you have to respect their answer because after all you are on their property.
You can not be impatient or rude or anxious. You must simply say “Ok then. Thank you for your time. Have a nice day.” You must be humble but determined. You have to keep your mind on your vision. This is one of the reasons that I call the business “The GPI Vision Center”. You have to have a vision. And then even behind your “vision” you must still have your inspiration behind your vision. Then even behind your inspiration, you must have a purpose for the times that you don’t feel inspired.
The customers are not and cannot be your ONLY inspiration. Why do I say that? Is not the customer always right. Well, yes. But the customer is always right when it comes down to respecting what the customer says in relation to your reaction. You do not have the right to disrespect or demand that the customer buy your product. You must believe that when they say “no” that they really mean to say yes just because YOU want to hear yes. If you want to hear yes more than no then you must change something about your presentation. Do you look presentable? Do you sound pleasant? Do thou smell correct? Do you have gum or a mint so that you do not offend the customer with bad breath? Smell is a quick way of canceling your entire presentation before you even start. If you smoke cigarettes or marajana or weed then you must realize that these forms of you personal forms of relaxation or entertainment or lifestyle can be potentially offensive to a potential customer. You cannot assume that since it is YOU that the customer will not say no. They will. And they do. A lot. What guarantee do you have that the customer will say yes more than no. Well, there is no guarantee. There are only averages. “Lowell what do you mean by that” you might be asking.
I will tell you. I mentioned it before. The average “yes” is followed or preceded or followed by about 10 “no”s. What does that mean. I will break it down to time and money terms. If one customer represents one dollar then you will have to see and rejected by ten customers before one customer gives you one dollar. THEN…….even THAT customer is going to make you work hard even for that one dollar.
An example is a customer that I came to on Wednesday. The minute that I came in he was sitting down looking like he was in charge or at least had a prominent position in the company. It was a furniture company and the furniture looked pretty good. I explained to him what I was doing and he asked me questions, asked to see my ID, dealt with his customers while I had to patiently wait, then finally after intense investigation he pulled out a dollar and said “Good Luck” no pictures, no booklet. I simply said “Thank You very much. I appreciate the support. God bless you and you family”. I then after shook his hand and left. Why would one spend a half an hour for 1 dollar? Because you believe in what you are selling. You have a vision.
But along with the vision you must have the physical energy and action.
A VISION WITHOUT physical energy and action is just a dream…….
PHYSICAL ENERGY WITHOUT a vision is just a waste of time….
But… Physical Energy WITH A Vision will produce successful results over time.
But you have got to give it time. Time is what balances the averages.
You really have to really think hard about whether you love the business that you are trying to start. If your heart is not in it, it is easy to take the rejection factor personally and give up. It is the law of averages. For every one person that says “yes” there are ten people that say “no”
Then there are the encouraging stories. Like the the last sale last night. The time was about 10:00 pm Thursday night July 24, 2014. I was coming from Pathmark on 145th Street in Harlem. I wanted to get a coffee. One of my favorite coffee spots is on 145th Street and 8th Avenue (Frederick Douglass Blvd.). The coffee is always, hot, good and fresh, they stay open 24 hours ( a big plus with me) and they staff ( the homeboys) are pretty cool.
So the young man was behind the counter and I asked him if he would like to purchase a booklet to assist me in financing my business. He said yes. Thank God.
He purchased a B&W booklet for 1.00. I then told him that I would take a picture and he could see the picture on the Tumblr Blog. He then said something that surprised even me.
He put 5.00 on the counter and said that he ALSO wanted to purchase the color booklet.
I told him that he was the first one to ever buy both the B&W and color booklet at the same time.
Hey you never know who will purchase your product but I can you who WON’T purchase your product. The answer is everyone and no one.
If you never get out there and physically sell your product, I guarantee you, NO ONE will buy your product. But, on the other hand, if you try your best with all your mind, heart and soul I promise you that you will get a sale. It might not be every sale, but it is a sale nonetheless.
You MUST congratulate yourself because this is what is called success and …..of course…….THANK THE CUSTOMER. In my my life I also thank God. Actually every day a pray and thank God for waking me up and ask him to guide my steps and watch over me. This whole sale - business thing is a very humbling experience.
Anyway, for the final group of pictures on this post I have included two pictures of the handsome proud young man and two pictures of people in the “hood” (neighborhood) that helped out the business proving that you do not have to own a business to contribute to a good cause. Allow you business to be a good cause.
This exact minute that I am writing this 7:23 am on Saturday Morning on July 26, 2014.
It is about one day before the one year anniversary of me getting fired from my job for three years at Whole Foods. I took the picture of the article that I wrote two days ago Wednesday on my computer. There is a little time delay from the time that I write the copy on my computer to the time that I actually make the post to this blog. Anyway, yesterday ( Friday July 26, 2014) I sold two booklets. One was to the hardware store guy. I was talking to him about the booklet in the past and the other was the pastor of the church. I have purchased some of their delicious fish dinners in the past as well as their other sides like Mac & cheese and tasty cakes. Pastor Bright actually paid for two booklets but only kept one. He ‘s a cool guy.
The hardware store guy asked me not to photograph him but take a picture of the business. I am going to dedicate the next blog to the businesses that have helped the blog and the business but the gentleman asked me a profound question. In all seriousness he asked me “Why should a business purchase one of your booklets? What benefit is it for the business? Who is my target customer? Why should I buy this booklet?”
“Well” I said ( you cannot back away from questions and your timing in answering them is critical which is why you have got to KNOW your business and know the answers to questions asked about your business) “My target customer right now is businesses but it is to benifit the financing of this business. My goal is to show that having a business is one solution to unemployment but more important is to show that the building of character in your everyday dealings with people will pay off in having a business and helping people to better themselves while providing a useful product or service will increase a person’s business.
He purchased a color booklet. Thank you. Thank God for you all including you that is reading this blog/booklet right now. Thank you. Lowell.