Self Hope For The Helpless !

Cold Calling Works

I am relatively new to this! I have two businesses, a web design business and an animals in school business. Whilst you may have a web site for your business and therefore have world wide exposure, you cannot just sit back and wait for clients or prospects to come knocking at your door, but I think we all realise that.

I have found cold calling a good way to get your "foot in" so to speak. If you can just get an email address then you can get your info out to your target audiences. Cold calling is not an easy task, and requires confidence in (a) what you are selling and (b) in your ability to sell what you have to offer.

When cold calling, i have found that a "perma grin" is the best option. You WILL get knocked back, but all you do is dial the next number and start again. I would also advise a script so that you know what you are going to say. It does not have to be a long drawn out thing, but can just be a single paragraph. Introduce yourself and your business and then a brief description of what you are selling. Now tell them your USP, put simply and briefly - it maybe that you sell "budget websites" or that you "work to their requirements" or constraints. You then ask if they are interested in what you are offering. If they say no, then thank them politely and hang up. If they say yes then ask for their email. If they say "not at the moment" then you have caught them out, because that is a yes :) ask them for their email.

You will come up against some rude people - I have had people slam phones down on me and all sorts, but you just have to keep smiling and ring the next company.

Although it is hard work, and you may have to work through the whole yellow pages, I guarantee it yields results. I have made probably five hundred calls and sent over 300 emails for my 2 businesses and I have orders, and recommendations from those I have worked for, and that is how your business will grow.

As I said, you need confidence to do it, and belief in yourself and your business - with these 2 things and a smile you WILL get business. As you get into it as well, your confidence, ability and belief will grow and you will become better and better at it. Your script will stick with you and will just roll off your tongue.

I only cold call twice a week and in two hours, i get around 60 calls made. I find it easiest to make lists of calls the evening before, so that I am prepared and just have to call. It can be quite a daunting task and therefore easy to put off but dont you really can do it. If phones aren't your thing, then there are people who will do it for you - they charge around £1 a call and £1.50 an email, so it will cost you. With a mobile and a good contract though, you can do it yourself for free! Surely this is a better option and it only takes about 6 hours out of your week, leaving you (at least) another 34 to be working on processing business and meeting prospects.

As for the emails, you must make sure that you get these off on the same day as your call so that your prospect still has you fresh in their memory - this is extremely important to you securing that prospects buisness! These need not take up a lot of time, as once you have written the first, you just forward that one onto the next and so on (obviously once the "FW:" has been removed and names etc changed).

Give it a go . . . .and believe. The results will make you smile :)

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly July 2010

Stripped Of Choice

It has been announced that the UK govenment has banned the advertising of jobs for ladies in strip clubs and lap dancing clubs around the country. The question is this fair or not ?

In the UK, prostitution is illegal, but strip clubs and lap dancing clubs are not. They open from around 9pm until 2am, and thay are a very popular form of entertainment for men and women alike. I know couples who frequent these clubs and the women enjoy it as much as the men. They do not feel threatened in an environment like that - they are heavily policed by burly "bouncers" and respect for the women in these clubs is at the top of the etiquette list. Men in these clubs who take a girl up on a dance must sit on their hands to avoid the need to touch and there is no chance of the man being disrespectful or violent towards a woman - the women are in control here.

Is it fair then that jobs in these places of employment will no longer be advertised to those wanting to work in this very high paid job? I do not think that it is. At the end of the day, a job is a job - the government and society are constantly telling people to go and find a job. Students now have to earn money whilst learning in order to pay off very high student loans - which are given by the government in the first place. This is a career that is very highly populated by the student sorority in order to do this!

Some people say that stripping is a stepping stone to a career in prostitution. For the odd girl, then it may be, but not for most. Most of the girls that dance, are actually very intelligent and respectable, with a high level of self confidence. They do it for the reason that we all work - money. Also as I have just said they are students and therefore they are intelligent, and no exactly what they are doing and to what ends. It is an easy way (compared to manual labour) to earn a good bit of money fast, thus escaping debt problems on leaving their place of study.

None of us frown upon the famous actress who strips in films - Marilyn Munroe, Halle Berry, Racquel Welch, Demi Moore (to name but a few). They are actresses and therefore this striptease is just acting. At the end of the day, this is what strippers and lap dancers are doing - acting, just not for the same kind of pay! They are merely acting the part and dancing to the music, because a guy wants the titilation of seeing a naked woman - dances cost around £10 and last a very short time (2 minutes max). Surely if we look at it like this, its the guy who is the exploited and not the girl! The girl takes the money, smiles sweetly and walks away.

So in terms of exploitation - I do not feel this type of job exploits women at all. In terms of work, it is a legal job in a registered place of employment - just like the "bouncers" and the bar staff that work there, the strippers are also employees who earn a wage (proportionate to their takings) and pay tax and national insurance just like the person who is a filing clerk, or a factory worker, or a barrister, or a member of parliament. Why should jobs in these establishments not be advertised ? The simple answer is in terms of fairness to all and civil rights - they should be.

This move is the sign of a government trying to show its moral stand point by victimising those in the spotlight. Really they should be putting more time and money into stopping teenage pregnancy and cutting down crime amongst those in the 13-18 age group such as theft, binge drinking and violence towards others. Instead of targeting innocent people, trying to earn a living they should be targeting those people who are actually breaking the law, and in most cases living off the state.

This is just the opinion of one man, but I am sure many will share this opinion . . .

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly August 2010

Used Blues & Twos

I met a guy recently, whilst on an acting assignment. He was a nice guy. You get to talking, you have a lot of time just waiting around and not doing anything, so you really get to know about people and their life history. The story this guy told me had me seething so much that I felt the need to not only right to my local politician about the situation, but also to apologise to this guy for the appalling treatment of him and his colleagues by our awful government.

This guy's profession was as a paramedic. These guys are my heroes - they are life savers who are disrespected often by members of the public, they are not paid that well, and they work unsociable hours. True they choose to do the job, and that is their choice, but in my experience they never complain and they always have a smile and a positive attitude. Even this new friend of mine was not complaining, he was not happy about the situation and rightly so, but he was resigned to the inevitable and just informing me of his plight.

So what disgusted me so ? Well Simon (name changed for privacy) had been a civil servant in our society for just over 20 years, and he and his other long serving experienced colleagues were in the process of being made redundant and replaced by fresh faced university leavers without a day's experience on the job! I know that everyone deserves a break, but I found the reason he gave to be abhorrent - the government were doing this in order to SAVE MONEY! As they could pay the ex students less than they could the experienced staff.

On top of this insult, the government had gone about doing all of this in such an under hand and low manner that I found it disrespectful of the service that these people had given us. They signed the experienced paramedics off work sick with "stress" for 12 months (on full pay for 6, and then half pay for 6) in order to give them sufficient opportunity to get another job. Okay so this is better than being made redundant - a public servant in the UK has no right to a notice period or any such courtesy, despite what they do for their country, they can just be told to clear their desk and leave with no consultation period or warning (I found this in itself to be despicable).

Can you believe all of this - all of these people having served the public for most of their adult lives, thrown on the scrap heap to "save some money". This is where saving money costs lives - the new paramedics with no experience, do not even get the opportunity to serve alongside an experienced operator to learn the trade, they are literally thrown in and expected to swim. In a job that is so vital to keeping people alive, something really should be done about this, injured people will end up dying unnecessarily.

I think the government in the UK should be ashamed of themselves. They just cast people aside like they do not matter and their contributions to society are worthless. Personally I hail them each and every one as heroes and heroines of our time - they truly are amazing people. Please take heed from this and what is happening in the UK and avoid the same problem in your country, because next time you call 999 or 911 you could end up with a paramedic who is wearing a daiper and sucking on a pacifier!

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly July 2010

Me The Manager

I spent 22 years as a manager in various guises, starting as supervisor of a small team and eventually working up to the position of a Factory Manager. During those 22 years, I have constantly wondered "Have I made the right choice ?" Here's why ;

My choice to work in a factory was one of circumstance rather than choice. Like many people I wanted to pursue a different career - in computing or acting. Not much difference I know, but my father worked in a factory for tens of years, and although there is nothing wrong with that, I didn't want it for myself.

On the shopfloor, I managed to become multi skilled - learning every operation in the process, thus giving me an incredible knowledge of product and process. This gave me great scope for promotion. My attitude as a young man though was not brilliant and therefore I was passed over for promotion for a good while. When it eventually did happen, I found it difficult at first, but embraced it with all that I had. I found it difficult because I was suddenly thrust into being a boss of people I had worked with for 6 or 7 years and who knew me very well. It was not easy to get what I wanted from my team. I was awful, and my team disliked me intently.

In order to get out of this situation, I requested training. I did two 12 month courses in order to learn how to be a better boss. I came away with two nationally recognised qualifications and membership of the major UK management institute. On top of that I had an understanding of and more importantly, the ability to manage people and situations and get the best out of my team, at the same time as doing the best for the company's interests. The positive comments I received from those that were working for me (and those that weren't) were fantastic and well worth two years of night school. They came all through the two years and the constant support for my achievements spurred me on to be even better.

At this time, I felt I was in the best place possible in terms of career and loved every minute of it. The only problem with being a supervisor / shop floor manager, is the "piggy in the middle" effect - you are supporting shop floor to senior management and vice versa. It is not an enviable task. I carried on successfully, anyway, until I became a more senior manager or "middle manager".

In this position, you are now supporting front line managers to your managers, still "piggy in the middle", but its an even worse place to be than before! I felt unappreciated by my managers, who expect the absolute earth and became seriously disillusioned with my career. I soldiered on at the same company but eventually felt enough was enough, and I moved on.

I have worked for several companies since then, doing similar jobs, and less senior jobs, and no matter where I have worked, I have always seen the same results - in the treatment of "middle managers". They always seem to get the worst of the worst, they get all of the problems of the shopfloor thrust onto their shoulders to sort out, and then they get the problems of senior managers delegated to them to "assist" with. I became more and more disillusioned with the career of manager.

During this time, I worked for one guy who proved to be of a different mould. He was a one of a kind boss, who was honest, straight talking, and helpful. He still delegated, I still had everybody's problems to deal with, but we worked together as a management team and solved problems together. As well as being demanding (as all bosses are paid to be) he was helpful, thoughtful and friendly. I learnt so much from this man, and he has stayed my true friend ever since. He was best man at my wedding, and he remains to this day a man that I aspire to be. Unfortunately the company we were with went through some changes and he left . . . .so did I!

The final company I managed, was the same as all of the others that I worked for, and I had frankly had enough of management. I learnt a lot along the way about manufacturing techniques, about my own interpersonal skills, about how to get the best from people, and about my specialisms in manufacturing (you develop a love of certain areas and excel in those areas to a point where you become a specialist - mine was planning and analysing, and people management), and these skills are all transferrable.

I would say to anybody considering a career in management, get as much management training as you possibly can, even if you have to pay for it yourself! Get yourself involved in all in house projects and training courses in order to get as much manufacturing knowledge as you possibly can. Basically take as much from your employer as they are willing to give. Find your niche, and show how you excel - it will help you in your quest for promotion and hunger for responsibility. Show your skills and how you can help the company - in other words give just as much as you take. Move on, if you want to or if you feel you are stagnating, every 5 or 6 years and get a feel for different industries thus adding even more credence to your skills and your reasons for wanting promotion. This way, you will go very far in a career that is both rewarding and challenging, at the same time as being frustrating but great fun - the sense of achievement you feel from your successes in this career path are immeasurable.

Me ? Well I'm currently running my own businesses, and working (part time) as a consultant in manufacturing improvements in all sorts of industries - and that is thanks to my management experience in manufacturing !

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly June 2010