Thursday, September 10, 2015

Podcast 21 - Kristin Carpenter-Ogden part deux

Making the 4th quarter count. Kristin and I dive into the importance of brick n mortars and more importantly the touch you get from an actual person as opposed to chatting with your laptop or smart phone. We give you the retailer some great ideas to get creative this holiday season. Plus, a challege, a call out to VISA, MasterCard and Square and to all of you reps!!


Check out this episode!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Podcast 20 - Solocast on balance

Pretty stoked about todays solocast. I talk about kicking sugar and finding balance during trade show season. Just me and the mic. 

Check out this episode!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Podcast 19 - Live from the LA MART

Today's special podcast was recorded this week at the LA MART. The Western States' most comprehensive collection of world-class, regional, and national showrooms & brands available only to the trade community. I chatted with the Sales Directors from these awesome brands; Pink House Jewelry and Design, PPD, Anne Taintor and Primal Elements. 

Check out this episode!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Podcast 18 - LIVE from Atlanta

This is a podcast that I am so excited about. I got to have the opportunity of recording live at The Atlanta Home and Gift Show this week. It has an NPR vibe and I really want to do more of these. Enjoy!! 

Check out this episode!

Sunday, June 28, 2015


    If you are a first time sales director or needed a friendly reminder; then realize your role as a sales leader is to inspire to lead up, not down. This means shifting your focus to leveraging the strengths of the sales team and each individual salesperson. You have to think strategically and strive to understand each person on the team.

    Too many salespeople move into a management role thinking they must lead every person the way they would want or like to be led. In reality, nothing can be farther from the truth. Great sales managers know each person on their team is different and, therefore, manage them accordingly to their unique weaknesses and strengths.

  • ·      Learn to listen; the role of sales managers has changed. It’s no longer about being taskmaster; it’s about enablement and support.
  • ·      Communicate to your team what is expected of them and how they’ll be measured.
  • ·      Hierarchical, prescriptive management is dead, don’t try to control everything. Communicate a vision instead; let people try to figure out how they are going to get there on their own.
  • ·      Have empathy; remember what it was like when you sold. Use that empathy to see things through your team’s eyes.
  • ·      Be objective and create a sales process: If you try to turn everyone into an artist (like you probably were) it is going to be frustrating and won’t be scalable.  As an example, develop criteria that break down the characteristics of makes a great (A), average (B) and poor (C) rep.  Then, categorize all your reps based on those characteristics and manage accordingly.  For your As – set long term goals, over communicate and overcompensate.  Manage your Bs to become as so when the As inevitably leave you have someone to back fill them.  Set very short-term goals and celebrate small wins for your Cs to get them back on the winning path.
  • ·      Coach your team on a daily basis to help them plan their selling activities to provide the maximum value and impact to their prospects.
  • ·      Do be an inspirational leader because you understand what it’s like to follow.
  • ·      Don’t micro-manage.

     StrengthsFinder is an awesome book to use if you are in charge of building an in-house team or a road team. 

Podcast 17 - {Solocast} Being a Sales Manager

Todays Solocast came about while being at the Dallas Home & Gift Show for 5 days. This means shifting your focus to leveraging the strengths of the sales team and each individual salesperson. You have to think strategically and strive to understand each person on the team. 


Check out this episode!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Why I Fell In Love With Periscope: 7 Intro Tips for Beginners

My Profile on Periscope

So... a funny thing happened to Twitter recently. They bought A funny little app that is reinventing how we interact with our audience. It's allowing us to get a glimpse in to every day lives around the world. 

Periscope was born. 

I didn't quite know what I was going to utilize it for.  After speaking to a few friends I realized I could take my podcast on the road and show the visual side to what I do for living. With the timing being perfect and with our new products arriving soon -- I vowed to take this app where no one has taken it before. A gift trade show. Now you may think that isn't fun.. but, I guarantee you that if you're a retailer, a rep, a manufacturer or a principal of a showroom - this may be of value to you. Even if you are a shopper - I mean who doesn't love beautiful, creative people creating amazing products from frames, candles - handbags and jewelry. 

See, Periscope is a live application. 

There are two basic things you can do on Periscope:
  1. broadcast or
  2. watch others broadcast.
Periscope is a great opportunity to share your experiences with others.
Press a button and you are live. Not only that, but your followers will be instantly notified you are broadcasting, so you’ll be directly connected to your audience.
If you are more apt to viewing then go ahead and view away, but do interact with whom you are watching. Letting them know what you'd like to see, or for them to talk about is just as important to what the broadcaster is recording. 
How to sign up... download the app from your iPhone or Android and good news is you don't actually need a Twitter account, though it is pretty nice when the two work hand in hand. 
I've been experimenting with a few videos to date and while time of day has a little to do with your initial successes. Keep in mind, this is a GLOBAL application and you are reaching around the world. So, there are 24 hours in a day, and people are watching around the clock. So know your audience if you are reaching folks just in your country. Off hours may be best.  Here are few things I've noticed so far.
A few helpful tips to draw people in if you are broadcasting LIVE :
  • Please keep your video vertical for now - it is the way the app was intended (but updates will be coming over the next few months) 
  • Create a fun title that will grab anyone strolling through the regional map. 
  • Do encourage the viewers to click on the hearts if they like what they are seeing or to comment for what they'd like to know. It's awkward enough to just be chatting away with 3 people on and all you see is nothing. Engage them. Open ended questions like; Where are they from, Is it night or day where they are... asking random questions is actually really fun. 
  • Don't sell yourself too hard - just be authentic. 
  • Create a game if you are just on to be on - make it fun at least. 
  • Don't be serious - you are the one that pushed the "start broadcast" button. 
  • Lastly, have fun!! The more you engage, the more fun you'll have. 
Check out this great blog I came across recently and to put it simply - describes how the every man or woman can use Periscope to engage and humanize through this awesome new technology. Sean M. Everett - Infectious Engagement

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Podcast 16 - Greta Rose Zagarino

If you think you know social media and the importance of how you build your brand, whether it's a retail store, your own business, whatever...You'll want to take notes while owner of the Greta Rose Agency chats on the couch with me today. Her agency helps create, develop and manage brand strategies and online reputations, custom Word Press and eCommerce websites, and effective social fan pages that produce specific measurable results. This is an episode you won't want to miss. 

Check out this episode!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Podcast 16 - Greta Rose Zagarino

I'm thrilled to announce that I had the privilege of chatting with @gretaroseagency for this weeks informative podcast. Her agency helps create, develop and manage #brandstrategies and online reputations, custom #WordPress and #eCommerce#websites, and effective social fan pages that produce specific measurable results. #entrepreneur #bosslady #runner#triathlete #nonprofitguru #PNW#northwestisbest #hoodriver #podcast#theretailcouch #pdx >> Streaming tomorrow - google The Retail Couch. #iTunes #stitcher #blogspot

Side note - GRETA IS AWESOME!!

This was all about stepping out of my normal podcast mode to switch gears towards some other great topics that are crucial to everyday business. Greta recently wrote this great book, How Manage Your Own Website. She breaks it down so simply and I finally learn why social media is so useful, but more importantly, reading those crazy stats so you know how to target your listening/following audience. 

We discuss everything under the sun and she shares her 5 point system; as well as some favorite apps and books. 

Check it out in the resources listed below. 

Lastly, downloaded the Nancy Duarte book and she is amazing. 

Create > upload > optimize > share > analyze

Periscope App

Share Google search instructions INSTEAD OF your url
Facebook is rolling out: Bluetooth Beacon
Read my book (shameless plug)

Greta Rose: How to Manage Your Own Website (
Nancy Duarte: Resonate
David Allen: Getting Things Done

Thanks so much for listening and for subscribing!! It makes all the difference.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Podcast 15 - Trade Show 101 {Part 2 of 2} is part 2 of my Solocast on Trade Shows to give you confidence and to show you that a few tips can make the difference in a good trade show and a great one. Hope you enjoy and wishing you all the success during the Summer market season.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Podcast 14 - It's All About That Prep

I for one am so excited for Summer show season to be here. It's my favorite time of year and I love that I get to use my podcast to possibly help someone else. This is part 1 of 2 for being prepared before, at and after your trade show. Please let me know if you are that one person I helped! That's all I'm asking for. 

Check out this episode!

Saturday, June 6, 2015



Well it’s that time of year again. Summer show seasons are under way and I for one am very excited.

Today’s episode is all about the “BIG SHOW.” In fact, I’m going to do a 2-part podcast. Today is show 1 – getting prepared and having all the tools you need to show up and be successful. Part 2 will be what you do during the tradeshows as well as how you build on that momentum for the next 6 months.  My hope is regardless if you are a manufacturer, rep or showroom you’ll come away with a few tips to make it your best show season yet. 

As I mentioned earlier, it’s an important time of year for all parties involved. How you work together is a like a waltz. You must move consistently through all aspects of the dance.

It really does take a good deal of planning, but with some preparation and a strong team to help with a few logistical tweaks – your game of attack come opening day should be fantastic.

I’ve been going to tradeshows for about 13 years and always find myself walking the aisles looking for the newbies. Unfortunately, most stick out like a sore thumb. Their table placement is wrong, their booth is too dark, they may be blocking flow with a book shelf that is supposed to be merchandised… the list goes on.

I’ll kick this off with A few important tips that begin to make your to-do list about two – three months out at least if not more.

Courtesy of NY NOW
  •       Choosing a trade show 
  •       Location 
  •       The look of your booth 
  •       Making it approachable 
  •       Show specials? Everyone loves a deal, especially the ones spending the money. Retailers love to save where they can.
  •       Snacks and Drinks
  •       Offer something different, something of value. If you are a local at that tradeshow, have a cute print out of the areas must see retailers, restaurants, coffee places… etc. It’ll set you apart from another vendor who may sell something similar to you.Social Media plan of attack or reach
  •       Make all your reservations – try to always stay within walking distance
  •       Dry Run before shipping: Making sure you create a list of all items that you’d like to have in your booth. All printables, don’t leave for the last minute. Make a space to test out your booth, map out the booth before packing it up to ship.

                                                               What should you bring? 

  Pens: Always bring extras. Electric pencils are great in a pinch too.
  Bags: I love throwing a few reuseable bags in my luggage for last minute items or my lunch to carry to the show.
  Electronic Gadgets: If you have electricity in your booth. Then good for you… if you don’t due to saving costs, then make sure you bring travel chargers for your phone, laptop, etc.
  Cups: I bring my own travel mug and water bottle to refill.
  Badge Holders: I have several that I’ve collected over the years that have a pen holder and a spot for my business cards.
  Items to keep in booth: Catalogs, postcards, price sheets, folders, notepads, business cards, staplers, Square or other credit card machine device if you’d like to sell products for at once delivery, or sell the booth at the end.
  NOTEBOOK: I like a classic journal to staple retailer business cards or to write notes on anyone who visited me.
  Smartphone: I use my iPhone to take photos of badges when they forget to bring biz cards or don’t want to give me all of their info.

  Lead retrieval scanners: These are great for your first tradeshow. So often folks forget to bring business cards and you don’t want to miss a single person that came by. These are great to create your first data base.