Following up on those trade show and conference leads

Does it seem like time has flown by this winter?

I know it has for me. Maybe it’s the strange weather — my friends living in the middle and right hand side of the country seem to be getting hit with yet another major snow storm, while Seattle has been enjoying a relatively mind and dry winter.

Follow up on those leads!

Audrey II and my 65 pound spaniel. Audrey is not a small plant.

In fact, it has been so mild that I don’t think I’ve worn a jacket outside in weeks and my prized Gunnera Manicata (aka Audrey II) is already starting to grow rapidly… about a month ahead of schedule.

Good old Audrey II. She is so popular, friends bring their loved ones to my house during the summer months to have group photos taken under her canopy. She is so popular, she might as well have her own Facebook page (friends pressure me into creating a new FB photo album documenting her growth every year). My husband and I like to attend the annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle to find various experts who are “in the know” we can brag to about Audrey II. She is definitely one of a kind here in cold, temperate Seattle. But even Audrey is confused by the weather and is having time-space issues.

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Does cold calling result in hot leads or frozen phones?

Some sales people and fundraisers swear that cold calling works and is effective. Others swear cold calling is futile and dead in this age of the internet. In sales, I heard both arguments, and I myself was conflicted about its efficiency (I had some good conversations, but I left ten timesĀ  more voicemail messages… that were never returned).

Cold Call

Cold Call (Photo credit: Alan R. Light)

Interestingly enough, most of the links I found to share are from salespeople trying to sell their training programs — and those training programs are centered around either a.) cold calling works, you’re just doing it wrong; or b.) cold calling doesn’t work, do something else. Something I used to stress to my students years ago was to always examine the source of information found on the internet and question the motivation of the author. Of course cold calling does or does not work — you want me to buy your program to get better at, or to go on without, cold calling.

Here are a few thoughts that are a bit more balanced (except the first link is to someone whose business is “Never Cold Call Again”):

Cold Calling: A Business Owner’s Perspective

Make a Cold Call that Works

And perhaps one of the best headings I’ve read: Being Good at B2B Cold Calling is Like Being a Functional Drunk

What are your thoughts? Do you use cold calling yourself, or your company/org use cold calling with a call center? Do you respond to cold calls?

“Great (people) are not born great, they grow great.” And they find great mentors, don’t they?


I realize that I have been absolutely blessed to have so many wonderful mentors in my professional life — various people who were slightly wiser and more experienced (and sometimes VERY much wiser and more experienced), not always older than me in years but certainly older than me in knowledge and skill. In every field I’ve worked — hospitality, academia, and non-profits — I was lucky to find great teachers in my friends, and great friends in my teachers. These relationships happened naturally. Effortlessly. Wondrously.

“Godfather. Will you look at my LinkedIn page for me?”

So it is interesting that I find myself in the fourth month of this new career journey and I am still relatively mentor-free. My boss is a wonderful teacher and I would never trade him for the world, but it seems I would have networked the heck out of this new field by now and found other additional great coaches. To actively and consciously seek out a new mentor or two … where do I even start?

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