While doing one final mod on the puppet I received a rather painful burn from hot gluing some pieces together. This is not the first time this has happened and a few days ago I had another minor injury doing this build.
It took the top layer of skin right off and blistered the finger too. I made a tool to prevent this sort of thing from happening, however, I needed to get these pieces together quickly and thought, I’ll just give it a little push.
It doesn’t look like much, but it does make working on the computer difficult. You never realize how much that finger is used until it hurts to use it.
I hope I’ll be able to do my test video later today. I have a feeling that my blister is going to rub on the mouth mechanism. But I do have a plan – I think it will be fine if I tape it up.
I am posting this to remind myself the pain and effort that went into building my Scarecrow. I plan on offering my services to businesses for promotions. I will offer a lot of value in the way of promotion and community visibility, the question is, will anyone compensate me – $$$? Until I develop a following I plan on doing street performances.
My puppet is almost ready for its debut. Before the main character shows up on the blog I wanted to introduce one of the supporting cast. This is before I finished building her. She is now sporting a nice sparkly dress.
The main character was finished this morning, however there was an accident and he crashed into the ground. Fortunately only his new nose fell off along with an easily replaced part for the mouth mechanism.
I hope to do a video test before I leave for work.
Update – there was a little more damage than I thought, but I think I fixed it with some hot glue. I will check everything better when I get back from work.
Did a little video test – So far everything looks good. I need more time to do a double check on all the parts.
I am posting an update on my puppet project and wanted to let my friends know it is almost ready.
In this picture you can see the new nose on an experimental head. Also in the picture is one of the supporting cast. I hope to get the nose mounted to the face today and put a finishing touch on the mouth mechanism.
I still need an adult walker as a stage. I think I may also need help sewing my harness and a cape.
There are some future performances I am interested in doing that will require a longer screenplay/script as well.
If you see me on the street come up and say – Hi. I will be a little hard to miss. I plan to dress in black and you should notice the puppet as well. Stay tuned for the revealing of my new puppet’s identity. It’s coming very soon.
I have started using my new NewMediaMingle.com website for most of my business, video, entertainment, marketing, and media posts. I am redefining how I use my different websites. I plan to use AndrewLedford.com to post what I think are some of my most interesting social posts as well as more personal news. What I think are my most interesting posts are not always my most popular posts. My personal site will give me a place to highlight undervalued posts. I may also mention posts from some of my other sites as well.
Special project websites
This post could have gone on the NewMediaMingle.com but I thought it more appropriate here.
I will also start 1 maybe 2 new websites for my special puppet project. One site will be for the puppet performances and shows. The second possible site will incorporate the puppet but will primarily be a directory site to promote Long Beach Business, Tourism, and the Arts. I am waiting on a new website theme to start the second site.
On The Road With Andrew re-branded
I plan to re-brand or co-brand the On The Road With Andrew site. The new plan is to develop Our On The Road as the primary consumer media brand and eventually a food brand as well. I think it will be easier to retire or have partners if my name is not part of the main brand. I do plan on continuing to use On The Road With Andrew when I go back into production with that show. However, I may not have time to produce additional original content for the site.
Puppet Project News
Made the nose and a part for the body mount.
I am getting much closer to having my special puppet project in a functional state. The plan is to be producing a performance soon. I believe I will be doing test performances by the end of the month. I do have the January scrip done and partially memorized. I still need to work on the script for February. There is a February script concept but have not researched or written the script.
I think I have the puppet mouth working. Last week I spent a day making a new mouth mechanism and a modification to both the head mount and a mounting system for the body.
After creating the part for the body mount modification I decided that I am not going to use it to hold the puppet for performances. The body mount modification got re-appropriated to providing an important support element for the new mouth mechanism. But the new mouth design ended up not working the way I wanted. However, the new head mount made for the new mouth will improve the performance of the old mouth mechanism. Now the body mount is going to be used for the display stand used between performances. The part and its position has stayed the same but its purpose has evolved with the project.
The shorter item is the one I bought. It did not work at all, so I needed to make my own. With this project I have found that off the shelf products often don’t perform as expected. I buy a needed part only to have it not work. Then it’s time to make some modifications or make the part from scratch.
On Saturday night a few days before Google Plus made us all move to their new UI I worked on the nose.
I will need to make a few changes before I mount the nose because of mission creep. When I first started the project it had a much narrower purpose. It still may only be used for local performances, but I want to be ready to do a bit more with it.
I will need to see how it turns out. So far I am a little disappointed in how my new puppet looks.
The next step is to finish skinning the mouth. I have not yet made a final decision on the artistic design of this part. I think I may try a few different looks to see which I like the best. I am expecting to run into 2 or 3 technical problems with this part, but I think I have a few solutions as well.
The hat will also need to be finished. I believe modifying the hat will be fairly straightforward. However, it has some important design elements that make it more than a simple head covering. There could be one technical challenge with the hat that I think I have the answer to.
Along with the hat I plan on adding eyebrows before I do a very short test/teaser video to introduce everyone to something I have been working on longer that I had planned. This project will mingle some very old fashioned entertainment with new media in a grand experiment of promotion and human behavior.
The eyes that I introduce the project with on Google Plus will need to wait until I have a little experience using the current design.
There have been quite a few developments since I last posted. I still write and post online a whole lot, but most of it is on my social media accounts or my new websites that are targeted to specific audiences.
I am still actively working on the life narrative video, book, and website project for a client. This project is about the old testament and how nature and the Mideast cultures have shaped the world.
I have also recently started a new website and blog at NewMediaMingle.com. I plan on posting quite a few of the events I attend on that site. Especially media events and/or events that are in support of narratives and stories.
We are also planning on rebranding the On The Road With Andrew site, making it more inclusive for future growth.
If you see me at an event come up and say hi. I am always open to networking and meeting new people.
I was visiting MADNESS Autoworks the other day and saw this sleek little Ariel Atom car. It looks like it can really sail around the turns with the greatest of ease. While it’s not a real camping car or one that you could fit a whole lot of video gear into, it does look like it could be a lot of fun.
Enjoy the photos
Part One of the Positive Reinforcement Sales Series
I plan on the Positive Reinforcement Sales articles being a series. However, if I get a job that pays $100,000 I will probably stop the series and focus on the new job. I need to mention that I got the idea to write this after an interview for a job that was advertised as one that paid $100,000. Anyone who reads this blog probably knows that I have been training dogs most of my life, therefore I will often use dog training and animal behavior as examples of what I am talking about. It so happens that in the job interview I was asked about the relationship between knowledge gained from dog training and how it applies to business and selling. A wide range of both human emotions and behaviors can be seen in the human/dog experience. Recently I have also been doing lead generation for a home improvement company and have had the chance to get to know and see other home improvement lead generators operate. While some people may not think of lead generation as sales, it is part of the sales process. We also need to close, although not as aggressively as what I imagine would be required in a sale. I have found this job quite interesting. I do plan on talking about my experiences doing lead generation as well as what I have observed in others.
Why people don’t like salesmen
When we make a sale we can force our will onto people or push them into a sale, we can also trick them into buying, both of these tactics are aversive to the target/buyer. Selling through aggressive verbal attacks and trickery indicates that the salesperson considers the customer as the enemy who needs to be defeated through deception.
When you use aversive tricks to make a sale you are in an arms race with customers. As your customers catch on to your tricks you will constantly need to come up with new maneuvers, traps, and deceptions to overcome their counter measures.
Some people may say using positive reinforcement will leave too much money on the table. It may be true that you are not bleeding your customers dry, but you will also have a loyal customer base that you can help for many years to come. It is the difference between harvesting all the buffalo on the plains or harvesting enough to make a profit but leaving enough breeding stock to ensure many harvests to come.
If you would like to know what people think of salesmen all you need to do is type Salesmen are into a Google search. The results I got doing this are salesmen are liars salesmen are annoying salesmen are scum
It looks like salespeople do not have a very good reputation.
Sales can be a respectable profession if it is done in an ethical manner that truly helps customers.
I am not saying that one should avoid using aggression in any form, but the aggressive engagement must be done in a way that builds a bond. To use aggression for building trust (acceptance) and a bond (incentive) with your customers requires a give and take, a vacillation between approach and avoidance. This is a classic pattern for courting behavior. It is also an often seen behavior pattern for an outsider gaining acceptance into a group. Even if we do not see the approach avoidance response, it is often there, hiding under other behaviors.
Learning how to use aggression to influence trust is more an art than a science, although there is science behind the art.
A good example of using aggression to build trust is shaking hands. Shaking hands is a form of ritualized aggression that has been repurposed into a greeting ritual. I have found that a greeting is also helpful for qualifying whether someone is a potential customer. From my experience there does need to be some external stimulus that helps the customer self qualify if the greeting is to be effective. For people this is usually visual, for dogs it could be either visual or olfactory.
Much like people, dogs also have greeting rituals that help build trust and lower the threat level. Even an extremely confident, and what has traditionally been called a dominant dog, cannot enter a new pack without some trepidation. These new pack leaders need to develop some level of acceptance by maintaining a safe distance while continuing to challenge those boundaries. This was most clearly demonstrated by the dog in the picture.
I used to spend a month every year observing and studying the feral and wild dogs in Taiwan. This experience gave me new insight into dog behavior. The dog pictured was quite a pushy dog and had been chased out of the home range by the pack he would later lead. For a day he hovered on the edge of the area where this pack lived. He would move closer and get chased away, but he kept at it. The next day when I came back, to my surprise, I noticed he was the new king. As I remember this occurred over several days from the time he first showed up. At first he stayed a good distance from this pack, but it was only 2 or 3 days until he was leading the family group who controlled the second best den site in the area. Before he could lead the group, he needed to build some level of acceptance and trust within the pack structure.
I personally know the two top lead generator for Solar City in Southern California. One of them has a very similar tactic as the dog I just mentioned. He approaches his target, greets and then qualifies (the challenge), if he is not chased away he attaches himself to the group or individual, once this happens even if the people don’t like him they seldom chase him off. Then he tries to overwhelm them with reasons to buy. Some reasons are educational, some are his enthusiasm, and some of what he does is overcoming objections. Personally I don’t think I would respond well to his attaching style. Once he moved into my personal space I think I would be inclined to chase him away. But he does do it in a friendly way and I do enjoy watching him work.
The greeting ritual may to some extent be duplicated online by greeting a person on a website through chat. But I would use it differently than what I often experience. First I would try not to interrupt their website experience. It may be least intrusive to let the website visitor initiate the chat. Another option that is less effective and less personable is the one way communication of a greeting video. The video lets visitors see who you are and get a feel for your business in a safe and nonthreatening low level engagement.
While getting to know your customers on your website would be ideal, it’s usually more practical to start the conversation on social media. It would be great if there was a way to know which of your social followers came from your website. That way you can engage with them in a friendly and helpful way. I seldom try to sell. Instead I help people make decisions that are best for them. Fortunately I represent a very high quality brand, so if people are considering what we offer, I want them to get it from us, and specifically through me. I really think we have one of the best solutions available.
You need to realize that sometimes the most expensive or best quality is not the best solution for a person’s needs. Once while camping and exploring in the mountains of Taiwan I lent my girlfriend a fairly expensive folding knife for cutting up, chopping, and dicing breakfast, when I got it back the very tip was broken and the blade was chipped. While she knew how to care for an expensive knife her friends did not. What happened is she lent it to one of her friends who used it for a whole lot of thing that I would never do. They were very minor dings but it was enough that I notices. The point being that in this scenario a quality knife that cost a lot less would have been a much better choice.
Is your company culture focused on making sales, creating innovative products, or helping customers?
When doing Business to Business sales I try my best to help clients and customers make money with the product or service I provide. Looking for a job, business partner, or sponsor is similar to a B2B sale, I am trying to help those who I work with make money. Although there may be a longer period of time between action and return on investment when working as an employee, business partner, or with a sponsor. As my friend Jack ReVelle says “we all have a customer” We need to give that customer what they need or the system we’re working with will break. The system may be future sales for the sales person or the ability of someone else to do their job in a business setting. This is an idea that’s common in companies that value quality and build systems to support continuous quality improvement. Jack is a statistician and is an expert on Total Quality Management. He was even lucky enough to meet Edward Deming. Jack is also the author of many books about manufacturing and Total Quality Management. You may hear more about both Jack ReVelle who I personally know and Edward Deming who I only know through his writing. They have both been very influential in my life. I briefly alluded to Jack in the very first blog post on this site.
The Sales Process
Individual sales people are not the only reason sales are so often done in an adversarial manner. The sale is a process that is part of a larger system. If the system advocates or insists on processes that encourage adversarial relationships with others, then that will become part of the company culture. We can often see the deceptive adversarial model used with the sales people by their managers. When I see that there is a sales quota that needs to be met the first thing I want to know is how did the company get that number? Did they analyze the sales process and come up with a sustainable number that is statistically valid? I want to know are variations within statistical control? Or does the company set unrealistically high sales goals so they can browbeat and belittle the majority of their sales force? I want to know if sale quotas are used as tools for continues improvement and personal growth of the sales force or are they tools of deceptions to gain adversarial control over salespeople.
Three Points For Positive Reinforcement Sales.
I am starting the series with three areas that relate to positive reinforcement sales. I will explore each one in future articles.
This is a simplified model that I think is useful when helping people within and outside of our companies and businesses. I also have a more elaborate 7 Track Program that I hope to elaborate on in future posts.
There are three areas we need to keep in mind when helping people make decisions about our products and services .
Who are your customers? How these reference points are used will be determined by who your customers are and what processes are used to serve them.
Stay tuned for more information about how the human/dog experience can show us a better way to sell.
For help with community outreach, Positive Reinforcement Sales, social media, video channel management, and video production you can reach me at Andrew Ledford 562-423-1691