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About a year ago, I read a blog post from a “consultant” where he complained about the lousy elevator speeches he observed in a training session that day.
It was all done in a somewhat professional manner as a means of educating his readers but . . .
While he didn’t name the company, I couldn’t help […]


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


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Here's a photo I took of myself with a time-lapse photo of a sparkler.In today’s highly digitized world, photography has become more of a mainstream hobby. You don’t need fancy expensive equipment to get started. In fact, nearly everyone carries a camera of some kind around with them today due to the popularity of smartphones. Even older phones that don’t quite qualify as “smart” (it’s okay, flip phone, I still love you better than all the other phones, don’t listen to them) still typically come equipped with a camera at bare minimum. Yet there is a certain “je-ne-sais-quoi” element of beauty that is captured in some images, while others are sadly just a bunch of pixels that just happened to get lumped together in the same file.

I originally became interested in taking my own photos while I was a student in college. I had a basic point-and-shoot camera that I bought for myself, and I went to my friends’ rugby matches and took pictures for them. As the season passed and I found myself attending more and more games, I realized that my sense of timing was improving as I learned more about the game. If I knew what to expect on the field, I would have a better chance of snapping the shot at the right time. I never took any photography courses and instead just focused on teaching myself the skill set I wanted to have.

Two of these guys don't have their feet on the ground.

After a couple years, I upgraded to a digital SLR (a Canon Rebel XSi for anyone who is interested) and was seriously intimidated by its vast array of settings. However, these machines come with an automatic setting for a reason. Don’t be afraid to use the automatic settings just because you think it means you’re not a “real” photographer. Real photographers have to learn sometime too!

My favorite approach to teaching myself is totally hands-on. If there’s a shot I want to perfect, I’ll use the automatic settings for my first shot, then look at the photo on the camera screen. Not only does my camera tell me all the settings used for the shutter speed, the ISO setting and the F-stop, but there is a lot of other information to take advantage of. Then I’ll adjust one of the settings and take another version of the same shot. This is a great way to show yourself visually what each different function does.

Triumphant graduate brandishes her newly acquired diploma just after the ceremony.

If you’re interested in improving your photography skills, my advice is to get a camera of some kind (nearly any kind will do) and start by taking photos of something you love. Your affection and expertise of your subject will shine through your photos even without the top quality camera or perfect composition. The internet has plenty of tutorials and explanations so you can educate yourself. After all, photography is a creative art and creativity comes from within!

Today, I rarely go anywhere without my camera. I bring it with me to work in case anything exciting happens during the day. Sometimes while driving, I’ll see a scene so pretty I just have to stop and snap a shot of it. My favorite thing about photography is that you never know when you are going to get your best shots. I also provide photography services for my friends and family in times when they can’t get behind the camera themselves – weddings, band performances, skateboards in the skate park, and more. It’s more than a hobby for me, it’s a lifestyle! If you’d like to see more of my photography work, just check out my Facebook page!


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One of the biggest questions I’m asked on a weekly basis is “Paul, how can I bring in more business?”
The unfortunate thing is that many people are of the mindset that you simply make more calls when the bigger issue might be that they need a better overall game plan consisting of . . .
Where […]


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


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Like so many of the posts I write here  . . . this one is really personal to me!
For the longest time I was absolutely miserable!
On the outside I appeared happy and content but on the inside I had what I called “an urgency”. In other words, a feeling that I was supposed to be […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


© Paul Castain for Reliable Linking, 2012. |
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I’ve seen it way too many times when I’ve been brought in to help sales teams.
I’ve been asked how to handle it from distraught sales professionals and I even had someone mention it on a discussion in our Sales Playbook book group on Linkedin.
I’m talking about the Sales Manager who wants to ride along with […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


© Paul Castain for Reliable Linking, 2012. |
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Too many times we allow meetings, tasks, etc to make our calendar.
Why?
Because they’re  important and we need to make sure that we get to them.
Today, I decided to make sure that I respect the other important . . . things that are important not to my business or my clients, things that are important to […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


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There was a time when I wanted to punch Tony Robbins right in his face . . . how’s that for an opener?
I decided not to because I couldn’t afford the 7 foot ladder I would need to do so and also remembered there are laws against that sort of thing but that’s not the […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


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After 18 years of coaching people of all ages, I have learned that most know what they want (do I dare call these goals?) and even have a pretty good idea on what they need to do to achieve them.  The majority of my clients tell me it’s discipline and accountability they need.  So here are some quick thoughts about discipline:

Self-discipline isn’t part of natural DNA.  It is a trained skill.  Read that again.  Therefore, if you aren’t currently, then you must train yourself to be.  One problem associated with lack of self-discipline is the amount of power that short-term pleasure has over long-term consequences.  Let me explain.  When I go out to eat, I immediately smell the food and see the bad stuff on the menu.  I can buy a room full of furniture and not make any payments for a year.  I could choose to smoke cigars by focusing only on the relaxing benefit I will enjoy immediately.  These short-term pleasures will always have more power than their long-term consequences.  What we need is a process to give equal power to the long-term consequences of our actions.  Before choosing, ask yourself:  ”If I eat bad food, will that bring me towards or away from future goals?”  ”If I smoke, I will die.”  ”If I cheat, I will lose my family.”  ”If I don’t make cold calls today at work, I won’t reach my financial goals or be able to pay my mortgage.”  Fear is a motivation.  Also, reverse it.  Ask yourself what long-term consequence you will ENJOY…WHEN you choose the right behavior.  ”My cold calling will create more clients and by achieving my sales goal I will enjoy…”

Make it routine:

Proactively schedule specific times in your calendar to do those high priority behaviors that will make your short and long-term goals and potential a reality.

Rewards Come AFTER:

Get the most important things done first everyday.  And if you meet or surpass a daily goal, reward yourself with something over the top!  When I hit my revenue goal for the month, then I schedule my massage.  I will only go to the driving range after I make 90 minutes of prospecting calls.

Set Goals:

Your goals should always be SMART:

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Realistic
T- Time specific

Don’t allow yourself to set goals using the words “better”, “more”, “less”, etc.  Be specific and quantify the goal and behaviors associated with them.

Accountability:

Find someone…a co-worker, a colleague, a family member, a friend, a coach…someone to hold you accountable.  Put yourself out there and make your goal public.

I hope this helped.  Please contact me if you’re interested not only in self-discipline, but also if you’d like to learn how to make a habit of the critical success tools and skills to realize the ultimate you.


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There’s lots of talk lately about a projected reduction in sales professionals over the next decade.
The thought (or one of them anyway) is that the online experience will render many sales positions obsolete.
Here’s one silly reason why I think smart companies are crying bullsh*t on that one.
Sales People have a vested interest in the sale […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


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My oldest son goes to MMA training 3 times per week but has been really busy the last week . . . so he didn’t go.
I was talking with him before when he excuses himself to take a call on his cell.
It’s the MMA place calling to tell him . . .
“We haven’t seen you […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).


© Paul Castain for Reliable Linking, 2012. |
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