Archive for December, 2010

A Lesson In Maturity & Gratitude!

December 31st, 2010

As many of you know, yesterday was a challenging day for my family and I.

Somewhere beneath the worry, the trip to Sloan Kettering and quite a few prayers, it was also my daughter’s birthday.

Oh great, Castain’s New Year’s Rah Rah is about Cancer and Birthdays?

Read on!

In spite of having both her parents absent for a few hours, she demonstrated the maturity to understand that sometimes it isn’t all about us. Something many of us adults need to grasp from time to time.

I’ve also decided that I want to come back as her in my next life. This newly anointed 13 year old had more Facebook Birthday wall posts than Ashton Kutcher has Twitter followers. Which brings us to something else . . .

She responded to each and every one of them and expressed gratitude.

So yesterday the teacher became the student and I had a wonderful opportunity to observe maturity and gratitude and more importantly . . .

Invite them along for the ride as I prepare for the a new year and a fresh opportunity to put that ding in the universe.

Oh, and perhaps next year I’ll have the maturity to finally let go of the 7 year old version of Daddy’s little girl!

Wishing you a new year that is nothing short of amazing!


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).

Holiday Hours for New Year’s Weekend

December 30th, 2010
New Years Hours

We will be closed on New Years Eve.

inConcert Web Solutions will be closed beginning on New Year’s Eve Day through the weekend. Our office will reopen on Monday, January 3. All website maintenance requests and website changes that are requested within this time period will be completed upon our reopening in the order that they were received.

Have a fun, safe holiday weekend and Happy New Year!

I Hope This Saves Someone’s Life!

December 29th, 2010

I’ve been struggling with something rather difficult lately.

Although, I am a bit of an open book on my blog, there are still areas of my life that I wish to keep guarded.

After some serious soul searching, I decided that you need to know something that I hope wakes you up and drives you to action.

Earlier this month, after a series of tests, someone very close to me was diagnosed with breast cancer.
For those of you who have been through things like this, you understand when I tell you that things become surreal and you experience quite the roller coaster of emotions.

But the news isn’t all bad, it seems that because this person went for regular mammograms, she caught a break and caught it early.

We have options and were told there is a 99% survival rate.

This brings me to a critical message and a favor.

My message is simple . . .

Slow the hell down and make sure you are getting to the Doctor, getting your checkups and taking care of things when you are supposed to.

Not just the ladies . . . all of us!

And now for the favor . . .

I truly believe that when you go into battle, you bring it all, you bring it fast and you never show up expecting a skirmish.

On Thursday, we meet with a surgeon at Sloan Kettering and could sure use a few prayers and positive thoughts.
And please forgive me if I have crossed a line in asking you for that but . . .

If I can cold call a business

Get up and speak in front of 1,000 sales jedis

And ask prospects for their business . . .

Perhaps I can lose my ego long enough to admit to you that I can use all the help I can get for this one!

I expect positive things to happen on Thursday and even more to come from raising your awareness today.

Take care of yourself . . . its the only “You” you’ll get.

Peace!


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).

Think Before You Post

December 29th, 2010

I’m seeing more and more people do things that make me wonder if they are taking a moment to think before they create.

Case(s) in point, I’ve watched videos of people trying to create a professional brand and yet they are doing the video in their sweats. Now granted, they were dressy sweats, but it still, screams of “I have given up and can’t be bothered” to paraphrase my friend Jerry Seinfeld.

I watched another video of some people riding to an appointment and it (unintentionally) resembled the road trip scene in Animal House.

So I want you to know that its perfectly OK to be yourself, just make sure its your best self.

Make sure everything you do, passes the 6 Judgments

1)    How you look

2)    How you act

3)    What you say

4)    How you say it

5)    Where you say it

6)    With whom you say it

Oh, and its perfectly cool to slow down and think before you post.

Your brand is depending on it my friend!


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).

{Engagement} Mallory and James on the Upper East Side

December 28th, 2010

Many of you may know Mallory Murphy. She has been helping me blog over the last four months. Look out for her wedding photos coming in March 2011.

Mallory and James used to live on the UES. They spent a lot of time together around their neighborhood and really felt like it reflected them as a couple. So we decided to photos around their old haunts. Starting with the stoop of their old apt. building. The weirdest coincidence in the world is that it is also MY apt. building. I moved their this Sept. without knowing that it was Mallory’s previous home. Very funny!

We took photos in front of diners and restaurants they frequented and incorporated their hobbies and pets! I love their unique concept shoot! I also loved going out to dinner with them at Quattro Gatti and being able to walk home :)!

MJENG1

MJENG2

MJENG3

MJENG6

MJENG8

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MJENG10

MJENG11

MJENG12

MJENG14

MJENG15

MJENG17

MJENG19

MJENG22

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MJENG29

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MJENG35

A New Year With The “Old” You!

December 28th, 2010

Did you ever have something that you so totally loved to do, but for whatever reason you ditched it and then spent the bulk of your life wanting to get back to it?

For me, it was taking guitar lessons from someone who made a huge impact on my playing. In August, I found my old teacher and got back to learning after a 21 year break.

But taking guitar lessons has nothing to do with sales rock stardom nor does it help me with the business of putting this ding in the universe . . . or does it?

Doing something for “YOU, especially when it represents unfinished business can put a little extra pep in your step. That energy is actually quite transferable to the other “legit” things on your list.

So somewhere between that goal of dropping the pounds, kicking a bad habit, getting closer to your faith or simply kicking more ass this year . . .

How about a reunion with something that brought you joy?

Life is way too short for embracing an eternal state of “someday”!

Related Post: How My Death Taught Me To Live


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).

Free Goal Setting Workshop Tomorrow – 12/29

December 28th, 2010

Last chance to sign up!  Seating is limited.  Free lunch included.    Networking.

Surgance is hosting a free seminar to help you achieve your goals in 2011.  Peter Brock, a former New England Patriot and GROWTHco consultant, will motivate you to attack your goals in 2011 with complete commitment.  Jim Desrosiers will lead you through interactive exercises in goal identification, goal setting, and time management.

This process has been used in over 100 companies totaling 1500+ high-level executives.  Are you still increasing sales, revenue, and profits…even in this economy?  Do you want more results at work and at home with less struggle?  Jim and Pete’s clients are experiencing more success in all areas of life.  Let them show you how.  Plus, the same process is being used in schools and nonprofit organizations through Surgance’s YES (Youth Empowerment Services) and we invite you to help us teach kids how to succeed at school…at home…and in life.   This is a no-fluff, action oriented, results based, transformational program for those who are ready to realize their ultimate potential.

Wednesday, Dec 29th at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, 138 St. James Avenue in Boston from 11:30am to 2pm.  RSVP by contacting Jim here.

Let us help you make 2011 the best year so far…for you, your business, your family, and our community’s kids.

The Importance of Directory Building

December 28th, 2010
Directory Building

The Reliable Linking Network is a network of directories that can help boost your inbound links.

One of the major factors in ranking high on Google is inbound links.  Inbound Linking strategies are development in many different ways, however one of the most common ways is to submit your company information, including your link, to business directories on the internet.  Most business directories offer the ability to have a link point to your website, and once registered by Google, this will then be listed as an inbound link to your site.

Here are a few questions I get often about link building:

  • How many links do I need?
  • Where can I find directories to add my link to?
  • Does the link text matter?
  • How often should I submit my link?

These are all great questions!  Most SEO Experts will have an opinion on this, and I have mine.  We likely won’t all agree on everything SEO, however we will most likely agree on the fact that you need to have the links.  The more links you have pointing to your site, with the right text, the better you will rank.  Yahoo and Bing seem to give more weight to inbound links than Google, however everyone wants to rank on Google.  Focusing some SEO efforts on link building should result in higher rankings on all the major search engines.

To begin building links, simply search on Google for Business Directories, or Free Business Directories.  One additional way I would recommend to search is within your industry, for example, Web Design Business Directories.  If you make widgets, then search for Widget Business Directories.  After you get the list of directories, begin visiting them and adding your site with your link.  The text of the link does matter, and if you are given the option, you should use the key term or phrase that you want to show up for as the link text.   Most sites won’t offer this option and either use the word website as the link or they will use your company name.   I don’t recommend modifying your company name to be the key phrase because the admin for that site, who will review the listing, may not approve it for that reason.  You now are aware how to submit the links…but be sure to do this often, as much as weekly if you can, and at least once per month.  Adding links to your site is crucial to ensure that you will have good success on the search engine.  Using the Directory method is also a very important way to ensure you are getting good links.  Links to your site will appear in many other places, but typically not in directories unless you are submitting them there.

The Fine Art Of Inclusion

December 28th, 2010

Many years ago, when I (as Billy Joel once said) wore a younger man’s clothes, I would visit my client “Lucille”. “Lucille” was the Purchasing agent at a small company located just a few minutes away from my office.

And speaking of office, Lucille’s office was rather small and she shared it with a woman we shall call “Linda”.

Now whenever I came to visit “Lucille”, I would make sure I would somehow include “Linda”.  It might be as simple as a “hello” or “goodbye”. Perhaps it was as bold as a “How are you Linda?” and then caring enough to listen to the answer. Sometimes it was including her in a joke or a story.

One day I get a call from “Linda” informing me that “Lucille” had left the company and that I was speaking to  the new Purchasing Agent.

We met up later that day discuss needs and capabilities. She told me, that she was always impressed by the way I genuinely cared and had even heard nice things from the receptionist about Paul Castain.

Over the next few months the amount of printing they bought from me increased dramatically and “Linda” even did something rather cool for me after I became a Dad for the first time.

She asked me to drop by her office and handed me an envelope with a rather large check which brought them up to date with their balance.

The funny thing is, they always paid their bills on time and this was payment on invoices I had only sent out the week before!

She told me that it was her way of thanking me for always caring about them.

So here’s the point of this rather simple tale . . .

Don’t ever focus all your attention, your interest and Jedi like rapport building skills on the bearer of the PO.

Influencers and future leaders are everywhere and methinks they are watching you my friend!


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).

4 tips to determine how much mortgage you can afford

December 27th, 2010

Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: March 11, 2010

By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that home ownership will fit in your budget.

Homeownership should make you feel safe and secure, and that includes financially. Be sure you can afford your home by calculating how much of a mortgage you can safely fit into your budget.

Instead of just taking out the biggest mortgage a lender qualifies you » Read more: 4 tips to determine how much mortgage you can afford

Should You Move or Remodel?

December 27th, 2010

By: Dona DeZube

Published: August 24, 2010

When your house no longer suits you, you can move or remodel. Find out which big change is the right investment of your housing dollars.

Just about everything else—remodeling costs, the hassle of living in a construction zone, or the ability to live happily without one more bathroom–is a personal preference. After all, your home isn’t just your largest investment; it’s also the place where your family lives.

1. Will remodeling make your home better than everyone else’s? » Read more: Should You Move or Remodel?

10 Reasons to Buy a Home

December 27th, 2010
  • ROI
  • SEPTEMBER 16, 2010, 4:33 P.M. ET
  • 10 Reasons To Buy a Home

    Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership. Brett Arends explains why owning a home is a good thing.

    • By BRETT ARENDS

    Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership. » Read more: 10 Reasons to Buy a Home

    What are buyers waiting for??

    December 27th, 2010

    I have been working with several buyers that are continuing to search for the perfect property! They are just not motivated to buy and are thinking the prices will continue to come down and they can wait. What I am finding is that buyers that are ready willing and able to buy are getting great » Read more: What are buyers waiting for??

    First Time Buyer Excitement

    December 27th, 2010

    I closed this morning on a multi unit property with 3 units with a first time buyer. I met this buyer through my local Chamber of Commerce networking group in 2007. At that time he was 1 year out of college and had a dream of buying an investment property with a unit he could move into. » Read more: First Time Buyer Excitement

    Appraisals

    December 27th, 2010

    Appraisals in my market have been a little tricky lately. It is important for sellers to understand that although we are agreeing to a price negotiated at the offer stage, the big issue may come from the appraisal. Recently I had 2 properties, 1 condo and 1 multi unit have to re-negotiate the otp price to meet the appraisal. If a seller asks “should I get an appraisal” I tell them “I would”!!