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Once again I was denied first place in the Rib Cook Off.  I took second.  I hate to say it was fixed but it was fixed.  My ribs were spectacular.  The were cooked perfectly with a sweet smokey flavor upon first bite.  They finished with just a hint of Jamaican spiced heat.  How on Gods green earth could Arthur Bryant himself compete with that.  Birds from hundreds of miles away flew in looking for scraps. Porky Pig himself would have eaten these ribs and asked for more.  He would have donated his own ribs so he could have more.  Next year will be played under protest.


LinkedIn Tip #4, Connection Quota

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and I have fallen behind.

LinkedIn in and of itself is not a tool for closing sales but it is a tool that enables us to make connections and share information.  Cold calling simply does not work as well as it once did. People have changed they way they prefer to get information. Technology has put more demands on our time and created an expectation of immediacy.  Who really has time to take a cold call anymore.  I call it needle in a haystack selling.  If you are cold calling, at least use a persons LinkedIn profile to educate yourself before you call on them.  Choose whether you want to use the anonymous mode or not.

As sales representatives, we are accustomed to quota’s and MBO’s.  Put this mentality to use for you with LinkedIn.  Set a quota each week for the number of valuable connections you can make.  Make sure you write each person a note and thank them once they accept.  When they accept, make sure you Tag each person for future use.

Start building a network and sharing information that’s valuable to the network. You should strive to been seen as an expert in their eyes.  It is a process and will not happen overnight.  Stay diligent, hit your contact quota each week and in time you will see results.

LinkedIn Tip #3


Once again, here is my dog Coach.  To help Coach get found if he were to get lost we have him wear TAGS, oddly not visible here.  What does my dog, a dog who once tried to eat an entire slab of raw bacon in one gulp, have to do with a LinkedIn tip.  Today I will discuss Tags.

Once you have identified a connection and connected with them and you view the profile you will see the relationship tab.  Click on the relationship tab and you will see some options one of which is Tag.  Click on Tag and you will see a drop down list of categories.  At the bottom you will see that you can add categories, which you will need to do to be industry specific.  Click on each category Tag that this person falls into.

This is a fantastic way to organize your connections, but where will you use it. You can use this for sorting your contacts and communicate with them.  Click on Connections, and you will see “Filter by All Contacts“.  Click on the down arrow just to the right and you will see a drop down list of ways you can filter.  One filter is Tag.  When you click on Tag the categories will appear and you can choose one (so far I have only been able to figure out how to select one tag at a time). You then can select members from the group of contacts that appear or Select All.  Next you can Tag them again with a new tag or send a message.  This is an easy way to send information to a group with common interest as a message and not as a post.

This is a much better way to message a group than by trying to remember individuals yourself to send a group message or send one message at a time.  It is also a quick way to narrow down a group and then search in that group.  Like Coach, contacts are less likely to get lost.  I hope this helps.

Labor Day Ribs and NCAA

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 4.45.59 PMThis weekend is the weekend that NCAA football starts AND I once again attempt to win our neighborhood Rib Contest.  Although I have never won, clearly I am being cheated, I think this is the year.  I am going Memphis this year.  Dry rub baby.  So bring all your ringers all your cousins, aunts, and uncles.  Let them vote, the vote will betray you.  I will win, yes yes, I will win

LinkedIn Tip #2

Last week I wrote about using introductions for greater success of making a meaningful connection.  This week is all about how you find more valuable connections.

LinkedIn is all about making connections.  First you identify them, then you get introduced.

LinkedIn has a powerful search engine if you know how to use it.  Otherwise, you are only seeing a tiny fraction of the qualified people you are looking for.  So, how do you expand and also be more specific in your searches.  Understanding how to conduct a boolean search is critical to getting the most out of LinkedIn.  You also need to understand that just like with math there is an order of operations, Quotes “”, Parentheses (), NOT, AND, OR.

It would take me many pages to teach boolean searches so here are a couple of links from LinkedIn and LinkedIn professionals.



This one is very in depth and intended for recruiting, but you can learn a lot.

Give it a try to get the most out of LinkedIn

LinkedIn Tip #1

One of the most if not the most underutilized tools on LinkedIn is actually one of the most obvious tools.  “Get Introduced” is what LinkedIn is all about but it is not used nearly enough.

Think of it as getting a recommendation before you start the sales process.  Are you more likely to read an e-mail from a person whom you have been introduced to, or a cold e-mail that you probably think is spam.  You are not unique, others act the same way.

If you really want to connect.  Get an introduction, but first make sure the person who you want to make an introduction actually knows the person and it is not just an casual link.

To use “Get Introduced” hold your curser over the down arrow next to the “Send Inmail”  button.  The drop down list will appear.  Click on “Get Introduced” then click on the down arrow by “choose a shared connection”.  Pick a person, and write them a note stating why you want to be introduced.  You can actually write out what you want them to say to save them time.  Then click “ask for an introduction” and you are done.

Use this tool and you will make many more valuable and productive links.