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Networking for Sales Effectiveness

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One of my pet peeves is when someone sends me a LinkedIn message that could clearly apply to almost anyone, they've attempted to make it personal by, let's say, inserting my company name, but then they get the rest of it wrong. It doesn't really resonate with me.

It's not at all about me in selling personalization matters a lot. And when it comes to networking, whether it's through LinkedIn or at a same space convention, I hope we're going to have some of those again someday. Those conferences, no matter what the scenario is when you're meeting people for the first time. You shouldn't treat them like they're generic plug and play people who you're just looking to get something from. Relationships don't look like that. Networking doesn't work like that.

You have to be interested more than you try to be interesting. And remember, people don't care what you know unless they know that you care. 

So you've got to give a little extra love. You've got to take a little extra time to see what it is that will be appealing and interesting and important to that individual that you're talking to. And if you don't know, ask, it's much better to ask the question that will engage the other person than it is to have some pretense that causes you to lose your credibility and it will erode your brand if it looks like you're just spamming people in person on LinkedIn, via email, on the phone, it doesn't matter where it's all spam.

If it's about you and it's irrelevant to the other person, take the time to give a little extra love and you'll get a big return for your efforts.

In my garden. I consider fertilizing to be a way I can give a little extra love to each one of my plants, just like I did with each one of my three kids. I wanted to give something extra, something special, something meaningful and valuable to each one of them. And it wasn't the same for any of the three kids. They all had very different interests, very different needs.

When I fertilize in my garden, I do use compost for almost all the plants. I do use a general conditioning at the beginning so that the straw bales become a good medium for growing. And then I do the little extras. For the potatoes, whether it's the ones I'm growing in bags this year or the ones I'm growing again in straw bales this year, I give them a little potash at different times. I give them a little bit of potash right when they are first emerging again, right before they're about to flower and they'll get another dose or two as the season goes on.

It's not the same for any other plant. Only potatoes seem to favor that particular nutrient. Other plants like, oh, the broccoli and the cauliflower, they like to have nutrients that are well rounded. So I give them compost and then I put a little bit of topsoil on top of that so that their compost won't wash away. I want that to stay right there for them until they can absorb all the goodness out of the compost.

It's different yet for all of the pumpkins and the gourds and the squashes and the melons and cantaloupes that we grow. You see, they like a well rounded compost also, but they are really hungry, greedy plants. So whereas the broccoli and cauliflower might only get one dose of compost at the beginning of the season, these guys are getting compost almost every single week. They just get everything they can out of it. And I think it's why my output is so prolific.

I mentioned melons, but there is one exception and it's important that I know about these exceptions. I don't want to treat everyone the same when I'm fertilizing. So the watermelons, they get a special treatment. When they're flowering, and again, when the melon is about half the size, a third to half the size of where it needs to be, they get a spray of borax right on their leaves. That's boron. And I dilute that, I give it to them in their leaves. It's the only plant I have in my garden that needs that. But wow, does it make a difference? Every time I spray it - I can't do it too often, but when I do, I can see tremendous growth within a day or two. I had so many watermelons last year, I couldn't give them all away. I ended up making watermelon rind candy and canning watermelon jelly as well.

There are some plants that don't want to be fertilized in the same way that every other plant is. Mustard I found, doesn't really seem to respond well to any type of fertilizer. Most herbs like a fish emulsion or a kelp, but the mustard didn't seem to like that. So this year and last, I didn't give it anything at all and it did just fine. You see the mustard plant there on the right hand side, lots of flowers, which turned into lots of seed pods, and then all those teeny tiny seeds that had to be taken out of the pods little by little. So I got way more than I expected, which was fine.

I was able to use the mustard seeds when I made pickles. And then throughout the year I dried them and had them to use in all sorts of recipes. But you can't make assumptions when it comes time to to fertilize in the garden or when it comes time to engage the people that you're working with, when it comes time to give them what they need so that they can flourish and give back to you. You have to understand those individual needs.

It's really important to give that extra little bit of love on top of everything else, but hopefully you're already doing.

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