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Selling to Newcomers
By Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D

Q. "I sell [fill in: kitchen containers, cosmetics, insurance, professional services] and of course I like to let newcomers know I'm here in their community. How soon is too soon?

A. Newcomers welcome visitors but they run from a sales pitch. "Everyone's had a hand in my wallet!" is the most frequent complaint of the newly-moved.

Start with, "Welcome to the community! I'm here first as a friend. Here's a small gift to help you get settled. I've been living here awhile and I'm a homeowner too, so do you have questions I can answer as a neighbor, not as a sales rep?"

After all, you hire people to mow your lawn, fix your faucets and clean your gutters. You have a vet for your cat and a mechanic for your car. Recommend your favorites -- and those your friends rave about, too.

Best gifts: Coupons from local merchants. Ten percent off a restaurant meal or a free workout at a local gym. Samples of your own products and services. A sheet of local-living tips. I would be eternally grateful for a lawn service that shared advice on growing a garden in the high desert, where I live now.

I must admit I'm biased. I often wonder why people bring flowers (which are not good for the cats anyway) when they can offer something useful, like a gift certificate to a hardware store or pizza delivery service.

Home-cooked goodies are always appreciated, especially by non-cooks like me, but these days many folks are on special diets. Questions like, "Does it have nuts?" somehow distract from the generosity of the gesture.

Moving creates stress -- and you don't want to add stress by showing up with an order pad. Instead, focus on easing transitions by showing up as a friend.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an Author, Speaker and Career Consultant, specializing in midlife, midcareer professionals and business owners who want to get on the fast track to career freedom.
Ease relocation stress with her book Making the Big Move.
Phone: 505-534-4294 Email:




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