Screenshot of Brownie Points from the App Store

Screenshot of Brownie Points from the App Store

As much as I love my local coffee shops, it’s beyond me to ever remember to bring my loyalty cards along. Or if I do, either myself or the cashier forgets to ask to get it punched or stamped.

Today, I popped into Caffe Rosso on 11th in Calgary to find a new screen sitting in front of the register. It said “Brownie Points” at the top. Turns out they’ve just launched their Brownie Points program today. You can either grab a card or download the app. Either gives you your own QR code (finally a useful use of QR codes!). You scan the QR code through the little camera on the screen, it brings up your account and records your purchase.

Easy peazy!

And… I was their first Brownie Points customer :). That should earn me some extra brownie points!

The app is free to download and available in the app store. Currently, it looks like it’s only available for iPhone and iPad. Good thing you can still grab a card with your own QR code if you’re not an Apple user!

As of today, Caffe Rosso is the only Calgary business using the app.

Brownie Points is a Canadian company located out of St John’s, NL. Check them out at getbrowniepoints.com.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Brownie Points other than having just downloaded the app and used it in my favourite coffee shop. I also have no affiliation with my favourite coffee shop other than the fact that I love their coffee (and breakfast sandwiches and gigantic chocolate oatmeal cookies) and can often be seen in the window typing away at my laptop.

This came from surratech.com

This came from surratech.com

If you aren’t familiar with Dr Frasier Crane, his infamous line is, “I’m listening.”

I haven’t been doing enough of this lately. Have you?

English: Water drop. Español: Gota de agua.

English: Water drop. Español: Gota de agua. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a 100 day experiment. My last one was pre-Yelp, where I went 100 days without using an exclamation point.

This time around, I’m tired of going without something. So, I’m adding something in instead!

Like many, I don’t drink enough water in a day. I do, however, consume plenty of other fluids. Namely, coffee, beer and cocktails (and I wonder why my pants aren’t fitting all that well!). While I could do a challenge where I’m cutting one or all of those out completely, the easier route I think would be to drink MORE.

More? Yes! It’s the solution to everything! For real, I think it just might be. At the end of 100 days I’ll let you know what I’ve found!

Here’s what I’m challenging myself with:

For 100 days, I will drink an equal quantity of water to my desired other beverage of choice. The glass of water must be consumed before consuming the other beverage. It must be done on a 1:1 ratio of water to other liquids. The ratio may be larger than 1:1 of water to other liquids, but may never exceed 1:1 for other liquids to water. There is no water substitute. So, drinking tea still counts as an “other” liquid. My inventive brain wants to say that gin and tonic or a vodka soda is another workaround. But no! Those also count as “other” beverages and require a glass of water prior to enjoying. Gatorade? Still an “other” drink. You get the picture!

Wish me luck! I start now, though August 14th will officially be day 1!

Last month I passed the 4,000 follower mark. Today, I was asked how I did it.

“It’s simple,” I replied. “I’m just me.”

There was never a point to my @Wendy account. It’s my personal account. I remember @mello76 asking me once what I was trying to accomplish with it. There were tweets about social media, random thoughts in my head, photos – really anything I found interesting.

“Nothing,” I replied. “It’s just me.”

People are often surprised to find that the Wendy they meet in person is the one they’ve gotten to know online. Apparently, that’s not all that common. This baffles me, because it’s the easiest possible way to get through life. There’s no need to keep track of much if you’re just being you.

Five years later, people are surprised when I tell them my personal account has more of a following than the @yelpcalgary account that I manage.

Are you really that surprised?

Sure, one account’s got a couple of years on the other… but still…

Successful social media is about being as much of yourself as you can be. Because you’re interesting and real. All by yourself.

Don’t believe me? I triple dog dare you to come up with 100 reasons you’re incredibly boring.

Ready? Go.

Listen to an audio recording of this blog post here:

IMG_3604 1

Oh what a view!

A couple of weeks ago, I was staying in this ridiculous mansion out at Sylvan Lake. No, it wasn’t mine (someday!). I had been invited out for the weekend by a friend to enjoy some time off lakeside. As is my custom, I found myself in a debate with one of the other house guests. The topic? Relationship selling.

See, the conversation began around clubs, networks and the likes and your reasons for joining them. Are you in a networking club just so you can “sell”  your goods or services? Are you there to meet friends and like-minded people? Her point, relationship selling doesn’t work. My point, the only way human beings function is through relationships, so of course relationship selling works. It’s all “relative” anyway. To which she responded, “So, everyone is in a relationship with somebody or to something… that advice doesn’t help anyone.”

She’s right of course, that piece of information isn’t something immediately actionable by anybody. But for me, it IS the key to understanding the intricacies of relationship and just how subtle successful relationship selling is. (Tip: social media/relationship selling… same deal). It’s the most important point to understand. My goal was not to provide the magic formula for relationship selling, it was to communicate that everything we perceive about our world is only done in relation to something else. So in that sense, we are in a constant and evolving relationship to one another.

I used to cringe when the word “sales” came up in a conversation. To me, it meant trying to convince the person in front of me to purchase my goods or services in this moment. It was my job to onboard you. If I couldn’t close in the short-term, I had failed. You can imagine the inner turmoil when I thought of bringing that style of selling into my relationships. It’s very easy for friends to start looking like walking dollar signs. It’s why network marketing often has a bad rep.

I run into a myriad of people who still hold that perception of sales. Get rid of it. It won’t help you today, tomorrow or the day after that.

Relationship selling is simple, it’s just not easy and it takes time. It requires a consistency to your approach and doesn’t stop when you leave the office. It consists of building a genuine rapport with the person you’re speaking with, caring enough about them to establish whether your goods or service will be helpful and being confident enough to accept their answer of yay or nay without making it about you. Oh, and we can’t forget timing. But that’s not always something we can predict.

The other side to this is that your relationships follow you everywhere. Relationship selling doesn’t stay at the office. It’s how you approach your clients, your friends, your family, your networking groups, your online interactions – everything. It’s knowing that you can never predict when a business relationship will collide with you at a personal event. Or when your friend refers you to a client. Or that guy you’re working in the kitchen with up in the oilfields ends up as the business partner you didn’t even know you were looking for.

See, relationship selling is all about the impression you leave with people. It starts the moment you converse. It also requires being clear and upfront about your intentions. Successful relationship selling leaves room for either party to say yes or no and to have their decision respected. And it’s an approach that works with friends, family, coworkers, current and potential clients and any other person you come into contact with. Just rinse and repeat with every relationship and you’re golden.

How do I know? It’s how I’ve learned to operate sustainably. And it’s working.

That’s it. So, if you aren’t haven’t much success with relationship selling, consider:

  1. Re-evaluating your sense of what it means to “sell”. It may not work in terms of relationships.
  2. Do a self-audit on the relationships in your life. Are they supporting you? Or are they hindering you? Oh, and sometimes relationship selling is about ending the relationships (or at least changing their terms) when they aren’t serving you or the other party.

Takeaway: Be genuine. Be transparent. Be helpful where you can be. And always look for the opportunity that is mutually beneficial. Added emphasis on mutually.