So, You’re in Sales? Episode 10 – Bill Petrie

PromoCorner President Bill Petrie and I cover:
– being prolific with content requires methods to manage the process
– content as the lead prospecting tool in a social selling model
– mechanics required to execute on the strategy
– the importance of communication standards in a geographically dispersed Company
– establishing a culture unwilling to accept mediocrity and the re-democratization of Company improvement
-why Bobby Lehew hates e-mail


So, You’re In Sales? Happy Thanksgiving 2017 – Charley Johnson

Enjoying turkey is enhanced when coupled with a heaping helping of Mindfulness. Listen in as Charley and I examine ways to grow to 5000 participants in the journey toward higher consciousness and a story about inspiration and motivation underlying a lifetime-defining physical challenge.

The Power of Inspiration – Andy’s Journey


When I first met JR (pictured above) & Taylor at Force Fitness, it was a typical encounter between a professional trainer and a potential client. His question to me was the same any person in his position would ask. My answer served as the kickoff for what proved to be a unique relationship.

My youngest son Ryan, at 20 years old is on a journey, (a quest?), to become a Division 1 College Hockey player. To do so, he has delayed the beginning of his college education and enters his 3rd season of amateur hockey. This year finds him in Shreveport, LA, playing for the MudBugs of the North American Hockey League.

Amateur hockey is supported in small communities all over the South, and the fans of those teams are involved in ways above and beyond fans of professional NHL franchises, in that volunteers from the community sign up to have these 16 – 20 year old young men live in their homes. Sure, there’s a stipend for doing so, but I can assure you as the parent of a boy who polishes off an entire quart of strawberries nightly, it’s not about the money.

Our 1st two seasons as Wichita Falls Wildcats saw Ryan in the good hands of Mary, Darrell, and Andy Albertson. The Albertsons are among some of the finest people in the world and our families will forever remain entwined, in ways more than this story might reveal.

Our first visit with the Albertsons to move Ryan in revealed a paradox. Andy, only a couple years older than Ryan, was fit(ish), friendly if somewhat shy and mostly kept to himself. The paradox was the Andy we’d met was but a fraction of the size of the Andy in the photo’s around the house. Being polite, my questions stayed swallowed but my head was swimming thinking of the potential reasons why Andy may have been so, well, large.

Here’s why:

It was remarkable to watch, but the story only starts here.

We stood in the stands of a cold suburban Minnesota hockey rink, cheering our team toward a bid at their League Championship. Andy was delaying surgery to attend; a surgery that would remove the evidence of his dramatic weight loss and give him the chance to live life without the shackle extra skin can be for a fit 20-something. In that moment, he admitted that the forced idle time his 2-month recovery would require was intimidating to him, as he now equated idleness with being overweight.

I made a casual suggestion that Andy find a way to keep his brain busy while his body was idle, and nudged him in the direction of finding a way to tell his story. The topic came up a number of times over the weekend, but I had no idea he’d take the suggestion and turn it into that video.

A number of months passed, and as my wife and I sat at breakfast with Mary, she showed us the as-yet-unveiled but now-finished video. As we wiped the tears from our eyes at its’ conclusion, Mary, wiping away tears of her own told me that it was a result of my suggestion that Andy had chosen to tell his story.

“It’s because of you Andy had the courage to do this”

As I stood in the gym with JR, his question was simple.

“What’s your goal?”

Instead of throwing out a target weight, a specific BMI or any of the ordinary answers he might hear in reply, I simply said:

“I’ve already achieved my goal”

His furrowed eyebrows told the story, but in the weeks afterward, during our 3 hours per we spent together, I shared with him Andy’s story, my role in it, and how his courage had fueled me to improve my overall health. I wasn’t there to lose weight – mine was a life changed, and time in the gym was but one result of that change.

It was in our next visit to see Ryan and the Albertson family that I surprised Andy with 22 fewer pounds. The time was mine to make Andy understand how his courage had inspired me. It’s gratifying to get 300,000 views of your video (I know because he told me so), but it’s something completely different to know you’ve changed another person’s life.

We’re all on a journey of some sort. Be it to play college hockey, overcome the fear of sharing your story, or to live a healthy life, every journey benefits from inspiration. Don’t be afraid to seek inspiration, be even less afraid to provide it, and never ignore it when presented to you.

P.S. – JR & Taylor at Force Fitness in Winston Salem, NC could not have been better. Their knowledge and talent in challenging me came at the perfect time, and I am forever grateful for their role in helping me make the change I articulated to them during my first visit. While distance keeps us apart, as Taylor has been known to say “Friends who lift together, stay together!”


PK Podcast 102 – The Super Podcast!

What great fun. We don’t often find ourselves together to have the kind of broad form discussion this forum allowed, so it was a fitting way to honor our 100th Episode – by coming together and sharing our collective thoughts on the ride so far.

We recently recorded episode 100, and to honor this we wanted to get as many chefs on a podcast as possible. On today’s podcast – PromoKitchen Podcast #102 – we welcome PromoKitchen chefs Charity Gibson, Aubrey Collins, Danny Rosin, Kirby Hasseman, Marshall Atkinson, Robert Fiveash, Larry Cohen, Patrick Black, Tee Hamilton, Bill Petrie, Dale Denham, Jess Hutwelker, Nate Bailey and Roger Burnett.

We wanted to hear from them about what they’ve learned from the podcast, what’s surprised them and even what’s irked them. We’re already thinking about the next 100 episodes and in order to move forward, it’s worthwhile to look back.

PK Podcast 82 – Marshall Atkinson

Mark Graham, co-founder of commonsku and chef Roger Burnett, Director of Sales at Legacy Global Sports speak with Marshall Atkinson of Atkinson Shirt.
Within the promotional products industry, contract screen printers and embroiderers drive a large amount of volume, yet many of them lack the visibility enjoyed by more prominent promotional suppliers. There is no doubt about it, contract decorators play a key role in the promotional ecosystem.Within this segment of the industry, one shining star is our guest today, Marshall Atkinson.At the time of recording, Marshall was the Chief Operating Officer of Visual Impressions Inc., and Ink to the People in Milwaukee, WI.
A frequent article & information contributor to several industry publications, Marshall lectures on sustainability at ISS trade shows, industry manufacturing groups, and has participated in numerous webinar panel discussions. He is on the Board of Directors for the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), and serves on the SGIA Garment, Membership & Sustainability Committees.
Marshall is an active blogger at His articles challenge and inspire readers to be better at their craft.
Marshall also recently joined PromoKitchen as a chef in 2015.

PK Podcast 62 – An Interview with Mark Schaefer

I joined Mark Graham in this Episode to interview Mark W. Schaefer. Mark’s had an illustrious career in Marketing and was promoting his book Social Media Explained and his blog.

Topics Covered include:

  • Influence Marketing using free Publishing tools explosive growth at the expense of traditional advertising as it gets tuned out
  • Content Shock Blog Post and the corresponding effect of a crowded social media marketplace
  • The importance of audience and difficulties in achieving reach
  • Our time in The 3rd Digital Age (2007 – ?)
  • Finding unclaimed niches to exploit social reach possibilities in helping those markets
  • Brand Journalism and Rich Content v. Noise

PK Podcast 19 Distributor DNA – Roger Burnett & WorkflowOne

Mark Graham, Bobby Lehew and I expand a new thread within the Podcast, whereby Mark & Bobby profile people at businesses of varying sizes in the Industry. My profile reflects my stint as National Director of Promotional Marketing for WorkflowOne, at that time the #13 Distributor in the Promotional Marketing Industry with $91MM in Promotional Marketing Sales.

  • Introduction of fellow PromoKitchen co-founder Jonathan Irvin to WorkflowOne
  • Developing salespeople v. developing sales
    • The Learning’s In the Doing – Reproducing wins, losing quickly, failing forward
  • The value of strong industry-specific sales knowledge when on-boarding a new win
  • Managing client relationships
  • Transactional v. Program Business – what order is correct to pursue when seeking new wins
  • Knowing When to Say No


PK Podcast 11 – Sales & the Hybrid Sales Rep

I’m the guest this time. Listen in as Bobby Lehew, Mark Graham and I discuss the emerging role of salespeople with the integration of social selling, marketing and developing a brand in the marketplace and the role of relationship in selling today.

  • Why Content is the new cold call.
  • Capturing mindshare in a complex sales organization.
  • How sales organizations adopt new communication tools.
    • Using Social Media to advance personal branding
  • Inefficiencies in selling
  • Salespeople migrating to a “reporter” role & knowledge resource

So, You’re in Sales? Episode 8 – Matt Lamb

Matt was on fire in this episode, throwing out hard statistics to lend credibility to his opinions, and he drops a couple really great lines for us to remember as we’re working with our sales team members each business day – are you committing “Sales Malpractice”?