Category Archives: networkwing

I DARE YOU!

This month I want to dare you to push yourself to be a unique gardener.  What do I mean by this?  I want each of you to make the most of your garden.  It could be adding a new vegetable that you haven’t grown before or adding a tree to your yard that you’ve always admired into your own yard!  Maybe it’s a new ground cover where you’ve always put mulch.  It’s up to you!

We all have an area in the yard, no matter the size where we could add a garden area to enjoy.  Butterflies, hummingbirds, songbirds can all be attracted to your private spaces with just a simple addition of a few flowering perennials or shrubs.  Maybe you want to mow a little less grass and add some more square feet to an existing bed!  The possibilities are endless!

I could list all the plants that I love in the garden but what makes your garden yours is YOUR plant selections and combinations!  There are endless possibilities out there for you to choose from!  You can narrow down your selections by researching them online, you could join a garden club, you could read a gardening book or magazine but my favorite way to pick out the plants that go in my garden are at the garden center!  I like to see for myself what a plant is going to look like!

You are lucky to live in an area that has many garden centers!  Of course you have Gilson Gardens but there is also, Martin’s Nursery, Springlake Nursery, Havel’s, Bluestone, Middle Ridge Gardens, Secor Nursery, Sabo’s Woodside Nursery, Wyatt’s Nursery, Petitti, Gales Garden Center, Woodworth’s and many more!  Look them up and patronize them!  Spend an afternoon and hit several!  Although Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Lowe’s all offer gardening supplies and plants, I highly recommend that you shop your local small business for all your plant needs!  Keep our county alive by shopping where the experts are!  Your local garden centers are employed by some of the most knowledgeable people there are!

Share your love of plants with people that know how to help you!  They will help you find that perfect addition to your garden!  You may find a new passion for plants that you didn’t know you had!  Plants at your local garden centers are most likely grown right here in Lake County!  Can it get any better than that?  You’ll find the right plant for the right place from the best place in America….Lake County Ohio!

Let me know what you are shopping for!  Which spot are you going to add something new?  What color bloom are you looking for?  Go ahead!  Share!

I’m Sorry, Did you say Something?

I attended a presentation last night that a gentleman named Marvin Montgomery gave to our local association. It really made me think about the way I react to people sometimes.

Now my job is to sell, that’s what I do. I sell plants. I am the sales manager. BUT after listening to Marvin….my thinking has been altered a bit. (or a lot!) He says people don’t like to call themselves “salesmen” and I agree. (actually I never had thought about it like that before)  We all know how we cringe inside when we pick up the phone and it’s someone somewhere trying to sell us something and most of us hate it!

“People buy from people they like and trust.” Boy is that ever true! Building relationships….how many times have we heard that when we’re dealing with social media…after all…that’s what we’re all doing out here…we’re building relationships!

LISTEN….one of his biggest suggestions to us was to listen to our customers, listen to our family, listen to our friends…..SHUT UP AND LISTEN!  Think about how many times people are talking to us and we don’t really hear what they say.  You are nodding and portraying all the body language that you’re engaged but are you?  I know I could do a much better job at this!  He said that most of us are just waiting for our turn to talk when were in a conversation with someone instead of really hearing what is being said to us. We’re busy getting ready for “our turn”…very good point! Personally this will be something I really try to improve on, especially with my family and my friends! I think it’s going to take a lot of practice!

Anyways…I just wanted to share what I learned last night and if you ever get a chance to listen to Marvin Montgomery I think you’ll be impressed!  He was just written up in the Cleveland Smart Business magazine (February 2011) and has spoken for the Ohio Landscape Association, Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio assoc. and many many others!

     Overall, I guess Marvin’s advice is something we’ve heard before but did we really listen and do something about it?  It never hurts to hear how to be a better person, salesmen, friend, spouse, etc. again!

Oh to Twitter or not to Twitter, what is a girl to do?

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 So here I am, day two into our industry’s biggest trade show and I sit here at the end of the day, with the State of the Union going on the TV and finding myself perplexed again. Here is my dilemma….

I have attended three classes and seminars on the social medias out there. After the first two, I was happy to jump into Facebook and try my hand at blogging. (although there never seems to be enough time!) and was glad to know that Twittering isn’t something necessary for someone in wholesale…..well…then I attend a class yesterday and guess what???  NOT!

I was informed, that absolutely, I should be twittering or tweeting or whatever! I really asked the moderator if she was sure! I told her that I didn’t feel that there was anyone out there that could possibly be interested in whatever I had to tweet and what exactly was I supposed to tweet about?

The moderator was very patient with me and said that if I shared, people would follow and that people following would eventually lead to new relationships being built and that from these new relationships, would come new leads and sales some day.

 So…what did I do? I came back to the hotel room and set up a twitter account! Now…my issue, is what to twitter about! I would definately say, that more seminars will be in my future and I ask for your help!

As a sales manager of a wholesale nursery in Perry, Ohio, what do you want to hear from me?  What’s new? What trends are out there? How do I plant a rain garden? Can you picture me scratching my head cause that’s what I’m doing! I so want to be the “someone” you turn to for information that you’re interested in and yes, I want to build relationships with anyone interested in gardening, birds, landscaping, perennials….but I don’t want to be that person that just rambles to ramble so give me your ideas! Bring em on!

   I love plants, I love people and the people that love me….they say I know my stuff and that I really love to share ideas so please…join me!

Face to Face isnt’ Dead!

In the nursery industry, January kicks off the trade show season. MANTS is just ending, Mid Am is next and CENTS is at the end of the month. Those are the big three that start the year.

  Although booth space is not inexpensive and the time it takes for travel,  set-up, man, and take-down the booth is great….the time you get with your customers face-to-face….is priceless!

  Back when I first starting attending the trade shows, the floors were a buzz with people taking orders, and deals being made. At night it was all about who could stay out the latest and how many clients you could entertain.

With the times, things have changed. Companies send less representatives, the customers being wined and dined are in smaller groups, many of us are older and out not nearly as late as we used to be. Money is tight and budgets are tighter, salespeople are traveling together.  We’re all being smarter about where our money goes but with that being said….

We are all still there. Year in and year out the nurseries are setting up, putting their best foot forward, forcing plants to be green and blooming in the dead of winter to show our plants to garden centers and landscapers who will be looking for what we sell in the spring. Our key people (many times the owners themselves!) are in their booths, shaking hands, talking about the industry, commiserating over the economy and sharing ideas to get to the other side! This industry shares like I’ve never seen elsewhere. The nurseries come together…we refer customers to each other, we ship together, we share solutions to problems, we even advertise together when possible. (I am so proud to be a part of an industry that works together like a giant team!) 

But the true spirit of the nursery is the customer….for without the customer….well…you know what would happen. Customers become important to you. You work with them each year, selling them what they need and learning who they are and about their families and what’s important to them. You make these “friends” and you miss them during the winter when the phones are quiet! That’s what the trade shows are all about! Bringing people together, to TALK to each other without email or cell phones…just an honest to God conversation! There is no better way to connect with your customers on a cold winter day! Personally, I can’t wait to get this next spring season underway! Hope to see you at the trade shows!