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90 GOING VISUAL
Community of Interest
Sally Carrocino's Community of Interest
Personal Business Lifestyle Choice
Sally Carrocino also had an important personal business lifestyle issue that many sales reps can surely relate to. She was tired of lugging a vanful of product samples from customer to customer. By making images an integral part of her personal sales technique, she hoped to communicate the value of her products without having to physically present them to each client. She describes her thoughts at that time: “I started my business with silk flowers, and I had tons and tons of samples and had to drive a van to hold them all. I decided to change my business and sell more lines that I could show in a book of pictures so I did not have to carry a bunch of samples. That’s one of the biggest advantages of the digital camera for me, that I can take all of these pictures and not have people say, ‘Well, can I see it? I’ll wait and see it at a show.’ I wanted to do something
where they wouldn’t be able to say that anymore.” Going Visual has freed Sally from the van forever.
STEP 2. IMPLEMENT
Equip the appropriate senders and recipients of communications who are Going Visual with the necessary imaging technology, and train them to use it effectively.
Although Carrocino is not at all a technology person, it turns out that in her field she is an early adopter, a trailblazer, in using digital photography. She recalls: “I bought my computer because I knew what I was going to be able to do with it and the digital camera. When I got it home, I didn’t know how to turn it on—I was afraid to turn it on! I got the computer on the first of March, and I got the digital camera on the first of August. I wanted to wait a little bit to get comfortable on the computer, so I planned a little bit of a learning progression instead of having to take on everything all at once. I also bought a scanner and a printer. Now I make hundreds of prints a month. I have created these books, of about 200 pages each, which hold a combination of my pictures and the manufacturers’ catalog pages.”
Carrocino's books of photos
A typical page in her book
92 GOING VISUAL
Carrocino is the typical nontechie consumer, overwhelmed by the seemingly endless choices of digital cameras in the marketplace. “I was going to a big show in New York,” she said, “and the weekend before, I went out and looked at cameras. I didn’t know what to buy. I even called a radio computer talk show and told him what I did, that I was a rep and I wanted a camera to take these kinds of pictures, and they gave me a lot of information, but it didn’t really narrow it down for me. That Monday, a good friend of mine called and told me that he had heard the program and recognized my voice, and he said, ‘Sally, come over and I’ll show you what camera to buy.’ He showed me his camera’s features, which matched my needs, so on his recommendation, I went out and bought it. I hate to read instructions, but on the airplane, flying to New York, I read through them and set the different ‘things’ to what I thought they should be, and that was it! I got off the plane, went to the show and started to shoot. The settings worked so well I’m still using them. Downloading the pictures was very easy— just one cord from the camera to the computer and push the button.”
Return on Investment
Carrocino wasted no time putting her pictures to work. “When I got back from the show, I downloaded and printed the pictures. The following day I had appointments and was able to start selling the new products right away. Just out of curiosity, I kept a running total of the sales that I made directly due to my own pictures. Within four days the commission from those items had paid for my camera. And those are things that I wouldn’t have been able to sell for a minimum of six to eight weeks without my pictures.”
In my business, you're trying to get through all these
different barriers with people. They can think of a lot of
reasons not to buy something. That's why I got my camera—to not give them those excuses.
Carrocino also found that once her clients were aware that she could communicate directly with them through images, they tapped that power to increase the scope of their orders. By taking control of the visual information she was creating, she found herself making important decisions about how best to present her products. Instead of communicating generic, prepackaged information, an image-active person can customize any presentation to speak directly to the targeted clients. Carrocino: “My clients were so excited when I came back from the show and was able to show them new product immediately. Another advantage of the pictures I take is that a couple of the lines do really fabulous display work with the product, and I capture a lot of that in my pictures. So besides just showing the client the new product, I’m showing them great ways to use it. I either e-mail the pictures to them, or, because a lot of my customers aren’t computer-savvy yet—they’re a little bit slow getting started—I make prints and send them. That has been a huge help in building long-lasting relationships, because now they are really depending on me for a lot of different things.”