Photos: San Francisco

Seagull at Sunset, San Francisco Bay

Seagull at Sunset, San Francisco Bay

I suspect I could spend a lifetime in San Francisco and never exhaust the photographic possibilities. A million photographers couldn’t. It’s no wonder it’s a city that inspires so much art. Here are a collection of photos from my two photo-making sessions during my visit to the Golden City.

Balconies of the Hyatt Regency

Balconies of the Hyatt Regency

Ferry Building Clock Tower

Ferry Building Clock Tower

Fire truck and trolly stop, Embarcadero

Fire truck and trolly stop, Embarcadero

Sunflowers

Sunflowers (I’ve never seen this species of sunflower before).

Embarcadero Drummer

Embarcadero Drummer

Standing on the Pier, San Francisco Bay

Standing on the dock of the bay.

Alcatraz at Sunset

Alcatraz at Sunset

Moon over San Fransisco

Moon over San Fransisco

Seagull

Seagull

Coit Tower

Coit Tower

Fisherman's Wharf, Lobster

Fisherman’s Wharf, Lobster

On Saturday, Ed Summerfield gave me a bit of a tour of San Francisco, including lunch in the Haight and a walk through the district. I first met Ed in 1977 when he was in a band called Adjust-A-Boy. He was the coolest guy me and my friends knew. He became my guitar teacher and a friend. I hadn’t seen Ed in more than 25 years before Saturday. I’m ever so grateful that he took time on a Saturday to hang out with me for a few hours. It was a very groovy day.

The Murphy Windmill, built in 1905 and recently restored by the city. Saturday was the first day the windmill was allowed to spin.  Eventually, it will start pumping water again.

The Murphy Windmill, built in 1905 and recently restored by the city. Saturday was the first day the windmill was allowed to spin. Eventually, it will start pumping water again.

Murphy Windmill

Ed snaps a picture of the Murphy Windmill. Ed, a talented and avid photographer, has made the transition from SLR to iPhone.

Ben and the Windmill

Ben and the Windmill. Ben’s truck is in the middle of a transformation from red, white and blue to the colors of Brazil. Ben’s plan is to take a year off work and drive to Rio for the World Cup. Ben is from Holland originally. He said his truck has been painted and repainted many times.

Trees over the Pacific

Trees over the Pacific

The Streets of San Francisco

The Streets of San Francisco

Looking down Haight

Looking down Haight

Haight

Haight

Haight

Haight

Off Haight

Off Haight

Ashbury

Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Flowers on Haight

Roasted Chicken on Haight

Photo of Guitars

Ed taking pictures of, of course, guitars, and guitars we both covet.


Monster on Haight

Monster on Haight


Tile Wall

Tile Wall

A collection of YouTube sales training videos for aspiring local online news publishers

Some time ago I thought it would be interesting to see if I could put together a sales training course for beginners, thinking primarily of journalists, using just YouTube videos.  I’m posting what I’ve come up with so far to supplement my presentation today at ONA in San Francisco.

Here are the sales training videos:

The number one rule of sales is be sold yourself. If you don’t believe in what you’re offering is what your customers need, you will find it difficult to close the sale.

If you’re a local publisher, this part should be easy for you.  If you don’t believe that your publication is what your community needs, should have and wants, and that it’s the right place for local businesses to connect to local consumers, then you shouldn’t even be publishing.

We’ll talk about sales techniques, but related to a belief in your product, is the need for passion about what you’re selling.

If you’re a local publisher, you need to be passionate about your business.  If you have passion, sales will be much easier. Passion will also help you stay in business when you feel like quitting. After the Harvey Cohen video below is a video with Steve Jobs. The Jobs video isn’t about sales, but it emphasizes why passion is so important for the entrepreneur.

To help demystify the key aspects of selling, the video below (featuring Tom Hopkins, one of the biggest names in sales training) lays out seven fundamentals of selling.  If you can grasp that sales is a process and not some magical charm that only a select few possess, you will do much better in sales. The fundamentals are prospecting, original contact, qualifying, presentation, handling objections, closing and then getting referrals.

One of the key tools for sales is the telephone.  I’m a big believer that when you’re launching your site, actually walking right into a small business and introducing yourself to the owner, but since the key to all sales is numbers (the more people you contact, the more you will sell), the phone speeds up the process of getting appointments with people you can actually sell.  If you make a sale, get an appointment and have a product you believe in, you will almost certainly make the sale. (Below, pay especial attention to Brian Tracy’s instruction on the fact you’re making a sale to get an appointment, not selling your product).

One thing that worked really well for me when meeting with small business owners was to tell them a story. I told them the story of me and my wife and why we were doing The Batavian, which helped communicate that we were fellow small business owners, committed to the community and had a vision for promoting local business.  The three videos below are about sales and storytelling. Every journalist knows how to tell stories, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeicK19Nreg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHz0z1vqPWw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzV-CWkJAYs

I said before there is no magic in sales. Further, the skills in sales are not terribly hard to learn, but I suspect many journalists believe the techniques of sales are opaque and hard to grasp. Beyond belief and passion, some basic fundamentals and being able to tell a story, it’s important to understand the words you use have impact (journalists get that, right?).  Perhaps the hardest thing about sales is developing the habits of good word choice.  I’m not necessarily good at it, but good enough.  The more you practice and master word choice skills in sales, the better you do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfbH3r-A7mw

In sales, you’re going to hear no a lot, or people will hesitate making a decision.  You and I both know that what your selling is something your customer really needs and really needs to buy, so learning how to turn doubts into yes is a key sales skill.  Like good word choice, this is a skill that takes some practice to develop.

Here’s Harvey Cohen, a master of negotiating, on dealing with objections.

Once you’ve realized you have a great product to sell, you’ve found potential customers, you’ve made the appointment, pitched the product, over come objections, it’s time to close.  Of course, as they say in sales, ABC (always be closing) — at any point in the sales process you should recognize a chance to close and take it.  Here is a video (there isn’t much on YouTube on this topic, unfortunately) on closing.  One of the keys to closing, especially from an ABC standpoint, is to recognize “buy” questions.  For example, if a small business owner asked you, “can you link to my web site?” It’s time to start closing.

Finally, great sales people are passionate, but they’re also persistent.  To be successful in sales, as in business, you can’t give up in the face of difficulties.