Great Retirement Presents Under $50

A retirement gift is a great way to show appreciation to an employee or congratulate a friend! While you certainly should give a little gift to the soon-to-be retired guy or gal, you definitely don’t want to break the bank. Traditionally a company would offer their retiring employee a gold watch as a farewell gift, but those days are long gone. Nowadays, you can be really creative with the type of farewell gift you would like to offer the retiree.

Engraved Plaque or Frame
An engraved plaque or frame is a really wonderful way to show your appreciation to an employee or co-worker. A plaque has plenty of room for you to offer your thanks for a retiree’s service or a special message about retirement. For a great co-worker who is retiring, you might consider a nice engraved picture frame that has a picture of you and the co-worker at your favorite lunch spot or a group shot of your co-worker’s favorite office friends with a special or even humorous message about retirement.

Mini Gift Basket
If your retiree lives far away, but you would still like to get him or her something special for retirement, then consider a mini gift basket full of goodies. There are lots of themed gift baskets that can be ordered online and delivered right to your retiree’s home. A fun themed gift basket for a new retiree might be “breakfast in bed” because now he or she will be able to sleep in until whenever they want! And gift baskets don’t always have to filled with chocolate and cookies, there are even great healthy gift baskets for retirees who are watching what they eat. So it will be fun to find a great gift basket that matches your retiree’s personality and they will be thrilled to receive such a thoughtful gift.

Make Your Own Mini Gift Basket
If you can’t find a gift basket that would be perfect for your favorite retiree, then consider putting together your own! A coffee related gift basket can be full of new gourmet coffee flavored beans, a cool coffee mug, and maybe some candies. Or a fun beach themed gift basket can include a nice beach blanket, sunscreen, healthy snacks – all tucked into a new beach bag! Making your own gift basket can be cost effective and you might even get your friends and co-workers in on the deal to create a mega gift basket where each person contributes a little something for the retiree!

Personalized Hobby-related Goods
Retirement is all about fun! So if you know what drives your retiree to wake up in the morning, then consider getting a fun hobby-related retirement present. If your retiree loves to go fishing, then consider a nice fisherman’s hat with the retiree’s name embroidered on it. If your retiree loves to workout, then a new personalized gym bag would make a great gift. Finding a hobby related gift may be a little more difficult than finding a traditional retirement gift, but it will mean so much to the retiree that you went to the trouble to make their gift memorable.

The Invisible Close Sales Nugget – Three Secrets to Success When Presenting to Women

As I said in my greeting, I’ve been thinking about the experience of presenting to women. Although the techniques I teach do apply across the board, I’ve noticed some intriguing differences in how men and women respond during presentations.

Sometimes it’s a difference of degree. For example, you want to use stories in every presentation, regardless of the gender make-up of your audience. But if you’re talking to women, stories will get you an even greater result.

Here are three principles to put into practice when presenting to women that will make you (and your offer!) irresistible!

1. Show Your Panties (Okay…not literally!)
The first thing you do in your presentation is introduce yourself. Your behind-the-scenes intention is to quickly build credibility with your audience and create vulnerability, so that they know you have been where they are. I call that showing them your panties.

When you’re on stage, your audience sees you as an authority. You’re a role model. You inspire them. If you build on that, your credibility goes way up. Then you bring in vulnerability. You don’t diminish yourself in any way, but you humble yourself. You say, “Yes, I have accomplished all of that. But here I am. I’m just like you.”

Show how you’ve struggled and what you’ve overcome. You don’t need dramatic food stamps or homelessness stories. I haven’t experienced any of that, but I have plenty of stories of where I’ve tried, failed, and gotten up to try again. What you want is to show your underbelly, show that you are real and that you can relate to the women in your audience.

Vulnerability is a powerful tool that women, especially, respond to. Perhaps because it connects us heart-to-heart. And whether it’s inherent in our gender or created by the culture, women love to connect. So trust the women in your audience with your vulnerability and they will trust you.

2. A Story for Every Point
The story that reveals your vulnerability is only the first one that you tell. People perk up when someone starts to share a story. And later, when they think about the presentation, it’s the stories they remember.

Stories provide emotional impact; they connect us. And remember what I said about women, we love to connect. Stories are also great because they take you, the presenter, out of teaching mode and bring you into intimate contact with every woman who’s listening. Just think about how powerful that is!

3. The Magic of Ending Early
When you’re passionate about your subject and on a roll, it is so hard to stop talking. But when you’re presenting to women, stopping even two minutes early can pay off in a big way.

I’ve noticed that if an event is supposed to end at 9:00 pm, and you end at 9:02 pm, the women in your audience will be perched in their chairs with their purses collected, ready to dash out the door. But if you end at 8:58 pm, they are still relaxed and will stay and shop at your store. And sometimes they hang around up to 20 or 30 minutes, giving you the opportunity to make a sale you would have lost if you’d run late.

And finally, as a bonus, here are a few more tips, which are drawn from my dear friend Linda Hollander’s book, Bags to Riches: 7 Success Secrets for Women in Business. When selling to women, keep these in mind.

* You have to romance the sale. You can’t just go in for the close.
* Of course, treat them with respect. Women have not always been respected in business, so we have our radar out for this.
* Don’t provide information, provide solutions. Be in the solutions business. Most working women with families just don’t have a lot of time. Don’t pepper them with information they have to sort through, offer them something valuable that will empower them now in a practical way in their own working lives.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Be vulnerable, tell stories, end early, provide solutions. It is, really, once you commit to it. And if you do, you’ll watch your sales conversion rate with women rise sky high.

Three Hazards Presented by Other Runners in Races

Running in a race can be a lot of fun. Much of this fun comes from being surrounded by all the other racers. Some races even have tens of thousands of participants. So, unless you are an introvert (and some runners truly are), a race like this can be like fun to the tenth power.

But a race, especially a larger race, presents certain hazards. And some of those hazards come from your fellow runners. Consider the following hazards before your next race, so you that you may avoid more of them and get to enjoy the race instead of later regretting it.

Hazard: Stopping to tie a shoelace

This is a classic hazard that tends to happen toward the start of a race, when a runner’s first response is to take care of the loose shoelace instead of to consider where he or she is and that stopping in a crowd of runners could cause a lot of falls. It usually occurs with a new runner, but it can happen with a veteran runner, too.

Avoid this hazard by being very observant for the first mile of the race and by every so often listening for flopping laces and glancing at other racers’ shoes.

Hazard: Tossing a cup

This hazard most often occurs in the water-stop areas of races. A runner grabs a cup of water, pours some of it over his or her head or sips some of it, and then carelessly tosses the half-full cup to the ground, leaving you to possibly slip on it.

Avoid this hazard by running far around water stops where you need not get hydration and by watching other runners carefully when you join them to get your own cup.

Hazard: Spitting phlegm

This hazard is more psychological than physical. Running a race requires good breathing, so running will often quickly reveal to a runner that his or her airway is partially blocked. Getting spit upon by a runner who has just cleared a throat that has filled with phlegm likely will not affect you physically during the race, although you could eventually develop a cold from that spit, if it lands in the wrong place. But getting spit upon can ruin your attitude, if you let it, which can hurt your performance as well as your enjoyment of the race.

Avoid this hazard by listening for nose sniffles and throat clearing from fellow runners.