Sunday, December 12, 2010

Creative Mom Toys

I am quite the advocate of energy-efficient lighting.  The technological advances of LED lighting in the last 2-4 years has drastically improved in the sign industry.  The amount of brightness and energy-efficiency from LED lights is astonishing.  And they have improved, to where some brands can warranty them for 50,000 hours (about 5 years).

However, for some applications, there is NOTHING so beautiful as an open-faced neon sign.  The sign below which we just installed last week is a perfect example of such.

"TOYS" is 4 different color custom-formed neon tubing in painted open-faced channel letters.  The upper lettering of the sign is actually lit by white LED lighting housed in a cabinet behind the background.  The "CREATIVE" letters are 1/2" thick clear acrylic with purple vinyl on the first surface of the letters. "MOM" is white vinyl on an opaque green background on a raised 1/2" acrylic rectangle.

A great sign for a great place - - check it out at the Landing in Renton (off SR900)  - Cheri has made a very fun place to shop for both kids and moms, with neat toys galore, an entire playhouse inside, and a fun, exciting place to hang out.

I wish her the best of success with her first brick-and-mortar location!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why signage? Make Black Friday Green!

So, why have a sign???  I am finding that not only do I have to educate people on why they should get a sign from me, I have to educate them on why they need a sign at all.  The biggest assumption I find is that signage is for identification and wayfinding.  As soon as you say marketing, business owners think radio, web, tv, banners, mail-outs, promotional items, van graphics, even hiring sign-holders on the corner.

However, the #1 most effective advertising and marketing tool -according to the Small Business administration - is your exterior sign.  So, all the travelers at 4am on Black Friday will be driving along, and where will they go?  Over 25% of them - according to a study by San Diego State University - will impulsively stop somewhere based on the sign.  And if it is illuminated that percentage jumps up 10%.  Where else can you get quality local advertising with those kind of results???

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Like Money???

This is a blog about my learning experiences, no?

I recently started a discussion in the Linked:Seattle group about money.  Being a father of three small children, and spending time away from my family at a networking event 1 1/2 hours away was a bit of a strain one particular night.  After hearing people talk about how great networking and meeting people was, I was bit concerned that people didn't understand why we I was there.

I wasn't there for a social meet-up, I was there for money! I was hoping people would help me with sales - either directly or indirectly.

Well, maybe that was the problem.  What is the golden rule?  Do unto others as you would have them do to you!  Who wants someone around at a meet-up who is only concerned about how we can help them?  I sure don't!

Do I still want money?  Yes.  Maybe, I am (re-)learning what that means again and again.  Here is a great quote:
You can get everything you want in life, as long as you help everyone around you get what they want!

I encourage you to take a look at some of the comments in the discussion I started.  I really don't think the post was worthy of some of the comments and some of the people who commented. - here it is.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Monument Signs

Monument Signs are typically signs that are lower in height.  They usually do not have any sort of space underneath them, they are not on suspended on poles.  Monument signs also usually have a horizontal layout rather than a vertical layout which is typical of a "pylon" sign.

Here's an example of a monument sign we just completed for a local dentist.  The keystone and landscaping work was done by my friend Elias Martinez at

If you are looking for a dentist in the Olympia area, Westside Dental's website is

Let them know the 'Sign Salesman' told you about them :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Masters of Sales

I have been reading a great book - called Masters of Sales. My favorite aspect of the book is that it is more of a compilation of 40 sales books, then it is one sales book.  Every section is 2-8 pages long written by a great sales author.  Below I've posted some of the highlights of what I've gleaned so far:

"The Abundant Sales Person" -

... they (the abundant sales person) believe they already have everything they need to make sales.  Not only is the proverbial glass half full --- it is overflowing! These people are inspired and pulled forward by an internal conviction that they are on a path that is right for them.They connect with success by visualizing a successfully closed sales transaction.  Abundant sales people are more than just positive thinkers; they attract customers like bees to honey.
... These people demonstrate self-confidence, but not as arrogance or in a manner that diminishes the people around them.  Customers feel built-up and improved after interacting with abundant salespeople.
... By contrast, a person holding a 'scarcity' attitude has a fundamental belief that there isn't enough to go around for everyone, so he thinks, "I have to get more than my fair share."
... Since they think in terms of lack, these people believe there is no sense in over-achieving because they very likely won't get their fair share.  Scarcity boxes us in.

"Million Dollar Sales Goal: Help Enough People" -

... Sales is a "helping" business, and a successful sales person loves helping people. "If you love to help people, you'll have a rewarding and productive sales career," he says.  If you don't, chances are you won't last long.  There's an old saying to sales, "Help enough people get what they want in life, and you'll get everything you want."

"Earning the Right to be Heard" -

... "Active listening" is like a bank account.  The more active listening deposits you make, the more sales withdrawls you get.  It works this way.  When you listen to your prospects - AND THEY KNOW IT - they will, in return, listen to what you have to say abour product or service.  This leads to more sales.
... When you demonstrate a genuine interest in the other's well-being, that person will want to give you business - and often go out of his way to do so.  This hard-won position of trust is developed over time and is started through being a good attentive listener.  Here's a list of things I've learned not to do:
  • Filtered Listening
  • Rehearsing your response
  • Interrupting
  • Self-Talk

If you find any good 'hits' from this book, please post them.  Again, it is amazing the wealth of valuable information, people are willing to share.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sales tip for the day - 20/80 rule. 20% of the salesmen get 80% of the sales. This means successful salespeople are doing 5x the calls and meetings.

National Sign Corporation

Here's a video about the company where I work -

Friday, September 17, 2010

The top ten Sales Books!

Okay, this is where I need your help!

What are the top ten sales books of all time?

Please comment - I am going to read and utilize all of them. I talked with a few customers today and realized how much I have to learn about sales.  Was I really listening to them? Was I giving them the benefits of what we were going to do for them?  Was I really answering their questions?  Was I overselling?

I have a lot to learn - as I want to be the best sign salesman in the world!

                     ---------- please comment the essential books for learning how to sell...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting help -

I stopped in at someone's office to drop off my business card.  They were a previous contact of mine and I was the customer.  The owner asked how my career was going.  I responded.  He then proceeded to tell me what I needed to do to be successful - Get help!  Wow! It is really that simple.
He mentioned an example of a successful businessperson giving a seminar.  They have been in business 25 years.  years 1-10 they were not that successful; then they were, and they pass on what they learned in years 11-25.  As we start in our careers, we cannot afford to spend 1-10 years re-learning what someone would GLADLY tell us!

So I'm going to remember, GET HELP!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Signage as Marketing Communication: Research Perspectives and Next Steps

This is an extensive but very informative post relating to how important signage is for marketing, how a well-designed sign is crucial for marketing, and part of what constitutes a well-designed sign. click the following link.
Signage as Marketing Communication: Research Perspectives and Next Steps

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cascade Arms - Night Pics

Here is a view at dusk of the first sign I sold:

The picture doesn't quite do it justice; I'll have to take some photos, but it shows a bit of how it lights...

My first sale!

This is my first ever sale!  I sold it about 4 months ago; we've been negotiating, designing, manufacturing, and installed it last week...

Here is the before photo ▼

and here is the customer-supplied logo -----------►

This was a great learning experience, as I was involved in the design and permitting, as well as the project management.  We also converted from neon in the old sign to LED lighting in the new sign, so this project qualified for a utility company rebate.  I handled the pre-approval forms and the process management to help the customer get the rebate. (We're currently waiting on the recycling forms from Eco-Light, the final step!)

I will post some night-time pics which will really show how great this sign looks!
Here's a link to Cascade Arms website - they are a great gun shop -

PLEASE, feel free to leave any comments!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Night Pics

Here are some of the night pics of the previous blog...
I'm leearning to keep my promises. (an important part of sales)

Here's a great before / after photo:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cleaning / Relamping - a cost-effective way to get a new image

Sometimes a simple sign / valance cleaning can do wonders for on-site marketing.  Without changing the look of your retail image(and all the accompanying critique), and without the expense of design, permitting, and fabrication,
 (breath)      a cleaning and relamping can really give a location a powerful upgrade.  It goes beyond maintenance to really enhancing the image of a location, and helping create those strong first impressions.

These last two weeks I have been temporarily on the job-site doing service / install work.  Here is a location that we have cleaned - You can see the before/after of the inside of the light band. 

The pictures below show the result - notice how the yellow pops!

We also repainted the yellow and touched up the black on this sign.  It looks brand new!

I haven't got a chance to take night shots yet, but I will once I am up in the Sea-Tac area at dark.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome to The Sign Salesman

A quick introduction to my blog...

This blog follows the adventures of Isaac Duke(that's me) -  a 32 year old man who has just started a career in sales. 
              I intend to learn everything I can about both signs and sales.  I plan on exchanging - both giving and receiving - any wisdom, links, resources, and help for both sales professionals and sign industry professionals.  I have 2 link lists on the right specifically for valuable resources...