Connect with us

Business Marketing

Cause we’re really not that Different



We’re Not That Different

“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, so we are not really that different, me and you.” Colin Rae

I love the above line from We’re Not That Different, a song by Colin Rae, a country singer, and songwriter. I like it because it is true, we are all the same in many ways. We are all made with the same DNA, and we all have the same basic needs.

Is this true for you?

When my family calls me, as soon as I pick up the phone, I can tell in an instant what is going on with them. No not the exact details but whether this is a good call or a serious one. I can tell if they are upset, bothered or excited about something.  I bet you can tell the same thing when people close to you call.

When my kids were younger they would say, “Mama, you’re yelling at us one minute and then a client calls and you are like, “oh hey…how are you?” You get all happy, your voice totally changes.

Well not really, but…I definitely have an attitude check before I speak with a client and I bet you do too.

Let your emotions shine through the phone

Did you know people can hear sincerity in your voice? When you smile and you are on the phone it comes through the phone line. Have you ever followed up leads or called past clients in a ho hum mood? Not much success, not many warm and fuzzy feelings going back and forth. No real connection.

Next time you call a client, or a lead put a smile on your face. It is not just the words we say but also the emotions that come through that create a connection. It has been said that people will not remember what you do but how you how you made THEM feel.

In the midst of a tough negotiation with another agent, change your posture, or your facial expression. It only takes one person to change the tone and direction of a conversation. Be sincere, they will know you care even if you can’t agree on the subject at hand.

Photo Credit

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

Continue Reading


  1. Matt Stigliano

    January 19, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Missy – I recently had an experience where someone called my phone, started rapid fire asking questions and got me a bit flustered. I was in the middle of something when they called and it threw me off completely. I got a little squirrely and the questions coming at me one after the other didn’t help. In the middle of it all, I took a deep breath and tried to change the tide of the conversation by slowing down and communicating (instead of being interrogated). Suddenly the conversation changed, the person on the phone settled down, and all started to move in the right direction.

    Good advice for anyone. Stop, wait a moment, rethink, and continue with a new attitude/tone of voice/line of questioning/vibe. It will work wonders.

  2. Elaine Reese

    January 19, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    TRUE, TRUE, TRUE! I always try to take a second to change my face muscles to a smile. Makes such a difference to voice tone. Likewise, if it’s one of those darn lead generating calls, I frown! 🙂

  3. Karen Goodman

    January 20, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Years ago I worked for a short while as a receptionist, and was trained to stop and smile before answering the phone. It really does make a difference in the tone that comes across.

  4. Thomas Johnson

    January 20, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    When you have to hammer the phones, hang a mirror in front of yourself and smile. Goofy but it works!

  5. Lola Audu

    January 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Missy, this is so important. When you can’t see who you’re talking to, the non-verbal elements of communication are transmitted through less tangible elements like tone and inflection. Many of us don’t realise how important these ‘little’ things can be during a conversation or negotiation.

  6. Paula Henry

    January 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Missy – My children have said the same thing to me. Even my husband! We have to be prepared for business when we answer the phone and how we prepare can make a difference in the outcome. A big smile and pleasant disposition is usually a big win!

  7. Ken Brand

    January 23, 2009 at 7:23 am

    You and Og Mandino are on the same page:

    “I seek constantly 2 improve my manners & graces, for they R the sugar to which all are attracted.” – Og Mandino

    Rock ON Missy and friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.



The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.



instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.



When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!