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Cold Callers: I want your opinion!

Discussion in 'Advertising, Marketing, Social Media' started by Crexty, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Crexty
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    Crexty Contributor

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    Havent look into this... Probably 1/2-3/4
     
  2. thecocopod
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  3. Crexty
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    ?
     
  4. thecocopod
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    This is what I do for a living. First of all, you get about 95% nos for your calls. You have to keep that in mind. I make about 25 calls an hour and I'm lucky if I get one good lead an hour. I have another client that I'm working for that does partner recruiting for law firms. I only get 1 lead for about every 300 calls. It's not an easy business. I do business consulting too, but on hear I'll do it for free. We have to help each other out.

    Script. This is _______. I'm calling from name of business. I was hoping you could help me. (People like to help.) I'm looking for the office manager. If they don't have one, ask again... who they think the best person to start with is after telling them briefly why your calling. (You have to remember all of these people ALREADY have cleaning people.)

    When you get the right person. Start that script again, but add what you do in a sentence or two and go from there. People get bored FAST.

    Never ask for the owner. Doc offices of any kind are the absolute worst to try to get someone. Never leave a message. When they give you the voice mail, hang up after the first ring. Never send emails out first. Keep the ball in your court. Always be very professional.

    Any more questions, let me know. See if that helps.
     
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  5. thecocopod
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    Yep! Most people give spam emails out. I know I do.
     
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  6. Crexty
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    Crexty Contributor

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    What would you scr
    Do you cold call for any Janitorial companies?

    So my script is like this for the decision makers..

    Hey ______, is this a bad time to talk?

    This is Chris ____, calling on behalf of ____.

    We provide detail oriented office cleaning for facilities valley wide.

    Typically, when I talk to companies like yours I am finding that they are having 1 of 3 issues with their current cleaning company.

    1. The Cleaners Are Being Inconsistent

    2. Cleaning Company is Unreliable

    3. They are unresponsive and don’t attend to your problems
    Now, I don't know too much about your business or what you are doing for cleaning, have you experienced any issues like this?



    What would you do to make that better?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  7. thecocopod
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    I feel like I know you. Perhaps worked for you before on eLance or Upwork? I have worked calling janitorial companies. First, never say "hey". Never ask if they are busy. Everyone is busy. You're calling them at work in most cases.

    The script is good besides that. Don't give up. B@B is incredibly tough. You have to have a thick skin and be persistent.
     
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  8. Fox
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    Fox Moderator Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Take @Vigilante advice and slow down. Higher quality and less quantity.

    Since you are keeping this thread really active I am guessing you are highly motivated to learn.
    I want to breakdown our recent PMs to see how you can improve your style of communication.
    I would never share PMs but these are really generic and its nothing you havent already posted here...


    Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 08.23.06.png

    Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 08.23.28.png


    Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 08.24.05.png


    Your style of communication is very one way. You asked me for something, I gave it to you, you asked for more.

    I don't know how you are cold calling but if its this same mindset you won't get far.
    No business owner wants to be sold to.
    They don't care how good you are at cleaning carpets, they don't care how cheap you are.

    They only care about themselves. Their problems, their issues, their clients, their business.

    Are you really adding value dialling 100 businesses a day.
    Do you even know who you are talking to and what is going on with their business?
    Are they anything more than a number that either say yes or no?

    If they are (and I am sure you really do want to help people) you need to start communicating this.

    How?

    Slow down and add a LOT more value.

    For example:

    Compare these two examples:

    Random Week One:
    You cold call 100 businesses each day with the same pitch and try get a response.

    Random Week Two:
    You drive down to your business conference centre wait and see what time they open at.
    You then note what time their first customers start arriving. You walk in and check the quality of the carpet.
    You come back later around noon and check again.
    You can see that after the free lunch buffet the carpet looks pretty rough and little bits of food have gotten pushed in.
    You notice though that the staff are trained a little in cleaning so by 1pm it is usually back looking okay.
    On Thursdays though they always have a very large crowd for a weekly local business meeting of over 500 people after lunch.
    The staff usually don't have time to clean it as well as they could since they have to set up the tables and equipment for the meeting.
    Basically the carpet is at its worse when the most people are there.

    You then call up this business...

    "Hey is Tim there (you asked around and got his name), its about the local business meeting on Thurdays"
    "Hey Tim its Crexty, I have been down to the centre a few times and noticed on Thursday you guys are really struggling to get things tidy in time for the weekly meet up. Its a shame cause its your busiest time with a lot of business owners and I know that suually it looks amazing. I got a crew who is always in that area around that time and they could pop in and do a quick clean for one hour at a great rate. Ill even do the first week free and see what you think..."

    - One week later you do the free cleaning
    - Tim hires you
    - Month later he is stuck and asks you to do their second location down town. You end up getting the night cleaning contract there also.
    - Three months later you start to get referrals cause local businesses have been noticing the carpet is way cleaner before their local meet up. They see your crew looking super professional and a nice clean truck in the carpark with your number on the side.

    And so on.

    Thats my advice. Start with THEM first thinking and communicating.
    It isn't about you and your call %, its about them and their business.
     
  9. Five Star
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    Five Star Dean Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Hi @Crexty, what are you doing in addition to cold calling to win new business?
     
  10. Crexty
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    That makes sense to me. I'll start to become more targeting and do more research. I've been getting a way better response rate by doing things like calling people who have left bad reviews for other cleaning companies, etc. I'm going to get a lot more targeted with my prospecting VS how everyone else is, just shooting a bunch of arrows into the fog.

    Thanks for the information, I really do appreciate it and if theres anything else. Please tell me. I want to soak up as much as possible!
     
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  11. Crexty
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    Hey! I actually get half of my business from SEO, and a few other platforms like yelp, craigslist and thumbtack.

    The other half has come from Cold calling.

    I'm interested in getting into direct mail marketing, maybe handwritten letters to the business owners
     
  12. Carol Jones
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    Carol Jones Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    G'day @Crexty from Oz,

    What an interesting thread you've created.

    What what I've read, regardless of the downside of the industry laid out in bare bones detail by @minivanman, you're still very optimistic about the commercial cleaning industry based on this.

    I do cold calling as well.

    Voicemail is a given. You have to leave a message. Many messages in fact. And you must learn to leave a message that makes the person want to ring you back.

    It's unusual for a business with employees not to have a cleaning service. What you're doing is trying to take business away from someone else.

    That's interesting. Is there a reason why the medical practices aren't interested in you?

    Agree with @minivanman about this. Can you fund these businesses? They often feel entitled to use you as their lender. And don't feel obligated to pay you on time. Unless you refuse to clean if they don't pay.

    One of my customers is the CFO for a large medical association. She says doctors really drag their feet when paying their association fees.

    Have you got validation for this? Companies that will allow you to use their name when attracting new business?

    This is my experience in cold calling. And I admit that I do things differently to most other people. But that's because I don't like spinning my wheels. And I don't like wasting the time of the people I want to do business with.

    Before I approach any business, I do a lot of research. By industry first. And then by company. And then by individual within the company.

    I use the internet to find out about the industry. I might spend a day perusing websites. Reading white papers or articles about the industry. To find out where I might find my niche.

    We all have a niche. We're never all things to all people.

    Once I've decided a particular industry is a good opportunity for me, I look at who the players are in the industry. I make a list of the company names. And research each company. What they do that's different to what other companies in their industry do. What they are proud of the most. Which is usually found on their About page.

    Then I find out who is who within each company. That's not always easy to do. Many companies don't put personnel on their websites. So I use LinkedIn. Social Media. Articles written by the company with names in it.

    In the beginning, I'm looking for people in the middle rung - not the decision maker - who I can call to find out how the company uses my products. And to find out how they make decisions. And in the end, who might be the best person to talk to.

    I've never had a barrier placed in front of me to talk to these middle rung people. They usually answer their phones. And the information I've gleaned in simple chit chats with them is insightful. Most of it NOT found on the web.

    When talking with them I make notes. I use headphones so my hands are free. And being a good typist, I use my keyboard rather than a pencil. You can also accomplish the same thing using SKYPE and a call recorder such as TalkHelper.

    I get their email address and follow up every call to these middle rung people with a very personal thank you for their time.

    Before I make a single call to a decision maker, I compile all this information into a fact sheet for each company. Especially the insightful information discovered by talking to people lower down. On that fact sheet will also be the names of each person in the company I talked to. With dates. And times.

    From that, I prepare my script. And because all my information is on my desktop, that script will also have a link to their website. So the website is up on my screen when I'm talking to them.

    I know who I need to talk to. And what I'm going to talk to them about regarding their company. Their website is in front of me in case I need additional information. For me, this call is all about ~ them. And how I can help ~ them.

    If I need to leave a message on voicemail, I have that script prepared. And that message will contain a snippet of information that lets them know I know more about their company than most people who cold call.

    The gatekeeper is your best friend. Treat them with respect. And let the gatekeeper know what you know about their company. Ask them questions. That engages them in a conversation. And if you do need to leave a message on voicemail, I've found the gatekeeper most helpful in giving me the decision maker's email address as well. So I can follow up my voicemail with an email.

    Often you have to leave several voicemail messages. Each one should be different. And each one with a snippet of information about their company. And I follow up each message with an email.

    It's rare for me not to get a voicemail message returned.

    I don't get everyone as a client. But I do get permission to stay in touch. Which I do.

    I've spent several years trying to open a door to an industry that's full of men and women who have a need for my signature product. Up to two weeks ago, it's always been a closed shop.

    A chance conversation with my newsagent of all people, gave me the key I was looking for. The name of an organisation who could open the door.

    I researched the organisation for 4 days. I read every article they posted to their website. Found the name of the person I needed to talk to on LinkedIn. And their background.

    Was that 4 days worth it? Absolutely! I found one piece of information that tied them to me. It wasn't something that jumped off the page. Just a mention about a cause that they're passionate about.

    Providing work for people with a disability.

    All my products are made with love and care in rural Australia by men and women who have a disability.

    If I hadn't done the research, I would never have discovered the ties that bind.

    How could they not want to talk to me?!

    I made one call. The director wasn't in. So I befriended the gatekeeper. Talked to her about her organisation. Especially the things they are proud of. And how my product can help their members.

    At the end of the day, it was the gatekeeper who personally took my story to the director I needed to talk to.

    To my utter surprise, they were thrilled beyond my comprehension to have me approach them. No one in my industry has ever approached them. And they can see a real need amongst their members for my product.

    I now have exclusive access to 36,000 of their members. Who have a need for my signature product. And it's all cash up front. They're creating a brochure to send to their members with a direct link to my website. Plus. Putting me on the Members page on their website. With a direct link to my website.

    I've created a Landing Page on my website just for their members. To make them feel welcome.

    People scoff at the time I spend on the research I do. But we all have choices.

    You can make 100 cold calls and get to speak to just a few people.

    Or you can make just a few warm calls. Filled with knowledge about the company so you can engage anyone in a conversation about them and their company. And get a better YES ratio.

    There's a reason why medical practices aren't welcoming you. I suspect it's because they have special cleaning needs you might not be aware of. All those germs from sick people freely floating around might require specialist cleaning skills. I could be wrong. But the easiest way to find out is to make a few calls to medical practices. And talk to someone lower down. Or engage the gatekeeper. Not to sell. But to gather information.

    Or talk to their association. They know the problems involved with cleaning.

    My advice is to stop making truly cold calls. And start learning about the practices you want to contact. Every medical practice today has a website. And that website will tell you what they specialise in. And what they're proud of. And who's who in the practice.

    Also apply that to the other industry segements you want to break into. Knowledge about them makes for a much warmer phone call.

    And start making calls that are much warmer. Where you're talking to them on common ground. That common ground is always talking to them about them. And their problems.

    Try to find out if they're having the same problems with cleaners that you know other people in their industry are having.

    If they are. There's a good chance to get an appointment.

    If they're not. You're wasting your time. And theirs. But put them on your email list for future contact. To keep in touch for when their cleaners let them down. And they're looking for someone new.

    And never end a phone conversation. Or an email. Without giving them some meaningful advice - for free - about how they can get the best results from their current cleaner.

    You will be amazed at how memorable that makes you.

    May I also suggest @Crexty that once you discover what the hot buttons are for each industry, you create a Landing Page on your website just for that industry. Which speaks to them specifically. And how you can help them.

    Include a link to that page in every email you send to the decision maker.

    Best wishes. ~Carol❤
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  13. Five Star
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    I work in a Business Development Role. Different sector, but similar issues.

    I was going to suggest that perhaps cold calling isn't your best use of time. The cold calling landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. With the internet, buyers can even be more educated that salespeople these days.

    While still a necessary evil, you're relying on a bit of 'luck' to firstly, get through to the decision maker, secondly, hit them at a time when they're looking for your service. By the sound of it, you're working on a numbers game, but perhaps it's better to focus your energy else where.

    Yours is a 'consultative sale', so banging out 100 calls a day might not work as well as it would in a call centre trying to sell a standard product.

    The good thing is that every business owner has an office that needs cleaned. That's a big market.

    Here are a couple of ideas off the top of my head:

    NOURISH WHAT YOU'VE ALREADY GOT:
    - speak to current customers to get feedback
    - address any negative feedback head-one and deal with it. Work with those customers to get them back on side so you can eventually offer them more services down the line, and more importantly NOT LOOSE THEM
    - when you get positive feedback, ask for referrals
    - I imagine there are lots of opportunities already with your existing customers, you just need to dig a bit deeper
    - etc.

    NETWORK:
    - join local chambers of commerce (that's what they're called here in UK)
    - attend business meet-ups
    - attend events in your target area
    - speak to local councils and government agencies (this is a BIG one for cleaning contracts is it not?)
    - are there associations or societies you can join?
    - etc.

    DIGITAL MARKETING:
    - this is very broad, but essentially all businesses need more incoming leads. Regardless of your strategy, it might be worth investing more time in this.
    - make sure you're listed in local directories

    I won't even try to match @Fox 's comments below. This is it. Doing what he's suggested below, will blow your cold calling plans out of the water. DO THIS TODAY:



     
  14. FlipFlops
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    FlipFlops Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Quit cold calling - Its a waste of time.

    Write note cards to your current clients saying, "Thank you for your business... If there is anything you need call me..... " Seriously in todays junk mail environment, how many personal hand written, hand addressed note cards do you get? If you received one, I am 100% certain you would open it.

    HAND written, authentic note cards... Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Merry Christmas...
    I've made serious $ by just writing note cards, saying Thank you: For your input, your advice, your business relationship, your help....

    Give before you receive.
    Reap before you sow.

    Then follow up with a phone call a week after you mail it, see how they are doing, and ask for a referral. You'll get a 75% referral rate.

    Sales is about relationship management. Not fleece 'em and forget 'em. Cold call etc.

    If you insist on wasting your time (cold calling):
    Get a burner phone call and say, "This is Joe, down the street, I'm looking for a cleaner for my office, do you have anybody you would recommend?"
    They respond with Bla bla bla.
    Then ask if they are "TRULY satisfied with your cleaner..." More bla bla bla see what the weaknesses are with the current cleaners. Wait a few weeks and call them back with, "I offer fantastic cleaning services, Bla bla bla" make your strengths the others weaknesses.
     
  15. Five Star
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    Lol, no sugar coating here @FlipFlops
     
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  16. Crexty
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    Okay gotcha. But what else would you do to bring in new business?

    relying on 1 method is surely not a good idea..
     
  17. minivanman
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    minivanman Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    FlipFlop = one of my new favorite people. :)
     
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  18. Real Deal Denver
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    Wow. That thought alone makes me want to open a sideline gig to get in this business. All I have to do is outmaneuver my competition - which I've been doing since I was nine. It's not hard - more on that later in this post...

    The market is already there, and it's proven. How many business' can say that? It's like selling tires. Everyone is going to need them, sooner or later. That's more than half the battle already won!

    I NEVER ask someone a yes or no question. Talk about setting myself up for failure! I always present a CHOICE. Example: would you prefer your present cleaning service to be cheaper or better? Really? I'm surprised to hear that. So you don't have any complaints - or - So you like everything the way they do it right now, except you think the price is a bit high? I'm GLAD to hear that, because...

    That is the difference between SELLING and COLD calling. Nobody likes COLD...

    EXACTLY. Instead of using a shotgun approach and thinking the more people you contact the better - do this instead - TARGET and TAILOR your approach - in other words, CUSTOMIZE your approach to WIN POINTS with EVERY single contact. We've already established that EVERY office needs your services - and you are not inventing this service, but TAKING existing customers away from your competition - and this can be done EFFECTIVELY with a little selling. Using all of that INFORMATION, and applying it, will result in you NOT spinning your wheels and wasting time. Quit treating gatekeepers like they are just a name on your list - which they are. Nobody likes to deal with such COLD selling. It is irritating AND a waste of time. It's a good thing you have such a NECESSARY service to sell, because there is no way you could ever sell something that is not a necessity. I've sold things people/offices could ABSOLUTELY do without. I can only dream about selling something they need AND are already using. Geeeesh!

    I've already stated this, but Carol puts it much milder. Shotgun or bullet approach? I use a very effective "I care" one on one approach, and I get astounding success rates. I should. Like I said earlier - there is a world of difference between selling and cold calling. Since there are numerous books on this, downloadable even, and very cheap - there is no need to beat this topic to death here anymore.

    That is called "establishing rapport" with customers. And that leads to "customer relationships" which leads to business, which leads to referrals. Take the right direction, and look what can happen!

    And this sums it all up so nicely! If you understand "sales" as is stated above, you can sell anything. Like MJ entered, and then dominated, the Limo business - a good sales person can enter ANY business and cut out their portion of the market - and that's whether or not the market's saturated or not. Be glad you are not going up against anyone that I've quoted in this post. They would move in and take over.

    QUIT cold calling and be a sales warrior. One example - DON'T ask if you can PM someone. That's like asking - can you ask me a question. No. What does that convey? Weakness. Just DO IT. Learn to use lead in phrases like... Really? I'm surprised you say that. I'm glad you said that... and so on. You have to be confident - skilled - and assertive - and MOST of all LISTEN. If you learn HOW to listen, the customer will tell you what they want without saying what they want. Selling is GUIDING your customer to your goal. Good selling is LETTING your customer guide themselves to your goal. I don't see "cold calling" fitting into that very well. I DO see "selling" - even though it may be a NEW call over a phone - working quite well. Worlds of differences.

    You should be so grateful to have all this advice here. It's all solid gold, and none of it is difficult to implement. Get some books. And. Then. Just. Do. It.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  19. Carol Jones
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    Wonderful advice @Real Deal Denver!

    @Crexty is fortunate to have so many forum members prepared to help him.

    This free flow of information wouldn't happen on other forums. ~Carol❤
     
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    When I started in the investment business it was all cold calls all day long. This was pre -do not call- list times. Anyway, to break through the clutter I would start the call with a question. Same question every time over and over... it was "Are you happy with the way your investments are being handled?" a version of this might work for you. It throws to ball right to them and breaks the pattern makes them scramble a bit for an answer instead of staying in their script.
     
  22. Five Star
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    Five Star Dean Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Couldn’t agree more.

    @Crexty have you taken any action since starting this thread based on the advice?
     
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  23. Crexty
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    Crexty Contributor

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    Wow! Thank you everybody for the responses! I truly appreciate all this info! I'm currently trying to make my process way more targeted versus the "Shotgun" approach.
     
  24. Crexty
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    Crexty Contributor

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    Wow, that was won of the best things i've read along with the few posts above this one. Definitely it makes sense me to Zero in on a few targets vs mass approaching a list.

    Now that we both agree that nearly every almost that uses employee's has a cleaning service or a NEED for a cleaning service. How do I "target and Tailor" my approach towards these companies. The # of companies I could do business with in a Metro City area are endless. Would it just be best for me to make a "dream 100" list of companies I would love to do business with and are my "ideal" client? Should I target people based on things going on with their company? (People who have recently leased, new businesses, etc?)? Please Enlighten me more.



    I've already limited my prospects down to the type of companies i'm after (White collar office space and medical space).

    How would you go about Maneuvering around other companies, and carving out my portion of the market? I'm extremely motivated to learn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  25. Crexty
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    Crexty Contributor

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    And if you could please let me know what books those are, I would love to add them to my que reading list! (I already have 30 i'm trying to get through).

    I'm very motivated to learn how this and become the best I can. I Love all the information you guys are giving me, and I promise that I'm not taking it with a grain of salt and I won't let any of you down.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018

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