How To Not Sound Like A Telemarketer 101

Thursday, October 1st, 2015



We’ve all been there before: at the start of the week, you’ve got a large list of potential leads and by the end, you haven’t closed a single sale. One problem you might have is coming across as the stereotypical telemarketer, the guy who wants to scam the customer out of his hard-earned money. The customer isn’t going to trust you unless you come across as though you’re offering him something truly worthwhile. We’ve chosen the top common mistakes salesmen make which gives their potential customers the impression that they’re just another telephone solicitor.

How to Not Sound Like A Telemarketer 101

You forget to start with your name

If you’re trying to build the trust necessary to sell something to a customer, how well do you think it’s going to go over if you haven’t even given them your name? If you don’t follow the rules of basic human interaction, it demonstrates incompetence and your chances of closing the sale are going to lower.

You can’t adapt to the customer’s demands

If you’re a rookie salesman or have gotten too comfortable with your pitch, you might be inclined to stick to a pre-planned strategy when talking to a customer. While having a good idea of what to say and how to say it, it can give you an extra boost of confidence, but it also makes it much more likely for your sales pitch to derail. It’s essential for the salesman to be “in the moment” when having the conversation, he or she needs to be prepared for the conversation to go in any direction; whether it’s a distraction or a hindrance they lead might throw his way that will keep him from making the sale.

You lie to the potential customer

One of the worst ways to sink your chances at landing the sale is to lie to the person on the phone. Whether you’re lying about who you are, what your company does, or how successful your company is, karma will come back to haunt you. The internet is an accessible tool and any published information about you or your company is there for your potential clients. When you’re on the phone, what you tell your potential clients should match what it says about you on the internet because if they do check later, they might have second thoughts about doing business with you. Lying never works out well in the end.

If you find yourself doing any of these things when trying (and failing) to make a sales call, they might be what’s holding you back. We get it, trying to generate sales over the phone can be tough. If you’re a small business, you should use TalkLocal to get leads sent to you in real time for free. We connect the customers looking for jobs in your field of work directly to you! For free leads in real time, check out TalkLocal.

Top 3 Simple Yet Practically Genius Home Improvement Options

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015



There are renovations that you just want to accessorize the home and ones that are absolute necessities. Then, there are these genius home improvement options that we deem neaccessities: accessories so neat they constitute necessities.

The word may be made up but the concept is clearly an ontological fact. Language, the written word, the wheel and indoor plumbing are all inventions which – although not crucial to survival – so greatly enhanced human quality of life and culture that a world in their absence feels literally inhuman. And that’s what these renovations do for the home. They make homes without these features appear unsuitable for mankind.

Here are 3 home renovations that from the moment I experienced them, left me feeling like a caveman…who had just discovered fire!

Indoor Doggy/Kitty Doors:

Seeing the litter box of Malicious Mittens and The Great Catsby is a great reminder to clean said litter box daily. But, as the look of mutual embarrassment passes over all our mammalian faces, I’m reminded that I’d rather set a daily calendar alert. So, why not install a pet door into that perfectly good broom closet where gentle felines could do their business in quiet dignity?

Plus, if you don’t mind pets in your room, then there’s no reason they should be barred from/imprisoned inside anywhere to conserve heating or cooling from a space heater or A/C. Pet doors as needed throughout the home ensure seamless co-existence with your pets…without you all living like animals!

Closet Remodeling:

The next time someone gives you a tour of their beautiful home, repeat after me (Jerry Maguire style): “Show…me…the…closets!” There are options like rolling ladders, upper-storage cabinets, pull-out and slide-out shelves, cubby-holes and more. There’s a personalized design for every wardrobe and lifestyle. If you want to spend as little time in your closet as possible, cut the frills and maximize efficiency. And, if you love playing dress-up like me, the right design can make daily primping feel like a mini shopping spree at a high-end boutique.

What you won’t do is rummage through a veritable trough like a pig bobbing for apples for the rest of your life. I’ll pause while you reevaluate your life choices thus far.

Heating Vent Beneath the Kitchen Sink:

As a guest in someone’s home, you may be gracious enough to clear the table. Then, a radiant wind like angels’ breath brushes across your peep-toe kitten heels. Discreetly stepping out of your shoe…gasp! Is this a memory foam kitchen floor mat? Why yes, it is. Then, you proceed to wash a dish and dry a dish, and wash a cup and a pan – all while cooing at the sunshine nipping at your toes.

That is the power of strategically placed heating vents, not-to-mention memory foam kitchen floor mats. You’ll clear the sink far more willingly with your toes swaddled in a cloud of summer breezes. And, if you’re not standing in the warm white sands of sun-kissed memory foam every time you do your chores, then you might as well be walking on coals while dingoes chew at your ankles!

I’m sorry if the cornea-searing light of smart home renovation has blinded you to the few minuscule pleasures of your once unwittingly bleak existence. You’re not alone. I, too, wallowed in newly recognized squalor but am now planning my own home improvement renaissance; with each step, I am closer to renovation nirvana. Change is gonna come, my friends.

And, if you’re in the process of choosing a handyman to bring the changes you and your home so desperately need, TalkLocal can help. Just visit TalkLocal to go from search to conversing with the right local professional over the phone in about 90 seconds.

How To Make Your Small Business Look Legit

Friday, September 25th, 2015


Starting a small business can be an ambitious decision in today’s market. One of the most important factors that will determine if you can get people interested in your product or service, is your ability to make your business seem “legit.” At TalkLocal, we grew from four guys in a basement to more than 60 employees in a DC-area office, and we account our growth and development as a company to our efforts of legitimizing our brand in order to attract clients. Here are some tips your small business should follow in order to seem legitimate in the eyes of potential customers:

Make your website seem professional

In the internet age, your business’s homepage can make or break deals. When a customer comes to the website of a company that they will potentially be doing business with, they expect it to be high quality. If your company’s website looks like a 13 year old girl’s blog from 2001, then it’s time to consider a serious upgrade. This article offers some simple tips about fonts, backgrounds, images, and information placement that can help you bring your website into the 2010s.

List an actual address

Nothing can make your business seem shadier than not having a physical address listed on your social media and website. When a customer doesn’t see an address, he or she will get a bad impression of your business and will not trust you. Even if it’s your home address you have to list, something is better than nothing, and a physical address goes a long way towards customers trusting you with their business.

Create company email addresses

If your small business is going to send a lot of emails, you should create company email addresses. If a consumer is deciding between one company that uses a Gmail account and their competitor with a company email account, they’re going to go with the guy with his own domain name; it just seems more professional. Websites like Hover make it easy for small businesses to get their own domain names and setup company email accounts.

Real-world networking

Never underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction or over-the-phone interaction when spreading the word about your business. Set up meetings with old colleagues or local professionals over lunch. Ask them for advice on how to grow your business. Also, tell them to spread the word about your company and the product or service you provide. If you’re looking to recruit, attend career or internship fairs at local colleges; this is an easy way to find qualified and motivated people to join your team!

Move into an office ASAP

You should move into a serious office as soon as possible if you want to really make your business seem legit. The benefits of having an office should be self-explanatory: having a place to bring clients to meet, having a place for the entire team to work, having your company name on a door, and creating a professional aura around what your company does. As soon as it is economically possible for you to do so, move your company into an office.

Here at TalkLocal, we found these actions have helped increase our customer base, internet presence, and expand our company’s professional network. We hope these steps will help you expand your customer base, but if you still need help generating leads for your small business, check out TalkLocal where we can give you leads for free in real time.

10 Things You Missed When Inspecting Your New Home

Thursday, September 24th, 2015



For the past few weeks or months, all of your web browsing has been on Zillow. Your weekends have been packed with open houses. Your heart has been broken into tiny little pieces with thoughts like, “It looks so much better in the pictures,” or  ”If only this was closer to work,” and “I’m sorry, I just can’t see past the staging…or maybe it’s the smell.”

Now, you’ve finally found a house you can live in, complete with features you can live with, square footage you can fit into, and a mortgage that won’t make you starve to death in a community that’s sure to grow on you.

Here are 10 nagging things you suddenly notice:

1. The mysterious bumps, creeks, and whirring sounds that grate your nerves once all the buzz of moving in quiets down.

2. Filth. The bathroom tiles look as if they were actually caulked with dead skin cells and soap scum.

3. Greed. Did they really need to take the batteries out of all the smoke detectors?

4. Shotty appliances. You could practically ride your noisy, shaky washer/dryer to work in the morning.

5. Wow, little Stevie sure has grown up fast. These 2 wall-markings are only 6 months apart. Wait…who is Stevie?

6. The hidden infestation. Should we be wearing black since you evidently live in a cricket graveyard?

7. The deception. The porch appeal was so well-executed a week ago. Did the homeowner not know that weeds have roots or is Prickly Lettuce just shy during open houses?

8. Holes. Chipped paint. Cracked linoleum. Bad carpentry work. Here, here, here and here! Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

9. The stain in the carpet. Then you realize: someone else’s life is in your carpet. It’s not your carpet and will never be your carpet. You need to pull up all of the carpet.

10. The Neighbors. They seem so nice during the day but once the moon comes out, they turn into real party animals…party werewolves.

At least, that’s what happened to me. In fact, we hadn’t lived here for a month and already a storm caused our electricity to go out because the surge protectors weren’t properly installed (or something), said the electrician I found through TalkLocal.

Now – a new surge box, a full closet-makeover, a new kitchen countertop, and three broken appliances replaced later – it’s finally sinking in: home is not a place you discover by following a local listing and a map, but a place you create by following your heart.

And, if maintenance and repair needs are threatening to break the bank and your heart, let TalkLocal take the hassle out of finding a local pro. Because when things break while you’re making a home, it’s hard enough to keep it together.

Happy First Day of Fall: So Why Today Rather Than Any Other Day?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Pumpkins and winter squashes

It’s my favorite time of year once again — the aroma of Pumpkin Spice Lattes fills your nasal passages and the feel of warm and cozy hoodies rubbed up against your skin. The intense humidity (at least in Maryland) finally eases up, and there is a slight chill in the air. So one question remains…why does today mark the official beginning of Fall? Well, it happens to be the autumnal equinox. *Shakes head with a puzzled look*

What exactly does an equinox mean? According to the National Weather Service, “ there are only two times of the year when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither towards nor away from the sun, resulting in a “nearly” equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes.” This event is referred to as an equinox. The days become a little longer, because it takes the sun longer to rise and set. Aha — I always wondered why it gets darker, earlier on in the day as fall goes on. It all makes sense now. So to celebrate the start of the season, grab your Pumpkin Spice Latte and pull up a chair outside to watch the lunar eclipse — aka Blood Moon that is occurring this Sunday night.

This is no ordinary lunar eclipse because it will coincide with a Supermoon, meaning that the moon will appear much larger in the sky. Pretty cool, right? No need for binoculars or a telescope. Make sure to mark your calendar because this won’t occur again for another 18 years. That’s right, not until 2033 — a time when robots will be most likely bringing you your treasured Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Fall is also known as the season of balance. So, let TalkLocal help you restore the balance in your own life by taking care of minuscule things you have to get done around and outside the house before the cold months ahead.

Weed Control Tips: Making Dead Weeds Stay Dead

Monday, September 21st, 2015

weed control_pic

Even after a neighbor sent a picture teasing Brian and Amber about their unruly lawn while mockingly suggesting that she (the neighbor) was embarrassed to merely walk her dog pass the home let alone live next door, it was weeks before the new homeowner’s found time to finally start that long overdue garden weed control project.

“While weeding, I found nesting birds, mating crickets, and a preying mantis living in the thriving new ecosystem my negligence had created” –  Amber from Pennsylvania (via email)

What’s worse is that they soon realized that their tactics simply weren’t the best way to control weeds. In other words, their time, effort, countless little pin pricks, and allergic reactions had been all but wasted as their garden quickly succumbed to out of control weeds.

“The weeds are coming back with a vengeance. It’s as if our work  had only paved the way to an era more wild than the last. We feel overwhelmed,” wrote Amber.

Well, Amber, the phrase “grow like weeds” is a truism for a reason. So, if you want to reduce the resilience of your weeds to something you can keep up with and manage, then follow these weed control tips:

Nip It In The Bud: Don’t have time for a major weeding session? Amber and Brian would have fewer weeds to deal with if they had simply removed the flower heads every week using gardening scissors or hedges. Flowers lay down new seeds and help spark rebirth.

Don’t Neglect the Roots: Of course, if you neglect the root network, then our weed problem will only grow more entrenched over time. Dig deep when weeding and pull the weeds from as close to the root as possible. In addition, find and dispose of lone root fragments because they actually may flower.

Break Up The Soil: To make uprooting less labor intensive, ensure that the ground is moist from either your sprinklers or a recent rain shower. Then, use a shovel to break up the soil in areas where the roots may be especially deep.

Apply Herbicide at the Right TimeAerating the lawn after applying weed control could render the herbicide inefficient. That is why you must aerate the lawn prior to applying the herbicide.

Get the Right Herbicide: Furthermore, when you choose your herbicide, don’t forget to carefully read the instructions on the label to make sure that you choose the right one for the weeds in your yard.

Repeat: Excessive rain or lack of it can neutralize the effect of herbicide, and weeds will start germinating. This is why you might need to apply pre-emergent herbicide repeatedly.

Ground Cover: Sunlight-starved seeds and root networks will have a harder time growing in uncovered ground. Landscape fabric, mulch, or mulch alternative layered to about two inches in thickness should be strategically placed to allow sunlight where plant growth is desired.

Brian and Amber have a lot of work ahead of them despite their efforts. Fortunately, with these weed removal tips in mind, they have the knowledge to produce lasting results in their lawn. However, if you don’t have the time to go through these steps and need someone to take care of those pesky weeds for you, TalkLocal will connect you with a local pro who will make those pesky weeds history.

TECHtify: Meal Planning and Recipe Apps Edition!

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015



Meal planning can save money, reduce waste, and prevent impulse buying. Plus, winging it at the last minute can leave spouses and parents feeling as if dinner time is D-Day. However, meal planning still takes a lot of preparation and effort that in turn causes people to rush impulsively through the grocery store aisles rather than shop strategically, making healthier and more affordable decisions.

But, guess what?! Technology is here to the rescue…AGAIN!

Here are three really awesome Android and iPhone apps for life’s most important question: What’s for dinner?

Whole Foods Market Recipes

This app features more than 3,000 recipes — all categorized by cuisine, dietary preferences (eg. vegetarian, gluten free) and more. In addition to a budgeting and shopping list creation tool, it’s also a great social platform. Users can add photos and recipes of their own, and comment on their favorite recipes added by other users.

Pro: If you frequent Whole Foods, this is a great tool for finding a sale.

Con: The shopping list function is right above the ‘copy and paste’ function. If an ingredient is in two recipes, it will be listed on your list twice. DinnerSpinner 

This app makes it almost too easy to make your dream dinners off of your cooking wishlist.   You have the same categorized  recipes and information as the website. In addition, with the DinnerSpinner Pro app (about $3), you have the convenience of transferring those recipes into a separate grocery list that you can access on the go. You can even scan grocery items to find recipes that incorporates them. Feeling spontaneous? Just shake your device for a random recipe on  any day of the week!

Pro: It’s already your favorite website and its crowdsourcing feature means the recipes are great for everyday foodies like yourself.

Con: You have to pay for certain features including the most essential one: the shopping list function. The free version is also rife with ads.

Yummly Recipes and Grocery Shopping List

This app is probably our favorite. Not only can you search through all your favorite recipes from your top cooking and lifestyle sites across the web, you can also have ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. All you have to do is add ingredients to your Yummly shopping list, then tap them to shop from Instacart. Wala! Ingredients delivered straight to your door, without the hassle of running to the grocery store.

Pro: If you don’t have an ingredient from a recipe you find, you can have it delivered right to your doorstep.

Con: It does not have a meal planner calendar, so you might forget the names of the recipes you planned and shopped for.

Have fun playing with whatever app is right for you. Now, you can skip all the mental gymnastics of planning meals ahead of time and start moving in the kitchen instead. Maybe you’ll save so much money that you can skip clean up afterwards and let TalkLocal find someone to do that for you!

How To Prevent Bathroom Mold: Fight Bathroom Tyranny

Monday, September 14th, 2015



We would all face complete social isolation if our friends knew how disgusting we truly are – naturally, we devote a good deal of time to keeping our bathrooms clean. Nasty bathroom stuff, as I understand, is the current politically correct term, comes in a variety of smells and textures; the most stubborn of which is mold. The longer it’s left alone, the more of your wall it’ll seize; this can damage your air quality and even get you sick. We here at TalkLocal care about your friendships and your lungs, so we’ve collected a few tips on how to prevent and tackle bathroom mold.

Fun fact: adults with one or more friends spend 80% more money. Luckily, compared to split restaurant checks and snacks for hosting, the cost of welcoming people into your home without triggering a gag reflex is rather inexpensive.

Here are 5 tips to prevent bathroom mold:

That Fan Exists for a Reason

You know that annoying, loud fan you sometimes switch on instead of the lights? It’s actually your first line of defense against mold – nasty organic stuff like fungi require damp conditions to grow, and good use of your fan can evaporate a good portion of the water on your walls. It’ll also clear out humid air. To be especially careful, make sure your fan is equal to or above 70 CFM, and make sure it runs for at least a half hour after a bath or shower.

Restrict Access

Mold loves to stick itself between bathroom tiles. You will not love the smell this produces, nor the weird sensation of walking with wet feet on moldy tile. Restrict the mold’s access to your tile by sealing your grout lines annually. Even if you’re not concerned about mold, this will waterproof your tile, which is wise considering everything you do in the bathroom involves water.

Take Matters into Your Own Hands

If you’re the type of brute who hears “fruit flies” and wonders where you put the flyswatter (I am such a brute), you might prefer something hands-on, like drying your walls off with a towel or squeegee after showering or bathing. This is the most effective method but, efficiency-wise, is next to washing your clothes with a laundry board. It might be necessary, though, if you have an already-existing mold problem.

If You’re Past Prevention…

No worries. Everyone, at some point, deals with a mold-infested wall. All you need is a brush, detergent or bleach, and a towel. Mix detergent with water half and half or use a 10% bleach and 90% water solution, dip in the brush and scrub away the tyranny. Reclaim your freedom like a true American.

When All Else Fails

You know what’s also pretty American? Paying a qualified professional to do take out the bathroom tyrant for you. Like any true American, you’re  busy, or sometimes have unmanageable mold problems, like black mold (in this case, seriously, get a professional).You’re also a conscious consumer, so you love free things. TalkLocal is free and will take care of finding a bathroom cleaner for you.

Get started today and reclaim what is rightfully yours so you can invite friends over without distress.

9/11: A Day to Remember and A Call For Peace

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

hands forming a heart patterned as the flag of the United States and text 9/11

This past year, our country has seen a lot of darkness. Violence has plagued the nation now more than ever before, causing us to forget how united we all once were. 9/11 is a day of remembrance — so let’s remember the victims and heroes, but let’s also remember how we were all able to bring light in place of darkness, and come together as one united front.

Some of you may be thinking: what can I do? That is the most important question anyone could possibly ask and the answer will be highly personal. It could be volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter, or even doing a simple act of kindness. Most people tend to forget that one small act of kindness can make a large difference in someone else’s life. So, the only wrong answer to this question is: nothing.

So, what do you say? TalkLocal shares in your remembrance and calls on everyone to do one act of kindness – today and every day. We can become united once again.

Happy Grandparents Day: Five Fun Ways To Celebrate

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015



Everyone’s always celebrating the parents (as you should, they gave birth to us and all that jazz), but what about the people who indirectly helped give birth to us? Celebrate the people who watched over us when our parents needed to go out somewhere — and we loved them for it because we were allowed to eat junk food and stay up late to watch TV.

That’s right, we’re talking about grandparents and September 13th is their special day. They’ve done so much for us, so how do you celebrate with them? Well, here are five great ways:

Treat them to dinner/brunch: You’re older than you used to be, so you may not go to Grandmother’s house every weekend. However, this Sunday, take them out to a nice restaurant for brunch or dinner. Just this once you can spend quality time with them without them having to do the actual cooking. Maybe they could give the chef a quick lesson!

Take them somewhere fun: There’s probably a bunch of fun places around your area. Take them to the movies or even a museum. Check your town’s events page for concert listings, if you’re feeling really enthusiastic!

Make a scrapbook: Grandparents love photos of us and knowing what we’ve been doing.  Perhaps you can make a scrapbook for them with pictures, pretty colors and your achievements – something they can show off to all their friends during Bingo night!

Invite the rest of the family: Just because you’re the grandchild doesn’t mean you have to hog them all to yourself. If you have extra time, gather as much of your family as you can and set up a fun family reunion for everyone to enjoy. Intergenerational family time (for the win)!

Help them out around the house: Even if your grandparents are active, there are simple tasks that might be difficult for them to do. Offer to help them with something that needs to be done around their house. My grandparents are a tad technologically challenged, so whenever I show up, I always ask if their computers are doing okay.

No matter what you plan on doing, just remember to have fun with it. After all, what grandparents love most is spending time with their grandchildren. So, pick an activity or two and go forth!

But. what if you’re in way over your head? The computer actually was plugged in and restarting didn’t help either, then helping around the house turned into an episode of Hoarders. Well, have no fear. In 90 seconds, TalkLocal can find a computer repair pro or maid service who already knows your problem and wants to help on your schedule.