This week I’ll be reviewing a Dell Vostro 130 (disclosure*), and asking that you participate with me via Twitter to share your wisdom about first impressions. We’ll be having 2 different Twitter contests, and I’ll be able to give away 2 Dells, one to a participant in each event. Read on (right after you follow me on Twitter.)
Update: A summary of just the contest info is here.
All my readers know I’m passionate about helping small businesses succeed. I write my Inc.com Start-up Toolkit blog to give startups better tools, and I work with Wicked Start and write posts there regarding the 10 steps to take to start a company. And one of the key steps in starting or running a small company is to make a good first impression. Think of that impression as one of your trade secrets.
The other day, we visited a deli that my wife’s friend started. She came out from behind the counter, gave us a big Italian hug and kiss, and proceeded to make our lunches a little extra special (Chicken Parmesan hero, but on Garlic bread instead of regular bread, mmm.) Meanwhile, customers came in and she and her husband greeted them by name. The ones they didn’t know, they were still friendly to, and I would suspect they’ll know they’re names soon enough. That first impression of a friendly neighborhood place will stick with these customers. But that’s only one kind of first impression.
Sometimes, you want to “wow” someone. Come up with something unexpected. I received the package from Dell, and my first take was – Wow, a red laptop.
Let’s see how it unboxes:
What did I think of first?
Also, I thought of the iconic brand image of Traveler’s insurance, whose red umbrella used to be depicted in a sea of black umbrellas to stand out. Red makes us stop and take note. It makes us take a moment to consider what is wrong, what’s new or changed, or just registers differently in many of us.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen a red laptop, but hey, conferences and classrooms these days seem to be filled with a lot of silver screens, if you know what I mean.
Heck, I’m one of them – you can find me with a Macbook Air there too. However, I’m happy to see some competition in this market. One of the reasons I bought my Macbook was weight – I hate lugging around a laptop when I don’t need a huge screen, a dvd/cd drive or an all day battery. When I did that, this Dell wasn’t an option. Heck, based on what I can see, I could buy 2 of these Vostro 130 machines for the price of a decked-out Macbook Air, and they’ll both be more powerful computers.
I’ve been a fan of Windows 7**, and I’ve used a netbook, but the experience wasn’t optimal. Parallels and Bootcamp both have their challenges. This machine was made for Windows 7. I look forward to having a machine where I’m running it as the Native OS.
And so to the contest and rules.
1. From Thursday 2/24 at 8 am Eastern through Friday 2/25 at 8pm, the folks at Dell and Zócalo Group will be looking at tweets that are sent that include my Twitter handle, @howardgr, and the #tradesecrets hashtag***. People sharing their tips on how to make a great first impression will be eligible to win a Dell Vostro V130. Please only share one tip during this time for your entry. If you have more tips, see below. (Please RSVP in my comments if you’ll join us for this)
2. On Monday, 2/28 at 2pm Eastern Time, I’ll be holding a Twitter chat, discussing the same subject. Anyone who participates during the time stated when we start, also using the #tradesecrets hashtag will also be eligible to win a Dell Vostro V130. (UPDATE: Please RSVP in my comments and tweet it if you’ll join us for the chat – Sample tweet: ” I’m joining @HowardGR on Twitter on Thur, Fri, Mon http://bit.ly/gV77yT to share tips + a chance to win a Dell Vostro V130 #tradesecrets “)
For both contests, the winners will be chosen at random based on the use of the hashtag and my twitter name during the time periods, and the choice will be made by the agency and not me or the Harbrooke Group staff (so no lobbying, I can not give you the computer). You’ll have to be following me on Twitter so I can send you a Direct Message (DM) about how to redeem your prize. We’ll announce the winners here:_______. (UPDATE: I’ll of course Tweet the winners publicly and will DM for details).
Contest rules at the bottom of this post.