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  • Mark Lipton

Ehi, leggi questo!!!

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

The only Italian I speak is “stai zitto e ascolta.” Italian is my fiancee’s native language and while I don’t speak any, I do hear THAT phrase a lot. She says it means “she loves me” which is sweet. But the way she yells it, I’m not so sure!


We moved this weekend and so I heard “stai zitto e ascolta” a lot. I guess the stress of moving really draws out her love for me!


I don’t mind moving. In fact generally I do well with change. Recently I’ve been speaking about change often. My fiancee and I just moved; my daughter is spending months out of the country for the first time and my regular writing gig of 25 years, The Paint Dealer, closed and turned me into a blogger! My life of just three months ago seems gone!


I was sorry to see The Paint Dealer go, but here’s why I don’t mind change: I would have never stopped writing for TPD had they not closed. And I prefer blogging!


I put up my first blog post about 2 months ago. Since then, I have been followed by almost 1000 independent paint dealers. I’m hoping to get it to 2000 by the end of the year. I suspect that most are not NEW followers, just people that always read my columns in The Paint Dealer who have now found my blog. But the power of blogging technology vs a printed magazine allows me to understand my readership more than a magazine ever could.


Who cares how may dealers are following a paint blogger? Well for one thing: paint manufacturers! Paint manufacturers struggle to find ways to communicate with their dealers. I suppose that’s no different than any other industry. We are a disparate group who takes in information….content as it’s now called….in a variety of ways and manufacturers are often stymied to find that way.


Paint manufacturers NEED two-way communication with dealers. They need to hear our voices because we are the front lines: we know things about their end users that they are desperate to know.


But they also need to speak TO us….because we execute their strategies and so its important that we understand those strategies, plans and goals! Its even better for their messaging if it comes directly from them to us with no filter.


Recently, I found out what you win if you’re the first person to have 1000 independent paint dealers follow your blog: on Thursday of this week I begin taping my first podcasts.


Saying I’m excited would be an understatement. The first episode will be just me, sharing with you why I’m getting into podcasting and what I hope to accomplish. You’ll get a link in an email and just touch that link and listen! At you desk, in your car…wherever! No apps to download and it’ll work on your phone, tablet, laptop or computer.


It’s what comes after that introductory episode that I’m most excited about. In about 2 weeks I’ll put up my second podcast which will be 30 minutes with Benjamin Moore Chief Executive Officer Dan Calkins!


It’s YOU that he’s looking to speak to, so please tune in and listen. They will be taped and so you can listen any time you like. In fact I’m so certain that this podcast will be compelling that we are taping two with Dan in one day with plans to air the second one a few weeks later.


That second podcast involves YOU! I know this is short notice (we tape Thursday) but I am leaving some time during that broadcast for questions from dealers! This is your chance to ask a question or share a comment DIRECTLY with the new CEO of Benjamin Moore. Send an email with a question for Ben Moore CEO Dan Calkins to me mdlipton@me.com. Include in your email your question for Dan, your name and the name of your business. I will not be able to ask Dan all of the questions I get, but I WILL pick the best of them and get them answered for you.


What comes after Dan? I’ve already arranged to have LeAnn Day the CEO of the PDRA on. LeAnn is doing an outstanding job breathing new life into an organization who’s sole purpose is support of independent paint retailers. Also already committed to sit for a podcast is Michael Beaudoin (pronounced Bowdwin). Michael is the Executive Vice President of AllPro: the largest member owned cooperative for independent paint retailers in the US.


I’ve had a lot of interest from other paint people and am now trying to figure out who adds value and would be most interesting to listen to. More WILL be coming.


I’m very excited. What a great opportunity this is for us to be heard. If you know others in our industry, PLEASE: ask them if they are following my blog and if they’re not, suggest they do! The more followers, the more impact we can have together. I’d appreciate that help.



Thank you so much for reading and soon….for listening!

©2019 by Mark Lipton

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