Monday, 31 March 2014


If I had to say who comes across as enemy number one in the autobiographical writings of Romany Gypsies, it would have to be the police, although there is often agreement that individual officers are widely different.

But a new association is possibly going to make a huge difference to that. The Gypsy Roma and Traveller Police Association held its inaugural meeting on 27th March, and is a support Network for Police Personnel who are from a GRT background. It is a National organisation but its reach is International as it aims to link in with Police colleagues from around the world.

Jim Davies, the Chair of the new Association explains, “The GRTPA’s main aim is to unite and support all Police Officers and Staff who are from GRT backgrounds . We will do this by promoting equality and fairness and by providing a support forum where members can share and discuss the issues which affect their working life.

“Intrinsically linked to our main aim is the desire to foster good relationships between the Police and GRT Communities. We aim to do this by facilitating discussion, negotiation and co–operation between UK Police Forces, GRT communities and organisations. In doing so, we will establish a platform for sharing good practice in working with GRT Communities.”

The Association already has a professional looking web site and I can tell you that the response if you contact them is tip top and fast!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Selling your services

You’ve got something to offer to customers.  

You’ve purchased whatever you need to be ready  to meet orders when they come in.  But they don’t come in.  

What do you do next?
You’ve got rent to pay, bills to meet, mouths to feed.   If you’ve got any get-up-and-go, I guess you’ll get out there and tell people directly about your product or service.

  That’s exactly   what “A Gypsie’s wife” thought, and she described the cold, wet, chilling experience it can be better than I ever could.  Please note her "good practice guide"!   
"So you knock on a door; stand well back, smile and with a ‘sorry to disturb you’ ask for the work. Don’t push: point out the job and ask if they’d like a quote.
If they say no; back off, politely.
If they display a notice telling you not to call; then don’t. "

Please note also that she knows the need to allow a "cooling-off" period for the customer that says yes right away.  

I was reminded of her blog recently after I’d got my own business online, tweeted and facebooked the news, and written to potential contacts.  For me, the next step may be sending a few more e-mails, writing some letters, making phone calls, but at some point, I’m going to have to go out there and meet people.  Not an easy thing to do!

As I’ve done electoral roll canvassing for the District Council, I know how many doors have “No hawkers” prominently displayed, and how careful you have to be not to make people feel threatened.  Also, they’re sure to unload onto you all their feelings about any bad experiences they’ve had in the past, so you need endless tact and a tough hide!

Looking at it from the other side, I hate people cold-calling me.  So what’s the answer?

All I can suggest is that we always try to remember that the other person, whichever side of the desk or door they may be, is only human like you, and good manners, even in saying “No” cost you nothing.  Or you could say, “Leave me some details, and let me think about it.”