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Action plan

Structures and Support

“I don’t write goals, but I have them in my head.”  What??
If you’ve heard yourself say that, challenge its efficacy: DID you really achieve the goal? Did you even have one? Or is that something you say to avoid the responsibility of making a commitment and then taking the actions to achieve the goal? 

Some facts about goals: 

  1. You need to write them down. The action of thinking it through and articulating what you want is powerful and part of the process.
  2. Put your goals somewhere that yo…

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Actions Matter

Actions repeated create habits. 
Actions are the only things that create results (not feelings or intentions or circumstances).
I often review goals that have action plans that are ‘insufficient for goal achievement.” What I mean by that is that the actions might have a value of $750K when repeated…which is GREAT…except that the goal is $1.1m. That’s not great. Make sure that the QUANTITY and the QUALITY of your actions are sufficient for the desired results. If you are not on track with your …

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Identifying Pitfalls and Traps

Are you good for the first three days into a new initiative and then start to slip?
When do you stop doing the actions that you committed to?
Do you start to tell yourself: “It’s not that bad” or “It’s not that important?”

Rather than avoiding these natural tendencies, include them in your goals. Consider them BEFORE they happen so that when they pop up, you will be prepared for them.

For example, if you know that you start the month strong, make your first week goals and miss your thi…

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GRATEFUL SOLUTIONS

Consider the skill it takes to collaborate with a client/customer to find a solution that they can say ‘yes’ to. That skill takes practice to develop and a belief that the practice will enhance the interaction and the outcome. And that the practice of collaboration and problem-solving will lead to more effective outcomes.

If you are achieving that, it is because you chose to try something different… and were willing to be uncomfortable with the process (and yet trust it!) so that you could produc…

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Practice – the resistance

There are times when I am writing or teaching or coaching that I need to check my “Imposter Syndrome.” Maybe it’s the syndrome or maybe it’s that I really don’t do what I am preaching at the level that my communication would indicate.

That’s how it is for me with practice. I must recognize my resistance and manage it, which includes accepting it as part of MY process of practice. Even when I want something, my ego will resist the actions needed to achieve what I want. And it’s sneaky.

I s…

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Follow Up…enough to get a result?

As an industry, whether retail or trade home furnishings showrooms, we tend to be weak in follow-up. Not everyone, but as an industry, this is a shortcoming. Please consider that there is room for growth here.

Start by planning to schedule follow-up and outreach actions into your work week, not letting them fall into 'when you get to it' status. AND plan them at the best time to produce the desired action –to connect and to get a sale or an appointment.

Notice: When do you give up? When i…

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Asking Confirming Questions

This step leads back to the first blog on this topic…assessing versus assuming.

Confirming questions solidify what was discussed and even decided, by asking a question that removed any doubt. As an example, a salesperson is working with a customer and asks them if there is anyone else who wants to participate in the project…as a way of identifying the decision-maker. The customer says, “I make the decisions about furniture.”

We all know that there are several elements to consider in making…

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How to Summarize?

“Let’s recap where we are now….”
“Let’s look at what has been decided and what remains…”
“Let’s summarize where we are now and make sure we are focused on your priorities.”

Notice that these are all ‘stop action’ statements by the salesperson…directing what the next action will be and the benefit of that action.

Summarizing will let the customer/client take a breath and not add new information to the conversation.
It will allow the salesperson to pause and take a breath, get to neutral…

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Who should Summarize?

In the same way that sketching the room is a multi-purpose tool and skill, I assert that summarizing will be, too. And they both need to be practiced into second nature by everyone on the sales team.

The sales professional.
In the earlier posts, I itemized the situations that would benefit from summarizing. For the salesperson, this will be a skill to be practiced and to keep front of mind. It may need to be mentioned in the daily huddle – with some successes from the previous day and some v…

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When to Summarize?

With this new skill of summarizing, it is helpful to know when to use it. As you read this, put yourself in your most recent ineffective sales interaction…and by ineffective, I mean that you did not produce a sale or an appointment. Without defense or blame, let’s explore if any of these things happened and if a different outcome might have been achieved if you had summarized.

Did you or the customer get distracted, confused, or overwhelmed? It’s easy to do when there are a lot of details …

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