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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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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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Setting Goals

Happy New Year! (How long can we say that…all the way to the end of January…or the first time you speak with someone in the new year?)
If your goals aren’t completed yet (of course you have started them!), not to worry. Get busy on them so that you can start planning your strategy and actions. Here is a structure that works:
Always articulate your goals as a RESULT. Example: Write $1.2m in 2023. This example is the first rule:

S - Specific - Not vague or ambiguous. - [Write $1.2m] in 2023. …

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GRATEFUL FOLLOW-UP

For many salespeople (including myself) follow-up is the weakest skill. It takes scheduling, organizing, and consistent action for follow up to be effective. It takes doing things you don’t want to do. It takes failing – a lot! – and trying again. It takes rigorous evaluation and measurement to improve and build the follow-up muscle. And it never, ever ends.

Whether cold or warm calls, managing web leads or referrals, follow-up is a skill and a practice of patience and persistence. It will ALWA…

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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 practice

It sounds funny…but practice is a practice. Medicine is a practice…as are yoga and meditation.

Practice practicing. Some of that is thinking of practice as a repetition to develop a skill. Or through practice, to develop an understanding of the nature of practice…the emotions that are part of it, the stages to be experienced, the discomfort and awkwardness that is PART of the practice and of development.

Practice allows us to build a relationship to discomfort so that we can see it for w…

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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 for the Commitment…are you asking enough?

Here’s a question…when you KNOW that the solution you presented is spot on, and the customer agrees…and yet they have a question or a concern – which you overcome, do you then ask for the sale?
And if they hesitate or say: ‘I want to think about it,’ do you manage it and ask for the sale again?
And if the sale is not forthcoming, do you ask for and get an appointment – to ask for the sale again?

Okay, this might seem like waaaayyyyy too much for you. You may call it too aggressive. Too inse…

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Handling Objections…what is enough?

Let’s extend developing our questioning skills to include handling objections.
As we evaluate our relationship to objections, it’s important to look at the reaction to objections and the response to the objection. They are separate yet related actions.

Ask yourself: Do I really know what they are concerned about…or am I assuming I know? Do I accept their concern as valid – and maybe even agree with them? Do I understand their concern, and do I have a response to address it and move beyond i…

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Asking…enough… Questions

How do you know if you have asked enough questions?
What is it you want to know? And are you asking the questions that will find that out?
As salespeople, we can all expect to learn more and ask better questions as we continue to develop our skills.
One of the clues that you are not asking enough questions is that objections arise when you try to close. What are the objections that consistently come up for you?

Or equally important, do you know where your buyer is in their buying process…

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