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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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Guardrails #2

To continue with the guardrail conversation… setting boundaries.
A boundary that helps guide the conversation is the ability to say “No.”

Say NO when the client/customer asks for things that cannot be done – either within the current budget or timeframe.
Say NO when the client/customer asks for additions without adding to what they are paying for it. 
Say NO when the client/customer asks you to ‘take it out of your commission’.
Say NO when the client/customer asks you to do something that you know is…

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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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GRATEFUL QUESTIONING

How can we bring gratitude to questioning? When do we need it the most?

Let’s look at where questions start. Are they coming from a place of interest and helpfulness?

Are the questions originating from compassion and a desire to understand?

Are the questions courageous (tough to ask but we know we must) and considerate (asked in a
way that is respectful and kind)?

When a sales interaction is successful (in that it produced a sale or an appointment), take a moment to present and to be gratef…

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Practice – the rewards

I need to bring the topic back around to selling.

Ah, the practice of selling. It is a practice. There are so many elements: the practice of setting goals, the practice of connecting with strangers, the practice of asking discovery questions, the practice of presenting solutions to customer priorities, the practice of handling objections, the practice of asking for a commitment, the practice of being silent and still, the practice of follow up and outreach, the practice of organizing your bus…

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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 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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