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Assessing versus Assuming

Assess OR Assume…you can’t do both.

And the only way you know which one you are currently doing is…drumroll, please…you are asking questions with only ONE of them: Assessing. Assessing means asking questions, not knowing and looking for evidence, but asking in order to know.

Asking questions is a skill. Every sales professional needs to see it as a skill to develop FOREVER because the customer buying process changes, the marketplace evolves, and the desire and ability to learn more and do …

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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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What does slow mean?

When salespeople tell me that ‘it’s slow’…I have to take a breath and get to neutral so that I don’t react. 😀 Why is that?

Because most salespeople who complain about traffic aren’t using the actual data as their complaint. They might be using one day of traffic against the same day a week earlier or another anecdotal comparison that is not based in fact. And even if it IS factual, now what?

My standard response to “It’s slow…” is something like, “I get that you have some concerns about the tr…

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Who you gonna call?

Do you have your customers and prospects in a CRM or accessible and organized format?
Are your contacts stored somewhere that you can get to easily?

If you aren’t using a CRM program, you can get by with putting your contacts in Outlook or in an Excel or Google spreadsheet. You probably have systems in your computer (or the company does) that you can use to get started, so ask before you take on building something that might already be in existence.

For trade showrooms, begin to organize your…

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Why wait?

As traffic begins to slow in both retail and trade showrooms and we look to satisfy our commitment to making goal NO MATTER WHAT…we find that relying solely on the door is not a good strategy for achievement.

Relying on the door is a waiting game. And it puts all the eggs in one basket… and it’s not a sturdy basket. It may seem easier to just wait and see what happens, right? But what if the traffic is insufficient to make your goal at your current performance levels? Then what? Can you affo…

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Intended Outcomes

My program, “Sell it or Schedule it”™, is called that because the ONLY outcomes of a selling interaction is to close the sale or to arrange another contact time…in order to close the sale. To either write it up today because the customer is far enough along in their buying process to be able to confidently decide…or they aren’t! In the case of the latter, an appointment will ‘forward’ or ‘advance’ the sale so that you can close it at the next contact.

Anything else isn’t an outcome, but a step …

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April Showers Bring May Flowers

As lead times remain long and product pricing and freight continue to rise, we are faced with the question of timing. It’s likely that home furnishings (and I speak to fine quality products here) will never be more affordable than they are right now. And right now is all we have. Now is the time to take action and make decisions. 

That thinking needs to start with the sales professional. Waiting favors no one. A client/customer who believes that waiting until supply chain challenges lessen or…

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High Point Furniture Market

In the spirit of Spring and the transition and blossoming nature of the season, High Point Market was a welcome respite from the isolation of the pandemic.

It ‘felt’ well attended, both in the buildings and on the streets, and had an old and new quality to it.

Old in the sense of seeing lots of people I have missed in the last couple of years, and the chance to sit and talk about how they and their business have changed.

Old and new in revisiting shared experiences (I got a lot of “You once t…

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