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Systems

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 THINKING

In the season of Thanksgiving, I thought it might be helpful to bring gratitude to every element of the sales process and to see where we can expand our effectiveness. And since thoughts impact words and words impact deeds, it’s a great place to start.

Grateful thinking is a process and a practice that starts with prompts and reminders to begin building the practice. Personally, I notice that when I let my practice and structure lapse, my thinking follows, and I am not ‘operating’ from a place of…

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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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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 Summarizing Questions

Summarizing is a questioning step to see if we are accurate, in alignment, and on track. It’s a good step when the conversation is going on too long, is getting confusing (or going into areas that are less important), or when YOU have gotten distracted by too much time spent or too many details and distractions.

It’s simple: “Let me see if I understand…” then review what has been agreed to. Not every detail, just what has been agreed to.

If there is anything that is outstanding and needs…

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Cold call, warm call, hot call…what is it? Go with the easy ones first

Outreach occurs on an ominous note because we collapse outreach with cold calls…which many salespeople fear and despise…and consequently, aren’t very good at…so the cycle never gets broken and the perspective continues.
If you see the relevance and value of outreach but don’t have much experience with it, the fear and resistance are understandable. So, let’s start with the easy stuff…hot and warm calls.

Hot calls are those customers who are actively looking, and you happened to connect wit…

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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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Priorities…plus….

As we did in the first blog of this series (Problems….), we will focus on one element. One element that when added to the others creates something magical. 

Priorities are those things that matter most. And there aren’t a lot of them, which is what makes them priorities. 

When working with a designer or with a retail customer, ask what the priorities of the project/product are…and limit them to THREE. 

Ask: “What are the three most important elements to you?” Then listen and take no…

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Me, too…

Habits take time and attention to develop. If you haven’t read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, put it on your list for 2022. It identifies the elements necessary for creating and keeping new habits.

I think I explore and train others and write blogs because I need to hear the message as much as I need to share it. For me, it helps to combine a new action with a reliable one to build a new habit…. like taking vitamins at night when I put the coffee together for the next day.  I can’t do …

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Starting new practices and habits isn’t a smooth process. After the initial excitement and inspiration wears off and old habits start to call to us, we feel pulled in a couple of directions: moving toward the future that we envision and desire and being tethered to a familiar way of doing things. We start to tell ourselves that the current reality is not so bad….and maybe we just need to live with it. 

Fear. Resignation. Hopelessness. 

When we know that breakdowns will occur or we may falt…

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