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Guardrails #1

In the very simplest of terms, as a sales professional, our job is to make it easy for our customers/clients to say yes… and to buy from us. 
To do that, we need to truly be responsible for the entire sales interaction and how it goes, and where it ends up.
Guardrails help that. 

By guardrails, I mean guiding the conversation so that it doesn’t veer off course and stays in the lane for the intended outcome. Guardrails include asking questions that will direct the discussion and get the answer…

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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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GRATEFUL GREETING

This is where gratitude matters most…when we welcome clients, customers, and prospects into the showroom and collectively and individually create an environment that is warm and inviting.

Our thinking and conversations internally impact the experience that we create for our ‘guests’ 
and when we understand the impact that we have, we can be responsible for it and be
intentional with it.

What do you do to prepare yourself to be welcoming and grateful to incoming guests?
What do you do to rem…

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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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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 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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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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Asking Clarifying Questions

Where assuming can bite you is when you are sure you know what the other person wants or means without really knowing... either because they haven’t fully offered that information, or because you haven’t asked enough questions to have enough information.

Ask questions that MAKE you sure you know what they mean: “Can you be more specific?” “Can you describe that to me in more detail?” “Can you tell me what that would look like to you?”

Don’t be afraid to slow things down so you can be sure…

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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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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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