Sharpen Your Basic Tools to Boost Your Sales Success “Sales Success with Happiness and Heart”

Posted by Diane on Jan 24, 2010

The first message I want to share with you is: My motto and philosophy for doing anything and everything, is doing it with “happiness and heart.” Yes, nothing makes things go easier than to do them with a happy, playful attitude and a willing spirit. Even the rewards for accomplishment seem that much more delicious! So let’s dig in and take a look at some ideas for boosting your sales and selling success in the marketplace. And let’s do it with “happiness and heart!”

1. I like to say that there are only two things we have any control over on this earth: our behavior and our attitude. Everything else is entirely out of our hands. So if you do not like what is going on around you and, due to circumstances, you must be where you are at the time, check your own behavior and attitude. Rise above your difficult surroundings, elevate your personal presence, and discover your integrity, balance, and peace.

2. Master the desire, the passion, and the ability to compassionately, reach out to people. Nothing compares to the wonderful, cozy sensations we have when we sense that someone really cares about us.  Everybody has a hungry heart.  Humans thrive on healthy interpersonal connections – we are meant to be happy, social creatures.  And it’s so easy to achieve this bond by kindly extending a personal part of ourselves to others.

3. Treat people right, for, without your clients, you won’t have any business! How often I hear salespeople talk negatively about their clients; I hear them mock them and criticize them. They complain about their guests as though they are an absolute intrusion and inconvenience in their life. Don’t these individuals have a clue as to how detrimental their behavior is for both their professional and financial success?

4. Keep in mind, your current customer is always your number-one concern! The live body standing in front of you needs to take priority over any other work that you have to do, unless it is an absolute emergency. If you do have an emergency arise that can’t wait, honor your live customer and still deem him most important. Meet his eye and very briefly explain your reason for being interrupted or pulled away. Even ask permission before stepping away. Assure him you will be brief, and then get back to him as quickly as possible. When you return to your customer, acknowledge his gracious patience for accepting your interruption. You are performing two very important behaviors: First, you are using good manners.  Second, you are making your customer feel important.

5. Your most difficult customers are your very best teachers. You just have to learn to see these testy guerillas in that light. Experience must have already taught you that when you have a problem with a customer or a situation, you basically have two choices: You can either allow your problem to defeat you, or you can harness your problem and seek out a solution. Do you realize that each time you design a solution you create a valuable new tool for your toolbox? Isn’t that better than coming up empty-handed when you, once again, bump up against that same old aggravating rut?

6. Don’t see your errors as mistakes. See your errors as windows of opportunity to learn. See them as an opportunity to challenge yourself and grow in your own personal and/or professional life. Ask yourself, “What lesson am I supposed to learn here? What is this difficult person trying to teach me?” Find the lessons from your negative experience. If you look hard and long enough, they’re always present; there’s always something to be discovered. And from your lessons learned, you will further your own personal transformation by adding more skillful tools to your toolbox.

Now for the best part: Your commitment for personal growth will boost your sense for self-development and self-esteem. Your new, improved, genial image will be your beautiful gift for working successfully through your negative experience. When you’re willing to do the work, there will always be a reward! Now you can integrate this admirable new quality into your persona and carry it with you the rest of your life.

Cherish your challenging situations. All a problem is, really, is an opportunity to gain enlightenment, expand your personal awareness, and blossom into your own beautiful birthright. Knowledge is power!

7. Be personal and be enthusiastic with your customers. Talk and act passionately about your products and your services. Put your heart into your presentation. As I’ve said before, if some of these behaviors are foreign to your personality, practice in front of the mirror or role play with a coworker to make it more demonstrative and fun. An enthusiastic and demonstrative personality is very contagious! Be spunky, be perky!

8. The easiest and best intention you can program for yourself is, simply, be nice. It pays to be nice, and it costs you absolutely nothing. That is all there is to it. Try it on for size, set it into your automatic pilot program, and live “nice” every single day of your life. Choosing to be nice is a behavior and it is a habit. And, Stephen Covey states in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it takes 30 days to change a habit.

9. Hand in hand with personal etiquette goes gracious acknowledgment. Along with being automatically nice, be automatically appreciative. And by that I don’t mean a misappropriated and faked, “Thank-you.” I mean appropriate, sincere appreciation. Nothing is more condescending than not to be valued when you should be, nor, to be falsely rewarded for manipulative or insincere reasons. Learn the healthy workings of this very important concept and make healthy recognition your habit.

Practicing these behaviors requires you to pull your head out of the sand, to be awake and present. It involves you stepping outside yourself and facing the fact that you are only one little piece of the puzzle. Life is much more than just about, you – it’s about, teamwork, cooperation, and appreciation. Open your eyes and pay better attention; embrace the value for the team.

Take the time to personally acknowledge and thank the service people who work behind you, your coworkers, and employees (employers, too). Thank people with special phone calls, thank you notes, cards, and gifts. Reward people for their kindness and goodness. Do your part to turn this world around and make it a better place to be. For life to flourish, it takes a village!

10. And, of major importance: Each step you take with your customer is not a step towards the close. Instead, each step is a vital function for the process of the close! Your greatest reward for mastering the world of sales: You can apply your sales skills to all arenas of your life! And yes, with each word I write, with each sentence and sound bite I formulate, I am devoutly practicing these same empowering skills with you. I am letting you know, you have valuable worth – you matter!

So take some of your precious time to sharpen your tools in these ten basics. You can learn all the fancy jargon and terminology in the world, you can know more about your products than anyone else in your field. But, unless you genuinely connect and relate with your prospects you will only have a very slim chance of making the sale.

And yes, people know when they are with a winner; they can just feel it. This little golden nugget is a tough one to express in words, because sensing that you’ve found a keeper is truly a gut feeling. Somehow, consumers just know when they have landed with the qualified sales professional they have been searching for. They sense your genuine value of integrity; they pick up on your poise, your self-confidence, and your sincere interest in them. They know when they have found the right person to fulfill their needs. They know when they have found the person they want to work with. In other words, they recognize that you are there for them, and not yourself. And they will want to do their business with you!


“Eye Talk” by Diane Marie Pinkard

Posted by Diane on Jan 24, 2010

 
I have written a wonderful book about relationship selling and I have quoted three paragraphs from my book for this article.  Since writing my book I have, now, added three more.  Let’s see if you can tell which are the three original paragraphs and then, the added three?  I bet you will find it to be very easy to do!    

Eye contact is a very important tool for achieving a good connection with your customer.  The value of good eye contact is twofold: First, it’s a very powerful silent communication message about you and your relationship with you.  It reflects your level of self-esteem and your comfort level with yourself. Maybe you are familiar with the expression, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul.”  Through the window of your eyes, people are able to read you like a book!

Second, our quality eye contact validates the person to whom we are speaking. When we look them in the eye and give them our undivided attention, we are telling them that they matter.  We are honoring and valuing their self-worth.  I have often had clients tell me that they like themselves much more when they are in my company.  That’s simply because, they feel valued and important.

If looking people in the eye is an issue for you, practice with a good friend or in front of a mirror.  Set up a video camera and play back the results.  Practice until you become comfortable with you. Watching your own videotape can be scary.  It can be tough to make eye contact with your own eyes and meet up with your own soul.  But your efforts can richly reward you.  The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more comfortable your clients will be with you! 

However, if you have grown very comfortable in your own skin, and you recognize that eye contact seems unpleasant for your guest, respect him in his space, and do not judge him for his behavior.  He may not be deceitful or contrary in any way.  And, where I had to learn this lesson is from two of my five dogs.  Two of my dear pets, sadly, had been abused as puppies.  My vet informed me that if animals are mistreated in the first 3 months of their life they usually never totally recover or forget their traumatic experiences.  One of my two precious dogs’ saddest behaviors is, they cannot meet my eye.   Their self-esteem is just too poor.

I work very hard to build trust and communicate with these two kind souls in others ways that keep them feeling safe and comfortable so we can feel connected and healthy together.  I have not “walked in their moccasins,” so I honor them for who they are and where they come from.  I am very sensitive to who they are.  So I soften my step when I walk,  I watch how I move, especially how I move my arms and what I carry in my hands.  I soften my voice and I touch them with total respect and dignity.  I never, ever, force eye contact!  I work to recover their self-esteem by looking at them kindly when I interact with them, but I expect nothing in return.  Yes, these two beautiful blond labs have taught me a lot about imperfections and about honoring and accepting that, not everyone has to do it the way I believe it should be done.

Society is also rapidly changing.  Our society is fast becoming a “mixing bowl” with many cultures joining together.   Our world is growing smaller by the day.  Consequently, we must broaden our horizons and be aware that the good eye contact we have been taught in our American tradition may not be the practice of another culture.  Or, maybe, our guest may not be as comfortable with himself for his own personal reasons.  Humanity is struggling in many ways today and that is making life hard, and it is definitely tugging on people’s heartstrings and self-esteem.  So if you sense that eye contact may not be the practice of your business prospect at hand don’t avoid eye contact.  Because part of you gaining the genuine confidence of your visitor is that you be true to yourself.  Just soften your practiced disciplines to keep you true to whom you are and, also, keeping your client comfortable with himself and you! 

In closing, my final message here is, not just about eye contact, but about the fact that no matter how much we think we know, personal circumstances and life’s unfolding can always teach us more.  And I think some of our best learning doesn’t just stem from working with one another as human beings.  I sincerely believe it comes from listening and observing nature, children, and animals.   In fact, it is the continuous personal struggle I see my two dear dogs to have that prompted me to select this topic to share with you!

Thank you for your time and I would love to hear about your experiences and learn more from you.

 Author of Just Treat Me Like I Matter:  The Heart of Sales

Website:  http://www.dianepinkard.com


A Powerful Shot-In-the Arm For ALL Baby Boomers!

Posted by Diane on Jan 24, 2010

I have a question for you: What do the Baby Boomers Have to Offer the Millennials and Gen X’s in our society, today? For me, this question reminds me of a great story my Mom used to tell me when I was a young girl. I sincerely believe my quest for seeking wisdom and knowledge stems from my mother and grandfather.

When my mother was a little girl, her father used to say to her, “Little Girlie, I wished I could just tell you all my knowledge and wisdom. But, unfortunately, you are going to have to go out into the world and learn it all for yourself.” Over and over again, my mother repeated this message to me, from my dear grandfather’s words to her.

Now that I am 63, I feel that I have a vast collection of experience, and I look forward to gaining tons more. And now I am reminded of a wonderful teaching my mother has given me. She used to say: “For everything you think you know, in ten years from now, look back and see how much more you know then.” Of course the first time she said that to me was when I was in my late teens – early twenties – back in the days when I thought I knew everything!

Well, I followed her advice, and as my 20’s past I started to reflect back on the last 10 years of my life. Needless to say, it was a real eye-opener, for I was in shock at how much I had learned. Worse yet, I realized how much I did not know that I did not know when I was 10 years younger. And it was my lack of knowledge and wisdom that caused me to make the choices and decisions I probably would not have made, if I had known better. So the joy I have today is, I have lived long enough to have a lot to offer for myself and others.

Just recently I had the opportunity to meet Lisa Orrell, the author of Millennials Incorporated. Since hearing her speak, I have purchased and read her book and I loved it immensely. For, I am a person that has spent most of my life, immersing myself into the study of human dynamics and learning about “what makes people tick.” From her book, I quickly realized that if I want to keep up I must learn more about the younger generations that are rapidly coming up behind me.
And the best part of my discovery is: I am just coming into my prime and I have more to offer now than I ever have. I am just so thankful to be old enough and wise enough, to know it! So now I ask myself, what words of wisdom and encouragement can I pass on to you Boomers that are struggling with the fact: “That the world and the young people are just not like it (they) used to be.”

What can I teach you that will contradict the belief that society defies the youth and abhors the aging? And, sadly the result of this critical mindset is: Many older people feel ignored, disrespected, and even shunned in the workplace and in their personal lives. For many they suffer a sense of confusion and rejection and as a result, they are becoming insecure and fearful. This is a very sad reality and even more, a very sad place to be.

So let’s see what words of encouragement and tips I can give you Boomers, to help you realize your wonderful value and contribution you have to offer to any age:

· View yourself as being the best that you have ever been! Stop worrying about how you think you are being viewed by others. You have now lived long enough to know who you are. Hopefully, you have found your authentic self. You are now comfortable in your skin. So, live the life that brings you great self-respect, pleasure, and dignity. Realize that living through the many chapters and experiences of your life have gifted you offerings that are rich and priceless. See yourself as the rough edged, rugged stone that has gone through the “rock tumbler” of life, and has transformed into a divine, priceless gem. Yes indeed, no matter what your walk in life you carry with you, the “rich makings of you!”

· Nurture the courage and heart to want to age gracefully. We all have a need to belong and be a desirable member of the group. Some of us desire that to the point that we will resort to extreme measures to retain a youthful appearance. But that method for fitting in is only going to delude ourselves. First, we must love ourselves for who we are, right where we are at this time. This simple insight is truly the best recipe for presenting a beautiful personal glow and enlivening your youthfulness. We must embrace our aging with internal joy, comfort, and grace. And our inner peace will certainly enhance our exterior beauty as well.

· Pursue your passions. Give these excited young people something to look forward to when they mature. Illustrate to them that at any age we have tremendous offerings and value. “Walk the talk” that they can model for their own developing and maturing. Your actualized example will accomplish two things: Your active presence will draw interest, attention and even admiration from others of any age. And you will give these young people great hope for their own future, as they mature into their “golden years.”

· Remove negativity from your life. I constantly teach that we only have control of two things in our life: our behavior and our attitude. That is all we can be in charge
of to change the world for ourselves and to influence others. So, foster your own positive behavior and attitude, then, stay focused on helping others. If you struggle with negative self-talk, replace it with affirmations that are positive and desirable. Don’t rely on others to save you, not any longer. Don’t waste time fretting and worrying, and becoming defensive, hostile, even angry, and blaming others for your feat. Instead, look for the lessons learned from your negative experiences and impart this knowledge onto others. Share like a mentor.

· Treat your aging as a natural process that you can go through with acceptance and grace. Experience “joy” in your life; stop seeking “happiness.” To understand joy in the Biblical sense, it is not to be confused with exuberance or with superficial cheerfulness, such as happiness. It is a peaceful quality that can run all through your life, no matter what the various circumstances that can arise. It is staying grounded, centered, and in a state of harmony with the universe – no matter what delights and/or challenges come into your path. Yes, joy is long term contentment.

· Consider the journey of life to be like a long hike crossing through the deep valleys and over the peaks of mountaintops. Yes, there is that great delight from viewing life from the mountaintop. We get that momentary, euphoric high, as in the state of happiness. But it is when we are in the deep dark valleys that we truly face our trials. That is where we do our best soul searching and, as a result, the best lessons are learned and the richest wisdom is gained. It is in the valleys that we get to find out who we really are, not who we are when everything if going just fine.

· Take good care of yourself. Respect the body that God has given you and take good care of it; and keep an active mind so that you will be motivated and a good interest to others. By taking good care of yourself you will definitely gain the respect and trust of the young people, and you will make yourself more appealing to people of all ages.

· Stay up to date with what is going on in the world around you. Pay attention to current events, social concerns, and political and ideological changes. Keep up with topics that matter to young people. Staying abreast to what is going on in our fast evolving world will offer you a strong bridge for building rich connection, and quality relating and interacting with the younger generations.

· By all means: avoid being “self-focused” and telling the younger generations about “the good old days”. Instead, be “other-focused” and be a curious student about what life is like in their “good new days.” Don’t bore them with what you have done. Instead, be curious and admire them for their great qualities, attributes, and contributions that they have to offer our society today. Learn more about them. And, who knows – they may teach you something.

· Best of all – concentrate on being helpful, caring, and a positive, healthy contribution to others. Honor and respect others for their uniqueness and differences. Learn some new practices and behaviors. You are never too old to grow! Some like to say: “When I quit growing I might as well die.” Being other-focused keeps you vital, interesting, and youthful at any age. And this is another great place to plug Lisa’s book, Millennials Incorporated: If you want to expand your horizons and grow with the times, her book is a wonderful, wonderful place to start!

I would love to hear from you if you have comments or any other information you would like to share. We are living in a fast changing world and us Boomers are living longer than any other generation before us. So let’s make our time here count and let’s leave our mark on the world for the short time we are here. We ALL do make a difference!


Sincere Tips for Your Success in the Workplace by Diane Marie Pinkard

Posted by Diane on Jan 24, 2010

We are living in a time where people are very busy! They are hurrying from here to there and there to here, and back again and again. It almost feels like our civilization is going crazy. And if people do not find a way to slow down and get genuinely connected, first with them themselves, then with each other, I sincerely believe we are going to extinct ourselves.

I sincerely believe that “awareness” is the key for our success and our survival. And the best way to become aware is to be present in the moment. We must pay attention to the “now” and become an observer of our own life. We must become aware of the control our egos want to posses in order to control and run our lives. Instead, we must step outside of ourselves and care about the wellbeing of others. Two heads are better than one.

Yes, we are social creatures by nature. We must encourage collaboration so we can learn to work with others. And there is nothing more exciting and rewarding than genuinely relating and connecting with others. The following list of simple tools is a great resource to print out for you to read from time to time, and, also, to share with others. You might like to enlarge the print and post it in a place that all can see.

· Be what you want others to be with you. Or simply put:
Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

· Acknowledge and be aware of what others are communicating with you – verbally and non-verbally. You were given two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately!

· Pay attention to body language. Learn to read people’s silent messages of communication. More often their actions are speaking louder than their words. I call this, listening with your third ear.

· Good eye contact is of utmost importance for achieving a rich connection for ALL your exchanges! Maintain good eye contact with your customers when they are talking. Meeting their eye will keep your mind from wandering and will validate their confidence that you care.

· Welcome each other’s views. “None of us is as good as all of us.” This quote comes from Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s. It can be very freeing to respect and honor each other’s differences.

· Show respect for one another. The more attention you pay to understanding one another’s nature, the more harmony you will create for yourself and them. And you will discover how much you have in common. You will be able to successfully share ideas and relate to one another.

· Straight-up, honest communication is the key element for building trust in your relationships and for expressing feelings and concerns, and getting things out into the open. For me, I have experienced that speaking out honestly is the hardest lesson I have had to learn. But, having the courage to master this challenge has been the most freeing and empowering step I have ever taken for living a richer life!

· Communicate effectively.
Develop the courage to speak up and speak out. When you speak up, maintain a positive attitude and speak in positive sentences and structure. Nothing paints a better portrait of you, then your gracious ability to speak from an authentic, solid place. You have a right to your opinions if you have an issue. But, if your communication is not working, do not resort to pouting, silence, slamming items down, or sarcasm. Stop, regroup and take a few deep breaths, even acknowledge that you are struggling with your words. Then pull up your boot straps and try again.

· Do not offend others! If you cannot say something nice or pleasant, refrain from saying anything at all. No sarcasm, cynicism, or derogatory remarks! Keep in mind that it’s important to remain respectful of the other person, even if you don’t like their actions. Be patient, interpret, and rephrase thoughts. Read between the lines of what is being said. You can help them by trying to interpret what they mean. A lot of people have a hard time expressing themselves. You can rephrase and repeat what is being said to you, back to those who are speaking. This insures not only that you understand what they are saying, but more importantly, what they mean. And, that you care.

· Know the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is feeling badly for someone. Empathy includes the quality or process of entering fully, through imagination, into another’s feelings or motives.” In the fullest sense, empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes so that you really understand and feel his pain, fear, or his joys. Practice empathy.

· Listen with heart and caring. Listening is the key. Nothing sooths the heart and warms the soul than being genuinely listened to. The best way to be remembered is not for what you say, but for being a caring listener. Believe me. It works!

· Remember that the goal of effective communication skills should be a mutual understanding and finding a solution that pleases both parties, not “winning” the argument or “being right”. It is a lonely world when you fight to be right. But it is bright and sunny day when all parties get to shine

· Use good diction and volume. Speak clearly and distinctly and loud enough to be heard (but not too loud to overpower those around you). So many are insensitive to how they are relating and affecting others. Step outside of yourself and meta-view these qualities in you. They are so important.

· Use awareness in your workspace. Honor the space of others for noise and distance – not too loud and not too soft. Do not crowd one another (whether standing or sitting) – honor the 18” of personal space. And honor a respectable distance from people working at desks and at work stations.

· Always be thoughtful and courteous of co-workers. See each member of the team to be an important and valuable link in the chain. We are not meant to be “islands” and it unacceptable to isolate individuals for their behaviors, nor their beliefs. Use and practice all of the items addressed in this article and find ways to welcome them, not shun them. See sharing your ideas as a personal effort to relate to theirs.

· Build trust and respect with your teammates. Honest, caring communication is the key. Yes, trust is one of the most difficult characteristics for teammates to develop. And that is because human nature has many idiosyncrasies that confuse and scare people. So many people come from a place of manipulation, poor self-esteem, “hidden agendas,” and “control dramas,” that team members feel insecure and do not know what to think. Let alone how to act.

· If you have an issue with a coworker, discuss your issue in private. Do not exchange any disrespectful words or digs in front of customers or the general public. There is nothing that tears down the value of an individual or the strength of your organization more than exchanging hurtful, derogatory remarks in front of other employees or customers.

· Do not talk negatively about your clients or your coworkers. Have fun with both, but not at anyone’s expense. Be responsible for your behavior and your choices, be accountable for your actions. Nothing poisons the workplace more than a bad seed that is intentionally spreading ill will.

· Keep very accurate, detailed, and complete log sheets
on all work and job update forms – like you are telling a story, and chapter by chapter, it is unfolding and evolving. That way, if you are not there another team member can pick up the paperwork and move forward. And no one is burdened with finding the “missing pieces.” Think of it as, you are writing a story! And if you were to never come back, someone else could pick up your work and move forward without hassle. And, please, take pride in this step. Do not look at it as an annoying burden. You are fulfilling such a vital role for keeping the strong train vigorously running on its tracts, with or without you.

I have had such fun putting this list together. I realize that I could go on and on, but I have reached the length I want this article to be. I hope you enjoy it and decide to print it up as a valuable resource for your workplace. And, I would love to hear from you with anything you would like to add.

Thank you! Diane

http://www.heartofsales.com


From the Heart: Six Ways to Build Connections in Your Selling Relationships by Diane Marie Pinkard

Posted by Diane on Jan 24, 2010

If you want to have a fulfilling career in sales, you must first and foremost ask yourself these two questions: Do you enjoy serving people? Do you want to make your customer’s day better than it was before he or she met you or talked with you?” If you answered yes to these questions, then sales is really the right place for you and I believe I have a few valuable pieces of advice to give you. By taking these few simple tips to heart, you can truly start to transform your selling!

1. Don’t look at your profession as a job; look at it as a way of life—a hobby. Learn to love what you are doing! Get excited to learn all you can to become a master. Like a master gardener or chef, it starts as an interest and becomes a hobby. Then, as we learn more, we become an expert—we become experts doing something we love! And naturally, we love the results!

2. Overcome your greatest obstacle—yourself! Listen to what you’re saying to yourself! Are you your own worst enemy? Are you negative, defensive, or critical? Are you just plain self-defeating, manipulative, and relentless in relating all the reasons why you can’t achieve success? If so, take a personal inventory and if you do not like what you see, get the help you need to re-program the personal tapes you are playing to yourself.

3. View yourself as a performer; see yourself as the star. Imagine yourself performing on center stage, and enjoying being in the limelight. Feel happy inside, and see your self singing and dancing. Drop your inhibitions and choreograph fun. Because “making merry” really makes the selling experience a lot more enjoyable for everybody. Loosen up and make some light, playful folly! And, with your lively customers, share the stage with them whenever the opportunity arises. Treat them like celebrities and choose them to be your costars. Happiness is freeing; it is also, very contagious!

4. Develop that inner place of passion embellished with fun when you are selling. Connecting from this sensitive, playful place will bring the relationship your customer is consciously or unconsciously yearning for. When I sell, I see myself as a cake full of heart, frosted with fun. I love to play with analogies, metaphors, and images as I perform. I love to watch people drop their guard, become real, and lighten up. People love to feel that you care, that you are enjoying them, and that you are genuinely interested in their needs. We all want to feel like we matter!

5. Be what you want others to be with you. Pay full attention to the self-empowerment you gain from this modest concept! Every day, people in all walks of life are hurt, angry and/or frustrated because they feel they’re not being treated the way they want to be treated. Your first expression is the client’s lasting impression. Your actions, your choice of words, your eye contact, and your body language all reflect who you are and your comfort level with yourself. Remember, you are the best product you have to offer. Plain and simple: You are selling you, and that’s what people buy—you!

6. Master the desire, the passion, and the ability to compassionately reach out to people. Nothing compares to the wonderful, welcoming sensations we have when we sense that someone really cares about us. Everybody has a hungry heart. Humans thrive on healthy interpersonal connections—we are meant to be happy, social creatures. And it’s so easy to achieve this bond by kindly extending a personal part of ourselves to others.

Today, we are living on the fast track in a rapidly changing world. Due to our modern existence, smothered with automation and highly sophisticated technology, making contact with a truly caring and competent service specialist is becoming more and more of a rarity. In our time-pressed society we are all so busy multitasking, we have lost touch with the precious value for human caring and enjoyable interconnectedness with one another.

So what can you do to make a worthwhile contribution and difference in our spinning, out-of-control world? Be different than other salespeople, simply by slowing down your tempo. Take that extra moment to treat your new prospects as though they are someone special. Take a few moments to tap into them; ask them about themselves and their talents, and listen to their responses with genuine interest. Let them know you are there with them and for them. Treat them the way you would like to be treated! You will be truly amazed with the wondrous results—your efforts will pay off tenfold!

I realize that not everyone is nice and/or receptive, nor do they want to be, and that’s just how the ball bounces. But what in the world do you have to lose by graciously channeling yourself to this euphoric place and seeing where it takes you? Again, this effort costs you nothing. It’s free! It seems almost impossible for me to express in words the blissful feelings you will experience when you realize the beautiful contribution you are gifting to others.

Besides the joy you are giving others, look at the wealth of goodness you are flooding into your own soul. Your sunshine energy not only affects your recipient, it permeates our universe. Think of your actions as a much-needed, healthy new epidemic—your vibrant, radiant behavior will catch on and become contagious. It’s really that simple!

Enjoy this beautiful, soft whisper from the past that I just read this morning: “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” This quote comes from Elizabeth Bibesco, a 20th century English writer. Please lock this precious morsel into your heart and model it in your life! Envision each small contribution you make for the betterment of mankind, to add up and help make our world a better place.

Please note: This article was published in the March 2009 issue of Master Salesmanship.

Diane Marie Pinkard

http://www.heartofsales.com

The First Person You Have to Learn to Sell to is You!

Posted by Diane on Jan 24, 2010

“The first person you have to learn to sell to is you! Before selling successfully to the world, you must learn to sell successfully to yourself. This means learning to identify with your own character and makeup; it means getting in touch with your own personal truth. I define my personal truth to be what I say to myself when no one else is listening. By experimenting with this process, you too will discover your own personal truth. This is a great way to discover the “real makings of you.” I refer to this concept as a “self-talk” – what we say to ourselves when we are quiet with ourselves, listening to our inner voice, which is constantly chattering to us. These are the tapes we play back to ourselves in our head, over and over again. So, if you don’t like the messages you’re hearing, change the record and play it repeatedly!”

This short excerpt comes from my sales training book for relationship selling, Just Treat Me Like I Matter: The Heart of Sales. And it was not until my book was complete, did I really realize what I had written. The theme of my book appeared in a testimonial from Pat McQuillan, Owner and CFO for Bay Plumbing Supply in Santa Cruz, CA. Pat said, “Diane has tapped into a new resource for selling – YOURSELF. This is a refreshing new outlook for the sales professional to look deep inside yourself and truly believe in what you are selling…” Now as I go back to my book, as I do, over and over again, I see that Pat was absolutely right. I am teaching salespeople how to become sales professionals, by teaching them how to market the best product they will ever have to market. And that product is YOU!

In these tough economic times, there are many people who are out of work, or they are employed in positions that are below or do not fit their capacities and talents. So, as a sales trainer, coach and mentor, what advice can I give, to assist you, in these hard times? Take some time to tap into the best product you have to offer: YOU!

Here are some activities and exercises to help you to get started:

· Take time each day for tranquility and/or self-growth before starting your day, out in the world.
Some ideas:

First and foremost: Give thanks for what you do have. Write your list down, if you wish, and you will be pleasantly surprised that you do have a lot to be thankful for!

Sit quietly and listen to what comes in, pray, or meditate.

Get acquainted and very honest with yourself.

Journal your feelings and concerns.

· Pay attention to your attitude and the self-talk that is chattering in your head. Is it either, more positive or more negative?
I say there are only two things we have any control of in this life. One is our actions and the other is our attitude. And both come from what we think. So listen to what you hear and if you like it, enhance it. And if it sounds like “stinkin-thinkin,” change it! Do not wait for anyone to save you or rescue you. With each negative thought that comes in, answer it with a positive one. Facing this feat takes self-awareness and self-discipline. Accomplishing this change come from the desire, belief and willingness to want to transform.

· As you start to counteract any negativity, bring in the positive. Start visualizing or focusing yourself for a great day of success.
Become your own life coach and mentor. Tell yourself, “You can do it. You can become more upbeat and have a more positive outlook. Yes, you are what you think! So make your self-talk positive!

· Make personal enrichment one of your primary intentions and/or priorities?
Each day make it a habit to take time to feed and/or nurture yourself for your personal and professional growth and development?

Read at least 10 pages from a good personal growth book.

Listen to a CD in your car or headset.

Find like-minded people that want to improve their life and work together.

· Grow to love the process. Grow to love the journey.
Personally, I have grown to be much gentler and easier with myself, especially in tough times and challenging circumstances.
I have realized that every personal challenge I face offers me an opportunity to learn and mature with grace. See yourself as a “work in progress.” Look at your life as an opportunity for growth, evolvement and transition. As I taught my three boys when they were growing up, there are no such thing as a problem as long as they learned a lesson from the experience. And with each lesson learned they would receive a new tool to add to their toolbox for living their life. And that new tool would be their gift from learning the lesson from the bad experience.

· Create your dream or vision, and commit your heart to it. It is your thoughts that form your life, and it is your inner feelings that will manifest the results you want for your life. You design the blueprint for your life, for your future. So visualize your path, your journey to success. Program yourself for what you want your life to be, and make it happen! Your success starts with planting the idea or seed of how you want things to be. By aligning your inner desires and passions with your self talk, ultimately your desires will be realized. Be imaginative, be creative, and be disciplined in your process. True to your heart, lock in your intent and remain unbending for achieving your desired outcome. It will pay off!

· Remember, all life decisions are choices. Your life is constantly offering you options; you get to set your own intentions, then make your own choices. That’s one of the gifts of your existence. So, no excuses – ultimately you do choose! And doing nothing is still a choice!

I know these behaviors and disciplines are not an easy assignment when you are worrying about, how are you going to pay your bills. But, they are an absolute must for your personal survival. And they certainly can’t hurt you.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you well. Diane


Rich Pearls for Your Success

Posted by Diane on Jan 24, 2010

I would like to share a beautiful excerpt from my book, Just Treat Me Like I Matter: The Heart of Sales. When I drafted this section I had such feeling for what I was doing, so that is probably why it turned out so special. Because, with each word I wrote and each sentence I composed, I was truly genuine and coming from my sincere heart.

Locally I am having businesses wanting a copy and they are posting the couple of paragraphs of text and the Personal Qualities for Success list in their staff lounges and work rooms. So I thought it was time to bring this beautiful message to you. Please feel free to print out a copy and share it with others in your workplace, or just make a copy to enjoy for yourself. And, if you chose to share it, I would appreciate if you would note and add where this excerpt came from.

Please enjoy!

“Lastly, I will list our showroom’s Personal Qualities for Success. These qualities were stellar then, and they are stellar today. I suggest you reprint the following list and make them a motto for living your professional life. And, believe me, they won’t hurt you for living your personal life, either. Please honor these keepers and practice them 24/7!

Personal Qualities for Success

• Be forthright
• Be open-minded and willing to grow and change in order to prosper.
• Be genuinely caring and show it by listening, educating, and facilitating.
• Be loyal to our philosophy of self-dignity and respect for others.
• Be true to yourself. Be who you really are!
• Have fun!
• Treat people like they matter – always!
• Come from the heart!

Embrace these endearing words and keep them alive in your heart as you continue on your own journey. Tap into your own rich, God-given resources; discover what is important to you. Find your own touch of greatness; discover your uniqueness, and define your purpose for being brought to this earth! Your healthy intimate relationship with yourself allows you to achieve amazing personal growth and also opens up many avenues for you to inspire others as well as delight in the world around you. Have faith in yourself that you have the capability to accomplish amazing things. Believe in you; believe in the best product you have to offer.”

From: JUST TREAT ME LIKE I MATTER: THE HEART OF SALES by Diane Marie Pinkard, Bonny Doon Publishing, Copyright: 2008, pp256,257.