Diane is Starting to Reflect on Her Life

Posted by Diane on Jan 7, 2016

I decided to make a portion of my 2015 Christmas letter into a blog.  For I found the subject matter to be perfect for a 2016 New Years plan for anyone that wants to improve their life. I turned 70 in December, 2015 and it has made me start to realize that I’m really into the second half of my life now.  (Even though I don’t feel like it.)  And it’s time to start giving more back.  Please enjoy!

It’s amazing how fast time flies and I must say, “Much water has profusely flowed under my bridge!”  And in this journey  I am constantly trying to figure out, “What makes people tick?”  It is certainly my heartfelt passion to examine.  (Along with the topic of “love.”)   So from my philosophical soul I am going to pass on some of my pearls of wisdom that I have collected and practice “as I walk along in my moccasins.”  I am going to make this list to have 21 items in memory of how ! couldn’t wait to be 21 years old!   (Wow! That’s a long time ago – 1966):

  • 70 is NOT old!!!
  • Stay physically and spiritually active; stay young at heart!
  • Cherish your body; good health is a gift and a blessing.
  • Make every day a better day for all those you encounter;  be “sunshine” and/or “a breath of fresh air” to everybody you talk to or cross on your daily path.
  • Complete all your responsibilities, work, chores, and activates as though they each are “a labor of love.”
  • Practice and honor honesty, self-respect, and integrity in yourself and all your affairs  with others; don’t gossip or manipulate.
  • Don’t ever let people mistreat or abuse your dear and precious heart; set boundaries!
  • Learn to love yourself, even when others can’t love you the way you wished they could.  Yes, you can do this!
  • Then love everyone (you don’t have to like them, though), despite themselves: their poor choice of actions, words and behaviors.
  • Treat people with dignity, respect, and kindness; don’t ever burn your bridges.
  • Don’t take other people’s poor words and bad actions personally; their behavior is much much more about them – not you!
  • Always forgive yourself and all those that you love; find compassion and empathy, for we are all just doing our best!  Never strive for perfection – it doesn’t exist.
  • Travel light in your heart, dump all the control dramas, emotional baggage, pain,  and suffering.  It’s a waste of time and effort!
  • Laugh at yourself; laugh and cry with others.  Feel your feelings.
  • When you want to complain, stop yourself in your tracks; and find gratitude.  And share it with others.
  • Count your blessings because you have many more than you may be thinking.
  • Never give up on your hopes and dreams;  for you never know what tomorrow will bring.  (That’s why God made the world round – so you couldn’t see what was coming.)
  • Live each day to the fullest and live it as though it is your last.
  • Treat people exactly as you would like to be remembered; give unconditionally, receive graciously.  (See yourself as if  you are writing your own obituary or epitaph.)
  • Friends and loved ones should never be ignored nor forgotten ( Oh no -my biggest downfall).
  • When we leave this earth all we can take with us are our memories.

You can do many different things with this list:  You can print out the list and   make a point of concentrating on one of these topics each week.  Then you can tailor each item in a learning format and/or lesson plan that works best for you. You can set goals for your change, then have a reward picked out for when you achieve the results you want.  Or you can rate yourself from 1 – 10 to see how you are  progressing with each one of these points.  Then you can journal your growth and progress.   And retest yourself at the end of the 21 weeks, the end of the 2016, or  whatever timeframe you would like to use.  Remember: Practice brings change – but you will never be perfect. 

The key for achieving your success is your awareness.  Be your own “fly on the wall,” and constantly be observing your behavior.  Pay attention to your actions and reactions and especially the reactions of others.  Just applying this one simple discipline can bring delightful rewards and remarkable results.

Lastly, take to heart the message from this cute little ditty:  “When we make changes in ourselves inch by inch, it’s a cinch.  When we try to change yard by yard, it’s very hard!”  Be soft, kind, and patient with yourself!

Thank you for reading!  Diane

“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

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


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.