“Sales,” “Service,” and “Caring” – What Do These Three Simple Words Have in Common?

Posted by Diane on Mar 4, 2010

Just recently I have had the pleasure of meeting a wise and savvy sales profession in our area, and he doesn’t know it yet, but he has inspired me to write this article. His name is Ruben Garcia and he is presently reading my sales training book, Just Treat Me Like I Matter: The Heart of Sales. Yesterday he sent me an email with the following selection:

“In the Swedish language the word sales means ‘service.’  An old saying in sales is ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’”

Since reading Ruben’s simple, but precious message, a gnawing has started brewing in my soul. As much as I feel I know about “relationship selling” I had not registered the one word that says it all – CARING. So, with my playful heart I said to myself, I am going to write an article and work with the word, C-A-R-I-N-G. First I am going to pick a descriptive word for each letter that will apply to my brand, “Sales Success with Happiness and Heart.” Then I am going into the PDF file for my book and type in each of the six words into my “Search,” and see what comes up from my own text.
So here goes; here are the results:

Compassionate

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.

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 seems to be becoming more and more of a rarity. In our time-pressed society we are all so busy multitasking, just to stay afloat, we have totally lost touch with the precious value for human caring and enjoyable interconnectedness with one-another.

Authentic

Find your authentic self. Unveil to the world your own best hidden secret – you! Whatever you do in life, don’t envy or try mimicking someone else. Discover your own touch of greatness! Believe that everything you need is within you, because it is. Seek and you shall find…

…I have so thoroughly enjoyed discovering my authentic self through my sales and service experiences. I have been able to foster growth and ripen to my own rich potential. On my journey I have been able to discover my own sense of self; I have been endowed with the good fortune of coming face to face with my own ingenuity. The process has taught me to love myself for my good and my bad, my gifted traits and my aggravating flaws. I am not ashamed of anything anymore. I’m just plain ol’ me! I have truly grown to love, respect, and admire the beautiful person God put me here on this earth to be!

Reliable

Pay attention to how often you have gotten yourself into a bind simply because you were ignorant and did not have the necessary information. Over and over again I have realized the value and impact of these words. Experience has taught me that by gathering reliable information, I have been able to make better choices and have more positive outcomes.

The more knowledge we possess, the more we learn about ourselves and our profession – and the more secure and confident we become when we are working with our clients. We gather more excellent tools of our trade, which gives us a greater professional edge and builds our self-esteem. We feel great! We feel successful! We are able to have more fun with our work!

Interesting

My Dad is 87 now and recently retired from his second career. He has always been in professional public service and he loves working with people. Now that he has slowed down a tad and now, has time for me again, we run lots of errands together. I love going with him, because everywhere he goes, he truly treats everybody he meets like they matter. People light up like decorated Christmas trees when they see him coming. If he already knows them, he always greets them by name and asks a pertinent question about their family or an issue in their life. He looks them straight in the eye as he listens and shares with genuine caring.

My Dad always says to me, “Diane, everywhere I go, I am the ‘unforgettable character.’ I make people remember me by my effort to connect and relate with them. I always treat them like they are someone special and I show them I care.”

It is such fun for me to go with him and watch the beams and smiles on people’s faces as he enters their world. I am so blessed to have him as my Dad!

Remain the unforgettable character all the way to the finish. As I have shared many times, I loved when my customer turned to me in a state of awe and confided, “You seem different than other sales- people I have met.” When they had the courage to voice this remark, I knew they were gaining trust and starting to feel comfortable with me. I always loved hearing this delicious message; I took their notice to be such a compliment. I loved interacting with a customer in my own style and fashion, of course, employing many of the techniques I am sharing with you today.

I have continually stressed the value of “uniqueness” throughout this book. But my guess is, discovering and developing this special quality in you, is one of the main reasons you are reading this book – to make yourself better, to make yourself unique from your competition. Practicing many of the teachings I have presented to you have helped me to develop the self confidence and personality that sets me apart from the crowd. I enjoy making myself different from other sales specialists – I find it so delightful and refreshing to be, just me. Get comfortable with yourself, drop some of your cumbersome guards, and find the courage to unveil your unique flavor. Discover the special qualities in you that will separate you from other salespeople – believe me, it won’t be that difficult! See yourself having lots of fun, closing lots of sales!

Nice

Literally, listen to your own heart. If we are not in touch with ourselves, how can we hope to connect or resolve with others? While you are taking your few seconds away from your angry customer to regain your composure, pay attention to your heart rate and other bodily signs that reflect anxiety or stress. Literally breathe into these parts of your body and sensations. If necessary, physically remove yourself and step outside or into another room. Continue to breathe deeply and walk so you can reconnect with your personal power. If you allow yourself to become physically and/or emotionally charged along with your troubled client, you will succumb to trouble. And that is certainly not where you want to be! Maintain your IQ and visualize a win-win outcome!

Otherwise you may end up exactly where you don’t want to be. Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, in their book, The Power of Nice, contend: “Just as positive actions are like seeds, rude gestures and remarks are like germs – you may not see the impact they have on you for a while, but they are there, silently infecting you and everyone around you.”

Linda and Robin go on to say: “Even if you never see a person you have treated badly again, even if no one sees or knows of your rudeness or bad behavior, you will know. It will be in your mind and heart when you walk into a meeting and try to convince the people in the room that they should put their faith in you. Because you won’t believe in yourself, you could jeopardize the outcome of a meeting or relationship.”

Such poor behavior allows you to fall into this lose-lose pit!

Genuine

People know when they are with a winner; they can just feel it. This sound bite is a tough one to express in words, because sensing that you’ve found a keeper is truly a gut feeling. How does this relate to sales? Somehow, consumers just know when they have landed with the qualified 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.

Please, take these six delightful excerpts to heart and make CARING your motto for your Sales, Service, and Life success! And, if you would like to introduce your choice of words and definitions for CARING I would love to hear from you. Or, if you wish to challenge me with another word in the letters for C-A-R-I-N-G, I will happily search my book and see what comes up. In the meantime I want to thank Ruben again for taking the time to send his inspiring extract that motivated this sharing.


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