“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.


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!