“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.


“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