Master Your Selling Success for 2011 – One Step At-A-Time

Posted by Diane on Feb 16, 2011

“Winners and losers both do the same basic things in their lives, day in and day out.  Yet the things that winners do take them to the top, while the things losers do take them down and out.  So what is the difference? The difference is their awareness, understanding and use of the Slight Edge in their life and work…The difference that will make all the difference between success and failure, between achieving the quality of life you want and settling for less than you desire and deserve, lies one hundred percent in which of those little, ‘insignificant’ actions you choose to do.”  These excerpts come from Jeff Olson’s book, The Slight Edge: Secrets to a Successful Life.

So what is the key word that all aspiring sales professionals need to pay attention from Jeff Olson’s messages ?  Contrary to popular belief it is the “insignificant” actions you choose to do.  It is the simple little disciplines that are done consistently over time that will add up to be your greatest accomplishments.

Here are twelve things that have a big impact on your selling success.  And they are not listed in any particular order – each has its own significant right:

1. When you, first, make eye contact with each new face you meet, just smile. A warm genuine smile can help you instantly connect with other people and it immediately makes them feel good. Such a small gesture has such a positive influence for their first impression of you. You don’t even need to say a word. So simple, so important, and yet so often, ignored and abused!  Set a number each day for how many times you are going to warmly smile – and surpass it!

2. 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.  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.  Practice makes perfect!

3. Don’t think that if you are talking, you’re selling. So many salespeople foolishly believe that if they have a live body captive and they are talking, they’re performing their duties – they are selling. Wrong! Remember, selling is much more about listening.  So how do you challenge yourself to be a better listening and give your undivided attention?  Concentrate on your interpersonal communications skills and identify behaviors that are not serving you well.  Confront them and replace them with more effective deeds.  And practice them daily.

4. Pay attention to the clock and honor time! Whether you have a face-to-face meeting or you’re making a follow-up phone call, make sure you show up or respond when you’re supposed to.  And if you have a client in person or on the phone, and you are running over for time, ask if you can excuse yourself for a few moments to inform your next appointment that you are running a few minutes late.  For, showing up on time is nothing but a practiced commitment and a good habit.   And honoring the time of others is just a beautiful way to treat people like they matter. Everybody wins!

5. Always ask for permission before sharing more information and taking more of your recipient’s time! Asking for your guest’s permission doesn’t mean you are being submissive.  Instead it simply reflects a sign of respect.  Asking for permission to offer a solution or too discuss a product shows that you are honoring your recipients time and his willingness to continue on with you.   Whatever it is you want to do next, whether it be to take a few moment to speak in a cold call, or to schedule your next appointment – ask for permission.  And practice will make perfect!

6. 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. So, each day make a point of learning more about a client, co-worker, service special, or vendor.  Show that you care about the lives of the people you are in contact with each and every day.  And do even better, tomorrow!

7. Be of service to each person you connect with in a day. If a co-worker is looking for a good doctor, give the name of doctor you love.  If a client is looking for a service you don’t provide, assist him with a lead that may prove valuable him.  If a potential prospect is looking for directions to his next stop, go to your computer and “mapquest” the address he is searching for.  Always see yourself as a resource specialist, facilitator, and a problem solver.  People will like that and they will remember you.  And help even more people tomorrow! The gifts for your efforts will come back to you tenfold!

8. Take the time to say thank you and do it with sending a card. Make it a practice to send a card to all new prospects, existing customers, and people you meet at networking events.  I am a member of and I love the easy convenience for organizing contacts and sending out special cards in a jiffy.  So set a goal to send out so many cards a day and exceed it!  Today, very few people take the time to send out thank-you cards so when a prospect, client, or contact gets yours, it will help you stand out.   And don’t forget to thank all the wonderful “little people” that help to make you shine!

9. Treat people with inherent recognition to build quality relationships. And what this means is – doing anything that tells people they are valued and are important is “inherent recognition.”  By working on your behaviors that build trust, respect, and caring for others, you will strengthen the foundation on which your relationships are built.  Imply keep the best interest of your prospects and clients at heart. And don’t forget your coworkers an service specialists. The sincere positive recognition will have a positive and snowballing effect.  And you will build this genuine reputation with one person at-a-time.

10. 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 a golden opportunity to learn and mature with grace. It’s through our struggles our planet keeps offering golden opportunities to show us a better way to inhabit our world. That is simply, how the universe works. Remember, it is your experiences dealing with difficult people and situations that will teach you the most. Learn to see your greatest adversaries as your most powerful teachers!  And pay even more attention, tomorrow!

11. Always be a “breath of fresh air.” Treat your prospects and clients, and all the people you are in contact with, with “Happiness and Heart.” This includes the office receptionist, delivery person, your product vendor, and anyone else you interact with, along the way. Always have fun with your customers and service specialist – simply enjoy life. Always be different than your competition’s sales force. Always see yourself growing and striving to be someone better!  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!  Always see yourself writing up lots of sales. Always treat everyone like they matter!  Then refresh yourself for another successful day, tomorrow!

12. Just remember, good news travel fast, but bad news travels faster.” A long time ago, when I first ventured out into the self employed arena, a dear friend of mine shared these delightful, wise words with me. And through the years I have found great wisdom in this message. Take a moment to ponder what Bill had to say, and see how it fits for you. Before tackling my own spiritual development, I found that it was much easier to blast out with my bad stories and experiences than to tell the good ones. It is said that individuals will tell ten people about a negative situation for every 3-4 persons they tell about a positive outcome. With the odds working against you like that, you must find the necessary tools and means to outperform your competitors.  Make some personal changes and start today!

The value in applying the teachings in Jeff Olson’s book to each of these twelve point, is to acquaint you with the Slight Edge philosophy.  It is to give you a new prospective for you see the world and how you live your life each and everyday.  It is to expose you to the fact that the things you do every single day, the things that don’t look dramatic, that don’t even look like they matter, do matter!  And, that they not make a difference – they make all the difference!

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