“The Sales Moment; Issue #221″

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I confess. I’m a recovering people-pleaser. When asked to do something, my first reaction is to say yes.The word Nope on a piece of paper pinned to a cork notice board

First of all, helping people is a great thing and we should make it a part of our plan, but we can’t say yes to everything. It becomes a problem when it derails your focus on the things you have decided is important. Before you know it, your calendar is full and you are wondering why you are out of time.

Being a people-pleaser comes from not wanting to let other people down. An unhealthy drive to be accepted and approved by others. Most of us want to be liked and are afraid saying no will make the other person think less of us. It is sometimes easier to just say yes because no seems harsh and rude.

However, people-pleasers pay a price.

I have learned the hard way that over committing myself can put a strain on my relationships. Taking quality time from my wife because I did not have the gumption to say no usually ends in me regretting my decision.

Also, if you have a hard time saying no, people will take advantage of you. Organizations always need help and they will ask. They can be relentless and you have to learn to respond appropriately.

I have heard it said that, “I can do anything I want, I just can’t do everything I want.”

Michael Hyatt suggests a positive no in his blog, How To Say No When You Feel Pressured To Say Yes.

A positive No has three parts:

  1. Yes: It begins by saying Yes to yourself and protecting what is important to you. I would also add the importance of affirming the other person.
  2. No: It continues with a matter-of-fact No that sets clear boundaries. I also avoid leaving the door open by saying “maybe,” as in “maybe I can say yes to your request in the future.”
  3. Yes: A positive No ends with a Yes that affirms the relationship and offers another solution to the person’s request.

*Excerpt from The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes by William Wry

Many people I speak with are spread too thin and live busy lives with little margin. It is frustrating, can strain close relationships and keep you from getting to the important things you want to accomplish.

I have learned to prioritize what is important and respond appropriately to protect my time. You can too!

Have a great week!

“The Sales Moment; Issue #220″

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You have one chance to make a first impression. What impression are you making with your apparel and appearance?Businessman adjusting his necktie

I have had people challenge me on the notion that how you dress factors into your success. They believe the times are changing and based on the relaxed culture of some companies, jeans and tee shirts are perfectly acceptable in a business work environment.

Based on the success of many of these companies, who am I to argue about what they wear? I do not intend to. I do believe there is a time and place where appearance and apparel matter.

I recently provided some interview coaching for a twenty-five year old. The dress code was less than business casual for employees. When I asked what he planned to wear for the interview he replied, “What the other employees normally wear.”

I advised him to dress above what was normal. He wore a nice suit, interviewed well and was offered the job on the spot. Another employee asked him as he left the building if he was going to be their new boss. Also, he was earmarked for management training in his first few months with the company.

His appearance was not the sole reason he got the job. He was prepared and interviewed well but how did his appearance make him feel as he approached the interview? What impression did he make on the managers?

Here are 4 reasons I think you should consider your appearance and apparel to increase your success:

  1. First impressions count. People will assess you in the first few seconds of meeting you. In most cases, their impression comes from non-verbal cues such as dress, energy, hygiene and your smile.
  2. It makes you feel better. No one can deny that when you dress better, you feel better. Feeling well put together makes you feel self confident and professional.
  3. You get treated differently. I have a good friend who embraces this philosophy and recalls a meeting where everyone was dressed casually. He arrived in a nice suit. The other employees chastised him for dressing inappropriately until the owner surprisingly joined the meeting wearing a suit. The owner directed all of his questions to my friend.
  4. Dressing well can increase your income. Whether you are interviewing for a new position or on a sales call, your appearance tells the other person how serious you are taking the meeting. This can lead to better opportunities and increased sales.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to dress nicely. Shark Tank investor Daymond John told Entrepreneur Magazine:

“It’s not about having money. If you have a suit that only cost $150, go the extra mile and get it tailored. Shine your shoes. Make sure you manicure your nails. It’s the simple things that people notice, that take you far.”

Dressing well does not mean wearing a three-piece suit everyday. But looking your best for the situation will give you your best opportunity for success. Your career and your business will thank you

Have a great week!

“The Sales Moment; Issue #219″

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Some people still have a stigma about salespeople. They remain guarded because they know there is a chance they could be taken in and treated unfairly.  Be Honest

Many times it comes from a past experience where someone was less than honest with them. It is a feeling you never forget.

For me it was a car salesman. I was in my early twenties and I had made the decision to not buy the car and was walking out the door. He stopped me in the parking lot and made one last attempt at closing the deal and it worked. The car was a nightmare from the beginning. I still recall his name and get a little queasy when I drive buy his used car establishment.

After over thirty years as a sales professional, I have learned that the guy I experienced is not the norm. Most people are honest. More importantly, I have found that telling the truth can pay huge dividends.

As salespeople, we have opportunities to skirt the truth all the time. My experience has shown me that it is not the big things that get people in trouble. It is normally some small detail about when the product will arrive or a price discrepancy.

I recall receiving a six figure contract for a project and while reviewing the details I found and error that amounted to one half of one percent of the total. Hardly worth bringing up, right?

I could have ignored the error and kept the money. The customer might never find the mistake. But what if he did?

My credibility and relationship would have been destroyed and I would have lost the opportunity for future business.

People hate to be lied to. One lie can destroy years of trust and you may never get it back.

Ask the parade of public figures that show up on TV apologizing for one mistake or another. The question remains, “Are they upset because they lied or because they got caught?”

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.~ Abraham Lincoln

The public may give these politicians and sports heroes a second chance. Seldom will salespeople get that same second chance.

Your customers want to partner with someone that will tell them the truth, not what they want to hear.

Have a great week!

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