Showing posts with label sales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sales. Show all posts

When opportunity knocks: take a seat and be prepared to listen



This is where I will blog about a buying experience and the lesson to be learned extracted by defining how I want to be treated as either a consumer or a buyer (corporate or entrepreneurial).  Foot for thought on starting at the bottom and working your way up the food chain.

My Editor:  Oscar the Pug is a no nonsense taskmaster who does not heed excuses, nor does he rely on warnings, he wants to be objective and come to his own conclusions.  Thankfully, he reflects many of the qualities I like to think I have or continue to work on.

I did set up a website so that I can help others create their own online social media personality, whether by authentic name or invented character of charm.  It is called www.graFX.online.  I did launch a Blogspot blog for this graFX > see right sidebar link by scrolling.

I have to practice what I preach by setting up, executing and successfully launching a self-sustaining identity.  As always, I share my learning and leanings along the way.  Shortly after I launched this blog 8 years ago [ March 2010 ] I caught on to the numbers that there seemed to be some nibbles on the stories where I used social media experiences and education accumulated from trial and error.





I've used some blog space to opinionate on how current world events are in line with demographic trends based on numbers, which are based on hard facts.  

I've used another to exhume frustration and avoid rantings on meanderingABOUT singularly focus on my generation of inBETWEENers (those born 1960 to 1965/69 inbetweeners born after BABY BOOMERS and faded as GENx boomed and how those hitting 50+ are facing some events unprepared for:  YUPPYdom; family dynamics, blending families, being a mother, wife, daughter, sister.

I started using forwarding technology to customize my relationship with followers as normal day to day life or life threatening crisis happen, tend to interfere and hamper.


BAIT and SWITCH: is NOT the RIGHT way to SELL




Since I began writing this blog 8 years ago (Happy Anniversary to me .... la la la LA LAAAAaaaa) I have written mostly on sales.  That is what I know best and if I had to be honest:  my sweet spot.  I was only good at the whole thing because I could juggle a lot of things at once, more than just multi-tasking.  Juggling rapidly while balance with one foot on a big rubber ball!

The other thing has been honing in my judgement skills.  For the most part, I've been optimistic, naive, and too trusting.  There might be more things others would call me that would ruin the positive spin that I try to churn out:  believable, honest..... to ... will she ever shut up?  To a talent at being able to drown people out (my husband).  

Maybe there is some loneliness that is escaping in bubbles, where every day seems to be like climbing Mount Everest, in slow motion, more tiring the next day than the day before.

For entertainment while I am doing some dreaded chores, I'm releasing a zest of battling so much negativity and worry in my world to a more peaceful and calm one.  



The rollercoaster I knowingly and if not completely willing to the wolves of sales people (my ulter ego) to do a few of the things that Rob would have on his HONEY DO list.  Since he has passed 9 weeks of remarkable progress, I have given myself permission to write a little and express myself so that I don't keep everything up inside or explode!

Looking at the opportunity to purchase things as a responsibility, when you partner is out of the picture in more ways than one, left solo to buy things that I would push and he'd try to push back on his domain.  We'd compromised by having our home tactically divided, evacuated by four, now adult [Millennial] blended family children.  Too big practically for two of us, but easily filled up with our respective and joint treasures.



So I tippy toe into trying to get the roof fixed on my home.  Something that I had thought I had signed off on almost two weeks ago.  Sending an email yesterday after visiting Rob at the hospital, a 6 days a week devotion.  I asked the insuror if their company was taking their business for granted, because to make my life easier, I had said to whomever that had called that I was not going to project manager them, just let me know when they will be here, what do I owe, and when will they be done ETA.  John left a card tucked into my door jam, along with the Census Taker's postcard.  

I took it to meaning that John was from the company that the Insuror had designated and I'd excepted.  It wasn't until halfway that I figured out where both John and I were puzzled:  I explained that I had assumed he was from the contractor to do the roof sent by the insurance company.  John was puzzled, because he usually had really great, efficient records, even able to produce a print out of all the homes he'd done in the area (this was a follow up from his cold call because I thought he was really from the Insuror).



Call it fate.  Regardless.  He sent me his quote.  I sent him my answer, which I am transparently sharing.  I only used John's name .... no privacy was infringed upon.

I'll let you know how it pans out.

/jm



Hi John 

Nice to meet you earlier today.  Apparently, confusion on my part pending completion of our roof stumbled you into the opportunity.  As I mentioned, as a sales gal by heart, I'm a big fan of giving people a shot just by the fact that they do a face-to-face OR telephone cold call - really, a lost art. 

One of my former bosses eventually figured out after a few years when I was in sales, that part of my skill had nothing to do with what was coming out of my mouth (which usually is exhausting enough) or how I was able to configure or negotiate a deal.  I became skilled at reading upside down.  So usually I can remember something that is being said and what had been coming out of my mouth resonated in some way, thus the note.  I just began to read upside down.   

Your whole proposal and Compliance Information is superb and REALLY nicely done - where did you come up with that idea?  I'd love to create one for my brother-in-law's business because when he does well in his business and my sister is happy and he is sending us to Mexico together ..... he has a furnace cleaning business with 15 as an entrepreneur -- you'd actually find value by networking or having a coffee in your MAN CAVE -- I'm pretty certain you'd find synergy and pockets of knowledge each other would learn mostly because of your shared interest of living a quality life and doing what you have a passion for, which is far more rewarding than the baZILLIONs you made a stock broker.  That IS amazing! 

I was wondering ..... I saw you wrote the number of Insuror payable $5600 dollars down and $2600 what my contribution should be for a total of $8200.  Did you factor these numbers into your equation when you came up with your price?

  I did really like the bait and switch technique:  give me comments that hint of a better deal from you with less out of pocket expense and a better product.  I do have a sharp memory when it comes to numbers and the visual of what you wrote down. 

That is why I was wondering why you would come in more expensive or whether this is a negotiation technique of barter ready response? 

Sincerely, Jeannette 

If you want to resend a new estimate, that would be fair for another 24 hours -- it is 1
 a.m. MST Calgary, April 27, 2018.



Defining a productive and successful business relationship

TRUST
If you say you are going to do something either as the client or the service provider/vendor make sure that you do it!  Most executives, buyers are skeptical that a sales professional will do what they say they will do, when and in the manner promised.  Be known for being either an organization or sales professional who is valued because they deliver on their promises, in the time frame and at the agreed price. 
  
EXPECTATION
It is often forgotten, on purpose, to outline what both parties expectations are.  Clear communications between whoever is making the promises with whoever is tasked with delivering on those expectations.  i.e.  Quantity, quality, dates, service, follow up.  With big companies, it is often drawn out as an implementation plan or shown as an SLA -- Service Level Agreement -- and updated frequently to show the HOW both parties will define successful delivery and/or completion.  
UNDER PROMISE+OVER DELIVER
Often the company offering the product or service allows its representatives to blindly make promises without comprehending shortcomings i.e. inventory, personnel, scheduling, quality.  Don't allow anyone who represents you as either the seller or buyer to bait and switch.   On the flip side:  be apprehensive of clients who make promises on huge volumes that dictate discounts and reality is far below projections.    It shouldn't be left up to the seller to accept honoring lower prices on higher volumes without the expectation that the prices will reflect the correction required until the volumes are met, or agreement is made on how that will be handled/communicated/
adjusted.

COMMITMENT
The perfect business relationship is when both parties respect and honor their commitment.  Many think that is one-sided with the buyer in the power position.  However, a respectful business relationship ensures that the buyer pays promptly under the terms that is agreed upon.  The value of a buyer can be undermined by late payments or having to be hounded for payment which drains resources and distracts from the forward momentum initiated by agreeing to do business together.  Having said that, the seller has to ensure that its vendors are paid promptly to avoid a service freeze due to timely payments.

SUCCESS
A better, stronger business relationship is when both parties understand their role, lay out the expectations, AND deliver on their commitments.  If the seller is a start up, an internal road map is drawn to visualize how they get from Point A - a sale to Point B - being paid.  All the nuances in between should never be explained to a customer because showing customers that you are an organization that takes its customers seriously and ensure that whoever is selling for them is set up for success.

​This article was originally posted as a response on Alignable to the question: 

What do you feel helps build strong business relationships with clients?


 Jeannette imparts wisdom and sales savviness on her blog optioneerJM where she has developed a reputation with her audience to share helpful answers for business.

Habit, ritual or superstition: what belongs in a sales attitude?



The following question was answered on Quora, that I considered worthy of posting on a sales-oriented blog:




Hi Harsh - thanks for your invitation to answer this question.
Firstly, I can say that I may have cracked my knuckles once or twice, but not enough to consider it a habit, never mind a superstition.
I can’t say that I have any, really. BUT what I can share with you is that there are certainly some effective habits or rituals I undertake before attending a client’s to confirm a renewal or new project or a new client signing or commitment to move the business relationship forward. [ That reminds me of a closing statement I learned to ask to check for satisfaction, willingness to move forward: “have I addressed all of your questions, or is there anything else that would prevent us from moving forward by signing this document today? ]
I would say there are a few quick tips I can share:
  • Be prepared: know who you are seeing, do your research by understanding what they sell, what they offer, who they offer it to, who they compete against and who they buy from and why. Write a list of a few good question on the notepad you will be taking along to the meeting (don’t be tempted to take notes on a device, mobile, tablet, or laptop: people are accustomed to seeing others take notes; more find it rude when you appear distracted simply by thumbing or clicking on keys to write the notes).
  • Record of the meeting would hopefully have already been entered in your Outlook or Calendar with reminder set days hence to prepare, look up any information gaps;
  • To form good habits with data (aka information and customer intelligence), record the pending meeting on this client’s file BEFORE or immediately after scheduling the call. That would be a CRM system - or customer relationship bible. Including any valid notes, including any proposals linked to the CRM client file, record any emails leading up to the event. The intention here is to grow your sales … right?
  • Have the right attitude: be convinced yourself some identifiable flags that hinted that this customer may have a timely need for your product or service. Based on your familiarity with the client (aka monitoring and following your top 10 and its brand on as many avenues as possible: whether social media, traditional media or trade publications, online and printed forms the least favorable choice.
  • I power through my power point presentation and have a proposal or contract prepared to take with me when I go in: customers or prospects are impressed by your preparation. They imagine: if he/she puts this much effort into winning my business, I would imagine even a half -attempt to keeping it, would still be better than I currently have or this problem or issue that needs solving.
  • React swiftly to inquiries. As both a sales professional and a buyer, I can recall so many times being the first to respond in a polished, professional manner does put you in the place of the one to beat.
  • Do what you promise. Most people who buy don’t trust sales people. Change their perception on that (to the delight of all other sales types I’m sure) and show them that you don’t offer anything without the firm possibility that you can deliver (without compromising your team’s ability to produce/back up those commitments). You will lead in sales in the ability for others to trust you. They will begin to ask you questions on what seems to be unrelated issues that can evolve into unknown opportunities.
  • Call ahead to leave a message to state that you are on your way and will be there within 30 minutes (because you know from where you are to where they are, parking and reception calling to say that you’re here, and they will note that you are on time, no more than 10 minutes early). Review your notes and have an idea of what you are going to say, show and ask during the meeting. Decide a few symptoms you may want to look for that indicates a willingness to move forward even if there is no commitment or signature.
  • Don’t waste your time chasing the impossible. Don’t give up too early either. Least of all, don’t give up too easily. You can’t know that the person you were meeting with has been plagued with the very issue your product or service will solve. If you have good investigative skills, you may know about it more than they do because you have been following them (their company … please not them personally, they may think you are stalking then … unless it is mutually agreed to i.e. exchange Facebook).
  • Be hesitant with trying to be a buddy too soon: a golf game invitation when they have strict purchasing policies which disallows golf games, or may just charity tournaments. In fact, taking them as a guest to a charity golf tournament IS the best way to get a customer or prospect on the golf links. Be respectful of anyone else who may attend that does not golf. Don’t leap to invite them as a friend on Facebook, it is more appropriate to do so on Linked In so that you can do more recognizance on the individual’s background, community involvements, for rapport building conversations. Again, if you reach out to them and connect on LINKED IN, don’t try to sell them anything in those small messages. If you do, you can expect to be delegated to annoying.
  • When I know I’ve done most of what I’ve just listed and I’m on my way to my meeting, I will often put in a rock classic song or channel on my car radio so that I get that boost and charge from the energy absorbed, ready to bring it on because you know you did your homework and you prepared.

A childhood launch into sales

Jeannette Marshall
Jeannette Marshall, Sales pro; business dev't; sales leadership
What a great question! Reminiscence of my childhood that was blessed in many ways, yet showed me that I really wanted something bad enough I had to be resourceful.
My family had a planned vacation to Cyprus and I really wanted a snorkel set to allow me to explore the Mediterranean ocean beneath me. Imagine, I was a kid stationed in Germany and items like this were not in the base PX (store).
Sales mission:  My idea launched: operation paperback! My mom was an avid reader and gave me full access to selling any of her paperbacks. First I set up a command post on weekends at the community center with all the paperbacks for sale. When people asked how the money was going to be used, I explained that it was to buy a snorkel set for a family vacation. (NOTE: Objective)
In the evening, I would pack up the books and go door-to-door in the community, inviting people to purchase the books. (NOTE: Action)

Outcome: I got the snorkel set and a sales career was born.

Objective. Really. Sales is about having an objective or target that you must attain. How you go about achieving your objective is vast and varied, dependent upon innovative thinking and tenacity. When you tie in your objective with what you want to accomplish, it makes the motivation much easier.

Enthusiasm. If you are excited about the end result, what you are selling, the benefits you bring, it is much easier to be convincing to entice others to buy.


If you would like me to answer your specific sales or social media question, just go to Quora and ask away!  Alternatively, I will respond from comments.

Why do sales professionals use email?



The following was my answer on Quora:

Follow up. Follow Up. Follow UP.
Thank you Monica for asking me to answer this question.
Let’s assume that the sales professional and the client or prospect have exchanged business cards. On said business cards is the email address.
Let’s consider what sort of emails a sales professional would send:
  1. Thank them for the connection. Short sweet, to the point. (Reminds them that you connected).
  2. After a meeting: you send an email with bullets on
  • What was discussed.
  • What actions each party promised to make.
  • Confirm follow up actions you will take or information you promised.
  • Confirm next steps: when you will follow up and how?
  • Schedule a meeting
  • Reinforce the mutual benefit to be gained with focus on the reader.
Almost all top sales professionals would not rely solely on email. It is another touch point. It is not a license to spam.
A savvy sales pro would think of it as a form of keeping in touch but stays on topic.
Close the email with the next step: usually promised in person.
Email shows the ability to stay true to one’s word.
Email can be used to provide information or articles the reader expressed interest in.
CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) tools have email features that allow sales pros to track the relationship, record notes, follow up when promised. They also indicate the last time you touched base. Act accordingly.
If the recipient responds, even with a simple “thank you” it would indicate you are not lost in the SPAM folder.
The recipient will usually respond with agreement on next steps.
They may respond with a referral to someone else in their buy cycle. Leverage that name, cc the referrer as acknowledgement that you did act on their recommendation. Then refrain from including them in every other communication.
Email invitations to events, open houses, etc.
From the beginning, a sales pro can establish the rules of engagement. What sort of information they are interested in (i.e. sales, announcements)
People are adverse to unsolicited email, keep that in mind.
REMEMBER: email should never replace face to face communications.

MIND your business

If you have any online profiles under assumed names, pseudonyms, professional ID, identity, personal name, you are responsible for the impression that it gives.  




I certainly have many facets to my personality, as do most of us.  Therefore, I write prolifically now on different topics that I am fond of or digging for more knowledge on, wanting to express myself on.  Here, on optioneerJM, my first blog, I've dappled in social media along with my tips on sales and leadership examples.  I had someone [that is not an online person or personality, just a very good lady] read my MEANDERINGSabout blog first [ weird part is she said she found it via LINKED IN which is connected to optioneerJM].  Her words of advice seemed to indicate that I was a bit of a crackpot.  Now, she is an esteemed professional, not someone whom would be called a friend.  




That sucked.  I was a little bummed out about it to be honest.  Now, after four days off work, spending the better part of the day at Kananaskis Park, just 45 minutes from Calgary, after a hearty breakfast by 9:30am at The Chuckwagon Restaurant [ featured in "You gotta eat here" realized once we were there!].  I went with my beautiful, talented daughter whom I shall not name and whom I am ABSOLUTELY forbidden to show photos of ANYWHERE.  It's this promise that I have such a hard time keeping, but I'm doing pretty well, no slip ups accounted for [ just confirmed spies of her's that keep on eye on me on all the social networks that she has since BLOCKED me EVERYWHERE.




A Virginia G. "Brain Fart"
Virginia was the most polished, professional businesswoman I've ever worked for.  That would include my first sales manager and my former colleague who is now the CEO of a very favorite institution.  Out of all the questions ever posed to me, she was the "Barbara Walters" of my life.  She could ask a question in such a way that you could never not answer, but want to answer in a very concise, articulate way.  Because she represented the same.  She had survived this extraordinary brain decease that very few survive.  The fallout was one eye askew.  It danced when she laughed but it peered right through you when she looked at you and asked you a question.  Now that IS an art!  Some of my best teachings and guidance came from Virginia.  She WAS the art behind the deal.  She made it masterfully simple.  Being able to ask a question that was concise and got to the heart of the matter.  She had boundaries, was relatively private [ if that is possible living and ongoing renovation of a historical heritage site in Edmonton, while centralized career revolved around Vancouver ].  Yet she had the uncanny ability to ask a question that was borderline ethical while said in a caring manner.  I may describe myself as inquisitive, flexible and willing to look at a number of situations but when my homework is done, I'm steadfast in my opinion formed by dedicated research and knowledge quest.  However, when Virginia G. asked a question, it was said with an authority that couldn't be missed, communicating non-vocally, that she expected an immediate answer.  Her bullshit meter on high alert.  You knew that, so you didn't even bother to try rolling any excuses out or avoid your own blame.  Accountability with an iron fist and a feather touch.  Thank you notes were always personally penned in her beautiful, flowing, script handwriting.  When you got one, you knew you had earned it.  Out of all the people I've known in my life, Virginia G. would be the last person one would think of where the term "brain fart" originated from.  That were she.  I use it often.  

It means I don't take myself too seriously even though I sound firm and attached to my pride at times, I'm considered too personable by my immediate family.  Where my daughter asked me at one point today:  "why are you so trusting with people and start talking with strangers?"




It would seem that she got the Virginia GIFT.  Me taking the question, absorbing it and turning it around to examine all the sides.  Wanting to come up with a perfectly logical succinct response.  What a great question.  I'll have to mull it over and give it some time to ponder, reflect and figure out the reason.  It's not just a matter of not being shy.  There's something more.  




SETTING GOALS ::.... I love numbers!!!



Isn't that ^ the greatest quote?
It is definitely magical when you are humming along, clicking here, scrolling there, and something pops out at you!

A thought.
It can be a news story, something you heard at work?  Something you were reading in the past week.  It was bubbling in the background, for me anyhow.  I was writing and writing and channeling some vibe on my blogs.  

For every action there is a reaction or action
It all depends on how you keep focus on your goal.  What drives you?  What floats your boat?  Do you want more of that?  

SETTING GOALS
I have had my Guiding Principles to the right at the beginning of my blog.  As I was creating a vision on what I wanted to accomplish, I started to set goals, tagging an action in smaller, achievable steps.

except if you're TRUMP
ed = the man, his family, his circle of  extended friendships, his Advisers [which he pays attention to in varying degrees, ultimately falling back on his own opinion, perhaps just have a sphere of those who will continuously say or show he is the greatest of anything or anyone that ever was], his adversaries [ stand in line because there's a big crowd in here ].

I highly doubt that his first words were Mama or Dada, I'm sure it sounded more like "Me" or "My" or "Mine" or in that sequential order.   He probably was in Grade One [making mincemeat of Michael Keaton's boy genius in, shoot, what was that television sitcom of the 80s he made being a wonder boy charming and endearing ] SEE sidebar -> Trump would have told the teacher, in an instructional pattern not quite fully matured as he is accustomed to now, that he was going to be the GREATEST of anything or anyONE!  

You have to like numbers to set goals Because most goals can be carved into indices (index: singular).  I remember doing sales coaching to my most receptive students.  It doesn't matter if you are a former great football player, cum NFL team coach, you have a lot to offer.  That is very apparent when I watched the NFL Draft last night.  Maybe, just slightly, I've grasped that the game of football that is the razzle dazzle in entertainment, when knowing the stats is the steak.

If you like numbers, you will be receptive to setting goals. If you examine the highest echelon of the executive and CEO offices of the most sophisticated and successful corporations, regardless of location or country, they all have that in common.  They LOVE their numbers.

An aha moment of sorts.
I don't think that a non-numbers linear thinker, can relate to another person who is highly linear, as in focus on numbers.  In real life and as it is these days, I am not following a script per se I am reacting and picking up on what is being placed before me and scooping up the numbers.

That's how it works
If you are going to talk to an executive, especially a CEO, you had better know the numbers.  Depending on which company I've worked for in the past, I've paid attention to the CEO of the organization.  I've even been lucky enough to report directly mostly to a President, Vice President or CEO, or COO.  <- I'm going to intentionally leave that without parenthesis and if you share what it stands for under COMMENTS on this blog + tweet at me = a guest blog here.

I remember the only few who picked up
on my style of sales coaching.  I was so away from the norm (and some would say not normal either).  I was not focused on scripts at all.  Sales people are not parrots because the prospect or customers are not apes (as in attempt to mimic what you say or do).  If anything, that is not a bad idea::... train your sales people to be apes or great mirrors.

Here is an idea for a sales meeting after you have shared the teams numbers.  In fact, if you are any corporation or organization that relies on numbers to meet their obligation or goals, you have numbers and anyone you work with or works for you had better be really adept with numbers.

Data is millions of numbers
as in information and digits of letters.  I remember being at the cusp of the dilemma that companies are going to get bottle necked by:  numbers.  Everyone, every company, every executive is soaking and gulping up numbers by the millions, compounding into gazillions.

The technology to amass numbers like algorithms are generating a huge, massive, to the moon in numbers compiled from clicks, sites, words, or scroll, time in numbers, times formulas to attract those  multitude upon millions of more numbers.

Back in the late 1990s when digital printing
began, one of the coolest technologies that XEROX invented, to go along with the gear | box | equipment | device | photocopier | xerox machine > was the front end.  The technology that made the engine hum.  Nothing like the sound of a noisy clicky clacky sound of a duplicating machine overused beyond its intended capacity and ignoring suggestions that it could be improved upon.  The front end turned a really big machine into a humming mouse, constantly kept happy and fed as long as it was eating a lot of paper before regurgitating it out into advance copies of novels for publishers to review, possibly edit, and return for more.  It could be only a digest size [ next trick question if you want to try to respond for a chance for me to post your picture on my blog [ or keep your name anonymous, your choice }.  Under a hundred pages but more than 5 copies should be left for the copy room to produce in less time and have it delivered back.  Can you imagine?  Well, that's what those biggie machines were designed to do.  OH, plus being connected between geological reasons, different cities, nose-diving the shipping cost and eliminating the cafuffle that happens when there is a mistake _ where else? _ YES _ the NUMBERS!!

You will never see a big big company come to a complete standstill if there is no meeting the numbers.  You don't have to like them, but at a company, you HAVE TO MEET THEM.   Maybe if you hate numbers that much you can revisit your goals if you are in sales of any kind.  If you don't like numbers, you will never "GET IT" why some people can be average while a few catapult to REMARKABLE.  

The number lovers
instinctively know that the numbers have to work.  That's when great questioning skill is handy to jump in.  I had a great manager who happened to rise very fast into the big companies' executive ranks.  It really is no wonder, I'm fortunate of had that opportunity.  But, LET ME TELL YOU, MIKE loved his numbers.  If you were going to work and move along at his breakneck smart speed, you had to love numbers too to be able to keep pace with him.  If you did do that, then talking numbers was like a serenade of praise.

EXPECT AN INSERT -> 
I'll have to write about one of Mike's greatest motivational tactics and public recognition he did for me that really made the difference for me.  Unfortunately, timing wasn't always aligned because as Mike moved into a fast trajectory to executive place, I was really lucky to have had the chance to have spent along side him, while he nourished my love of numbers.

Gord will remember our first number of sessions [ or perhaps not because I wouldn't know now how those first conversations unfolded but I do].  Gord knew that I had newly been anointed his sales team leader [ same, if not more, exact responsibility as my male counterparts who were called "Sales Managers" or "Operations Managers" ].

Gord said:  "I'm not looking to invent the wheel.  You appear to get how to sell this digital printing based on your results and awards.  I am looking to learn so that I can get up to speed quicker."  Smart guy eh?  You won't improve and you won't get better if you aren't being a sponge.  It won't work if you think that throwing scalding hot water at your sponge [ subordinate who reports to you regardless of title ] will work, it will do the opposite.  I had an example today where I was talking numbers with someone who in 30 seconds (grammar rule:  use numerical symbol when 10 or higher, written out numbers when nine or less.  Except when you are coming numbers like 10, 30 or 300.) was able to zero in on an exact instance and instance figure precisely.  I came to a realization that my former training that developed into habit became very natural to me to pick out a bunch of numbers and attribute the big picture.

When Gord and I sat down that first day and he said that, I must have been giddy with excitement ... because he was asking me to show him how I got to the NUMBERS on the BOARD?  If you don't love numbers, you won't relate to this at all.  [ thank YOU if you still hang with me and pick up a few pointers along the way or at least until now so it becomes worth your while! ]  

I opened my file on my desk and showed him a printout of all of my clients and prospects and a bunch of columns that I had developed that probably was extrapolated or cross-referenced to CRM [ for a prize for one of my hand-painted one of a kind mask please comment with what that acronym stands for? ].

Then I probably talked and talked and talked about the numbers.  I likely rattled off numbers like my top 5 accounts, account for 15% of total annual sales; next to my proudest, consistent numbers:  what their sales at the same exact date of the former year.  That was my badge of honor and what I guarded like a hawk pouncing on its prey.  Year over year sales gains.  Almost euphoric in giddiness a real numbers sales or executive or CEO role will have.  That would also be readily supported by percentage of year over year gain:  the ones that would have dropped {heavenly gasp for who would EVER lose an account?} clearly colored in red.  Like a badge of shame.



If you could really get the psychology of numbers in sales or get into it, then you would become gloriously at the top of the chain.  If you can take numbers from just about anywhere, interpret them into unique meaning, then you got what it takes.  

Now, in reflection upon this blog, one may think that I must have thought I had it made since I've embraced, massaged, moved, summed, added, subtracted, divided numbers a lot.  With the help of a calculator a good 75% or more of the time (it is also perfectly acceptable to join 75 percent like that, often looks more intellectual than academic, use based on your audience).  I am just trying to show examples on how I love numbers.  I am also being evangelistic about numbers too.  

As to my earlier point:  as the world and everyone and every company and every government and every citizen and every person creates more and more numbers someone is going to have to read them, sort them, make some sort of sense out of them.  The technology is already around to generate patterns and predict habits from numbers or create algorithms to navigate or maneuver them, numbers are going to increase in importance.

Back in the early days of digital printing in the late 1990s, something like 1998, a very big organization gave me the chance to give my team a whirl at printing something for them:  It was a one page letter, but it was going to 20,000 differently, individually addressed correspondence to appeal for something.  You don't ask for anything that is associated with asking someone for money without it appearing as customized and handwritten as they have ever seen.  As a [ you got it! ] one of a kind!  Those special numbers.

I've scooted around and scattered some thoughts.  Recognized some insight that I hadn't examined for quite some time.  Does anyone remember "the QR CODE"?  [I will guest write a blog FOR YOU if you can comment with the answer for that]..  Maybe I can stay on this train of thought and go back into my sales roots to impart some wisdom, if there is any to be had.  You are the decider of that. 


 Thank you,
 Jeannette


NEVER stop asking a lot of questions

would be the advice I would give to my 20-year-old self.

I am going to explore this awesome question that I just heard today.  For about one minute as the other half was flipping through the channels, like he's warming up for that imaginary battlefield game he likes to play.  Flex those fingers and press those thumbs to the beat of your favorite song.  


SOURCE

What advice would you give your 20 year old self? 


I can grapple with myself 
as much as I'd like and that would be the thing that I would tell my 20YOS (abbreviation for 20 year old self), never stop asking a lot of questions.  It is part of the wisdom I can say that I have 30 odd years later.  The difference between good and great is the ability to ask insightful questions.   The other one is to believe in PEOPLE.   I'd like to share my own discovery that becomes a tidy parcel within wisdom.

The person who comes to mind?
I think of Barbara Walters.  I think most, if not all of the greats, emulated Barbara Walters who is the benchmark of interviewing PEOPLE everywhere.  Carve away the personas, politicians, musicians, artists, directors, entrepreneurs, athletes and we all end up the same:  we're PEOPLE.  All of us.  Shed the religion, color, race, country, city, rural, occupations, preoccupations, interests, bias, knowledge, truths, sovereignty.  You.  One of the PEOPLE.  No better than the next, exactly the same.


SOURCE

What makes us different, 
as in our DNA, is our characteristics that make up our personality which evolve by our traits.    What your traits are are steered by you based on the attention you may give it.  If you want to go into the gutter (PORN, RACISM, VIOLENCE) it is because you didn't keep that trait at bay, you continued to explore it, specify an interest level, and even perhaps it evolves into a really bad thing.  You are untrustworthy, not loyal, lean towards meanness, belittle, shuck others aside ... regardless of method.  

I would tell my 2YOS to stray away from those who want to drag you into a deep dark hole with them.  Don't feel sorry for them, as you may ought to do.  Don't even acknowledge them.  Not the slightest hook to snag your attention, however briefly.



These three traits I would suggest are worth considering honing in on:


  • Ask a lot of questions, every time, every situation, every where.  Once you establish it firmly as part of the core of who you are, you will continue to expand and ask even greater questions.  Others may even be amazed at the quickness and sharpness to ask a question just as it is entering others' radar.  It blips, and then before processing, be the person who asks a question that captures what everyone could be barely registering, never mind thinking.  It can return at a later time.  Removed from the message other than it appearing like a puff of smoke:  that was a great question because it required an answer that was more in depth and detailed.
  • Secondly, be aware of people.  Be open to new people, different people, in different situations, different backgrounds (whether economic, intellect or standing).  Find a way out of the aversion to odor, or behavior that is distracting, so as to be able to hear them.    I could have more easily suggested to pay closer attention or just simply listen but I didn't.  To make a point.  
  • Be your own person or personality.  Stick to your values, don't let anyone intimidate you, bully you, make you feel inferior in any way.  Gender is even stripped away so that you can be the person from the inside out.  Starting on the inside first.  Completing the outside is the easy part.  Understand your style or karma or aura you exude.  Don't try to hold back or allow others to censor you.  Any person [ whether friend, family, employer or place ] who wants to encourage you will not make you feel like you should hold back nor be told to be quiet [ whether written or vocal ].  


Don't let anyone try to squash that personality and enthusiasm for the continuous journey you are on.  

You won't be able to sell anything.  Your company, your case, your qualifications, your institution, your cause, your view, your anything will not be able to sell anything unless you can learn how to ask the right questions.

For example.  You are the CEO of your company and you are rubbing elbows with your colleagues and staff while selling your company's product or service.  It is pretty hard not to.  Especially since you probably got the job based on your charisma, leadership essence, confidence, vision.  

I wrote a while ago ..... I'll have to look it back up and link it here ] INSERT LINK [ ... about not working IN the business but work ON the business if you are its OWNER< CEO<PRESIDENT.  Well it is not exclusive, but the point is for anyone who has to sell anything.

If you are a sales representative >> you NEED to work on YOUR business!
What is that business?  We'll get to that later on.

In order to sell anything to anyone, you have to be able to ask great questions.  Those great questions will catapult you at the center of the PERSON [ views, criteria, influence, bias, desires, needs, headaches ].  By understanding the PERSON in front of you:  your parent as you ask for an increase in the university fund;  the sales rep who is asking his potential customer for the order; the CEO who is asking the Board for something to be approved.

If you've asked the right questions, it will magically be staring right at you.  The OASIS of sold!   When you can formulate, practice, evaluate a series of questions to ask that first important first impression meeting, to ask of your audience, hopefully of one as it is far easier.  [ You may need to assess why you are meeting in front of a group ... that's a red flag.  It usually means that the audience doesn't have enough confidence in themselves or have become so rigid that they've lost the ability of sensing instinct, gut feeling, seeing expression.



Five Questions?
Come up with a list of five questions that you want to ask your next prospect [remember, that prospect does not have to be a SALES call or situation].  Then, make it a practice to have five questions written down before any sit down for a meeting, a review, an interview, a report, a presentation.  Spend 10 minutes looking through the web page [ I realize that I should write about that now:  how to review a company's website and grasp their culture, their vibe, their engagement with visitors ] so that you can come up with five questions.

An INVESTOR
Think of yourself as an investor.  Yes, that sounds backwards when you think that you don't have the money to buy even "a share" in this company, just ignore that and transcend yourself.  Ask yourself:  "would you buy shares in this company?".

If you are attuned to selling to people, you will want to invest in them just as much as they will want to purchase or give you whatever it is you are asking for.   That is called evening the playing field.  Remember what I said before?  PEOPLE are the same except for how they BUY things.  



BUY THINGS
can be just the same as buying into things.  Do you buy into this opinion or that show or that writing or philosophy?  See, we are all BUYERS and there are sparks that initiate the action to buy.  

If you are not attuned to PEOPLE you won't get as far.  You will have to meet more and more and more PEOPLE to get into your zone.  Then again, as you meet more and more PEOPLE in whatever situation FIVE QUESTIONS imagine what will unfold.  

If you like to cut corners, you probably didn't even last to the finish of this post.  Unless it benefits you immediately [ can you copy, plagiarize or imitate this?] you are long gone.  Those are probably the less honest type of sales anyhow and they won't jive with my philosophy derived from my traits.



DISCIPLINE
is a trait or characteristic.  Which does it mean is which.  It is both an adverb I think and a verb in English, as in a thing or noun rather than an action.

In order to have a DISCIPLINEd PERSONality, you will have had to hone your traits to come up with the right ingredients for your own unique PERSON.  I am wondering somewhat if I have ADD or attention deficit disorder.  Someone with a psychological background I was [here it is again] asking more insightful questions asked me if that were a possibility.    Not as an assessment, nothing like that, simply generated from a conversation.  

Examine your own traits.  What are your leanings?  What gains your interest quicker than others?  Explore the maybe and the why.