Communication: The 4 C’s – Courage


For sales professionals – everywhere

This is the second installment in the series on Communication in selling. The last blog was on Clarity, so if you missed it, please take a moment to go back and read it….thanks! 

This installment is on Courage. Someone once defined courage as action incouragethe face of fear. The fear is still there, but there is a vision of the end result that is so compelling that the actions needed to produce it become less scary and downright doable.

Take a look at your own selling process. Are there questions you are afraid to ask? Do you not like talking about money? Are you afraid to tell them the real deal about how long it’s going to take? Do you resist discussing the competition and where else they have been researching?  Does it make you uncomfortable to ask them to purchase? It’s good to look and to see where your process starts to break down. A quote from Who Moved My Cheese?: What would I be doing if I wasn’t afraid?

The good news is that bravery can be cultivated.  Start with one thing. Pick a question or ‘reality direction’ that is tough for you. Create a ‘script’ to ask or tell the buyer what you want to know or what you want them to do. Practice it a couple of times with one of your peers…see what happens. Then practice it with a buyer. Experience the discomfort. Breathe. Wait for their response. Breathe again. And take the next action.

Breaking challenging things into smaller components gives us the Confidence (oh! Another C word!!!) to do it again, and again, and again…..

Having trouble applying this or finding your scary spot in the communication? I am sure we can figure it out together. Email me to set up your FREE 15 minute consultation! 

Follow my Blog and be the first to read the next in this series: Communication: The 4 C’s – Compassion.

Now, go sell something!





For sales professionals – everywhere

This is the first installment of a short series on communication in selling. The series is not intended to provide a complete and entire scope of communication, but rather to focus on specific elements that are essential to consider and include in our selling conversations – between buyer and seller.  They all begin with C and they are all very related to each other.


I once learned from Sharon Drew Morgen, ‘the person asking the questions is the person who controls the conversation.’ True enough.  And the seller is asking questions to direct the buyer through a particular process to a desired result. That desired result is ultimately a sale/contract or an appointment. As a seller, begin with the end in mind and then work backward to what the buyer needs to know, to do, to have, to anticipate, to act on.  The buyers are not experts in this process and will follow you if you know where you are going and what is needed to get there.

What is needed is knowledge of the process and the realities of it. Those are the FACTS.  If it takes 16 weeks for production and delivery/installation, then it takes 16 weeks. What is the conversation with the buyer (questions) to determine if that will work for them, if there is an event during that timeframe, etc.? Being CLEAR and STRAIGHT with the buyer is sooooo important – so that they know what their options are, they know what to expect, and you can direct them to the actions they need to take to produce the result THEY want to produce.

This morning I was on a coaching call. The scenario was a wife was looking at furniture, her husband wasn’t there and he needed to be there to make a decision. Add to this that the sale was ending at 5:00 on Sunday….and this was Saturday at noon.  The salesperson/designer needed to tell the truth about what was needed, offer options to exercise, and NOT offer options (like an appointment on Monday morning) to give the buyer clear direction of the actions they needed to take to get the sale price and to place the order. It’s NOT about being pushy. It’s about being clear, direct, and honest with the buyer about their options, the attending actions that need to be taken, and what options are NOT available if they don’t follow your direction (like buying it on Monday morning and getting the sale price).

When you know early in the sales process what’s going on in the buyer’s buying process, it’s easier to anticipate and direct what needs to happen next. Another quote that I love and put in my last blog: If you tell them before, it’s a reason. If you tell them later, it’s an excuse – applies here.

Be straight with the buyer. Offer them options of actions to choose from.  Reduce the amount you ask and tell and talk about what needs to be discussed. And, of course, call if you get stuck.

Stay tuned for the next Communication C: Courage.

Now, go sell something!




Quantity versus Quality – More on the Money Conversation

For all Sales Leaders and Specialists everywhere


Whether retail or to the trade, the Quantity versus Quality comparison remains high on the list of binary choices for the buyer to make.

For retail purchases, there is so much out there of lesser to medium grade quality – allowing the buyer to purchase more items and often items that are in stock – so it’s a tough ‘Time and Money” conversation to Quality-imagecompete with.  If you are selling high quality at retail, you need to be prepared to raise and discuss this issue as part of the selection process….and it’s always better to be the one who initiates this discussion. Someone once said: “If you bring it up first, it’s a reason. If you respond to it later, it’s an excuse.” True enough.

For trade purchases, it’s similar but a bit different in that the buyers expect to spend more for high quality. And they may purchase fewer items in order to stay within their budget and still have fine quality merchandise.  But with higher prices and higher quality comes a level of negotiation not seen at mid to lower price ranges. So again, be prepared for how to discuss the money of bigger ticket products before the buyer brings it up as an objection.

Try this: Make a list of your most common objections and concerns. Time and money will be on the list.  Create 1-3 ‘standard responses’ to those objections, so that you can bring them up first (in the ‘anticipate and avoid’ method) or so that you can manage them smoothly when they come up, rather than be surprised and then try to excuse, explain, or convince the objections away.

Or ask: “Tell me, if you had to choose between quality and quantity when purchasing, which would you choose?”  Listen to their response and ask them to tell you more about that decision.  The rest will get easier from there.

Call if you get stuck …. I LOVE these conversations!

Now, go sell something.