For sales teams and designers everywhere

I was on a coaching call this morning with a sales team who brought me to tears with their bravery and willingness to try something new and to go beyond good to get to great. They got me to thinking about what makes them, and all sales teams who are amazing, so special. I was looking for an element that was consistent among them and maybe even measurable that they and other great teams possess.
What I witnessed during that call was ‘willingness’. This was a team willing to learn, to listen, to practice, to fail, to win, to try again. They were and are willing to do what it takes to be {and continue to be} amazing, and not just to live in a perception willingness-to-learnthat they are special and have already arrived. That would be ‘willful’ and not open to learning and doing something new and different that offers a whole world of information and opportunity.

I have a few of those amazing teams that I am fortunate to work with. The group on the call today was the sales team from Sheely’s in North Lima, Ohio. They are lead by Sherry Sheely (a great trainer in her own right) and sales manager Paul Stehnac, both of whom are ‘willing’ leaders who brought in outside talent to help to grow their team beyond their current performance. Clearly, willingness starts at the top.

Another team that comes to mind is the Lawrence team of Furniture Mall of Kansas, under the leadership of Sarah Goyen and Tim Whittaker – both of whom ‘walk the talk’ of sales skill development and execution and engagement as sales leaders who have grown their team exponentially in the last year. The stellar sales team of Gerry and Marcus at Dennis Miller Associates, under Dennis’ leadership, is another Today-just-be-willing   example of willingness. Dennis is a salesperson as well as the owner, and we speak regularly about specific sales and service issues so that he and his team can operate at the highest level possible. They are all willing to do what is initially uncomfortable and awkward for the long term gain of expanded effectiveness.

I don’t know if willingness is measurable but I know it when I am being willing or when I am being willful and I can feel whether it is present in others or not. I know if there is smoothness and fluidity or if there is resistance and defensiveness present. This insight has been a rocket ship for me. And as a consultant and a coach, I need to check my ‘willingness’ every day to see if I am open to learn, to explore, to be wrong, to apologize, to win. My willingness allows me to be an example of what I want to see in the world I live in so that in turn, the people I serve can have that willingness in the world they serve.

Thank you all for your partnership and for what I learn from you every day…as long as I stay open and willing.

Cheers and lots of love, love, love…..

Jody Seivert 300 dpi

“I take full responsibility…..”

For anyone who deals with anyone else

Every time I hear this I cringe. My most current personal experience with this phrase was after something that was supposed to happen didn’t happen. It’s not really an apology. There is no “I’m so sorry for the inconvenience”. There is no palpable reaction from the salesperson that tsincere apologyells me that they know they blew it. There is no understanding of what it’s like on the other side – over here where I am as the customer waiting, wondering, and wanting to take action but not feeling ‘right’ to do that – and there is no indication of them wanting to understand and asking how to make it better.

This occurs to me as a new way of avoiding responsibility rather than taking it. And unless it’s accompanied by sincere ownership and understanding of what went wrong, with some options to correct the present and create a future that is different from the present and the past, it’s better to not even speak until those happen.

For now, just start with an authentic “I’m sorry”.

Thanks for listening.

Love, love, love,

Jody Seivert 300 dpi

Gallery 65 – October Meeting

Oct mtg 9

The year is winding down and I am already starting to miss our monthly meetings and the artists….yet it’s heartwarming to look back over the last several months and appreciate and enjoy the changes and growth that have occurred.

Here’s what this meeting produced:
Sarah is looking at holding painting class again…as a revenue producer and means for visibility. Nicole is looking to expand social media to include Pinterest and Instagram. As the only one in the Gallery who is doing marketing activities for the Gallery, this is more action and work, even if it might seem a small thing to readers who have been using these for awhile.
Oct mtg 7       Oct mtg 1      Oct mtg 3    Oct mtg 5
The holidays are coming, and it’s time to be thinking of what products are needed for gift buyers. Nicole is making felted ornaments and will have an ornament tree positioned prominently in the showroom, and has found other artists to make ornaments, coasters, and small items. She will also be getting other artists to share databases, so that they can exponentially increase their reach.
November looks to be a busy month – Debra Ehrens is doing a trunk show, Open Studios weekend on 11/21 and Hatch Street Studios trunk show will be at Gallery 65 this year! 
In December, the first weekend is the Holiday Weekend, with a downtown stroll. Downtown associations (NB Cultural Council, NB Beautiful) are also creating a Deck the Windows event that is sure to attract interest and participants…and we hope, lots of foot traffic to start shopping! And Roy Rousseau will be the Featured Artist in the Gallery in December.

I am so proud of the work they’re doing. They have fewer artists in the cooperative yet are taking more action. They’ve consolidated floor space in the showroom, yet merchandised the existing and new product more effectively. While traffic into the showroom continues to be less than desirable, they are doing more with it. In short, a leaner and more amped team – and they are inspiring! I am looking forward to our next meeting in a couple of weeks.

Love, love, love,

Jody Seivert 300 dpi