Observations and Recommendations

For designers and showroom salespeople everywhere

It’s still August. The temperature in New England is hovering around 90 today with a lovely breeze. The mornings have been cTime-for-Actionooler, foretelling the Fall to come. NOW is the time for customers, clients, end-users to be buying furniture for the holidays … even though it seems ridiculous. We are about 15 weeks from Thanksgiving, 20 weeks from Christmas. NOW is the time to buy. 

A while back I stumbled into this product when Dennis Miller and I were discussing the hard copy version of this time line instrument.  Dennis had been ordering the 3D version of this product, with his company logo on it, to give as a gift/give away to designers (a great idea!). I investigated this product for the same reason, but when I went online, I found the app instead and fell in love…and loaded it on my iPhone immediately. (sorry, not available for androids). And I decided to share this with you along with some thoughts on how to use it effectively. Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 10.01.00 AM

When trade showroom salespeople quote product lead time to a designer, they often speak in vagaries….12-18 weeks, 3-4 months, etc.  And everyone nods knowingly.  The same thing happens when a retail salesperson or designer quotes timeframe to a client.  And both of the ‘sellers’ believe that their ‘buyer’ clearly understands when things will happen and when they need to happen – but they don’t.  Because what they are missing are 2 critical components: Clarity and Commitment.

Clarity looks and sounds like this: “For us to make your installation/delivery deadline of September 25  (open Lead Time Lite and spin the wheel – which is 18 weeks from today as I write this) we need to place the order by Friday, June 6, which is 2 weeks from today.”

Commitment looks and sounds like this: “What do you need to do on your end to make that date happen?” (and wait for specific response and action). 

Then, “What can I do to support you in making that happen?” (and again, wait for specific response and action). 

Finally, “Let’s put these dates and actions on our calendars now so that we can keep in touch and keep on schedule.  Thank you so much for your partnership!”

Lead Time Lite.  Check it out.  It’s simple, free and priceless.

Now go sell something!





For sales professionals – everywhere.

This is the last installment in the series on Communication. The first 3: Clarity, Courage and Compassion are archived for you to read if you missed them…or to forward to someone you think might be inspired by reading them so that they will take the necessary actions to achieve new results. Thanks in advance for doing that.

There is a common misconception out there, even among sales professionals that you have to be pushy in order to be successful.  I have always found that pushy is a behavior found among poor salespeople whose sole agenda is their own benefit and not the benefit of the customer/buyer. commitment

Commitment is not about being pushy. Commitment is about being Clear about what you want, being Courageous to take the actions needed to get it, and being Committed to produce results NO MATTER WHAT or HOW.  If you are committed to producing a sales result, you might need to produce the interim result of an appointment to forward the process to the sale. If you are committed to producing a sale, you will ask the questions that are difficult for you to ask because you believe they will make a difference in getting the sale. If you are committed to producing a sale, you will take other actions that salespeople with less commitment are unwilling to take – they’re too hard, take too much time, don’t guarantee success, not enough return on investment – because you know that incremental improvement gains huge rewards.

There is a ‘distinction’ in the Self Expression and Leadership Program at Landmark: Attachment versus Commitment. If you are ‘attached’, then it has to happen a particular way in order for it to happen…like it has to be easy, or the customer has to be nice to work with, or some other condition that needs to be present or met. If you are ‘committed’, then you will do what you need to do in order to get it done, mindful of the other person and their behavior as elements of the process, but not as specific requirements.  If you are an independent designer committed to making it easy for clients to buy from you, you might take several methods of payment…versus being attached and only accepting checks. 

Commitment shows up when it gets difficult. When you are committed to a monogamous relationship, it’s easy to do…until someone who catches your attention shows interest. Look for yourself. Look at where you are committed and where you might be attached. It’s good to notice because it might be in a ‘blind spot’ that you don’t know about until you look there…and there …and there.

And of course, if you get confused or stuck, give me a call. This is a great exploration that is often more fun with someone else.

Now, go sell something!