For everyone everywhere
I love people…with all their idiosyncrasies and craziness, I love them. Some are harder to like, though….so I need help to find a common place to reach them and to connect with them so that we can play together, work together, enjoy each other.
For more than 25 years, I have been teaching the DISC behavioral model… a model that identifies differences in preferred, default behaviors of people, many of which are undistinguished  by them. It’s a core competency in all of my training programs because it helps people to know themselves better and to understand their strengths, weaknesses, motivations and annoyances. The programs also teach how to identify the DISC styles of others and (here’s the gold!) how to adapt to them so that they can have the experience that they want.
The last part is the toughest part and where the greatest reward is. Everyone of us has people that we struggle with.  You might be very free wheeling and people who like order and structure drive you crazy…or the opposite! What DISC teaches you is to identify and understand those default differences and to work WITH them instead of pushing AGAINST them. Other people will never be the way you want them to be, and resisting that reality is the cause of suffering and resentment….both of which are optional. By identifying their DISC style, and knowing what they want and don’t want, you can adapt your own behavior when you are with them so that you are more similar and have more opportunity for connection….a connection that THEY will enjoy.
As a sales professional, It is critical that you connect with a variety of people…not just the people who are naturally similar to you or the people you ‘like’. To do that requires something outside yourself as a filter through which you can see the other person. Left to our own nature, we will distance ourselves from people we don’t naturally like and justify why ‘they’ are not worth our time and attention, like: “They are rude” or “They’re too wimpy and can’t make a decision” or “They’re too picky and don’t look me in the eye” or “They’re flighty and distracted and I can’t get them to focus on what we’re talking about”.  All of which are judgements of behavior that the other person is demonstrating…but NOT the behavior itself. If we just identify the behavior – straight answer, wants to involve others in the decision, asking specific questions about the process or product, engaged in the excitement of the process – and the DiSC style associated with it, we can anticipate their behavior so that when it occurs we won’t react to it, but rather move with it.  It’s called behavioral flexibility and as sales/service professionals it’s helpful to expand the ability to be different with different people, because they don’t all want what you/we want. They want what THEY want.
I bring this training to leaders, recruiters, sales managers, sales and design professionals, customer service associates as they all need to be effective working with many different types of people and having a method and strategy for doing that. Let me know if your team would benefit from greater skill and interactions with your customers and clients.
For those of you in Massachusetts, I have DISC training modules that are available through the Workforce Training Fund Grant Program that allow you to bring this training to your sales and customer service teams for 50% off! If you are a Dominant, you’ll love the deal and the payoff for your team. If you are an Influencer, you’ll be excited by the opportunity and fun of  Save-Money-learning something new that you can use. If you are a Steady, you’ll love that you can understand people better and give them a more comfortable experience. If you are a Compliant, you will appreciate the cost savings amortized over the fiscal year.  Whichever you are and wherever you live, this information can help your managers, sales, and customer service people be more productive and effective. I promise.
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!




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.



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