For everyone, everywhere.

I am on a flight home from San Antonio, after 3 days at the Furniture First buying group symposium. Having been in existence for about 20 years,this group has undergone significant change in the last year. Under new leadership, new members and new vendors added this year. Jody FF boothI have had the pleasure of working with several of their retailers and can honestly say that I have ‘relationships’ with all that I have worked with. Sure, some Jody and Steve Klossof it’s me, but most of it’s about them.
Being with this group and experiencing this tribe of members, staff and vendors who are smart, thoughtful, generous, welcoming, open was inspiring.  I went there with a pretty full calendar for the rest of this year, so I wasn’t hell-bent on scheduling new business, which gave me the joyful  The Couch Potatoesopportunity to simply be present to the people I was in conversation with; no need to rush to the next person. I was able enjoy each and every conversation and person involved.  It’s refreshing to be in a business setting where being connected and helpful are the driving values.
So, from one tired traveler, thanks to everyone who shared themselves with me and here’s to a splendid second half.
Now, go sell something.
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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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