Hot Momma’s Finalist

Wow, what fun. I entered the Hot Momma’s contest and authored a case study for their project. They sucked me in with their slogan “Lead By Example: Role models for women and girls.

Established in 2002, the goal of the Hot Mommas® Project is to produce the world’s case study library. Our award-winning case studies serve as role models for women and girls around the globe by showcasing not only successful business practices, but also successful personal practices including the identification of leadership abilities and work-life balance strategies.

What did I write about? Be yourself to be more successful. (Dorian Lynn Hidy & what else 🙂 Check it out if you’re interested.

Chapter 6 & 7: Communication & Listening

The group either got lazy in chapter 6 or the fact that most sales training addresses the pieces and parts of Debbie’s 3 Major Components of Communication made everyone less jazzed about choosing an action item. Our conversation covered one of my favorite topics:

conversation vs. interrogation

and we all quoted pg 97s Guidepost 18 “Strive to communicate what you have to offer so clearly that customers who aren’t a fit will recognize it.”


Now on to chapter 7 – perhaps the most important chapter to have action items for! Listening

On page 104 you see “Learning to listen means learning the patience to be quiet”… patience & being quiet – neither are things salespeople are known for.

Debbie’s definitions of the 4 types of listeners was eye opening:

  • scavengers; looking for scraps of information, to help decide their next thing to say
  • attention-challenged; this actually reminded me of a shirt that we got for our friend Steve which says ‘They say I have A.D.D. they just don’t understand… Oh look, a chicken!’
  • literal; listen and acknowledge exactly what is said, not what is between the lines
  • empathetic; genuinely care, leave ample silence to allow clients to complete their thoughts

Here are the things we decided to do for the next two weeks to improve our listening skills:

  1. have a blank outlook email open to take my notes with ONE conversation per (even in my notebook)
  2. remind myself the people I’m talking with don’t necessarily know ANYTHING and find a way to ask questions to gather more info
  3. minimize outlook and NOT look at other emails while on the phone
  4. STOP interrupting… and try using the mute button to do it for the whole day.
  5. learn when to stop talking and let THEM talk

Lynn’s side note: mine is #3 and the first day I kept catching myself clicking and wanting to multi-task. When I left for the day I felt awesome and looking back it was because of the quality conversations I had all day long. Coincidence? I think not!

What are you willing to do to improve your listening?  Scroll down, register, log in, and let us know.

Deciding vs. Doing

The St Patrick’s Day quote I posted got me to thinking (dangerous I know), about how often we “decide” but never “do”.

  • I’m sitting here in my office looking at books I decided I wanted to learn from – but never got around to reading.
  • How about the seminar you paid for, attended, and didn’t follow through on any of the  new ideas presented.
  • What about the cloths that are in the closet or drawer with the tags still on.

It is interesting to me because I always say “just because it’s simple, doesn’t make it easy”. Let’s face it sales isn’t rocket science. The concepts and behaviors are truly simple. Yet the doing, many times, is difficult.

If we look at ourselves there are always things we “wish” or other people say we “should” do (and anyone who has worked with me has heard – should is a dirty word). Instead today only look at what you want or need or desire to take action on.

Regardless of your political leanings, I love the visual of “shovelready projects”. So what do you have lined up that you’ve decided, you’ve planned, now all that is left is the doing. Dig in today!

Don’t be left one of the frogs on my St Patrick’s Day quote log. Hold yourself accountable by letting us know what action you are going to take. Register, log in, and post.

St Patrick’s Day Sales Quote

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Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left?

Answer: five.

Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding & doing.

Process vs. Power in Decision Making

For sales in general – and especially in TeleSales, it can be very tricky figuring out who and how purchasing decisions are made.

I will start this topic off by saying it is much, MUCH, MUCH easier to gather this information when there is no current opportunity to do business together on the table. Once you are working with a prospect or customer on a “deal”, “pending purchase”, “project” the people involved are wary of a salesperson’s motives. Yes I know we don’t always have this luxury, yet some times that is our own fault because we shy away from having the conversation.


  • some salespeople are afraid the person they are talking with will be offended
  • others don’t want to rock the relationship boat
  • various people have told me they are comfortable talking to their current contact person and don’t want to find out they can’t pull the trigger
  • the prospect or customer has said “I make the decision” and we take the answer at face value
  • or I don’t know how to have the conversation

Well, I’m glad you’re reading if any of these reasons why ring true.

#1 Don’t = asking “Are you the decision maker?” or any variation on this theme. Come on – would you ask people in your social circle “Hey are you the decision maker on buying a car in your family?” No! Non-salespeople don’t use the words decision maker in  conversation. Those words need to be kept INTERNALLY at your company. Why yes, that is what piece of information you want to find out – it’s not how to ask it (ok, I’m stepping down off my soapbox for now).

#1 Do = talk about the purchasing process instead of who has the power or authority to purchase from you. People are part of this conversation, not only the mechanisms for getting it done.

The benefit to you is that a process conversation takes your contacts desire to be seen as important and powerful out of the equation.  Let’s face it no one in a business relationship wants to say “nope I’m not high enough on the corporate food chain” or “power to get things done? no I don’t have that”.

Here are a few sample questions to get you started (please remember my safety tip to reword into your own voice):

  1. When you’re working on a project who is on the team with you?
    or Who will be on the team with you to finalize the details for this project?
  2. Once you decide the “what”, how will you pick who to buy it from?
  3. After I send you information, what happens next?
  4. In addition to price, what factors will play into the vendor choice?
  5. How often do projects end up in the Never Never Land of approval, once you have done all your paperwork?
  6. Help me understand – once the requisition leaves your hands, where does it go?
    (another place to use THEIR terms – find out what their internal people call the paperwork)
  7. If we were to follow the paperwork along, what does the process look like from beginning to cutting a purchase order?

another trick is to use THEIR name for the project instead of generic words – so insert “7th floor rewire” or “distribution center upgrade”, “new building”, “North Dakota” etc. How do you find that out? Ask them…. so when I call back or send you emails on this, what do I call it that will spark your memory and make it easier to find the information?

Let us know how you find out who and how decisions are made. Scroll down, register, log in.

Chapter 5: Action Items

Chapter 5 is all about choosing your traveling companions, building relationships, and moving forward together.

One of the book club members is new to the corporate world of sales, really new – less than a year in fact. She knows her connections are massive, more than 250 because of her “life before sales” what had not occurred to her is that these people know other people, who know other people, who might need what she does now. The action item she took on is to list her contacts/relationships/connections that are in her geographic territory – she is still figuring out what to do once she has them.

Someone else is talking to heart a quote on pg 81 “With every call, email or meeting, you are exhibiting your intention to further the relationship in some way.” This is now their #1 call objective and the bar that all other reasons are measured by…. “how will this conversation further our relationship?”

For me, there was a great reminder that it generally takes SEVEN interaction to make a sale. Now I am looking at what ways I can decrease the time it takes to have those 7 meaningful interactions with my prospects.

How about you, what are you doing to build your relationships? Register, log in, and let us know.