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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good vs. Remarkable

There are a lot of sales people out there who are good at what they do. And there are some who are very, very good! They show up every day, ready to work. And they work hard at what they are good at. They keep themselves busy, never idling on the job. They keep in touch with their clients, and show their appreciation for their business. Their sales managers tell them they are very good sales people. And they are....

If your sales manager tells you you're a very good sales person, it should put a question mark in your mind about what they really mean. You see, in today's world of selling, very good is just not enough. Very good is not excellent. It's not great. It's just very good. It's not enough!

I was watching a video on YouTube with Seth Godin. He was speaking very articulately about being remarkable. Being remarkable is better than being great. It's better than being excellent. It's remarkable. Being unique or special enough for someone to make a remark about you or your abilities. They may not have even liked what you were selling, but took the time to remark on something about their experience with you! And that's when you know....

That's when you know you've differentiated yourself. When someone makes a remark about you, your sales techniques, your style, whatever it may be! That's when you know you've gotten their attention! You are remarkable. Now, take whatever it was that caused that client to take notice, and let it shine for you:)

Thanks for stopping by....CC

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why being "pc" can be bad for business

In this age of political correctness, I've realized that we've gone too far, and this is hurting our chances for success. I start to tell a joke, and someone says, "Shhhh....she might get offended." Then I tell the joke, or say what I wanted to say any way. I then find that the client is delighted by my honesty, and having a clear opinion. Boy, am I glad now that I was true to my method of selling and being....

Since when do we all have to fit into cookie cutter shapes? What's wrong with forming the dough with your fingers? When I talk about dough, I think you probably realize it's a metaphor for your sales pitch! The truth is, we're all selling similar products and services. The way we really set ourselves apart is by using our unique outlook and personalities to put a signature on the entire sales cycle. Sometimes those who oppose uniqueness in selling will want to make you just like them....and I'm sorry, that just won't work! All this political correctness has become a burden, and is making people scared to be themselves....

I really like Justin Beiber. Yes, I said it, and I'll tell you why. And the reason is not because his music is great! To be honest, I don't listen to his music, really. I like that he doesn't censor his opinions on anything. He just says his truth when asked about a range of topics from abortion, to healthcare, to being in love. And I like that. We've been so conditioned to be products of political correctness, that when someone comes up with an opposing opinion to ours, we hem and haw until we've waffled so much that we look wishy washy. And I'm sorry, that is something I will not do! I will not tell you that something looks amazing when it is not the most flattering color choice, or tell a client that a product is a perfect fit for them when it clearly is not.

I will, however, be as honest as possible, redirecting when necessary. And this is all done out of love for my profession, and for that particular client. If I told every client what they wanted to hear, and worried too much about political correctness, I guarantee I would not have the client base that I have. I would not have them in my corner, asking for only me to help them when they come in, because deep down, they have realized that they need my opinions. They need my advice, and they need my friendship.

Don't get me wrong....I do care about how I come across, but I make a conscious decision to take risks that others don't take most of the time. Taking the risk of offending someone, hoping that the end result will be a positive one, that will enable me to connect with them more than if I had not. Mixing an "odd" combination of colors can make a beautiful painting, and if artists censored their art by being afraid to use those particular colors, their work would be dull. No one wants to see a painting made with only beige paint, just like no one really wants to see everyone acting or being the same. 

One person's methods of selling may not work for the next person, and yet another person shouldn't be telling the next individual how to behave, or that they should change. If something is working for you, then evaluate that particular method, and enhance it. And it's not always necessary to get anyone else's opinion about how you should sell, talk, or lead your life. It is your sale, your voice, and your journey. And the footprints you leave are unique to only you.

Thanks for stopping by.....CC

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Countdown to swimsuit season 2011...are you ready?

And now, it's almost swimsuit season....
I know, I know! That dreaded time of year, when women start crying and throwing a fit out of the blue. Why is that? Is it because they just found out a family member is sick and dying? No, it's worse. They've come to the realization that they will have to go shopping for a swimsuit! Oh, the horror! Thank goodness we have plenty of tissues around, right? What is it with women and trying on a swimsuit that makes a normally sweet and docile person act like a major you know?;) Why do they take it out on little old me, who is only trying to help? I swear....sometimes, I feel like a therapist/cheerleader/insult dodger. Because if it doesn't work out, then you know what that makes me....I'm the reason she is unhappy with that little bit of extra curve around her backside. I'm the reason she didn't commit to going to the gym, and gained an extra 10 pounds. It's going to be all my fault if I don't fix this, and help these lovely ladies feel good about themselves. I'm going to help them find the perfect swimsuit for their specific body type, curves and all....

I am their "Fashion Godmother", not their fashion foe. I am the friend who will step in, and say, "Enough is enough, sweetie. No matter what, we are going to love our bodies, right? No beating ourselves up, no crying, it's time to be a big girl, and to find a great suit that makes you look great right now, not when you lose that last 10 pounds. And if you wait until then, you might also miss out on all of these great other reasons to wear one of these cute and fun little numbers! You know what? Swimsuits are not only made of state of the art materials, they are fun! It's really not so bad, I swear! If I can do it, you can do it! So, let's get started"....

Remember, swimsuits are made to be functional. Most of them are made for getting wet! Can you believe it? You can have fun in them, even go boogie boarding! We also have some that are just for puttering around in, sunning, and entertaining. I call these fashion suits. Then, there are some that can serve both of these functions!  There are specialty suits as well, such as MiracleSuit, that are designed to make you look 10 pounds slimmer in an instant. No more getting down on yourself about not going to the gym, and eating those extra donuts. It's time to live, and it's time to enjoy life today, not when you lose 10 pounds. The goal is to pick a suit that suits your body type, and that looks great with your particular style. The same one that looks great on your best friend may not look so great on you, and vice versa. You shouldn't be comparing your look to another woman. Just have fun with what you have, and enjoy your day in the sun:)

Thanks for stopping by....CC 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quality Vs. Quantity

My recent trip to go shopping for household items got me thinking. It made me realize what I, as a consumer, not just a salesperson, look for in a product. And what it is that I look for in a retail chain, that I believe can add value to my busy days. I've always been a sort of quality over quantity shopper. Don't get me wrong, though. I do love a great bargain, but only if it's a product I know I already like, and am satisfied that I'll use it just as much as another one with a higher price. Here's what really got to me about my earlier trip to a famous retail chain. This is a place I have been visiting frequently, and I realized that it is my favorite store! And no, it's not where I work. Although the company I work for is at the top of my list, too! Here's what I have discovered about my shopping habits that I think reflect what most consumers are looking for......

1) Value for the money
A product that's the finest available for the price. This is what a consumer should be looking to achieve. When you're only focused on quantity, you may accumulate more items, but how many of those items will you actually see give you a return for your investment? i.e., if you never use an item you paid $4.00 for, then you are not getting a return on your investment of $4.00, because you would need to use that item at least once to justify spending that amount. On an $80.00 item, you'd need to use that item 20 times to justify spending that amount. Even more so with higher priced items, to make sure you're really going to get your use out of bigger ticket items. 

2) Quality (a product that will last, and will give the consumer their money's worth)
Most of the time, you do get what you pay for. Some folks have to learn this the hard way, when the item they purchased starts to fall apart after just using it a few times. Then, they realize that, if they had only spent a little bit more, they could've gotten the one they really wanted. And, it probably wouldn't be falling apart right now.

3) A one-stop shop
If a retail chain offers a place to buy so many items on one place, this is the way to go for most shoppers. The truth is that most of us are willing to spend a little more on a couple items, if it means that shopping for everything in one place will save us valuable time. The saying, "time is money," has never been so relevant.

4) A quick and reasonably effortless purchase
Don't you just love it when you're ready to check-out, and there's someone available to assist you promptly? I mean, let's face it, when you're ready to go, you're ready to go. You want to move on to the other hundred and one things you need to get done today.....

5) A good return policy
Unfortunately, returns are inevitable. And although I've been on the opposite side of the desk, feeling like someone stuck a knife in my heart when someone returns something I sold to them, I understand that it happens. I love it when a salesperson accepts a return with grace, and offers to help me find something else. And allowing a consumer to return within a reasonable amount of time is always a plus! Ninety days is standard now, and that's more than reasonable.

6) A reasonably priced product 
An item that is within a normal spectrum, while still maintaining quality, will win the customer's business. If you can offer it even a few cents, or dollars lower than your competition, that's even better. But you'd be amazed at how many consumers are willing to overlook an average price if they feel they are getting a better value in some way for that amount. The same applies to the way you sell. What's your differentiator?

7) Good customer service
Or I should say, the higher quality of customer care, the better these days. Whether on a small or large scale, your clients need to know you are taking care of them. That you really care about their needs as consumers. And the aim shouldn't be just to be good, but great!

8) A good location (with security)
 I am absolutely ecstatic that this place has a security guard now, and the solicitors and loiterers keep their distance when I want to enter my favorite store. A big thumbs up!

9) Items in stock
Well stocked shelves, racks, and variety of items available really make a difference. 
Or at least a time frame when the item, or comparable items will be available. Most consumers want to buy what they need as soon as possible, but if a relatively good time frame is available, will be willing to come back again to make a purchase.

10) A quick check-out
Again, any company or individual who values my time will most likely gain my business. I love it when I'm able to pay for my items promptly.

All of this can be found at your local Target store. Oh Target, how I love thee....:)

1) What do you, as a consumer, look for in a retail chain? 
2) What keeps you coming back to your favorite store(s)?
3) What are the qualities that keep you coming back to you favorite salespeople, and continuing to use their products?

Thanks for stopping by......CC