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How Much Pain do we You Have to Endure To Change?

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Change 2The question is how much pain do we have to endure to change a behavior? Even if the behavior is really destructive we have trouble changing.

My friend was given a gorgeous, glass dining room set ; it’s quite large with six chairs. It is actually too big for her kitchen but it was free. It is so large, that every time she has to get to the refrigerator; she hits her back end on the corner of the glass table. She actually has several large bruises from the dining room table. Why wouldn’t she want to lose that weight?

So what makes people change?As Wayne Dyer says, “Your reality is shaped by your thoughts.

Let me give you the rest of the story. My friend is my height, 4’11” and weighs 155 pounds. Twenty years ago, she weighed 110, like me. The doctor told her that she was ‘obese,’ and  said it was paramount that she lose weight. My friend continues to complain about why she can’t lose weight, but that’s another story.

Why don’t we change when it’s obviously in our best interest?

I know when I don’t go to the gym I feel lousy. Lousy because I say that physical fitness is the cornerstone of my life and I’m violating my standards. Regular exercise is how I live my life.

I also think about my health and the long term effects of not exercising. The other day someone said, “Have a piece of pizza.” To which I replied, “It’s not on my menu.” To this they replied, “It’s only one time, you don’t do it every day.”

Think about having  one donut a week for 52 weeks. The predictability of that outcome for my cholesterol is easy to predict. They say that 90% of our problems were predictable 2 years before, we just ignore the signs.

If you’re not changing, and want to,  you might look at the source of the pressure. Is it someone else telling you it would be a good idea if you changed?  Is your doctor telling you to lose weight.  Obviously health is not really a priority for her even though she works in the health field. She obviously, like so many of us, doesn’t think about the  the outcome of long term obesity. Is it better to have  diabetes and high blood pressure?

If change is on your horizon, but you can’t seem to get there, examine your motives and have a serious talk talk with yourself. Ask yourself, is your change part of your values or  someone else’s?

If the values don’t belong to you, that’s why you’re not changing. If you still want to change,  you have lots of work to do.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses institute change for over 20 years. If there’s something you would like to change  in your business or personal life, contact Lisbeth for a heart-to-heart chat.

Thanks to Glen Llopis for the photo on change.

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By |February 11th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Change, Motivation|2 Comments

Is Your Customer Wearing an Invisible Cloak?

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Is your customer invisible?

Is your customer invisible?

My friend said she went into a local high end lighting store the other day; despite there were sales people walking around, no one approached her. It was almost as if she was wearing an invisible cloak.  What kind of customer experience is this? The salespeople may have been busy or maybe they didn’t see her, but does that matter? My mother used to say that she had to “have eyes in the back of her head” when I was little. That’s what salespeople need. They must always be on alert.

She had never been in the store and was in desperate need of a part for a chandelier. Yes, we are closer to developing an invisible cloak, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I just read an article about how customer service should be invisible; I don’t think so. If you’ve got superb customer service everyone in the world should know about it. By the way, we are close to producing an invisible cloak; then what will happen to our customers?

When it comes to developing a working invisibility cloak, we may not be at Harry Potter level yet, but today’s newest breakthrough is nonetheless impressive.

A team of researchers led by Xingjie Ni—a nano-engineer at Pennsylvania State University—have just unveiled an fascinating invisibility cloak: one that takes the form of a sleek skin of nano-material.

 

We talk about providing a great customer experience; how can that happen if we don’t make a connection? Great customer experiences don’t just happen, we have to make them happen.

 

“Why didn’t anyone wait on me; she asked, didn’t I look right?” There was a hint of sarcasm in her voice, but I think there was some truth in her question. My hunch is you’ve had it happen to you.

Here are 2 simple ways to keep your customers from feeling invisible:

  • Approach your new customer immediately. If you’re with another customer, politely ask them if it’s okay for you to greet the customer coming in the door.
  • Make the customer feel like an old friend. If you can offer them a place to sit or a beverage they will feel acknowledged.
  • Connect with them in other ways. Complement them when you say hello, notice their smart phone of tablet.
  • Be proactive. Can you reach out to your customer before they get to your store?

I know these may seem simple but they are common courtesies that are often forgotten but go a long way in building a customer relationship.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build positive customer experiences for the past 20 years. To speak with her about your business, call her at 518-495-5380.

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Join Us Again for THE Floorcovering Industry EVENT of The Year!

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Every year I look forward to attending SURFACES. I groan a little thinking about all the walking I have to do but I pretty much have that solved. I now carry an extra pair of flats in my computer bag! After about four hours, I change my shoes and that seems to help. For many of us, this is the time to meet old friends and be mesmerized by all the beauty of our industry. Yes, it’s like a fashion show for flooring.

It’s the time to catch up on color and design trends as well as new products. As a speaker and trainer, I’m always looking for something to write about or something to engage my mind. I try to attend as many of the education seminars as possible. I’m particularly fond of the installation events. Product is the product, but the installers are the ones who turn them into something spectacular.

Having been in the industry for decades, you would think it’s almost impossible to find something new. Fortunately, it’s not true; it’s all there for you to see. The International Surface Event- SURFACES| StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas |TileExpo 2016 will feature a week of comprehensive education and training taught by the brightest minds in the industry; a world-class trade show floor filled with the latest products & services from vendors committed to supporting the industry & the key networking opportunities that have come to set The
International Surface Event apart.

Remember SURFACES is a four-day event being held from 19th January to the 22nd January 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, United States Of America. This event showcases product from the Architecture & Designing industry. Get plenty of sleep before you get here, four days really isn’t enough time to take it all in.

Are you looking to get more customers and keep those margins up? This year I’m doing two seminars as well as two bonus ‘short ones’ in the Social Media Lounge. The use of social media and email marketing continues to offer new ways to build and maintain our customer base. Someone said to me why don’t you just recycle something you wrote years ago; I laughed. Can you imagine talking about “My Space?”

The new “electronic word of mouth” (eWoM) continues to expand and challenge our brains. Like you, I fight my way through the maze of ideas to come up with what’s best for my customers. Not all traditional marketing is outdated but paring it with new electronic tools can make it sing.

Find me at:

TU25, Tuesday, January 19.
“TURN THE TIDE: CREATE NEW STREAMS OF CUSTOMERS FOR YOUR BUSINESS,” 3:50-5:20pm, Islander H, North Convention Center-Lower Level.

WE01, Wednesday, January 20.
“PRICE MATTERS TO EVERYONE, WHY PRETEND IT DOESN’T?”, 8:00-9:30am, Islander, Islander A, North Convention Center-Lower Level.

Get a free book! To the first 5 people who bring this article to either of my seminars. “50 EVENTS to Drive Traffic to Your Store.”

Prepare to IGNITE your senses, your knowledge and your business at TISE 2016! For more information click on this link, http://www.tisewest.com/.

Lisbeth Calandrino, speaker, Associate Publisher and Director of Social Media, Fabulous Floors
Magazine, http://fabulousfloorsmagazine.com/, http://lisbethcalandrino.com/.

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By |January 8th, 2016|Blog, Training|0 Comments

Join us at The International Surface Event 2016

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On the Cutting Edge

On the Cutting Edge

This is your opportunity to do some significant networking. Bring your walking shoes and your team of employees. Spread out and take in all you can to kick your business up to another level.

Once again the flooring industry is headed to Las Vegas to display new products and trends as well as offering thought provoking seminars.  have been attending The International Surfaces Show for twenty years and it just gets better and better

For the past two years, the event has been paired with Design and Construction Week (DCW). DCW features the co-location of the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) and the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). If you’re in the flooring business, this is certainly the place to check out new customers and get serious about improving your bottom line.

Are you prepared to work this show? Here are some quick tips.

Determine why you’re going to the show and what the top 10 things you hope to accomplish are. It’s easy to get off track. If you meet someone you haven’t seen in a long time, take their card and write a note to call them when you get home. It’s likely that they’re on a tight schedule also.

Register early before the show and get the “lay of the land” before you get there. Know what your hotel has to offer, how far it is from the event and if there’s a shuttle to get where you need to go.

Make a list of who you must definitely see. If possible make an appointment with them before the show. You must do this quickly because calendars fill up fast, especially if it’s a short show.

Get dressed up. You don’t need a suit but looking prosperous is always a good thing. I always go shopping before the show and see if there’s something outstanding.

Have more than one pair of shoes with you. I always carry an extra pair with me and change in the middle of the day. This will give both your feet and shoes a chance to recover. Don’t wear brand new shoes if you haven’t ‘broken them in.’ I have found that some shoes are comfortable for short times only. I have done some serious damage to my toes.

Don’t forget to bring plenty of cards. When you take someone’s card, take a photo with them also. This way you won’t forget who they are and what made them unforgettable. Don’t bring lots of large brochures; it’s easier to send things electronically when you get home.

Make friends in the lunch lines! If you decided to grab a snack talk with the person next to you in line. If you think it’s a good contact, maybe you can sit with them and get to know them. If you’re alone, find a table of people and ask if you might join them. This has always been good for me.

Take lots of pictures if allowed. This was you can put them on social media to show your customers what you’re up to. I’ve had several people tell me they’ve actually gotten orders from customers who have seen the ‘hot, new items’ on line. Some people like being first.

Make sure you find to recuperate. Working a trade show is like having another job, but a good one.

Lisbeth Calandrino, speaker, Associate Publisher and Director of Social Media, Fabulous Floors Magazine, http://fabulousfloorsmagazine.com/, http://lisbethcalandrino.com/.

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By |January 5th, 2016|Advertising, Blog|0 Comments

The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut

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Thank you Theresa Cavender for the images.

Thank you Theresa Cavender for the images.

I may sound angry, I am. I’m tired of people’s excuses about getting fit.

Don’t be surprised if you see an overwhelming number of ads today on fitness and weight loss. Yep, today’s the day.  This is the day most of us will feel guilty about what we ate over the holidays. Not that we’ll do anything about it, it’s just we feel awful. In fact, we might even join the gym.

According to Darren Beattie, Fitness Coach; only 16% of the population in America has a health club membership. The rest of that 50 million may belong to yoga, martial arts, Pilates, or alternative clubs.

My gym is so busy I think that everyone goes there. However, it’s not so.  January is when most of us go on a health kick, and the stats reflect this. Apparently 12 per cent of all gym members’ sign up to gyms in January, yet these memberships seem to be short-lived and, according to the Fitness Industry Association, after just 24 weeks most people have quit or stopped attending. Do they expect they will get healthier by doing nothing?

There’s only one thing that makes this work; it’s your ability to take responsibility for yourself and what you do. Nothing annoys me more than listening to people talk about how they couldn’t stop themselves from overeating. It’s such crap. Stop blaming everyone else for your inability to lose weight. If you’re not losing weight, it’s likely because you continue to make bad decisions. If you want to eat donuts, do it but don’t expect to lose weight.

I talked to my friend today about her weight-loss program. She is tracking her walking and holding herself accountable. She says it makes all the difference in the world. She excitedly told me she had had completed 70 work outs, and now she looks forward to them.

zipit-228x300Here’s what works for her.

“Don’t say I can’t have that for the rest of my life!” Instead say, I can have it later.” (Most likely you won’t’ want it!)

“Keep the big picture in mind but set small goals.”

You are responsible for your own life period. No one makes you do anything or makes you eat. It’s like no one can make you sad or happy, you choose either one.

If you want to lose weight, you will have to give up your overindulgence in carbs. Most people do well for about four weeks, and then they give up. What is it with people? They can’t make a big sacrifice to give up junk food to get healthy and look better?

 

I listen to people talk about how hard it is to lose weight, and I just walk away. STOP with the excuses; if you want to lose weight stop eating, it’s simple.  I didn’t say easy, I said simple. If you want a treat have it once a month not every day!!

You didn’t put all the weight on in three weeks so what makes you think you can take it off in three weeks?

What makes you think you can keep it off after the three weeks by going back to old habits?

If you want something to change you have to change it and stop fooling yourself. There are people who really have a tough time; they come back from the war without limbs and can barely walk. However, they make it their business to get fit, work extra hard, compete and cause a change in their lives. That’s who we should be looking at for motivation.

One of my pet peeves is people who say they “walk” for exercise. To them, it means walking to the grocery store and back. How does this become exercise? We have legs that take us to the grocery store but don’t mistake this for exercise.  There are people in this world who have to forge for food, walk miles in blazing heat just to live, and they do it. That’s exercise.

You can continue over eating and get one of those life threatening diseases that could be prevented by keeping your weight down and staying fit.  What we’re talking about is living and staying healthy. It’s your life, either do it or stop talking about it.

Do I dare say, Happy New Year?

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build changes in their organizations for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |December 31st, 2015|Blog, Change, Health|0 Comments

Want to Get Smarter? Exercise!

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Thanks to Ben Greenfield, "Get Fit Guy"

Thanks to Ben Greenfield, “Get Fit Guy”

People who don’t lift weights often make fun of those that do.

“Why are weight trainers always looking in the mirror?”

“Why are they so vain?”

“They look so big, why does that?”

 

This is what I hear from non-weight lifters. Let me tell you, lifting weights is truly a great experience. Your body responds, builds muscle, works hard and ultimately is stronger. What could be bad about that?

We know that exercise can make your body better. That’s obvious. Can it help your brain?

I just read this; it’s awesome. (I really hate that word.)

You may not know, but your critical memory ability shrinks 1- 2% a year after age 55. Our brain also, a new study found that women who did weight training twice a week for a year had less brain shrinkage than those who trained once a week or did stretching exercises, though the cognitive significance of this effect is not yet clear. Check out Forbes article. 

Wow, maybe exercise does more for us than we think.

Apparently exercise in humans increase the level of protein called neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, in the blood and brain. BDNF promotes the growth and formation of new neurons, and can increase the size of the hippocampus that is linked with improved memory.

My own experience makes me realize that exercising, especially weight training does many things for my mind.

  1. My body feels lighter. I don’t mean that I’ve lost weight, but that I feel better in general. Problems don’t seem as important as they did before.
  2. Lifting weights takes focus. It is hard to think about the rest of the world when you’ve just added more weight to the bar! In between weights, I think about other things but not when I’m actually lifting.
  3. I know it increases blood flow in my body. I have a sense of well-being, which only comes from lifting the weights. I love Yoga and Pilates but weights are different.
  4. It improves mindfulness. Mindfulness is the new health buzz word for 2016. One thing about weight training, it can put you into another zone. I had never thought of it as mindfulness.

Whatever you decide to change for 2016, don’t forget the value of exercise. Stay tuned for more about exercise and cognitive changes.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping business improve their sales and marketing strategies for over twenty years. Reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |December 22nd, 2015|Blog|1 Comment

Do Things From the Past Hold us From Moving Forward?

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favoriteTwo days ago, I realized I had lost my favorite watch. The watch was sent to me from a friend after my best loved cousin passed away. I loved the watch; it was very expensive and she only wore it when we went to the theater or out to eat. I commented that it was so beautiful she should wear it more often. She laughed and said she sometimes forgot about it. I was amazed when I received it; until its loss, I considered it my very lucky charm.  I retraced my steps, turned the house upside down, and it hasn’t appeared. There was no reason why it should have fallen off; it had a special safety bracelet.

For one day, I could barely function. It was embarrassing how lost I felt without the watch. I keep feeling my arm for my watch. I was out of sorts without my good-luck piece. I started thinking about what it meant.

It was a link to the past. It was a past filled with laughter, good times and some mystery. Part of the mystery was her unwillingness to go through chemotherapy to stop her leukemia.  She had cancer ten years earlier, and came through it with flying colors. She used to tell me it was a breeze. When she finished her treatment, she coached me through my cancer which started the day after she finished her treatment! Believe me, it was an awful winter. We were planning a trip to Italy and more good times in her town of Boston. By the way, we had not seen each other for over twenty years until she tracked me down at a seminar I was doing in Maine one year! We never knew why our families stopped talking, but they had. We vowed it would never happen again, and we began a very close friendship for almost eight years.

 

The eight years were filled with more fun than ever had when we were kids. She was a  couple of years older and, I thought, wiser than me.

The closer we got, the more I noticed how frightened she was. The nurse who ran eight operating rooms at Mass. General was willing to die than go through a bone marrow transplant. The one who told me not to worry about anything was undoubtedly worrying. I was there when the doctor told her if she didn’t continue treatment, she would be dead in a week. I heard her say, “I don’t care!” What had I missed?

I loved the watch but more than that I loved Rosalie. She was the grown-up sister I never had; the one who didn’t compare me to anyone else in my family. She was the one who loved me unconditionally. She approved of my finance and actually adored him; we spent many wonderful times together.

I tell myself; it’s just a watch. I really can’t afford to replace it because of the cost, and it wasn’t insured. I’m hoping someone found it, and they are wearing it. My arm feels so empty, but maybe it’s really my heart. I know Rosalie is gone but there was still a piece of her with me. The watch was the piece I really valued because I know how much it meant to her. How many other things am I  holding that really don’t matter?

She is in my heart; more than ever. Her love and good wishes for me are very much alive.  (She thought I was amazing and I felt the same way about her!) Our families came from very humble beginnings, there were Italian immigrants. We both spent our summers on the farm helping with chores. We both hoped to move on in our lives. I was the first to attend college in my family; she was the second in hers. We both knew we didn’t have much money but our families worked hard and assured us we would get through college.

I want the watch back, but more than that, I want Rosalie back. I’m mad that she made the decision to go away and leave me on my own. I am happy to have spent so much time with her and her most prized possession.  The watch was just a symbol of my connection to my cousin; I know she is still in my heart.

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By |December 12th, 2015|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments

11 Traits the new Salesperson Must Possess to be Successful

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Today's salesperson.

Today’s salesperson.

Over the holidays I usually work for an event company demonstrating their product. I do this because it gives me an opportunity to keep in touch with the customers. I also get to talk with them about everything, including life. It’s interesting what people will tell you about themselves and their shopping habits.

Many businesses are still behind the “electronic eight ball” when it comes to their salespeople. The salespeople and the managers are still functioning like it was the 90’s. Although no more than 10-15 years ago, the world has changed dramatically since then. There are somethings that have remained the same; the salesperson still has to build rapport, overcome objections and close the customer. How it gets done has drastically changed. Customers are influencing each other when it comes to where they shop and what they buy. The customer is either “with us or against us.”

The salesperson is now an integral part of the marketing plan. More than ever the salesperson is not just closing the customer, but need to be driving the customer into the store. Here is what’s changed and how the salesperson can become a driving force to bring customers into the store.

I believe this is the profile of the new salesperson:

  1. Web savvy and can show the customer around your web site. Also knows how to link to your Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram photos. Has also created some YouTube videos for you about products.
  2. Understands how social media works and posts updates of customers and their products.
  3. Seeks affirmations and testimonials for customers for your web site. Is not shy about asking for referrals online. Also pays attention to your online reputation.
  4. Has an up-to-date LinkedIn profile with over 500 connections. Knows how to link up with businesses to expand his/her network.
  5. Is consistent in online postings. Posts weekly if not daily about products and new jobs.
  6. Has a smart phone and is capable of taking photos and posting. Can also show customers how to post online and “like and follow” your business on Facebook.
  7. Understands the value of Houzz and how it can help bring in more customers.
  8. Knows how to put together an event at your business as well as build the invitation online. Understand how online “meetups” can help you build a customer base.
  9. Understands that “tweeting” is not just for the birds. Tweets regularly and has a following.
  10. If he/she doesn’t already have a blog, is considering one to help build a “personal” brand.

Most important can help you figure out why your IPhone won’t turn off. Every business needs people with technology skills. Let’s face it, change starts from the top; the salesperson can’t do it alone.

Thanks to “In search of sociable salespeople,”  for the photo.

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By |November 30th, 2015|Blog, Sales, Success|0 Comments

Your Employees Need More Than a Turkey for Thankgiving

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turkeyThanksgiving is the day for giving thanks for many things. But employees need more than a turkey.

It’s a holiday time when we get involved in our own families and shut out the outside world. As a business owner, this is wonderful time to give thanks to your managers and employees.

Being recognized satisfies a basic need that we all have; to be recognized. The holiday season is a perfect time to build and strengthen your relationships with all of your employees. It’s likely your employees spend more time at work than they do at home. You are part of their extended family. The older we get the family we have left in our lives.

This is the season where everyone is on overload and probably worrying about money. Prices continue to rise, and it’s likely your employees are feeling the pinch. In addition, you are probably trying to bring in as much money before the holidays and are wondering if business is going to go cold over the holidays. Your employees are wondering also; especially if they’re on commission.

How can you recognize them?

Spend as much time as you can during the holidays with your employees. Sure you’re the boss and can disappear over the holidays but why not stay and share in some holiday cheer with them. Having a catered dinner or lunch with them will help them celebrate together. You may not be part of their team, but it’s likely they feel close to each other.

Recognize their special efforts and tell each one of them how important they are to you. If there’s a way to give them some time off, why not? When I was in the retail business, we used to give our employees a special holiday dinner, and also celebrate New Year’s Day in the store with holiday cheer. (We rented a piano for the holidays and sang Christmas songs with our customers!)

As a group, why not adopt a charity or a family and give something back. We did several things, one that seemed to be the most enjoyed was to bring presents to the nursing home or collect “Toys for Tots.”

Hold special events for your customers. This is the time to give away mistletoe and small gifts to your customers. You can also have the holiday cheer in your store and invite your favorite customers. If they spend enough time in your store, it’s likely they see you as family. This is a good time for a “Girl’s Night Out” with plenty of vendors selling holidays gifts.

The bottom line, employees are what make your business go ‘round. It’s a good time to remember this. Happy Holidays!

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By |November 23rd, 2015|Blog, Building relationships|0 Comments

Are You Looking For More Retail Business? Why Not “Cold Call?”

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There's no such thing as cold calling.

There’s no such thing as cold calling.

It seems that all areas throughout the country are different; retail business is up or retail business is down. What seems to be steady around the country is that businesses that are out “looking” for business are thriving. We are talking about business that doesn’t come through your door from advertising.

 

Of course, you’re uncomfortable calling on people you don’t know especially if you’ve never done it before. However, maybe you do know them or someone they know. First, you have to know who to call on, so why not start with a brain storming session?

 

 

Who wants to cold call?

Who wants to cold call?

Whenever “looking” for business outside the store comes up so does a look of horror on the faces of most salespeople. Somehow they equate this with stopping complete strangers on the street and asking them to buy products. The success of outside business is to understand that there is no such thing as a cold call. The only people that make real cold calls are telemarketers. The good ones are able to make a connection with you in about 30 seconds.

 

The other day I answered the phone and the voice identifies himself from Time Life. Before I can hang up, he asks me if I like the DVD’s I bought three months ago. They were the best 10 years of Saturday Night Live. I told him they were great, and then he asks me which ones I like the best. Before we’re done, we’re both laughing. Next he’s trying to sell me another product.

 

I began to like him, but I told him that I didn’t think I wanted his next product. He was quite persistent asking me lots of questions. Didn’t I think the quality would be as good, didn’t I like what I got, didn’t I have hours of enjoyment?

 

Guess what? I bought them. I knew the product was good, and I received the CD’s immediately.

 

The same components that make a retail sale successful are identical to the ones for a cold call.

 

A few weeks ago, I was doing a training session, and one of the salespeople was trying to “match a product and price” for his church. I asked him, how long he had been going to the church; it was over 10 years. He also was an elder of the church but was sure his competitor had been in with a product he didn’t have. He was also convinced the price was cheap. My question, why didn’t he know the church needed flooring? He said he felt uncomfortable discussing business with the church members.

 

First thing, remember you are a pro, but maybe you need to retrain yourself and the skills that you already have. You just need to be more competitive and more organized. Why not check with everyone you know if they need your product? If they don’t know you have a product they can’t buy from you. Let everyone you know what you do for a living.

 

Forget the cold calling syndrome; it’s a thing of the past and the people who are successful at getting outside business don’t cold call; they find out everything they can about the customer before they call on them.  Just think the whole city belongs to you if you start networking with whom you know.

 

 

Remember profitable customers are being called on by every smart salesperson so you’re up against the pros.

 

The competition is out there trying to get the business. Some of these relationships go way back or maybe the business was just handed down but don’t give up.

 

Remember the old adage, consistency is better than good salesmanship but consistency takes focus, a ‘never give up’ attitude.

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By |November 16th, 2015|Blog, Sales|0 Comments