Is There a Little Voice in Your Head Ruining Your Sale?

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shopping woman shocked and surprised over price looking at price tag on coat or jacket. Woman shopper shopping for clothes inside in clothing store. Funny image of Asian / Caucasian female model.

shopping woman shocked and surprised over price looking at price tag on coat or jacket. Woman shopper shopping for clothes inside in clothing store. Funny image of Asian / Caucasian female model.

You know the little voice, the one that says, “My price is too high.” According to Forbes Magazine, “Taking a customer’s statements at face value often leads to trouble.”

How many times have you said, or heard another salesperson say, “I know I could sell this if the price was lower.” My question is, “How do you know?” Just because the customer says your price is too high doesn’t mean a cheaper price will close the sale. If you can drop the price you can certainly ask, “What price would be cheap enough for them to buy?” Of course after you ask the question, you also have to ask the customer if you could get the price would they be prepared to:

Give you a deposit, or are prepared to pay in full. Then you will have to negotiate it with your manager or the owner.

Let’s say this is not an option for you; then what?

Does it really mean your price is too high just because your customer tells you it is? Why would a customer tell you that?

  1. They want to rattle you.
  2. They enjoy the negotiation process.
  3. They don’t understand your pricing. The value of the product as you’ve presented it doesn’t equal the price. Personally really good salespeople ignore statements like this and continue to present value. The customer wants to be sure that they are getting what paid for. This is why TJMax and Marshalls do so well; the customers know what their products are worth. The customer has to have confidence in both, you and your offering. Once the customer has confidence in the outcomes, they will buy.

My experience tells me that most of the time this occurs is because the salesperson also thinks the price is too high. Do you understand why a customer would pay so much for your top-of-the-line product or do you think you’re crazy? The answer to this question will tell you why you can’t sell your expensive products.

It’s important to understand that customer buy for their reasons not yours. Why do people buy high prices?

They believe it’s worth it. They get it, and you’ve convinced them it is.

They can afford it. Yes, there are people who like paying high prices. They don’t have to worry about money and so spending it doesn’t bother them.

They want to show their neighbors or friends, they can afford it. I’ll never forget my father taking me to look at a new house he built.  The customer, whose name was Wank, still had the prices on the lamps and the faucets! I couldn’t believe it. When I asked why the prices were on it dad said she wanted me to know she could afford it. This became a “Wankism” in our house.

So ask yourself, what gets in the way of you selling at your ticketed prices?

Lisbeth has been teaching sales people how to get their price for over twenty years. Can Lisbeth help your sales force? Call her at 518.495.5380 and discuss your situation.


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By |May 18th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

5 Reasons to Attend Coverings

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Show Floor, Coverings

Show Floor, Coverings

Coverings 2016 kicks off in Chicago, IL on Monday April 18, and we’re so excited to see everything that this year’s show has to offer. As the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone, Coverings attracts exhibitors from more than 40 countries, and thousands of attendees flock to their floor each year to see some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.


Here why we think you should attend Coverings:


Tile installation

Tile installation

Find Inspiration for Upcoming Projects


With over 1,100 exhibitors, Coverings is the perfect place to find inspiration for your next project. Over 40 countries are represented, showcasing a vast array of innovative tile and stone products. For the first time Coverings will also highlight a Living Wall Exhibit, which will show how you can integrate a vibrant vertical garden in your home. Don’t miss out on seeing all of 2016’s latest trends in tile and stone in action!


Get Educated!

Continuing Education Unit

Continuing Education Unit


You can earn free Continuing Education Units (CEUs) – details on approved sessions for NKBA, AIA and IDCEC can be found on the Coverings site. The Social Media Lounge (Booth #4031) will also feature primers on design-related channels such as Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest. And Coverings’ Keynote Sessions will cover an array of topics, from a panel moderated by Interior Design Magazine to global trends in hospitality design.


See Design and Installation in Action


The Installation Design Showcase returns to Coverings again this year (Booth #6245) on Wednesday, April 20 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. The IDS will showcase four unique interpretations of commercial storefront lobbies. Designers, architects and installers will then collaborate using tile and installation materials/fixtures to bring these spaces to life at McCormick Place. The 2016 showcase will feature a newly designed courtyard style featuring a boutique retail shop, a spa lobby, a bar/lounge and a boutique hotel lobby. These vignettes will demonstrate the varied ways tile and stone materials and advanced installation techniques can influence the look, feel and performance of a commercial space.

Also for the first time, Coverings will tap the Chicago Mosaic School for instructive lessons on contemporary and classical Mosaic Arts. The Chicago Mosaic School offers classes and workshops by top art professionals who teach about both the process and materials in the Mosaic Arts. Limited space is available by registering online.


For more information, call

Posted by Fabulous Floors Magazine.


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By |April 16th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

What’s Your Brain Like?

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Thank you Gobblynne for the illustration.

Thank you Gobblynne for the illustration.

I love this article about how our brains work. This is from Nature Neuroscience.



Your skills and experiences leave their mark on your brain.

Researchers analyzed brain MRIs and personal information on 461 people. They found 200 brain regions associated with classically ‘positive” traits, such as strong memory, large vocabulary, high income and education. In the MRIs of people who had the positive traits, many of those brain regions activated simultaneously, suggesting strong connections between the varied regions.


The people who ranked high in negative traits–anger, rule-breaking, substance abuse, poor sleep quality–didn’t have these connections. But that doesn’t mean brains are hard-wired, the researchers say. Brains change. For example, improving skills like vocabulary can strengthen connections between related brain regions. Are you looking to change the wiring of your brain? Would you like to be happier?

Bethany Gonyea, the Founder and Director of NUMINOUS, sponsor for the Albany Peace Project has been working on such a study.   Research has amply demonstrated that both long-term and short-term meditators create brains that are hard wired for positive emotions.In 1960, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Benson also found that meditation was helpful in stopping or slowing obsessive thinking, anxiety, depression,  and hostility.  Since that time, there have been other studies to substantiate his findings.

Luckily in Albany, New York, we have the Albany Peace Project. For more information on Happiness and Meditation, check out this link. Even if you don’t live in Albany, New York, you can take part in their meditation programs.

Lisbeth considers herself a ‘Connector.’ Helping businesses find ways to connect to their customers and build profitable relationships. Reach her at 518.495.5380 or


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By |April 15th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Your Brain|0 Comments

When Should You Give Up? Maybe Never

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Jim HermanJim Herman is one of those people who never really gave up. He put his career on hold but apparently went to work in the right place; was his theory, “I should never give up?” Actually, it doesn’t seem like it.

If you follow golf, you know being a professional golfer takes money, lots of it. In order to qualify you have to practice, practice and more importantly win. Jim Herman has one of those stories we all love. At 27, after giving up a promising, but not so lucrative golf career, he went to work at Donald Trump’s golf course in Beckenridge, New Jersey folding shirts in the pro shop.  As he knows now, it would appear this was the most important move in his career.

As the story goes, Trump asked him why he didn’t go back on the tour since he was an excellent player. Herman and Trump played together several times, and Trump felt that Herman was good enough to compete.  Good enough for Trump to invest money to get him back in the game.  Herman hit the links qualifying for the tour winning some lower level events. He’s been playing professionally ever since, his golf shirts bearing Trump’s name.

Yesterday at 38, and a veteran of only five years playing in the major leagues of golf, he won his first PGA Tour win at the Shell Houston Open. This wins him a place at the Masters. An interview with Herman shows a very emotional man excited about his possibilities.

The possibility of him winning, 300-1; does it really matter? Do the odds really matter to any of us?

Why do we pay attention to the odds even if they’re in our favor?

Then there’s Tiger Woods; many of us yearn for him to be back and be better than ever. He is presently on the disabled list after undergoing a second microdiscectomy surgery on his back. If his dreams include coming back on some level, if his back can

Following your dream means just that. Only you are in charge of when to stay and when to go. What others think is really unimportant unless they believe in you.

As I’ve heard, “Neither success nor failure are guaranteed forever.”

Lisbeth considers herself a “Customer Retention Specialist.” This can be accomplished through a combination of marketing strategies and employee training. To have Lisbeth speak at your business, contact her through,

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By |April 7th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

The Customers Aren’t the Only Ones That Have Changed

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CUSTOMERSI keep hearing the customer has changed how we cope with them. Think about it, we’re talking about ourselves.  It’s been a slow transition, so slow that we really haven’t noticed. We are so stressed out thinking about what we have to learn about our customers, we forget how we’ve changed.  If you examine your path , you won’t be so stressed  about the customers.

Let’s start with your phone. What type of phone are you using? When did you finally give up your ‘flip phone?’ Several of my friends still have a flip phone and are adamant about not changing. It makes me think, am I that stubborn? It’s hard to give up something we’re used to; if you’re still using your flip phone, you might examine what you’re missing.

Do you prefer texting to talking on the phone? I find it less intrusive, and I can reply quickly. The same people with the flip phones think that texting is ‘impersonal.’ Texting gives an additional way to get in touch, and it’s often easier. Have you asked your customers what they prefer? Let’s not assume we know, let’s ask them. If they prefer a phone call, honor it. Again, it’s not because they’re old they don’t want to give up what makes them comfortable.

Do you still have a fax machine or do you scan and email?  I had to return a document to a national company, and they asked me to fax it. I told them I got rid of my fax machine three years ago and scanning is easier. They were insistent I fax. They didn’t have a reason other than the fact: “That’s how we do it.” Are you still telling customers ‘that’s how we do it?’ Is it time for you to move forward and  make some changes?

Are people asking why you’re texting the person next to you? Often texting to someone during a meeting is a smart thing to do. It’s better than interrupting the speaker and what you have to say is essential. Isn’t it great that you can actually communicate without interrupting the rest of the world?

Are you still using the same-old  lines, can I help you? Today it’s more appropriate to ask the customer what they’ve seen online that they like. It’s a short cut to understanding how they shop. My experience is that salespeople still ask how they can help you when we know the whole world is online before going into a brick and mortar store. Help the customer cut their shopping time in half, find out what they already know.

communicationCommunication is the key to all of our transactions; nothing has changed. What has change is technology and how it is impacting our world?  The more you learn about technology the less stressed you will be.

For more on how technology is impacting all of us.

Lisbeth has been helping customers build sales and marketing strategies for over 20 years. Understanding and using today’s technology is one of the keys to success.


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By |March 20th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Change, Reaching the Consumer, Success|0 Comments

3 Things you can Think About to get Smarter

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What should you think about to get smarter?

What should you think about to get smarter?

Often times when we have a problem to solve we ‘think it to death.’ Often times it makes it more stressful and instead of coming up with good ideas, we impulsively make a decision.  We can’t seem to quiet our minds enough to take in new information.  Here are three ways that might help you decipher your existing roadblock.

Challenge your own thinking and ask yourself some questions. Why am I thinking this way, suppose I didn’t have these thoughts? Is there another solution that I might come up with? How would this be handled by a well-known authority on these types of problems?

Do I have any prior experience on solving this problem? How did it work out before, what steps did I skip that have caused this problem to get worse?

What is my heart thinking?  Our hearts can be of help if we let it. Are you allowed to feel when you’re solving a problem? Think of how many times you’re sitting at a traffic light and you have this creepy feeling that someone is watching you. You turn to look out the window and sure enough, someone is looking at you.

For more information on how meditation can improve your mind, listen to this interview with Bethany Gonyea at the Albany Peace project. Check out my article in The Albany Times Union on Success and Meditation.

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By |March 13th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Why Dropping Your Price Can Give You More Than You Bargained For

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cost-cutIf you’ve been in sales for any length of time, you may have said, “If I don’t drop the price, I won’t get the sale.” I’ve probably said it myself; that was before I realized what I was doing. I kept telling myself that getting the sale was more important than getting my price. What I was doing was killing my confidence. Whenever someone asked me to drop a price, I wondered if they had spoken to my last customer. I also thought will I have to go lower to get this sale? I was on my downward spiral.  I watched my sales people struggle with the same problem; how low should we go?

Inexperienced sales people will tell me they’re trying to show the customer they have fair prices. You don’t need low prices to show the customer you know what you’re doing. If you continue to do this, you collect ‘price conscious’ customers who will never pay a higher price.

Dropping a price is like telling a lie. You have to start telling more lies to cover up the other ones.

According to Lawrence Steinmetz, in his classic book, How to Sell at Prices Higher than Your Competition, says the following: 

“Most Sales reps who are most successful DON’T MESS WITH PRICE-BUYERS. There are times when you just don’t sell.”

Besides, my experience tells me that  dropping the price doesn’t necessarily  guarantee you’ll get the sale.

If sales are your profession, you have to protect its integrity as well as your own.  Great salespeople get pleasure out of servicing their customers, helping to solve problems and getting the best out of their situation. Price or investment is the byproduct of the solution and should not be the focus. Stores like the Dollar Store are definitely price focused.  However, when I’m in the store, I always look for brand names that are discounted. Then I feel like I get my dollars’ worth.

Consider that the customer is also trying to get their dollars’ worth. They want to know that their purchase is worth more than the price they paid. This is where you come in. It’s your job to explain to the customer that your product, and your brand are worth the price. You do this by focusing on the problem and defining it so when you come up with the solution, the price seems more than fair.

Successful salespeople rely on value rather than price to cement the sale. The customer has to decide that your product will do the job; until that is established, price never matters. If the product doesn’t work, why would anyone buy it?

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By |March 9th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Selling on price|0 Comments

5 Ways to Increase Your Customer Referrals

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What does a vendor referral mean?

What does a vendor referral mean?

Giving a referral may cause a conflict for some customers, but let’s look at how you can maximize the possibilities of getting them.

  1. Make sure the customer is aware that you understand and know your products. They need to know the scope of your expertise. If they only buy one product, how will they know what else your company has to offer?
  2. Deliver the most amazing customer service and go out of your way whenever possible. If you deliver the minimum, or what is expected, it’s unlikely you will have built a very strong connection with your customer. In order to be trusted, you must make sure all of your business systems work and if a problem occurs, you’re on top of it. Once the customer voices a complaint, you’ve lost the trust you are trying to build.
  3. You have to show the customer that referrals matter to you and why they’re important; are you trying to grow your business? This will make a difference to your customer.
  4. Be clear on the value that your company can offer. Know your company policies; deliver them in the best way you know how. If you need something extra for your customers, and you feel it’s deserved, see that it gets done.
  5. I consider this to be the one that will solidify your relationship with your customers. Can you help them do business? Do you know what services they provide and can you use their services, or do you have friends who will benefit from them? Let’s say your customer is an eye doctor, can you use their services? What about your customer’s commitment to the community, can you or your company support their cause?

You will feel more confident asking if you’ve shown the customer that you can be trusted and will go out of your way in every sense of the word. You will also know you ‘deserve’ a referral.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and marketing strategies for over 20 years. For a consultation on how she can help you improve you bottom line, reach her at

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By |February 26th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

So You Think You Understand Romance?

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What is romantic to one is not to everyone else.

What is romantic to one is not to everyone else.

The only way you know if you’re good at it is the response you get from your target audience. Roses seem to be the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day, but not everyone likes roses.

The key is knowing your audience.

Let’s talk about something we all understand; pricing. Pricing merchandise is more than a system, it’s an art. What makes  the Tag Heuer,  Monaco watch sell for $25,000, on sale ; don’t you wonder what it costs to manufacture the product?

In some ways it looks like many other watches except the face is very unique. More than the look is the romance and history behind the watch. Yes, you can say it’s the name, but  how did they build it?

This is how the watch is explained:

In 1969, TAG Heuer released the first automatic chronograph, and broke with tradition by creating the first square waterproof case to house it. The Monaco became an instant icon on the wrist of legendary actor Steve McQueen in the 1970 film, Le Mans. TAG Heuer continues to break all the rules with the revolutionary Monaco V4, the world’s first timepiece with a belt-driven transmission.

Notice the first line, speaking about an “automatic chronograph with a square waterproof case to house it.” When I first read it I wasn’t sure it was a car or a watch! How about you?


Check out this description of a boring black dress:


Typical product description:


The boring Indie dress.

The boring Indie dress.

Indie Dress


The Indie Dress features a cross-over neckline and empire bodice. Made from 18.5 micron New Zealand merino wool. Side slash pockets. Relaxed Hood. Machine washable. By Ibex.


Product description with personality

Indie Dress

Free yourself from fussy when you pull on the Indie. Cross-over neckline and empire bodice move easily from well-dressed to “WOW,” but never compromises on easy care and comfort. Made of the finest blend of merino wool from only the best and happiest New Zealand sheep. 18.5 micron means wool so fine that there’s zero itch. Side slash pockets, relaxed hood. Machine washable. By Ibex.

Tips for ‘romancing your products:

1. Make it personal, ’ how would my life change or be different if I bought your product?

2. Why should I buy it; what makes ‘IT’ different than a similar product?

3. Why can’t I live without it?

“Whisper more sweet nothing in my ear. You may think actions speak louder than words, and a picture is worth a thousand of them, but you’d be amazed at what the right words can accomplish.” Jeff Greenhouse.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build marketing and sales strategies for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have you speak at your business, reach her at 518.495.5380.

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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