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5 07, 2016

How to Thank People so it Really Matters

By |2017-03-03T12:06:48-05:00July 5th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

In May 2016, I received a call from Rochelle M. Howard, Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints. Prior to her phone call, I had no idea who she was or what her agency did.

Her request was a quote on 30 tests from the BEST Inventory, Communication Tests. These are short inventories, simple to administer and based on William M. Marston’s, Ned Herrmann’s, and James Brewer’s work measuring the dominant patterns of behavior in individuals.I have used them over the years.

I was flabbergasted and asked how she found me. She said that the owners of BEST Instruments had referred me. How super I thought. All of those conversations I had with the owner had given me something I never though about–a customer. I liked the owner very much and spent considerable time on learning how to administer and interpret the tests as well as just chatting. It actually never occurred to me that she might be in a position to refer me or my work.

 

Remember to thank people is a very important skill. Social media makes it possible to ‘like’ organizations and businesses that are important to us as well. Although people appreciate a business like, it is still very impersonal. If you do like a page, write a personal note about why you like the page–that will help.  Her are a few more ideas for ‘upping’ your like quotient.

 

  1. Get to know your suppliers and people that are in a position to refer your business. Remember they have other customers who reach out to them and may ask for help. You might be the person to supply this help. If you get a referral don’t forget to thank them publically for their help and brag about their products.
  2. Don’t forget to get referrals from as many customers as possible. Some of your customers have more clout—don’t forget to us them. In this case I happened to have done volunteer communication testing for a high level government agency close to my home. They gave me a terrific testimonial that I know helped me get the job in Washington.
  3. Be as personal as possible. Thank people publicly and privately. A phone call for you can mean the difference, even if the favor doesn’t bring any immediate results. Just remembering to pass your name along to a potential customer, or bragging about you while sitting with a group of stranger’s matters. A third party endorsement is better than anything you can say about yourself.
  4. Get to know people who hire you; their likes and dislikes. If they like to cook or like a favorite dessert or tea, send it to them! The gifts don’t have to be expensive. You just need to go out of your way and give someone something special. If you’re a house guest send something wonderful to the host or bring something with you. It’s often easier after because you have a better idea about their likes.
  5. Keep a ‘gift notebook’ of people you want to thank. Sometimes we forget the most important people in our lives.
  6. Ask how you can help. If someone does something for you call and ask if there’s a way to repay the favor.
  7. Encourage people you know who do a good job. Everyone loves encouragement and few do it. Even big kids need encouragement.
  8. Social media is a good way to thank people but go beyond the like. Make a comment to them, send them a message and tell them thank you. Are you grateful? Say it if it’s so. It goes straight to the heart.
  9. Send an old fashion thank you note. They mean a great deal event in 2016. Don’t ask someone else to do it for you!
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18 11, 2014

Are Communication Skills Much Ado About Nothing?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:54-05:00November 18th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Success, Training|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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COMMUNICATIONI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject: “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.” In other words, rapport is when we get each other. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong. According to Sravanthi Reddy G.,  selling is a two way communication relationship and involves talking and listening.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory: a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn. I use BEST Instruments because it’s simple and very revealing.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself, you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over. Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales and customer service training for over 20 years. To book a consultation or have her speak to your group, contact her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or 518-495-5380. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York,  with her cat Rainyday.

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3 11, 2014

5 Ways To Get Your Salespeople Connected To Customers

By |2017-03-03T12:06:54-05:00November 3rd, 2014|Categories: Customer Experience, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Service, Motivation, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Training|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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connecting-with-customer-service-advisorI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

 “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.”

In other words, rapport is when we ‘get each other’. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. Building rapport is part of customer service and the customer experience.

In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory – a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way. The one I like the best comes from BEST Instruments. It is short but conveys lots of information.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over.

To schedule Lisbeth to speak to your employees or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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17 02, 2012

Would Your Salespeople be Better if They Understood Their Communication Styles?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:07-05:00February 17th, 2012|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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I’m not a fan of “drive by training”. That’s what I call training when trainers come in with a “one size fits all” program that is built about the  training program and not the individual.

Everyone is different, everyone needs  different things and everyone learns differently. Teaching adults is more complicated and needs to have  ‘transferability’ – what they learn can immediately be applied to situations in their own lives. In addition the more they understand about themselves the more they will get out of the training.

If you are working on a training program, here are two interesting articles about teaching adults and how they learn:

 http://bit.ly/wt15jL Principles of Teaching Adults

http://bit.ly/wHxqUv How Adults Learn 

My experience has taught me the more people know about themselves the better learners they become. In other words, knowing my strengths and my challenges will help me  me understand why some concepts are easier to grasp then others. To be successful you must understand yourself and how you interact with the world.

For years I have been using BEST Instruments are a great way to help people understand how they communicate and how they can improve their communication skills. (There are a number of different test but I always start with the Communication Style.)The tests take very little time to administer and people are rarely threatened by the results. They are also  amazed at the accuracy. This information can be incorporated into the training program making learning much easier. It also gives the instructor a way to  make the message more personal and help the salespeople want to learn new ways to communicate. In addition the inventories come with “birds of a feather buttons” that proudly announce the person’s style. All of this makes for learning and fun.

Understanding and interpreting the tests do take time and learning on the instructor’s part and should  be  done ahead of time. The more times you administer the tests the more you will learn  about how to discuss the results.  I have found that participants are often unaware that others actually have different styles of communication. In fact people with other styles of communication are often described as “just difficult”.  This is a good way to get salespeople to take bigger risks in their communications and be more successful in their sales. Selling is all about connecting and it’s easier to connect with someone you understand.

After people have assessed their styles, they can be put into “different” groups and learn how to better communicate with each other and of course different types of customers.

 

We all know that we like things better when they’re “our ideas” so why not help your learners first understand how they think and maybe the new things will become their ideas.

Lisbeth Calandrino is available for Sales and Communication Training. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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28 11, 2011

Stop Hiring Losers!

By |2017-03-03T12:07:07-05:00November 28th, 2011|Categories: Blog, Interviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |2 Comments

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The last U.S. Census reports that small businesses with fewer than ten employees make up 78% of all employers. A recent survey of small-business owners, by SurePayroll Inc., found that poor hiring costs about $10,000 per hire. And according to a recent study by Leadership IQ, nearly half of all new hires (46%) fail within 18 months. That means every move of every employee counts. 

What do you need for your business? You need super stars. Simply enough it takes good people. Don’t think there are any good people out there? Wonder why all the bad ones are in your business? Could it be your lack of nterviewing skills?Interviewing is tough business and takes being prepared. We all know that hiring mistakes can kill your company. All the motivation, all the coaching, all the training, all the total quality management and all the reengineering in the world can’t make up for a hiring mistake. If you hire bad people you can’t overcome it or train your way out.

How does it happen and how can you overcome it? Here are a few ideas. Don’t go to the supermarket  when you’re hungry. Just like shopping for food on an empty stomach shopping for  employees when you’re desperate produces the same results–a sick  stomach and an empty wallet. Hiring a bad employee