Nancy Carter

How To Turn Your Sales Aspirations Into Your Reality

Turn Your Sales Aspirations Into Your Reality

While goals are actionable and measurable with specific time frames, aspirations are the things that you want – like financial security and losing weight. 

When you think about your aspirations, it’s your time to daydream to be able to think about all the things you want and only admit in your wildest, craziest dreams. You’re not looking to produce any tangible results. You’re just daydreaming.

A goal is something that you plan to accomplish within a specific period of time. Goals are concrete.

Aspirations are a strong desire to achieve something. They are more abstract and less measurable. Your deepest desires. Even if we don’t quite make it, we’re still moving forward. Aiming for something so high that fills a mental and emotional necessity and gives us the purpose of why we do what we do or want what we want.

They keep us moving in our day-to-day daily experiences. Aspirations give us hope.

But without a plan followed by effort and commitment, aspirations are rarely achieved. 

You might have aspirations you aren’t even aware of. For example, are you working hard to create a career in the hopes of giving your family a better life filled with opportunity? Do you feel driven to work too hard? Ask yourself why you’re working so hard.

Take some time to think about the kind of person you want to be.

It doesn’t have to be a “Reach for the Stars” aspiration. What you aspire to do may not seem like a big deal to others but it’s really important to you. Aspiration should, however, reflect what we want. When you have a compelling reason to do something, your level of commitment and attention is much greater than when they are just giving some unexplained goal to achieve.

I am a goal-oriented person. Meaning, I like to know exactly where I’m going and what I need to do in order to get there. 

People who are determined don’t find success by accident.

Instead they have trained themselves to always think and troubleshoot before they undertake projects or pursue specific causes.

They’ve created resources, including many ways to cope with uncertainty and negativity, goal-setting strategies and alternative courses of action when they run into roadblocks and face challenges. They don’t quit, they just find a new approach to reaching their goals.

If you find your original goal is unattainable for you even, after breaking it down into smaller steps like we talked about here, then evaluate and set a new goal that is better for you. Or figure out how to get the extra help you need to reach your original goal.

Aspirations defy logic.

You may not see the specific task to achieve it. You just know it’s important to you and that you want to find a way to reach it. When you can envision what would make you happy, you can begin to see more clearly what you want to do and have. Then you can begin to turn these aspirations into a purpose or goals. Set specific steps that you can take to get what you want for less effort than if you were completely unaware of what your purpose was.

Behaviors consistent with your purpose will require less effort to pursue than if you were completely unaware of what your purpose is. 

A good way to do this is to identify one to three things that you want to improve in your life. Then you set the goals to make it happen. When you begin to set these goals, you are taking the first step into aligning in your aspirations and turning your dreams into a reality. 

Jodi Picoult in Handle With Care wrote,

“I wondered about the explorers who sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge. How amazed to discover instead places they had only seen in their dreams”.

Which of your aspirations do you need change into goals?

Goals with aspirational qualities are ones that get people excited about doing something to achieve a significant achievement.

● Is your aspiration beneficial to you? 

● Is it sustainable? 

● Is it feasible? 

How do you turn aspirations into goals?

Begin with the end in mind. Create a picture in your mind by which you examine everything in your life. What it means to you. What really matters to you. By keeping the end in mind, you will ensure that whatever you do will align with your overall purpose.

Visualization is what allows us to prepare an idea. Even though it’s just an idea, It helps you to see different possibilities, and how different decisions can lead to different outcomes. 

It uses the power of imagination to help you make changes in your life and drive you towards your purpose. It helps you to shape your character, circumstances, and habits, as well as to attract opportunities and the right people into your life.

Here’s how to align your aspirations:

Write down the things in your life that are important to you. 

✨ What are you good at? 

✨ What things do you enjoy? 

✨ What things don’t you enjoy?

✨ Three to five years from now, what do you want to be doing?

✨ What would you have liked to achieve?

As Stephen Covey said in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,

“All things are created twice. First mentally, then physically. The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blueprint of the desired results”.

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How and Why to Set Sales Goals

How and Why to Set Sales Goals

What type of goals should you be setting to be successful in your sales?

I believe that the reason that so many sales women don’t set goals is because they aren’t sure what goals to set. Or know what to do with these goals once they set them.

Everyone says set goals, right? But what does that, or should that really mean? Let’s pick it apart and break it down.

There are three types of goals we’re going to talk about. Long-term goals, mid-term goals, and short-term goals.

First long-term goals.

By long-term I mean five years or more in the future. Maybe a new home you want to buy, or helping your kids while they’re in college… Moving up the ladder in your company. Long-term goals give you something to strive for and add meaning to your life. They’re necessary for self improvement. To keep you focused on the things you need to do to get where you want to go.

Long-term goals provide you with a vision and a direction. In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote about the principles we use to make decisions. He compared it to a compass. When you create your goals based on your principles, you’re using your internal compass to make decisions about your life and work and your future. This allows you to make your choices with greater intention and purpose. It connects you with the reasons you make your decisions, and gives you a stronger purpose and drive. When you know your long-term goals, you will be able to determine the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

You should set clear, measurable goals with specific steps and actions and deadlines. Then you can complete them to get the outcomes you desire. Kind of like a road map with stops along the way to help you get to your final destination. Long-term goals allow you to see things that are possible for you. Then determine what will be required for you to get there. Once you make these decisions, your subconscious can help direct you to these goals – if you keep reminding yourself and directing your brain as to what your goals are.

Another way of saying this is, write your long-term goals down, and look at them often. Without long-term goals in place, you may wander through life with no clear direction – and never realize your true potential.

The second type of goal is mid-term goals.

Within two to five years, like buying a new car or paying off credit card debt, or buying a home. When you think about these goals, you are able to take an inventory of where you are now – your finances and your relationships. Depending on where you are in your life, you will be able to set the steps in place and determine the time it will take to reach some.

Mid-term goals are the checkpoints on your way to reaching your long-term goals.

Then there are your short-term goals.

These are the ones I talk about the most, because they are the goals you can set and do right now to take control of your situation. Like setting your personal monthly sales goal and writing out the actions you need to do every day to reach that goal. Once you achieve your short-term goals, your medium term goals will be easier to obtain.

Think of short-term goals as the building blocks to achieving the larger goals you want in your life. So it’s important that your short-term goals enhance and are in alignment with your long-term goals.

In sales, your short-term goals might look like this.

• Reaching your sales target every month

• Working backwards to create the steps she will need to take to reach the goal.

• Creating your daily action steps, like how many calls, emails and texts you will need to have completed each day to set the appointments you need to reach your monthly sales goals.

Don’t forget accountability.

The reason I’ve added the accountability & mentoring aspect to the 5-Figure Paycheck Membership Program is because, according to the Association for Talent Development (formerly the American Society for Training and Development) 65% of people complete a goal if they ask someone to hold them accountable to their goals. And 95% successfully met their goals when they discussed their progress and success with that accountability partner.

Usually in life, the things we want don’t just happen because we hope they will. It takes hard work and planning to make them a reality. Living with intention and purpose.

The best way to figure out your long-term, midterm and short-term goals is to ask yourself, what do I want my life to look like in 5, 3 or 1 year? Write down your answers and set your priorities for each one of your answers.

Use your short-term goals to reach your medium term goals and ultimately your long-term goals. When you have to find your long-term goals, it is easier to say that you’re mid and short-term goals and align them so that you become daily intentional in your actions and why you want to achieve each type of goal. 

Will this guarantee you results? Obviously, I can’t guarantee that, the only way to get results is to take action. I’ll provide all the accountability, support and encouragement but you have to put in the work.

When you set specific goals for yourself, understand why these goals are important to you, and prioritize the importance of these goals, you will be able to reach your goals faster, and be able to work towards them without losing traction. Even if you occasionally don’t reach a short-term goal.

It will also give you direction in what to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to continue to move closer to your goals. As you start to see results, it will prove to you that you can accomplish your goals when you have the right strategy in place.

No matter what types of goals you have, it’s hard to achieve them if you don’t have some basic steps to set your goals the right way. I’ve designed the Ultimate Goal-Setting Guide to give you the tools you need to achieve all of your goals.

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3 Reasons You Are Struggling To Reach Your Sales Goals And How To Fix It.

3 Reasons Why You Are Not Reaching Your Sales Goals
3 Reasons Why You Are Not Reaching Your Sales Goals

We all want it… Freedom, security, and well – being, right?  

You probably started your career in sales so that you could have all three. 

Freedom to spend time with your family doing the things that you want to do. 

The security of knowing that you can pay your bills today and plan for the future. 

Well-being – physical well-being and mental well-being. Living life as stress-free and drama-free as possible. 

So why does it feel so hard sometimes? From my years of experience in coaching women in sales, people usually come to me for help after they have tried it on their own. The Wishful Thinker Stage in the Sales Transformation Roadmap. Where you believe you know what works, until it doesn’t, and you become anxious, defeated, and uninspired. 

Or when you’ve kind of figured it out and had some success, making $40,000 to $60,000 a year. But you know there’s more and you want to scale. My job is to create highly confident, empowered sales women.

So today I thought I’d share with you three reasons why you were struggling to reach your sales goals… And how to fix it.

Reason 1. You don’t feel like you own your day, or your time.

For instance, you spend a lot of your time putting out fires, or doing things that don’t make you money or help you reach your sales goals.

You feel like you’re working so hard, but you’re still not making anywhere near what you expected. I get it, because I was once the same way.

It’s so easy to get caught up doing the wrong things that don’t make you money because:

Firstly, you aren’t sure what the right things are. 

Secondly, it’s easier and more comfortable for you to continue to do the wrong things or 

Thirdly, you are not able to set the boundaries you need to set to claim the time you need to focus on to do the things that will make you successful.

One of my favorite clients was falling victim to all three at the same time. Yet within two months of taking my time management program, she had learned to identify what she needed to do consistently to bring her the success she desired. 

She learned how to not get caught up in things that weren’t her fires, or even part of her job. And she learned how to set apart daily time to do the things that would move her closer to a sale, and her success.

When I first met Julia, she had been with her company for a little over a year. During that time, she had a couple of different sales managers – 3 to be exact. She’d been tossed about, given responsibilities that were not necessarily in her job description. By the time she started to work with me, her confidence level was low. She wasn’t sure if she believed all the “success stories” she said she had been told.

She hadn’t been receiving the direction or feedback she needed to grow “her business”, making it even more difficult for her to believe that she could be successful in sales. I was her last hope.

If you remember, I mentioned earlier that I create highly confident, empowered sales women.

Julia put her trust in me, and followed the program. It wasn’t difficult, but she had to put in the time and effort each week. As a result, she flourished and grew sales to consistently reach or exceed her sales goals every month.

In Julia’s own words,

“You gave me vision to change my mindset that I did not have before. You help me build business standards for my business with how I spend my time, and where I need to be in the future”.

Reason 2. Your lack of confidence is holding you back from reaching your sales targets.

You’re stressed about how to run a sales presentation, let alone what you should do or say to close a sale.

In fact, you have probably started to believe that no one is making the kind of money you originally thought was possible. Or at least only a select few that manage to reach their sales goals each month.

You’ve been there, right?  Listening to every sales podcast and reading every sales book, even watching every YouTube video you can find about sales – from many great leaders in the sales industry.

But you can help wondering, “how long ago did they actually meet with a prospect?”  However, do they understand what today’s sales challenges really are, or are they sitting in an ivory tower, like many of the upper management in companies are?

I agree, having a sales toolbox available is amazing. But just how do you take all the great info and make it work for you?

Here’s what Linda had to say about how she felt before she found me. 

“I found myself getting frustrated and lost and overwhelmed.  I just would wake up and do my best to track and organize and listen and set goals and break them down.  What I have been trying to do for years you (Nancy) have clearly identified in a matter of one Saturday.  Wow!!  I’m so happy!”

When you understand how and when to use the sales tools to help you reach your sales goals, and you create a process and system, you gain confidence in yourself and in your process. Until eventually you get to Stage 4 in the Sales Transformation Roadmap, The Unconscious Doer – where you can easily move through the sales process without even thinking about what needs to be done.

Most importantly, you can get to the point where you have the ability to move from using one skill or technique to another seamlessly. When you will be able to read different prospects and selling scenarios. So you can fine-tune your approach, and be present, active and relatable in the moment. For now, just know that you are not alone on this journey, and there is a solution and a way forward.

Having any sales tool box, with all the skills and techniques in one place, available at any time is super important.

You can become familiar with them,. The right time, and place, to use each skill or technique, until it becomes second nature to you. So much so that you aren’t even aware that you are making the transition and pulling the appropriate skill out of your sales toolbox to use effectively. They’re all right at your fingertips in one place.

Reason 3. Your Inner Critic telling you that your success in reaching your sales goals is “not possible”.  

I will tell you it absolutely is.

Everyone deserves to make enough money to have a good life, wouldn’t you agree? That doesn’t mean you’re never going to worry about paying bills again. But it does mean the money will be there when you need it.

You may have begun to believe that there is a glass ceiling for you. That no one is making the kind of money that you originally thought was possible, or that success is saved only for a select few.

I have one question for you, why not you? When you stop playing small, and you have a tested and proven strategy to help you step up into your empowered self, It absolutely is possible for you to reach or exceed your sales goals every month.

Let me introduce you to Vivian, an introvert that did not have any sales background or experience.  She told me that when I hired her. I just had no idea what that meant until we started to work together. By showing her a system that she could follow from her introverted mindset… One where we set certain activities and goals that she felt comfortable with. And a way for her to ask for a sale that was conversational, relationship-building and non-salesy, that she felt comfortable with.  It also turned out that Vivian was highly goal-oriented.

By using her strengths to build a system just for her, Vivian went from 0 to consistently reaching her monthly sales goals, within 3 months, using the techniques I share in perfecting your sales presentations and the setting your goals programs. In other words, we created a very confident (and successful) introvert.

Vivian surprised even herself with what she was able to accomplish in such a short period of time.  And she was able to do this with also having 2 small children at home that obviously also needed her attention.

Yes, it is absolutely possible for you.

Do you recognize yourself in any of those situations?

A career in sales can be amazing – there’s no “glass ceiling”,  except what you think you are capable of. Because the more you sell, the more you make. 

It all starts with your mindset – the third part of what we all want. Freedom, security and well-being. Your mindset is 50% of the battle. That is why I focus so much on that both in the podcast and in my coaching. It’s step one in the process of confidently scaling your sales into 5-figure-a -month paychecks in a way that feels good to you. 

Are you looking to go from a Wishful Doer to a Competent Doer and even an Unconscious Doer? Where you can move through your sales process without even thinking about what needs to be done?

Where are handling objections and asking for a sale are a piece of cake? You’re in luck … I’ve created a step-by-step plan of action to help you move from that Wishful Doer to an Unconscious Doer.

The 5-figure-paycheck membership. It’s like having a private sales coach without the private coach pricing. A place where you can ask questions and get answers directly from me. A place you will be lifted up by other women going through exactly what you are going through. And you don’t have to join another Facebook group.

Just click here and start on your journey to becoming a confident, successful saleswoman now. 

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How To Use Listening Intelligence To Increase Your Sales

Increase Your Sales With Listening Intelligence
Your Listening Intelligence

We’ve talked about how important listening is in sales, and you know I like to study Neuroscience in sales – more specifically behavioral neuroscience and how the brain affects buying behavior.

Today we are going to put the two together as we look about the four listening styles or listening preferences to see

how to increase your listening intelligence.

You probably already know that two people can listen to the same thing and hear two different things. Just like you have your own personal communication style, you also have your own listening style – you’re listening filters. What you focus on and what you filter out during the sales conversation with a prospect.

How well you are able to pay attention to this information is called your listening intelligence.

Just like your communication style or your negotiation style is an unconscious decision, meaning you do it automatically, your listening style is the same. You do it without even realizing what you are doing.

You know you can improve your communication and negotiation styles by bringing them into your conscious mind and taking time to learn about them. You can improve your listening skills the same way. Train your brain to work in a way that it is not used to and using this awareness of your behavior to get the new results from yourself that you want.

I have not created a quiz to help determine your listening style, but you can take the quizzes to learn your communication style and your negotiation style by clicking here. If I do add a What’s Your Listening Style Quiz, you will be able to find it in the self-assessment quiz area.

What if you learned to listen to the kind of questions the buyer asked, and you changed your sales conversation from talking about the big picture results to how you can support the prospect by solving a problem and making them a “hero”?

Bringing the message to them on a more relatable level. Same message, better result.

Just like we as salespeople “filter” incoming audio information, so do our prospects … and our clients.

If you were able to figure out your prospects’ filters, by listening to the questions and answers from them, what do you think might happen to the number of sales you close?

We go into our sales meetings with an agenda, the information we plan to relay to our prospect. Sometimes this information may be what you think is important, and you will share it in the way you would want to hear it. 

What if you delivered the same information, but in a way that your prospect would prefer to hear it? Yes, it takes a bit of tweaking on your part, for every different prospect. That is what your sales conversation is all about.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

Stephen R. Covey

Having an outline of talking points (your systematic process), using the information you learn from your prospect and giving them a customized presentation design just for them – to help them get the results they want in a way that makes sense to them.

This is how you can give the same sales presentation with the same touch points to every prospect, every time, without becoming boring, mundane and rote. Doesn’t that make sense to you?

That is why I look forward to every sales conversation. Because while being the same – they are all different. Based on the personality, background, communication style, and listening style of each one of your unique prospects!

That was a mouthful! 

Let’s see what these listening preferences or filters are.

As you read this, I’d like you to focus on ways you can tweak the way you might present to each listening style so you can better communicate with them, and understand what they are really saying to you. 

I’m going to share with you not only what words or messages each style is likely to pay attention to, but also what each style is likely to miss, and how to recognize each type.

The first style is connective listening.

This type of listener focuses on how the information you are giving them will support others, rather than the effect of what you were saying we’ll have on them. Because of this “relational” perspective, you may find this type of person focusing more on trying to connect with you rather than what you were saying, missing some of the facts and details. 

They are socially intuitive and may pick up on some small details and how it will help or harm others.

Preference number two is reflective listening.

These people focus on what’s in it for them. Have you ever heard of WIFT, (What’s In It For Them), missing the overall big picture. You’ve met this prospect, I’m sure. 

Where it almost feels they aren’t even paying attention to you. But it’s actually quite the opposite. They are taking your information and internally processing it to decide if what you were saying will work for them or not.

Listening preference number three is analytical listening. 

This style focuses on facts and measurable data – very precise – no gray areas allowed. 

They are not interested in opinions or feelings, focusing on results and facts. They want concrete facts and may appear as emotionally disconnected.

And the fourth listening preference style is conceptual listening. 

These people are creatives that like to brainstorm ideas and like to think outside of the box, offering suggestions that others may not have considered. While considering all the options, it can be challenging to get them to focus and consider one solution. They are also not very good at listening to details. They filter in concepts and possibilities, and filter out details.

Here are some questions you can ask to make sure you understand exactly which listening style your prospect is using. 

All of these are all great questions, but you don’t want to use them all in one sitting. Use them situationally depending on the conversation. 

Do you have a pen and paper ready?

• Could you tell me more about that?

• I’ve noticed that … Then summarize back a feature of their listening style. For example: I’ve noticed that you like facts or that you care a lot about other people…thereby confirming their listening preference and how they want you to present to them.

• What I’m hearing is …?

• Let me make sure I understand…

• Let’s make sure I’m hearing you correctly …

• Let’s make sure we’re on the same page …

With the last 4 questions, you are summarizing back to them what you think they told you. This will show your prospects that you understand them and what their desires are.  Here is your chance to get back on track before you give them a proposal.

When you increase your listening intelligence, you’ll be better able to understand what you pick up on in a conversation, as well as what you tend to miss or even shut out.

Use your listening intelligence to recognize the listening preference of your prospects. Then adapt your style to their listening preference, so that you can keep your prospect engaged in the conversation. And give them what they need to make a decision to work with you.

Listen to this episode of the Sales Made Simple Podcast to learn the 5th unique listening style. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Your Sales Negotiation Style — free self assessment quiz!

Carrie Fisher said, “Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing”.

My motto when it comes to sales negotiation is

You’re either selling or you’re being sold.

Have you ever had that happen to you? Where literally five minutes into your sales presentation, your prospect went right from talking about who they are and what they need into what they can do for you. What the heck? Who called who to set the appointment? Attempted hijack.

What is your sales negotiation style?

How comfortable are you with negotiating? Remember, there is no room for meekness in sales. Don’t be the one being sold to in your sales presentations.

Before I talk about the five different sales negotiation styles, I’d like to share

Three quick and easy tips for painless negotiations.

Friends, if you are new to sales negotiation, be careful not to approach it as if it’s an argument.

Negotiation is simply a discussion between two or more people who are seeking a mutual outcome of providing the best possible solution for your prospect … Less expensive is not always the best option.

Create the value of your product or service. In order to do this, you need to know your competition, and what you and your company can do better, or different, or something that you can provide that they cannot. Don’t talk about your competition, just share your value. 

When you treat negotiations like a conflict, it might cause you to become unnecessarily aggressive or tense, creating a block for what you are trying to accomplish – helping the prospect.

Instead, be patient and kind to the person or group you are negotiating with. Listen carefully to their needs. If you can’t come to an agreement, be prepared to respectfully decline.

More than once in my career, this has led to me giving a “take away” close, where you close the door completely for negotiations. The prospect doesn’t expect a this and it takes them off guard! But you must be ready to walk away from the sale. Usually, when the prospect understands that they’ve pushed as far as they can, you will be able to come to an agreement.

2.  Be prepared.

Be over-prepared. Know your prospects needs and options. Know and be prepared to answer the five most common objections that the sales people in your company get.

 Respond quickly and confidently. Your prospects will find confidence and believability in you when you answer their objections confidently.

Before you begin negotiations, reflect on your own goals for the negotiation. What is your ideal outcome? Where can you compromise if necessary? This way, when you meet with the prospect, you will be more likely to stay true to your goals and boundaries, and be able to give the prospect what they originally told you they wanted.

3. Don’t take it personally.

Look at negotiations as a business transaction. Because that truly is what they are!

What your prospects opinions of you are are not your business anyway. Your job is to come to a mutually beneficial outcome. 

Also, don’t let your opinion of what you know, or what you think you know, start to cloud your critical thinking abilities. Don’t feel intimidated, because after all, you are the expert in your field, not them.

Let’s move into the five styles of sales negotiation.

Once you take the free quiz below and learn your personal style, continue to read this article, where I go into more detail on each type.

[interact id=”5ff4c4417c24f1001616826d” type=”quiz” mobile=”false”]

 First, we have the competitive negotiator. 

You are looking to get results quickly and have no time or patience for any foolishness.

 Here’s a tip – if this is you, sometimes your aggressive drive and determination may be a bit off-putting, and you may want to soften your approach, just a little.

When you play competitive, it can also bring out the competitive nature in your prospect. During these types of negotiations, we seem to go several rounds. I can almost hear the bell ring when we reach a standstill. That’s a great time to take a restroom break or offer a cup of coffee. Sometimes you need 5 minutes to cool down, so you can regroup, move on, and come up with a solution.

The second negotiation style is collaboration. 

Do you come up with innovative solutions to problems that no one else can see? Quick tip – if you and your prospect come up with a fantastic solution to their problem, be sure you’re not giving too much away. It’s easy to become caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment, which can end up costing you time and money. 

The next style is compromising. 

You are dead set on finding the middle ground. You know that a good outcome is one that ends in camaraderie, not competition.

 Make sure, however, that you look at all the options available, and don’t just settle for the first one you come up with.

The fourth negotiation style is avoidance.

You are not a fan of negotiating at all. Your idea of solving a problem is to avoid it for as long as possible, or until someone else steps in and does it for you.

If you are fearful when it comes to negotiating, take a look at the other negotiation styles, find the one that you feel the most comfortable with, and read up on how you can adapt to it.

And the last negotiation style is accommodating. 

You are always looking for ways to help the prospect, no matter what it takes. Just be careful, because while you are expecting them to reciprocate  your generosity, your prospect may have other ideas …  like taking all of your great ideas to someone else to help them.

If this is you, try to be a little “less generous” – you’ll still be giving way more than most would.

So which style are you?  No matter which style you are, it’s important to understand them all, because sometimes your negotiating style is dictated by that of your prospect. Be prepared to meet them where they are, so you can give the prospect what they want while they don’t completely take advantage of you. 

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A Story of Sales Mindset and Perspective – What Salespeople Can Learn From a Bicycle Ride

Last week I took some well-deserved time off to re-energize. 

Usually I would go to New Jersey to visit my family, but that obviously was not in the cards this year. I was able to go to my daughter’s house, where we cooked, ate well, and watched movies all weekend.

We also got to go on a bicycle ride that I’ve wanted to do since she moved there last October. Twenty minutes into the ride, we stopped before coasting down a hill. I looked down the hill suspiciously. I was sure I would be walking up that hill on the way home.

So we rode and talked and drove on for another 15 minutes before we turned around to go home. We reached a certain point right where the incline started, right before the big hill. I started up, planning on going until I got to the point I knew I would have to walk.

I’ve learned with physically challenging situations to keep your eyes on the road directly in front of you and just focus. We got to the point where I knew I would have to walk. I stopped to get off the bike, only to have my daughter say, “Mom, that was the hill!”

Amazing – I had made it up the hill because I was focusing on what was directly in front of me, not on what was 50, 25, or even 10 ft in front of me.

Actually, I was kind of embarrassed. I realized that I had allowed myself to almost become a victim of Inner Critic mindset. Instead, I had an aha moment of doing something I didn’t think I would be able to do.

I wouldn’t say the incline was easy, but it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as I expected it to be.

Think about those things in your life that you are facing, or afraid to face, because you think it will be too hard, or even impossible to do.

Maybe it’s finding time each day to do enough prospecting to fill your pipeline and keep you moving forward.

Maybe it’s having enough confidence to get through a sales presentation and actually ask, and get a sale.

Maybe it’s just finding the energy everyday to keep doing the right things that will bring you the right results. Day after day, consistently. One boring pedal push after another, until you make it to the top of that hill.

Focus on what you’re doing right now instead of thinking about the future. Push that Inner Critic that is holding you back to the side.

Having the right mindset in sales is what will keep you going.

In my case of the long bike ride, having someone to talk to and keep my mind off the road was the key.

And when we got to the incline, my daughter already knew that it was actually my dreaded Hill. She just didn’t tell me. In all fairness, it looked much worse from the top and it did from the bottom.

Sales Mindset and Perspective.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”.

-Henry Ford

I was just oblivious to where I was and my mind didn’t know what my body was capable of doing.

That is something I have noticed in new salespeople. I have watched them:

1. sell something that I didn’t think anyone would buy or 

2. they sold it for more than I thought was possible – AKA no discount. Has that happened to you?

It happens because those newer salespeople don’t know any different. No one ever told them, “You can’t do that.” or “It’s impossible”, so they do it. Before their new salesperson brain and sales mindset gets cluttered up with everything that they get told is hard or impossible, they just go out and do it. 

There’s a second part to this sales mindset story.

Today my daughter texted me to let me know she continued the bicycle ride and went farther along down the trail… another three miles or so. And she did the whole ride in about an hour.

Our ride was 45 minutes – with water breaks every 10 minutes – it’s important to stay hydrated when you live in the south  😉 , even in the middle of the winter.

I asked her if the second part was harder, and she said, “No, the first part we did was much harder. That’s where I spent most of my time”.

She went five miles farther in less than twenty minutes – how could that be? 

Then she sent me a picture of what she saw, and a map of her route. Take a look at the beautiful lake she saw, instead of the cross streets we saw when we were riding.

The Reward For Perseverance

She rode on five minutes farther than we originally did, and was rewarded with an easier ride and a beautiful lake to ride around.

The point is… you know there’s always a point – we gave up too early! We did all the hard work, but stopped because the first part was pretty hard and we didn’t want to get stuck too tired to make it home.  Stranded on the side of the road gasping for breath.

When, if we just pushed on 10 minutes more… How many times do you give up or stop when you’re so close to your reward?

It happens all the time. We work so hard – learning everything about our company and the products or services we can sell, only to give up when it doesn’t happen as quickly as we want it to.

It’s the same with prospects. While I have gotten better at closing sales in the first or second meeting, there are those prospects that need more nurturing – usually resulting in a larger sale!

I hope the next time you are ready to give up, either on your job or on a prospect, you remember the bicycle ride, and you find the strength and mindset you need to just go one or two more miles, until you get to a smoother path along a beautiful lake.

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How to Use Non Verbal Communication Skills to Increase Your Sales

Body Language or Non Verbal Communication Skills in Sales

Let’s focus on the top nonverbal communication skills and the eight types of body language that you can use in sales to see what your clients or potential clients are saying to you.

Obviously this works best with this face-to-face meeting, but it also works with a virtual video meeting, like Zoom and FaceTime. As long as you can see them.

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number One — Eye Contact. 

When you are reviewing a physical written proposal with someone, and you have two or three suggestions, place them side-by-side on a table in front of your prospect and watch your customer’s eyes. They will linger longer on what they like. 

Their eyes may dilate when they look at the one that really excites them, if you can get that close to them. People’s eyes will go back to what they like the most. Remember to give them time. Present and be quiet. 

Let them think and speak first.

Also, when a customer is lying to you, and yes, they lie, their eyes will become small and their pupils will get tiny.

 Another way to tell if someone is lying is if they are a perpetual “yawner”. Someone that just can’t stop yawning. I don’t get them very much, but when I do I know they are lying. It’s a long story, but it’s true. So beware of The Chronic Yawner.

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number Two — Facial Expressions. 

These are the most obvious and the easiest to read. Are they smiling, or scowling, or sleeping?

Some people are easy to read because they wear their heart on their sleeve and can’t help but give a facial expression reaction.  Either good or bad.  

Other people have more of a poker face, and no matter what you say, it’s hard to get a reaction.

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number Three — Head Movements.

When someone is in agreement with you, they will nod their head and smile when you do. This is also called Mirroring.

Try it. Nod your head “yes” when you want your client to agree with you and watch what happens. See if they mirror your behavior, including head movements, facial expressions and body posture. That’s a good thing!

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number Four — Hand and Arm Gestures. 

Are their arms open or crossed? Welcoming or defensive? Are both hands under the table like they are hiding something from you or are both hands resting gently on the table and open to you and what you’re saying?

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number Five — Body or Torso Position.

Are they leaning into you and engaged, or are they turning one of their shoulders away from you? Hence the term the cold shoulder. 

If you want to change the vibe in the room, get them to go with you to look at something. Just stand up and say “Come with me”. Don’t ask, just do. And most people will follow you! 

It gives them a chance to stretch their legs, become more interactive with you, and change a boring sales presentation into something more interesting to get their attention back on you.

I also find that walking and talking breaks down barriers and gets people taking again.

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number Six — Leg and Foot Position.

Are their legs stretched out with your feet pointed towards you, or are they crossed and away from you?

When there legs are comfortable or relaxed and pointed towards you, they are open to what you are saying.

Crossed and away from you, they are closing you out.

And legs crossed, with them learning back can mean they are just listening because they are polite, but they obviously think they know more than you do and are not necessarily impressed with what you are saying.

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number Seven (my favorite) – The Bouncing Knee.

Have you ever had one of these people? Where you just want to grab their knee and say “Stop !” 

This can have two meanings. They are engaged and excited and can’t wait to work with you, or they can’t wait to get away from you. The best and worst you can have in one body language.

Which leads me to our last Non Verbal Communication Type:

Non Verbal Communication Skill Number 8 — Mixed Signals.

Like the bouncing knee. What does it all mean?

Ultimately, even with being armed with this helpful Understanding Body Language skill, it’s still up to you to decipher what they mean — good, bad, or indifferent. 

With your verbal communication skills combined with the nonverbal communication skills or body language, you are better equipped to really understand what your customer is saying. 

● Do their words match their body language? 

● What are they saying and what are they doing?

Are they engaged and conversational, or are you doing all the talking? 

Remember, actions speak louder than words. People can usually think and control their words better, whereas body language is usually more of an abscess of a subconscious level, and will actually show you what’s going on inside their head.

Now for Part Two — what Non Verbal cues are you sending? 

Are you tired and frustrated, or energetic and engaging? No one wants to meet with a grumpy salesperson.

Here are some Non Verbal Communication Skill Tools You Can Use to Create the Sales Environment You Want:

✔︎ Use your mood to look serious, happy, somber, or overwhelmed.

✔︎ I use my reading glasses as a tool. When I want to show I’m relaxed and listening, I take them off and put them on the table. When I want to make a point, I put them on and look them right in the eye. 

Sometimes I need to use the school teacher approach and look at them over the top of my glasses, as in “Do you really think that what you just told me is a good idea?” 

Even if you don’t wear reading glasses, you may want to invest in an inexpensive pair of glasses.  I find that wearing glasses help to create a feeling of authority.

Actions, like pictures, can be worth a thousand words.

✔︎ Plan your nonverbal communication sales skills just like you planned your presentation. They can double the effect of a great presentation and make it foolproof.

 ✔︎ Use simple authority and control techniques, like raising your seat up just an inch or two in above their level.

✔︎ Make eye contact with your potential clients, even if they look away from you. When they start to engage with and trust you, they will return your eye contact.

That’s body language 101. These examples of Non Verbal Communication Skills are the ones that I use in sales every day. My goal is to get you to start to think about this and how you can use it to help improve your sales this week. 

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The Introvert’s Edge to Networking by Matthew Pollard book review

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from HarperCollins Leadership. But that doesn’t change the fact that I think it’s terrific! Please read my DISCLOSURE for more info.

The Introvert’s Edge to Networking

Are you an introvert who HATES networking?

Networking can be one of the biggest drivers of career or small business success. 

Yet, for most introverts, they’d rather get a root canal than network – face-to-face or even digitally. 

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about a new book, and I feel it’s important enough for you that I take the time and write my first official book review, from the point of view of someone in the “sales trenches”, like you and me. Someone selling to end users every day. 

The book is The Introverts Edge To Networking by Matthew Pollard. Keep reading to hear my personal review, and how I feel it relates to everyday salespeople like you and me. I will also be sharing with you how you can get your first chapter free, and other helpful resources for you to learn more.

 After you read the book, let me know your thoughts by leaving your review in the comments below.

Let me start by saying this is Matthew’s second book. I was first introduced to Matthew when I read his first book, The Introverts Edge – How The Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone.

While you don’t need to read the first book to get the value from The Introverts Edge Guide To Networking, when you have read both books, you will have a complete outline in creating your own successful sales system.

In his new book, Matthew explains why introverts make better networkers.

As an introvert, yes me! I was highly skeptical. How can you even say introvert and networking in the same sentence without breaking into a cold sweat, right?

After four chapters, I stopped being skeptical, and by the end of the book, I actually became a believer that I, too, can do this, and I began to put my own system in place. Which leads me to – you will want to have a pad and pen next to you as you go through the book.

The premise behind this book is that you can take the ideas and information and use them starting now. “As introverts we’re willing to put in the work to obtain a consistent successful outcome.”  Implementing this series in a step-by-step actions that will work for you, if you do the work.

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your work and your work in your heart

Matthew Pollard, The Introvert’s Edge to Networking

And it’s not hard! Just have your highlighter and the notepad next to you. Think as you read. Which is perfect because we “love being super prepared and equipped for success before we ever walk in a room”. 

It took me about two weeks to read the book, because the first few chapters I kind of read through with the mindset of “networking will never work for me”. Then I really started to connect, to see how this could actually work for me, and any sales professional that identifies as an introvert.

 With true stories and real life examples from people whose paths have changed by using some strategic planning and making a few small tweaks to what they were already doing, Matthew takes you on a journey of how you can systematically become a successful networker, and teaches you how to articulate your value in a way that will make you stand out and inspire genuine interest.

As I went through the book, I realized how much of a networker I am, just not in the traditional way. Yes, I talk to people in line at the grocery store. Yes, I talk to people on planes. Or even online at a theme park. Yes, I am  passionate about what I do and why. And yes, I love what I call “matchmaking” – sharing things (and people) that I really like that I know would be a great fit for each other. Hence the reason for this book review.

By sharing this book with you, my fellow sales professionals, I am introducing you to someone that I know could have a major impact on how you look at your business, and massively help you on your sales journey.

The overall theme about networking that I got from the book is that “being strategic, being prepared, practicing and knowing how to cultivate deeper relations”, and Matthew definitely shows you, throughout the book, to do just that.

So, why should you listen to Matthew Pollard?

Because he’s a very successful Rapid Growth ™ coach, keynote speaker and the founder of the Rapid Growth Academy, who has transformed over 3,500 struggling businesses worldwide. His mission and I quote, is “to help introverts like us to realize that we don’t have to be (or pretend to be) extroverts. That our path to success is different. When we embrace that, while leveraging the power of systemization, we find our Edge, we make our own luck, and we realize our dreams”. 

I can’t think of a better way to summarize this book and the review. 

If you haven’t figured it out already, I highly recommend you read the Introverts Edge to Networking, by Matthew Pollard. 

As a true introvert and skeptic, I did have to push through the first couple of chapters. But it was worth it to get to the gold. Even as a seasoned sales professional, I learned so much on how to improve my networking, and sales. 

This book also comes along at a time in our world where things are constantly changing. By learning how to strategically network in an online world, or face-to-face, and hopefully without a mask someday, you will be more prepared to stay relevant and successful in turbulent times. 

But don’t take my word for it…

Download the first chapter free here and check it out for yourself.

I’m sure you’ll be hooked and will be motivated to read on.

Which is why I’d highly recommend clicking the link below to…

Available as a hardcover, Kindle or audiobook from all major retailers, including your favorite local bookstore.

When you do, Matthew will also give you free instant access to over $700 worth of bonuses, including The Official Introvert’s Edge Step-By-Step Implementation Training and a personal invitation to his private Facebook community of like-minded introverts. 

To claim your bonuses, simply order your copy of The Introvert’s Edge to Networking at your favorite online or physical retailer, then sign up for the bonuses here with your name, email and order confirmation number.

I greatly look forward to hearing what you think of Matthew’s new book.

I’m sure you’ll love it too!

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