5 Things That Can Really Influence How Others Perceive You

This is a repost from Inc. Great article we thought worth sharing.

By Marcel Schwantes Principal and founder, Leadership From the Core

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There are several ways to make a great first impression on someone you just met. Here are five proven strategies to get you started.

1. Be curious.

Want to be the most interesting person in the room? In a previous article, I offered seven questions a person can ask to ignite a captivating conversation. But for that scenario to happen, curiosity is the social prerequisite. Albert Einstein famously said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Perhaps there’s an Einstein in all of us.

2. Ask: “What’s your story?”

When meeting someone for the first time, forget the typical questions like “What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” Asking “What’s your story?” will take the other person by surprise. It’s open-ended enough to trigger an intriguing story–a journey to a foreign country, meeting a famous person, a special talent used for making the world a better place, etc. It’s also a question that immediately draws in the other person and lets him or her speak from the heart.

3. Be intentional about learning from the other person.

The best conversations in life are initiated by wanting to learn about what other people do: how they do it and why they do it. You will benefit from asking, and the other person will appreciate the gesture and pay it forward. To take it to another level, seek out someone younger and less experienced who brings real value to your work or life in an area unfamiliar to you, and learn from that person. This will garner an immediate and positive first impression.

4. Follow through.

To make a good connection with someone new in your personal or professional circle, offering to help the other person is certainly a good strategy for a positive first impression. However, only a small percentage of people actually deliver on their promises. People will value your connection even more when you actually provide what you’ve suggested: a contact, a resource, a referral, or some coaching. When you do, the law of reciprocity kicks in and you’ll benefit from that new relationship.

5. Listen before you speak.

Want to create a great first impression? Let the other person speak without interruption. Let’s be honest: How often do you find yourself trying hard to avoid jumping in and finishing someone else’s sentence? You see, magic happens in a conversation when active listening takes place. This is being content to listen to the entire thought of someone rather than waiting impatiently for your chance to respond. That’s when both parties know real listening is taking place. When you speak to other people today, eliminate your distractions in the moment. Then give the speaker your full attention. What you’re communicating nonverbally is “I am interested in what you have to say.”

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Published on: Feb 21, 2018,
Inc.

6 Tips To Increase Sales Growth

SalesBelieve it or not, the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t mix well with businesses. What may have worked wonders a few years ago just won’t work today. You need to be able to improve your sales in order to ensure the survival of your business. One day something may be popular or trending, and in the blink of an eye the world has moved onto something better. I want to share 6 tips with you on how to improve your sales performance.

1. Know your mission. Find out what makes your business different, and what sets you apart from the competition. Who are you targeting with these services/products? How much are they willing to pay for these services/products? How much do these customers make? What are other competitors offering and at what price? The most important question you should ask is, how do you go about making these changes? When you know the answers to these questions, then write them down and give yourself goal times. Specify things like sales you’d like per month, amount per sale,and profit for
sale. Setting time limits for goals allows you to measure your progress.

2. Sell to consumer needs. Your job is to convince your customers that they need what you’re selling. When you know your target market, it will be easier to see your customer needs. Highlight those specific features that reduce costs and make life easier for the customer. What problem does your customer have that you can solve? Make sure that your products is something people will need, and capitalize on those needs.

3. Listen, Ask and Act. If you practice these three things in your company you will be successful. You must have highly developed listening skills. Take time to really listen to the questions/concerns mentioned. Make notes as to which you can actually make happen, and if they would benefit other customers. Ask direct questions that are creative, and relevant to your product sales. Then after all this, you must act. Show your customers that you are actively listening, taking their input(when plausible) and want the sale. Get into the habit of following-through with customer service, and success will follow.

4. Take advantage of Social Media. There are so many social media platforms, that are extremely beneficial to businesses. By building your relationships with customers on these platforms, you are able to connect with many people. These platforms are beneficial because you have access to certain leads on product trends, and you also will have more platforms to sell your product through. On social media sites your product can generate sales by trending. If you’re trending, that causes more traffic through your site and attention to potential customers.

5. Promotions and Inside Scoops. Think about having a free trial period of your product. Let customers sample your product if possible, and they will be more likely to purchase your products. Give them an amazing snippet of content for free to get them looking forward to the premium benefits of the product. Along with this, take care of your current customers. Let them know about any promotions and new products that may be approaching. By doing this, you are building trust with them and hopefully building sales.

6. Change your attitude. Change those beliefs in which limit your success. Your thought habits control your commitment, persistence, resilience, happiness, and confidence. Recognize them and decide which ones are unproductive, and then make a commitment to change. Be accepting to change, even when it may not be your idea originally. Always look for ways you and/or your team can improve. Maximize your time, and apply it to those changes you want to make.
What are some strategies you’ve found successful for sales growth?

Written by: Dee Caples

 


 

Out With The Old and In With The New: A Guide to Breaking Bad Habits and Achieving Your Goals

dart-targetsIt’s the new year and by now everyone has made their New Year Resolutions. Hopefully most of us are sticking to them, but let’s be honest– most of us have already moved on and gave up on that resolution. Some people say it takes 30 days to break a bad habit or start a new one. I say it takes commitment. Commitment to your goals and accepting change. Your comfort zone is nice, but nothing ever grows there.

Highlight the areas in you work life where you can improve on. Everyone has them, even though they may not want to admit they do. Start with little things like being more organized, time management, or even allowing yourself more time in the morning to properly fuel your body. Then move onto highlighting future events or projects you’d like to do well in. Those smaller goals will prepare you for the bigger goals to come.

Write it down. Writing down your goals or things you need to improve on works wonders, especially for people who are visual learners. That’s why vision boards are so popular, your goals or ideas on display for you to see all the time. You can list daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly goals. Whatever it may be, write them down, and speak them into existence. They aren’t just something in your mind anymore. These goals and habits are real, and they are going to happen. When they do, you can have the satisfaction of crossing them off your list.

Trust the process. Practice is controlled failure. If your goal is to grow your networking skills, then you should be practicing every chance you get. Take opportunities to meet new people and partake in conversations you usually wouldn’t. When the time comes to meet someone whom you’d like to do business with you will be more comfortable, because it will be something that comes natural to you. Starting new habits isn’t going to be easy and there are going to be hard days, so stay tough and push yourself to stay committed. You will surprise yourself with how susceptible to change you can be, especially when it is benefiting your career.

Reclaim your time. What they say is right, TIME IS MONEY. If you feel like you are investing your time into something that isn’t beneficial to your career then recognize that. Learn how manage your time for the goals or habits that need more attention. Use that new time you’ve acquired and put it towards business plans and invest it elsewhere. Your time is valuable and it should be treated as such.

Learn to accept failure. You are going to experience failure numerous times in your life. Great people have ran into failure hundreds of times. Don’t have a negative relationship with failure, because it is a massive part of being successful. Failure is where all of the lessons are, and it helps you recognize the areas where you need to evolve. Learn from those mistakes, and apply those lessons you learned into achieving your goals.

-Guest writer, Dee Caples

Three “T’s” of Leadership Success

In my leadership coaching, I am often reminded of how important the three “T’s” of leadership are to long term success. It seems that I address one or all of these traits on a daily basis.

You need to consider these skills and incorporate them into your persona. We both know that they are there within you. You just need to be able to pull them up to their highest level. Be aware of each trait, practice perfection and ultimately they will be recognized assets that you naturally bring to the tables of both your professional and personal life.

It should be no surprise to anyone that the first “T” is Trust. Leaders must be trusted, trustworthy and create trust-based environments. Trust is the basis of all good business relationships. You must be a person that others can go to and know without a doubt that that they have entered a safe space.

People need to know that they can share confidence with you; that you will listen to them without judgment and that you will not react to what they are saying until they are completely finished. You need to show them that they have been understood and when you do respond, your response will be fair. Leaders must be trustworthy. Trusted leaders must also be true to their word. When you say you are going to do something; Do it!

 

The second “T” is Truth

Leaders must always speak their truth. Speaking your truth does not mean in any way that you need to give away corporate information or secrets. It simply means that you must always be truthful and at times that truth may be that you are just not at liberty to discuss certain situations. Be authentic. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Let people see you for the honest and caring person that you are. When you are wrong or make a mistake, fess up, admit it and offer a constructive solution. Remember that truth is critical regardless of your position or title.

 

The third “T” is Tact. When you base yourself in an environment of trust and truth you must be masterfully tactful. As a leader you must have a great sense of what you say and its impact on others. Sharing your truth with others must never have a detrimental impact on your good relationship with others. Consider what and how you ask questions, give responses and deliver assignments to assure that you are not offending the recipient. Find some you know and trust to be your “tact” barometer.

 

The three “T’s” addresses in this article can be considered the cornerstone of your leadership success. Know that these skills are all within you; be sure to take time to bring them to the top of your leadership personality.

With gratitude to the Author – Julia Brown

The 3 Things Every Prospect Wants to Hear

Why re-invent the wheel? Pam McBride wrote a great blog on this topic. It is worthy of sharing.

Prospects invest a great deal of time researching the right solution. For some, it’s easier because they’ve got a hot tip on a must-have service – and if that’s your service then you’ve been working really hard at customer success! Throughout the evaluation process, a number of solutions (likely your competitors) are being considered, a few individuals from different departments are weighing in (the average decision group consists of 5.4 people) and the prospect is really kicking the tires on your trial.

So why should they become your customer? You really do have a great service to offer them and it solves their pain, but someone else is convincing them that they do as well. So why should they become your customer – you need to tell them the 3 things every prospect wants to hear:We focus on outcomes We remove any friction you may be experiencing with our service – we don’t anticipate you’ll have any but in case you do…. We will be there during every one of your decisive moments. This is the bar we set for our prospects and we continue providing the same level of guidance and attention to our customers.

Recommended for YouWebcast: The Secrets of Deep Networking

By knowing when and how to act, organizations can provide proactive, satisfying experiences that are fundamental to converting trials and cultivating customer loyalty.

We provide more than just support You are on a journey with our service – starting at the trial stage. As your organization changes – new team members, changing mandates, evolving strategies – our service will continue to meet your needs because it is paramount we ensure your success.

By understanding how customers use your service, you can provide guidance on features and functionality. You can identify opportunities for maximizing their lifetime value. And your product and development teams can use these insights to continue evolving your service based on what businesses and users actually require.

We are trusted advisors You won’t just hear from us when there is a problem or when you become an actual customer – we aren’t in the break/fix mentality of the 19th century. With a thorough understanding of your business and your requirements, from our initial interaction, we work towards building a trusted relationship. You can expect to hear from us regularly, even if it’s to say “hello”.

By anticipating the behavior of customers and by having comprehensive competitive profiles of each customer at hand, you can engage with the right customer with the right information at the right time. With a rigorous proactive process in place, you can stop firefighting and spend more time truly engaging with customers – a critical step in becoming a trusted advisor.

In order to establish, position and communicate your customer advantage with confidence, your organization will need to be equipped with the right tool that provides relevant business and customer data, the know-how to enable you to perform growth management and customer success, and the right insights for better decision-making.

Is your business in a position to stand up and tell prospects what they really want to hear?

Author: Pam McBride