Category Archives: Authenticity

Express yourself – authentically

The Hardest Part of Writing My 2017 Plan

Today was the day I put pen to paper for my 2017 plan.

Perhaps you’ve just done something similar. I use (and LOVE) the Simple Success Plan. It puts everything for my business and my sales planning onto ONE PAGE. I can easily tweak and modify it throughout the year.

It keeps me grounded and on track.  

When I got to the part called “Vision”, I had to Iook at how I REALLY wanted my business to be. And also, of course, my “real life” (the two go hand-in-hand – GO FIGURE).

What I realized was…

It is HARD to write down exactly what I want because I “shouldn’t” want it that way.

…Like I’m not allowed to want it that way. Like – who am I kidding?

Some examples:

Money

I want money to flow into my business hand-over-fist – while I am only doing the things that I love to do and feel like I have all the time on my hands to do it.

“NOOOOOOO… “, my little voice screams out in my head. “YOU CAN’T DO THAT! If you make gobs of money, you have to work your a** off to do it! How dare you say such a thing. Besides money is a terrible thing to want, dontcha know?”

So, I don’t write it down. (Even though, it’s what I really want.)

Another bold, audacious vision:

Power

I feel great every day with unbridled energy – each new day is like a new experiment and I have plenty of “oomph” to get it all done!

My little voice leans back, arms crossed, looking at me sideways (I think it’s even tapping its toes) “Really? Ha! YOU? With your habits? Tell me another one!”

So, I don’t write it down. (Even though, it’s what I really want.)

Fame

And another one pops in.

I want hundreds-of-thousands of subscribers to my YouTube channel this year, with requests from Forbes, and Inc., and FastCompany, and Ellen DeGeneres to come spread my wisdom (and hilarity) about “Bringing A Dash of Dignity to The Art of Selling” – being on the stage with tens of thousands cheering and waiting to gobble up my next book or blog post or appearance on some cool TV show.

My little voice is having an apoplectic fit now. It is actually rolling around on the floor, holding its belly, laughing hysterically – tears streaming – saying “Please, my sides, you’re hurting me. I. Can’t. Take. It!”

So, I don’t write it down. (Even though, it sounds like a lot of fun.)

My final one.

The Sell Out

I want peace, and love, and happiness, and joy, and abundance, and the ability to stay present and surrender to challenges, and have the serenity to know what I can change and the wisdom to know the difference and [Insert Warmed-Over Porridge Here].

And, my evil little voice breathes an audible sigh of relief. Sits back and says “Yeah. That’s a good one!”

So I write it down.

And I leave, ready to go back to the life I settled for last year and the year before and the year before that.

…Unless, I don’t….and I get the eraser…And I write all that other stuff down ANYWAY!

Take THAT, little voice!

And that is my story about writing my 2017 Simple Success Plan. (Does it sound Irresistible now? You can try yours here: http://simplesuccessplans.com/lm/blueprint/?utm_source=site&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=button-link)

Have fun and …

Love ‘em ALL up!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

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#TBT – Can We Revisit This Know, Like, and Trust Thing?

I wrote this back in 2013. I love it because it reminds us that we are doing business with HUMANS after all, and it makes us so successful when we remember that!

Here’s the article:

I hear ALL THE TIME…”People do business with people they Know, Like & Trust” from sales trainers and sales experts.

Here’s what I wanna know…

WHY IS THIS A REVELATION?

People go to prom with people they know, like & trust.
People travel great distances at great expense to visit people they know, like & trust.
People like to give gifts to people they know, like & trust.
Let’s face it, people like to hang out with DOGS they know, like & trust.

It’s pretty common sense, isn’t it?

SO I CHALLENGE YOU…

If it is some kind of revelation to you that people do business with people they know, like & trust, WHERE ELSE are you not bringing common sense to your sales?

Things like:

People do business with people who deliver excellent service
People do business with people who have a sterling reputation
People do business with people they hold on a pedastal
People do business with people who do what they say they are going to do
People do business with people who have similar values
People do business with people who ….. I mean, we could keep going here, couldn’t we?

BUT THE BIGGER QUESTION IS: 

If learning that “People do Business with People they Know, Like & Trust” is a revelation to you, then what is going on with your sales? 

Do you not believe in what you sell?
Do you not believe that your customer needs what you sell?
Are your goals different from that of your customer?
Are you trying to meet quotas instead of make a difference with people?

And here is my favorite…

~DO YOU THINK DOING BUSINESS IS DIFFERENT THAN DOING LIFE? ~

This week, I want you to bring common sense to your business. (Sorry, this will require actual THINKING)

FIRST:
Are you doing the work that you know you should do to connect with the people who need what you sell?

If yes (and be honest with yourself about that one),

THEN:
Who are the people that “should” be doing business with you?
Why?
Do they know about you?
Do they agree that they need something that you offer?

Reach out to THEM. Be clear, simple, concise. Offer them something yummy!

Go be a great human being. Period. THEN, see what shows up!

Love ’em UP! (And the rest will follow)

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Want the REALLY good stuff? The stuff I only share in my newsletter and never anywhere else (unless I end up writing a book). Get my Totally Irreverent Tuesday Newsletter: http://bit.ly/IrreverentTuesday.

B2B is a BUMMER!

I’ve been having a think on this lately.

What is it that bugs me so much about this whole concept of B2B and B2C selling? Something really irks me, but I can’t quite get my arms around it, until today when I realized…

These terrible shorthand terms take the humans right out of the mix! Businesses don’t  sell to businesses. Businesses don’t sell to consumers. PEOPLE sell to PEOPLE – some of them are buyers because their job description makes them buyers. Some of them are buyers because they have a wallet.

But, they are people nonetheless. Would you argue that in a B2B sale, you have 5 decision makers? Making it complex?

Didja ever try to sell a Porsche to a guy with a wife who has three kids under the age of 5? Talk about a complex sale!

Point is. If you continue to remember that there is another HUMAN on the other side of the conversation – with their own needs and values and worries and hopes and expectations – and people to take care of and people to please, you will start to look at your sales in a completely new way.

And you will get farther in all of the work you do.

There will never be a “gatekeeper” on the other end of the phone. There will be someone who knows the way the CEO likes to do business and what they are trying to accomplish in their business right now.

You won’t be calling on a “Suspect”. You will be talking to another human who has hopes, dreams, problems, and concerns. Imagine if you got interested in those hopes, dreams, problems and concerns? All of a sudden you are developing relationships that are much more likely to turn into business.

Do you know I walked into a meeting with a person I was selling to at a Fortune 50 company and she actually gave me a hug?!?! We got business with them year-over-year – it was a huge win!

How about some P2P selling instead?

Don’t forget they’re people and don’t forget to…

Love ‘em ALL UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Should YOU be a salesperson? Take the 100% Reliable Mostly Fool-Proof “Should I Be A Salesperson?” Quiz: bit.ly/TheISGQuiz

#TBT – Don’t Wait….The Time Is Now!

“Do one thing a day that scares you.” The famous quote from a commencement speech comes to mind as I read this short – but powerful – post from April of 2012.

That thing you’ve been waiting to do…..

that person you’ve been hoping to reach (yes, the BIG ONE)

Do it NOW!!!

Your destiny awaits. You WILL be surprised. I promise. Reach out to them. No matter what it takes!

You are bigger than you know. Take a risk today. Contact someone who seems out of your reach. What have you got to lose?

Love FAILURE up! (Hint: It’s the fastest way to WILD SUCCESS)

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Should YOU be a salesperson? Take the 100% Reliable, Mostly Fool-Proof “Should I Be A Salesperson QUIZ” here: http://bit.ly/TheISGQuiz

#TBT – THIS ARTICLE COST ME A JOB OFFER

phone-1209230About a year ago, I was testing the waters. Should I go work for another company as a rock start salesperson, or should I heed the call to go full-time as The Irreverent Sales Girl?

In some ways, this article helped me with that decision. I was deep into an interviewing process and about one minute away from a job offer, when the Global VP of Sales called me and asked if I really believed what I had written in this article.

By all means! In fact, I’m pretty sure this exact kind of outlook has made me a top producer for nearly 20 years of selling.

“Well, it won’t work here. We don’t allow cold-calling. Only social selling – you can set an appointment and talk on the phone with a prospect, but you can’t pick up the phone cold and reach out to them.

WOW! Would I love to work for his competition! While I’m walking in the door with an appointment I’ve set with the CRO, ready to do business with me, his guys are going to be knocking themselves out trying to get someone to connect with them on social media!

Needless to say, a year later and beyond happy in my business. And, I owe much of the success I’ve had this year to this article.

Love it UP!

Continue reading #TBT – THIS ARTICLE COST ME A JOB OFFER

Your Jump-Start 90-day Prospecting Plan

success-1237378Since the whole week has been dedicated to one of my very favorite subjects, Prospecting, I thought you might enjoy a little formula that I’ve used with people to get their business jump-started again and get them back into the practice of prospecting regularly.

Feel free to use it or modify it to meet your own needs and your own style. Then, make sure to tell me how it went!

If your business has been stagnant, and you feel like that phone is too hard to pick up, here is my recommended 90 Day Prospecting Plan to get you moving again!

The first part of the 90-Day Plan is really quite fun and SURPRISINGLY rewarding!

Step #1: Ask the Magical Question

A) Find 15 people each month in your professional sphere to reach out to out of the blue. Ask them to set aside 20 minutes with you to catch up.

On this call, find out what they are up to. What’s new? What are they working on?

They are likely to ask you the same kind of questions. Be ready to share some recent client victories and let them know that you are now focusing on growing your business and looking for customers who are looking to accomplish exactly what your other customers are accomplishing. Don’t ask for referrals. Just let them know.

THEN, ask the Magical Question:

Continue reading Your Jump-Start 90-day Prospecting Plan

TBT – Sometimes What You Love Hurts You

Since dogs and sales stories are so much fun, I thought I’d pull this one back out. Plus, it’s super embarrassing, which seems to be entertaining.

Happy Throw Back Thursday – from 2012

This is a personal post.

Today, I was playing with my puppy. He has this lovely way to wake me up. (He is a 65-pound Labrador Retriever). Here’s what he does. He jumps on the bed and lays COMPLETELY on top of me and puts his nose in my face. I love it!

Today, we were wrestling around…and his back feet fell off the bed. He scrambled to secure himself…(you can picture it, right?) Front claws flying he dug in to anything that was solid…which included my left eye socket. WHOA!

Right away, I knew something was wrong. Yet, I had NO IDEA how wrong it might be.

I was bleeding. From my eye!

Tom took me to the ER. (I love him). I was a mess. I wasn’t a mess because of what had ACTUALLY happened. I was a mess because of what COULD HAVE HAPPENED!

Turns out, I didn’t even need stitches. They super-glued my eyelid to heal.

But, here’s what I had to deal with:

  1. I value my looks and wonder if I could be successful as a de-formed woman – how deep is my commitment? What if he’d ripped my eyeball out?
  2. I love my dog – this isn’t his fault. Sometimes the people we work with are just finding their own way and they hurt you, but they are not to be punished for it.
  3. I am vain. I am judgemental. I look at the outside to determine if I want to be involved.
  4. Tom was AMAZING with me, even though the entire hospital staff must have been looking at him like, “What did you do to her?”

How does this apply to sales or success? It doesn’t. Yet, it reminds me that I MUST DO SOMETHING NOW that is important. Risk it all. What we “think” we have, we don’t have. It can all turn on a dime!

Let’s go get WIGGY on what is important to us. Let’s remember WHO WE ACTUALLY are…in the face of anything.

Today, I was a scared, anxiety-ridden person — over scratches. I saw that I think my looks make me who I am! HA!

Now, I have to deal with that! This week, I am going to present to a Fortune 500 company…and I will do it, and I will be great. AND, I will warn them that I look a little crazy.

Toooooo many lessons in this post. My favorite is…PUSH THE DOG TO THE FLOOR WHEN HE IS SCRAMBLING! Then, take THEM to the vet if need be. LOL.

Love your luck UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Want the REALLY good stuff. The stuff I only publish for subscribers and nowhere else? Go here to sign up for my Totally Irreverent Tuesday newsletter.

#TBT – More of Whatever It Takes

This Throw-Back-Thursday article published in May of 2012 and it just seems like the perfect post to come next. If you’ve been reading my articles this week and you got my Totally Irreverent Tuesday newsletter, you will see exactly what I mean!

“Are you willing to live a Do Whatever It Takes Life for your dreams?

Careful of your answer – there WILL be a test! *GRIN*

Every single one of us has it in us to do whatever it takes for something. We think we’ll be too tired if we REALLY go for it, or that we’ll miss out on something else that life has to offer.

Not true! The more you give to your dreams the ABSOLUTELY more they’ll give to you. But you gotta be willing to do WHATEVER it takes!!! The miracles that come along with this kind of life will TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY!!

Love it up!

The Irreverent Sales Girl”

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#TBT – OWN UP! How Vulnerability Makes the Sale

rsz_sad-316424This is an article that got a lot of love back in 2012. I still hate reading it, but it worked so well, I just have to share! Love it UP!

“Ever had that one client, that one boss, that one family member that EVERYTHING you do with them doesn’t work? No matter what they need, you screw it up?

I had a presentation with THAT customer today! 

Today I had a presentation in the last stages of a competitive bid for an important contract.

EVERYBODY was on the phone.

The Executives, the decision-makers, the business unit people, the purchasers. EVERYBODY.

This presentation went the way all of my other interactions have gone with this customer. Wild technical difficulties to start. Fumbling my words. Stilted maneuvering through the product I was demonstrating. It’s been like this since the beginning…

A fun history

It’s been a train wreck the whole way through.

My first meeting with them I had to cancel because I was driving to see them mid-winter and I couldn’t get out of my neighborhood, the roads were so bad.

In my first presentation with them, they were ALL ice cold. I could not get meaningful eye contact with any of them.

Submitting my proposal – well, that went OK.

The technical call with my Senior Vice President of Product Development and their whole team – I was a FULL eleven minutes late to the call (unprecedented).

This last presentation – just BARELY ran at all and BARELY got it done in the time allotted.

OY! 

I was disenheartened after this call. It was my last opportunity to make a good impression. But, here’s the thing. We really do have a GREAT solution for what this customer needs.

What’s a girl to do?

My first inclination was to let it ride

I had done what I had done. It was over. RIGHT?

Then, the scary move

I wrote to the icy-est (is that a word?) business analyst. I wrote (paraphrase):

“Have you ever had that ONE client, that ONE boss, that ONE family member that you could never get it quite right with?

“For some odd reason your company seems to be that for me. I apologize for the technical difficulties I put you through. My presentation was stilted and I hope I didn’t put everyone to sleep. In nine years, I have never had this experience of everything going wrong. I hope that people can let the great products and services shine through, in spite of my bumbling. Is there anything else you need from me?”

I HATED looking this ridiculous, but you know what happened? 

This Icy person sent me a warm email. She said “The technical difficulties didn’t bother any of us – it was a simple thing to manage. I have passed your email to the head of purchasing.”

Two birds with one stone!

Pretty cool! Not only had I been a “human” with the business analyst, but she gave me the opportunity to be a “human” with the purchasing person, too.

We might just win this thing! 

We might not. But at least I can rest knowing that I have put the best possible foot forward for my company with products and services that deserve to win the contract.

MORAL OF THE STORY

Do not be afraid to let people know that YOU know that you could have done better and that you care that you didn’t do your best. People are amazing.

Love your vulnerability UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl”

#TBT – WHO’S DRIVING THE TRAIN ANYWAY?

rsz_train-tracks-925984This post is a classic from September of 2013. Let them talk. They will sell YOU! Then, pick up the pen and make the sale. Hope you love this one as much as I do.

“Just because you are not the one talking, does not mean you are not guiding the sale!

In fact, it is USUALLY just the OPPOSITE!

Today a magical and truly wonderful thing happened!

I was in a meeting with an SVP of a Fortune 100 company…and MAN was HE talking. He was so enthusiastic about his company… he was so proud of the work they were doing a new opportunities on the horizon. He loves the brand. He told me everything from the way the founders started out in the Depression…all the way up to the new (and – shall we say – controversial?) CEO they have.

He talked. And he talked. And he talked.

And I ATE IT UP!

I listened to every word as if it were gold — which it turns out — every word was.

When he finally got around to asking me details about what I do and what my company offers, I had everything I needed to know to tell him how we could help. And he had said everything he needed to say, so there wasn’t anything in the background distracting him.

I told (short) stories back about how our companies’ philosophies and directions were aligned.

And HE ATE IT UP!

Know what he said next?

“Send me the contract. We need to get this going right away.”

Guess what I did! I STOPPED SELLING!

I said, “GREAT! Will you be signing it?”

– yes –

Then, I thanked him for his business. Asked him if there was anything else he needed. Said our pleasantries and ske-daddled.

He did the talking. I drove the train. I won the business.  FUN!

Love the talkers UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl”