Need Balance?

When it comes to the competition,you cannot compare yourself to the others in your field. It is up to you to be all that you can be. Follow your instincts when trying to win the loyalty of potential clients and maintaining the clients you consider loyal. 
Stay friendly, positive, and always follow up on your promises. 
The biggest gift a working woman can give herself ~ a balanced life! 
Follow Work. Play. Live. for ideas on how to "Live Life Fully"  

Martini Networking ~ The latest Fad

There is little data on Martini Behavior but I can tell you there is a lot of that going on these days. I believe that this new "Happy Hour Networking" has become a huge hit with those of us that are working hard, long hours to get the best job done and our financial budgets are much tighter than in the old days when you could take a whole office to dinner. The atmosphere is relaxed and it is easier to talk a little shop while laughing at a great joke. The caveat: it is easy to have one too many, spill your guts about yourself and your work, or gossip, act a bit loose or promiscuous.... you can see where I am going with this thought.

Happy Hour / Sales person's guide to HH Networking.
1. Only have two (tops) drinks
2. Always eat
3. Loose Lips sink Ships
4. Keep it all about them
5. Make sure you get your three questions answered
a. Where do you send most of your business
b. What do they do that keeps you sending your biz there?
c. Will you give us a try - just one deal will win them over!
Simple questions. A wealth of information.
Note: it is important that everyone is clear that this is a fun/working event - not a date:)

The Sales Woman's look at Competition - Selling Styles

When working as a representative of a company in an industry that is having a hard time in this economy, everyday it is a challenge. The mission is not only to capture the market share but to grow enough of a reputation to become the "go to" person in a territory.
While trying to create "an edge", you have to study the competition. They all come with different work styles, personalities, tools of the trade and some come with a business agreement.

My style is friendly, (relationship), positive follow up, (account servicing), and helpful, (solving style).
 Funny... I thought that I was unique but after taking a look around, I discovered that I am quite average. Most representatives have a blended style.
Which of these styles do you resemble?

The Relationship Selling Style:
This style is all about cultivating a close, personal rapport with the prospects and customers. Relationship sellers are known for their friendliness and outgoing personalities.
The Technical Problem-Solving Style:
Most companies today have several online products they offer their clients - and as a sales professional you are well versed in these. Today's clients want to work with someone that has social networking skills. A representative that can help them stay on top of the current trends. These individuals tend to be quite analytical, and they excel at establishing technical credibility in front of their prospects.
The Account Servicing Style:
Sales professionals who use this selling style focus on keeping existing customers happy while asking for more business. This service-minded style is built upon a foundation of responsiveness, proactive follow-up, and a strong commitment to doing what is right for their clients.
The Assertive Style:
Assertive style sales professionals sell through strength of personality. Strong assertive style reps typically bring that difficult-to-train, "fire in the belly" approach to the work. They are extremely competitive, self-assured, intense, and assertive.
The Business Partnering Style:
Sales professionals who establish a business consulting relationship with their customers employ this style. Business Partners understand strategic issues and market conditions that influence business practices. They excel in helping their customers "grow" their businesses. Successful business partners display excellent big-picture thinking skills, market knowledge, persuasive communication capabilities, and creativity.

Whatever your style, be sure to stick to it and always follow up.

Half Empty or Half Full - how do you see it?

How do you view your glass? Half Empty or Half Full? Your answer to this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, attitude towards yourself, and whether you're an optimist or a pessimist. This symbol is used around the world to remind people to keep their positive attitude towards life turned on.
While I was researching this topic for a speech I had to present last week I found this brief but to the point story about a several generation family owned business that found the secret to keeping it successful through the good and the bad times of our economy.
The Gardener’s Badge Story
A landscape gardener ran a business that had been in the family for two or three generations. The staff were happy, and customers loved to visit the store, or to have the staff work on their gardens or make deliveries - anything from bedding plants to ride-on mowers.
For as long as anyone could remember, the current owner and previous generations of owners were extremely positive happy people.
Most folk assumed it was because they ran a successful business.
In fact it was the other way around...
A tradition in the business was that the owner always wore a big lapel badge, saying Business Is Great!
The business was indeed generally great, although it went through tough times like any other. What never changed however was the owner's attitude, and the badge saying Business Is Great!
Everyone who saw the badge for the first time invariably asked, "What's so great about business?" Sometimes people would also comment that their own business was miserable, or even that they personally were miserable or stressed.
Anyhow, the Business Is Great! badge always tended to start a conversation, which typically involved the owner talking about lots of positive aspects of business and work, for example:
· the pleasure of meeting and talking with different people every day
· the reward that comes from helping staff take on new challenges and experiences
· the fun and laughter in a relaxed and healthy work environment
· the fascination in the work itself, and in the other people's work and businesses
· the great feeling when you finish a job and do it to the best of your capabilities
· the new things you learn every day - even without looking to do so
· and the thought that everyone in business is blessed - because there are many millions of people who would swap their own situation to have the same opportunities of doing a productive meaningful job, in a civilized well-fed country, where we have no real worries.
And so the list went on. And no matter how miserable a person was, they'd usually end up feeling a lot happier after just a couple of minutes listening to all this infectious enthusiasm and positivity.
It is impossible to quantify or measure attitude like this, but to one extent or another it's probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, on which point, if asked about the badge in a quiet moment, the business owner would confide:
"The badge came first. The great business followed."
When you read this story you most likely imagine your favorite Nursery in your area but think about business' in your area that seem to thrive all the time because when you walk in their door - you feel good! Those are the places that you will find me during this shopping season when money is so tight.
Here are some interesting facts that helped me come to the conclusion that there are benefits of being a positive thinker:
There was an article in the Birmingham Business Journal by Richard Brown( that reported that after a national survey of companies that were asked: What counts more ... employee aptitude hard skills and technical competencies or employee attitude soft skills including self-motivation, commitment and communication? Nearly 60 percent of organizations responding ranked attitude as the #1 concern. When the attitudes deteriorate, so do commitment, loyalty and, most importantly, performance.
The article that I was most impressed with was by the Mayo Clinic staff that states that Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health.
The section on determining if you are a positive thinker or a negative thinker is totally eye opening. Definitely a must read.
It looks like there are many benefits to being a positive thinker. Here are 5 things to gain by having a positive outlook on life that were written by Arden Davidson -
1. Better Mental Health
2. Better Physical Health
3. A More Enjoyable Life
4. Attracting More People
5. Attracting Good Karma
In conclusion; I would like to share with you my thoughts on being a positive thinker. I work as an outside sales representative for my company in an industry that has been hit very hard by the fall of the economy. We all feel the financial stress terribly. It is my mission to get up everyday with my GAME ON and make as many people happy and self assured as possible. I believe in the theory of the Gardener's Story above - we can set the tone for our day, week, life.
What will you do?


Personal Stress – Get Rid of It Now!

We are all looking for ways to cope with our personal stress, which seems to be in abundance today with all the changes in our economy and the problems that have been created because of it. I found this article in my archived stuff and realized that it is just as powerful today as it was when it was written several years ago.
I especially like the communication part. I find it hard to communicate my thoughts and feelings in the same sitting when feeling pressure in the workplace or even in my relationships. It is a good reminder to follow the golden rule - "treat others as you would like to be treated".
Eight Tips to Create Less Stress
By Susan Smith Jones

Take time to nourish
your body and soul with a balanced diet of wholesome natural foods. Choose from a wide variety of colorful foods as close to the way nature made them as possible. Vary your diet daily and strive for at least 50% fresh, raw foods. Living foods increase energy, restore youthful vitality, and promote radiant health.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Lack of moisture in faces creates wrinkles the way lack of moisture in plums creates prunes. Drinking ample water is necessary to lubricate your joints, feed your cells, and keep your skin—that constantly loses moisture to the environment—clear, soft, and youthful. Pure water fosters vitality
Eat only as much as needed and not much after nightfall—within 2 to 3 hours before sleep. Grazing on smaller meals more frequently throughout the day—every 3 hours—stokes metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy habits of overeating. It’s prudent to plan meals so you won’t get famished.
Exercise regularly and find a balance of strengthening, stretching, and aerobic activities. Make your program a top priority in your life, a non-negotiable activity, and stay committed to it! There is nothing that will benefit you more in terms of being happy, disease-free, vibrantly youthful, and energetic than a regular fitness program. Whenever possible, exercise outdoors in a natural, beautiful environment.

Sleep well
—at least 7-8 hours nightly. Consistent lack of sleep leads to many health problems, including wrinkles, depression, weight gain and aging, low or no libido, toxic buildup, irritability and impatience, memory loss, lethargy, relationship problems, and accidents. Refrain from watching bedtime TV news. Make your bedroom an exquisite, peaceful sanctuary. Put 3 drops of lavender oil on your nighttime pillow. Sweet dreams!
Communicate both your thoughts and your feelings clearly with your co-workers, friends, and loved ones. Remember that we all desire the same thing—respect, kindness, appreciation, validation, and love. Keep the golden rule your default position in life and treat others the way you like to be treated. Silently bless everyone in your life each day.
Lift your attitude UP and see the best in everyone and everything. If you are facing a challenge, handle it with vigor and poise and, at the same time, find opportunities to laugh and smile often. Both of these healthful activities firm your facial muscles and reduce stress. Laughter is life’s elixir and our soul’s smile. Cultivate a joyful attitude of gratitude. Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush; it can color anything.

The WOW Factor - Do you have it?

The WOW factor is something that J. Gittomer is sure can be used by anyone. The problem is that most salespeople won't sacrifice enough to create it. Are you using the WOW factor?
Measure your WOW by thinking about these 10 aspects.
1. Be Persistent
2. Be Knowledgeable about the Prospect
3. Be Prepared
4. Be 10 minutes early
5. Be Professional
6. Get to the point, then question and listen
7. Separate yourself from your competition and everyone else
8. Be confident in what you say and do
9. Don't be afraid to use your sales skills
10. Be WOW yourself - be positive enthusiastic, focused, polished, and convinced. You must be outstanding enough to be memorable.

Take this WOW quiz - rate yourself in each of these categories from 1 - 5.
When finished add them up and see where you rate in the WOW factor.

1. Persistent
2. Prepared
3. Best
4. Creatively different
5. Funny
6. Truthful
7. Real (are you genuine)
8. Compelling
9. Fast and to the point
10. Skillful
11. Knowledgeable
12. Courageous
13. Memorable
14. Long Term
15. Able to get to yes
Add them up and rate yourself
70-75 WOW
60-69 Just a step away - push yourself!
50-59 Need to fine tune some of your skills
15-49 Need a plan to get the WOW going for you
Getting the WOW is identifying weaknesses in the preceding 15 areas, making a plan to strengthen them one by one, developing the self discipline to carry out the plan, and taking action to practice and implement the changes. You can do it if you want it bad enough!

Who are you?

Who are you in the Workplace?

Are you the kind of salesperson who “relationship sells”? If so, it is always best to remember that even though you think of these clients as your “friends” they still associate you with the company that you represent. It is very important to keep your “professional” reputation solid and to be viewed as a team player for your institution no matter what turmoil or obstacles happen to be going on in the background.
We all know that whether it’s your church, workout place, art studio, or office there is always something going on that we could have an opinion on, positive or negative. It is up to us as outside representatives of these organizations to filter the situation and share only the good with your contacts. It creates a happier and more trusting image of you as a salesperson and of your company.

Ways to Stay in a Positive Position in the Workplace

I like to start my day with the “hour of power” as taught by Tony Robbins. During this hour I take a look at my obligations for the day, the section of territory I plan to hit, my target list, make my phone calls and answer emails, update my 10-10-10 contacts,(previous blog entry), and also research the net for positive news in my industry.
It is this positive news that I carry through the territory - sort of a good news town crier. This sets a reputation of someone in the know and someone that believes in our future. With all the changes in the industry it is important to set a strong foundation of trust while with your clients. This is how they will think of you in your absence.
Attending the local associations faithfully also sets your reputation as a local “team player” It shows that you are interested in the issues and concerns we are facing today. This is another venue that the positive news items should be shared so that your persona includes “positive thinker”.
Be helpful. Discover your client’s needs and if you don’t have an answer take the extra step and find out who can help them and make the connection. It is not necessary to be the “answer man” all the time but it does boost your reputations when you take the time to get them on the right path to get their questions answered.
Don’t forget your social graces. Be polite, turn your phone on vibrate, use eye contact, shake hands, focus on your client, respect time, indoor voice, take notes, and ask lots of open ended questions. Make your prospect or client realize how important they are to you.
Remember…everyday you make a choice on how you will represent yourself and your company… it is a great responsibility and honor to be in the position to do so. Make the conscience choice to be positive and professional…as well as helpful and friendly. If you do, you and your company will prosper.

Prospecting - the Heart of Sales

6 Powerful Prospecting Strategies
1. Prospecting for new business is like working out You know it is good for you and it will produce positive results if you do it routinely.. It is important to block-off specific time on your calendar for prospecting activities such as phone calling and emailing. Treat your prospecting time with the same respect as you would any other important appointment, otherwise, there is a tendency that it will slip through the cracks.

2. Be Prepared, get organized and take good notes Break your territory up into three areas signifying Tuesday thru Thursday. Keep your car, briefcase, and data base organized by replenishing and updating daily. * write down what happened on each call as soon as possible so you can follow up with ease.

3. Use a script There is only one thing worse than listening to a salesperson read a script over the phone and that is to listen to a salesperson without a script. Obviously, it is important to not only have a script but to practice it until it sounds smooth and natural. When prospecting, avoid the temptation to sell over the phone. Your objective is to gather information and make the appointment.

4. Strike while the iron is hot! When working with a new prospect, it is important to make contact quickly. Prospects are perishable. No matter how interested a prospect may appear, don’t wait for them to call you. You are only one of many competing interests for your prospect’s time and money.

5. Keep the high ground and keep the conversation positive. It is fair to make head to head comparisons with your competition but never allow yourself to bad mouth them. Be the leader of positive conversation. Below, you will find several websites that are full of positive news in the real estate and lending worlds - gather several thoughts to carry throughout your prospecting day.

6. Rejection is a natural aspect of the sales process so don’t take it personally. Learn from rejection, use it as a feedback mechanism and look for ways to improve your presentation. Salespeople who take rejection personally lack perseverance and seldom make the sale. Sales is a numbers game pure and simple. As a professional baseball player, if you can average four hits out of ten times at bat you are heading for the Hall of Fame. Research indicates that in sales you can expect your prospect to say no five times before they buy. With this in mind, realize that with every sales rejection you receive, you are one step closer to making the sale!

Social Networking

Social Networking
When I first got into sales several years ago, I had a mentor. The first thing on her training agenda included a trip to the mall to buy a standard black cocktail dress and a pair of good heels. This was accompanied with the right shade of (not too bright) red lipstick and subtle perfume. I was being groomed to be the face of the company that attended every business, association, and cause function that had some type of connection to our field of work..

This is still a standard way of networking but in today’s world we have added a new element – Social Networking. Imagine sitting at home on your computer or at Starbucks on your laptop and touching 500 people while in your workout clothes! With today’s technology it is as easy as opening your Facebook, Plaxo, Linkedin or Twitter accounts. With all the choices available I decided to do a little research and have listed some of the top sites that are being used in business today.

10 Social Networks
1. facebook - – general networking site – business/friendship
2. myspace - – general - used by 13 yrs and up
3. twitter - – micro blogging – hot new site – track your favorite issues
4. flixster - – movies
5. linkedin - – general mainly business – 18 and older
6. tagged - – general – myspace type – open to all
7. - - school, college, work and the military
8. - - 13 years and up
9. livejournal - - blogging
10. imeem - - music, videos, photos, blogs

Obviously, not all of these sites will work for your specific needs but if it is your mission to get you and your company out there I would at least be on linkedin, twitter, and the most used facebook. The rest are for those special interests that you have.
For your Calendar/Data Base needs, I use Plaxo. – this site will continuously contact and update your data base while you communicate with your clients and friends.

If you find yourself in need for Web Hosting – a home for your personal or business website I suggest - .Go Daddy - – everything you need to run a web business from a domain name to email to storage space and they even have site builders all moderately priced.

Most people today have multiple Email Accounts . If you travel you may use one just for your flight, hotel, rental car notifications and updates, or, you may want one for your social connections as opposed to using the family account.
Top 5

Another highly used communication venue is Web Chat . This is a great way to hold a meeting with your much to busy contacts.
Top 5
3. aim
4. aol chat
5. chat rooms.con

Tech Savvy sites.
Top 3
2. php
3. geek

Real Estate Sites
Top 5
5. real

Home loans
Top 5
1. Countrywide
2. mortgage calculator
5. mortgage

Top 4

I will not be getting rid of the black dress anytime soon as I still find it a great (warm) way to build relationships. I must say that I do like having the capabilities of touching 100’s of contacts at a time while still in my work out clothes!

Embracing Change

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” – Brian Tracy
When I returned to my old job, I'm not sure what my expectations were. When I dreamed of it I knew that it would be different but I don’t think I took into consideration of how different it would be.

For years I worked in the same county and knew just about everyone in the industry whether they sent their business to our company or not. We were in organizations, study groups, causes, sports and social circles together. I always just figured that it was a matter of time before I conquered it all.

When I returned I had to start my business in a new area and build all new relationships – not hard just a change.

I knew our company’s system – the forms – the regulations – the boundaries – the rules of expectation. In one year all of these have changed.

I constantly find myself in situations where everything is familiar but changed enough that there is no easy way to get the job done. For example – clients have changed offices and offices have closed (it is like someone shuffeled the deck of cards and where they landed is where they can be found and good luck finding them) – the required reports are the same but the format is different – the regulations are similar but have changed enough that I constantly have to refer to the manual – my workstation has different programs or lacks the ones I am familiar with. You know what I mean – same song just Muzak.

After working on the job for about a month we had a huge change in the company. One of our fearless leaders decided to move on and someone that was familiar took his place. The fear that was created by this change was remarkable. I absolutely came undone…..newly returned – bottom of the totem pole – the person that knew me and brought me back was the one that left – I had no established territory – and the plans for me had not been implemented so it left me sort of hanging out there. I mean I was falling apart and to make it worse , I knew that I was driving my supervisor crazy with my fear filled questions that he didn't have the answers for because as good natured as he is, I think he was touched by a little fear as well.

The whole company was frozen by the change. This following a very tuff year in our business was almost too much for everyone to take. The rumor mill was filled with negative news, (just like the nations news), the employees from top to bottom were completely shaken – so why wouldn’t I be frightened as well??

A week or two have gone by and several things have gotten straightened out.
I have settled into a territory that I can call mine.
I have brought in new business, (and you know that in sales that is the top reward next to compensation).
I have met with the new head of the company and I found him very charismatic and brilliant at the same time.
He listened when I talked and I listened when he talked.

I left my fear on the sidewalk that day.

The point I want to make on this entry today is in the quote by Brian Tracy posted above. Is the fear of change really just being a control freak? If you are in sales do you think that you can control anything? By embracing and mastering change you will find yourself handling your life and work in a more positive, relaxing and productive manner.

Don’t you agree that in this ever changing people business, embracing change is the only way to the top?

See You There

Personal Balance

It has been four weeks since I hit the field on this new adventure. Some days were absolutely triumphant and the others ... OMG.
What is it that happens to us salespeople that if the day is a bust we fall to pieces? Why is it that the success of our job is so inter-rooted with our psyche and self esteem?? For example, when I go out and work as diligently as I possibly can with no instant gratification my whole evening is shot but if I get one kind word, (even from a gate keeper), LIFE IS GREAT!!
So that is what I want to talk about today - staying in personal balance while working in sales.
Personal Balance is the reason I created a game I call the 10-10-10 . It works like this -
10 New Business Cards Everyday
I have a goal to pick up 10 new business cards either face to face or through referral of potential clients in my territory. Now granted, 10 a day is a lofty goal especially if you are already established in your area with lots of set appointments.
The point is to stretch yourself - if you only pick up 5 it is more than you started with!
10 Email Communications
The second 10 of the 10-10-10 starts the following morning or at the end of the day depending on your work habits. Within 24 hours put your new contacts into your system and when the email link appears, send a note to thank them for the few minutes they gave you or let them know they have been referred to you and by whom. Ask for the appointment for the following week and give them a day that you will follow up with a phone call.
10 appointments
The third 10 of the 10-10-10 would, of course, be having the meeting and creating a business relationship. This is the most challenging and rewarding 10 of the trio for most sales people.
The beauty of the system is, from the moment of acquiring the business card either through referral or face to face the mission is established clearly. The clear and concise email stated your mission, thus making the expectations of the meeting completely about creating a working relationship.

Personal Balance. Each of us has a different level balance when it comes to our inner confidence. When it comes to linking your life to a career in sales the scale tips greatly due to the activity we generate for our companies. When you add the game of 10-10-10 to your daily routine, you automatically up your chances of creating balance by having something tangible to add to your data base every day. Through the shear game of numbers, you will add to your companies financial inventory that will lead to kudos’ from the boss that will lead to inner kudos’ from you that ultimately leads to a salesperson with better self-esteem and that creates a strong inner balance.


The weekend is here! A THREE DAY WEEKEND that is. I plan to get my home and work organized so that the upcoming week will not have the added element that comes when one is totally unorganized. I have cleaned my home, baked cookies for the teenager , filled my bird and squirrel feeders, made my plans for the flower beds and that is about all the domestic chores I can handle.
Tomorrow I plan to spend the whole day out with my Golden Retriever, Cheyenne, taking photos and simply rejuvenating. I have a couple of shooting areas of interest but I think the nursery's out in the valley will win out. While shopping for spring perennials I will be in the heart of the Northwest's beautiful countryside. The river, lakes, hills, farms, the mountain all add up to a great photo!

Today the flower beds - tomorrow the fun:)