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2 12, 2014

4 Ways to Transition Your Salespeople from Employees to Business Partners

By |2017-03-03T12:06:54-05:00December 2nd, 2014|Categories: Blog, Entrepreneurs, Leadership, Reaching the Consumer, Repeat and Referral Business, Sales|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on 4 Ways to Transition Your Salespeople from Employees to Business Partners

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EmployeesIt appears that the country is trying to instill an entrepreneurial attitude into all of us. With many of the traditional high-paying jobs disappearing, we find ourselves in a quandary.

There are many people who were fortunate enough, often without much education, to move into jobs that paid well and provided a good retirement. It would appear that many of these jobs have disappeared. In addition, consumers have transferred much of their trust from the salesperson to the Internet. The role of the salesperson has been altered.

Salespeople have long been in a position to provide important product and service information to inquiring customers. Now, customers ask their friends or get information from many social media outlets. Let’s face it: A good salesperson has to think differently now. Salespeople are still part of the equation but must see themselves as more than salespeople. Having an entrepreneurial spirt will help.

As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for ways to find new business and come up with new ideas, and we realize that we can make or break a business. A successful entrepreneur is always looking for ways to understand his or her customers and find ways to become a trusted confidant.

I believe that anyone who receives compensation for a job is a partner. Many people often say, “I just work here,” implying that they have no say or effect on the business. These days, everyone needs to realize they have an effect on the business, and the customer certainly does care what they have to say.

Whether it is online or in the store, customers are seeking them out for advice, information and as a connection. Changing the salesperson’s role will have a tremendous effect on your business.

Here are some thoughts on how to take the employee-employer relationship you currently have and forge it into a new partnership:

  1. Ask your salespeople daily about their customers. What did they find out, what do they know and what changes do they think you should make in your business? Learning how to be inquisitive is one of the skills that should be taught. More than ever, it’s important to know how the customers got into your store and how the Internet has affected their decision to purchase.
  2. Encourage salespeople to seek new ways of engaging customers—new ones as well as existing ones. It’s likely that the satisfied customer will be your link to your next customer, since 90 percent of your business is from referrals.
  3. Engage and teach your salespeople skills that will help them connect with their customers. These days, whoever gets to the customer first will probably win. Getting there first means getting to them before they get into your store. Once they’ve connected to the customer, the salesperson must be building a marketing plan to stay in touch and link to the next customer.
  4. Determine what tools your salespeople will need in order to continue to become the customer’s partner. Will it be contests, holding events in your store or writing a blog to engage the customer?

All of our roles have changed; it’s no more business as usual. A partnership implies helping each other achieve goals and bringing more talent and expertise to the table. How will this work in your business?

Lisbeth Calandrino has been providing consulting and training for businesses for over 20 years. If you would like to book a consultation or have her speak with your team, reach her at 518-495-5380.

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3 04, 2013

Leaders know their true power is in the delivery of the message

By |2017-03-03T12:07:01-05:00April 3rd, 2013|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Leaders know their true power is in the delivery of the message

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Being different makes you memorable.

I love this sign. I saw it yesterday while walking down Central Avenue in Albany, New York. I couldn’t help but take a picture.  Instead of saying ‘empty space or store for rent’ it says the space is an opportunity.  It really makes you think. My mother used to tell me the better I learned  to communicate, the  more people would listen. This statement has stuck with me my whole life. I’m not sure I understood what she meant until I went into business and had many employees. Most of us know that communication consists of two things—what we’re talking about (content) and how we say it (delivery). Is it an equal blend of the two? Not when it comes to leadership. Leadership is all about the delivery. Great leaders can deliver the most unnerving information and still get people to follow. Delivery is what separates the great from the mediocre. Great leaders can get their constituents to follow them anywhere. You can be smart and have the best ideas in the world but if you can’t connect with people and relate in a way they understand; they’ll never follow. Without followers, you’ll never be able to achieve your desired results. I like it better when it’s my idea, don’t you? Great leaders have a way of making us feel it is our idea. Gordon Bethune took over a defeated Continental Airlines. Continental had a  defeated workforce and shareholders who had driven the company into bankruptcy.  What was his good idea? To put the  employees first and get them to believe they had the answers to success. It worked and resulted in his book  from Worst to First. Here are some thoughts on great leaders and  leadership skills. Leaders define the destination and issue an invitation to join in the journey. The road maybe tough but leaders  know their job is to provide the skills necessary to negotiate the bumps and the bad weather.

Leaders are mindful that success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process of continuous improvement and never stops. Because our communication is changing rapidly, a company and its leaders must be invested in skill building and change. It’s been said the only thing constant is change. It has never been truer. Neither success nor failure are permanent.

Leaders know that people will follow if they feel acknowledge and appreciated. Their communication is direct and respectful. It has been said that nothing is as powerful and respectful as good eye contact. We have all heard that the eyes are the windows of the soul. The time of leadership and domination is a thing of the past.

Leadership isn’t about domination and power. Few people get ‘scared straight’ anymore. People are fueled by being part of a bigger plan and an exciting journey.

Great leaders are aware, are passionate about their vision for success and never forget that success can never be obtained by one person.  This is called being human. There’s nothing more powerful than the ability to connect with humanity.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a passionate communicator who is dedicated to helping businesses achieve and maintain the most powerful standards of customer service. The result of her interactions is the building of loyalty  and  profitable customer relationships.

Her book Red Hot Customer Service pays tribute to her father Tony. Despite his limited schooling and resources, he was able to develop a very successful construction  business. He said the secret to his success was his ability to enjoy life. Lisbeth can be reached at [email protected]

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