The Catholic School Nuns Got It Right: What You Need to Know to be Successful

The Catholic School Nuns Got It Right: What You Need to Know to be Successful

All but one of my Catholic Grammar School teachers has long ago departed this world. I am sure they made their trip to Heaven in a Nano-second. Certainly, they earned Premier Seating Status immediately to the right hand of Jesus Christ.

As I look back, I am so appreciative on the twelve years of schooling I received from The Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica. Those women were saints. They earned their angel wings for enduring the classroom stress of thousands of belligerent, unruly, button-pushing, sometimes naughty Catholic boys and girls.

Despite numerous disruptions, those nuns graduated many well-educated kids who knew the difference between right, wrong, white-lies, alternate truths and “rounding off the edges.”

The Grammar Patrol
Catholic kids excelled in grammar. We knew how to diagram sentences and religiously made sure every sentence had a subject, a verb and an object. We knew where to place adverbs and adjectives. And for gosh sakes, we survived Spelling Bees, Phonics and mastered lists of 10-20 new words every week as we increased our vocabularies exponentially. We knew how to identify a subordinate or independent clause.

And for that I am eternally grateful.

Clean-up Your Mess
I assure you that if Sister Beatrice were still in the classroom, she’d take out her ruler and swiftly wrap the knuckles of politicians that assassinate our grammar and language. The internet and social media expose the good, the bad and the ugly lawmakers daily who should return to grammar school for the basics.

Tweets, photos, and videos have all changed the way we look and perceive our political leaders.  They cannot hide, nor can they permanently remove misspelled words, racial rants, and promiscuous photos from the digital world with their “fixers.” Back in the day, offenders had to wash chalkboards and paint over defaced walls.

They do not receive good marks for creativity when they make-up names for countries, rivers or mountains they can’t find on a map. Nor are they rewarded when they attempt to bluff their way through a speech or conversation by misquoting scripture in a pious tone of voice, as if they were Biblical scholars. Folks, if you don’t know what the Big Book says, pick it up and read from it. Life is an open-book test.

True Confessions
And what about the dust-up that would certainly occur when it came time to experience a First Confession? Confession was the time that all good Catholic boys and girls admitted their misdeeds and transgressions to the priest regarding poor judgement, profanity, name calling, and half-truths uttered about friends and family members behind their backs. Sometimes the brazen kids had even taunted and confronted “enemies” on the playground at recess. Those kids were known as bullies. They did not attract many friends.

At confession, we owned up to casting insults and aspersions on someone’s character by creating an embarrassing nickname. Confession came with stiff penalties assigned for lying, making false accusations or ridiculing someone for their physical or mental disability.

The parish priest would not let anyone off the hook with an excuse like “I Misspoke” or a suggestion that the priest should consider viewing the situation from my perspective.  Children knew the real consequences for their sins. They had to fess up and say, Yes, Father, I Lied!

And in Arithmetic, when pressured to quantify a problem or add up a column of figures, would Sister Mary Exactamundo allow for an estimated response like “I think the answer is Billions and Billions?”

The Future is Bright
However, do not worry about the fate of children not exposed to the Benedictine Sisters. There’s still hope for those who flunked out of Catholic School. They can aspire to serve in Congress, become a Senator or maybe even President of the United States.

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speakerauthorconsultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get.  5-Steps to Be HEARD in a Noisy World

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get.  5-Steps to Be HEARD in a Noisy World

Successful negotiators are prepared negotiators. Most of us are not born negotiators. However, through trial-and-error, we learn how to get what we want. By the age of two, a toddler knows how mommy and daddy tick and what it takes to get a cuddle, cookie or favorite toy.

The stakes grew larger as we reach adulthood. The “winner takes all” theory ceases to work. The anthem becomes “I want to be HEARD. LISTEN to me. RESPECT my opinions.”

Five Negotiation Success Steps are contained in the acronym H.E.A.R.D.

Step 1 – H – Homework

Before every negotiation, know as much as possible about the “other team.” Homework comes before conversation. Jump into the heart of the negotiation without proper preparation and you lose more than you gain. It never pays to avoid the homework phase.

Homework includes:

  1.  On-line research tools such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube to uncover information gold that will provide keys to your negotiation success.
  2. Check the other teams’ website, marketing philosophy, recent press releases, stock price, trade magazines articles, blogs, podcasts and webinars.
  3. Homework helps understand your opponent’s needs, wants and bottom line and how it matches your goals.

Step 2 – E – Engage

In the initial meeting, engage the opponent and assess what you know and need to know.

  1. Use open-ended questions to get the other team talking. Confirm research facts you’re unsure about.
  2. Use active listening skills and demonstrate your interest in their position.
  3. Take notes. Notes aid recall of what was said, and commitments made.
  4. Learn to accurately read language. You’ll peek into their true thoughts.
  5. Don’t interrupt. Allow prospects to speak freely.

Step 3 – A – Assess

Assess what you know and don’t know. Test possible solutions with phrases like “what would you say if…” or “let’s imagine when…” or even, “Other than that one deadline we are unable to meet, what else concerns you about doing business with us?”

If you’re faced with someone who answers questions with a question, consider taking a refreshment or comfort break. Their questioning technique can become an impediment rather than a tool. A pause for a coffee refill has saved many a negotiator from losing their emotional control.

Step 4 – R – Recommendation

You’re ready to present your solution, proposal or position.

The recommendation phase is not called the Godfather Step. If you recall in the classic movie The Godfather, there is a scene in which one of the lead characters, Don Corleone, tells his associates that he plans to make their opponents an offer—“an offer they can’t refuse.”

There are debates over who should make the first offer. Go with your gut. I’ve won with either approach. There is adequate research to support either technique.

Step 5 – D – Document

A deal is not finished until it’s in writing. Accurate note taking throughout the process makes this phase easy. Immediately after discussions are concluded and the handshake consummates the verbal agreement, draft the contract.

Before anyone leaves the room, assign responsibilities to participants regarding the next steps towards completion and timing.

Allow time for contract clarifications. You laid the foundation for a future meeting, negotiation or transaction. If all parties were treated fairly and each departs with some of what they need, you’ve built a win-win relationship. You’ll live to do another deal.

 

Listening Sales Tool Box Tips for Success

Listening Sales Tool Box Tips for Success

Four Tips for Your Sales Tool Box are:

  1. Summarize Often
  2. Confirm and Clarify
  3. The 80-20 Rule
  4. Maintain Focus

Summarize Often

Recap your discussion with your client several times throughout the meeting. Your customer is not forgetful or inattentive. Summaries demonstrate momentum.

Five reasons to review are:

  1. Remind attendees you’re making progress.
  2. Everyone can celebrate little victories.
  3. Keep the end goals in sight.
  4. Demonstrate that good listening and comprehensions are ongoing.
  5. Encourage time management.

The 80-20 Rule

Make sure your prospect talks 80% of the time. While they share their needs and wants, remain quiet and take excellent notes. Sales people love to demonstrate how smart they are. “Smart Listeners Are Silent Listeners.”

The smartest person in the room talks 20% of the time and asks great open-ended questions that begin with the Five Ws; Who, What, When, Where and Why? In addition, the Big H – How.

Successful sales people remain engaged and demonstrate comprehension.

Confirm and Clarify

This step I nicknamed “The Parrott.” This technique came from marriage counseling. Years ago my husband and I wanted to improve our communication. The counselor asked each of us questions. He listened to our responses. Then we summarized what our spouse said.

Unfortunately, our “instant replay summation”were inaccurate. We listened with flawed filters. Frequently, what we reported hearing was incorrect. Additionally, as we gave our interpretative synopsis, the words selected and the vocal intonation changed too. Perhaps, in our replay, we wanted to impress our counselor with our dramatic acting skills. If this were an audition, that’s appropriate. In  listening skills practice, it’s not!

Also, don’t repeat a partner’s exact words or it sounds like you’re mocking them.

Parrots supposedly repeat their famous phrase “Polly Wants a Cracker” exactly as their owner said it. No variations. No dramatic inflections. Think of “The Parrot” next time your restate your customers’ requirements. Consider opening with one of these phrases:

  1. “What I heard you saying was…”
  2. “Let me see if I got this right.”
  3. “What you’re telling me is that the…”

Maintain Focus

Demonstrate listening using three skills:

  1. Take notes.
  2. Practice “Listening Body Language.” Lean forward and use the appropriate eye contact.
  3. Focus on your prospects Body Language and react accordingly.

Use these Listening Techniques and Tools and your sales will increase and your relationships will prosper.

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speaker, author, consultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success!

Take a Challenge With Me for a Successful 2017!

Take a Challenge With Me for a Successful 2017!

Ready for the Big Game? Not the Super Bowl. Are you geared up for the sales game? Are you prepared for the challenges, hurdles and victories in your 2017 personal Sales Super Bowl?  You’re not a bench warmer. Be a key contributor to your company’s success.  If you didn’t track when your customer’s lease ends, that’s no excuse to avoid contacting a company.

For at least eighty percent of the US, it’s cold during January and February. If you’re like me, the cold and snow is an excuse to avoid sales calls. “No one wants to see me on a snowy, freezing cold day. However, your phone works.

Even though your car may not be able to pile-drive through snowdrifts and traverse treacherous black ice covered roads, prospecting calls are always in season.

If you no longer want to see the same results as in prior years, join me in a challenge for 2017. We’ll have to make behavioral changes to see new results. Let’s make 2017 one of our best years ever.

Take five steps with me.

  1. I will make more “warm” prospecting calls. A warm call is one that is a result of some prior communication. Warm calls may be the result of a chance meeting at a networking event, a former customer that slipped through our sales net, a referral from a current customer or someone who has received one of company marketing letters.
  1. I will prepare a series of well-written marketing messages.
  1. I will commit to make a specific number of marketing calls each week. How many calls is the right number? It’s different for each of us. Write a goal that is consistently achievable. Powerful results come from consistent calling efforts and a written goal. Hold yourself accountable and reward your successes.
  1. I will create a three step follow-up process for those I meet face-to-face. The process must be easy to put into place or the temptation to abandon the plan will hit by February.
  1. For everyone from whom I collect a business card, I will:
    1. Send a brief note or email within 3-5-days of meeting them. Personalize the message. Add a detail from your conversation. Form letters are a waste of time. In 2012, we must do that which is unexpected.
    1. The second contact includes your company qualifications as it relates to your ability to solve the prospect’s biggest problem. . All communication is from a customer’s perspective focused on needs and the outcome that comes with your solution.
    1. Step three is a phone call. The message is problem and solution oriented. Ask open-ended questions. No drive-by spontaneous visits allowed.

We will have an improved 2017 if we work this plan together. Let me hear from you when you hit a bump. I’ll be on the journey with you.

Mary Redmond is a negotiation expert that provides workshops, presentations and coaching for companies and organizations.  She is a well-known professional speaker, author and consultant that can help you achieve success.

Negotiate When You Want to be HEARD: 5 Tips to Negotiation Success Part 5 of 5

Successful negotiators are prepared negotiators. Most of us are not born as great negotiators. We learn at an early age how to get what we want. By age two, a toddler knows how mommy and daddy tick and what it takes to get a cookie.

As we grow the stakes get bigger. We need to refine our old motto “I want what I want.” What we are really saying is “I want to be HEARD. Please listen to me. Respect my opinions.”

Five tips for a successful negotiation are contained in the acronym H.E.A.R.D.

This article is the last in a five-part series sharing essential steps to become a more successful negotiator in leasing as well as in life.

Step 5 – D – Document

A deal is not finished until it is in writing. Accurate note taking throughout the process makes this phase easy and painless. Immediately after the discussions are finished and the handshake consummates the agreement, the meeting summaries or contracts need to be drafted. Once drafted, the contracts are distributed to all involved parties.

Before anyone leaves the room, assign responsibilities to the participants regarding who is going to perform which steps, when they will be completed, and when the documents will be signed.

Time should be allowed for clarification of contract details and misunderstandings.

You just laid the foundation for the next meeting, negotiation or transaction. If all parties were treated fairly and each leaves with some of what they need, you have a win-win relationship. You will live to do another deal.

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speaker, author, consultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success!

 

Negotiate When You Want to be HEARD: 5 Tips to Negotiation Success Part 4 of 5

Successful negotiators are prepared negotiators. Most of us are not born as great negotiators. We learn at an early age how to get what we want. By age two, a toddler knows how mommy and daddy tick and what it takes to get a cookie.

As we grow the stakes get bigger. We need to refine our old motto “I want what I want.” What we are really saying is “I want to be HEARD. Please listen to me. Respect my opinions.”

Five tips for a successful negotiation are contained in the acronym H.E.A.R.D.

This article is the fourth in a five-part series sharing essential steps to become a more successful negotiator in leasing as well as in life.

Step 4 – R – Recommendation

You are ready to present your solution, proposal or position.

The recommendation phase is not called the Godfather Step. If you recall in the classic movie The Godfather, there is a scene in which one of the lead characters Don Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, tells his associates that he plans to make their opponents an offer. He’s going to make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.”

There are debates over who should make the first offer. Go with your gut. I’ve done it both ways and ended with wins.

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speaker, author, consultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success!