It’s All About Relationships in Sales

Team Spirit

When training my team of Property Specialists, I cannot emphasize enough how sales is really about relationships. After all, we are selling to PEOPLE – human beings who have emotions, who go through various life experiences, and who, at the point of being “offered” an investment property, may or may not be at the right place at the right time.

Of course, at the end of the month, the bottom-line always matters. But how do we reach our sales targets while growing in the business of sales?

We develop meaningful relationships with people.

It always starts with genuinely liking people. If we don’t, it will show. We need to learn to have compassion and show kindness, especially when our well-prepared sales pitch and fliers are rejected time and time again. Smile at the face of rejection. Easier said than done, you say. Well, it takes practice – lots of practice.

Before we can even make our “first sales move” or the presentation, a potential client will need to like us. Yes, you read it right. They need to first like us. So we need to exert some effort at being likeable. How do we do this?

Show genuine friendliness. It is often said that it is almost cliché-ish , that the eyes are the window of the soul. I could spot unfriendly, suspicious or malicious eyes a mile away. So can a potential client. So character is key. If we or others begin to notice that we are more ungrateful, more judgmental, more critical of others, more envious, then it’s time for deep self-reflection and change. One cannot fake a genuine smile that begins with the eyes. We cannot give what we do not have.

How else can we make potential clients get to like us?

Look smart and be smart. Let’s face it, people are attracted to good looks. It’s not fair but it is what it is. People are also attracted to well-groomed sales people. This does not mean that women need to wear micro mini skirts and plunging necklines. Sure, this catches a lot of attention, but mostly the wrong attention. It also screams cheap and unprofessional.

Be smart simply means that you know what you’re selling and can present it in the most interesting yet faithful manner, and hopefully in the least amount of time.

Next, a potential client needs to trust us – trust us enough to give us their time and, perhaps, make that investment with us.

They learn to trust us after they like us. It’s not the other way around.

They learn to trust us when we listen to them first. When we ask them the right questions about themselves and not talk about the project yet.

They learn to trust us when they see in our eyes and body language that we truly care about what they are saying, that they have our full attention (put your phone down and stop looking at it) and do not have an agenda. Remember, they already know that we are sales people. Of course they know that we would like to make a sale. Just listen first.

They learn to trust us when we are finally able to identify their “pain” and are able to address it and offer a solution to it.

These are but a few important aspects of developing meaningful relationships in the sales business, but once applied, will turn clients into friends that could last a lifetime.

Believe me, it happened to me.

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The Gospel for Mental Illness

Today is my 49th birthday.

Yesterday was a terrible day, from the morning discouragements leading up to midnight’s breakdown.

Mental illness sucks the life out of me even though I am surrounded by people who love me. It makes me feel ungrateful, sometimes, and I beat myself up for feeling this way. But mental illness is like that – it eats you up. Sometimes I am neither here nor there. The unseen boundaries within my brain can cause me to be highly functional and productive one day, and utterly helpless and hopeless the next.

A very good friend and pastor posted this on his wall this morning and it was the first post I read. Maybe this is God’s special gift to me today.

“If your gospel isn’t good news for people who suffer from mental illness, it isn’t the Gospel of Jesus.

One of the most gracious, generous and selfless people I have ever known was tormented by an illness that limited mental function. And yet, God’s love was more evident in her than most able-minded people I know.”

The replies and affirmations to his post also gave me strength somehow. There is strength in numbers, truly.

May all of us who suffer from mental illness find strength within ourselves, as God gives us His strength to pull us through. It is a lifetime of extreme highs and lows. It is an illness that most will never even come to terms with. It is a black dog that is always close by.

I pray for all of us. There may not be a total cure for mental illness but there is still hope, whenever we are “well enough” to lift up our heads to see the light. There IS a light that penetrates all this darkness.

I long for that day when I will be freed from the agony of this illness, here or in the next life. When my brain will finally stop spinning from endless screams of anxiety. When I will experience some measure of peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 is my most-read Biblical passage. I firmly believe that this was written for all of us who suffer from anxiety.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What Philippians 4:6-7 Can Teach Us About Managing Anxiety

 

Existence Is A Wonderful Thing

Flower PaintingI came across an article in the newspaper a few days ago as I carefully sipped my steaming mug of brewed coffee in a quiet spot overlooking the freshly rained-on pine trees. I needed very much to be reminded of the heart of the article – “existence is a wonderful thing”.

I wish I took note of the name of the author. She expressed in writing what I felt in my heart but could not make myself articulate out loud. Let me quote a paragraph she wrote:

“Existence is a wonderful thing, To exist, to be there, But more often than not, you get so caught up in the idea of getting to a specific destination that you entirely forget where you are right now. That, my dear, is where you start.”

Anxiety disorder causes one to worry so much about the future that one fails to simply breathe and focus on the NOW.

It is very difficult for my mind not to race. One thought (usually plans or goals) leads to another, and then another, until I get too anxious because the thoughts, more often than not, turn into fears. Fear that I will not be able to do what I had planned in my mind. Fear that the obstacles I imagined will be too great for me to hurdle without hurting myself in the process.

All my fears are self-imposed. They have not happened yet. They are not even reality. Yet I feel anxious about them almost everyday, and these anxieties stop me from existing — from living day-to-day. From even falling asleep or breathing normally.

It is an everyday struggle – to not get caught up in the idea of getting to a specific destination that I entirely forget where I am right now.

I have recently gone back to painting. It was a huge step in my recovery process because I was somehow able to overcome my fear and anxiety about just starting. And deliberately selecting the smallest paintbrush, I very slowly applied paint to canvas. The whole process was meant for me to slow down, to live in the now and stop the constant worrying about the future. It certainly helped.

To exist in the now is truly a wonderful thing.

The attached photo is my recently finished oil painting of my flower photograph. Yes, I do photography as well.

The Right Tools for The Right Job

ToolsThat’s right — the “right” (as opposed to the “left”) tools meant for certain jobs DO make that job easier.

Just a couple of weeks ago as I was de-cluttering and cleaning the house, this thought crossed my mind a few times.

While it is absolutely awful of me not to have changed my scouring pad (for pots and pans) for 2 months, I dilly-dallied on purchasing a new one. Why? I was still able to scrub the black soot off of the pot bottoms with the thinning scouring pad, though it took more elbow grease than necessary.

I became so used to exerting maximum effort that I began to believe that I was using the right tool for the job.

So I finally bought the heavy-duty and thick scouring pad just last week and voila! Just a little pressure from my fingers and the soot on the pans held no resistance. OMG! Why did I delay replacing my old thin scouring pad? All I needed was the right tool for the job.

Some of the other “realizations”:

Floor cleaner to mop the floors — an all-purpose cleaner simply doesn’t do as good a job as a cleaner formulated especially for cleaning the floors. Again, for the sake of not having too many products on hand, I used an all-purpose cleaner for the floors for several weeks. Not the same, especially when you have dogs that drool and leave traces of muddy paw prints in their wake.  It also doesn’t do a great job on glass. The glass cleaner was so much better!

A hack saw to “cut” thick branches – our shrub cutter (like humongous scissors) gave my elbow an unpleasant shock. It was just not built for thick sturdy branches full of hefty thorns. I finally decided, after many months of watching a pomelo tree in the back yard grow at the rate of 1 inch per hour (it seemed that way), to buy a proper saw. The hubby sawed away in just a few minutes. Whew! Now our cable TV satellite is no longer obstructed.

Honestly, not all the DIY posts we see on Facebook or Youtube actually work. I’ve tried many. While I try to avoid using too many chemical- based products, some DIY “earth-friendy” products are just not made for certain jobs.

The right medication and treatment for certain medical conditions – definitely no DIY or self-diagnosing here. A 10-session back therapy for lumbar instability (based on an x-ray) and severe back pain was the right tool for the job. All the mentholated patches, hot pads and exercises did not alleviate the pain because it was NOT muscle pain. I just self-diagnosed it as such.

So I think I will just stick with the right tools. They DO make life a little bit easier.

Some people are worth letting go of…

Letting Go Quote

I came across this quote and realized how much this applies to me.

I care about people — my family, relatives, friends, co-workers — especially when much time is spent together, whether at work or at leisurely activities — and especially when life is shared. Sometimes I think I care too much.

Being a very imperfect person, it is not too difficult for me to forgive others their flaws. On the other hand, breach of trust is an issue that is very challenging for me to forgive.

So when relationships have to end (this is excluding my husband and immediate family) — when the time comes where I need to let go of people, no matter the closeness developed — I am deeply hurt. It takes a while for me to recover, often times spiraling down into depression — until I finally realize that I don’t need to keep this person who has deeply offended me in my life.

I am sure they hardly spare a thought for me — so it’s best that I also stop thinking of them and move on. However, our memories don’t simply forget. It is inevitable for us to remember the people, the circumstances, and the feelings associated with them. The point is to let go every time — EVERY TIME.

Like anything that involves our growth and development as a person, it is a process. And I want to celebrate each success — each time I am able to let go of a person I don’t need in my life — every person who just pulls me down. They are not worth it. They are not worth the pain I suffered — so it won’t happen again.

Letting go of people will also open up more space in my heart to let other people in. Love doesn’t stop. Caring doesn’t stop. I just need to learn to discern better.

 

Trauma in Paradise

Lonely Beach

Paradise is a subjective word.

I learned this only recently – very recently.

Paradise for me is no longer just a place. It is being with the people I love – wherever we are.

Though living by the beach for a little less than two weeks would be like living in paradise, or so I thought, it was hell-on-earth for me. I did not know it would be. I would not have ventured out when I did otherwise.

I was lonely. My husband couldn’t be with me for many days as work required him to be in the city. I couldn’t do it. I could not last being with people who claimed to treat me as “family” but made me feel isolated. I could not last being away from my husband anymore.

I basically courted depression and anxiety – the very same conditions I thought would somehow be “eased” once I am surrounded by water and working in what seemed to be “ideal” work conditions. At 48 years old, I still don’t know myself that well.

It’s not the place. It never was. I was too anxious about the future and was blinded by the promise of a better career – and an attractive salary – that I did not stop longer to really think and consider. What do people always say? If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

And I finally saw through it. All this time, I had been listening — hardly talking — and I finally discerned. It helps to just listen. Usually, the more people talk, the more mistakes they make by revealing more of their real motives.

The promises made were as loose as as the fine grains of sand falling between my fingers. True characters were revealed, shattering whatever “good impressions” I may have had. I was lonely. I felt very out of place.

I was very lonely. And I left. I picked up whatever I could carry and headed out to the bus station. I had to leave – for good.

And so now I am home again – with my husband and our 3 dogs. I am still recovering from the trauma.

I will get better. We will get better.

A Rainbow Spells “H-O-P-E”

Rainbow_BagasbasI woke up early this morning to witness a perfectly arched and unbroken rainbow. It was literally “clear as day”.

It rained for several days here by the beach – on and off — like a leaky tap.

So the start of the day was, to say the least, hopeful.

Inundated by depressing and stressful thoughts, and the harsh new realities I face, I could hardly appreciate the Pacific Ocean as I walked past it (I hear its roar every second) for a couple of days. It’s such a waste, really, when I SO looked forward to seeing it everyday.

I looked up for several seconds to stand in awe of that rainbow — to thank God for another day, and a new hope. The rainbow didn’t stay visible for long, but I managed to take a decent photo of it.

For me, that rainbow spelled “HOPE”. Even if that hope is short-lived, it is still hope.

It is hope that will sustain me in the coming days, as I wait for my husband to return.

It is hope that things will get better where I am now.

It is hope that a clear answer will come to our heartfelt prayers.

It is hope that we can let go when necessary — without looking back in regret.

I pray fervently for HOPE. Please, give us hope.

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