The Most Powerful Sales Tool You Need to Start Using Today!

business of furniture Jul 21, 2021

The Most Powerful Sales Tool You Need to Start Using Today!

Sales have changed — forever! Read that again. 

Sales have changed permanently and forever. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at a few facts.

Cold calling is ineffective, if not dead completely. In fact, the success rate of true cold calls is less than 2%, and the success rate of cold emails is less than 3% — so simply put, only 2-3 people out of 100 will actually respond to these methods. And that does not guarantee they’ll actually engage beyond that, much less convert to a sale.

You’re also no longer allowed to simply walk into a building with a stack of catalogs and business cards, going door-to-door passing them out to get the contact info of a buyer. From now on, you’ll have to have an appointment to even get in the building. Always. And to add to all of that — there’s a very high probability that the decision-maker will not be in the office, but working...

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In-Person Events Are Back, Now What?

business of furniture Jun 30, 2021

In-Person Events Are Back, Now What? 

It’s been a long time coming, but in-person events are finally back! For some people, it’s been over 15 months since they’ve been able to go to an event, meet up with friends, connect with new people, and network.  Although it’s been great to meet people virtually and stretch some new social muscles I didn’t know I had from a distance, there is just something special seeing people face-to-face. As an extrovert and somewhat serial networker, I have sincerely missed these activities, and I’m super excited they are back!

The return of these events means the return of networking, and while not everyone is a fan of networking, it’s a critical activity to grow your business, find a new job, and develop meaningful relationships in business. In fact, according to a recent article published by Apollo Technical, “80% of professionals find networking essential to their career success, and almost...

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Is the Lunch-N-Learn Dead?

Uncategorized Jun 16, 2021

Is the Lunch-N-Learn Dead?

One of the most coveted meetings to get with an A&D Firm has always been a Lunch-N-Learn. To get on the calendar with the major firms, you have to schedule these events way in advance —

sometimes starting in January, to ensure you get your spot. These important meetings historically gave you the opportunity to meet with key specifiers for almost an hour and share your latest and greatest products with them.

To prepare for these meetings when I was in sales, we’d spend hours getting ready, preparing our presentation, making sure we had the product samples necessary, enough brochures or fabric samples. We’d spend hundreds of dollars on the right food and drink and coordinating the delivery or pick up. We’d make sure the event was as perfect as it could be — this was the moment for us to shine. This was the face-to-face opportunity we’d been waiting on, sometimes for months, and we always wanted to make sure it was a...

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What I learned without meaning to: Lessons from a 2021 graduate's dad

Uncategorized May 26, 2021

What I learned without meaning to: Lessons from a 2021 graduate's dad

I’ve been anticipating the month of May 2021 for some time, and not always with a good, excited anticipation. I knew it was going to be a challenging and emotional month for many reasons, but I’m also excited for the new beginnings it has created. 

As I write this column, we are about halfway through Spring Breakout 2021! What a great event this roadshow has been for so many reasons. I’ve met amazing new people, developed meaningful relationships, eaten some great food, had some good laughs, interacted more than I have in the last 12 months combined, and a bit of fun along the way. If you haven’t been able to join us yet, don’t miss the opportunity to come hang out with us at the Merchandise Mart on Wednesday, June 2nd!

But today, I’m headed home to spend the weekend with my family and then rejoin the group in a few days. I’m headed home to celebrate my daughter and...

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A New Business Development Strategy

business of furniture May 12, 2021

A New Business Development Strategy

Almost every day, business leaders and salespeople ask me about new, creative ways to find leads, develop opportunities, and build relationships with potential clients. Now more than ever, it can be challenging to reach prospects, especially since most of them are still working from home.

However, business is happening and companies are making decisions about office space, furniture, and making plans for their employees to return to the office. As we’ve all experienced, traditional methods of outreach and networking are not as easy in a virtual world. I’ve written a lot about social selling and things you can do using LinkedIn and other on-line tools, and I hope you are implementing some of these strategies and seeing good results.

But today, I want to share with you how I respond to the question about new leads and why you need to embrace new strategies for today’s market. My answer is one word — Clubhouse! Yes, you need...

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Lessons in Leadership from Ted Lasso

business of furniture May 05, 2021

Lessons in Leadership from Ted Lasso

Back in March, my family and I had the opportunity to take a mini vacation to the Grand Canyon.  What an amazing place to visit — the perfect Spring Break getaway after a year of being at home. On this trip, I met Ted Lasso, an English Premier League soccer coach for AFC Richmond. 

But here’s the thing, Ted is not a real, live human being — he’s a fictional character on AppleTV’s, Ted Lasso, that debuted last October, and I got the pleasure of meeting him while on vacation.

Now, if you know and follow me, you know I don’t watch a lot of TV... in fact, I hardly watch it at all. If I have down time like that, I’m usually reading, listening to a podcast, or just hanging out with my family. But a couple of weeks before our trip, I was chatting with a friend and he shared this series with me, and I decided that while we were traveling, I’d watch it and give myself a break from professional...

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What Did I Learn Today?

business of furniture Apr 14, 2021

What Did I Learn Today? 

If you follow me, you know I’m an avid learner. I’m always exploring new ideas, ways to improve, new processes, new tools and resources. I learn in a variety of ways, including listening to podcasts, reading, taking online courses, attending seminars, and joining in the conversations on Clubhouse. Learning and growing is something that is part of my daily activity, and though absorbing and retaining tons of information in a short period of time may not be the best learning method for every individual, everyone should focus on growth at some point throughout each day and at a minimum, during at least once each    week. 

A few days ago, I came across a very informative article and wanted to share some insights with you (my learning and thoughts) on the information it provided, in order to support you on your learning and growth journey. Remember, learning is a journey, not a race — there's no finish line with growth. If...

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Don’t be part of the 80% — Stay the course

business of furniture Mar 31, 2021

Don’t be part of the 80%  — Stay the course

If you are like most people, me included, in January of this year, you made a few New Year’s Resolutions and set some personal and professional goals for the upcoming year. For the first time in many years, I really enjoyed the process of goal setting for this year. Why? Because with the help of my coach, I developed a lot of clarity around what I wanted to accomplish this year. But it was not an easy task, it took a lot of work to get my goals mapped out and a plan in place to ensure I would stay on task and accomplish the goals set before me — but staying the course is the harder part of this process.

Based on recent studies, we are at the time of the year that almost 80% of people give up on their goals for the year. The timing of giving up goals 3-4 months into the year can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including the fact that many goals might be too big — too aspirational and not focused...

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Best Practices to Successfully Manage Remote Employees

business of furniture Mar 17, 2021

Best Practices to Successfully Manage Remote Employees

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of industry leaders about the best practices to manage remote employees. As we well know, our clients are currently evaluating their workforce strategy, deciding how to structure their teams, and implementing what return to work looks like for their unique situation. The fact is, all businesses are facing these tough decisions right now — and at the center of this discussion is how to manage moving forward, especially if managing remote teams is a brand new practice. 

Managing remote teams can be difficult for many business leaders to answer, because they’ve never been faced with this challenge before. Throughout my time in leadership positions over the last 15+ years, most of what I’ve done is manage and lead remote teams — and let me tell you, it’s not always easy. I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, but at the same time,...

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The Power of Intention

business of furniture Mar 03, 2021

The Power of Intention

What is an intention? It’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot lately. But what is it really?  Intention is defined as having something in mind such as a plan, purpose, or an action to take, and intentions can be very powerful. Intentions should be focused and connected to something you are doing or some overarching goal you want or need. 

When setting intentions, leave any fears you have behind and hold yourself accountable for your planned intention. These are not like goals, they are simply used to help you change your mindset and switch from negative thinking to positive. You can also use them as food for your brain — good food! If you set your focus on being intentional, your brain will filter through all the other clutter at the moment and help you focus and achieve the intentions you’ve set! That’s why setting intentions are so powerful. Remember, your brain is always searching and filtering, and you’re...

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