I Hate Sales!

business of furniture Aug 07, 2019

I Hate Sales!

The one phrase I hear most often that makes me smile!

 As you read the title of this week’s column, you likely have one of two reactions: “Absolutely, I agree”, or “You’re crazy, I love sales!” And if you know me, you know that I would never say something like this, because I love sales! I couldn’t imagine going through a day without trying to sell something - it’s a part of who I am, in my DNA, and I’m not going to apologize for it. I just can’t help but influence and persuade.

However, I’m amazed at the people that I talk to, or work with, that actually say this phrase and they add to it… “I hate sales and I’ll never be a salesperson.” Well, you may hate it, but it’s what you do. It’s what all of us do on a daily basis, whether we realize it or not.

Think about it for a minute. If you’re a customer service person, you’re working with a client to...

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Keep Reaching for Your Dreams

business of furniture Jul 24, 2019

Keep Reaching for Your Dreams

How setting goals and taking action make dreams possible

If you follow me on social media or happened to read my latest column, you know I’m a huge soccer fan. Over the years, as I’ve watched my daughter play soccer, I’ve fallen in love with the game. If you come to our house for a visit or chat with me on the phone, you can bet we’re going to talk all things soccer! 

So, as you might expect, I was actively following the US Women’s National Team as they played their way to the team’s 2nd consecutive and 4th overall World Cup Championship. In fact, my daughter and I were traveling (to a soccer identification camp – go figure) during the Championship game. As I drove, she watched on our iPad, and the announcers gave us a play-by-play through the car speakers. What a great game! Victory! World Champions, again! We could not be more excited for the team, the country, and what this means for all of women’s...

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Seventh Heaven

business of furniture Jul 11, 2019

Seventh Heaven

 As an industry, we thrive on innovation! New work styles, new products to support the ever changing workplace dynamics, new technologies, and much more. We are always looking for the latest and greatest innovations that will continue to transform our industry and the way we, and our customers, work.

 Innovation is at the core of what we do, and if you made the trip to Chicago for NeoCon 2019, all you had to do was walk in the building to experience how innovative our industry really is. It’s really amazing to think about all the new technologies, products, and services that were shown this year. It’s one of the things that makes working in the Contact Interiors industry very exciting and rewarding.

 The Business Directory defines innovation as “the process of translating an idea into a product or service that creates value, or for which our customers will pay for.” When you think about the innovative products you’ve seen...

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Increasing Your Productivity

business of furniture Jun 26, 2019

Increasing Your Productivity

We all want more time in our day, and to be more productive - at least most of us do! And this is a question I get almost daily from a variety of people, “how can I manage my time better and increase my productivity?”

Productivity is something that we all struggle with. We have a lot to accomplish each day and managing our day is becoming increasingly more difficult, especially with all the distractions and noise around us, including our need to be connected via our social media platforms.

So, how do you increase your productivity? Most people start with a to-do list, which is easy and simple, but it’s also very task focused. However, completing a task is not always an indication that you are productive. You heard that right, checking off items on your to-list does not make you productive, it just means you got things on your list completed. But let’s face it, everyone is focusing on task these days and not true productivity....

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The One Think You Can Count On

business of furniture May 22, 2019

The One Thing You Can Count On

What’s the one thing you can count on?  If you answered “change” - you’re right!  It’s a constant in our lives and especially in our industry.

A few weeks ago, my column focused on change, and how that’s what we actually sell.  Today, I want to share how the change in our industry is impacting each and every one of us - and how, for the most part, we aren’t responding to it.

When you look around our industry, it’s hard not to notice the changes happening. Some of the changes are small and some are pretty major. Typically, we just roll with, we don’t think much about it, and we keep doing what we are doing. And that is the problem.

We sell change to our customers, but we don’t embrace it, much less adapt to it. Think about it for a minute - everything around us is changing - the way we work, what we sell, how we sell it, who sells what, when we sell it, who makes it, who owns...

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We all have a story!

business of furniture May 08, 2019

We all have a story….

It’s true, we all have a story.  We all go through life and experience many different things, and each experience is part of our story, and our story makes us who we are!  The sad part is, most of us don’t share our story. We simply don’t take the time to tell others about our experiences, much less, take the time to listen to to others about their journey.

So today I want to share my story, but it’s not the story you think.  It’s not about my career, my successes, or my failures. It’s not about my company or my clients.  My story is about my daughter, Lucy!

In September of 2017, as a Freshman in High School, Lucy made the varsity soccer team.  She was the only Freshman to make the team and the year was off to a great start! This was an amazing accomplishment for her and one goal was checked off her list.  We were all super proud of her, anxious to see what she would accomplish, and...

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What do you sell?

business of furniture Apr 24, 2019

What Do You Sell?

When you are asked the question, “What do you sell?” how do you answer it?  Most people say they sell “office furniture” or “interior solutions,” while others might say “carpet” or “flooring,” or some other form product that completes an interior space.  While all of this is true, the fact is, we sell products and solutions that help our clients improve or transform their workspace. 

When asked why customers buy, you may get a list of answers that include:  they have a problem to fix, the need something new, or they are growing and need additional places for people to work.  We respond to the needs of our clients, whatever they are, whenever the arise.  We are here to help them!

All of this is accurate, but what we actually sell can be summed up in one word - change!  We sell change!  Think about it - every time you sell a customer a product or service, it’s...

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Color Outside the Lines

business of furniture Apr 09, 2019

It’s Time to Color Outside the Lines

When we were all kids, we were taught to color inside the lines.  To use the guides provided by the coloring book publisher to create our greatest works of art.  In doing so, we were developing hand strength and hand-related fine motor skills.  Certainly this development was important for all of us,  and even for kids today.  But in reality, we were being taught to conform.  If we didn’t color inside the lines, our parents, teacher and even peers would make fun of us - and we’d keep working until we could master the art of coloring inside the lines!

This trend has continued through our adult years.  Adult coloring books are all the rage!  Just Google it and you’ll see - or better yet, walk in to a bookstore and you’ll discover an entire section dedicated to adult coloring books.  These are amazing books, full of beautiful, detailed and complicated designs that challenge us...

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Let's Get Social

business of furniture Mar 27, 2019

Let’s Get Social

How many times today, have you checked your social media accounts?  Be honest! Is it as much as once an hour, or maybe more? According to a report published in 2017 by Global Digital, 42% of the world’s population, approximately 3.2 billion people, use social media, daily!  That’s a 13% increase over the previous year. But the real question is, not do you use it, but how do you use it?

Have you ever asked yourself, “how do I use Social Media?” Or actually watched your behavior to really determine what kind of social media user you are?  According to Top Dog Social Media there are 10 identifiable type of users:  The Listener, The Activist, The Spammer, The Passionista, The Social Butterfly, The Troll, The Influencer, The Early Adopter, The Black Booker and The Family Person.  I’m sure we all fit into at least one of these categories, if not multiple ones.

Let’s examine the 3 that I think are the most...

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Ditch Your Pitch, Tell Your Story

Ditch Your Pitch, Tell Your Story

We’ve all been taught to develop a pitch, in fact, we’ve been told to develop multiple versions of our pitch.  I even have a training module in one of my programs that discusses this topic in detail. There have been countless articles and books written on this topic, as well as videos about how to create a great pitch.  When I Googled “elevator pitch”, I got 38,200,000 results, yes, thirty-eight-million! There is an abundant amount of information, at your fingertips, about how to create, develop and deliver your pitch and I’m sure you have heard other people give their own “elevator pitch.”  It has become part of the fabric of what we do on a daily basis.

The last time someone shared their pitch with you, what did you think?  How did you respond? If you’re like most people, including me, you made a polite comment followed by, “nice to meet you” and then moved on to the...

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