The Keys To Confidence?

Recently I have been speaking to companies, corporations, Associations and individuals about a topic that had not been one that we would publicly speak about. No it’s not sex, drugs, religion or any of the taboo topics.  It’s one that until now, many of us hid…and did it quite well.  The topic is CONFIDENCE and it’s something that many of us struggle with… and many more of us deny we have trouble with.

This morning I was glancing through a magazine that caught my eye.  In the middle of the cover was an article called “The Keys To Confidence”…you can bet I started to thumb through it and hopefully find even more data for this new awareness of this old struggle.  I was completely disappointed as the entire magazine was about losing weight, plastic surgery, dental procedures, eye lifting, butt enhancing and the list goes on. Where will I kind the Keys to Confidence in any of these featured stories and ads? Perhaps it should be called “Where Did I Lose My Keys To Confidence” instead.

What are we doing to ourselves, our daughters, our granddaughters? What about our husbands and sons and grandsons? This issue of the magazine was about gifts to give for the holidays. If your husband came home with a gift certificate for weight loss, I would bet you could release 180 pounds or so by tossing him out the door?  All kidding aside, we are not creating happiness or joy or gratitude or confidence or loving ourselves when we read these magazines. As we get older should we hide the fact that we have lived decades and have the amazing life changes in our faces and bodies to prove it? The children you brought in to the world, the bonus children you inherited by choice, the places you’ve visited, the lives you’ve changed…certainly that accounts for something…doesn’t it?

Today I am without internet service. Who knows why and who knows when it will return. Instead of pouting and doing nothing, I decided to pick up some of the magazines I had put in a pile to read and pull out articles that I could use about programs I want to write and add to.  I guess this magazine was not the right one to start with except it gave me a reason to write a blog post.

It’s time to be kind again. Kind to each other, kind to strangers, kind to those that need our help, kind to our friends, kind to our family but most of all…kind to ourselves. Confidence doesn’t mean photo shopping ourselves to look like a model. It doesn’t mean we look beautiful only after we have plastic surgery or lose weight. It means we look in the mirror and love who is looking back.  Susan Sarandon said it best, “I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less and issue and what you are is the point.”

Go ahead, take a good long look. I don’t know about you but the person you are seeing has the “Keys To Confidence” that you are looking for.

The Value Of Coaching

When I started my company in 2009, one of the first things I did was to understand what I didn’t know how to do. I loved people, I could sell, I wanted to make a difference and always wanted to bring value.  All sounds great so far right? What I didn’t really know how to do was to create a company or a business that would support me in loving people, selling, making a difference and bringing value.

So the first step was knowing what I needed and then realizing I didn’t know what I didn’t know and that is where my business coach came in.  She sat me down and asked me a lot of questions, listened to my goals or dreams and together we worked together to put that in place.  Again, sounds great so far right?  Here’s the REAL truth.  You have to know how to listen to your coach.  They have the experience and expertise. If you had an athletic coach who told you to hit the ball or kick the ball or catch the ball or whatever with the ball and you thought you knew better, where do you think that would end up?  Ok not much different with a business coach.

Everything she told me to do made perfect sense, however, I already knew that, already tried that and was already to dismiss that.  Let me just say that if you asked me what type of person I don’t ever want to coach…it would be the ones that say I’ve done that already, I’ve tried that already and the rest of that nonsense.  During one of my sessions, it was decided that I would write a book.  It wasn’t necessarily my decision as it was never on my radar, but my coach suggested that since I had 30 years of “stuff” in my head, why not organize it and share it with others.  I finally agreed and she told me to have an outline, not the book itself, just an outline completed by a certain date.  I sheepishly agreed and didn’t really give it another thought.  Remember, I knew better…The date came and we were having a session and towards the end she asked me to show her the outline. It was not completed or really, it was not even started.  She was less than happy but very professional.  She didn’t say what she probably wanted to say but she did say this… “Let’s get in the car and drive for a few minutes.  Then let’s open the windows and throw all your money out, roll up the windows and leave.” I thought she had lost her mind and then she finished with “Why are you paying me all this money when you don’t do any of the work? How will your business ever get off the ground? How will people know who you are?  How will you ever make a difference or bring value?”  That was the day I realized how important a coach really is.

The truth is that coaching helps people focus on the things that are contributing to their being stuck, and then move beyond them.  I knew I was stuck in a place that I didn’t recognize and I needed someone who knew better than I did and who was totally objective to move me along. Harvey Mackay said, “Athletes and actors have long hired coaches to help prepare for a specific competition or role. But they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from expert advice. Coaches are available to help people in any field improve their “game.” You see will all need to improve our game…no matter what field that is in.

There are so many reasons to have a coach for your business. Ever think about what qualities you should look for? I put together a Slide Share about this topic.  Here are the highlights and you can go to slideshare.net- 15 Qualities You Should Look For In A Business Coach. You can check it out at https://www.slideshare.net/JHoberman/15-qualities-you-should-look-for-in-a-business-coach.  The highlights are below:

  • FRIENDSHIP Builds a Mutual Relationship based on mutual respect. Look for someone who uses respectful dialogue. This could turn into a life-long friendship. Even though this begins as a business relationship, in order to be truly effective, it generally goes beyond that phase because the coach learns as much from the client as the client learns from the coach.
  • TRUST Not everyone in today’s society has a trusted advisor they can count on. Many people have ulterior motives when they are asked to help someone else. A great coach is someone you can trust and has true interest in your success and reaching your self-declared goals.
  • LISTEN A great coach really understands good listening is often taken for granted. The very best conversations and relationships involve our intentional listening- listening to learn, with a clear and quiet mind, not just waiting for our turn to speak. Listening is a great coach’s gift to their client!
  • INSPIRE A great coach helps create a vision and helps describe it. They will understand your passion and continues to inspire you by reminding you of your original passion and purpose.
  • EXPERIENCE A great coach should have years of experience and speaks your language. Their experience should not only bring an understanding in business, but more importantly, experience with people.
  • GOALS Many times goals are set too low requiring minimal effort to reach them, or too high where it becomes unrealistic to reach them. A great coach helps you set realistic goals that are achievable but requires effort to reach them.
  • MOTIVATION What drives you? What are you looking to achieve? It’s easy to be derailed when your goals aren’t reached quickly enough. A great coach defines your goals and breaks them down into small steps so that you can see successes along the way.
  • ORGANIZED A great coach provides organization & simplification. They help order thoughts and gives a formula for success and help develop a process to achieve whatever you want to accomplish. A great coach customizes the process to align with your needs.
  • CHALLENGE A great coach identifies challenges. Including ones that you may not even see which can prepare you for a smoother outcome. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know!
  • PATH A great coach develops solutions. They help develop a path out of the challenges at hand. A road map that runs interference and provides a clear path to achieve your vision.
  • EXPECTATIONS A great coach is someone who helps guide expectations. They help you to understand your own expectations which tend to be influenced many times with over optimism. Reasonable expectations with early successes, victories and important milestones reached will take away the discouragement many find while navigating a difficult path.
  • GROWTH A great coach ensures your growth by challenging you. They move you out of your comfort zone with necessary steps and actions to achieve your goals and create scenarios and opportunities for you to be well rounded.
  • MEASURE A great coach evaluates your performance. They develop a process that measures your performance. Constantly evaluating your performance with real time feedback gives you the opportunity to learn and trains you to solve your own challenges with a set of effective tools.
  • ACCOUNTABLE A great coach is an accountability partner. For your self-declared goals, a coach will provide constructive feedback so that you can achieve what you set out to do. You are less likely to hold yourself fully accountable if you don’t share your goals with someone that is a trusted and objective partner.
  • SUPPORT A great coach is supportive. They are always there for support even when there may not be anyone else that can see, believes in, or supports your vision.

Remember, Coaching is the universal language of change and learning.

Getting Your Message Out

When you start a new business, one of the first things you do is to create a product or service that is ideal for your target market.  You set the price, you have the features and benefits and you are ready to rock and roll.  Until you realize that you don’t know how to let your target market know that you have the solution that they need.  It’s like having to ends pulling in opposite directions…you have what they need and they need what you have…so what’s next?

When I first started my company in 2009, I did not know one person in Dallas, other than the people that worked in the company I just resigned from…not necessarily the best people to share my message with.  I had to figure out how I could let people know what I was doing, why I was doing it and with whom I wanted to share it with.  So of course we always go back to basics and that is identifying your target market.  Ok that’s done…now what?  I could call everyone I knew and let them know but… I just finished saying I didn’t know anyone in Dallas and thought I should start with a model close to home first.  My first option was to network and meet people…and I did…lots of people of course I networked anywhere and everywhere and 90% of the people I met were not my ideal target…but I did meet people and they did know people so that was working somewhat.

I also hired a business coach and of course, since I knew better, I didn’t really listen to all her brilliant suggestions…until she called me out and asked why didn’t I just roll down my windows in my car and throw money out of them since that’s what I was basically doing with my coaching sessions.  She would suggest, I would resist.  She would suggest, I would ignore.  It was a wonderful cha cha…and that did continue for a bit until I was not seeing anyone want to do anything with me or my business and couldn’t understand why.  So I asked my coach and she laughed and said ok now are you ready to listen?

She told me I needed to do two things to share my message in a wider circle but not stop doing the things I was already doing.  You have to build wide not high to spread your name. So along with all the things I was actively doing in Dallas like networking and doing 1:1 connections, writing articles etc.  I also decided to add speaking to my activities.  Of course I wasn’t going to be able to demand big speaker fees since no one knew me, I had to keep my eyes on the goal…getting my name out.  I started speaking at every Chamber, Rotary, Women’s organizations and any place that would have me.  Each time I spoke, I not only met people but I also perfected my talk so that it was more focused, relevant and valuable to the audience.

The other thing my coach told me to do, was to write a book…that was NEVER on my radar and again our dance continued until I finally cried “Uncle” and promised to give it a shot. It took me about 6 months to write the book and the first printing of 750 books was delivered to me at a conference where I was the keynote speaker on a stage of almost all men, to a group of almost 4,000.  The books sold out and I had people ordering them online and it was awesome.

Now, when you ask people about Judy Hoberman, many know me.  When you ask about Selling In A Skirt…most know my company and my message.  A lot of time and hard work was needed…of course had I listened sooner, who knows how much time might have been cut out of the equation.

So what are some ways to get your business and your name known?  Well, for starters I would try to get myself entrenched locally…again, use it as a template and see what works or doesn’t instead of jumping on a plane only to realize, you should have tried it locally first. Here are a few suggestions…

  1. It’s all about relationships. Whether it’s with business owners, CEOs, Presidents of companies or other entrepreneurs…build the relationship before you need it.  I realize you need it now, but not with everyone at the same time. While you’re at it, start developing relationships with local reporters. Do you know how valuable you can be to a reporter? You are a new business, or an existing one.  You are in the community and you might have some valuable insight into a story they are working on.  Or perhaps you can bring a story to them.  Trust me, reporters look for people that have a story that is interesting or intriguing and….most importantly show up. Once you do, and they know they can count on you…you become a favorite.  I am on a radio show in Oregon every month as a business contributor.  Why? Because we talk about things that are interesting to HIS audience.
  2. How about local newspapers or magazines? Why not be a contributor there?  Any idea what happens when you are published?  You are now the expert in your space and you can become a regular contributor.  Once you get one article published, you can use that as a resource for others.
  3. Ever thought about winning an award or being on a local list? You know the newspapers and magazines I just mentioned?  They run contests, awards and produce lists of the best of the best…if you don’t have anyone to nominate your business, do it yourself.  Remember, the goal is to get your name out there so find an award or list that reflects your area of expertise.  I was recently named Mentor of the Year from The Women of Visionary Influence here in Dallas.  I was nominated without me even knowing about it and was truly honored.
  4. Network with intention. Yes, you can go to every event and meet lots of people and yes those people know people but…it might be a better move to network with your target audience or your strategic partners.  I would rather have 5 qualified networking events a month than one a day that is truly non-productive.  Can I just say, been there, done that and bought the T-shirt…many times over?
  5. Relationships are not just with people that you are hoping will share your name and brand. They should also be with your clients. Think about what a happy client will do.  They will give you referrals and testimonials.  They will keep coming back and bringing their friends.  They will want everyone to have the same incredible experience with your company as they did. This does not happen the first time you do something great and they buy something from you.  That is the beginning.  The follow-up is the most important part of the sale. Many times clients will be excited to be at the ground-floor with a new business.  You get to let them in on what’s coming next and when they know you are trying to build your company, depending on the experience they have had with you, they will either help you or go running into the hills. Let them know that you are there for the long-haul and nurture those relationships.

Remember, the customer’s perspective is your reality.

What Would You Do-Over?

I was thinking about some of the things that have happened in my life, both the amazing and the not so much fun times.  I started daydreaming about the woulda, coulda, shoulda ways the outcome might have been different and realized that things happen just as they are supposed to and that everything we do has a lesson attached to it…but what if we got a second chance to change things? What if we were able to take some of the adversities we go through and turn them around and what if we had a Do-Over?

When we think about fairy tales, everyone lives happily ever after…but even fairy tales have adversity…the poison apple, the lost shoe, being locked in the tower…. That is something that every one of us has to go through at some point in our lives. Will it create us to feel broken or damaged? Will it make us feel stuck? Will it define who we are?  What if we decided that we are going to overcome this situation and perhaps look at it from a different perspective?  Is it possible to step outside of your situation and think about the advice you would give to that person going through it?  Of course, we are our own worst critics and as a coach, I can see clearly what’s going on in someone else’s life…but the truth is that I’m just too close to what’s going on in mine to step outside of it. And sometimes, you can’t even put into words what is happening in your life. Ever feel like that?

When I was working in my corporate position, I knew I wasn’t in the right situation.  I loved part of what I did but what I didn’t love definitely outweighed the positive.  I knew there were changes that needed to be made but wasn’t sure what, how, when it would or could happen.  When I decided to think about me for just a few hours, I listened to someone, who later became my business coach, speak to a group of women.  Her message was “Get Radical” and although I am a child of the bra burning, pants-suit wearing feminist’s era, getting radical and being radical was not on my bucket list. However, it was as though she spoke directly to me in this crowd of women and I knew that I could get out of my situation and start over…again.  I had started over for other reasons in my life, but this was going to be a doozy.  Let’s just say, I’m like a cat and land on my feet, but this time felt different.  The first thing I had to do was emotionally detach myself from my situation.  Sounds easy right?  Well here are some ways to do just that:

~Accept what is going on-the more you fight, the more you lose.  Why stay in a situation that will eventually cause you more suffering, whether it is emotionally, financially or physically.   What the key is in the situation is not getting rid of it, it’s how you react to it. Remember life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it.

~Try and look at this as a positive thing-As much as we don’t want to admit it, going through adversity can actually be a good thing.  As I said, every situation you go through should give you some lessons to take you forward.  If everything was easy breezy, don’t you think life would be just a little boring?  I know we wish for boring some times, but the challenges we face bring us to understanding just how great it is to get beyond the challenges.

~Keep your purpose alive-If you lose your purpose and passion, adversity wins. Remember why you started doing what you are doing.  Remember who and what brought you to the dance and remember that the outcome is bigger than the present situation you are going through.

And finally

~Remember your personal board of directors-make sure that the people that are around you, can guide you away from the adversity you are going through.  You cannot and should not try to do things by yourself.  When you choose staying in bed with your blankets over your head rather than facing the situation head on, you are destined to go enter that downward spiral.

Let’s admit that life has its ups and downs and as we all know and have been taught, that what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger . Sometimes the challenges we go through seem to last much longer than we had hoped for but that shouldn’t mean we give up and accept defeat.  It just means that there could be a second chance heading our way that gives us an opportunity to begin again. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that you get to have a complete do-over and rectify your mistakes.  But it does mean you have the chance to look at ways to make different choices and try it again. Taking that second chance may just give you back some of the confidence you lost or see things in a different light or maybe even defy all odds.  Sometimes life gives you a second chance because maybe the first time you weren’t ready.

When I go back through my life and think about all the different challenges I faced, it’s a wonder I am still standing and smiling.  As a single mom for 19 years, I had the challenge of supporting my children emotionally and financially.  I did not have the luxury of not succeeding.  It was my job to create an environment where they were loved, nurtured and had the ability to succeed.   My motivation were my children.  In fact, people laugh when I tell them that on my desk, where I made my calls to schedule my insurance appointments, were pictures of my children and their tuition bills…nothing more motivating than that.

I also had one hand tied behind my back because I added to my own situation when I was the only woman in my company and I was a commission based salesperson.  You see, I chose my career.  I chose to do what I did and how I did it.  I chose to make things happen.  We all make choices and whether or not some of our adversities are because of choices we had made or not, again, it’s how we are prepared for battle.  I relied on believing in myself, my family, my friends and my faith that I would get over that enormous challenge and be successful…whatever my definition is.  As Zig Ziglar said, “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful”. A little background music can add to that as well J

Making Your Sales Relationship Into A Selling Relationship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Your Sales Relationship Into A Selling Relationship

Building relationships requires time, effort and patience. It requires a strategy unique to each situation and prospect. It doesn’t mean developing a shrewd approach to ingratiate yourself with your prospects. If your approach is not heartfelt, it won’t work because people can see through a phony attitude. Successful companies and salespeople are service oriented with one goal in mind…getting the best and most for their money.

I’m sure most everyone is familiar with Southwest Airlines.  Their focus is on building relationships and customer service and oh, by the way, they also fly airplanes!

 

Many salespeople go right into promoting their product or service as soon as they get the prospects attention instead of focusing on the relationship.

Most successful salespeople are relationship focused rather than sale focused.  This is important before, during and after the sale.

 

Some things to remember:

  1. Listen more than you talk. This is the key to building relationships. Jeffrey Gitomer said this so eloquently~ “You will never listen yourself out of a customer.”
  2. Stop talking and ask questions-Asking questions begins the relationship, listening cements it
  3. Be generous with your time even before you make a sale. Treat them “as if” give them valuable information, give them referrals to their business and send a handwritten thank you…even without a sale
  4. Use tools to stay in touch- detailed notes you can refer to i.e. new baby, wedding, new home. You would be surprised how you stand out of the crowd just by asking how their vacation was or how the wedding was or in one case for me, remembering that the reason the original appointment was rescheduled was because a new floor was being put down
  5. Touch people without selling them i.e. congrats on an award, google alert or even a great article that reminded you of them. It’s not always about selling to them.
  6. Be consistent, persistent and professional. You want to be remembered for the right reasons

 

Selling is about building relationships. This cannot be said enough.

Did you know that it costs 5x more to get a new customer than to keep an existing customer? Translation=there is value in long term relationships-they turn into repeat buyers and become your walking ambassadors. Businesses don’t do business; people do business. Don’t miss out on the opportunities to develop relationships with a prospect because you are too focused on your sales pitch…Research confirms that companies and individuals who work hard at building and maintaining strong business relationships consistently outperform those who do not.

Remember always to Be Interested and not Interesting

 

 

It’s The Little Things That Count

little things
Here’s the scenario….you are in a restaurant way out of town. You have no connections or relationships there yet you are treated as if you have been going there forever…
The Colonel and I decided to get out of town for the weekend. We headed northwest to a little town in Oklahoma….ok some of you are already rolling your eyes thinking of me in Oklahoma….but, it was a cute and quaint town and resort.
The first night for dinner, we went into the resort restaurant and wanted a glass of wine. Well, the choices were limited and I’m not a wine connoisseur so when we were told that most weren’t available, I went to the bar with Kitty, our waitress. She was very apologetic that there wasn’t enough of one kind for the two of us. I told her we would have different wines and no worries. I went back to the table and told the colonel and he too was fine. Kitty did find us enough of one kind, not our first or second choice, and thanked us for being patient. She did ask us what kind we would have wanted if available from the choices at the bar and we told her.
We had dinner, the food was good and we drank our glass of wine and left.
The second night, we went back to the restaurant and had our same table, and guess what? Kitty was waiting for us with a bottle of wine and glasses, and it was the kind we said we would have wanted. She didn’t know us or even sure we would show up, but she was ready…just in case.
We were flattered and told her how amazing she was. She has a huge smile and thanked us…she thanked us rather than thinking we should be thanking her.  We did over and over again and she came and checked on us numerous times and I know not only did she make our night, we made hers.
Being in Oklahoma was special because I was there with the colonel but also because it’s the little things that change your life….and I think she felt it as well.

 

It’s All About Relationships

This past year, I have been featured on Fox Business News radio so many times and of course, I have my favorite stations and hosts.  When I get my list of stations at 5am, I always look to see if I’ve been on their stations before and if we have a relationship built or if it’s a new station and it’s time to begin a new relationship.
You can always tell when I’ve been on a station multiple times because there is that ease and comfort and maybe even some bantering back and forth.  Many times the host will say something that he/she remembered about our last encounter….it’s all about relationships.
As many of you know, my second book, Famous Isn’t Enough, Earning Your Fortune As An Entrepreneur”,  is ready to be launched and I’m super excited about sharing some lessons learned, and trust me there are LOTS to share.  I contacted one of my favorite hosts because I wanted to send her a copy.
She and I have built a wonderful relationship over the past year and I value her opinion and friendship.  Guess what?  She asked if I would be on her show to talk about my new book?  So please give a listen to my friend and fav, Mary Jones on The Talk of Connecticut as she dives into my book!
It’s all about relationships!
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Study: Can men or women tolerate more pain?

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Sometimes I have to laugh at the studies that are done that make the news. Many times though, these studies are just updates from previous ones and sometimes they think they are making an old study current. In any case, this particular study about who tolerates more pain is definitely an oldie but a goodie….depending on where you sit. My personal opinion is that men are stronger physically in most cases and women are not afraid to admit when something hurts…ok study complete.

Truthfully though, when this topic does come up, the first thing that both men and women will bring up is childbirth. And this study (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that male researchers are behind this study, and I want to see the science behind this one.)

If men had to go through childbirth, I can promise you there would be a lot more single-child families on the planet!

What do you think? -> http://www.wwl.com/pages/14702207.php?contentType=4&contentId=11767803

Selling In A Skirt: A Review

Sometimes opportunities come to you in the most incredible ways.  A woman was at a meeting and was talking about me to another member.  A third woman heard the conversation and asked for my information.  That woman gave my information to yet another woman who contacted me and asked if I would speak at a conference in California.  Do you have the flow chart in your mind yet?

The conference was for Women Construction Owners & Executives and it was truly amazing.  The attendees were fabulous and the wealth of knowledge in that room….priceless.

Within that group of professionals were a few men, also amazing and eager to learn among this sea of women.  One of the men bought my book and read it, passed it along and from there I received this wonderful review.  Are you as exhausted as I am trying to keep up with this chain???

In any event, opportunities don’t always come in a bow.  I am grateful for someone taking the time to read and review my book and to share his thoughts in the Company’s magazine.  I am proud to share it here and look forward to other opportunities to unravel.

You can read his Review here (PDF download).

Happy Selling!

Commitment

According to dictionary.com, commitment is defined as: a pledge or promise; obligation.  We all have made commitments and try our best to keep them.

The other day I was watching a form of commitment that gave new meaning to the word.  I wanted to share this with you. From my back door you can see trees, flowers, my pool and lots of birds.  I have an outdoor fan that has blades that are not flat, not perpendicular to the ground, but somewhere in between. Seems like a great place for a bird to build a nest, except that even though the blades are wide enough, they are slanted so that if anything is placed on them, it will fall off.  However, I have a momma bird that is determined to build a nest on the blade….and I watch.  She goes back and forth from the rose bush to the fan, from the crepe myrtle to the fan, from the tree branches to the fan.

Back and forth carrying one tiny piece at a time.  Placing it ever so gently on the blade.  Sometimes three or four pieces stay on the blade and then it all falls down.  But, she doesn’t give up because she  knows that she made a promise to her unborn babies that they will have a place to nest and so she continues. We all know the ending to the story….she needed to move on and find another safe place for her family.

I was quite impressed by this “I’m not giving up” attitude of this tiny bird.  It made me think about people giving up on their promises or businesses giving up on their obligations.  I too have thought of throwing my  hands up because something was too difficult or I didn’t see how it made sense to continue.  And then I think of this tiny bird dragging branches larger than she in order to fulfill her commitment.

Here are some simple principles on commitment in business:

  1. Commitment to a set of values, principles or beliefs
  2. Commitment to oneself
  3. Commitment to your customer
  4. Commitment to results
Happy Selling!