Posts Tagged ‘Self Improvement’

Are You Ready to Face Your Daily Mirror Reflection?

Each day probably most of us look into the mirror.  We look to see if the hair is cut perfectly, the makeup is neat, the teeth are clean and white. Yet we don’t see what we really need to see during this daily mirror reflection exercise.

What we fail to see is how much we actually like or better yet love ourselves.  No, I am not talking about the narcissistic type of love, but rather a love for our own individuality. How can others like or even love us when we don’t like or love ourselves?

This question about do you really like or love yourself is one asked by one of my colleagues many years ago during a keynote presentation.  I continue to share this question with my clients especially after one assessment, the Attribute Index, reveals a lack of clarity regarding their internal self.

Accepting who we are is essential for personal and professional self improvement.  This is so true in sales where people buy you, the salesperson first, before they buy your company, your solution, your price or your delivery.

Many of us may remember Sally Field saying upon accepting the Oscar “You really like me.”  I wonder if she really liked herself when she made that statement?  When we like ourselves, we are less concerned if others like us.  We know and accept that not everyone will like us.  Their not liking us does not hold us back from taking future actions.

Being truly comfortable in our own skins is another way of saying we like ourselves.  We accept others may be better looking, more socially connected, even wealthier. However, what others have or don’t have is not our own litmus test for measuring our own success.  We recognize there is always more self improvement growth, but that growth should be in alignment with our own purpose, plans and passion not what others value.

We measure our success by loving what we see in that daily mirror reflection. If you don’t like or love what you see, then I can only suggest discovering what is keeping you from liking or loving yourself.


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Great Salespeople Make Selling Look Easy

Ever wonder why so many people are venturing into being solo entrepreneurs or SMB owners?  Beyond the obvious advantage of being your own boss, my sense is these folks have witnessed great salespeople who make selling look easy.

great-salespeopleJust hop over to LinkedIn and scan a few profile summaries.  Immediately you will see a difference between those who understand sales and those who think they understand sales.

Sales is simple.  Someone called a buyer has a want or need and someone else called a seller has a product or service to fit that want or need. Pretty easy, well not so much so.

Social selling has only reinforced this notion that selling is easy.  Sure you can buy Twitter followers or make a zillion posts on Facebook and when you measure the results, what do you discover?

People buy from people they know and trust. To create that knowing and trusting persona takes time, energy, money and emotions. Great salespeople are willing to make those investments.

Just as in leadership, great sales people are made not born. They develop over time.  These forward thinking sales leaders are self directed toward continuous improvement themselves by honing their knowledge, talents and sales skills.

Through the years I have had the opportunity to meet truly great salespeople who understood “sales is the transference of feelings.” (Zig Ziglar). From them I learned what to do and what not to do.

My sense of selling is authentic, laid back and I have crystal clarity as to who my ideal target market is.  Yes some of my clients do not fit my ideal customer profile, however over time more often than not they do grow into that role.

If you want to have sales success, then look to follow, listen and learn from those who have sales success. Be willing to accept their is no quick fix for sales success and you will be nearly half way to your own success.


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Begin Today to Expand Your Sales Opportunities

Every day is a new day and a day filled with incredible sales opportunities.  The only limitation is your beliefs that restrict your actions.



Of course to take advantage of all those sales opportunities may require some pre-advanced or predetermined thinking.  These reflective thoughts support your ongoing efforts for clarity.

Much is written about what makes for a successful salesperson.  After some 40 years in sales, collaborating with other successful sales people and just observing sales behaviors in general, I truly believe all top sales performers have this one trait among all others:


They gain this clarity by the following supporting actions:

  • They have a plan for sales growth
  • They know their ideal customer
  • Their marketing message is extremely directed and focused
  • They continually work to hone their sales skills through ongoing self-improvement
  • They leverage their reach by establishing communities
  • They invest time to know their numbers
  • They do not seek the quick fix

All of these actions reinforce and work with gaining new sales opportunities.

Have you consider to change your results, your must change your beliefs and therefore your actions?

Questions To Ask Yourself Each Morning

What would happen if you asked yourself just these three questions each morning?

  1. What is the one action I have postponed taking?
  2. What is the one action I must take today?
  3. What one person can I make smile today?

Questions to Ask Yourself Each Evening

Then before you close your office door for the day, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Did I take that one postponed action?
  2. How did I feel by taking action?
  3. Did I take that one must do action today?
  4. What where the results from that action?
  5. Who did I make smile today?
  6. Why was that important for that person?

Years ago a colleague said “We drive by more sales than we will ever have.” Today, I believe “We drive by more sales opportunities than we will ever have because we fail to stop the car.”

CLICK HERE to schedule a brief call with Leanne to discover how you can generate more sales opportunities.

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Stop, Take a Step Back and Gain Clarity Around Your Purpose

So what’s your purpose if you are in sales, leadership or some other role?  People are so busy working IN their lives, they fail to stop and take a step back to work ON their lives.



When we understand our individual purpose, we gain clarity and this supports us as we move intentionally forward.

Isn’t it funny we use words all the time and think we know what they mean?  Take the word purpose. This word has Latin roots but is viewed as an Anglo-French word of “purpos” meaning intention, aim or goal.

This definition of intention, aim or goal makes sense when we remember the scene in the story Alice in Wonderland as she comes across the Cheshire Cat sitting in the tree. Below the tree are several paths.

She politely asks the Cat “Which path should I take?” The Cat then replies with a question: “Where are you going?”  Alice answers:  “I do not know.”  So the Cat quickly responds: “Well, then any path will take you there.

Alice lacked clarity around her intention, her aim or her goal.  This lack of clarity ended up, if you remember the story line, with her unintentionally attending the croquet game where the Queen of Hearts was yelling “Off with their heads.”

Not knowing your aim in life may have you ending up in a similar nightmarish situation.

So where does this step backward start?  Schedule some time in your calendar to reflect.  Travel back through your life and see if there is any recurring theme specific to your behaviors.

Also, this secondary question of “What gifts do I bring to the Table of Life?” may further assist you to gain greater clarity. Your gifts many times are your talents.

If your life is not where you want it to be, if your results are not where you want them to be and you are tired of encountering the Queen of Hearts, then invest some time for self-improvement by constructing your purpose.

Don’t know your talents, then this quick (under 10-12 minutes) assessment may be your second step forward.

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Your Kaizen Action Plan to Increase Sales Is…?

One of the most popular Internet search terms for my website is “action plan to increase sales.”  In reading the book Managing in a Time of Great Change by Peter Drucker, he refers to the Japanese term “kaizen” and explains it as continuous self-improvement.  How many professional salespeople have such a plan?

action-plan-to-increase-salesFrom my early college days, I adapted the old Bingo Sheet and revised it to a quarterly goal sheet. I would write down my goals and then monitor the results each quarter. One of my personal goals was to get married by my 40th birthday and stay married for a minimum of 25 years. I achieved the married part of that goal 2.5 months early and my husband and I have made it past 25 years as a married couple.

With my clients, I use this Bingo Sheet as a recap of significant business and personal goals.  These goals are taken from more detailed one page action plans for both their business and personal lives. For most the focus is usually on sales. However for some of my more forward thinking clients, they actually work several one page actions plans.

Any action plan to increase sales is indeed about self improvement and is supported by other areas of personal and professional development.  One cannot be knowledgeable about the industry without improving one’s mentality acuteness.

Another gem I have learned over the years is the importance of writing significant goals down.  When I write now what I call WAY SMART goals down, I gain greater clarity because I am truly reflecting upon where I want to go and how I am going to get there.  This action is so simple and yet extremely powerful.

The year is almost half over.  If you aren’t happy with your results, then consider investing some time to create your own Kaizen Action Plan to Increase Sales. Instead of asking yourself

“What do I have to lose? Ask yourself what may I gain?”

CLICK HERE to schedule 30 minutes to speak with Leanne

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Where Many in Sales Are Missing Sales – Part 2

This is the second part of a two part series.

Beyond missing sales because of a lack of due diligence as well as seeking the quick sale, there are other sales gaps.


#3 Missing Sales Gap

#4 Missing Sales Gap

The role of Captain Wing It resurfaces again in marketing.  By not having a clear and emotionally compelling message directed to ideal clients, marketing activities such as business to business networking, social media, website and even business cards become far less effective. Sharing at a business to business networking luncheon, that anyone with a pulse is your best sales referral only reflects your lack of knowledge.

#5 Missing Sales Gap

Self improvement also is required to increase sales.  People buy from people they know and trust.  Your own knowledge of the industry, the local economy, etc. reaffirms that you are “on top of things.”

As noted in Part 1, from my experience many realtors had not read or were not aware of The Danger Report. This very intensive research on residential and commercial real estate here should have been read by all forward thinking real estate salespeople as part of their own self improvement.

Those who earn their living by selling products or services must be on a continued path of self improvement. Reading industry books to business books to other publications deepens the knowledge of the salesperson.

Years ago one of my colleagues, Doug Brown, made this statement:  We as salespeople drive by more business than we will ever have.

Doug is correct.  Each day salespeople are missing sales because they fail to do what they need to do. The good news is all salespeople have the opportunity to increase sales provided they close at least these five sales gap.

Want better results?

CLICK HERE to reserve your time to speak with me.

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No Cluelessness in Real Estate Sales Is Not a Youth Thing – Part 1

Yesterday on another social media site, a colleague asked why real estate agents do not leave business cards when showing a home.  A younger real estate agent asked this question: Why does it matter in real estate sales in leaving a business card?  He then stated his reasoning for not leaving a business card.


#1 – The listing agent should have electronic documentation on who has set a showing for the day. Follow up is a mouse click away. 

#2 – If the owner of the home is concerned someone didn’t show the house then he or she should talk to your listing agent. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if they showed your house or didn’t if there’s no offer to buy.

#3 – Maybe this is a youth thing,  but business cards cost me money. If I’m handing them out I should be receiving business. What’s the rational of dropping something that costs money in a scenario that will not produce any money from that action?

As we are currently relocating to another state and our house is up for sale, I found this posting extremely insightful about real estate sales and selling in general.  For solo-entrepreneurs, independent contractors as in real estate or SMB owners, there is still a lot of “cluelessness” in sales.

What first grabbed my attention was his third point number “business cards cost me money. If I’m handing them out I should be receiving business.”

That is full blow scarcity mentality and probably the quickest way never to increase sales.  Business cards are marketing.  For those selling in B2C or B2B, business cards are the cheapest real estate outside of social media.

From my perspective I hand out business cards to attract attention and ultimately build relationships, not to receive business. I have no expectation of a sale when I share a business card.  The sales process is time driven because it takes time for those sales leads or potential sales referrals to get to know and trust you as a salesperson.

Last year, the National Association of Realtors published a report entitled “The Danger Report.” This report is broken down into five sections with the first section focusing on real estate agents.  The number one danger is:

“The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.”

In speaking with an executive of the local real estate association here in Northwest Indiana, he shared with me his surprise of how many real estate agents have not read this report.  Less than 10% of the realtors I know were even aware of the report.  This cluelessness returns back to a deep knowledge gap as well as a significant self-improvement gap.

Bottom line in real estate sales, always have business cards on you and be willing to share them especially if you are showing a home.

Tomorrow’s posting will look at the second reason about “no offer to buy” while Friday’s will address the first reason.

Want more real estate sales, more time and less stress?

CLICK HERE to reserve a time to speak with me.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver for leaders who desire a Forward Thinking Sales Culture. She supports executive leadership in bridging the sales culture gap of people and processes that restricts SMB sales results. If you want to increase sales, then call Leanne at 219.508.2859 central time USA to solve your disengaged employees and ultimately your disengaged sales culture as well as improve your own sales results. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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Let’s Strive for Work-Life Alignment First

Let’s stir the self-improvement pot and finally admit work-life balance never really existed. This life concept is more of an ideal way to live than reality.  Now this may upset some who continue to sell and make money off this never really existed life concept.

work-life-alignmentWhat does exist and what is real is work-life alignment.

Imagine for a moment two wheels connected. One of those wheels is your personal life and the other one is your professional life.  When both wheels are not in alignment, there is a tendency for them to go off track even when you are doing the steering towards where you want your personal and professional lives to be.

Misalignment demands additional energy to steer the course so to speak. When the wheels of the car are misaligned, this creates additional wear on one or two tires. In the case of work-life alignment, misalignment can also wear individuals down emotionally, financially and physically.

Work-life alignment begins with your purpose.  Your purpose connects your two wheels like the axle in a vehicle. The tie rods that help with steering and alignment keep the wheels on your Vision road.

Noted psychologists Deci and Ryan realized the importance of purpose within their Theory of Self-Determination. Purpose is one of the three essential inherent motivational drivers found within each human being according to their research.

Values (non-negotiable behaviors) support alignment. Using the car and wheel analogy, values are the tie roads that help with navigation and keeping alignment.  When a tie rod breaks, the car can no longer be steered.  When we break out values, our life also cannot be steered.

Finally, your vision of where you want to go is your road.  This road leads ultimately to what you want out of your personal and professional lives.  When your work-life wheels are in alignment traveling that road can be much easier.

If you want to improve your life, first determine where there is any misalignment between your work-life wheels. Then take action to correct that misalignment.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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Seven Lame Attitudes for Not Engaging in Self Improvement

My belief is human beings are innately wired for self-improvement.  If this was not true, we would still be living in caves, cooking over fire pits and wearing animal skins.


Yet after 18 years in the executive coaching to organizational leadership development industries, I am still surprised at the reluctance of people to engage in a personal development, self improvement plan of action.  Over this time frame, these seven attitudes (habits of thought) appear to consistently bubble to the top of not taking action.

#1 – Got No Time Attitude

How often have we heard “I got no time” for self-improvement?  Most people admit to wasting 12 minutes per day not too mention all the time spent in front of the smart devices or television watching less than quality programming.

#2 – Can’t Do Attitude

Then there are those folks who continually whine about “I can’t do it”  The can’t do it is anything connected with changing behaviors from losing weight to expanding one’s mental capacity.

#3 – Too Expensive Attitude

Self improvement costs money.  I cannot afford it.  Really?  Maybe this is not an issue of “too expensive” but rather an issue of priority?

#4 – Don’t Know How Attitude

In spite of all the free information from libraries, to the Internet to even local seminars and workshops, some still hold onto this lame attitude of “I don’t know how.”

#5 – I Don’t Need It Attitude

Human beings have an ego. This ego sometimes prevents self improvement because some believe they don’t need it.  Again, we are designed to be in a process of continued improvement.  When this lame attitude surfaces, there is more than self improvement required.

#6 – Doesn’t Work Attitude

Have you heard someone say self improvement doesn’t work?  This usually happens after some noted failure or a realization that such improvement may result in hard work.  Possibly these folks believe in the quick fix?

#7 – Not My Priority Attitude

Life can become very busy.  We have the ability to prioritize what we believe should be accomplished. When we make a conscious decision not to take action and place other “to dos” in front of our own self improvement, we are shortchanging ourselves.  Improving any aspect of our life can have a direct impact on other aspects.

There are probably more lame attitudes for not wanting to become better. Each of us has 100% control over our personal decisions to be better, to maximize our own capacity for improvement.  The question is will you continue staying where you are, comfortable or will you push the envelope and start changing for the better?

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Listen to Learn to Lead and to Grow

Funny thing about life, the more you listen, the more you learn to lead and grow yourself.  This growth is called self improvement and works both personally and professionally.

to-leadYesterday I attended a business to business networking event and experienced the customary question of “what do you do?”  My response was “I solve people and process problems.”  Then three out of four people replied with “Are you like a business coach or consultant?”  When I said yes, the next statement was “It seems like everyone is a business coach these days.”

Don’t you just love it when you are grouped with everyone else? 

Earlier this year I wrote a column about the plethora of business coaches directed to those who are business coaches. What I now realized from listening to learn to lead is that I have another way of positioning myself so that I am not a “newbie” business coach as one person said.

Now when people ask me what do I do, I can respond with “For the last 18 years I have been solving people and process problems.”  This phrase “for the last 18 years,” differentiates me  as the Red Jacket in the sea of Gray suits and removes me from the current top of mind awareness many have specific to “It seems like everyone is a coach.”

Had I not been actively listening to what was being said, I might have missed this learning opportunity to lead and grow. So often we become so immersed in what we are going to say when it is our turn, we fail to actively listen. This failure is the downfall for many individuals.

Mark Twain among other is quoted “If the good Lord wanted to talk more than to listen, we would have given us two mouths.”  Listening and actively listening is part of any self improvement. This skill set works with our already developed critically thinking skills and actually may fine tune those skills.

If you wan to learn to lead and to grow, then invest some time with listening more than talking.  You just may be surprised by the results.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.


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