Ever wondered why some people can’t bring themselves to call it as it is – tell you that you have spinach in your teeth, loo paper on your shoe or god forbid that your fly is undone…?

I recently wrote a post that pushed the boundary of political correctness, although my intention was a positive one, and a friend of mine told me she cringed when she read it. However, nothing was said until someone else brought up the possible ramifications a week later.

Had she had given me a different perspective at the exact time she saw it, then I could have reassessed what I had written and probably would have seen how it could have been misinterpreted and promptly deleted it or edited it.

Why do people let you walk around smiling and looking like some toothless tiger rather than taking time out to say ‘Hey, thought this might help…’. It is because they are embarrassed and uncomfortable because they fear they might receive a negative reaction and that comes back to their own levels of certainty in themselves. Sometimes that may happen but most people don’t mind someone who can help them or foresee ramifications of possible errors – including your customers.

So can the two words ‘salesperson’ and ‘honest’ go together in one sentence. Categorically YES!
Addressing the elephant in the room is crucial to advancing a sale as it taps into the emotional conversation needed instead of just sticking to the logical conversation.

  • RECOGNISE the fact that something is not quite right and identify the trigger
  •  OWN UP to yourself that you are going to raise the issue
  • PREFRAME the issue by taking complete responsibility for raising it, even if you may be off the beaten track
  •  EXPLAIN what you believe the issue to be and why
  •  SIT silently for a response

A key distinction here is letting them know they have spinach in their teeth – it is not about telling them what to eat or not eat.

Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant

Bernadette McClelland is CEO of 3 Red Folders – a modern day saleswoman and keynote speaker on business growth, personal leadership and sales performance.

BIO: Business environments wanting to increase their revenue and profits, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market, ask for Bernadette McClelland because of her thought leadership on sales performance, her ideas on thinking beyond resilience and her fresh perspectives surrounding personal leadership skills — all designed to master the outcomes that matter.

Bernadette has proudly coached Harvard MBA students on their sales enablement curriculum, been the Master Asia Pacific coach for Anthony Robbins across twelve countries, authored five books on leadership and sales transformation, won a coveted Telstra award for Business Excellence, and continually shares her ideas around behaviour, the brain and business growth on stages in the UK, Europe, Thailand, India, NZ, Australia and North America.

Believing that sales performance is a leadership issue, you will also find her heading Melbourne’s human potential based sales performance consultancy, 3 Red Folders, as she navigates lead generation, message to market and digs deep into sales process activities with her clients in the mid-tier sector as well as founding ‘Women Who Sell’, an initiative designed to bring more women up to speed in their sales success.

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Image courtesy of Kitty Dukane

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