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Weekly Furniture Message From Margo - Hey, You Do Business Like a Girl!

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Let’s face it, many times women are better communicators than men. Studies of the brain have shown that it is a matter of physiology. Men and women are driven by different centers of the brain and by different types of brain activity.

Being exceptional at customer satisfaction and sales is really all about great communication, something many women seem to be naturally good at, but regardless of your gender, being an effective people-person involves skills that must be learned and behaviors that must be practiced over and over again. The payoff is greater sales and a better sales career.
It may be an embarrassment for some people to “throw like a girl” or “wrestle like a girl” (even though I know a lot of girls who could give most guys a run for their money in these areas), it should be a goal to communicate—and sell—like a girl (that is, a girl who takes these things seriously). Here are a few pointers—in no particular order— for good customer communications that will lead to increased sales. This week we will look at doing business like a girl when dealing with customer concerns and complaints, and next Monday we will look at doing business like a girl in terms of sales.

Do Business Like a Girl When Dealing with Customer Concerns or Complaints
• Be OPEN, Not Defensive
Think about any time you were frustrated and wanted to voice your concern. It only frustrates you more when the person you are speaking to is so worried about covering their but that their stance is completely defensive. They never even come close to understanding you or your concerns.
• Listen
Listening with a full ear, with interested facial expressions, and with open body language calms people down, diffuses explosive emotions, and makes the connection a lot more friendly and the dilemma so much easier to solve.
True, active listening— not just hearing—causes people to WANT to do more business with you later, even if they ran into a snag or an uneasy situation this time. People want to know how fairly and maturely you deal with problems.  Listen BEYOND the words to the hidden messages, hidden meanings, and deep concerns of the prospect or customer.
Listening allows you to see what is important to people and perhaps create better products, systems, and services with that information going forward.
• Allow People to Talk –Don’t Interrupt
Your non-verbal (and verbal) communication should make it clear that you want the individual to have a stress-free way to voice their concerns in a very supportive environment.
• Acknowledge that Their Concerns are Important to You
Acknowledge that you understand the person’s concerns. Get away from the mentality that acknowledging means agreeing, or that acknowledging means a potential law suit. Many times we don’t acknowledge because of our own fears—fear of being sued or of looking foolish or unprofessional, but the truth is you look MORE PROFESSIONAL when you show you care (and you will be less likely to be sued if you act like a decent human being). I personally have stopped doing business with any individual or firm that will not fully acknowledge my concerns when I have them. I will just go somewhere else where I am valued.
• Show Respect for Their Point of View
In most cases, it takes enormous courage for a customer to contact you or approach you with a disappointment or complaint.  THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS CHORE (although it may seem as though they enjoy it), but they also do not want to waste their money which they worked hard to earn. It is INCREDIBLY disrespectful for a businesses owner, salesperson, or company representative to not hear a customer out or not try to see the experience from their point of view.
So there they are, some girly ways to smooth the feathers of an unhappy or unsure prospect or customer so you can win back their love (and you will with these techniques). Next week we will cover some great ways to sell—and prosper—like a girl!
Have a Wildly Business-Like-a-Girl Week,


Margarett (Margo) DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business and Design Coach in the Home Fashions Industry. She creates and delivers custom training programs for managed businesses and their sales consultants to help them communicate better with customers and increase sales and profits. Margarett is a Writer and Professional Speaker, and the President of The DeGangi Group and The DeGangi School of Interior Decoration, with both on sight and on-line courses in Interior Decorating, Marketing, and Redesign. For almost 20 years she has helped individuals and managed business owners in the interior fashions and decorating industries to earn more while fully enjoying the process.

Two of Margo’s popular products for furniture store owners and their sales professionals are The Decorating School Crash Course Power-Ed Pack (9 design lessons on video/audio with 12 hours of content), and the matching Decorating School Crash Course Learner Files to measure learning, provide added interactivity, and motivate sales consultants to own their opportunities for growth.

Visit Margo DeGange’s website at www.DecoratingForProfits.com  for more information. Send email and questions to her at Margarett@furninfo.com.

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