Sandler Training - December 2018

WWW.CROSSROADS.SANDLER.COM / (208) 429-9275 / DECEMBER 2018

WHAT UGLY SWEATER PARTIES CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT CLIENT INTERPRETATION FIND YOUR EDGE

Everyone loves an ugly sweater party around the holidays. It’s good-natured fun to find garments that say no to the fashion clichés and commit to lighthearted fun. There are the people who sift through secondhand stores to find memorabilia from the 80s — complete with shoulder pads and a hardly recognizable Rudolph — and then there’s the new interpretation of the holiday sweater that lights up and has a reference aimed at younger generations. It’s a wonderful display of holiday cheer, but it makes one wonder how it compares to the costumes we wear on a daily basis? Whether you want to admit it or not, you wear a costume every day if you’re in business. It’s a disguise because our attire is not based on comfort; we want to be viewed as successful. For me, it’s a sports coat and tie because my costume needs to fit my role, which is pivotal to the success of my interactions with clients. I know that others make assumptions based on interpretations, and at the center of those inferences are the clothes I wear. I was coaching a client a few weeks back, and they were struggling to pinpoint why their sales were dropping so rapidly. As we got to talking, I noticed a critical point that could be the issue. You see, the client made one significant change that they never considered would have an impact. Rather than the sales team wearing their traditional attire, they began dawning embroidered

polos with the company name. They started getting turned away at the door; they were interpreted as “salesy” because of the way they presented themselves. I realized the clothing might be the issue because I encountered it myself, only the situation was the exact opposite.

“ “I KNOW THAT OTHERS MAKE ASSUMPTIONS BASED ON INTERPRETATIONS, AND AT THE CENTER OF THOSE INFERENCES ARE THE CLOTHES I WEAR.”

Years ago, I was on a sales call with a marketing company. I walked in their front door dressed in a suit and tie, looking to dazzle with my professionalism. The prospect invited me in, and as I entered the premises, I saw a pool table, a pingpong table, kids in flip-flops and shorts, and guess what? I didn’t make that sale. On the flip side of that, when my wife, Joan, was doing the

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