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Main article: Sales

Forget Your Job Title. Here Are 4 Reasons You Are in Sales and it’s a Good Thing!

sales salesperson

A firefighter, a professor, a computer repair technician and a lawyer are having dinner together. Which one is the salesperson? None, right? One is in the business of saving lives; another teaches; one fixes stuff; and the last one keeps people out of jail. They’re not in sales. Or are they? The fact is that every job is a sales job. Even yours. What do you think the firefighter is doing when he visits an elementary school classroom to talk about the dangers of playing with matches or setting off fireworks? He’s selling children on staying safe. What skills does […]

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sep 16, 13:00
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Getting Your Home Ready For The Spring Selling Season

Are you planning on putting your home on the market in the Spring?  It’s not too early to get started on getting your home ready.  Spring is normally one of the best times for selling, and some experts are suggesting that some real estate markets are reaching the top of a normal market cycle. Even in the best of markets, homes that present well sell for more than similar homes that have one or more glaring negatives.  Check out these valuable tips on getting your home ready for the Spring selling season, and you’ll be much more likely to get […]

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dec 24 18, 21:39
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Three Compelling Questions to Ask in Any Sales Campaign

women in business

One thing that the most proficient salespeople instinctively and intuitively do on a consistent basis is to focus on the right deals. They seem to have their own built‐in or hard‐wired qualification system for accurately and effectively assessing their sales opportunities. They clearly don’t chase every deal that’s placed in front of them. It’s like they have a sixth sense about working on the right deals…the deals they have the best chances of winning. They can quickly examine 10 deals and determine which ones they should focus on immediately and which ones can be placed on the back burner. Every […]

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apr 4 18, 18:02
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Top Tips For Working In Sales

working in sales

A career in sales is not for everyone. If you do decide to start working in sales it can be incredibly hard work, but also very lucrative with the potential to learn a lot. Here are some tips to help you through the first few months in your brand-new sales role. Be prepared to graft Sales is not a job where you instantly slot into and excel at the top level – you have to work for every penny, and put in a large amount of hard graft at the start of your career without much return. Having said that, […]

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sep 22 17, 13:00
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How To Dig Out Of Credit Card Debt

The post How To Dig Out Of Credit Card Debt appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.

Ten years ago I was thousands of dollars in credit card debt and it was getting worse by the month. Spoiler alert: I not only got out from under it, I started building my savings. Here’s how.

In a (surprisingly fun) compliance meeting, the head of regulatory shared the following anecdote.

Compliance Dad: “I’ll never forget the time my daughter landed her first job out of college. She was so excited when she earned her first paycheck that she came home with this big Prada gym bag!”

Me: [Surprise face followed by grin slash attempting to imagine the bag…was it like that hot pink lulu bowling bag style I once had?! Was it a sleek black crossbody?!]

Everyone else: [groans]

Fellow Dad team member: “Yeah unless it has four wheels and a steering wheel, that’s not the kind of purchase you’re expecting her to come home with!”

Me: “Ah yes the paycheck purse! I remember my first paycheck shoes…” [Trails off fantasizing about the Stuart Weitzman floral suede lace-ups from 2006.]

Compliance Dad: “The next day she returned that big Prada gym bag and we had a serious, educational discussion about financial decisions.” 

Fellow Dad team member: “Yeah, financial literacy is not something they really teach in school.”

Me: “I know! I had never really learned about it and then I was suddenly thousands of dollars in credit card debit. I finally learned the hard way that you can’t spend money you don’t have!”

Compliance Dad: “That’s right!”

Me: “Soooo what color was the Prada bag???”

Everyone else: [laughter, groans]

Annnd Scene.


Obvs I was KIDDING wondering the color of the clearly fabulous Prada gym bag. But, being $1,000’s of dollars in credit card debt was no joke. Gratefully, a former bf taught me fiscal responsibility 101, perhaps the most important way to “stop the bleeding” when in financial trauma:

how to get out of debt credit card debt how to get out of debt

How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

  1. Do not spend money you do not have

I know, this seems obvious, but years ago for me, so was buying Stuart Weitzman floral suede lace-ups! If you HAVE to pay for electricity, rent/mortgage, car payment, food, then ask yourself do you really have money leftover for those amazing shoes? Which leads me to my second point.

  1. Create a budget

Figure out your take home pay. Determine your expenses (see above: electricity, rent/mortgage etc.) Ensure you can afford to live where you reside (read: avoid being house poor). Once you have a budget, become and remain aware of it to avoid spending money you do not have.

  1. Track every expenditure

Years ago, I had minimal awareness of where my money was going. There are many money management apps like Mint and these others to help you track your cash flow. Being an excel guru (nerd emoji with glasses) I prefer to go old school and track my spending in a spreadsheet. That’s right, with every swipe of my debit card at Trader Joe’s, Gas Stations, Yogurtology (if we are being honest here, and we are!), I request a receipt, place in my wallet, and at the end of the day or the next day, I enter my expenses. Like any nutrition log or diary, you can start to see the patterns right on the page. Racking up the receipts at Target? On what? Necessities or nice-to-haves? Spending hundreds at the salon? Can you paint your own nails every other week? Are there hair products that are good for you that you can purchase for less elsewhere? You get the pic: track the money, identify the patterns, and get real with yourself about necessities vs. wants and viable substitutes that will still meet your needs.

  1. Sell your sh!t

I will get to the point in a minute, but first, a story. I have this awesome best friend. Her hubs had to work the weekend of their huge neighborhood garage sale. She invited me to come over and hang out with her and bring my stuff to sell. It worked out beautifully: I made approx. $300, we each got to take water/washroom breaks while the other one watched the stuff. The clothes I didn’t unload, she advised me to “just put on Poshmark and sell”. I told her I had no clue how to do that (clearly she is wayyyy cooler than me), so instead of throwing my lulu’s in the already-bursting donations box, she offered to sell them on Posh for me. A week later, I awoke to a $48 PayPal email from her for my goods. What. That weekend I joined Poshmark and while to date I did purchase ONE THING (a $7 cute pink plaid flannel shirt because hey I’m moving to Wisconsin and having a flannel shirt is basically mandatory to cross the state line,) in the past couple of months I have earned hundreds of dollars in selling clothes I no longer need. #Minimalist (If you have a washer, then you really only need 5 workout tops. I know, you are shocked at this coming from Miss best dressed. Work with what you have. Even if it’s only 5 super cute workout tops).

  1. As long as you are happy, that is all that matters.

We are so materialistic, but it does not make us happy. What makes you happy? Is it something priceless like loving your family? Then spend your time on that. It’s free.

Columnist Archive

Image credit: Simon Cunningham

The post How To Dig Out Of Credit Card Debt appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.


apr 7 16, 17:00
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Budget Tips You May Be Overlooking

The post Budget Tips You May Be Overlooking appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.

Most of us spend a third of our time or more working to produce income.  But there are two sides to a budget, and these budget tips will help on the expense end of it.

Time is the most valuable commodity we have.  It's become almost second nature to include in our evaluation of income and expenses how each element puts a demand on our time.  So it's easy, especially when it comes to spending, to just pay a little more to save time.  More often than not, we are not even aware of opportunities to save money because - - you guessed it - - it takes to much time to either find out about them or too much time to use them.  I've used these and know that they work, take little or almost no time, and on average save me 10% to 30% on my purchases.  Over the course of a year, that really adds up.

Budget Tip 1: Coupons (Don't Cringe!)

Using coupons to save money isn't new.  Your grandmother did it decades ago.  Back then, it was the old clip and file routine.  TIME consuming, and a hassle.  Now, there are a wide variety of discount and coupon sites.  Groupon is one of the best known, but others such as offer either general coverage or focus on certain kinds of products.  Most allow you to set up alerts, so what you're looking for comes right to your smartphone with the coupon or discount code ready to use.  The savings on these sites can be huge.  Last fall, I saved nearly $2000 (yes, TWO THOUSAND!) on a laser eye surgery that wasn't covered by insurance.  So take a lazy Sunday afternoon, visit some of the sites and set up alerts for the items on your to-buy list.

budget tips

Budget Tip 2: Hidden Discounts

Very few people are aware that many retailers have unpublished allowable discounts available to those who ask.  Some are very straight forward.   For example, Home Depot has a current in-store policy that all department associates are empowered to use.  All you have to say is,"hey I can get this same item at so-and-so for quite a bit less.  Can you give me a discount?"  Say it politely and with a smile, because just because the associate is empowered to give it doesn't mean they have to.  I don't ask for small purchases, but on literally every large purchase I've made with them over the last year I've gotten some discount - - just for asking.

Extra tip on this one:  If you frequent the same stores on a regular basis, take the time to get to know the staff.  People appreciate your friendliness, and when the time comes when you almost conversationally ask for a discount, you're much more likely to get it.

budget tips

Budget Tip 3:  Know the Competition

So it's time for a new laptop or tablet?  WARNING:  There are friendly, good looking guys inside that Best Buy or Frys or where ever you shop for electronics.  They are trained to smooth you gently into buying not only what you thought you wanted, but what the store has great margins on and wants to sell more of.  When it's time for a purchase that's not one you do every day, you definitely want to know competitive pricing before you go.  This is the time to go online to any of many major retailing sites and see what the item is selling for.  Plus, there are reviews that help to steer you away from an item you might have thought was hot but in reality is an over-priced lemon.  Once you're armed with this information, you now have physical proof (you printed it out, right?) that supports your request for a price match or discount.  It's worth a few minutes to not only get a good product, but save money that's much happier to stay in your bank account than in the store's receipts.

Extra tip on this one:

Don't be shy about asking the store to throw in (for free, of course) extras.  Once they know you're committed to buying the big item, they'll almost always include an extra or two.  Example:  You buy a new phone, and ask for a car charger or case or screen protector.  It's amazing what you can get, gratis, if you just ASK.

Budget Tip 4:  Doing Sales The Right Way

I love to shop.  Yes.  Clothes and shoes, oh yes.  Give me a session in my favorite stores and it's therapy.  Unfortunately, it's probably more expensive that paying for a REAL therapist!  But there's a right way and a wrong way to do sales.

Wrong way:  You head to your favorite store and luck is with you.  There's a sale!   That's about like Russian Roulette, you may or may not get lucky.  Or, you know there are great sales in January and July, so you keep most of your volume shopping to those times.  While the latter is better, it's still needs tuning to make it work for you.

Right way:  Knowing that there are sales in January and July, put it in your calendar with a reminder to call the store or mall a couple weeks ahead of their normal sale start dates.  The  objective is to find out exactly when the sales begin THIS year.  Then, go shopping the night before the sale officially starts.  In almost all cases, especially with seasonal clearance sales, the items are marked down in advance.  The racks are already there the night before, already marked down and waiting for you.

Budget Tips Are Just Shopping Hacks

So there you have it.   Don't think of these tips as just passing ideas.  They're more like useful hacks, shopping hacks, that help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars, pounds, yen, or euros in your pocket - - right where they belong.

Photos:  Coupons Carol Pyles  Girl w/money Tax Credits

The post Budget Tips You May Be Overlooking appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.


apr 7 16, 01:10
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Building a Skilled Sales Team

A lucrative sales team is the lifeblood of a company. The financial, production, and human resources departments contribute to the overall long-term success  of the company, but they cannot function without the sales team continuously wrangling in new orders. To that end, the sales team must be on their ‘A’ game at all times. Here are three tactics to help your sales team perform at the level that the company requires.

Sales Team Top Tip #1  Hire Talent

Don’t short change yourself by advertising and hiring entry level sales people. Try to craft your job postings for applicants that have slightly more educational or work experience. This will net you applicants who have a higher base skill and knowledge, as well as a few more entry level people who are confident they have the drive and intelligence to succeed. Managers should ensure that they are focusing on hiring talented individuals. Here are three aspects to look for in applicants:

Natural Intelligence. In Ohio University’s infographic Why Focus on Hiring Talent, Joe Santana, the co-author of Manage I.T., defines talent as a “a natural predisposition to be highly effective in certain areas.” Book smarts will allow the individuals to learn fast.

Emotional Intelligence. Sales people must be able to utilize emotional appeals and analyze based on vocal tones and body language how those appeals are being received. High emotional intelligence will also give sales people the ability to deal with failure to close the deal with grace.

Formal Education. According to Chris Moberg, a professor at Ohio University, individuals who have graduated from a formal sales education program will perform better and learn quicker than individuals without one. You won’t always be able to locate someone with that level of training, but you should always be on the lookout.

Sales Team Top Tip #2 The Right Leader

The sales manager is a crucial position. That individual is charged with hiring the sales team, ensuring the team has the skills to succeed, offering guidance to steer the team in the right direction, and giving feedback when team members falter.

Sales managers should have a strong work ethic, natural or honed leadership skills, and a genuine interest in helping others. New managers will no doubt make a number of mistakes, but with proper training, an open line of communication with their employees, and diligent attention to detail, they can become skilled leaders.

Sales Team Top Tip #3: Know the Product

Part of sales training is an in-depth understanding of the product or service they are selling. Sales members should know what products are offered, who the target demographic is, and what the customer or client may need to know about the delivery of the product.

Now this is imperative, the sales team must not only understand the product from the sales side, but also the production side. At my current work, I can’t tell you how many problems we had because the sales team didn’t set realistic expectations when explaining the service. A less than ideal sell, can be just as bad, if not worse, than not making a sell. Unrealistic expectations can lead to dissatisfaction with the service, a demand for a refund of services rendered and negative company reviews. This can leave the company on worse standing than where it started.

Sales is a vital aspect of most companies. The sales team tirelessly hunts down new leads, they use every skill in their possession to sell their product or service, and on a daily basis they experiences rejections ranging from polite to downright nasty. With the proper employees, management team, and understanding of the product, the sales department can lead the company to success.


feb 26 15, 18:00
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