Career Advice

Setting Realistic Goals

Setting Realistic Goals

Setting Realistic Goals

By: Jay Conners

When we make a sale, or take one step closer to meeting our goal, we are overcome with a felling of achievement which motivates us to sell more.

I'm sure that anybody who is reading this article has been in the situation where they may have been given unobtainable goals from one of their bosses, sales manager's, or some higher up somewhere in the company.

When goals are given that are unrealistic, the mission is doomed from the beginning. It immediately gives a feeling of despair to the sales team, which can be devastating to morale.

The sales team will do their duty and work as hard as they can to obtain the goals, but when they fall short, they will have feelings of failure, and will be reluctant to move on.

Simply stated, unrealistic goals, take the fun out of selling.

A personal story . . .

During my years in the banking industry, I managed a sales team in a small branch inside of a grocery store. This is what is known as In-store banking. It was estimated that seven thousand people came through the grocery store where my branch was located on a weekly basis.

With that statistic, my sales team was given a goal of opening up six checking accounts per day, among other things.

This would be a monthly goal of one hundred and eighty checking accounts per month. To me and my team, this was highly unrealistic.

Then, In-store banking was brand new to the banking industry, and these goals were being handed down by people who never once stepped foot in an in-store branch.

Please understand, I am not bitter about this, I am just stating the facts, and believe this to be an on going problem with companies.

This problem works both ways. Sometimes the goals being handed down are not enough, and a sales team will fall short of what their potential could be.

Needless to say, my sales team never met their daily, weekly, or monthly goals. We did however, fight the good fight and manage to hold our own. But morale was never what it should have been.

Every six months my team and I would attend the semiannual sales rally, where we would sit and watch as the other branches so proudly accepted their awards for meeting their goals. It pained me to watch my team walk away empty handed knowing that they worked so hard.

My point is, when goals are being set, they need to be realistic and obtainable. The more you or your team reach their goal the more motivated they will be.

Once you are reaching your goal at a steady pace, challenge yourself or your team, and raise the bar. Challenge them to reach higher on a daily basis.

Keep in mind, when you raise the bar, keep this new goal realistic as well, you don't want to become over confident and put your goals out of reach.

One last thing . . .

The goals that are being set, should be put in place by a person or people who know you, your staff, and your demographics. Not by somebody in an ivory tower.

If they are not being put into place by the appropriate people, suggest this idea to someone in your organization that you can trust.

Author Bio
Jay Conners has more than fifteen years of experience in the banking and Mortgage Industry, He is the owner of www.jconners.com, a mortgage resource site.

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Follow Up With Your Customer

Follow Up With Your Customer

Follow Up With Your Customer

By: Jay Conners

After you go through a sales session with a customer, wether you sell them a product or not, follow up with them. Otherwise, your time was all but wasted.

Every part of a sales process from the initial contact, to the presentation of the product, to the final step, following up, are all equally important.

The following up process is an important element of the sales process for many key reasons, here are just a few:

1. Following up makes your customers feel important.
When a customer walks into your office, or calls you on the telephone, they do not want to be thought of as a statistic. They want to be treated as though they are the only customer you have.

By following up after your initial contact, it tells the customer that you are serious about doing business with them.

They will appreciate the phone call, and this will be a clear message to them that they weren't just another sale on your way to meeting your goal.

2. Following up with your customer shows that you care.
Another reason to follow up with your customer is to find out how they are doing, and how their new product is benefitting them.

Ask questions about the product and the experience they have had with you and your company.

It is always good to get feedback, good and bad. This way you can correct anything that your customer was not happy with, learn from your mistake, and be sure not to let it happen again with your next customer.

If their feedback is negative or they just are not happy with the product, find out their reasons, be empathetic, and try to resolve the problem as best you can.

3. Follow up with your customer for more sales opportunities.
After your initial meeting with your customer, one of two things happened. Either you got the sale, or your customer left still undecided.

If you got the sale, following up with your customer is important for reasons stated in number two, and also, you now have an opportunity to up-sell. While they are on the phone, ask for permission to go over some of your other products you believe they may be interested in.

If your customer left you still undecided, than this is the perfect opportunity to see if they have come to a decision. If they haven't, ask if there is anything they would like you to go over again, or, if they thought of any more questions they would like to ask.

A final note . . .
Before a customer leaves your desk or hangs up the phone, make your customer aware of your intentions to follow up with them. If your sales session went well, this should not be a problem.

Following up with your customers is a great opportunity to keep in contact with them, and there is no law that says you can't follow up more than once.

The more you stay in contact with your customers, the stronger your relationship with them becomes. The stronger the relationship, the more business and referrals you can expect from them. So follow up, Always.

Author Bio
Jay Conners has more than fifteen years of experience in the banking and Mortgage Industry, He is the owner of www.jconners.com, a mortgage resource site.

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Presenting Your Product

Presenting Your Product

By: Jay Conners

We all know the expression "you only get one chance to make a first impression," well it holds true when it comes to presenting your product to your customer.

For starters, the last thing you want to do when a customer walks into your office is present the first product that pops into your head.

Before you present a product to your customer, you must first find out exactly what it is your customer wants and needs.

The first thing you want to do is introduce yourself to your customer. Offer them a seat and make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Get to know your customer, talk about non-business subjects, this will take some of the pressure off of the both of you and make it easier to talk to one another.

Once you believe that you and your customer have found a comfort level, begin to evaluate your customer's needs.

Start by asking questions to find out his reasons for coming in to see you. Find out what products he currently has and uses. And how much he pays for them. Find out all you can about the company he obtained his products from, and what he thought of the customer service he was provided with.

It is important to know these things for reasons of comparison.

Once you have evaluated your customer and have a pretty good idea of what his needs are, get ready to present the products you have, that you believe to be an ideal match to his needs.

But before you make your presentation, make sure that you are prepared. Have all the materials you need to make your presentation a solid one at your finger tips. Such materials would include, brochures and literature, not only to give to your customer, but to go over with your customer. Unfold the brochure in front of him as you discuss the product. Literature is also a good way to be prepared in case you are hit with a question you can't answer, this will be a good resource for reference.

The point that I am trying to make is; Present to your customer a product you believe they will need. Your presentation should be based on the information that you have gathered from your customer during your sales session.

You could be the greatest presenter of products in the world, but if you are presenting products that customers don't need, you'll never sell a thing.

So be sure to evaluate your customers before you start presenting your products.

Author Bio
Jay Conners has more than fifteen years of experience in the banking and Mortgage Industry, He is the owner of www.jconners.com, a mortgage resource site.

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Evaluate Your Customer

Evaluate Your Customer

By: Jay Conners

When a customer walks into your office, don't sell them the first product that comes to mind. Sit them down and evaluate their needs, than sell them the products that meet their needs.

I once worked with a guy in the banking industry, who was one of the best at explaining the benefits and features of our products, the only problem was, he was spending so much of his time explaining, but never selling anything.

He never sold anything because he never took the time to get to know what his customer's needs were, therefore he was attempting to sell them things that they didn't really need.

Nobody will buy things that they don't need.

This is why it is so very important to evaluate your customer.

Start off by making your customer as comfortable as you possibly can, talk about non-business topics such as the weather, sports, or a current event.

Once you and your customer have built a good enough report, start to ask some questions so that you may evaluate your customer's needs.

You can begin by finding out why your customer came into see you in the first place. Find out what products they already have. Find out if they already deal with one of your competitors. If so, find out all you can about the products and services they have with your competitor, so that you may compare products and fee's. This is a perfect opportunity to let your customer know how much better your products and services are compared to your competitors.

Find out what it is they need and can afford, than sell them the products you believe to be ideal for their needs.

Once you have evaluated your customer, the chances of making a sale will be very good, because you will now be offering your customer something they need and can use, so they will most likely buy it.

The last thing a customer wants to hear about, is a bunch of stuff they don't need. They have a reason for coming into see you, so find out what that reason is and do all you can to satisfy their needs.

Don't waste your time trying to push off all of your products on them at once. This time can be better spent evaluating them.

Get to know your customer, evaluate their needs, than meet their needs with the appropriate products.

By evaluating your customer before you sell, you will find that the sales process will come much easier to you. Good luck.

Author Bio
Jay Conners has more than fifteen years of experience in the banking and Mortgage Industry, He is the owner of www.jconners.com, a mortgage resource site.

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Know Your product before You Sell It

Know Your product before You Sell It

By: Jay Conners

Product knowledge is by far the most important key ingredient to posses when it comes to selling your product.

Before you sell your product, make sure you know it inside and out, you wouldn't want to be caught without an answer if your prospect had a specific question.

Think about it, if you were interested in buying a product from someone and they couldn't answer your simplest of questions about the product, how much faith would you have in it? Probably none.

Here are a few tips on how to get to know your product better:

1. Brochures and Literature
Obtain as much written information as you possibly can on your product. Read up on the features and benefits your product offers until you know them by heart. Keep reading until you can roll every detail off the tip of your tongue including any fee's associated with the product.

Also, keep your brochures handy, open them up in front of your customer and go over the details of your product step by step. Customers love visuals.

2. Roll Play
Role playing is a fun way to get to know your products. You will need two of your associates to help you out with this.

You play the salesman, have one of your co-workers play the customer, and have one of your co-worker's critiquing you.

Have your co-worker playing the customer ask as many questions about the product as he can possibly think of. When you are finished, go over the sales session with the person that critiqued you.

Also, take turns playing each character, playing the customer can give you a great perspective on their point of view. Think about it, how often are you the customer when it comes to buying your companies products? Never.

3. Use the Product
This is perhaps the best way to get to know a product. To actually own, have, and use the product, not only gives you the ability to know it inside and out, you will also be able to tell your customer that you have and use the product, and how wonderful you think it is. This will tell the customer how much you believe in the product and that you have confidence in it.

One of the worst mistakes a sales person can possibly make is to be unprepared.

Take a few minutes out of every day to get to know your products better. Make learning about them fun with the role playing, and concentrate most on the products you know least about.

Remember, the more you know about your product, the easier it will be to sell. Good luck.

Author Bio
Jay Conners has more than fifteen years of experience in the banking and Mortgage Industry, He is the owner of www.jconners.com, a mortgage resource site.

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Selling Secrets: What did you promise your customers today?

Selling Secrets: What did you promise your customers today?

By: Jarvis McCrary

Large promise is the soul of promotion. Stay awake too late on any night of the week and the masters of large promise will dazzle you. They'll promise that you can lose weight, slice through cans, clear your skin, buy $0 down real-estate and other small miracles among a blizzard of ads that make large promises.

They don't sell their systems nearly as much as they sell the benefit to you and how much it'll improve your life. They understand that the heart of promotion is selling a solution. What are your ads promising to your customers?

Advertising and promotion completely floods most media channels. The only way to cut through the clutter is to instantly identify with a customers need. If they see your ad and recognizes that it solves a problem you may just capture their attention long enough to sell your product.

What is your products or service core benefit? Look at your promotions and see how long it takes you to find reference to that point. Don't be shy about trumpeting your products unique strengths. They're the differences that make your products memorable.

Many companies are quite egotistical and think customers care who they are. Ha, customers mostly care about what you can do for them. You'll keep their attention far better if you promise them a solution to their problems instead in showing the company president or logo.

Evaluate your companies' products vs. their promotions. Are the products consumer benefits clearly highlighted? Select any item and list the 5 greatest benefits. Any advertising of these items should include at least 3 of those attributes. Stacking the advantages in your promotions gives the shopper even more reason to become a customer.

Late night mail order never fails to sweeten the offer. They'll always highlight several benefits of the products then stack the offer with multiple separate bonuses. Why do they trumpet the benefits so strongly and so often?

It's because they are direct-response vehicles. They don't measure their performance in vague monthly sales curves and projections. They operate based on the actual numbers of orders placed as a direct result of the telecast. Within hours they can calculate broadcast sales and profitability.

In such a brutal and exacting industry you can be sure that they're only using the most effective techniques. Print Mail-Order has always embraced the large promise in headlines that promise fantastic user benefit. Even in modern day you can see effective use of the promise even in visual broadcasts.

Who can forget the Lexus commercial where they rolled a ball bearing down the seam of the hood of their car? That was a mind-blowing quality promise to the consumer. It established a brand in what many thought was an impossible to enter industry.

A steel ball bearing made a quality promise that created a luxury car brand and their sister promotions continued to reinforce various other quality promises. Evaluate your own promotion efforts for missed opportunities to reveal primary and secondary customer benefits.

Make sure to insist that all of your promotional efforts include at least one reason for the viewer to do business with you. Technicalities are hard to convey quickly but promises can be made in just a few words. 'Cleaner Carpets', 'Juicier Burgers', 'More Bandwidth for Less'.

Promise is an efficient way to convey your business' benefits to potential clients. Back these statements up with proof or example and you've gone a long way toward landing a new customer.

Promise without proof is meaningless that's why you see the late night hawks demonstrating their product multiple times during the broadcast.

Again you should follow their lead and back up your promise with documentation. Any example, demonstration, testimonials and guarantees you can assemble will give credibility to the promise.

Remember you've made a promise to the customer. Now you've got to establish reasons for them to trust that what you've said is true.

Establishing trust is a topic for another day but without promise the shopper may never get to that point in the sales process anyway.

Promise your customers every benefit you can squeeze into any promotion. Classify and rank the importance of each promise and make sure that your greatest client benefit is always emphasized.

Relying on promise will give your advertising the focus it needs to cut through the clutter and find shoppers that need exactly what you're selling.

 

Author Bio
Jarvis McCrary writes and designs websites/webpages that increase product and service sales for clients everyday. If you want to improve your website sales you can contact him at www.ez-ecommerce.com

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Sealing The Deal Over The Business Meal

Sealing The Deal Over The Business Meal

By: Lydia Ramsey

Doing business over meals is a ritual that has existed for centuries. Taking clients to breakfast, lunch or dinner has long been an effective way to build relationships, make the sale or seal the deal. These business meals are essentially business meetings. Knowledge of your product or your service is crucial to the success of the meeting, but so are your manners. Too many people jeopardize an opportunity because they fail to use good dining etiquette. Here are a few basic rules to make the experience pleasurable and profitable.

Know your duties as the host. You are in charge. It is up to you to see that things go well and that your guests are comfortable. You need to attend to every detail from extending the invitation to paying the bill.

Plan ahead when you issue the invitation. Allow a week for a business dinner and three days for lunch. Be certain that the date works for you. That might sound obvious, but if you have to cancel or postpone, you can look disorganized and disrespectful of your clients' time.

Select a restaurant that you know, preferably one where you are known. This is no time to try out the latest hot spot. Being confident of the quality of the food and service leaves you free to focus on business.

Consider the atmosphere. Does it lend itself to conversation and discussion? If you and your clients can't hear each other over the roar of the diners and dishes, you will have wasted your time and money.

When you make your reservation, let the staff know that you will be dining with clients. If your guests suggest a restaurant new to you (perhaps you are hosting clients out-of-town), call ahead and speak with the maitre'd. Make it clear that you will be having an important business meal and picking up the check.

Confirm the meal appointment with your clients the day before if you are meeting for breakfast or that day if you are having lunch or dinner. Things do happen and mix-ups occur.

Arrive early so you can attend to last minute details. This is the perfect time to give your credit card to the maitre'd and avoid the awkwardness that seems to accompany the arrival of the bill.

Take charge of the seating. Your guests should have the prime seats-the ones with the view. As the host, take the least desirable spot-the one facing the wall, the kitchen or the restrooms.

Beyond being polite, where you seat your guests is strategic. When you are entertaining one client, sit next to each at a right angle rather than across the table. With two clients, put one across from you and the other to your side. If you sit between them, you will look as if you are watching a match at Wimbledon as you try to follow the conversation.

Allow your guests to order first. You might suggest certain dishes to be helpful. By recommending specific items, you are indicating a price range. Order as many courses as your guests, no more and no less, to facilitate the flow of the meal. It is awkward if one of you orders an appetizer or dessert and the others do not.

As the host, you are the one who decides when to start discussing business. That will depend on a number of factors such as the time of day and how well you know your clients. At breakfast, time is short so get down to business quickly. At lunch, wait until you have ordered so you won't be interrupted. Dinner, the more social occasion, is a time for rapport building. Limit the business talk and do it after the main course is completed.

When you know your clients well, you have more of a basis for small talk. However, because you have established a business friendship, you can eliminate some of the chitchat when time is an issue. When you don't know your clients well, spend more time getting acquainted before launching your shoptalk.

Sometimes you simply need to use your own judgment about when to get down to business, realizing that if you wait too long, your clients may start to wonder why they were invited. If you begin too early in the meal, your guests might suspect that you are more interested in their money than you are in them.

Keep an eye on the time, but don't let your guests see you checking your watch. Breakfast should typically last an hour; lunch an hour and a half. Wrap up your business dinner in two to three hours, no more.

Handle any disasters with grace. With all your attention to detail, things can still go wrong. The food may not be up to your standards, the waiter might be rude or the people at the next table boisterous and out of control. Whatever happens, make sure you are not the one to lose control. Excuse yourself to discuss any problems with the staff. Your guests will feel uncomfortable if you complain in front of or to them.

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink at the business meal. The three Martini lunch is mostly a thing of the past. However, cocktails and wine are still part of the business dinner. Since alcohol can have the same effect as truth serum, keep your consumption to one or two glasses. When guests are drinking liberally and you sense trouble, excuse yourself and discreetly ask the server to hold back on refilling the wine glasses or offering another cocktail.

Your conduct over the meal will determine your professional success. If you pay attention to the details and make every effort to see that your clients have a pleasant experience, they will assume that you will handle their business the same way. Before long you could have them eating out of your hand.

 

Author Bio
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at lydia@mannersthatsell.com or visit her web site www.mannersthatsell.com

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Inside Information: How To Profit By Sharing Your Expertise

Inside Information: How To Profit By Sharing Your Expertise

By: Robert Boduch

Sharing inside information can boost your sales. It can make your business much more profitable too, since valuable information can be supplied at very little cost.

Quality, timely, relevant, and important information helps prospects and customers make intelligent decisions. The right information makes it a whole lot easier to choose with confidence. Providing additional ideas, advice, insights and resources is a great way to distinguish your product - and your company - from competitors.

What inside information of value can you provide to help your customers and prospects?

Helpful tips, inside secrets, and other creative ideas help to establish your expertise in the marketplace. When you give away this kind of inside information, you create tremendous value that's appreciated by customers. These people feel compelled to show their gratitude by continuing to buy from you, time and time again.

Offering valuable inside information is easier than you may think. Simply look at each product you supply and figure out what collateral information prospects would like to know.
In other words, if you were a salesperson standing in front of your prospect, what additional information of interest could you offer her?

To sell a solid cherry dining room suite from a showroom floor, you'd want to explain the exquisite finish and how to preserve that "new" look. You would point out the quality joinery used to secure the frame to the table legs. You might even open a china cabinet drawer to demonstrate the built-in quality, smooth running hardware and fine craftsmanship that went into it. It's all inside information.

These are precious details that help educate potential buyers. It's information that might otherwise go unnoticed... yet it could be the kind of detail that just might clinch the sale. Pointing out all this inside information helps buyers feel good about the true value of their purchase. It's something they could have easily missed, had it not been brought to their attention.

This kind of detailed inside information is of interest to potential customers and it's something that could easily be incorporated into a free brochure, booklet, report or videotape. It also adds perceived value to the product itself by establishing an exclusive "story" behind it. Don't just give them sales talk of hard-sell sales copy. Give them the facts - good, solid, inside information about what it is makes your product a better buy.

Here are some additional examples of using inside information to inform and educate prospects - and increase sales as a result:

A hardware store could offer a free booklet called "How To Refinish Old Furniture Like A Restoration Pro" to all buyers of furniture repair and refinishing items. This added value item -- offered exclusively -- should help boost sales of refinishing supplies. It's inside information that could only be provided by someone who has done it before.

A travel agent could offer personalized commentary on popular destinations in article format. "The 10 Must-See Spots In Las Vegas"... "The Top 7 Hottest Clubs In Nassau That Only The Locals Know About"... or, "11 Spectacular Sites Of Costa Rica You've Just Got To See At Least Once In Your Lifetime" might be great topics for niche market vacationers. If you fit the market profile and were planning a trip, wouldn't you at least be curious about this promising inside information?

If you plan to give your information away freely, prepare it as you would a salable product. Don't scrimp on quality in terms of both content and appearance. When an information product "looks" like something of value - it is. When you offer your report or booklet free with purchase, it's much more likely to act as an incentive to the sale.

 

Author Bio
More resources at www.makeyoursalessoar.com
Robert Boduch is the author of more than 2 dozen books, reports and guides on the art and science of selling.

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Sell More The First Time - Juice the Front End

Sell More The First Time - Juice the Front End

By: Robert Boduch

The concept is simple... Increase the amount of the initial customer purchase by offering discounts or other extra bonuses on quantity purchases.

What you want to do is encourage the buyer to spend more money by offering special inducements, extras, discounts and special deals. Some buyers are happy to buy consumable products by the case, rather than by single package, if they can save a little money by doing so. Just look at the success of stores like Costco. Much of their food items are bundled into quantities that are larger than those a typical family would buy. But often the price is just too hard to pass by. People end up spending more cash to "save" money.

Once you have a customer in your store, or browsing through your catalogue, your task is to maximize the value of that purchase. You want to make it easy for your customer to spend more than he or she originally planned to. And you want them to do so happily and without regret.

Your goal should always be to develop life-long customers. Therefore, whatever special deals you offer them should always be in their best interest.

Examples

Increasing the value of a purchase can be as simple as providing supporting materials or accessories that are natural and convenient additions to whatever the customer is buying.

An electrical supply store could offer booklets that guide homeowners to safely make minor repairs and installations. A store selling sportswear - sweatshirts, track pants and tee-shirts, could also offer socks or wind-breakers as extra accessories.

It could also mean scaling your prices according to the amount purchased. This works well with products that have large profit margins and where customers can easily justify getting more than one, such as with gift items.

There's a fellow who sells single bottle wine stands at local fairs and shopping mall shows. The product is simply a single piece of wood cut on a sharp angle with one hole drilled right through, cut on the same angle. The weight of the bottle balances the board. It's a novel idea that captures people's attention. This marketer sells one wine stand for $5 or two for $6.50. He sells far more packages of two than single unit sales. Why? It's such a great deal, few can resist. An extra buck and a half is mere pocket change and there's always someone the buyer could give it to.

Think of supermarket pricing. Where I shop, the price of bundled green onions is 3 for 99 cents. There's no price listed for just one bunch. Guess what? Most people that buy, take 3 bunches for 99 cents. Why? It's a perceived special price on a quantity purchase. The actual value may even be irrelevant. People often assume that it's a better price for three than for buying just one. Here's how the thinking goes. "Maybe I'll be charged 50 cents for one. Buying 3 gives me each for just 33 cents. That's better value, so I'll buy 3".

You can often encourage customers to spend more by offering an attractive discount on a second or third similar product. This could work well for businesses whose customers would like to buy more than one. A good example would be a ladies shoe store. Such a business could significantly increase sales by offering a second pair of shoes at 15% off.

More resources at www.makeyoursalessoar.com

 

Author Bio
Robert Boduch is an author of dozens of best-selling books, reports and articles on the art and science of selling. A free newsletter targeted at anyone interested in selling more of anything is available at www.makeyoursalessoar.com

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Working With The Disabled

Working With The Disabled

Working With The Disabled

By: Lydia Ramsey

Since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, people who previously had limited or no access to public places now move about with a degree of ease in the workplace. While these people have their challenges with sight, hearing or movement, those who work with them are often confused about how to interact them with sensitivity and understanding.

Here are some of the issues to keep in mind.

When it is necessary to mention the disability, language should emphasize the person first, the disability second. Rather than referring to someone as an epileptic, say "person with epilepsy" or "John, who has epilepsy...."

Avoid words that have a negative tone. People who use wheelchairs are not "bound" or "confined" to their chairs. A person may have spastic muscles but should not be described as spastic.

Preferred language is simple. Instead of saying that a person is "crippled with arthritis," "suffering from MS," "afflicted with ALS," say, "John has epilepsy" or "Mary has MS."

Use the following terms:

"Congenital disability" rather than "birth defect."
"Non-disabled" rather than "normal," "healthy" or "able-bodied."
"Condition" rather than "disease" or "defect."
"Visually impaired" rather than "blind" unless a person is totally sightless.
"Deaf" or "hard of hearing" rather than "hearing impaired."
"Little person" or "dwarf" rather than "midget."
Words or phrases like "victim," "cripple," "unfortunate," "dumb," "deaf mute," "deformed" and "pitiful" are offensive.

Ask people with disabilities if they need or want help before trying to assist them. If they want assistance, ask for specific instructions on how you can be helpful.

Look directly at any person with a disability when talking even if the person has an interpreter or companion present.

Don't assume a speech impairment indicates that a person also has a hearing impairment or intellectual limitations.

Allow people with speech impairments to finish their own sentences. Don't talk for them or interrupt. Ask questions that permit short answers or a nod of the head. The other person always has the option of giving a longer response.

Speak calmly, slowly, and distinctly to a person who has a hearing problem or other difficulty understanding. Stand in front of the person and use gestures to aid communication.

When walking with a person who is visually impaired, allow that person to set the pace. If the person asks for or accepts your offer of help, don't grab his arm. It is easier for him to hold onto you.

Never start to push someone's wheelchair without first asking the occupant's permission.

Leaning on a wheelchair when talking to the person is inconsiderate.

If you will be having a long conversation with someone using a wheelchair, get a chair and sit at eye level with the person. You will both feel more comfortable.

Keep in mind that people with disabilities are just like everyone else with the exception of certain physical conditions. Treat them as the capable competent co-workers or colleagues they are.

 

Author Bio
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at lydia@mannersthatsell.com or visit her web site http://www.mannersthatsell.com.

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