Diane is an internationally recognized business and leadership development coach, author, speaker, and workshop facilitator. As a certified, professional coach and president of Seize This Day Coaching, Diane helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably. She evaluates, encourages, and guides her clients.
In her book, Lemonade Stand Selling, Diane offers a straightforward, common sense and clear guide to the sales process. She reminds her readers that selling is as easy as when you had that lemonade stand as a child. Diane is the host of Accelerate Your Business Growth Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio.
Diane is also a contributing expert on a variety of business websites including Small Business Trends, American Express Open Forum, Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, COSE Mindspring, and Top Sales World.
MO: How did you find your way into coaching?
Diane: I was considering where I was in my career, really wanting to do something that was more relevant to the universe. My father had just passed away. In discussions with my sister, and my best friend, I found coaching. When I explored it I had an epiphany. I just knew coaching was what I was supposed to be doing. I decided to make my niche business coaching because that’s what I knew.
MO: In your book, how do you draw parallels between having a childhood lemonade stand and selling in a competitive, constantly changing market?
Diane: I use the lemonade stand analogy to remind my readers that sales is actually easy, when done correctly. I ask them to remember what it felt like to have a lemonade stand; how much they enjoyed it; how they marketed and sold without really thinking about it. They didn’t complicate it with a bunch of mumbo jumbo.
MO: You’re about to launch a new sales training program in 2012, what’s going to set it apart from what other companies are already offering?
Diane: It is intensive focused program that teaches the attendees to create a strategy that works for them. It’s not a cookie cutter program. I don’t ask them to follow my exact steps. Rather, we start with defining the value of their product or service. Then they learn to identify a target market and create an outreach system. We work with who they are as people. I’m not going to tell them to cold call if that’s not where they’re comfortable. And the real key to the program is the follow up. For 3 months following the training we get together via phone and in person weekly to be sure they are staying on course. It is this follow through that will guarantee their success. It’s not learn and leave. It’s coaching tacked on to the education.
MO: I read that your father was a big influence on you. What lessons did you learn from him and how do you apply them to the process of coaching?
Diane: My father was truly the greatest influence in my business life, and personal life. He taught me how to deal with people, and how to sell. I watched him with his clients. He embodied the idea of helping the client solve a problem. He was honest, had integrity and never tried to sell someone something they didn’t need. His clients trusted him completely. Later in life when he had a real estate brokerage I watched the way he dealt with his realtors. He was a true giver and helper. And they loved him. I’ve taken all of these lessons and behaviors into my business life and my coaching. I know what really matters in business thanks to him. It is those principles that I use to work with my clients.
MO: What is one of the most common obstacles you see entrepreneurs’ encounter?
Diane: There are a couple. One is not embracing sales. For some reason they either don’t think they need to sell or are so scared of the idea that they won’t do it. The truth is that all entrepreneurs have to sell. They have to know how to grow their business. They can’t wait for people to find them or for referral s to walk in the door. Too many small businesses fail because of this.
MO: As a busy, multi-faceted business woman, how do you manage to run an entire business all by yourself?
Diane: I use my calendar to my advantage. I’ve learned to create categories and then create to-do lists under those categories. Once created I prioritize them and put those items on a calendar. Then I just whittle away at them one at a time. Keeping organized is the key to solopreneurship in my opinion.
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