Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Mommy

Mommy

Beautiful Momma 

Dear Momma,

I originally just wanted to write you a private note.

But then I decided I wanted the whole world to know.

As many people as possible.

All of the good that you have done for me and the joy and beauty you have brought, instilled, nurtured and tended in my life: all that which one can never ask for or expect, but for which their lives have been immeasurably blessed.

You taught me to be independent, to not give up in the face of adversity or people saying no.

You taught me it’s okay to be flexible and to follow my dreams, no matter what obscure corners they may lead to.

You taught me to be kind and have empathy on those around me.

You taught me to care for all of God’s creatures and to see beauty in the small things around me, whether it be the blush of a rose or the soft velvet of a rabbit’s ear.

You taught me it’s okay to have spunk and a funky personality: that is perfectly okay to “follow the beat of my very own drum.” You never pushed me to fit any mold or be anything or anyone else but me.

You taught me to laugh.

You taught me to smile and find humor in the flippancies and quirks of life.

You taught me to seek God and have faith, even when I’m not sure of all the answers myself; you demonstrate to me every day the importance of the journey and the search.

You taught me to challenge that which I saw as wrong; you taught me to never be a silent witness in the face of evil.

You taught me to be a citizen of the whole world, and not just the small corner I happen to call home.

You taught me to care for others.

You taught me to struggle past the status quo, even when it hurts; you taught me to push myself beyond ordinary to truly realize the beauty and potential of God’s creation in me.

You taught me the importance of honesty.

You personified integrity and purpose in all of your actions.

You taught me to work hard.

You taught me the beauty of languages and the opportunities that await us when we cross beyond the borders of our comfort.

You taught me humility.

You taught and encouraged in me a sense of adventure; you let me spread my wings to soar and perhaps to fall even when your own heart was probably clenched with fear.

You taught me the importance of being kind to all people and reminding them how special they are.

You taught me someone’s station, race, or place in life does not determine the colour of their heartbeats.

You never, ever, ever taught me any hint of racism, sexism, religion-ism…you taught me the beauty of an open mind and an accepting heart.

You breathed to life in me from the flickering spark of possibility and inherited genes a fighting spirit that will never say die, a spirit that drives me forward each day.

You taught me to be the passionate, strong-willed and fanciful creature that I am, for I follow in your footsteps; the cold reality of the ground may not always bind us, but my God how the sear of heaven’s sun tinges and inflames our souls.

You taught me loyalty.

You taught me the importance of our roots; the Families we always return to and the heritages we carry forward into the future.

You taught…me to be me. Everything that is good; everything that is right; everything that you admire in me and seek to encourage; I tell you that this comes from you. A child is the product of her parents and the values they instill in her; without your basis and foundation, I could never be half of what I am today, and for that I Thank You and bless your footsteps; you have given me such a multitude, abundance and bounty of gifts such as I can never hope to repay.

Mommy Bear

My Whole Heart

Momma, you are a joy. My life has been so rich and beautiful, and I have been so loved and treasured, because you are my Mom. I wish there was a better phrase in English to express the kind of love I have for you, but I love you, so dearly. Happy Birthday Momma.

Wheat Field

Vacation From Writing

As some of you know (from being subscribed to my email list), I have taken a bit of a break this summer to refresh and refocus. I have had a lot going on in my personal life these past few months – and I was also in the middle of several commitments – and I just began to feel overwhelmed at the idea of keeping up with this blog.

Simply put, I was putting way too much pressure on myself to grind out a particular number of posts each week. And, every writer knows that when you have a deadline (even if it’s self-imposed), it can be extremely difficult to produce quality content. I felt like I had all of these wonderful post ideas, but I would run out of time to write them well. I wasn’t completely happy with some of the posts I published because I wrote them in haste. I don’t like that feeling one bit!

After much thought and prayer, I decided to take a break from hitting the “publish” button. I would continue to write as I felt inspired, but I would tuck the drafts away for later use. I just needed some time to sit back, enjoy my summer, spend time with Family, put 100% into all of my commitments, read an insane amount of books…and, well, breathe.

So, in a nutshell, that is what I mean when I say I needed to “refresh.” You may also recall my use of the word “refocus,” and you may be wondering why I felt the need to refocus…

When I first started blogging, my purpose was to use this little corner of the web as a place where I could share the lessons I am learning in my walk with life. Over the  past year, however, I began to take notice of what other bloggers were doing, and I felt like what I was doing was inadequate. So I began to explore opportunities and do what other bloggers were doing.

And then I began to ask myself: Why am I blogging? Why do I do what I do? What’s the purpose of this? Am I happy with the content I am putting out there for the world to read?

I realized that I don’t want to be the sort of blogger who posts about all these brands on a continual basis. Promoting the products of others is just not what I am here for. I have no interest in making money from blogging itself. (I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m saying it’s just not me).

Once I realized what I didn’t want to do with blogging, I naturally had to ask myself: What do I want to accomplish by blogging?

After playing around with different types of (non-sponsored) content, and after a break from publishing anything at all, I came up with the following answer:

First and foremost, I am here to encourage you. Anytime the Lord lays a lesson on my heart, you can bet I’ll be right here share it with you. It could be about love, Family, trials…anything at all, really. This has been true from the moment I began blogging, and it will continue to be the case as long as I am blogging.

Secondly, I am here to inspire you to live life well, no matter what season of life you find yourself in. I aim to accomplish this by sharing my life with you – this includes sharing my life’s big moments with you, encouraging you to make your house a home, inspiring you to read more and helping you have some fun/not take life too seriously!

When I write these lighter types of posts, I simply draw from things that inspire me and speak life into my soul! Farmhouse decor, food…food and more food, interactions with people from all walks of life, Family, music, travels, books, recipes…these are all things that I love and want to share with you.

Lastly, I am here to share my skills with you. I am a small business owner. You will find that I use this blog to share my experiences and lessons from time to time. But, I have absolutely no desire to make you feel pressured to buy my products. However, I need a place to share what I am creating with the world. I hope you don’t mind.

If any of that sounds remotely interesting to you, I want to Thank You for being here. For sharing this little corner of the world with me. And, most important, for waiting as I took my break this summer.

As the fictitious character Benjamin Button once put it:

“It’s never too late…to be whoever you want to be…You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing…I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

I really love this quote, and this way of looking at life. It’s never too late to do anything. And if there is one thing I know about myself it’s that I have the courage to adjust, adapt and start all over if necessary in order to live a life I’m proud of, a life that makes me happy.

Until next post!

Coffee

Vietnam’s Signature Drink

Every country has its signature drink. In Ireland, they’ve got Guinness. In Belgium, they’ve got hot chocolate. In Scotland, they’ve got whiskey. And in Vietnam…they’ve got coffee.

Any coffee-lover who travels to Vietnam is sure to fall in love with the country’s unique, heady version of the classic drink. A cup of Vietnamese coffee starts with locally-grown, darkly-roasted beans. The grounds are brewed in a French-style drip filter, which makes for an especially strong ‘cuppa joe’. Condensed milk is added for sweetness, and the lot can be poured into a glass of ice when you’re in the mood for refreshment.

Here’s a guide to help you order the perfect cup:

Cà phê sữa đá – iced coffee with condensed milk

Cà phê sữa nóng – hot coffee with condensed milk

Cà phê đen đá – iced black coffee

Cà phê đen nóng – hot black coffee

While Western tastes have been grounded in Italian-style coffee – venti, anyone?! Vietnamese coffee is distinctly French. They introduced it along with the banh mi baguette in the 1850s Vive Le France! And the drip-style coffee method emerged soon after. It quickly became a national love affair.

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

Life is a precious gift. There are no guarantees.

This Father’s Day hug your Dad a little tighter; savour the moment a little longer. If you have grievances, let them go and return to love. Appreciate the time together, because you never know how long you’re going to get.

To all the awesome Dad’s in the world…I am sending you a wave of love from my heart. Thank You for your steadfast presence, and fatherly love. Thank you for having our backs, and being our rock! We see you, appreciate you, and love you.

To my Dad,

I recently realized the true depth and breadth of your presence. You may not have been as vocal as Momma, and you may never have been the parent who escorted us around from activity to activity, or even the first parent we called in times of despair – all of that has always been her job. But, I’ve realized that your spirit, your influence, your character, and your quiet, yet strong presence are invaluable to me.

In our Mother’s flurry, you remain calm, together, firm and gentle. And, while I tend to naturally lean more towards my Mother’s worrisome nature, I have the privilege of even a drop of your cool mystique woven into my being.

You’ve taught me to be fair, humble, kind, independent; to be a rebel, a free-spirit, and to be open. In you I see the gift of inherit, impeccable intelligence and the richness born from a devotion to order. I strive to replicate your seemingly effortless dedication to self-love and personal care. You’ve been far from perfect, but I’ve watched you grow and become a better version of yourself, which not only makes me proud, but has given me deep knowing about the gifts life brings with time and maturity.

You are the stick from which I measure the greatness of a man. I am grateful for your love and devotion and my greatest teacher of giving and receiving.

I love you forever and miss you everyday.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

From your daughter with love,

Night Boat

The Beauty Remains

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to travel to faraway lands to have the mind and heart-opening experiences that travel is often lauded for.

You can have them no matter where you’re currently laying your head at night, even if you happen to call that place “home.”

But what tends to happen after a long trip or a few years of living abroad is that we simply fall back into life as we knew it before our great travel adventure.

We pick right back up with our old habits; we choose the comfortable over the uncomfortable and the known over the unknown.

Colourful

The magic of travel is that it drives us headfirst into situations that cause us to grow. We’re often uncomfortable, and we’re almost always faced with the unknown.

At home, things are different; we have to actively seek out these situations if we want our personal growth to continue at the same rate we experienced while traveling.

Because at home, we’re surrounded by the familiar. But as long as we’re willing to look for it, that magic we feel when we’re ensconced in a life of travel? It’s always there, just waiting to be discovered.

Home is only familiar if we let it be. If we maintain the same mindset we adopt while traveling and push ourselves beyond the bounds of our comfort, we can discover that very same magic no matter where we are.

We can continue deepening our understanding of the world and blossoming into the people we’re meant to be.

We can stave off that dreaded boredom and begin to redefine wanderlust by discovering the world with our feet planted firmly on the ground.

With diligent practice, we can retrain our eyes to see magic everywhere we go.

Vegetables

TRAVELERS ARE OPEN TO TRYING NEW THINGS.

Whenever you’re in a faraway land, trying new things seems like a no-brainer.

Eat these deep-fried crickets? Sure! Go biking at full speed down a huge mountain? Why not! Sample this spiky, smelly fruit you’ve never seen before? But of course!

And yet, this same eagerness to experience the new and foreign has a tendency to wane when you’re in a place that seems familiar, despite plentiful opportunities.

To maintain that curiosity and willingness to expand your horizons is the first step toward feeling the magic of travel no matter where you are.

So try a new recipe, complete a hike you’ve never completed, and visit that new funky shop that just opened up in town. You never know what you’ll find or what you’ll learn about yourself in the process.

Leaf Hat

TRAVELERS SAY YES TO EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

If your life at home feels boring, there’s a good chance you are overlooking great opportunities without even realizing it.

Perhaps an old friend you haven’t seen in years wants to catch up over coffee. Maybe a new yoga class was just added to the schedule at your gym, but you’re afraid to go alone. Perhaps there’s live music at your local coffee shop that you’ve always wanted to go see, but you’ve never made the time.

It’s not that you have any good reason to avoid these experiences, it’s just easier – or more comfortable, rather – to say no.

These may seem like inconsequential events that there’s no harm in missing, but you never know what you might discover or who you might meet along the way.

Life won’t happen to you; you must go out and grab it. You have to be willing to say yes.

Not long ago, I agreed to attend a party where the only people I knew were the hosts. The drive to get there was pretty long, as well. It would have been quite easy to say no and blame it on one thing or another; maybe I was suddenly tired that day or I had work that I needed to finish, or any other excuse in the book. I’m so glad I didn’t.

What I found upon arrival was a houseful of welcoming people, and like-minded though we were in many ways, every conversation I engaged in imparted me with something valuable. Life-changing book recommendations, tough questions that caused me to think in new ways, and the unveiling of things I knew in my heart but had never before said aloud.

Get into the habit of saying yes more often than you say no when unexpected opportunities arise, and I think you’ll find that even more such opportunities begin to present themselves as a result.

Travel

TRAVELERS NOTICE THE DETAILS.

When was the last time you stopped and looked around you in a place that felt intimately familiar? I mean really looked around, taking in the minute details most people so casually and consistently overlook?

Do you know what colour the walls are in your favourite restaurant? How are they decorated? Is there music playing? If so, what kind and at what volume?

Do you know the colour of your friend’s eyes or whether they take milk in their coffee? Do they have dimples? Do the corners of their eyes crinkle when they smile?

Just the other day, I caught myself admiring dust particles as they danced through the air, suspended in the beams of late afternoon sunlight that poured into the room. It was hardly the first time I’d witnessed this phenomenon, but it was likely the first time I’d paid it much attention.

These particles drifted so slowly, so gracefully, each one on its own unique path. The way the light reflected off of them made them shine like tiny suns, burning brightly in their own little universe.

It was a perfect, magical moment shrouded in calm and a profound feeling of presence. I couldn’t help but smile at the heartfelt joy I experienced upon noticing such a commonplace thing whose beauty I suddenly could not ignore.

It is this appreciation of the everyday occurrences we take for granted, this ability to see beauty in things not considered conventionally beautiful, that helps us develop mindfulness and gratitude anytime, anywhere.

To practice noticing the details in your own life, here is something you can try today: Watch the sunset this evening and describe the experience in vivid detail.  Notice as the colours change from minute to minute; notice whether you see any clouds or birds or if you feel the temperature changing. Have the stars come out yet?

TRAVELERS LEARN BY DOING.

When you’re in a foreign country and you need to get from point A to point B, there’s no time to hesitate just because you’re not quite sure how to do it. You just show up at the bus station and hope for the best.

It almost always works out the way you want it to, and if it doesn’t, well, you’ve learned a lesson and now you have a great story to tell.

When I’m navigating a new city’s public transit system for the first time, I almost always take it in the wrong direction at least once. I’m not kidding. I’ve done it in USA. France. Taiwan. Vietnam.

Of course, I always figure it out eventually. When learning by doing, there are bound to be some mistakes – but I’m still learning faster than those who are too scared to try.

In reality, this method of figuring things out as you go will help you in all areas of your life. You’ll rarely know ahead of time how to achieve your goals, but that hardly means you shouldn’t try anyway.

Green Water

TRAVELERS GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO MEET NEW PEOPLE.

The experiences that we have while traveling are certainly wonderful, but it’s the people we meet and the interactions we share with them that are often what we remember years down the road.

It’s impossible to really understand a new place without understanding its people and what makes them tick. In my opinion, interacting with locals is the most important part of travel.

It’s what teaches us new perspectives and forces us out of tired old ways of thinking. It’s how we learn compassion for those who are different from us.

The very same thing is true at home. How well do you really know the people in your home city? How well do you really know your neighbour?

How often do you engage in conversations with people whose opinions differ from your own, or who have had vastly different experiences?

You are guaranteed to learn, grow, and gain new perspectives by talking to people while you’re at home, just as you would while traveling.

And there’s no need to be selective, everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has something to teach us.

So the next time a stranger strikes up a conversation with you, make it a point to engage with them rather than retreat. For the introverts among us, this will feel particularly uncomfortable.

Good. That is precisely the point.
Ocean

Being Here Is Everything

In the moment

Time, it seems, is a prison of our own creation. We are always waiting for something.

Waiting until we are in a new place. Waiting for an opportunity. Waiting for someone. Waiting for change.

Waiting for the next moment, when really, the only moment that ever exists is NOW.

Look around you. See, hear, and feel what is taking place in your surroundings.

Experience this moment.

As I write, my present moment consists of the hum of the refrigerator. The drizzle of rain. The subtle warmth of the sun as it pours through the tiny kitchen windows at this late morning hour.

I see, hear, and feel these things, resisting the urge to label them as “good” or “bad.” They simply are.

In this moment, there is no time. Just presence. Awareness. Appreciation.

The present moment is a gift. Yet we squander it in favour of a non-existent future, or a past that cannot be changed.

So while many things are “imperfect” or not yet in place, this year has been an incredible one full of so many gifts. The scary or frustrating parts won’t be remembered, but they will serve to build character in the now.

How I choose to act in response to unstable times will be what matters in the end.

And so, I have no choice left but to appreciate the here and now. It is part of my path, and it’s teaching me plenty if I open my heart to it. It’s teaching me gratitude. It’s teaching me patience. It is teaching me mindfulness. It is showing me my own resilience.

Writing in a journal while seated at the messy dining room table, wearing my oversized pajamas, will hardly seem glamorous. But why shouldn’t we be allowed to be unglamorous? Why can’t we find glamour in this, the most mundane of moments? It is the now. It is what is, and it is perfect.

Perhaps more importantly, though, I should at least recognize this moment for the privilege that it is. To sit here with a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back, and the freedom and security to pursue a creative career – I am blessed!

If I am ever ungrateful for the blessed life that I am living, then I don’t deserve to experience it at all. And so we find ourselves back at gratitude.

Gratitude grounds us in the now. It allows us to appreciate what is rather than longing for what could be.
Even if the now feels like it sucks (which it oftentimes will) it is here to be experienced – even cherished. Every moment – whether happy, sad, frustrated, angry, or scared – is part of our path.
Living in the NOW is the only way to free ourselves from the constricts of time. The only way to truly live.

If we can sit quietly for a few minutes each day to reflect on this fact, we’ll always be grateful, and we’ll always be free.

Love

It Just Takes One

What means the most to you in life?

What does it take for everything to be put on hold, without any questions asked.

What if every time we said, “I don’t have time,” we replaced it with the words, “ It’s not my priority.”

How do we prioritize and make time in our lives for what’s important and what isn’t?

No matter how busy or how important something might be to us, there will be certain times in our lives where we will be the closest to heaven we will ever be, until we actually make it there.

When we get to that point the only 3 things that will truly matter is Family, God, and our Health.

Love

We close our eyes when we pray because the most beautiful and powerful things in life are not always seen but can sometimes be felt……

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.Be Kind

Movements

Non Verbal Movements That Help You Sell

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

A well known phrase, but often not taken seriously enough.

When you present your solution to a prospective client, you need to make the best impression possible. No matter how good your product or service is, you need to make sure that a simple little thing like body language doesn’t let you down.

Selling doesn’t just come down to price product, product, promotion, place etc. Presentation is key and poor body language is often the reason many people fail to make the most of this really important stage of the sales process.

Body Language Tips To Impress Your Prospects

You have worked hard to get in front of your prospect. Websites, social media strategies and networking all take time and money before you can even start to think about getting that little MacBook Pro out in front of your red hot prospect to sell.

Think About The Following To Make The Most Of Every Customer Facing Opportunity

And don’t just think this works face to face. Try these tips next time you are trying to sell over the phone or on a conference call. They work whether the prospect can see you or not!

  1. Lean forward – By doing so you will appear committed and interested in what your prospect has to say. It shows you are well engaged and paying attention.
  2. Open your arms – This will help you to appear honest and welcoming to those who don’t know you very well.
  3. Don’t point – If you need to use your hand to indicate something, use your whole hand rather than just one finger. Much less offensive.
  4. Smile – This might seem obvious, but make sure your smile is genuine. You might think that curling your lips up at either end tick the smile criteria, but a full on grin using your eyes will melt the heart of even the coldest prospect.
  5. Positive eye contact – Who believes anyone who doesn’t look at them in the eye? Do your best to present eye to eye in order to build trust in what you are selling. If you are on the phone then just focus on the phone or Skype picture. Believe it or not, that will really help get a positive result for you both.
  6. Use fewer gestures – Think about some of the best interviews ever. Neither the interviewer or the famous person sat opposite fidgeted in their seats, which meant the results were incredibly powerful. If you like waving your hands about to explain a point then try holding something like your pen or your other hand.
  7. Talk low and slow – You have a lot of important benefits to share with your prospect. Talk too fast or with a high voice and they won’t hear or remember anything. If you think you are talking a shade too slow then you are probably speaking at a perfect speed for your presentation.
  8. Strike a pose – People in power always know how to stand. When they walk in a room everyone knows they have arrived. You can do the same. Think Wonder Woman or Superman and your prospect will respect your confidence.
  9. Power of touch – Touching someone gently, in a professional manner is more likely to encourage them to comply with your request. It is a bonding thing. However, be sure that your prospect is a kinaesthetic person first.

If you want to know if you have got your body language right, then try filming your next presentation before you go in front of your prospect. It might feel weird, but it will give you the chance to catch and bin the negative body language, before you need to make it count.

Woman Boss

Women Breaking Barriers

Growing up, I had sales all wrong. I believed salespeople were life-of-the-party types – extroverts who could talk to a wall. I wasn’t like that, and I’m still not. But charisma isn’t what makes a good salesperson.

Top salespeople build strong, ongoing, trusting relationships. We’re not the center of attention. We ask probing questions, listen intently, have engaging conversations, and make connections – which gives women in sales a strong advantage.

Women know how to build relationships. We are hardwired to be nurturers, connectors, and collaborators.

“The best salespeople I know are women.” That’s what men tell me. Why?

Because women:

  • Build strong relationships and earn clients’ trust
  • Have intuition and listen to our gut feelings
  • See the complexities in a deal and dig deeper to find the best solution for each client

Women in sales build relationships differently than men. We love to share stories and delight in pulling out the details, rather than getting straight to the point or being told to “net it out.” We tend to consider the long-term implications of any decision, where men tend to focus on results and completing tasks.

We are also curious creatures; we love to “peel the onion” and get to the root cause of a problem. Maybe that comes from being mothers and aunts. When talking to children, we rarely believe the first words out of their mouths. We ask questions, put the pieces together, fill in the gaps, figure out what really happened, and find a solution – another ability that serves us well in sales.

Ready To Change The Sales Game?

Gender discrimination isn’t nearly as overt as it was years ago. Now instead of being harassed or insulted, women are more likely to be overlooked. To eliminate these subtle gender barriers, leaders and hiring managers must identify and address any hidden biases they have towards women.

Just as importantly, women must take their careers into their own hands. It’s up to us to demonstrate behaviours that change perceptions, contribute to company goals, and accelerate our own success.

Ready To Change Your Sales Future? Here’s how to start:

  1. Get your voice heard. Your ideas and insights are just as valid as your male colleagues’. Yet, every woman I’ve spoken with shares this story: “I’m at a meeting, and I offer a perfect solution to the problem being discussed. No one comments. Then 10 minutes later, a man says almost the same thing, and everyone thinks it’s a terrific idea.” One of my business partners always has her response ready whenever this scenario occurs. She immediately says, “I’m so glad you liked my idea.” The room goes quiet after that.
  2. Ask for advice from people you respect men or women. Listen carefully and adopt what makes sense based on your unique personality and selling style. We all need advice and guidance, and women are way more open to asking for help. We also like to give help. I never thought of myself as a mentor until a fellow blogger challenged me on this. “We are mentors for everyone,” she told me. “We write profusely and speak about sales. People take wisdom and insights from what we share”. How do you find a mentor? Ask. People aren’t mind-readers. Find someone you trust and admire, and start building a relationship.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone to test new ways of working. It’s better to apologize than to ask for permission. Always ask why you’re selling the way you’re selling. If your current sales plan is working, keep doing it. Otherwise, change it up. What works well for one salesperson might not be the right style for you. Find your own groove.
  4. Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. Even if most of your colleagues show up in jeans and flip-flops, smart saleswomen dress for success. You don’t have to wear a suit and high heels every day, but consider what you need to do to step it up. If you want to advance in your career, you’d better not look and sound like everyone else. You might be the best thinker and innovator, but if you look like you just rolled out of bed, you’ll never get face time with clients…or with people more senior than you.
  5. Make time for yourself and people you care about. Don’t let the corporate world gobble up all your energy and dull your creativity. To be successful in sales, you’ll need plenty of both.

Successful sales organizations in the 21st century will facilitate teams that leverage the strengths of both men and women. Smart sales leaders want diverse teams who bring different skills, experiences, and perspectives to the table. Women are just plain naturals at selling. We know that. Now it’s time to tap into our innate strengths, build confidence, and get out of our own way.

Laptop

Get People To Read Your Emails

Question: How do you know your buyer will open your prospecting emails?

Answer: You don’t. What the buyer does with your message once you hit “send” is beyond your control. But what is in your control is making your email stand out by getting creative.

Your prospects and buyers get emails all day long. Think about that for a minute. If you cannot get your buyer to open your carefully crafted and personalized message, then all of your research and ideas on how you might be able to help go to waste.

With this in mind, the subject line is arguably the most important part of your email because it’s what gets the buyer to open and read. The secret to writing an intriguing subject line isn’t so difficult – you simply need to write something that would be interesting to the potential buyer.

*Note* not something that necessarily interests you. Remember: sales isn’t about you – it’s about them. Always.

I want to zero in on one subject line in particular. In my experience, buyers always say the best way for a salesperson to reach out is through a referral.

Again, put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Would you rather receive an email from someone you never heard of before, or would you rather receive an email from someone that a trusted friend knows and vouches for? It’s a no-brainer.

Here are three email subject lines that draw on the power of referrals. They work like a charm for me, and I’m sure they will work for you too:

  • “(Name) from X company told me to talk to you”
  • “Alex Brown” (Just put the full name of the person in the subject line and nothing else)
  • “You are connected to Alex – I sold his (product)”

However, these subject lines only work when the connection between your referral source and prospect is legitimate, and the referral source has authorized you to use their name. Don’t go trolling through a buyer’s LinkedIn network to find an obscure common connection, and then drop this person’s name as if you are all best friends. That will just make your prospect mad – not to mention your “referral.”

To get great at referral selling, the #1 thing to do is grow your network. Connect with people you know, people you have worked with in the past, people you work with now, customers, prospects, and anyone else you have a bond with. Then, before you reach out to a new buyer, search them on LinkedIn and see if they’re connected to someone you know.

Finally, ask that person two things:

  • How well they know your potential buyer ( if they barely know each other, don’t use them as a referral).
  • If you can use them as a referral, or better yet, if they will introduce you to the buyer themselves.