Gamblers call it the “tell.” It’s a bit of
body language, usually unconscious,
that reveals whether a player is pleased
or worried about the cards he’s holding.
A player can have the advantage over
another if he can spot and correctly
interpret that player’s tell.
A good salesman, like a
good gambler, needs to
watch for the “tell.” How
often were you sure the client was going to hire you,
and then you never heard
from them again? How do
you know if the client is in
earnest or just trying to find a
polite way to give you the brush? Pay
attention to their body language. If the
client appears to be engaged, is asking
a lot of questions, and providing detailed
information, that’s a good sign. If he or
she makes eye contact, leans toward
you when speaking, or lightly touches
your arm, they are starting to develop a
relationship with you and establishing a
foundation for trust. That doesn’t guarantee you’ve sealed the deal, but it’s an
indication that you’ve got more than just
your foot in the door.
On the other hand, if the client is
fidgety, seems distracted, draws back
from the conversation, makes little jokes
or offhand remarks, or sounds self-defensive, those are not good signs. It
means they are uncomfortable with the
situation and are not prepared to make
a decision. That’s your cue to suggest to
the client that perhaps they need some
time to think it over. If you feel there is
some genuine interest, you can leave
the door open by offering to follow up
at a later date.
No matter what the client may say,
these telltale signs will provide the feedback you need to determine if you’ve got
a prospect or a dud.
There is an art to making money, and there is an art to keeping it. No matter
how good you are at generating new business or maximizing your profits,
your efforts will be in vain unless you also exercise care in managing your
money well. Among the top five reasons the wealthiest Americans give for
how they acquired their wealth, the first is hard work, but not far behind are
smart investing and frugality.
Managing your business’s money involves more than minding your cash
flow and reviewing your P/L statement each month. In addition to having
a business plan for how you’ll keep the money coming in, you need a plan
for how to keep it from flowing out. You want to minimize your
expenses and optimize your overhead. You also need to
be hyper-aware of the taxes you pay, how you protect
your assets, and how you limit your liability. That
includes having the proper insurance and business
practices in place to safeguard against possible
lawsuits or other damages.
Remember, you are required by law to pay taxes,
but you are not required to pay more than necessary!
Moreover, as you accumulate cash and other assets, you
become a target for people who are looking for someone
with deep pockets to sue (or just threaten to sue). There are many
legal ways to hedge your assets and shield yourself from spurious actions,
take deductions from your taxes, and forestall payment of taxes until a more
favorable time to do so in the future.
Most design business books focus on the operations side of a firm’s
finances rather than wealth management. That’s why I have teamed with
some of the leading advisers in the industry to produce a new book,
Designing for Wealth: Four Keys for Interior Design Success. You do not
need to be rich to be wise with your money. You will find this book a
valuable resource, loaded with tactics to set you on the right path or
augment strategies that you already have in place. (See Reading Room in
Noteworthy on pg. 23.)
➤ continued from page 42
Head online to the In Edition blog to find more tips from
Lloyd Princeton throughout the month.
There is an art to making money, and there is an
art to keeping it. Among the top five reasons the
wealthiest Americans give for how they acquired
their wealth, the first is hard work, but not far
behind are smart investing and frugality.