Written by Corinne Garcia Thursday, April 07 2011
Snapshot: Rochelle Togo-Figa
Let’s face it, sales can make some businesswomen squeamish. And if you’re one of them, Rochelle Togo-Figa would be the first to tell you that it’s time to change the way you feel. Togo-Figa has put together a sales process that’s based on her own years of working as a thriving salesperson. Her system is a step-by-step guide to closing sales, attracting more clients, making more money, and enjoying it all the while. Here’s her story.
Womenetics: How did you get your own start in sales?
Rochelle Togo-Figa: I realized early on in my career that selling was a way to increase my income. I loved the idea that the more you produce, the more you make.
Womenetics: How did you know you were good at it?
Togo-Figa: Continuously, throughout my career, I was the No. 1 salesperson wherever I worked.
Womenetics: Why do you think sales can be so difficult for many people?
Togo-Figa: I think it’s because they don’t listen. Instead, many people just rush ahead to their presentation. And too many people have a negative mind-set about selling. They think they have to be pushy or aggressive to sell. These negative thoughts keep them from closing sales and bringing in clients. You cannot just market your product and expect that to be enough to sell it. Marketing will help to get you in front of the prospect. But once you’re meeting with the prospect, you have to know how to guide them through the sales process to make a buying decision.
Womenetics: What makes a good salesperson?
Togo-Figa: Someone who is a keen listener. You have to genuinely be interested in what people have to say. When it comes to sales, remember this expression, “Be more interested than interesting.” Ask questions that start with how, what, when, or why. These types of questions will elicit more than yes or no answers.
Womenetics: How did you develop a sales technique that worked for yourself and others?
Togo-Figa: I love people, so I’m naturally interested in what they have to say. People sense this when they’re with me. This quickly establishes the “like and trust factor” that is so important when it comes to sales. People will more easily buy from you if they like you and trust you. I always focus on learning what’s important to prospects and understanding what their plan is.
Womenetics: How did you build a system to work for others?
Togo-Figa: I took everything I learned over the past 24 years and created an easy, nine-step system. I became known as the breakthrough selling strategist after I decided to show others how to achieve breakthrough results in their businesses and lives.
A “breakthrough” is an unpredictable result. In breakthrough selling, you will achieve sales results beyond the norm. If you learn and apply the system to your business, the percentage increase in sales you can expect is beyond what’s predictable. I have created several programs teaching business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals how to sell successfully.
Womenetics: What are a few of your top tips for women trying to grow their business through sales?
Togo-Figa: First, you must have a positive sales mind-set. If you have any negative beliefs about sales, work with a coach to learn how to change those beliefs. Second, early on you should ask qualifying questions. For example, make sure you’re meeting with decision makers. Understand how much they’re planning to invest, what’s not working, what keeps them up at night. And always be prepared before you meet with a prospect. Have the right questions ready and answers to any objections they may have.
Womenetics: How has your own business taken off as a result of your sales techniques?
Togo-Figa: I’ve had my business for 11 years, and it continues to grow. I have four products, and I lead live workshops and tele-classes. I not only teach how to effectively sell products and services, I also teach my clients how to sell themselves.
Womenetics: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Togo-Figa: Just being with my dog and taking walks outside. I also love going to the movies where I can forget all about work. And I love traveling, too. My husband and I have traveled to France several times; to Italy and Greece. A recent movie that I loved was The King’s Speech. Although he was royalty and lived a privileged life, he still had to deal with a private issue that was made public because he was royalty. I was moved by his heroic battle against a speech impediment he had since he was a young boy.
Womenetics: What do you like to read?
Togo-Figa: I mostly read personal growth or spiritual books such as Abraham-Hicks’ Ask and It Is Given and The Vortex, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.
Rochelle Togo-Figa’s 8 Life Lessons (from her blog)
“Fourteen years ago, I had breast cancer. At the time, I was a divorced woman living in New York, working in an unfulfilling job, and looking for love. Suddenly, I had become a statistic and was one of the “one out eight women” diagnosed with breast cancer. I could not believe this had happened to me.
“I had been living my life as usual and suddenly the life I knew was over. In an instant, I had to make some big choices. And, the biggest choice was to live. I took this on as if my life depended on it because it did. I knew it was up to me if I was going to survive.
“From the journey I took, I created my “8 Life Lessons.” These lessons not only apply to healing yourself, they also show you how to overcome anything that is keeping you from living life fully.
- Nothing is Insurmountable
In life there will always be challenges. It’s easy to feel powerful when things are going your way. Things are great, so you feel great. But what happens when things aren’t so great? The real test of who you are is how you deal with the challenges that life throws your way. Look back in your life and make a list of those times when you were unstoppable. What impact did these experiences have on your life?
- You have Everything you Need to Handle What Life Gives you
We all have the power and strength within us to deal with whatever comes our way. When the universe throws you a challenging situation, it is letting you know that it knows you have the power to handle it. The universe gives you nothing you cannot handle. Take a moment and be present to everything you’ve accomplished in your life. Think back to when you were young. Think back to the times when you felt most fulfilled. Even the smallest accomplishments can bring the most joy and satisfaction.
- The Power is in your Choices
There is freedom in choosing. When you choose your life just the way it is and the way it isn’t, you are no longer resisting what you have. This then gives you the freedom to create newly. The energy we exert when we complain that our life isn’t working disappears when we choose our life just as it is. As soon as you stop complaining and accept what is, you’ll begin to feel energized. You’re unblocking your energy flow and allowing new energy to come to you.
- Responsibility is the Key
Although we may say we know we’re responsible for our life, we don’t always want to be held accountable for taking responsibility. When you take responsibility for your actions, you give up any reasons, excuses, or justifications not to do something. When you hold yourself responsible for how your life goes, you’re saying that the buck stops with you. Successful people never complain about their lives. If they don’t like the way things are going, they’ll do something about it.
- Seek the Right Relationships
Reach out and surround yourself with people who love you and want you to win in your life. Are you getting love and positive energy from the people around you, or are you feeling depleted? Whatever you tolerate will drain your energy. If you find yourself drained in your current relationships, it may be time to find new relationships that nurture and support you.
- Believing Overcomes Fear
We all experience fear from time to time in our lives – it’s part of being human. Fear of not being good enough, of failing, of succeeding. But if you believe in yourself, you will not be stopped by fear. You may feel the fear but you’ll move through these thoughts anyway. You already have everything within to create a life that lights you up. When you believe in who you are, nothing can shake your foundation or get in your way.
- Old Beliefs must be Challenged
If you’re stopped in life, ask yourself, “What’s in the way?” Do you have thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this” or “What if I fail?” These are thoughts you made up. They’re not real; they are imaginary. You have the capacity to change those thoughts. The thoughts you have were created by you.
- Nurture Yourself
Slow down – why are you rushing? It’s time to get off the merry-go-round. Allow others to love you and contribute to you. Make the time to listen to your inner voice. Are the things you’re doing bringing you joy and fulfillment? Or are you doing things because you think it’s the right thing to do? Now is the time to check within and ask yourself, “What is it that I really, really want in my life?”
Corinne Garcia is a freelance writer and editor living with her husband and two young boys in Bozeman, Mont. She has also written for Women’s Adventure, Christian Science Monitor, Northwest Travel, Pregnancy, Fit Pregnancy, and Fit Parent.