Lori Richardson is the founder and CEO of Score More Sales. She’s known as a “super-connector” who makes things happen, a self-described people person who genuinely enjoys interacting with others and building connections.

In short, she is the sort of woman we all want to be—successful, connected, respected, and smart. But it wasn’t easy to get where she is today.

This is her story. 

Growing up, Lori was outgoing and ambitious. She looked up to her grandmother Mimi, who owned a successful upscale women’s clothing boutique.

Lori spent a lot of time in this family-owned business and learned about what made it successful. Her sales education started here.

Over the years, she watched Mimi hand-address thousands of postcards as part of a strategy to stay connected to her customers. “Always follow up,” Lori noted.

She watched her grandmother research and scout out new locations for her business by talking to people and asking for recommendations and opinions.

“Conversations develop opportunities. Have more of them,” Lori thought.

She saw Mimi make brave choices in her business and life, sometimes choosing to stand her ground and other times, to take risks.

Whatever Mimi did, Lori paid attention.

As she got older and started to consider her future, she remembered the lessons she learned from her grandmother. She knew she belonged in the business world, but wasn’t sure just where.

Degrees promised to prepare you for a career, but what will prepare you if there’s no degree for the career you want?

Lori learned a lot about tenacity, grit, and perseverance when she became a single mom in her early 20s. To increase her bread-winning abilities she took courses in scaffolding, electrical, and plumbing work to pay the bills and make ends meet.

She felt strong and capable, taking care of her responsibilities by whatever means necessary.

She was busy, working in childcare but wasn't making enough money to support her family: she still didn’t feel she was getting anywhere. What would come next gave her the focus she was looking for.

Being busy does not mean being successful. It will not make you happy. Lori was drawn back to the idea of working in sales. She could make more money while doing something she was naturally skilled in. She could be successful.

Soon after that, she landed her first job in technology B2B sales, earning straight commission. It was an opportunity to prove her tenacity. 

She quickly worked her way up the corporate sales career ladder, first from retail to corporate accounts, then from individual contributor to inside sales leader.

She worked with companies including Apple, IBM, and HP. And her grandmother’s words and lessons continued to guide her momentum.

Today, she’ll tell you her early sales career left her with some useful scar tissue. It made her tougher and inspired her to find ways to work smarter to make sure she had time for family, friends, and herself.

When I asked her if she believed time-management was one of the most important aspects of being successful in sales, she offered a response that made me pause and reconsider the entire concept:

“I don’t call it time-management. I call it self-management because we all have the same amount of time. It’s how we manage ourselves during that time that matters.”

Lori still uses the lessons she learned from her business-savvy grandmother and her early sales career and now, she shares these lessons with trainees and sales leaders worldwide. 

  1. Always follow up.
  2. Conversations develop opportunities. Have more of them.
  3. Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment.

The business world has changed a lot since Lori’s grandmother owned that clothing boutique, but people haven’t changed all that much.

Lori understands now that all those years ago, her grandmother wasn’t just teaching her lessons about business and sales, but also about people and relationships—lessons worth passing on.

You can find Lori on Twitter at @ScoreMoreSales and learn more about her at www.scoremoresales.com.

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