Good Business Ideas – To Sell or to Guide
Some say that to advance our sales career, we have to “sell” our ideas and ourselves. I say no. It is not in the selling of who we are; it is in the being of who we are that long term sales are made, trust is developed and business relationships are established. Being authentic and genuinely interested in finding out who the prospect is as a person, what their needs really are and how we can support their business establishes a beneficial relationship. With that ground work laid, a deal can be broached.
The problem I find with selling yourself is that as soon as you start to “sell” yourself, most people sense that you are putting your own needs ahead of theirs. They can’t trust that you have their best interests at heart – even if you do, and when trust is lost, so is the sale.
In speaking to a real estate broker the other day, he revealed that the way he was going to increase sales was “by convincing them” that his pricing was correct for this market. Often, arm-twisted agreements, backfire down the road. Angry and resentful that they allowed themselves to be hood-winked into agreeing, the client is never satisfied with the outcome. As Dale Carnegie quoted, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Steps to Success – Be Flexible
The more flexible we are in the management of our emotions, the more resources we have to connect with our prospect. As your “for-sure” client starts to back away from signing on the dotted line, often the fear of loss or being left out is triggered within us. To seal the deal before they get away we become more insistent in our position, the very thing that drives our customers away. Instead of giving into your ‘I have to make this sale’ panic, and attempting to sell them on you by reiterating features and benefits, now is the time to listen carefully. Watch for body cues like their eyes glazing over from too much info – a confused mind cannot make a decision; or note when they start wiggling or coughing indicating discomfort perhaps when cost is mentioned. By tuning into the underlying message, you will be given 70% of the information needed to respond to where their fears lie. The other 30% is up to you to pull from who you are.
Success Tip – Put at Ease
So in the moment that the prospect’s fear of making the wrong decision comes up, step back and find the inner resources to pull from your Talents, Abilities and Gifts (TAG yourself). Put the prospect at ease by “holding their hand” and guiding them through their objections. In putting them at ease, they are more open to listen to your excellent solution to their problem. Your flexibility in being able to negotiate your anxiety and transform it into compassion for where your prospect is coming from, enables you to have a win/win – their problem is solved and you have money in your pocket. It’s the difference between trying to push a sale and recognizing the client’s need and then allowing that need to sell itself.
Let me know if you agree or disagree that the way to make a sale is in selling our ideas and ourselves. Why ? or Why not?