These are qualities salespeople today must embrace.
What stops this happening is a need for approval and that need is steeped in our conditioning. Weknow that. It stops us pursuing passions, reaching our potential and creating our own art just in case we colour outside the lines. It’s OK to meet that need for approval at home and in our private lives if that is where our emotional intelligence is comfortable existing, but in business, that need for approval MUST be displaced with the need for RESPECT.
Too many salespeople crave the approval of their buyers, accept MAYBE’s when the buyer’s need for approval prevents them from saying NO, and so the salesperson ends up creating opportunities that will never go anywhere – Funnel Fillers or Pipeline Puff.
To have relevant business conversations, it is critical to lose your emotions, or at least put them on the shelf. It means being authentically who you are, yet removing the ‘you’ from the conversation. Just like being an exceptional coach, we learn to ‘leave ourselves at the door’ and get really present to the conversation.
It’s also more than learning how to listen – it is the ability to be mindful, to be present, to associate ourselves and our personal feelings completely. When we have that ability to get out of our own way, not be in our own head, with our own ego, only then are we able to congruently ask the tough questions and handle the tough answers.
We have all walked away from meetings where we haven’t asked the questions we need to ask, the simple questions like ‘will we be doing business together’, ‘how can I help you moving forward’ but why didn’t we ask them? The simple realisation that we didn’t ask them, tells us that we could easily have asked them, but we chose not to.
We chose not to because we weren’t listening. We weren’t prepared, we had no flow, no process, perhaps we were thrown a curve ball from left field or lacked clarity. When that happens, we head to the world of emotions – we lose the control, the options and we scramble inside our head for where to go next, what to say next and what to do next. Suddenly we aren’t present and are missing vital clues and conversations. We’ve all done it.
So what can we do when we catch ourselves going there, drifting, planning in our head instead of eing present:
1. Find a new meaning to the emotion – think curiosity which opens you up to listening instead of confusion that closes your mind and prevents you listening.2. Be prepared – write down some questions that will really make the customer think and let them do the heavy lifting, so that you aren’t scrambling on the fly trying to think of relevant questions.
3. Hold your hands still – physiologically it will help you maintain a level of certainty and control.
The outcome is to have your customers emotions on the table and not yours – when that happens then you are leading the conversation. If it is the other way around? Well you’ll not be in a position to ask the tough questions or handle the tough answers that will move the business conversation forward.