Selling is not something a salesperson does to a prospect. Selling is something you do with the prospect in a process of discovery and interaction - human relations at work.
The "Egocentric Predicament"
The greatest barrier to success in this process is the "egocentric predicament." This consists of being overly and unnecessarily concerned with the self. Our ability to be perceptive and concerned about others is inversely proportionate to our self-concern.
When the self gets unnecessarily in the way, the fruitful cycle of good human relations stops producing.
The key to understanding and accepting others is to first understand and accept oneself - starting with the realization that, rather than striving for an unattainable "I should be" image, we should settle for our real self as "I am" - accepting shortcomings along with strengths.
I Am vs. I Should Be
The following points provide a practical answer to the "I am" versus "I should be" conflict:
• Recognize it - and recognize that its source is rooted in the views of others.
• Either (a) accept your "I am" image or (b) decide on attainable, constructive steps to achieve "I should be" in the future.
• Our behavior is a reflection of our attitudes, and our attitudes grow out of our values. Each is an integral part of the other. Do your life values make it easy for you to put the other person's interests first?
• Sincerity is a much-used word in relation to selling. Integrity is a kindred word. Integrity implies a consistent kind of honesty: acting outwardly the way you truly feel inwardly. That's why sound values are so important to your success with others.
Remember: "People buy our product not so much because they understand the product . . . but because they feel that we understand them."
There are many effective ways of doing this: The best way to create this kind of buying climate is to "transmit on their frequency." This opens their mind to you and makes them willing - and eager - to listen.
A sincere, specific compliment on a point of real meaning to them gets the other person talking about things of interest to them. It opens doors.
"Before I sell my prospect what my prospect buys, I must first see my prospect as they see themselves."
A Magical Word:
Empathy is the magical word in human-to-human interaction. It means feeling as the other person feels, not just with them. It means putting yourself in their shoes and shaping your attitudes accordingly.
Beyond getting the order, the plus factor in selling is to make people look good in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. Rather than sell to them, we help them buy.
We do this best by building their self-image. This helps them grow. And as we help others grow, we grow. To do this, we must be open and honest - this is the essence of good human relations.
These concepts are applicable to every facet of our lives, and in selling, they pave the way to the truest and most fruitful success.
Today's News: Many of you will have heard of Social Media Today, but fewer of you will recognise the name The Customer Collective but as I hinted last week, that is all about to change: They are attracting some of the very best sales and marketing commentators and bloggers, and you will be very impressed. Backed by Oracle and fronted by Co-Founder and CEO, Robin Fray Carey, this initiative is destined to be mega. I am hosting the Sandbox this month and you can check it all out here
Tomorrow: On The JF Guest Author Spot it's the return of my good friend and fellow Top Sales Expert from Texas, big Paul McCord, who last week offered me plenty of advice to pass on to BA after the T5 debacle. I thought I had escaped but no, being the only Brit on the team (albeit one living in Paris) does leave me vulnerable, but having said that, they do provide me with plenty of ammunition of my own :-)
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