Being able to sell with integrity is an essential business skill. Yet many people seem to struggle with it. So, what is the factor that makes the biggest difference of all?
A while back I met up for coffee with a friend who runs a business networking group in London.
At one point our conversation drifted on to some of her members and what business they were in. She was telling me about one lady who has a business teaching people how to sell their services.
The basis of this sales programme (which was a franchise) was that for every and any possible thing a prospective client could come up with, you would have a pre-prepared answer.
So, if the prospect said this, you would say that. And so on…
The problem was, for this member, was that people did not really connect with her and she was not getting any business. Which is not great when you are teaching people how to sell!
Here is an observation…
First and foremost, real human connection is the foundation of a client relationship. It is what everything else is built on, isn’t it?
How well we build meaningful rapport with someone is a direct consequence of our own quality of mind.
The biggest barrier to human connection is too much thinking (something that’s at at epidemic levels today).
Sales in an interesting activity. Although for many professionals selling is an essential part of what they do, whether this is gaining new clients or continuing to add value to existing relationships, it is an area that seems to hold far more than its fair share of challenges.
Just the thought of selling can send many otherwise high-functioning, confident, personable and potentially great sellers onto an emotional roller coaster ride of negativity.
Why does this happen?
They have all this thinking around selling that makes them feel insecure…
‘I hate selling.’, ‘I am just not cut out for this.’, ‘What if they say no?’, ‘Is what I am doing working?’, ‘I do not want to come across as a ‘sales-person!’, ‘I really need this business’, etc.
What happens then is that people force themselves to cope under the circumstances or they go on a prescriptive training programme (like the one mentioned) that fills their mind up with even more thinking.
None of this really helps but, thankfully, there is another, better approach.
The most effective sales programme you could ever go on would have its foundation in just one fact – there is no link between your inner experience and your outer circumstances.
Selling cannot make you feel a certain way. Your experience comes from thought, not the external world.
Such a programme would not teach you mind management techniques, sales techniques or closing techniques because doing so would be adding thinking to your mind when it is having less on your mind that helps most of all.
Also, it does not matter if you happen to have negative thinking or are nervous about selling. What matters is your understanding of where your experience is coming from.
When we see that our experience is coming from thought then the mind will self-correct back to clarity and presence – no techniques required.
Time and time again I have seen this simple understanding of how thought really works transform people’s lives.
Feelings of pressure that had been ever present, like a ball and chain around their ankle, gone.
With a quiet mind, selling becomes a joyful experience of simply giving our time to another human being and seeing if we can be of help or not.