Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to come across and even get to train a couple of times with the great Steve Chandler.
Steve has written over thirty books and is a world-famous success coach to high-achieving business people, CEO’s, best-selling authors and Fortune 500 companies.
For me, Steve is by far the best I have ever come across when it comes to teaching people how to sell, both powerfully and with total integrity.
He will teach you none of the conventional, often repeated and, frankly, self-serving material that is still the bedrock of most sales training.
Instead, he teaches you to get out of your world and into the world of your client because this is the only place where you can create value.
He wrote in his book ‘The joy of selling’:
“Be willing to listen deeply and be the first person in their lives to tell them the truth. Be real and tell the truth about how you really see their problems. Don’t hold back.”
It seems to me that one of the biggest challenges for anyone selling a professional service is getting out of their own world and into the world of their client.
For example, I wonder how many people hold back from telling the truth about how they really see their client’s situation because they are afraid of a negative reaction from the client?
At a workshop I ran for advisers I asked the question, “What is the first thing you do when meeting a potential new client?”
Some people said, “I like to tell the person about myself and what I can do for them.”
But is doing this in the world of the client or the world of the adviser?
Imagine you have pain in your stomach, so you call up a doctor for an appointment. You get to the surgery and, without asking you why you are there, the doctor says:
“Please, sit down and let me tell you about myself and what we can do for you.”
What would you think?
Is your response going to be, “Wow, I am so glad to know this, my stomach is feeling better already!”
If we’re self-interested it kills the opportunity for human connection.
And fear can show up in many ways – fear of not being liked, fear of rejection, fear of losing out, fear of wasting your time or fear of telling the real, raw truth.
So, what is the antidote?
It is simple (but this doesn’t always mean easy).
If you believe your fears come from circumstances, then you will always be in fear.
If you think your well-being is dependent upon whether someone likes you, what they decide, whether they do business with you or not, whether you make your numbers for the month, then it will contaminate your relationship.
But the truth about our fears is that they are made of thought. They are not real. They are just one possible future out of an infinite number of possibilities.
The moment you catch on to this you transcend your fears. They no longer control you. You are then free to focus fully on who is in front of you rather than your own imaginary made-up reality.
There are only two emotions. Love or fear.
If we allow our fear-based thoughts to dominate our minds then we play a small, fear-based game of scarcity and invite push-back and a lack of respect from clients.
Who wants to live like this?
In the absence of fear what we have is love. In your professional world, love is a fearless commitment to serving your client and making a difference in their lives.
One of the most valuable things I learned from Steve Chandler is that there is no resistance to love. When we are truly in service to another human being then the result is a meeting of minds, a sense of genuine collaboration and a beautiful feeling of connection.
I love this quote from Dr. Albert Schweitzer:
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
Clients love to work with people like this.