In a recent coaching call I was startled by the simple articulation of how one of the salespeople/designers viewed people who say that they are “Just browsing” and those people she’s been unable to connect with: “I think they are killing time and wasting mine.” Wow. I asked her to explain more about this…and it was more about her perspective, which unknown to her, was furthering her inability to connect with incoming customers.
Consider this: what do you think it takes for someone to get dressed, get in their car, and come to your showroom….instead of staying on the sofa, warm and maybe a pet or two on their lap, on their computer shopping for furniture? Do you really think that anyone would physically shop for furniture unless they absolutely had to?
How we SEE the customer isn’t about them…it’s about US. Our perspective of the customer says more about us than it does about them since WE made it up! If you want better connections with people, change YOUR mind about them and be engaging, inquisitive, helpful, friendly. When customers cross the threshold, their job ends and your job begins.
And if you are STILL struggling with your perspective or actions, call me. We can work this out.
It’s early in the new year…you might have your bright and shiny goals in front of you, enthusiastic to achieve them and passionate about what you are out to create for yourself, your company, your family. Good for you!!! Now, ask yourself:
“Am I organized enough, with a system that is sufficient for the results I am committed to achieve?”
Take a moment and REALLY sit with that question and the elements it included. For creatives, organization seems boring and uninspiring. Spontaneity is revered, structure is resisted. However, actions planned and taken at the best time to produce the desired result takes scheduling…and it really doesn’t take anything away from right brain impulsiveness. It just makes you/us less at the mercy of knee jerk actions and distractions and more in control of the actions we take that support what we are out to accomplish.
Take a look at your structures and your calendar…and take a look from the perspective of the second floor. What do you notice? Does your system and your actions support the success you desire?
In keeping with the lifelong practice of asking questions is my lifelong practice of talking about them. Imagine a conversation where YOU really drive the exchange by completing EVERY response you have with a question. Think about it. Even if you answer a question posed by the other person, you keep the volley going with a question of your own. You: “Lobster is my favorite food…what’s yours?”
One of the more challenging types of questions is Commitment Questions – asking for a commitment from the other person so that occurs as a benefit to them.
Jim Grady was a partner and collaborator of mine for years and he was/is a terrific salesperson. Early in his career, he had the good fortune of working with a top real estate agent. Jim asked him what made him so successful and the response was “I always ask for a commitment”. When he would show a property, he would ask the prospect “Do you like this?” And if they said yes, he would ask “Do you want to make an offer?” Then he would manage their response.
Look at your selling strategy. Are you intending to ask for a commitment from the prospect – either the sale today or an appointment to make a sale tomorrow? Do you really know where the prospect is in their buying process and what they are ABLE to do now? Do you need to ask more Discovery Questions?
It’s all research and practice. Keep asking questions…all kinds of questions. And if you need help, ask for it.
Now, go sell something.
For sales managers everywhere
We have all heard about how pressure creates diamonds as inspiration to be able to learn to withstand it. The ability to deal with pressure effectively is a learned trait, and sometimes the only benefit of adversity and challenge. Pressure shows what is underneath and who we are.
The Dalai Lama said “How we do anything is how we do everything” and that goes for pressure, too. If we cave and implode, get confused and flaky, get demanding and impatient and angry, those are our defaults under pressure. My quote is: “When we squeeze a tomato, we don’t get orange juice.”
When I work with an organization and get push back from employees, I know that I am providing pressure and revealing how that person will behave under pressure.
Training shows you how your salespeople learn and comprehend, take risks and try new things, and how they perform under pressure. How they behave with the pressure I provide shows you how they will behave with a prospect or customer who doesn’t do what they want them to do. So when they show me resistance or indifference, consider that is the same behavior they will show your customer when they say “I’m just browsing” or “I want to think about it.