I once had a customer who was a bit of a maverick in his marketplace and in the industry. He has since passed away, but Chuck Forcey was a character. When he was in the military, he flew planes and was on an elite fighter team…and he brought his irreverent ways with him.
Fortunately, he had a commander who was tougher and more focused than Chuck was and while he respected and appreciated what Chuck brought to the team, he refused to let the team be defined by one of its members. To address a particularly aberrant behavior, the commander pulled Chuck aside and told him: “You are a valued member of this team…and you will have a place on this team as long as your contribution exceeds your aggravation…and not a moment longer.” I LOVE that measure of relationships … and don’t we all use something like that, even if it’s not as clearly stated? Think about it as you evaluate design project clients, hire new associates, work for rogue employers…and maybe closer to home, too.
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.
For sales professionals, everywhere I see my role as making it easy for YOU to sell so that it is easier for the customer to buy from you. Sounds good, right? So much of the salesperson’s effectiveness is based … Continue reading →