Listen in as Anne shares how you can make a big impact in a critical sales meeting without sounding like just another salesperson.
Have you ever had one of those sales calls where you know you are SO right for the client that you are practically bouncing out of your seat? Have you ever wondered why the person didn’t buy from you?
When selling one of the number one mistakes I see people make is they are so focused on getting to yes that they miss all the flags the customer holds up. This means that you end up presenting the entire time on what you have to offer, they pepper you with questions and you leave proud that you had the right answers to their questions. And then…the deal never comes through and you are stumped as to why.
So what happened?
When you go for the yes your brain automatically focuses on:
1. Looking knowledgeable to the client. This means that knowing your “stuff” becomes more important to your brain them helping them with their “stuff.”
3. Listening for the fit. This means you are listening for what will weed you in versus what will weed you out. Therefore, the what will weed you out discussion happens without you present. I would rather you were there to candidly talk about why it would or wouldn’t fit with their needs; how you stack up against the competition, and what obstacles they need to overcome internally in order to take action on what you share.
What you want to do instead is have your brain focused on truly listening to what the client needs, why they believe they need it (think what pain do they think it will eliminate), and what fears they have with making a change. Once you open up your listening you are better able to “hear” both the opportunities and the blockers. Since they don’t feel any pressure that you are trying to sell them something they will start to share more candidly with you. This leads to greater cross selling and larger contracts. Your expertise is felt, not in what you share, but in what insights you help them uncover.
Take Action: At your next client meeting try to spend 30% of the time talking and get them to talk 70% of the time. See what information comes up that you normally never have access to otherwise.
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The truth is that your brain is continually forming new paths and new ways of thinking IF you are training it to do that.
Recent research shows that an 88 year old will learn new brain patterns if taught…so you can teach an old dog a new trick!
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that about 70 percent of learning during your lifetime is the result of experience. The question becomes how do you capitalize on that “on the job experience” so that what people are learning and practicing is what you want.
To make training become learning so it sticks it needs to have the following ingredients:
1. It needs to get at the belief level, not just the behavior level. Showing people what to do works when you have simple tasks but when you have complicated tasks you need people to develop a style of thinking that allows them to create guidelines that they can work within to reach decisions independent of you.
2. It has to be experiential. People learn best when they “experience” something in their own world. That is why all of our programs have people bring their own material to work on. We live in your world rather than drag you to our world. You need to see direct application to the challenges you face.
3. You need some visceral learning as well. Visceral learning allows others to learn off of others, stories, or situations so they can overcome fears.
4. It needs to be applicable in both their work and personal life. The more your training crosses between both worlds, the more people will naturally put to use their new skills they have learned. So build in examples of how they can use it both at work and at home. I am always in awe of the emails and letters we receive from people 5-10 years AFTER they have gone through a program sharing results they have had both at home and at work. We have had more people say, “this changed my marriage” and yet what we taught was how to develop a strategic communication that allows you to present your ideas to others.
5. The more accountability there is the more people will apply what they learn. The event is NOT the learning, it is the training. The LEARNING is the application of what they have been trained on. You want to build in accountability for practicing what they learned so they build new brain pathways.
Check over your current training to see if you have the above built in. If you don’t, you are most likely not seeing the strong results you should be from your training dollars. Personally I am big on metrics so we look for results from our clients of a 25% savings of time, an increase in productivity, a shortening of their sales cycle by up to 70% and a turnaround in tough relationships. Your training should save you time, money, and increase your productivity.
Learn more at www.impressionmanagement.com and join us for an Outcome Thinking Webinar to start your journey!
If you haven’t had a chance go to YouTube and click on the video for Johnathan Antoine Audition-Britain’s Got Talent 2012.
I have included the link for you here:
What you will see are three amazing lessons all imparted in just under eight minutes.
1. Don’t judge; keep yourself open to the amazing things in each of us. As Charlotte and Johnathan stand on stage you can’t help but notice his size, and more androgyneous look. Charlotte on the other hand is poised, charming in her dialogue and appears to be the “gift.” But the real gift comes when Johnathan opens his mouth to sing. I swear it was Pavarotti on stage.
2. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Charlotte sings more contemporary while Johnathan is opera and the mix of them is something sweet, poignant and goes straight to your hear.
3. Stay loyal to who brought you to the dance. Inevitably Simon always opens his mouth and typically some cruel gem drops out of it. In this episode he advises Johnathan to drop Charlotte and go on as his own. Now remember, Johnathan’s answer can determine whether the show allows the group to continue or not. Johnathan says, “well we came as a duo and we are staying as a duo.”
I think all three of these lessons are ones we need to continually remind ourselves of on a daily basis. Always look for the gift inside and you will be continually amazed at the power that is there.
I have seen many conversations fail, not because the words weren’t right but because the timing was so poor that the words couldn’t even be heard.
So here are some guidelines to help you facilitate change by managing the receptivity factor:
1. Approach at a time when emotions aren’t high. Your natural tendency will be to approach the other person while it is still “fresh” on your mind. This leads you to dump on the other person while they are still in a fragile stage because they have just completed the tasks. Their brain will immediately try to defend and see you as the obstacle.
2. Pick a quiet peaceful time generally about 24 hours AFTER the event.
3. Time it to coincide with their own goals. So instead of pointing out “you lost your audience yesterday when you asked them to…” you tie it to their own goals- “as a valuable leader people look to you to direct them on context, therefore, yesterday when you asked them to… without setting context you cause them to feel lost. This lost feeling will cause them to pull away from you.” Notice that I have aligned with the person’s goal of being a valuable leader. This moves it from a “mistake” to being an “opportunity” for improvement. Small difference but huge to a person’s brain.
4. Give them digestive time. People need time to take in what you say and process it. So waiting 24 hours and then telling the person right before they head in to a big meeting is counterproductive as their brain will be angry that they have to stuff what you just told them in order to move to their next meeting. So make sure there is adequate time to “hear” the information, digest it and then process it.
If you follow these four you should be able to have robust conversations. I also find that the 24 hour rule of waiting to approach the person allows ME time to digest and see if MY perspective is right. Nine times out of 10 I find that I am reacting to something and blowing it out of proportion so this allows me to pull the perspective in so I gain a wider viewpoint.
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