A friend of mine asked me recently, when was the last time I listened unconditionally for 20 minutes to some one that I love? And when I say unconditionally, what he meant was just listening: listening to what it is they have to say – really listening, fully listening.
How well do we listen as sales people? I’ve been selling for a long time and training selling for a long time. What you find with sales individuals is that their heads are so full of things that their bosses told them, that their KPIs (their Key Performance Indicators) are saying they should talk about, that they just go in and they have a chat with retailers without really listening. What they’re doing when they’re talking to those people is, they’re talking in such a way that they’re trying to find out an opportunity, an opportunity to talk about what it is they want to talk about, an opportunity to talk about the benefits that they want to talk about.
What FXL Executive Solutions want to put across is a concept of selling where you go in completely with the head of the customer or the head of the retailer on, or whoever you’re selling to, and yes you understand your KPIs; yes you understand who you’re working for and who pays your wages; but the most important thing when you go in is to connect with the other human being that you’re talking to and to give them the respect that they deserve as another human being. Even if often that respect is not reciprocated, you as the sales person should practice being connected. If you really understand the true meaning of connection, you realise that it’s not about practice, it’s about being. Selling is a way of being and being connected is a way of being, the two are interlinked; successful selling and being connected are interlinked. They’re interlinked to the extent that you go in and you listen with what some psychologists talk about as ‘unconditional positive regard’. In other words, you listen to hear what the other person has to say. Yes, you don’t have half an hour or 45 minutes to listen to some people, you might only have 2 or 3; they might only have 2 or 3 minutes to talk to you. But however long you have, you should be listening. When you are listening, you hear things. When you are listening to connect, or listening as a connected being, you hear things that work for you and you hear things that they need, you hear things they want, you hear things that are their hopes and even desires. Once that connection has been made then you can move on in trying to see how you can meet their desires, their needs, whatever it is they want. That is what selling is really about, selling is about making that connection. Yes, it’s about preparation, it’s about understanding benefits and needs, it’s about that knowledge that comes with the profession of being a sales person, but fundamentally it’s about connection.
How well connected are you? How well connected are your sales people to the customers that they deal with every day?
FXL Executive Solutions work with people and teams to develop their capability to listen with unconditional positive regard in a truly authentic and connected way of being. This is just one way we transform both individuals and organisations through our tailored and bespoke coaching approach.
Phone: +44 (0) 7718 806109