Shoot the Actor


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In several presentations I have talked about impact of the shift in our economy on business relationships. To that end, there are three aspects of the business relationship that are critical in the formation of them: personalization, authenticity, and community.

Virtually no one has the time, the desire, or the patience to be pitched, sold, manipulated, or coerced into making purchasing decisions. Most every organization, and the people in them, have serious issues and challenges that they are working on solving or fixing. They only have enough time or energy to discover those reliable and committed professionals who can provide the resources to helping them with these issues.

While many organizations continue to push their sales teams to hit their numbers by meeting more people in an attempt to get them to buy and close more deals, let me be the first to say — STOP IT!

I have been reading a great deal about the commentary of many sales trainers and sales educators. There are a lot of creative terms and phrases and styles out there that emphasize relationships based and solutions oriented selling. And, while many of the values in these programs start out in the direction of demonstrating these commitments; in the end, they really teach sales professionals how act and play the roles of a relationship and solution based professional — they do not educate them on effective behaviors to actually be committed to that behavior.

Sincerely engaging in a relationship where you are interested in helping a client with their issues, challenges, goals, and problems mean that you cannot be thinking about how to “get them to buy from you.” That is disingenuous behavior. If that is your goal, you are merely an actor on stage pretending to care.

In a previous post, I talk about the behaviors associated with Selfless Listening™. Selfless Listening is a commitment to your client or prospective client that you are listening for opportunities to be a resource to them in dealing with their issues without inserting your wants, needs, desires, or goals into the conversation. You are selflessly discovering how to be a reliable, committed and professional resource to them without an agenda to sell your stuff.

In an age where people are looking to discover personal, authentic and connected (community) resource to readily and effectively fix what’s broken or enhance what needs improving, walking in acting like you care as long they can buy from you is insincere and “salesy.”

Think about this in a different light. This is an age of word-of-mouth marketing and the power of referrals and relationship based leads. How many times have people said,

You need to meet…He did a really great job of selling me XYZ.

Or, do you desire to have people say,

You would really enjoy connecting with…He has been a valuable resource to me and my organization. Every time we meet, he provides great insights and ideas and he has helped with many of my business issues.”

Think about. When your prospective clients are singing your praises and introducing you to their valued contacts as a professional and trusted resource, you are going to have a lot more meetings than if they introduced you as a great sales guy.

To get there, you have to make the commitment to be authentically and sincerely committed to the relationship without regard to what is in it for you (read selfless). First step in the process — shoot the actor — you are not winning any awards playing that insincere role.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.


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