This past week I was fortunate enough to conduct a sales training with an Ultra-High performing team. As I’ve mentioned many times before most of the Quarter Turns I’ve shared over the years are a direct result of these interactions with such talented and motivated people.
Though out the day we discussed the importance of really being present and in the moment with clients and customers and truly listening to their needs vs. forcing our own needs upon them.
So many times I see sales people overloading potential clients with product information and all the really great features of what our products and services can do for them. Yet truly skilled sales professionals understand that at it’s core sales is really about creating and forging strong relationships, asking questions to identify customer needs, listening to those needs, and ultimately providing a solution that fits.
At the end of every session I like to challenge each participant to share their biggest or most impactful take aways from the day and more importantly what they are going to apply “out the door and on the floor.”
It was then that the Senior Vice President of sales stated how the day reminded him of the importance to “Be where my feet are.” He went on to talk about how easy it is at conferences or meetings to not engage fully with a prospect, or to bounce from one conversation to another without really listening to what the customer needs or wants.
It’s just as easy to do the same with your own team bouncing around from team member to team member without really being present in the conversation because we are too worried about our own agenda or the conversation is simply transactional because you need something from that individual but can’t be bothered by what their needs may be in that moment.
Being where your feet are means actually suspending your own needs and judgments in the moment and being present. Then it’s about asking questions that allow the person you are with to really know that you want to gain an understanding of not just what they need but actually who they are.
Once you ask those questions then you get to actively listening to the answers because often times what people say isn’t really what they mean. If you are too busy thinking about your own agenda then you will miss the opportunity to connect with that person at a much deeper level, and not just in business but also in our lives with the people we claim to care about the most.
Our brains are designed with a unique feature that neuro-scientists call “Nexting.” This is the amazing ability to actually project ourselves into the future and think about what’s next. Nexting allows us to plan for the future, set goals, build our business, protect ourselves from harm and basically create incredible lives for ourselves and our families.
The problem is that like anything, nexting can become a habit that makes it extremely hard to be present, and in the moment when we really want to be there to make those important connections with people whether in our business or in our lives.
This week challenge yourself to “Be where your feet are”, ask a lot of questions, be interested instead of interesting, and really listen to the person you are having a conversation with. Suspend your own agenda and your own needs for a few minutes, leave your smart phone tucked away somewhere on silent mode and really engage with this person.
You may be surprised at the level of connection you are able to achieve in those few minutes, and both of you will leave the conversation feeling a bit better than you did before simply by doing what humans are designed to do naturally… connect with others.
Thoughts for the week:
Perhaps the most important thing we ever give to eachother is our attention. -Rachel Naomi Reme
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued. – Brene Brown
When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and pre-occupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift into the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection- or compassionate action. –Daniel Goleman
Think reputation, not ranking… Connection, not network… Loyalty, not celebrity. – Ted Rubin
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. – Dau Voire
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou
Looking forward to our next connection