Earning trust and building relationships with customers can often be overlooked by sales people. Focusing only on the opportunity, or just closing the sale can be detrimental. By being a positive sales influencer, you can build rapport and credibility with your relationships. This week, Gregg Baron explains how to become a sales influencer and earn business from customers rather than just focusing on the opportunity at hand.
Are You a Positive Sales Influencer?
by Gregg Baron
“Too many sales people are opportunity focused. The only thing they listen for is an opportunity for themselves! That leads to a selling disease with the symptoms of leaving opportunities on the table, not adding enough value, and not building an ongoing business relationship characterized by trust and respect. Far too many sales people have the disease because they are not taking the time to do what matters most when working to earn someone’s business.”
– Rick Barrera, Author of Over Promise. Over Deliver
So, why don’t more sales people influence more positively and effectively? In some situations, it’s a lack of skill-set. In more situations, it’s about mindset.
“Mindset before skill-set to optimize execution”
Some people are influencers by nature. They have a natural style and affinity for empathy, listening and putting others at ease. They are naturals at building credibility, authentic rapport and trust. Others are lucky to have great role models who also coach and guide them to become great influencers. However, in my experience, most of us aren’t naturals at influencing effectively and have poor or nonexistent role models.
A good number of business people just aren’t getting the right quantity and quality of coaching, training, and mentoring around this critical skill. Some don’t get enough and some don’t get any.
You’ve probably heard of Malcolm Gladwell the author of the Tipping Point and several other extraordinary books. In his book Outliers, Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field. That’s a lot of practice. The Art of Influence Simplified hopes to save people a good chunk of those 10,000 hours by more quickly learning and understanding the patterns of what extraordinary influencers in business actually do.
Perhaps more importantly, is understanding what they believe. There are a few key beliefs of excellent influencers, perceived to be “Trusted Advisors” by their customers. If you are perceived as a Trusted Advisor vs the salesperson or vendor you are doing something different and that difference makes you more valuable and effective over time.
We could do multiple books on why a significant percentage of salespeople don’t influence as positively or as effectively as they could. A short list begins with:
- They prioritize their self-interest over the customer / prospect
- They don’t work on their craft (Professional Influence) at all or enough
- They don’t listen effectively on all levels
- They don’t prepare effectively
- They pitch too much
- They don’t customize their approach at all or enough for each unique customer
- They don’t effectively establish credibility which impacts trust, which impacts everything
- They don’t have the will or the skill to uncover the value the customer wants (what they really care about, prioritize, want and need)
- They speak their own language and don’t learn and speak the prospect’s language
- They aren’t ETDBW (Easy To Do Business With)
- They don’t make the sales experience valuable enough for the customer
To read more about the Art of Influence Simplified go to: http://www.success-sciences.com/artofinfluence/
Gregg Baron, CMC is the president of Success Sciences, Inc. headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Success Sciences is a research based performance improvement firm that focuses on developing a team’s ability to earn and retain more successful customer relationships. They do that by significantly enhancing their competence, confidence and consistency in managing the prospect and customer experience.