I’ve spent the last 20 years training and developing professionals across four disparate industries. From Hospitality to Food Services, from Retail to Financial Planning, I’ve had the opportunity to witness virtually every type of sales approach, technique, and fad imaginable. Though I am still appalled at the level of service that so many people are willing to accept, I take heart in the fact that some of us have left no room for mediocrity. That puts us at such a strategic advantage that we can focus on what really matters to our customers: them.
How many of you have been to a motivational seminar or workshop in the past couple of years? Maybe it focused on personal empowerment, strategic sales, leadership, or financial independence. Well, I’ve been to my fair share and I can attest to the often-euphoric atmosphere that surrounds such events. The level of energy is incredible and the hopes and aspirations of those attending hang in the balance. After a day or two of being immersed in the “culture”, some people are ready to call the world their oyster. They’re calling their friends, telling everyone that they’ve got to try this out themselves. The cross-pollination of exuberance and enthusiasm is palpable. Then, like air escaping from a balloon, the inevitable happens. People return to their pre-seminar, pre-sales conference, or pre-empowerment selves.
It’s important to understand why this occurs. It comes down to two key reasons: First, once people are removed from the environment that fosters that pent up need to feel good, to feel important, to make a difference, their ability to carry it over into their everyday lives wanes. Second, most people lack the discipline to convert words into deeds. Once the mentorship is over, to whom do they turn? Who’s there to tell them what they need to do or how to execute the strategy? They’re alone now and that creates a serious disconnect. The worst part is that many public speakers and trainers bank on this phenomenon as it ensures continuity in their nefarious business models.
If any of you have experienced the let-down after being on a professional high, then imagine what your prospective clients have been through. It may not be seminars or workshops. It may be in their work, with their families, or a personal crisis. The beautiful thing about humanity, however, is that we are all linked emotionally. If you capture that understanding and apply it on a daily basis, then I guarantee that you and your clients will come out winners. It’s a black and white truth that will pay dividends beyond your wildest dreams, if you choose to embrace it. You will be dumbfounded by what you will achieve. This approach also ensures a lasting relationship that transcends short-term euphoria.
How do you get there? Well, first and foremost, you have to build high levels of trust and mutual respect. You must share your vision of the future. You have to find creative and exciting ways to put that vision into practice. When you harness the collective energy of like-minded sales professionals and channel it towards meeting the fundamental needs of your highly prized clients then the sky is the limit.
You and I both know that clients don’t deal with intangibles or bricks and mortar. They deal with you. You’re the ambassador. You’re the face of the company. When they prosper, it’s you they will subconsciously remember.
If we defer our own interests and satisfaction to the client, then integrity and honesty will necessarily follow. Like compound interest, your investment in your clients will, over time, grow exponentially. There is still a huge segment of the selling population that has it backwards. They don’t believe in self-sacrifice; it’s all about instant gratification. If we know that this approach is self-defeating, why do we do it? I suggest that it’s because we haven’t learned to seek satisfaction and reward through the achievements of others, namely our clients. For many it’s still a new concept. Our strategic advantage, however, is that we can know the difference and be rewarded accordingly.