Sales Tip: Develop an Others-Centered Mindset

sales, sales effectivenessA coaching colleague recently commented that, "We live in the golden age of untreated narcissm." He's probably right. And when it comes to sales, the good news is that people like to talk about themselves. The bad news is that we as sales professionals are sometimes tainted by the same disease. To increase our sales effectiveness we need to go into every selling conversation with the mindset of being "others-centered." This conversation is not about me, it's about them. Our job is to engage them, learn about them, uncover the needs that our product or services address, and then lastly, offer them a custom solution. It's got to be all about them!

Be a Go-Giver

One of my favorite books in recent years has been Bob Burg's The Go-Giver. Bob says that the best sales people are always looking for ways to add value, and then they give that value generously. The best sales people are generous and selfless. One best practice that I have observed is for sales people to utilize their unique talents, strengths, or resources to generously serve their prospects and clients. You don't have to do something you don't want to do. Just identify those unique things that you enjoy and offer that to your prospects. If it's research, give them saleant information. If it's writing, give them tips. If it's networking, connect them to other people who can help them. If your company has unique tools, resources, or products of value, as appropriate give them away. Be a "go-giver." What are some ways that you can go the "extra mile" to serve your prospects? Another collegue of mine has a witty saying. He says "There are no traffic jams on the extra mile!" That's true. You will differentiate yourself from your competitors if you look for ways to add value by going the extra mile!

Seek First to Understand

One final thought. Stephen Covey in his classic book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People identifies a habit that is quite relevant to this discussion. He says "Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood." Remember, it's about them! Ask them questions that get them talking about themselves, their businesses, and their challenges. Seek to understand them as thoroughly as possible before pitching your solution. Through empathic listening we can cause our prospects to feel heard and deeply understood. And when they feel that, they are much more inclined to buy from us! Be sure to go into every selling conversation with an others-centered mindset!

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