Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From the Heart: Six Ways to Build Connections in Your Selling Relationships by Diane Marie Pinkard

If you want to have a fulfilling career in sales, you must first and foremost ask yourself these two questions: Do you enjoy serving people? Do you want to make your customer’s day better than it was before he or she met you or talked with you?” If you answered yes to these questions, then sales is really the right place for you and I believe I have a few valuable pieces of advice to give you. By taking these few simple tips to heart, you can truly start to transform your selling!

1. Don’t look at your profession as a job; look at it as a way of life—a hobby. Learn to love what you are doing! Get excited to learn all you can to become a master. Like a master gardener or chef, it starts as an interest and becomes a hobby. Then, as we learn more, we become an expert—we become experts doing something we love! And naturally, we love the results!

2. Overcome your greatest obstacle—yourself! Listen to what you’re saying to yourself! Are you your own worst enemy? Are you negative, defensive, or critical? Are you just plain self-defeating, manipulative, and relentless in relating all the reasons why you can’t achieve success? If so, take a personal inventory and if you do not like what you see, get the help you need to re-program the personal tapes you are playing to yourself.

3. View yourself as a performer; see yourself as the star. Imagine yourself performing on center stage, and enjoying being in the limelight. Feel happy inside, and see your self singing and dancing. Drop your inhibitions and choreograph fun. Because “making merry” really makes the selling experience a lot more enjoyable for everybody. Loosen up and make some light, playful folly! And, with your lively customers, share the stage with them whenever the opportunity arises. Treat them like celebrities and choose them to be your costars. Happiness is freeing; it is also, very contagious!

4. Develop that inner place of passion embellished with fun when you are selling. Connecting from this sensitive, playful place will bring the relationship your customer is consciously or unconsciously yearning for. When I sell, I see myself as a cake full of heart, frosted with fun. I love to play with analogies, metaphors, and images as I perform. I love to watch people drop their guard, become real, and lighten up. People love to feel that you care, that you are enjoying them, and that you are genuinely interested in their needs. We all want to feel like we matter!

5. Be what you want others to be with you. Pay full attention to the self-empowerment you gain from this modest concept! Every day, people in all walks of life are hurt, angry and/or frustrated because they feel they’re not being treated the way they want to be treated. Your first expression is the client’s lasting impression. Your actions, your choice of words, your eye contact, and your body language all reflect who you are and your comfort level with yourself. Remember, you are the best product you have to offer. Plain and simple: You are selling you, and that’s what people buy—you!

6. Master the desire, the passion, and the ability to compassionately reach out to people. Nothing compares to the wonderful, welcoming sensations we have when we sense that someone really cares about us. Everybody has a hungry heart. Humans thrive on healthy interpersonal connections—we are meant to be happy, social creatures. And it’s so easy to achieve this bond by kindly extending a personal part of ourselves to others.

Today, we are living on the fast track in a rapidly changing world. Due to our modern existence, smothered with automation and highly sophisticated technology, making contact with a truly caring and competent service specialist is becoming more and more of a rarity. In our time-pressed society we are all so busy multitasking, we have lost touch with the precious value for human caring and enjoyable interconnectedness with one another.

So what can you do to make a worthwhile contribution and difference in our spinning, out-of-control world? Be different than other salespeople, simply by slowing down your tempo. Take that extra moment to treat your new prospects as though they are someone special. Take a few moments to tap into them; ask them about themselves and their talents, and listen to their responses with genuine interest. Let them know you are there with them and for them. Treat them the way you would like to be treated! You will be truly amazed with the wondrous results—your efforts will pay off tenfold!

I realize that not everyone is nice and/or receptive, nor do they want to be, and that’s just how the ball bounces. But what in the world do you have to lose by graciously channeling yourself to this euphoric place and seeing where it takes you? Again, this effort costs you nothing. It’s free! It seems almost impossible for me to express in words the blissful feelings you will experience when you realize the beautiful contribution you are gifting to others.

Besides the joy you are giving others, look at the wealth of goodness you are flooding into your own soul. Your sunshine energy not only affects your recipient, it permeates our universe. Think of your actions as a much-needed, healthy new epidemic—your vibrant, radiant behavior will catch on and become contagious. It’s really that simple!

Enjoy this beautiful, soft whisper from the past that I just read this morning: “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” This quote comes from Elizabeth Bibesco, a 20th century English writer. Please lock this precious morsel into your heart and model it in your life! Envision each small contribution you make for the betterment of mankind, to add up and help make our world a better place.

Please note: This article was published in the March 2009 issue of Master Salesmanship.

Diane Marie Pinkard

1 comment:

Josh said...

Just connected with you on LinkedIn, Marie...

Going to take time to read through some of your stuff later today when I have time... At a glance, you strike me a lady who articulates many of the values that are beginning to gell in my life.

Would love to chat with you sometime...