I recently met up for coffee with a friend who runs a business networking group.
At one point our conversation drifted on to some of her members and what business they were in. She was telling me about one particular member who had a business teaching people about how to sell.
The basis of the sales programme (which was a franchise) was that for every and any possible thing a prospective client could come up with, you would have a pre-prepared answer.
So, if the prospect said this, you’d say that. And so on…
The problem was, for this member, was that people didn’t really connect with her and she wasn’t getting any business. Which isn’t great when you’re teaching how to sell!
Here’s an observation.
The more we fill up our minds with thinking the less able we are to connect, in a meaningful way, with other people. To connect with others we need to be interested (in them), attentive, curious, willing to listen and unattached to the outcome.
This is impossible to do if we are listening to our own thinking at the same time – you cannot effectively be in two conversations at once.
This just isn’t possible.
Sales in an interesting activity. Although for many business people selling is an essential part of what they do, whether this is gaining new clients, continuing to add value to existing relationships or sharing ideas with co-workers, it’s an area that holds more than its fair share of challenges.
Just the idea of it can send many otherwise high-functioning, confident, personable and potentially great sellers onto an emotional roller coaster ride of negativity.
Why does this happen?
They create all this thinking around selling that makes them feel insecure – ‘I hate selling.’, ‘I’m just not cut out for this.’, ‘What if they say no?’, ‘I just need to convince them’, etc.
If it looks like the situation (i.e. selling) comes with all these feelings attached to it, then its avoided. People force themselves to cope under the circumstances or they go on a training programme (like the one mentioned) that fills their mind up with even more thinking.
None of these really help but, thankfully, there is another, better approach.
The most effective sales programme you could ever go on would have its foundation in just one fact – there is no link between our inner experience and our outer circumstances. Selling cannot make us feel a certain way. Our experience comes from thought, not our external world.
It wouldn’t teach you mind management techniques, sales techniques or closing techniques because doing so would be adding thinking to your mind when it is having less on your mind that helps most of all.
Also, it actually doesn’t matter if we get negative thinking or nervous about selling. What matters is our understanding of what is really going on if we do.
When we see that our experience is coming from thought then the mind will self-correct back to clarity and presence. No techniques required.
With a quiet mind, selling becomes a joyful experience of simply giving time to another human being and seeing if we can be of help or not.
What’s the difficulty in that?