Having to tell my son, Ben, his dog had to be euthanized this past Tuesday is now on my top ten list of life’s crappy moments. Seeing him cry as he said goodbye to Max, yep, that’s on the list as well. That same day, a girl with whom he was starting a relationship suddenly ended their friendship by text. As Ben put it, “this day can’t get any worse.”
As a Dad, I want to shield Ben from these hurts in life. But I can’t, which really pisses me off at times! So I did the next best thing—sit with him, listen to him, cry with him, and even dish about what a jerk the girl was being. Being present can’t make up for the pain, however, it creates a shared intimacy that’s makes these moments a little more tolerable.
This is what’s often missing in sales—truly intimate conversations where the salesperson is so present that the buyer has an experience that transcends the selling. Our presence is one the greatest gifts we can give anyone, including customers.
Instead of thinking ahead of what you’re going to say next, think and be in the moment, hanging on all the words being said as though they were a precious commodity—which they are. Another person trusting you with their thoughts is about as precious as life can get.
SALES YOGA: A TRANSFORMATIONAL PRACTICE FOR OPENING DOORS AND CLOSING DEALS
Preparation in selling is often overdone or overrated. Surprised? If too much emphasis is put on preparation, salespeople focus more on what they have planned instead of what actually happens in the meeting with a buyer.
Today, I watched a sales veteran I work with conduct a masterful sales meeting. Alex’s mastery had nothing to do with what he planned on selling or what he planned on saying. He was prepared just enough to understand his client, their company, and industry. What made the meeting brilliant was his presence in the conversation; it was like a spontaneous, beautiful dance that incorporated some choreography where it fit into the conversation. The buyer was incredibly engaged and showed visible signs of comfort and trust in this sales pro.
Alex, after the meeting, said, “I used to over-prepare, so of course I felt obligated to do all that I was prepared to do. Today, I spend just a bit of time reading and researching. The majority of my preparation is centered on being present during the meeting. I make sure I’m well rested, unrushed, and then I actually visualize myself, before the meeting, being fully present to what the buyer has to say. During the conversation, I employ those Integrative Questions you taught me to create a meaningful conversation for both of us. Since I started doing this, all of my meetings have gone well, even with buyers who started out being standoffish.”
Sales Yogi’s know that presence is more important than preparation, since their is no possible way to prepare for all of the possibilities. So, rather than spending too much time practicing what you’re going to say or even how you’re going to say it, practice presence in role-plays and mock scenarios. Great conversations come from presence and spontaneity, never from rigid choreography.
Scott WintripPresence is More Important Than Preparation—Scott’s Sales Yoga Thought for the Day
As I pondered the death of a 19 year-old former classmate of my daughter this past weekend, I was reminded of just how fleeting time and life can be. While goals and aspirations are worthy endeavors, the most meaningful aspect of life is each and every present moment.
This week, your being fully present with every customer, colleague, and individual in your life is the highest level of service you can provide. As you give the present of presence, you’ll be rewarded as well as you hear more, see more, and experience more of the fullness of these interactions. Each person will be positively impacted because of the simple, sustainable, and precious gift of your full attention.