Sunday, June 4, 2017

Heart-Centered Leadership vs. Manipulative Sales Tactics

Salespeople have a bad reputation. In large parts that's a fair assessment. What do you feel when you hear "sales"?

But why? We love to shop. We love to solve our problems and we love to realize our visions and achieve our goals.

Manipulative sales tactics disrupt the buying pleasure

One of the reasons that keep many salespeople from being successful, is that they do not understand the difference between heart-centered leadership and manipulative sales "tricks".
Heart centered vs manipulative sales
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Did you ever tell a friend how you discovered a fabulous restaurant and the way you told it made your friend book a table?

Your friend felt your excitement, that you were sincere, authentic and passionate. He trusted you.

When we hear "sales" we typically associate "being taken advantage of", "manipulation", "annoying", "dishonest" - and other unflattering terms.

When you talked about the book or restaurant, you weren't trying to manipulate. You were simply sharing a story and your emotions. By doing that, you created interest. You influenced. You sold.

How does that work in B2B?

In a B2B situation, the scenario is a bit different from our example.

  • Most salespeople never have the chance to try what they sell (especially in the area of large-scale projects with long sales cycles). 
  • A friend is willing and open to listening to a friend. There is no resistance to overcome. A potential buyer will in many cases just want to make the salesperson go away. We have mere seconds to create interest. 
  • We all are aware of our need to eat and we all love great food. Potential buyers might not be aware that they have the need we can fulfill - and accordingly less willing to talk.

Sell me this pen

Do you cringe too, every time you read this on LinkedIn? It's not that I couldn't appreciate a good old cliché from the 90ties. It just does not reflect the reality of the average B2B salesperson. 

The challenge of a salesperson is that only about 5% of companies who could use their service/product are actively in the market. Some might just have purchased something like what you offer or they might not need it at that moment. 

But the vast majority is just not aware that they can benefit from your products. Someone who is not actively looking for a pen will probably not ask about yours. 

Great salespeople are able to move potential buyers from not being aware of a need to a buying decision. 

How can we transport the "restaurant principle" to B2B?

The line between manipulative hard-selling and heart-centered influencing is fine, especially in the beginning of a potential seller/buyer relationship. 

Because we have a very short amount of time to create interest and break the resistance, we will need to press our good intentions and social competence into a certain structure to earn the right to show that we are trustworthy partners. 

And most importantly, create the trust and emotional and connection that invites a buyer to share honestly about his situation. We need to understand what the buyer wants and how he feels.

Even when he is already aware of a need and is actively looking. Knowing the budget, the decision maker (and the other information classical sales question provide) is not good enough, most of the time. The buyer has a vision or a fear. People are motivated by greed, hunger for recognition, hunger for power, and fear.

Only if a buyer trusts us, will he share delicate information and his true feelings. 

Peer stories can be utilized to earn us the opportunity to listen. The right way of listening and  "story tending" (reflecting our understanding back to the buyer) can help us to influence change. When we help someone from a heart-centered place of service to make a decision that helps them to a result they desire, it's not "hard selling". 

Great salespeople know intuitively how they can overcome resistance and establish rapport with a buyer. Often when they become sales managers, they are faced with the problem that they are unable to teach their sales folks what they do intuitively. 

It's not a matter of "tricks" - it's a matter of social skills and the right structure. As only about 10 - 13% percent of all salespeople have the ability to sell intuitively, the need for training is omnipresent. 

Story Seekers Human Connection Training

Most people already have the skills to influence change, just like they can convince a friend to read a certain book they loved. They might not be aware of it or able to utilize it in a B2B selling scenario.

We teach salespeople to

  • influence people who should be looking
  • create emotional connection and trust
  • do what great salespeople do intuitively

Authenticity, vulnerability, and empathy are wonderful features and traits. But a salesperson also has to close. Over 85% need help with that.

If you want to pick brains or start a conversation - I have a pen and I'm ready to sell (;

Aurorasa Sima
Coach/Trainer/Student/Story Seeker
PO Box 652
Spring Grove, IL 60081
805 738 8871 o
224 888 1488
Story Seekers® helps people boost their EQ

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Open Public Workshop Orcas Island

Story Seekers Open Public Workshop

Story Seekers® Open Workshop in July

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Professionals can learn how to create trust and instant connection in our 2.5-day open workshop. If you are looking to

  • fill your pipelines
  • increase sales
  • build stronger teams
  • become a better public speaker
  • increase your EQ and social competence

this Workshop is for you.

Learn more HERE and contact us to discuss your individual training needs.

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