I was once hired by Wells Fargo Bank for the “precise purpose of “turning bankers into human beings”.
The purpose of this article is less presumptuous—-to validate and add some ideas for all those who have chosen the goal of “Conscious” business decisions. The use of “Conscious” here means that decisions are based on ascertaining what is good in the deal for both parties or all parties involved. Forget win-lose. In business deals this doesn’t work.
Success depends on all parties being happy with the final arrangement. There are better goals for business leaders than raw financial. The unexpected good news is that research shows substantial financial gains from conscious decisions in business. The founder of Whole Foods wrote a book on this, “Conscious Capitalism.” This is a book worth reading. The small miracles that seem to accompany conscious business decisions are certainly interesting.
The skills and thinking processes presented here will protect you from the stigma of being a “typical salesperson,” whether you are male or female. You may not think of yourself as a salesperson. You probably see yourself as an employee, agent, financier, even a banker, but no matter what your work is, you are selling your ideas to others. Ideas are hard sells, so these processes and skills are the specialized ones needed for difficult sales.
SKILL NO. 1 : CONGRUENCE
Sales approaches only work if you are “Congruent” when you are presenting your idea or a service you believe in. Congruent means that all of your many sub-personalities (the ambitious one, the lazy one, the alert one, the sleepy one) are in agreement about the intrinsic worth of your proposed package.
If you do not think what you are offering is the greatest thing going in its category, your non-verbals will give you away in subtle signs. Your words will back fire. How do you think “car salesman” got its taint?
So a prerequisite for conscious selling is that you find a product or service or idea that you truly believe in and that you know will benefit the other.
SKILL NO.2 : RAPPORT
Knowing what rapport is and knowing how to create it is the most important skill a conscious business person can have. Rapport is trust in competence for the task at hand. Once you are displaying the non-verbal signs of congruence, you open the door to trust on the other person’s part. Establishing trust is mostly non-verbal, but it is an attractive state, and we gravitate toward it if the outward signals are right.
I’ve long held the belief that when you lie, cheat or steal, eventually you are found out and punished in some exquisitely perfect manner. Not everyone believes this. Some of those at Enron, Tyco and Arthur Anderson belong to this group, or so it seems to me. If they had thought they’d end up on the front page of the New York Times as felons, maybe they’d have tried integrity instead.
If you have congruence and integrity, then rapport just sort of unfolds.
SKILL NO 3: ENJOY YOURSELF
Once you have found the product or service or idea, you can simply relax and notice what is happening in the interaction with the decision maker. Fear and tension have killed more sales and creative ideas than any other emotions. Once you have attained congruence, you will probably find these problems have disappeared and you are enjoying your work.
Rapport between people occurs naturally if you are honest, competent, congruent, enjoying the interaction, and believe in your product or idea. Once the fear and tension of making a mistake disappear, 8 hours seems short. Your energy shifts into the energy of integrity.
IF THESE SKILLS DO NOT WORK
If you try these skills and they do not work, then it may be time to find another product, learn to listen to your sub-personalities, as well as your clients, and practice the energy of truth and honesty. These are the crucial ingredients of a conscious salesperson and leader in 2016.