We have an inner eye that sees and colours our sight, it is the filter through which we see the world. The eye, and what it sees, leads us to respond to our “world view” in a way that ultimately influences our leadership style. Well, it is not exactly the eye but the filters we slide in front (and behind) the eye that produces "our worldview".
If we see anger, danger and pain you will use your primeval responses of fight or flight as a leader. See love, compassion and helpful service and you will react and deliver our Leadership style is a vastly different way.
To a large extent, we all have the same eye, but we are conditioned by our experiences to create a set of filters through which we view the world. Filters that somehow enlarge mistrust and anger, “bending” the rays of truth into seeing what we want to see, rather than what is there.
“Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.”
Hence the saying! However, you have to recognise the truth first or you could go through your business life being complacently kissed by a lie and not recognising the meta (underlying) truth that needs your attention.
So what is necessary for us to achieve this balanced view of the world and present ourselves to others in a way that will motivate as well as lead "them" to positive change? Here are 3 things for your consideration.
#1 the Branding Challenge
Do you think that the entire population of the known universe would like to know you, want to speak to you, and buy things from you? Is that an achievable dream do you think? A universally recognised brand would be nice (however, I sometimes wonder), but not easily achieved. So, we need to brand ourselves as (salespeople, company owners entrepreneurs), to attract our desired customer/market place, called, "the niche"
a Jaguar eats ____ hunts ____ NOT on the plains but at ____ in dense jungle
PPPP ~ People, Position, Product, Price; Focus is the ATTENTION you pay to your selected niche ~ which is usually defined by; what your Product characteristics are, or, it could be the targets identity, or then, it could also come from your personal affinity and knowledge to this market segment(s) ~ their needs, requirements & burning issues? The greatest danger to personal branding is the generalist, not unlike many Business Coaches, who represent themselves as being all things to all people. Able to fill in most (if not all) of the blanks presented by the target, across the waterfront of their Business/Life issues. Some targets, might present with what looks like a "waterfront" need, but it is very rare for it to be their actual need. We need to navigate to the real (sometimes VERY subliminal) reason why they are asking for help. (if they agree to see you ~ they are asking!)
One of the benefits of the coaching idiom, should be that they are NOT specialists in every Business/Life subject, so are able, through their insightful questioning coupled to relevant motivational skills, to bring a target to the self-realisation of the possible solution to their burning platform. Therefore it becomes important, that you can truly analyse the value you represent, while able to articulate the relevance to your prospect, the target of your truth! If I was to challenge you, that the value that you bring to our discussion was minimal, could you then blame a targeted "consumer" of whatever you have to offer, being sceptical? Have a look at our "tool" to define the value we bring and see if you can build one just like it within your context?
#2 the FireHose Challenge
the Clever-a$$ says; I ____ you say, ____ is worrying you, ____ we've fixed that at _____
In every field of human endeavour the "smart-a$$" holds the floor and pontificates, while the clever-a$$, sits quietly and listens for the opening to present their value. We call it the 5C's of our unique sales process. You can read more about our "Engagement Model" idea & practice here. Some think that to effectively engage with your target, requires some magically technique ~ which will enable you to; win an order, dominate the discussion, communicate well, sell, gain acceptance, beat the competition, etc,. Being effective about communicating anything to anyone ~ like a used car salesperson ~ like selling ice to Eskimos etc., is a base requirement, but, some also believe that you must have some inbuilt (an unlearnt natural) attribute ~ like the gift of the gab ~ to be any good at it.
However, if you focus on their buying process, "they" will have one ~ documented or not, your knowledge of how it works, is the only way to know how YOU can help! At what point in their buying process are they at the moment? What do they still need from me ~ how could I help them move their ball forward ~ to find or implement a solution? What's worrying them ~ the greatest component may be that they JUST need to trust (someone) the vendor they choose ~ to deliver; Have the ~ "do I/you want to do business with you/me (the desert island) discussion.” If you were marooned on a desert island, yet you could take just one music track with you ~ which one would it be? ~ this works both ways ~ for their trust and yours! Would you want them as a prospective reliable client ~ and ~ would they want you as a valued and trusted supplier? Never leave feeling brilliant, it's also a good interviewing metric ~ don’t hire the smartest person in the room, but the one who asks the most insightful questions and wants to learn!
There is so much to un-pack on the subject of mutual trust ~ and, as the saying goes, trust is earned. We start to take this concept apart in our free on-line eCourse ~ watch this short video on building Business Relationships.
Recently, I overheard a salesperson coming back from their presentation, bright eyed and bushy tailed, over the moon with how well their presentation had been received. Not a single question was asked! They must have covered everything! Sorry to tell you, they were "shut up" by trying to drink (your huge amount of unrelated data) from your firehose ~ that sales-call has not moved "the ball forward" at all!
#3 the "closing" Challenge
the atypical salesperson says; I,I,I____ exactly what you want, don't worry, leave it to ____ don't pass this up, just sign _____
After a lifetime of selling ~ you cannot overlook the central maxim for selling and that is "Always Be Closing" ~ the ABC*! So, intuitively the salesperson knows and moves to this touchstone of success at the earliest opportunity. It doesn't matter is you're selling a product or a concept, to a prospect or the bank manager - getting "out of the way" of the close will facilitate the target making their engagement decision themselves! Very counter-intuitively?
"Shut-up my Prospect ~ How many do you want, and when can I deliver them?"
Most prospects already know how to describe their problem and have a good understanding of the final solution. In todays connected world this is become more and more so. Have you ever tried the magic "wand" discussion ~ "if you could wave a magic wand, what outcome would you be most comfortable with?" In our "sales process" the last step is to Creatively engage with them in visualising the outcome ~ targets value the 1-on-1 no agenda over the overbearing ABC* closing pressure ~ rather to discuss their decisions mutually sketch desired outcomes.
"Lay it on me" - I have the time to listen and Care to VALUE where you want to go!
Be seen to be objective without pushing your own agenda by allowing them to use you as a sounding board ~ Be the “coach” the "fellow traveler & guide" ~ the person who helps them communicate "their" ideas & desired outcomes to their wider Buying Centre audience. (See our work on AS-MÚD-I here)
Never leave a meeting feeling like the genius! Make sure you’re not “telling” or even “suggesting”! They might take longer to “get it,” but what they get, will be their idea ~ with far greater commitment & enthusiasm! They will value your presence - not your input - and referrals will flow