States of Matter…Matter to the State of Sales
You are a Sales Professional and outside of those of you who are an Engineer or Technician turned Sales Professional, you are probably like me in the sense that paying attention in science class was never at the top of your list of priorities. You were more interested in chatting up the teacher and using your burgeoning sales skills to talk your way out of homework than you were mastering physics or chemistry.
Well lucky for both of us I paid attention just enough in science class to remember the States of Matter and my limited recall of this concept is going to be used in this post to make your experience as a Sales Professional a little easier to understand and therefore improve.
Let’s start with the basics, there are three States of Matter; Solid, Liquid and Gas. There also happens to be three elements to your personality; your Values, your Behaviours and your Emotions. These all line up perfectly.
Your Values are Solid. They represent your world view, your sense of right and wrong, and like a Solid, are rigid and unchanging.
Your Behaviours, like a Liquid, are fluid. They will flow in a natural direction but will change depending upon the barriers placed in front of them. You may, like me, have the Behavioural traits that make paying attention to details a challenge, but that doesn’t mean, also like me, that you can’t will yourself to pay attention to details when it matters. (See now I KNOW I’m going to miss a grammar issue when I proofread this).
Finally your Emotions are like a Gas; it takes a lot of “heat” to bring them out and once out, they are hard to contain.
Understanding all of this, here is how it relates to your life as a Sales Professional.
I’m going to start with your Emotions. Simply put, your Emotional State indicates the degree to which you feel like doing something. If you’re turned on, nothing can stop you. If you are turned off, it’s hard to even want to move. The typical negative manifestation of this within most high-level Sales Professionals I coach is call reluctance. No matter how much “sense” it makes to make the call to the client that they know they need to make, it feels like they are walking though wet cement with their lack of desire to make it.
If this is happening to you, it is because you are trying to rationally solve a problem that is not rational, but emotional. You cannot think your way out of it, you need to feel your way out of it and you can’t do this without first being supremely in touch with your emotions.
Next, your Behaviours are what the rest of us see. How you act, how you communicate, how you…behave. These are typically the traits that earn you your “born salesman” label. However, now that you know your Behaviours are fluid, you can begin to realize that depending upon the situation, you may not have all of them at your disposal. Even more concerning is that the client you are about to pitch also has their own Behavioural set, and they may presently lack the behaviours to want to let you pitch them.
Now, Values are in my experience the most overlooked and least understood part of personality as it relates to a typical sales cycle. Given that your Values are A) your sense of right and wrong and B) unchanging, when you have a client that is acting against them, you firmly believe they are WRONG and will have a hard time letting go of it. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to build a trust-based relationship with a prospect when you believe them to be a big dumb, dummy.
If all of this is making sense so far, then let’s tie it all together so that you can make use of it.
When you start your day, I encourage you to become more in touch with how you are feeling emotionally, and the potential impact this will have on your sales efforts. We have in beta a tool called FUNNEL (shameless plug) that allows a salesperson to check-in on their phone and learn what emotional barriers they may be facing, and how to “get themselves out of their own way” to increase their desire to want to sell. Now whether or not you use something like FUNNEL (you really should, it’s gonna be awesome) the point is, grounding yourself emotionally through mediation, visualization, or any other method that fits you is an important if not critical first step in the sales cycle, yet one that is rarely discussed in standard sales training.
Now that you are emotionally strong and wanting to sell, I further encourage you to learn more about your Behavioural make-up. Again, regardless of the tool you use, it is important to learn what makes you tick so that you can proactively turn the levers and hit the buttons needed to shift and give your clients what they require as opposed to what your Behaviour offers them in a vacuum.
We train salespeople extensively in this and have found that the more in touch with this they get not only do they begin to master more self-control, they become exceptionally strong at reading their client’s behaviours and making the buying process more enjoyable and therefore more successful. As we often say, we ultimately do not teach you how to sell but rather how people buy so that you can set things up and get out of the way.
Which brings us to Values. You need to learn what your Values are so that you can measure your client’s degree of alignment with them. If you know you are not a fit for each other, then you will know that you will never be a fit for one another. Again our Values do not change so if you are hoping that the client you cannot stand will suddenly one day see the light, you my friend are hooked on hope-ium.
This is not to say that you will fire the client. You will however learn appropriate ways to tolerate them. You will know that especially on days when you check-in lower emotionally, that you must do the mental gymnastics required to feel better before your meeting because this client will trigger you and your Behaviours, and the corresponding success of your sales efforts, will be impacted as a result.
If you do all of this, if you get in touch with your Emotions, Behaviours and Values, and learn to leverage them to your advantage, not only will your sales increase, the experience of BEING a sales professional will as well.
That to me, seems like reason enough to give it a try.
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