While practicing the art of selling for the past thirty-plus years, words come to me in rapid succession. Meaning – I talk a lot. To tell a salesman to use fewer words is like cutting off his right arm. But a strange thing happened when each of us at Callis & Associates was challenged to come up with three focus words to help guide our professional and personal lives, I was coming up short. It was at this moment that my first focus word came to mind – thoughtful. I spend a lot of time talking, but in the selling business I should spend much more time listening. The person who said we have one mouth to talk, but two ears to listen was right. Not only is it thoughtful to give others time to talk, but it just makes good business sense. My prospects don’t want me to sell them something, but they might be ready to buy if I am thoughtful enough to let them talk.
This simple epiphany led me to my second focus word – enthusiastic. Learning a new skill as simple as listening can be a career changing moment, and any salesman worth his weight should be enthused to go out and put this developing skill into practice. So now I am enthusiastic about nurturing my listening skills, but I realize to be effective, I need to change the way I approach selling. The old “Talk them into the sale” approach won’t work anymore.
Devising a new selling approach leads me to my third focus word – conceptual; developing a sound selling plan that ends with me listening to what my future customer wants to buy. What a simple concept! There you have it, an old dog is learning new tricks.
From three simple words – thoughtful, enthusiastic and conceptual – the foundation for a new approach to selling has emerged.