Seeing the World with Sales Ears
Allison and I were playing golf on an October Saturday when we were joined by a new club member, Rob. Nice guy. Good golfer. Big hitter, the Llama.
Over the first few holes, we learned some basic information about Rob, including the fact that he and his wife are both lawyers.
Walking to the tee box on the 4th hole, Rob and I got talking about kids. Shaking his head, he told me about his 12-year-old daughter and the battle he is having with her regarding a cell phone. She wants one. All her friends have one. Mom and dad are holding out.
Having gone through this once with each of my three daughters, I told him I understood the challenge.
What Rob said next was fascinating to me. He said, “My wife and I are waiting for her to make the right argument for a phone.”
Spoken like a true lawyer, I thought to myself.
Then he expanded with, “The argument to make is how it would help her pick up more babysitting gigs and learn responsibility and self-discipline.” Clearly, Rob sees the world through the eyes of the lawyer.
I recall encouraging my daughters to get what they want by thinking about what their mom and dad might want. This is the approach of a salesperson.
We all have our own bias, based on how we see the world.
Only the day before, I had a conversation with an executive from an equipment manufacturer. She was in Marketing and everything I talked about was converted to Marketing-speak. I remember thinking how I need to ensure she sees the value in my proposal but also convert my language to one she could understand.
I have sales ears. I listen for sales opportunities.
I have sales eyes. I read with sales curiosity.
I have a sales nose. I tried to smell sales applications.
Equally important to hear, see, and smell like a salesperson is to understand how others take in information. This is an important bridge. Part of our job is to communicate in a way that meets clients and prospects where they live. To achieve this, we must do more than just use a sales filter, we must use a translator.
As you are going about your day, taking in information and interpreting it through your own bias, make certain that you also understand the filters that will be used on the other end and communicate accordingly.
Otherwise, you will be as frustrated as a 12-year-old girl who doesn’t understand why her parents can’t see her need for a cell phone.
Just like these tips are common sense, growing sales comes down to the fundamentals. That’s Bill’s approach to everything. If you aren’t happy with your sales, look into the books and programs he offers at BillFarquharson.com.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.