Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Business in the Days of Awe, Step 3: Agreement: Why 'Making' a Sale Is Disastrous for Your Business

By Mark Silver

Job Vacancies, Employment Jobs, Employment

When you are talking to a prospect who might be interested in buying from you, there always comes that moment in the conversation. You know the moment: when your palms start sweating, and you realize you are going to have to ask 'the question' -- "So, do you wanna buy?" I recently heard from someone who was afraid of becoming a "predator," in business, always looking to make the kill. That fear was holding her back from stepping into something she loved. This used to plague me as well. I would, at times, feel like a piranha, looking for where I could finally sink my teeth in. Not because I wanted to kill anyone, but I was so confused about how that sacred moment of decision should be handled. I decided to take a lesson from my spiritual tradition. In Judaism, the harvest festival of Sukkot comes right after Yom Kippur, which is the day of "atonement," a day of fasting. You fast to purify yourself of the past, in anticipation of harvesting what the Divine has "written down in the book" for you in the coming year. Ramadan, in the Islamic tradition, is the same purification process. And, there is a saying "maktub" which means, simply, "It is written." Your life is the discovery process of "what is written." A sale is an agreement between you and your prospect. If you are having that uncomfortable "piranha" feeling, that means you are probably trying to "write down" the future without opening the book and reading. I suggest using the first two steps of the sales conversation: connecting and questioning, to read what is "written down" for you and your prospect. And, instead of trying to "make the sale," I suggest you "discover the agreement." A "sale" is simply that: an agreement about how a relationship is going to move forward for the benefit of all involved. If you are single-minded about what that agreement should be, more often than not you'll miss the writing on the wall, and perhaps sabotage even those sales that were there waiting to happen. Recently I had a conversation with a potential participant in my upcoming class. After a relatively short conversation, it became clear to me, and to her, that it wasn't right. I didn't have to try to "make the sale," I simply spoke what was written- "It doesn't seem right for you to take this course right now." Relief on both sides as the truth of the moment was acknowledged. But, you must be humble, because it can go the other way as well. You may need to accept the fact that "what is written" is that the person needs to buy your most premium products or services. There are four possible agreements of the future that you and your prospect can come to. Focus on reading "what is written" and then harvesting it with details of your agreement, and you will find much more ease in your sales conversations. What are the four possible agreements, and how do you get there?

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