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Enough Already with Over-Friendliness

No one likes to be overly scrutinized, especially with a sales person with a monthly overdo mortgage payment. Customers become distant when sales people invade their personal space without any regard to timing, reciprocated trust and rapport. Conventional sales people often fault by being needy and wanting to connect too fast before it is earned. Trust needs to be earned incrementally.

Too often mainstream sales people invade personal space with unsolicited aggressive friendliness. Customers will gladly let you tread on their personal space if you bring true substance and context to the equation, assuming they trust you.

Where sales people fault is by defining their version of what is meaningful before they let their customers vocalize their own unique rendition. Customers consistently object the most when you invade their personal space superficially with obligatory, unearned and aggressive friendliness and irrelevant selling points.

Customers and sales people on a psychological level are all struggling with the same material; fear, desire, inadequacy, frustration control, etc. Once you realize this and you come to terms with it, you drop your guard, you put your ego aside and you let your customer get their psychological needs met first knowing your same needs will be met in short order if it is a good fit for both parties. You give up control to ultimately gain control. In order to accomplish this you need to be very grounded and secure to put yourself out there without the proverbial safety net.

Empathy is the most underutilized and underdeveloped skill set for conventional sales people in the information economy. It is the cornerstone of the non-selling posture, as opposed to putting on a superficial happy face and being friendly. Enthusiasm, excitement and charming personalities are the most over-utilized and least productive skill sets and characteristics.

However, if you are going to spend 80% of your time allocating product information and selling features and benefits you might as well be enthusiastic and excited since it will not bring much excitement (positive results) on the back-end. It will at best work a minimum of times. On the other hand, when you spend 80% of your time getting information about customer's pressing troubles, you are best served doing it with quiet humility, understatement, social intelligence, empathy and compassion.

Sales people's personal ambitions get the best of them. The sales person who embraces the non-selling posture leaves their personal agenda, goals and ambitions in the office, because when you are face-to-face with customers you need to have razor focus on their ambitions and the hurtles to achieving them, not yours.

"The problem is that most people tend to think in absolutes. In the mind of people with rigid thinking, opposites must be exactly that...opposites. They have difficulty allowing failure and success...yes and no...to co-exist on the same end of their performance spectrum. It's a very western point of view. In the East, failure and success are intermingled. You must stop thinking of success and failure as being opposites. They actively rely and depend on one another," says Richard Walty.

Not allowing for negative news or "no" answers, and always going for the yes outcome is a main source of the dubious reputation that mainstream sales people shoulder. It is a strategy that is flawed and totally unrealistic.

"Always be leaving. Always calculate into your follow up strategy all the customers you could be possibly selling that you are not because you are tied up chasing phantom, dead deals. Sales people hang on to a customer like a bulldog on a postman's leg," says Jeff Thull. Always pack light and be prepared to walk. Maybe not as severe as at the drop of a hat, but you get the idea.

The non-selling posture is built on the foundation that infinite patience will produce immediate results; good or bad. The key is to maximize getting results and decisions efficiently. It is about yielding power, control, ego and emotional attachment to positive outcomes. These concessions are imperative if you want to get to the truth, find the customer's reality, unearth important information, leverage your time and differentiate yourself from your competition.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com